Commentary: Don’t Give an Inch on the Debt Ceiling

The dust has barely settled from the contentious midterms, and the battle lines are already being drawn for the next legislative fight in Washington: the debt ceiling. With the nation at unprecedented levels of indebtedness, the choice in this fight is a stark one: a path toward stability or fiscal Armageddon.

If that sounds hyperbolic, consider the following facts about America’s finances.

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Commentary: A Blueprint for Tackling America’s Crippling National Debt

Our debt is too large. Inflation is too high. We rarely pass a budget anymore — this year neither Budget Committee even bothered to come up with one. This is how great nations become weakened nations, and with all the threats on the world stage, it is urgent we make a change now.

What we need is a budget that changes our fiscal trajectory away from one where the debt is growing faster than the economy, to one where it is stabilized and then gradually brought down.

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Commentary: Don’t Be Fooled by October’s Decrease in the Rate of Inflation

October’s Consumer Price Index, the measure of the national rate of inflation, was at 7.7 percent in October, compared to a reading of 8.2 percent in September. The report propelled “U.S. stocks forward [at the open] and sent Treasury yields tumbling as Wall Street weighed the implication of softer prints on Federal Reserve policy.”

The decline in the rate of inflation was driven by declining annual prices of “necessities” such as smartphones (-22.9 percent), admission to sporting events (-17.7 percent), televisions (-16.5 percent), and women’s outerwear (-1.4 percent), all items that are discretionary purchases.

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Farm Bureau Survey Finds Thanksgiving to Be the Most Expensive Yet as Cost Rises 20 Percent

Thanksgiving dinner will cost 20% more this year compared to last year, according to a Farm Bureau survey published Wednesday, with the market signaling record-high prices for the second year in a row.

The average cost to feed 10 people for Thanksgiving will be $64.05, or under $6.50 per person, the Farm Bureau said. This is a $10.74 or 20% cost increase from 2021’s average of $53.31, which was also a record high at the time, according to historical data.

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Amidst Rising Debt and Job Layoffs, Wall Street Guru Liz Peek Sees Mild Recession on the Horizon

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Wall Street guru Liz Peek to the newsmaker line to breakdown the economy, consumer confidence, federal spending, rising debt, job layoffs, and political gridlock.

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Amidst Red Fizzle, Clint Brewer Questions Why Republicans Did Not Utilize Americans’ Concerns

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed recovering journalist Clint Brewer in the studio to discuss the disappointing Republican midterms and questioned why American concerns were not addressed by candidates.

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Ohio Democratic Senatorial Candidate Changes Stance on Confronting Inflation

Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH-13) has shown support for regulations that would prevent inflation while simultaneously favoring larger spending bills.

This year Ryan voted against preventing regulations that would cause inflation and a gas tax hike.

However, in late 2021 he favored a larger spending bill (“Build Back Better”) over a slimmed-down plan favored by moderate Democratic senators. Ryan said that Democrats should not minimize the extent of inflation but rather emphasize “Build Back Better” as a way to address it.

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Poll: 73 Percent of Virginia Small Businesses Want Republican-Run Congress

Nearly three-quarters of small business owners in Virginia hope Republicans will come out on top, according to a poll conducted by the small business network Alignable.

According to the poll, 73 percent of small business owners hope Republicans will control both chambers of Congress. Less than one-fifth of business owners, about 18 percent want to see Democrats control both chambers. Another 4 percent are hoping for split control of Congress and about 6 percent chose none of the above.

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69 Percent of Minnesota Small Business Owners Want Republicans to Sweep Congress

Nearly 70% of Minnesota small business owners said in a survey that it’s best for business if Republicans control Congress.

Between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2, Alignable asked 4,795 randomly selected U.S.-based business owners “What outcome to the November midterm elections would benefit your business the most?”

Alignable Head of Research, Corporate Communications and News Chuck Casto told The Center Square Thursday that the national survey included 367 Minnesota businesses.

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Commentary: Even Corporate Media Is Calling Out Biden’s Absurd Economic Fairytales

With only days left until the midterm elections, the advertising blitz from the political spin doctors has reached a fever pitch and the sound bites we’re hearing aren’t very sound, especially the ones from the White House on the economy. But heated rhetoric is hardly a replacement for facts and figures so, to borrow a phrase from the show Dragnet, let’s discuss “just the facts, ma’am.”

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Richard Blumenthal Runs from Grading the Economy in Debate with Leora Levy, Says It’s ‘Ongoing,’ Can’t Give It a Grade ‘Midstream’

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sidestepped giving the economy a letter grade during his only debate with Connecticut Republican Senate candidate Leora Levy Tuesday night, but when pressed to do so by the panelist, he responded the grade is “ongoing,” and “I don’t think that we can give it a grade midstream.”

Levy, however, plainly answered, “I would grade the economy ‘F.’”

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Georgia Department of Transportation Awarded $91.4 Million in Projects for September

The Georgia Department of Transportation awarded more than $91.4 million for 22 projects in September, officials said.

Nearly half (47.8%) went to bridge projects, while about a third (31.8%) went to resurfacing projects. An additional 19.2% went to safety projects, while 1.1% went to widening and reconstruction projects.

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Rose: Tennessee Remained Steady While America Declined the Last Two Years

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed (R-TN-06) Congressman John Rose in studio to discuss his district and how the economy has been on a rapid decline in the past two years while Tennessee remained steady.

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Inflation, Supply Chain Woes Raise Costs for Georgia Road Projects

Inflation is driving up the cost of road projects in Georgia, with some project bids more than 40% higher than projected.

As a result, Georgia Department of Transportation officials have rejected some high bids and deferred resurfacing projects for the last six months.

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Tennessee’s Blackburn and Green Take Biden to Task for 20-Year Mortgage-Rate High

Republican federal legislators from Tennessee blasted the Biden administration yesterday in light of the news that mortgage-interest rates have reached a two-decade high. 

Government-sponsored mortgage corporation Freddie Mac reported this week that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage — the option most homebuyers choose — hit 7.08 percent, exceeding seven percent for the first time since Spring 2002. The rate was 6.94 percent last week.

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Public Affairs Specialist Clint Brewer on Fetterman’s Debate Performance and How Midterms Are a Vote on ‘Economic Discomfort’

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Clint Brewer in the studio to comment upon GOP momentum heading into the midterm elections and Pennsylvania US Senate candidate John Fetterman’s cognitive performance Tuesday evening. 

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Pennsylvania Business Leader Survey: Inflation Likely to Continue

Business leaders in Pennsylvania don’t see inflation subsiding in the near future, according to a survey released this week by the Harrisburg-based Lincoln Institute for Public Opinion & Research. 

A total of 212 businesses from across the Keystone State responded to the institute’s poll, with just over half of the respondents being business owners; 20 percent serving as either chief executive officer, head of finance or head of operations; and about a fifth serving as either state or local manager. 

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Two New Polls Widen Vance’s Lead in Ohio Senate Race

JD Vance

Data from two new surveys have contributed to a slightly widening lead for Republican J.D. Vance in his Ohio Senate campaign against U.S. Representative Tim Ryan (D-OH-13). 

One of the polls comes from the Democrat-aligned group Data for Progress, which finds that Vance has garnered 49 percent of the 1,016 likely voters with whom the organization spoke. 

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New Poll Smothers Democrats’ Hopes That Abortion Can Thwart a Red Wave

Abortion is not a top priority for female voters and most women support abortion limits that would have been considered unconstitutional under the Roe v. Wade precedent, a new poll found, dashing Democrats’ hopes of an electoral advantage over abortion.

Inflation was about four times as likely to be listed as the most important issue for female respondents compared to abortion, with only 54% saying abortion was very important in determining their vote compared to 74% for inflation, according to the RMC Research/America First Policy Institute poll shared exclusively with the Daily Caller News Foundation. The polling cuts against a common Democratic talking point: that overturning Roe would be an electoral boon for Democrats as pro-abortion voters, and women in particular, flocked to the polls in November.

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Gilbert Runs Hard Against Pelosi Speakership in Close Race for Ohio’s 13th Congressional District

When U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) came to Shaker Heights, OH this week to fundraise for Democratic 13th-District congressional candidate Emilia Sykes, Republican hopeful Madison Gesiotto Gilbert was happy to let constituents know about it.

This wasn’t the speaker’s first major show of support for Sykes; Pelosi cut her a $30,000 check via her campaign organization in July. When Pelosi flew east to support Sykes,  a state representative from Ohio’s 34th Legislative District who the National Republican Congressional Committee calls Pelosi’s “protégé,” Republican spokesperson Courtney Parella put out a statement saying, “Emilia Sykes is bought and paid for by Nancy Pelosi and would serve as a rubber stamp for Pelosi’s failed economic agenda.”

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Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams on Why Abortion Is Necessary: ‘Having Children Is Why’ You’re Worried About Food and Gas Prices

Georgia Democrat gubernatorial hopeful Stacey Abrams said Tuesday access to abortion is necessary because “having children is why you’re worried about your price for gas … how much food cost.”

“You can’t divorce being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy from the economic realities of having a child,” she told MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

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Clint Brewer Talks Republican Momentum and the Seriousness of Pennsylvania Candidates for the U.S. Senate

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed recovering journalist and all-star panelist Clint Brewer in the studio to discuss the Republican momentum in the upcoming midterms and the seriousness of candidates running for the US Senate.

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Abrams Suggests Abortion Is ‘Economic Imperative,’ Particularly Now amid High Inflation

Stacey Abrams on Wednesday implied that abortion can and is used by women to help keep costs down amid rising inflation.

During an interview on MSNBC with “Morning Joe’s” host Mike Barnicle remarked that abortion “nowhere reaches the level of interest to voters” as does sky-high inflation prices for groceries, gas and other consumer products.

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SMART Union Delivers First-of-Its-Kind Endorsement to Kari Lake

Arizona’s Republican Gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake has received a history-making endorsement from the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation (SMART) Union Transportation Division of Arizona, marking the first time the union has supported a Republican running for a governor’s seat.

“We are confident that Kari Lake will be a champion for transportation workers and do everything she can to support our members and make Arizona’s rail industry the safest in the nation,” said Scott Jones of the SMART Transportation Division in a statement shared with the Arizona Sun Times. “Railroad safety is not a partisan issue, it’s our livelihood. So no matter who you choose, choose to vote in the 2022 general election.”

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IRS Makes Highest Deductible Hike on Record Due to Inflation

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) increased the individual tax deductible for 2023 at the highest rate in more than 35 years due to inflation.

Individual tax deductibles increased by $900 to $13,850, up $1,800 to $27,700 for married couples filing jointly, a roughly 7% increase compared to tax year 2022, the IRS announced Tuesday. This increase is the largest hike since 1985, when tax brackets were first tied to inflation, The Washington Post reported.

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End of Benefits, Rising Inflation Contribute to Food Insecurity in Connecticut

As benefits such as the enhanced child tax credit end and inflation increases, more Connecticut residents are facing food insecurity.

As DataHaven reports that 17% of Connecticut adults have been unable to afford food at some point in the past year, Julieth Callejas, who serves as executive director of End Hunger Connecticut, told The Center Square in an exclusive interview that many factors contribute to the trend. The percentage is the highest in the last five years.

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Americans Cut Back on Groceries Because of Inflation

Newly released polling data shows that inflation is causing most Americans to cut back at the grocery store. 

Morning Consult released the survey results, which showed that 82% of American shoppers report trying to save on groceries in the last month because of inflation with more and more Americans simply buying less at the store.

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Real Retail Spending Fell in September as Inflation Pinches Consumers

Retail spending held steady in September compared to August, but fell adjusted to inflation as consumers spent more on essentials, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Despite the fact that consumers spent roughly the same as they did in August, $684 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, these results are not adjusted for inflation, which rose 0.4% on a monthly basis in September, indicating that consumers were getting less value from their spending, according to CNBC. For example, spending at bars and restaurants grew by 0.5% in September, but prices at the same establishments increased by 0.9%, the WSJ reported.

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Aaron Gulbransen Weighs In on Midterm Election Polling and ‘Insufferable’ Georgia Gubernatorial Candidate Abrams

Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist, Aaron Gulbransen in studio to comment on recent polling for midterm elections and the governor and senate races in Georgia.

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Inflation Is Number One Concern for Struggling Small Businesses

Newly released polling data shows inflation is a top concern for small businesses as prices continue to rise.

The National Federation of Independent Business released the survey, which shows that 30% of owners named inflation as the single-most important problem in running their business.

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Kari Lake Slams Katie Hobbs for Not Supporting More Tax Cuts as Inflation Continues to Soar

New data shows that inflation continues to rise for consumers across the country, and in response, Arizona’s gubernatorial Republican nominee Kari Lake slammed her Democrat opponent Katie Hobbs for not supporting more tax cuts in the state.

“Today’s skyrocketing inflation data is another tragic reminder of the damage Democrats like Katie Hobbs and Joe Biden have done to Arizona’s economy. Arizona families can’t keep up with the soaring costs. I have a plan to provide some immediate relief by eliminating taxes on groceries and rent, which Katie Hobbs obviously opposes because she’d rather tax you than help you. It’s unfathomable that Katie Hobbs wants Arizonans to pay tax on top of these already crushing prices, but not surprising coming from the party of Joe Biden,” Lake said in a statement emailed to the Arizona Sun Times.

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Tea Party Patriots’ Jenny Beth Martin on Inflation and Supporting Poll Watchers and Workers

Jenny Beth Martin

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed to the newsmaker line Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots and columnist for The Washington Times, to discuss the rise of inflation, social security, and helping train citizens to be poll watchers and workers.

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Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment Gets Biggest Bump in Decades to Keep Up with Inflation

The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced the largest increase to the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment in over three decades due to high inflation.

The SSA announced that supplemental income benefits, which are paid to beneficiaries in addition to their regular benefits to offset inflation and other unexpected costs, would increase by 8.7%. This would, on average, increase benefits by $140 per month for most beneficiaries, beginning in January of 2023.

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Grover Norquist: Katie Hobbs Says She Won’t Raise Taxes But Refuses to Sign Americans for Tax Reform’s No-Taxes Pledge

During a recent Arizona Chamber of Commerce gubernatorial candidate forum, Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor, said she would not raise taxes as governor. When asked by ACC President and CEO Danny Seiden if she would raise taxes, Hobbs responded, “Absolutely not. I am pro-growth.” She pointed out that raising taxes requires a two-thirds vote in the Arizona Legislature, which would make it difficult. 

Instead, Hobbs said in a new ad that she will cut taxes to help Arizonans deal with inflation; cutting income taxes for 800,000 families and exempting diapers, baby formula, and over-the-counter medicine from sales tax. However, in 2015, she voted against HB 2001, which indexed the Arizona income tax for inflation.

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Key Inflation Metric Doubles Expectations with Core Prices Still High

Wholesale inflation exceeded economists’ expectations year-over-year in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Producer Price Index (PPI), with core prices staying high despite efforts from the Federal Reserve to rein in inflation.

The index increased 0.4% for the month, while the Dow Jones had only estimated a 0.2% gain; prices rose 8.5% year-on-year for final demand goods and services, down from 8.7% in August but higher than expectations of an 8.4% increase, according to the BLS. Final demand prices not including food and energy, or “core” prices, rose 7.2% year-on-year in September.

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TN-5 GOP Nominee Andy Ogles on Inflation, OPEC, and Energy Independence

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional GOP Nominee Andy Ogles in studio to discuss inflation, OPEC, and the need for America to produce its own energy.

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New Kari Lake Ad Promises to Cut Taxes for Arizonans

Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake told Arizonans that economic relief might be on the horizon in a new ad released Sunday detailing her plan to fight high costs if elected as the state’s next governor.

“Thanks to Joe Biden’s and Katie Hobbs’ liberal tax-and-spend agenda, Arizona has one of the highest rates of inflation in the country. Katie Hobbs and the Democrat Party won’t do anything to provide relief for Arizonans, but Kari Lake will,” said the Kari Lake Campaign in a statement.

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Trump Strongly Hints He May Run for President Again at Arizona Rally for MAGA Candidates

Former president Donald Trump held a Save America rally in Mesa, Arizona on Sunday afternoon to support the MAGA slate of candidates he’s endorsed in the state and to talk about the attacks he’s under. He dropped multiple hints at Mesa’s Legacy Sports Park that he may be running for president again in 2024.

Trump said, “We’ll be making a decision soon. I think everyone is going to be really happy.” He added later during the event that he got more votes in 2020 “than any sitting president in history. Now we may just have to do it again. Stay tuned.”

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Report: Wages Took Their Worst Hit in 25 Years

More than half of Americans saw their wages fail to keep up with inflation between the second quarters of 2021 and 2022, according to researchers from the Federal Reserve Banks of Dallas and Cleveland in a report published Tuesday.

On average, over the past 25 years, just 44.6% of employees saw their real wages decline over 12 months, with the second quarter 2022 rate of 53.4% being the most aggressive since 2011, the researchers reported in a Dallas Fed-published article. Of those who saw their wages decline, the median decline was 8.6%, much higher than the average median decline of 6.5% seen in the past 25 years, the typical range of which is a 5.7% to 6.8% decline.

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Poll: Americans Say Grocery Prices Will Affect Their Vote in November

High grocery prices are top-of-mind for voters with a little over a month until the midterm elections, according to a new poll. 

Convention of States Action, along with Trafalgar Group, released the poll, which found that 68.3% of surveyed voters say that the “increase in the price of groceries is impacting their motivation to vote in the 2022 election.”

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As Inflation Rages On, More Americans Are Living Paycheck to Paycheck

As inflation continues to batter consumers, the number of Americans living paycheck to paycheck climbed to 60% in August, according to a Friday report from financial services company LendingClub.

The increase, up from 57% in September 2021, was driven primarily by a greater portion of six figure earners slipping into a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle, according to the LendingClub report. While the proportion of those earning less than $50,000 and those between $50,000 and $100,000 living paycheck to paycheck stayed roughly the same, at 73.6% and 62.4% respectively, earners between $100,000 and $150,000 saw a more than 6.5% increase to 43.8% living paycheck-to-paycheck.

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Inflation Rose More than Expected in August, Federal Data Shows

Inflation rose more than expected in August, leaving Americans facing even higher prices on a range of everyday purchases, according to newly released federal inflation data.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released the pricing data, which showed the Personal Consumption Expenditure excluding food and energy, a key marker of inflation, rose 0.6%, higher than expected by Dow Jones.

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Wall Street Guru Liz Peek Estimates Recession Until Mid-Next Year

Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Fox Business contributor and Wall Street expert Liz Peek on the newsmaker breaks down the current economic trends both in America and Europe citing a possible recession well into mid next year.

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Congressman Tim Burchett Cautions Voters ‘It’s Not a Done Deal’ Despite Optimism for GOP House Takeover

Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Congressman Tim Burchett (R-TN-02) to the newsmaker line to discuss the overspending of Congress and advocated for strong legislation if a Republican House takeover.

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