Ohio concluded the 2020 fiscal year with General Revenue Fund tax revenues of $1.1 billion, or 4.6 percent, below estimates, a clear indication of the impact the COVID-19 restrictions have had on the state.
Tax revenues in June were $50.5 million, or 2.2 percent, below estimate. However, state officials noted that revenues were better than a month earlier when they were 13 percent below expectations. Read More
Is America in a recession? It’s an unpopular question to ask, but it has now been over 3 months since COVID-19 restrictions were initiated and it is time for us to get realistic about where we are economically so that we can take the proper steps to minimize further damage to our economy. At this point, the unfortunate reality is that regardless of what we do, it is likely that it will take at least several years to see a partial recovery of economic loss and the time that it will take for a complete recovery remains unknown at this point. Read More
The Minnesota legislature failed to reach agreements on a major construction bill, tax relief, or state employee contracts before the midnight Sunday deadline for this session.
The lawmakers could still find a middle ground in a special June session.
Minnesota House Republicans Saturday blocked Democrat’s $2 billion bonding bill. Bonding bills must originate in the House and require a three-fifths majority, or 81 votes, to pass. The final tally fell six votes short. Read More
A two-and-a-half billion dollar infrastructure spending package – touted as a top priority for 2020 by the DFL-controlled Minnesota House – fell short of the necessary three-fifths supermajority of votes needed Saturday.
With a final count of 75-58 along party lines the measure missed by a scant six votes. Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer created the Michigan COVID-19 Office of Accountability on Monday to provide a check over spending during the coronavirus pandemic.
The office, which resides in the State Budget Office, provides oversight to all spending to fight the coronavirus and will report to the governor and the state budget director.
The Department of Technology, Management and Budget will designate a chief for the office. Read More
A storm of skyrocketing unemployment paired with plummeting tax revenue have plunged the state budget into a multi-billion dollar deficit.
State Budget Office Communications Director Kurt Weiss told The Center Square in an email that tax revenues for this fiscal year are projected to drop between $1 billion and $3 billion.
There’s another $1 billion to $4 billion projected for Michigan’s next fiscal year, Weiss said.
Over 1 million people have filed for unemployment benefits, more than a quarter of the state’s workforce. Read More
The immediate challenge of COVID-19 has been cast as an examination of how individual Americans will fare should they be exposed to the virus. The effort to arrest the spread of the virus has brought unprecedented changes in the daily routines of all Americans. The limitation of activity is apparent when one walks outside. There is a marked silence, regardless of the time of day, almost eerie, that gives one pause.
The check on movement is accompanied by images of field hospitals and graphs showing curves and spreads displayed across news sites. While many are changing their daily routines to comply with the requirements of staying at home and practicing social distancing, a broader concern is the effect on our American democratic foundation. Read More
President Donald Trump praised the Federal Reserve for cutting the federal funds rate to a range of 0 percent to 0.25 percent, and restarting quantitative easing with $500 billion of U.S. treasuries purchases and $200 billion of mortgage purchases in response to the Chinese coronavirus global pandemic.
“It makes me very happy and I want to congratulate the Federal Reserve,” he said. “That’s a big step and I’m very happy they did it.” Trump has been hounding the Fed for years to cut interest rates to make the dollar more competitive against trading partners’ currencies including the yuan, euro and peso. Now he gets his wish. Read More
One initiative in President Donald Trump’s fiscal 2021 budget, to be presented to Congress Monday, targets waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer money. Read More
State lawmakers nationwide are spending more money, but they are also replenishing rainy day funds in preparation for the next economic downturn, a new report determined. Read More
The U.S. government spent $33.9 million of taxpayer money on unused textbooks for Afghani children. The books are still sitting in decaying storage units in Afghanistan. American taxpayers also spent $16 million to improve the quality of Egyptian education. Read More
Every year, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) audits the Social Security Administration (SSA) and publishes its findings. Read More
by Justin Bogie Two major issues that Congress will be forced to confront in the coming weeks and months are the debt limit and the future of the Budget Control Act discretionary spending caps. A report from The Hill indicates that negotiations are underway between Congress and the Trump… Read More
by David Ditch Members of Congress are promoting the concept of changing three programs from the discretionary category (requiring annual appropriations) into mandatory (auto-pilot) spending. Such changes would become a huge backdoor spending increase. Spending limits have come under relentless attack from both parties. In 2013, 2015, and 2018,… Read More
by Rick Manning In Washington, D.C., every spending program and tax break has a constituency that fights for it. This is why they exist, because somewhere, someone believes that Warren Buffett needs a wind production tax credit, and that opera programming should be taxpayer funded. These constituencies are tightly… Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio– Tuesday, Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine addressed a joint session of the Ohio legislature in his first State of the State Address. While he covered several topics ranging from workforce development to infrastructure repair, the speech’s main focus was three key points; the gas tax, greater protections for children, and environmental action.… Read More
by Rachel Greszler President Donald Trump issued an executive order effectively freezing federal pay for 2019 at current 2018 levels. Had the president not issued this executive order (and lacking congressional action on federal pay), federal workers would have received a 2.1 percent across-the-board pay increase, as well as a… Read More
by Michael Bastach Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told President Donald Trump that Democrats won’t cut a deal with him on infrastructure spending unless it includes a slew of policies aimed at fighting global warming. Schumer, the Senate’s top Democrat, called for, among other things, making green energy and… Read More
by Rachel Bovard There’s only one area where bipartisanship still reigns in Washington: avoidance. Republican and Democrat leaders this week held hands and used the funeral events for President George H. W. Bush as an excuse to move their funding deadline—which previously expired on December 7—two weeks forward, to December… Read More
by Michael Bastach The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) paid $14.5 million to foreign nationals to work at agency laboratories over the past 11 years that could have been awarded to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, according to federal investigators. EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) found the agency’s cooperative… Read More
by Justin Bogie Congress is up to its old tricks again, trying to pass another massive spending bill that uses gimmicks and tricks to push deficit spending even higher. And it thinks it can hoodwink President Donald Trump into signing it. Next week, the House is expected to vote on… Read More
By Robert Romano The 2018 fiscal year will end on Sept. 30 but Congress is no closer to achieving key Trump administration priorities including fully funding the southern border wall, something President Donald Trump has been demanding since 2017 and campaigned on extensively in 2016. So far, both the House… Read More
by Dody Eid and Romina Boccia A congressional select committee on reforming the budget process recently held another public hearing, supposedly with the ultimate aim of designing a more transparent, accountable, and responsible budgetary process. Any such changes should also re-establish and enhance Congress’ power of the purse. But if those are… Read More
by Jeffery Rendall As I strolled through the excellent and memory-provoking exhibits at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library (in Simi Valley, CA) the other day I was struck by how similar President Donald Trump’s approach to today’s politics is to the way Ronald Reagan handled the subject a half… Read More
by Katherine Rohloff All but a relative few farmers and other rural residents have had electricity and telephone service for a generation, but the U.S. government devoted $10 million in the current budget to a duplicative Rural Utilities Service program designed to help pay for energy costs. Taxpayers continue to finance the… Read More
by Robert Osburn Celebrated this past July 4, America’s founding story of freedom is truly remarkable: unity, courage, integrity, and national integration (incorporating people from around the world). In most other places, the freedom story is bloody, exclusive, and, ultimately, tyrannical. Take Nicaragua, for one example: In 1979, the Sandinistas… Read More
By Robert Romano 2026. That is when the Medicare Hospital Insurance trust fund will be depleted, according to the Board of Trustees for the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds. That is down from 2029. After that, the share of benefits paid for by revenues will drop until… Read More
By Printus LeBlanc When President Donald Trump signed the omnibus spending bill back in March, he did so reluctantly. The swamp knew the President’s feelings for the military and hid behind them to fill the omnibus with wasteful spending. The President signed it, hoping some of the spending would be… Read More
by Justin Bogie President Donald Trump on Tuesday submitted a special message to Congress requesting that $15 billion in unspent funding be rescinded. That’s a good first step toward re-establishing fiscal responsibility. Congress should embrace it and quickly adopt the president’s rescission package. Still, the package does nothing to claw back the… Read More
by Romina Boccia Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., recently revived the “penny plan,” which calls on Congress to reduce spending by at least one penny on the dollar from one year to the next. The proposal was introduced in 2011 by then-Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., and Sen.… Read More
by Rachel del Guidice House conservatives propose to cut nondefense spending and balance the federal budget within eight years in a blueprint released Wednesday. The document produced by the Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus of GOP lawmakers in the House, includes a long list of policy goals such as repealing Obamacare,… Read More
by Rachel del Guidice Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney says his staff will soon be sending a package to Congress to rescind some of the planned spending in the $1.3 trillion omnibus bill signed last month by President Donald Trump. “[We] hope to have something here in… Read More
Using ‘the power of the purse,’ the Tennessee House of Representatives passed an amendment by a vote of 56-31 Tuesday to de-fund Memphis’ bicentennial celebration by $250,000 as a consequence to the overnight removal of two Confederate monuments in late 2017. “If you recall, back in December, Memphis did something that removed historical markers in… Read More
By Printus LeBlanc When the President signed the budget a few weeks ago, it was obvious he was disgusted about having the sign the horrible bill. The only reason the President signed the bill was because the military was in dire straits. Those pushing the bill knew how the President… Read More
Red ink will spill even faster over the next decade than projected as recently as last summer, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported Monday. The numbers crunchers forecast that this year’s deficit will be $242 billion larger than the budget office forecast in June. The CBO attributes $194 billion of… Read More
Remember Ed Schaefer? You should – you paid $30,500 for his hand-painted portrait. How about Steve Preston? His official government portrait cost you $19,500. But the days of taxpayers paying for oil paintings of government officials, obscure or memorable, are gone. Read More
By Robert Romano One good thing that came out of the omnibus spending bill signed into law by President Donald Trump is that it defunds a key aspect of the Obama era Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulation, Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing. This was the rule enacted in 2015… Read More
Almost 100 Republican representatives voted against the 2,000 page omnibus spending bill Wednesday night. The House of Representatives voted to pass a $1.3 trillion spending bill in a 256 to 167 vote with seven people abstaining from voting. The spending bill offers funding to defense matter, the opioid crisis and… Read More
A $1.3 trillion spending bill passed this week by Congress has conservatives decrying a surrender of fiscal restraint and has prompted calls to eliminate the filibuster rule requiring 60 votes for most legislation in the Senate. Eliminating the filibuster would be a dramatic move that many Senate traditionalists are unwilling… Read More
US President Donald Trump on Friday signed a $1.3 trillion compromise federal spending bill despite being “unhappy” with many of its provisions — thereby averting what would have been the third government shutdown of 2018. Trump said he signed the measure that had passed the Senate just hours earlier “as… Read More
By Robert Romano A year late, Congress has finally approved the President’s supplemental request to begin construction of the southern border wall at $1.6 billion. The supplemental was requested in March 2017. It was supposed to be included in the May 2017 omnibus spending bill affecting spending levels for Oct.… Read More
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) praised the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill approved Thursday by the House of Representatives — lauding Democrats’ ability to “accomplish more in the minority” than when they controlled the White House and Congress. He also proclaimed the “era of austerity” is “coming to an… Read More
Republicans, following months of negotiations with Democrats, finally came up with an omnibus spending bill, and in a word, it “sucks.” It’s 2,232 pages of $1.3 trillion taxpayer expenditures. And lawmakers only have until Friday to pass it, or face yet another shutdown. Read More
President Donald Trump unveiled his plan Monday to fix what the White House describes as the “unacceptable state of disrepair” of the nation’s roads and bridges, but some experts warn it could turn into a costly and unneeded boondoggle to fix a problem that doesn’t really exist. Read More
By Robert Romano Say, you’re a fiscal conservative. You think the federal government is spending too much of your hard-earned tax dollars and that the $20.7 trillion national debt is pushing it. You took a gander at the campaign brochures of each of the major parties in 2016, Democrats and Republicans,… Read More
Rep. Jim Jordan says the swamp struck back with the passage of a massive budget deal that increases government spending by $300 billion. “I’m saying the swamp won and the American taxpayer lost,” Mr. Jordan, co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, said on “Fox News Sunday.” Read More
Any time you hear Washington talk about bipartisan agreement, America, grab your wallet and run! Once again, lawmakers in Washington have finally cut through all the thorny brambles of partisanship and discovered (yet again! yippie!) something they can all agree upon: spending scads and scads more of other people’s money… Read More
Democrats who howled about the debt during last year’s debate over tax cuts have stood silent over a comparably large increase in red ink projected from a budget-busting spending plan that cleared Congress and was signed by President Donald Trump early Friday. Read More