President Joe Biden joked about once being thought of as a moderate, in an Oval Office meeting with leftist Democrats at the White House last week.
“I used to be called a moderate,” he said, according to The Atlantic.
The president signaled support with the fight led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and other leftists to get a $3.5 trillion spending bill through the House of Representatives, even as moderates are trying to block it or even cut the spending levels.
Jayapal said that after the meeting Biden gave her a copy of his April speech to Congress promising to raise taxes on the rich and expand entitlements and even signed it at her request.
Biden detailed the White House separate meetings with both progressives and moderates on Friday.
“I don’t know whether you heard, but both meetings went very well,” Biden said to reporters at the White House. “I mean, it was — it was — they were collegial. It — it wasn’t — no one was hollering.”
Biden campaigned for president as a moderate, but absorbed a lot of the agenda pushed by Democrat socialists like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
“Ask yourself, do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” he asked voters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in August 2020.
He insisted on September 16 that he was a “capitalist” despite proposing dramatically higher taxes on corporations and people making more than $400,000 a year.
“I just think it’s about just paying your fair share, for Lord’s sake,” he said Friday.
President Biden’s big government legislative agenda will kill 5.3 million jobs and generate $4.5 trillion in debt, according to a Monday study by the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The study also suggests the United States’ gross domestic product (GDP) will be reduced by $3.7 trillion, nearly the cost of the massive $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.
Biden’s legislative agenda will additionally cost American families a combined $1.2 trillion in reduced income via tax increases to pay for the costly package, the study reveals.
The study also broke down the costs of Biden’s social welfare spending by state, analyzing Texas, Arizona, and West Virginia.
Arizona, where Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) resides and who is opposed to much of Biden’s massive tax and spending, will absorb $97 billion of the cost and the destruction of 115,000 jobs.
West Virginia will absorb $24 billion of the cost and the destruction of 29,000 jobs. Those costs are set to effect the state of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who has also suggested he is opposed to the expense and a few radical left provisions of the reconciliation package.
Texas will absorb for more than both states combined. The lone star state will be saddled with $394 billion in cost and 467,000 jobs lost.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s study summarizes the following impacts of the tax and spend agenda:
- Top marginal income tax rates with federal, state, and local taxes are over 65%.
- Corporate tax rate up by a quarter to 26.5% for third highest combined rate of 30.9% in OECD.
- Marginal tax rate increase of 13 percentage points on some households.
- Capital gains tax rate up by 25%.
- Marginal income tax rate on some small businesses raised by 24%.
- Multiple severe marriage penalties are imposed.
- Effective tax rate on large estates before state and local taxes is 61.1%.
- Taxes raised on tobacco and vapor products, primarily used by those earning less than $400,000.
- International taxes on businesses raised by over 20%.
- $6.89 tax raised per barrel on imported petroleum and increase tax with inflation.
- Capital gains tax rate increased, unrealized gains taxed at death, death tax increased, and step-up basis eliminated.
- Cap on SALT deduction removed.
- Redistributing $6.2 trillion in government spending slows growth.
The following is the impact from the legislation on families, according to the study:
- National Debt increase is an extra $35,439 in debt on each American household.
- Jeopardizes family farms and businesses when original owner dies.
- Marriage penalty on small business owners as high as $130,200 annually.
- Median family’s income drops by $12,000.
- Removing cap on SALT deduction: Middle class family receives just $15 while wealthy Democrat donors in blue states receive $150,000.
The impact on business is as follows, the study details:
- Lost investment of $663 billion.
- Taxing unrealized capital gains yields 43.4% less revenue than expected.
- Corporate tax rate hikes reduce wage growth by 23.1% for employees.
- International tax rate hikes reduce full-time employment by 12,000 jobs.
- U.S. tax competitiveness would fall from 21st to 30th.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are gridlocked on legislative measures while the Democrat party grows “infuriated.”
“Last week, as all outward appearances suggested gridlock on Capitol Hill,” the New York Times reported about Pelosi and Schumer’s inability “to salvage their $3.5 trillion social policy and climate change bill.”
On the House side, Pelosi is struggling to whip up the majority of Democrats to vote for the $1.2 trillion “bipartisan” bill. Pelosi promised “moderates” a vote on the bill Monday, but Pelosi broke her promise and pushed the vote to Thursday.
The decision was likely due to Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and her 94-member Congressional Progressive Caucus, which opposed a vote on the “bipartisan” bill for fear of losing leverage to pass the $3.5 trillion package.
Pelosi is also fumbling over Rep. Stephanie Murphy’s (D-FL) “no” vote “against the Medicare prescription drug bargaining plan put forth by the House” Democrats, Punchbowl News reported Monday. Pelosi needed the “yes” vote from Murphy to secure funding for the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.
Murphy stated last week she is unhappy with Democrat infighting, which threatens President Biden’s massive tax and spend policies. “The mistrust that exists currently between members will spread to mistrust between leadership and members, and I think that wouldn’t be healthy for our Congress accomplishing Biden’s agenda,” Murphy said.
“There’s clearly enough moderate opposition to sink” both the reconciliation package and the “bipartisan” bill in Pelosi’s chamber, Punchbowl surmised.
On the Senate side, Schumer is finding it difficult to whip his Democrat majority to pass the reconciliation package upon or if the House sends it to the Senate. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) are opposed to some of the radical provisions in the package, along with the $3.5 trillion price tag. In a vocal manor, they have threatened to derail Biden’s agenda and Schumer’s legacy.
As a result, the angst among Democrats is palpable, as they are growing “frustrated” and “infuriated” with Biden’s lack of action.
“The president needs to pick up the phone and call people,” a Democrat aide “close to the talks” told Politico Playbook. “The person argued that the White House has been in ‘listening mode’ for too long and needs to bang heads to get this vote over the finish line this week.”
“There are a lot of mistakes happening here,” the Democrat aide added, admitting the Democrat Party is scattered with no “game plan going into such a critical” time before the 2022 midterms. “There is no whip effort on the BIF [bipartisan infrastructure bill] yet. Everything is hanging by a thread. Biden needs to be more engaged.”
Biden, Pelosi, and Schumer are hoping the infighting will be resolved before Thursday’s vote on the $1.2 trillion “bipartisan” bill. But this is unlikely due to a government shutdown that will occur Friday.
Democrats can avoid a shutdown by temporarily funding the government. Yet raising the debt ceiling requires Republican support in the Senate, and Republicans are in no mood to help Democrats because doing so would enable Biden’s massive tax and spend agenda.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø.
House Republicans have relieved warmonger Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from her conference chair responsibilities Wednesday.
Cheney lost her post after a voice vote in the basement of the House. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) responded to Rep. Virginia Foxx’s (R-NC) motion with the following: “This is a tough day… I support the motion of the lady from NC.”
NEWS: CHENEY removed from her post by voice vote
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) May 12, 2021
NEW: Told GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy responded to Rep. Virginia Foxx’s motion with the following:
“This is a tough day… I support the motion of the lady from NC.”
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) May 12, 2021
Before Cheney was ousted, she gave the following speech to save her position:
I am going to take a moment of personal privilege and then we will have the prayer and pledge. I have tremendous affection and admiration for many of you in this room. I know we all came to Washington to do important work for the nation. History has chosen every single one of us. And history has put us here together at this moment of challenge for our country.Our nation needs this Republican Party as a strong party based on truth so we can shape the future.
To do that, we must be true to our principles and to the constitution. We cannot let the former president drag us backward and make us complicit in his efforts to unravel our democracy. Down that path lies our destruction, and potentially the destruction of our country. If you want leaders who will enable and spread his destructive lies, I’m not your person; you have plenty of others to choose from. That will be their legacy.
“But I promise you this, after today, I will be leading the fight to restore our party and our nation to conservative principles, to defeating socialism, to defending our republic, to making the GOP worthy again of being the party of Lincoln,” she concluded.
Cheney opened up the House GOP conference meeting with this: (multiple tweets here)
“I am going to take a moment of personal privilege and then we will have the prayer and pledge.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) May 12, 2021
Former President Donald Trump celebrated the news Wednesday that House Republicans had ousted Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) from Republican leadership.
“Liz Cheney is a bitter, horrible human being,” Trump wrote in a statement issued after Cheney was voted out. “I watched her yesterday and realized how bad she is for the Republican Party. She has no personality or anything good having to do with politics or our Country.”
Cheney took the House floor Tuesday evening to defend her repeated unprompted criticism of Trump.
“I will not sit back and watch in silence while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy,” she said.
But Trump dismissed Cheney as a political thorn in the side of the party working to undermine the Republican party.
“She is a talking point for Democrats, whether that means the Border, the gas lines, inflation, or destroying our economy,” he said.
House Republicans acted swiftly to remove Cheney as House Republican conference chair on Wednesday morning with a voice vote, replacing her with Rep. Elise Stefanick.
The former president also criticized the Cheney family for getting America into war overseas.
“She is a warmonger whose family stupidly pushed us into the never-ending Middle East Disaster, draining our wealth and depleting our Great Military, the worst decision in our Country’s history,” he said.
Trump also predicted that Cheney would be recruited by the media to attack Republicans.
“I look forward to soon watching her as a Paid Contributor on CNN or MSDNC!” he wrote.
Earlier Wednesday, Trump urged Republicans to remove Cheney, calling her a “poor leader, a major Democrat talking point, a warmonger, and a person with absolutely no personality or heart.”
“As a representative of the Great State of Wyoming, Liz Cheney is bad for our Country and bad for herself,” Trump continued.
The former president said the majority of the Republican party supported Cheney’s ouster, despite the media focus on the leadership disruption.
“Almost everyone in the Republican Party, including 90% of Wyoming, looks forward to her ouster—and that includes me!” he concluded.
Arriving on Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning, Cheney vowed to continue leading the party away from Trump.
“The party is going to come back stronger and I’m going to lead the efforts to do it,” she told reporters.
Consumer prices jumped higher than expected in April, data from the Department of Labor showed Wednesday.
The Consumer Price Index climbed 4.2 percent annually in April. Compared with March, prices rose 0.8 percent.
The annual inflation figure is the largest increase since 2008. Economists had forecast a year-over-year gain of 3.6 percent and 0.2 percent for the month.
Excluding food and energy, categories that can be volatile month-to-month, “core” CPI rose 0.9 percent compared with a month ago, three times faster than the estimate. On an annual basis, core prices are up 3.0 percent, above the 2.3 percent estimated.
The inflation numbers came in so hot for April that they exceeded the top of the range of estimates of analysts surveyed by Econoday.
The annual numbers may somewhat exaggerate inflationary pressures because of extremely weak numbers a year ago when the U.S. economy locked down in an attempt to contain the spread of covid. Officials at the Fed believe that this so-called “base effect” will last only a few months and that inflation will be transitory.
Not all economists agree. The economy is recovering more quickly than anticipated and much of the spending from the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill passed in March has yet to hit the economy. Pent-up consumer demand, bolstered by excess savings and direct stimulus payments, could push prices up higher than Fed officials anticipate, some analysts have warned.
The higher than expected CPI reading is resurrecting fears of an economic threat that has all but disappeared over the past generation: Runaway inflation. It occurs when prices for most goods and services not only rise but accelerate, making the cost of living steadily more expensive and shrinking the purchasing power of Americans’ earnings and savings.
Growing jitters about inflation have contributed to a sharp sell-off in stock prices this week. Any significant acceleration of inflation would exert a drag on the market and potentially imperil the economic recovery.
In the past, rising inflation has usually led to higher pay as workers have demanded and received raises to keep pace. In fact, inflation can’t really accelerate for long without sizable wage gains. Yet pay raises — if they do occur — typically lag behind price increases, thereby squeezing consumers at least temporarily. And eventually, pay gains themselves will fuel further inflation: Companies raise prices further to offset higher wages for their employees.
Some companies, including Amazon, have recently raised or said they plan to raise wages.
Not since the late 1960s and early ’70s has the United States endured chronic high inflation, with consumer prices rising at or near double-digit percentages from one year to the next. In fact, the reverse has been true for about a decade: Inflation has remained persistently below the 2 percent annual target set by the Federal Reserve. Under Chair Jerome Powell, the Fed is betting that it can keep rates ultra-low even as the economic recovery kicks into high gear — and that it won’t have to quickly raise rates to stop runaway inflation.
Used car prices jumped 10 percent in April, which the Department of Labor said accounted for about one-third of the overall rise in CPI. Compared with a year ago, used car prices are up 21 percent.
–The Associated Press contributed to this report.