Deficits are a tool used to by Republicans to block Democratic priorities, and not a problem in and of themselves. This isn’t new

$22 trillion and rising:

The debt figure has been accelerating since the passage of Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut in December 2017 and action by Congress last year to increase spending on domestic and military programs.

The national debt is the total of the annual budget deficits. The Congressional Budget Office projects that this year’s deficit will be $897 billion — a 15.1 percent increase over last year’s imbalance of $779 billion. In the coming years, the CBO forecasts that the deficit will keep rising, top $1 trillion annually beginning in 2022 and never drop below $1 trillion through 2029

talkingpointsmemo.com/news/national-debt-tops-22-trillion

The key thing to understand here is that this isn’t a bug in Republican politics but a feature. They know that tax cuts will run up debt, no matter what their rhetoric about cuts paying for themselves might be. They know it and they embrace it, because they know that when Democrats are eventually back in power, they can use the deficits to block Democratic spending priorities. They’ve done this one-two going on forty years now, and they won’t stop until and unless they’re made to.

From their perspective, both taxes and spending are problems to be solved through cuts. That’s first principles for them. Deficits, however, are a second order problem, one that only gets attention when in service to first principles. I know this seems maddeningly inconsistent from outside that worldview, but I promise you that in the inside it really doesn’t look or feel contradictory at all.

One of the most clever bits of Reagan’s coalition building was getting the deficit hawks and defense hawks into alignment. If all spending is bad except defense spending, then you’ve really put Democrats in a box, because Democrats like defense spending too. When they’re in power, they can’t offer to increase domestic spending by cutting defense spending. They want both! Which leaves only the option of raids on taxes to pay for new spending priorities, and THAT is a much harder sell.

He’s a former CIA Agent and current Member of Congress from Texas. His district has 820+ miles of border. And he thinks the border crisis is “a myth.”

Hurd’s district includes 820 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, more than any other member of the House of Representatives. But if you’re expecting Hurd, who was narrowly re-elected to a third term last year, to support President Trump’s “big, beautiful wall” and stand with the decision to partially shut down the federal government over the fight, you’ve got it all wrong. Trump’s border crisis is a “myth,” Hurd tells Rolling Stone, and a wall made of cement or steel slats is a “third-century solution to a 21st-century problem.”

“What I always say is building a wall from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security,” Hurd says.

www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/will-hurd-border-wall-myth-781204/

The Freedom Caucus now supports asset forfeiture and presidential emergency declarations. Remember this next time

It’s all fraudulent, the invocations of freedom and limited government and “don’t tread on me” hatred of government. They mean none of it. They never have

Had a Democrat done any of this, they would’ve pretended to object on principle, but that was always a lie. What’s changed is that’s now been made obvious.

And yet,,,here’s one of the leaders of the House Freedom Caucus enthusiastically endorsing the second of emergency powers to seize private property inorder to advance their public policy agenda. By definition, whatever principles he has, they don’t prohibit this.

twitter.com/repmarkmeadows/status/1083733171106209792

Don’t forget this next time. Take none of their “principled” complaints seriously. They mean none of it. None. Of. It.

Trump admits what he is doing is dumb and pointless, goes ahead with it anyway because….IDK?!?

Yet privately, Mr. Trump dismissed his own new strategy as pointless. In an off-the-record lunch with television anchors hours before the address, he made clear in blunt terms that he was not inclined to give the speech or go to Texas, but was talked into it by advisers, according to two people briefed on the discussion who asked not to be identified sharing details.

“It’s not going to change a damn thing, but I’m still doing it,” Mr. Trump said of the trip to the border, according to one of the people, who was in the room. The border trip was just a photo opportunity, he said. “But,” he added, gesturing at his communications aides, Bill Shine, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Kellyanne Conway, “these people behind you say it’s worth it.”
— Read on www.nytimes.com/2019/01/08/us/politics/donald-trump-speech.html

An Emergency Declaration would be an extraordinarily stupid precedent to set.

politi.co/2FdM1DT

Sure, this solves their short-term problem. Trump makes the declaration, attempts to comandeer the resources, and gets tied up in court while regular appropriations get passed. Ok.

But long term? Y’all aren’t paying attention if you don’t think the new generation of Democrats won’t use the same set of powers in the future for their own ends. It’s inevitable.

There’s a really simple rule to live by: never support the use of a set of powers by your pqrty that you arent willing to later recognize as legitimate when your opponents inevitably use them too.

Don’t built a surveillance state you don’t want your opponents running. Don’t start a war you don’t want your opponents managing. Don’t support the use of emergency powers you don’t want your opponents to use. Not now. Not ever. It will always end up a mistake. Always.

How marginal tax rates work

If I were given the opportunity to teach every American one thing in five minutes, I would teach them all how marginal tax rates work. Because if people understood that — and I’m as certain of the fact that the overwhelming majority of American do NOT understand it as I am of anything — it would transform all our debates about taxation and spending.

As explained by Investopedia, a marginal tax rate “is the tax rate incurred on each additional dollar of income. The marginal tax rate for an individual will increase as income rises. This method of taxation aims to fairly tax individuals based upon their earnings, with low-income earners being taxed at a lower rate than higher income earners.”

Under the current marginal tax rates, the first $9,525 earned by a single filer is taxed at 12 percent. Income from $9,525 to $38,700 is taxed at 12 percent. Income from $38,700 to $82,500 is taxed at 22 percent. The brackets go up to the top rate of 37 percent, which for a single filer kicks in at $500,000.

Marginal tax rates are progressive — they increase with income. So under Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal, a taxpayer on the lower end of the income scale wouldn’t pay the top rate of 70 percent. That rate would be reserved for the ultra-rich — as she described it, “tippy-top” earners who make $10 million or more.

Source: What conservatives have wrong about Ocasio-Cortez’s tax proposal, explained – Vox

You want to “cut taxes” for “all Americans,” for example? Under the system of taxation we currently have, the only way to do that is to focus the cuts on the rates at the bottom of the ladder, because those are the only rates that all Americans pay. You want to focus them on the middle class? Fine. Then you need to focus them on the rates at the bottom and in the middle. Focusing your cuts on the top, by contrast, only helps those at the top.

People don’t understand this, and so they fall for the bait-and-switch every time. The bottom and middle see tiny reductions, while the top sees the overwhelming majority of the action. That’s been the Republican playbook my entire adult life, and it works only because Americans don’t understand the most basic facts of how this system works.

That hasn’t always been true, and there are signs that may at very long last be about to change. And in that light, whatever happens to these specific proposals matters far, far less than the ways they are changing this debate.

The shutdown-in-the-name-of-border-security has shut down the e-verify system. Geniuses these guys are not

These people are genuine morons.

As Democrats and Republicans meet to broker a deal to restore government funding, one critical onboarding tool has found itself in the crossfire. E-Verify, the online service used by employers to confirm new hires’ authorization to work in the U.S., has been shut down until lawmakers and President Donald Trump can agree on a funding bill.

E-Verify cross-references individuals’ Form I-9 information with data from the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security to determine their authorization to work. Since the nineties, enrollment in the online service has ballooned from just 11,000 to nearly a million organizations. While use of E-Verify remains voluntary for most companies nationwide, a number of states have passed laws requiring or regulating its use.

The recent outage is complete, impacting every feature of the service. As of this writing, users were unable to submit cases, run reports, or even view pending or past submissions. Companies who don’t use E-Verify will also be unable to enroll in the service during the shutdown.

Source: E-Verify Shuts Down, Leaving Employers in Flux