•   
  •   
  •   

Opinion Opinions | Republicans’ fiscal flip-flop is breathtakingly ill-timed

18:05  09 february  2018
18:05  09 february  2018 Source:   msn.com

Republican agenda clouded by division

  Republican agenda clouded by division Republicans are divided over transportation, immigration and spending coming out of a retreat in West Virginia, clouding the prospect of legislative progress in 2018. GOP leaders at the retreat focused on the accomplishments of last year more than the divisive issues in front of them as they hope to rally the rank-and-file members ahead of primary season and the November general election."Nothing's going to get done this year," acknowledged a senior Republican aide, noting divisions over President Trump's proposed $1.5 trillion infrastructure package and immigration.

There he goes again. With Republicans struggling to keep their grip on Congress, President Trump is dialing up the demagogy. At campaign rallies and on social media, he’s spewing dark warnings about a Democratic mob clamoring to usher in an era of open borders, rampant crime

today's opinion . op-ed columnists.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (R) heads back to his office following the weekly policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol February 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (R) heads back to his office following the weekly policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol February 6, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Republicans’ plan to Make Deficits Great Again is not merely hypocritical. It’s also terrible policy. Or at least terribly, breathtakingly ill-timed.

In 2009, a few weeks after Barack Obama took office, a Republican political movement — one supposedly grounded in fiscal conservatism — was born.

Tarek El Moussa Denies Dating Rumors, Reveals Valentine’s Day Plans

  Tarek El Moussa Denies Dating Rumors, Reveals Valentine’s Day Plans Don’t expect to see Tarek El Moussa on a date with model Patience Silva this Valentine’s Day. “[She] was just someone that I was briefly talking to, but [it] never went anywhere,” the Flip or Flop star, 36, tells Us Weekly exclusively, denying recent dating rumors and noting that he doesn’t use the dating app Raya. “We only hung out once.”Instead, El Moussa plans to spend the holiday with his 7-year-old daughter, Taylor. “My plan is to have the best Valentine’s Day ever,” he says. “I am going to take my daughter out to dinner at her favorite restaurant in Newport Beach and get a nice table overlooking the water, which is her favorite.

Jair Bolsonaro is a right-wing Brazilian who holds repulsive views. He has said that if he had a homosexual son, he’d prefer him dead; that a female colleague in the Parliament was too ugly to rape; that Afro-Brazilians are lazy and fat; that global warming amounts to “greenhouse fables.”.

Catherine Rampell Catherine Rampell is an opinion columnist at The Washington Post. She frequently covers economics, public policy, politics and culture, with a special emphasis on data-driven journalism.

Sure, the country was teetering on the edge of another Great Depression, a circumstance that would normally call for aggressive fiscal stimulus. Tea party Republicans, however, demanded belt-tightening. They wanted a government that stopped spending beyond its means. That meant, above all, reducing federal debt.

Maybe even passing a balanced- ­budget amendment!

Subscribe to the Post Most newsletter: Today’s most popular stories on The Washington Post

Curiously, in the past few months, all those fiscal hawks have flown the coop.

The federal government is on track to borrow $1 trillion this year, roughly double what it borrowed last year.

The huge increase is partly driven by the ginormous, plutocratic tax cut Congress passed in December, as well as less-noticed, smaller rounds of tax cuts that have passed since then. Now comes a planned two-year budget deal that includes hikes in both defense and nondefense spending.

Right revolts on budget deal

  Right revolts on budget deal House conservatives on Wednesday revolted against a massive bipartisan deal to raise the debt ceiling and bust spending caps, complaining that the GOP could no longer lay claim to being the party of fiscal responsibility. "I'm not only a 'no.' I'm a 'hell no,' " quipped Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), one of many members of the Tea Party-aligned Freedom Caucus who left a closed-door meeting of Republicans saying they would vote against the deal.It's a "Christmas tree on steroids," lamented one of the Freedom Caucus leaders, Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.).

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram, and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter. David Leonhardt is a former Washington bureau chief for the Times , and was the founding editor of The Upshot and head of The 2020 Project, on the future of the

President Trump on Monday sharply intensified a Republican campaign to frame the midterm elections as a battle over immigration and race, issuing a dark and factually baseless warning that “unknown Middle Easterners” were marching toward the American border with Mexico.

President Trump is also pushing for even more deficit-financed spending, including a border wall and an infrastructure package.

With no Democrat in the White House, Republicans have stopped worrying and learned to love deficits. But there are two reasons their fiscal flip-flop is very badly timed. 

The first has to do with the business cycle.

As we learned from John Maynard Keynes, deficit spending should be countercyclical. When economic growth goes down, deficits should go up, and vice versa. The idea is that the government can pick up the slack when private demand lags (as was the case back in 2009). 

For most of the past 70 years, we’ve basically followed this guidance. Deficits have closely tracked the unemployment rate, with exceptions during wartime. It’s only quite recently — beginning in the last few years of the Obama administration — that the two trends decoupled, as an analysis from Goldman Sachs Economic Research documented last month.

Republicans Learn to Love Deficit Spending They Once Loathed

  Republicans Learn to Love Deficit Spending They Once Loathed After years of professing fiscal discipline, Republicans are embracing budget deficits as the nation’s debt swells.WASHINGTON — Big government is officially back in style.

Just a little over two weeks before the fateful midterm votes, Democrats are falling behind their Republican rivals.

Public opinion is divided on trans issues in many ways. A Pew survey from last year found that 54 percent of Americans—including a large majority of Republicans —said that whether a person is a man or woman "is determined by the sex they were assigned at birth."

a close up of a logo © /

We’re now in one of the longest economic recoveries on record. With unemployment at 4.1 percent, we don’t need more deficit spending to stimulate the economy. Yet here we are.

Ramping up deficits today means we’ll have less room to maneuver when we actually need it — i.e., when (not if) we fall into recession again.

The second reason the timing is poor is a bit more complicated and possibly scarier: Just as we’re asking the world to buy more U.S. debt, fewer people may be interested in doing so. 

The supply of U.S. Treasurys for sale is going way up this year, and not only because of Congress. The Federal Reserve is also unwinding the swollen balance sheet it built up during the crisis. In addition to that $1 trillion of newly issued Treasurys to finance the budget deficit, the Fed will dump about $230 billion in existing Treasurys onto the market this year, according to an estimate from Evercore ISI.

Meanwhile, however, demand for U.S. Treasurys is likely going down. 

Why? Because of what’s happening in the rest of the world.

The European Central Bank is expected to end “quantitative easing” in September. This program has kept interest rates on European sovereign debt super-low — so low, in fact, that they were often negative. This caused lots of investors to avoid European debt and chase the relatively higher yields of U.S. debt instead. 

GOP the party of deficit hawks? That was then.

  GOP the party of deficit hawks? That was then. Republicans rode the tea party wave to power eight years ago on a message of fiscal responsibility and attacking budget deficits, and kept at it during President Barack Obama's two terms. That was then. Republican leaders early Friday were rounding up support for a bipartisan budget bill that would put the government on track for annual deficits topping $1 trillion, a gap last seen toward the end of Obama's first term.

Opinion . Some have argued that efforts to communicate the consensus won’t work – that Americans’ opinions on climate change simply break down by political ideology (realism on the left, denial on the right) and in our age of ‘alternative facts,’ new information doesn’t change peoples’ beliefs.

Like all the adhocrats, he needs to be useful. The catering magnate got into internet marketing and black PR when the Kremlin wanted to unleash trolls to influence first domestic and then international opinion . Then he became a condottiere, providing the civilian façade to the military intelligence

When the ECB ends quantitative easing, the reverse will happen: Yields on European debt will rise. (In fact, they already are.) U.S. debt will look less attractive by comparison. 

Additionally, the dollar has been getting weaker over the past year, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested at Davos that this was by design. If you expect the dollar to continue losing value, investing in dollar-­denominated assets such as Treasurys looks even less appealing. 

“If I’m a European investor, and I’ve been facing negative interest rates for so long, I might begin to look at all these things and say, why am I buying Treasurys?” says Torsten Slok, chief international economist at Deutsche Bank. About half of U.S. public debt is currently held by foreigners, he points out.

Bottom line: If there are fewer buyers interested in the massive and growing supply of U.S. debt for sale, our borrowing costs will rise. Actually, that’s already happening, too: Interest rates on 10-year Treasurys reached a four-year high Monday, which is part of the reason stocks have been going haywire. 

All this means our debt could climb even faster than our increasingly spendthrift elected officials expect — leaving us even fewer options when (again, not if) we actually need them. 

Trump budget chief says he would oppose budget if he were in Congress .
The White House budget chief said on Tuesday that, if he were still a member of Congress, he "probably" would vote against a deficit-financed budget plan he and Trump are proposing. At a U.S. Senate panel hearing where he defended the administration's new $4.4-trillion, fiscal 2019 spending plan, Mick Mulvaney was asked if he would vote for it, if he were still a lawmaker, which he was before Trump hired him."I probably would have found enough shortcomings in this to vote against it," said Mulvaney, director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in reply to a senator's question.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
This is interesting!