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Senate passes budget-breaking bill

A coalition of Democrats and Republicans in the Senate today passed the Trump budget deal that will end sequestration and other budget limits.

Congress sent a two-year budget and debt ceiling deal to President Trump over the objection of 22 Senate Republicans. Many Republicans failed to heed a last-minute tweet from President Trump urging them to back the accord. It passed by a vote of 65-28. Five Democrats voted against the deal.

Once signed by Trump, the deal will permit unfettered federal borrowing through July 31, 2021 and busts federal spending caps by $320 billion over the next two fiscal years. It leaves out an extension of the Budget Control Act, which expires in two years. The act imposed spending restraints meant to force lawmakers to impose fiscal reforms.

“This may well be the most fiscally irresponsible thing we have done in the history of the United States,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, declared ahead of the vote.

Republicans bolted away from the deal much the same way they rejected it in the House when it passed the measure last week over the objections of 132 GOP lawmakers. [emphasis mine]

These votes reveal the real political battle going on right now in the U.S. This spending bill passed because about half the Republicans in both houses of Congress teamed up with the majority of Democrats. Those that voted against are the remains of the tea party movement, and are also the remains of the original American dream. They are also now a minority with little power, so little that they do not even have Trump on their side.

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On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

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The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

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  • Ian C.

    Let me try to give an explanation.

    First, the American Dream is dead. Pretending it’s not is delaying necessary steps. Trump knows it, he said so before his election and the couple of years since then aren’t sufficient to revive it strong enough. He has to turn things around on a huge scale. For that the US has to face domestic and foreign challenges in trade, industry, demography, culture, education, military etc. Costs a lot.

    Second, he’s fighting over every billion for his goals, but the Democrats are a tough opponent. It’s very time-consuming and delays necessary measures. And he has to fight well-positioned forces that invent all kinds of “economic theories” to justify unlimited spending. Big uphill battle. So he inflates the cake, there’s more to give away to Dems for their pet projects and in return he has more resources to spend on his right now.

    Third, a revitalized America will be able to deal with the larger deficits one way or the other. An America that continues the way it is will cease to be America and then who cares whether deficits grew fast (status quo) or super fast. So what do you prefer, a risky maneuver that might save the Shining City or a tombstone with “but we were fiscally conservative” on it?

    Just to be clear, I don’t like it. But I dislike the entire context in which that happens (or must happen) even more. Government is his current tool to accomplish things. Instead of reducing his reach, he expands it. And this is how I explain to myself what’s going on.

  • Edward

    Ian C. wrote: “First, the American Dream is dead.

    This is why I say that the most important election was in 2008, and we lost. People keep telling us that it is the next election, whatever year they say this in, but they are only saying so in hopes that someone will finally be elected who reverses the obliteration of the American Dream that Obama did to us. An America that thinks that it has the right to direct us how to spend our money, what we must do or say, so long as a tax is associated with it, is not America at all.

    Second, he’s fighting over every billion for his goals

    Whatever those goals may be.

    Trump is just another President Bill Clinton, but without the plan for a balanced budget in ten years. Note that two decades ago the Republicans were able to balance the budget within four years. Where the hell are those guys now?

    Third, a revitalized America will be able to deal with the larger deficits one way or the other.

    Dealing with large deficits is not what we need. What we need is a balanced budget and the repayment of our greater-than-domestic-output debt. Getting back to a very low national debt and no budgeted deficit is what we really need.

    Those were the days when America was great! Those were the days when we had the flexibility to do great projects, such as go to the Moon, build the impossible Panama Canal, save the world from tyranny — twice — and free the slaves that King George had so cruelly embedded deep into our economy.

    Instead, we haven’t done anything great in half a century.

  • Ian C.


    The American Dream isn’t completely dead, of course, but it got badly hurt. I exaggerated to make my point. But to turn things around, Trump has to work on so many issues, and a balanced budget and low national debt aren’t the most important things right now. If he’d attack that first, it would consume his time and resources too much. Instead of futilely fighting this harmful trend, he utilizes it to get the deals and resources to work on the more pressing issues. Reduce illegal immigration, stop unfair trade deals and harmful international commitments, reduce taxes and regulation, confront anti-American cultural hegemony, give hope to the people, and plenty of other things to protect and revitalize the very foundations of the country. A culturally and economically strong America can deal with fiscal issues later.

    When I look at the work the Trump administration does, I’m rather optimistic despite all the still open problems and compromises. The work has just begun and it’ll take at least a generation.

    Since I’m obviously biased (that’s always a bit tacky, I know), I’m not shy of linking some propaganda that perhaps makes the point even better. It’s taken from his very articulate speech in West Palm Beach, FL (October 13, 2016):


  • Cotour

    If there is any hope of once again (Has it ever been?) taming the budget in any way, shape or form then it will be in the second term of the Trump administration. Trump is thee only politician / president that could ever deal effectively with it and the Democrats and that will be done through continuous growth and ruthless cut throat politics.

    The only other thing that will force the issue is a total collapse of our system and that will just be what it is, chaos. As long as America remains the foundation of the worlds financial system we have the luxury of doing what we are doing. As soon as that changes so will our attitude towards debt.


    It will have to come after as many of those other issues are well on their way to being addressed. The first issue is military spending and building up specifically the Navy and Space forces and our immigration system / securing the border. Everything and anything to thwart the Globalist Agenda. American nationalism not Globalism. That seems to be the plan.

    Other than Trump winning and executing his plan there will never be any other alternative other than That, or total collapse.

    And while China sees itself as the inheritor of the planet, they can never accomplish that until their people are free. And that is like the conundrum of North Korea surrendering their nukes. Neither will come about through peaceful means.

  • wayne

    Trump ran specifically on not touching any entitlements. To expect him to exercise fiscal and monetary restraint is wishful thinking.
    On the upside–Trump isn’t Hillary.

  • wayne

    on the other hand…..

    Dr. Trump: Official Music Video
    Louder with Crowder May 2019

  • Edward

    Ian C. wrote: “The work has just begun and it’ll take at least a generation.

    If this is true, then Trump and the Republicans had better start grooming people to take over after Trump’s eight years end. I see no signs that Trump or the Republican Party, including most of its members, are eager for all this work. No one seems to be next in succession.

    His big four promises were locking her up, overturning Obamacare, building the wall, and the one that put him on the map after Kate Steinle: eliminating sanctuary cities.

    So far, Trump has failed at most of his “pressing issues.” As soon as he was elected, he surrendered on the issue of draining the swamp by refusing to “lock her up,” and so far the swamp has been walking free after several successes in abusing government to take sides in our elections, from 2010 onward. Has the statute of limitations passed on Lois Lerner? The more they got away with their abuse of government, the more they abused government the next election. The “political establishment” that Trump railed against in the video is still just as established as before. If this is the last chance to save our nation, as Trump said, then he had better get on that job pretty soon. If we are the only ones who can vote out the corrupt establishment, As Trump called them, someone has to make sure that the correct people are on the ballot for us to vote for. Instead, the Republican voters nominate establishment types, giving us only Republicans who lean left as alternatives to those who lean left on the Democrat side.

    Trump declared victory in overturning Obamacare when the only part he was successful at was the fine for not having government-approved coverage. That was no win at all, because all the rest of that hideous, failed, fiasco is still in place, plaguing America.

    Reducing illegal immigration hasn’t worked yet. So far there are more sanctuary cities, and now there is at least one whole state that is a sanctuary. The wall is a fiasco; so far he has only patched up a few spots. Even so, there are far more illegals pouring over the border, swamping the system into crisis mode. Hardly a victory there.

    As for other issues:
    Taxes? Even Trump had declared that his “tax reduction” bill was revenue neutral. Some people pay less, others pay more. The hype on that was short lived, as people soon realized that it was no reduction after all.

    NAFTA was replaced by the same thing under a new name. World-wide tariffs wreak havoc with international trade.

    Anti-Americanism is still just as strong. American culture has not been repaired one bit, since Obama left it in such sad shape. There is increasing fear to speak one’s mind for fear of attack by AntiFA (Anti First Amendment), (Only) Black Lives Matter, or other groups that started during the Obama regime of governance and continue today, because the governance has not changed back.

    The foundations of the country are still undermined by everything that has gone on before. So far, Trump has not patched up a single part of these foundations.

    On the other hand, he has reduced some of the overregulation that has hampered this country. Some jobs that Obama decreed to be gone forever have come back onto America’s shores, but others still have not and do not look like they are returning. Another good sign is that he is overspending at Obama’s rate, not at the traditional (over the past quarter century) doubling of the overspending with each new president, but a balanced budget is mandatory at some point soon.

    If the great ship of this American nation is to change course away from anti-Americanism, someone has to turn the wheel. So far, Trump has yet to do so.

    The Democratic Party had a succession plan that would have continued Obama’s destruction of truth, justice, and the American way, but Obama’s successor was too incompetent.

    Who is Trump’s successor who will “continue” (read: “start”) the recovery of the American Dream, of our heritage that has been under attack and has been destroyed over that 100 or so years? When and how are we going to have the national debt reduced enough that we can be a great nation again?

  • wayne

    Good stuff.

    I am pleasantly surprised by Trump and will vote for him again in 2020. That having been said, I’m under no delusion he’s a fiscal/monetary conservative, and…. it’s mathematically impossible to grow our way out of the massive debt we’ve accumulated.

    Tangentially, we aren’t going to get anything done, until we get rid of all these RINO’s in the senate & house.

    ‘Political Capitalism:
    How Economic and Political Power is Made and Maintained’
    Randall Holcombe/ Mises University 2019

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