🇺🇸 The Indecorous Deficit Debate

Plus, cocaine cat?

The Flag

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FLAG POLLS

🐘 Tuesday, March 14, Republican Presidential Nomination 2024: DeSantis 39, Trump 37, Haley 7, Pence 6, Scott 2, Sununu 2, Pompeo 1 (CNN)

🐘 Tuesday, March 14, Republican Presidential Nomination 2024: Trump 51, DeSantis 22, Pence 7, Haley 4 (I&I/TIPP)

🐎 Tuesday, March 14, Republican Presidential Nomination 2024: Biden 43, Harris 9, Sanders 8, Buttigieg 3, Clinton 4, Warren 3, Klobuchar 3, Ocasio-Cortez 2, Newsom 2 (I&I/TIPP)

📉 Tuesday, March 14, President Biden Job Approval: Approve 49, Disapprove 50 (Rasmussen Reports)


TRENDING

Left: How crime is igniting new conflicts between red states and blue cities Ronald Brownstein, CNN

Left: Trump Said He Might Have Let Russia “Take Over” Parts of Ukraine. Fox News Edited It Out. Dan Friedman, Mother Jones

Left: Fox News anchor unimpressed with Republican's Hunter Biden hype Gabriella Ferrigine, Salon

Right: DeSantis strips luxurious Florida hotel's liquor license after hosting 'lewd' drag show with children present Kassy Dillon, Fox News

Right: Stacey Abrams lands job at left-wing dark money group behind gas stove crackdown Gabe Kaminsky, Washington Examiner

Right: What The Media Did To America Is Far Worse Than The Pandemic Ever Was Eddie Scarry, The Federalist


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QUICK CLICKS

Drone Forced Down, Moody's Cuts Outlook, Alarming Trash Strike

US: Russian fighter jet forces down US drone over Black Sea (CNN)

US: Ohio sues Norfolk Southern over train derailment (NBC News)

Hollywood: Special prosecutor in Alec Baldwin 'Rust' case to step down (Fox News)

UK: Fake sex abuse claims get British woman 8.5 year prison term (AP)

World: Woman claiming to be Madeleine McCann submits DNA test (NY Post)

Economy: Moody’s cuts outlook on US banking system to negative, citing ‘rapidly deteriorating operating environment’ (CNBC)

US: Fired police chief files $10 million lawsuit against Fort Lauderdale (Sun Sentinel)

World: City of blight: Paris visitors alarmed at trash strike (France 24)


POLITICS

The Indecorous Deficit Debate

Last week, President Biden unveiled the details of his $6.8 trillion budget proposal. The White House says the spending plan will reduce the deficit by nearly $3 trillion over the next decade by raising taxes on people earning more than $400,000 per year.

Reporting from the Right: Biden budget would lead to 'record' national debt, watchdog warns (Fox News)

Reporting from the Left: Biden's budget lays groundwork for high-stakes battles ahead (CNN)

From the Flag: Given Republicans control the House, most of Biden’s plan will not be enacted by Congress. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has vowed to oppose an increase to the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt limit unless the White House cuts federal spending. Here’s more from both sides ahead of the budget battle.


LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

US Spending Is Upside Down, Much Like Its Partisan Politics

  • The US can’t endure unlimited deficit spending, and it's beyond time for Congress to do something about the issue.
  • Wealthier people are voting for Democrats, while the working class is breaking for Republicans, but spending priorities haven't changed.
  • Biden’s budget proposal is catnip for the progressive left, but it won’t save Social Security and will actually harm the working class.

Biden's budget does not fix the big US debt problem” Editorial Board, Washington Post Opinion: “An unfortunate mind-set has grown among our nation’s leaders. It is that the United States can overspend by more than $1 trillion a year indefinitely. Lawmakers assured the country that spending increases — for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and then for economic support during the Great Recession and the pandemic — would be temporary. But, with few exceptions, the fatter budget items stuck around. … The nation has reached a hazardous moment where what it owes, as a percentage of the total size of the economy, is the highest since World War II. If nothing changes, the United States will soon be in an uncharted scenario that weakens its national security, imperils its ability to invest in the future, unfairly burdens generations to come, and will require cuts to critical programs such as Social Security and Medicare. It is not a future anyone wants.”

Biden's Budget Reflects an Outdated Politics” David A. Hopkins, Bloomberg Opinion: “Democrats and Republicans have instigated a new set of cultural disagreements without resolving their existing battles over economic policy… This means that Democratic leaders still promote their party as defenders of the disadvantaged even though their cultural liberalism attracts an increasingly well-heeled set of constituents. Biden’s proposed 2024 budget… contains billions in additional spending on programs intended to benefit less prosperous Americans… Republicans have likewise declined to revise their traditional economic approach despite a recent influx of support among citizens of more modest means. … Of course, neither party has enough power to enact its entire policy agenda. … But the fact that both Democrats and Republicans are still sounding their traditional economic messages as they charge into the upcoming battle proves that a weakening class divide out in the country hasn’t done much to tame the ideological combat raging inside the Beltway.”

One more opinion piece from the Left: Biden's Budget Is Economically Reckless and Socially Clueless Brad Polumbo, The Daily Beast


RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

A Road to Financial Ruin: Biden’s Plan Does Nothing To Address Concerns

  • Biden’s plan would increase taxes and put pressure on corporations, all while inflation is already harming Americans’ spending power.
  • This budget claims to shore up Medicare and Social Security but does nothing of the sort, and both programs face insolvency.
  • Biden’s plan would amount to the largest tax increase in modern history, with America’s businesses bearing most of the burden.

Biden’s Budget Includes $5.5 Trillion in Tax Hikes” Philip Klein, National Review: “The budget repeals the Trump tax cuts on individuals making over $400,000 and households earning over $450,000. Given that those households would include individuals earning less than $400,000, the latter would be a direct violation of his pledge that, ‘if you make less than $400,000, you won’t see one single penny in additional federal tax.’ The budget would also quadruple a tax on stock buybacks, increase taxes on corporations already under pressure from higher costs driven by inflation, and add an additional 25 percent tax on high-net-worth individuals. He also increases an Obamacare surtax on investment income in a way that would hit small businesses, and then diverts the revenue from Obamacare to claim it will now shore up Medicare. Relative to the most recent baseline from the Congressional Budget Office, Biden would raise taxes by $5.5 trillion and spending by $2.2 trillion over the next decade.”

Biden Budget Refutes Itself on Social Security and Medicare” Scott Hodge, Wall Street Journal Opinion: “President Biden claims his latest budget proposal ‘protects and strengthens Medicare’ by raising payroll taxes on high-income taxpayers and the owners of pass-through businesses such as S-corporations and limited-liability companies. The administration also claims it is committed to strengthening and protecting Social Security. But as the president’s own budget numbers show, we can’t tax our way out of insolvency. … Politicians are quick to note that the Medicare trust fund will run dry in 2028 and that Social Security’s trust fund will be depleted in 2035. They’re right, but what they fail to point out is that these programs are already deeply underwater on a cash basis and are relying on an infusion of general revenue to keep them afloat. Medicare doesn’t have a 2028 problem—it has a today problem.”

One more opinion piece from the Right: Biden’s $5 trillion tax blowout still leaves soaring red ink Brian Riedl, New York Post Opinion


FLAG THIS

What, Me Worry? Not Really, if It’s About the Deficit

A poll finds Americans’ level of concern regarding the budget deficit has fallen over the past decade.

From 2012 to 2022, the number of people who said they care a “great deal” about the deficit declined from 60% to 48%. The number of respondents who said they do not care “at all” rose from 4% to 10% (Gallup).

A separate poll found 13.5% listed the budget deficit as the “most important issue facing the US” in January 2013. It hasn’t registered in the top 1% since February 2020, when it checked in at 3.5% (YouGov).


FLAG FINDS

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WATERCOOLER

Maine Enters the Union, Outlaws of the Sea, A Cow Among Bison

On March 15, 1820, as part of the Missouri Compromise between the North and the South, Maine is admitted into the Union as the 23rd state. Administered as a province of Massachusetts since 1647, the entrance of Maine as a free state is agreed to by Southern senators in exchange for the entrance of Missouri as a slave state.

National Geographic: Who rules the high seas? Outlaws and unknown sea creatures

NPR: Why we usually can't tell when a review is fake

LifeHacker: The Cheapest Alternatives to Expensive Home Improvements

Today I Learned a cow escaped from a Polish farm and was spotted months later living with a herd of wild bison.