Fact-checking the speech by President Biden

The 2011 Wall-String Budget Crisis: How Congress is preparing to take over the U.S. Senate from its brinkmanship

Yellen subsequently said there could be a “global financial crisis” if there is no debt limit agreement. The Treasury Department is now taking “extraordinary measures” to continue paying bills on time.

If the U.S. does not act then American officials have to make a choice between payments of interest on the debt or continuation of assistance like Social Security. The threats from Republicans recall brinkmanship in 2011, when congressional Republicans sought to pressure President Barack Obama to accept similar spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt limit.

Goldman’s economists warned that raising the debt limit would be difficult, but that the United States would not plunge into a new economic crisis like in 2011. The analysts also noted that less than a quarter of Republicans and less than a third of Democrats who will serve in the House in 2023 were there in 2011.

In an interview, Senator Richard M. Burr of North Carolina said he would hope they would do it at the end of the year. The presidential election is in February, so you are already in the political season prior to next year, and I wouldn’t want to take the debt ceiling and use it for political purposes.

Democrats had considered using a budget reconciliation process to raise the debt limit, thus shielding it from the Republicans. But party leaders have resisted the move, arguing that the vote should be bipartisan.

The most productive time of the year on Capitol Hill happens after the election when Republicans take over the House of Representatives and the congress tries to complete some important work in a few weeks.

Lawmakers worked to stuff in as many priorities as they could into the sprawling package, likely the last major bill of the current Congress. If they fail to complete passage before Friday’s midnight deadline, a partial government shutdown will likely take place in the Christmas holiday.

Second, the newly elected Congress will be sworn in on January 3. Republicans will then be in charge of the House, and Democrats will have a narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate. Everything resets in the new Congress, and lawmakers will have to start from scratch on anything they don’t finish up this month.

Rather than pass a dozen funding bills in turn, lawmakers are poised to roll all the spending bills for the massive federal government into one bill that could approach or exceed $1.5 trillion.

The spending bill will keep the government functioning through September and is the product of lengthy negotiations between Democrats and Republicans.

It’s not yet clear who will lead Republicans in the House next year, much less how they would react to an immediate funding fight if only a short-term spending bill can get through by January.

The National Defense Authorization Act authorizes $858 billion in annual defense spending, and it is one of the policies that Congress authorizes.

The House has passed a version that raises the pay of military personnel and gives them more support for NATO while retools US air power. Biden has been against the repeal of the Covid-19 vaccine requirement for service members.

The bill must now go to the Senate to be approved before it can go to President Joe Biden to be signed into law. The Senate can vote as soon as Thursday.

CP-violating investigations of the House Select Committee: Taxes and the Investigating Probes of the Expansion of the United States

Social Security is the second-largest source of government spending after health care programs, with 21% of the $5.8 trillion spent in the last fiscal year. The rest of the budget goes to a range of discretionary domestic programs, including 13% for defense and national security.

Republicans will take control of the House in January 2021, so they will shut down the House select committee. GOP lawmakers plan to flip the script and investigate the committee’s activity.

The committee, which features Democrats and two anti-Trump Republicans, will issue a report on December 21. Also look for the committee to recommend the Department of Justice prosecute Trump or members of his inner circle.

Meanwhile, Jack Smith, the newly appointed special counsel, has been busy ramping up a pair of criminal probes involving the former president, all of which could explode into public view if charges are ultimately brought. Read the latest on Smith’s work.

When the Republicans take control of the House they will have little appetite for a tax investigation of Trump.

The New York Times published some tax information of Trump in 2020, but Democrats could make it public on top of that. Since Democrats obtained the returns in order to scrutinize IRS audit policy, it might be a political cost to just release them. Continue to read about Trump’s taxes.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/12/politics/congress-deadlines-funding-what-matters/index.html

The House Appropriations Committee is Up for a Major Step towards Reinforcing the Predictive Power of Insurrection 2.0

It is a bipartisan idea to make some major clarifications to election law in order to cut down on the possibility of another January 6, 2021. Read here about what’s in the bill, which is specifically designed to guard against Insurrection 2.0.

But there may be no time to pass the proposal – there are similar but competing versions in the House and Senate. The Senate version, in particular, has bipartisan support. Republicans in the House may not be interested in the legislation once they take control in January.

If the Electoral Count Act can pass, it could be slipped into that massive spending bill. It isn’t getting the attention it deserves, but this example of lawmakers working together may be a good one.

The House voted Wednesday evening to pass a stopgap bill to avert a government shutdown at the end of this week with funding currently set to expire on Friday at midnight. The Republicans voted along with Democrats to vote in favor.

On Tuesday, an announcement of a framework deal for a broader spending bill was seen by some as a breakthrough, but there are still a lot of things to be worked out.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said in a statement that he and ranking Republican member Richard Shelby and House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro “reached a bipartisan, bicameral framework that should allow us to finish an omnibus appropriations bill that can pass the House and Senate and be signed into law by the President.”

On Wednesday, he said that the top line was about $1.7 trillion but wouldn’t elaborate. Shelby said the exact allocations to the different government agencies are still being negotiated.

A bipartisan agreement for a full-year government funding deal was not easy to get due to disagreements between the two parties over how much money should be spent.

Republicans are critical of recent domestic spending by Democrats and argue that measures Democrats have passed while they have been in control of both chambers of Congress, like a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill and a sweeping health care and climate bill, are wasteful and will worsen inflation.

Democrats counter by saying those measures were necessary to help the country recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic as well as to tackle other critical priorities. Democrats say that money to respond to Covid, health care and climate should not mean that there will be less money for government operations next year.

The bill has a total of 4,095 pages and would last through the end of the fiscal year in September.

According to the Democratic chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the package includes emergency aid for Ukraine, which is fighting Russia’s invasion. It is the largest American assistance to the Ukraine to date, above even President Joe Biden’s $37 billion emergency request, and would make sure that funding flows to the war effort for months to come.

“If the Russians want to win in Eastern Europe, America must be with them,” said Senate Majority Leader Schumer, D-N.Y.

Biden’s Bipartisan Improvement of the Electoral Count Act and the Future Direction of Government Spending in the 21st Century

It includes historic revisions to federal election law that would prevent future presidents from trying to overturn an election. The bipartisan overhaul of the Electoral Count Act is in direct response to former President Donald Trump’s efforts to convince Republican lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike Pence to object to the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory on Jan. 6, 2021.

If a fiscal year23 spending bill fails to gain bipartisan support this week, McConnell will try to have another short-term patch into next year, guaranteeing that the new Republicans in the House will be able to shape the package.

” The choice is clear, we argued against it in releasing the bill,” he said. Either we do our jobs and fund the government, or we can not do them at all.

The final opportunity for Biden and Democrats to put their stamp on government spending will be with the spending bill. Biden’s productive two years included a Covid-19 relief package, an infrastructure bill and a China competitiveness measure.

The director of the office of management and budget said that neither side received everything it wanted in the deal. She urged congress to send the measure to the president without delay because it was good for the economy, competitiveness and country.

The Pelosi-Schumer Spending Bill: A Failure to Pass the 2023 Budget Unless Congress Passs It In The House

The spending on non-defense programs will increase by about 6%. The increase in VA medical care will help pay for an expansion of health care and benefits to veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits while in service. Some environmental advocacy groups expressed frustration with the funding increases for agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Park Service, which they said don’t keep up with inflation.

The bill’s unveiling was delayed by haggling over language related to location of the FBI’s future headquarters. Legislators in Maryland argue that the selection process should take into account the percentage of federal investments going to predominantly Black communities. They are advocating for building the headquarters at one of two sites in Maryland’s Prince George’s County, a majority-Black county. Virginia is competing for the headquarters.

A Senate Democratic aide familiar with the negotiations said Schumer worked to incorporate language in the spending bill ensuring the General Service Administration conduct “separate and detailed consultations” with lawmakers representing the Maryland and Virginia sites to get their perspectives.

Lawmakers are nearing completion of the 2023 spending package nearly three months late. The government’s fiscal year began in Oct. 1, and it was supposed to be finished by then.

The last time Congress enacted all its spending bills by then was in 1996, when the Senate finished its work on Sept. 30, the very last day of the budget year. Then-President Bill Clinton signed it that same day.

The Senate is expected to vote on the spending bill first where support from at least 10 Republican senators will be needed to pass it before the measure is considered by the House. Lawmakers are concerned about passing legislation with large amounts of information on short notice, just as they were with recent catchall spending bills.

“We still haven’t seen a single page of the Pelosi-Schumer spending bill, and they’re expecting us to pass it by the end of this week,” tweeted Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla. “It’s insane.”

McConnell said he shares “many of my colleagues dissatisfaction” with the process. He said failure to pass the bill would give our military confusion and uncertainty, while China invests money into new research and weapons for its military.

The annual dash to fund the government is starting to look like a bad Christmas Carol: 12 spending bills, 1.7 trillion, 4,000-plus pages, a single massive end-of-year vote and a lifeline for the lobster industry.

Republicans will be in charge of the House next year so Democrats will have to either follow through on their promise to never do that again or they will find themselves back in Congress looking for work again.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, however, could draw out the last-minute work with a lament on the House floor, known as a “magic minute,” which allows party leaders to speak as long as they want. The California Republican is hoping to become speaker in the new year and says that he will not allow government funding to work this way.

Going over a cliff: a lesson learned from the House of Representatives from a campaign that Democrats voted against the omnibus

Recent memory is littered with such threats. President Donald Trump promised to veto any “omnibus” bill, endured a government shutdown and then ended up signing versions throughout the rest of his presidency.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said a lot of ups and downs, but a good result helped the American people.

“But given the reality of where we stand today, senators have two options this week, just two,” the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor. If we don’t give our armed forces the resources and certainty that they need, we will deny them.

McConnell focused on the defense spending, but there was so much more, including billions earmarked by lawmakers for projects in their home states and districts.

The return of the earmarking progress, now called Community Project Funding, allows even those lawmakers who will vote against the omnibus to direct spending back home. On her website, Rep. Stefanik of New York lists her requests for appropriations. They include taxpayer money for a wastewater plant in Greenwich, a police station in Moriah, a childcare facility in Ogdensburg, among others. She will join other House Republicans in opposing the final bill.

A bloc of 20 House Republicans who initially voted against McCarthy for speaker are hoping to play a prominent role in the debate, after they made the debt ceiling a central part of their speakership negotiations. As part of those talks, McCarthy indicated he would not take up a debt ceiling increase without “commensurate fiscal reforms” or a budget agreement, according to a slide presentation obtained by CNN.

Schumer said he would negotiate with McCarthy on the topic until next year, but that he warned the House leader to listen to more moderate Republicans.

“There is a large chunk of Republicans, perhaps a majority in the House and the Senate who are not MAGA,” Schumer, a New York Democrat, said. This election showed them that following a particular political movement, such as MAGA, is like going over a cliff.

The Biden-Carlo omnibus: A budget package that includes emergency assistance for Ukraine, medical research, veteran health care, disaster recovery, and medical research

The omnibus was not just about spending and keeping the government’s lights on. They threw in more bipartisan efforts, because they didn’t have much time to work during the year.

Lawmakers are distracted frequently by other matters and judicial nominations can be delayed til the last minute.

But mostly, it seems like leaders have found it’s easier to ram something through when the vote is framed as must-pass and it’s the only thing standing between them and the holidays.

President Joe Biden on Thursday signed a $1.7 trillion federal spending bill that includes a number of administration priorities and officially avoids a government shutdown, ending what he called a “year of historic progress.”

Biden said that it would invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, and get crucial assistance to Ukraine.

On Wednesday, the White House received the bill from Congress. The bill was delivered to the President for his signature by White House staff on a regularly scheduled commercial flight,” a White House official told pool reporters.

It’s at least the second time this year that an important bill has been flown to Biden for his signature. While on a trip to Asia in May, a bill authorizing about $40 billion in aid to Ukrainian was carried by a staffer who was already slated to travel to the region. Biden signed the bill outside of the US.

The package includes emergency assistance toUkraine and NATO allies, protections for pregnant workers, an enhancement to retirement savings rules and a ban on the use of federal devices.

It also will provide a boost in spending for disaster aid, college access, child care, mental health and food assistance, more support for the military and veterans and additional funds for the US Capitol Police, according to Leahy’s summary and one from Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee. And the legislation contains several major Medicaid provisions, notably one that could disenroll up to 19 million people from the nation’s health insurance program for low-income Americans.

The bill ran over 4,000 pages, but did not include any measures that lawmakers had fought to include. There were other corporate and individual tax breaks that did not make it into the final bill. The Safe Banking Act and a bill to help Afghan evacuees in the US gain lawful permanent residence were not included in the legislation. And the spending package did not include a White House request for roughly $10 billion in additional funding for Covid-19 response.

Biden, Putin, and the Reionization of the White House: An Unexpectedly Bright Outlook for the Next Three-Year Budget

Washington is bracing for a sharp shock. Since November, the big story has been about the red wave that didn’t arrive. But the reality of divided government will finally dawn this week. A House Republican majority, in which radical conservatives now have disproportionate influence, will take over one half of Capitol Hill. Republicans will fling investigations, obstruction and possible impeachments at the White House, designed to throttle Biden’s presidency and ruin his reelection hopes.

The possibility that Donald Trump might face an indictment for alleged crimes while he was President, could tear the country apart at a time when democracy is in trouble. The already stirring 2024 presidential campaign, meanwhile, will stir more political toxins as both parties sense the White House and control of Congress are up for grabs after the closely fought midterms.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year showed how outside, global events can redefine a presidency. Biden’s leadership of the West against Moscow’s unprovoked aggression will be an impressive centerpiece of his legacy. But Russian President Vladimir Putin shows every sign of fighting on for years. Ukraine says it won’t stop until all his forces are driven out. Biden has the capacity to stop the war from spilling over into a clash with Russia.

For McCarthy, the challenge will be in balancing the interests of House Republicans eager to use their leverage on the debt ceiling to enact priorities that would otherwise be ignored by the White House and the Senate – but also finding a deal with Democrats without being seen as caving into their demands. Hanging over all of it: The ability of one member to call for a vote seeking McCarthy’s ouster from the speakership.

Government shutdowns are more likely when Democrats are in the minority. The GOP is vowing to investigate the business ties of the president’s son, Hunter Biden, and the crisis at the southern border. The GOP may suffer if voters think they went too far, a factor that will be used by Biden as he eyes a second term.

Democrats are happy with the expansion of their majority in the Senate. (After two years split at 50-50, the chamber is now 51-49 in their favor). Wasting no time in seeking to carve out a reputation among voters as a force for bipartisanship and effective governance, the president will travel to Kentucky this week. He’ll take part in an event also featuring Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, to highlight the infrastructure package that passed with bipartisan support in 2021.

The Politics of the Ex-President: Why Will Merrick Garland Fail to Keep the Gone? The Case of Attorney General Adam Kinzinger

Attorney General Merrick Garland could shortly face one of the most fateful decisions in modern politics: whether to indict Trump over his attempt to steal the 2020 election and over his hoarding of classified documents.

Yet if Trump did indeed break the law – and given the strength of the evidence of insurrection against him presented in the House January 6 committee’s criminal referrals – his case also creates an even more profound dilemma. A failure to prosecute him would set a precedent that puts ex-presidents above the law.

“If a president can incite an insurrection and not be held accountable, then really there’s no limit to what a president can do or can’t do,” outgoing Illinois GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a member of the select committee, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday.

If he is not guilty of a crime, then I fear for his country because every future president now has the ability to say, “Hey, here’s the bar.” And the bar is, do everything you can to stay in power.”

Like it or not, with his November announcement, Trump has pitched America into the next presidential campaign. But unusual doubts cloud his future after seven years dominating the Republican Party. His limp campaign launch, bleating over his 2020 election loss and the poor track record of his hand-picked election-denying candidates in the midterms have dented Trump’s aura.

Potential alternative figureheads for his populist, nationalist culture war politics, like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, are emerging who could test the ex-president’s bond with his adoring conservative base. Even as he fends off multiple investigations, Trump must urgently show he’s still the GOP top dog as more and more Republicans consider him a national liability.

Biden is close to giving Americans a new piece of history, as he campaigns for reelection on behalf of the president who is over the age of 80. His success in staving off a Republican landslide in the midterms has quelled some anxiety among Democrats about a possible reelection run. Biden’s strongest card is that he has beaten Trump before. Still, he wouldn’t be able to play that card if Trump fades and another potential GOP nominee emerges. DeSantis, for example, is roughly half the current president’s age.

As 2023 opens, a repeat White House duel between Trump and Biden – which polls show voters do not want – is the best bet. But shifting politics, the momentous events in the months to come and the vagaries of fate means there’s no guarantee this will be the case come the end of the year.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/01/02/politics/political-trends-2023-biden-mccarthy-trump/index.html

The Real Problem of 2020: The Case for a Rejuvenating US Economy, Not a Painful One? The Case of the Borrowing Limit

Who knows if US and European voters will be able to tolerate high energy prices for a long time as their economies fall into recession this year.

Rarely has an economy been so hard to judge. In 2022, 40-year-high inflation and tumbling stock markets coincided with historically low unemployment rates, which created an odd simultaneous sensation of economic anxiety and wellbeing. Can the Fed bring about a soft landing without triggering a recession that many analysts believe is on the way, by applying excessive interest rate medicine?

Washington spending showdowns and potential government shutdowns could also pose new threats to growth. The economy will be outside any political leader’s capacity to control, but its state at the end of the year will play a vital role in an election that will define America, domestically and globally after 2024.

McCarthy has been hearing from key players in his conference that they want to raise the borrowing limit as soon as possible so he can meet with President Joe Biden on Wednesday.

It is a recipe that could result in a default, since some people are against raising the limit at all.

Further complicating matters The Republicans like Mike Pence and Tim Burchett are not in a position to raise the debt ceiling.

“I don’t think (Biden) would ever want to be irresponsible and childish, and not sit and negotiate, especially when you think about the ramifications to the economics of our country,” McCarthy told reporters on Monday. “So we’ve got a timeline here, let’s sit down, let’s not play political games. We have certain jobs, and we might be able to find some savings for the American people.

According to GOP sources, Republicans have offered a number of ideas in exchange for the debt limit being increased, including caps on domestic spending at fiscal 2019, and bringing defense spending down to 2023 levels over the next decade.

Negotiating the South Carolina House Budget: A blueprint for how we’re going to fight for what we will do, and when we won’t

You are always going to have a small group that won’t vote in favor of everything. So expect those people to exist,” said Rep. Nancy Mace, a South Carolina Republican. “That’s why it’s important to negotiate. We need to act that way because we are a divided Congress.

The conservative crew met Friday morning and Monday to discuss ideas for spending cuts that could achieve a balanced budget within 10 years, and plan to unveil a blueprint outlining their vision in the coming weeks, according to a member involved in the talks.

The group wants to meet with the House Budget Chairman as discussions intensify, and the ringleaders like Rep. Chip Roy of Texas have been in constant communication with McCarthy.

Even some of the most hardline conservatives say they don’t plan to propose cuts to Social Security or Medicare – something Trump has been encouraging Republicans not to do – and insist their plan will only focus on the discretionary side of spending.

“What we will have is a blueprint of what we will be fighting for,” South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman, a member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, told CNN. “Not touching Social Security, not touching Medicare … Every agency is being looked at on discretionary. We are going to distribute it to the American people. And it will make people very angry. … I think people will like what they see.

Debt, spending and borrowing: What do legislators want to see in the next budget session? When Congress talks broke down, Rep. Steve Womack said

The adults are in the room. Massie told reporters there were two things that could be a crisis. Take that away from the table. … It would give you the time and space, and it would take the pressure off.”

Yet with GOP defense hawks and appropriators vowing to protect defense spending, that limits the pool of money on the discretionary side of the budget where they can cut from.

While McCarthy is trying to build conference-wide consensus on what they will propose in exchange for raising the nation’s borrowing limit, some appropriators acknowledged they may wind up on the sidelines of the debate.

The congressman who sits on the House Appropriations Committee said that he will either be the beneficiary or the victim of what comes out. I will be directly affected.

“I think most everyone is in the camp of ‘can’t default.’ The full faith and credit of the country is important, terribly important,” said Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas, a member of the House Budget Committee. It is not acceptable to say we are going to raise the debt ceiling without spending restraint.

In his quest to become speaker, McCarthy promised to put a bill on the floor before the end of March that would direct the Treasury Department over which payments to prioritize if the debt ceiling is breached – essentially an emergency contingency plan.

Massie said one idea he has been advocating for is passing a continuing resolution “as soon as possible” that funds the government at 99% of its current levels and pairs it with a debt ceiling increase, just so they have a backup plan in case they are unable to come to an agreement on the debt ceiling or funding the government.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican involved in that effort, said that their plan would be a fallback in case talks between the White House and McCarthy collapse.

The U.S. Budget Problem is Predictive of the Covid-19 Crisis, and Congress is Squabbling about the Debt Ceiling

Congress is squabbling again about raising the debt ceiling, the amount of money the US government can borrow to pay its bills. And that means that Corporate America has to be ready for the worst.

The CEO of Bank of America told CNN he hopes lawmakers resolve their issues because the market and economy love stability. A default on the country’s debt cannot be ignored.

Some are calling for the government to get rid of the debt ceiling completely. The argument is that political squabbles shouldn’t prevent the US from meeting its financial commitments.

“Congress has the purse strings. I’d be careful about making any changes to the US Constitution. I think we should leave it alone and make sure it works.

But he conceded that the government has needed to spend a lot more on various stimulus programs since 2020 due to the Covid-19 crisis, saying that the US had to take on “a lot of debt over the past couple of years to overcome the pandemic drag on the economy.”

Food inflation is coming down, not fast enough, but coming down. Inflation has fallen every month for the last six months, while take-home pay has gone up.

Bank of America is still predicting a depression at some point in the future, but its start date keeps getting pushed. He argues that higher rates could be a drag on corporate profits, but the good news is most people are still working, earning good wages and spending.

Moynihan didn’t think that the recent spy balloon incident would have a long-term effect on the global economy.

The budget office said that Mr. Biden’s signature climate, tax and health care bill would modestly reduce the deficit over the next decade. The spending and tax credits in the bill were offset by the increase in taxes on corporations and high earner as well as attempts to reduce government spending on prescription drugs for retirees.

The deficit-reducing impact of that one bill is likely to be swamped by the increasing impact of various additional bills and policies Biden has approved.

Business Applications in the First Five Years of the U.S. Open Government: Biden’s Prediction About Future Jobs, Jobs, and Economic Imbalances

This is true first of all. The number of business applications was the highest it’s been since 2005, and 5.1 million applications were made in 2022, which was the first year of the federal government releasing this data. A record number of high-propensity business applications saw their total reach a second-high in 2022, though not every application succeeds in turning into a real business.

Former President Donald Trump’s last full year in office, 2020, also set a then-record for total and high propensity applications. There are various reasons for the pandemic-era boom in entrepreneurship, which began after millions of Americans lost their jobs in early 2020. Some newly unemployed workers seized the moment to start their own enterprises, Americans received extra money from the economic Stimulus bills and interest rates were very low until a series of rate hikes in the spring of 2022.

The Black or African American unemployment rate was 5.4% in January 2023, just above the record low of 5.3% set in August 2019. (This data series goes back to 1972.) In January 2021, the rate was 9.2%.

The biggest drivers of the structural federal fiscal imbalances were enacted around the same time as the Biden Jr. administration and the Trump administration.

Facts First: Biden’s prediction about future job creation is obviously beyond the scope of a fact check. But his claim about companies having announced $300 billion in manufacturing investments during his presidency is accurate; the White House provided CNN with a list of these publicly announced investments. It is worth noting that some companies do invest less than they initially announce.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/07/politics/fact-check-president-biden-state-of-the-union/index.html

Facts First: The Inflation Reduction Act and Tax Credits for Electric Vehicles can Save Families Many Millions on Their Electricity Bills

Facts First: This claim needs context. It will take years for EV tax credits to become fully available while Inflation Reduction Act tax credits will save families money on their energy bills.

Biden’s claim about energy savings is similar to an estimate from clean electricity nonprofit Rewiring America – which estimated last year that a US household could save $1,800 per year if they installed electric heat pumps to heat their water and heat and cool their air, replaced a gas car with an EV, and installed solar.

Starting this year, 40% or more of the critical minerals used to create a vehicle’s battery must be extracted or processed in the United States, or a country that has a free trade deal with the US, for the vehicle to qualify for tax credits. By 2029, that number will be 100% of the battery minerals.

The Treasury Department is likely to give guidance on batteries and minerals in March. But the complex requirements for these tax credits could take years to fully kick in as companies must move their supply chain to North America.

The provision was enacted because Manchin wanted the US to compete on electric vehicles with China, and it would have the effect of bringing more EV and battery jobs to the US or countries it has a free trade agreement with. Several companies are announcing new factories due to the measure.

But it’s also a complex provision that will take time to implement, likely meaning vehicle manufacturers won’t be able to offer the credit in the next couple years as they move their supply chains to the US and North America.

Let’s restore the full child tax credit, which gave tens of millions of parents some breathing room and cut child poverty in half, to the lowest level in history.

The child poverty rate fell from 9.7% in 2020 to 5.2% in 2021, according to the US Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, which takes into account certain non-cash government assistance, tax credits and needed expenses.

The child tax credit has been increased for one year, from $6,000 to $8,000 for children up to 6 years old and from $2,500 to $3,000 for children up to 17 years old, for lower and middle-income families. Half the credit was paid monthly in installments from July through December and parents could claim the other half if they filed their taxes this year.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/07/politics/fact-check-president-biden-state-of-the-union/index.html

The Growth and Growth of the U.S. Economy since President Biden’s Inauguration Day 2020: Is Democracy Under Siege?

Biden’s claim is correct. He didn’t mention, however, that gas prices are still significantly higher today than they were when he took office. It’s important to note that Presidential policies have a limited impact on gas prices which are determined by a complex interplay of supply and demand factors.

As of the day of the State of the Union, the national average for a gallon of regular gas was $3.457, per data from the American Automobile Association. That was indeed down more than $1.50 from a record high of $5.016 in mid-June. But it was still up from a national average of $2.393 on Biden’s Inauguration Day in January 2021.

A White House official pointed to an analysis done by the Treasury Department that said releasing reserve oil could have lowered the price of gas by 40 cents a gallon.

Twelve million jobs have been created in two years, more than any president has ever created in four years, and I want to thank all the people who helped make this happen.

The economy grew at an annualized rate of 35.3% during the third quarter of 2020, the fastest rate on record. The pace of growth began to slow before Biden took office.

Biden overstated his role as a champion of freedom, as well as misrepresenting the spread of democracy, while celebrating his efforts to stand up to authoritarian leaders in China and Russia.

Facts First: This claim is at odds with data from Freedom House, a leading nonprofit that tracks democracy and human rights around the world. They say democracy has been in global decline over the past few years.

The most recent annual report by the group was titled “The Global Expansion of Authoritarian Rule”. Their 2021 report was called, “Democracy under Siege.”

Sixty countries experienced democratic backsliding in the year prior to that, while only 25 improved their position, according to Freedom House. The group highlighted the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan when Biden withdrew all American troops from the country.

Freedom House’s most recent report is one year old, with a new report likely coming out soon. To be fair, Biden could say that the world has lost prestige for the autocratic regimes.

But the trends appear to be holding. For instance, after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine last year, he initiated a domestic crackdown that rolled back the few remaining civil liberties that existed in Russia.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/07/politics/fact-check-president-biden-state-of-the-union/index.html

Are Fast Charging Stations Really That Easy? A Case Study of the Biden Administration and its Implications for Wage and Competition Laws in the Manufacturing Industry

Facts First: This is more of a promise than a fact, but even so, it needs context. The Biden administration wants to install 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations on US roads, so it is questionable if they can do it.

There is a wide range in price of different types of charging, and states can make their own decisions regarding what types of charging go on their roads. To get a DC fast charging station you need to drive on major highways and roads for 20 minutes to an hour. An L2 charging station takes hours to charge a car to full. DC fast charger are more expensive than L2’s at around $100,000, according to Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, senior resident fellow at Third Way.

Preliminary BLS data shows that the manufacturing industry’s hourly wage was $32.57 for all employees and $26.84 for production and non-supervisory positions in January. The national average hourly wage was $33.03. From CNN’s Alicia Wallace

I should have known this, but I didn’t until two years ago. Non-compete agreements had to be signed by nearly 30 million workers. Thirty million. A cashier at a burger place cannot work at another place that makes the same amount of money, because they cannot walk across town to do it. Well, they just changed it because we exposed it. That was part of the deal, guys, look it up.

This is true for some things. Millions of rank-and-file employees and independent contractors, in addition to business executives across industries, have signed non-compete agreements that critics say suppress competition, wages and entrepreneurship. The Federal Trade Commission in January proposed a rule to ban employers from imposing those agreements on workers and to rescind all existing noncompete agreements. But are burger chain workers really subject to those noncompete agreements? It isn’t likely anymore.

An investigation in Washington state in 2017 revealed that several fast-food chains, including Arby’s, Auntie Anne’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Carl’s Jr., Cinnabon, Jimmy John’s, and McDonald’s, had been enforcing no-poaching rules that prevented employees from moving between franchises within the same chain – not, as Biden suggested, between rival chains. By 2018, all those chains agreed to end their no-poach practices at roughly 25,000 restaurants nationwide. From CNN’s David Goldman

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/07/politics/fact-check-president-biden-state-of-the-union/index.html

Food Price Inflation in the U.S. During the 1992-2020 Budget: Dem Demographics and the Future of Social Security and Medicare

Food prices were up 10.4% in December 2022 from the year-before period, according to the latest available Consumer Price Index report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since hitting a 40 year high of 11.3% in August 1992, food price inflation as measured by the CPI has slowly declined.

The CPI, which measures the average change in the prices over time of a basket of consumer goods, is one of several closely watched inflation barometers that also have showed price increases to have moderated in recent months. Various measures are used to gauge the inflation within the index. Most notably, “core” inflation measures that exclude items with more volatile price increases.

If you begin the calculation seven months ago, you will see that Biden is right in saying that take- home pay has gone up. Real wages in the United States are lower than they were a year ago and at the beginning of Biden’s presidency. Inflation was high in the first part of the year.

Florida GOP Sen. Rick Scott last year issued “An 11 Point Plan to Rescue America.” As the president said, Scott’s proposal would sunset all federal legislation – including the two entitlement programs – every five years and require Congress to pass them again. In his campaign for a third term, GOP Sen. Ron Johnson suggested that entitlement programs like Social Security should be shifted to discretionary spending, which Congress has to approve annually.

Some Republicans want Medicare and Social Security to stop, rather than make the wealthy pay their fair share. … It means that if Congress does not keep the programs the way they are, they will go away.

The conservative lawmakers propose raising the eligibility age for Medicare to be the same as the Social Security retirement age, which currently is 67 for those born in 1960 or later. But they would also raise the normal retirement age for Social Security, as well as trim benefits for higher-income earners.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/07/politics/fact-check-president-biden-state-of-the-union/index.html

The defunding of the police: When did the world peace end? What did the biden presidency really have in common? A CNN reporter’s perspective

Republicans have attacked Biden and the Democrats on police funding before. Ahead of the upcoming election, Republican candidates attempted to create an inaccurate impression that the Democrats supported defunding the police. The Republican ads made things up. Other ads falsely described bills the Democratic candidates have supported. There are ads that try to guilt by association, and one ad says that the candidates’ supporters called for defunding the police but didn’t mention that the candidates themselves rejected the idea. Tara Subramaniam is a correspondent for CNN.

One of the things that different activists agree on is the slogan, “defund the police.” It means different things to different people.

Facts First: It’s obviously ridiculous to claim that there was world peace when Trump’s tenure ended, and calling the world “stable” is a subjective claim.

When Trump left the White House in 2021, there were still plenty of wars ongoing around the world – albeit not as many as under previous presidents, and very few of those conflicts directly involved American armed forces.

For instance, Trump did not end the war in Afghanistan, which was still ongoing when Biden took office. There were thousands of US troops in the country when Biden was sworn in, before he withdrew them all in 2021.

The Syrian civil war was also ongoing, though at a more isolated level than in past years. There was a war going on in Ethiopia. The drug war in Mexico was still leading to deaths and disappearances.

Additionally, the war in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region was still unresolved. The war began in 2014, but had settled into a “frozen conflict,” with Russian proxies occupying a large chunk of the eastern Donbas region, and Ukrainian troops dug into trenches. It escalated into a full-blown war when Russia invaded in February 2022, after Biden had already taken office. From CNN’s Marshall Cohen

Facts First: It’s true that the Biden administration is facing record levels of apprehensions along the border, but Democrats and Republicans have defined the crisis on their own terms.

A new record has been set as the US Border Patrol encountered migrants more than 2 million times in the last fiscal year.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/07/politics/fact-check-president-biden-state-of-the-union/index.html

Bipartisan Tax Cuts and the Implications for Healthcare Benefits for Military Veteran Burn Pits in the Second World War: The Case of the Covid Era

This is partially true but lacks context. The US economy was bouncing back from the steepest job losses America had ever faced from the Covid shutdowns at the beginning of the pandemic.

Over the long term, we think that changes in fiscal policy should be made to address rising costs of interest and mitigate the consequences of high and rising debt.

The report says that the increase in debt projections is caused by bipartisan legislation and the Fed’s interest rate increases.

The budget office said that newly enacted legislation will add over a trillion dollars to the cumulative deficit over the next decade. A law expanding health care benefits for military veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits was the main reason for the increase. That bill passed overwhelmingly in the House and Senate, with majorities of Republicans in both chambers voting yes.

The legislation makes it easier for veterans who believe they were exposed to toxins during their service to receive medical benefits, by effectively presuming that any American service member stationed in a combat zone for the last 32 years could have been exposed. It also provides a dedicated stream of funding to treat ailments tied to those exposures.

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