In Case You Missed It: What You Need to Know About the Budget, Trade Tensions Hurt Stock Market, and the Hidden Cost of Regulations

MacIver News Service | May 10, 2019

April showers bring May showers in Wisconsin, and this week proved no different. The big news out of Wisconsin this week is the Joint Finance Committee starting it’s work on the biennial budget, reshaping it into a more fiscally responsible document. You can keep up with all the changes by following MacIver on social media. Before you head out for Mother’s Day brunch, here are some essential articles for the fiscal conservative, in case you missed it.

What You Need to Know About the Wisconsin State Budget

The Joint Finance Committee is voting on the budget, which makes now a good time to remember what is in the proposed spending document. The MacIver Institute created a comprehensive guide for Gov. Evers’ proposed budget, providing a breakdown of where the major spending changes occur, as well as changes to the tax code proposed by Evers. It also breaks down the nearly $1.6 billion increase to education, as well as the changes to health services.

Tennessee Will Ask Trump to OK First Medicaid Block Grant

Tennessee took the first steps in overhauling Medicaid last week. While Tennessee has not accepted Medicaid expansion, state legislators approved a bill that requires the state to submit a plan to the federal government for a Medicaid block grant within the next six months. Gov. Bill Lee is expected to sign the bill into law. Supporters of this measure believe this will allow more flexibility and empower the state to make decisions for their citizens, instead of the “one-size-fits-all program from Washington D.C.” as one co-sponsor put it.

DOW Falls as Trade Tensions Persist

The negative trend in the DOW continued this week when it dipped another 450 points on Tuesday in response to additional talks of increased tariffs on Chinese goods from President Trump. China sent a trade negotiation team to the United States on Thursday to resume dialogues about tariffs in response to the President’s promise to raise taxes on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent.

Job Openings in U.S. Jump to 7.49 Million—More Proof of Ultra Strong Labor Market

Job openings jumped to nearly 7.5 million in March, indicating companies are still willing to hire workers. The numbers also show that construction job listings increased by 73,000, while government job openings fell by 15,000. While there are plenty of openings, the rate of workers who are voluntarily leaving their job remains steady at 2.5 percent. The unemployment numbers indicate there are 5.8 million employed Americans, making March the 13th month in a row with more job openings than unemployed people.

Study: Burdensome Federal Regulations Cost $1.9 Trillion

A study from the Competitive Enterprise Institute found that federal regulations create a burden that serves as a hidden tax, costing $1.9 trillion annually. This amount is more than personal income and corporate taxes combined. The $1.9 trillion cost would be the 9th largest economy in the world, in between India and Canada. The regulatory burden costs the average household in the U.S $14,615 annually. The author of the study, Wayne Crews, said that the true costs of regulation are often obscured from the public.