MacIver News Service | June 21, 2019
The 2019-21 biennial budget is now on its way to the Assembly floor with a debate scheduled for next Tuesday, June 25th. The Senate is expected to vote later in the week, with the intention of sending the document to the Governor’s desk by the end of the month. Keep up with the ongoing budget debate by following MacIver on Twitter.
This week, another Republican Senator came out against the JFC budget while MacIver brainstormed 10 ways to improve it; Trump rolled back the Obama-era Clean Power Plan; and the Fed left interest rates steady. Before you kick off the official start of summer, here are some important articles for the fiscal conservative, in case you missed it.
The Republican budget became more difficult to pass as Sen. David Craig (R-Big Bend) joined Sen. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) in opposing the budget package passed by the Joint Finance Committee. Republicans hold a 19-14 majority in the Senate, and cannot lose any other Republican votes for the bill to pass. Sources say the controversial vehicle mileage-fee study may be removed to try to garner their support.
The Joint Finance Committee has officially closed debate on the 2019-21 biennial budget and passed along its version of the sprawling document to the Assembly. The team at MacIver spent time brainstorming ways to further improve this budget. Some ideas include returning bonding levels to Walker-era levels, getting rid of the mileage monitoring study, and cutting all pork.
The Trump administration overhauled the costly Obama-era Clean Power Plan that crippled the coal industry, placed a burden on consumers, and mandated a national movement away from fossil fuels. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed the Affordable Clean Energy rule Wednesday that gives states the discretion on choosing the best path to reduce carbon emissions. This allows the coal industry to naturally adjust to the market and lowers the cost for consumers.
Economists have long debated the sustainability of the Social Security system. The Heritage Foundation analysis shows that if the Social Security 2100 Act were to be adopted, people would actually be worse off in the program than through personal retirement savings. If Social Security expands, people will have less money in their pocket and the social goals of the program are not met.
The members of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting decided not to cut the federal funds rate despite pressure from markets and President Trump. The overall current strength of the economy and labor force justified this controversial decision. Trump has pushed constantly for a lower rate, but Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has remained firm in his decision.