Fiscal Responsibility

What the right hand gives, the left hand takes. — Attributed to Martin Luther

Catch 22 — For every regulation that gives something, there is another that takes it back.

Laffer Curve — the idea that in some circumstances tax cuts increase revenue.

New Year’s Resolution — promising to do next year what you failed to do last year.

The Problem Solvers Caucus has published ten principles for fiscal responsibility. Most are vague; here they are:

  1. Support for building a sustainable, fiscally responsible budget to invest in Americans and be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.
  2. Support for paying down our debt when the nation’s economy is in good shape.
  3. Recognizing that the federal government’s balance sheet can afford targeted spending to mitigate the effects of economic downturns, disasters, and emergencies.
  4. Support sustained assistance to the economy while the COVID-19 pandemic persists and while the unemployment rate remains at record levels.
  5. Support for transparency measures to strengthen awareness of the nation’s finances, including its debt and deficit. The Fiscal State of the Nation Resolution aligns with this assertion.
  6. Support for accountability mechanisms to help Congress demonstrate greater accountability in navigating the decisions necessary to improve the country’s fiscal health. The TRUST Act would support this plank.
  7. Support for responsible, thorough plans to establish budgetary goals to lower the government’s debt in relation to the size of the economy, or GDP.
  8. Support including the Fiscal State of the Nation, the TRUST Act, and/or legislation to establish budgetary goals in a future COVID-19 relief package to address our budget crisis once the economy recovers.
  9. Support curbing brinksmanship related to the debt limit, which risks the full faith and credit of the government due to artificial limits, and tying such reform to meaningful debt targets.
  10. Support paying for legislation and the House rules in place (Pay-As-You-Go) to enforce this principle.

Many would disagree on what it means to “support building a sustainable, fiscally responsible budget to invest in Americans and be good stewards of taxpayer dollars;” it could mean anything. However, the second principle–“paying down our debt when the nation’s economy is in good shape”– is rock solid. Yet Congress failed to do that in 2016/2017, when instead of reducing the deficit, they did the opposite by cutting taxes, particularly for the rich and super rich.

Points five to ten encompass the idea that Congress can encourage itself to do, with resolutions and legislation, what it otherwise wouldn’t do. Point 9 is good, if only wishing made it so.

There are a number of oft cited principles which are not mentioned:

  1. The idea that tax cuts pay for themselves
  2. Trickle down
  3. Statutory balanced budget

All else is moot if these tacitly remain.

About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
This entry was posted in 2020, Economics, Reed's Views and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Fiscal Responsibility

  1. ctb11365 says:

    I see the most recent COOK report doesn’t mention NY23.

    And I see that the Buffalo News fell for reed’s bipartisan bullshit act.



  2. Arthur Ahrens says:

    As of October 13, 2020..

    Cook has NY 23 Solidly Republican
    Inside Elections has NY 23 as Solidly Republican
    Sabato’s Crystal Ball has NY 23 as Solidly Republican,_2020


  3. William Hungerford says:

    Cook may be wrong, Arthur. Tom ran behind Trump in 2016. Do we know how Trump is doing in NY-23 this year?


  4. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Unlike the President, I tend to defer to experts.

    If my doctor tells me I need an expensive procedure, I will do some research and also get a second opinion from another expert. Should that second opinion concur, I may or may not seek another. But if the third opinion forms a consensus, it behooves me to acknowledge their expertise and follow their advice.

    So it is with Cook, Inside Elections and Sabato. Experts all. NY 23 is solidly Republican.

    But that’s not the end of the story. Cook has NY23 at R +6, meaning that in the previous two presidential elections, this district’s results were 6 percentage points more Republican than the national average.

    Trump took NY 23 in 2016 with 54.5% of the vote, while Reed took 47.6%. In 2018, Reed had 54.2% and Mitrano had 45.8%.

    Getting back to present day, Trump is polling reliably in the 43% range nationally. IF the district votes at that R+6 rate, then NY 23 will give 49% of its vote to Trump. IF Reed trails Trump by 7 points as he did in 2016, then he will garner 42% of the vote. IF Mitrano can get her 45.8% again, we will have a new representative.

    That’s a lot of ifs. I’d feel ever so much better if the Democrats had spent the last few years setting up a robust get out the vote operation. Traditionally, only a fraction of registered Dems vote, even in landslide years, such as Obama… I also went to a few Mitrano rallies this year. I’d have a better feeling if she had spent some time reaching across the aisle and less time vilifying the kleptocracy, along with other liberal sacred cows. A lot of district Republicans barely stomach Reed and are looking for an alternative. It would have been nice if Mitrano had been able to provide one.

    Some History:
    Year Reed votes Democrat votes
    2018 130323 109932
    2016 161050 118584
    2014 113130 70242
    2012 137669 127535

    Lowest Reed Vote: 113130
    Highest Dem Vote: 127535

    IF Democrats do not turn out AGAIN, we get 2 more years of Reed. The failure will clearly belong to organizations such as the Yates County Democrats.

    But I am hoping for Reed to finally get the boot. I loathe seeing him on MSNBC.

    Less than two weeks………


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