I do not know whether or not the lame-duck spending invoice is “the ugliest omnibus invoice ever,” as The Wall Road Journal put it, however as we have been saying evening after evening, it is a very dangerous invoice.
It is an pointless invoice, it is an anti-growth invoice, it is a invoice that encourages inflation and perhaps — worst of all — it is a invoice that betrays the hundreds of thousands of voters who elected a Republican Home that was fully neglected of the Schumer-Pelosi-McConnell deliberations.
We do not even really know the spending totals within the invoice but. The CBO has a preliminary scorecard that reveals $1.76 trillion, however that does not embrace quite a lot of stuff, together with, by the way in which, the Ukraine supplemental. By the by, it’s extremely dangerous funds apply to not get a full CBO scorecard concerning spending revenues, deficits and debt. However, like all the things achieved on this darkish, smoke-filled room, it is dangerous.
FIVE EYE-POPPING SPENDING ITEMS IN THE $1.7 TRILLION OMNIBUS BILL
As normal, Elon Musk bought it proper, when he tweeted out:
“I’m in favor of a small spending invoice to maintain issues working, however frequent sense means that it’s the least quantity required via the vacations. Railroading via a large spending invoice that nearly nobody has learn is unlikely to be in one of the best pursuits of the folks.”
You realize, I like quoting Elon Musk as a result of he isn’t solely the neatest man within the room, however he has good frequent sense. If the GOP senators had comparable frequent sense, they might’ve labored with Kevin McCarthy to place collectively a C.R. — persevering with res. — to get via the vacations after which let the brand new GOP Home “take a swing at it,” as Sen. Marsha Blackburn informed us a number of nights in the past.
However no, Mr. McConnell has to exit and say this: “I am fairly pleased with the truth that with a Democratic president, Democratic Home and Democratic Senate, we had been capable of obtain via this omnibus spending invoice basically all of our priorities.”
All of our priorities, senator? Actually? Did you neglect in regards to the Republican Home that begins in 13 days or did nobody transient you on these election outcomes?
By the way in which, earlier than we get too deep into all of the goofy spending on this monstrosity, I wish to repeat that there’s a large company tax hike embedded on this invoice, specifically, the R&D — the Analysis and Growth tax credit score — will transfer away from full expensing and towards amortization over 5 years.
This jacks up company taxes by about $35 billion — and really begins this calendar 12 months. Plus, firms could have a much less beneficiant curiosity deduction for company debt and might solely write off 80% of their capital funding — down from 100% because the Trump tax invoice was enacted in 2018.
I wish to give a really large hat tip to Strategas’ Washington coverage analyst Dan Clifton for writing about this.
Plus, in fact, the prior Democratic IRA invoice slaps on a 15% company minimal tax and a really silly 1% tax on inventory buybacks. The purpose is, Republicans, or a minimum of the Senate model, fake to be against tax hikes, however on this monstrosity omnibus, they did not elevate one pinky ring finger to stop tax hikes, which, by the way in which, will retard funding, productiveness, jobs, actual wages and blue-collar household incomes.
So, this isn’t only a monster spending hike invoice, that is additionally a tax hike invoice, which Mr. McConnell is apparently so pleased with. Different Republicans are attempting to promote this loser on the idea of a 2% discount to the $12.6 billion annual IRS funds, however this does nothing in regards to the $80 billion enhance already legislated within the fraudulently named “Inflation Discount Act” for 87,000 new IRS brokers. In different phrases, nothing occurred.
There are such a lot of loopy issues on this invoice, we do not actually have the time to undergo all of them. On simply a few ironic issues: The FBI will get a close to $600 million enhance for all the great work they’ve achieved within the “Twitter Recordsdata” and Lord is aware of the place else.
The omnibus consists of $410 million for border safety in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Oman. However I could not discover something for the southern border of the U.S. Simply saying.
Then, there’s $575 million for household planning to halt inhabitants progress that “threatens biodiversity or endangered species,” and there’s one other $285 million for household planning generally, however I do not see any household planning cash to assist shield the rights of the unborn.
Then there’s additionally large will increase in meals stamps, dwelling heating help, Pell grants, Head Begin, childcare, baby vitamin, WIC — Girls, Infants and Kids — and different points of common assured earnings with no work necessities. These are all Democratic favorites.
Let me surprise out loud, how a lot emergency COVID help is now being constructed into the obligatory spending funds baseline enhance that makes Mitch McConnell so glad? How a lot? I don’t know. I am good with the Ukraine help aimed toward enhanced weapons, however I am not so good with the $15.5 billion going to financial, budgetary and humanitarian help for the Ukrainian authorities, which has a less-than-stellar fame on the subject of corruption.
I’m completely proud of banning TikTok on federal authorities gadgets. Completely glad! Which may be one of the best a part of the invoice.
I do just like the improved retirement financial savings incentives, however I don’t like added well being care spending on Medicaid, once more, with out work necessities, or the kids’s medical health insurance, once more with out workfare.
There’s loads that I’ve neglected. I confess, I didn’t learn the 4,000-page doc and I most likely by no means will, however I throw up my palms at what my associates within the Republican Senate have achieved. I do not get it. That is all so counterproductive. This has nothing to do with Republican stewardship of financial prosperity.
Now, I do know it is undoubtedly too late, however as soon as once more, I’ll repeat: Save America. Kill the invoice.
This text is customized from Larry Kudlow’s opening commentary on the December 21, 2022, version of “Kudlow.”