Offering asides, recommended links, blogworthy quotations, and more, In Brief is the Northwest Progressive Institute's microblog of world, national, and local politics.

Tag Archives: Fiscal Responsibility


The need for a Green New Deal can rendezvous with the imperative of anti-depression public investment. Much of this sweeping proposal is on the drawing boards and has not been done for lack of funding. Some of it will take some advance planning. The time to start is now.

— Robert Kuttner: We need a WWII-size mobilization to stop COVID-19 from destroying the economy (The New York Times)


When progressives propose new or expanded social programs, they face intense media scrutiny bordering on harassment over how they intend to pay for these programs. Republicans proposing tax cuts don’t face anything like the same scrutiny; they are seemingly able to get away with blithe assertions that tax cuts will pay for themselves by boosting economic growth, even though every single piece of evidence we have says that this is nonsense.

— Paul Krugman brings the truth in a New York Times column about the IOKIYAR principle (Debt, doomsayers and double standards)

Recommended Link

‘It’s gonna kill this community’: Seattle Times covers right wing governor’s war on Alaska’s public services

Imagine if Tim Eyman became governor and began taking an axe to Washington’s public services. That’s what is happening in Alaska, where right wing extremist Mike Dunleavy is using his line item veto power to force through a 41% cut to the University of Alaska system, plus gut Medicaid, behavioral health, and the Alaska State Ferry system.

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Most millionaires support tax on wealth above $50 million, CNBC survey finds

A poll of millionaires has found a robust majority in support of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s proposed tax on large wealth. “Fully 60% of millionaires support Warren’s plan for taxing the wealth of those who have more than $50 million in assets,” CNBC reports. That’s a lot of Patriotic Millionaires For Fiscal Strength!

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Transcript from Bloomberg Government:

TRUMP: Okay, thank you very much. It’s a great honor to have Nancy Pelosi with us, and Chuck Schumer with us. And we’ve actually worked very hard on a couple of things that are happening. Criminal justice reform, as you know, we just heard word — got word that Mitch McConnell and the group, we’re going to be putting it up for a vote.

We have great Democrat support, great Republican support. So criminal justice reform is something that people have been trying to get, how long, Nancy? Many years. Many, many years. It looks like it’s going to be passing, hopefully — famous last words — on a very bipartisan way.

And it’s really something we’re all very proud of it. And, again, tremendous support from Republicans and tremendous support from Democrats. And I think it’s going to get a very good vote. And we’ll see soon enough. But it will be up for a vote very shortly. A lot of years they’ve been waiting for it.

The other thing, the farm bill is moving along nicely, and I guess they’ll be voting on Friday or so, but pretty close. And we think the farm bill is in very good shape. A lot of good things are happening with it, and our farmers are well taken care of. And again, that’ll be quite bipartisan, and it’ll happen pretty soon.

And then we have the easy one, the wall. That will be the one that will be the easiest of all. What do you think, Chuck? Maybe not.

SCHUMER: It’s called funding the government, Mr. President.


TRUMP: So we’re going to see. But I will tell you the wall will get built. We’ll see what happens. It is not an easy situation because the Democrats have a different view, I think that I can say, the Republicans. We have great Republican support. We don’t have Democrat support. But we’re going to talk about that now. We’re going to see.

One thing that I do have to say is tremendous amounts of wall have already been built, and a lot of wall when you include the renovation of existing fences and walls renovated a tremendous amount, and we’ve done a lot of work. In San Diego we’re building new walls right now. And we’ve — right next to San Diego, we’ve completed a major section of wall, and it’s really worked well. So a lot of wall has been built. We don’t talk about that, but we might as well start because it’s being built right now. Big sections of wall. And we will continue that. And one way or the other it’s going to get built.

I’d like not to see a government closing, a shutdown. We will see what happens over the next short period of time. But the wall is a very important thing to us. I might put it a different way. Border security is extremely important, and we have to take care of border security when you look at what happened with the caravans and the people and a lot of people. We shut it down. We had no choice. We shut it down. But it could be a lot easier if we had real border security.

I just want to pay my respects to the Border Patrol agents and officers. They’ve been incredible. The ICE agents and officers, they’ve been incredible, and very importantly, our military, our military went in and they did an incredible job. They have been really, really spectacular. A lot of the people that wanted to come into the country and really they wanted to come in, no matter how they wanted to come in; they were going to come in, even a rough way.

Many of these people are leaving now, and they’re going back to their countries — Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and other countries. They’re leaving. If you noticed, it’s getting a lot less crowded in Mexico. And a lot of them are going to stay in Mexico, and the Mexican government has been working with us very well. So we appreciate that. But they haven’t been coming into our country. We can’t let people come in that way. So that’s pretty much it.

TRUMP: We’re going to talk about the wall. I wanted to talk about criminal justice reform just to let you know how positive that is. I want to talk about the farm bill how positive that is, and I want to talk about the wall. And I will tell you, it’s a tough issue, because we are on very opposite sides of — I really think I can say border security, but certainly the wall.

But the wall will get built. A lot of the wall is built. It’s been very effective. I asked for a couple of notes on that. If you look at San Diego, illegal traffic dropped 92 percent once the wall was up. El Paso, illegal traffic dropped 72 percent, then ultimately 95 percent once the wall was up. In Tucson, Arizona, illegal traffic dropped 92 percent. Yuma, it dropped illegal traffic 95 to 96 percent.

I mean, and when I say dropped, the only reason we even have any percentage where people got through is because they walk and go around areas that aren’t built. It dropped virtually 100 percent in the areas where the wall is. So I mean, it’s very effective.

If you really want to find out how effective a wall is, just ask Israel: 99.9 percent effective that our wall will be every bit as good as that, if not better. So we’ve done a lot of work on the wall, a lot of wall is built. A lot of people don’t know that. A lot of wall is renovated. We have walls were in very bad condition and they are now in A-1 tip-top shape. And frankly, some wall has been reinforced by our military. The military has done a fantastic job. So the wall will get built, but we may not — we may not have an agreement today. We probably won’t. But we have an agreement on other things that are really good.

Nancy, would you like to say something.

PELOSI: Well, thank you, Mr. President for the opportunity to meet with you, so that we can work together in a bipartisan way to meet the needs of the American people.

I think the American people recognize that we must keep government open, that a shutdown is not worth anything, and that you should not have a Trump shutdown.

You have a


TRUMP: Did you say “Trump?”


PELOSI: You have the White House. You have the Senate. You have the House of Representatives. You have the votes. You should pass it.

TRUMP: No, we don’t have the votes, Nancy, because in the Senate we need 60 votes, and we don’t have it (ph).

PELOSI: No, no, but in the House, you could bring it up right now.

TRUMP: Yes, but I can’t — excuse me, but I can’t get it passed in the House if it’s not going to pass in the Senate; I don’t want to waste time.

PELOSI: Well, the fact is, you can get it started that way.

TRUMP: The House we could get passed very easily, and we do.

PELOSI: Okay, then do it. Then do it.

TRUMP: But the problem is the Senate, because we need 10 Democrats to vote, and they won’t vote.

PELOSI: That’s not the point, Mr. President. The point is that there are equities to be weighed. And we are here to have a conversation in a (inaudible) way.

TRUMP: Right.

PELOSI: So I don’t think we should have a debate in front of the press on this, but the fact is, the House Republicans could bring up this bill if they had the votes immediately and set the tone for what you want.

TRUMP: If we thought we were going to get it passed in the Senate, Nancy, we would do it immediately. We would get it passed very easily in the House. We would get it.

PELOSI: That’s not the point.

TRUMP: Nancy, I’d have it passed in two seconds. It doesn’t matter though, because can’t get it passed in the Senate because we need 10 Democrat votes. That’s the problem.

PELOSI: Well, again, let us have our conversation then we can meet with the press again. But the fact is that legislating, which is what we do, you begin, you make your point, you state your case. That’s what the House Republicans could do if they had the votes. But there are no votes in the House, a majority of votes, for a wall, no matter where you.


SCHUMER: That’s exactly right. You don’t have the


TRUMP: If I needed the votes for the wall in the House, I would have them in one session; it would be done.

PELOSI: Well, then go do it. Go do it.

TRUMP: It doesn’t help, because we need 10 Democrats in the Senate.

PELOSI: No, don’t put it on the Senate; put it on — put it on the negotiation.

TRUMP: Okay, let me ask you this, just — and we’re doing this in a very friendly manner. It doesn’t help for me to take a vote in the House where I will win easily with the Republicans.

PELOSI: You will not win.

TRUMP: It doesn’t help to take the vote, because I’m not going to vote the vote of the Senate.


TRUMP: I need 10 senators. That’s the problem.

PELOSI: Mr. President, you have the White House, you have the Senate

TRUMP: I have the White House. The White House is done.

PELOSI: You have the House.

TRUMP: And the House would give me the vote if I wanted it. But I can’t because I need


TRUMP: Nancy, I need 10 votes from Chuck.

SCHUMER: All right, let me say something here.

PELOSI: Let me — let me say one thing. The fact is that you do not have the votes in the House.

TRUMP: Nancy, I do, and we need border security.

PELOSI: Well, let’s take the vote and we’ll find out.

TRUMP: Nancy, Nancy, we need border security. It’s very simple.

PELOSI: Of course we do.

TRUMP: We need border security. People are pouring into our country, including terrorists. We have terrorists. But we caught 10 terrorists. These are over the last very short period of time — 10. These are very serious people. All of our law enforcement have been incredible, but we caught 10 terrorists, these are people that were looking to do harm. We need the wall. We need — more important than anything, we need border security of which the wall is just a piece, but it’s important.

Chuck, did you want to say something?

SCHUMER: Yes, here’s what I wanted to say. We have a lot of disagreements here. The Washington Post today gave you a lot of Pinocchios, because they say you constantly misstate how much of the wall is built, and how much there (ph).

But that’s not the point here. We have a disagreement about the wall.

TRUMP: The Washington Post


SCHUMER: Whether it’s effective or it isn’t. Not on border security, but on the wall.

We do not want to shut down the government. You were called 20 times to shut down the government. You say, I want to shut down the government. We don’t. We want to come to an agreement. If we can’t come to an agreement, we have solutions that will pass the House and Senate right now and will not shut down the government, and that’s what we’re urging you to do, not threaten to shut down the government.

TRUMP: But you don’t want to shut down the government, Chuck


SCHUMER: Because you can’t get your way.

TRUMP: The last time you shut it down you got killed.

SCHUMER: Yes, let me say something, Mr. President. You just say, my way or we’ll shut down the government. We have a proposal that Democrats and Republicans will support to do a C.R. that will not shut down the government. We urge you to take it.

TRUMP: And if it’s not good border security, I won’t take (ph) it.

SCHUMER: It is very good border security.


TRUMP: And if it’s not good border security I won’t take it.


SCHUMER: It’s what

TRUMP: Because when you look at these numbers of the effectiveness of our border security, and when you look at the job that we’re doing with our military

SCHUMER: You just said it is effective.

TRUMP: Can I — can I tell you something?

SCHUMER: Yes, you just said it’s effective.

TRUMP: Without a wall — these are only areas where you have the walls. Where you have walls, Chuck, it’s effective. Where you don’t have walls, it is not effective



PELOSI: Let’s call a halt to this. We have come in here — the first branch of government, Article 1, the legislative branch, we’re coming in, in good faith to negotiate with you about how we can keep the government open.


TRUMP: We’re going to keep it open if we have border security. If we don’t have border security, Chuck, we’re not going to keep it open.


PELOSI: I’m with you. I’m with you. We are going to have border security.

SCHUMER: And it’s the same — you’re bragging about what has been done.

TRUMP: By us.

SCHUMER: We want to do the same thing we did last year this year this year. That’s our proposal. If it’s good then, it’s good now, and it won’t shut down the government.

TRUMP: Chuck, we can build a much bigger section with more money.


SCHUMER: Let’s debate — let’s debate in private, okay. Let’s debate in private


PELOSI: … that is devoid, frankly, of fact, and we can


TRUMP: We need border security. I think we all agree that we need border security, is that right?

SCHUMER: Yes, we do. We do.

TRUMP: Good, good. See, we get along.

Thank you, everybody.

QUESTION: You say border security and the wall. Can you have border security without the wall?

TRUMP: You need — you need the wall. The wall is a part of border security.

QUESTION: Can you define (ph) what it means to have border security.

TRUMP: Yes, we need border security. The wall is a part of border security. You can’t have very border security without the wall.

PELOSI: That’s not true. That is a political promise. Border security is a way to effectively honor our responses.

QUESTION: And the experts say you can do border security without a wall, which is wasteful and doesn’t solve the problem.

TRUMP: It totally solves the problem, and it’s very important.


PELOSI: Unfortunately this has spiraled downward from when we came at a place to say, how do we meet the needs of American people, who have needs. The economy has — people are losing their jobs. The market’s in a mood. Our members are already


TRUMP: Well, we have the lowest unemployment that we’ve had in 50 years.

PELOSI: Sixty people of the Republican Party have last — are losing their offices now because of the transition. People are not


TRUMP: And we gained in the Senate. Nancy, we’ve gained in the Senate. Excuse me, did we win the Senate? We won the Senate.


SCHUMER: When the president brags that he won North Dakota and Indiana, he’s in real trouble.

TRUMP: I did. We did. We did win North Dakota and Indiana.

PELOSI: Let me say this — let me say this, this is the most unfortunate thing. We came in here in good faith, and we’re entering into a — this kind of a discussion in the public view.

TRUMP: But it’s not bad, Nancy. It’s called transparency.

PELOSI: No, and — I know — it’s not transparency when we’re not stipulating to a set of facts, and when we want to have a debate with you about saying — we confront some of those facts, we have


TRUMP: You know what, we need border security. That’s what we’re going to be talking about, border security. If we don’t have border security, we’ll shut down the government. This country needs border security. The wall is a part of border security. Let’s have a talk. We’re going to get the wall built, and we’ve done a lot of wall already.


TRUMP: It’s a big part of it.

QUESTION: Is it everything that you need?

TRUMP: It’s a big part of it. We need to have effective border security. We need a wall in certain parts, no, not all parts, but in certain parts of a 2,000-mile border, we need a wall.

QUESTION: How much money?

TRUMP: We are doing it much under budget. We are actually way under budget of the areas that we’ve renovated and areas that we’ve built. I would say if we got — if we got $5 billion, we could do a tremendous chunk of wall.

QUESTION: Are you willing to accept less though, and are


TRUMP: Well, we’re going to see. We’re going to see. Look, we have to have the wall. This isn’t a question; this is a national emergency. Drugs are pouring into our country. People with tremendous medical difficulty and medical problems are pouring in, and in many — in many cases it’s contagious. They’re pouring into our country. We have to have border security. We have to have a wall as part of border security. And I don’t think we really disagree so much.

I also know that, you know, Nancy’s in a situation where it’s not easy for her to talk right now, and I understand, and I fully understand that. We’re going to have a good discussion, and we’re going to see what happens. But we have to have border security.

PELOSI: Mr. President — Mr. President, please don’t characterize the strength (ph) that I bring to this meeting as the leader of the House Democrats, who just won a big victory.

SCHUMER: Elections have consequences, Mr. President.

PELOSI: Let me just — let me just say


TRUMP: And that’s why the country is doing so well.

PELOSI: But the (ph) president is representing his cards (ph), and his cards over there are not facts. We have to have an evidence-based conversation about what does work, what money has been spent and how effective it is. This isn’t — this is about the security of our country. You take an oath to protect and defend. We don’t want to have that mischaracterized by anyone.


TRUMP: I agree with her. No, no, I agree with her.

PELOSI: So let us have a conversation where we don’t have to contradict in public the statistics that you put forth, but instead can have a conversation about what will really work, and what the American people deserve from us at this uncertain time in their lives.


SCHUMER: One thing I think we can agree on is we shouldn’t shut down the government over a dispute. And you want to shut it down. You keep talking about.

TRUMP: I — no, no, no, no, the last time, Chuck, you shut it down.

SCHUMER: No, no, no.

TRUMP: Twenty times.

SCHUMER: Twenty times — 20 times, you were called for I will shut down the government if I don’t get my wall. None of us has said

TRUMP: You want to know something?

SCHUMER: You said it.

TRUMP: Okay, you want to put that (inaudible).

SCHUMER: You’ve said it.

TRUMP: You know what I’ll say? Yes. If we don’t get what we want one way or the other, whether it’s through you, through a military, through anything you want to call, I will shut down the government, absolutely.

SCHUMER: Okay, fair enough. We disagree. We disagree.

TRUMP: And I’ll tell you what, I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck, because the people of this country don’t want criminals and people that have lots of problems, and drugs pouring into our country.

So I will take the mantle. I will be the to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it. The last time you shut it down it didn’t work. I will take the mantle of shutting down, and I’m going to shut it down for border security.

SCHUMER: But we believe you shouldn’t shut it down.


TRUMP: Thank you very much, everybody.


TRUMP: Thank you.


TRUMP: We have a lot of great people for chief of staff. A lot of people want the job. A lot of people want the job. (Inaudible) a lot of friends of mine want it. A lot of people that Chuck and Nancy know very well want it. I think people you’d like. We have a lot of people that want the job of chief of staff. So we’ll be seeing what happens very soon. We’re in no rush. We’re in no rush.

QUESTION: Why no rush. Mr. President?

TRUMP: Why, because we have a wonderful chief of staff right now. There’s no — we are in no rush. Over a period of a week or two, or maybe less, we’ll announce who it’s going to be, but we have a lot of people that want the position.

Thank you very much, everybody.


We’re going to have a challenging midterm anyway, and I don’t see how putting the attention on shutting down the government when you control the government is going to help you.

— Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma (via The New York Times)


Trump has just put the country’s economic fate in the hands of the man who has arguably been more publicly and consistently wrong about the economy than any person alive.

— Dana Milbank, finally training his ire on a deserving figure for once (Larry Kudlow may have been more wrong about the economy than anyone alive)


While we can’t know for sure what role our efforts to compile original government documents and share them with the public has played, we believe it may have made a difference.

—  Michigan State University economist Mark Skidmore, discussing his team’s startling finding about the Pentagon’s expenditures (MSU scholars find $21 trillion in unauthorized military spending; DoD to conduct first-ever audit).

Recommended Link

I’m a Depression historian. The Republican tax scam is straight out of 1929.

“Republican policies in the ’20s instead pushed to concentrate more of the income at the top. Nine decades later, Republicans are rushing to do it again — and they are sprinting toward an economic cliff. Another round of Government of the People, by the Republicans, for the super-rich will be catastrophic. The American people must call a halt before it’s too late,” writes Robert S. McElvaine.

Recommended Link

Congress can give every American a pony (if it breeds enough ponies)

Professor Stephanie Kelton, who teaches public policy and economics at SUNY Stony Brook, has written the op-ed of the year, explaining how U.S. fiscal policy really works.

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KCTS9: What’s Up With Washington State’s Tax System?

Washington state’s vibrant and diverse economy doesn’t hint at it. Neither does Seattle’s red-hot construction and tech boom, nor the sheer wealth of some of our residents. You’d never know it by the tens of thousands of people moving to Puget Sound for the plentiful jobs and outdoorsy lifestyle.

But, Washington has a tax problem.

It simply can’t seem to raise enough money to fund basic services. Especially not in ways that feel fair to most people or even meet what courts say are the fundamental expectations for important services.


Money for war is magically always there; money for healthcare must be counted bean by bean.

— Adam Johnson: There are three types of single-payer ‘concern trolls’ — and they all want to undermine universal healthcare

Recommended Link

B.C. government raising taxes for high earners and corporations to help pay for $51.9B balanced budget

“B.C.’s new. government will spend $51.9 billion for this fiscal year to support the NDP’S stated goal of making the province more affordable for residents,” the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports. The budget will be balanced through increases in the corporate income tax, personal income tax (for wealthy families), and pollution tax.


Irritated by his own party, Trump makes deal with Democrats to keep government open

This is arguably the first real “deal” Donald Trump has made as President. It comes more than seven months after his regime came into power.

Donald Trump struck a deal with Democratic congressional leaders on Wednesday to increase the debt limit and finance the government until mid-December, undercutting his own Republican allies as he reached across the aisle to resolve a major dispute for the first time since taking office.

The agreement would avert a fiscal showdown later this month without the bloody, partisan battle that many had anticipated by combining a debt ceiling increase and stopgap spending measure with relief aid to Texas and other areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey. But without addressing the fundamental underlying issues, it set up the prospect for an even bigger clash at the end of the year.

Since assuming power, Trump has continuously assailed congressional Democrats as villainous and obstructionist. But his bloviating hasn’t gotten him any victories, partly because of deep fissures in the House and Senate Republican caucus.

Having spent more than half a year fruitlessly demanding that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell ram through destructive legislation, only to watch them squander time with important fiscal deadlines looming, Trump and his inner circle have apparently decided to try something new: doing a deal with the opposition.

During a Four Corners meeting, Trump surprised Ryan and McConnell by backing the Democratic proposal for keeping the federal government open.

Congressional aides said privately that Republicans went into the meeting at the White House proposing an eighteen-month deal on government spending and the debt limit, only to run into resistance from the Democrats.

They then proposed a six-month deal as a compromise, but Democrats insisted on a three-month agreement. Mr. Trump then surprised the Republicans by agreeing to the Democratic formulation.

News of the deal is not likely to be received favorably in right wing circles.

But with wildfires burning in the West, the Texas and Louisiana coast grappling with extremely severe floods, and the biggest hurricane in recorded history headed for Florida, the griping among congressional Republicans could be minimal.

Republicans in Congress would be tying anvils around their collective ankles if they shut down the federal government this autumn on any pretext whatsoever. This deal ensures there won’t be a big showdown over fiscal matters until the holidays. Punting is what Congress usually does to postpone or defer a manufactured fiscal crisis, and so this formulation is par for the course.

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Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal questioned Budget Director Mick Mulvaney about Trump’s new budget proposal during the House Budget Committee hearing today.

Transcript of the exchange:

PRAMILA JAYAPAL: Let’s talk about clear language and telling the American people exactly what’s happening in this budget. We are slashing, in this budget, you are slashing, Medicaid by $610 billion. Combined with the healthcare cut, that’s almost $1.5 trillion of cuts to a program that currently serves 74 million Americans. So, in plain language for the American people, that is a dramatic cut to their health care – for most people, healthcare that they wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere.

A $1.2 billion cut to Centers for Disease Control, clear English, cuts drug addiction treatment and prevention services. A $1 billion cut to housing assistance programs, including for veterans who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. We talked about infrastructure already so I won’t go into that.

Mention SNAP. This is nutritional assistance for the most needy families in our country. And, let’s just talk about the border wall for a second. This is a $1.6 billion investment into, what I call, the “Wall to Nowhere”. This is a wall, a down payment on a wall, that is ultimately gonna cost the taxpayers $40 billion according to a recent MIT study. And as Janet Napolitano once said when she was governor of Arizona, “Show me a 100 foot wall, I’ll show you a 101-foot ladder”.

This is not the solution to any of our immigration issues.

Now you’ve said, Director Mulvaney, that you should’ve called this the “Taxpayer First Budget,” but I have to ask you: Which taxpayer? Out of the almost trillion dollars in tax cuts in this budget, which are on the backs of all these other cuts we’ve mentioned, 50% of those tax cuts are gonna to the top 1%. And 75% of the tax cuts are gonna to the top 75% of income earners. So what we are doing is taking away essential benefits for working families across this country – positions that the president ran on – and putting them into the top earners in the country.

So, when you talk about ‘Trumpanomics” — I think that was the word you used in your opening statement — and you said “Let’s do anything that gets you to 3% growth,” is that the same philosophy that got the president to six separate bankruptcies… $1.8 billion in debt for Trump Hotels before he declared those bankruptcies?

I’m not really sure what “Trumpanomics” is when you look at the President’s record. So what I’d like to ask you, Director Mulvaney, is can you explain how taking away from programs like the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the disabled and student loan repayments — one of the top issues in this country, Republicans and Democrats alike $1.4 trillion dollars in student loan debt right now — Can you explain how that benefits the economy or working families across this country?

And I might reclaim my time to just to make sure, but let’s start there.

TRUMP BUDGET DIRECTOR MICK MULVANEY: I… I… I can try. Because folks are throwing me notes because you raised a bunch of issues so let me do this this in as rapid form as I possibly can. CHIP is being extended; it’s not being reduced. Total spending on drug treatment goes up; it’s not being reduced.

You use the word “plain language”, slashing Medicaid to most people — plain language slashing Medicaid  would mean we spend less next year than we did this year. That’s what a slash means, right? That’s what you hear? No. It’s not true. I think it’s one year in a ten-year window when we have a little kind of tiny dip because of the cliff that’s caused by the AHCA on the Medicaid expansion states.

But generally speaking, across the budget all we do is slow the rate of growth. Which is to say we will be spending more on Medicaid every single year, again I think except one. And you can call that a slash but I’m telling you back home, people say you slash spending on something, I think they would expect you to think that you’re spending less money one year versus the previous year.

The SNAP: What we do on SNAP is a couple different things, and again we can take more time on this if you like. We do ask for an able body work requirement. We can go into the fact that SNAP went up dramatically during the downturn from I think roughly 28 million people on the program before the recession to 47 million people on the program at the height of the recession.

I think the most recent number we have is roughly 42 or 44 million. We’re back near what we like to call full employment. We’ve had several years of a slow but growing economy. Don’t we think that maybe some of those folks —

PRAMILA JAYAPAL: I’m gonna… I’m gonna reclaim my time. I’m sorry — we’re limited so I’m sorry for that. But I think if you look at what the American people thought about the Republican healthcare bill, you’ll see that that slash in Medicaid is in a fact a slash in Medicaid, that even a Republican governor spoke out against it.

Recommended Link

Washington state ranks nearly last in new tax-transparency index

“Ranked second from the bottom in a new report, the state’s tax system makes it tough for taxpayers to find out just how much they’re coughing up to the government. Oregon’s system ranks as the most transparent of all,” writes The Seattle Times’ Gene Balk.

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From ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live: “Trump released a proposed budget that would cut funding for PBS, Meals on Wheels, and The National Endowment for the Arts. Not only does he want to put a stop to federal funding for public broadcasting, he’s already started cleaning house.”

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U.S. Representatives Suzan DelBene and Pramila Jayapal have been forcefully speaking out against the House Republicans’ extremely destructive Trumpcare bill as it has speedily made its way through committee in the House of Representatives. These videos show them in action.

Jayapal on Republicans’ Massive Tax Cuts for the Rich


Thank you, Mr. Higgins, for your leadership to prevent this unprecedented shift of wealth from working people to millionaires, billionaires and corporations.

Let us be clear that this Pay-More-For-Less bill is not a health care bill, it is a tax bill that gives $600 billion in tax cuts to the wealthiest, and is paid for on the backs of poor and middle-class households. In fact, the one basic principle that seems to be consistent in this bill is that the richer you are, the bigger your tax cut.

For instance, the top 4% of income earners who earn more than $300 million a year will get a total tax break of $275 million, or about $200,000 a year each.

Meanwhile, working families will see their benefits cut and their premiums rise.

Madam Chairman, this is America. We don’t begrudge people’s good fortune. But this bill is pure greed.

The rich get richer while 24 million people are stripped of health care. That is simply not right.

I yield back.

Suzan speaking in support of Jayapal’s motion on preserving Medicaid expansion

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Read Governor Inslee’s second inaugural address

“At a time when Washington’s towns and cities were just specks on a map, our state’s founders chose education as our paramount duty. Not roads or railroads. Not jails. They chose schools. So should we,” the Governor declared.

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Fiscal foolishness

“Over all, Chris Wallace was better than I expected. But he was pretty bad on fiscal issues,” writes Paul Krugman.


I have to say, I find it a little beyond comprehension that Lloyd Blankfein would lecture our campaign about “dangerous moments” after Wall Street received huge bailouts from the working families of this country, when their greed and recklessness caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs, livelihoods, and homes just a few years ago. His arrogance has no end.

— Bernie Sanders’ response to Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Bankfein’s comment that his candidacy “has the potential to be a dangerous moment… not just for Wall Street not just for the people who are particularly targeted but for anybody who is a little bit out of line.” Blankfein is a billionaire, with a net worth of $1 billion.