Publisher's Note:

One of the most significant things you can do to promote Liberty is to support our efforts. Please make your gift to the 2020 Year-End Campaign today. Thank you! —Mark Alexander, Publisher

Jordan Candler / Dec. 14, 2017

Unhinged Spending — DC's Canary in the Coal Mine

Despite record revenue, the federal government is still running a deficit. North Carolina provides a solution.

This week Republicans in the House and Senate announced that each chamber’s tax reform bills had been reconciled. This means that a final vote will happen very shortly. From the get-go, Democrats have opposed any Republican-led tax reform for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is because it doesn’t siphon enough money from wealthy businessmen and women to satiate the government’s revenue gravy train. According to federal revenue data, however, there is most certainly not a lack of funds entering government coffers.

We are now about two and a half months into Fiscal Year 2018, which began on Oct. 1. In the months spanning October and November, the Treasury hauled in $443.7 billion from taxes — the highest windfall during that two-month period on record. In a realistic world, that should be more than enough to fund the government. In this one, it’s not nearly enough. CNS News’ Terence Jeffrey reports that during the same time period, the federal government had a staggering $645.5 billion in expenditures — which translates into a $201.8 billion deficit.

Most lawmakers view tax revenue in terms of the amount of money the government “needs” to both sustain normal operations and expand them. This thinking is entirely backwards, but it explains why Democrats are so strongly opposed to tax reform unless it bolsters revenue at the expense of America’s wealthy. What’s never allowed into the discussion is the need to curb the government’s out-of-control spending. But states like North Carolina provide solutions.

In National Review, the North Carolina state director of Americans for Prosperity, Donald Bryson, discusses his state’s remarkable economic turnaround. At the forefront of the revival? Tax cuts and spending restraints. According to Bryson, “Just five short years ago, our economy was floundering and unemployment hovered around 10 percent. Since then, we’ve added 245,000 people to our labor force and the unemployment rate has been slashed almost in half.” Thanks to a rollback in corporate income and personal income tax rates combined with significantly higher standard deductions, Bryson says, “our state made the ‘most dramatic improvement’ in the history of the Tax Foundation’s Business Tax Climate Index, jumping from No. 41 to No. 11 in just one year.”

But here’s another key: “The broad tax cuts were coupled with rollbacks in corporate-welfare giveaways and measures designed to restrain the growth of spending. Overall, spending will increase just 3 percent this fiscal year, which is below the 3.8 percent combined growth of inflation and population.” The effect of these changes has resulted in persistent revenue and budget surpluses and a $1.8 billion rainy-day fund. Bryson correctly references Kansas as an example of how things can go wrong when spending isn’t addressed. Major tax cuts were enacted in Kansas, but, unfortunately, there were absolutely no efforts to rein in spending. In fact, Bryson writes, “After the passage of dramatic tax cuts in 2012, total state spending increased almost every year. Between the budget years of 2010 and 2018, Kansas lawmakers increased expenditures by almost 25 percent, from $5.3 billion to $6.6 billion.”

There’s a lesson here — revenue problems, whether at the state or national level, are almost always the result of careless spending. If done correctly, tax cuts can supplement economic improvement in an unparalleled way, but fixing negligent spending has to be part of the equation. We’ve seen success at the state and local level. The question remains how to make it happen at the national level. Despite record revenue, lawmakers in DC are asking how to harvest even more. Reduce spending, and the results will speak for themselves.

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2020 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.