Thursday: Below the Fold

Inflation rate, New York and Illinois gun grabbers, California awash in debt, and more.

Cross-Examination

  • Inflation rate slows? The headline inflation rate slowed last month to 6.5% from November’s 7.1%. Yet Americans are still paying far more for goods and services than last year, as the inflation rate still rests at a nearly four-decade high. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is still planning on hiking the interest rate by at least another three-quarters of a point, as Fed Chair Jerome Powell still noted that inflation is far from the targeted rate of 2%. Of course, the biggest factor keeping the inflation rate high has been federal government spending, thanks to Congress passing Joe Biden’s spending spree bills. Manhattan Institute economist Brian Riedl warns, “Rising interest rates risk pushing government interest costs, annual budget deficits, and total government debt to unsustainable levels,” and “once the debt surges, even modest interest-rate movements can impose stratospheric costs.” He adds, “Once a debt-and-interest-rate spiral begins, it is nearly impossible to escape without drastic inflation or fiscal consolidation.” So while the mainstream media touts a slight decline in inflation as a positive future economic sign, the federal government’s spending splurge has put America on the precipice of a coming economic disaster.

  • NY and IL gun grabbers: On Tuesday, Illinois Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law a statewide ban on the sale of so-called “assault weapons,” which includes the AR-15 and AK-47, as well as a ban on “high-capacity” magazines, which limits long guns to 10-round magazines and handguns to 15 rounds. Pritzker touted the legislation as a response to “gun violence,” as if the firearms themselves were responsible for the actions of criminals. The law included a grandfather clause for Illinois residents who already own banned firearms, but with the catch that they must register them with the state police. In New York, legal challenges to the state’s recent legislation to severely restrict residents’ ability to acquire concealed carry permits was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court, with the caveat that the Court will wait for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to weigh in first, albeit in a timely manner.

  • Deep-blue California is awash in debt: It only took California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom one year to blow the Golden State’s $98 billion surplus and saddle residents with a $22.5 billion deficit. In acknowledging the deficit, Newsom proposed a spending budget for 2023-2024 that tops out at $297 billion, a decrease of $11 billion from last year’s spending spree. Newsom sold his proposal on “the uncertainty of this next calendar year.” His budget “cuts” come mostly from reining in spending on California’s green-dream promotion, such as $6 billion on programs that push adopting zero-emission vehicles in poor communities. California Republican Party Chairman Jessica Millan Patterson observed, “Now with a massive budget shortfall projected, it’s time for Gavin Newsom to finally get serious about smarter spending to resolve the many issues that are plaguing our state and driving long-time residents away.” After enjoying several years of budget surpluses, the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office projected a $25 billion deficit due to “lower revenue estimates.” And this deficit is thanks to a projected loss of some $41 billion in tax revenue. When your tax and regulatory policies chase businesses away, the inevitable result will be less tax revenue for the state. Yet Newsom continues to tout his leadership of California over that of both Florida and Texas, states that have been enjoying both economic and population growth, the opposite of what is currently occurring in the formerly Golden State.

Headlines

  • Biden classified documents found in his Delaware garage (Fox News)

  • House passes bill protecting babies born alive in botched abortions (Daily Signal)

  • Over 200 Democrats vote against condemning attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers (Daily Signal)

  • Biden White House again extends COVID public health emergency (National Review)

  • Mexican prez thanks Biden for building “not even one meter” of border wall (Daily Wire)

  • Consumer Safety Commission walks back gas stove threat amid backlash (National Review)

  • Armed diner who fatally shot robber in Houston restaurant heist will face grand jury (NY Post)

  • Survey shows only 16% of Gen Z adults proud to live in America (Daily Wire)

  • Jewish GWU students reported a professor for anti-Semitism. Their university retaliated against them. (Free Beacon)

  • Satire: FBI won’t raid Biden’s home because there’s nothing of interest in Jill Biden’s wardrobe (Genesius Times)

For more editors’ choice headlines, click here.

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