Thursday: Below the Fold

What the debt ceiling showdown means, New Zealand PM/COVID zealot resigns, IRS “woes,” and more.

Cross-Examination

  • What the debt ceiling showdown means: Treasure Secretary Janey Yellen warned Congress last week that the U.S. was dangerously close to hitting its debt ceiling of $31.4 trillion, and that the limit must be raised soon to avoid potentially catastrophic economic consequences. The debt limit represents the amount of money the U.S. government is allowed to borrow in order to pay the bills — bills such as Social Security payments and Medicare coverage, as well as interest on the federal debt. Two years ago, Congress raised the debt ceiling to its current level, and now here we are again staring at potential economic disaster if the limit isn’t increased yet again. However, Republicans who now control the House have an opportunity to wrangle spending concessions from Joe Biden and the Democrats. Speaker Kevin McCarthy promised to work with Biden to make a deal. With U.S.-held debt now equaling 100% of GDP, Republicans are rightly calling for the government’s spending spree over the last couple of years to end. The question is, given the serious fallout of the U.S. failing to pay its debts, will Republicans be able to hold the line and get the needed spending cut concessions from Biden and company? In 2011, Republicans won some spending concessions from Barack Obama but at the cost of weakening America’s military readiness, thanks entirely to Obama’s prioritizing his social agenda over and against national security. This time around, Republicans should prevent Biden from engaging a similar ploy. The ultimate problem is that Washington is spending too much money enriching itself via a litany of special interest concerns rather than using taxpayer money in a fiscally responsible way.

  • New Zealand PM and COVID zealot resigns: Jacinda Ardern made a surprising announcement on Wednesday — the New Zealand prime minister is resigning. When she won office in 2017, Ardern was the world’s youngest female head of state. Now, at age 42, she says, “I no longer have enough in the tank” to stay in the job. While adored by the Leftmedia, Ardern’s tenure was far from admirable. Under her leadership, Kiwis saw their individual freedoms eroded all in the name of social justice and safety. Gun rights and freedom of speech were severely curtailed by Ardern in response to the murderous domestic terror attack on two Christchurch mosques. But Ardern’s authoritarianism was arguably most fully manifested in her draconian response to the COVID pandemic, as she imposed severe zero-tolerance lockdowns and vaccine mandates. Such actions clearly didn’t sit well with many New Zealanders — as the nation enters an election year, polling shows that Ardern’s Labour Party is trailing the right-leaning National Party. Indeed, many are speculating that her decision to step down now has more to do with the political headwinds she is facing than anything else. Maybe being a tyrant is simply tiring.

  • IRS “woes”: Joe Biden’s massive expansion of the Internal Revenue Service is not going as smoothly as he and the Democrats likely envisioned. It turns out hiring upwards of 87,000 well-qualified employees to the nation’s tax-collecting agency is no cake walk. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration observed that the IRS’s challenge “is having to evaluate a high number of applicants in order to find successful candidates both willing to accept the job offer and also be able to pass the required background checks.” It appears that Washington red tape is hampering the IRS’s ability to hire new and decent people. Ironically, some of the holdup comes curtesy of Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. The mounting paperwork is proving to slow the IRS’s ability to fulfill its hiring challenges.

Headlines

  • “Boiling the oceans”: Al Gore goes on unhinged climate rant, condemns detainment of Greta Thunberg (Daily Wire)

  • The media reported that Greta was arrested at a German coal mine, but they didn’t tell you the arrest was staged (Not the Bee)

  • Supreme Court rejects New York gun retailers’ bid to block new concealed carry laws (Fox News)

  • Derek Chauvin appeals conviction in George Floyd murder, arguing trial wasn’t fair (Fox News)

  • Atlanta protesters call for violence against police after shooting leaves one dead, officer injured (Fox News)

  • Biden admin launching pilot program to allow private sponsorship of refugees (Washington Examiner)

  • FEC says Google’s email filter did not intentionally target GOP (Daily Wire)

  • Virginia Democrats force state to adopt California’s crackdown on gas cars (Fox News)

  • Youngkin spurns Ford’s proposed $3.5 billion Virginia plant over China concerns (Daily Wire)

  • Church of England bishops refuse to allow same-sex marriages (National Review)

  • Teen girl blasts YMCA trans policy after encountering naked man in women’s locker room (National Review)

  • Horrific new details emerge in criminal case of LGBT activist couple accused of raping and trafficking adopted boys (Blaze Media)

  • Roe reversal barely impacted attitudes on abortion, poll finds (National Review)

  • New York Times quietly admits DEI is a failure (Not the Bee)

  • Policy: The debt ceiling fight is a symptom of Congress’s disease (National Review)

  • Humor: Tesla rolls out electric F-15 to meet surging demand (Genesius Times)

For more editors’ choice headlines, click here.

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