The national debt is over $33 trillion, but no one seems to care. With a possible government shutdown in the next two weeks if there is no spending deal in Congress, the U.S. national debt has quietly slipped past $33 trillion. marking For the first time. It is on track to cross the $50 trillion mark by the end of the decade. “The increase in debt over the past two decades has been largely driven by the trillions spent on Republican tax cuts that largely benefited the wealthy and big corporations,” a White House spokesperson said. told The New York Times.
But this completely ignores the Democrats’ massive spending, which they say won’t have any serious consequences (ever!). The Inflation Reduction Act, for example, was estimated at $400 million, but will cost just over $1 trillion. It also does a lot of things that aren’t inflation-reducing at all, even if you squint your eyes. If Rode‘s Eric Böhm has arguedit is actually “a pared-down version of what Biden originally called the “Build Back Better” plan — it leaves out much of the original spending, but it maintains a massive corporate tax hike, massive spending on green energy initiatives and a plan to to grow the economy. the ranks of IRS agents.” Some Democratic-promoted pandemic relief programs have been wasteful or plagued by them fraud, such as the Employee retention credit (“The tax authorities do freeze the program due to fear of fraud and abuse,” reports the Time) and the Paycheck Protection Programwhich Rode has been extensively covered.
Beyond the blame game, there are huge implications that could come from this addiction to spending. Going forward, rising debt levels could make it harder for companies to borrow money, which would hinder growth; Rising debt levels could also mean massive inflation – even worse than what we’ve been dealing with.
“This city is addicted to spending other people’s money.” commented Rep. Eli Crane (R–Ariz.) on X. “Enough is enough.”
Zelenskyy cleans the house. Six of Ukraine’s top defense ministers were dismissed yesterday by President Volodymyr Zelensky, ahead of his visit to Washington DC and New York. he will address the United Nations. Some have been spooked by reports of corruption and have speculated that Zelenskyy needs to get his house in order before making big calls for US help, but no official reason has been given for the Defense Ministry shake-up. Chief of Defense Oleksii Reznikov was abolished by Zelenskyy earlier this month.
In other news, Ukraine has recaptured the village of Klishchiivka, near Bakhmut, marking Zelenskyy’s “second significant gain in three days in the country’s history.” [Ukraine’s] debilitating counter-offensive against the Russian army,” according to Reuters.
What’s going on with the child poverty rate? “The poverty rate rose from 7.8 percent in 2021 to 12.4 percent in 2022, the largest jump ever in a single year.” reported The New York Times last week following the release of new data from the Census Bureau. “Child poverty more than doubled, to 12.4 percent, compared to a record low of 5.2 percent the year before.”
But it’s a little trickier than that. Poverty in America is measured in two ways: through the Official Poverty Measure (OPM), which uses cash and similar government benefits (welfare and unemployment checks), and the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which takes into account food stamps and taxes . credits. Depending on which metric you look at, you’ll get a different sense of how dire (or not) the situation is. For example, stimulus checks, expanded food stamp benefits, and expanded child tax credits were only counted under the SPM (not the OPM). When they expired last year, the poverty rate (as counted by the SPM) rose. “The decline in the child poverty rate between 2021 and 2022 under the OPM was statistically insignificant,” according to Matt Weidinger and Scott Winship at the American Enterprise Institute. “Because the undercount of UI [unemployment insurance] benefits made the official 2021 rate too high, it is likely that a better measured version would have shown an increase this year.”
Furthermore, “there have only been three years in U.S. history with a lower child poverty rate: 2019, 1973 and 1969.” And “if inflation – driven in part by the massive spending in 2021 – had been lower, OPM might have hit an all-time low.” Overall, things are getting better.
Scenes from New York:
VIDEO WIRE: This morning in New York City, climate activists blocked the entrances to the NY Federal Reserve.
The NYPD quickly warned about an LRAD and began arresting activists one by one.
“We need clean air, not another billionaire!” they sang as they refused… pic.twitter.com/wCUv16f6af
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) September 18, 2023
- The European Union will probably do that prohibit payments for semen, milk and blood. “A ban on paid donations within the EU will therefore reduce the amount of plasma supplied from Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic and force the EU to be even more dependent on imports from the US.” writes Alex Tabarrok.
- New interview with Thomas Sowell just deleted: “Rawls refers to things that ‘society’ should ‘arrange’. Interior designers to arrange. Governments force. It’s not a subtle distinction.”
- “Hunter Biden’s Mounting Gun Allegations Threaten the Right to Guns and the Right to Trial,” writes Rodeby Jacob Sullum
- Operation Underground Railroad founder Tim Ballard is said to have “invited women to act as his ‘wife’ during undercover overseas missions ostensibly aimed at rescuing victims of sex trafficking,” Anna Merlan and Tim Marchman report at Shame. “He then allegedly forced those women to share a bed or shower together, claiming it was necessary to fool human traffickers.”
- “I was a little too eccentric… I’m on the edge of a lot of things,” Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) said in response to reports that she held hands with her boyfriend (and he with her) at a performance of “Beetlejuice.” Boebert also reportedly got in trouble for vaping in the theater, which is the most recognizable she has ever been.
- Inside Furusato Nouzeithe Japanese tax system in the home city.
- Instagram “was a platform for ads that didn’t look like ads, and it would become the perfect place to sell makeup that didn’t look like makeup,” writes Molly Fischer of the Glossier empire.
- Happy Yeltsin Supermarket Day (a few days late)! The abundance that delighted Boris Yeltsin 34 years ago has multiplied since his famous Randall’s moment: “Between 1975 and 2022, for example, the number of products in an average American supermarket more than tripled, from 8,948 products to a whopping 31,530.” What would Yeltsin have thought of today’s supermarkets?