The invisible billionaires won’t pay for a Green New Deal, but you certainly will – opinion

U.S. House Financial Services Committee

Written by John Kramer for the Telegraph

As the Democratic primaries heat up, the progressive candidates focus on the one thing that has worked for them almost every time. since the age of the Great Depression allowed them to become successful – economic gpopulism, the old mantra of taxing the rich. Rhetoric aside, however. Could the Democrats actually roll out a Green new deal, universal healthcare and a slew of other spending pledges without raising taxes on the average Americans?

The short answer is no. The long answer is more complicated than the Democrats tell you. Most fact-checkers and experts can’t agree on any particular cost estimate for the Green New Deal. In fact, costing the GND is nigh impossible because it is in itself a non-binding motion that lacks substance. A series of vague and non-descript goals simply cannot be evaluated in the same way as Republican Tax Plans or other spending commitments outlined by Democrats in previous electoral cycles. Most back of the envelope estimates however put the cost as anywhere in between 6693 trillion dollars over 10 years or 9.3 trillion per year with Medicare 4 working out to be roughly 30-40 trillion of the entire 93 trillion package. To put into perspective the Social Security system currently pays out over 1 trillion dollars in benefits. The GND including universal healthcare would cost over 9 times that every year current federal expenditures notwithstanding.

When looking at these figures it is also worth appreciating what a Green New Deal would do the value of work itself. The text of the resolution calls for economic security to be provided to all individuals who are unable and unwilling to work. Statistics show that roughly a fifth of all American workers are passionate about their work and that over half of all workers dislike their jobs. It is impossible to accurately forecast how many of these people would leave the workforce if given the chance, but it is probably fair to assume that at least serveral million of them would simply abandon ship. The costs of providing them with “economic security” would be enormous.

Paying for such a fiscal bombshell is shaping up to be quite a challenge, which is why even advocates of the plan like Bernie Sanders proposed tax increases on everyone, not just the top 1% both in 2016 and during the 2020 Democratic Primaries. Under the 2020 Sanders plan, every single American would be slapped with a 4% surcharge on their income alongside a hefty increase in the payroll tax and corporate taxes all of which would eat away at the paychecks of every single American worker irrespective of their earnings. So much for taxing the rich and economic populism. Of course, these plans would be wholly insufficient to fund universal healthcare let alone all of the GND initiatives.

 When the Wallstreet Journal looked at how universal healthcare would actually be funded they found that the supposed Warren plan to finance it had more fudge in it than Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. 

When the non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget had examined the issue of Medicare 4 all they found out the only truly viable “ways” to fund Medicare 4 all is to impose a 42%  Value Added Tax, a 25% income surtax or impose a 32% payroll tax alongside existing income tax structures. As they also point out funding Medicare 4 all, let alone a Green new Deal through taxing the rich alone is simply not feasible as there

“is not enough annual income available among higher earners to finance the full cost of Medicare for All. On a static basis, even increasing the top two income tax rates (applying to individuals making over $207,000 per year and couples making over $414,000 per year) to 100 per cent would not raise $30 trillion over a decade. In reality, a tax increase that large would actually lose revenue because it would institute marginal tax rates above 100 percent when other taxes are incorporated – effectively requiring people to pay rather than be paid to work, earn business income, or sell capital assets. “ 

CFRFB

Of course, you could argue as both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have that a wealth tax, could offset the costs of this new spending. However, even if such a plan were to fund the Green New Deal it would come with many drawbacks of its own. Analyses vary, but according to the Tax Foundation, a wealth tax alone would shrink our GDP by as much as 0.43%, discourage investment and over double the trade deficit. They also find that a wealth tax would actually decrease revenue from income and payroll tax by as much $192 billion per annum offsetting many of the revenue gains from a wealth tax. Bluntly put, a wealth tax would be long-term pain for short-term gain. All of that pain would raise a paltry 2.7 trillion compared to the 66-93 trillion price tag for the GND mobilization.

There you have it folks it is simply impossible for us to fund Medicare 4 all let alone a Green New Deal through taxing the rich alone, but even if we were to accept all the questionable assumptions (including litigation outcomes , new job growth and a few other even more optimistic assumptions) made by the Saunders campaign and assumed that his tax plan is flawless we’d finance barely over a half of the estimated GND costs and that doesn’t include other harder to estimate costs like increased labour costs due to a hiked minimum wage , and cost overruns, the latter of which are all but guaranteed to happen to a federal project of such size.

Of course one could argue that not all of the costs of this new spending would have to be financed through taxation but through relatively cheap borrowing and job growth spurred by additional spending. Yet running perpetually large deficits in the trillions of dollars would saddle us with unmanageable (even by US standards) amounts of debt that would hang over future generations like a debt albatross with no end in sight. At some point in the future we’d find ourselves forced to balance the books , putting us right back at square one in terms of funding this spending.

With that in mind a question that any worker supporting the GND, Medicare 4 all or considering voting for a progressive Democrat should be asking themselves is whether they are willing to eat the greatest tax increase since World War 2 and whether they would be able to give up a third or even half of their paycheck in the process.

Of course, we don’t know what sort of plans the Democratic candidates will come up with nor how they will propose to finance them and it would be unfair to try and put words in their mouths. What we can say with absolute certainty however is that irrespective of how the Democrats will package their proposal it won’t be the “the wealthy in their New York estates” paying for it , but it will be every single American with a pulse who will foot the bill…

A Sit Down with AC-3 representative /u/cody5200

/u/Cody5200

By Mike Oxlong for the Telegraph

What do you think about the recent spat between the Senate Minority and the newly-elected House Majority Leader?

Frankly, I think that the Minority Leader has brought up some very good points. The Democrats have proposed many radical, at times contradictory policies and he is completely right to point that out. Here in Atlantic, we have tens of thousands of people incarcerated, many of whom are felons. It is frankly ridiculous to expect my constituents to pay for these people after they have chosen to violate the social contract. The authors of the bill have tried to make the bill more palatable by excluding those who have committed mass murder or sex crimes, but that still opens the door to the American taxpayer being forced to subsidise domestic abusers, former gang members and crooks like Bernie Madoff. The good of people AC-3 will not stand for this and neither will I.  As for allowing ex-felons to vote, this just like the vast majority of issues surrounding elections is a state issue and should be decided at a state level. Personally, I would lean towards giving them that right after they have paid their debt to society.

I dread to think as to how a more “progressive” budget would be according to the Majority leader, given that under the current budget my district is set to become one of  the highest taxed places on earth with combined income tax rates as high as 55% maybe even 60% if we include local taxes for some areas. Not to mention that payroll taxes have also been raised , with the exception of felons who’d actually get a tax cut under the Majority Leader’s proposal.

Thousands if not tens of thousands of my constituents are also set to lose their dependency and elderly tax credits, depriving them of thousands of dollars with the Democrats and the Majority Leader offering no real replacement.  I don’t know what the Majority leader has in mind, but if the current approach is anything to go by, a more “progressive” or more accurately regressive budget will only make things worse for Atlantic. Make no mistake, by any international benchmark, this is a radical budget. I would go as far as to argue that even the socialist People’s Republic of Chinese and Vietnam  have lower burdens of taxations than what the Democrats are trying to achieve.

The Senate minority leader has also been denounced as “Trumpian” by some, with the House Majority leader saying he “represents the kind of belligerent, populist, conspiratorial brand of politics”. As you have endorsed Adith for President, what do you think about this?

I  find it quite disheartening that the Democrats and the Majority Leader instead of criticising Adith on the basis of his policy have resorted to a “Reductio ad Trumpium” by trying to smear Adith as Trumpian. Let me tell you, there is nothing Trumpian nor populist about opposing the Majority Leader’s far-left policies. Policies that taken together would raise taxes for most if not all Americans, defund our law enforcement and the military only to then funnel that money into the pockets of ex-felons.

You have called the budget “regressive”, while the Senate minority leader and several other Republicans, as well as Democrats, have referred to it as progressive, what do you mean?

I will admit though that this is one area where I think the Senate Minority Leader and my fellow Republicans are wrong. In his op-ed piece, he has referred to the budget and many Democratic policies as “progressive,” which at least in economic terms would suggest that those on the lowest income would get a better deal. This is patently untrue. Not only have the Democrats opted to raise the income tax on the poorest Americans, but they have also moved forward with their insane capital gains and dividend tax hikes that, combined with the removal of opportunity tax credits and the rollout of a distortive low-income tax credit, effectively lock working-class Americans into low-paying minimum wage jobs and out of investment opportunities under the threat of losing their massive government handout.

 I would also point out that with the way the budget is written the Capital Gains exemptions such as the one for homeowners may have been accidentally scrapped, hitting everyday people and venture capitalists with a massive tax bill that they may not even know about. There is absolutely nothing progressive about any of this, even if it was written by a self-proclaimed progressive.

Many politicians including several Democratic presidential candidates have called for all student loan debt to be cancelled.  What do you think about it?

I think it’s a classical example of a solution looking for a problem. There is no college debt crisis, sure delinquency rates are above average (in part driving up interest rates for those fiscally responsible enough to pay down their loans on time), but overall most people can pay them off with some minor sacrifices. Most of the students who’d receive relief under student loan forgiveness are those who have either been fiscally irresponsible or who have picked frivolous majors with lower earning potentials. I don’t see why we should ask the taxpayer to pay for these mistakes.

Cancelling  all college debt is a very expensive idea , most estimates put cancelling all student debt at $1.6 trillion or around $1 trillion if all debt up to 50 thousand is to be cancelled. Most proponents also want to make public colleges free so add another $80-100 billion per year to make public colleges free.

This is frankly a boatload of money that is going to have come from somewhere and given that combined state, local and federal income taxes are already at their highest points since the 1980s I can honestly see no way to realistically fund this without increasing the tax burden on the majority of blue-collar Americans already squeezed by the Democrat’s tax and spend policies. Americans who I might add are not college educated and earn significantly less than those who have gone to college. Why should we ask a steelworker in Pennsylvania to pay for the mistakes of a wealthy college student from Berkeley?

And even if we did forgive all student loan debt, the supposed “crisis” will not be over because students who wish to go to more exclusive private schools will take out these very same loans and the cycle will start again. Would the proponents of this bill have us bailing out irresponsible college students out every few decades?

If the Democrats really wanted to prevent students from falling into debt they would take action to ensure that federally-subsidised student loans are only given to those students whose majors have the earning potential to pay for themselves. Alternatively, we could do what should have been done decades ago and get the federal government out of the business of student loans entirely.

“On Cesar and Cincinnatus”

How Strong Was Andre The Giant? - YouTube

M: written by /u/bluebirddo all mods should go to them

I want to propose a question to you all, let you think about it, and then give my rationale. 

Do we want a Cesar or a Cincinnatus? 

It’s a simple question, but one that requires the context of these two ideals, and an approach to both

I’m sure we all know who Gaius Julius Cesar is or have at least the name. Known as a great statesman, Cesar had incredibly humble beginnings. Starting life out as an orphan whose once-great family chose the wrong side in a devastating civil war, he built his way up politically through the military, eventually becoming consul of the roman republic. The man was the last of the republicans however, when he won a civil war against the rival faction, he acquired a godly amount of power in the empire, and used that power to rule absolutely. His name is known quite well in the aspects of history, great kings name their titles after him, The Kaiser, the Czar are both taken from Cesar.

A less well-known figure is Cincinnatus. But let that not deter you from his greatness. Born a plebian, a Roman peasant, he gained extensive power in a military coup much like his predecessor. He spent years dedicated to removing all those who stood in his path, made like better through authority much like his predecessor. But something that separates his story from Caesars is that Cinncinatus gave it all up. He brought back republican ideals in a time where Rome had forgotten about them, gradually he gave all the power back to the citizenry, and he is respected greatly for that. Cincinnatus’s story might not be as influential to you, but our revolutionary history was majorly influenced by his tutelage. In the United States, we have a city named after the man, Cincinnati. But a much larger influence was put on our first founding father. Like Cincinnatus before him, Washington gave up his power after the war. The man could’ve been king and that is incredibly not looked upon in our society. Washington even founded a society dedicated to those who fought in the revolution, he named it the society of the Cincinnati. 

Power is always to come to the executive in times of crisis, this is a fact, we sign away freedoms for safety. But is it better as a society to have a Cesar or a Cincinnati? 

I argue that Cesar is better than a Cincinnati. This is because we are human after all. We must acknowledge that although we may value these men differently; they are of the same stock, and want the same things out of life, the same things we most likely want out of life. Wealth, prosperity, and security. What stands in the way of that as a leader is enemies, and in circumstances like the greats men where that enemy isn’t a threat, a larger one grows, for every tyrant that was thrown out of the Roman senate, there were 3000 in the fields. The citizenry was ultimately the biggest threat to these men’s goals. 

So if that is the case, how did Cesar retain his power? To put it simply, he never stopped being a tyrant. Bread and circuses, and constant procurement of new territory made the peak of the roman empire. A despot cannot rest on their laurels, because that is when all hell breaks loose.

Cincinnatus was in a tighter spot historically, Rome was on a decline already, and he couldn’t do much to regain where Cesar left off, so he did the smartest thing he could for his legacy, he relinquished his control so it wasn’t his problem. 

I might also defend my answer by acknowledging this, what is to stop a Cesar from succeeding a Cincinnatus? Does anyone believe Cincinnatus stopped dictatorships or despots? Power cannot dissipate easily, especially among the public consciousness. 

  Having a Cincinnatus marks something more drastic. The end of a time. Gorbachov is a prime example of this. The man knew that his position was already under fire, and did liberalize his administration from his predecessors to mitigate what was to occur next. He was overthrown, but his policy saved him from becoming the next martyr of the communist cause. But to my previous point, we can see today his liberalization and the erasure of the communist presence did nothing to stop another Cesar from coming to power in the former soviet union. We can even mark this Cesar as more of a dictator than his predecessor.  

Our federal branch isn’t despotic, or tyrannical like the examples above, but it would be ignorant to say the same ideas do not apply. I worry about what will come with the dissolution of powers given to the feds, I don’t like the fact that the government has control over us, but I accept crucialness of the government retaining that power. To put it simply, if and when extensions of the federal government are weakening significantly, it will mark a much greater, more devastating occasion.   

So for our sake, let’s just hope that our Cesar is benevolent, but not enough to relinquish the power given to him.

The problem with taxing ourselves out of climate change – [op-ed]

In the Oil Derrick Stock Footage Video (100% Royalty-free) 2880298 |  Shutterstock
Written by Derek P Throt for the Telegraph

The great chemist Arrhenius claimed that burning fossil fuels could lead to higher CO2 levels. Decades later the existence of the greenhouse effect was confirmed by scientific means, This revelation was swiftly followed by activists pushing for governments to counteract climate change using a variety of means including carbon pricing.

Historically the US has had a rather rocky relationship with measures intended to price carbon emissions. From the failure of the 1993 BTU tax to the toxic debate surrounding the Waxman-Markey cap and trade Act it is fair to say that the United States has never had a true carbon pricing mechanism. Now with the Majority proposing a raise in our gas tax, this is set to change, unless the Senate majority opts to kill the proposed legislation.

Doing so may that we cannot curtail climate change alone as the United States makes up barely 15% of all CO2 emissions. Now compare that to the 85% of remaining emissions, especially 28% emitted by China and you can start to see the problem with relying on unilateral action to reach the proscribed goal of a 50% reduction by 2030. 

There is also an even bigger disparity to be considered.  Since 2005we have managed to reduce our emissions by 758 million tonnes. In contrast other countries particularly China and India have skyrocketed their emissions, with the former increasing its yearly emissions by over 3 billion metric tonnes in the same time period. In other words, the Chinese increase in emissions was almost quadruple our emissions reductions and managed to almost doubly offset the combined US-EU CO2 reductions. To make matters worse the Chinese government has made clear that Chinese emissions will continue to grow until a supposed peak around 2030, conversely the year by which global CO2 emissions are supposed to be halved.

We are not the main culprit when it comes to CO2 emissions. Yet the current House Majority wishes to impose carbon pricing measures upon the American taxpayer, while conversely doing very little to tackle the real problem of China and India ramping up their emissions.

To add insult to injury the proposed new measures are far from a free lunch. Studies examining the impact of the EU ETS system on electricity prices within the EU27 have found that Emissions Trading may have resulted in electricity price increases ranging in between 12-27% ,with some studies even suggesting an increase of 66% . For the average American, this could mean hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year to pay for the most basic of necessities.

These additional costs also have severe distributional impacts with some studies indicating that the burden of carbon pricing could be 3.25 times higher for our lowest income than for the fifth-highest quartile. Of course, this could be somewhat mitigated through complex tax rebates, but so far proposed cap and trade and infrastructure legislation has completely failed to address these disparities.

Yet there is good reason to believe that all this pain maybe for very little gain in terms of decreasing our domestic emissions. According to the Energy Information Administration, there is very little correlation between gasoline prices and the number of miles travelled by motorists.  In British Columbia, one study found that “In fact, oil prices have been found to have a bigger effect on emissions in B.C. than a carbon tax.

 In the end, it is far more likely that any attempt at green taxation or cap and trade is simply a cash grab, an attempt to increase the federal government under the thin veil of climate change. Therefore it must be the duty of not only any decent fiscal conservative ,but also anyone who cares about social justice to firmly oppose such policy even if for different reasons.

RAISE Act – when enforced equality breeds inequality [op-ed]

Waszyngton D.C. — hotele — Dzielnica Capitol Hill w pobliżu | trivago.pl

In recent weeks the RAISE Act has caused much controversy across the aisle, with the Republicans decrying the measure as destructive and the democrats standing by their bill.

However even if raising the minimum wage was to be considered a net gain, an obvious problem arises. How do you account for the disparities between the various states and various businesses themselves? How do you prevent mandated equality from breeding more inequality?

 Take the former states of Maryland and West Virginia for instance. In the fiscal year, 2019 Maryland had a median income of $40,341, while West Virginia trailed the Old Line State with a median income of $25,320. That means that on average a worker in Maryland earns 38% more. This regional disparity is also reflected in the minimum wages applicable in these 2 localities, with the minimum wage being $8.75 per hour in West Virginia and $11.75 per hour in Maryland.

Under the RAISE Act, both West Virginia and Maryland would both have to raise their minimum wages to at least $15. Were they to do that then West Virginia would be forced to raise its minimum wage by over 40% while Maryland would need to raise its minimum by about half that. In effect businesses in much less affluent Appalachia would be faced with a disproportionately large increase in labour costs that they simply cannot afford. 

This disparity becomes even bleaker when it comes to the rural-urban divide faced by many states. On average mostly rural areas are significantly poorer than large cities. This is reflected in their earnings where a worker in a mostly rural area earns close to a quarter less than their urban counterpart. 

What makes this increase even more destructive is that under the proposed Act tipped and non-tipped workers would be entitled to the same hourly compensation, despite the fact that the former usually tend to make most of their wage from tipping. According to one source:

“The median share of hourly earnings that come from tips account for 58.5 per cent of wait staff’s earnings, and 54 percent of bartenders’ earnings.”

Nelp

With that in mind, a mandatory $15 per hour wage makes even less sense for tipped workers, especially in the context of our reeling service sector. Even before the pandemic, the pretax profit margin for most restaurants was in between 2-6%. After the pandemic, however, most restaurants have reported 30% lower sales and yet under the proposed minimum wage regulations, these same operators could see their costs increase by 20-30%.

To see just how destructive a minimum wage hike of these proportions can be, one has to harken back to 2014 when Seattle passed a $15 per hour minimum wage within a fairly similar timeframe to the one proposed within the RAISE Act. As a result, smaller restaurants like the one you can read about here had to contend with skyrocketing labour budgets. To quote one owner

“When we started our business, our labor cost was right around 25% and our store profit without owner salary was about 33%. When minimum wage increased to $13/hr, our labor bumped up to 35% and cut our bottom line by 10% down to 23%. Next year, our labor cost will bump up to 40% (an increase of 15% from 25%) and our bottom line will be 5%.”

Perhaps it is then why even the non-partisan CBO projects that a $15 per hour minimum wage would destroy 1.4 million  jobs and these job losses would be concentrated amongst our most vulnerable workers – the least educated and youngest workers. 

Yet it is worth noting that the CBO projection assumes a $15 minimum wage being imposed by 2025 whereas the RAISE Act mandates an increase within less than 3 years from now, indicating that the effects of the new regulation would be far more severe than they may at first seem.

Unsympathetic to these concerns of small business owners, many on the political left have tried to paint the increase as an act of class war pitting the workers against large corporations and greedy. That is despite the fact that most large companies such as Costco and Amazon already pay $15 per hour irrespective of the federal minimum wage as they can afford to do so. This is a stark contrast to smaller enterprises, which often have to 

This fact reveals perhaps the biggest intellectual hypocrisy in the Democrats’ ideology. On the one hand, we have seen pieces of legislation such as the Wealth Cap Act or the Green New Deal. All of which sought to increase the progressivity of our tax code by making those who in the eyes of the Democrats can do so pay their fair share.

 Yet when it comes to the minimum wage we see the Democratic Party pursue  $15 , sometimes $25 dollar minimum wages, which would have practically no effect on the wealthy, while disproportionately harming small business and the poorest workers as a whole…

The government of deflection [Op-Ed]

Inmate gave birth 'alone in an isolation cell' hours after asking for a  doctor - ABC News

The Government today were expressing faux- paus outrage that someone dared to raise an example of people they wanted to give the franchise to. If the Government don’t want to be attacked for giving rapists and terrorists the vote, they could perhaps not propose that policy?

The Prime Minister would have us all ignore reality and wish for people to debate in the “abstract” – so his disgusting stance would not be exposed for what it is. The Prime Minister thinks Michael Roberts should vote, so it is, of course, incumbent on him to justify precisely why criminals like him should be allowed to vote. It is a fairly common theme for people to raise notorious killers and offenders in a debate like this. Whenever someone attacked Osama Bin Laden, they didn’t need permission from the countless people he killed.

Whilst it may suit the Prime Minister and his radical socialist colleagues to deflect and express faux outrage, we must ignore it and continue to highlight the kind of people they want to give the vote to. A common theme with this Government is continual deflection; somehow, it is the Libertarian Party at fault for researching and exposing the kind of people the Government wants to give the franchise to.

When discussing policy, it is proper practice to use examples and names. The Government may whine and whinge, but we must remember it is them who want Michael Roberts to vote and affect laws. It is impossible to obtain the permission of those who have been murdered and it is not without precedent to attack serial killers and debate specific and infamous cases under the law. There was a debate about counter-terrorism measures after the Manchester bomber had been allowed back into the United Kingdom after travelling to Libya: nobody needed to seek the victims families permission to discuss areas where our terrorism laws could be strengthened. It was fair to examine this case and look into how to prevent it ever again.

There are multiple infamous crimes and criminals that I am sure everyone in the United Kingdom has a view on and I’m confident they probably don’t want the most heinous individuals in the country voting and affecting our laws.

We will continue to attack the Government and raise relevant examples. Nobody’s personal lives were brought into this matter; we are simply highlighting to the British public the type of person the Government wants to be allowed to vote, and what atrocities said people are guilty of. Instead of deflecting, it is high time the Government looked victims straight in the face and told them why they think these monsters should form part of the process of making our laws.

magic money tree – The Sloman Economics News Site

The Chancellor is once again resorting to whataboutery around calais. It is important to point out new X-ray and infrared technology will cost in the millions. In comparison to the full government budget the Chancellor is looking around for trivial sums to try to create a gotcha moment over his £5 billion blackhole. 

If need be the additional expenditure can be retroactively corrected like the VAT error was. The statement in question did not claim no new funding would be needed and nor did it claim it could be done for free within the department. We’re not here to talk about Calais and the fact the Chancellor is still choosing to deflect and say “no but u” sums up his attitude to his job. 

The Chancellor’s central claim of the budget being £100 billion for Schools and only the Education budget only being £60 billion in 2014 remain false. This has already been sourced and this assumption that the Chancellor told the House that his spending decision was made has gone unaddressed and is wrong. This claim has been sourced previously and the Chancellor has not chosen to address this. 

Increases to the pupil premium are not capital expenditure. It is a permanent increase which requires day-to-day funding. 

Sen and EHC funding per pupil eligible being boosted is also a permanent boost which is not capital expenditure.

The Chancellor repeatedly talks about capital spending. However what was announced is not capital spending, so this means that the Chancellor is cutting capital expenditure for our education. He is funding day-to-day expenditure by slashing capital budgets so unless the funds are to be replaced they’d stop this capital spending indefinitely.

No one is claiming capital projects are done in perpetuity however the decision to cut capital budgets could very well jeopardise ongoing projects such as the construction of schools and leave the Department underfunded to fund genuine one-off initiatives. 

The figures that the Chancellor has provided for the Institute of government shows capital expenditure across the whole government, not just the Department for Education and what it demonstrates is that even if the Chancellor could utilise money underspent across the whole government he would still barely cover the costs of these new programmes which are structural programmes. 

There are not billions underspent in the Department of Education. Underspending is normal as departments face sanctions if they over spend. Unspent capital expenditure is carried forward to the next year’s capital budget and in the Department of Education this will only be millions of pounds in terms of the Education budget. Examples of underspending include academy schools not using their full budget however this money remains with the School.

The Chancellor himself admitted that carrying forward underspending would “prevent the accumulation of spending power over time”. If the Chancellor believes there was underspending specifically in the Education Department last year he should inform the House as to what this spending was, how much and if it will pay for the programmes announced. Underspending is not guaranteed but is something that can happen for an array of reasons.

The Chancellor’s very own Institute for Fiscal Studies report states the following:



Education spending turned out relatively close to plan over the period, showing neither a tendency to persistently undershoot nor overshoot plans between 1999−00 and 2010−11

Dismantling his claim. The Chancellor has shifted from there being lots of spare funds to underspent money to justify his claims. This isn’t a difficult issue and he is trying to confuse people and pull the wool over their eyes. He can not create money from thin air and such I will be voting contempt in the Chancellor when the motion is read later today.

This article was written by the Right Honourable /u/Friedmanite19 OM KCMG KBE CT LVO PC MP, The Leader of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition

Why B1185 Must be Stopped [Op-ed]

Yesterday, Solidarity added yet another piece of legislation to their swelling repertoire with the reading of B1185 – otherwise known as the Prisoner Eligibility to Vote Bill. The legislation, put forward in the government’s name, would return Britain to the aberrant pre-2019 period in which, in a stark departure from the judicial history of this country, those found guilty of the most grievous crimes were still entitled to vote.

The legislation would undo the provisions of the Voting Eligibility (Prisoners) Bill 2019, thereby returning the franchise to those serving prison sentences in excess of six years. It is a bill that can be described as nothing short of galling. It would empower those who have not only found themselves summarily incapable of upholding the law to vote but would give those who don’t know the meaning of human decency, those who have committed crimes so monstrous the full details of them cannot be printed in this paper, more democratic responsibility than your mature teenager.  

B1185 would entitle to make the law those who cannot stop themselves from breaking the law in the most depraved and unconscionable way and is particularly objectionable in a country that for hundreds of years withheld the privilege of the franchise from its most disturbed and disturbing citizens.

The bill would see the likes of Rosemary West, perhaps England’s most notorious living female murderer, voting in the same elections as the average, law-abiding Briton. West was convicted of sexually abusing and brutally killing 10 women and girls at her home in Gloucester, on the now infamous Cromwell Street, with her husband Fred West – who killed himself in 1995 while waiting to stand trial for 12 murders.

Another monster, Michael Adebolajo, will be enfranchised by this act. Adebolajo, now in his thirties, horrified the nation when he hacked to death the British Army fusilier Lee Rigby on the streets of London. The Government claims that this legislation will make the UK a “beacon of democracy” – how will allowing this hateful coward to participate in elections make the UK a “beacon of democracy” in any way, Ministers?

And to top it all off, Levi Bellfield, the so-called “Bus-Stop Stalker”, will see his vote count as much as yours under the terms of this bill. Bellfield, aged 52, killed 2 women in sexually motivated attacks and seriously injured another. After he was convicted of these heinous crimes, Bellfield was arrested by Surrey Police on suspicion of killing a child, whom he abducted on her way back from school. He was found guilty of this appalling crime, making him not just a serial killer, but a child killer too. 

This publication speaks not for the victims or the families of the victims of these tragic and abhorrent crimes – that goes without saying. Instead, we react as we as humans, sickened, on a human level, by the unutterable cruelty of the crimes committed. It is not apparent to us, in any way, shape or form, how allowing these people to participate in England’s elections would deliver any democratic improvement whatsoever. Put simply, those who cannot abide by the law should not be given a role in shaping it – let alone these heartless, vicious monsters. To open up our elections to the likes of Levi Bellfield, Michael Adebolajo, and Rosemary West – those who are guilty of the crimes that shook Britain and united us in horror and heartache – would corrupt our cherished democratic processes unforgivably. That cannot be allowed to happen.

The Chancellor’s magic money tree [Op-Ed]

magic money tree – The Sloman Economics News Site

The Chancellor is once again resorting to whataboutery around calais. It is important to point out new X-ray and infrared technology will cost in the millions. In comparison to the full government budget the Chancellor is looking around for trivial sums to try to create a gotcha moment over his £5 billion blackhole. 

If need be the additional expenditure can be retroactively corrected like the VAT error was. The statement in question did not claim no new funding would be needed and nor did it claim it could be done for free within the department. We’re not here to talk about Calais and the fact the Chancellor is still choosing to deflect and say “no but u” sums up his attitude to his job. 

The Chancellor’s central claim of the budget being £100 billion for Schools and only the Education budget only being £60 billion in 2014 remain false. This has already been sourced and this assumption that the Chancellor told the House that his spending decision was made has gone unaddressed and is wrong. This claim has been sourced previously and the Chancellor has not chosen to address this. 

Increases to the pupil premium are not capital expenditure. It is a permanent increase which requires day-to-day funding. 

Sen and EHC funding per pupil eligible being boosted is also a permanent boost which is not capital expenditure.

The Chancellor repeatedly talks about capital spending. However what was announced is not capital spending, so this means that the Chancellor is cutting capital expenditure for our education. He is funding day-to-day expenditure by slashing capital budgets so unless the funds are to be replaced they’d stop this capital spending indefinitely.

No one is claiming capital projects are done in perpetuity however the decision to cut capital budgets could very well jeopardise ongoing projects such as the construction of schools and leave the Department underfunded to fund genuine one-off initiatives. 

The figures that the Chancellor has provided for the Institute of government shows capital expenditure across the whole government, not just the Department for Education and what it demonstrates is that even if the Chancellor could utilise money underspent across the whole government he would still barely cover the costs of these new programmes which are structural programmes. 

There are not billions underspent in the Department of Education. Underspending is normal as departments face sanctions if they over spend. Unspent capital expenditure is carried forward to the next year’s capital budget and in the Department of Education this will only be millions of pounds in terms of the Education budget. Examples of underspending include academy schools not using their full budget however this money remains with the School.

The Chancellor himself admitted that carrying forward underspending would “prevent the accumulation of spending power over time”. If the Chancellor believes there was underspending specifically in the Education Department last year he should inform the House as to what this spending was, how much and if it will pay for the programmes announced. Underspending is not guaranteed but is something that can happen for an array of reasons.

The Chancellor’s very own Institute for Fiscal Studies report states the following:



Education spending turned out relatively close to plan over the period, showing neither a tendency to persistently undershoot nor overshoot plans between 1999−00 and 2010−11

Dismantling his claim. The Chancellor has shifted from there being lots of spare funds to underspent money to justify his claims. This isn’t a difficult issue and he is trying to confuse people and pull the wool over their eyes. He can not create money from thin air and such I will be voting contempt in the Chancellor when the motion is read later today.

This article was written by the Right Honourable /u/Friedmanite19 OM KCMG KBE CT LVO PC MP, The Leader of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition

Pressure piles on Chancellor to explain education numbers

11 Downing Street: why Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds do not live in  Number 10 - and charity controversy explained | The Scotsman

Opposition parties have signed onto a statement written by the Shadow Chancellor cody5200 which calls on the Chancellor to apologise and admit that the government made a mistake in assuming there was money spare in the Department of Education to spend on new projects.

The debate over this spending was sparked when the Education Secretary Inadorable outlined over £5 billion of additional spending to the House of Commons but stated that no new funding for the Department of Education was needed and no cuts needed to be made elsewhere in the Department of Education. The government argued there was spare money left and argued there was something known as “discretionary spending” which is traditionally a term used in America.

The Chancellor in his usual confident manner came to the debate doubling down that this money did indeed exist. His reasoning was that the Schools budget was £100 billion and was excessively higher than the Schools budget in 2014. However, the Chancellor’s claims fell to pieces as it was pointed out that Education funding covers more than schools and this spare money he thought existed does not.

The Chancellor thought the top row gave him room to spend money without making cuts in the DoE or providing more money because he assumed it was the Schools budget however the comparable figures on table 1 show that the education Department had £98 billion funding and in excess of £100 billion once adjusted for inflation.

Left with no defence the Chancellor insisted the money existed because NGSpy said so claiming he stands with “The Libertarian Party’s chosen man to write and implement the last budget. Former Education Secretary BrexitGlory had rubbished the government’s claims during the debate and another former education Secretary model-willem told the Telegraph that “The Government imagined the money for this statement, it doesn’t exist, the claims the Government are making are not funded in reality.”

Both the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives signed a statement by the Shadow Chancellor calling on the Chancellor to u-turn and admit he was wrong about this funding. All eyes will be on Number 11 Downing Street to see if the government continues to ignore this issue like they did the debate. If they continue to ignore it, it will be interesting to see what opposition parties do next.

Written by Press persona

A Sit-Down with Labour Leadership Contenders

With the resignation of Labour leader Youma, the leadership contest to head one of Britain’s great two political titans is underway. However, this time any future leader will be under pressure. Despite being in two successive governments the party has continued to drop in the polls now ending up the 4th largest party in the Commons. It has been supplanted as the traditional home of the left by the rising Solidarity and their path back to power seems doubtful if not impossible. Thus the Telegraph has interviewed the leading contenders in the upcoming leadership race. 

Imaredditaccount5

First have imadearedditaccount, former Leader of the Scottish Progressives, and current SoS for NI. Though to new Labour they are a veteran operator, especially in the devolved nations. 

First, please introduce yourself and tell us why you want to be Labour leader?

I am Avery, current Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Labour peer and leader of welsh labour. I’m running to be labour leader because quite frankly labour needs someone who is willing to step up, revive the party and produce results.

While the other candidates are great for example viljo has been in party leadership throughout our decline, Rohan having led Scottish labour also through a decline and also a lack of experience and I cannot comment on maro. I on the other hand am a fresh voice who has produced results by leading the Scottish progressives to a record result and streamlining how welsh labour is run which I believe I can replicate in the national party.

What makes you the most qualified to be a leader? Aside from you the other candidates seem to be more senior and experienced so why are you the best choice?

Well as mentioned before I have a lot of experience particularly in leading the Scottish progressives who I grew from a party with very little presence in Scotland to a major party with a big voice in government. I have also been part of government leadership in westminister during the Phoenix coalition where I served as leader of the house and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. In addition to this I also led the IPP in Northern Ireland and served as deputy leader of the SDLP after the merger.

I want to state that I have the utmost respect for all the candidates and all would be great leaders in my opinion however again as mentioned before most have some flaws such as viljo who has been in leadership through a record election defeat and a nose dive in polls, Rohan who isn’t very experienced in leadership and has led Slab through another poll free fall although one could argue this was inevitable.

Now in government with solidarity the government has had a number of controversies: mishandling the nationalization, leaks such as the Osaka accords. What is your response to these events especially the leaks, and if you become leader how will you improve the party and governments functioning ?

As a member of the government I have to say I was disappointed both at the leaks and at the response. I don’t think deleting cabinet minutes was the right way to go about it at all as it sort of just made it seem like we had something to hide which to my knowledge we did not. I believe it’s important to grow trust both between leadership and cabinet and between the government and the public. In my view this means further transparency on both accounts as well as better communication and such. It’s important leadership shares plans and ideas with cabinet as soon as it is practical and it is also important that any plans are made public as soon as possible.

Did you ever express disagreement at the move to delete cabinet minutes?

I believe it’s important labour step up and take a more active role in government. With recent polling it’s clear not only are the public noticing that solidarity are pulling a lot of the weight but it is also clear the public are turning away from the government because of this. In the beginning my first action will be reaching out to labour members of cabinet and working with them to accomplish the goals set out in the programme for government in regards to their portfolio. Mainly it’s just a matter of getting the labour frontbench motivated.

Labour despite being in government for two terms has continued to fall in the polls, where do you see the future of Labour and what plans do you have to turn the party around?

I see the future of labour truthfully as a third party in British politics. I personally think it’s unrealistic to aspire to be first place again at least for the foreseeable future however I do believe that if elected I will be able to turn around are free fall. 

I believe first of all that it’s important to not pile work on people. Less is more and if an mp or frontbench member has too much to do they simply won’t do it and get burnt out. We need to start spreading the workload away from a few key people at the top and get lower members involved. 

This is tied in with my plan to both make labour a more transparent party and also to make labour more decentralised as atm most of the power is vested in leadership rather than other key party officers such as the chief whip or the press officer. I also hope to revive our press game by assisting in bringing back labour weekly.

Soldarity has had a great rise in popularity and now you are junior partners to them. Seeing their success should Labour turn more to the left ?

You already said that you see labour as a third party,  so where is the future of the solidarity Labour relationship going, is Labour resigned to be a junior party in governments now?

As someone solidly on the left of the party I do think turning towards the left would be something I believe would be beneficial however it is important that we don’t go to far. I believe strongly in the values of compromise and working together for the greater good as can be seen by my coalition with the tories in Scotland during my time in the Scottish progressives. With solidarity on the left and pwp towards the centre it is important for labour to occupy that middle ground between the two.

I wouldn’t say we are resigned to being a junior party. However it is quite clear that at the moment solidarity is immensely more popular with the British public and I believe it’s fairly rational to assume we will be the junior partner in any government with solidarity for at least another term.

That’s not to say we expect to remain so forever and a lot can change in a few terms as we saw with the rapid rise of solidarity in the first place. 

Labour was also a third party last term and still led a government so it’s entirely possible that is on the table also.

Labour has been blamed for having a string of poor leaders who have left abruptly and have largely failed to revitalize the party, how would you be a more effective leader ?

Having served under lily as a junior coalition partner and under youma as a labour frontbench member I can say both were excellent leaders who deeply cared about their party however I recognise the argument could be made they didn’t go far enough. As to how I would be more effective well as said before I believe transparency, reviving our press, good communication and ensuring not to overload people with work will go a long way in revitalising the party for the better. This has worked for me before both in Scottish progressives where we saw rapid growth in the polls and members who genuinely enjoyed working for the party and welsh labour where we have curbed the drop in polls and also have an ms and frontbench team who enjoy being in the party and don’t feel overwhelmed with work.

Any final message or anything else you want to say?

Yes. This labour leadership election is one that could make or break the party and it is absolutely vital that membership elects the person they think will be able to lead the party out of this dark time. Obviously in my opinion that person is me but ultimately it is up to members to decide who they think will be able to do that. It has been a pleasure speaking with you.

Rohanite

Rohan is a new face to Labour but has had a rapid descent up the party ranks, currently serving as the leader of Scottish Labour and the party’s press officer.

First, please introduce yourself and tell us why you want to be Labour leader?

Hi, I am Rohanite272 but just call me Rohan, I am currently the leader of Scottish Labour and the Press Officer for the Labour Party. I am running for the position of Leader of the Labour Party because I have a positive new vision for the Labour Party and will try my hardest to return it to its old levels of success and I represent a new generation of Labour members.

What makes you the most qualified to be a leader? Aside from you the other candidates seem to be more senior and experienced so why are you the best choice?

Whilst I may not have been around for the same amount of time as other candidates I believe I have proven myself as qualified, I have written a large number of bills for Scottish Labour and have been doing a lot of debating for Scottish Labour in the Holyrood. And yes, whilst Scottish Labour has been falling for the past few months, the damage hasn’t been nearly as bad as it could’ve been, I believe that the decline could be much worse and that I have managed to control it. Now on Labour’s press, it is true that our press hasn’t been as active as it could be but part of that is that the rest of the party has been quite busy over the last few weeks, as have I, which means that we haven’t been able to produce as much press as I would’ve liked.

Now in government with solidarity the government has had a number of controversies: mishandling the nationalization, leaks such as the Osaka accords. What is your response to these events especially the leaks, and if you become leader how will you improve the party and governments functioning ?

On nationalisation, that was a mistake by the government that I would make sure wouldn’t happen again. With the Osaka Accords, that was something carried over from the previous government which we are only just starting to look at and try to fix. Leaks are also obviously hard to control and are a risk to national security so there really isn’t much I can realistically do to stop that, however I will try to do my best to control them. On party functioning, there are various things I will do to help with that, like redoing the parties discord to enhance communication and various other things.

So with the Osaka Accords, when you say you trying to fix it, why do you think it was it leaked before it was fixed, is this a sign of unhappiness with the accords and govt ?

No, it’s not a sign of unhappiness throughout this govt, it could suggest that one person might be unhappy but that is there problem, and if they want to risk national security for that then that’s there prerogative but they are not free from the consequences of leaking and risking national security.

So it was leaked from the government but it was just one person Not a reflection of the whole cabinet or government.

That’s my understanding yes

If you were to be leader how would u steer labour in govt and the direction of the govt as whole?

I would try to keep Labour as the left wing Social Democratic Party it is now whilst having a re-examination of some of our more specific policies, I would also try to change the parties internal view of itself from thinking that we are one of the two major parties, which we aren’t anymore but people in the party still talk about the party like that, to we are a large party that needs to focus on growth.

Labour despite being in government for two terms has continued to fall in the polls, where do you see the future of Labour and what plans do you have to turn the party around?

The Future of the Labour Party, isn’t necessarily going to be us becoming one of the two largest parties again, but one where we are kingmakers and influence policy, I will work to do this by encouraging new and old members to become active in Labour and stay active through a new updated beginners guide and by making it easier to talk to those of us higher up in the chain

Soldarity has had a great rise in popularity and now you are junior partners to them. Seeing their success should Labour turn more to the left ?

You already said that you see labour as a third party,  so where is the future of the solidarity Labour relationship going, is Labour resigned to be a junior party in governments now?

Yes and No, we fit within the niche of the centrist lib dems and the left wing Solidarity, we need to appeal to both left wing lib dems and more right wing Solidarity members

Any final message or anything else you want to say?

I may not be the most senior candidate, but I believe that I have shown that I can do the job well and can put Labour into a strong and sustainable king-making position, and I will fight hard for a responsible progressive vision for the future of the country.

Maro

Last is Maro, Leader of the House of Lords.

First, please introduce yourself and tell us why you want to be Labour leader?

I am Maroiogog, current leader of the House of Lords, and long time Labour member. Things I may be known for include being a former Deputy Leader of Labour, Turning Point Surrey and having been Northern Ireland Secretary during Sunrise.

What makes you the most qualified to be a leader? Aside from you the other candidates seem to be more senior and experienced so why are you the best choice?

Firstly, I have plenty of experience being in Leadership from the few months I was in Leadership during Sunrise, which was undoubtedly one of the more traumatic times for our party and difficult to manage. I had a crucial role in managing the after effects of that going in GE13. I have proven in the past that I can lead the Party successfully.

Most importantly though, I have not been involved with the running of the Labour party for slightly more than a year now. In that time I have had the time to observe, talk to people, explore things and gain valuable experience from sides of politics that I had not explored or understood in the past. I think it is now appropriate for me to put this experience I have gained to good use.

Now in government with solidarity the government has had a number of controversies: mishandling the nationalization, leaks such as the Osaka accords. What is your response to these events especially the leaks, and if you become leader how will you improve the party and governments functioning ?

Yes there have been. In general I will try to be present and aware of the bigger picture of ongoing discussions in the cabinet and the departments. Communications could be made better between people and between departments and I would try and see how my colleagues feel about changing some of the arrangements in our communications systems so that more people can see more things and be more involved.

I think some of the bumps there have been on the road so far would’ve been hard to avoid, of course I very strongly think leakers should be nowhere near the cabinet but catching them is a lot easier said than done. Making sure everyone is happy with what is going on seems to be the only real preventative measure.

As for internal to our party I want to streamline processes and remove unnecessary barriers to participation that we have put in place. Anyone should be able to have their say and contribute to our press output, to our policy and to our legislation output. I want our party culture to be more tightly knit and one where people are encouraged to focus on what they really like within politics, which could be legislation, local campaigning or one of the devolved assemblies. It is a lot easier to do things when you actually enjoy doing them.

Is the leaking a sign of unhappiness in Labour over being in a govt with solidarity ?

No, especially cause we don’t know where it’s from and we think there are different leakers.

So you think there’s multiple leakers in cabinet?

I suspect so.

Labour despite being in government for two terms has continued to fall in the polls, where do you see the future of Labour and what plans do you have to turn the party around?

I think most of it is down to our inability to translate our energies into concrete action. For example, last term we only managed to pass one bill. I think that is a tremendous failure for our party. My main goal as leader would be to see Labour become a party that gets stuff done again, a Party that has a tangible impact on the legislation, on the press and in the chambers of parliament.

Personally, I would much rather be remembered as the party leader that managed to pass important left wing reforms that our country so desperately needs rather than a leader that managed to gain a few points in the polls. I strongly believe that if the country sees in us an energetic force that gets things done they will be interested in voting for us.

In terms of how I would do it my plans are relatively simple, I plan to overhaul our bloated internal communication systems and simplify our party structure somewhat. We have lost members, we are a smaller party and we need to adapt to that whether we want to or not. This means everyone needs to have a say in things like our press, policy and legislation output and get involved with it. Parties with small memberships succeed when they are efficient and hard working, that is the ideal party Labour should be right now.

Soldarity has had a great rise in popularity and now you are junior partners to them. Seeing their success should Labour turn more to the left ?

You already said that you see labour as a third party,  so where is the future of the solidarity Labour relationship going, is Labour resigned to be a junior party in governments now?

I think Labour should turn more to the left yes, but this belief of mine is not caused by what Solidarity is doing, I simply stand to the left of where our party has stood in recent times. 

I hope the Solidarity-Labour relationship keeps going forward as strong as it has been so far. I believe Solidarity is our natural partner and our alliance has been a very fruitful one so far. There have been some hiccups along the way but I can honestly say working with them has been pleasant and I would be fully committed to continue this Government.

I do not know if we are resigned to be a junior party in perpetuity. Of course I hope not, and I will do all I can to ensure we are not stuck in this predicament, but the answer to that question is only determined by Labour’s leader to a certain extent.

What I can say for sure though is that I do not have any hard feelings nor any desire for a “revenge” of sorts on Solidarity. I wouldn’t have in mind the particular goal of becoming the highest polling left wing party again. At this moment in time we are blessed with very strong and favourable allies and I would like it to continue this way. 

Labour has been blamed for having a string of poor leaders who have left abruptly and have largely failed to revitalize the party, how would you be a more effective leader ?

I am not here to point fingers. I know for a fact every leader we have had recently has put a lot of honest work into this party and my sincere thanks go to them. The personal reasons why they left were also out of their control, so nobody should hold it against any of them.

I agree our party needs to be re-energized. I believe the first thing a leader should do at the moment is lead from the front, which is why I have taken the initiative, helped negotiate large sections of the coalition agreement, took up a cabinet spot and have written a couple of bills thus far this term. That will very much be my style of Leadership: active, present and visible in parliament, in cabinet and in the press. If we want an energetic party the leader must be the first person to be energetic.

Having experience having already administered the party in the past I am confident I can hit the ground running and start doing so quickly.

Ohprkl

Ohprkl the current Party Chairman and apparent frontrunner in the race did not respond to a request for an interview. 

Written by Tres Commas special reporter.