Economy

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Democrat Congressman Calls For Sending ‘Tanks’ To Ukraine As U.S. Hits Debt Ceiling

On Thursday, Democrat Rep. Gregory Meeks (NY) said that the United States should be further supplying Ukraine with military aid by sending “tanks” in addition to the tens of billions of dollars the United States has already supplied the country with to fight back against the Russian invasion. 

“I think we’ve got to make sure now that we’re looking at U.S. tanks. And America has to continue to do and to lead as we have,” Meeks began. “I’ve been amazed being here in Davos talking to our allies, whether they be from NATO, the EU, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, how united the ‘Democratic world’ is, and how focused they are on making sure that we stand by Ukraine and give them what they need so that Putin knows that — that we will be there, and try to have this war won sooner rather than later”.

“I think that sooner is better than later, for sure. I’m hopeful that in the dialogue and conversation that will take place tomorrow and the next day, that we’ll get to just that point,” he added. “But I do believe that we’re at that point. We see that Putin is escalating. To see the destruction to the infrastructure of Ukraine, the continuing damage and the criminality of his actions, the death of Ukrainian people who are fighting for their own sovereignty. And so, the United States has led and everybody is appreciative of what we have done. This $2.5 billion of additional money shows the United States’ continued commitment and, yes, as I think as Putin escalates, we need to step up and make sure that we do the same thing.”

Meeks comments for additional funds to be sent to another country comes as the United States government has hit its $31.4 trillion borrowing limit as a result of excess spending.

Oil Boom Shifts

Texas Governor Responds To Biden Admin Halting Plans To Impose New Regulations On Permian Basin

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) has responded to the news that Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration removed a plan by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to to impose a discretionary redesignation of Texas’ Permian Basin, which accounts for nearly half of all U.S. oil production, in its most recent semiannual regulatory agenda. 

If implemented, the EPA’s plan could be detrimental to the oil production in the Permian Basin, which would drive up already high gas and oil prices.

“The Permian Basin is the crown jewel of Texas’ mighty oil and gas industry, and the State of Texas will do whatever it takes to protect its production and the hundreds of thousands of good-paying energy jobs in our state,” Abbott said. 

“While it is encouraging news that the Biden Administration has backed down on this disastrous plan, Texas remains ready to fight any job-killing attacks on our critical oil and gas industry,” he added. “Texas is—and always will be—a pro-energy state, and we will keep a watchful eye for any potential changes or attacks by President Biden that could jeopardize affordable energy prices and the livelihoods of hardworking Texans.”

As explained in a press release from Abbott’s office, “Permian Basin producers in Texas and New Mexico are responsible for 5.2 million barrels of oil per day, which can be processed into about 95 million gallons of gasoline a day. In a letter sent to President Joe Biden about the proposed plan last July, Governor Abbott pointed out that not only would the EPA’s redesignation process lead to higher gas prices for Americans by disrupting roughly a quarter of the U.S. oil supply, but it would put hundreds of thousands of good-paying energy jobs at risk.”

“The Texas oil and gas industry directly employs more than 422,000 Texans and supports 1.37 million Texas jobs,” the press release added. “The Governor also noted that if the EPA’s proposed redesignation was not suspended, the State of Texas would take action necessary to protect the production of oil. Governor Abbott kept up the pressure on the Biden Administration’s ongoing attack on the Permian Basin, sending another letter last August outlining the flawed logic and data employed to proceed with their stated goal of ending fossil fuels.”

Welfare Programs In Many States Pay More Than Most Jobs

Government assistance programs can pay more annually than most people’s salaries, according to a new report.

The Committee to Unleash Prosperity, a nonprofit organization founded by economists, analyzed how unemployment benefits and Affordable Care Act (ACA), or ObamaCare, subsidies compare to employed people’s salaries. They found that in many states, most people would actually receive more on welfare programs than from their jobs.

According to their report, with “existing unemployment benefits and the dramatic recent expansion of ObamaCare subsidies, a spouse would have to earn more than $80,000 a year from a 40 hour a week job to have the same after-tax income as certain families with two unemployed spouses receiving government benefits. In these states, working 40 hours a week and earning $20 an hour would mean a slight REDUCTION in income compared to two parents receiving unemployment benefits and health care subsidies.”

“In 24 states, unemployment benefits and [Affordable Care Act (ACA)] subsidies for a family of four with both parents not working are the annualized equivalent of at least the national median household income,” the report found. “In 5 states, those two programs provide the same family with both parents not working the annualized equivalent of at least the national median household income and benefits.”

“In 14 states, unemployment benefits and ACA subsidies are the equivalent to a head of household earning $80,000 in salary, plus health insurance benefits,” the report said, noting that the figure is a higher wage than the median salary of secondary school teachers, electricians, truckers, machinists, and many other jobs. 

In fact, in most states, “unemployment benefits and ACA subsidies exceed the value of the salary and benefits of the average firefighter, truck driver, machinist, or retail associate in those states.”

“In a dozen states, unemployment benefits and ACA subsidies exceed the value of the salary and benefits of the average teacher, construction worker, or electrician in those states,” the report added. “A family of four with income over $227,000 qualifies for ACA subsidies in all states and families earning over $300,000 a year still qualify for ACA subsidies in 40 states and DC.”

Mitch McConnell
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Senate Passes Massive Spending Package With Support From 18 Republicans

On Thursday, the Senate passed $1.7 trillion spending bill for fiscal year 2023 in a 68-29 vote. 18 Republicans joined the Democrats to force the controversial bill through.

The bill will now be rushed to President Biden’s desk for his signature before Friday, the last day of current funding for the federal government.

The Republican senators who voted to pass the bill include Roy Blunt of Missouri, John Boozman of Arkansas, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine, John Cornyn of Texas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Richard Shelby of Alabama, John Thune of South Dakota, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, and Todd Young of Indiana.

The news comes after a group of 13 House Republicans sent a letter to Senate Republicans urging them to oppose the massive spending bill.

“Senate Republicans have the 41 votes necessary to stop this and should do so now and show the Americans who elected you that they weren’t wrong in doing so,” the letter said.

The letter referred to the bill as “an indefensible assault on the American people.”

“It is an assault on the separation of powers,” the letter continued. “It is an assault on fiscal responsibility. It is an assault on basic civic decency. And a vote for any omnibus in the remaining days of a Democrat led government is a vote in favor of that assault.  As such, we urge you to oppose this bill completely and to refrain from entertaining any spending bill that extends beyond the first few months of the 118th Congress.”

The group warned near the end of the letter, “we are obliged to inform you that if any omnibus passes in the remaining days of this Congress, we will oppose and whip opposition to any legislative priority of those senators who vote for this bill – including the Republican leader. We will oppose any rule, any consent request, suspension voice vote, or roll call vote of any such Senate bill, and will otherwise do everything in our power to thwart even the smallest legislative and policy efforts of those senators.”

Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images

AOC Fact-Checked For Tweet Attacking Republicans On Minimum Wage

On Tuesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was fact-checked by Twitter after she attacked the Republican Party for voting against raising the minimum wage, which the Democratic party also voted against.

Ocasio-Cortez’s comment came in response to a tweet from the Republican Party that said, “60% of workers report living paycheck-to-paycheck.”

Ocasio-Cortez responded by claiming, “And yet y’all still voted against raising the minimum wage.”

Attached to Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet was a fact check from Twitter’s Community Notes which noted that the federal minimum wage has not increased in more than a decade and an increase was most recently rejected by a Democrat-controlled Congress last year.

“The minimum wage has not changed since 2009,” the fact check said. “In 2021, Congress voted on a bill to raise the minimum wage.”

The fact check noted that the measure passed the House but failed in the Senate as 7 Democrats and all Republicans voted against it.

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