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Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute square off over amnesty

In 2007, The Heritage Foundation released a report on amnesty that helped kill a bill most politicians thought would pass. The biggest weapon in the amnesty analysis was the estimated net cost to the taxpayers of $2.6 trillion. Earlier this week, the think tank released a new report, which showed that amnesty today will cost $6.3 trillion. One of the big reasons for this is a loophole regarding who can receive benefits in the immigration bill going through the Senate as well as the massive growth in entitlements since 2007. The Heritage report is nearly 100 pages long and has received a great deal of criticism. I chatted with Jason Richwine, a ...

News Briefing for Friday, April 17

HEALTHCARE: 27.49% of Everyone's Tax Bill Is Spent on Health Care Share of Each Taxpayer Dollar Spent on Health Care Up 22 Percent Since 2012. “Every year since 2011, the White House has used tax time to post a "Federal Taxpayer Receipt" showing taxpayers how their federal tax dollars are being spent. President Obama introduced the concept in his 2011 State of the Union address, and Wednesday the White House posted the fifth installment so taxpayers can see how "tax dollars are being spent on priorities like education, veterans benefits, and health care."  While users can punch in their own tax liability and see dollar amounts assigned to each ...

News Briefing for Thursday, April 16

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Marco Rubio and the Three-Strikes Theory of Politics “…In the past year or so, Rubio has been trying to regain the trust of his party’s hard-liners, saying that nobody has an automatic right to immigrate to the United States and stressing that improving border security should be the first priority. He’s had some success in this enterprise. “I think that Sen. Rubio has done something that most politicians don’t do,” Jenny Beth Martin, the president and co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots group, told Politico. “He evaluated what went wrong … [and] is working to make sure he doesn’t make the same mistakes ...

News Briefing for Friday, April 10

HEALTHCARE: Obamacare spending leads to a higher budget deficit so far in 2015 “The Congressional Budget Office reported Wednesday that the federal government saw a higher budget deficit in the first half of fiscal year 2015 compared to 2014, and said higher spending due to Obamacare is part of the reason. CBO said the budget deficit was $430 billion in the first half of fiscal year 2015, a $17 billion increase. While there were several contributing factors to that increase, CBO said spending on Obamacare was a significant change from 2014 to 2015. First, CBO said Medicaid spending rose by $31 billion from October 1 through March 31 compared ...

News Briefing for Tuesday, April 7

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: The GOP quandary: How far right without falling over the edge? “Tea party loyalists are still somewhat wary of Walker, though, because of past positions on immigration and government support for ethanol, a big issue in Iowa, site of the nation’s first caucus. In 2006, he said during his gubernatorial campaign that “we as conservatives should oppose” federal ethanol requirements. But at the Iowa Ag Summit this month, he said he was “willing to go forward” with federal standards. Tea Party Patriots president Jenny Beth Martin asked Walker why he switched his position. Walker said his position was consistent, ...

News Briefing for Thursday, April 2

HEALTHCARE: Obamacare’s Misery Index: How Covered California Imposed ‘Widespread Consumer Misery’ “President Obama doubtless plans for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, to be the keystone of his legacy. That calls for an examination of Obamacare’s largest wholly-owned subsidiary. Covered California turns out to be something of a misnomer, but it’s definitely a success at spending money. Covered California has shelled out $454 million, nearly half a billion dollars, on a computer system. Covered California bosses also spent tens of millions on grants to promote the program, in addition to an $80 million television, ...

News Briefing for Tuesday, March 31

HEALTHCARE: House Tea Party leader signs up for ObamaCare “One of ObamaCare’s staunchest foes in Congress acknowledged for the first time that he has purchased insurance at HealthCare.gov. “For the record, I am on ObamaCare. Yee-hah!” Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) said during a town-hall meeting on Thursday. “My wife complains about it all the time,” he said, according to the Clay Center Dispatch. The disclosure from the chairman of the House GOP’s Tea Party Caucus comes just days after another firebrand conservative, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), admitted that he was planning to enroll in insurance through ObamaCare…” http...

News Briefing for Friday, March 27

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: The GOP quandary: How far right without falling over the edge? “…Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is at or near the top of most early polls among Republicans, likes to boast how he stuck to conservative principles to win statewide office three times in a centrist state. “To win the center, you don’t have to go to the center, you have to lead,” he said last week during a Tea Party Patriots telephone town hall. Tea party loyalists are still somewhat wary of Walker, though, because of past positions on immigration and government support for ethanol, a big issue in Iowa, site of the nation’s first caucus. In 2006, he ...

News Briefing for March 21

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Early line: 3-man race for 2016 GOP nomination “Much of who’s ahead and who’s not at this stage “is based on who’s known and who’s not known,” said Fergus Cullen, another former New Hampshire Republican chairman. Cullen hosted a reception at his home for Bush last week. What’s lacking in the top tier is a hardcore conservative or tea party favorite. Tea party loyalists are sympathetic to Walker, for example, but still have some doubts. At a Tea Party Patriots telephone town hall meeting this week, some questioned whether he has shifted his position on government help for ethanol over the years. Mike Huckabee, ...

News Briefing for Thursday, March 19

HEALTHCARE: GOP aims to sink Obamacare with reconciliation But first they have to strike a difficult deal on an overall budget “Senate Republicans want to use a powerful budget maneuver known as reconciliation to go after President Barack Obama’s health care law — particularly if the Supreme Court strikes down key provisions of Obamacare this June. Using the fast-tracking procedure offers some advantage for Republicans, largely because a reconciliation package can’t be filibustered. But it’s not going to be easy. First, House and Senate Republicans need to agree on a budget resolution, which could be difficult with fiscal conserva...