Morning Examiner: The Republican surpluses

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal government posted a $293 billion deficit in the first fiscal quarter of 2013, setting the Obama administration up for a record fifth-year of trillion dollar deficits. But while the fiscal condition of the Democratically controlled federal government is still atrocious, Republican controlled states are now swimming in surpluses.

Thanks to a Republican governor committed to developing its natural resources, not punishing entrepreneurs who do, Texas legislators are facing an $8.8 billion surplus over the next two years. To the east, Republican governors Bill Haslam of Tennessee and Rick Scott of Florida have also turned recession deficits into budget surpluses. Moving north, Michigan’s Gov. Rick Snyder, Iowa’s Gov. Terry Brandstad, and Indiana’s out-going-Gov. Mitch Daniels, also can now all boast surpluses in the hundreds of millions of dollars. All of these governors managed to turn their state’s fiscal situation around through spending cuts, not tax hikes. Now their budgets are in the black and their economies are growing.

Things do not look as good in Democrat-controlled states. Illinois, who massively raised taxes on the rich, still has a $5.9 billion stack of unpaid bills. California, who also raised taxes on the rich, was supposed to post a small surplus this year. But tax collections are coming in at 10.8 percent below budget projections. As a result, the state is now projected to be $1.9 billion in the red by the end of this fiscal year.

It does not appear that that Congress and the White House will come to any consensus on how best to solve our fiscal crisis at the federal level. Conservatives and liberals simply have diametrically opposed views on how our fiscal crisis can best be resolved while preserving economic growth. But at the state level, conservative and liberal models of governance are being fully implemented. And it is becoming increasingly clear which of those visions is producing the best results.

From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: In Georgia, Obama is winning the war on coal
Phil Klein: Higher health care premiums could cause Obamacare to death spiral
Tim Carney: Ethanol mandates and starving kids in Guatemala
Byron York: Why can’t Republicans enforce law against Harry Reid?
Susan Ferrechio: Support grows among Dems for $1 trillion coin option
Sean Higgins: Meet the Left’s Grover Norquist

In Other News

The Wall Street Journal, Americans Get Moving Amid Torpid Recovery: Americans began striking out for greener pastures at a pace not seen since before the recession crippled job prospects, hobbled home sales and kept many stuck in place.
The New York Times, 2012 Was Hottest Ever in US: The numbers are in: 2012, the year of a surreal March heat wave, a severe drought in the Corn Belt and a huge storm that caused broad devastation in the Middle Atlantic States, turns out to have been the hottest year ever recorded in the contiguous United States.
The Washington Post, A push for only 2,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan: Groups within the Obama administration are pushing to keep no more than a few thousand troops in Afghanistan after 2014, U.S. officials said, raising the prospect that the United States will be unable to keep its promise to fully train and equip Afghan security forces.
The New York Times, Obama’s Remade Inner Circle Has an All-Male Look, So Far: About 43 percent of Mr. Obama’s appointees have been women, about the same proportion as in the Clinton administration, but up from the roughly one-third appointed by George W. Bush.
Roll Call, Obama’s Budget Is Running Late: The Obama administration’s fiscal 2014 budget is widely expected to arrive late on Capitol Hill, possibly not until sometime in March, primarily as a result of uncertainty created by fiscal cliff negotiations.

Righty Playbook
Gordon Gray on The Fallacy of the “Clean” Debt Limit Increase
Keith Hennessey presents a modest debt limit strategy
James Capretta on The Project to Replace Obamacare

Lefty Playbook
Joe Wiesenthal on Why The Fight Over The $1 Trillion Coin Is The Most Important Fiscal Policy Debate You’ll Ever See In Your Life
Kevin Drum on Platinum Coins and the Fever Swamp
Rachel Maddow
slams Chuck Hagel for his “Akin-esque” views on rape

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