Last week, 2013’s fourth quarter growth was sharply downgraded from the first estimate of 3.2 percent to a more disappointing 2.4 percent. Real GDP in 2013 is now estimated to be just 1.9 percent. This year is off to a rocky start with indicators pointing to 2014 first quarter growth worse than last quarter. President Obama’s economic stewardship has gotten worse, and his growth record shows that the government cannot regulate, tax, and spend its way to prosperity.
Last summer, a reporter questioned whether President Obama had the legal authority to unilaterally delay the health care law’s employer mandate. President Obama responded: “[I]f Congress thinks that what I’ve done is inappropriate or wrong in some fashion, they’re free to make that case … But ultimately, I’m not concerned about their opinion – very few of them, by the way, are lawyers, much less constitutional lawyers.”
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (BBA) was introduced on December 10. Sponsored by Representative Paul Ryan, the Act is the result of his negotiations with Senator Patty Murray. The BBA is not a product of the budget resolution conference committee, and the BBA is not a budget resolution.
In late November 2013, the Internal Revenue Service, under the direction of an interim commissioner,proposed new rules unrelated to tax policy. The rules were designed to re-categorize how tax-exempt 501(c)(4) groups – organizations designated as promoting social welfare – may participate in the political process.