Spending

Ron Paul Responds to Obama’s Inaugural Address

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In this video, Dr. Paul cuts to the chase by pointing out that Obama is really making an argument for more and bigger government, while attempting to camouflage it behind fanciful (perhaps one could say “Orwellian”) rhetoric.

The GOP Shakeup Begins

Politico is reporting that the third ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, Adam Putman, has decided to resign his position. Putnam, 34, elected in 2000, has been viewed as a rising party star able to provide a young fresh face to party leadership. His most recent national point of importance occurred when he stood aside Bush surrogates and other Republican Party leaders attempting to sell the $850 billion TARP Bailout package to skeptical House Republicans.

So wondering how does this effect things? Won’t this neocon just be replaced by yet another neoconservative with little to no true conservative principles? Well the following is an interesting development-

The Odd Lies of David Price, Part III

For this entry, we will go outside his aforementioned email. Don’t worry; we’ll be returning to it very soon.After taking another look at the debate between Congressman Price and Dr. Lawson, his “Keeping in Touch” newsletter that he sent to the 4th District voters (at taxpayer expense), and his Vote Smart page, there’s a particular claim that Congressman Price likes to make (or at least imply) that his recent record shows to be a bowl of mush.

This claim is that he is some sort of a principled fiscal conservative who works tirelessly for balanced budgets.

Tax What We Burn, Not What We Earn

I am generally against most all government activities in the marketplace, especially those that involve social micromanagement; however, there is one idea that started on the left and has been making its way through the libertarian sphere that has some good potential. I am talking about a revenue neutral carbon tax, one which reduces or completely replaces other taxes such as payroll, income, capital gains/dividends, etc.

Greenspan, The Fallen God

For years liberals, conservatives, independents, DC, Main Street and Wall Street seemingly defied all normality and not only embraced, but nearly worshiped the same individual, Alan Greenspan. After rising in 1987 to the position of Chairman of the Federal Reserve, the most powerful financial position in the world, he presided over the most sustained period of economic growth in the history of America. He rode the wave of private sector technological achievements that created abnormally high productivity growth. To many it was his greatness that brought about the increase in income, increase in homeownership, increase in credit, increase in all things material — while still maintaining price stability.

How Well Does Your Governor Score? 2008 Cato Fiscal Report Cards

While during these times of financial instability most of our attention turns to Wall Street and Washington, the fiscal policies that our individual governors persue can greatly lessen or worsen the situation within our given states. The Cato Institute recently released their 2008 Fiscal Report Card for American Governors. The criteria is fairly straight forward. Tax and/or spending increases lower the governors’ scores, while tax and/or spending cuts will raise them.

America’s “infrastructure crisis” is an argument for decentralization rather than a bigger federal government

Michael Strain of the American Enterprise Institute looks at the topic of infrastructure spending and I’m left with mixed feelings.

Some of what he writes is very good.

Yes, the claims of an “infrastructure crisis” by President Obama, many liberals…are exaggerated. …yes, existing laws and regulations turn infrastructure projects into boondoggles that take an order of magnitude longer to complete than necessary and cost more than they should.

Amen, particularly with regard to the absurd notion that America is suffering some sort of crisis. The International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland, publisher of the World Competitiveness Yearbookputs the United States in first place when ranking nations on the quality of infrastructure.

Moreover, the just-released Global Competitiveness Report from the World Economic Forum puts the United States in 12th place for infrastructure, which also is a rather high score (if you want to know where the United States does lag, we’re in 73rd place for wastefulness of government spending, 82nd place for burden of government regulation, and 102nd place for the total tax rate on profits).

Vulnerable Senate Democrat who once complained about Washington’s addiction to spending has failed to live up to her rhetoric

Kay Hagan made out of control federal spending and the surge in the national debt an issue during her successful 2008 campaign for U.S. Senate against then-Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC).

“You only need to look at what kind of state senator I’ve been for the last ten years to see what kind of U.S. senator I’ll be,” said Hagan in a 2008 campaign speech, a clip of which was made available on the NRSC Rapid Response YouTube channel. “While Washington spends itself into a hole and mortgages the future for our children and our grandchildren, I’ve produced five balanced budgets,” she adds before the clip cuts away.

The criticism was valid. Dole had largely toed the party line on spending, approving much of then-President George W. Bush’s domestic and foreign policy agenda in her first and only term in the upper chamber.

River of red ink continues: CBO says the budget deficit will top $500 billion this year

Although Washington isn’t running $1+ trillion budget deficits — like taxpayers saw from fiscal years 2009 to 2012 — the river of red ink is still flowing rapidly. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a new report this morning in which it revised upward the budget deficit for the current fiscal year (emphasis added):

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Wednesday raised its projection for this year’s federal deficit to $506 billion.

The budget office’s last report in April had projected the deficit for fiscal 2014 would top out at $492 billion on Sept. 30.

But the CBO said it is increasing the deficit figure now, in part, because receipts from corporate income taxes are turning out to be $37 billion less than expected.

This year’s deficit projection represents a major drop from the other years of the Obama presidency. Last year’s deficit was $680 billion, compared to the $1.1 trillion deficit the government racked up during Obama’s first year in the White House in 2009.

The CBO says the budget deficit will fall to $469 billion in FY 2015 before it slowly begins to tick back upward again. As you can see in the chart below, the budget deficit will approach $1 trillion by the end of the 10-year budget window:

Audit the Pentagon: The Defense Department is wasting your money, and it’s time for Congress to put a stop to it

In the film Independence Day, President Thomas Whitmore, played by Bill Pullman, is absolutely stunned to learn that the Defense Department had constructed a massive complex, known as Area 51, to hide the existence of aliens.

“I don’t understand, where does all this come from?” he asks. “How do you get funding for something like this?” Julius Levinson (Judd Hirsch) sarcastically replies, ”You don’t actually think they spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat, do you?”

While there isn’t an alien threat (or is there?), the Defense Department has become rife with waste. Businessweek takes note of a recent Government Accountability Office that documents the spending problems at the Pentagon:

Across the military, the average major Pentagon acquisition comes in at 40 percent over budget, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office. In spite of the Pentagon’s well-documented history of profligacy, the Congress continues to enlarge its responsibilities. The DOD’s mandate now includes wide-ranging scientific and medical research and international infrastructure projects, diffusing the focus on its core mission—like buying planes that don’t set themselves afire on the runway. That’s a disservice to America’s military and a burden to the country’s taxpayers.


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