“Real” Federal Deficit Four Times Official Number

For some time, the Institute for Truth in Accounting has been beating the drum of "accounting truth" in government finances. Recently USA Today picked up on their claim that true federal deficits and debt are several times larger than the official numbers. They ran the numbers and found that "the government ran red ink last … Continue reading “Real” Federal Deficit Four Times Official Number

Do We Need a Commerce Department?

President Obama has just announced his nominee to be the next Secretary of the Commerce Department. In the WSJ's words: "President Barack Obama will nominate John Bryson, a senior adviser to the private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., to be his next commerce secretary." The Journal continues: Mr. Bryson, one of 20 senior advisers … Continue reading Do We Need a Commerce Department?

Balanced Budgets and the States

I had a recent post on the unfunded liabilities burden in the states. Related to that post--and the $3 trillion in unfunded liabilities--Steven Greenhouse has an interesting piece in today’s New York Times that explores what might be an emerging trend: “Faced with growing budget deficits and restive taxpayers, elected officials from Maine to Alabama, … Continue reading Balanced Budgets and the States

The Fiscal Responsibility Debate Ctd.

Former OMB Director Peter Orszag has written a well-reasoned piece on the co-chair's proposal on Social Security (see today's NYT). Money Quote: If Congress were to take all four of these recommended steps, it could not only eliminate the long-term deficit in Social Security but also make the system much more progressive. Even compared with … Continue reading The Fiscal Responsibility Debate Ctd.

Friday Surprise: Krugman hates the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

Professor Krugman has an opinion piece in the NYT today chastising the “Hijacked Commission.” No one who has read Dr. Krugman’s columns before will be at all surprised with his take on the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. It may be “bipartisan,” he notes, but this simply means that the commission will be … Continue reading Friday Surprise: Krugman hates the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

The Politics of Fiscal Irresponsibility

Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles foreshadowed some of the ideas currently being circulated within President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with their co-chairs’ proposal (download here). The work of the Commission is critical. The deficit is heading toward the 10.6 percent of GDP (the highest in the postwar period) and the debt … Continue reading The Politics of Fiscal Irresponsibility

A Winning Agenda

Like many other people, I was underwhelmed by the recently released Republican "Pledge to America." Longwinded, wishy-washy, and mostly tinkering on the edges. I am not a member of the Republican Party (or any other party), and I am indeed one of those who fails to much difference of substance between the two major parties---at … Continue reading A Winning Agenda

The Only Issues

I mentioned in a previous post that we as a nation face two problems that are far and away the most pressing and menacing, and that almost every other problem---even all the rest combined---barely amount to a hill of beans in comparison. Those problems are: (1) our public debt, at the federal, state, and local … Continue reading The Only Issues

“In the Long Run, We’re All Dead.”

Democrats heaped praise on the Congressional Budget Office during the health care debates (remember SpeakerPelosi’s  breathless excitement over the “scoring” from the “bipartisan” Congressional Budget Office?).  The CBO’s newest “Long-term Budget Projections” have not engendered the same level of attention…but it should. The report was released about a month ago and my guess is that … Continue reading “In the Long Run, We’re All Dead.”

The Mysterious Mystery of the Tea Party

This past weekend the New York Times published an opinion essay entitled "The Very Angry Tea Party." Its author makes two main claims: (1) Tea Party activists are very, very, VERY angry; and (2) they are subscribers to a "metaphysical fantasy," believe in "the most egregious of fear-mongering falsehoods," have a "passionate attachment to wildly … Continue reading The Mysterious Mystery of the Tea Party

Here’s the Fuss

About a month ago, Jonathan Capehart asked, "Hey, Tea Party, why all the fuss?" He cites some evidence---rather thin evidence, but evidence all the same---that many self-identified Tea Partiers are at the moment in decent financial shape. So what are they upset about? That is a bit of a disingenuous question, since much of the … Continue reading Here’s the Fuss

State Aggression and Defensive Action

A candidate for the Republican nomination for California's 11th Congressional District, Brad Goehring, is taking some heat for having posted in his Facebook status---yes, we've come to that---that if he could, he would issue hunting permits and declare "today opening day for liberals. The season would extend through November 2 and have no limits," he … Continue reading State Aggression and Defensive Action

On tax day, raise a glass to the unborn

This year—and predictably, most years around April 15—a number of stories popped up on the topic of who pays the taxes (or more correctly, given the laziness of the media, the same story reprinted with minor modifications in many different venues). The take home point: 47 percent of Americans have no income tax liabilities whatsoever. … Continue reading On tax day, raise a glass to the unborn

Parenting and Governing

What kind of adults do we want our children to become? Responsible parents ask themselves this question, and their answers provide principles that guide their parenting.  The federal government, however, is making it very difficult to be a good parent, because it systematically undermines so many of the lessons one wants to teach.  I want … Continue reading Parenting and Governing