Category Archives: Fiscal Policy

How Big Should Government Be? Not Big Enough for Many.

Have we reached a critical mass of voters?  On what issue you might ask.  On whether big government is bad on the whole.  I have read a couple of articles recently, addressing that question.  I don’t honestly know whether or to what extent people may believe big government is basically good.  But here is a quote from the author of the article, Jim Geraghty, writing in National Review, January 21, 2016 (read it at http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/430104/many-americans-dont-seem-all-upset-about-big-government).  He quotes from research by… Continue Reading ››

They Are Singing the Blues, Maybe

Here is a summary of a study by the Mercatus Center of George Mason University on the fiscal situation of  liberal states.  It looks like liberal states are predominantly profligate.  And how well are their citizens faring?  Take a look—and read the entire study.  Maybe these states might want to consult Greece (?). This summary comes from Breitbart News. Michael Patrick Leahy June 6, 2015 A new study from George Mason University’s Mercatus Center confirms what many of us already… Continue Reading ››

States Limit Local Regulation: Finally

An interesting development has arisen on the issue of regulation.  It seems that some state legislatures have moved to limit how much local governments will be allowed to regulate businesses and people.  This is quite a development.  In the past usually the states were only too happy not only to regulate directly themselves but to leave it to local governments, especially cities, and particularly large cities, to tax and regulate to their heart’s content.  It looks like some have finally… Continue Reading ››

The immorality of government pension promises–promises that cannot be kept. The Governator weighs in as well with Warren Buffet.

We often lament the ever burgeoning national debt ($18T+), and especially so when we consider the unfunded liabilities (some estimates well north of $100T).  Yet while the national debt captures the public’s attention periodically, the disastrous condition of state finances is seldom discussed.  There are few good states, albeit red states are typically much better than blue states (certainly at the extremes; Connecticut, California and Illinois being particularly bad). Public sector unions are a large part of the problem, as… Continue Reading ››

Another Historical Distortion, by Bill Maher

Bill Maher tells authoritatively that capitalism did not produce a middle class.  It was actually worse than that.  I quote extensively from his statements on “Real Time” on HBO because you have to read it to believe someone said it: “so what’s happening is, the Democrats are proposing to nibble around the edges of our middle-class problem, and the Republicans are pretending to care while they go back to servicing eight rich d*ckheads who own coal mines, and no one… Continue Reading ››

Federal Employment

I posted several days ago saying that I thought President Obama’s budget indicated that he had a vision for increasing the scope and reach of our federal government in our lives. A reader was critical of the post. One of his points was that federal government employment is at an all-time low with President Obama’s administration. I thought I would examine the trend in employment by the federal government. I used data from the Office of Personnel Management and the Bureau… Continue Reading ››

Groundhog Day Budget

The Administration’s Budget, released February 2, 2015, saw its shadow and is predicting at least 12 more years of ever encroaching federal government, rising taxes, and a more well defined Nanny State. Based on Table S-4 “Adjusted Baseline by Category”, outlays are expected to increase by more than 80% from 2012 to 2025. This diagram simply illustrates nominal expenditure by the federal government. A much better indicator of the size of the federal government is spending as a percentage of GDP. Over the… Continue Reading ››

Spending and the debt. Are we winning or losing?

As the new Republican congress gets set to tackle the Obama agenda, its pertinent to ask if we’re winning or losing on spending.  After all, this is supposedly the reason for the rise of the tea party–out of control spending on the part of the Obama administration.  This past fall the U.S. government reported the federal deficit fell to $483B, its lowest level in 6 years, and as a % of GDP, lower than the 40 year average.  That’s good… Continue Reading ››

The Twelve (Thirteen) Days of Christmas, or, a Recap of Last Year

As we approach the new year and incidentally, Old Christmas (January 6), I thought I would leave you with a few “gifts.”  These come from Federal, state and even local actions over the past year.  I don’t really wish these on anyone, but they are current reality. Release of five more Guantanamo detainees, whose threat level is unknown, following by the way an earlier release of high threat detainees likely to end up back on the terrorist battlefield. A current… Continue Reading ››

Kasich, Balanced Budgets, and a Constitutional Convention

Politico‘s James Hohman has a nice piece up this morning on Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) and his quest for a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution. Kasich has formed a non-profit organization, Balanced Budget Forever, to promote the effort. Though the article is ostensibly about the legislative quest, the sub-theme is Kasich’s possible presidential bid in 2016.  The governor coyly bats away questions about a possible run, though he does not deny the potential. Kasich hopes to amend the US… Continue Reading ››