Federal debt and deficit

Defense spending cuts — a “paradox” for the left; a conundrum for the right

Featured image The Washington Post reports that the defense cuts mandated by the sequester are proving to be a “paradox” for the left. Keith Ellison, the ultra-leftist congressman from Minnesota, says he “feels torn” by the cuts because they further his goal of reducing the money available to the military, but contradict his goal of maximizing government spending. When in doubt, the left these days will tend to opt for government spending, »

A history of Zientism

Featured image As we have noted many times, Jeff Sessions has become the Senate’s indispensable man on the our ruinous federal debt and deficit. In January Senator Sessions took a look at the role played by then OMB Director Jack Lew in the Obama administration’s stage management of the related public relations issues. Not pretty. Lew is not a man constrained by hidebound notions of veracity. Lew proved his worth to President »

Humor About the President’s Budget, Intentional and Unintentional

Featured image One of these days I will get around to writing about President Obama’s proposed budget; Paul has already done so here. In the meantime, here is a humorous video produced by the Free Enterprise Alliance titled “You May Already Be a Loser.” I think that if people really understood what the federal government is doing to them, there would be a run on tar and feathers: Now for the unintentional »

Dems Say: Balanced Budget? We Were Just Kidding!

Featured image The Senate continues to debate the Democrats’ budget, which features massive deficits as far as the eye can see. Tonight Jeff Sessions moved to recommit the budget in order to produce a budget that balances sometime in the next ten years. This is the language of Sessions’ motion: Mr. Sessions moves to commit S. Con. Res. 8 back to the Committee on the Budget with instructions to report back no »

The Democrats’ Job-Destroying, Wealth-Destroying Budget

Featured image Today the Senate passed a mammoth spending bill that will fund the federal government until September, and that locks in the Republicans’ sequestration victory. The Senate also debated the Democrats’ budget–the first they have proposed after four long years. We have written extensively about the Democrats’ budget proposal. It would increase taxes by $1.5 trillion, accelerate federal spending and add $7 trillion to the federal deficit. It is, in other »

Modern Day Xenophon Wanted: The Education of Cyprus?

Featured image This semester I taught Xenophon’s neglected treatise The Education of Cyrus, which many observers have compared to Machiavelli’s Prince.  Seems now we could use a modern-day financial Xenophon to update it as The Education of Cyprus, where, according to news out within the hour, there is going to be a four-day “bank holiday” to prevent a total run.  We keep being reassured that this is a one-off event; that surely »

Do We Have a Debt Crisis?

Featured image After four years, Congressional Democrats have finally produced a budget. The process has proved revealing: the Democrats’ budget never balances, increases spending by 62% over ten years, and adds $7 trillion to the national debt despite raising taxes by $1.5 trillion. So Senate Democrats must agree with President Obama that the nation does not face a debt crisis. In an interview yesterday on ABC, Obama repeatedly expressed this conviction: [W]e »

Senate Democrats Finally Unveil Budget

Featured image After four long years, the Senate Democrats finally produced a budget this afternoon. They put it off as long as possible, but finally had to make the document public. What is striking about the budget is that it contains absolutely nothing that is new. It calls for more spending, higher taxes, more debt. It never comes close to balancing. It reforms nothing and changes nothing. It simply demands more money »

Krugman Gets Sach’d for a Loss

Featured image If there’s any establishment economist I dislike almost as much as the egregious Paul Krugman, it would be Jeffery Sachs of Columbia University.  Sachs is smug, arrogant, condescending, and has his own list of Epic Fails to match Krugman’s (but no Nobel Prize).  As our faithful reader RS points out to me often, it would be worth comparing the dreadful economic advice Sachs gave to Russia after the collapse of »

Why conservatives say Obama hasn’t proposed meaningful entitlement reform

Featured image At Power Line, we maintain, as most conservatives do, that President Obama isn’t serious about entitlement reform. But those on the other side of the great political divide are equally insistent that Obama is open to, and in fact has proposed, serious reform of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Who is right? It depends on the meaning of “reform.” For, as Yuval Levin shows, although Obama has proposed some cuts, »

How should Republicans game plan Obama’s plan B?

Featured image So now, with his approval rating tumbling, President Obama suddenly wants to “engage with the Republicans,” or at least with selected Republican Senators, with the goal of striking a deal on budgetary/debt issues. How should Republicans react? Anticipating this scenario, I have expressed my view. Most recently, in early February, I wrote: [I]n the unlikely event that Obama shows a willingness to discuss entitlement reform in a serious way, Republicans »

The Day Dawned a Little Brighter Today…

Featured image …because last night, President Obama signed an order directing federal agencies to implement the sequester cuts. So this morning, we can breathe a sign of satisfaction as we sip our morning coffee. (Champagne corks may be appropriate, but will have to wait until tonight.) What the sequester shows is that, contrary to the cynical conviction that was all too well justified by experience, government spending can be cut. Republicans don’t »

Where Does the Money Go?

Featured image With liberals shrieking hysterically at the prospect of small cuts in federal spending–equal to 2 1/2 french fries out of a Big Mac Extra Value Meal–this is an opportune time to talk about where all of that borrowed federal money goes. We are saddling our children with $17 trillion in debt to do what, exactly? Well, we are keeping Barack Obama in the style to which he has become accustomed, »

Barack Obama, Spending Junkie

Featured image One would hope that the spectacle the Democrats have made of themselves over the prospect of a modest increase in federal spending for FY 2013 would be enlightening to a lot of voters. The Democrats’ craving for federal dollars is not unlike that of a junkie for heroin, and the lengths of dishonesty to which Barack Obama and the Democrats will go to keep the money flowing are likewise reminiscent »

More signs of intelligent life in the House

Featured image The Hill reports that key House Republicans seem to be on board with their leadership’s plan to pass a six-month government-funding measure that would reflect the budget cuts from the sequester. The absence of such a measure would cause the government to shut down after March 27 when the current stopgap funding bill runs out. House Democrats are expected to oppose the resolution as a protest against the reduced level »

Hey Liberals–How Come No Wealth Tax?

Featured image For all of the liberal caterwauling about disparities in wealth, one thing I don’t understand is why no one, not even the socialist senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders in full bulging-neck-vein mode, has started channeling Huey Long and calling for a serious wealth tax.  After all, even if you raise the top marginal income tax rate back up to the Krugman nirvana level of 91 percent, it won’t touch the »

Dionne and Gone Around the Bend

Featured image Apparently E.J. Dionne is not content with all the love we’ve sent his way here the last couple of days, and so today’s he’s descended to primal scream liberalism.  In today’s column Dionne stamps his feet and demands, “This has to stop.”  What has to stop?  The permanent budget crisis, that’s what.  But to repeat something said yesterday: I thought liberals liked crisis, because, pace the Crisis and Leviathan thesis, »