Federal debt and deficit

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, »

Six Degrees of Sequestration

Featured image From the apparent horror of the White House, you’d think March 1 was threatening castration rather than sequestration.  And they might be right in a sense; as we’ve argued here before, Obama and the Democrats seem much more terrified of sequestration than Republicans for the simple reason that more of their key client groups depend on the discretionary programs that will be pinched in sequestration.  Fiscal castration indeed. Will the »

How Much Would the Sequester Cut Into a Big Mac Extra Value Meal?

Featured image The idea that the sequester cuts, which actually amount to more like $44 billion than the $85 billion that is often bandied about, are somehow draconian, is ridiculous. Out of a $3.55 trillion federal budget–well, no, the federal government doesn’t have a budget, that is just an estimate of FY 2013 spending–$44 billion is a pittance. So it is time to bring back my Big Mac analogy. In March 2011, »

The Mid-Week in Pictures

Featured image I know it’s a little early for a week in pictures feature, but it’s a fast-moving news week, what with Hagel going to the Lew before being sequestered with the rest of the jury in a hotel room while . . . what’s that?  Mixed-up metaphors?  Okay, but still, there’s this: And now for a few general public service announcements: »

Two Cheers For Sequester

Featured image Hysteria is rampant inside the Beltway, as politicians and their media fanboys contemplate the unheard-of possibility that federal spending may not rise very much this year. The horror! I’m guessing that outside the confines of America’s last boom town, the idea of cutting federal spending sounds pretty good. Most voters are probably skeptical that it will really happen, given the federal government’s iron grip on our wallets, and they may »

A Simple Solution, Favored the World Over

Featured image The big news in the upcoming Italian election is the rise of former comedian Beppe Grillo, whose party may finish as high as second in the voting. There is a lot about Grillo at The Corner. He sounds like a pretty typical bad-government populist; normally you would think it would be a disaster if he took power, but this is Italy, so things may or may not get worse. What »

What to make of adverse polling in the sequester blame game

Featured image Much is being made of a Pew poll in which 49 percent say they will blame congressional Republicans if the sequester occurs, compared to only 31 percent who say they will blame President Obama. 11 percent say they will blame both sides, while 8 percent don’t know which side they will blame. I suspect that if the sequester occurs the percentage that blames both sides will increase (in a sense, »

Signs of intelligent life in the House

Featured image I have it on excellent authority that, with the sequester looming, House Republicans will pass a bill to provide the various federal departments and agencies with the power to prioritize where cuts go in each organization. The total amount of cuts within a department or agency would be the same, but the cuts could be made on a more rational basis. I’ve been advocating this sort of legislation for some »

Vote No On Jack Lew

Featured image President Obama has nominated Jack Lew, his Chief of Staff, to succeed Tim Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury. Obama has made so many bad nominations that it is hard to keep track of them all, but Lew stands out in a bad crop. The Senate should reject his nomination. Today the Senate Finance Committee held its first, and probably only, day of hearings on Lew’s nomination. News accounts suggest »