Big government

Beware the IRS

Featured image Few things in life can blow one’s day more than receiving a notice from the Internal Revenue Service that your tax return is being examined or audited.  Following a nearly decade-long dispute with the IRS over returns filed in 2013 and 2014, the United States Tax Court ultimately sided with LakePoint Land Group, a Georgia LLC, on Tuesday. The court determined that one of the IRS agents handling the case »

Biden administration’s profligate spending claims another victim, more will follow

Featured image As Warren Buffet once famously said, “Only when the tide goes out do you learn who has been swimming naked.” And last week, that turned out to be the Silicon Valley Bank, whose customers include tech startups, venture-capital firms, and Napa Valley wineries. SVB’s leadership certainly deserves their fair share of the blame. Bankers, more than anyone else, knew that an aggressive interest rate tightening cycle lay ahead. Federal Reserve »

Deep meaning of supply chain, cont’d

Featured image Harvard Professor Robert Barro is Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics at Harvard. He is a prominent member of the economics profession. AEI has posted his December 4 Project Syndicate column “Big-state inflation.” In the column he addresses the attribution of responsibility for our current inflation to “supply chain” issues. Professor Barro does not entirely discount the contribution of these issues as a contributing factor. Focusing on the contribution of »

And the Golden Turkey Award Goes To…

Featured image Twice a year, Center of the American Experiment presents its Golden Turkey Award to highlight wasteful government spending in the State of Minnesota. Each contest features four nominees, and thousands of Minnesotans vote to select the winner. This time around, the nominees included a $261,000 grant to the University of Minnesota to teach eagles not to fly into wind turbines; $6.2 million to study development of a half-mile long “land »

CRB: Progressively worse

Featured image The Claremont Review of Books has just published its new (Spring) issue. I reviewed the issue in galley to pick out pieces to roll out for Power Line readers this week (subscribe here for $19.95 and get online access thrown in for free). The issue weighs in at 114 pages. It took me a little longer than usual to get through the issue, which actually arrived in subscribers’ mailboxes late »

Inside the COVID Pork Bill

Featured image Did you know that today is National Bacon Day? I didn’t—but then I tend to think that every day is national bacon day. Or at least ought to be. Maybe when Homer Simpson is president. In any case, our mind is on pork a lot at the moment because of the 5,593-page COVID relief and omnibus spending mashup Congress passed and President Trump reluctantly signed a couple days ago. There »

Wasteful Spending: An Issue From the Past?

Featured image Josef Stalin famously said that one death is a tragedy, while a million deaths are a statistic. The same holds true for spending: most people’s eyes glaze over at the thought of a billion dollars, but we get outraged over the idea of a $400 hammer. The $400 hammer won one of Senator William Proxmire’s Golden Fleece awards, decades ago. Proxmire did a more effective job than just about anyone »

Is Divided Government the New Normal?

Featured image Liberals and the media (but I repeat. . .) have decried “gridlock” in Washington for decades now, thus betraying their constitutional illiteracy. I have half-joked many times before that gridlock is the next best thing to constitutional government—a corollary to my axiom that while our Constitution may not be perfect, it is certainly better than the government we have! Notice, then, that with the results of the 2018 midterm, the »

Was the Houston Disaster Man-Made?

Featured image Hurricane Harvey wasn’t man-made, obviously, but the scale of the destruction was, in large part, an unintended consequence of government policy. Michael Grunwald reports at Politico: “How Washington Made Harvey Worse.” Nearly two decades before the storm’s historic assault on homes and businesses along the Gulf Coast of Texas this week, the National Wildlife Federation released a groundbreaking report about the United States government’s dysfunctional flood insurance program, demonstrating how »

Student Loan Defaults Skyrocket

Featured image The Washington Post reports on what many have recognized for some time as a ticking time bomb: A new analysis of federal student loans reveals the number of people severely behind on repaying their debt has soared in the last year, painting a bleak picture of one of the largest government programs. The Consumer Federation of America released a study Tuesday that found that millions of people had not made »

Can our government measure snow?

Featured image Any government, nor matter how otherwise incompetent, should be able to measure snow. And our current government, which aspires to control so much and which likes to talk about “settled science,” certainly shouldn’t be flummoxed by whatever nuances coming up with an accurate snow measurement might entail. Yet, according to the Washington Post, “it has become apparent. . .through multiple conversations with the weather observers at Reagan National Airport, that »