I live in Virginia, which is a battleground state, and my mailbox has been littered with political propaganda in recent weeks. Here are some questions for the candidates:
Hurricane Isaac is heading for Louisiana, and everyone is hoping that individuals and government agencies are ready for the onslaught. Seven years ago, Hurricane Katrina caused huge damage, but to a large extent ”it wasn’t a natural disaster. It was a man-made disaster, created by lousy engineering, misplaced priorities, and pork-barrel politics,” noted journalist Michael Grunwald. Grunwald pointed his finger particularly at failures of the Army Corps of Engineers, as have others.
Paul Ryan is an excellent choice as running mate for Mitt Romney. He understands federal spending and tax policies in enormous detail. He has said that he started reading federal budgets when he was in high school. He’s also read Global Tax Revolution, my book with Dan Mitchell about the implications of globalization and tax competition. He knows that the American economy will not thrive with high tax rates, especially on business income and capital. He shares Mitt Romney’s goal of chopping the corporate tax rate to revive investment and job creation.
Average private sector wages in the United States rose 3.0 percent in 2011, which was more than the 1.2 percent average increase for federal government workers. This was the second year in a row that average private pay rose faster than average federal pay, but that comes after many years of an escalating federal pay advantage.
Joelle Cannon is one of Capitol Hill’s top budget experts, and she looks great in her new Downsizing Government T-shirt. She’s good at cutting costs and knows a bargain when she sees it. The new shirts are just $18 from the Cato store and emblazoned with the inspiring slogan “Small is beautiful … when it comes to government.”
The Washington Post today describes the latest near-miss disaster at National Airport, apparently the result of screw-ups by our government-run air traffic control (ATC) system. The Post notes that this near-accident is one of many troubling incidents in recent years:
Every five years or so, members of Congress from rural areas team up to push through a costly extension of farm programs. They are at it again this year. The Senate recently passed legislation to keep billions of dollars in subsidies flowing to farm businesses, and the House just passed a similarly bloated bill out of committee.
The Washington establishment loves talking about the “distribution” of income and taxes. The CBO has issued a new report on the topic that will no doubt keep the discussion rolling on.
The government can’t seem to do anything right! It can’t even streamline activities to cut costs without creating egregious cost overruns.
As the American and European economies struggle, one of the few bright spots is the ongoing innovation and free-market expansion in technology industries. Thank goodness we have entrepreneurial companies such as Apple and Google generating economic growth and providing exciting opportunities for young people.