Whoops! Federal Reserve economists looked in the shoe closet recently and discovered more than half a trillion dollars of government bond debt that they hadn’t previously counted.
Pundits claim that partisanship is creating gridlock in Washington. But in the Senate, the two parties still know how to make bipartisan deals on big government subsidy legislation. That chamber may move ahead with a massive agriculture bill that would spend almost $1 trillion over the next decade. Supporters are calling it a “reform” bill because it would trim a measly two percent from projected spending over the period.
Newt Gingrich had fun calling President Obama the “food stamp president,” but many Republicans are just as responsible for the exploding costs of this welfare state program.
The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) has come out against bipartisan spending restraint. The BPC has issued a report highly critical of the sequestration spending cuts that were agreed to in the bipartisan Budget Control Act of 2011.
The new issue of International Economy has an article by Canada’s Liberal finance minister from the 1990s, Paul Martin, who succeeded in shrinking that country’s federal government. If a new President Mitt Romney wants to cut spending in Washington, Martin has some tips for him, such as cutting spending broadly, forecasting conservatively, and aiming to eliminate the deficit in a fixed time frame and sticking to it. (I’d also advise President Obama to follow the Canadian example, but he’s issued four budgets so far and seems to be more interested in following the Greek fiscal approach).
I testified today to Paul Ryan’s House Budget Committee regarding corporate cronyism and the opposite policy of free-market entrepreneurialism. Also testifying was former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
The lead article in the new Cato Policy Report is entitled “We Can Cut Government: Canada Did.” The article reviews Canada’s economic reforms since the 1980s, which have included free trade, privatization, spending cuts, sound money, large corporate tax cuts, personal tax reforms, balanced federal budgets, block grants, and decentralizing power by cutting the central government.