Chris Edwards

Talking Taxes with Rep. Ralph Hall

Rep. Ralph Hall is in the news for losing to a primary challenger in his Texas district. I first met 91-year-old Hall just last week as we were on a Capitol Hill panel together organized by the Texas Association of Business (TAB). In the photo, that’s Hall to my right and Rep. Kevin Brady and TAB head Bill Hammond on my left. (Photo credit: Office of Rep. Hall).

Veterans Affairs in the Federal Budget

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the fifth largest agency measured by spending. Looking at estimated outlays for 2014, VA spending of $151 billion comes in behind the Department of Health and Human Services at $958 billion, the Social Security Administration at $914 billion, the Department of Defense at $593 billion, and the Department of Treasury (mainly interest costs) at $469 billion. See Table 4.1.

Bush’s Big Government Legacy: DHS

In the months and years after the 9/11 disaster, federal policymakers did what they usually do after crises: they increased spending and seized more power. At the Bush administration’s urging, Congress created the Department of Homeland Security in 2002 as a complex amalgamation of 22 different federal agencies.

Washington Steers Investment Astray

Experience shows that green business subsidies are a green light for misallocation and inefficiency. Subsidy programs seem to prompt company leaders to think:

More Infrastructure? Cut Business Taxes

Infrastructure is in the news as policymakers face a deadline to pass a new highway bill. President Obama visited the Tappan Zee Bridge yesterday and said that “rebuilding America … shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” and then cast blame on the Republicans.

Cut Spending Because Government Hurting Nation

I have posted an updated plan to cut spending by one fifth and balance the federal budget. These cuts are not the only ones needed, but they are a mix of reasonable reforms spread broadly across the government.

Mad Magazine vs. Hollywood

Side-by-side obituaries in the Washington Post on Sunday were an interesting juxtaposition.

Highway Bill: Another Spending Test for the GOP

Chris Edwards testified yesterday to the Senate Finance Committee regarding federal highway and transit funding. Some thoughts.

All Aboard the Privatization Train

With the expiration of the current federal highway bill in a few months, the infrastructure issue is heating up. Newspapers are ginning up interest with stories about deficient and falling down bridges.

I Thought Liberals Favored Diversity?

Frequent stories in the Washington Post describe failures in federal management and programs. There are also frequent stories about efforts to further centralize power in Washington. The ambitions are endless, even though the failures keep piling up.

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