Chris Edwards

Cost Overruns: It's the Same in Britain

The Taxpayers’ Alliance has published a new study examining a sample of 240 government capital projects in Britain, including weapons systems, highway projects, computer upgrades, health care spending, and other items. The results mirror the serious cost overrun problems we have in the U.S. federal government.

Government of Continual Failure

The Washington Post is full of so many stories about government failure these days, it’s hard to keep up.

Today, on page A19 we learn about a Small Business Administration subsidy program that has a 60-percent default rate. On the same page, we learn that the U.S. Postal Service will lose $7 billion this year.

Federal Pay Freeze...in Britain

With the government running huge deficits and average family incomes stagnating in the recession, it is unseemly that federal worker pay continues to soar. I’ve called for an immediate freeze to federal worker pay, at least until the economy recovers and private worker pay starts catching up.

Families vs. Milk Farmers

Regulation and taxes are like two blades on a pair of scissors cutting holes in the family budget. With dairy products, a federal regulatory cartel acts to keep the prices of milk, cheese, and related products artificially high.

Congress Helps Itself

”Congress is on the verge of giving itself a bump in its annual budget — even as local governments, families and businesses across the country are tightening their belts in the worst recession in decades,” Politico reports.

ACORN Scandal Should Spur Broader Cuts

Republicans are all over the ACORN scandal and calling for an end to federal subsidies for the group. That would be a good step, but it’s not exactly going out on a limb and pushing for major budget reforms.

Congressional Conflict of Interest

It looks like farm subsidy reform is unlikely for another few years. Senator Blanche Lincoln has been selected the new head of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Dow Jones notes: “Lincoln is a two-term moderate Democrat who described herself Wednesday as a ‘farmer’s daughter.’”

Federal Pay Rises Rapidly

The Bureau of Economic Analysis has released its annual data on compensation levels by industry. The data show that the pay advantage enjoyed by federal civilian workers over private-sector workers continues to expand.

More Money for Missiles

Summarizing a new Government Accountability Office study, the Washington Post reports that “the cost of building and operating the controversial U.S. ballistic missile sites in Europe could substantially exceed the original estimate of more than $4 billion.”

Uncle Sam a Generous Boss

Federal unions, government officials, and the Washington Post’s “Federal Diary” column frequently suggest that federal civilian workers are underpaid. They suffer from a large “pay gap” compared to private sector workers, or so the story goes.

But in the Post’s “Jobs” section yesterday, human resources specialist Lily Garcia argues that “Uncle Sam Is a Boss You Can Rely On.” For job seekers, Garcia points to the many advantages of federal work:

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