Daniel J. Mitchell
The Tea Party-oriented lawmakers who wanted to block Obamacare before people began to get hooked on subsidies were unable to prevail: we have a deal and the wailing and hysteria in Washington is over. The politicians now have the authority to borrow more money and the bureaucrats are all back at work (rested and refreshed after their paid vacation, so they’ll probably tax, spend and regulate with extra fervor).
One reason I’m so bullish on Australia is that the nation has a privatized Social Security system called “Superannuation,” with workers setting aside 9 percent of their income in personal retirement accounts (rising to 12 percent by 2020).
It can be very frustrating to work at the Cato Institute and fight for small government.
I wrote about the Ryan budget two days ago, praising it for complying with Mitchell’s Golden Rule and reforming Medicare and Medicaid. But I believe in being honest and nonpartisan, so I also groused that it wasn’t as good as the 2011 and 2012 versions. Now it’s time to give the same neutral and dispassionate treatment to the budget proposed by Patty Murray, the Washington Democrat who chairs the Senate Budget Committee.
Sigh. Even when they’re sort of doing the right thing, Republicans are incapable of using the right argument.
When I first read this story in the Washington Post about supposedly under-appreciated federal bureaucrats, I was tempted to focus on the sentence referring to “the sledgehammer of budget cuts scheduled to hit today.” Below is the Congressional Budget Office’s depiction of this “sledgehammer.” Does the Washington Post really think that a 1.2 percent reduction in overall spending for the current fiscal year (which means the federal budget would still be larger than it was last year) represents a “sledgehammer of budget cuts”?
To save America from the supposedly “savage” and “draconian” budget cuts caused by sequestration, President Obama has instead asked Congress to approve an alternative fiscal package containing additional tax increases.
Much to the horror of various interest groups, it appears that there will be a “sequester” on March 1.
There’s a debate among policy wonks about whether a no-tax-hike policy is an effective way of restraining the burden of government spending.
The faux drama in Washington is finally over. The misfits in Washington reached a deal on the fiscal cliff.