A friend points me to a recent article on Foreign Policy’s website written by a career State Department employee who spent a year in Iraq trying to “win the hearts and minds” of the Iraqi people. I’ve pretty much become numb to stories about government failure, but this one left me with my forehead planted on my desk.
Texas governor Rick Perry’s “Cut, Balance, and Grow” plan is out. Dan Mitchell discussed Perry’s proposed tax reforms so I’ll offer my take on the proposed spending reforms:
The Government Accountability Office has weighed in on the controversy over whether the federal government “owes” the U.S. Postal Service approximately $50-$75 billion in alleged pension “overpayments” made by the USPS to the government’s retirement system. In short, the GAO concluded that the USPS is not owed the money.
Presidential candidate Ron Paul has released a fiscal reform plan that would dramatically cut spending and rein in the size and scope of the federal government. My reaction to the proposal can be summed up in one word: hallelujah.
Over at Cato’s blog, my colleague Mark Calabria calls out Nobel economics prize winner Joseph Stiglitz for ignoring his own little role in the economic downturn:
A recent report from the U.S. Postal Service’s inspector general found that workers’ compensation costs for postal employees are unnecessarily high. The reasons according to the audit are stale federal laws and bureaucratic ineptitude at the USPS and the Department of Labor.
Recent history shows that government efforts to micromanage industry range from unnecessary to disastrous — be it green energy, car makers, the housing market. Small wonder, then, that the government has so drastically mismanaged its own "business": the United States Postal Service.
Chris Edwards and I have repeatedly called for policymakers to get specific when it comes to spending cuts. Policymakers who want to cut spending should at least pick an agency or program and work to have it eliminated. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) has done this by introducing legislation to terminate the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing yesterday on President Obama’s pledge to go “page by page, line by line” through the federal budget to eliminate programs “we don’t need.” I testified with an ideologically diverse group of budget experts.
The Wall Street Journal reports on rising state and federal unemployment taxes at a time when unemployment remains high. Keynesian economists keep telling us that unemployment benefits have a stimulative “multiplier effect” on the economy. Unfortunately, that sticky little problem of the government having to suck resources out of the economy to pay for this alleged stimulus keeps getting in the way: