Tad DeHaven

Growth in Government Employment

The 1990s were a decade of rapid private sector expansion and federal government restraint. The 2000s are a decade of government expansion at all levels and private sector retrenchment.

Homebuyer Tax Credit Follies

When the 2008 economic stimulus bill created an $8,000 homebuyer tax credit to prop up the ailing housing market, the outcome was predictable: fraud and economic distortions.

Uncertainty More Than Anecdotal

During a recent CNBC debate on federal spending, I argued that government policies are creating uncertainty in the business community. Businesses are reluctant to invest or hire because they’re concerned that the president’s big government agenda will mean higher taxes and more onerous regulations.

More Concerns for FAA’s NextGen

A report from the Department of Transportation’s inspector general expresses more concerns about the Federal Aviation Administration’s ability to implement its Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). NextGen is a $40 billion overhaul of the nation’s air traffic control system that would replace old-fashioned radar technology with modern satellite-based GPS navigation. 

Ironing Boards and Trade Policy

Government programs don’t have to have a big budget to do big harm to the economy. For example, the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration “only” costs taxpayers $400 million a year, but its protectionist activities impose a substantial burden on consumers and the economy. 

USDA Local Subsidies

On May 27th the USDA awarded $168 million in stimulus money to 145 local infrastructure projects across the country. A third of the money is going to the Mohegan Indian tribe in Connecticut for a new community center. The $54 million loan has attracted national scrutiny because the tribe operates one of the biggest casinos in the country, which grossed $1.3 billion in 2009.

FHA "Reform" Bill

The House recently passed legislation to reform the Federal Housing Administration, which is facing a potential taxpayer bailout thanks to all the bad mortgages that it has backed. When the housing bubble burst, the FHA rushed in to prop up the market and now insures approximately 30 percent of new mortgages. In 2006, the figure was just 3 percent.

Cisneros Rewriting HUD History

In a recent speech to real estate interests, former Clinton HUD secretary Henry Cisneros preposterously claimed that the recent housing meltdown “occurred not out of a governmental push, but out of a hijacking of the homeownership process by some unscrupulous interests.”

The Dept. of Labor's Swarms

The Declaration of Independence cites as an example of King George’s tyranny: “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.” To prevent a similar situation in the new United States of America, the Founders assigned the federal government limited powers.

Food Subsidies Are No Free Lunch

We are being bombarded with sensationalist stories in the press about state and local governments having to “slash” programs because of a lack of revenues. These stories typically revolve around the question of whether the federal government will continue supplementing “essential services” provided by state and local government.

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