The House Republicans’ release of its “Pledge to America” has been met with criticism from across the ideological spectrum. While excoriation from the left was inevitable, those who were hoping that the GOP would set out a detailed agenda for limiting government were also not satisfied.
The Government Accountability Office released congressional testimony this week looking at Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. TANF, which replaced unrestricted welfare in 1996, has reduced welfare rolls and encouraged recipients to obtain work. Unfortunately, TANF’s goals have been undermined.
An essay from economist Arnold Kling in the latest Cato Policy Report discusses what Kling calls the “knowledge-discrepancy problem.” This occurs when knowledge is dispersed but power is concentrated, and it is particularly acute in government.
Canada’s private air traffic control system, Nav Canada, recently received its second “Eagle Award” from the International Air Transport Association. The Eagle Awards “honor air navigation service providers and airports for outstanding performance in customer satisfaction, cost efficiency, and continuous improvement.”
Federal Housing Finance Agency director Edward DeMarco testified to the House Financial Services Committee this week on the state of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are currently under FHFA conservatorship.
Wisconsin has become a battleground over the Obama administration’s plan to create a national system of high-speed rail. Of the $8 billion in HSR grants awarded to the states in the stimulus bill, $810 million of it went toward a high-speed route between Milwaukee and Madison.
Most of the debate over extending the Bush tax cuts has focused on whether to extend slightly lower marginal rates for higher earners who already bear a huge burden. But at the other end of the income spectrum, a growing share of Americans don’t pay income taxes. Indeed, the Bush tax cuts increased the share of U.S. households that pay no income tax.
A joint report issued by Republicans on the Senate Finance and House Oversight and Government Reform committees finds that Amtrak’s management interfered with investigations by its inspector general and effectively forced his resignation in 2009.
In conjunction with a proposal to leave the Bush tax cuts in place for two additional years, Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner also called for reducing non-security discretionary spending to 2008 levels. Unfortunately, this category represents a relatively small portion of the overall federal budget, and would only be about $100 billion less than what the president wants to spend.