My op-ed in today’s New York Times has prompted numerous critical comments on theNYT website. Let me address some of them.
The tragic gas explosion in Harlem will likely revive complaints that America is a pothole nation with falling-down bridges, and that we desperately need to boost government infrastructure spending. The reality is more complex.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) argues that a 0.7 percent increase in annual transit ridership in 2013 is proof that Americans want more “investments” in transit–by which the group means more federal funding. However, a close look at the actual data reveals something entirely different.
One of my favorite Adam Smith passages is:
The Obama administration released its 2015 budget this week. The budget shows federal debt held by the public falling from 74 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year to 69 percent by 2024. That reduction occurs even though entitlement and interest spending are projected to rise substantially as a percent of GDP.
Yesterday’s budget from President Obama claimed to raise taxes by $650 billion, which would come in addition to the $650 billion in tax hikes in January 2013. However, it appears that the president wants much more money from our pocketbooks. The exact amount isn’t entirely clear due to the games the Office of Management and Budget is playing with its various tables. But if the president had his way, more than $1 trillion in tax hikes would be coming.
The House Budget Committee chaired by Congressman Raul Ryan released a 204-page report on federal welfare programs Monday. It provides useful discussions of 92 programs that cost taxpayers $799 billion a year.
President Obama released his fiscal year 2015 budget request today. Sadly, for those who support smart, sensible budgeting, the president’s budget is nothing to celebrate. The budget increases spending and fails to tackle the main driver of our budget problem—entitlement spending. All deficit reduction included in the budget is from revenue increases, not spending cuts.
Today, Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray sent her caucus a memo on the country’s fiscal outlook. She details the “$3.3 trillion in deficit reduction put in place over the last few years;” a likely refrain in President Obama’s budget next week. However, Chairman Murray’s memo leaves much to be desired.
Uncle Sam is essentially broke. But the federal government keeps spending. The House is voting this week on a measure already adopted by the U.S. Senate to suspend money-saving reforms adopted less than two years ago.