In October, I speculated that the upcoming elections could be the nail in the coffin for the Obama administration’s plan for a nationwide system of high-speed rail. Indeed, some notable gubernatorial candidates who ran, in part, on opposition to federal subsidies for HSR in their states proceeded to win. However, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made it clear in a recent speech to HSR supporters that the administration intends to push ahead.
The Office of Management and Budget was recently pleased to announce that the rate of improper payments made by federal agencies decreased from 5.65 percent to 5.49 percent last year. There’s just one problem: the total price tag increased by $15 billion to $125 billion.
Chris Edwards has released a Plan to Cut Federal Spending and Balance the Federal Budget.
The ban on spending earmarks adopted this past week by Republicans in the House and Senate represents a Round One victory for the tea party over a GOP establishment that took pork-barrel spending to a new high (or perhaps low) during the Bush years. Congressional Democrats – still reeling from their electoral pummeling – are about to find themselves largely alone in maintaining a practice that represents corruptive policymaking at its worst.
President Obama has proclaimed today to be National Entrepreneurs’ Day. The president who has brought us regime uncertainty, more regulations, more government intrusion into the economy, more debt, and is proposing to raise taxes on productive businesses and individuals wants to celebrate entrepreneurship?
Benjamin Franklin wrote that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Were he alive today, Franklin might add to the list corruption in federal housing programs.
A new policy analysis from Randal O’Toole eviscerates the “one industry [that] has unquestionably been socialistic for decades: urban transit.”
The U.S. Postal service has announced a net loss of $8.5 billion for fiscal 2010. Since 2006, the USPS has lost $20 billion, and the organization is close to maxing out its $15 billion line of credit with the U.S. Treasury. Although the USPS has achieved some cost savings, they haven’t been enough to overcome a large drop in revenue due to the recession and the greater use of electronic alternatives by the public.
The Obama fiscal commission’s draft report suggested that federal spending be reduced from 25.1% of GDP today to 22% by 2020, and lower after that. That’s a reasonable goal for a centrist kind of commission, but let’s remember that spending was just 18.2% in President Clinton’s last two fiscal years, 2000 and 2001.
The co-chairs of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform released a draft report yesterday on how to reduce federal budget deficits.