Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) is the new chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. His father, Bud, chaired the committee from 1995-2001 and would have been a first-ballot inductee into the Porker Hall of Fame if one existed. Having ridden his dad’s coattails into office, the big government apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has announced that Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) will replace the departing Jim DeMint in the Senate. Scott is a member of the 2010 “Tea Party Class” of Republican freshmen and is considered a solid fiscal conservative. So let’s take a quick look at how he voted this year on opportunities to terminate federal agencies and programs.
It has largely gone unnoticed amidst the hullabaloo surrounding the fiscal cliff, but regardless of what happens with the cliff negotiations, taxes are going up next year. The president may be calling for $1.6 trillion in tax hikes by 2022 in exchange for not driving the country over the cliff, but that does not count Obamacare, which will impose an additional $1 trillion in new or increased taxes over the next ten years, a big portion of which take effect in 2013.
The Small Business Administration was created in the 1950s to make it appear as though federal politicians cared about the plight of the “little fellow.” A more helpful expression of concern would have been a rollback of the federal government’s increasingly heavy hand in the post-New Deal economy. Instead, they went with the more politically alluring option of using the heavy hand to deliver handouts.
It appears likely that congressional Republicans are eventually going to accept a tax increase in exchange for real spending cuts smaller spending increases in the future. If and when that happens, Speaker Boehner should surround himself with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy at the press conference on the deal.
My Washington Examiner column this week focuses on an important new study from the office of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK): “Safety at Any Price: Assessing the Impact of Homeland Security Spending in U.S.
Postmaster General Michael Donahoe has occasionally remarked that the U.S. Postal Service will end up in a Greek-like crisis if Congress doesn’t allow it to reduce costs and operate with more flexibility. Michael Schuyler, now with the Tax Foundation, examines the analogy between Greece and the USPS in a paper that was released on Monday.
For all those who think that our deficit is caused by a dearth of revenue, consider this thought experiment. In 2012, the federal government will spend $3.56 trillion. Last week’s Powerball jackpot was a reported $587.5 million, the largest winning Powerball payout ever. In order to finance current spending, the federal government would have to hit that jackpot 6,570 times.