The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee held a hearing this week on the U.S. Postal Service’s dire financial situation. The USPS is facing a $10 billion loss this year, is about to max out its $15 billion line of credit with the U.S. Treasury, and doesn’t have the money to make a required $5.5 billion payment for retiree health care benefits due at the end of the month. The USPS is projecting insolvency in 2012 if Congress doesn’t step in to provide relief.
The Washington Post reports on a Labor Department decision that applies pro-union Davis-Bacon rules to the CityCenter development in Washington D.C. The ruling could push up costs on the project by $20 million by forcing firms to pay artificially high wages.
The IRS made payments of $4.2 billion last year in refundable tax credits to illegal aliens, according to an audit by the Treasury’s Inspector General. “Refundable” tax credits are cash subsidies — federal outlays — given to people who don’t pay any income tax.
According to Lloyd Chapman, the hyperbolic president of the American Small Business League, legislation introduced by Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) would close the Small Business Administration. Chapman actually stated on a Fox Business News show that Burr’s bill is “the worst idea in the history of America.” And here I thought it was Rick Santorum’s decision to run for president.
In a recent interview, President Obama hints at the core of his much-anticipated jobs plan:
President Obama is planning to deliver a big speech on jobs and the economy. His wish list for Congress will likely include more government infrastructure spending. So that citizens know what the president is talking about, they should review the success of the government’s past infrastructure projects.
If you looked at the new CBO report on the budget, you may have noticed that federal spending this year will be $3.6 trillion.
In fact, federal spending this year will top $4 trillion. But virtually all reporters and budget wonks (including me) routinely use the lower number when discussing total federal spending. I don’t think the higher $4 trillion number even appears anywhere in the CBO report.
Average private sector wages in the United States rose 3.1 percent in 2010, slightly more than the 2.5 percent increase in average wages of federal civilian government workers. The growth in federal wages was the slowest in at least two decades, and it coincided with a rebound in private wages after the recession, according to new Bureau of Economic Analysis data (see Table 6.6D).
Is Rachel Maddow sure she wants the government to “think big,” as she says here standing in front of the Hoover Dam?
Are you aware of the budget plan that promises to cut federal spending by 25 percent per year and has been endorsed by seven Republicans running for president? I just found out about it this week in Steve Chapman’s latest column. Having checked it out, I think I know why I hadn’t heard of it: it’s the dumbest “plan” out there.