The Republican Study Committee released its fiscal 2013 budget proposal this week and it’s not horrible. That’s probably a compliment given that the bar is so low on Capitol Hill that one would trip on it. According to the RSC’s numbers, federal spending as a percentage of GDP would recede to a bit over 18 percent in 2022. That’s a level of spending that hasn’t been achieved since George Bush and his fellow Republicans in Congress initiated the federal spending spree of the past ten years.
Like most political discussions, the student aid debate is driven far more by sentiment than reasoned analysis. If we used the latter, we’d be demanding big aid cuts for the sake of students and taxpayers alike.
As has become an annual tradition, my colleague Charles Zakaib has sifted through the data from the latest edition of the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ The Military Balance, and created several illuminating charts. They are enclosed below and show U.S. security spending as a share of the global total, U.S. per capita spending as compared with some of our leading allies, and U.S. spending vs. the rest of NATO as a share of GDP.
House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) has introduced his annual budget blueprint. The plan will likely pass the House but won’t become law this year. However, the plan signals the direction that House Republicans want to go in budget battles with the Democrats this year, and it also shows the likely thrust of policy under a possible Republican president next year.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is proposing new rules that would allow it to fund exceedingly wasteful rail transit projects that do nothing to relieve congestion. While the existing rules require transit agencies to demonstrate that proposed new rail lines are at least minimally cost effective, the proposed rules focus instead on such vague criteria as “livability” and “environmental justice.”
At Downsizing Government, we have published an essay on the Army Corps of Engineers.
President Obama and most members of Congress agree that the U.S. corporate tax rate should be cut. Thankfully, it is finally sinking in that having a 40 percent corporate tax rate when the world average is just 23 percent is suicide in a globalized economy.
A new brief from the Congressional Budget Office discusses the role of small businesses in the economy and how they’re affected by federal policy. The CBO cites the Small Business Administration as one example of how federal policy favors small businesses over larger businesses: