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.
The Indianapolis Star recently ran an article on a relatively wealthy county in Indiana that has received $3 million in HUD Community Development Block Grant funding since 2005. I lived in Hamilton County for three years and it has a well-deserved reputation in Indiana as being the home of the state’s hoity-toity. I don’t believe the federal government should be subsidizing community development for any locality, but subsidizing wealthier areas of the country is extra ridiculous.
In his run for the Republican nomination, Texas Governor Rick Perry is positioning himself as a staunch fiscal conservative. Does his spending record match his recent campaign language in favor of smaller government?
There's plenty of talk about cutting the federal budget these days in Washington. And there's lots of fighting over the size of the federal government. But there has been relatively little discussion about the scope of Uncle Sam's activities.
The Washington Post is reporting that President Obama has assigned his staff with the task of designing a new set of government guarantees behind the U.S. mortgage market. Although as the Post also reports the “approach could even preserve Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.” That’s correct. Despite their role in driving the housing bubble and the already $160 billion in taxpayer losses, President Obama appears to be considering just putting the same failed system in place. Of course, we’ll be promised that it will all work better this time.
The Washington Post’s editorial board issued a challenge to the president and his Republican opponents: “show us your plans” for deficit reduction. In fact, the Post says it would be “delighted” to receive plans from its readers. However, the Post isn’t interested in “meaningless promises” to cut “waste, fraud, and abuse”—it wants specifics: