Damaging Spending

Obama Capital Gains Tax Proposal

President Obama’s economic policies always seem to be a zero-sum proposition with winners and losers. Usually the losers are all Americans, who suffer from slower economic growth.

Adam Smith on Infrastructure

With the highway bill soon in front of Congress, and there being lots of agitation to increase federal funding, Adam Smith had words of wisdom for policymakers. He advocated user-pays and decentralization.

Highways and the Federal Gas Tax

Another day, another news article supportive of raising the federal gas tax. This time it’s theWall Street Journal. The article notes that there is strong public opposition to raising gas taxes, but then proceeds to give us the arguments in favor of it, but none against. So for the next reporter writing about raising the gas tax, here are some policy reasons against it.

The Federal Spending Juggernaut

Over the weekend, the Senate approved the $1.1 trillion Cromnibus spending package, which funds parts of the government through September 2015.

Ivanpah: Time to End the Subsidies

Ivanpah in California is the world’s largest solar project. The project is owned by Google and NRG Energy, and is heavily subsidized by taxpayers. Ivanpah originally received a $1.6 billion loan from the Department of Energy (DOE) in 2011. Now the company is asking for another government subsidy to pay off its original loan.

Make America Safer: Shut Down the Department of Homeland Security

Congress created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2002 by combining 22 agencies that are responsible for a vast array of activities. President George W. Bush promised that the new department would “improve efficiency without growing government” and would cut out “duplicative and redundant activities that drain critical homeland security resources.”

Department of Homeland Security: Who Needs It?

The Secret Service is scandal prone. It spends excessively on foreign presidential trips, and it has agents who get in trouble with prostitutes and 

The Federal Government and American Indians

As research for this essay on the Bureau of Indian Affairs, I visited the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). I found virtually no information useful for my project.

The Naked Truth about TSA Spending

Governments tend to spend money on low-value activities because they do not have market signals or customer feedback to guide them. In this report, I examined the problem with respect to the Transportation Security Administration. As one example, TSA’s SPOT program for finding terrorists spends more than $200 million a year with few if any benefits.

Arkansas’ Budget-Busting Medicaid Expansion

Back in February, I highlighted the fight to reauthorize Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare in Arkansas. The states’ plan not only expanded Medicaid; it did so in a more expensive way. Supporters claimed that the concerns were hogwash. Costs would be the same or lower because Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) required “budget neutrality” for the expansion. A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirms that AR’s expansion is a budget-buster.

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