Tad DeHaven

Reassessing FHA Risk

As the Federal Housing Administration edges closer to a taxpayer bailout due to the large number of risky mortgage loans it has insured, it continues to insist that no such bailout will be required. However, a new study from a group of economists at New York University finds that the FHA’s assurances might not be based in reality.

Smelling Your Email

In response to this week’s news that the beleaguered U.S. Postal Service is facing $238 in losses over the coming decade, Charles Krauthammer lamented the inevitable demise of the government mail monopoly: 

Ray LaHood as Santa Claus

U.S. News & World Report’s columnist, Paul Bedard, reports that Transportation secretary Ray LaHood told him that it’s fun playing Santa Claus to states and cities around the nation.

Privatize the U.S. Postal Service

In August, President Barack Obama commented that “UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. … It’s the post office that’s always having problems.” We found out just how deep those problems were when Postmaster General John Potter announced that the U.S. Postal Service is facing $238 billion in losses over the next 10 years.

Federal Aid to States is Too Popular

The Economist’s Free Exchange blog asks: “[W]hy isn’t federal aid to states more popular, and popular enough to get through Congress, given that nearly every American lives in one?”

More Black Eyes for DHS

The Department of Homeland Security is in the news for a range of management problems. Bureaucratic bungling at DHS has been an agency hallmark since its creation in 2003. In 2008, the House Committee on Homeland Security counted $15 billion worth of failed DHS contracts for various projects since its inception.

EDA, NADO, & Appropriations Hearings

A couple weeks ago Orson Swindle, an assistant secretary of commerce for economic development in the Reagan Administration, was kind enough to send me news articles from his days battling policymakers over porky Economic Development Administration projects. In a 1989 Insight article, Orson gave a nice summation of one of the problems with special interest spending:    

Put Housing GSEs in Budget and Privatize

The two large housing government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have been in government receivership since September 2008. The U.S. Treasury has given the housing GSEs $112 billion in cash infusions, and this past Christmas Eve it quietly announced it would cover all of Fannie and Freddie’s losses beyond the original $400 billion limit through 2012.

Businesses Cite Government as the Problem

According to the latest Small Business Economic Trends survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, 31 percent of respondents said the single most important problem facing small businesses is “poor sales.” “Taxes” and “Government Regulations and Red Tape” came in second and third place at 22 percent and 13 percent respectively. Combining the two, the biggest problem facing small businesses according to respondents is government

Utah Legislators Call for Fiscal Federalism

Tea partiers take note: at the forefront of any effort to reduce the size of the federal government should be the devolvement of federal programs to the states. Achieving this may seem like mission impossible given the states’ addiction to federal money. However, there are signs that the idea of returning the relationship between the federal government and the states to that which the Founders prescribed is starting to gain some currency. 


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