OMB Director Peter Orszag is blaming
the inefficiencies of the federal government on outdated personal computers. That is hard to understand given that federal IT spending
amounted to $200 million a day
One aspect of the health care debate that has not been sufficiently addressed is how the Department of Health and Human Services will handle all its new responsibilities given the massive fraud and abuse that already plagues its existing programs.
The board game Monopoly first took off during the Great Depression. A different game has become popular during today’s Great Recession. In this game, politicians race against high unemployment to create jobs in order to save their own. The players (politicians) have unlimited tax and borrowing authority, and can call upon friendly economists
to help them maneuver. The players even get to keep score, although the media can penalize shoddy scorekeeping
. Ultimately, voters will decide which players win and lose in the fall elections.
This weekend while watching a football game with a friend, I saw a commercial for Pepsi “Throwback
.” This is a new product containing real sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup. My friend was incredulous when I explained that soft drinks manufactured for sale domestically generally don’t contain sugar because government protection of the U.S. sugar industry from imports make its use cost-prohibitive.
The Wall Street Journal ran the story last week: “U.S. Now a Renters’ Market.” Apartment vacancies hit a 30-year high in the last quarter of 2009, and rents are falling in most markets. For current or former homeowners trying to stumble out of the debris left from the government-fueled housing bubble, a renter-friendly environment is a positive opportunity.
As Congress hashes out an agreement behind closed doors to expand the government’s role in health care, a Medicaid story out of New York serves as another reminder that government is part of the health care problem, not the solution. Audits released by the state’s comptroller found $169 million in misspent funds, including a $196,000 cab bill for a woman who took a daily $300 taxi ride to visit her son in Albany for three years.
The government is less efficient than the private sector, and technology investment is a prime example. A column
this week on the federal CIO, Vivek Kundra, by InformationWeek’s
Bob Evans illustrates this reality. Evans begins his column with some well-placed sarcasm:
According to AgWeb.com
, “Midwestern U.S. farmland provides investors the best opportunity and risk to reward” in the world. Five factors were analyzed, including soil content, growing season, and infrastructure. But it was the last two, property rights and government support, which caught my attention.
Our bloated government does a lot of things it shouldn’t, but the decennial census is one of the handful of federal activities the Constitution approves of. The census was intended simply to determine the number of seats each state would have in the House of Representatives. Today, census data is plugged into government formulas to determine how more than $400 billion in subsidies from the federal welfare state are allocated to state and local governments.
Neal McCluskey wrote an op-ed
on the ways that taxpayers subsidize college football bowl games. As a college football fan, it pains me that I can’t even get a respite from big government on game day. This Wednesday’s matchup
between Central Michigan and Troy will be particularly insulting to taxpayers because it’s the annual GMAC Bowl.
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