I met with a group of House Republicans last week to talk about tax reform. Ways and Means chairman Kevin Brady is laying the groundwork for a major tax restructuring next year, and so GOP members are boning up on reform ideas.
In today’s Wall Street Journal, Scott McCartney reports on the superior air traffic control (ATC) system north of the border. American aviation is suffering from a bureaucratic government-run ATC, while Canada’s privatized system is moving ahead with new technologies that reduce delays and congestion.
The federal government funds hundreds of subsidy programs for state, local, and private activities, such as programs for housing and economic development. State and local governments, businesses, charities, and individuals could fund such local activities by themselves without federal aid. But America is increasingly kicking local activities up to the federal government, and so Uncle Sam the Middleman keeps growing.
Bloomberg reports that the Port of Los Angeles is increasing automation with the installation of self-driving cranes and other equipment. The automation is being partly driven by the need to minimize the use of high cost and troublesome unionized labor.
The problem with the federal government is not just its vast size, but its increasing scope. It has expanded into many areas that should be left to state and local governments, businesses, charities, and individuals. The federal expansion is sucking the life out of the private sector and creating a top-down bureaucratic society.
A Time article by James Grant warning about rising federal debt has prompted pushback by columnists questioning whether debt is really so bad. At the Washington Post, Wonkblog columnist Matt O’Brien says “there’s no reason to cut the debt today.”
A number of House Republicans have testified to the Ways and Means Committee about their ideas for overhauling the tax code.
We’ve updated the charting tool at www.downsizinggovernment.org/charts with the latest data. You can plot spending on hundreds of federal agencies and programs in constant, or inflation-adjusted, dollars. The charts cover 1970 to 2016.
Which are the largest federal government agencies, and how much have they grown? The following series of seven charts captured from the charting tool shows the 21 largest agencies.
The House Ways and Means Committee is holding hearings on tax reform in advance of major restructuring next year should a Republican win the White House.
Today, Rep. Roger Williams presents his plan to the committee. The congressman’s Jumpstart America legislation is a good plan, but I would make it better in these ways:
Large spending cuts should be on the agenda when the next president enters office in 2017. Spending cuts would spur economic growth by shifting resources from lower-valued government activities to higher-valued private ones.
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