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Topic: Government Spending

Senator Mike Lee: The Farm Bill vs. America

Posted on Feb. 04, 14 | 01:01 PM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Government Spending
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Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) tries to "Shear" Spending in the Farm Bill

Posted on Jun. 19, 13 | 04:05 PM by Barney Keller | Topic: Government Spending
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Jay Leno's View on Big Sugar

Posted on Mar. 20, 13 | 04:53 PM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Government Spending
From Jay Leno:

“I saw this in the paper today, the Department of Agriculture wants to use our tax money to buy 400,000 tons of sugar to limit supply and boost prices so sugar producers can pay back government loans that they could default on. You follow me here on this? We loaned them money and now we’re giving them more money so they can pay back our loan. You still wonder why we’re 16 trillion dollars in debt? Anybody?” 
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12 Step Program for Spendaholics

Posted on Feb. 21, 13 | 10:05 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Government Spending
Club member Bill King from Pennsylvania sent us the following 12-step program for Spendaholics.  Politicians in Congress should admit they have a problem!
  1. Admit to yourself and to your constituents that you have been addicted to spending.
  2. Admit to yourself and to your constituents that Spendaholism is a major cause of our budget  deficits and national debt.
  3. Apologize to your constituents & commit to fiscal responsibility. (They’ll forgive you if you mend your ways)
  4. Recognize that ALL spending decisions have an emotional component
  5. Reject emotional appeals.
  6. Commit to the use of logic, reason, and sound fiscal and budgeting practices.
  7. Recognize that all of our problems cannot be solved with one massive piece of legislation.
  8. Prioritize spending programs and reform and/or cut at minimum 3 programs per quarter.
  9. Commit to reducing the deficit by 15% per year and a balanced budget in 10 years.
  10. Pledge to vote for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
  11. Vow to let free market principles drive the private sector of our economy.
  12. Promote policies that will promote economic growth in the private sector.
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"Infrastructure rhetoric is a bridge to nowhere"

Posted on Feb. 15, 13 | 04:13 PM by Barney Keller | Topic: Government Spending
Over at Reuters, Media Critic Jack Safer takes the media's coverage of the "civil engineering-industrial complex" to task:

Whenever the phrase “our crumbling infrastructure” passes the lips of a politician or appears in the pages of a newspaper, I change the password on my checking account and move my wallet to the front pocket of my jeans. So when President Barack Obama invoked our “aging infrastructure badly in need of repair” in his State of the Union address on Tuesday and Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria used his perch yesterday to complain that Obama wasn’t proposing near enough for infrastructure, I closed my bank accounts, canceled my credit cards, converted my liquid investments into gold bullion, dumped them into 55-gallon drums, rolled the drums into a backyard pit and poured a load of cement over the heap.

It’s not that infrastructure doesn’t crumble — everything turns to dust eventually. Obviously, useful bridges, ports, airports and highways need to be maintained, and as a country grows it needs new ones. It’s just that the press allows members of the civil engineering-industrial complex to bamboozle them into believing that all calls for building infrastructure are equal.
The whole thing is worth a read. Yet another good reason to devolve infrastructure spending to the states. The Cato Institute has an excellent paper on this topic you can read here.
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A “dollar-for-dollar” match?

Posted on Dec. 18, 12 | 02:34 PM by Barney Keller | Topic: Government Spending
Very interesting article in today's Washington Times. Does the Republican leadership plan on counting a sequester replacement as “new” cuts? We certainly don’t consider replacing cuts that are already in law as “new” cuts, and that would appear to violate Speaker Boehner’s “promise” not to raise the debt ceiling unless matched dollar-for-dollar by new cuts.

Link to whole article here


Part of the deal Mr. Boehner offered, though, would give the president another raise in the debt ceiling, in exchange for the spending cuts — which budget hawks said amounts to double-counting because the president already earned a debt-ceiling increase last year for that same money.

 “The sequester is current law,” said Robert L. Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a bipartisan budget-watchdog group. “So if you are replacing that, you are not getting more savings, you are just getting savings in a different form.” 


 Conservatives have watched Mr. Boehner’s negotiations with trepidation as he has agreed to hefty tax increases, including raising rates — something the GOP had repeatedly ruled out.

And now they fear by using some of the new spending cuts to replace the sequesters, and still counting that as new cuts for purposes of a future debt increase, he’ll end up double-counting. 

“Replacing the sequester does not count as a concession Speaker Boehner can claim that he extracted from the president as far as we are concerned,” said Barney Keller, spokesman for the Club for Growth, a group that opposes big government spending. “Those are spending cuts that were going to happen anyway.

 “Certainly, if all you are doing is replacing the sequester, which is already in law, then all you are really doing is giving the president a clean debt-limit increase,” Mr. Keller said.


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Our Country's Hidden and Very Real Liabilities

Posted on Nov. 27, 12 | 10:00 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Government Spending
Here's a teaser from an excellent op-ed by Chris Cox and Bill Archer in today's WSJ:

We most often hear about the alarming $15.96 trillion national debt (more than 100% of GDP), and the 2012 budget deficit of $1.1 trillion (6.97% of GDP). As dangerous as those numbers are, they do not begin to tell the story of the federal government's true liabilities.

The actual liabilities of the federal government—including Social Security, Medicare, and federal employees' future retirement benefits—already exceed $86.8 trillion, or 550% of GDP.
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Lenders and Spenders

Posted on Nov. 26, 12 | 04:58 PM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Government Spending
This is a great article by economist Arnold Kling.  

In it, he offers up a simple economy made up of Sammy Spender and Lois Lender to prove that borrowing from ourselves is indeed a real problem even though Paul Krugman would have people believe otherwise.
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The Vote Against Big Bird

Posted on Oct. 10, 12 | 11:42 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Government Spending
The Big Bird issue is really hot right now, as it should be.  Conservatives shouldn't be shy about it pushing the subject, either.  If a lawmaker can't cut spending for something as minor as PBS funding, what kind of spending are they capable of cutting?  The answer is probably "not much."

So which lawmakers don't want to cut funding for Big Bird?  At the request of a Club member who gave me the idea, I dug through the roll call votes in Congress for the past several years, and I only found one clean example.

In 2007, the House voted on a Doug Lamborn (R-Co) amendment that would defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (the parent of PBS).  

It failed 72-357.  How did your representative vote?
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I Want To Be A Crony

Posted on Aug. 23, 12 | 05:33 PM by Barney Keller | Topic: Government Spending
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Ben Bernanke: "A trillion here, a trillion there..."

Posted on Jun. 07, 12 | 11:47 AM by Andrew Roth | Topic: Government Spending
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