Tag Archives: federal spending

The Creeping Crises


“A difficult or dangerous situation that needs serious attention.”
Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of crisis

Crisis is a term not to be used lightly.

There are more crises confronting the country than there have been in decades. Far from hyperbole, “crisis” fits like a glove on the resurgence of COVID-19, the humanitarian debacle at our southern border, and the record number of homicides on our streets, too many of which have put teenagers and small children in the bullseye. We’ve had record floods, record fires, record heat, record drought, all crises when you consider the number of related deaths, lives and property destroyed, and damage to the environment.

But there are several other crises that are in urgent need of serious attention because their consequences can be just as devastating to millions. They’re insidious, not the kind that bring eyeballs and clicks to news stories. They creep up slowly and are dismissed because no one knows how to fix them.

A perfect example is the Federal budget, over which Congress and the President are engaging in age-old partisan one-upmanship. We haven’t adopted a legitimate Federal budget in decades.

Budgets are gargantuan political and fiscal monstrosities that reach into every aspect of American life. They’re like the Titanic. If not designed, built, and steered with the skill of a seasoned seafarer, they will sink functional fiscal policy. Continue reading

Take Religion Out of Economics

Reprinted from Mullings.com

I had lunch yesterday with one of the smartest guys I know, Steve Bell. Steve is a long-time Hill budget and tax expert.

I am, as you may know, arithmetically challenged.

This was largely a one-way conversation. Steve talked and I nodded, pretending to understand what he was saying. The part of the conversation I did get was this: The two parties no longer consider each other to be political opponents – each aiming for the same goal but choosing differing paths to get there.

Each of the two parties now considers the other to be not just a political enemy, but an enemy of everything the other believes in. We have traded political ideology for political religiosity. Continue reading

The Imperfect Storm

Reprinted from TheFeeheryTheory.com

As members of Congress prepare to depart for the August break at the end of the week, they will be packing talking points from their caucus messaging packets that seek to explain why Congress hasn’t accomplished very much since the last time they went home.

With congressional ratings bouncing around at an all-time low, it is hard to imagine that whatever they have to say will have any resonance with voters.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) tried to put a unique spin on congressional inaction when he said that politicians should be measured not by how many laws are passed, but by how many laws were repealed.

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How to Pay What We Owe

Reprinted from TelemachusLeaps.com

Inflation. Pure and simple.

Inflating the national currency is the tried-and-true way that governments have used for centuries and millennium to get their way out of budget problems caused by excessive debt.

But it is a dangerous bet and one that would not be necessary had we been responsible adults about our budgets and not run much debt, or any at all, over the past 40 years.

No budget deficits, no national debt. No need to borrow…from anyone. Case closed.

Inflation hit the stratospheric level of 12% per year in 1980-81. Interest rates spiked up to 21%. President Jimmy Carter’s anti-inflation policies were an abysmal, absolute, abject and total failure. Continue reading

How To Go $16.5 Trillion in Debt

Reprinted from Mullings.com

A recent poll by the Pew organization showed that while those of us in our Nation’s Capital and the 2,375 people who watch cable chat shows are consumed by the looming sequester, the other 75% of Americans are just shrugging, sighing, and smiling knowingly that the world will go on after Friday.

The underlying issue about the size of the deficit (about $1 trillion for FY 2013) and the national debt (a touch under $16.6 trillion) is the way the government spends our money.

Not its money. Our money. Continue reading


Reprinted from Mullings.com

The latest projectile-sweat-producing event in our nation’s capital is the looming automatic cuts in the federal budget known as “sequestration.”

Sequestration is not a word we get to use every day in a sentence, most of us, but it is fun to say because we get to use the tip and the back of our tongues to say it.

According to Webster’s, sequestration is a 14th century word from the Latin sequesrare – to hand over to a trustee or some other third party. Today it is an Continue reading

The Gathering Fiscal Storm


We have written about the fiscal cliff and its possible economic consequences several times in recent months.  Other organizations have been more sanguine about the impact of the expiring tax cuts and large federal spending reductions that are set to occur at the beginning of January 2013.

A few days ago, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its latest assessment of the fiscal cliff and the analysis bolsters our argument: Going over the cliff inevitably leads to a serious recession.

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Secret Sauce of Politics


Reprinted from Weekly Standard

Political enthusiasm is the secret sauce of American politics.  When it comes to producing calories for winning elections, it’s the difference between a Big Mac and Lean Cuisine.

But what stimulates this vote-producing electoral flavoring?  One party sometimes gets an energy jolt through a combination of forces.

This year Republicans received the extra dollop of zeal on the political menu.  Predictable historical conditions explain part of the equation.  The “out” party normally enjoys an enthusiasm gap because the “outs” want to become the “ins.”

But Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress also contribute to the GOP’s edge. Their policies and performance – since January 2009 — engender emotions that will create additional GOP electoral punch in November.

At one level, the Republicans enjoy an expected enthusiasm gap. History provides some insights here. In November 1994, with Bill Clinton in the White House and his party in control of Congress, a Gallup survey asked voters if they were “more enthusiastic” or “less enthusiastic” about voting compared to previous elections. Self-identified Republicans said they were more excited by an 11-percentage point margin.

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