It is hard for people to grasp the magnitude of the U.S. debt problem—and what the ultimate “day of reckoning” will be. The national debt reached $1 trillion for the first time in 2009. It is now well over $18 trillion. That’s the official total; the real total is much higher. Lawrence Kotlikoff, a professor of economics at Boston University, has calculated that based on Congressional Budget Office data the real debt is $202 trillion, more than eleven times the official debt. It is also about 3 times what the entire world produces, that is, global gross domestic product (GDP), which is $72 trillion. In 2013 Kotlikoff updated his debt calculation to $222. That’s $700,000 per person, $1.9 million per household.
Tim Wu, the self-described “policy advocate,” who coined the term “net neutrality;” who has been a leading activist for preemptively regulating broadband service like a utility despite scant evidence of any problem; who from 2008-2011 was Chair of the pressure group FreePress that ran the notoriously-deceptive “Save The Internet” campaign to force FCC net neutrality regulation that was overturned in court
The First Amendment reads (in part): “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech….” “Abridge” is legally defined as: “…(T)he making of a declaration or count shorter, by taking or severing away some of the substance from it.” The Founders prohibited the government from not just silencing speech – but from doing anything at all to in any way reduce it.
The climate treaty under negotiation is like a vampire from a bad old horror film. Every time you think it’s dead, it rises from the grave. This vampire is not sucking blood, but money and resources from taxpayers and needy people around the world. It’s time to put a stake through its heart and cut off the head of this climate-treaty monstrosity once and for all.
Kudos to Senators Mike Lee and Orin Hatch, and Rep. Blake Farenthold for their leadership and wisdom in advancing the SMARTER Act, H.R. 5402, “Standard Merger and Acquisition Reviews Through Equal Rules.”
Behold Mark Cuban – a wildly successful entrepreneur. He in 1995 co-founded Broadcast.com – and in 1999 Yahoo! way overpaid $5.7 billion for it. Ever since, Cuban has in Donald Trump-like fashion built himself into a brand – The Entrepreneur. Like Trump, he loves embodying the pursuit of professional victories. Like Trump, he turned his doing-business-vision into a high-ratings network television show (well, Trump turned his into two).
By following through on entitlement reforms started in the 1990s, Congress can defuse a ticking entitlement-spending time bomb and allow states to lead the way on holding costs down and better serving taxpayers.
The national Republican Party is currently in the midst of a slow-motion train wreck. Their presidential primary has amply demonstrated their Base’s profound disaffection. You can call it anger, you can call it delusion – you can call it a tuna fish sandwich. But when 70+% of your voters don’t like anyone having anything to do with anything you’ve been doing – you absolutely call it a problem.
As is clear from the rise of Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina in the Republican presidential primaries and the groundswell of support for socialist Bernie Sanders among Democrats, a large portion of the American public has become fed up with the national government’s apparent takeover by powerful special-interest groups. Each new day brings another story of bad legislation and worse court decisions giving certain classes of people advantages denied to the rest of the people.
The EPA is doing everything it can to avoid taking responsibility for the Gold King Mine disaster, where the EPA spilled millions of gallons of toxic waste water into the Animus river. So far, the Committee responsible for investigating the spill has faced EPA delays, withheld documents and even, it seems, doctored video.
A little more than a year ago, oil prices were above $100 a barrel. The national average for gasoline was in the $3.50 range. In late spring, oil was $60ish and the national average for gas was around $2.70. The price of a barrel of oil has plunged to $40 and below—yet, prices at the pump are just slightly less than they were when oil was almost double what it is today.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s new Clean Power Plan (CPP) requires that states reduce their electric utility sector carbon dioxide emissions an average of 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. EPA twisted 80 words in the Clean Air Act into 1,560 pages of regulations (plus appendices) demanding that utilities return CO2 emissions almost to 1975 levels, while our population grows by 40 million.
In the same way that EPA has extended its control over water—and even land—under clean water laws (See Part 1), it has exceeded Constitutional authority and the intent of Congress under the Clean Air Acts. Once again, it has caused an enormous waste of billions of taxpayer dollars on government itself—and costs approaching a trillion dollars for compliance in the private sector. All this with measures that have little benefit—and often negative consequences—to the environment or human health. Take carbon dioxide for example.
In today’s edition of the Heartland Daily Podcast, Devon Herrick, a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, joins managing editor Kenneth Artz to talk about the 50th anniversary of Medicare, the federal/state health care program for the elderly.
Reckless government spending and an uncontrollable federal debt have created an unavoidable monetary disaster ahead. The door to unlimited federal spending was opened by President Nixon in 1971 when he severed the last link between the dollar and gold by ending foreign central banks’ ability to exchange dollars for U.S. gold. Politicians realized that more spending produced more votes to keep them in office; and with no limit on federal spending, the mountain of debt just kept on growing.
Its current form is the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which critics of varied stripes widely regard as a colossal flop. Yet, few in Washington, DC dare talk of repeal. Even with both houses now under Republican control, Congress continues to haggle into an eighth year over the particulars of reauthorization.
Was there a resounding clamor for an EPA? Certainly not from Republicans. And not from Democrats – else Nixon could have (should have) gone to the bi-cameral-Democrat-majority Congress for legislation. (Actually, to expand the federal government’s purview to this massive degree would have – should have – required a Constitutional amendment.)
The fact the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee is attacking the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) management—er, mismanagement—of the federal renewable fuel standard (RFS) is indicative of the growing frustration over both the agency and the RFS itself.