The news is filled with the everyday zigzags of those competing against each other for the Democrat and Republican Party nominations to run for the presidency of the United States. But one of the most important issues receiving little or no attention in this circus of political power lusting is the long-term danger from the huge and rising Federal government debt.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has often talked about his desire for the United States to emulate the socialist welfare states of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden by providing free college and health care and expanding Social Security. Sanders also wants to ban oil, natural gas, and coal production on lands owned by the federal government, and he has called for a ban on hydraulic fracturing, which has dramatically increased production of oil and natural gas in the United States.
President Barack Obama delivered his final State of the Union address on January 12, 2016, and devoted most of the time to defending his “legacy” of bigger and more intrusive government, with an emphasis on the other aspects of personal and social life he wished could come under the blanket of more political paternalism, if only there was enough time before he leaves office on January 20, 2017.
Thus far, the Saudi royal family has maintained its highly oppressive form of government by pacifying its people with an extensive welfare state funded by oil money. But low oil prices brought about by hydraulic fracturing in the United States are forcing the monarchy to give the Saudi people more freedom in order to remain in power.
The decades-old legislation that prevented American producers from exporting oil is officially overturned—despite previous presidential threats to veto a bill to lift the oil export ban. That’s good policy. However, to get the support of “reluctant Democrats,” The Economist reports: “an additional five years of tax credits for wind and solar power” was part of the package. That’s bad energy policy.
California lawmakers are proposing to increase taxes on cigarettes by $2 per pack in order to fund increased entitlement spending. Instead of placing faith in the morality of their cause, lawmakers would do better to place their trust in economic and public health realities.
In this episode of The Heartland Daily Podcast, managing editor Jesse Hathaway and Mercatus Center senior research fellow Veronique de Rugy pick through the fallout of the two-year $1 trillion budget “deal” between President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders.
Socialism is a failed ideology. It was the avant-garde approach to how to do government – in the Twentieth Century. The Soviet Union was the flagship petri dish. That conquered, infiltrated or ingratiated themselves with many other nations – to establish them as additional petri dishes (Hello, Cuba). We certainly now have a large enough, long enough sample set – and the results are in. The system is contaminated – Socialism does not work.
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.
Since the economic downturn of 2008, the critics of capitalism have redoubled their efforts to persuade the American people and many others around the world that the system of individual freedom and free enterprise has failed.
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 entirety of the United States is now a federal disaster area – rendered thus by Washington, D.C. Unlike areas hit by hurricanes, tornadoes and other acts of God – our cataclysm is entirely man-made. Decades of anti-Reality policies have left our nation an uber-addled mess.
Paring it down to size will require a death by a thousand cuts, which, in environmental and energy policy, may have begun with the passage of the Cromnibus budget bill in late 2014. The Cromnibus might mark the beginning of a slow reduction of the federal government’s overreach in environmental issues.
Congratulations Boston! Your rejection of the “honor” of representing the US as its candidate for the 2024 Summer Olympics is an inspiring example of government performing its obligation to taxpayers and their hard earned money. Those of us who think that government has a responsibility to wisely use taxpayer money sometimes forget that Massachusetts enacted Proposition 2 1/2 not long after California’s fabled Proposition 13.
Instead of doubling down on outdated policy ideas such as raising taxes and increasing government spending, state governments facing budget crises should look to successful states for ideas on how to jumpstart their own economies and reverse population declines. Fortunately, there are resources they can use to make the case for innovation in government.
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.
Right now, while this Title II net neutrality horse race is still being run, the FCC and their political backers are high-fiving everyone in their loge viewing box, because they think that their strong race start means that they have already won the race.
The federal government alone spends almost $4 trillion a year – that is a LOT of garbage. Hundreds of billions of that is borrowed, which is debt and interest for which We the People are responsible – more garbage. Then there’s what they do with so much of that money – create ever more regulations. More garbage.
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.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Jesse Hathaway, managing editor of Budget & Tax News speaks with Tom Lampman. Lampman is a fiscal policy fellow at the Buckeye Institute for Public Policy. Hathaway and Lampman talk about a new report about billions of dollars in wasteful spending by the Ohio state government.