When it comes to congressional ethics rules, the fox is guarding the henhouse.
Rep. Fincher’s inability or unwillingness to remove the plank in his own eye is yet another example of how Republicans are generally lousy at making the case for spending cuts.
In addition to doing little to curb the size of government, it does nothing to rein in the federal government’s scope.
Last week I discussed the tendency for policymakers to treat the Pentagon like a giant jobs program. It was prompted by an article from the Associated Press on members of Congress shoving unwanted upgraded Abrams tanks down taxpayers’ throats because retooling tanks sustains jobs back in the district.
Over the past two years Congress has spent almost a half billion taxpayer dollars—and wants to spend another $436 million—upgrading Abrams tanks that experts and the Army itself say aren’t needed.
Although I think both parties deserve equal blame (food stamps are an example), I give Rubio credit for not going along with the standard Republican delusion that Obama lit the torch of government dependency.
As I often point out, waste always comes with government the same way a Happy Meal always comes with a toy and drink. There is duplication and waste in the federal government because it has become massive and there are virtually no limits on what politicians can spend money on.
The president will apparently propose modest measures to slow the growth in entitlement spending in exchange for more tax increases. That would raise hopes for what the Beltway class likes to refer to as the “grand bargain,” but for those of us who are looking for considerably less government in our lives it would hardly be cause for enthusiasm.
The President on Tuesday signed the continuing resolution that funds the government through September and (gasp) keeps the sequester cuts intact. Now that it appears sequestration isn't going away (and yet the earth continues to spin merrily on its axis), the focus should be on how this small step might be extended.
More effective (or efficient) government is also what liberals stand for
Saturday Night Live’s mocking of the administration’s sky-is-falling posture is a hopeful indication that the anti-spending cuts politicians might have overplayed their hand.
Every federal dollar that a state politician can spend is a dollar that he or she doesn’t have to ask his or her voters to part with.
Many of these areas have been covered by Cato’s Downsizing Government website. The following is a “guide” for those who are interested in alternative points of view (and who haven’t already sought refuge in a bunker).
Fahrenthold’s piece is a good reminder of how unserious politicians from both parties are about cutting spending. But I want to make two additional points.
Not surprisingly, special interests have been more than willing to assist reporters in spreading the doom and gloom.
The following chart illustrates why it is ridiculous to act as if smaller future increases in projected spending amount to realized spending cuts. The chart shows the Congressional Budget Office’s August 2001 baseline estimate of defense spending from 2002 to 2011 versus the actual outlays
As if on cue, the sequestration horror stories have commenced. It almost as if the government is incapable of cutting spending.
Alas, the “draconian” spending cuts invariably turn out to be not-so-draconian after all. In fact, it’s often the case that reporters are talking about smaller spending increases rather than real spending cuts.
In addition to not being free, federal subsidization of state spending makes it harder for taxpayers to understand and appreciate where their money is going and how it’s being spent.
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) is the new chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. His father, Bud, chaired the committee from 1995 to 2001 and would have been a first-ballot inductee into the Porker Hall of Fame if one existed.