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Tag: Budget

Washington Loves a Paradox

In a Washington circus that features as many morons as oxymorons, we have self-described deficit hawks who promote tax cuts, alleged war opponents who back war escalations and supposed anti-government conservatives who press to expand the National Security State.

Posted on Jan 7, 2011 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller

We Really Do Spend More Than $1 Trillion on War

The Pentagon’s budget is only about half of what the U.S. spends on war and defense. If you add costs like nuclear weapons and the medical care of wounded soldiers, the figure tops $1 trillion. Robert Higgs has the math to prove it.

Posted on Jan 5, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / qmnonic (CC-BY)

Obama Signs Big, Pricey Food Bill

The legislation that President Obama signed Tuesday represents the biggest revamp of the country’s food regulation system in decades—that is, if it gets past those congressional Republicans spoiling for a fight as they pledge to crack down on government spending this year.

Posted on Jan 4, 2011 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / U.S. House of Representatives

So Much for Bipartisanship

The GOP is mobilizing to make some big changes over the next two years, including but not limited to the following: taking down health care reform, cutting the budget and attempting to oust President Obama from the White House in 2012.

Posted on Jan 3, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / Leo Lau (CC-BY)

White House Proposes Federal Pay Freeze

Those greedy bureaucrats sending out Grandma’s Social Security check and cleaning the toilets in our national parks finally will get slapped down, thanks to our honest, hard-working politicians. Republican lawmakers ...

Posted on Nov 29, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Iranian Students News Agency / Arash Khamushi

Iran’s Parliament Schemes to Impeach Ahmadinejad

A serious rift has divided the Iranian government in a manner that could be tricky to resolve, as it puts the country’s parliament on one side and its president on the other. On Monday, the news broke that Iran’s parliament had been working on a plan to eject ... (continued)

Posted on Nov 23, 2010 READ MORE


The Earmark Sideshow

The facts about earmarks—and the deficit, for that matter—are so simple that even the dumbest birther should be able to understand.

Posted on Nov 18, 2010 READ MORE



White House

La Vie en Denial

I read “Decision Points” and it turns out that George W. Bush is the Edith Piaf of fiscal policy: He regrets nothing.

Posted on Nov 17, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Jamean R. Berry

The Imperial Defense of Pentagon Bloat

Beware the sophistry of budget talking points—especially those seeking to deter any criticism of defense spending.

Posted on Oct 14, 2010 READ MORE


A Generation of Termites

The best recent estimates by civil engineers and government experts indicate that we would have to spend well over $2 trillion during the next five years on roads, bridges, airports, railways, transit, sewers, waterways, ports, dams, parks and schools simply to maintain them in decent condition.

Posted on Oct 13, 2010 READ MORE


Bush's budget
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The Lowdown on Trickle-Down

Not like the truth will make a difference for the folks who watch Fox News, but the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has analyzed the short-term effects of extending George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the rich and concluded that doing so would be the least effective way to cut unemployment and spur the economy.

Posted on Sep 11, 2010 READ MORE


The Tax-Cut Hand Grenade

The president’s position that the tax cuts for those making less than $250,000 a year should be extended permanently is fiscally reckless.

Posted on Sep 7, 2010 READ MORE


Let’s Be Honest About Taxes

We need to do something about tax expenditures, those spending programs disguised as tax breaks that cost us close to $1.2 trillion a year.

Posted on Aug 26, 2010 READ MORE



DoD / Cherie Cullen

Despite New Cuts, Obama Will Spend More than Bush on Military

The most important fact in the New York Times report on Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ spending cuts comes 15 paragraphs in, when we learn that the U.S. will still spend more than ever on the military, more than all other countries combined, more than under President Bush. (continued)

Posted on Aug 9, 2010 READ MORE


school scene
AP / Carlos Osorio

$26 Billion for States and Schools

A $26 billion aid package was passed by the Senate on Thursday that aims to ensure that school districts and states do not have to can tens of thousands of teachers and government workers. Just two Republicans crossed the ideological aisle to support the bill, which now heads to the House.

Posted on Aug 6, 2010 READ MORE


Deficit Dope

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Posted on Aug 1, 2010 READ MORE



Photo illustration based on an image by Flickr user cometstarmoon (CC-BY)

The Politics of Stupidity Strike Again

Can a nation remain a superpower if its internal politics are incorrigibly stupid? While we’re at it, does any other democracy have a powerful legislative branch as undemocratic as the U.S. Senate?

Posted on Jul 28, 2010 READ MORE


Pentagon
Flickr.com / mindfrieze

Pressure Is On to Tighten the Pentagon’s Waist

Does the Defense Department’s budget make the Pentagon look fat? Some officials believe so, as political and economic pressure to cut the U.S. military’s bloated spending habit has stirred the first serious debate on the Pentagon’s budget since 2001’s terrorist attacks.

Posted on Jul 23, 2010 READ MORE



U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock

Deficit Doves

Getting out of the red is the new black. Deficit hawks have swooped down on the U.S. budget. This week, they attacked unemployment benefits.

Posted on Jul 20, 2010 READ MORE



boc.ca.gov

Technical Difficulties Bring Luck to Calif. Workers

California’s outdated technical infrastructure has made 200,000 state employees very, very happy. After an injunction by the governor to cut workers pay to the state’s $7.25 minimum wage, the state controller has successfully argued that such pay docking would be impossible given the state’s outdated payroll computer system.

Posted on Jul 16, 2010 READ MORE


The Thing That Ate the WIC Budget

The government’s struggles with infant formula, of all things, offer a broader lesson in how hard it is to take even the most common-sense steps to save taxpayer dollars.

Posted on Jul 13, 2010 READ MORE


Show Us the Money

We could easily slip into another Great Depression if our leaders continue to heed the chattering class on the deficit. But cutting spending is not just bad economics; it’s bad politics, too.

Posted on Jul 7, 2010 READ MORE


After the Recession, Belt-Tightening

This is no time for retrenchment, but the deficit projections coming out of the Congressional Budget Office are alarming and will only get worse if we dawdle.

Posted on Jul 4, 2010 READ MORE


After 41 Years, a Belated Victory for Butter

The last time America found itself in a budget debate pitting domestic priorities against war expenditures, Richard Nixon was in the White House and David Obey was the youngest member of Congress.

Posted on Jun 25, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Budget Director Calls It Quits

Peter Orszag is resigning his Cabinet-level position and possibly heading to the relative calm of a think tank. Orszag decided to leave before work on the next budget starts in earnest. A successor is likely to be promoted from within the administration.

Posted on Jun 22, 2010 READ MORE


Pentagon
Flickr.com / mindfrieze

The Pentagon’s Spare Parts Problem

As budget hawks continue their attack on spending cuts around the country, it might be useful to look at the Pentagon after a report released Thursday claimed that at least $7 billion in taxpayer funds is being wasted on purchases of spare parts that the military ends up not needing.

Posted on Jun 12, 2010 READ MORE


What Are They Smoking in California?

There is record support for marijuana legalization, as more Americans see the drug war for what it really is. But framing the debate in terms of tax revenue is just bad politics.

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 READ MORE


Rebuilding an American Legacy

The collapse of American infrastructure is a shamefully old story by now, featuring scary statistics that must be updated regularly as the situation worsens.

Posted on Apr 8, 2010 READ MORE



AP / Petros Giannakouris

Greek Financial Crisis Hits Poor

The origins of Greece’s economic crisis lie with the recklessness of the rich, but the consequences are directly affecting the poor: A new poll shows that three-quarters of the Greek population believe that the current plans to cut the country’s budget deficit are “socially unfair.”

Posted on Apr 2, 2010 READ MORE


A-B-C ... PTSD

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Posted on Feb 2, 2010 READ MORE    


Limbaugh Says $250,000 Isn’t Wealthy

For all their talk of deficits, conservatives don’t ever want to pay for them. Rush Limbaugh says people making more than $250,000 a year—who may just have to brace for a tax hike to keep our budget shortfalls somewhere in this galaxy—do not qualify as wealthy.

Posted on Feb 1, 2010 READ MORE


Obama's budget announcement
whitehouse.gov

Obama Announces $3.8 Trillion Budget for 2011

President Barack Obama on Monday announced his proposed 2011 budget, which includes boosted spending for creating jobs and waging wars, a potential tax on big banks, funding for infrastructure on the state and city levels ... and a whopping $1.6 trillion deficit for the fiscal year.

Posted on Feb 1, 2010 READ MORE


Hope in the Deep Freeze

There are many reasons why Barack Obama’s spending freeze, which appears to be nothing more than pandering to the angry right, will not work as policy or politics.

Posted on Jan 28, 2010 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama to Propose Spending Freeze

As part of his State of the Union address Wednesday, the president is expected to call for a three-year freeze on non-military, non-entitlement discretionary spending that amounts to a small fraction of the budget. It’s a stunt, for the most part, aimed at soothing budget-conscious independents. (continued)

Posted on Jan 25, 2010 READ MORE


Schwarzenegger
http://gov.ca.gov/

And Now, the California Budget Cuts

What’s to be done about California’s budget woes? Well, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is cutting way back on spending on such superfluous concerns as “health, welfare, transport and the environment,” according to the BBC. But really, this’ll hurt him more than it’ll hurt ... oh, never mind.

Posted on Jan 8, 2010 READ MORE



Flickr / TenSafeFrogs

Liberal Linguist Wants to Save California

The nation’s biggest and richest state has been called ungovernable because, among other reasons, budgets and taxes have to be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Legislature. George Lakoff, the guy who gave us framing, is out to change things. (continued)

Posted on Jan 4, 2010 READ MORE


Decades From Hell: One Down, One to Go

This was, nationally and globally, a lousy decade. I hate to put a damper on your holiday season, but the next one has every prospect of being worse.

Posted on Dec 23, 2009 READ MORE


In Need of a Watchdog on Health Spending

There was a nice, albeit fleeting, moment in the spring when hospitals, doctors, drug companies and insurers came together at the White House, pledging to do their part to get health care costs under control.

Posted on Dec 16, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Charles Rex Arbogast

Kucinich on Obama’s Escalation: Great Speech, Bad Policy

The other “peace candidate” in the 2008 Democratic primary isn’t thrilled with the president’s order to radically escalate the war in Afghanistan, no matter if there’s an exit strategy: “What are we going to learn in 18 months that we haven’t already learned in the last eight years?”

Posted on Dec 1, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Charles Rex Arbogast

Kucinich on Obama’s Escalation: Great Speech, Bad Policy

The other “peace candidate” in the 2008 Democratic primary isn’t thrilled with the president’s order to radically escalate the war in Afghanistan, no matter if there’s an exit strategy: “What are we going to learn in 18 months that we haven’t already learned in the last eight years?”

Posted on Dec 1, 2009 READ MORE


Obama’s Third Way in Afghanistan

The president’s mix-and-match approach to Afghanistan will make no one very happy. Yet it might be the least dangerous choice.

Posted on Nov 22, 2009 READ MORE


Where Are the Real Deficit Hawks?

Save $110 billion, or spend $6.3 trillion? In recent months, tea party protesters and Congress’ so-called fiscal conservatives chose the latter.

Posted on Nov 12, 2009 READ MORE


Obama signs bill
AP / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Obama Trims (Some) Fat with Weapons Bill

In a move that some are praising as a major victory against the powerful weapons lobby, President Barack Obama was able to cut out several expensive programs, thus cutting down on defense spending, in the new $680 billion dollar military bill he signed Wednesday. However, before we get too excited, let’s be clear here: That’s still $680 billion, after all.

Posted on Oct 28, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / ThisParticularGreg

A Cruel and Unusual Waste of Money

Executing people is expensive. A new report by the Death Penalty Information Center says California is spending more than 10 times as much on capital punishment—$137 million a year—as it would on an alternative life-without-parole system. New York and New Jersey repealed ...

Posted on Oct 21, 2009 READ MORE


money bags
0-60mag.com

Federal Deficit Hits Record $1.42 trillion

If you thought last year’s federal budget deficit was pretty big, you were right—and it’s three times as big now! Thanks to the magic of the recession, as well as the government’s attempts to rescue various sectors of the economy (and throw money at others, or so it appeared), the deficit for the 12 months ending last month was a whopping $1.42 trillion.

Posted on Oct 16, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / gregwest98

House Votes to Pay Nation’s Bills, Tosses In a Bit for Itself

The House of Representatives decided it was worth keeping this whole America thing going, and passed a temporary spending bill while lawmakers hammered out the usual long-term budgets. The new funds will help keep the Postal Service afloat and expand House office budgets by 8 percent.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE



California Emergency Management Agency

Homeland Security Spending Marked by Waste, Shoddy Oversight

Records show that communities across California had difficulty managing millions in anti-terrorism grants handed out by Congress after Sept. 11.

Posted on Sep 13, 2009 READ MORE


State Budget Math

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Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE


Read My Lips: We Need to Raise Taxes

Does President Obama care about passing health care reform that truly gets costs under control and getting the nation’s fiscal house in order or does he care more about getting re-elected?

Posted on Aug 4, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / kevindooley

Come Rain, Sleet or E-Mail

After losing about $7 billion this fiscal year, the U.S. Postal Service may shut down as many as 700 local post offices. The postmaster general has also asked Congress to approve cutting deliveries to five days a week.

Posted on Aug 3, 2009 READ MORE


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