135 results for tag: Budget


In Washington, uniform envy costs taxpayers

 When it comes to wasting taxpayer dollars, people tend to rightly look at tens of billions in improper payments at the federal level, or fraud, or using DHS to protect a pumpkin festival. Now, The Washington Post reports on tens of millions of dollars of waste on something very basic: military uniforms: In 2002, the U.S. military had just two kinds of camouflage uniforms. One was green, for the woods. The other was brown, for the desert. Then things got strange. Today, there is one camouflage pattern just for Marines in the desert. There is another just for Navy personnel in the desert. The Army has its own “universal” camouflage pattern, ...

Rush Limbaugh, James Pethokoukis, wrong on balanced budget

On Thursday, Rush Limbaugh cited a blog post by American Enterprise Institute scholar James Pethokoukis during his show. The post in question presents the notion of a balanced federal budget in 2015. Unfortunately, the post by Pethokoukis has three major flaws in it that makes its premise – a balanced budget in 2015 – extremely unlikely. First, and most critically, Pethokoukis cites the firm Potomac Research for the following information: … official forecasters will have to radically alter their projections this summer.  The CBO forecast of $845 billion in red ink this year, 5.3% of GDP, is hopelessly outdated; the deficit will fall well ...

High national debt and tepid economies: together like PB&J

In the last few years, a 2009 book and 2010 paper by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff have driven the intellectual discussion over cutting spending and debt in order to grow the American economy. As of late, however, the paper – which concluded that national debt levels over 90% of GDP slow growth dramatically – has come under fire from a doctoral student and two others at UMass-Amherst. Many partisans have since taken advantage of the work of these three men – Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash, and Robert Pollin (HAP) – to make various attacks on Reinhart-Rogoff’s (RR) work and character. Those partisans (as well as Herndon, Ash, and Pollin) ...

Well worth the migraine: CBO’s analysis of the first 7 months of the fiscal year

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) came out with its budget estimate of the first 7 months of the 2013 fiscal year, as well as its monthly review of April 2013. The bad news? Slogging through it will give you a migraine. The good news? It’s worth it to better understand how the federal government records its spending and taxes. Here are some of the highlights: The federal deficit so far is $489 billion of Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. This is $231 billion less than the deficit to this point in FY2012. Individual income and payroll tax revenues are up because of the end of the payroll tax holiday, other tax increases, and a slightly ...

A down and dirty look at the coming debt ceiling fight

This week, the House is considering H.R. 807, the Full Faith & Credit Act of 2013 (FFCA), a GOP-supported bill that would instruct the Treasury Department to prioritize federal spending on Social Security payments and interest payments should the debt ceiling be breached. Treasury says it cannot prioritize payments: The Full Faith and Credit Act is a preemptive attempt by Republicans to defuse the warnings from the White House and Democrats about holding the debt ceiling “hostage” in fiscal negotiations. The bill would give the Treasury Department the ability to borrow above the limit to cover bond and Social Security payments. While the ...

Senate Must Admit Full Costs of Immigration Bill before Passing another “Train Wreck”

Tea Party Patriots Plan Rallies, #DCIntervention Social Media Blitz The Tea Party Patriots, the nation’s largest tea party organization, as part of its “No More Train Wrecks” #DCIntervention campaign, announced several grassroots activities this week in order to force the U.S. Senators to tell their constituents the full costs of the proposed immigration bill which they failed to do with Obamacare. More information at www.TeaPartyPatriots.org/NoMoreTrainWrecks. Last week, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a strong supporter of the president’s healthcare bill, admitted that rising healthcare costs were at least “in part because of Obamacare.” ...

A simple solution to a devastating problem

At CNBC, the solution to the nation’s high unemployment and debt levels is stated simply and powerfully: "The fact is that the U.S. economy isn't growing fast enough to significantly increase the revenue to the government, but our debt is still soaring," Pento said. "It's a shame they won't just implement real measures to grow the economy like reduce regulations, simplify the tax code and balance the budget." What is the problem? Massive, lengthy unemployment: GDP growth is in the midst of its longest sub-3 percent annual growth rate since 1929, the beginning of the Great Depression, according to Bespoke Investment Group. The economy hasn't ...

It’s for the egos!

In early April, Tea Party Patriots noted that President Obama’s awful budget proposal did have a good reformation of one particular spending program. In short, President Obama – following in the footsteps of his predecessor – wanted to change how $1.4 billion in international food aid is bought and distributed by the federal government. As happened to President Bush’s efforts, however, the idea has quickly been opposed by Members of Congress protecting their agriculture interests. (H/T to Erika Johnsen of Hot Air for highlighting this point.) From The New York Times, however, it appears congressional egos may get in the way more than ...

Obama blinks on sequestration

On Sunday, Tea Party Patriots’ legislative expert Bill Pascoe explained to local coordinators how sequestration had set up a battle between the GOP and the Democratic Party on who would blink first: when the public finally saw the alleged impact of sequestration – in this case, the airline delays – would the GOP compromise on sequestration, or would Democrats allow more flexibility for the spending reductions? Last week Democrats, particularly President Obama, blinked. As Bill explained, the House and Senate passed legislation to allow flexibility for the FAA’s implementation of sequestration. This has Democrats frustrated, and, as of ...

Is Congress right to ignore the military on tank purchases?

From Huffington Post by the Associated Press: Lawmakers from both parties have devoted nearly half a billion dollars in taxpayer money over the past two years to build improved versions of the 70-ton Abrams. But senior Army officials have said repeatedly, "No thanks." It's the inverse of the federal budget world these days, in which automatic spending cuts are leaving sought-after pet programs struggling or unpaid altogether. Republicans and Democrats for years have fought so bitterly that lawmaking in Washington ground to a near-halt. Yet in the case of the Abrams tank, there's a bipartisan push to spend an extra $436 million on a weapon the ...