An Observation on Mitch Daniels

Looking at the Republican field for 2012, I'm more than a little disheartened that the most prudent and fiscally conservative contender for the Republican nomination is Mitch Daniels. The same Mitch Daniels who, as director of OMB, oversaw a federal budget that went from a $236 billion suprlus to a $400 billion deficit. The same […]

Washington Fiddles While The Budget Deficit Continues To Burn

Continuing a trend that stretches back nearly two years, the monthly federal budget deficit hit another record in April: The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the federal deficit for April soared to $82.7 billion, the largest imbalance for that month on record. That was significantly higher than last year’s April deficit of $20 billion and […]

Alan Simpson: Best Damn Record of No Taxes of any Son-of-a-Bitch

Alan Simpson’s wit, candor, and integrity made him one of my favorite senators of all time. And now he’s fighting back against the interest groups that are killing our party. Former Sen. Alan Simpson is none too pleased with conservatives who say he lacks sufficient antitax fervor.  “I got the best damn record on no […]

Reconciliation, Health Care, and History

Political scientists  Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein argues that, contrary to Republican claims,   the reconciliation process is neither illegitimate nor rare. Reconciliation was intended to be a narrow procedure to bring revenues and spending into conformity with the levels set in the annual budget resolution. But it quickly became much more. The 22 reconciliation bills […]

National Debt Hysteria?

In a front piece story in today’s NYT, Edmund Andrews warns that the bill is about to come due on the massive borrowing the federal government has engaged in. Treasury officials now face a trifecta of headaches: a mountain of new debt, a balloon of short-term borrowings that come due in the months ahead, and […]

National Debt Hits $12 Trillion, Will Double By 2019

Barack Obama has been president for just under 10 months but he’s added two trillion to the national debt and will double it by the end of the decade.  CBS’ Mark Knoller: This latest milestone in the ever-rising journey of the National Debt comes less than eight months after it hit $11 trillion for the […]

Pentagon Expected To Ask For Supplementary War Funding. As Usual.

Remember a couple of weeks ago, when Congress passed a $680 billion appropriation? Well, don’t worry–the military will be getting still more money: The nation’s top military officer said Wednesday that he expected the Pentagon to ask Congress in the next few months for emergency financing to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, even […]

Split Health Care Bill

Taking a page out of Soloman’s playbook, Congressional Democrats have a brand new plan for passing health care reform. The White House and Senate Democratic leaders, seeing little chance of bipartisan support for their health-care overhaul, are considering a strategy shift that would break the legislation into two parts and pass the most expensive provisions […]

Obama Approval Dropping as Hard Choices Made

As President Obama settles into his fifth month in office, his personal popularity remains high but his job approval is slipping drastically, according to a new NYT/CBS News poll. A substantial majority of Americans say President Obama has not developed a strategy to deal with the budget deficit, according to the latest New York Times/CBS […]

Budget and Economic Outlook

I think, based on this, that people have valid concerns about a permanent expansion in the size and scope of government. It seems reasonable that some of the spending that we are currently embarking on will likley be permanent. Source: Congressional Budget Office Via Greg Mankiw

Obama Gutting the Military?

Andrew Exum has “a policy whereby when someone is criticized by name, they have the right to post a response.”  Having yesterday taken exception to a WSJ editorial by AEI’s Thomas Donnelly and Gary Schmitt arguing that Obama and Gates are “gutting the military” and received a lengthy email response from Donnelly, he reprints it […]

DoD Cutting Major Programs in Restructuring

The Defense Department is finally getting somewhat serious about COIN and other forms of nontraditional warfare, signaling major priority shifts with its new budget proposal. Gates’s aides say his plan would boost spending for some programs and take large whacks at others, including some with powerful constituencies on Capitol Hill and among influential contractors, making […]

Republican ‘Budget’ Embarrassing

Steven Taylor, a lifelong Republican, calls “The Republican Road to Recovery,” the GOP’s budget-without-numbers, “an “embarrassing budget proposal.” Here’s the deal: if one is going to engage in a serious1 policy debate about very serious fiscal and monetary matters in a time of a very deep financial crisis, one has to come prepared and be […]

U.S. Defense Spending Too High?

Robert Farley thinks the United States spends far too much on defense. Absent supplementals, the United States currently runs a defense budget of just over half a trillion dollars, a number which does not include defense-related spending in other departments. By the kindest calculations, this means that the U.S. spends roughly four to six times […]

Obama Going Gray!

The Old Gray Lady has another of the epic scoops that made them the Newspaper of Record. Ace correspondent Helene Cooper breaks the news in a piece of journalism titled “For Young President, Flecks of Gray.” Well, that didn’t take long. Just 44 days into the job, and President Obama is going gray. It happens […]

Obama’s Irreversible Agenda

Ross Douthat has discovered Barack Obama’s evil genius: What Obama does have, though, is an atmosphere of crisis and a massively-unpopular opposition party, which grants him an unparalleled political opportunity to pass whatever spending the Democratic Party likes, and damn the short-term cost. And what you see in his budgeting proposals, I think, is the […]

Obama Slashes Spending, Increasing Massively!

I can’t help but be bemused by the YahooNews headline “Obama promises to slash spending by $2 trillion,” which accompanies an AP story quite contrary to that. President Barack Obama unveiled a multi-trillion-dollar spending plan Thursday that would boost taxes on the wealthy, curtail Medicare, lay the groundwork for universal health care and leave a […]

Byrd: Czars Executive Power Grab

Old Man Byrd is at it again: West Virginia Sen. Robert C. Byrd, the longest-serving Democratic senator, on Wednesday criticized President Barack Obama’s appointment of White House “czars” to oversee federal policy, saying these executive positions amount to a power grab by the executive branch. Byrd complained in a letter to the president that his […]

Josh Patashnik Is Insane

Over at The New Republic Josh Patashnik writes, Isn’t that second sentence sort of an odd interpretation of this chart? Clearly, the projected growth rate of health care costs is unsustainable, and finding ways to change that ought to be, far and away, the country’s top fiscal priority. But it’s not as though the chunk […]