Despite claims that hiring private contractors instead of government employees yields greater efficiency and lower costs for taxpayers, information emerging from the across-the-board federal budget sequester suggests that privatization yields higher costs at the expense of taxpayers, but big profits for contractors. As government agencies try to implement the budget cuts in ways that do the least damage to their work, they—and we—are learning more and more about the inefficiencies [...]
In an interview that was released this morning with former Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos on ABC, President Obama talked a little about his view of the debt.
“[W]e don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt,” Obama said. “In fact, for the next ten years, it’s gonna be in a sustainable place.”
Obama continued, “The question is, can we do it smarter, can we do it better? And– you know, what [...]
Paul Ryan on Tuesday unveiled a new plan that claims to balance the federal budget in 10 years. It would do so by slashing spending, especially for health programmes, while simultaneously cutting tax rates for the wealthy. As chair of the House budget committee, the defeated vice-presidential candidate has put forward very similar plans for several years. They have been endorsed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Those unfamiliar with [...]
From Global Economic Trend Analysis:
President Obama said the sequester cuts would be “catastrophic.”
Reader Tim Wallace pinged me with a few comments to help put those catastrophic cuts in perspective.
Tim asks: If you were making $50,000 per year in 2007 and you income went up to $70,000 (a 40% increase in six years), would a $1,750 pay cut to $68,250 be catastrophic?
Apparently it would be for the Obama administration. The federal [...]
From Washington’s Blog:
Eric Zuesse notes that this year’s subsidy to Wall Street – $83 billion – exactly equals the amount of the this year’s sequester cuts.
Spiegel reports that ending the failed “war on drugs” would pay for the sequester cuts by itself:
Harvard University professor Jeffrey Miron has advocated the legalization of drugs for decades…
Miron: [P]rohibiting drugs is expensive.
SPIEGEL: How expensive?
Miron: If it legalized drugs, the United States could save $85 [...]
In a sharply written statement, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama blasts President Obama for campaigning and not governing. He calls Obama’s response to the sequestration “the most cynical behavior I have seen during my time in Washington.”
Adds the senator, “Replacing the sequester would require the President to save $85 billion out of a $3,500 billion federal budget. One would think that any President would leap at the opportunity to make [...]
As the federal budget goes off the rails, Joe Biden’s getting back on — with Amtrak.
The looming sequester is forcing the veep to once again take the train — as opposed to military aircraft — to his weekend trips home to Delaware.
Biden said Wednesday he initiated the change, calling it the one thing about the sequester that’s working to his “benefit.”
Speaking at the National Association of Attorneys General, Biden said [...]
Many conservatives and Republicans are greeting the looming sequestration spending cuts with a collective yawn. “The much-ballyhooed ‘sequester’ is a cut of $85 billion in a nearly $4 trillion federal budget. Good, let’s do it,” writes one contributor to National Review Online‘s symposium on sequestration.
It’s true that sequestration is a tiny cut to total federal spending. But it is also true that sequestration is a major cut to defense spending.
- See [...]
From Economic Policy Journal:
The mainstream media is warning us. The NYTwrites:
Airlines and airports across the country are preparing for across-the-board federal budget cuts due to hit next week as if they were a hurricane, although with even less certainty about how many flights they will have to cancel and how many passengers will be stranded.
The federal government is warning about delays that could begin in March, as the first cuts take [...]
From Bruce Krasting:
The Treasury Department came out with some proposals today on how to fund infrastructure investments. Nothing new; an infrastructure bank that would borrow money outside of the government using government guarantees, and a newfangled debt instrument called:
America Fast Forward Bonds
I love the name. AFFs will be the Street name.
AFFs will be structured like BABs (Build America Bonds). This is a hybrid security that will be issued by a [...]
“Ladies and gentlemen, for the first time in my life, I am ashamed of my country,” Limbaugh said. “Seriously man, here we get worked up over $44 billion. That’s the total amount of money that will not be spent that was scheduled to be spent this year. … In truth, we’re going to spend more this year than we spent last year. We’re just not going to spend as much as [...]
ongress is killing medical research. The tragedy is that they don’t want to, but they may do it anyway.
While the ridiculous posturing about the U.S. budget deficit drags on, seemingly without end, biomedical research in the U.S. is crumbling. Congress’s chronic inability to pass a budget, and especially the delays this year, are deeply damaging the core of our entire biomedical research enterprise: the National Institutes of Health.
Outside the beltway, the [...]
Washington’s Democratic and Republican power brokers have sent the message to the nation that going over the fiscal cliff is a worst-case scenario. But they’re not acting that way, not at all.
Instead, many of them have calculated that it’s better to go over the cliff — at least temporarily — than swallow a raw deal.
For many Republicans, a cliff dive means blaming President Barack Obama for a big tax hike in [...]
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National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre blamed Hollywood, video games music, the courts and more on Friday for creating a culture of violence in the United States.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a [...]
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. federal government’s budget deficit widened in November compared to October, a sign that the nation is on a path to its fifth straight $1 trillion-plus deficit.
The budget gap rose to $172 billion in November, up from $120 billion in October, the Treasury Department said Wednesday. The November deficit was also 25 percent higher than the same month last year. Last month’s deficit was pushed higher [...]
James Pethokoukis writing at the AEI Enterprise blog, examines the president’s “balanced” plan to cut $4.4 trillion from the budget over the next decade. James points out that the plan is “reheating of his 80-page deficit reduction package from September 2011 which, on paper, showed $2 in spending cuts for every $1 in taxes raised.
Not so fast:
Once you begin to dig into the numbers, the plan doesn’t look balanced at [...]
Senator Tom Coburn released the Wastebook 2012 today detailing the 100 most egregious wastes of taxpayer money. The two hundred page report details waste in all manner of federal spending – from multi-billion dollar programs all the way down to a $300 grant to a small-town library for a Star Wars-themed event. It’s emblematic of the waste found everywhere in the federal budget.
Coburn details a $27 million U.S. Agency for International Development [...]
Get involved at http://beyondbars.org.
Stats come from the following sources:
Number of people behind bars
Proportion in for nonviolent offenses
Cost of justice system in 1982 vs. 2007
This video was done in partnership with the ACLU, Equal Justice Initiative, All of Us or None, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, NAACP, A New Way of Life, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, Justice Policy Institute, Drug Policy Alliance, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, the United Methodist Church, Justice [...]
A top Democrat strategist and donor who served as President Obama’s lead auto-industry adviser recently conceded that the rationing of heath services under Obamacare is “inevitable.”
Steven Rattner advocated that such rationing should target elderly patients, while stating, “We need death panels.”
Rattner serves on the board the New America Foundation, or NAF, a George Soros-funded think tank that was instrumental in supporting Obamacare in 2010. Soros’ son, financier Jonathan Soros, is [...]
ALARMING! Washington’s Dilemma!. Soaring debt and a budget Congress can’t balance. This VIDEO explains WHY. Every person in AMERICA should watch this video! Over 3 million VIEWS!http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget
Today’s AM fix was USD 1,755.25, EUR 1,365.32, and GBP 1,084.16 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,763.75, EUR 1,369.80 and GBP 1,089.07 per ounce.
Silver is trading at $34.10/oz, €26.62/oz and £21.13/oz. Platinum is trading at $1,647.00/oz, palladium at $632.40/oz and rhodium at $1,075/oz.
Gold fell $10.10 or 0.57% in New York yesterday and closed at $1,751.30. Silver hit a low of $33.32, but it recovered and rallied back finishing [...]
From Eric Peters Autos:
In just a few months from now, it will be $2,500 easier to “buy” a new electric car.
I put “buy” in quotes because in fact, other people will be paying a good chunk of the purchase price – to the tune of a $10k direct cash payment (it is euphemistically called a “tax credit”) per car, courtesy of The Man With The Plan. (But without much understanding [...]
Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave us the fireside radio chat. John F. Kennedy added the presidential photographer. Ronald Reagan launched the modern Saturday radio address. And now Barack Obama has created the official videographer, amping up the arsenal that presidents can summon to burnish their image.
Officials are mum on many of the details about the newest weapon in the White House messaging machine, declining repeated requests from the Washington Guardian to say how much [...]
Wolf Richter www.testosteronepit.com
Last year, German exports rode to a new record, jobs were being created in massive numbers, real wages rose, housing and real estate boomed, the federal budget was nearly balanced, and consumers felt good and spent money. There were moments in 2012 that made people dream of a repeat performance—despite the havoc that the Eurozone debt crisis has been wreaking.
Whatever was happening, Germany would be able to make up [...]
Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., spoke to Bloomberg TV’s Stephanie Ruhle and Eric Schatzker this morning, saying that Congress “can’t write laws” to prevent technical errors like what happened with Knight Capital yesterday. Frank also said that while he hasn’t yet followed the news of Knight Capital, he believes Dodd-Frank would have prevented JP Morgan’s CIO unit losses.
Frank on whether investors should still have confidence in the U.S. financial system [...]
If corporate America is worried about the pending “fiscal cliff” they are keeping pretty mum about it. It may be firms are saving any statements about how this might impact their business when they report their second quarter results.
Whatever it is, a lot of them just do not want to talk about the double or triple whammy posed by the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, automatic federal spending cuts and [...]
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation was created after the bank runs and collapses of the Great Depression. The goal was to create consumer trust in the banking system. The Savings and Loan Crisis of the 1980s was the first major challenge to the system.
“The savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s (commonly dubbed the S&L crisis) was the failure of about 747 out of the 3,234 savings and [...]
A new chart produced by the Republican staff of the Senate Budget Committee shows that, according to Congressional Budget Office data released yesterday, debt per American is “on track to triple in a generation”:
Currently, as the chart shows, debt per American is at (or around) $50,000. Just four years ago, in 2008, the year President Obama was first elected, debt per person was at $35,000.
In 2037, if things stay relatively the [...]
Scott D’Amboise, a self-proclaimed Tea Party candidate, has raised more money than any of his fellow Maine Republicans in the race to replace retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe, winning support by promising to trim government spending and balance the federal budget. He’s even accused Snowe of being “fiscally irresponsible.”
But there was a time not so long ago when D’Amboise couldn’t balance his own budget.
An investigation of public records shows the small [...]