limit on federal spending Archive

Welfare for The Middle Class

  “The U.S. program that pays elderly Americans’ hospital bills will exhaust reserves in 2028, two years sooner than last year’s estimate, trustees of the program said on Wednesday.” -- Reuters. In 2015 the federal government collected an all-time record of $3.25 trillion in taxes.  According to the White House Budget Office (see table...
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It’s Time for a Diet

By James Schaefer. In "Blotting the Balance Sheet", (Wall Street Journal, April 26-27, 2014), James Grant reviews the book, The Reckoning, by Jacob Soll. In it, Soll highlights the fall of successful societies, and points some of the finger of blame at accounting, and the behaviors that follow. And he lays  blame equally...
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Young In America

By John Lumbard, CFA. According to The Daily Kos, 27% of recent college graduates (ages 21 to 24) are either unemployed or underemployed.  The Democratic Underground says that recent college graduates earn $3,200 less than they did 13 years ago.  Of course, it’s not just college graduates;  low starting salaries and...
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Whence We Came

By James Schaefer.   The original colonists of America and Canada were risk-takers -- by definition, a self-selecting group of people -- willing to leave behind family and culture and language and all that stood for civilization to cross an ocean in search of a better life. No government handouts awaited them. That entrepreneurial spirit...
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Cut, Cap, and Balance, Explained

Budget proposals are coming fast and furious in Washington these days.  Most of it is political chatter, but there HAVE been a number of proposals that aspire to responsible government for the long term.  Today's top story in that regard is "Cut, Cap, and Balance" which would smooth over some near-term...
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Speech On Boston Common

By John Lumbard.   "In the last 75 years there's been a dramatic change in our nation's Congress.  Our legislators used to say and believe that they represented the interests of all Americans, and were working to do what what’s best for the nation as a whole.  Now they say that...
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The Farmer and the Lottery

By James Schaefer.   The farmer wins the lottery and is being interviewed by a news reporter.  "What are you planning to do, now that you've got all this money?"  Replies the farmer,"Well, I guess I'll just keep farming 'til the money's gone." Today farmers enjoy so much taxpayer support that it's fair...
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The Scott Adams Challenge

By James Schaefer.   Scott Adams, the author of Dilbert, recently had a feature article in the Wall Street Journal, entitled "How to Tax the Rich", and he asked readers to think up incentives that might allow our biggest taxpayers to feel a bit better about dropping hundred-thousand-dollar checks into the ravenous maw...
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Amendment Filed. Call Your Congressman!

Senators Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)  have introduced a Balanced-Budget Amendment to the Constitution that---are you sitting down?---includes a 20% of GDP cap on federal spending!  It requires a 3/5 vote of both houses to run deficits or overspend, but in other respects is very much like a bill...
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Don’t Throw Rocks at the Firemen

When people are in trouble they're not always willing to accept help.  Whether you're talking about an alcoholic resisting intervention, a drug addict, a wife who protects her wife-beating husband, or a homeowner who refuses to leave the flanks of an erupting Mount Saint Helens, there's never been a shortage of...
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