Line-Item Veto Archive

Incentives Rule!

By John Lumbard.   In December the Boston Globe ran a front-page story on the “dangerous incentives” created by a program that offers cash to the parents of children taking psychotropic drugs for ADHD and other behavioral conditions.  The number of children on these drugs has predictably swelled, and a program...
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Three Cheers for the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility!

By John Lumbard.   The President's Commission on Fiscal Responsibility will release its findings on December 1, but recently the two chairmen--Republican Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles---took the extraordinary step of releasing a "draft" of the "Co-Chair's proposal".  It's an end-run around the dissenting voices in the commission, and a clear statement that...
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Explaining the Tea Party

It's obvious that the Tea Partiers are driven by anger at the "irresponsibility of Congress" as my Colby College English professor Ed Witham put it (many times) in the mid-to-late 1970s.  At first it appeared that this was all about fiscal responsibility, but let's be honest---budgets don't generate much passion. ...
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Your Legislators Work for You. Make Them Do Their Jobs!

We've heard a lot of talk about fiscal responsibility in the last few months, and now it's time for the new Congress to follow through.  The primary responsibility of our congresspeople is to manage our money responsibly;  if they continue to pile IOUs onto the backs of little children we should...
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Join Americans for a Balanced Budget Amendment

By John Lumbard.   As the months have rolled by we've worked to simplify our message, because nobody wants to stop partying long enough to think about bipartisan fiscal responsibility.  Most Americans are for it---probably by a massive majority---but most haven't even thought about practical ways to ensure that the Congress does...
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Greekonomics

By John Lumbard.   Today the Boston Globe printed an article titled Greekonomics (by Thanassis Cambanis, a professor at Columbia), which describes the financial hardship that Greece has reaped as a result of decades of debt accumulation:    "Try to live beyond your means forever, and one day it'll catch up with...
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How ’bout a Little Optimism? The American Promise.

By John Lumbard.   Investors are running scared right now, fearful that a slowdown in our economy means that we're headed back into a double-dip recession.  Stop worrying and enjoy a double dip in the ocean (a balmy 66 degrees at the New Hampshire shore today) or two scoops of ice cream at Annabelle's here...
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Great Government and the Roots of Rebellion

By John Lumbard.   USA Today just published an opinion piece arguing that voters are concerned about the power wielded by large corporations;  but unwilling to embrace the federal government as a benevolent regulator.  That distrust is founded in a recognition that our government is larger than all of our 100 largest corporations put together---a fearsome size---and that it has...
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Greece, Democracy, Debt, and Decline

“The earliest democracy in the world began in Athens, in 510 BC . . . . Democracy means the rule of the people (in Greek). That is where each individual person has a vote about what to do. Whatever the most people vote for wins.”   ---  www.History For Kids.org  What the...
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The Line-Item Veto

By Austin Russell, Generation Y. My government teacher says that the president lost the line item veto because congress is given the "power of the purse," and that the line item interferes with that.  Still, it seems that a line item veto would be perfectly constitutional if Congress could challenge each...
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