Archive for September, 2010

“The government can’t even get out of its own way.”


Tuesday September 28th, 2010   •   Posted by David Theroux at 7:22am PST   •   1 Comment

In a new article in the Wall Street Journal, Louise Radnofsky traces the bureaucratic stranglehold of federal, state and local governments that has directly hindered the spending of the Obama administration’s “stimulus” funding from the federal government. Specifically, she examines the malaise resulting from the roadblocks to insulate homes in Detroit because of restrictions...
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Private Investment vs. Government Spending in the Recession


Sunday September 26th, 2010   •   Posted by David Theroux at 5:58am PST   •   1 Comment

Independent Institute Senior Fellow Robert Higgs examines the serious problem of “regime uncertainty” being created by the feasting of federal spending programs starving (crowding out) the private investment needed for recovery from the recession: “Private saving and investment are the heart and soul of the dynamic market process. Together they provide and allocate the...
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Government Employee Pension Funds Face Bigger Shortfalls


Thursday September 23rd, 2010   •   Posted by David Theroux at 1:05am PST   •   2 Comments

As reported in a new article for the Wall Street Journal, “Pension Gaps Loom Larger,” David Reilly notes that based on unrealistic return assumptions, the nation’s largest public employee pensions could face big shortfalls: “Many of America’s largest pension funds are sticking to expectations of fat returns on their investments even after a decade...
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Consumption Spending Is 70% of GDP: So What?


Thursday September 23rd, 2010   •   Posted by Robert Higgs at 12:40am PST   •   4 Comments

It must be a condition of employment that a journalist who writes about the current recession include in his article the statement, “consumption makes up more than two-thirds of the economy” or “consumption spending accounts for 70 percent of GDP.” This seemingly simple, factual statement, however, is nearly always intended to carry some explanatory...
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Obstacle to Deficit Cutting: A Nation on Entitlements


Tuesday September 21st, 2010   •   Posted by David Theroux at 11:24pm PST   •   1 Comment

In an incisive, recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Sara Murray reports that: “Efforts to tame America’s ballooning budget deficit could soon confront a daunting reality: Nearly half of all Americans live in a household in which someone receives government benefits, more than at any time in history. “At the same time, the...
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Raising Taxes Is No Way to Spur Economy


Monday September 20th, 2010   •   Posted by William Shughart at 9:05pm PST   •   5 Comments

It’s September, and election season is under way. Marching to the tune of President Obama’s class-based political rhetoric, some candidates for Congress are campaigning on promises to raise taxes significantly on electorally safe targets. This year’s list of victims includes “the rich,” Wall Street and America’s oil companies. Those three groups are in Washington’s...
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The Great Divergence: Private Investment and Government Power


Monday September 20th, 2010   •   Posted by Robert Higgs at 6:49am PST   •   0 Comments

Private saving and investment are the heart and soul of the dynamic market process. Together they provide and allocate the resources used to augment the economy’s productive capacity, generate sustained long-run economic growth, and thereby make possible a rising level of living. Economic crises interrupt this process by discouraging investors and causing them to...
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The Surge in Defense Spending


Sunday September 19th, 2010   •   Posted by Winslow Wheeler at 5:40am PST   •   1 Comment

In 1998, the Pentagon budget was at a twenty-three year low at $361 billion (in constant 2010 dollars). For 2010, the DOD budget was $697 billion (also 2010 dollars, as are all the rest that follow). According to the analysis of the Project on Defense Alternatives, between 1998 and 2010 Congress appropriated to the...
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America’s Hidden Welfare Program


Saturday September 18th, 2010   •   Posted by David Theroux at 5:32am PST   •   1 Comment

In Slate, James Ledbetter reports that “Social Security’s disability insurance is expensive, destructive, and out of control.” “Throughout the year, economists and both houses of Congress have debated whether to extend unemployment insurance for another 13 weeks, or 26 weeks, worried that the payments would bloat the deficit or, worse, actually cause people to...
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Do We Need Another Stimulus? Tax-and-spend Has Never Worked


Wednesday September 15th, 2010   •   Posted by William Shughart at 5:03am PST   •   1 Comment

During the Great Depression, economist John Maynard Keynes recommended increasing federal government spending, financed by borrowing, to boost the U.S. economy. It didn’t matter how the new money was spent. If no better use could be found, Keynes suggested building pyramids. Keynes’ theory that increased public spending would offset declines in consumer and business...
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