Archive for July, 2011

U.S. Debt Dilemma: Caused by Excessive Spending or Not Enough Revenue?


Wednesday July 27th, 2011   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 2:45pm PST   •   9 Comments

Assuming that the current U.S. debt crisis began in 2008, which is more responsible for the current U.S. government debt crisis: excessive government spending or too big a fall in government tax receipts? We present the answer using data from 1967 through 2010, graphically, below: At its peak in 2009, we find that the...
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Michael Munger on America’s Debt Crisis


Saturday July 23rd, 2011   •   Posted by Emily Skarbek at 5:36am PST   •   1 Comment

In a speech to the Libertarian Party in Indianapolis, Michael Munger gives three things the government has to do to deal with the debt crisis: 1. Cut defense spending by by at least 15%. More than 15%—even better! 2. Sell US bonds in the Social Security trust fund. Also raise the Social Security minimum...
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Private vs. Public Investing


Friday July 22nd, 2011   •   Posted by Stephanie Freedman at 9:14am PST   •   1 Comment

This article I found in “The Moral Liberal” discusses how the government takes on pet projects and decides to invest on behalf of it’s taxpayers. The article asserts an example of the business Solyndra Inc. which is ironically is located near The Independent Institute’s headquarters. The government’s “investment” in green energy startup Solyndra Inc. is a...
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Gang of Six Plan


Friday July 22nd, 2011   •   Posted by Emily Skarbek at 6:55am PST   •   0 Comments

The latest effort coming out of Capitol Hill to reduce the debt and avoid default is called the “Gang of Six Plan”, named after its three Democrats and three Republican authors. The plan includes $500 billion in immediate “budget savings”, reductions in marginal income tax rates, and the abolition of the alternative minimum tax....
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The U.S. Mortgage Interest Deduction by Income Level


Thursday July 21st, 2011   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 3:40pm PST   •   7 Comments

If the federal government tries to increase the amount of its tax collections by eliminating or limiting the mortgage interest tax deduction, who’s most at risk of seeing their taxes go up? To find out, we tapped the U.S. Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation’s report on tax expenditures for 2010-2014, which provides the breakdown...
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Size of the U.S. Debt Visualized in 3D


Thursday July 21st, 2011   •   Posted by Emily Skarbek at 9:18am PST   •   2 Comments

What do you think is taller: the Empire State Building or cube of $114 trillion dollars??? Check it out here! The 114.5 Trillion dollar super-skyscraper is the amount of money the U.S. Government knows it does not have to fully fund the Medicare, Medicare Prescription Drug Program, social security, military and civil servant pensions....
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The Double Edge Sword of a Government Subsidy


Wednesday July 20th, 2011   •   Posted by Stephanie Freedman at 3:54pm PST   •   1 Comment

One would like to think that every public policy initiative begins as a good intention. The problem with good intentions when it comes to government subsidies, is there can be unintended and unforeseen results. The Washington Examiner article “Will College Bubble Burst From Public Subsidies” discusses the backlash of government assistance in the higher education...
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NSA: An Example of Government Mismanagement


Wednesday July 20th, 2011   •   Posted by Stephanie Freedman at 9:04am PST   •   0 Comments

Today the Washington Times highlighted shortcomings of the federal government “intelligence” (i.e., spy) agency, the National Security Agency (NSA). The article discusses the cover-up of a multi-billion dollar failure of a data-storage system called the “Trailblazer”. This program was not only a multi-billion dollar project to begin with, it was also admitted to be far...
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The Ongoing Debt Debate


Tuesday July 19th, 2011   •   Posted by Stephanie Freedman at 1:43pm PST   •   1 Comment

With the upcoming August 2nd deadline it makes one wonder if a resolution is even possible. The polarization of the debt discussions is disenchanting an extremely important issue. In a recent article from The Economist “Dicing with Debt and the Future” the fundamental philosophies of the opposing arguments could be seriously compromised on both ends...
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‘Budget Hero’ Game Allows You to Try to Balance the Budget


Monday July 18th, 2011   •   Posted by Stephanie Freedman at 2:50pm PST   •   1 Comment

An USA Today article discusses a new game ‘Budget Hero’ which allows players to enact their policy objectives while keeping the government from going broke. The article explains the demonstration: In a quick demonstration of the game, two college students, one taking typical Republican positions and the other Democratic, showed just how difficult it...
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