Archive for September, 2012

Stumping for Waste: Amtrak Subsidies Become a Campaign Issue


Wednesday September 12th, 2012   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 10:05am PST   •   7 Comments

Last year 30 million passengers road Amtrak, which on September 10 announced monthly ridership records for the last 11 months. That should come as no surprise with gasoline above $4 a gallon in much of the country. But Amtrak bosses, doubtless looking for more federal handouts, left out a few realities. Last year Amtrak...
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An Inside Look at the U.S. Debt Ceiling Crisis of 2011


Tuesday September 11th, 2012   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:22am PST   •   4 Comments

Bob Woodward has a new book out, The Price of Politics (review), taking an inside look at the U.S. debt crisis from the summer of 2011, where the federal government came within just $5 billion, or just half a day’s worth of its typical spending, of defaulting on its debt payments. While much of...
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Government Needs Volte-Face on Electric Car Incentives


Monday September 10th, 2012   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 10:51am PST   •   9 Comments

Electric cars have been around for more than 100 years but now the federal government “incentivizes” them, as politicians like to say. Electric vehicles (EVs) purchased in 2010 or after may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500. (The credit amount varies based on the capacity of the battery.)...
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Teach Me to Fish


Friday September 7th, 2012   •   Posted by Burt Abrams at 2:05pm PST   •   4 Comments

Give me a fish and I eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime. Now that the major party conventions are over, I’m dismayed over the complete neglect of one of the most important industries and pressure groups in America: recreational fishing and fisherpersons. As this is an activity...
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Going for a Three-Fer!


Thursday September 6th, 2012   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 10:30am PST   •   2 Comments

Today, we’re going for a three-fer! We’re going to describe how we can painlessly cut 1 out of every 14 dollars out of the current year’s federal government budget deficit, while simultaneously improving the fiscal situation for the government’s Social Security disability insurance trust fund. Oh, and to make it a three-fer, all while...
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Fun Facts About $16 Trillion in Federal Government Debt


Thursday September 6th, 2012   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 9:41am PST   •   4 Comments

On August 31, total U.S. government debt surpassed $16,000,000,000,000—that’s $16 trillion—for the first time, according to the Treasury Department. The exact amount of the debt on August 31 was $16,015,769,788,215.80, a full $25,000,000,000 – that’s $25 billion—more than what it was the day before on August 30. So the debt is now much more...
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Feds Flunk Flood Protection


Wednesday September 5th, 2012   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 9:34am PST   •   1 Comment

On August 23, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) declared that some 40 miles of levees protecting California’s capital of Sacramento and 15 other areas do not meet federal maintenance criteria. Therefore they are not eligible for federal aid if damaged in a storm. Local agencies, however, see contradictions in USACE policy. The...
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The Art of Waste: Recycling SOLyndra


Monday September 3rd, 2012   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:02pm PST   •   13 Comments

“Solyndra’s power solutions offer strong return on investment and make great business sense.” That is a rather strange claim for the website of Solyndra Inc., accessed on August 29, 2012 no less. Some history is in order. Solyndra was the first renewable energy firm to get federal stimulus money and bagged $535 million in...
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