Archive for April, 2014

Trapped by the State


Tuesday April 15th, 2014   •   Posted by Carl Close at 8:59am PST   •   0 Comments

Over the past half century, federal spending on social programs has risen like a bubbling cauldron. In 1964, it amounted to less than one-quarter of the U.S. budget. Today it accounts for about two-thirds. What effect has the spending trend had on the American psyche? Independent Institute Senior Fellow Robert Higgs offers a brilliant...
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Ten, Twenty, Two Hundred Five


Monday April 14th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 7:00pm PST   •   0 Comments

With the launch of the MyGovCost iPhone app, it’s a good time to consider the trends in government spending that generated the concerns that motivated its creation, by looking at just three numbers: Ten Over the last 10 years, the total public debt outstanding of the U.S. federal government has increased by ten trillion...
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Federal Food Waste


Monday April 14th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:04am PST   •   2 Comments

The federal government maintains an $11.6 billion school lunch program feeding 31 million students daily. In 2010 First Lady Michelle Obama championed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which as this report notes “imposed a dizzying array of requirements on calories, portion sizes, even the color of fruits and vegetables to be served.” The rules,...
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Visualizing 2015’s Federal Budget Proposals


Sunday April 13th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 2:57pm PST   •   0 Comments

The National Taxpayer’s Union has summarized each of the major budget proposals for the U.S. federal government’s 2015 fiscal year. We threw together the following chart to make for a quick visual comparison of each: As you can see, each of the budget proposals increase total spending over FY2014’s baseline level. Each of the...
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Confusing Deficits with Surpluses and Train Wrecks


Thursday April 10th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:25am PST   •   0 Comments

When politicians start confusing deficits for “surpluses”, can a train wreck be far behind? Before we go any further, for the sake of avoiding any confusion, let’s define exactly what a deficit is. A deficit is the amount by which cash expenses exceed cash income or revenue. That makes a deficit the exact opposite...
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State Department Missing $6 Billion


Wednesday April 9th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:30am PST   •   0 Comments

As we have noted the federal Department of Defense wastes plenty of money and even spends on hardware that the military doesn’t need or want. Likewise, Obamacare has been incredibly wasteful but according to this report, taxpayers should also be looking at the State Department, which can’t seem to find how they spent $6...
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The Cost of Obamacare’s Regulations


Tuesday April 8th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:37am PST   •   0 Comments

What happens to the price of a product for consumers when the government imposes new regulatory burdens and taxes on those who provide it? If the product is health insurance, where new regulatory burdens have been imposed by the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “Obamacare”), the answer is that the cost to consumers rises substantially....
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Government Motors Protection Racket


Monday April 7th, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:05am PST   •   1 Comment

General Motors knew about faulty ignition switches that could cause vehicle engines to turn off, disabling air bags with deadly results. Federal government investigators with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration knew about this problem but as this report notes the NHTSA “twice passed on investigating” the faulty switches that “led to at least...
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Rolling Over Taxpayers


Friday April 4th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 8:43am PST   •   0 Comments

If you have an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), and particularly if you have more than one IRA, you need to be aware that a recent U.S. Tax Court decision has opened the door to allow the IRS to nail you for taxes if you attempt to rollover money from more than one of your...
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Boondoggles Bloat Government


Wednesday April 2nd, 2014   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 7:30am PST   •   3 Comments

California’s punitive tax structure virtually guarantees high volatility in state finances, particular during times of boom and bust in the economy. But through thick and thin some things never change. As this report notes, the state’s payroll and the size of the state workforce hold steady, and there’s always more to that story. Consider,...
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