Archive for December, 2016

Comparing Federal Pay with Private Sector Pay


Friday December 30th, 2016   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 7:03am PST   •   0 Comments

According to the U.S. Government’s Office of Personnel Management, more than 2.7 million people work as civilian employees of the U.S. federal government. For all practical purposes, they are entirely compensated by taxes imposed on the 140 million Americans who are employed in occupations outside of the federal government. Chris Edwards of Downsizing the...
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Presidential Vacations Cost Taxpayers Nearly $100 Million


Thursday December 29th, 2016   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 9:41am PST   •   0 Comments

President Obama is vacationing in Hawaii, the state where he was born and spent his childhood. According to Anita Kumar of McClatchy News, this annual trip cost taxpayers $3.5 million and the total cost of the first family’s travel comes to $85 million, possibly $90 million when further records are released. All told, except...
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Boomers Beware SS BS


Tuesday December 27th, 2016   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 9:36am PST   •   0 Comments

Shortly before the holiday season, the Social Security Administration sent out an official letter titled “Important Information.” If you are now at the full retirement age of 66 or older, the letter says, “you may keep all of your benefits no matter how much you earn.” That kind of generosity is hard to top,...
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Exchanging Bad for Better


Tuesday December 27th, 2016   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:51am PST   •   0 Comments

For many Americans, the days following Christmas are often filled with trips to the mall, where they exchange the gifts they got for those they would rather have received. It’s no different for U.S. politicians. For example, President-elect Donald Trump has big plans to boost the U.S. government’s spending on the nation’s infrastructure, which...
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The Best Path for Shrinking Deficits: Cut Spending


Thursday December 22nd, 2016   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:27am PST   •   0 Comments

“Is it the ‘how’ or the ‘when’ that matters in fiscal adjustments?” That’s the title of a new paper by a team of five economists that really answers a different question: What is the best way for a government to reduce its budgetary red ink, when the alternatives are to raise taxes, cut spending,...
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Government Sinecure Santa is Scrooge with Taxpayers


Wednesday December 21st, 2016   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 4:28am PST   •   0 Comments

Maybe it is the season to be jolly, but California taxpayers are still getting over their sticker shock on higher property tax bills, and the extension of steep income-tax hikes that were supposed to be “temporary.” Governor Jerry Brown, a born-again tax hiker, promoted that extension and has also been playing the sinecure Santa...
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Feds Fund Medical Waste


Tuesday December 20th, 2016   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 11:13am PST   •   0 Comments

  The National Institutes of Health boasts a 2017 budget of $33.1 billion, up $825 million from 2016. In the coming year, the massive federal agency will support 36,440 research grants, an increase of 600 from 2016. As Claudia Buck notes in the Sacramento Bee, the NIH will give $2.3 million to University of...
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A Single Delta Tunnel Will Still Sink Taxpayers


Monday December 19th, 2016   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 11:14am PST   •   0 Comments

Governor Jerry Brown wants to drill two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and calls this project “a fundamental necessity of California’s current and future prosperity.” Now Ellen Hanak, director of the Public Policy Institute of California’s Water Policy Center, and PPIC fellows Brian Gray and Jeffrey Mount want the state to drill...
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Learning from Government Stimulus Failures


Monday December 19th, 2016   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 7:02am PST   •   0 Comments

In one month, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America. Shortly after he assumes office, it is widely expected that he will pursue a massive fiscal stimulus for government spending, similar in many respects to what President Obama did in his first month after being...
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Costing Out Governor Moonbeam


Thursday December 15th, 2016   •   Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley at 11:26am PST   •   0 Comments

Back in the day, Jerry Brown earned the nickname “Governor Moonbeam” for proposing that California launch its own communications satellite. “I didn’t get that moniker for nothing,” Brown recently proclaimed, adding, “if Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite.” The governor did not indicate what this satellite might cost,...
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