Tag Archives: government spending

Do deficits matter?

Source: EconLog
by Scott Sumner

“I am seeing a disturbing rise in ‘free lunch’ thinking. One place this increasingly shows up is in the case of ‘deficits.’ People seem to have trouble grasping that deficit spending implies future austerity. … Some might argue that if the growth rate of the economy exceeds the interest on debt, then there is a free lunch. Governments can simply issue more debt to pay interest on existing debt. That may work for a brief period, but beyond some point additional debt will push up interest rates, and the marginal cost of the new debt will exceed the growth rate of the economy. Indeed this may well have happened in the US in recent months, as some people believe that rising fiscal deficits partly explain the recent increase in interest rates on Treasury debt.” (02/21/18)


Expanding the military budget is wasteful and unnecessary

Source: The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison

“Support for expanding an already bloated, excessive military budget is broad and bipartisan, but it is also profoundly misguided. For one thing, much of this spending has had and will have little or nothing to do with actually defending the United States or its allies, and most of it isn’t necessary for that purpose. The U.S. spends this much on a military this large in order to police and attack other parts of the world, and the only reason to increase that spending for an even larger military is to do more of those things. We should call it military spending or hegemony spending or imperial spending, but we should stop the bad habit of referring to it as spending on defense.” (02/16/18)


Trump’s new budget is a debt bomb waiting to explode

Source: Fox News Forum

“Government produces no products that consumers are willing to pay for voluntarily, and it doesn’t sell shares of stock in its assets. It doesn’t generate wealth; it seizes it. And when it can no longer politically get away with seizing, it borrows. It borrows a great deal of money — money that it rolls over, by borrowing trillions to pay back trillions to prior lenders, and thus its debt never goes away. Last week, after eight years of publicly complaining that then-President Barack Obama was borrowing more than $1 trillion a year to fund the government — borrowing that the Republicans silently consented to — congressional Republicans, now in control of Congress and with a friend in the Oval Office, voted to spend and hence borrow between $5 trillion and $6 trillion more than tax revenue will produce in the next three years; that’s a few trillion more than they complained about in the Obama years. That’s borrowing $1 million a minute.” (02/15/18)


Here’s how state legislators can FINALLY fix the national debt in 2018

Jesse Hathaway

Source: Heartland Institute
by Jesse Hathaway

“Now that 2017 is in the books, Americans across the country are working to keep their New Year’s resolutions so that 2018 might be better than years past. One resolution politicians in Washington, DC should make, but almost certainly won’t, is ending out-of-control government spending and reckless waste. Despite previous Congress’[s] failure to rein in spending, 2018 can be the year serious fiscal reforms are finally implemented — but only if state elected officials resolve to step up and take charge by leading the country toward effective, sensible policies. This would best be accomplished with the passage of a state-led federal balanced budget amendment.” (02/14/18)


Establishment Republicans can no longer claim to be fiscal conservatives

Source: Cato Institute
by Ryan Bourne

“So much for US Republicans starving the government beast. When the party’s major tax reform package passed in December, Democrats worried that projections for a $1 trillion debt increase over a decade would be used by Republicans to justify spending cuts and reforms to old-age entitlements. Instead, with a looming government shutdown, Republican and Democrat leaders last week conspired to pass a budget-cap busting spending package. This increased outlays by around $300bn over two years — a rise that no doubt will become the new baseline thereafter. People decry a lack of bipartisanship in the US, but Congress has shown that when you get a cross-party consensus, taxpayers suffer.” (02/13/18)


To spend or not to spend

Source: The American Spectator
by Brandon J Weichert

“With the recent budget vote, Washington has decided to spend an additional $300 billion over the next two years, on top of the $1 trillion that we’ve just tacked on to the national debt with the recent tax cuts. Congress also decided to put off dealing with the budget again until March 2019. Thanks to this decision, whatever economic gains we may experience since the passage of the tax cuts are at risk over the long-term. A debate is needed, if the country is to have a chance at sustainable, widespread economic growth. We must decide very soon on whether we seek to be the America of relatively low taxes, reasonable regulation, and fiscal responsibility, or if we want to be another Europe. I shudder at what the American peoples’ choice will be.” (02/12/18)


Trump unveils masturbatory $4.4 trillion budget proposal

Source: US News & World Report

“President Donald Trump proposed a budget on Monday that calls for cuts in domestic programs and seeks a sharp increase in military spending and funding for a wall on the Mexican border. Presidential budgets are rarely enacted by the U.S. Congress, which controls federal purse strings, but they allow the White House to lay out its priorities for the year. In a bid to show conservatives that the administration is embracing some fiscal discipline, the plan calls for deep cuts in non-military spending that would lower the federal budget deficit by more than $3 trillion over 10 years. But those cuts fly in the face of a two-year budget deal passed last week by Congress that raised spending limits on both military and domestic programs by $300 billion. That agreement makes the president’s budget request even less relevant than it would be normally because Congress has already locked in its own spending priorities.” (02/12/18)


Trump regime to propose $1.5 trillion “infrastructure” boondoggle

Source: The Hill

“The White House on Monday will propose its long-awaited $1.5 trillion infrastructure package aimed at overhauling U.S. public works. The plan is structured around four goals: to generate $1.5 trillion for an infrastructure proposal, streamline the permitting process down to two years, invest in rural infrastructure projects and advance workforce training. … The Trump administration confirmed a $200 billion direct federal investment for the package, which will be included in the White House’s Monday spending blueprint for fiscal 2019. Half of the federal seed money would go toward an incentive program to match financing from state and local governments, while a quarter of the appropriations would be used for rural projects in the form of block grants to states so governors may decide where to invest.” (02/11/18)


The crash

Source: National Review
by Kevin D Williamson

“Senator Rand Paul, the fantastically bitchy Kentucky Republican, kept Washington up late Thursday night, briefly forcing a technical shutdown of the federal government while he delayed a spending bill that will add another half-trillion or so to the national debt. He wanted 15 minutes for a vote on whether to repeal spending caps agreed to a few years ago, one of the important reforms of the much maligned John Boehner, who, while the talk-radio guys were calling him a weakling and a sellout, managed to knock about $5 trillion off future projected deficits. The same talk-radio guys were celebrating Senator Paul’s theatrical maneuvers on Friday, having rediscovered the national debt only a few weeks after breathlessly celebrating a tax bill that will add $1.5 trillion to it. Senator Paul is a politician, and to be a politician is to maneuver. He may be endlessly irritated by politics, but he is not above it. But he is also a true believer. There isn’t any question about why he is in politics. He is attempting to conduct a political career that he will not regret on his deathbed.” (02/11/18)


Fake “shutdown” set to begin after Paul stands up for taxpayers

Source: The Hill

“The second government shutdown of 2018 is set to begin at midnight after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) repeatedly blocked the Senate from voting on a two-year budget agreement that includes an extension of federal funding. Both the Senate and House needed to pass the two-year budget deal by Friday to prevent the second shutdown in less than a month. But Paul demanded a vote on an amendment to keep budget caps in place and refused to allow a procedural vote until he got it. Senate Republicans tried up until the deadline to begin voting on the bill, but Paul would not relent. The Senate recessed after 11 p.m. without taking action.” (02/08/18)