September 10, 2010 11:44AM

This Week in Government Failure

Over at Downsizing Government, we focused on the following issues this week:

  • The U.S. Postal Service is bleeding red ink, but a postal union says it wants "more" wages and benefits. Having watched the unionized workforces at GM and Chrysler receive preferential treatment from the federal government, there’s little incentive for them not to ask for more.
  • President Obama announced his intention to take the country $50 billion deeper into debt in order to finance more public infrastructure projects. Why not give privately funded and operated infrastructure a chance?
  • A new study finds that federal subsidies to the states result in higher future state taxes. This has important implications for state fiscal policy considering the recent rise in federal subsidies to state and local government.
  • By producing a vague “plan” to cut a relatively small amount of spending while avoiding the more politically volatile issues of entitlements and defense, Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner is signaling that he’s apparently content to ride to victory in the fall on the back of an unpopular president.
August 27, 2010 2:18PM

This Week in Government Failure

Over at Downsizing Government, we focused on the following issues this week:

  • If federal policymakers won’t reverse course on high-speed rail, let’s hope state policymakers step up to squelch this budding boondoggle before it’s too late.
  • Joe Biden demonstrates the arrogance of the political class, which at its core believes that free individuals are incapable of making the “right” decision without the guiding hand of the state.
  • Short-term measures implemented by policymakers to “fix” the economy have also introduced unwelcome economic distortions.
  • The Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service was "captured" by the industry it regulated. Not the first example of regulatory capture; won't be the last.
  • Alaska's Manufacturing Extension Partnership shows that economic development agencies are better at “press release economics” than promoting policies that will result in real economic growth.
August 20, 2010 4:39PM

This Week in Government Failure

Over at Downsizing Government, we focused on the following issues this week:

  • The angst over phantom food stamps cuts indicates that those of us who believe the needy aren’t best served by Uncle Sam have our work cut out.
  • A response to Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry on federal versus private pay.
  • Alaska’s love/hate relationship with the federal government underscores why weaning the states off their addiction to federal dollars would be difficult.
  • The debt-burdened Greek government is planning to sell a large share of the state-owned Hellenic Post.  The debt-burdened U.S. government is doing nothing with its struggling U.S. Postal Service.
  • Symbolic of this unprecedented federal intervention into the housing market is news that the FHA is insuring mortgages on luxury condos in Manhattan.
August 13, 2010 3:46PM

This Week in Government Failure

Over at Downsizing Government, we focused on the following issues this week:

August 6, 2010 5:34PM

This Week in Government Failure

Over at Downsizing Government, we focused on the following issues this week:

  • You know that California city that recently made national headlines because local government officials were collecting massive six-figure salaries?  It turns out that the city has received millions of dollars in federal subsidies over the past five years.
  • Money-losing Amtrak plans to purchase 130 rail cars for its money-losing trains. Ah, government rail.
  • Voters who are expecting a new Republican congressional majority to downsize government might not want to hold their breath.
  • Federal highway financing and control should be devolved to the states and, even better, the private sector.
  • The latest federal bailout isn't about "America's children" as White House demagogues claim. Children shouldn't trust strangers with candy --- or Uncle Sam.

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July 23, 2010 2:21PM

This Week in Government Failure

Over at Downsizing Government, we focused on the following issues this week: