Tag: downsizing government

This Week in Government Failure

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

  • Thanks to the postal unions, the U.S. Postal Service’s utilization of part-time workers is below UPS, FedEx, and its international counterparts.
  • Senate Republicans want agitated voters to view their support for a discretionary spending cap as evidence that the party is serious about out-of-control spending and deficits. But capping discretionary spending at the already exorbitant levels that Republicans helped reach isn’t exactly a big reform.
  • Republicans and Democrats are both guilty of abusing the “emergency” designation to ram through more spending.
  • HUD secretary Shaun Donovan calls public housing a “precious asset.” We’re not joking.
  • Does anyone think the White House economic team was going to produce estimates that didn’t show substantial job creation resulting from the stimulus?

This Week in Government Failure

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

  • Would it take seven years for a senior manager at a private company to be fired if he goofed off and didn’t go to work?
  • Only a government monopoly would try to raise prices when the demand for its services is plummeting.
  • Are we spending $18 billion a year of taxpayer money on NASA simply to generate warm and fuzzy feelings?
  • Fraud in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance program illustrates the problem with governments being charitable with other people’s money.
  • Paul Krugman is dismissing concerns that the Obama administration’s fiscal and regulatory policies are fostering uncertainty in the business community, and thus inhibiting job growth and an economic recovery. We beg to differ.

Fiscal Commission Testimony

I testified to President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform today on Capitol Hill. The Commission is tasked with creating a package of specific budget reforms by December to be considered by the House and Senate.

I suggested that the Commission propose cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, transportation subsidies, education subsidies, aid to the states, and many other activities.

Fiscal responsibility is pretty easy really–you just need to cut programs. I advised Commission members to study the recommendations on www.downsizinggovernment.org.

And I said that other countries have ditched farm subsidies and privatized Social Security, so why the heck can’t we?

My written testimony is here. The hearings are on CSPAN and being streamed at the White House website.

This Week in Government Failure

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

  • Why a taxpayer gift to a wealthy Indian tribe in Connecticut isn’t any more egregious than the billions of dollars of other subsidies handed out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Protectionism at the Department of Commerce is helping 200 workers at an ironing board manufacturing plant in Indiana. However, it’s hurting millions of U.S. consumers by forcing them to pay higher prices for ironing boards.
  • Pigs still can’t fly: More concerns for the Federal Aviation Administration’s next-generation air traffic control system.
  • The evidence is more than anecdotal: Businesses are reluctant to invest or hire because they’re concerned that the president’s big government agenda will mean higher taxes and more onerous regulations.

This Week in Government Failure

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

  • President Obama wants to give his government employee union pals another $50 billion gift courtesy of  taxpayers.
  • An enterprising reporter from a small newspaper in Illinois shows that federal food subsidies aren’t a free lunch. It’s a good example of the sort of work reporters at the big papers should be undertaking.
  • The Department of Labor is about to send hither swarms of officers to harass already struggling businesses.
  • Former Clinton HUD secretary Henry Cisneros is trying to rewrite HUD’s sorry history.
  • Note to the House of Representatives: the Federal Housing Administration doesn’t need to be reformed – it needs to be abolished.

This Week in Government Failure

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

  • Downsizing’s new Department of Transportation website is up and running!
  • A new essay on “Overpaid Federal Workers” is also up and it’s already generating a lot of buzz in the media.
  • Amtrak’s reputation for financial shenanigans lives on.
  • Kudos to the Washington Post for pointing out what we’ve been saying for a while: “regime uncertainty” is stifling the economy’s ability to recover.
  • President Obama’s lieutenants have instructed federal agencies to come up with spending cuts equal to five percent of their discretionary budgets for fiscal year 2012. 2012? Why wait?!?!

This Week in Government Failure

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

  • The Department of Agriculture’s Office of Communications is a microcosm of government waste.
  • The giant postal monopoly of today bears little resemblance to the limited postal service of history. And that’s not because horses have been replaced with little white trucks.
  • Should the government promote fishing? Perhaps if you believe in the nanny state.
  • Thus far with the House Republican “YouCut” website, we have the Empire State Building engulfed in flames and the GOP sending in a toddler with a squirt gun to solve the problem.