Economy & Budget

Cancel the sequester — now

As stories spread about airline passengers waiting extra hours because of furloughs imposed by the sequester, and as monthly job reports begin to show the jobs-destroying impact of the sequester increasing, it is time to cancel the sequester.


Financial literacy — Obama style

The Washington Post reports that President Obama is pushing banks to make home loans for people who currently don’t qualify. Haven’t we been living in this bad movie for the past six years?

Obama’s idea is a Groundhog Day-like sequel where the government compels a now quasi-nationalized lending industry to give loans to people who have a history of not repaying debt. Because many of those loans are not repaid, the banks inevitably need to be bailed out by the taxpayers, and the very same government that demanded the loans be made then blames the lenders for making them. This is not conjecture; it is the history of the housing bubble and collapse.


Why Rand Paul? David Stockman’s Easter manifesto

Recently, residents in all 50 states have registered secession requests from the federal government. Sixteen states are studying the creation of their own currencies. States have taken their own initiatives on gun control, abortion, the National Defense Authorization Act and other issues. Lakota Indians in The Dakotas have declared their own republic and so have a band of Vermonters. And Texas wants its gold back from the Fed. What happened? 


Ridiculous government waste

With all the talk of fiscal cliff, sequestration, the continuing resolution, and raising the debt ceiling (again), I’ve yet to hear any politician on either side of the aisle focus on government waste.

It is fact that both parties so egregiously waste money that they come to blows and hurt family paychecks when they could be looking at ways to save that would benefit everyone.


Beat Obama over spending

Republicans need to focus their fire on spending, spending and spending. President Obama is vulnerable and exposed and can be taken down over this issue. His recent drop in polling can be directly attributed to his spirited opposition to the sequester cuts.
Ever since Obama succeeded in raising taxes, he has been left naked and unprotected on his opposition to spending cuts. No longer can he deflect proposals to curb the massive federal spending and debt by saying that we should first try to raise taxes on the rich. Now that he has had his way, he’s lost his cover.


We waited four years for this budget?

News flash. Senate Democrats pass a budget out of committee that includes massive tax increases, dramatically increases spending, never is projected to come close to balancing the budget, and in a tip of the hat to George Orwell, they call it “balanced” in its approach.

Is there any doubt why House Republicans found it nearly impossible to find budget solutions with a group so far out of touch?


Hero or villain

Paul Ryan is the subject of much criticism because he is tainted as one who has no concern for the poor and the elderly. This is because he has advocated fiscal responsibility and the curtailment of out-of-control entitlement spending.


Krugman is right, Washington is wrong

And now in the next act of the Washington performance, the Senate Democrats offer their budget, the House Republicans offer their budget, the president (between resets about what his presidency is about) will sooner or later offer his budget.

But one thing is clear: Nobody will offer a budget that promises to create significantly more jobs at a time when joblessness is the great national scandal.


Has Speaker Boehner opened the door or is he just being cute?

Despite his declaration that the Senate “needs to get off their ass,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) may have opened up the possibility of negotiations on real tax reform.

Of course, tax committee chairmen Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) are deep into negotiations to come up with workable ideas to reform our tax system. So Boehner’s comments today weren’t totally out of the blue.

But Boehner may realize the key to a grand bargain is as much in revamping our tax system as it is in the Tea Party’s slash and burn politics. As much as the Republicans love to repeat “we have a spending problem,” the smart ones know deep down that we have a revenue problem too.


Why sequestration needs to happen

The GOP in Congress has already lost three rounds of the fight for a balanced budget.

In December they agreed to raise taxes with no "quid pro quo". This year, they agreed to suspend the debt ceiling and finally delayed the sequestration until March. Unfortunately, as is usually the case with President Obama, the Republicans got nothing in exchange for compromising their fiscal principles.