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  • House Health Bill Would Silence Trustee’s Medicare Bankruptcy Warnings

    President Obama has repeatedly claimed that his health care reforms also represent entitlement reform. Not surprisingly, the Congressional Budget Office shows this claim implausible. They have scored several health care proposals as costing more than $1 trillion in the first decade, and certainly more thereafter. Accordingly, lawmakers are considering substantially … More

    President’s PAYGO Proposal is Unworkable

    President Obama today is promoting a Pay-as-You-Go (PAYGO) statute requiring that tax cuts and entitlement expansions be collectively deficit-neutral. Congress is likely to take up the proposal later this month. Since 2007, Congress has had a PAYGO rule mandating that each new tax and entitlement bill be deficit-neutral. Because it … More

    Reject the Value-Added Tax, Rein in Spending Instead

    The Washington Post today ran an article on the possibility of lawmakers enacting a value-added tax (VAT) to pay for soaring government spending. A VAT is basically a national sales tax, and the possible 25 percent tax rate floated in the article would raise the cost of virtually all goods … More

    President’s Budget “Cuts” Should Go Towards Deficit Reduction Rather than New Spending

    President Obama today released a list of 121 proposed program terminations and reductions, at a savings of $17 billion. It is important for any president to get acclimated to the idea of streamlining government, and this exercise can be the first step. Many of the programs that President Obama has … More

    Quick Observations on President Obama’s Budget

    Budget Trickery The President also employs budget trickery on spending. He first assumes that Iraq spending will continue indefinitely at 2008 levels (which was never going to happen, according to the military’s own Joint Campaign Plan), and then calculates $1.5 trillion in savings against that baseline. If you eliminate that … More

    President Obama Set to Exceed President Bush’s Deficits

    “First of all, when I hear that from folks who presided over a doubling of the national debt, then, you know, I just want them to not engage in some revisionist history.” – President Barack Obama, February 9, 2009 President Barack Obama has recently begun denigrating Republican attempts to pare … More

    The Largest Permanent Redesign of the Federal Government Since the Great Society

    In three of the last four years, Congress has combined all the outstanding appropriations bills into one large omnibus bill. Each omnibus bill was ridiculed at the time for forcing Congress to vote on a huge sum of money without a chance to split it up and thoroughly examine each … More

    No, We Are Not All Keynesians Now

    Remember the media’s relentless criticism of the Bush Administration’s “groupthink” leading up to the Iraq War? Now the media is engaged in its own groupthink on how best to stimulate economic growth. The great macroeconomic debate of the past century has been over the role of government in economic growth. … More

    The Real Record Breakers Are Coming

    Yesterday the White House updated its budget estimates by releasing the annual “Midsession Review.” Media reports have focused on the projected budget deficits of $389 billion this year and $482 billion in 2009. As always, larger truths have been left out: Reports calling next year’s projected budget deficit of $482 … More