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    Lies, Damned Lies, and…the Undeniable Truth

    Most people are skeptical about statistics, claiming that mathematically-minded people just bend numbers to their will. But when it comes to long term budget projections, economists from the left, right, and center all agree we on an unsustainable course, and that the entitlements—Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—are the main driver … More

    The End of Social Security As We Know It?

    Barack Obama argues that his tax rebates, many of which will go to households paying no income tax will “offset the payroll tax they pay,” and are, therefore, not welfare. But there are two big problems with this line of argument. First of all, Social Security taxes (the main part … More

    Al Gore Is Racist, Says Columnist

    We’ve never met Al Gore. So how do we know he is racist? Because the Washington Post’s Harold Meyerson told us so. Remember Al Gore wants to save Social Security and Medicare by putting all payroll taxes in a “iron-clad lockbox where the politicians can’t touch them.” How is this … More

    Morning Bell: Preventing the Biggest Bailout of All

    The bailout parade is continuing unabated in Washington this week. On the heels of a $25 billion bailout for the automotive industry, the Bush Administration agreed yesterday to a $4.3 billion bailout of Massachusetts’ out of control health care spending. Apparently when numbers like $700 billion are being thrown around, … More

    The Medicare-Subprime Parallel

    Former Comptroller General of the United States and Fiscal Wake-Up Tour star David Walker outlines how our impending entitlement crisis parallels the current subprime mortgage mess in the Financial Times: … a lack of transparency facilitated the crisis. Banks and other financial institutions created off-the-books entities so that regulators would … More

    Spending Explosions, not Tax Cuts, Driving Deficits

    Last week the Congressional Budget Office reported that the federal deficit will reach $407 billion this year. This actually is not as groundbreaking as it sounds. The best way to measure budget deficits is as a percentage of GDP, the 2008 budget deficit is 2.9% of GDP compared to 30.3% … More

    Tomorrow's Local Government Pension Crisis is Here

    When it comes to retirement and pension benefits, federal, state, and local government officials have all been humming the same mantra: never pay for something today if you can put off paying for it until tomorrow. Unfortunately, tomorrow is here. The federal government is on the hook for $41 trillion … More

    Grading the Lawmakers’ Entitlement Reform Proposals

    Kudos to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Last month the paper asked each member of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation to explain how he or she would solve the long-term Social Security and Medicare funding shortfall. Their responses claimed two and a half pages of editorial space in the July 13 issue. It’s … 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

    Morning Bell: More Evasions on Medicare

    Earlier this month, Anheuser-Busch was bought by the Belgian brewer InBev for $50.3 billion. As symbolic as the purchase was for American beer drinkers, the deal will have an even bigger impact on Belgium’s economy. A gross domestic product (GDP) of $378.9 billion makes Belgium the 28th-largest economy in the world. Now … More