Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell challenged President Obama’s claim to support trillions in serious spending cuts as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling – cuts the president says show he’s ready to anger Democrats to get a deal.
There is something about big, splashy economic development (“eco-devo”) projects that causes even the most conservative politicians to lose their heads. On the stump, they rail against corporate giveaways and crony capitalism. In town halls, they decry backroom deals, preferential treatment, and earmarks. In practice, though, they just cannot resist the urge to spend taxpayer money on new stadiums, shopping malls, and other civic boondoggles that will supposedly jump-start economic activity and lead to massive job creation.
President Obama’s average annual deficit spending (including his proposed deficit spending for 2012) has been 9.7 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) — more than double the tally of any other president since World War II. In the wake of Obama’s spending spree, it’s therefore a bit disconcerting that the CBO writes in a newly issued report that “the continued aging of the population and growth in health care costs will almost certainly push up federal spending significantly relative to GDP.”
President Obama’s controversial plan for a high-speed rail system took a hit Tuesday as the top California member of Congress, House majority whip Kevin McCarthy, voiced strong opposition to building a new rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
As we ring in the New Year, the Wall Street Journal reports, "The Credit Card Act signed into law last year [in 2009] was supposed to stop financial institutions from sleazy antics. But, instead, some retailers say, it may restrict stay-at-home moms."
I can't believe the Democratic Congress will be foolish and hubristic enough to go ahead and jam though the omnibus appropriations bill with its 6,488 earmarks totaling nearly $8.3 billion. But if they do: Shouldn't the Republican House leadership commit to making H.R. 1 in the next Congress a bill rescinding all the earmarks and the whole $8.3 billion?
Today, the Senate is likely to vote on the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 (S510). But the bill is little more than an enormous grant of money and power to the Food and Drug Administration and a lot of reporting burdens imposed on the private sector. Those who favor a smaller, leaner government should oppose it.