The Great Compromise, in Plain English

“We agree to allow ourselves to borrow more money now. In exchange we pinky-promise ourselves to cut spending later.”

Five More Days

With the doomsday clock showing that America is five days away from the Economic Apocalypse™, I can’t help but wish that Boehner finally grows a pair and stands up against any proposed increases in the federal debt ceiling. I’ve noted multiple times before how an increase in federal debt is a horrible, horrible idea, . . . → Read More: Five More Days

In which I violate the alleged Supreme Law of the Land

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. — 14th Amendment

Not only do I question its validity, I deny its validity, at least insofar as it implies any . . . → Read More: In which I violate the alleged Supreme Law of the Land

Civics 101: Government spending

There are three types of government spending — waste, fraud and abuse.

As Anthony Gregory points out, that first category is the least of our . . . → Read More: Civics 101: Government Spending

Dysfunction Junction

In a sense there is no news at all to comment on in the latest pension episode of the pension soap opera down on the 5th floor. Hard to see how the outcome down at the Pittsburgh Parking Authority board would have been any different than is being reported. Great quote in describing the state of . . . → Read More: Dysfunction Junction

This Means a Lot

Via Yahoo:

The House on Friday passed a Republican budget blueprint proposing to fundamentally overhaul Medicare and combat out-of-control budget deficits with sharp spending cuts on social safety net programs like food stamps and Medicaid.

The nonbinding plan lays out a fiscal vision cutting $6.2 trillion over the coming decade from the budget submitted . . . → Read More: This Means a Lot

The Slippery Slope “Fallacy”

It appears that the “slippery slope” does indeed exist:

As reported by ABC News, what started out as a program to hold unclaimed property, such as the contents of safety deposit boxes owned by people who have moved away without a forwarding address, has gone wildly out of control. The program is now using . . . → Read More: The Slippery Slope “Fallacy”

Without a Net: Compromise versus Calculation

INTRODUCTION: ORDER OF BATTLE If we place the ongoing “purist”-”pragmatist” conflict within the libertarian movement under a metaphorical microscope, it immediately becomes apparent that what we’re looking at is not one conflict, but rather a bundle of conflicts composed of numerous intertwined disputes with overlapping intra-movement constituencies for particular outcomes. While the movement . . . → Read More: Without a Net: Compromise versus Calculation

The Thing About Earmarks

Ever heard the one about “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing?”

The congressional earmarks saga is a tale told by charlatans trying to distract you from the Really Bad Stuff.

For those who don’t follow this stuff closely, here’s a simple version of how earmarks work:

1) . . . → Read More: The Thing About Earmarks

Why Does Bombay Have Abysmal Governance?

The resource curse

For many years, economists have been puzzled at the way things have gone wrong in countries where natural resources were discovered. In 1993, the economist Richard M. Auty coined the phrase `Resource curse’ to convey the extent to which natural resource finds are a curse and not a blessing. But the . . . → Read More: Why Does Bombay Have Abysmal Governance?