Friday, July 31, 2009
"The Blue Dog mentality is best described from my standpoint as, on economic and finance, center right, and on social issues, center left,” says Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), a Blue Dog veteran of more than 20 years of battles in the House. “It’s harder to communicate maybe than in a more compact district, but I think in a Southern rural district, there is a certain level of trust, I guess, if people feel like they know you.”
He said the message has been lost that Democrats want to lower both the costs for the government and the “premiums for people who are buying insurance now.”
“People think this bill will do something to them rather than for them. People call the office and say I don’t want a government-run program, I like Medicare just the way it is. And you have to explain: Medicare is a government program.
“Change is hard, and this is big change that is being talked about, so you naturally have people who are uneasy and nervous.”
As we’ve reported before, figuring out how many jobs the stimulus has created or saved is one of the key measures of its success — and a tricky business.
The committee touted its estimate in a news release in advance of a hearing today on the progress of stimulus projects. The chairman, James Oberstar, D-Minn., said the stimulus has “already begun to play a key role in putting people back to work.” The release credited stimulus transportation projects with 49,377 jobs.
Jim Berard, spokesman for the House panel, said the estimate simply reflects what states reported. “We’re not trying to mislead anybody,” Berard said.
The committee reached its total by adding up the number of people who’ve worked on stimulus-funded highway or transit projects. Last week, we reported on the problems with simple head counts.
Besides failing to distinguish between part-time and full-time jobs, head counts are subject to another error: Construction workers often rotate among projects, which can lead to double- or triple-counting when project totals are added together. State workers who oversee multiple projects also can be counted more than once.
1. John Wooden, college basketball
2. Vince Lombardi, NFL
3. Bear Bryant, college football
4. Phil Jackson, NBA
5. Don Shula, NFL
6. Red Auerbach, NBA
7. Scotty Bowman, NHL
8. Dean Smith, college basketball
9. Casey Stengel, MLB
10. Knute Rockne, college football
11. Pat Summitt, women's college basketball
12. Paul Brown, NFL
13. Joe Paterno, college football
14. George Halas, NFL
15. Chuck Noll, NFL
16. Bob Knight, college basketball
17. Joe Gibbs, NFL
18. Tom Landry, NFL
19. Mike Krzyzewski, college basketball
20. Bill Belichick, NFL
As everyone else’s taxes rise, one favored outfit may not have to pay federal taxes for years: General Motors. In another sweet deal from its benefactors on Pennsylvania Avenue, the government-owned car company is set to profit from billions of dollars in tax breaks not available to other businesses in the same predicament.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Indeed, the IRS data shows that in 2007—the most recent data available—the top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 40.4 percent of the total income taxes collected by the federal government. This is the highest percentage in modern history. By contrast, the top 1 percent paid 24.8 percent of the income tax burden in 1987, the year following the 1986 tax reform act.
Remarkably, the share of the tax burden borne by the top 1 percent now exceeds the share paid by the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers combined. In 2007, the bottom 95 percent paid 39.4 percent of the income tax burden. This is down from the 58 percent of the total income tax burden they paid twenty years ago.
To put this in perspective, the top 1 percent is comprised of just 1.4 million taxpayers and they pay a larger share of the income tax burden now than the bottom 134 million taxpayers combined.
The Government Has Mismanaged...
The government has mismanaged the Post Office and is now set to cover up its mistakes with a bailout.
The government has mismanaged the Highway Trust Fund and is now set to cover upits mistakes with a bailout.
The government has mismanaged Amtrak, which is chronically unprofitable, and is set to cover up its mistakes with a bailout.
The government has mismanaged the Social Security Trust Fund and is ignoring its responsibility to fix the program.
The government has mismanaged the Medicare and Medicaid programs and is ignoring its responsibility to fix the programs.
I could probably think of several more examples, but with this lousy track record, do we really want this same government to make medical decisions on our behalf by nationalizing health care?
A Massachusetts Republican gubernatorial candidate is tracking shoppers to see if New Hampshire businesses are taking Bay State sales tax dollars.
Republican Christy Mihos has set up a camera that links to his Web site a streaming video of every car crossing the state border into Salem's Route 28 retail strip where shoppers pay no sales tax. This brings attention to the Massachusetts sales tax that on Aug. 1 will increase by 25 percent, from 5 percent to 6.25 percent.
(The) Austin (case), clumsy and disingenuous as it is, nonetheless only alters that rule for corporations, and presumably unions. Now the government seeks to alter the rule for all, allowing it to regulate all political speech that supports or opposes a candidate's election. Under the government's proposed rule, not even actual gratitude is required before the government can limit speech — it is enough that the government thinks that in some cases legislators might feel gratitude.
Obama's coattails aren't big enough for Corzine to glide on, and I don't think any amount of money is going to convince people that he deserves another chance to fail at his duties.
Obama should concede this one, and run away as fast as he can.
Corzine is ripe to fall.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Introduction: Whether you are an individual considering running for elective office, a college student wanting to make a meaningful contribution, or a citizen interested in affecting change in your state or local community, American Majority Training Programs have something for everyone. American Majority’s on-demand educational courses deliver compelling insights and on-target advice to help you manage every aspect of the planning process, development of communication strategy, and implementation of successful tactics.
Monday, July 27, 2009
National Taxpayers Union
In 2007 Bart Gordon had a rating of 7%, an F. (100% being the most conservative). His ranking was more liberal than Dennis Kucinich.
Citizens Against Government Waste
In 2007 Bart Gordon had a rating of 5% (100% being the most conservative). His ranking was more liberal than Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank.
Club for Growth
In 2007 Bart Gordon had a rating of 12% (100% being the most conservative). This was more liberal than Rahm Emanuel and Henry Waxman.
Given the size of the US population, if government practice guidelines and pay for performance metrics are as successful under ObamaCare as they have been in Britain, expect the number of US deaths from medical errors to almost double to 360,000 a year.
When the EPA recently issued a report anticipating 100 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol production in the U.S. by 2010, it was including 70 million gallons from an Alabama company called Cello Energy.
That's 70 percent of the total U.S. production from one relatively small company, per the EPA.
The government didn't factor in ethanol fraud.
Turns out the Cello was just found guilty in a federal court in Alabama of civil fraud for lying to a major investor about the state of its ability to make ethanol from grass and other woody, non-food materials.
The jury ordered Cello principals to pay $10.4 million in damages after witnesses testified that the "cellulosic" fuel the company was showing to investors was actually fuel derived entirely from petroleum.
Not everyone can sign up for expensive pet care. After dropping $1,500 to have a malignant tumor removed from Misty, their 2-year-old beagle, Mike and Cindy Santay of Downers Grove opted against the follow-up $5,000 radiation treatments. Their three children attend private school, and they couldn't justify the expense.
"The first thing was the money," said Cindy Santay, 46.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
So this might be an unarticulated public fear: When everyone pays for the same health-care system, the overseers will feel more and more a right to tell you how to live, which simple joys are allowed and which are not.
Americans in the most personal, daily ways feel they are less free than they used to be. And they are right, they are less free.
Who wants more of that?
"I want to excite you to take hold of your liberty," Dan Itse, a New Hampshire legislator, tells more than 70 who fill the campground's TV room for a Friday afternoon declaration of state's rights to freedom from federal control. "You're the only one who can defend your liberty in the end."
The threat of overreaching government is not new, Free Staters say, but it is rising. They wonder if more Americans aren't starting to realize that, too - before it's too late.
Last fall's protests against the economic bailout has been followed by public disapproval of the Obama's administration takeover of General Motors. In 36 states, legislators have introduced resolutions modeled on Itse's declaring their sovereignty over matters including the right to bear arms, citing the Constitution's 10th Amendment, which delineates the federal government's powers. Free Staters approve - though they are distrustful of most politicians.
Still, they are convinced the country will eventually recognize the truth. Just have a look, says Free Stater William Domenico, pointing to 18 fresh recruits from Florida, North Carolina and beyond, piling off a bus after a day's tour.
"Why?" asks Domenico, himself a refugee from an over-licensed life in Colorado. "Because they want government off their backs."
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Combine the impact of new technologies with the gut punch of the recession, and in the past year alone, the Postal Service has seen the single largest drop-off in mail volume in its 234-year history, greater even than the decline from 1929 to 1933 during the Great Depression. That downward trend is only accelerating. The Postal Service projects a decline of about 10 billion pieces of mail in each of the next two years, going from a high of 213 billion pieces of mail in 2006 to 170 billion projected for 2010.
The situation is so dire that the Postal Service, which is projecting a $6 billion shortfall by the end of September despite a recent postage rate increase, will go to Congress this month to seek emergency relief, looking to cut home mail delivery from six days a week to five. Already, the Postal Service has cut hours at hundreds of post offices across the country, including 56 of the Washington area's 386 outlets. It has consolidated routes, dropping 158 delivery routes locally, offered workers early retirement and imposed hiring and salary freezes. Still, said Postmaster General John E. Potter, the service is in "acute financial crisis."
"For years, we've been warning that the budget was out of balance over the long-term and we should act while there was still time," said Maya MacGuineas, President of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. "Well guess what? Time is quickly running out. We're drowning in unprecedented levels of red ink and there is no plan to fix the situation."
"Having spent over a decade worrying about budget deficits, I can quite honestly say that things have never looked as bad as they do now. We need to be focused on slowing spending and finding better ways to raise revenue, not on cutting taxes and introducing new entitlement programs," said MacGuineas. "We can either make these hard choices now, on our own terms, or we can make them in a panic on the heels of a full-blown fiscal crisis."
Caracas, July 22 - Venezuela, a traditional coffee exporter that boasts one of the best cups of java in South America, may have to import coffee for the first time ever this year or face shortages, industry experts said.
On-and-off food shortages for years have dogged the government of President Hugo Chavez, a former paratrooper who has nationalized several industries and expropriated land as part of his socialist revolution.
Critics point the finger at price and foreign exchange controls that have slowed investments in expansion and maintenance and eroded productivity. The government blames shortages on speculation by the private sector.
A shortage of milk and beef contributed to Chavez losing a referendum in 2007 that would have granted him vast new powers.
Last week, Agriculture and Land Minister Elias Jaua said that the shortage of coffee, rice and sugar was due to climatic reasons. Imported sugar would reach the domestic market in coming days and the government will announce a host of measures to ensure the coffee supply, he said.
Don Boudreaux says it best: via John Stossel, via Insty
To the Editor:
If an armed man breaks into your house, confiscates money from your wallet, insists that he and his goons are blessed with a grand vision of how you and your family should be provided with health care, and commands you to do as he orders, would you believe his promise to keep armed intruders "out of health care decisions"? ("Text: Obama's Remarks on Health Care," July 22).
Of course not.
So why isn't the entire country furious at being insulted by Pres. Obama's patently absurd claim that his efforts to give government a greater role in paying for health care will "keep government out of health care decisions”?
Donald J. Boudreaux
Chairman, Department of Economics
George Mason University
Friday, July 24, 2009
The Republicans have been pulling out the "you will hurt seniors" card by suggesting that Medicare will be hurt by the Dems plan. So the Dems are buckling like Republicans when you call them uncharitable, i.e., like a deck of cards.
I got news for you, Medicare is already a train wreck.
If this healthcare reform monster passes in ANY form, it will be a bloody disaster.
The Legislative process, at any level, is the absolute worst way to make fine grained decisions. These decisions should be made by individual CITIZENS, not a bunch of grandstanding politicians and power hungry bureaucrats who are being egged on by a bunch of greedy lobbyists. How has the Federal Govenment gotten this far out of our control??
Basically, the majority said that illegal drugs are not subject to taxation under the state constitution, which authorizes taxes on "merchants, peddlers and privileges." The tax is on possession, they reasoned, not sales so the possessors are not merchants or peddlers. And since possession of the products in question is outlawed, it's not a legal privilege subject to taxation.
The majority did reject arguments that the law violates the U.S. Constitution's provisions against self-incrimination and double jeopardy. In theory, that means the Legislature could revise the law - as in making the tax apply to sales of the drugs - and the statute could pass legal muster.
Source: Angus Reid Strategies
Methodology: Online interviews with 1,000 American adults, conducted from Jul. 16 to Jul. 18, 2009. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.
So, what does this all mean? The natural gas glut that we’ve flagged shows no signs of letting up. Indeed, if anything it’s getting worse. The U.S. Energy Department reported on Thursday a lot of gas in storage and natural gas prices can’t seem to break above the $4 a million British thermal unit level.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
House and Senate Democrats, who have controlling majorities in the legislature, agreed to both measures this week as part of a $980 million tax package to cope with the budget deficit facing North Carolina.
That would be coupled with cuts in state spending, but Democratic leaders say the tax increases are needed to avoid more devastating cuts to education and social services.
The sales tax increase would be paid in small increments whenever people make a purchase. But when tax time rolls around next year, N.C. residents would be forced to calculate the taxes they owe the state and then add an additional 2 percent.
“I'm not making ends meet as is. I'm at the point where I'm cutting out necessities now,” said Jill Kelley, who works for Wells Fargo in uptown Charlotte, adding that she's even started skipping lunch at work.
Developer Brian Potashnik told jurors in the Dallas City Hall public corruption trial Wednesday that he was guilty of "crossing a line" and that he felt pressure from former Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill to pay bribes to ensure that his affordable-housing projects were approved.
In past years, New Jersey has seen more than 100 corruption-related arrests of public officials. There was no word on the specific charges against those being rounded up today, but a press conference is scheduled for noon.
Computers and Videogaming
- Wires. OK, so they’re not gone yet, but it won’t be long
- The scream of a modem connecting.
- The buzz of a dot-matrix printer
- 5- and 3-inch floppies, Zip Discs and countless other forms of data storage.
- Using jumpers to set IRQs.
- Terminals accessing the mainframe.
- Screens being just green (or orange) on black.
- Tweaking the volume setting on your tape deck to get a computer game to load, and waiting ages for it to actually do it.
- Daisy chaining your SCSI devices and making sure they’ve all got a different ID.
- Counting in kilobytes.
- Wondering if you can afford to buy a RAM upgrade.
- Blowing the dust out of a NES cartridge in the hopes that it’ll load this time.
- Turning a PlayStation on its end to try and get a game to load.
- Having to delete something to make room on your hard drive.
- Booting your computer off of a floppy disk.
- Recording a song in a studio.
A spokesman for the state Inspector General Joseph Fisch said Louis Marciano, 50, a supervisor with the state Office of General Services, and Gary Pivoda, a cleaner who works under him, allegedly used taxpayer dollars to transform a maintenance area in a Capitol garage facility into a "man cave" with a TV, board games, DVDs, couches, rolling papers and marijuana scales, the New York Post reported Wednesday.
The spokesman said the investigation was sparked by the cumulative overtime payouts of $28,400 the two men have collected during the past five years.
Reporting from Washington -- Invoking an argument used by President George W. Bush, the Obama administration has turned down a request from a watchdog group for a list of health industry executives who have visited the White House to discuss the massive healthcare overhaul.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sent a letter to the Secret Service asking about visits from 18 executives representing health insurers, drug makers, doctors and other players in the debate. The group wants the material in order to gauge the influence of those executives in crafting a new healthcare policy.
The reporter, Joe Kaufman, sought a pre-trial appeal of a lower court's refusal to dismiss defamation charges against him. In Texas, members of the media have an automatic right to pre-trial appeals if the claim is rooted in the First Amendment. The plaintiffs -- a coalition of seven Islamic associations -- challenged whether Kaufman is a journalist because his work appeared on the Internet.
The defamation claim comes from an article Kaufman wrote for Front Page Magazine, an online publication of the David Horowitz Freedom Center. The article was about Muslim Family Day at Six Flags Over Texas and highlighted links between one of the event's sponsors, the Islamic Circle of North America, and third-parties with connections to terrorism. The plaintiffs are other Islamic groups that were listed as sponsors on an promotional flier but were not named in the article. The Islamic Circle of North America did not sue.
The Texas Court of Appeals in Forth Worth (2nd Dist.) looked at multiple factors to determine that Kaufman qualified as a member of the media. Those included the nature of the work published, the frequency with which Kaufman writes and the editing practices of the magazine. The court also noted that the state's recently passed shield law specifically includes electronic media.
The court then dismissed the libel charge. It found that the plaintiffs could not successfully claim that the allegedly defamatory information was "of and concerning" them, a necessary element to proving libel.
The mayors did not discuss what type of tax they might propose.
A mayor from a Denver suburb told the group about the successful mayors’ caucus in her area that helped create that region’s light rail system. She also warned the group to make sure whatever tax they use will sustain itself. The Denver area’s $4 billion light rail system is suffering a $2 billion shortfall, due to sales tax revenues dropping during the recession.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
WASHINGTON, July 21 (UPI) -- New York state and New York City agreed to pay a record $540 million to settle allegations they filed false Medicaid claims, the U.S. Justice Department said.
State and local officials allegedly submitted claims for reimbursement for school-based healthcare services provided to Medicaid-eligible children from 1990 to 2001, the Justice Department said Tuesday in a news release.
The settlement is a record federal recovery for the Medicaid program, Justice Department officials said.
The settlement resolves allegations that the state of New York knowingly failed to provide proper advice on requirements for a service to be eligible for coverage by the Medicaid program and failed to monitor districts and counties for compliance as required, among other things.
So...we are going to pour billions more into Govt Healthcare, the same Govt Healthcare that now costs $300 billion too much????
This is worse than Bill Clinton's tortured logic.
Calling Medicare and Medicaid “one of the greatest threats to our federal deficit,” President Obama used his weekly address to announce savings in Medicare and Medicaid that the administration said will generate more than $313 billion over 10 years for funding health care reform.
The savings, coupled with a $635 billion “down payment” already outlined in the fiscal year 2010 budget would add up to roughly $950 billion toward paying for health care reform.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Instead, Mr. Roe’s children, like a growing number of people nationwide, decided to care for their father in death as they had in the last months of his life. They washed Mr. Roe’s body, dressed him in his favorite Harrods tweed jacket and red Brooks Brothers tie and laid him on a bed so family members could privately say their last goodbyes.
The next day, Mr. Roe was placed in a pine coffin made by his son, along with a tuft of wool from the sheep he once kept. He was buried on his farm in a grove off a walking path he traversed each day.
“It just seemed like the natural, loving way to do things,” said Jennifer Roe-Ward, Mr. Roe’s granddaughter. “It let him have his dignity.”
- 3% excise tax on items disposed of in wastewater, such as toothpaste, cosmetics, toilet paper and cooking oil: These products wind up in the water stream and require clean up by sewage treatment plants.
- 0.5% excise tax on pharmaceutical products.
- 0.15% tax corporate profits over $4 million.
- 4 cent per container excise tax on water-based beverages.
In April, May, and June, GM spent $2,760,000 on lobbying according to its Q2 lobbying filing, compared to $2,800,000 in the first quarter. A GM spokesman pointed out to me that the first quarter number already reflects some downsizing -- the company terminated four lobbying accounts at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009. GM terminated the rest of its contracts in early June, but still paid some of these firms the same fee it had paid previous quarters.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Like many regional universities with lower admissions standards, UTC accepts many students who might not get into other schools.
But once it gets them in, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga struggles to get them out with degrees.
UTC graduates only 42 percent of its students, far below the graduation rate of schools with similar admission standards, a new study shows.
“Schools often blame their students, saying that they are not well prepared and that their school’s mission is take unprepared students and give them a chance,” said Mark Schneider, vice president at the American Institutes for Research and author of the Diploma and Dropouts report.
“The problem with that argument is that there are schools that take on the same kind of students and are graduating many more of them,” he said.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
The not-with-a-bang-but-a-whimper end to BP’s jatropha adventure underscores a couple of key points. First, the inedible but hardy plant that just a few years ago seemed like it could revolutionize biofuels has turned into a bust. The initial attraction was that it grows on marginal land, so it wouldn’t compete with food crops. But marginal land means marginal yields. And jatropha turned out to be a water hog as well, further darkening its environmental credentials.
Second, for all the ink spilt over jatropha—and Big Oil’s interest in biofuels in general—the value of some of those investments really is miniscule. D1 Oils will buy out BP’s half of the venture for 500,000 pounds—less than the price of a nice apartment in London—even though the joint venture is apparently worth more than 7 million pounds.
And this wasn’t a piddling venture, as far as jatropha experiments go: Reuters notes that BP and D1 Oils planted more than 200,000 hectares of the stuff—25% of the worldwide jatropha planting.
So what’s wrong with Goldman posting $3.44 billion in second-quarter profits, what’s wrong with the company so far earmarking $11.4 billion in compensation for its employees? What’s wrong is that this is not free-market earnings but an almost pure state subsidy.
Last year, when Hank Paulson told us all that the planet would explode if we didn’t fork over a gazillion dollars to Wall Street immediately, the entire rationale not only for TARP but for the whole galaxy of lesser-known state crutches and safety nets quietly ushered in later on was that Wall Street, once rescued, would pump money back into the economy, create jobs, and initiate a widespread recovery. This, we were told, was the reason we needed to pilfer massive amounts of middle-class tax revenue and hand it over to the same guys who had just blown up the financial world. We’d save their asses, they’d save ours. That was the deal.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
The resentment over the most recent increase in the special consumption tax (ÖTV) on fuel products, offsetting the previous drop in the prices of gasoline and diesel with the introduction of price ceilings several weeks ago, is growing.As the salvos of consumers continue, representatives of the fuel distribution industry have also started to condemn the Finance Ministry's tax hike decision, even accusing the government of using the launch of price ceilings as a means to pretend it is actually concerned about consumers' interests.
After several warnings to obey the rules of pure competition, the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK) imposed a system of maximum price limits for the fuel market last month; this move caused the prices of gasoline and diesel to drop by over kr 20 overnight.
The downturn in demand highlights another serious issue that was clearly emerging last year: The industry presently has far too much supply. During the solar boom of the last few years, demand consistently outstripped supply, and essentially every solar panel produced was sold. Solar companies could increase sales as quickly as they could expand production, all the while at very profitable levels. Not surprisingly, new entrants flooded in, and existing companies expanded rapidly, with the whole industry planning as if high double-digit growth were set to continue indefinitely.
Friday, July 17, 2009
The mayor said the loan is not an attempt to garner favor from the Banner, which focuses on the black community and has often covered Menino critically.
“This is about me helping a business that is very important to the minority community,’’ Menino said. “I will step up any time and help any business in this city. I’m trying to help a business survive. Tell me if that’s wrong.’’
Thursday, July 16, 2009
In what may have been the first-ever motion of its kind, Coburn raised a point of order against this project in the fiscal 2010 Legislative Branch appropriations bill, asserting that it violated the Constitution. Coburn's reasoning: Article I, Section 8 spells out the specific authority of Congress to spend money, and nowhere does it mention local museums. In addition, the 10th Amendment gives the states all powers not granted to Congress, thereby blocking Congress from spending money for just any purpose it decides is appropriate.
In a coordinated response to comments made by an Arizona Republican senator calling for a the stimulus bill to be halted, the Obama administration this week coordinated a series of letters to the governor of Arizona, with the implicit message: put up or shut up.
Arizona Republicans responded that the White House was bullying their state.
LaHood, a former Republican congressman, said that the $48 million in the stimulus bill for infrastructure includes $520.9 million for Arizona highway projects
"creating good-paying jobs and rebuilding America for the future."
Salazar said that Arizona has $320 million in interior funds headed her way.
Donovan said that if the $73 million in HUD funds headed her way were canceled, "the following awards would not be made: $14 million in Community Development Block Grant money; $22 million in Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing; $32 million in the Tax Credit Assistance Program; and over $3 million in Project-Based Rental Assistance. Much of this funding is scheduled to be obligated in the next 10 days."
Vilsack said that the Agriculture Department "announced over $230 million in funding for Recovery Act projects in Arizona….If we cancel projects that are not currently underway, here are a few examples of Arizona projects that would not be funded: $45 million to provide approximately 500 single-family housing loans;
$1.4 million to develop systems for converting wood to energy; $17.6 million in Forest Service funding benefiting Apache County; Five years of increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits for Arizona."
Far from being an engine of wealth creation, the education system is bleeding the economy to death. The U.S. spends 2.3 times as much per pupil in real, inflation-adjusted dollars as it spent in 1970, but the return on this ballooning investment has been less than nothing.
Student achievement at the end of high school has been flat for nearly 40 years, according to a recent study by the Education Department, while the graduation rate fell over the same period, according to a report by James Heckman, a Nobel laureate economist.
If the efficiency of U.S. public schooling had merely remained at its 1970 level, the country would enjoy the equivalent of an annual $300 billion tax cut.
As one of the most astute Americans ever to live, H.L. Mencken, observed about the New Deal, "It is a puerile amalgam of exploded imbecilities, many of them in flat contradiction of the rest." And among the imbecilities that Mencken highlighted was the very one that Mr. Glaeser warns against. Mencken described it as a proposal "to lift the burden of debt by encouraging fools to incur more debt."
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Foul-mouthed rapper Foxy Brown, who spits beats and loogies with equal skill, might be a "Big Bad Mamma," but she's not as tough as the tax man. Records show Brown (real name Inga Marchand) owes $641,558 in federal taxes in the state of New York.
Perdue said the tax would only be temporary to help balance the budget.
The Carolinas PGA is on a campaign against the tax. Ricky Murphy, with the Carolinas PGA, said the state's golf industry pumps in $5.5 billion statewide. He said the golf business employs nearly 70,000 across the state, all of whom face the prospect of losing their jobs if the tax goes into effect.
"This proposed tax would be negative and drive people away from golf, shrink the business of golf, shrink hospitality and travel and tourism in our state," Murphy said.
Monday, July 13, 2009
By 9 a.m., more than 100 people are lined up for the hearing. Only 10 seats are available to the public, and the first 10 spots are held by line-standers. The rest are shut out.
Though the practice is controversial, Gomes said it has lifted him from life on the street.
"Sitting in the halls of Congress made me feel a little better," he said. "It elevated me and made me feel like, well, you know, maybe I do belong here, maybe I can contribute even at that little minute level."