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Author Topic: Government programs & regulations, spending, deficit, and budget process  (Read 215681 times)
G M
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« Reply #1000 on: June 26, 2017, 04:53:32 PM »

Different legal questions presented when the borrower is not one of the fifty states of the USA.

Can we remove Illinois status as a state? Make it a federal territory?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1001 on: June 27, 2017, 01:23:18 AM »

Sell it off in pieces to neighboring states.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1002 on: June 27, 2017, 08:11:24 AM »

Crafty, [Illinois]:  "Sell it off in pieces to neighboring states."

This is a great idea.  It's a state, if you can keep it.  The threat of splitting it up might be what they need to decide to fix it.  The idea that free money repairs bankruptcy makes all budget gaps impossible to close.

Illinois already has the highest overall tax burden in the country, or in the top three depending on how you measure it.  The problem is the spending stupid.

I would take rural and small town Illinois any day.  Chicago will be harder to sell.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2017, 08:29:52 AM by DougMacG » Logged
G M
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« Reply #1003 on: June 27, 2017, 08:16:52 AM »

Crafty, [Illinois]:  "Sell it off in pieces to neighboring states."

This is a great idea.  It's a state, if you can keep it.  The threat of splitting it up might be what they need to decide to fix it.  The idea that free money repairs bankruptcy makes all budget gaps impossible to close.

Illinois already has the highest overall tax burden in the country, or in the top three depending on how you measure it.  The problem is the spending stupid.

I would take rural and small town Illinois any day.  Chicago will be harder to sell.



Perhaps Chiraq could be walled off to protect the surrounding areas.
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ccp
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« Reply #1004 on: July 02, 2017, 08:49:25 PM »

http://www.wnd.com/2017/06/the-best-anti-poverty-program-is-just-17-words/
« Last Edit: July 02, 2017, 09:19:17 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1005 on: July 02, 2017, 09:57:23 PM »



    Opinion Best of the Web

Could Trump Really Be Draining the Swamp?
The water appears to be receding at key Beltway bureaucracies.
President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Friday.
President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Friday. Photo: brendan smialowski/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
By James Freeman
June 30, 2017 3:17 p.m. ET
1287 COMMENTS

The Senate still hasn’t voted on ObamaCare reform, U.S. workers are still waiting for tax cuts to drive economic growth and President of the United States Donald Trump is trading insults with the co-hosts of an MSNBC talk show. Yet Mr. Trump appears to be making progress in what might have seemed the most difficult task given to him by voters in 2016: reducing the power of Washington’s permanent bureaucracy.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wasn’t exactly dying to move to Washington to run a federal department, but he seems to have warmed to the task. Max Bergmann, a former Obama Administration official now at the leftist Center for American Progress, writes in Politico that the “deconstruction of the State Department is well underway.” Discounting for the usual Beltway hyperbole, this probably isn’t as good as it sounds.

All kidding aside, the State Department is one federal agency that was actually contemplated by America’s founders. Conducting foreign policy is an important and necessary task for our central government. But like so much of the Beltway bureaucracy State has been overfunded and undermanaged for years. Now, despite what you may have read about untouchable bureaucrats unaccountable to the public they are supposed to serve, Mr. Tillerson has found ways to clean house, at least according to Mr. Bergmann:

    As I walked through the halls once stalked by diplomatic giants like Dean Acheson and James Baker, the deconstruction was literally visible. Furniture from now-closed offices crowded the hallways. Dropping in on one of my old offices, I expected to see a former colleague—a career senior foreign service officer—but was stunned to find out she had been abruptly forced into retirement and had departed the previous week. This office, once bustling, had just one person present, keeping on the lights.

The former Obama appointee is apparently so unnerved by the Trump-Tillerson era at State that he lets slip the fact that the career staff didn’t think much of the previous management either, and that the conservative critique of the department is at least partly true:

    When Rex Tillerson was announced as secretary of state, there was a general feeling of excitement and relief in the department. After eight years of high-profile, jet-setting secretaries, the building was genuinely looking forward to having someone experienced in corporate management. Like all large, sprawling organizations, the State Department’s structure is in perpetual need of an organizational rethink. That was what was hoped for, but that is not what is happening. Tillerson is not reorganizing, he’s downsizing.

Do taxpayers dare to dream? As odd as this sounds for regular observers of the federal leviathan, the new boss seems to be imposing the kind of tough measures often seen at struggling companies, but almost never witnessed at government departments that have lost their way:

    While the lack of senior political appointees has gotten a lot of attention, less attention has been paid to the hollowing out of the career workforce, who actually run the department day to day. Tillerson has canceled the incoming class of foreign service officers. This as if the Navy told all of its incoming Naval Academy officers they weren’t needed. Senior officers have been unceremoniously pushed out. Many saw the writing on the wall and just retired, and many others are now awaiting buyout offers. He has dismissed State’s equivalent of an officer reserve—retired FSOs, who are often called upon to fill State’s many short-term staffing gaps, have been sent home despite no one to replace them. Office managers are now told three people must depart before they can make one hire.

Perhaps the Tillerson method could work at other agencies too. Mr. Bergmann for his part seems to be disappointed that the un-elected career staff has not been able to impose its will on the duly-elected political leadership:

    At the root of the problem is the inherent distrust of the State Department and career officers. I can sympathize with this—I, too, was once a naive political appointee, like many of the Trump people. During the 2000s, when I was in my 20s, I couldn’t imagine anyone working for George W. Bush. I often interpreted every action from the Bush administration in the most nefarious way possible. Almost immediately after entering government, I realized how foolish I had been.

    For most of Foggy Bottom, the politics of Washington might as well have been the politics of Timbuktu—a distant concern, with little relevance to most people’s work.

Here’s to making the will of voters more than just a distant concern-- and highly relevant to the work of federal agencies.

Meanwhile over at the Environmental Protection Agency, new boss Scott Pruitt is not just draining the bureaucratic swamp in Washington, he’s taking away the agency’s power to oversee swamps nationwide. The Journal reported on Tuesday:

    President Donald Trump’s administration is moving ahead with plans to dismantle another piece of the Obama administration’s environmental legacy, the rule that sought to protect clean drinking water by expanding Washington’s power to regulate major rivers and lakes as well as smaller streams and wetlands.

And now the Journal reports:

    President Donald Trump declared a new age of “energy dominance” by the U.S. on Thursday as he outlined plans to roll back Obama era restrictions and regulations meant to protect the environment.

    In a speech at the Energy Department, the president promised to expand the country’s nuclear-energy sector and open up more federal lands and offshore sites to oil and natural-gas drilling.

    Mr. Trump also celebrated his decision earlier this month to withdraw the U.S. from the 195-country Paris climate accord and the Environmental Protection Agency’s rescindment this week of the Obama administration’s clean-water rules that farmers and business groups found onerous.

    “We don’t want to let other countries take away our sovereignty and tell us what to do and how to do it,” Mr. Trump said.

    Mr. Trump also issued a special permit authorizing the construction of a new pipeline between the U.S. and Mexico that would carry fuels across the border in Texas, the State Department said.

If Mr. Trump can finally reform the Washington bureaucracy and make the will of voters its primary concern, voters may decide he can tweet whatever he wants.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1006 on: July 17, 2017, 10:04:40 AM »

Besides tax apathy, we can't seem to keep government spending on the front page here with all the excitement about shiny objects...

Please watch and share this video.   A simple plan for prosperity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZOwaIzW0xY

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/07/the-case-for-spending-caps.php



« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 11:56:14 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #1007 on: August 03, 2017, 12:28:12 PM »

Newt Gingrich promised to reform the static and biased CBO, baseline budgeting and false tax and spending cut math.  A quarter century we still battle the same dinosaurs that act to stop reform of both health care and taxes.

I shouldn't need a link to prove that point.  Has CBO ever been right on ANYTHING?

https://www.cato.org/blog/how-revenue-neutrality-be-judged
https://www.cato.org/blog/cbo-projections-no-basis-claiming-tax-reform-loses-money

When you deny the positive, largely predictable effects of improving incentives in the economy, you are denying science.

The official policy of the US Government in 2017 is to deny science.  Reform the swamp - or drain it.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1008 on: August 09, 2017, 10:05:44 AM »

Newt Gingrich promised to reform the static and biased CBO, baseline budgeting and false tax and spending cut math.  A quarter century we still battle the same dinosaurs that act to stop reform of both health care and taxes.

I shouldn't need a link to prove that point.  Has CBO ever been right on ANYTHING?

https://www.cato.org/blog/how-revenue-neutrality-be-judged
https://www.cato.org/blog/cbo-projections-no-basis-claiming-tax-reform-loses-money

When you deny the positive, largely predictable effects of improving incentives in the economy, you are denying science.

The official policy of the US Government in 2017 is to deny science.  Reform the swamp - or drain it.

Famous people caught reading the forum...

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/sen-mike-lee-make-the-cbo-show-its-work/article/2630568

When Democrats passed Obamacare on a party-line vote in March 2010, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that by 2016, 21 million people would receive health insurance through the law's exchanges. In reality, just 10 million people did.

The CBO's model was off by more than 100 percent.

The same CBO estimate predicted that Medicaid would grow by 17 million enrollees to about 52 million. In reality, more than 34 million people have signed up for Medicaid since Obamacare became law, for a total of 74.5 million recipients today.

Again, the CBO's model was off by around 100 percent.

Now the CBO wants us to believe, based on the same models, that just repealing Obamacare's individual mandate, without a single dime's worth of cuts to Medicaid, would cause more than 7 million people to abandon their Medicaid coverage.

There are good reasons to be skeptical of the quality of healthcare that lower-income Americans receive through Medicaid, but why would 7 million voluntarily give up Medicaid coverage they receive for free? These CBO projections, and others like it, strain the boundaries of common sense.

When it comes to topics like the effectiveness of the individual mandate, there are sharp disagreements among experts. That's why, in the academic community, scholars have to "show their work" by publicly disclosing their data, estimates, and analysis to scholarly scrutiny, and most importantly, refinement and improvement.

Congress does need a scorekeeper to provide budgetary estimates for the policy changes it considers. But at a bare minimum, that scorekeeper should be forced to show how its models work. Currently the CBO doesn't have to do that. It's a "black box," a secret formula even Congress can't be allowed to see, yet which the House and Senate must treat as if they were handed down on stone tablets at Mt. Sinai.

It's an indefensible situation.

That is why I have introduced the CBO Show Your Work Act of 2017. This bill would require the CBO to publish its data, models, and all details of computation used in its cost analysis and scoring. CBO would keep its role as official scorekeeper of congressional budget proposals – but now the public and the economic community would be able to see what's going on in all those spreadsheets and algorithms.

That is, it would hold CBO to the same standard the American Economic Association's "Data Availability Policy" sets for all academic economists: requiring all paper authors to ensure their data "are readily available to any researcher for purposes of replication."

Consider again Obamacare's individual mandate. President Barack Obama opposed an individual mandate while campaigning in 2008, but saw the light later when the CBO started scoring Obamacare drafts.

A 2009 memo written by then-White House health adviser Nancy-Ann DeParle informed the president, "Based on our policy analysis, we believe that a weak requirement for all Americans to have insurance may come close to achieving the maximum coverage that can be achieved through aggressive outreach and auto-enrollment. Unfortunately, however, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will likely take the position that without an individual responsibility requirement, half of the uninsured will be left uncovered."


Following this memo, Obama chose to substitute the CBO's policy judgment for his own. The individual mandate became a pillar of the largest policy change in a generation.

Policymakers need data and data analysis to do their jobs. But to do their jobs well, they need the best analysis. And centuries of practical experience tell us that transparency and replicability are essential to the pursuit and acquisition of knowledge. There is simply no serious argument for insulating the most influential economic modelers in the United States from the academic standards that govern everyone from Nobel Prize-winning physicists to second graders "carrying the one" as they learn long addition.

We can do better as a Congress and a nation. We are never going to agree on what the best healthcare, tax, or energy policies should be. But when we make our arguments about the costs and benefits of our preferred policies, we should at least be willing to explain how and why our policies would work.
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