Fiscal


Dan Mitchell has an evidence-filled post about more effective approaches to infrastructure spending rather than being done at the federal level. State and local governments and private operators do a better job. Bonus: the U.S. does not suffer from “crumbling” infrastructure.

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A perfect example of how government programs get re-directed to the well-connected. From Politico:

San Francisco will get $19-a-person in community development block grants this year, while Allentown, with twice the poverty and less than half of the median income, will draw a per-capita allotment of $17.53….Community development block grants rely on outdated, 1970s formulas that have increasingly shuttled dollars to wealthy places like Newton, Mass., while other locales in need, such as Compton, Calif., go wanting.

As Chris Edwards notes, it gets worse:

The federal aid system generates no net value—it is simply a roundabout way of funding local activities. Taxpayers in San Francisco mail checks to the IRS to fund the CDBG program. Their money flows through the HUD bureaucracy, and then is dished out to bureaucracies in Harrisburg and Allentown, with some trickling down to local residents and businesses. Meanwhile, taxpayers in Allentown are also mailing checks to the IRS to fund the CDBG program. Their money flows through the HUD bureaucracy, and then is dished out to bureaucracies in Sacramento and San Francisco, with some trickling down to local residents and businesses.

The Finale:

“The federal aid system thrives not because it benefits the American people, but because it benefits governments and lobbyists.”

Here.

You’ve no doubt already heard about Illinois politicians have spent their state into a deep hole. Update:

House Republicans on Friday helped advance a Democratic-drafted $36.5 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins on Saturday, but the deal stalled with negotiations continuing over a revenue package and an assortment of non-budgetary matters sought by Rauner.

They have literally proved that Keynesian pump-priming (government spending) to get their economy moving does not work.

The Navy gave a first look inside the stealthy and futuristic Zumwalt destroyer on Friday during the ship’s first port stop at a Rhode Island naval station.

The 610-foot-long warship has an angular shape to minimize its radar signature and cost more than $4.4 billion. It’s the most expensive destroyer built for the Navy.

. . .

The ship is named after the late Adm. Elmo “Bud” Zumwalt, who earned the Bronze Star in World War II and commanded small boats that patrolled the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. He became the youngest chief of naval operations and earned a reputation as a reformer, who fought racism and sexism.

Aside from all the sentimentality, is this really necessary? Oh yes, we have to forever commemorate WW II vets and someone who fought racism and sexism to boot.

We’ll be paying for these things for the rest of our lives.

Here.

The US now spends more on the military, this is under the Obama administration, then ever. See chart in link. Despite what Republicans and conservatives say.

The problem is the military is overextended so it cannot maintain its readiness.

More Here.

After years of not setting aside enough money, state pension funds are looking at a $1 trillion shortfall in what they owe workers in benefits, according to a new analysis from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Question. Why give politicians, bureaucrats, and government in general at all levels more power? They have not shown the ability to manage the responsibilities they already have.

Government at all levels is susceptible to special interests to bend the government to their benefit.

Here.

 

In his big speech last night Trump said:

We are going to ask every department head in government to provide a list of wasteful spending projects that we can eliminate in my first 100 days. The politicians have talked about this for years, but I’m going to do it.

Start here

 

 

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