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  • Budget Boondoggle Award
    Posted in HBC Publications on September 22, 2010 | Preview rr
    Tags: Economy / Financial , Transportation

    With the end of the failed “recovery summer” – and the President proposing yet another $50-billion “stimulus” – it is worth reviewing one administration economic program touted as a “success.” But even the celebrated “Cash for Clunkers” has been an expensive and bumpy ride for many American consumers, just as critics warned. With a sticker price of $3 billion, “Cash for Clunkers” has earned the latest Budget Boondoggle Award. The program – formally the Car Allowance Rebate System – paid consumer... Read more

  • The Looming Lost Decade
    Posted in HBC Publications on August 19, 2010 | Preview rr
    Tags: Economy / Financial

    The Congressional Budget Office [CBO] released its updated budget and economic outlook. Key highlights from the report include: This year’s deficit is estimated to be $1.3 trillion. As a share of the economy, the deficit is 9.1 percent, roughly three times the average of the past 40 years. The debt held by the public is projected to rise to $9 trillion – or 62 percent of the economy – this year, nearly twice the 40-year historical average. Total debt, including borrowing from the Social Security... Read more

  • The Illusions of Pay-GO
    Posted in HBC Publications on July 29, 2010 | Preview rr
    Tags: PAYGO

    When Democrats claimed the congressional Majority in the 110th Congress, the House Leadership promptly installed a “pay-as-you-go” rule they pledged would ensure “no more deficit spending.” When President Obama signed a pay-as-you-go statute in February this year, he declared: “Now, Congress will have to pay for what it spends, just like everybody else.” In whatever form, however, pay-as-you-go has failed to prevent an explosion of deficit spending over the past 3½ years; and when enforced, the ... Read more

  • Transportation-HUD Appropriations Bill
    Posted in HBC Publications on July 28, 2010 | Preview rr
    Tags: Appropriations

    The Transportation and Housing and Urban Development [THUD] appropriations bill for fiscal year 2011 provides $1.3 billion less in budget authority [BA] than the President's request, and $500 million less than the current year. But this apparent "fiscal restraint" comes after a hefty 23-percent increase in 2010 for programs and agencies funded in this measure. The bill provides a total of $67.4 billion in BA, and $136.4 billion in outlays, for highways, mass transit, and aviation, as well as pub... Read more

  • Military Construction/Veterans Affairs Appropriations
    Posted in HBC Publications on July 27, 2010 | Preview rr
    Tags: Appropriations

    The Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill (H.R. 5822) provides $146.5 billion in total discretionary and mandatory budget authority [BA] for fiscal year 2011 – a 14-percent increase from the 2010 enacted level – and $150 billion in outlays. Discretionary BA totals $77.3 billion including an advance appropriation for veterans health care passed in the fiscal year 2010 MilCon/VA, and funding for Overseas Contingency Operations. The appropriated BA als... Read more

  • The Dodd-Frank Financial Regulation Bill
    Posted in HBC Publications on July 2, 2010 | Preview rr
    Tags: Economy / Financial

    FUTURE TAXPAYER BAILOUTS Vast complications continue to emerge from the over-2,300 page “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.” It contains layer-upon-layer of new bureaucracy sewn together by complex regulations, but fails to address key problems – such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – that led to the worst financial meltdown in recent history. And although the bill is dubbed “Wall Street reform,” it actually intensifies the problem of too-big-to-fail by giving large, interc... Read more

  • Budget Boondoggle Award
    Posted in HBC Publications on June 16, 2010 | Preview rr

    With the Federal Government already facing $1.5-trillion deficits, $13 trillion in debt, and a workforce swollen by 15 percent, the administration's proposed new $20-million "Office of Livable Communities" is yet another way to squander taxpayer funds B and it wins the latest Budget Boondoggle Award. Here are the details: The administration has proposed a $527-million increase for its euphemistically named "livable communities" initiative.[1] As benign as "livability" may sound, however, the pro... Read more

  • A Look at Taxpayer Bailouts:
    Posted in HBC Publications on June 16, 2010 | Preview rr
    Tags: Economy / Financial

    GETTING THE FACTS STRAIGHT: TARP’S LINGERING COST In a recent press release, the Treasury Department hailed what it called a “milestone” for the Troubled Asset Relief Program [TARP]: “Repayments to Taxpayers Surpass TARP Funds Outstanding.” The clear implication is that taxpayer funds for TARP have been fully repaid. Not so. Not only is there still a $190 billion balance of funds outstanding, but Treasury also continues to report plans to spend additional amounts. In total, $384 billion has been... Read more

  • The Democrats' Discretionary Spending
    Posted in HBC Publications on June 4, 2010 | Preview rr

    Since he took office in January 2009, President Obama has signed legislation that resulted in an 24-percent increase in domestic discretionary spending. This brief document summarizes those increases. View full report here. Read more

  • H.R. 4213, The 'Extenders' Bill: Final Version
    Posted in HBC Publications on May 28, 2010 | Preview rr
    Tags: Taxes

    After several iterations of the “extenders” bill, the House today will take a final vote on the ostensibly “trimmed-down” legislation – which still spends $102 billion, more than three times the bill’s magnitude when it passed the House the first time (in December). Further, the most recent modifications reflect neither thoughtful programmatic changes nor reductions in spending elsewhere in the budget. Two of the major reductions have come from dropping “temporary” extensions of spending that Co... Read more