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tea party, nail, coffin, spending, debt, responsibility, dead

“Our Agenda Was Common Sense”

The Republican Party doesn’t need to bury the corpse. Its victim has been assimilated, like the Borg did with alien peoples in the Star Trek universe, or maybe it was just soaked up as if the GOP were a giant fungus amongus. So, what’s dead? The Tea Party, which was

California, pension, crisis, canary, cage, coal mine, spending, taxes

Babylon Goes Broke

A few Babylonian, er, California cities going bankrupt — Stockton, Vallejo, and Bell — should be seen as more than dead canaries in a coalminer’s care. Indeed, you don’t need special prophetic gifts to see the dangers posed by over-promising cushy pensions to government workers. Californians are coming around. And

earmarks, ear marks, pork, Congress, spending, corrumption, deals

Earmark This Bad Argument

With President Trump endorsing a return to earmarks, House Republicans too are reportedly “reconsidering” their usefulness and pondering “how they might ease back into the practice.” Lawmakers fret that they have lost too much power by giving up this instrument of corruption. (Not their characterization.) Wikipedia defines “earmark” as a

Illinois, corruption, exit, vote with your feet, taxes

The Biggest Loser

Government is supposed to serve everybody . . . according to good, old-fashioned republican theory. But most governments serve some more than others. We can define as “corruption” any attempt to make government serve a few at the expense of the many — or the many at the expense of

Amtrak train derailed, Seattle, I-5, infrastructure, Donald Trump

A Good Tragedy Not Wasted

No matter how “not as bad as we feared” President Donald Trump may be appearing, as we close out the year let’s remember why some of us did not trust him in the first place: his knee-jerk reactions are too often witlessly statist. The speeding Amtrak train that derailed over

cronyism, Amazon, taxpayers, black hole

Cry Me an Amazon

My idea of a “free market” is not our politicians’. Their idea is to give away free stuff to their new and old business buddies . . . at everyone else’s expense. That sort of “crony capitalism” has been writ large per Amazon’s search for a location for a second

George Orwell, Kaya Henderson, Washington D.C., equal, Animal Farm, favors, corruption, crony, cronyism, politicians,

More-Equal-Ness

“All animals are equal,” wrote George Orwell, “but some animals are more equal than others.” That was the regime’s final slogan in Orwell’s allegorical novella, Animal Farm . . . and it currently serves as the operating principle for local government. Well, at least in Washington, D.C., our country’s pig trough. Washington Post

Seattle, City Light, corruption, security, police, scandal, cronyism

Interfering With a Sweet Racket?

One way for governments and enterprises to save money is to contract out some or all of their services. Towns, cities, counties, states — even the federal government — engage in such practices all the time. It is really just outsourcing, as business lingo dubs it.* But, like any system

Illinois, budget crisis, garbage, term limits, spending, responsibility, Junk Bond, Moody's

Most Messed Up

“Politicians are notorious for making promises they can’t keep,” Matt Egan reports at CNN Money. “But they really outdid themselves in Illinois — and now the state is paying for it.” Egan dubs the state “America’s most messed-up.”* No wonder the state has the worst outbound migration in the nation

stadium, Potomac Nationals, pork, free markets, taxes, referendum, crony, welfare

Go Nats?

Just a few miles away from where I live sits the stadium of the Potomac Nationals. I’m a fan. I’d hate to see the team we call the P-Nats leave. But . . . Hasta la vista. The owner of this minor league affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals

CATO, FEE, crony, cronyism, Washington, corruption, elites, lobbyist, politicians, privilege, power

Cronyism Pays

Daniel Mitchell, a senior fellow in fiscal policy at the Cato Institute, is a nice guy. But he’s sort of depressing, too. Weeks ago, writing for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), Mitchell offered that “The Washington, DC Gilded Class Is Thriving.” He even provided a “depressing chart” graphing “median

New York Times, taxes, tax, libraries, tax cuts, big government, public services, free markets

Ballots & Books

The people of Roseburg, Oregon, aren’t paying enough in taxes. That’s the upshot of Kirk Johnson’s recent New York Times article, “Where Anti-Tax Fervor Means ‘All Services Will Cease.’” “For generations in America,” readers are informed, “small cities . . . declared their optimism and civic purpose with grand libraries

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