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Future Fail

Failing in the Future Biz

If you can’t sell us the future, you’re doing it wrong. We all want to get there in one piece. Right now, a horde of Republican presidential candidates and a small cohort of Democrats vie to present themselves as visionaries, leaders. Yet, what they all have in common is that






Greece Surprised!

Shocking Consequences

Five years into (the latest phase of) the Greek debt crisis, a former bureaucrat who was unable to withdraw her money from an ATM when the government declared a bank holiday had this to say: “How can something like this happen without prior warning?” It’s always a surprise — to






The State of the Union of the States

Politicians know all about lying with statistics. But it’s more effective to lie with anecdotes — using stories to ignore the biggest Statistic in the Room. President Barack Obama delivered his constitutionally obligatory State of the Union address to Congress last night. He told a lot of stories, and most






Townhall: The Politic Path of Least Resistance

The looming debt load will some day come a-crashing. But politicians are doing nothing — or nest to nothing — to stop the growth of the debt, and thus keep on piling on the extent and severity of debt. So click on over to Townhall.com, to read this weekend’s column






Death by a Thousand Non-Cuts

As I write this, the United States of America is $16,275,179,205,442 in debt. By the time you read this, we’ll have piled up millions more. Much debt is of recent vintage. When George W. Bush became president in 2000, the national red ink totaled $5.7 trillion. In eight years, Dubya






Slowest Spending in Decades?

Government tends to grow in spurts, with budgets not decreasing after each spurt. This “ratchet effect” of fast growth then tapering off amounts to a long-term trend: growth. You’ve probably seen Rex Nutting’s MarketWatch squib, the subject of many a Tweet and Facebook post. Entitled “Obama spending binge never happened,”






Down and Out and California

Barring drastic action, the Golden State will run out of cash in March. There is no provision in the Constitution for dealing with a bankrupt state. But then, there’s nothing explicit dealing with federal bankruptcy, either. The founding fathers didn’t expect their republic to permanently accumulate debt. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson






Deficits Matter Morally

There are two things I don’t understand. Actually, there are many things I don’t understand, but what I’m thinking about, now, is how one can honestly defend massive government deficits in one of the two usual ways. The first defense became a cliché while I still wore footsie pajamas: Deficits






Economics vs. Politician-Incurred Debt

For several years now I have worried — here on Common Sense and on Townhall — about the unsustainability of politician-incurred debt. I’ve used the word “unsustainable” quite a few times. But too often I’ve simply called it “government debt.” I think I like “politician-incurred debt” better. For it’s politicians






Commiserations on Tax Day

It’s April 15, my eldest daughter’s birthday. I used to tell her she wouldn’t have to pay taxes like everyone else, because IRS folks wouldn’t dare make her file on her birthday, would they? Seriously, when it comes to family and taxes, I’m just glad that my wife does all






We Told You So

Say it with me: We told you so. Over the years, I’ve tried to help citizens regain control over their prodigal representatives. Sometimes I got called a radical for these activities. An extremist. But I think of myself as a moderate, as someone promoting moderation. In government spending, for example.






$800 Billion Gorilla

It somehow didn’t come up. Last week, when President Barack Obama met with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao, there was reportedly no discussion of the fact that our country owes China over $800 billion. Just suppose you owed someone $800 bucks . . . or $800,000. Do you think it could






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