federal budget

Where's an Extra $1 Trillion in Spending Going?

Remarkably, Washington spends $1 trillion more a year now than it did a mere three years ago. But trying to figure out where all that extra money is going is no simple matter. However, a lot of slicing and dicing does yield some answers -- none of which are very satisfying.

Hocus + Pocus = The 2012 Federal Budget Plan

Like all budgets, the federal government's spending plan is all about revenues and expenditures. Unfortunately, Uncle Sam is very good at grossly overestimating tax receipts and grossly underestimating spending. It's enough to make you wonder if any of it is real.

Boston University Complains About Federal Loan Cuts After Building Luxury Dorms

University heads are lobbying President Obama to preserve funding for the Federal Perkins Loan Program, which provides loans to low-income students. Perhaps, however, if universities focused more on keeping tuition costs down -- rather than building luxury dorms -- students wouldn't need to rely on federally guaranteed loans to go to college.

America's Malady: A Bad Case of 'Baumol's Disease'

Unlike an illness caused by microscopic invaders of your body, which might raise your temperature and cause you physical aches and pains, Baumol's Cost Disease raises wages and causes some painful shifts in a nation's labor balance. Unfortunately, it's natural, and there's no miracle cure.

The Estate Tax Survives a Near-Death Experience

A compromise on the highly contentious levy is part of the sweeping agreement between President Obama and the GOP. The tax is back for two years at a more reasonable 35% rate, with an exemption of up to $5 million for individuals and $10 million for couples.

The Deficit Commission's 'Moment of Truth'

Calling for sweeping spending cuts and an overhaul of the U.S. tax code, the White House Deficit Commission today issued a report outlining its recommendations for tackling the U.S. debt crisis.

Investors Don't Credit Obama for What's Going Right

A new Bloomberg poll shows 68% of investors say Obama's policies are "detrimental to the U.S. investment climate." That's despite soaring corporate earnings and a huge bounceback in stock prices during his administration. Somewhere, there's a disconnect.

Passing the Budget Hot Potato to a Bipartisan Panel

President Obama has created a commission to tackle runaway federal deficits "brought on by years of bad habits." The bipartisan panel's goals are to figure out how to reduce spending for all federal programs by 2015, as well as address long-term budget shortfalls. Good luck.

Obama's Nuclear Power Play Lacks Economic Voltage

When Obama approved the first $8.3 billion in a nuclear loan guarantee program Tuesday, he helped unite interest groups ranging from the ultra-conservative National Taxpayers Union to the left-wing Greenpeace. All of whom agree that the program doesn't make economic sense.

Too Much Hope? Why Obama's Budget Is Unrealistic

The $3.8 trillion spending plan combines overly rosy projections of rapidly rising tax revenues with skyrocketing outlays in defense, entitlements and other mandatory spending, creating structural deficits above $1 trillion for a long time. Ending Bush-era tax cuts on the rich won't change that reality.

A $3.8 Trillion Budget Has More Problems Than Pork

No one can deny that a budget with a $3.83 trillion bottom line has a fair amount of waste embedded in it. But like pornography, art and classic rock, government waste is in the eye of the beholder. The bigger issue is a congressional culture of out-of-control spending.

Is Fee-for-Service What Ails the Health Care System?

Evidence suggests that the reason Americans pay so much for health care is the fee-for-service model at the heart of all our insurance programs. Simply put, our system gives patients no reason to pay attention to costs, and providers every reason to pad the bill.

IRS income and corporate earnings

When the Treasury released an update for the budget in June one of the notable aspects arising from the figures was that revenue, particularly from...

Senate OK clears way for Obama budget

Late Thursday night, the U.S. Senate approved President Obama's $3.5 trillion fiscal 2010 budget, and in the process gave the new president much of...