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Last week President Trump urged Congress to reassert its constitutional authority to direct how federal agencies spend taxpayer dollars. Ironically, many constitutional conservatives and libertarians disagree with the president. The reason is, President Trump wants Congress to reassert its authority by bringing back earmarks.Earmarks are line items in spending bills directing federal agencies to spend... Read More
Should the government borrow against the future? Should it guarantee higher taxes for your children and grandchildren in return for lower taxes for you? If government's moral legitimacy depends on the consent of the governed, as Thomas Jefferson argued in the Declaration of Independence, can the federal government morally compel those who haven't consented to... Read More
Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey, including my family and me, appreciate the outpouring of support from across the country. President Donald Trump has even pledged to donate one million dollars to relief efforts. These private donations will be much more valuable than the as much as 100 billion dollars the federal government is expected to... Read More
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Ten Ways Your Tax Dollars Pay for War -- Past, Present, and Future
You wouldn’t know it, based on the endless cries for more money coming from the military, politicians, and the president, but these are the best of times for the Pentagon. Spending on the Department of Defense alone is already well in excess of half a trillion dollars a year and counting. Adjusted for inflation, that... Read More
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Re-reading Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America (1835) can be a sobering experience. The first time I delved into it was back in 1971, when I was assistant to conservative writer and thinker, Dr. Russell Kirk. I had read bits of de Tocqueville as an undergraduate, but had not managed to read the entire Democracy... Read More
On Friday the House overwhelmingly approved a massive increase in military spending, passing a $696 billion National Defense Authorization bill for 2018. President Trump’s request already included a huge fifty or so billion dollar spending increase, but the Republican-led House found even that to be far too small. They added another $30 billion to the... Read More
Trump Ghost Town Inauguration
SHARMINI PERIES: It’s The Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore. While protestors and police are clashing on the inaugural parade route in Washington, D.C., the newly sworn-in President of the United States is lunching with the establishment in Washington — Some of the very people he called out in his... Read More
This week, Congress passed a budget calling for increasing federal spending and adding $1.7 trillion to the national debt over the next ten years. Most so-called “fiscal conservatives" voted for this big-spending budget because it allows Congress to repeal some parts of Obamacare via “reconciliation." As important as it is to repeal Obamacare, it does... Read More
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What President Trump should do
In his election campaign Donald Trump has identified several key themes that defined American malaise. He pointed to capital flight, bad trade deals, illegal immigration, and corruption of the government and of the press. What is missing in Trump’s diagnosis though is an explanation of this crisis. What are the causes of American decline or... Read More
According to a recent poll, 73 percent of all Americans oppose increases in federal spending. Since this anti-government spending sentiment is a major reason Republicans control the House and Senate, one would expect the Republican Congress to hold the line on, or even cut, government spending. Yet, despite the Republican leadership’s rhetoric about "fiscal responsibility,"... Read More
The drama over Greece’s financial crisis continues to dominate the headlines. As this column is being written, a deal may have been reached providing Greece with yet another bailout if the Greek government adopts new “austerity” measures. The deal will allow all sides to brag about how they came together to save the Greek economy... Read More
"There is no education in the second kick of a mule," said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. With some such thought in mind, Speaker John Boehner strode to the floor of the House to offer a "clean" debt ceiling bill and relied on Nancy Pelosi's Democrats to pass it. They did. "Surrender" and "betrayal," are... Read More
Supporters of warfare, welfare, and Wonder Woman cheered last week as Congress passed a one trillion dollar “omnibus” appropriation bill. This legislation funds the operations of government for the remainder of the fiscal year. Wonder Woman fans can cheer that buried in the bill was a $10,000 grant for a theater program to explore the... Read More
Federal spending once again dominated the debate in Washington last week, as House Republicans and Senate Democrats began work on their ten-year budget plans. Contrary to claims, neither party’s budget reduces spending. While the Republican plan increases spending a little less than the Democrat plan, it would still spend $5 trillion in 2023, an almost... Read More
Despite what the media and politicians would have us believe, the United States did not collapse last Friday when the package of spending reductions known as “sequestration” went into effect. The financial markets hardly blinked, as they have come to be more skeptical about these periodic government-hyped “crises.” What had been portrayed as a drastic... Read More
Last week the Senate and House demonstrated again why their approval ratings are so low. The 154 page “fiscal cliff” bill was made available to Senators just three minutes before the vote was taken on the legislation. No one can read 154 pages in three minutes, so it is safe to assume that the legislation... Read More
Barack Obama's election to the U.S. Presidency was an anomaly, a lurch backwards. Or better to say, perhaps, that it was a defiance of the apparently inevitable: a standing athwart history crying "Stop!" It has been clear for ten or fifteen years, at least, that the structure of public finances that prevailed through the second... Read More
The right place to build a wall.
————————— It is plain that no U.S. administration of any party is going to build a wall along our nation's southern border. "Can't be done," our leaders tell us, shaking their heads in mock despair, while feeling under the desk for the envelopes full of benjaminsbeing passed from cheap-labor lobbyists and race-grievance shills. "Too much... Read More
NRO readers who patronize The Corner may have read my recent confessions in respect of heavyweight political science, viz., it sends me to sleep. I would rather remove my own gall bladder with a pair of rusty scissors than be obliged to read the collected works of Leo Strauss. However, while I can't handle the... Read More
When I graduated from college my father gave me the following piece of advice, one of the very few he gave me that I actually followed: "Get a government job." Dad himself had had a government job once. It had not lasted long, and he mislaid it under mysterious circumstances, returning to the private sphere,... Read More
Al Gore's use of the adjective "risky" to disparage any policy proposal put forward by his opponent has now travelled the entire route from campaign rhetoric, via late-night comic patter and dinner-table jokes, to the trashcan of politico-linguistic trivia, where it rests at peace with "normalcy," "missile gap" and Willie Horton. I understand that Gore... Read More
Cyril Kornbluth was a science fiction writer of the 1940s and 1950s. One of his stories was called "The Marching Morons." The title was taken from the old conundrum about trying to count the population of China by marching them past a fixed point. The task could never be finished, because by the time the... Read More
PastClassics
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?