Archive for August, 2010

Independent Institute Launches Government Cost Calculator at

Tuesday August 24th, 2010   •   Posted by Lindsay Boyd at 4:48pm PDT   •   0 Comments

Find Out How Much You’re Personally Paying for Government OAKLAND, Calif., August 30, 2010�The Congressional Budget Office expects our national debt to surpass $23 trillion by 2019. In fiscal year 2010 alone, federal spending will reach $3.5 trillion. The numbers are unprecedented and yet the experts are not optimistic that we will reestablish economic…
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Can the Leviathan Be Stopped or Slowed?

Tuesday August 24th, 2010   •   Posted by Robert Higgs at 4:44pm PDT   •   0 Comments

In a recent commentary titled �Diagnostics and Therapeutics in Political Economy,� I endeavored to show that an analytical understanding of past growth in the government’s size, scope, and power does not permit us to prescribe effective means of stopping or slowing this growth, particularly any simple silver bullet remedy, and I specifically disclaimed any…
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The Federal Bureaucracy

Tuesday August 24th, 2010   •   Posted by Robert Higgs at 4:26pm PDT   •   1 Comment

According to an analysis of federal payroll data by USA Today, the federal bureaucracy has flourished during the current recession. The number of Federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14 percent to 19 percent of civil servants during the recession’s first 18 months and that’s before overtime pay and bonuses…
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Anatomy of the Current Recession

Tuesday August 24th, 2010   •   Posted by Robert Higgs at 4:22pm PDT   •   0 Comments

Not everyone has the stomach for perusing the national income and product accounts, but one who does can learn a great deal about what ails the present economy and about its prospects for returning to a healthier condition. (I draw the data I discuss here from Table B-2, Real Gross Domestic Product, 1960-2009, in…
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Defense Spending Is Much Greater than You Think

Tuesday August 24th, 2010   •   Posted by Robert Higgs at 4:16pm PDT   •   1 Comment

When President Obama presented his budget recently for fiscal year 2011, he proposed that the Pentagon’s outlays be increased by about 4.5 percent beyond its estimated outlays in fiscal 2010, to a total of almost $719 billion. Although many Americans regard this enormous sum as excessive, few appreciate that the total amount of all…
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Obama and FDR

Monday August 23rd, 2010   •   Posted by William Shughart at 5:53am PDT   •   0 Comments

In March 1933, when the Great Depression had driven the U.S. economy to rock bottom, the unemployment rate stood at 25 percent. One out of every four Americans who had had a job in 1929 was queuing in a bread line rather than working on an assembly line. The unemployment rate remained at historically…
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Why Less Government Spending Would Mean Less Economic Trouble

Monday August 23rd, 2010   •   Posted by Robert Higgs at 5:51am PDT   •   2 Comments

Many economists say deficit spending is crucial to keeping the economy moving. But history tells a different story. ————— Though our current economic troubles are complex, many mainstream economists have endorsed the simplistic Keynesian theory that massive government spending will produce jobs and prosperity. From such Keynesian thinking have flowed the �stimulus� and bailout…
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The G-20: Has Everyone Lost It?

Monday August 23rd, 2010   •   Posted by Alvaro Vargas Llosa at 5:50am PDT   •   0 Comments

WASHINGTON�The governments, institutions, and personalities who should be providing guidance in the aftermath of the financial and economic debacle of 2007�08 are still recommending the very policies that got us here in the first place. The G-20 summit in Toronto exposed this truth quite poignantly. Before and during the sessions, President Obama urged nations…
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Foreign Lenders: Friends Indeed to a U.S. Treasury in Need

Monday August 23rd, 2010   •   Posted by Robert Higgs at 5:46am PDT   •   0 Comments

When the U.S. government wishes to spend more money than it receives as tax revenue, it covers the shortfall by borrowing, and foreign lenders have become increasingly important sources of such borrowed funds.

Reliance on foreign lenders is as old as the republic. Indeed, loans from the French and the Dutch proved critical in keeping the American revolutionaries afloat while they broke from the British Empire and established their independence. Later, the huge foreign debt became a major reason for the new national government�s assumption of the states� war debts and for the creation of the First Bank of the United States and other measures Alexander Hamilton devised to establish the new government�s credit.


Saturday August 14th, 2010   •   Posted by Lindsay Boyd at 7:27am PDT   •   0 Comments

The Government Cost Calculator is a unique service from The Independent Institute that enables any American to clearly understand three aspects of federal government spending. First, the Government Cost Calculator helps you determine how much you will pay for various federal programs now and over the course of a lifetime. Second, it compares those…
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