BLOG INDEX: Issue-focused entries (2011-2012)

Education-Social Security-Federal Reserve-Other Agencies-Jobs-Healthcare-

Taxes-Executive Branch Overreach–Energy-Fiscal Problem

 EDUCATION

5/7/12 – The student loan iceberg: there is much more wrong than one might gather from the interest rate skirmish.

SOCIAL SECURITY

3/7/11 – Charles Ponzi’s schemes loomed large in his day, but they are dwarfed by the government version.

6/27/11 – Social Security is insolvent right now, not in 2036, and it is folly to pretend otherwise.

FEDERAL RESERVE

4/16/12 – Time to reset the central bank; the Fed is supposed to protect the country from inflation, not create it.

9/17/12 – Federal Reserve launches another monetary policy experiment, using the US economy as a guinea pig.

OTHER AGENCIES

10/24/11 – The EEOC played a vital role at one time, but is now just one more needless burden on employers.

5/14/12 – What about the Export-Import Bank?  Compared to other corporate welfare programs, it’s not all that bad.

JOBS

2/14/11 – The government is not adept at creating jobs; the best thing it can do is stay out of the way.

12/12/11 – Jobs, jobs, jobs, but how? Forget bootstrap economics & green jobs; try the free market system.

10/15/12 – SAFE’s jobs manifesto: everyone wants more jobs and here is how to get them.

HEALTHCARE

1/24/11 – GovCare can be turned around, but the battle won’t be easy or pretty.

4/4/11 – There are so many bad ideas in GovCare that some critics think they were included on purpose.

6/18/12 – GovCare saga: a botched “reform” effort, our predictions re Supreme Court decision, and what’s after that.

7/9/12 – The Supreme Court’s decision on GovCare seems legally dubious, but a political reversal will not be easy.

8/20/12 – Dueling claims re Medicare: we like the idea of “patient control” but the transition should be faster.

TAXES

11/28/11 – Tax cuts for rank and file now; tax increases for the wealthy in 2013; hold the spending cuts.

12/5/11 – Bin the payroll tax cut: wouldn’t stimulate economy; would increase deficit and delay tax reform.

1/2/12 – Out with the old; the 2012 elections; tax reform would be timely, relevant, & smart politics. 

1/16/12 – SAFE offers DC a “to do” list for 2012: four actions Congress should take before the elections. 

2/27/12 – House Ways and Means should get moving before the tax system is hijacked for political ends.

7/16/12 – Raising taxes on high earners; the issue is not reducing deficits but what kind of tax system we want.

EXECUTIVE BRANCH OVERREACH

5/2/11 – With Congressional gridlock setting in, the big government legions will try administrative action.

5/9/11 – The Executive Branch is in an invasive state, and it won’t stop unless Congress puts its foot down.

11/14/11 - “We can’t wait” blitz would not accomplish much, even if the president’s jobs bill was enacted.

1/9/12 – About those recess appointments: whatever their real objective, they won’t help the middle class.

6/25/12 – The imperial presidency returns; the policy goals are different but the approach seems eerily familiar.

7/28/12 – Who needs Congress if the Executive Branch can make the laws? Imagine how much money could be saved.

9/24/12 – Reflections on the Constitution at the 225-year mark: support Congress, beware Executive Branch overreach.

ENERGY

3/21/11 – The lesson of Fukushima should be that the US needs reality-based energy policies.

4/25/11 – Sound facts and logic are a good start, but persistence will be needed to carry the day.

5/23/11 – Re deceptive slogans, credibility attacks, stacked hearings (RGGI), and disruptive behavior.

9/5/11 – Earthquake response was OK, but political leaders had too much time to think about Hurricane Irene.

10/17/11 – Bloom Energy is bad enough; the cumulative weight of renewable energy would sink the economy.

4/2/12 – A real world skirmish over energy policy; the fiscal visionaries got trounced, but we can learn to do better.

5/28/12 – Coal power is out of style.  Wind, solar, and/or forced conservation cannot take its place.  So now what?

6/4/12 – Coal succession planning: onerous regulations strangling coal; natural gas & nuclear could face similar fate.

6/11/12 – Kill coal, lights out?  That is where things could be headed, so let’s change course.

8/27/12 – Don’t panic about sea level rise along the Atlantic coast; the threat has been greatly exaggerated.

THE FISCAL PROBLEM

1/3/11 – Tick, tock goes the New Deal bomb, and there isn’t much time left to defuse it.

1/10/11 – Turning America around will not be easy, nor does everyone agree that it must be done.

1/17/11 – The president has an opportunity in his upcoming budget proposal; let’s hope he seizes it.

1/31/11 – The president said what people wanted to hear in the SOTU address, not what they need to hear.

2/7/11 – SAFE’s message to the members of Congress was brief and to the point; here is the expanded version.

2/21/11 – The president’s budget offers no solutions for the fiscal problem.  Can Congress save the day?

2/28/11 – Solving the fiscal problem will not be easy, but the loyal opposition is on the right track.

3/14/11 – None of the alternative fiscal strategies will work; government must be downsized – or else.

3/28/11 – The war on spending is sputtering; it is time for the attackers to step up their efforts.

4/11/11 – A shutdown over $61B in spending was averted; a $2T increase in the debt limit may be tougher.

4/18/11 – The budget brawl in DC is a must win issue for fiscal visionaries, and it’s not the only one.

5/16/11 – Debt limit negotiations feature passion on both sides, high stakes, and a looming deadline.

5/30/11 – A debt limit increase must be “paid for” with guaranteed spending cuts – no substitutes allowed.

6/20/11 – To assess spending cuts in a proposed debt limit deal, check whether programs are disappearing.

7/4/11 – Today would be a great time to think about how the US got started and where it should be headed.

7/11/11 – Side A pursues slick, tough strategy in debt limit showdown; Side B can only win on substance.

7/15/11 – If the debt limit was to be raised, better a short-term deal with the details nailed down.

7/25/11 – Looking at things in a different way.

8/1/11 – US debt deserves an A rating at best; fie on the rating agencies for taking so long to say so.

8/8/11 – There are not many seats left at the budget table, and when the music stops someone may get hurt.

8/15/11 – With so much to do and so little time, the debt reduction committee should focus on spending.

8/22/11 – Memo to Joint Committee: we want targeted spending cuts, not promises to do better next time.

8/29/11 – If the poll numbers are right and most voters think Congress is doing a “poor” job, what then?

9/12/11 – Since no one truly knows how to create jobs, why not concentrate on the fiscal problem?

9/19/11 – Deficit reduction seems to be floundering; could computer science speed things up?

9/26/11 – Hard sell pitches abound in politics; probe the logic, consider alternatives, and take your time.

10/3/11 – JC appears to be spinning its wheels about tax “reform” instead of tackling spending issues.

10/10/11 – SAFE asks career politicians on the JC to put politics aside and look for the right answer.

10/31/11 – The Joint Committee need not solve the fiscal problem; a solid step forward would be fine.

11/7/11 – The Joint Committee should stay on task and resist pleas that it take on all the problems in DC.

11/21/11 – GOP economic plan offers some good ideas, but weak execution, e.g., not pushing House budget.

12/19/11 – Beware the planning disease; it takes action to get things done; aim at worthwhile targets.

1/23/12 – Cut defense spending with care; it’s a better investment than many other government programs.

1/30/12 – SOTU finesses fiscal responsibility; dividing economic pie seen as “defining issue of our time.”

2/6/12 – Spreading the word and achieving impact from SAFE’s four-point action plan for Congress in 2012.

2/13/12 – Plumbing the depth of the fiscal hole: it’s very deep, we can’t pay all these bills, so what now?

2/20/12 – Budget lands with a thud; it’s a blueprint for income redistribution whatever the consequences.

3/5/12 – Can this country be saved? Maybe, but only if Americans start paying attention & demanding action.

3/26/12 – House budget opponents circle the wagons; their arguments are weak, but they won’t give in easily.

4/9/12 – Bitter budget battle building; defenders dismiss spending cut proponents as unimaginative and uncaring.

4/23/12 – Fiscal visionaries should be positive when possible, but they must demand honesty above all else.

4/30/12 – Beware the Debt Bubble; soaring debt is not a byproduct of fighting unemployment, it is the key problem.

5/21/12 – Coming attractions: lame duck session will be a doozie; best bet is to tee up fiscal issues for the voters.

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