Posts Tagged ‘fiscal conservatism’
October 11th, 2012 at 2:37 pm
New Cato Study Shows Tea Party Governors Delivering on Promises
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The Cato Institute came out this week with its Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors and the results are very good for Tea Partiers. The nation’s top five chief executives in terms of fiscal stewardship are virtually all proud limited government advocates who have followed through on their promises of reining in government:

1 (tie) — Sam Brownback (R-Kansas); Rick Scott (R-Florida)

3 (tie) — Paul LePage (R-Maine); Tom Corbett (R-Pennsylvania)

5 (3-way tie) — Bobby Jindal (R-Louisiana); Jack Dalrymple (R-North Dakota); John Lynch (D-New Hampshire)

Lynch deserves some credit for being the sole Democrat to crack the top of the list, but not nearly as much as the Republicans who swept to huge majorities in the Granite State’s legislature and forced the governor to abide by New Hampshire’s “live free or die” ethos.

And the nation’s worst fiscal leaders? Is it any surprise that it’s a cadre of blue state liberals?:

46. Christine Gregoire (D-Washington)

47. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii)

48. Mark Dayton (D-Minnesota)

49. Dan Malloy (D-Connecticut)

50, Pat Quinn (D-Illinois)

The full report is here.

December 22nd, 2011 at 6:15 pm
Taxpayers Footing the Bill to Create Pakistani Version of “Sesame Street,” Video Game Based on Michelle Obama’s Garden
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You’ve really got to hand it to Senator Tom Coburn. In a job where the only real responsibility is to raise your hand from time to time, the junior senator from Oklahoma has taken it upon himself to use the full powers of his office to fight for a smaller, less wasteful government. One of the mechanisms he employs in waging this battle is his annual “Wastebook Report,” chronicling the most outrageous excesses in federal spending over the past year. The 2011 version is now out and well worth a read (assuming you have blood pressure medication nearby). Here are just a few samples from Coburn’s collection of 100 outrages:

  • $35 million of taxpayer money to pay for both major parties’ political conventions
  • Around $500,000 to purchase equity in a Washington D.C. IHOP
  • $120 million in benefits for federal employees who were ineligible — because they were dead
  • Over $100,000 to preserve vintage video games
  • $18 million in foreign aid … to China, our banker
  • $100,000 for a celebrity chef road show in Indonesia
  • $10 million to help develop a Pakistani version of “Sesame Street”
  • Approximately $1 billion in falsely-claimed tax credits for household energy efficiency
  • Nearly $1 million for an online soap opera about single mothers (starring Billy Dee Williams, no less)
  • Over $175,000 to fund a study on the connection between cocaine use and risky sexual behavior … in quail
  • Half a million dollars for research on the trustworthiness of tweets
  • $4.4 billion in wartime contracting fraud
  • Over $200,000 for an online organic farming video game based on Michelle Obama’s White House vegetable garden.
  • $600,000 for research on why chimps throw their own feces.

With this report, Tom Coburn is earning his taxypayer-funded salary. He may be the only one.

February 14th, 2011 at 9:52 pm
Fiscal Conservatism, in One Paragraph
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There were many fine speeches from last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that deserved the attention of thoughtful conservatives. First among equals, however, was the address that Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels gave for Friday night’s Ronald Reagan Centennial Dinner.

The speech — written by Daniels himself — shows that the potential 2012 presidential candidate is not only a brilliant manager and a canny politician, but also an extremely sophisticated (and subtle) writer. In its defense of a prudent conservatism, the speech demonstrated that Daniels, not Barack Obama, is the great literary talent of 21st century politics. For unlike The One, Daniels speech was drenched in substance.

As such, the speech deserves no less than to be read in its entirety. Failing that, however, no passage deserves isolated quotation as much as Daniels’ definition and defense of fiscal conservatism, a masterpiece of dictional economy:

We believe it wrong ever to take a dollar from a free citizen without a very necessary public purpose, because each such taking diminishes the freedom to spend that dollar as its owner would prefer. When we do find it necessary, we feel a profound duty to use that dollar as carefully and effectively as possible, else we should never have taken it at all.

That’ll do, Mitch. That’ll do.

August 12th, 2010 at 8:58 pm
Defense Secretary Gates Taking Heat for Proposing Common Sense Military Cuts

Maybe this was one of the reasons Robert Gates decided to stay on as Defense Secretary when Barack Obama became president.  Faced with budget deficits and needing funding for two wars, Gates is setting his sights on reducing the waste, fraud and abuse in military bureaucracy and contracting.

Rest assured, the Gates cuts will not imperil soldiers in the field.  In an eye-opening column by Ralph Peters, the Defense Secretary’s war on waste is an admirable contribution to the government-wide belt-tightening that needs to be done.  Peters highlights five key targets:

  1. A reduction in the amount of overpaid contractors currently making up 39% of the Defense Department workforce
  2. Pink slips for an overabundance of senior brass and staff
  3. Eliminating redundant information technology offices
  4. Curbing expensive self-studies that provide little value
  5. Closing the Joint Forces Command, an ineffective inter-branch agency with no mission

According to Peters, Gates can prove there’s bite to his bark if he can get JFCOM closed despite the howls from its Virginia-based congressional delegation.

Stay tuned.