Tax increases? No way -- cut the spending

by Gerri Willis And now the hard work begins! With the 2011 budget in the rear view window, Congress has to get serious about a 2012 budget and the debt ceiling. And, it couldn't start a minute too soon. The country is on an unsustainable path of spending more and more and more. According to the Wall Street Journal, domestic discretionary spending grew by 6 percent in 2008, 11 percent in 2009 and 14 percent in 2010. Thanks to the work of Congress the 2011 budget spending shrinks by 4 percent. But there is more work to do. We need spending limits that force Congress to do the right thing and revisions of the budget baseline so that each year's budget begins at last year's spending levels, not with automatic increases. Budget discipline isn't a Republican or a Democratic issue, it's a common sense issue. American families know how to keep their budgets under control, it's time the government did too.

President Obama's New Voodoo Economics

by Gerri Willis

Defending his budget only moments ago, President Obama says that his plan would bring spending to the levels of Dwight Eisenhower. Here's the exact quote, "Rather than throwing money at programs with no accountability or measured results, we are committed to funding only those things that work. All told, the budget cuts that I've proposed will bring annual domestic spending to it's lowest share of the ecomomy since Dwight Eisenhower."

True, but tricky. In reality, the spending that the president is talking about - domestic discretionary spending - is just 16 percent of the total that the federal government spends every year. It doesn't include entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. Neither does it include defense spending. The truth is spending on those categories of the budget has grown like topsy.

Any real debate over reigning in government spending will have to talk about those programs.

Are Unions Too Powerful?

by Gerri Willis

A little noticed element of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's to reign in the unions - force unions to collect dues themselves rather than have them deducted from employee paychecks.

Why? Public sector unions - bankrolled by millions in union dues - finance campaigns to raise taxes and government spending.

Washington state's ballet issue last year to boost taxes on the wealthy was cast as a battle of the rich: Microsoft founder Bill Gates' dad, William Gates (he was for it) versus the current Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (he was against it). But unions gave more than $3 million to promote the tax hike.

That's just one example, see Steve Malanga's editorial in Wall Street Journal for more.

Are unions too powerful? What do you think? Comment and let us know!




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