Tag Archives: Spend

Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party cuts federal spending by 6.2%

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Prime Minister Stephen Harper

More news from up north. (H/T Ben)

Excerpt:

Federal government expenditures are set to fall next fiscal year by $16.5-billion, or 6.2%, with big cuts to regional development and environment programs, according to documents tabled Tuesday.

That would leave total expenditures for the 2011-12 year at $250-billion, with the bulk taken up by transfer payments to individuals and governments, and operating costs. Just over $30-billion of that expense is attributed to refinancing Canada’s debt.

The figures, contained in spending estimates provided by the Treasury Board, sees budget increases for departments entrusted with security and law enforcement – such as a 21% boost to jails — but cuts of roughly 20% to Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Government is supposed to be concerned with security and law enforcement, not with environmentalist wastefulness.

Here’s Paul Ryan. He would like to cut our budget by 6.2% – and maybe even more.

If Canada is cutting their government waste, then why can’t we?

There are a lot of programs that we could be cutting.

Excerpt:

The federal government could save billions in taxpayer dollars annually by consolidating duplicative government programs, according to a new report.

The newly-released report from the Government Accountability Office “makes us all look like jackasses,” Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) told reporters Monday night.

The conservative senator said the report — which identifies redundancies in more than 546 individual programs — reveals why the United States is $14 trillion in debt.

“Anybody who says we don’t look like fools up here hasn’t read the report,” he said.

[…]The GAO reviewed 34 areas (among them agriculture, defense and social services) where agencies, offices or initiatives have similar or overlapping objectives. The report also looked at 47 additional cost-saving opportunities related to more general government efficiency. For instance, the report said, “Improved corrosion prevention and control practices could help [the Defense Department] avoid billions in unnecessary costs over time.”

Addressing duplicative efforts on even a single issue could save billions, the report found. For instance, the GAO says the government could save up to $5.7 billion annually by addressing potentially duplicative policies designed to boost domestic ethanol production. Additionally, the Defense Department could save $460 million annually by making broader changes to the governance of its military health care system.

The report finds that there are 15 agencies involved in food safety, 80 programs involved in economic development and more than 100 involved in surface transportation. There are 10 agencies and 82 programs involved in teacher quality, and more than 20 agencies and about 56 programs involved in financial literacy efforts. There are about 2,300 investments across the Defense Department to modernize its business operations.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said today that in order to foster long term economic growth, “we’re going to deal with the pressing issues of regulatory waste in our agencies, as well as long term issues facing our country with entitlement programs.”

This is why we have to stop giving private sector money to government. They don’t earn any money by making things or helping people – they don’t sell anything useful. They just steal money from the productive workers and businesses and then they waste it and run up trillion dollar deficits. This kind of corruption, fraud and waste would not survive in small businesses, and probably not even in big businesses. Business have to be efficient or they go bankrupt. They have to perform or their competitors will have them for lunch. The consumer is king in the private sector.

Related posts

US money supply contracting at Great Depression levels

The most-read story today on the UK Telegraph. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

The M3 money supply in the United States is contracting at an accelerating rate that now matches the average decline seen from 1929 to 1933, despite near zero interest rates and the biggest fiscal blitz in history.

The M3 figures – which include broad range of bank accounts and are tracked by British and European monetarists for warning signals about the direction of the US economy a year or so in advance – began shrinking last summer. The pace has since quickened.

The stock of money fell from $14.2 trillion to $13.9 trillion in the three months to April, amounting to an annual rate of contraction of 9.6%. The assets of insitutional money market funds fell at a 37% rate, the sharpest drop ever.

“It’s frightening,” said Professor Tim Congdon from International Monetary Research. “The plunge in M3 has no precedent since the Great Depression. The dominant reason for this is that regulators across the world are pressing banks to raise capital asset ratios and to shrink their risk assets. This is why the US is not recovering properly,” he said.

What should we expect from a man who opposes capitalism? Well, we should expect to be poor. We should expect to be as poor as people were during the Great Depression.

I have an idea. Next time, let’s elect someone who is responsible enough to have his own credit card.

How bad is the situation in Greece?

From the UK Daily Mail. (H/T Verum Serum)

After months of dithering over how to rein in its vast deficit, the Greek government has been forced to plead for a £93billion international bail-out package and implement hugely unpopular austerity measures, to be voted on today.

Amid the rioting, the euro plunged, stock markets crashed and German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted the very ‘future of Europe’ was at stake.

[…]In the most horrific incident, 20 terrified staff were trapped in the burning Marfin bank after it was firebombed by protesters. The mob blocked firefighters from getting to the blaze.

Two women and a man suffocated in the smoke as they tried to escape the flames. Bank officials told reporters one woman had been pregnant.

A fire department official said their lives could have been saved had ‘ crucial minutes’ not been lost getting through the rioters’ blockades.

The death toll is now up to four.

The socialists have owned Greece for most of the last 30 years

What happened in Greece? Marketwatch wrote about their recent elections in 2009.

Excerpt:

The political drama is about socialist George Papandreou’s electoral victory over the conservatives and his rise to the same position, prime minister of Greece, which his father and grandfather had held before him.

The tragedy will come if he is tempted to follow in his father’s populist footsteps, as his campaign rhetoric suggests he will. Such a choice might prove disastrous not only for Greece but for the rest of the European Union as well.

Greece’s turn left is unique, even in the wake of the economic perplexity that has gripped the world since summer 2008.

[…]Promises to raise public-sector salaries are problematic enough, but to raise wages beyond the amount eroded by inflation, as Pasok said it would, is altogether derelict. So is the thought that such spending, along with 3 billion euros in aid to small businesses, can be financed by further taxing the rich and cracking down on tax evasion.

In 1981, the Greek socialist party formed the first socialist government in Greece’s history, and subsequently governed the country for most of the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. They were the main opposition party between 2004 and 2009.

And here’s what happened:

Year Debt (Million € equivalent) Number of civil servants
1960 33 185,000
1970 226 280,000
1980 1,062 400,000
1985 4,828 600,000
1990 22,304 815,000
2007 234,776 1,050,000

That’s right, they had the equivalent of Barack Obama in charge, for a long, long time. Tax and spend, hope and change.

The crisis of debt in Europe

And check out this alarming analysis from RealClearMarkets: (H/T Belmont Club via ECM)

Virtually every country in the EU spends more than it takes in and has made long-term fiscal promises to an aging work force that it can’t keep. A little over a year ago, economist Jagadeesh Gokhale, writing for the National Center for Policy Analysis, produced a pithy – and scary – summation of the fiscal challenges faced by Europe. Don’t read it if you have trouble sleeping.

“The average EU country,” he concluded, “would need to have more than four times (434%) its current annual gross domestic product in the bank today, earning interest at the government’s borrowing rate, in order to fund current policies indefinitely.”

In other words, Europe would have to have the equivalent of roughly $60 trillion in the bank today to fund its very general welfare benefits in the future. Of course, it doesn’t.

Things haven’t changed much since that study was done. So suppose they don’t put aside all that money. What then? By 2035, Gokhale reckons, the EU will need an average tax rate of 57% to pay for its lavish welfare state.

Today, Greece is only the tip of a very large iceberg. Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland together owe $3.9 trillion in short- and medium-term debts, an amount larger than their combined GDP, estimated last year at $3.3 trillion.

Picture:

Don’t let socialists run your country. They spend too much!

Ontario deficit to hit $25 billion as tax revenues plunge

map-canada-political
Political Map of Canada

The problem with the left is that they think that the producers will just keep producing in the face of massive tax hikes and government spending. Sorry, but producers curtail their producing when they get to keep less and less of the fruits of their labor. Dalton McGuinty, the Liberal premier of the province of Ontario, is a prime example of this ignorance of incentives.

Consider this story from the National Post. (H/T Joanne from Blue Like You)

Excerpt:

Falling revenues and a burgeoning $24.7-billion deficit will force Ontario’s Liberal government into a new era of fiscal restraint, provincial Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said yesterday.

[…]According to economic figures released yesterday, Ontario is spending $4.8-billion more this year than it predicted just seven months ago. The increased spending includes $4-billion in auto-sector assistance and an additional $650-million to fund the province’s H1N1 response. Program spending has also risen by $812-million.

Tax revenues, meanwhile, are falling dramatically. They now stand at $5.8-billion less than the government predicted in last spring’s budget. Corporate taxes are $2.65-billion — or nearly one-third — lower than projections, while personal income tax is down $2.43-billion, or 10%.

[…]Conservatives, who have watched as the Liberals raised spending by nearly 60% over their first six years in office, were skeptical about the new pledge of austerity.”Dalton McGuinty is hard-wired to increase your taxes and increase spending,” Conservative leader Tim Hudak said. “The reality is, the only way to get spending under control is to change government.”

[…]One analyst said the province’s massive deficit is heightened by the growing size of Ontario’s health-care sector, expected to account for half the budget by 2015.

Earlier this week I blogged about the Federal Conservative Party of Canada, which gained two seats in the 2009 by-elections, bringing them to 145/308 in the House of Commons. They need 155 to have a majority.

States like New York and California are running into the same taxing and spending problems here at home. Even the Democrat Governor of Ohio Ted Strickland is in trouble, and threatening to cancel scheduled tax cuts.

Dr. Jean Twenge takes on narcissism in today’s children

Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D
Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D

A female Christian social studies professor railing against narcissism? Sign me up!

The podcast is here.

Here’s her bio:

Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University and the author of more than 40 scientific journal articles and book chapters. She received a BA in sociology and psychology, and an MA in social sciences from the University of Chicago in 1993 and a Ph.D. in personality psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1998. She then completed a postdoc in social psychology at Case Western Reserve University.

We need more like her. A lot more!