Category: Federal Budget

Rep. Tom Latham Staying Engaged on Fiscal Responsibility, Appears at Fix The Debt–Iowa Event

fix the debtProving his concern about our country’s national debt wasn’t mere campaign lip service, Congressman Tom Latham continued to warn against the perils of a $17 trillion debt in Urbandale on Friday.  He joined an event hosted by the Iowa chapter of Fix The Debt and toured the facility of Jon Troen’s ColorFX company.

Speaking to a group of ColorFX employees Latham seemed hopeful a long-term solution could be agreed to this year saying, “I think there is a real chance of getting a bi-partisan deal passed.  It has to be done to ensure our nation’s economic and fiscal security.”  As the owner of a company trying to navigate through an increasingly shaky economy, ColorFX owner Jon Troen fully concurred by stating, “The national debt affects …

“Fix The Debt Iowa” Releases New Web Ad

fix the debtA very worthwhile group has come to Iowa recently and their mission is to solve the debt crisis that America is currently headed for.  “Fix The Debt Iowa” is one of the 23 state chapters of a larger group which can be found at FixThe

Last week they released a short web video in Iowa equating our nations fiscal problems with the budget of a middle-class family–which is cleverly done by adding or subtracting eight zeros.

I am happy to see efforts being made to frame the facts of this issue in a way that even the non-politically involved can understand.  Since the national debt is now in excess of 16 million separate units of a million dollars, quantifying the problem is getting …

The Harsh Republican Reality of the Fiscal Cliff

I break from a majority of Republicans on the current fiscal cliff negotiations and believe the rate increases that Democrats are seeking should eventually be agreed to. More specifically I would support John Boehner signing on to taking the top bracket from 35% to 37-38% (short of the 39.6% Obama wants).

Of course the argument against doing so is the superior one—essentially that the Senate and the President want more money to spend while having not passed a budget in 3 years and having not yet put any real spending cuts or entitlement reforms on the table. But the two Parties have been at a stalemate over this issue for years and in my view the trump card is that last month they held the …

Predictions for the Next Four Years (Part 1 of 2)

Well, Barack Obama will be President for a second term. It is now time to take a look around, and prepare for what is likely to happen next. Based on my observations and what I’ve learned over the years, these are my predictions:

No Housing Recovery

Commentators have been calling the bottom of the housing market – and screaming with increasing urgency that it was time to buy – since 2007. The Fed has cut interest rates to nearly zero, and through quantitative easing has flooded the financial system with new money. This will continue for the near future, especially since QE-infinity was announced earlier this year. There remains no recovery in the housing market, and there won’t be a recovery.

Bad monetary policy has …

2nd Presidential Debate: Complete Re-Cap & Analysis Of A Dynamic Evening

Following a week and a half of Democrats either piling criticism on President Obama’s first debate performance or making excuses for it, few could question that tonight the Country’s microscope was squarely focused on our 44th President.  Would he over-correct and turn voters off by being too aggressive?  Would he be able to effectively go on the attack in the Town Hall format?  How will he handle personal questions from the very people struggling due to “his” anemic economy?

After the dust settled tonight, not only were these questions and the 11 questions the audience asked answered—we might have just gotten the answer to the biggest question of them all.  Let’s jump right in.

President Obama (Art Smith)

Last night’s debate proved to be much …

Vice Presidential Debate: Recap and Analysis

Though few would have predicted it two weeks ago, going into tonight’s Vice-Presidential debate the real pressure to perform was squarely on the shoulders of Joe Biden.  This prospect was clearly one that Republicans across the Country have been giddy about in the days leading up to this debate—but tonight the meltdown they were hoping for didn’t happen.  Joe Biden performed well, avoided any big gaffes, and the two candidates essentially dueled to a near draw.

Paul Ryan (Justin Arnold)

As mentioned in our prior debate analysis, we focus on themes because they are the messages that each candidate comes in with for a reason.  These are the issues and messages they have determined will move the needle in their favor and each candidates …

Florida GOP Debate Recap and Breakdown: Nine Candidates…Three Categories

This piece was written by Art Smith- Publisher of The Conservative Reader, Justin Arnold-Editor of The Conservative Reader: Iowa, and Brian Nygaard-Senior Contributor at The Conservative Reader.

The lead up to every Presidential Primary debate is accompanied by media hype and pundit proclamations that this or that candidate has to “do well” or they are doomed going forward.  Often times the hype out measures the eventual importance of the proceedings and the proclamations prove to be mere misguided conventional wisdom.

Since last cycles debut of the “interactive” debate (CNN’s YouTube offering) saw ridiculous questions from a melting snowman (on global warming) and a citizen holding an assault rifle (on the 2nd Amendment), one sure would have been justified in being skeptical.  That said, for …

The DSM Register says “Congress should be considering further economic stimulus”.

The Des Moines Register’s Editorial on Monday, June 27, 2011 was titled “Steep budget cuts now could harm economy”.

Summary – The Register’s Editorial group pointed us once again to the “nonpartisan fiscal agency”, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).   They quoted the CBO’s “dire warning about unsustainable federal deficits”, but cautioned that the report also “warned that steep cuts right now could make the nation’s fiscal condition even worse by kicking the legs out from under the economy”.   Also on June 27th, The Wall Street Journal’s front page led off with an article titled “Debt Hamstrings Recovery”[1].   The WSJ’s Tom Lauricella notes “Around the globe, the inability of governments and households to reduce their debt continues to cast …

The Failure of Stimulus

Imagine a plot of land in the desert, consisting only of mesquite scrub and dust. If you assembled a system of sprinklers on this desert land, and ran them heavily enough, you could make the desert green with grass, corn, or even water loving willow trees. But then the water supply you are stealing from runs dry, and the sprinklers sit there, idle. The greenery of your efforts wilts, dies and turns to dust.

This is the story of government stimulus. First, the federal government stole – yes, I said stole – hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out first the banks, and then General Motors, and then spend hundreds of billions more on the President’s stimulus package, which promised to reignite the economy, …

Supply and Da Man

U.S. markets closed off today, while foreign markets ended generally positive.  A bright spot in the US economy was the release of new home sales, which were estimated to be up 7.3% in April, to 323,000 new homes sold.  This represents the fourth month in a row of increasing new home sales, but we’re coming off a dismal low. In 2005, 1.4 million new homes were sold.

The housing market reflects a classic supply/demand equation.  The supply of housing far outstrips demand, and with a glut of foreclosed homes still in the market, the housing market is unlikely to return to 2005 levels for several years.

The markets seemed to be more concerned with the nation of Greece’s ability to service it’s debt.  Keep in …

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