7:59 AM, Jul 22, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
There is a fairly robust debate about inflation going on these days. Is there too much? Not enough? Any at all? And just how much is too much? Can we hit the Goldilocks sweet spot?
What does not appear to be debatable is that government is getting more expensive. Even the bad and unpopular elements of government want more money. Which means, of course, that they will get it. The IRS has trouble archiving e-mails? Has to be because it didn’t have enough to spend on technology. VA so strapped that after it has paid bonuses to its senior executives, there isn’t enough left to take care of old soldiers with cancer? Must have more money.
And now, the Transportation Security Administration, which is the love of travelers everywhere, is feeling strapped. The only solution for it is…to raise ticket prices. As Catey Hill of Market Watch writes, as of yesterday, the TSA
… will more than double the mandatory fee they charge many passengers and will no longer cap these fees. Under the old law, the fee, which is used for security, was $2.50 for each leg of a flight with a $5 cap on each one-way trip or a $10 cap on each round trip. But beginning July 21, the fee is $5.60 for each leg of a flight and that is not capped; if your layover is more than four hours on a domestic flight or 12 hours for international destinations, that counts as a second leg of the flight and you will be charged an additional fee. While that may not sound like a lot, consider what this could mean for your wallet. If you book a domestic round trip and have two total connections (and the layover is four hours or more during each connection), you’ll end up shelling out nearly $25 to the TSA. That jacks up the average domestic airline ticket price by more than 5%.
No reason to think the money will enable to TSA to do better work. The “screening process” will not become less unpleasant.
But, the bureaucracy will be appeased. Maybe it isn’t inflation. But there ought to be a word for it.
7:04 AM, Jul 17, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Vice President Biden and his entourage visited Brazil in mid-June to attend the USA versus Ghana World Cup game, a trip that also included meetings with both the president and vice president of Brazil.
9:01 AM, Jul 11, 2014 • By ELI LEHRER
As anyone who has visited New York City knows, getting a taxicab in the city can prove very, very difficult. And finding a driver that speaks English, has working air conditioning, will let a visitor pay by credit card, and knows directions to major landmarks can be even harder. That’s why it’s utterly bizarre that the city is trying to stop drivers from offering taxi-like rides in the city for free.
Get them where they drive.9:24 AM, Jul 7, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Washington needs more money and if it doesn’t get it, your morning commute will become:
a) more expensive
4:05 PM, Jul 1, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Another day, another national crisis. Yesterday it was immigration and another threat/promise to go it alone.
11:12 AM, Jul 1, 2014 • By MICHAEL ASTRUE
Now that Washington has acknowledged cultural malaise and a broad failure to provide timely access to health care at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Congress and the executive branch are competing frantically to show the public how hard they are working to fix that failure.
11:01 AM, Jun 18, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The white-hot issue of what to call the professional football team currently playing its home games in the vicinity of the nation’s capital just got hotter. Earlier this week, Senator Harry Reid said he wouldn’t accept comp tickets (truly a first for a sitting senator) to the team’s games so long as it continued to be called the “Redskins.”
1:08 PM, May 29, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
One of the more intriguing aspects of the VA health care scandal is the way the paperwork was creatively done to make it appear that the system was operating as it was meant to.
7:01 AM, May 21, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Just a day after House Republicans introduced legislation to roll back some Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations on school meal programs, the USDA
9:41 AM, May 14, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The featured speaker at a recent conference on “Excellence in Government,” was the secretary of agriculture, Tom Vilsack.
'A billion dollar government contract involving hundreds of local workers'...8:12 AM, May 13, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
An eye-opening report from KMOV about an Obamacare contractor using taxpayer dollars to pay their employees to spend all day doing nothing:
"A billion dollar government contract involving hundreds of local workers at an Obamacare processing center ... But now employees on the inside are stepping forward, asking, Is this why we're broke? Some of them claim to spend most of their day doing nothing," reports a local St. Louis reporter.
4:05 PM, May 8, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The government was spending too much money. And wasting a lot of it. The need to cut back was obvious and pressing. So Congress passed something called the “sequester,” that would force frugality upon the government and oblige Washington, Inc. to endure the kind of downsizing that had been common – and successful – in the private sector.
8:32 AM, May 2, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The latest jobs numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 288,000, and the unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 6.3 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment gains were widespread, led by job growth in professional and business services, retail trade, food services and drinking places, and construction.
Household Survey Data