9:19 AM, Oct 17, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
A headline in the Wall Street Journal reads, “U.S. Deficit Shrinks to Level Last Seen in ’07.” The problem with this headline isn’t its accuracy (although it should say ’08 unless it’s speaking as a percentage of GDP). The problem is that readers are likely to come away with the false perception that the federal government, which ran a deficit of $483 billion for the 2014 fiscal year, has its finances, and the deficit, and the debt, under control. Here are a few other potential headlines the Journal could have used that might have painted a more accurate picture: “U.S. Runs 6th-Largest Deficit in History,” “U.S. Runs 12th-Largest Inflation-Adjusted Deficit in History,” “U.S. Borrows Nearly Another Half-Trillion Dollars,” or “U.S. Debt Doubles Since ’07.”
Let’s compare the federal government to a relatively average Joe. Percentage-wise, if the government were a citizen (Joe) whose after-tax earnings were $60,000 a year, this is how much it would have spent each year over the past decade (according to tallies from White House tables and this press release from the Treasury Department):
So, over the decade, Joe would have spent $190,638 (or 32 percent) more than he had available to spend — and so did Uncle Sam. How much would we really be applauding Joe for his frugality because he “only” spent $9,593 (or 16 percent) more this year that he had available, thereby adding to his massive debt at a little slower pace than he did during his earlier spending spree?
10:39 AM, Oct 16, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
First time claims came in on the low side. Unexpectedly so. Which seems, paradoxically, predictable.
9:02 AM, Oct 16, 2014 • By KEVIN R. KOSAR
Yesterday’s presentation by the U.S. Treasury was a comical spectacle—at least for those of us with sardonic senses of humor. The good news? The deficit for FY2014 (which ended September 30) was 29 percent lower than the deficit was in FY2013.
8:01 AM, Oct 14, 2014 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Analysis of Congressional Budget Office projections by the Senate Budget Committee finds that Obamacare will increase the deficit by more than $100 billion over the next decade.
'They're kicking in the front door, knocking over the vase, while they're walking out with your television set.'7:32 AM, Oct 6, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
FBI director James Comey talked about Chinese hacking -- and how basically every American company has been targeted -- last night on 60 Minutes. Comey said that it's not the Chinese are so good, it's that they're "prolific." He likened their hacking style to a "drunk burglar."
60 Minutes host Scott Pelley asked, "What countries are attacking the United States as we sit here in cyberspace?"
9:07 AM, Oct 4, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Seems the CDC is afflicted with the government habit of treating information as something to hoard and withhold from the citizenry which can’t be trusted to understand or handle it.
12:00 AM, Oct 4, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
The U.S. economy added 248,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 percent. But the labor force participation rate continued to fall, average hourly earnings seem frozen, and over 13 percent of workers are either out of work, involuntarily working part time or too discouraged to keep hunting for jobs, and 20 percent of teenagers are out of work.
6:44 AM, Sep 30, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
President Obama was counting strokes on the golf course at Fort Belvoir in northern Virginia last Saturday, but the day before a $91,318.76
7:04 AM, Sep 25, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
These days, mentioning birth control and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the same sentence will likely draw some strong reactions. But a recent contractor inquiry by HHS for its National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Maryland adds a new wrinkle.
8:34 AM, Sep 8, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The "busiest land port of entry in the Western Hemisphere" is getting an upgrade, and according to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), about a half a million dollars worth of new artwork will be part of the package.
10:43 AM, Aug 26, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The federal government issued sixty contracts from 2009 to 2014 in efforts to build Healthcare.gov, the federal insurance marketplace.