"I won't take any PAC money from banks that took TARP funds, nor would I take it from the top executive," Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, told Roll Call in February 2009.
In uncertain economic times, Americans are looking for signs of improvement. The U.S. government, by contrast, is looking for improvement of signs -- street signs, that is.
Another day, another government program mired in the traditional triumvirate of waste, fraud, and abuse. Today's example: the Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program, funded with $5 billion in money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (a.k.a. the stimulus law).
The New York Times is worried: Tea Party activists and the candidates they support are openly criticizing that most sacred of quasi-governmental institutions, the Federal Reserve. Worse still, some of these candidates might actually win and join forces with Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), author of End the Fed, who is poised to head the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees the Fed, if Republicans regain control of the House of Representatives in November.
According to the Associated Press, Americans United for Life, a pro-life organization, is running ad campaigns against 12 Democrats, nearly all incumbents, who voted for -- or support -- ObamaCare. AUL argues that these candidates should be defeated on the grounds that the healthcare law fails to prevent taxpayer funds from being spent on abortions. The group points out, for example, that while the House of Representatives had passed an amendment to the bill banning federal funding of abortion under ObamaCare, the amendment was not in the final version, yet these allegedly pro-life Democrats voted in favor of the bill anyway.
President Barack Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, resigned from his post on October 1 amid rampant speculation that he would run for Mayor of Chicago in the wake of incumbent Mayor Richard M. Daley's announcement that he will not stand for reelection next year.
"These days one of America's two great political parties routinely makes nonsensical promises," writes Paul Krugman in his Sept. 23 New York Times column. To which party is Krugman referring: the one promising that a gigantic federal bureaucracy and a massive number of new mandates on health insurance companies will improve the quality and reduce the cost of healthcare, or the one promising to rein in government spending even though the last President and Congress from its party made Lyndon Johnson look like Ebenezer Scrooge?
Republicans are trying to make political hay out of the public's increasing disenchantment with ObamaCare. There is little doubt they will end up with a few bales, but it remains to be seen if they can spin this straw into gold. Furthermore, just how likely is a GOP victory to result in repeal or even significant reform of this monstrosity?
Congratulations, fellow Americans! As of August 19 you are finally working for your own benefit instead of the government’s. According to Americans for Tax Reform’s Center for Fiscal Accountability, the 2010 Cost of Government Day — “the date of the calendar year on which the average American worker has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burden imposed by government at the federal, state and local level” — fell on August 19.
A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll finds that “pessimism over Social Security is at an all-time high as six in ten Americans who don’t already receive benefits through the program say they never will.” Specifically, “63 percent of Americans say the program won’t last another 70 years.”