Michael Tennant

“We’ve had some incidents where TSA authorities think that congresspeople should be treated like everybody else,” Rep. James Clyburn (left, D-S.C.) told Fox News Sunday.

money with flagAccording to the federal government’s 2010 financial statements, released in late December, the 2010 deficit was $1.29 trillion, a slight decrease from the 2009 deficit of $1.42 trillion. Despite this minor improvement, the long-term debt when all obligations are taken into account, including such major unfunded liabilities as Social Security and Medicare, is an astounding $64 trillion — and that may be understating things by about $12.3 trillion, says John Williams of ShadowStats.com (as reported by Douglas French on the Ludwig von Mises Institute blog).

Tuesday, 28 December 2010 00:00

111th Congress Racks Up Record Debt

moneyLeave it to Democrats to make the spendthrift Republicans of the George W. Bush era look like tightwads. “The federal government,” reports CNSNews.com, “has accumulated more new debt — $3.22 trillion ($3,220,103,625,307.29) — during the tenure of the 111th Congress than it did during the first 100 Congresses combined, according to official debt figures published by the U.S. Treasury.” That comes to “$10,429.64 in new debt for each and every one of the … people counted in the United States by the 2010 Census,” writer Terence P. Jeffrey explains, adding that the total national debt as of the close of business on December 22 “now equals $44,886.57 for every man, woman and child in the United States.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010 00:00

A Taxpayer’s Dime Is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Did you know that in 2010 the federal government spent $2.9 million for a study of the video game "World of Warcraft"? How about $1.8 million for a neon sign museum in Las Vegas? Or $823,000 for teaching South African men how to wash their private parts?

Conservatives may have lost some battles for committee chairmen in the incoming Republican-dominated House of Representatives, but they are making up for it when it comes to subcommittees. For economic conservatives there is the appointment of Rep. Ron Paul of Texas to head the Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology. Social conservatives, meanwhile, scored a victory with the selection of the staunchly pro-life Rep. Joseph Pitts of Pennsylvania as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

Ron PaulThe media response to the appointment of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) to the chairmanship of the House Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee has been swift and — somewhat surprisingly — mostly positive. Perhaps it is due to the fact that public opinion has been turning against the Federal Reserve, Paul’s longtime target that is overseen by his subcommittee.

Thursday, 09 December 2010 00:00

Bernanke's Christmas Present: Chairman Paul

Ron PaulIt’s official: Texas Congressman Ron Paul will be the Chairman of the House Subcommittee for Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology when the 112th Congress convenes in January. Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, who is slated to be the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, of which the Monetary Policy Subcommittee is a part, announced Paul’s appointment as chairman of that subcommittee on December 9.

Monday, 06 December 2010 00:00

Ron Paul’s Big Day

Will Tuesday be Ron Paul’s big day? Robert Wenzel of EconomicPolicyJournal.com thinks so, as does Paul confidant Lew Rockwell. On December 7 the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives is scheduled to announce the chairmen of various committees and subcommittees, including the Subcommittee for Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology, of which the Texas congressman is currently the ranking Republican member.

Remember that clause in the Constitution that gives the federal government the authority to regulate school bake sales? Even if you don’t, Congress does. The House of Representatives just passed a $4.5 billion bill that, among other things, authorizes the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set nutrition guidelines for all foods sold in a school building during school hours — and that includes “bake sales and pizza fundraisers,” according to CalorieLab.com. (If pressed, elected officials would undoubtedly note that such sales can affect interstate commerce since students buying cupcakes at school would no longer be buying them from Hostess, thus providing an opening for Congress to regulate these activities.)

health regulationsBecause of President Barack Obama's veto power, it is very unlikely that Congress could successfully repeal ObamaCare for at least another two years. However, there are substantive things that can be done to prevent ObamaCare’s implementation, such as state nullification of the legislation and congressional defunding of its provisions. There are also symbolic things — things that might pass one or both houses of Congress but, if they do pass both houses, will almost certainly be vetoed by Obama. One of the symbolic measures being considered by Republicans is the use of a 1996 law that gives Congress the power to overrule regulations issued by executive branch agencies.