cost of government dayCongratulations, 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.

During the last sixteen years, the leaders of majority parties in the houses of Congress have been defeated twice: Speaker Foley in Washington in the 1994 election and Senate Majority Leader Daschle in the 2002 election. Senator Reid from Nevada may be the next member of Congress to discover that clout in Washington does not reflexively translate into electoral victory back home.? “Bringing home the bacon,” the ability of senior members of Congress to raid the public fisc for dubious projects back home, has long been considered a key advantage of incumbency (regardless of whether the member of Congress is a Democrat or a Republican.)?

Earlier in the week, The New American reported that despite his inaugural promise to shutter the prison at Guantanamo Bay “as soon as practicable, and no later than 1 year from the date of this order, some 19 months later the facility remains open."

The natural yen of our government to collect information on its citizens and to create command centers to review that information has continued to grow since September 11, 2001. Some of these efforts focus purely on terrorism, but others extend broadly into every area of American life, and seldom are they efficacious.

Andrey Ternovskiy, one of Russia's wunderkind Internet entrepreneurs, is being courted by venture capitalists the world over. To get access to cash he needn't leave Moscow, but he doesn't want to do business with the billionaire oligarchs tied to the Russian Mafia and Putin's KGB-FSB machine in the Kremlin.