May 092012

The trouble with the French is that they are sick and tired of austerity, and they won’t take it any more. Oh, and by the way, they want it all. Big government, check. The French public sector accounts for more than half of the economy. Early retirement, check. Voters threw [continue reading . . . ]

Sep 112011
Ponzi scheme?

Is Social Security a Ponzi scheme, as Texas Gov. and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry labeled it during the GOP candidates’ debate Sept. 7? The answer is “No.” Charles Ponzi gave money collected from early suckers attracted by phony promises of high returns to new suckers after taking a cut. [continue reading . . . ]

Jun 222011

Oregon would have to increase taxes on each household by more than $2,000 each year for several years to fully fund the pension obligations of its public employees (those working for states, counties, cities, school districts, etc). By this measure, only in New Jersey and New York are the burdens [continue reading . . . ]

Jun 012011

On KUOW’s Weekday talk program today, Steve Scher, the host, asked if I had any ideas about the “Lesser Depression” I was talking about. I think I have a decent radio voice, but I’m slow on my feet, not nimble. I stalled for time, then mumbled something about Paul Ryan’s [continue reading . . . ]

Apr 262011

The U.S. is in such dire financial shape that it must raise taxes on the middle class as well as the rich AND curtail, via means-testing, giant entitlement programs, including Social Security and Medicare. That’s the Easter Sunday sermon from supply-side guru and former OMB director David A. Stockman via [continue reading . . . ]

Apr 202011

Richard W. Stevenson writes in Sunday’s New York Times Week in Review section that the debate in Washington over spending, debt, deficits and entitlements amounts to the most fundamental reassessment of the size and role of government since Ronald Reagan and perhaps since Franklin Roosevelt. Here’s an excerpt: The battle [continue reading . . . ]