Insider Reports, Benghazi
High Profiling Doug Hagmann against NSA
By Judi McLeod
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
His name is Doug. Douglas J. Hagmann. That’s the name his Mama entered on his American birth certificate. That’s the name that will someday go on his gravestone.
More than half a million readers learned Doug Hagmann’s name last Friday after he wrote a column trying to warn Americans, “It’s about to get very ugly” and millions more have read his Insider Reports published on Canada Free Press (CFP).
Detractors will swim in like sharks begging to differ, but Hagmann was among the first, if not the first to spread the truth about Benghazi; that four courageous Americans lost their lives most tragically there not because of an anti-Muslim video but because the American administration they worked for was running guns into Syria through Turkey.
Hagmann’s growing appeal to mega readers comes from the 30-plus years he has under his belt working in the field as a seasoned private investigator and the contacts with law-and-order types made and still being made during a career in which he is still active. People thirsting for the truth in government-issued propaganda in the confusing White Noise of the day are more likely to believe someone with that kind of track record in hard core investigation.
Add to Hagmann’s own ability that his articles for the past eight years have been posted on a private, independent news site with a reputation of credibility; that he now has a popular, three-hour weeknight and Sunday Internet radio show, the Hagmann-Hagmann Report with his son Joe, and you can see Hagmann’s plight more clearly.
The powers that be in the scandal-ridden government are on an unholy tear to suppress and silence anyone not swallowing the Marxist line, including most shamefully, patriotic, elderly, law-abiding citizens. The IRS that can make or break you, is making and breaking you. Rather than being pushed back from power, their bureaucrats will go on to administer Obama’s ominous health care—an IRS-run ObamaCare!
During the ongoing IRS scandal, Americans found out almost overnight that for almost the past 12 years, Big Brother has not just been watching them, but capturing every aspect of their private citizen lives. The Hollywood movie nightmares about someone watching you while you sleep, are now chilling real-life reality.
Hagmann’s “It’s about to get very ugly” piece preceded—by a single day—the ‘NSA is watching you’ revelations of former CIA operative/NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
This is how Snowden described the dangers of massive NSA data mining of the civilian population:
“…even if you’re not doing anything wrong you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody even by a wrong call. And then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with. And attack you on that basis to sort to derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer.” (Fox News, June 11, 2013).
That day may already have come for Doug Hagmann, who, because he’s a husband, father, and a proud American citizen, does not have the option of going on the lam.
Like many other reporters and whistleblowers Hagmann is much more a sitting duck than a moving target.
And he’s been told by a credible security source that an active investigation file has been opened against him by NSA.
Hagmann’s CFP colleague, Whistleblower author Marinka Peschmann has filled out a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request to NSA on Hagmann.
While there are those will say “fat chance” of them ever getting back to her, rather than just sitting there waiting for the knock on the door from visiting feds, you’ve got to start somewhere.
As someone who has been a lifelong journalist, I know that the higher a person’s profile, the safer they usually are, and even though television and radio hosts are not exactly beating down his door to get him airtime, this is why I cling to the faint hope that anyone who picks up on Hagmann’s work will specifically identify him by name.
More worried about his family than himself, Hagmann, a God-fearing man, insists his faith will see him through.
If CFP readers continue to get his name out there the way they have been doing the last five days, Hagmann may be all the more safe from harm because of the high profile it affords him.
That’s why I find myself repeating to myself these turbulent days: “His name is Doug Hagmann”.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:20 am
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I heard this story on the way home from Washington DC yesterday. What is unclear is whether the engine died because of actual failure or whether the engine was programmed to die because it reached a certain level of emissions as determined by the EPA. Sadly it sounds like the latter.
This simply can not happen. What if the patient who passed in the back of that ambulance was your son or daughter? That they may have died because of such an asinine regulation is outrageous.
*Apparently because of complaints in other jurisdictions due similar situations the EPA recently issued a pass for EMS vehicles on the emissions regulation. The DC fire chief said he was unaware of this exception.
When the D.C. fire department began buying these diesel engine ambulances a few years ago, officials knew they would have to manage them with a new emission control system that would automatically shut the engine down if it wasn’t allowed to what’s called “regenerate.”
It was a mandate from the Environmental Protection Agency.
View full post on AgainstCronyCapitalism.org
37 million Americans currently have outstanding student loans, and the delinquency rate on those student loans has now reached a level never seen before. According to a new report that was just released by the U.S. Department of Education, 11 percent of all student loans are at least 90 days delinquent. That is a brand new record high, and it is almost double the rate of a decade ago. Total student loan debt exceeds a trillion dollars, and it is now the second largest category of consumer debt after home mortgages. The student loan debt bubble has been growing particularly rapidly in recent years. According to the Federal Reserve, the total amount of student loan debt has risen by 275 percent since 2003. That is a staggering figure. Millions upon millions of young college graduates are entering the “real world” only to discover that they are already financially crippled for decades to come by oppressive student loan debt burdens. Large numbers of young people are even putting off buying homes or getting married simply because of student loan debt.
So why is this happening? Well, a big part of the problem is that the cost of college tuition has gotten wildly out of control. Since 1978, the cost of college tuition has risen even more rapidly then the cost of medical care has. Tuition costs at public universities have risen by 27 percent over the past five years, and there appears to be no end in sight.
We keep encouraging our young people to take out all of the loans that are necessary to pay for college, because a college education is supposedly the “key” to their futures.
But is that really the case?
Sadly, the reality of the matter is that millions of young Americans are graduating from college only to discover that the jobs that they were promised simply do not exist.
In fact, at this point about half of all college graduates are working jobs that do not even require a college degree.
This is leading to mass disillusionment with the system. One survey found that 70% of all college graduates wish that they had spent more time preparing for the “real world” while they were still in college.
And because so many of them cannot get decent jobs, more college graduates then ever are finding that they cannot pay back the huge student loans that they were encouraged to sign up for. The following is from a recent Bloomberg article.
Eleven percent of student loans were seriously delinquent — at least 90 days past due — in the third quarter of 2012, compared with 6 percent in the first quarter of 2003, according to the report by the U.S. Education Department. Almost 30 percent of 20- to 24-year-olds aren’t employed or in school, the study found.
Everyone agrees that we are now dealing with an unprecedented student loan debt bubble, but none of our leaders seem to have any solutions.
The two charts posted below come from a recent Zero Hedge article, and they are very illuminating. The first chart shows how the amount of student loan debt owned by the federal government has absolutely exploded in recent years, and the second chart shows how the percentage of student loan debt that is at least 90 days delinquent has risen to a brand new record high…
How is the economy ever going to recover if an increasingly large percentage of our young college graduates are financially crippled by student loan debt?
And things are about to get even worse.
If Congress takes no action, the interest rate on federal student loans is going to double to 6.8 percent on July 1st. That rate increase would affect more than 7 million students.
And debt burdens just continue to increase in size. In fact, according to one recent study, “70 per cent of the class of 2013 is graduating with college-related debt – averaging $35,200 – including federal, state and private loans, as well as debt owed to family and accumulated through credit cards.”
This is one reason why there is so much poverty among young adults in America today. As I mentioned in a previous article, families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent. For much more on the student loan debt bubble and how it is crippling an entire generation of Americans, please see my recent article entitled “29 Shocking Facts That Prove That College Education In America Is A Giant Money Making Scam“.
And of course delinquency rates remain very high on other forms of debt as well. For example, delinquency rates on home mortgages have typically been around 2 to 3 percent historically. But as you can see from the chart below, the delinquency rate on single-family residential mortgages is currently close to 10 percent…
So are we really having an “economic recovery”?
Of course not.
Things are good for those that have lots of money in the stock market (for now), but for the vast majority of Americans things continue to get worse.
And we continue to forget the lessons that we should have learned from the financial crisis of 2008. Right now, we are seeing a resurgence of cash out financing. But this time, people are leveraging their inflated stock portfolios instead of their home equity. The following is from a CNN report…
The recent run-up in the market, financial advisers say, has led to a resurgence of the type of loan not seen since the end of the housing boom — cash out financing. But this time, though, people aren’t tapping their inflated house for money. These days stock portfolios appear to be the well of choice.
Financial planners say in recent months clients have taken out so-called margin loans to buy real estate, fund small business acquisitions, or to provide gap financing before a traditional loan could be secured from a bank.
“No one wants to be out of the market for 90 days,” says Mark Brown, a financial planner for Brown Tedstron in Denver. “People just don’t want to sell right now.”
We are a nation that is absolutely addicted to debt. We know that it is wrong, but we just can’t help ourselves.
We are like the 900 pound man that recently died. He knew that he was eating himself to death, but he just couldn’t stop.
In the end, we are going to pay a great price for our gluttony. Everyone in the world can see that we are killing the greatest economy that ever existed, but we simply do not have the self-discipline to do anything about it.
View full post on The Economic Collapse
By a 4-2 margin, the Colorado Supreme Court has rejected a lawsuit claiming that the state’s method of funding public schools is unconstitutional. It overturned a lower court ruling that had held that the current arrangement of funding fails to meet a requirement in the Colorado constitution that the state operate a “thorough and uniform” system of education. [decision in State v. Lobato via KDVR coverage]
For years, pushing their Lobato case in the court of public opinion, school-spending advocates have been decrying Colorado schools as underfunded. The state has been given a series of bad ratings on education scorecards, many of which turn out on inspection to measure quality by how much money is spent—thus ensuring that Colorado, which spends less than many other states, will come off badly. This one, for example, ranks Colorado at “C-minus” for reasons that include low overall spending, low teacher salaries, and the state’s failure to fund “induction, mentoring or reduced workloads for new teachers.”
When you measure outputs as opposed to inputs, on the other hand, the state comes off looking far better. In this ranking of SAT scores, Colorado scores 15th among the 50 states, the best performance of any Western state. In this ranking based on 4th and 8th grade testing, Colorado comes in 11th among the 50 states, trailing only Washington among Western states.
But modern school-finance litigation only poses as being about educational quality. Its deeper mission is control—specifically, transferring control over spending from voters and their representatives to litigators whose loyalty is to a mix of ideologues and interest groups sharing a wish for higher spending. As I wrote in a draft chapter on school finance litigation cut for space from my book Schools for Misrule:
In the forty years since the pioneering Serrano v. California (California Supreme Court, 1971) school finance lawsuits have been filed in nearly every state, courts in around half the states have thrown out existing finance systems as unconstitutional, and many of them have ordered states to raise school budgets, not merely change the way in which they are financed. Vast sums have been redistributed as a result. Lawmakers in Kentucky enacted more than a billion dollars in tax hikes. New Jersey adopted its first income tax. Kansas lawmakers levied an additional $755 million in taxes after the state’s high court in peremptory fashion ordered them to double their spending on schools.
While filed on a state-by-state basis, the suits have been very much a coordinated national project. For many years their impetus came from the Ford Foundation and its various grantees, notably the American Civil Liberties Union. Furnishing, presumably, the brains of the operation, law-school-based groups have been instrumental, particularly the Education Law Center at Rutgers Law School in New Jersey. …
The educational establishment had always resented the periodic need to go hat in hand – such a demeaning phrase! – to local electorates for tax and bond measures, as if the voters were somehow the bosses and they the servants. School finance litigation promised a more indulgent master, a jurist or panel of them who (it was hoped) would glance over the rows of costing-out numbers, nod appreciatively and feel good afterward about having done something for the children. … School finance litigation is the ultimate monument to the triumph of governance by litigation at the cost of democracy itself.
Despite the victory in Colorado, there’s no reason to think this war of forty years’ duration (so far) is drawing to a close.
View full post on Cato @ Liberty
The Colorado River, The High Plains Aquifer And The Entire Western Half Of The U.S. Are Rapidly Drying Up
By Michael, on May 23rd, 2013
What is life going to look like as our precious water resources become increasingly strained and the western half of the United States becomes bone dry? Scientists tell us that the 20th century was the wettest century in the western half of the country in 1000 years, and now things appear to be reverting to their normal historical patterns. But we have built teeming cities in the desert such as Phoenix and Las Vegas that support millions of people. Cities all over the Southwest continue to grow even as the Colorado River, Lake Mead and the High Plains Aquifer system run dry. So what are we going to do when there isn’t enough water to irrigate our crops or run through our water systems? Already we are seeing some ominous signs that Dust Bowl conditions are starting to return to the region. In the past couple of years we have seen giant dust storms known as "haboobs" roll through Phoenix, and 6 of the 10 worst years for wildfires ever recorded in the United States have all come since the year 2000. In fact, according to the Los Angeles Times, "the average number of fires larger than 1,000 acres in a year has nearly quadrupled in Arizona and Idaho and has doubled in every other Western state" since the 1970s. But scientists are warning that they expect the western United States to become much drier than it is now. What will the western half of the country look like once that happens?
A recent National Geographic article contained the following chilling statement…
The wet 20th century, the wettest of the past millennium, the century when Americans built an incredible civilization in the desert, is over.
Much of the western half of the country has historically been a desolate wasteland. We were very blessed to enjoy very wet conditions for most of the last century, but now that era appears to be over.
To compensate, we are putting a tremendous burden on our fresh water resources. In particular, the Colorado River is becoming increasingly strained. Without the Colorado River, many of our largest cities simply would not be able to function. The following is from a recent Stratfor article…
The Colorado River provides water for irrigation of roughly 15 percent of the crops in the United States, including vegetables, fruits, cotton, alfalfa and hay. It also provides municipal water supplies for large cities, such as Phoenix, Tucson, Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas, accounting for more than half of the water supply in many of these areas.
In particular, water levels in Lake Mead (which supplies most of the water for Las Vegas) have fallen dramatically over the past decade or so. The following is an excerpt from an article posted on Smithsonian.com…
And boaters still roar across Nevada and Arizona’s Lake Mead, 110 miles long and formed by the Hoover Dam. But at the lake’s edge they can see lines in the rock walls, distinct as bathtub rings, showing the water level far lower than it once was—some 130?feet lower, as it happens, since 2000. Water resource officials say some of the reservoirs fed by the river?will never be full again.
Today, Lake Mead supplies approximately 85 percent of the water that Las Vegas uses, and since 1998 the water level in Lake Mead has dropped by about 5.6 trillion gallons.
So what happens if Lake Mead continues to dry up?
Well, the truth is that it would be a major disaster…
Way before people run out of drinking water, something else happens: When Lake Mead falls below 1,050 feet, the Hoover Dam’s turbines shut down – less than four years from now, if the current trend holds – and in Vegas the lights start going out.
Ominously, these water woes are not confined to Las Vegas. Under contracts signed by President Obama in December 2011, Nevada gets only 23.37% of the electricity generated by the Hoover Dam. The other top recipients: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (28.53%); state of Arizona (18.95%); city of Los Angeles (15.42%); and Southern California Edison (5.54%).
You can always build more power plants, but you can’t build more rivers, and the mighty Colorado carries the lifeblood of the Southwest. It services the water needs of an area the size of France, in which live 40 million people. In its natural state, the river poured 15.7 million acre-feet of water into the Gulf of California each year. Today, twelve years of drought have reduced the flow to about 12 million acre-feet, and human demand siphons off every bit of it; at its mouth, the riverbed is nothing but dust.
Nor is the decline in the water supply important only to the citizens of Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. It’s critical to the whole country. The Colorado is the sole source of water for southeastern California’s Imperial Valley, which has been made into one of the most productive agricultural areas in the US despite receiving an average of three inches of rain per year.
You hardly ever hear about this on the news, but the reality is that this is a slow-motion train wreck happening right in front of our eyes.
Today, the once mighty Colorado River runs dry about 50 miles north of the sea. The following is an excerpt from an excellent article by Jonathan Waterman about what he found when he went to investigate this…
Fifty miles from the sea, 1.5 miles south of the Mexican border, I saw a river evaporate into a scum of phosphates and discarded water bottles. This dirty water sent me home with feet so badly infected that I couldn’t walk for a week. And a delta once renowned for its wildlife and wetlands is now all but part of the surrounding and parched Sonoran Desert. According to Mexican scientists whom I met with, the river has not flowed to the sea since 1998. If the Endangered Species Act had any teeth in Mexico, we might have a chance to save the giant sea bass (totoaba), clams, the Sea of Cortez shrimp fishery that depends upon freshwater returns, and dozens of bird species.
So let this stand as an open invitation to the former Secretary of the Interior and all water buffalos who insist upon telling us that there is no scarcity of water here or in the Mexican Delta. Leave the sprinklered green lawns outside the Aspen conferences, come with me, and I’ll show you a Colorado River running dry from its headwaters to the sea. It is polluted and compromised by industry and agriculture. It is overallocated, drought stricken, and soon to suffer greatly from population growth. If other leaders in our administration continue the whitewash, the scarcity of knowledge and lack of conservation measures will cripple a western civilization built upon water.
Further east, the major problem is the drying up of our underground water resources.
In the state of Kansas today, many farmers that used to be able to pump plenty of water to irrigate their crops are discovering that the water underneath their land is now gone. The following is an excerpt from a recent article in the New York Times…
Vast stretches of Texas farmland lying over the aquifer no longer support irrigation. In west-central Kansas, up to a fifth of the irrigated farmland along a 100-mile swath of the aquifer has already gone dry. In many other places, there no longer is enough water to supply farmers’ peak needs during Kansas’ scorching summers.
And when the groundwater runs out, it is gone for good. Refilling the aquifer would require hundreds, if not thousands, of years of rains.
So what is going to happen to "the breadbasket of the world" as this underground water continues to dry up?
Most Americans have never even heard of the Ogallala Aquifer, but it is one of our most important natural resources. It is one of the largest sources of fresh water on the entire planet, and farmers use water from the Ogallala Aquifer to irrigate more than 15 million acres of crops each year. It covers more than 100,000 square miles and it sits underneath the states of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and South Dakota.
Unfortunately, today it is being drained dry at a staggering rate. The following are a few statistics about this from one of my previous articles…
1. The Ogallala Aquifer is being drained at a rate of approximately 800 gallons per minute.
2. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, "a volume equivalent to two-thirds of the water in Lake Erie" has been permanently drained from the Ogallala Aquifer since 1940.
3. Decades ago, the Ogallala Aquifer had an average depth of approximately 240 feet, but today the average depth is just 80 feet. In some areas of Texas, the water is gone completely.
So exactly what do we plan to do once the water is gone?
We won’t be able to grow as many crops and we will not be able to support such large cities in the Southwest.
If we have a few more summers of severe drought that are anything like last summer, we are going to be staring a major emergency in the face very rapidly.
If you live in the western half of the country, you might want to start making plans for the future, because our politicians sure are not.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Thu May 23, 2013 11:38 pm
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US to lead global soybean stocks to all-time high
World soybean inventories are to jump to their highest ever, lifted by a record harvest in the US which will bring to an end a period of elevated prices for the soy complex.
Global soybean stocks will end 2013-14 at 75.0m tonnes, up 20%, and the highest level on record, the US Department of Agriculture, in its first forecasts for the season.
The recovery reflects hopes of bigger harvests in most of the main producing countries, but in particular the US itself, the top soybean grower, where growers will reap a harvest of 92.3m tonnes (3.39bn bushels), an all-time high.
The forecast, which was significantly higher than investors had expected, assumed a yield of 44.5 bushels per acre, the same as that the USDA pencilled in its initial crop estimates unveiled in February.
While the USDA on Friday reduced hopes for corn yields, reflecting the historically slow pace of US plantings, soybeans are slightly later seeded, meaning that the wet Midwest weather has yet to compromise productivity.
The harvest will prove sufficient to more than double US stocks over 2013-14, taking them to 7.22mn tonnes (265m bushels) by the close of the season, a seven-year high, the USDA said in its monthly Wasde world crop supply and demand report.
Wasde soybean estimates, change on last and (on market forecast)
2012-13 US carryout stocks: 125m bushels, unchanged, (+2m bushels)
2012-13 world carryout stocks: 62.46m tonnes, -170,000 tonnes, (+160.000 tonnes)
2013-14 US carryout stocks: 265m bushels, N/A, (+29m bushels)
2013-14 world carryout stocks: 74.96m tonnes, N/A, (+5.97m tonnes)
Sources: Agrimoney.com, USDA, ThomsonReuters
And, with looser supplies implying weaker prices, the USDA forecast farmgate soybean prices falling to $9.50-11.50 a bushel from $14.30 a bushel this season, and likely to prove their lowest since 2009-10.
For soymeal, which earned soybean processors $425.00 a short ton this season, values will fall to $280-320 a short ton, the weakest for an even longer period.
In Chicago, soybean futures for July delivery closed down 0.7% at $13.99 a bushel in late deals, with the new crop December contract 1.1% lower at $12.05 ½ a bushel.
Soymeal for July ended 1.6% lower at $406.80 a short ton, and for December down 1.6% at $338.00 a short ton.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Mon May 13, 2013 9:26 am
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Carney gets high marks for British debut
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Feb. 07 2013, 1:19 PM EST
Last updated Thursday, Feb. 07 2013, 2:07 PM EST
The Globe and Mail’s European bureau chief Paul Waldie, reporting from London, discusses how Mark Carney performed while fielding questions from British Members of Parliament at a Treasury Committee meeting on Thursday morning. This meeting marked Carney’s debut to the British press and public as he prepares to leave his position as governor of the Bank of Canada to become governor of the Bank of England on July 1.
Statistics: Posted by DIGGER DAN — Fri May 03, 2013 1:26 am
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NYSE Margin Debt Approaches All-Time High
05/01/2013 AT 2:35 AMCULLEN ROCHE
Disaggregation of credit is the understanding that there are good forms of credit and bad forms of credit. A good form of credit is something like a standard business loan in which a company obtains access to a line of credit in order to make investments in the firm. It pays employees, invests in equipment, etc. This form of credit, when issued prudently, is usually productive in that it helps the company expand and it rewards the lender for having taken the risk.
As a credit based money system we rely largely on the health of these sorts of loans to keep the system running smoothly. But there are also bad forms of credit. For instance, when a homeowner decides they want to speculate on real estate as an investment because they (incorrectly) believe real estate can outpace inflation over the long-term. We could make this matter even worse by repackaging the original loan and selling it off to new investors as AAA rated securities. In other words, disaggregation of credit was a core piece of the 2008 crisis.
I think another sign of disaggregation of credit is the extraordinary growth in borrowing that occurs around stock market booms. As the market surges we inevitably see a sort of ponzi effect in the market where more confidence breeds more credit and the bidding up of prices. It works until it doesn’t and when it doesn’t the air sure comes out fast.
So it’s rather alarming to see NYSE margin debt just shy of its all-time high as of the March reading. My guess is we’ve actually already surpassed the all-time high though we won’t officially know until April data is released. Fun times knowing we live in a world that is built on such a fragile foundation.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Wed May 01, 2013 9:35 am
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Entitlement Spending Is America’s Biggest Fiscal Challenge, but Discretionary Spending Is Still Far too High
Daniel J. Mitchell
If America descends into Greek-style fiscal chaos, there’s no doubt that entitlement programs will be the main factor. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Disability are all fiscal train wrecks today, and the long-run outlook for these programs is frightful.
Simply stated, if we don’t implement the right kind of entitlement reform, our children and grandchildren at some point will curse our memory.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t worry about other parts of the budget, including the so-called discretionary programs that also have been getting bigger and bigger budgets over time.
That’s why I want to add some additional analysis to Veronique de Rugy’s recent piece in National Review Online, which might lead some to mistakenly conclude that these programs are “shrinking” and being subject to a “Big Squeeze.”
…there is another number to look at in that budget. It’s the shrinking share of the budget consumed by discretionary spending (spending on things like defense and infrastructure) to make space for mandatory spending and interest. This is the Big Squeeze. …in FY 2014 mandatory spending plus interest will eat up 67 percent of the budget, leaving discretionary spending with 33 percent of the budget (down from 36 percent in FY 2012). Now by FY 2023, mandatory and interest spending will consume 77 percent of the total budget. Discretionary spending will be left with 23 percent of the budget.
She’s right that discretionary spending is becoming a smaller share of the budget, but it’s important to realize that this is solely because entitlement outlays are growing faster than discretionary spending.
Here’s some data from the Historical Tables of the Budget, showing what is happening to spending for both defense discretionary and domestic discretionary. And these are inflation-adjusted numbers, so the we’re looking at genuine increases in spending.
As you can see, defense outlays have climbed by about $100 billion over the past 50 years, while outlays for domestic discretionary programs have more than tripled.
If that’s a “Big Squeeze,” I’m hoping that my household budget experiences a similar degree of “shrinking”!
Veronique obviously understands these numbers, of course, and is simply making the point that politicians presumably should have an incentive to restrain entitlement programs so they have more leeway to also buy votes with discretionary spending.
But I’d hate to think that an uninformed reader would jump to the wrong conclusion and decide we need more discretionary spending.
Particularly since the federal government shouldn’t be spending even one penny for many of the programs and department that are part of the domestic discretionary category. Should there be a federal Department of Transportation? A federal Department of Housing and Urban Development? A federal Department of Agriculture?
No, NO, and Hell NO. I could continue, but you get the idea.
The burden of federal government spending in the United States is far too high and it should be reduced. That includes discretionary spending and entitlement spending.
P.S. For those who don’t have the misfortune of following the federal budget, “entitlements” are programs that are “permanently appropriated,” which simply means that spending automatically changes in response to factors such as eligibility rules, demographic shifts, inflation, and program expansions. Sometimes these programs (such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc) are referred to as “mandatory spending.”
The other big part of the budget is “discretionary spending” or “appropriations.” These are programs funded by annual spending bills from the Appropriations Committees, often divided into the two big categories of “defense discretionary” and “nondefense discretionary.”
View full post on Cato @ Liberty