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"... it feels like it was all for nothing. Nothing pays off."

7 New Yorkers About to Lose Their Unemployment Benefits Tell Their Stories
posted by The Whelk on Dec 18, 2013 - 139 comments

"October is a fine and dangerous season in America"

Happy Political Clusterf*ck Day (U.S.)! In one corner: the first federal government shutdown since 1996, born of the House GOP/Tea Party faction's crusade to delay, defund, and destroy Obamacare (and the Democratic Senate and President's resolve to not do that). "Continuing resolutions" have ping-ponged between the two houses, fighting over language to cancel healthcare reform (plus a few other items, such as the implementation of Mitt Romney's entire economic agenda). National parks are closed, contractors are hamstrung, and 800,000 federal workers furloughed until Speaker Boehner drops the "Hastert Rule" and passes a bill the other branches can agree to. In the other corner, heedless of the chaos (though not without glitches of its own): the official rollout of the Affordable Care Act and its state insurance exchanges. The portal at Healthcare.gov is your one-stop shop for browsing, comparing, and purchasing standardized, regulated insurance coverage with premium rebates, guaranteed coverage, and expanded Medicaid for the poor (in some states). A crazy day, overall -- but peanuts compared to what might happen if the debt ceiling is breached in 16 days. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 1, 2013 - 2207 comments

Paul Ryan as Romney's running-mate

Paul Ryan. Seven-term congressman for Wisconsin's 1st District. Chairman of the powerful House Budget Committee. Architect of the controversial Ryan Budget -- a "Path to Prosperity" [PDF - video - CBO] that would slash trillions from the federal budget, sharply curtail taxes on the wealthy, and transform Medicare into a private voucher system. Proponent (vid) -- and renouncer -- of Ayn Rand 's Objectivism. Social Security beneficiary. Hunter. Weinermobile driver. And as of this morning, the 2012 Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States of America. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 11, 2012 - 1550 comments

Does crime still pay?

Why has crime in the US fallen, despite rising unemployment? [more inside]
posted by BobbyVan on Oct 25, 2011 - 74 comments

'South California' for 51st state?

Jeff Stone, a politician from Riverside County, wants 13 conservative Southern California counties to secede and become the country's 51st state.
posted by reenum on Jul 12, 2011 - 154 comments

Explore Minnesota... some other time

Last fall, Minnesotans elected a Democratic governor who pledged to tax the rich and a majority Republican legislature who swore by no new taxes, period. Their first major task? Craft a budget for the next biennium that addressed a projected $5 billion shortfall. Months passed, no agreement was reached, and this morning at midnight, the Minnesota government shut down. Citizens on both sides are not pleased. [more inside]
posted by Flannery Culp on Jul 1, 2011 - 92 comments

Know your enemy

The top 10 federal contractors related in a sociogram displaying the network of overlapping lobbyist hires.
posted by ennui.bz on Jun 8, 2011 - 38 comments

Public Schools Charge Kids for Basics, Frills

In the wake of ever deeper budget cuts, public schools have begun charging students for basics, such as registering for honors or elective classes.
posted by reenum on May 26, 2011 - 100 comments

TSA a Giant Waste of Money

John Mueller and Mark Stewart may have found the one part of government we can afford to cut in their paper "Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security" From the abstract "The cumulative increase in expenditures on US domestic homeland security over the decade since 9/11 exceeds one trillion dollars. It is clearly time to examine these massive expenditures applying risk assessment and cost-benefit approaches that have been standard for decades."
posted by RSaunders on Apr 27, 2011 - 30 comments

The Opening of a Conservative Mind

Bruce Bartlett, senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House, speaks out against Republicans - The monumental hypocrisy of the Republican Party is something amazing to behold. And their dimwitted accomplices in the tea-party movement are not much better. They know that Republicans, far more than Democrats, are responsible for our fiscal mess, but they won't say so. And they adamantly refuse to put on the table any meaningful programme that would actually reduce spending. Judging by polls, most of them seem to think that all we have to do is cut foreign aid, which represents well less than 1% of the budget. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 26, 2010 - 156 comments

The 2011 United States Budget

The New York Times visualizes the proposed $3.83 trillion budget for 2011.
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 1, 2010 - 61 comments

Don't worry, it's monopoly money anyway.

Overly confident in the economic health of the United States? Feeling sanguine about current spending levels? Haven't yet been scared out of your wits about your financial future? No worries! The U.S. National Debt Clock page is for you! Your one stop shop for all things financial meltdown related: Total debt, debt per citizen, budget deficits and spending year-to-date, total governmental bailouts, and much much more!
posted by Justinian on Jun 26, 2009 - 77 comments

For all your infrastructure news needs

Infrastructurist. Although the blog is only a few days old, they've already debunked some of the myths of 24, interviewed Michael Dukakis, and grappled with Amtrak economics.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Feb 5, 2009 - 27 comments

Death and Taxes: 2009

"Death and Taxes: 2009" is a representational poster of the federal discretionary budget; the amount of money that is spent at the discretion of your elected representatives in Congress. Basically, your federal income taxes. (previously)
posted by Knappster on Oct 26, 2008 - 14 comments

Brok en Pip e l ine

An unprecedented five consecutive years of stagnant funding for the National Institutes of Health is putting America at risk - a few prominent research institutions get together to voice their concern over flat funding of the National Institutes of Health over the past 5 years, in their report The Broken Pipeline (pdf). Bloggers comment [1, 2, 3].
posted by Gyan on Mar 14, 2008 - 40 comments

Are you covered?

Some call FEMA's administration of federal flood insurance and disaster relief illogical and illegal, although you won't find that in FEMA's recent summary of Katrina, which reveals that $15.3 billion dollars in federal flood insurance claims have been paid. That's quite a bit more than the National Flood Insurance Fund's budget, and you may recall that payouts didn't go smoothly. Still, having federal flood insurance, as opposed to relying on disaster relief, has proven its worth during the rebuilding process. Certainly Katrina was an extraordinary phenomenon, unlikely to be repeated any time soon. Perhaps that's why the annual disaster relief budget is smaller this year.
posted by owhydididoit on Aug 22, 2006 - 11 comments

And how effective is this program?

The White House Office of Management and Budget has published a rundown on all federal programs called ExpectMore.gov, rating them as either "Performing" or "Not Peforming." (See Previous discussion on programs slated for budget cuts , in which some wondered about the analysis behind the cuts -- this is it.) 72% of all programs are rated Performing (of which 15% are Effective, 29% are Moderately Effective, and 28% are Adequate. 28% are rated Not Performing, but of these only 4% are Ineffective -- the other 24% are rated Results Not Demonstrated because of a lack of established goals or lack of collected data. Under each rating you can find all the programs in the category and drill down to details on the assessment For example, leading the "Ineffective" list is Even Start, a DOEducation program that is supposed to "the cycle of poverty and illiteracy for low-income families." But OMB says that three major studies of the program failed to show it was having any impact. Ditto AmeriCorps NCCC and the Oil Technology Program (it hasn't led to any new reserves being found). In case you are wondering, both the Dept. of Homeland Security's Domestic Icebreaking Program and its Biological Countemeasures program are considered Effective.
posted by beagle on Feb 17, 2006 - 28 comments

US Debt at $8 trillion

America is now $8 trillion dollars in debt. That's nearly $27,000 per citizen, or almost $61,000 per taxpayer. A little over three years ago the total stood at $6 trillion.
posted by justkevin on Oct 24, 2005 - 86 comments

Death and Taxes

Death and Taxes: A Visual Look at Where Your (U.S.) Tax Dollars Go
posted by Space Coyote on Jan 3, 2005 - 37 comments

Political Fratricide

Political Fratricide: The GOP is reportedly [+] proposing $15 billion of cuts — or is it $25? — in veterans' benefits between now and 2007, and groups like the Veterans Against the Iraq War are hopping mad. Hell, I imagine the pro-war wing is pretty peeved, too. It's part of a plan with delusions of grandeur to deliver massive tax cuts AND kill the deficit ... you know, the one that did not exist before W was elected, as I understand it ... in six years. The original tip is from Stand Down. The actual status of the cuts is nebulous at this point, however, with the SF Chron reporting that they will likely fail in the Senate as the tax cut is halved and others reporting that the die is not yet cast. The House budget resolution, for metafilter accountants who like these things, is here.
posted by hairyeyeball on Apr 1, 2003 - 12 comments

School budget

An imaginative solution to California's school budget crisis.
posted by semmi on Jan 24, 2003 - 24 comments

Bush Wants $60B for 2004 Fed IT Budget

Bush Wants $60B for 2004 Fed IT Budget. It's the only area aside from defense that is going to have an increase in spending when Bush releases his budget on 2/3. Mitchell E. Daniels said federal IT projects contain "tons of overlap and redundancies" and "far too many plans for which we do not have good business cases." And here I thought that was just the proper definition of our government.
posted by archimago on Jan 16, 2003 - 109 comments

military pay raises

"Hang in there, help is on the way."

The director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., recently asked the Defense Department to lower the 2004 pay raise from its expected 3.7 percent to 2 percent. Daniels also wants future raises tied to inflation, rather than basing boosts on what civilians doing comparable jobs in the private sector might make.

Many of our military families already qualify for welfare and food stamps. Pay raises are out of the question when there's NMD and tax cuts to the wealthy needing funding.
posted by nofundy on Dec 23, 2002 - 7 comments

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