A New American Dream

A New American Dream

This election season, both Republicans and Democrats are repeatedly reassuring us that our country is the best. In many ways, America surely is. But it’s important to be honest with ourselves. The plain truth is that we’ve let conditions of life in America...
Romney Passes the Torch to Taxpayers

Romney Passes the Torch to Taxpayers

One of the mysteries of life in these curious times is that millions of Americans are enjoying the benefits of government — but are either unaware of it or in denial. A 2008 study found that 40 percent of Medicare recipients, 44 percent of Social Security...
Armed with Irony

Armed with Irony

If irony is a crucial ingredient for comedy, the House of Representatives can be a laugh riot. Lately, there’s been some serious silliness about sequestration and Pentagon spending. In September, the House took up a bill to fund the government for another six...
A Glimmer of Military Budget Sanity

A Glimmer of Military Budget Sanity

Here’s a milestone of sorts. In July, for the first time since 1998, the House of Representatives voted to maintain the current military budget rather than increase Pentagon spending. It’s the first step toward bringing the budget down. Within the bill,...
The Drought Lottery

The Drought Lottery

Politicians on both sides of the aisle are planning to shamelessly take advantage of the devastating drought and stick taxpayers with a bloated, wasteful Farm Bill. This trillion dollar bill won’t fix the drought, but it will put taxpayers in a fix. Let’s...
Virtually, Anything Goes with Online Education

Virtually, Anything Goes with Online Education

The sounds of September: school bells ringing, loose-leaf binders snapping open and shut, sneakers squeaking on gymnasium floors. Next to apple pie, what could possibly be more American than these familiar sounds and the local public schools where we hear them? But...
Indefensible: The Truth about Pentagon Spending

Indefensible: The Truth about Pentagon Spending

Today, there’s a debate raging about the federal budget, our national spending priorities, and how best to protect our national security and our men and women on the front lines. With the U.S. war in Iraq officially over and our operations in Afghanistan drawing...
Washington, Are You Listening?

Washington, Are You Listening?

Patrick Pylvainen grew up in a small town outside Minneapolis. The Minnesotan college student has seven siblings, so he borrows money for his tuition — Stafford loans from the federal government, plus loans from private banks that require interest payments while...
Steering Clear of the Iceberg Ahead

Steering Clear of the Iceberg Ahead

“Doomsday!” “Taxmageddon!” “Catastrophe!” Next year will begin with both a bang and a whimper unless Congress can escape its apparently hopeless deadlock. Unless our lawmakers get their act together, there will be the equivalent of...
Green Scissors for Congress

Green Scissors for Congress

When you’re in a hole, you stop digging. And when you’ve got a $1.3-trillion deficit and $15.7 trillion in debt, you’ve got to start cutting. That’s why we joined the environmental group Friends of the Earth and the free-market R Street...
Economic Rapture Might Be around the Corner

Economic Rapture Might Be around the Corner

It’s January 25, 2001, the first week of the Bush presidency and more than half a year before the September 11 attacks. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan testifies before the Senate Budget Committee, asserting: “If current policies remain in place,...
Drinking MOX-Laced Lemonade

Drinking MOX-Laced Lemonade

Remember your parents telling you that if something looks too good to be true, it probably is? Well, that principle applies equally to federal programs and clearance racks at discount stores. The difference is that, while consumers learn from buying a lemon, our...