Playing with Fire

Playing with Fire

Some Americans want to starve our cities, close our schools, and knock away the ladder that our children are supposed to climb to economic security. Your lawmakers may be among them. The White House plans to release its proposed 2013 budget on Feb. 13. A free-for-all...
Climate Insurance

Climate Insurance

I feel uneasy sleeping in a house without functioning smoke detectors. I lock my doors at night. I salt my sidewalk when it’s icy. I always wear my seatbelt. Like most people, I prefer to minimize my chances of getting hurt or wrecking my car or house, despite...

Runaway Spending Cuts

Slash the budget, That’s our plea; Just don’t cut What’s dear to me. Budget cuts are slippery. What happens when your state cuts aid to municipalities or the federal government cuts special help to your local school? Who ends up getting hurt most?...
We’re Not Even Paving a Road to Nowhere

We’re Not Even Paving a Road to Nowhere

Plans for rail lines? We’ve a pile; But we can’t build A single mile. The term “American transportation policy” is an oxymoron. The United States has no policy regarding the nation’s transportation networks, no strategic plan, and no...
Cut the Pentagon’s Budget, Make the U.S. Safer

Cut the Pentagon’s Budget, Make the U.S. Safer

Pressured by the need to shrink the federal budget deficit, Congress is insisting that Pentagon spending can’t continue to grow at the galloping rate of the last decade. In response, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Congress in October that he’s...
Occupy the Budget

Occupy the Budget

Some lawmakers are trying to give America the cartoon image of a penniless hobo, circa 1932, with holes in his pants and nothing but a cold can of beans for dinner. We’re broke, they say, with no choice but to slash spending on public services. The truth is that...
Nuclear Turkeys

Nuclear Turkeys

By the time you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, the 12-member congressional supercommittee will have succeeded in meeting its November 23 deadline to approve a plan to shrink the budget deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next decade. Or it will have failed...
The Skinny on Farm Subsidies and Obesity

The Skinny on Farm Subsidies and Obesity

Obesity has reached epic proportions in the United States and its price tag is soaring. With one-third of adults and more than 12 million children and adolescents obese, the direct and indirect medical costs of this scourge total as much as $147 billion a year. The...
Defending Bloated Military Spending

Defending Bloated Military Spending

The Association of the United States Army packed hundreds of exhibitors into two halls the size of football fields at its annual convention. Companies from around the world came to the event, recently held at the Washington Convention Center, to sell the Army...
Resolution against the Machine

Resolution against the Machine

Communities all over the United States are reeling from budget cuts. Military contractors, meanwhile, have remained fat and well-fed on the one part of federal spending that so far hasn’t been touched by budget-cutting fever: the Pentagon. One community recently...
Military Spending Belongs on the Table

Military Spending Belongs on the Table

The battle over the debt ceiling laid bare the need to cut the deficit while foreshadowing a fierce fight in Congress to make actual budget cuts. Both the “supercommittee,” a group of 12 Republicans and Democrats, and other congressional panels are working...
America’s Government Contracting Bonanza Bilks Taxpayers

America’s Government Contracting Bonanza Bilks Taxpayers

I live nine blocks from the U.S. Capitol, so many of my neighbors depend on the government for their livelihoods. A few — a scientist, an editor, a Secret Service agent — belong to that often mocked and rapidly shrinking category known as “civil...
The Iraq War Isn’t Over

The Iraq War Isn’t Over

No U.S. troops were killed in Iraq last month. So why aren’t we celebrating? Because the war isn’t over yet and it costs way too much — in Iraqi lives and our money. With so much attention and so many billions of our tax dollars shifting from Iraq to...