Tag: United States government

Deficit shrank in August, but …
Economics

Deficit shrank in August, but …

The top takeaway of the Congressional Budget Office Monthly Budget Review for August 2020 is that the deficit for the month is smaller than last August. But there are details. Sometimes it pays to read the fine print. Otherwise, you may receive a false impression. Here is the monthly budget review for August 2020, which is the eleventh month of fiscal year 2020: The federal budget deficit in August 2020 was $198 billion, CBO estimates, $3 billion less than the deficit in August of last year. However, that comparison is distorted by shifts in the timing of certain payments in both years that had opposite effects on the August deficit in their respective years. Because September 1, 2019, fell on a weekend, federal payments totaling about $52 billion were made in August rather than in Sept...
Border wall procedures criticized
United States government

Border wall procedures criticized

A government watchdog says the procedures for acquiring the southern border wall are inadequate, and the ability to maintain complete operational control is diminished. A report by the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security finds that U.S. Customs and Border Protection found the procedures for procuring the southern border wall inadequate for the task. Specifically, the IG found that CBP did not attempt to identify "the most effective, appropriate, and affordable solutions to obtain operational control of the southern border as directed." Instead, the IG described the methods as "outdated." The report found other deficiencies and concluded: "the likelihood that CBP will be able to obtain and maintain complete operational control of the southern border with mi...
Federal revenue and outlays
Economics

Federal revenue and outlays

An interactive visualization of federal government revenue and spending from 1962 to the present. This data comes from the Congressional Budget Office Budget and Economic Data page. While CBO often makes projections of the future and those projections may be controversial, the data in this visualization is historical. CBO presents this data in current dollars and as a percent of gross domestic product, or GDP. When current dollars are adjusted to account for inflation, the result is "real dollars." In this visualization, I have used the CPI to convert current dollars to the value of dollars in 2019. CBO also presents data as a percentage of gross domestic product. This is a measure of the portion of our national income that is spent as outlays or taxed as revenue. Click here to learn m...
Visualization: Federal revenue and outlays

Visualization: Federal revenue and outlays

An interactive visualization of federal government revenue and spending from 1962 to the present. This data comes from the Congressional Budget Office Budget and Economic Data page. CBO describes its role as this: Since 1975, CBO has produced independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process. Each year, the agency’s economists and budget analysts produce dozens of reports and hundreds of cost estimates for proposed legislation. CBO is strictly nonpartisan; conducts objective, impartial analysis; and hires its employees solely on the basis of professional competence without regard to political affiliation. CBO does not make policy recommendations, and each report and cost estimate summarizes the methodology underlying the analysis. Whil...
Relations with North Korea
United States government

Relations with North Korea

The Congressional Research Service has produced a summary and timeline of recent events pertaining to the United States and North Korea relationship. In May the Congressional Research Service published a timeline of events relating to the relationship between the United States and North Korea. The document is available here: North Korea: A Chronology of Events from 2016 to 2020. Here is a portion of the report's introduction, with footnote references removed: Since Kim and President Trump’s first summit in Singapore in June 2018, however, little progress has been made on denuclearization, despite two more Kim-Trump meetings (a February 2019 summit in Hanoi and a one-hour June 2019 meeting in Panmunjom). Since the June 2019 meeting, only one round of talks has been held and it did not pr...
Electoral College math
United States government

Electoral College math

In the Electoral College, residents of different states have widely varying influence. When thinking about the desirability of the Electoral College for electing a president, the arithmetic should be considered. I have performed a few calculations, gathering state populations and the number of Electoral College votes. Here are the two extremes: In Wyoming, there are 192,579 people for each Electoral College vote (577,737 / 3). In Texas, the number is 755,312. That's a difference of 3.92, which is a lot, I would say. For Kansas, the number is 485,251. The average value for a state (weighting all states equally) is 513,088, although the population of the country divided by 538 is 608,118. (I include the District of Columbia, as it has EC votes.) I present these calculations in an intera...
Federal budget summary for 2019
Economics

Federal budget summary for 2019

Federal revenues for 2019 were up, but spending increased by a larger amount, resulting in a higher deficit. The Congressional Budget Office has released its summary for fiscal year 2019, which ended on September 30, 2019. The headline numbers are these: In fiscal year 2019, which ended on September 30, the federal budget deficit totaled $984 billion -- $205 billion more than the shortfall recorded in 2018. The deficit increased to 4.6 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019, up from 3.8 percent in 2018 and 3.5 percent in 2017. As a result, federal debt held by the public rose to 79.2 percent of GDP, up from 77.4 percent at the end of fiscal year 2018. CBO reports that total receipts were up by 4.0 percent over the previous year, but outlays rose by 8.2 percent....
WichitaLiberty.TV: United States Representative Ron Estes
WichitaLibertyTV

WichitaLiberty.TV: United States Representative Ron Estes

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Republican candidate for Congress Representative Ron Estes explains why he should continue to be our representative in the United States House of Representatives. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 214, broadcast October 21, 2018. Shownotes Campaign website: estesforcongress.com Representative Ron Estes Congressional Office: estes.house.gov Map of Kansas district 4 from U.S.Census Bureau
WichitaLiberty.TV: Candidate for Congress James Thompson
WichitaLibertyTV

WichitaLiberty.TV: Candidate for Congress James Thompson

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Democratic Party candidate for Congress James Thompson explains why he should be our next representative in the United States House of Representatives. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 213, broadcast October 14, 2018. Shownotes Campaign website: www.votejamesthompson.com Map of Kansas district 4 from U.S. Census Bureau
WichitaLiberty.TV: James Rosebush, author of ‘True Reagan’
WichitaLibertyTV

WichitaLiberty.TV: James Rosebush, author of ‘True Reagan’

James S. Rosebush worked in the White House as assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He's written a book about Reagan titled True Reagan: What Made Ronald Reagan Great and Why It Matters. During his visit to Wichita, he stopped by the WichitaLiberty.TV studios. View our discussion below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 123, broadcast June 26, 2016. Shownotes The book True Reagan: What Made Ronald Reagan Great and Why It Matters by James Rosebush at Amazon James Rosebush at LinkedIn James Rosebush at Business Insider
Should the U.S. implement austerity measures?
Politics

Should the U.S. implement austerity measures?

From Michael Smith, Chair of Department of Social Sciences at Emporia State University: "Video is now available for the debated hosted by Murad Gündüz Jalilov on behalf of Up to Us and the Public Administration Club: Should the U.S. implement austerity measures due to the size of the national debt? Featuring Dr. Max Skidmore of UMKC and Mr. Bob Weeks of wichitaliberty.org." View below, or click here to view at YouTube. The video was recorded in a challenging acoustical environment. An audio recording that I captured and processed for clarity is available at Debate: The National Debt.
David Bobb: Free speech and its importance
Politics

David Bobb: Free speech and its importance

David Bobb, President of The Bill of Rights Institute, explains freedom of speech and its importance. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Wichita, Kansas, February 18, 2016. Notes Bill of Rights Institute website Bill of Rights Institute on Facebook Bill of Rights Institute on Twitter: @BRInstitute
WichitaLiberty.TV: David Bobb, President of Bill of Rights Institute
WichitaLibertyTV

WichitaLiberty.TV: David Bobb, President of Bill of Rights Institute

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: David Bobb, President of The Bill of Rights Institute, talks about civic education and the importance of humility. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 110, broadcast February 21, 2016. Shownotes Bill of Rights Institute website Bill of Rights Institute on Facebook Bill of Rights Institute on Twitter: @BRInstitute
Debate: The National Debt
United States government

Debate: The National Debt

This is an audio recording of a debate on the theme “Should the U.S. implement austerity measures due to the national debt?” The event was sponsored by Up To Us, a nationwide campus competition in which students create thought-provoking, fun campaigns to raise awareness about a critical issue affecting their future — the long-term national debt. This event took place at Emporia State University on February 15, 2016. Participants were Bob Weeks of Voice for Liberty at wichitaliberty.org and Professor Max Skidmore of University of Missouri, Kansas City. Michael Smith of ESU was the faculty coordinator, and Rob Catlett of ESU was the moderator. Partners in Up To Us include: Peter G. Peterson Foundation. The Peter G. Peterson Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to ...
WichitaLiberty.TV: Journalist, novelist, and blogger Bud Norman on presidential politics
WichitaLibertyTV

WichitaLiberty.TV: Journalist, novelist, and blogger Bud Norman on presidential politics

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Journalist, novelist, and blogger Bud Norman joins host Bob Weeks to discuss presidential election politics. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 108, broadcast February 7, 2016. Shownotes The Central Standard Times The Things That Are Caesars: A Comic Tale of Politics, Religion, and Other Impolite Topics This Town Is Nowhere
Abengoa, Kansas ethanol plant operator, may seek bankruptcy
Economics

Abengoa, Kansas ethanol plant operator, may seek bankruptcy

A company that has a taxpayer-guaranteed loan may be entering bankruptcy. Will taxpayers have to pay? (Updated November 30) Spanish energy giant Abengoa has taken preliminary steps that could lead to bankruptcy filing. Of relevance to Kansas -- and the country at large -- is the Abengoa cellulosic ethanol plant near Hugoton. That plant received a $132.4 million loan guarantee from the United States government under the same program that benefited Solyndra. That company cost taxpayers over $500 million when it defaulted on its taxpayer-guaranteed loan. Does a bankruptcy filing by Abengoa place U.S. taxpayers on the hook for the company's guaranteed loan? If so, are taxpayers liable for the entire $132.4 million or some smaller portion? The answer is this: We don't know. I've a...
WichitaLiberty.TV: Congressman Mike Pompeo
WichitaLibertyTV

WichitaLiberty.TV: Congressman Mike Pompeo

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Congressman Mike Pompeo talks about the Middle East, politics in Washington, and domestic issues. View below, or click here to view in high definition at YouTube. Episode 101, broadcast November 29, 2015. Shownotes Mike Pompeo Congressional office Recent talk at Wichita Pachyderm Club
FBI and counterterrorism
Politics

FBI and counterterrorism

John Sullivan, who is Supervisory Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Wichita, spoke to members and guests of the Wichita Pachyderm Club on the topic "Counterterrorism." This is an audio presentation recorded on October 23, 2015.
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