Icebergs on the horizon, full speed ahead. This is Niles Gardner looking at welfare spending in the US:
I have just read a staggering report written by my colleagues Patrick D. Tyrell and William W. Beach for the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis (I direct the Margaret Thatcher Centre for Freedom at Heritage.) It is a real eye-opener for anyone who cares about America’s future as the world’s superpower, on either side of the Atlantic. Ironically, Britain, through the tremendous determination of Iain Duncan Smith and his team at the Department of Work and Pensions, is starting to roll back the welfare state, precisely at the same time the current US administration is expanding it.
The United States isn’t just gliding towards a continental European-style future of vast welfare systems, economic decline, and massive debts – it is accelerating towards it at full speed. Or as Acton Institute research director Samuel Gregg puts it in his excellent new book published today by Encounter, America is already ‘becoming Europe,’ with the United States moving far closer to a European-style welfare state than most Americans realize.
What do you mean they don’t realise it? How would they ever find out? From The New York Times? CBNBABSC? The Telegraph in London? Suppose they did know what’s going on, would they understand enough about what causes what to care? And suppose they did know and they did care, what would they do about it then? Refuse to take the money they can get just for asking? It’s all lobster trap from here on in.
Except there was this to sort of remind us that there are some who know better and that good economics does work. Why it works no one can any longer explain, but at least it does work. One day the theory will catch up with reality, but not just yet.
The state comptroller estimates that Texas will generate $96.2 billion in general revenue in 2014-2015, a major jump in tax collection from the last two-year budget cycle.
Republican Comptroller Susan Combs on Monday was releasing her biennial revenue estimate. The crucial number sets the limit on what lawmakers can spend for 2014 and 2015, when Democrats and teachers hope to reverse, or at least bandage, deep cuts in the current budget that included $5.4 billion slashed from public education.
Combs reported Monday that the state collected $8.8 billion more revenue during the current 2012-2013 revenue cycle than she initially forecast, giving lawmakers breathing room in settling a $5.2 billion deficit in the current budget. . . .
Texas’ economy is humming again after lawmakers in 2011 wrote a cut-to-the-bone budget as the nation lurched out of the Great Recession.
At the time, unemployment in the state was the highest in a decade and the Legislature faced a $27 billion shortfall. But unemployment now is at a four-year low of 6.2 percent, sales tax receipts are skyrocketing and money is pouring into state coffers behind a new energy boom.
Got that. Public spending went down and tax revenue from the private sector is booming. Can someone help me here? Any explanation? Must have a look at my copy of Mankiw to see what it has to say.