Volume 13, Issue 8: February 22, 2011
- Eland Calls for Real Federal Budget Cuts
- BEST Project to Re-examine Climategate Data
- New Hope for US-Brazil Relations
- Presidents Day: Praises and Lamentations
- New Blog Posts
1) Eland Calls for Real Federal Budget Cuts
Ivan Eland, director of the Independent Institutes Center on Peace & Liberty, doesnt think highly of President Obamas new federal budget. The White House offers no dramatic new spending cuts and misses an opportunity to forge a bipartisan approach to getting Americas fiscal house in order, he argues.
What would a serious budget proposalone that seeks to avoid a fiscal Armageddonhave looked like? It would, Eland argues, cut budgets across the federal bureaucracy, including for so-called non-discretionary spending programs, as well as the 12 percent of the federal budget that accounts for domestic discretionary spending.
Eland recommends that all government programs should be cut by 15 percent from last years budget level, including heretofore sacred defense and entitlement programs. This wont happenfor one thing, Obama would need to repudiate his apparent commitment to Keynesian economic policies. But according to Eland, Democratic presidents since Truman have been more successful at controlling federal spending than have their Republican counterparts.
Across-the-Board Cuts Needed to Avoid Fiscal Armageddon, by Ivan Eland (2/16/11) Spanish Translation
How to Cut the 2011 Federal Budget by 2/3 and Have a $1.3 Trillion Surplus, by David Theroux (MyGovCost Blog, 2/11/11)
The Empire Has No Clothes: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed, by Ivan Eland
Partitioning for Peace: An Exit Strategy for Iraq, by Ivan Eland
2) BEST Project to Re-examine Climategate Data
Not one of the post-Climategate investigations has attempted to learn how data implicated in the leaked email scandal from the University of East Anglia in November 2009 might have been manipulated. Fortunately, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project has been formed to reconstruct the global temperature record.
The Project is in the hands of a group of recognized scientists, who are not all climate skepticswhich should enhance their credibility, writes Independent Institute Research Fellow S. Fred Singer, author of Hot Talk, Cold Science: Global Warmings Unfinished Debate. I applaud and support what is being done by the Projecta very difficult but important undertaking.
The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project, Singer notes, would gather data from more land stations than had been considered by the Global Historic Climatology Network. I personally have little faith in the quality of the surface data, having been exposed to the revealing work by Anthony Watts and others, he continues. However, I have an open mind on the issue and look forward to seeing the results of the Project in their forthcoming publications.
What Do Climate Data Really Show? The Berkeley Climate Data Project, by S. Fred Singer (American Thinker, 2/21/11)
Hot Talk, Cold Science: Global Warmings Unfinished Debate, by S. Fred Singer
3) New Hope for US-Brazil Relations
Next month Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Chile, El Salvador, and Brazil. His meeting with Brazilproducer of 40 percent of Latin Americas gross domestic productshould be especially interesting. Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva bashed the United States at every opportunity, and it seemed at first that his successor, Dilma Rousseff, would follow the same path. After all, most Brazilian leaders have distanced themselves from the United States ever since the end of the Second World War.
But Rouseff, who took office last month, has signaled that she may go in a new direction, according to Alvaro Vargas Llosa, senior fellow at the Independent Institutes Center on Global Prosperity. If Brasilia does extend a rhetorical olive branch to Washington, the reason may have something to do with its disappointment in China, its top trading partner. The South American giant complains that Beijing is undercutting its industrial base, Vargas Llosa writes.
God knows the United States has done enough to undermine its own status in recent years at a time when others are emerging as potential superpowers, Vargas Llosa continues. Still, it is nothing short of pathetic to think that Brazil or any other country can accelerate the decline of the United States, or that it can make itself more powerful by acting like a washed-out 1960s lefty.
Lessons from the Poor: Triumph of the Entrepreneurial Spirit, edited by Alvaro Vargas Llosa
Liberty for Latin America: How to Undo Five Hundred Years of State Oppression, by Alvaro Vargas Llosa
The Che Guevara Myth and the Future of Liberty, by Alvaro Vargas Llosa
4) Presidents Day: Praises and Lamentations
George Washington and Abraham Lincoln get the lions share of accolades on Presidents Day, but Mary Theroux, senior vice president at the Independent Institute, makes the case for holding John Tyler in much higher esteem.
On the prosperity front, she writes, Tyler vetoed both the attempt to revive the national bank, and a bill to raise tariffs. His efforts for peace included ending the longest and bloodiest Indian war in U.S. history, and cutting the number of troops in the U.S. Army by 33%. He also chose not to respond militarily to both an internal rebellion in Rhode Island, and to a border dispute with Canada, both of which were instead resolved peacefully.
Unfortunately, most Americans ignore or forget Tyler, along with Grover Cleveland, Martin Van Buren, and Rutherford B. Hayesthe four presidents who scored Excellent on Ivan Elands Peace, Prosperity, and Liberty Index. Independent Institute Senior Fellow Robert Higgs laments the imperial role presidents have come to play. With his characteristic wit, he offers a presidential version of the Lords Prayer. A favorite line: Give us this day our daily dole. And forgive us our late tax filings, as we forgive the IRS for refunding our overpayments without interest.
Presidential Role Model, by Mary Theroux (The Beacon, 2/20/11)
A Presidents Day Prayer, by Robert Higgs (The Beacon, 2/20/11)
The Oval Office Liars Club, by Robert Higgs (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/24/02)
Against Leviathan: Government Power and a Free Society, by Robert Higgs
5) New Blog Posts
From The Beacon:
- Whats Holding Back the Recovery? by Robert Higgs (2/21/11)
- Obamas Favor to BP: The Gift That Keeps On Giving, by Randall Holcombe (2/21/11)
- A Presidents Day Prayer, by Robert Higgs (2/20/11)
- Presidential Role Model, by Mary Theroux (2/20/11)
- Private Business Net Investment Remains in a Deep Ditch, by Robert Higgs (2/20/11)
- Talking to Liberals about Revolution, by Jonathan Bean (2/17/11)
From MyGovCost News & Blog:
- CBO: Repealing Obamacare Would Reduce Federal Spending by $1.4 Trillion Over 10 Years, by David Theroux (2/19/11)
- Obamas 2012 Budget: $1.5 Trillion in New Taxes Over Ten Years? by David Theroux (2/17/11)
- Visualizing the Presidents Budget Cuts, by Craig Eyermann (2/15/11)