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Archive for January 13th, 2012

After saddling the nation with trillion-dollar boondoggles like the faux stimulus and Obamacare, I’m not sure it’s possible for Obama to reinvent himself as a budget cutter before the election.

But I welcome converts, even ones that are insincere, so I’m happy he’s at least pretending to want to deal with waste and duplication in the federal budget.

Here’s a blurb from the Daily Beast about his new idea.

President Barack Obama is seeking the power to merge agencies in a bid to shrink the federal government in a sweeping move. Obama will ask Congress to give him authority to consolidate six trade and commerce agencies that have overlapping programs, cutting up to 2,000 jobs and saving $3 billion over 10 years. He’ll call for a vote by Congress within 90 days.

But I’ll definitely wait to see the fine print. After all, the President claimed in 2009 that he was directing his Cabinet to find $100 million of budget cuts.

"I hate pretending to be a fiscal conservative"

But even that trivial gesture (almost immeasurably small compared to t a$3.6 trillion budget) turned out to be empty rhetoric.

And even if he’s serious about this latest plan, $3 billion of saving over 10 years is chicken feed compared to all of his new spending.

But if you allow me to modify an old saying, a journey of tens of trillions of dollars begins with the first $3 billion.

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Earlier this week, I explained why Mitt Romney is a Republican version of Barack Obama. His transgressions include being open to a value-added tax, a less-than-stellar record on healthcare, weakness on Social Security reform, an anemic list of proposed budget savings, and support for reprehensible ethanol subsidies.

Now we can add something else to the list. He wants to cut off the bottom rungs of the economic ladder and hurt low-skilled workers.

Here are a couple of passages from a report in the Oregonian.

Mitt Romney…continues to be a supporter of indexing the minimum wage for inflation. Oregon and Washington were among the first states to index their own minimum wages to inflation – nine states now do so – and it’s a favorite of liberals… Romney campaigned in favor of indexing the minimum wage when he ran for governor in 2002.  However, ABC News noted in 2007 that he wasn’t sure he supported indexing the federalminimum wage (which is lower than the minimum wage in several states).  In this new video, you could quibble that he doesn’t explicitly say he’s talking about the federal minimum — but that sure seems to be the tenor of his comments.

In other words, Romney is willing to condemn lower-skilled workers to unemployment, in hopes that he will gain some sort of short-term political advantage. In this regard, he will be just like Bush.

For a good explanation of why the government should not try to dictate wages, here’s a video narrated by one of my former interns.

It’s also worth noting that the minimum wage imposes disproportionate damage on the African-American community, as Walter Williams has explained.

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