Archive for December 9th, 2010

I debated a couple of pro-tax increase folks on the Diane Rehm show Monday.

If you have a spare 51 minutes and want to hear me spar with Alice Rivlin and David Walker on National Public Radio, you can listen to the discussion by clicking this link.

Feedback actually is much appreciated. Let me know what issues you think I addressed effectively, but especially let me know if you think some of my points were inadequate.

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Last month, I predicted that Republicans would wind up with 242 seats in the House and 48 in the Senate.

With the final race having just been decided, it is now official that my House prediction was exactly right. And my Senate prediction was off by only one seat.

But when I make mistakes, they tend to be big. My one mistake for this year was a prediction that Harry Reid would lose. And since that may have been the top race in the country, I have some egg on my face.

This is sort of like my 2004 election predictions. I correctly predicted 49 out of 50 states, but the one state I got wrong was Ohio. And since that was the deciding state, my prediction of a Kerry presidency obviously was wrong.

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Maybe elections have consequences after all.

Bolstered by the populist uprising against bloated and wasteful government, politicians in Washington actually defended the interests of taxpayers yesterday. Not just once, but twice.

Our first bit of holiday cheer comes from the Washington Post, which reports that the House of Representatives (still controlled by Democrats) voted to freeze pay for bureaucrats.

The House approved legislation Wednesday that freezes base pay for federal employees at current levels for two years. …The pay freeze is projected to save a total of $28 billion over five years, a fraction of a $1.3 trillion budget shortfall. The legislation now goes to the Senate.

The second item is even more remarkable. Politicians actually resisted the AARP crowd, refusing to approve a $250 handout for senior citizens. The L.A. Times reports.

A proposal to provide a one-time payment of $250 to Social Security recipients failed in both the U.S. House and Senate on Wednesday. Under the formula used to calculate cost-of-living adjustments for the retirement safety net, seniors will otherwise see no rise in their payments in 2011. Advocates for the plan argued in part that the formula used to calculate inflation fails to accurately reflect costs. Though a majority supported the approval in the House, the final margin was short of the supermajority required under a suspension of the rules. In the Senate, the final tally of 53-45 was short of the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster.

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