CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 1998 |
You board a flight to Chicago. Three hours later, the pilot announces that the plane has used enough fuel so he is preparing to land. "Are we there yet? Did we make it to Chicago?" you ask. "Who knows?" the pilot replies. "We don't keep track." As we see it, far too many government programs run like this aircraft: destination unknown, time of arrival uncertain.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 23, 2013 |
Democrats and special interests have a long wish list of government programs they want to spend more on now that California's budget crisis has faded. They hope to use the latest report from the nonpartisan legislative analyst, who forecast more tax revenue than Gov. Jerry Brown has predicted, as ammunition to support their spending increases. In his Thursday column, George Skelton plots out how he would use the money if he were handed the purse strings. "The politicians should break out the checkbook for at least one new expenditure: restoring adult dental care for poor people," he writes.
October 8, 2013 |
For all the acrimony in Washington over Obamacare, there's an intriguing consensus around one issue: the ratchet effect. Neither side uses the term, but both the right and left treat it as an article of faith. The term was coined by the libertarian economist Robert Higgs. In his book "Crisis and Leviathan," Higgs described how the state takes on massive new powers during a crisis, usually wars. When the crisis subsides, the state relinquishes some of those powers, but it never gives them all back.
November 27, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - A top Democrat pressured fellow progressives Tuesday to consider long-term changes to the social safety net, even as the party digs in for a fight to save Medicare and other government programs from deep budget cuts. As closed-door talks continue with the hope of a year-end deal, President Obama will travel to a Pennsylvania toy store this week to pressure Congress to extend the expiring tax cuts for the middle class, while letting those for the wealthiest 2% of Americans expire.
July 26, 2000 |
Forty impoverished communities to be chosen nationwide would get tax breaks, regulatory relief and new government programs under a bill passed overwhelmingly by the House on Tuesday as a partial solution for places not sharing in America's prosperity. With a solid 394-27 bipartisan vote, the House sent the bill to the Senate, where a similar measure is pending.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 1991 |
Gov. Wilson and President Bush have both proposed their budgets for the coming year. Citing hard times, both include some reductions in funding for certain programs. In time-honored tradition, these threatened cuts are beginning to draw howls of "unfair" from groups threatened with reduced support and their legislative sponsors. The threatened groups will predictably call hearings designed to show just how unfair the proposed cuts are.
October 3, 2012 |
No question, Mitt Romney's extensive debate preparation is paying off. At least in the first half of the debate, he seemed more emotionally connected than President Obama with the material -- making jokes and self-deprecating remarks and even invoking Big Bird in a discussion about the deficit and budget priorities. When moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS asked each candidate to describe the difference between his plan to attack the deficit and his opponent's, Romney couched the issue in moral terms.
July 27, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - A reporter recently asked the National Security Agency's chief a blunt question: Why can't he come up with a better example of a terrorism plot foiled through the bulk collection of U.S. phone records? In the weeks since Edward Snowden disclosed that the NSA had been collecting and storing the calling histories of nearly every American, NSA Director Keith Alexander and other U.S. officials have cited only one case as having been discovered exclusively by searching those records: some San Diego men who sent $8,500 to Al Qaeda-linked militants in Somalia.
June 16, 1993 |
All the signs of human activity are still there. Papers and manuals litter tables and desks. Handwritten charts cover some of the walls. Signs warn that "Ear Protection Is Required" to protect workers from the deafening noise. Everything is there--except the people. Echoing through the silent building are the footsteps of Glen Gordon, last manager of the state Department of Water Resources' Bottle Rock Geothermal Power Plant before it was shut down in 1990. Disappointment is etched in his face.