I wanted to share two articles to exemplify and introduction to a HERITAGE FOUNDATION article about competition between states. The first is this article found over at HOT AIR, and it shows the damage that distortions to supply and demand for some sort of egalitarian or environmental concern can have on productive endeavors that increase the wealth of the common man. Wealth creation in other words:
If you know anything about New York in the modern era (both the state and the Big Apple), you’re likely aware that it’s not exactly a friendly landscape for the oil and gas industry. The “Keep it in the ground” crowd has a lot of influence with the Democrats who control the government. That[‘s] why, back in 2013, when the new Constitution Pipeline was proposed to carry natural gas from Pennsylvania’s rich shale oil fields to New York, activists were able to block the construction despite it already having been approved by federal regulators. Similarly, when National Grid (the local energy consortium) requested an extension to the Williams Co. Transco pipeline, they were also tied up because of the outcry from environmental activists.
Here comes the surprise that nobody could have possibly seen coming. The city and its surrounding downstate region are still expanding with new construction projects, but their energy suppliers have told them that they will not be able to supply natural gas to any new customers because they’re already at capacity. (NY Post)
Long Islanders were recently hit with bad news. National Grid, which provides natural gas for nearly 600,000 Long Island residents, announced it won’t be able to provide fuel for new customers if the proposed Williams Co. Transco pipeline expansion isn’t approved by May 15.
Earlier this year, energy company Con Ed imposed a similar moratorium on new natural-gas service in parts of Westchester County due to limited capacity on existing pipelines. These crises are completely avoidable…
For too long, politicians like Gov. Andrew Cuomo and their ill-considered energy policies have hampered the development of safe, efficient energy infrastructure, subjecting American consumers to unnecessarily high energy costs and unreliable service.
So you don’t want pipelines, eh? But you say you’d like to build more houses, apartments and office buildings? Well, you’d better figure out how to cook your food and heat your living spaces with solar panels pretty quickly because (to borrow a phrase from GoT) winter is coming. And so is lunchtime…..
The second article deals with on the one hand a Utopian [mis]understanding of alternative energy and it’s own “supply-and-demand” features built into the environmentalist hypothesis (that in the end do not fit reality). I have said for years that the supply of heavy metals and lithium which are the main ingredient to make power cells for cell phones and laptops (small/reasonable), to a whole swath of them in rows in electric cars (unreasonable).
Let me explain why I just said “unreasonable.” These ventures with Tesla and other manufacturers of electric vehicles are not a “supply-and-demand” by the free market. These ventures into wind, solar, and electric vehicles ONLY EXIST because our government has funded their “viability” in a world that if left to stand on their own would go out of business. The technology is old and never really worked, and the only people that buy Teslas, as an example, are the rich, and they are given a form of welfare to do so. (In other words, the rich are getting a form of bailout by environmentalists that say the rich are ruining the environment.)
“Green” advocates aspire to power the entire U.S. electrical system with wind and solar energy. How are they going to do that, given that wind turbines produce electricity only around 40% of the time, and solar panels produce electricity, in most areas, less than 25% of the time? The truthful answer is that whenever utilities build (or contract with) a wind farm or a solar installation, they also build a natural gas plant to provide electricity during the majority of the time when the “green” resources are idle. This is why wind and solar energy, unlike nuclear power, actually lock us into fossil fuel use for the indefinite future.
Of course, green power advocates don’t admit that they plan on using natural gas forever. They hold out hope that electricity produced by wind and solar facilities will be stored in batteries–giant ones, I assume–so that it can be used when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. No such batteries exist, of course, which is why they are not already in use. And any existing or foreseeable battery technology would rely on vast amounts of lithium, which must be mined.
Recently, the Australia-based firm Battery Mineral Resources Ltd. asked the federal government for permission to drill four exploratory wells to see if the hot, salty brine beneath the valley floor contains economically viable concentrations of lithium. …
The drilling request has generated strong opposition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club and the Defenders of Wildlife, who say the drilling project would be an initial step toward the creation of a full-scale lithium mining operation.
That is the idea, I suppose.
Does it matter? There is great demand for lithium used in existing technologies–phones, laptops, electric vehicles, and so on. But the idea that batteries of any foreseeable design will combine with wind turbines and solar panels to satisfy America’s need for electricity is a fantasy. For one thing, batteries of the requisite capacity would be prohibitively expensive. It has been calculated that, using the most advanced battery technology on the market, Tesla’s 100 MW, 129 MWh battery in use in South Australia, it would cost $133 billion to store the electricity needs of my state, Minnesota, for 24 hours. That is more than one-third of the state’s annual GDP…..
AGAIN, the immutable law of supply-and-demand will come into play in rising prices of “alternative energy” and scarcity of availability… based on egalitarian environmental concerns.N O W, here is the intro to the HERITAGE FOUNDATION article noting the differences between blue-state policies and red-state policies… much of which is based on supply-and-demand regarding energy needs:
The competition among the states is becoming more intense as businesses become more mobile. Toyota and Boeing are two high-profile employers in America that have crossed state borders because of the policy advantages of one state over another. Toyota moved from high-income-tax California to no-income-tax Texas, and Boeing, based in Washington, a forced-union state, opened a new plant in South Carolina, which has a right-to-work (RTW) law. Texas Governor Rick Perry and California Governor Jerry Brown have openly sparred in recent years about which state is more pro-business. Interstate competition allows governors and legislators to learn from each other about which policies create wealth and which policies diminish wealth inside their borders.
In recent years, governors have generally divided into two competing camps, which we call the “red state model” and the “blue state model,” raising the stakes in this interstate competition. The conservative red state model is predicated on low tax rates, right-to-work laws, light regulation, and pro-energy development policies. This policy strategy is now common in most of the Southern states and the more rural and mountain states. Meanwhile, the liberal blue state model is predominantly found in the Northeast, California, Illinois, Minnesota, and, until recently, Michigan and Ohio. The blue states have doubled down on policies that include high levels of government spending, high income tax rates on the rich, generous welfare benefits, forced-union requirements, super-minimum-wage laws, and restrictions on oil and gas drilling.
In no area are the effects of these competing models more evident than in tax policy changes of recent years. California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, and Oregon have raised their income tax rates on “the rich” since 2008. In four of these states, the combined state and local income tax rate exceeds 10 percent, reaching 13.3 percent in California and 12.7 percent in New York. Meanwhile, the “red states” of Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Idaho have cut their tax rates. This has widened the income tax differential between blue states and red states for businesses and upper-income families.
Similarly, red states such as Oklahoma, Texas, and North Dakota have embraced the oil and gas drilling revolution in America. Blue states such as New York, Vermont, Illinois, and California have resisted it. Blue states have raised their minimum wages; red states generally have not.
The answer is that the states’ policy choices on taxes, regulation, energy policy, labor laws, educational choice, and so forth have a large and in most cases a statistically significant impact on the prosperity of states over each 10-year time frame examined on a rolling basis from 1970 to 2012. There are always exceptions to the rule, but in most cases the red state model is substantially outperforming the blue state model.
We find in particular that two policies matter most. Right-to-work states substantially outperform non–right-to-work states, and states with no or low income taxes have a much better economic record than high-income-tax states…..
WASHINGTON — Medical doctors and a mom of a trans-identifying child are urging the government to shut down medical operations that are harming children.
Their efforts to resist the medicalization of gender has led them to discover that government-funded research now allows wrong sex hormones such as testosterone to be given to girls as young as 8.
At a Thursday panel at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, Dr. Michael Laidlaw addressed the medical harms of hormonal treatments and surgical interventions being performed on young people who believe they are the opposite sex. Doctors administering these treatments are advocating these harmful practices on increasingly younger children, he explained.
Today, medical scenarios such as girls as young as 13 and 14 undergoing double mastectomies and 17-year-old boys with penises of 9-year-olds, developmentally speaking, because of chemical puberty blockers, are now showing up, Laidlaw, a Rocklin, California-based endocrinologist, explained in his remarks.
To date, hormone blockers such as Lupron, which is used to treat both prostate cancer patients and children with precocious puberty, has never been through an FDA-approval process for the purpose of blocking normal puberty, and is prescribed off-label. Laidlaw refers to puberty blockers as a form of “chemical conversion therapy” and noted that the largest professional association for endocrinologists, The Endocrine Society, now recommends delaying puberty in gender dysphoric youth at Tanner stage 2, which is soon after the pubertal signals in the brain begin to occur.
The reason that Jazz Jennings, transgender star of the TLC series “I am Jazz,” has reportedly never had any sexual sensations or orgasms is because his natural puberty was halted at this stage and was not allowed to occur, the California doctor explained. These puberty-blocking drugs also disrupt normal brain and bone development, putting kids at future risk of osteoporosis, he said.
In England, Oxford professor Michael Biggs discovered through a freedom of information request that at the Tavistock gender clinic, children reported greater self-harm with these particular medications, and girls exhibited greater emotional problems and dissatisfaction with their bodies, Laidlaw noted.
“Now you’d think if you had these side effects of these medications, wouldn’t you want to stop?” Laidlaw asked.
During his presentation, he played video clips of two doctors active in the medical transitioning of children, Ilana Sherer and Johanna Olson-Kennedy.
Sherer explained that puberty blockers are given to children at age 8 or 9, when they are in third and fourth grades. Olson-Kennedy is doing a 5-year study, for which she has received a $5.7 million National Institutes of Health research grant, and in one of her publications, it shows that mastectomies have been done on girls as young as 13. In the clip Laidlaw showed, Olson-Kennedy is seen on tape insisting adolescents have the capacity to make life-altering decisions, including to have their breasts removed….
The HERITAGE FOUNDATION has a great article about marriage. There points are zeroes in on marriage and its positive effects on children. They also point out that since the “War on Poverty” was implemented by President Lyndon Johnson, this single motherhood % and poverty can be seen to be the most affected. In other words, when a mother has a child out of wedlock because the man knows he doesn’t have to pay the bills, society will make up for his selfishness, that child is most affected. So, if you truly care for the child (as progressives almost always say they are), stop the “War on Poverty” as we know it, and start the “War on Broken Families.”
….“Over a third of single-parent families with children are poor, compared to only 7 percent of married families. Overall, children in married families are 82 percent less likely to be poor than are children of single parents.”
Robert Rector’s study, “Marriage: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty,” detailed the problem in each state and he concluded that the Feds need to focus on marriage more.
“Policymakers on the state and national levels recognize that education reduces poverty, but they’re largely unaware that marriage is an equally strong anti-poverty weapon,” said Rector, a nationally recognized authority on the U.S. welfare system.
Heritage said that “while more Americans grow dependent on welfare, government fails to communicate the benefits of marriage even as it warns young people not to smoke, do drugs, have “unsafe” sex, or drop out of school.” Rector calls this “tragic.”
Is this “new dynamic” good for the continued health of the American way, or will it push us further towards a European way of viewing society? Two Books I highly recommend will be after the video:
Although Kay wasn’t necessarily advocating for single parents, the statistics concerning that are scary (via SingleParentSuccess.org):
In 1995, nearly six of 10 children living with mothers only were near the poverty line. About 45 percent of children raised by divorced mothers and 69 percent by never-married mothers lived in or near poverty, which was $13,003 for a family of three in 1998.
75% of children/adolescents in chemical dependency hospitals are from single-parent families.
More than one half of all youths incarcerated for criminal acts lived in one-parent families when they were children.
63% of suicides are individuals from single parent families.
75% of teenage pregnancies are adolescents from single parent homes.
There’s no question that children growing up with both of their parents fare far better in life than any other domestic arrangement.
With such statistics readily available, it’s sad to see a member of the media call it old fashioned to marry before having kids.
THE BLAZE posts on this excellent response to a question at a Heritage Foundation panel. MOONBATTERY says this of Dr. Cretella: “Dr. Cretella is President of the American College of Pediatricians. No doubt social engineers are out for her head”.
Michael Medved responds to the food stamp issue that Democrats and the Left are bringing up. I take a clip from yesterday’s show and insert it into the middle of today’s show to give the listener some ammunition when these banal arguments come up. At the 5:17 mark, the caller mentions taxes for the millionaires as part of his argument. Medved Responds well to this challenge at the… and at the 6:24 mark you hear the caller respond with a bumper sticker jingle. In other words, talking about facts matters little to these people, but at least you will be able to influence those around you eavesdropping in on the conversation.
For some good food stamp news items, see FOX NEWS.
I posted this video on LIVELEAK, and a comment got me “clicking around” the internet to test what the person said. Here is the comment:
For every $1 spent on food stamps there’s a $1.80 stimulative effect to the economy. The poor person spends the funds at the grocery store, which allows the store to employ more people, the store spends the funds to buy more food which helps farmers and food producers. On the other hand, tax cuts for the wealthy have a negative effect on the economy, it just doesn’t trickle down enough so it drains economic growth. Plus it helps feed poor people that can’t afford to eat. — Warren H.
First, it should be noted that this idea was championed mainly by Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi, a hard-core Keynesian. However, it should be noted that unfortunately “for Zandi, there has never been any empirical evidence of the Keynesian multiplier. Government doesn’t take one dollar and turn it into more by spending it. God doesn’t live in the White House, no matter how much Paul Krugman prays.” (AMERICAN THINKER)
…The Keynesian argument also assumes that consumption spending adds to immediate economic growth while savings do not. By this reasoning, unemployment benefits, food stamps, and low-income tax rebates are among the most effective stimulus policies because of their likelihood to be consumed rather than saved.
Taking this analysis to its logical extreme, Mark Zandi of Economy.com has boiled down the government’s influence on America’s broad and diverse $14 trillion economy into a simple menu of stimulus policy options, whereby Congress can decide how much economic growth it wants and then pull the appropriate levers. Zandi asserts that for each dollar of new government spending: temporary food stamps adds $1.73 to the economy, extended unemployment benefits adds $1.63, increased infrastructure spending adds $1.59, and aid to state and local governments adds $1.38. Jointly, these figures imply that, in a recession, a typical dollar in new deficit spending expands the economy by roughly $1.50. Over the past 40 years, this idea of government spending as stimulus has fallen out of favor among many economists. As this paper shows, it is contradicted both by empirical data and economic logic…
They then respond to the above:
The Evidence is In
Economic data contradict Keynesian stimulus theory. If deficits represented “new dollars” in the economy, the record $1.2 trillion in FY 2009 deficit spending that began in October 2008–well before the stimulus added $200 billion more–would have already overheated the economy. Yet despite the historic 7 percent increase in GDP deficit spending over the previous year, the economy shrank by 2.3 percent in FY 2009. To argue that deficits represent new money injected into the economy is to argue that the economy would have contracted by 9.3 percent without this “infusion” of added deficit spending (or even more, given the Keynesian multiplier effect that was supposed to further boost the impact). That is simply not plausible, and few if any economists have claimed otherwise.
And if the original $1.2 trillion in deficit spending failed to slow the economy’s slide, there was no reason to believe that adding $200 billion more in 2009 deficit spending from the stimulus bill would suddenly do the trick. Proponents of yet another stimulus should answer the following questions: (1) If nearly $1.4 trillion budget deficits are not enough stimulus, how much is enough? (2) If Keynesian stimulus repeatedly fails, why still rely on the theory?
This is no longer a theoretical exercise. The idea that increased deficit spending can cure recessions has been tested repeatedly, and it has failed repeatedly. The economic models that assert that every $1 of deficit spending grows the economy by $1.50 cannot explain why $1.4 trillion in deficit spending did not create a $2.1 trillion explosion of new economic activity.
CATO likewise notes that the numbers were fudged to provide exaggerated outcomes:
Food stamps are effective economic stimulus. Led by Mark Zandi and other Keynesian economists, food-stamp advocates have made wildly exaggerated claims about the program’s role in stimulating the economy. Zandi, for instance, claims that “extending food stamps is the most effective way to prime the economy’s pump.”
But aside from the fact that those economic models just as well predict an alien invasion would be a boon to the economy, there is little evidence to support the theory. Even the Agriculture Department’s own inspector general concluded that it was unable to determine whether the additional dollars in the stimulus’s food-stamp expansion were in any way effective in meeting the 2009 Recovery Act’s goals. Three of the four performance measures the program was supposed to use, the office found, “reflected outputs, such as the dollar amount of benefits issued and administrative costs expended” and did not provide any insight into outcomes.
On the other hand, we do know that a failure to get government spending under control will have long-term economic consequences. Food stamps are hardly the major cause of deficits and debt — that distinction lies with middle-class entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare — but every little bit helps.
Valerie Jarrett and Nancy Pelosi said similar things:
JARRETT: Let’s face it: Even though we had a terrible economic crisis three years ago, throughout our country many people were suffering before the last three years, particularly in the black community. And so we need to make sure that we continue to support that important safety net. It not only is good for the family, but it’s good for the economy. People who receive that unemployment check go out and spend it and help stimulate the economy, so that’s healthy as well.
PELOSI: Economists agree that unemployment benefits remain one of the best ways to grow the economy in a very immediate way. It immediately injects demand into our markets and increases employment. For every dollar spent on unemployment benefits, the economy grows by, according to one estimate, $1.52; by others, $2. So somewhere in that range, but much more than is spent on it…. We have a responsibility to the American people. These are people who have played by the rules, have lost their job through no fault of their own, and need these benefits in order to survive. So we must extend this insurance before the end of the year and we must extend it for at least a year. And I’d like to see that as we go forward before this year ends. Hopefully it could be part of a budget, but it doesn’t have to be part of a budget. It could be in its own vehicle as it goes forward, but it’s something we must consider.
Economists at the Heritage Foundation have written about this claim, explaining:
The theory behind extending UI [Unemployment Insurance] benefits as a stimulus assumes that unemployed workers will immediately spend any additional UI payments, instantly increasing consumption, boosting aggregate demand, and stimulating the economy.
This is not a new idea. Economists in the 1960s thought that unemployment insurance could function as an important automatic economic stabilizer. Empirical research in the 1970s demonstrated that this was not the case, and studies since then have concluded that unemployment insurance plays at best a small role in stabilizing the economy. Empirical research at the state level also finds that UI plays a negligible role in stimulating the economy.
Studies that have found that UI stimulates the economy effectively — such as studies by the Congressional Budget Office and economist Mark Zandi — rely on two faulty assumptions, thereby drawing a false conclusion:
They assume that unemployed workers spend every dollar of additional UI benefits almost immediately and that extending unemployment insurance does not affect workers’ behavior. In that case, every dollar spent on unemployment insurance adds a dollar to consumption without any direct effects on the labor market. Both assumptions are false.
Unemployment Insurance Prolongs Unemployment. One of the most thoroughly established results in labor economics is the effect of unemployment benefits on unemployed workers’ behavior. labor economists agree that extended unemployment benefits cause workers to remain unemployed longer than they otherwise would.
This occurs for obvious reasons: Workers respond to incentives. Unemployment benefits reduce the incentive and the pressure to find a new job by making it less costly to remain without work…..
(Telegraph) Falkland Islands row: Argentina’s understanding of history is ‘laughable’ ~ Argentina’s demand that David Cameron ‘hand back’ control of the Falkland Islands is based on a ‘laughable’ understanding of history, an academic has said.
…The 3000-strong population of the Falklands are overwhelmingly pro-British. The islanders are due to be asked if they want to continue to be an overseas territory of the United Kingdom at a referendum in March this year. Mr Cameron has said the UK would “respect and defend” the result of the plebiscite.
Professor Dodds said: “It will reinforce a profound sense that the wishes of the Islanders is to remain part of the UK as an overseas territory.”
Dr Barry Elsby, Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands, told The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday night: “We are not a colony – our relationship with the United Kingdom is by choice.
“Unlike the Government of Argentina, the United Kingdom respects the right of our people to determine our own affairs, a right that is enshrined in the UN Charter and which is ignored by Argentina.”…
Falkland Islanders voted overwhelmingly to keep British rule on Monday. Reuters reported:
Residents of the Falkland Islands voted almost unanimously to stay under British rule in a referendum aimed at winning global sympathy as Argentina intensifies its sovereignty claim.
The official count on Monday showed 99.8 percent of islanders voted in favor of remaining a British Overseas Territory in the two-day poll, which was rejected by Argentina as a meaningless publicity stunt. There only three“no” votes out of about 1,500 cast.
“Surely this must be the strongest message we can get out to the world,” said Roger Edwards, one of the Falklands’ assembly’s eight elected members.
“That we are content, that we wish to retain the status quo … with the right to determine our own future and not become a colony of Argentina.”
Barack Obama snubbed America’s greatest ally Great Britain to side with Argentina’s left leaning President Cristina Fernandez on the Falkland Islands. Heritage released this excellent video on the situation.
Here is some of the article from Mail Online, and take note I just talked with someone who said Britain has a proud socialist history — this is what you get from it:
… The people who wrecked swathes of property, burned vehicles and terrorised communities have no moral compass to make them susceptible to guilt or shame.
They are essentially wild beasts. I use that phrase advisedly, because it seems appropriate to young people bereft of the discipline that might make them employable; of the conscience that distinguishes between right and wrong.
They respond only to instinctive animal impulses — to eat and drink, have sex, seize or destroy the accessible property of others.
Their behaviour on the streets resembled that of the polar bear which attacked a Norwegian tourist camp last week. They were doing what came naturally and, unlike the bear, no one even shot them for it.
A former London police chief spoke a few years ago about the ‘feral children’ on his patch — another way of describing the same reality.
Nobody has ever dared suggest to them that they need feel any allegiance to anything, least of all Britain or their community. They do not watch royal weddings or notice Test matches or take pride in being Londoners or Scousers or Brummies.
Not only do they know nothing of Britain’s past, they care nothing for its present.
They have their being only in video games and street-fights, casual drug use and crime, sometimes petty, sometimes serious.
The notions of doing a nine-to-five job, marrying and sticking with a wife and kids, taking up DIY or learning to read properly, are beyond their imaginations.
Its frustrations and passions were kept at bay by force and draconian legal sanctions, foremost among them capital punishment and transportation to the colonies.
Today, those at the bottom of society behave no better than their forebears, but the welfare state has relieved them from hunger and real want.
When social surveys speak of ‘deprivation’ and ‘poverty’, this is entirely relative. Meanwhile, sanctions for wrongdoing have largely vanished.
When Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith recently urged employers to take on more British workers and fewer migrants, he was greeted with a hoarse laugh.
Every firm in the land knows that an East European — for instance — will, first, bother to turn up; second, work harder; and third, be better-educated than his or her British counterpart.Who do we blame for this state of affairs?
It is because it is fantastically hard to help such people, young or old, without imposing a measure of compulsion which modern society finds unacceptable. These kids are what they are because nobody makes them be anything different or better.
So there we have it: a large, amoral, brutalised sub-culture of young British people who lack education because they have no will to learn, and skills which might make them employable. They are too idle to accept work waitressing or doing domestic labour, which is why almost all such jobs are filled by immigrants.
They have no code of values to dissuade them from behaving anti-socially or, indeed, criminally, and small chance of being punished if they do so.
They have no sense of responsibility for themselves, far less towards others, and look to no future beyond the next meal, sexual encounter or TV football game.
They are an absolute deadweight upon society, because they contribute nothing yet cost the taxpayer billions. Liberal opinion holds they are victims, because society has failed to provide them with opportunities to develop their potential.
Most of us would say this is nonsense. Rather, they are victims of a perverted social ethos, which elevates personal freedom to an absolute, and denies the underclass the discipline — tough love — which alone might enable some of its members to escape from the swamp of dependency in which they live.
Only education — together with politicians, judges, policemen and teachers with the courage to force feral humans to obey rules the rest of us have accepted all our lives — can provide a way forward and a way out for these people.
They are products of a culture which gives them so much unconditionally that they are let off learning how to become human beings. My dogs are better behaved and subscribe to a higher code of values than the young rioters of Tottenham, Hackney, Clapham and Birmingham.
Unless or until those who run Britain introduce incentives for decency and impose penalties for bestiality which are today entirely lacking, there will never be a shortage of young rioters and looters such as those of the past four nights, for whom their monstrous excesses were ‘a great fire, man’.
But what’s happening now is not just some left-wing punks engaging in political street theater. Instead, the U.K. is dealing with a bigger problem of societal decay caused in part by a government’s failure to fulfill one of its few legitimate functions – protection of property.
Hot Air has this update to a post about what the S&P wishes to see:
Update: If we don’t stabilize and reduce our long-term liabilities soon, we’ll get downgraded again, says S&P:
The credit rating agency’s managing director, John Chambers, tells ABC’s “This Week” that if the fiscal position of the U.S. deteriorates further, or if political gridlock tightens even more, a further downgrade is possible.
Chambers also said Sunday that it would take “stabilization and eventual decline” of the federal debt as a share of the economy as well as more consensus in Washington for the U.S. to win back a top rating.
He puts the odds of another downgrade at 3:1. I’d call it even money, at least while Democrats continue to blame the Tea Party for, er, wanting to do exactly what S&P demands.
Federal agencies publish an average of over 200 pages of new rulings, regulations, and proposals in the Federal Register each business day. That growth of the federal statute book is one of the clearest measures of the increase of the government control of the citizenry (James Bovard, Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty [St. Martins Griffen; 1994], p. 1.)