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Good points on spending restraint

July 26, 2010 - Mike Maneval

An article by Veronique de Rugy of George Mason University's Mercatus Center, published by Reason's website, calls for the government to commit to greater restraint on spending. She raises several good points, one of which rises above the others.

In challenging the conventional wisdom that broad spending cuts are unpopular enough that action would precipitate a backlash and threaten the careers of politicians, de Rugy notes studies done by the Brookings Institution and Goldman Sachs' effort to analyze global economics. Ben Broadbent, working for Goldman Sachs found "no evidence that spending cuts reduce support for the incumbent government. If anything the opposite tends to be true.”

Of course, elected officials keeping their jobs is primarily a concern of ... elected officials. The stronger point de Rugy makes is an assessment of the 2009 audit conducted by the Government Accountability Office, which found the government spending $500 billion over five years on duplicated payments - errant transactions where the government paid a vendor or contractor a second time for goods and services. A better example of government waste you would be hard-pressed to find. 


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