Will the across-the-board spending cuts slated to slash the domestic and defense budgets next month be as dire as federal agencies are claiming? President Obama says so. As do plenty of GOP defense hawks. But with the details released so far, it sounds like a lot of hot air to Matthew Cooper at the National Journal.
Cooper writes “it’s worth being skeptical about the sky-is-falling predictions you’ll hear about… as big as $1.2 trillion sounds and is, it is over 10 years out of a federal budget that’s estimated to be $44 trillion over that time… When the cuts are this big there’s bound to be real — and not just phantom — pain. But when you read stories about FBI agents pulled off their pursuit of a serial killer or astronauts left in space, ask what else could get cut first.” - Read more at The National Journal
STATES LOSE BILLIONS TO OFFSHORE TAX HAVENS When wealthy taxpayers and mega U.S. corporations store their money in offshore tax havens to avoid paying taxes, they’re not only shorting the Federal government billions of dollars—states are losing out too. State governments came up nearly $40 billion short in tax revenue in 2011 because of this loophole, according to a new study released this week by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). Read more at The Fiscal Times
ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO CLOSE THE LOOPHOLE Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, will unveil a bill today that takes aim at corporations hiding profits overseas to escape U.S. taxes. - See the announcement here
DRONES: MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK? Drones give the Pentagon cheaper way to eliminate known targets while not costing as many American lives in the process. The Fiscal Times’ David Francis reports “the cost of one MQ-9 Reaper drone is $6.4 million,” in contrast “the cost of one A-10 Thunderbolt, the plane with capabilities similar to the Reaper, is $18.2 million.” - Read more at The Fiscal Times
LIFE AFTER THE TREASURY - It didn't take long for Former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to find a stopover. After leaving the Treasury last month, the 75th treasury secretary will return to the Council on Foreign Relations where he served as a senior fellow in 2001. He will also be writing a book recounting his up-close view of the bank bailout. Upon hearing the news, journalists, pundits and econ nerds took to Twitter to float some hilarious book titles. See a collection of some of the best ones here