Friday, February 11, 2011
"We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.
We must make our election between economy
and liberty, or profusion and servitude."
- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
- Most Americans Don’t Know U.S. Has World’s Biggest Economy
- America’s Most Bizarre Taxes
- Stop Federal Spending on Education
- The Debt Limit: Made Simple
- Will You Get Back What You Paid into Social Security?
- A Majority of Union Members Work For The Government
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MOST AMERICANS DON’T KNOW U.S. HAS WORLD’S BIGGEST ECONOMY
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 45% of voters know the United States has the world’s largest economy. Another 34% say it’s not true, and 21% are not sure.
But the actual figures show it’s not even close. According to estimates from the International Monetary Fund, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United States is approximately $14.6 trillion. That’s more than double the GDP for the second largest economy, China, which totals an estimated $5.7 trillion. Close behind China is Japan at $5.4 trillion. The largest economy in Europe is found in Germany with a GDP of $3.3 trillion. If you add all the European nations together, their combined economy is roughly the size of the U.S. economy.
Most men (57%) recognize that the United States has the world’s largest economy, but a plurality of women (40%) incorrectly believe it’s not true. Most Americans over 50 recognize that the U.S. economy is number one, but most under 30 say it’s not true. Those in their 30s and 40s are fairly evenly divided.
Source: Rasmussen Reports
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AMERICA’S MOST BIZARRE TAXES
Source: Turbo Tax Blog
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STOP FEDERAL SPENDING ON EDUCATION
While Washington spends huge sums on things that are education-related, the riches produce almost nothing of educational value. If anything, the feds keep stuffing donuts into an already obese system, says Neal McCluskey, associate director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom.
• In 1970 Uncle Sam spent an inflation-adjusted $31.5 billion on public K-12 education; by 2009 that had ballooned to $82.9 billion.
• On a per-pupil basis, in 1970 the feds spent $435 per student; by 2006 -- the latest year with available data -- it was $1,015, a 133 percent increase.
• Real, overall, per-pupil spending (federal, state and local) rose from $5,593 in 1970 to $12,463 in 2006.
What do we have to show for this?
• Since the early 1970s, scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress have been stagnant for 17-year-olds.
• In 1973 the average math score was 304 (out of 500); in 2008 it was just 306.
• In reading, the 1971 average was 285; in 2008 it was up a single point, hitting 286.
Source: Neal McCluskey, "For the Nation's Sake, Cut Education Spending," Cato Institute, January 25, 2011.
Read the article.
THE DEBT LIMIT: MADE SIMPLE
Source: The Heritage Foundation
WILL YOU GET BACK WHAT YOU PAID INTO SOCIAL SECURITY?
A fact about Social Security, from the latest Just Facts Foundation report: For workers who earned average wages and retired at the age of 65 in 1980, it took 2.8 years of receiving old-age benefits to recover the value of their payroll taxes (including interest). For workers who retired in 2003, it will take 17.4 years. For workers who will retire in 2020, it will take 21.6 years. This assumes Social Security will have enough money to pay scheduled benefits for this entire period, which it is not projected to have.
Source: “Social Security Facts,” by James D. Agresti and Stephen F. Cardone, Just Facts, January 27, 2011.
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A MAJORITY OF UNION MEMBERS WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT
Every January, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics releases its annual union membership data, a comprehensive report detailing unionization rates and trends in America. With uncanny reliability, the BLS has told its readers the same thing year after year: union members are increasingly government workers. In fact, in nearly year since 1980, the percentage of union workers employed by the government has increased—2010 was no different.
This trend was pushed to the forefront last year when BLS data revealed that 2009 was the first year in which a majority of union members worked for the government. 7,900,000 or 37.4 percent of government workers in ’09 were unionized compared to 7,400,000 or 7.2 percent of private sector workers. All in all, 51.5 percent of union members were government workers.
Unions can no longer purport to represent the working man toiling 11 hour days just to put food on the table. Indeed, the average union worker has a cushy government job, makes substantially more than the average American, and has ample job security. The demographic makeup of unions is changing, our perception should too.
Source: Christopher Prandoni, “A Majority of Union Members Work for the Government”, Washington Examiner, January 21, 2011
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Mississippi Center for Public Policy's mission is to advance the ideals of limited government, free markets, and strong traditional families by influencing public policy, informing the media, and equipping the public with information and perspective to help them understand and defend their liberty.
Mississippi Center for Public Policy's vision is for Mississippi to be a place where entrepreneurs are free to pursue their dreams, parents are free to direct the education and upbringing of their children, government functions according to the principles that enhance freedom, and all Mississippians are free from dependence on government for their daily needs.