UK Inflation at 4%. Coming soon, to an economy near you! Excerpt:
British consumer price inflation surged to double the Bank of England’s target in January, official data showed on Tuesday, raising pressure on the central bank to look seriously at increasing interest rates.
The Office for National Statistics said that the rate of consumer price inflation rose to 4.0 percent in January, in line with economists’ forecasts, from 3.7 percent in December.
The rise, which was driven by higher oil prices and increased indirect taxation, means inflation has been at least a percentage point above the BoE’s 2 percent target for more than a year.
BoE Governor Mervyn King will have to publish a letter to finance minister George Osborne later on Tuesday explaining why inflation remains so high.
And here are a couple of papers from the Cato Institute on the proposed FY2012Imperial Federal budget:
Deconstructing the Spending Side of Obama’s Proposed FY 2012 Budget. Some tidbits from this second paper; the proposed 2012 budget would include (excerpt from article):
Some of the fine print in the budget also is troubling, such as Table 4.1 of OMB’s Historical Tables of the Budget, which shows that some agencies are getting huge increases, including:
- 17 percent more money for International Assistance Programs;
- 24 percent more money for the Executive Office of the President;
- 13 percent for the Department of Transportation; and
- 12 percent more for the Department of State.
But these one-year changes in outlays are dwarfed by the 10-year trend. Since 2001, spending has skyrocketed in almost every part of the budget. Even with the supposed “cuts” in Obama’s budget, there will be:
- 112 percent more spending for the Department of Agriculture;
- 100 percent more spending for the Department of Education;
- 154 percent more spending for the Department of Energy;
- 110 percent more spending for the Department of Health and Human Services;
- 175 percent more spending for the Department of Labor; and
- 82 percent for the Department of Transportation.
And remember that inflation was less than 30 percent during this period.
The budget needs to be dramatically downsized, yet the President has proposed that we tread water.
But even that’s too optimistic. America’s real fiscal challenge is that the burden of government spending will dramatically increase in coming decades, thanks largely to an aging population and poorly designed entitlement programs. Barring some sort of change, the United States will suffer the same problems that are now afflicting failed welfare states such as Greece and Portugal.
So, on the more entertaining side of the news (entertaining for me at least, because I don’t live in Georgia and I can buy beer on Sunday here in Colorado) here is Neal Boortz on the Sunday blue laws in Georgia: We’re Here To Control Your Life! Some of the comments are priceless.
Finally, some science: Spinning Black Holes Twist Light. This may provide a way to finally observe black holes directly, which we have not yet been able to do. You see, the thing about a black hole – its main distinguishing feature – is it’s black. And the thing about space, the color of space, your basic space color, is its black. So how are you supposed to see them?
On that obscure sci-fi reference, the identity of which shall be left to the reader as an exercise, we return you to your Tuesday, already in progress.