BlogWatch: Social Security in Peril, Candidate Avoidance & Other Budgetary Debacles

The BlogWatch is a weekly piece that is published on the non-partisan web site Facing Up to the Nation's Finances.  Stay tuned for more weekly, non-partisan fiscal recaps brought to you by Billy Hallowell and Facing Up.

With the discussion primarily focused on both the Democratic and the Republican national conventions, the blogosphere has been quite distracted. With that said, we were still able to dig up some interesting discussion about issues related the federal budget:

To begin this week's BlogWatch, the Economist Mom blog covers the current absence of candidate discussion surrounding the federal budget in the current political conversation. On the EM blog, Stan Collender's most recent "Fiscal Fitness" piece is highlighted and paraphrased, as he explores the reasons why the federal budget isn't on the candidates' radar:

"You have to ask yourself why the budget isn’t being discussed more often in this year’s election. All polls show the economy as the No. 1 issue for most voters, and federal spending accounts for more than one-fifth of the economy…Shouldn’t voters be demanding to hear more?"

A few weeks back, the director of the Congressional Budget Office posed a very interesting blog entry on America's Social Security debacle. We missed it in our last BlogWatch, but it's surely worth noting here. According to the entry, a recent study conducted by the CBO substantiated some scary projections:

"…the number of Social Security beneficiaries will grow considerably as the baby boomers become eligible for retirement benefits. Absent legislative changes, spending for the program will therefore climb substantially and exceed the program’s revenues."

And over at the Mises Economic Blog, talk is centered upon the fiscal weight of the American vice-presidency, as the entry takes on the position and explores its worth. Interestingly, the cost associated with the position comes into play:

"Why is there an Office of Vice President at all? There's little compelling reason for the taxpayers to spend over $200,000 in salary and several million dollars more on staff, housing and transportation for a person who does little more then serve as an emergency backup."

In other budgetary news, OMBWatch blogged about a Sunlight Foundation piece by executive director Ellen Miller. As per OMBWatch's budget blog, Miller penned a piece about the legacy of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 -- a bill that requires that all federal spending be logged and searchable online. According to Miller, the bill has also affected policy at the state level:

"Since 2007, 11 states…have established, via legislation or executive order, free and searchable Web sites that give access to state spending. And 24 other states are working on it, with more than half introducing spending transparency bills this year."

That's all for today's BlogWatch. Check back next week for more updated news and information about America's fiscal challenges.