The Real Both/And Budget Solution

I had the pleasure of appearing on Relevant Radio last Friday to talk to Sheila Liaugminas on her show, “A Closer Look.” I discussed the idea of “intergenerational justice,” a term favored by evangelicals (Roman Catholics tend to talk about “intergenerational solidarity”), and how that concept relates to much of today’s discussion about the federal budget. Continue Reading...

Class Warfare Not the American Solution to Budget Deficit

Two weeks ago, President Obama ventured courageously into the debt crisis debate with soak-the-rich proposals aimed at the usual suspects—“oil companies,” “hedge fund managers,” “millionaires and billionaires,”—and a new enemy, “corporate jet owners.” That phrase may have tested well with focus groups, but economists and pundits weren’t duped. Continue Reading...

Who is My Brother’s Keeper?

Back in February 2008, then candidate for president Barack Obama addressed a crowd at a General Motors Assembly Plant in Janesville, Wis. He said, …I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper– that makes this country work. Continue Reading...

The Complex Tax Code

Today at Capital Commentary I discuss the size and scope of the tax code in the US relative to its basic purposes. In “Back Door Social Engineering,” I argue, “When governments run huge deficits in part because of the complexity of its tax system and the ability of people and institutions to engage in large-scale (and legal) tax avoidance, there is something deeply wrong with the system.” The basic purpose of taxes is to raise money for the government, not to determine social behavior. Continue Reading...

Acton Commentary: Do Less with Less

In this week’s Acton Commentary, “Do Less with Less: What the History of Federal Debt and Tax Leverage Teaches,” I reflect on how the federal government has lived beyond its means for decades. Continue Reading...

Don’t Knock the Laffer Curve

Michael Kinsley has a column up at The Politico in which he claims to debunk a series of Reagan myths. The one that annoys me the most is the one that is obviously and clearly incorrect and at the same time gets the least explanation from Kinsley. Continue Reading...

A Tithe for Uncle Sam

Catching up on some recent Acton commentaries. We welcome a new writer, John Addison Teevan, who is director of the Prison Extension Program at Grace College. He also teaches economics and Bible courses at the Winona Lake, Ind., school. Continue Reading...

The Main Battle

In the “Wealth Inequality Mirage” on RealClearMarkets, Diana Furchtgott-Roth looks at the campaign waged by “levelers” who exaggerate and distort statistics about income inequality to advance their political ends. The gap, she says, is the “main battle” in the Nov. Continue Reading...

Re: Broken Windows – University Funding Edition

As Kishore Jayabalan noted yesterday, the fallacy of “broken windows” is, unfortunately, ubiquitous in discussions of public finance and macroeconomics. Though we are told that government spending and public works have a stimulating effect on economic activity, rarely are the costs of such projects discussed. Continue Reading...

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