Fiscal Policy

The Keynes Disaster

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The government and the private sector should start spending more to turn the economy around. That’s what a former Obama administration official, speaking to a recent UBS adviser conference, said in making no apologies for the administration’s poor performance since 2009. Indeed, he said that Barack Obama had “saved” the country from a depression in 2009. He also called ... [click for more]

TGIF: Default Circus — er, Crisis — Averted?

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“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” — H.L. Mencken Even the sagacious Mencken might be amazed by what’s happening these days. Wherever we look, there are hobgoblins. The latest is — insert [click for more]

Digging Out

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Pundits are full of advice about how and how not to pull the country out of its financial morass. Rebuild infrastructure or cut spending, increase deficit spending or reduce the debt, raise or lower taxes, regulate or deregulate, implement a new industrial policy or get government out of the economy, open the monetary floodgates or end the Fed’s easy-money ... [click for more]

What Sequestration Should Really Look Like

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It’s official: sequestration has begun. Barack Obama has formally signed an order to put into effect the across-the-board government spending cuts known as “sequestration.” After failing to broker a deal at a meeting between Democratic (Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi) and Republican (John Boehner and Mitch McConnell) House and Senate leaders, the president told journalists, “Not everyone will ... [click for more]

TGIF: Sequestration and the Chimera of the Informed Voter

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I spent too much time and effort this week trying to figure out the budget implications of sequestration. This made me wonder how many, well, normal people would be willing to do that. If the answer is “not many,” then in what sense can we talk about the “informed voter”? And if the “informed voter” is a chimera, how ... [click for more]

The American People Need Real Spending Cuts

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President Obama and other so-called progressives insist that the American people are not overly dependent on government. They also predict dire consequences if the automatic budget “cuts” known as sequestration take place March 1. Both claims cannot be true. If modest across-the-board “cuts” — mainly cuts in the rate of growth — in military and domestic spending pose a threat ... [click for more]

Is Today’s Argentina Tomorrow’s America?

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Americans wondering what to expect as their government piles on more debt and refuses to cut spending do not need to look any further than Argentina. A nation once among the most prosperous in the world is now deeply in debt, hemorrhaging cash, and trying to inflate its way out of the mess it has created. This inflation, naturally, ... [click for more]

Pork-Barrel Spending: The History of Lipsticking Pigs

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A December 15, 2012, headline in the New York Post declared, “Obama Sandy Aid Bill Filled with Holiday Goodies Unrelated to Storm Damage.” The announced purpose of the $60.4 billion bill was to provide disaster aid to East Coast individuals and communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Instead, the bill was so laden with unrelated and politically inspired handouts ... [click for more]

The Plunder Continues

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It was clear the fix was in the moment the term “fiscal cliff” was coined to describe the series of spending cuts and tax increases that were set to kick in on January 1, 2013. The American people were told in 2011 that the debt ceiling needed to be raised again to avert an outright default on the national debt. ... [click for more]

Republicans and the Debt Limit

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It’s official: The U. S. government has reached its debt limit. According to the Daily Treasury Statement for December 31, 2012, total public debt increased to $16.432 trillion, exceeding the debt limit of $16.394 trillion. The debt subject to limit, $16.393 trillion, was about as close as it could get without going over. This is a far cry ... [click for more]

His Majesty Obama and the Debt Ceiling

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President Obama may be poised to claim an unprecedented executive power. Or not. It depends on whether you credit official denials from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney or public statements from high-ranking Democrats. The monarchical power in question is the ability to raise the debt ceiling at will. It involves bypassing the House of Representatives, which currently has ... [click for more]
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