Monetary Policy

Yes We Can

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Speaking from the Rose Garden last week after Senate approval of the bill to raise the debt ceiling, President Obama said about the federal deficit, And since you can’t close the deficit with just spending cuts, we’ll need a balanced approach where everything is on the table. Yes, that means making some adjustments to protect health-care programs like ... [click for more]

An Amy Winehouse Government

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It feels like we’re dealing with an Amy Winehouse form of governing. “These overdoses happen because these guys drink 20 beers and then reach for their heroin,” a friend of mine said after the late star’s recent death, at 27. “You can’t think straight once you’re totally blitzed.” It seems the same with our politicians, overdosed on their own importance. Their ... [click for more]

A Cheer and a Half for the Tea Party

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Were it not for the Tea Party, the debt-ceiling controversy might never have taken place. Kudos on that count alone. It comes as no surprise that the governing class and its boosters in the media portray the Tea Party folks as a collection of bumpkins and idiots who “don’t know the difference between campaigning and governing” — indeed, who would ... [click for more]

Shared Sacrifice: Obama’s Demagoguery

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The most offensive claim made during the debt-ceiling controversy is that there’s a moral equivalence between cutting government spending and raising taxes. President Obama asks for “shared sacrifice” to reduce the budget deficit. In his view, if the government spends more than it takes in — it currently borrows more than 40 cents of every dollar spent — the ... [click for more]

The Collateral Is Us

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The witching hour is nigh and the threat of the U.S. defaulting on the federal debt is being bandied about as if it were the boogeyman. Fear mongers from the left and right both say the country will go belly up unless the debt ceiling is raised by the Aug. 2 deadline, that it will no longer be able to ... [click for more]

The Cause of Current U.S. Deficits and Debt

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Except for a brief period of time in 1835 under President Andrew Jackson, the United States has been in debt since the founding of the Republic. The first reported national debt in 1791 was over $75 million. Congress now spends more than that every ten minutes. Since the last year of the Bush administration, annual federal deficits have exceeded $1 ... [click for more]

Close Down the IMF

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International Monetary Fund director Dominique Strauss-Kahn is out after being charged with sexual assault against a hotel maid in New York. Unfortunately many members of the world’s governing elite stand ready to take his place. Who should succeed Strauss-Kahn — a European or someone from the developing world? If the criterion is the welfare of ordinary people, the answer ... [click for more]

Hidden Inflation and Debilitating Deficits

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After the 2008 financial collapse, many of us called on politicians to let the market correct itself. The government’s expansion of the housing sector and the Fed’s artificially low interest rates caused an unsustainable and thus ultimately destructive boom, which eventually leads to a bust. This explanation of the business cycle won F.A. Hayek the economics Nobel Prize in ... [click for more]

Time to Rein in Federal Spending

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The debate in Congress over the extension of the Bush tax cuts has obscured the issue of government spending. After all, it is because members of Congress love to spend money that isn’t theirs that we “need” an income tax to begin with. Government spending is out of control. The federal budget is fast approaching $4 trillion. The budget deficit ... [click for more]

Lessons from a Bloated Budget

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President Obama has just sent to Congress the largest federal budget ever in U.S. history. His $3.518 trillion budget is also the most unbalanced in history, with a built-in deficit of $1.413 trillion. The United States has rarely in its history had a balance of receipts and outlays. Deficit spending has been the norm, with the last real budget surplus ... [click for more]
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