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Tho Bishop

Tho Bishop is a political consultant for Bishop & Associates in Panama City Beach, Florida.

Articles by Tho Bishop

Florida Voted for Medical Marijuana, State Legislators Don’t Care

4 days ago

Florida Voted for Medical Marijuana, State Legislators Don’t Care

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Big GovernmentHealthThe Police State8 hours agoTho BishopLast year Florida became the 28th state to legalize medical marijuana when Amendment 2 passed with over 70% of the vote. Unfortunately, instead of abiding by the overwhelming voter mandate, the state Legislature is looking to impose severe restrictions on the industry. The move will hurt patients, while enriching a handful of licensed growers.Even before the state Legislature began writing rules, Florida’s Amendment 2 already had a far more limited scope than most medical marijuana legislation. Unlike the 2014 bill, which received a majority of votes but fell short of the 60% threshold, Amendment 2 listed ten specified conditions that qualified

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Trump Betrays His Base On The Fed

12 days ago

Trump Betrays His Base On The Fed

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The FedU.S. Economy9 hours agoTho BishopAs Ryan McMaken, among others, noted this week President Donald Trump has seemed to pivot his attention away from his economic legislative agenda and more toward foreign policy matters. Given the legislative frustrations over Obamacare repeal, and his Goldman-led Treasury’s insistence on the sort of revenue-neutral tax reform that may have a hard time getting through a Republican Congress, Trump defenders could place most of the blame for this strategic shift to the political realities of Congress. Today, however, Trump has signaled a retreat from his campaign rhetoric on an issue he has complete control over: whether or not to keep Janet Yellen as Fed chair beyond 2018.During an interview with

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Inflation-Hawk Lacker Was the Fed’s Fall Guy

14 days ago

Inflation-Hawk Lacker Was the Fed’s Fall Guy

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The Fed04/11/2017Tho BishopOne of the great Federal Reserve scandals in recent history seemed to resolve itself last week as Jeffrey Lacker of the Richmond Fed resigned for his role in the Medley Leak.  But as Pedro Nicolaci da Costa, (perhaps the best reporter on this story) points out, the finely scripted statement from Lacker shows that he was not Medley’s original source for the market-moving information.Lacker’s statement reads:During that October 2, 2012 discussion, the Analyst introduced into the conversation an important non-public detail about one of the policy options considered by participants prior to the meeting. Due to the highly confidential and sensitive nature of this information, I should have declined to

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Trump’s Goldman Guys Are Dangerous

20 days ago

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Taxes and SpendingU.S. EconomyAs the Trump administration continues to try to figure where it wants to go with healthcare, his team at the Treasury is readying tax reform. Unfortunately, much like the Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s film Suicide Squad, initial optimism is facing the bitter reality of horrible early reviews.After all, during the campaign there was much to like from Candidate Trump. He campaigned on cutting both income and corporate taxes while eliminating the estate tax all together He frequently bragged that it was going to be the “biggest tax cut since Reagan” (reality of the Gipper’s record aside). Trump focused more on economic growth than the deficit and even though he wrongly supported tariff increases in order to “win on trade,” he frequently rejected

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Raiders Move to Vegas Gives Taxpayers Reason to Boo, Players Reason to Cheer

28 days ago

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Taxes and SpendingYesterday the NFL granted Mark Davis his request to move the Raiders from Oakland to Las Vegas. The move creates multiple losers: Las Vegas hotel customers who will see room taxes rise to pay for the $750 million in subsidies for the new stadium, the city of Oakland who still carries debt from the Raiders old venue, and the infamous fans that made up the Raiders’ iconic “Black Hole” who are losing their football team just after witnessing their first playoff performance in almost 15 years.Beyond the blatant crony capitalism of government-financed stadiums, there are many reasons to doubt the wisdom of the team’s decision. After all, unlike the Rams and Chargers move to Los Angeles, Las Vegas has no history of supporting professional football. The most

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Raiders Move to Vegas Gives Tax Payers Reason to Boo, Players Reason to Cheer

28 days ago

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Taxes and SpendingYesterday the NFL granted Mark Davis his request to move the Raiders from Oakland to Las Vegas. The move creates multiple losers: Las Vegas hotel customers who will see room taxes rise to pay for the $750 million in subsidies for the new stadium, the city of Oakland who still carries debt from the Raiders old venue, and the infamous fans that made up the Raiders’ iconic “Black Hole” who are losing their football team just after witnessing their first playoff performance in almost 15 years.Beyond the blatant crony capitalism of government-financed stadiums, there are many reasons to doubt the wisdom of the team’s decision. After all, unlike the Rams and Chargers move to Los Angeles, Las Vegas has no history of supporting professional football. The most

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Ludwig von Mises and Trash TV

29 days ago

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Media and CultureAccording to reports, Danielle Bregoli, the 14-year-old girl who became a popular internet meme this year due to a failed intervention on the Dr. Phil show, has signed a deal for her own reality television show. On a personal level, there is much to find offensive in Bregoli’s fame, in spite of her obvious marketing prowess. She is, after all, internet-famous simply for her improper English, toxic personal behavior, and apparent lack of respect for anyone around her. On an economic level, however, her rise is an interesting example of how capitalism rewards the interests of the masses, regardless of the opinion of the cultural elite.Criticism of trashy pop culture is, of course, nothing new. Ludwig von Mises, for example, felt the need to defend

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Ryancare Died on the Operating Table

March 24, 2017

The beltway Republicans are scrambling now that it seems the Obamacare replacement package put forward for Paul Ryan and endorsed by Donald Trump can’t get enough support to get through the House. The failure of the American Health Care Act should surprise no one, as it is a piece of legislation that managed to please no one. The Freedom Caucus, made up of the “true believers” of the Tea Party, balked at its similarities to Obamacare, while more moderate members found the bill’s modest change to the ACA too radical for their tastes.
While the failure of the Ryan/Trump/Whatevercare represents a political defeat for the president and GOP leadership, it is probably a net-win for those who oppose socialized healthcare. After all, nothing could be more beneficial

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Ryancare is Failing — What Should Happen Next?

March 24, 2017

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Free MarketsHealthU.S. EconomyThe beltway Republicans are scrambling now that it seems the Obamacare replacement package put forward for Paul Ryan and endorsed by Donald Trump can’t get enough support to get through the House. The failure of the American Health Care Act should surprise no one, as it is a piece of legislation that managed to please no one. The Freedom Caucus, made up of the “true believers” of the Tea Party, balked at its similarities to Obamacare, while more moderate members found the bill’s modest change to the ACA too radical for their tastes. While the failure of the Ryan/Trump/Whatevercare represents a political defeat for the president and GOP leadership, it is probably a net-win for those who oppose socialized healthcare. After all, nothing could

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Ryancare Failed — What Should Happen Next?

March 24, 2017

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Free MarketsHealthU.S. EconomyThe beltway Republicans are scrambling now that the Obamacare replacement packaged put forward for Paul Ryan and endorsed by Donald Trump can’t get enough support to get through the House. The failure of the American Health Care Act should surprise no one, as it is a piece of legislation that managed to please no one. The Freedom Caucus, made up of the “true believers” of the Tea Party, balked at its similarities to Obamacare, while more moderate members found the bill’s modest change to the ACA too radical for their tastes. While the defeat of the Ryan/Trump/Whatevercare represents a political defeat for the president and GOP leadership, it is probably a net-win for those who oppose socialized healthcare. After all, nothing could be more

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The G-20 Was Never Serious About Free Trade

March 21, 2017

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Free MarketsGlobal EconomyU.S. EconomyThere is much hand-wringing in the financial media this week after Treasury Secretary (and Lego Batman producer) Steve Mnuchin helped push the G-20 to remove its long standing language to “reject protectionism” from its annual statement. While the Trump administration’s embrace of anti-trade policies is a very real concern for the global economy, it is worth noting that the G-20’s desire for free trade was every bit as sincere as the UN’s commitment to human rights. What the G-20 members call “free trade” is really government managed trade, complete with complex multinational trade agreements that Trump is right to oppose.After all, if the G-20’s criticism of protectionism was worth more than the ink it was written with, then there

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Trump Should Follow Putin on Military Spending

March 20, 2017

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Taxes and SpendingWar and Foreign PolicyLast week was a tale of two cities. In Washington President Trump followed through on his plans to escalate US military spending, proposing a budget that included $639 billion for the Pentagon — a $54 billion budget increase. Meanwhile, in Moscow, the Russian government has announced a 25% reduction in defense spending, the sharpest cut since the 1990s. This brings Russia’s total military budget for the year to around $50 billion dollars, less than Trump’s proposed increase.  Not only does this demonstrate the absurdity of the beltway’s desire to portray Vladimir Putin as the world’s most dangerous man, but it further highlights the irrationality of the Pentagon’s budget.

Trump has attempted to justify his spending binge

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Will Trump Drain the Swamp with Blockchain?

March 17, 2017

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Big GovernmentU.S. EconomyEntrepreneurshipEarlier this week Donald Trump took steps to streamline the executive branch. As the summary of the order reads:This order is intended to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch by directing the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Director) to propose a plan to reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies.While this is being sold as the first step in fulfilling Steve Bannon’s promise to “deconstruct the administrative state,” it is important to acknowledge that we’ve heard such rhetoric before. The Obama administration also made nominal gestures to “consolidate, streamline, and improve” government agencies during its first 100 days, with then-OMB

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A Step Towards De-Politicizing Science

March 17, 2017

The Trump administration has released its proposed 2018 budget, and within it are some things worth cheering. Trump’s “America First budget” includes needed cuts to the regulatory state, defunds efforts to purchase more Federal land, eliminates funding for 19 minor government agencies, and makes significant cuts to a number of more significant ones — including the State Department, HUD, and Commerce. Unfortunately, the proposal also reflects the myth that America’s military is underfunded, calling for a $52 billion increase for the Pentagon and another $2.8 billion increase for Homeland Security. The budget also ignores America’s web of entitlement programs, the larger driver of the nation’s fiscal woes.
While the Trump budget, should it pass, would do

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Trump’s Budget a First Step Toward De-Politicizing Science

March 16, 2017

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U.S. EconomyThe Trump administration has released its proposed 2018 budget, and within it are some things worth cheering. Trump’s "America First budget" includes needed cuts to the regulatory state, defunds efforts to purchase more Federal land, eliminates funding for 19 minor government agencies, and makes significant cuts to a number of more significant ones — including the State Department, HUD, and Commerce. Unfortunately, the proposal also reflects the myth that America’s military is underfunded, calling for a $52 billion increase for the Pentagon and another $2.8 billion increase for Homeland Security. The budget also ignores America’s web of entitlement programs, the larger driver of the nation’s fiscal woes.While the Trump budget, should it pass, would do little

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NFL Free Agency and the Market Process

March 9, 2017

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Free MarketsEntrepreneurshipPricesToday is the official start of NFL free agency, when teams begin filling their rosters with new players for the upcoming season. This, along with the NFL draft, is one of the biggest days for pro football’s “business season” which is followed as closely by most NFL fans as the games themselves. This time of the year, however, is not only a great subject for discussion at your favorite sports bar, it is a great illustration of economics in action.For example, free agency is a perfect example of how prices are formed on the market.In Human Action, Mises begins his section of Valuation and Appraisement with the following:The ultimate source of the determination of prices is the value judgments of the consumers. Prices are the outcome of

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Report: Arrested Mises Cuba Member Charged with “Distributing Enemy Propaganda”

March 1, 2017

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The Police StateOn February 2nd two Cuban libertarian activists, Ubaldo Herrera Hernandez of Mises Cuba and Manuel Velazquez Visea, were arrested. The two were targeted by Cuban police outside of the Benjamin Franklin Library, which opened last December to provide Cubans access to libertarian ideas.According to Nelson Rodriguez Chartrand, a lawyer with Mises Cuba, the wife of Mr. Visea has been informed that the two will face the charge of “distributing enemy propaganda,” in addition to the “assault” charges they faced for not providing registration to an undercover officer.Since the arrest, the two have been moved to Melena II, a maximum security prison in the town of Melena del Sur. The prison has a long history of housing political dissidents, including Andres Fidel

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Florida’s Government Built a Train — And It Didn’t Go Well

March 1, 2017

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Big GovernmentThe state of Florida is well known for many things: beautiful beaches, outrageous headlines, and being the setting for the wacky antics of the Golden Girls. In Florida’s fascinating history, perhaps no figure stands taller than the great Walt Disney, who transformed unwanted swampland into Disney World, forever changing central Florida from swamp and farmland into one of the premier vacation destination in the world. Disney’s example is an incredible demonstration of what a man can accomplish with vision, work-ethic, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit.Unfortunately too many politicians have all sorts of great visions, but think government power is a fine substitute for the other personal qualities Disney possessed. Just like mosquitos, sinkholes, and

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Bill Belichick: Entrepreneur

February 14, 2017

Reprinted from Mises.org
With last night’s incredible win over the Atlanta Falcons, Bill Belichick won an NFL-record fifth Super Bowl as a head coach. This feat is made all the more incredible by the era in which he won it, with a salary cap and various other mechanisms put in place to make it harder for dynasties to last.  While the hay day of the Steelers and Cowboys were built on a core group of skill players (Franco Harris and Lynn Swann for Pittsburgh, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin for Dallas), the Patriots had a different leading receiver every Super Bowl season, and four different leading rushers.
Belichick is also one of the rare head coaches in the NFL who serve as their own general manager. While every coach dreams of having the power to “buy the groceries”, as Belichick’s

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Judge Rules Health Insurance Companies Matter More Than Taxpayers

February 13, 2017

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HealthLegal SystemLargely overlooked last week in the wake of President Donald Trump’s court battle was another controversial judicial ruling. On Thursday the US Court of Claims rewarding Moda Health, an Oregon-based health insurer, $214 million for losses it took participating in the high risk insurance pools established under the Affordable Care Act. The dispute came after Republicans eliminated funding for tax payer subsidies to those firms that lost money writing insurance for high risk individuals.As Judge Thomas Wheeler wrote:The Court finds that the Government made a promise in the risk corridors program that it has yet to fulfill. Today, the Court directs the Government to fulfill that promise. After all, to say to [Moda], ‘The joke is on you. You shouldn’t have

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Castro Regime Arrests Member of Mises Cuba

February 9, 2017

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Big GovernmentUbaldo Herrera Hernandez, a human rights activist in Cuba and a member of the Cuba Mises Institute, was arrested on February 2nd. Manuel Velazquez Visea, another Cuban libertarian activist, was also arrested. We have been able to confirm that other members of Mises Cuba were threatened by security officials after the incident, but no further arrests have yet been made.At a time when many Americans and other global leaders have wished to romanticize the Castro regime, this is a reminder of their history of oppression for anyone who longs for freedom.Hernandez, who also oversees the Benjamin Franklin Libertarian Library project, was charged with the crime of “attack”, a common charge for political opponents. According to Mises Cuba and the PanAmPost,

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Why Not Replace Dodd-Frank With Glass-Steagall?

February 7, 2017

Last week President Trump started moving forward with his campaign promise to repeal the disastrous Dodd-Frank Act, taking steps to walk back some of the rules and regulations the bill spawned. While these are promising first steps, the larger provisions of the bill will have to be met with legislative action.For those not familiar with the Dodd-Frank Act, it was the Obama Administration’s response to the financial crisis that increased costs on consumers while further undermining the stability of the banking sector by making the “Too Big to Fail” banks bigger. America faces dangerous Bank consolidation due to the mountains of red tape Dodd-Frank has created for lenders, forcing many small and community banks to merge with larger financial institutions. Since Dodd-Frank has

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Bill Belichick: Entrepreneur

February 6, 2017

With last night’s incredible win over the Atlanta Falcons, Bill Belichick won an NFL-record fifth Super Bowl as a head coach. This feat is made all the more incredible by the era in which he won it, with a salary cap and various other mechanisms put in place to make it harder for dynasties to last.  While the hay day of the Steelers and Cowboys were built on a core group of skill players (Franco Harris and Lynn Swann for Pittsburgh, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin for Dallas), the Patriots had a different leading receiver every Super Bowl season, and four different leading rushers.Belichick is also one of the rare head coaches in the NFL who serve as their own general manager. While every coach dreams of having the power to “buy the groceries”, as Belichick’s mentor Bill

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Trump is Wrong on H1-B Visas

January 31, 2017

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U.S. EconomyPolitical TheoryIn what may be a constant theme throughout his presidency, protests broke out around the country in response to Donald Trump’s recent executive orders banning travel from certain Middle Eastern countries. While it’s fair to question why similar protests didn’t spring up when the previous administration was bombing the very same people, the order itself is clearly more “security theater” than anything resembling a real solution.Though it’s reasonable to suggest that government programs aren’t the best way to handle humanitarian crises, the order itself stems from the same issues that constantly plague government policies: inefficient, ineffective, and entirely dismissive of individual rights. Of course, this is precisely why the protests over

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A Tariff with Mexico Will Ensure Americans Pay for Border Wall

January 26, 2017

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U.S. EconomyInterventionismValue and ExchangeThe AP is reporting that Sean Spicer has informed reporters that President Trump is considering a 20% on Mexican goods as a way to fund his Mexican border wall.  Though Trump has insisted throughout his presidential campaign that “Mexico will pay” for any such project, this move would ensure that it is Americans who will suffer the costs as they are forced to pay extra on Mexican goods coming into the country.Throughout his campaign, Trump’s rhetoric has constantly demonstrated a fundamental misunderstanding on the very nature of trade. While Trump constantly refers to trade in militaristic terms with “winners and losers”, free trade is always beneficial for both sides. While Trump has frequently harped on the “trade deficit”

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Steve Mnuchin Defends the Myth of Fed Independence

January 25, 2017

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The FedOne of the biggest surprises during Donald Trump’s unconventional presidential campaign was his frequent criticism of the Federal Reserve. Though he was highly inconsistent on what he thought the Fed should do, coming out as both a critic and advocate of the current low interest rate policy, he was steadier in his dismissal of the Fed as an independent institution.  During one of the debates, he went as far as to accuse Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen of “being…more political than Hillary Clinton.”While it is possible Donald Trump may still believe this, it is clear his Treasury Secretary does not.Responding in writing to questions from Senator Bill Nelson, Steve Mnuchin described the Fed as “organized with sufficient independence to conduct monetary policy and open

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It Won’t Be Boring

January 25, 2017

It is still surreal to type the words “President Donald Trump,” yet that is precisely the world we now live in. Though I still have many concerns about what President Trump will do over the next four years, one of those confirmed with his execution of drone bombings in Yemen Sunday night, I am feeling increasingly confident that my greatest fear is unwarranted: that he will be boring.
While this concern may seem absurd given the fact he turned “political theatre” into the greatest show on Earth (perhaps this played a role in th ne Ringling Brothers closing up shop?), as someone who went to work for the new Republican majority following the Tea Party takeover, I have seen firsthand how Washington D.C. can tame most rebel rousers. Luckily three bits of

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What Republicans Miss About Healthcare Reform

January 17, 2017

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Big GovernmentHealthHealthcare reform is back in the news as the Republican House and Senate have begun the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act. While Republicans have been able to consistently communicate the obvious problems with Obamacare, few have been able to articulate ways in which to improve what was already a broken healthcare system.Senator Rand Paul is one of the few exceptions. He recently outlined an approach that would seek to lower the cost of health insurance by eliminating insurance mandates, allowing consumers to purchase insurance across state lines, allow smaller organizations to pool their insurance together for greater leverage, and eliminate limits on health savings accounts.Senator Paul’s reform package certainly represents a great step

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How Dick Durbin Costs Consumers Billions

January 5, 2017

As Rahm Emanuel once said said, "You never let a serious crisis go to waste."Fellow Illinois politician Senator Dick Durbin put that philosophy into practice during the writing of the Dodd-Frank Act, the monstrous piece of legislation falsely sold to the public as a solution to the financial crisis. Not only did Dodd-Frank not fix the problem of “too big to fail” (it made it worse), but by the time it made its way to President Obama’s desk it became filled with provisions that had nothing remotely to do with the crisis in the first place.One such provision was the Durbin Amendment, which capped the price banks can charge retailers for making credit and debit card transactions. Prior to the amendment, financial institutions would charge various rates, largely dependent upon

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The Case Against Fed Reform

January 4, 2017

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The FedMonetary TheoryMoney and BankingThis week the 115th Congress was sworn in, and there are some indications that Fed reform may be on the agenda. The combination of populist anger fueled by Ron Paul’s Presidential campaigns and the 2008 financial crisis coupled with the repeated failings of the Federal Reserve to meet their projections has created a rare window for monetary policy to be both politically advantageous, as well as so obviously needed that even politicians can see it.  The question now is what sort of reform is on the table.Congressional ReformsLast Congressional session saw proposals from both the House and the Senate.  From the House we have the FORM Act, which would require the Fed to adopt a monetary policy rule and explain to Congress whenever

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