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Tag Archives: Budget Issues

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My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy exposes the realities of democratic socialism. A slice: The bottom line is that none of us can afford the true budgetary costs of the Democrat Socialist dream. And that’s just the financial costs. It says nothing about the stifling of innovation, of entrepreneurship, and of work under such plan. Speaking of socialism, here’s a great cartoon by way of Mark Perry. Also speaking of socialism – or of socialist twitchings – James Copland...

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Costs are Costs Whether or Not they Appear in a Government’s Budget

Here’s a letter to Vox: According to Matthew Yglesias, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s bill to fundamentally restructure corporate governance in the United States “would redistribute trillions of dollars from rich executives and shareholders to the middle class – without costing a dime” (“Elizabeth Warren has a plan to save capitalism,” August 15). Without costing a dime?? Clearly not. Even according to Mr. Yglesias, it would cost hundreds of trillions of dimes – namely, that wealth that Mr....

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I Too Often Tilt at these Windmills

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post: Neil Bush deserves applause for making an often-ignored point about the trade deficit: “If we assume a GDP of $1,000, a 2 percent trade deficit would mean someone had sold us $20 more in goods than we sold to them. And we would have received quality merchandise for that $20” (“The difference between Don Quixote and Donald Trump,” August 2). Yes! People typically forget that the imports that make up the U.S. trade deficit are, like all American...

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George Will argues eloquently that the Janus decision is a welcome blow to coerced speech. Here’s his conclusion: There is no sugarcoating today’s reality. Public-sector unions are conveyor belts that move a portion of government employees’ salaries — some of the amount paid in union dues — into political campaigns, almost always Democrats’, to elect the people with whom the unions “negotiate” for taxpayers’ money. Progressives who are theatrically distraught about there being “too much...

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An Open Letter to AEI’s James Pethokoukis

Mr. Pethokoukis: You are generally spot-on in your analyses. But when you write that trade deficits “should be viewed as a sign the US isn’t saving enough, especially given future obligations” you unintentionally feed one of the worst myths about trade deficits. It’s true, as you note, that U.S. government budget deficits are a problem. It’s also true that purchases by foreigners of U.S. treasuries increase the U.S. trade deficit. But it is emphatically not true that trade deficits...

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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is the closing line of my brilliant GMU Econ colleague Bryan Caplan’s latest EconLog post – a post that you should read in its entirety: Perhaps rich societies have big governments because it takes a colossal host to sustain colossal parasitism.  Think of San Francisco or New York City before you scoff! Comments

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In this podcast, Alberto Mingardi talks with the Wall Street Journal‘s Mary Kissel about the unfortunate rise of populism. My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy correctly argues that the GOP is no advocate of small and limited government.  A slice: Led by a president who doesn’t appear to understand basic economics and who insists that the long-term drivers of America’s unsustainable national debt—Social Security and Medicare—can’t be touched, the mainstream GOP has...

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In this podcast, Alberto Mingardi talks with the Wall Street Journal‘s Mary Kissel about the unfortunate rise of populism. My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy correctly argues that the GOP is no advocate of small and limited government.  A slice: Led by a president who doesn’t appear to understand basic economics and who insists that the long-term drivers of America’s unsustainable national debt—Social Security and Medicare—can’t be touched, the mainstream GOP has...

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George Will hears the ever-louder whirring of a debt spiral.  Here’s his conclusion: Hillsdale College’s Gary Wolfram notes that total discretionary spending — including defense — for fiscal 2019 is projected to be $1.362 trillion, which is just $381 billion more than the projected deficit. All this means trouble, unless Mr. Art of the Deal can negotiate with arithmetic, persuading it to amend its rules so that trillion-dollar deficits will not mean trillion-dollar increases in the...

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Incessantly Repeating ‘The Earth Is Flat’ Doesn’t Make the Earth Flat

Here’s a letter to National Review‘s ‘The Corner’: Reihan Salam is right both to bemoan Uncle Sam’s fiscal profligacy and to counsel trade hawks to change their feathers into those of deficit hawks (“A Trump Trade and Economic Doctrine,” April 18). But the strength of his argument is compromised by flaws in his assessment of trade deficits and surpluses. Salam’s flaws are rooted in his acceptance of the administration’s presumption that so-called trade “imbalances” are a problem that can...

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