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Home / Tag Archives: Debt and Deficits (page 10)

Tag Archives: Debt and Deficits

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David Henderson joins in in setting the record straight about Milton Friedman’s ideas and influences. My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy continues rightly to lament Trump’s and Congress’s fiscal incontinence. Veronique also appropriately pokes fun at Farhad Manjoo’s incredibly bizarre complaint about Amazon. Some things never change – including the unfounded fear that today’s large and successful firms somehow, unlike any firms in the past, will grab and maintain...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 70-71 of James M. Buchanan’s and Richard E. Wagner’s insightful 1977 book, Democracy in Deficit: The Political Legacy of Lord Keynes (original emphasis): An increasingly disproportionate public sector, quite apart from its inflationary consequences, carries with it the familiar, but always important, implications for individual liberty. The governmental bureaucracy, at least indirectly supported by the biased, if well-intentioned, notions Keynesian origin, comes to have a...

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My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy continues her campaign against the U.S. government’s fiscal incontinence. Another Mercatus Center colleague, Jayme Lemke, argues that history should pay more attention to the many ways that ordinary people solve problems without the assistance of – indeed, often in spite of – governments and Great Men. George Melloan writes wisely about the rise today of sympathy for socialism. A slice: And millennials fear, for good reason, that...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 342 of the original edition of James M. Buchanan’s 1960 textbook, The Public Finances (a book that isn’t included in Buchanan’s Collected Works) (original emphasis): As contrasted with taxation, which must impose a current real burden on individuals, debt creation provides one way of financing public services without current cost. It provides a means whereby taxpayers in any given period may shift or postpone the payment for public services to the shoulders of taxpayers in...

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Fiscal Shenanigans Are Destructive and Not Productive

Here’s a letter to Café Hayek reader who disagrees with my stance as a budget-deficit hawk: Mr. Gill: Thanks for your e-mail. You “believe if the government can keep borrowing to pay its debts off the best policy is to slash taxes and use borrowed money to pay for most government expenses.” First, no government can continue indefinitely to service its debt obligations merely by issuing new debt. But let me here put this objection to the side. Even if it were true that government could...

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Russ Roberts busts several zombie-like myths, not the least of which is that America is ailing because of her wholesale adoption of the ideas of F.A. Hayek and Milton Friedman. Also busting myths – chiefly that ordinary Americans’ living standards have stagnated over the past few decades – is Michael Strain. A slice: Wages are the most salient form of compensation, but they are far from the only component of income—that is, of the total flow of resources available to households for...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 210-212 of my colleague Richard Wagner’s insightful paper “Liability Rules, Fiscal Institutions and the Debt,” which is chapter 11 in the 1987 collection Deficits (James M. Buchanan, Charles K. Rowley, & Robert D. Tollison, eds.): The ability of government to borrow at a lower rate of interest than other borrowers is not at all a sign that it is a less risky enterprise than other enterprises. Rather it is a sign of government’s ability to cover up through taxation...

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Samuel Gregg responds to those who criticize his wise warnings against industrial policy. A slice: The very fact, however, that a country’s comparative advantages are constantly changing is, if anything, yet another reason to be wary about experts who think they can second-guess the workings of markets via some combination of industrial policy and tariffs. Such reservations are neither an instance of “market fundamentalism” nor a reflection of excessive abstraction. Rather they flow from...

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Note on the Fly

With this note I do not mean to be mean or intend to be rude. I intend only to announce that I will no longer respond to anyone who sends to me his or her endorsement of a heretofore overlooked alleged source of free goods and services. Nothing done on the monetary or financial side of an economy makes the use of real goods and services free. Zero interest rates do and cannot make the use of real goods and services free (or less costly). Money creation does not and cannot make the use of...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 142 of the original edition of James M. Buchanan’s and Richard E. Wagner’s great 1977 book, Democracy in Deficit: The Political Legacy of Lord Keynes: The events of fiscal history strongly support the hypothesis that unconstrained access to public borrowing will tend to generate excessive government spending. DBx: Yep. Public borrowing allows citizens-taxpayers today to spend the money of citizens-taxpayers tomorrow, many of whom aren’t yet even born, and much less of...

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