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Home / Tag Archives: Debt and Deficits (page 3)

Tag Archives: Debt and Deficits

Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 112 of my colleague Richard Wagner’s superb 2017 intellectual biography of our late Nobel-laureate colleague, Jim Buchanan: James M. Buchanan and Liberal Political Economy: If a battleship is financed by taxation, it is clearly taxpayers who turn over the resources necessary to build the battleship. But what if bondholders provide those resources by buying government bonds? It’s not reasonable to claim that the bondholders bear the cost of the battleship. Indeed, they have...

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There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Borrowed Lunch

Here’s an e-mail to my friend John Tamny: John: While there’s much to admire in your essay “Socialism, Not Debt, Causes Economic Collapse,” you dismiss too quickly the possibility of government debt being monetized and, hence, fueling inflation – as well as dismiss too quickly the findings of Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff. In addition, you miss at least two other foundational objections to deficit financing. One is ethical while the other is economic. The ethical: The bills for...

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A Truly Terrible Analogy

Here’s a letter to Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall-Genzer: Nancy Marshall-GenzerReporter, Marketplace Nancy: Reporting yesterday on plans for further stimulus spending financed with borrowed funds, you interviewed not a single economist who dissents from this fiscal incontinence. This omission is unfortunate. Such a voice would have reminded listeners of traditional problems with borrowing funds for spending projects – such as that the mere act of spending money building infrastructure...

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“Stimulus” Ain’t Miracle Dust

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal: Editor: Incoming Treasury secretary Janet Yellen and other left-of-center economists reason that government should borrow and spend even more than the unfathomable sums that have been borrowed and spent in 2020 (“The Debt Question Facing Janet Yellen: How Much Is Too Much?” Jan. 19). Spending enormous amounts of borrowed funds is thought to be necessary to stimulate the economy out of its sluggishness. Yet the only condition under which this...

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Some Links

Amelia Janaskie and Micha Gartz survey what was said prior to 2020 about using lockdowns in response to a lethal and contagious pathogen. George Will exposes the appalling lust for power and laughable-if-it-weren’t-so-lethal economic ignorance of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO). A slice: If Hawley, Rubio and Graham squint, they can see a silver lining on the dark cloud of Democratic control of the Senate: Majority Leader Schumer will soon give them an opportunity to vote for...

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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 54-55 of my late Nobel-laureate colleague James Buchanan’s 1981 lecture “Constitutional Restrictions on the Power of Government,” as this lecture is reprinted in Choice, Contract, and Constitutions (2001), which is volume 16 of The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan: [Government] spending rates would be lower if all programs were required to be tax-financed. Government, however, may have access to both debt issue and money creation as alternative revenue sources. These...

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Some Non-Covid Links

George Will rightly condemns Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz for playing leading roles in unleashing Wednesday’s mob on Capitol Hill. A slice: The Trump-Hawley-Cruz insurrection against constitutional government will be an indelible stain on the nation. They, however, will not be so permanent. In 14 days, one of them will be removed from office by the constitutional processes he neither fathoms nor favors. It will take longer to scrub the other two from public life. Until that hygienic outcome...

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Some Covid Links

Phil Magness argues sensibly that young adults are being killed by Covid-19 lockdowns. (Where’s the sympathy for these victims?) A slice: The concession itself is stunning. If opioid overdose deaths are up compared to their 2018 baseline, they could explain the surge in excess deaths among young people rather than the speculated undercounting of Covid fatalities. Opioid and other substance abuse problems have a well-documented connection to mental despair and economic downturns alike....

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 198 of George Will’s 1992 book, Restoration: The dissolution of political, cultural and constitutional restraints on Congress obviously has served the interests of legislative careerists. They have a permanent, inherent vocational incentive to borrow to finance current expenditures. DBx: Yes. And to all deficit doves I say this: Because government borrowing today must be repaid by tomorrow’s citizens-taxpayers, today’s citizens-taxpayers have incentives to spend...

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Some Links

The latest post by Swedish physician Sebastian Rushworth on Covid-19 and humanity’s deranged reaction to it is a must-read. A slice: Now, I don’t want to give the impression that the Emergency Room was being overwhelmed, because that would be false. I went from seeing eight or more patients per shift to seeing two or three. While a very large proportion of the patients were covid positive, there were in total many fewer patients than usual. All the usual suspects in the Emergency Room...

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