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Tag Archives: Taxation

Inflation Data Shows Tariffs Are Not a Tax on Consumers but on Foreign & US Corporations

Inflation runs hot in housing, medical services, health insurance, other items that are not imported. The consumer price inflation data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which corroborates prior inflation data, says that, yes, prices are rising, but they’re rising sharply in services that are not impacted by imports and tariffs, such as rents and other housing costs, healthcare, education, and other services, and also in restaurants (where customers pay mostly for labor...

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The hardest problem in public policy

Scott Alexander is one of my favorite bloggers, combining deep insight with fair-minded analysis. This and this are a couple examples that I really enjoyed. A recent post discussing a policy of universal basic income (UBI) is less convincing: About 40 million Americans live below the poverty line, which is $12,000 for an individual and a little higher for families. Multiplying these out to get $480 billion to end poverty is too high, first because most of these people...

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Casey Mulligan on Trump versus Reagan on Trade

The Trump Administration supports a House bill known as the “US Reciprocal Trade Act.”  Before it was introduced, Peter Navarro was leading the White House effort in this area, which he called the Fair And Reciprocal Trade act.  To the amusement of the rest of the White House staff, Mr. Navarro got an “F” in marketing; this was one of several occasions that the President was understandably upset with Mr. Navarro. It seems that neither the House bill nor the FART act...

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Letter to the Presidential Candidates: It’s Time to Tax Others More

Don’t tax you; don’t tax me; tax that fellow behind the tree. –Russell B. Long, U.S. Senator from Louisiana Don’t tax you; do tax me; and tax the folks that disagree with me. –David R. Henderson, interpreting the thoughts of 18 wealthy Americans. A recent open letter from 17 wealthy Americans willing to identify themselves and one American who was unwilling to do so has gotten a lot of attention. In it, they make a case for higher taxes on very wealthy Americans...

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Federal Disability Policy Poses Insidious Problems for Disabled People Who Want to Generate Income

How to Bring the Disabled Out of the Economic Closet. By Michael Gorback, M.D., at the Center for Pain Relief in Houston, TX: N.B.: The disability benefits system as described here is a very simplified version. It is incredibly complex, so I have limited the discussion to some rather broad generalizations. However, I believe the message does come through that the system discourages behavior that would reduce taxpayer burdens while improving self-esteem and economic well-being among...

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Henderson’s Case Against a Universal Basic Income

Even some free-market economists, such as Duke University’s Michael Munger, argue for a UBI that would replace the current welfare state. But assuming unrealistically that the existing means-tested welfare state programs could be completely replaced, a UBI of $12,000 a year or even of $10,000 a year would require large increases in federal government spending and large increases in taxes. This is an excerpt from my article on Hoover’s Defining Ideas site, published...

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The Countries with the Biggest Corporate Debt Pileups. US Fizzles in 24th Place! Canada Shines in 11th Place

China’s corporations, the most indebted in the world, are forced to deleverage. US “nonfinancial” corporate debt – this excludes debt by banks and by businesses that are not incorporated – rose to a record $15.2 trillion in the fourth quarter, according to data released by the Bank for International Settlements last week. To show how much of a burden this debt is, how it compares to other countries, and to eliminate the effects of inflation, the BIS also expresses this debt as a...

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Bio of William Nordhaus Is On Line

Starting in the 1970s, Nordhaus constructed increasingly comprehensive models of the interaction between the economy and additions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, along with its effects on global warming. Economists use these models, along with assumptions about various magnitudes, to compute the “social cost of carbon” (SCC). The idea is that past a certain point, additions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere heat the earth and thus create a global negative...

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Henderson on Furman and Summers

The negatives are many. They [Jason Furman and Larry Summers] claim that tax increases are savings; they assume that tax cuts and government spending increases are necessary to get us out of recessions; they assume that we are in an era of “secular stagnation,” that is, low growth; they claim that failure to increase spending on infrastructure, education, and scientific leadership is more of a burden on the next generations than the national debt is; and they think...

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