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Petit Tyrants

Proven Reforms to Restrain Leviathan Government

Back in March, I shared a remarkable study from the International Monetary Fund which explained that spending caps are the only truly effective way to achieve good fiscal policy. And earlier this month, I discussed another good IMF study that showed how deficit and debt rules in Europe have been a failure. In hopes of […]

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Atlas Is Shrugging in Greece and Venezuela: Two Case Studies of Statist Failure

Over the years, I’ve had many arguments about economic policy with my statist friends. I put them into three categories. The completely unreasonable statists blindly assert, notwithstanding all the evidence around the world, that bigger government and more intervention are actually good for growth. The somewhat unreasonable statists acknowledge that bigger government and more intervention […]

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Amazing Admission from New York Times Columnist on How Feminist Economic Policies Hurt Women

When I write about columns in the New York Times, I’m normally pointing out silly examples of bias or exposing absurd mistakes (with Paul Krugman deserving his own special category for sloppiness, as seen here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). But every so often, there’s an insightful piece that is worth […]

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Balanced Budget Requirements Don’t Work as Well as Spending Limits

When I first came to Washington back in the 1980s, there was near-universal support and enthusiasm for a balanced budget amendment among advocates of limited government. The support is still there, I’m guessing, but the enthusiasm is not nearly as intense. There are three reasons for this drop. Political reality – There is zero chance […]

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Government-Subsidized Third-Party Payer Is a Great Recipe to Make a Sector of the Economy More Expensive and Less Efficient

What’s the most effective way of screwing up a sector of the economy? Since I’m a fiscal policy economist, I’m tempted to say that bad tax policy is the fastest way of causing damage. And France might be my top example. But other forms of government intervention also can have a poisonous effect. Regulation, for […]

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Which States Are Most Drunk on Beer Taxes?

Two years ago, I shared a map looking at how heavily wine was taxed in different states. What is showed was that you shouldn’t sip your Chardonnay or guzzle your Merlot in Kentucky. Unless, of course, you wanted to give politicians a lot more money to spend (or you slip across the border like Michael […]

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