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Greek Politicians Should Learn from Latvia

I wrote last month that the debt burden in Greece doesn’t preclude economic recovery. After all, both the United States and (especially) the United Kingdom had enormous debt burdens after World War II, yet those record levels of red ink didn’t prevent growth. Climbing out of the debt hole didn’t require anything miraculous. Neither the […]

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Periodic Debt Limit Fights Are Messy, but May Help Prevent Long-Run Crisis

Remember the big debt limit fight of 2013? The political establishment at the time went overboard with hysterical rhetoric about potential instability in financial markets. They warned that a failure to increase the federal government’s borrowing authority would mean default to bondholders even though the Treasury Department was collecting about 10 times as much revenue […]

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Greece’s Debt Is Sustainable

The conventional wisdom, pushed by the IMF and others, is that Greece’s economy will never recover unless there is substantial debt relief. Translated into English, that means the Greek government should be allowed to break the contracts it made with the people and institutions that lent money to Greece. That may mean a “haircut,” which […]

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State Fiscal Rankings and Implications for Public Policy and the 2016 Presidential Race

There’s an old saying that states are the laboratories of democracy. But since I’m a policy wonk, I focus more on the lessons we can learn from the states about public policy. Such as the importance of limiting the destructive nature of taxes. Such as the economic benefits of not having an income tax. Such […]

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Puerto Rico: Another Harsh Lesson about the Consequences of Violating Fiscal Policy’s Golden Rule

When I make speeches about fiscal policy, I oftentimes share a table showing the many nations that have made big progress by enforcing spending restraint over multi-year periods. I then ask audiences a rhetorical question about a possible list of nations that have prospered by going in the opposite direction. Are there any success stories […]

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The Economist and New York Times Channel Fox Butterfield on Keynesian Policy

Back in 2010, I described the “Butterfield Effect,” which is a term used to mock clueless journalists for being blind to the real story. A former reporter for the New York Times, Fox Butterfield, became a bit of a laughingstock in the 1990s for publishing a series of articles addressing the supposed quandary of how crime […]

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