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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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More Anti-Factual Analysis from Paul Krugman

I don’t know whether to be impressed or horrified by Paul Krugman. I’m impressed that he’s always “on message.” No matter what’s happening in America or around the world, he always has some sort of story about why events show the need for bigger government. But I’m horrified that he’s so sloppy with numbers. My […]

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Bill Clinton and the Retroactive Application of Mitchell’s Golden Rule

It’s amazingly simple to reduce the burden of government spending. Policy makers simply need to impose some modest spending restraint so that government doesn’t grow faster than the economy’s productive sector. In a display of humility that can only be found in Washington, DC, I call this Mitchell’s Golden Rule. And, amazingly, even the International […]

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A Fair – but Ultimately Misleading – Critique of GOP Budgets

Last week, I applauded the Chairmen of the House and Senate Budget Committees for proposing budgets that complied with my Golden Rule, which means the burden of government would grow slower than the private sector. But my praise was limited because neither budget is ideal from the perspective of libertarians and small-government conservatives. Even though […]

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Chairmen of House and Senate Budget Committees Propose Good Budgets, Particularly Compared to Obama’s Spendthrift Plan

Earlier this year, President Obama proposed a budget that would impose new taxes and add a couple of trillion dollars to the burden of government spending over the next 10 years. The Republican Chairmen of the House and Senate Budget Committees have now weighed in. You can read the details of the House proposal by […]

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Continued Spending Restraint Can Quickly Balance the Budget

Just like the swallows return each year to Capistrano, I eagerly await the Congressional Budget Office’s release of its annual Economic and Budget Outlook. But not just because I’m a fiscal wonk. I also like perusing this publication to find CBO’s “baseline” forecast for government revenue over the next 10 years. And once I have […]

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