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Debt, Bubbles, and Reckless Government

As a general rule, I’m not overly concerned about debt, even when looking at government red ink. I don’t like deficit and debt, to be sure, but government borrowing should be seen as the symptom. The real problem is excessive government spending. This is one of the reasons I’m not a fan of a balanced […]

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Higher Taxes Are a Recipe for Higher Spending, not Lower Debt

With both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders agitating for higher taxes (and with more than a few Republicans also favoring more revenue because they don’t want to do any heavy lifting to restrain a growing burden of government), it’s time to examine the real-world evidence on what happens when politicians actually do get their hands […]

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Budget Myths and Facts for the 2016 Campaign

I have a very mixed view of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which is an organization representing self-styled deficit hawks in Washington. They do careful work and I always feel confident about citing their numbers. Yet I frequently get frustrated because they seem to think that tax increases have to be part of […]

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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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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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