I wrote last year about why Puerto Rico got into fiscal trouble. Like Greece and so many other governments, it did the opposite of Mitchell’s Golden Rule. Instead of a multi-year period of spending restraint, it allowed the budget to expand faster than the private sector for almost two decades. As the old saying goes, […]
Continue reading A Semi-Acceptable Indirect Bailout for Puerto Rico?
Much of my work on fiscal policy is focused on educating audiences about the long-run benefits of small government and modest taxation. But what about the short-run issue of how to deal with a fiscal crisis? I have periodically weighed in on this topic, citing research from places like the European Central Bank and International […]
Continue reading Lesson from Cyprus: Spending Restraint Is the Pro-Growth Way to Solve a Fiscal Crisis
In my presentations about how to deal with budgetary deterioration and fiscal crisis, I often share with audiences a list of nations that have achieved very positive results with spending restraint. The middle column shows how these countries limited the growth of government spending for multi-year periods. The next column of numbers reveals how multi-year […]
Continue reading Can Greece Tax its Way to Prosperity?
It’s very hard to be optimistic about Japan. I’ve even referred to the country as a basket case. But my concern is not that the country has been mired in stagnation for the past 25 years. Instead, I’m much more worried about the future. The main problem is that Japan has the usual misguided entitlement […]
Continue reading Japan’s Descent into Keynesian Parody
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 […]
Continue reading Higher Taxes Are a Recipe for Higher Spending, not Lower Debt
Whenever there’s a fight over raising the debt limit, the political establishment gets hysterical and makes apocalyptic claims about default and economic crisis. For years, I’ve been arguing that this Chicken-Little rhetoric is absurd. And earlier this week I testified about this issue before the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee. […]
Continue reading Educating Congress and Debunking the White House on the Debt Limit