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Slovenia: A Case Study of Missed Opportunities and Economic Decline

I’m a big believer that real-world examples can teach us about the benefits of good fiscal policy (think Hong Kong, Estonia, Canada, and the U.S. under Reagan and Clinton) and the costs of bad fiscal policy (France, Cyprus, Greece, and the U.S. under Bush and Obama). Today, let’s look at another example of bad fiscal […]

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Can Greece Be Rescued?

I’m a pessimist about public policy for two simple reasons: 1) Seeking power and votes, elected officials generally can’t resist making short-sighted and politically motivated choices that expand the burden of government. 2) Voters are susceptible to bribery, particularly over time as social capital (the work ethic, spirit of self reliance, etc) erodes and the […]

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It Doesn’t Seem Possible, but France Is Going from Bad to Worse

Remember when Paul Krugman warned that there was a plot against France? He asserted that critics wanted to undermine the great success of France’s social model. I agreed with Krugman, at least in the limited sense that there is a plot against France. But I explained that the conspiracy to hurt the nation was being […]

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Europe’s Problem Is Excessive Spending, not Austerity

It’s remarkable to read that European politicians are agitating to spend more money, supposedly to make up for “spending cuts” and austerity. To put it mildly, their Keynesian-based arguments reflect a reality-optional understanding of recent fiscal policy on the other side of the Atlantic. Here’s some of what Leonid Bershidsky wrote for Bloomberg. Just as […]

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Social Security’s Looming Fiscal Nightmare

With all the controversy over the failed and costly Obamacare program, it’s understandable that other entitlements aren’t getting much attention. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t serious problems with Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. Indeed, the annual Social Security Trustees Report was released a few days ago and the updated numbers for the government-run retirement […]

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America’s Built-In Greek Fiscal Future

I had a very bad lunch today. But not because of what I ate. My lunch was unpleasant because I moderated a noontime panel on Capitol Hill featuring Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and my Cato colleague Chris Edwards. And I should hasten to add that they were splendid company. The unpleasant part of the […]

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