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White House Surrender on Plan to Tax College Savings: A Victory that Underscores Importance of No-Tax-Hike Pledge

The Obama Administration has already announced a bunch of tax increases that will be part of the President’s soon-to-be-released budget. But, in a remarkable development, the White House has preemptively thrown in the towel and said that it will no longer pursue a proposed tax hike on 529 plans (IRA-type vehicles that allow parents to […]

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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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The Need for Social Security Reform, as Illustrated by Cartoons

Political cartoons, if done correctly, are remarkably effective tools for teaching about economics and public policy. In this post from last year, for instance, I put together some of my favorite examples on topics such as Keynesian economics, labor supply incentives, minimum wage, and the welfare state. Today, we’re going to try something different. Using […]

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Obama’s Class-Warfare Tax Plan Targets the So-Called Rich, but Workers Will Bear the Burden

The most compelling graph I’ve ever seen was put together by Andrew Coulson, one of my colleagues at the Cato Institute. It shows that there’s been a huge increase in the size and cost of the government education bureaucracy in recent decades, but that student performance has been stagnant. But if I had to pick […]

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More Evidence against Big-Spending Keynesian Economics

Keynesian economics is a perpetual-motion machine for statists. The way to boost growth, they argue, is to have governments borrow lots of money from the economy’s productive sector and then spend it on anything and everything. Even if the money is squandered on global defense against a make-believe alien attack, according to Keynesians like Paul […]

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Fiscal Responsibility in Alaska: On the Challenge of Falling Oil-Tax Revenue

With West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the U.S. benchmark oil price, at $46.07 on January 12, 2015, lawmakers in Alaska were getting nervous because the government was relying on oil-industry taxes to cover 89% of the government’s operating revenue.[1]At the time, the government had a $3.5 billion deficit in the $6.1 billion budget.  How the governor, Bill Walker, planned to deal with the shortfall can give us a glimpse of what fiscal responsibility might look like in government.


The full essay is at “Fiscal Responsibility in Alaska.”



[1]Ana Campoy, Mark Peters, and Erica Phillips, “Energy-Heavy States Get a Crude Awakening,” The Wall Street Journal, January 13, 2015.

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