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OECD Economic Research Finds that Government Spending Harms Growth

At the risk of understatement, I’m not a fan of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Perhaps reflecting the mindset of the European governments that dominate its membership, the Paris-based international bureaucracy has morphed into a cheerleader for statist policies. All of which was just fine from the perspective of the Obama Administration, which […]

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Does “Wagner’s Law” Mean Libertarians Should Acquiesce to Big Government?

There’s a lot of speculation in Washington about what a Trump Administration will do on government spending. Based on his rhetoric it’s hard to know whether he’ll be a big-spending populist or a hard-nosed businessman. But what if that fight is pointless? Back in October, Will Wilkinson of the Niskanen Center wrote a very interesting […]

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For Thanksgiving Week, the OECD Proposes a Keynesian Turkey

Earlier this year, I criticized the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development for endorsing an orgy of Keynesian spending. Did my criticism have an effect? Well, the bureaucrats in Paris just issued a new report that bluntly suggests a reorientation of fiscal policy to achieve more growth. …the global economy remains in a low-growth trap […]

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What’s Responsible for Ever-Growing Government, Entitlements or Defense?

When I give speeches on fiscal policy, I commonly get some variation of this question (and you can choose one of more of the options). Isn’t our fiscal problem largely the result of the wars/intervention/Iraq/Afghanistan/Libya/Syria launched by Bush/Hillary/neocons/Blackwater/Pentagon? I generally respond by first confessing my lack of expertise on military and foreign affairs, but then […]

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Donald Trump, the Medicaid Monster, and Entitlement “Cuts”

I’m a fiscal policy wonk, so I freely acknowledge that I sometimes look at the world through green-eyeshade-colored lenses. But I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that expanding entitlements, changing demographics, and increasing dependency are the main long-run threats to the American economy. And this is why the concerns I had about a […]

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The “Progressive” Threat to Baltic Exceptionalism

I’m a big fan of the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. These three countries emerged from the collapse of the Soviet Empire and they have taken advantage of their independence to become successful market-driven economies. One key to their relative success is tax policy. All three nations have flat taxes. Estonia’s system is […]

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