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A Semi-Acceptable Indirect Bailout for Puerto Rico?

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, […]

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Lesson from Cyprus: Spending Restraint Is the Pro-Growth Way to Solve a Fiscal Crisis

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 […]

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Notwithstanding Keynesian Fantasies, Redistribution Does Not Stimulate Growth

Back in 2010, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi actually claimed that paying people not to work would be good for the economy. Wow, that’s almost as bizarre as Paul Krugman’s assertion that war is good for growth. Professor Dorfman of the University of Georgia remembers Pelosi’s surreal moment and cites it in his column in Forbes, […]

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Was Reaganomics a Success?

Among Republicans and conservatives, Ronald Reagan is widely revered as a great President. From their perspective, he was the candidate who actually made America great again. Fans of the Gipper tell us the economy rebounded, inflation was tamed, incomes rose, unemployment fell, and the Evil Empire was defeated. What’s not to love? That’s an impressive […]

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Economic Lesson from Europe for Hillary: Higher Tax Rates Are a Recipe for More Red Ink

We can learn a lot of economic lessons from Europe. Never adopt a VAT unless you want much bigger government. Bigger government means lower living standards. Don’t believe Bernie Sanders about the Nordic nations. Today, we’re going to focus on another lesson, which is that higher taxes lead to more red ink. And let’s hope […]

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Democracy, Societal Collapse, Public Choice, Goldfish, and Tax Competition

There’s a very powerful statement, variously attributed to Alexis de Toqueville, Benjamin Franklin, or Alexander Tytler, that basically warns that democracy is doomed when people figure out they can vote themselves money. There’s no evidence that any of them actually spoke or wrote those words, though I guess it doesn’t matter that the quote didn’t […]

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