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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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Debt, Bubbles, and Reckless Government

As a general rule, I’m not overly concerned about debt, even when looking at government red ink. I don’t like deficit and debt, to be sure, but government borrowing should be seen as the symptom. The real problem is excessive government spending. This is one of the reasons I’m not a fan of a balanced […]

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No Sympathy for Spendthrift Politicians in Fairfax County

As I’ve repeatedly explained, governments generally get in fiscal trouble because politicians can’t resist spending lots of money when the economy is buoyant and therefore generating lots of tax revenue. And this is why I’m a huge fan of spending caps. If outlays can’t grow faster than, say, 3 percent annually, that make it difficult […]

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Ranking States for Income Taxes and Government Efficiency

There’s no agreement on the most important variable for state tax competitiveness. You could make a strong case that it is the overall share of income taken by politicians in the state. Or you could argue that the tax system for employers is the key metric. And the top tax rate obviously is an important […]

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Japan’s Descent into Keynesian Parody

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 […]

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