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The Limits to a “Shut Down only a Tiny Part of Government Shutdown” Strategy

A couple of days ago, I wrote that Republicans should not be intimidated if the White House threatens a government shutdown. Simply stated, prior shutdowns have yielded meaningful policy victories without causing measurable political damage. This isn’t to say that the goal of any fiscal fight is a shutdown. Instead, my point is simply that […]

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Government Shutdown Theater: Republicans Should Not Surrender to Obama’s Blackmail

Notwithstanding the landslide rejection of Obama and his policies in the mid-term election, I don’t think this will produce big changes in policy over the next two years. Simply stated, the GOP does not have the votes to override presidential vetoes, so there’s no plausible strategy for achieving meaningful tax reform or genuine entitlement reform. […]

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Life before the social welfare state

In 1779, before the advent of the welfare state or even a federal government in the US, when taxes were virtually non-existent, François de Barbé-Marbois wrote: “Begging is unknown in America. There are, in almost all towns, hostels which take … Continue reading

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Proper Staffing and Reform of JCT and CBO Is an IQ Test for the Republican Party

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) are congressional bureaucracies that wield tremendous power on Capitol Hill because of their role as fiscal scorekeepers and referees. Unfortunately, these bureaucracies lean to the left. When CBO does economic analysis or budgetary estimates, for instance, the bureaucrats routinely make it easier for politicians […]

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Health Care Update: Everything from Medicaid’s Ever-Rising Fiscal Burden to a (Very Tepid) Defense of Jonathan Gruber

I’ve been fretting for a long time that poorly designed entitlement programs are going to turn America into a decrepit welfare state. Medicare obviously is a big part of the problem, but the fraud-riddled Medicaid program may be even worse. The program is a nightmare for both federal taxpayers and state taxpayers. In an article […]

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Research Shows that Small Government Is Efficient Government

I’ve argued that we’ll get better government if we make it smaller. And Mark Steyn humorously observed, “our government is more expensive than any government in history – and we have nothing to show for it.” But can these assertions be quantified? I had an email exchange last week with a gentleman from Texas who […]

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