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Maintaining and Enforcing Spending Caps Is a Huge Test of GOP Credibility on Fiscal Policy

Let’s celebrate some good news. When politicians can be convinced (or pressured) to exercise even a modest bit of spending restraint, it’s remarkably simple to get positive results. Here’s some of what I wrote earlier this year. …one of the few recent victories for fiscal responsibility was the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA), which only […]

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Budget Myths and Facts for the 2016 Campaign

I have a very mixed view of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which is an organization representing self-styled deficit hawks in Washington. They do careful work and I always feel confident about citing their numbers. Yet I frequently get frustrated because they seem to think that tax increases have to be part of […]

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Quizzes to Determine Political Philosophy and Political Candidates

As far as I’m concerned, a key gateway test of whether someone might be a libertarian is whether they get upset when ordinary people are mistreated or brutalized by government. Such as the case of an elderly couple who had their hotel stolen by government. Such as the case of the family grocer who had his bank account […]

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Greek Politicians Should Learn from Latvia

I wrote last month that the debt burden in Greece doesn’t preclude economic recovery. After all, both the United States and (especially) the United Kingdom had enormous debt burdens after World War II, yet those record levels of red ink didn’t prevent growth. Climbing out of the debt hole didn’t require anything miraculous. Neither the […]

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After 50 Years, We’ve Learned Enough to Know Medicare Should Get Early Retirement

Not all birthdays are a cause for untrammeled joy. Most of us baby boomers, for instance, don’t like being reminded that we’re getting older. And for folks who follow fiscal policy, the fact that Medicare is now 50 years old is hardly a cause for celebration. That’s because the program, as one of the three […]

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Periodic Debt Limit Fights Are Messy, but May Help Prevent Long-Run Crisis

Remember the big debt limit fight of 2013? The political establishment at the time went overboard with hysterical rhetoric about potential instability in financial markets. They warned that a failure to increase the federal government’s borrowing authority would mean default to bondholders even though the Treasury Department was collecting about 10 times as much revenue […]

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