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The Growing Crisis of Excessive and Unfunded Retirement Benefits for State and Local Bureaucrats (and a Libertarian Quandary)

I’ve written (some would say excessively) about the fact that America has too many bureaucrats and that they’re paid too much. That’s true in Washington. That’s true at the state level. And it’s true for local governments. But since I’m a big believer in beating a dead horse, let’s revisit this issue. We’ll narrow our […]

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Deciphering Hillary’s Statist Economic Plan: A Helpful Translation into English

I need combat pay. Or maybe some kind of bonus for pain and suffering. First, I had to watch Donald Trump’s incoherent speech on the economy and try to decipher his mish-mash economic plan. And then, without the benefit of a lengthy vacation or counseling for post-foolishness stress disorder, I had to endure Hillary Clinton’s […]

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The Penny Plan Is a Spending-Cap Formula to Make the Trump Tax Cuts Feasible

I don’t like election years because the policy debate tends to revolve around the various proposals put forth by candidates. And since those ideas generally don’t make much sense, it’s a frustrating period. But the silver lining to that dark cloud is that it does create opportunities to comment on what the candidates are saying…and […]

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Debunking the Anti-Empirical Case for Bigger Government

Does the economic chaos in Greece suggest that government should be bigger? Is Venezuela’s economic collapse evidence that larger governments boost growth? Should we learn from Italy’s pervasive stagnation that public sectors should be expanded? Most people, looking at this real-world evidence, would quickly answer no to these questions. But Eduardo Porter is not most […]

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More Evidence that Balanced Budget Rules Don’t Work as Well as Spending Caps

If you asked a bunch of Republican politicians for their favorite fiscal policy goals, a balanced budget amendment almost certainly would be high on their list. This is very unfortunate. Not because a balanced budget amendment is bad, per se, but mostly because it is irrelevant. There’s very little evidence that it produces good policy. […]

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The Six Most Important Takeaways from CBO’s New Long-Run Fiscal Forecast

The Congressional Budget Office has just released the 2016 version of its Long-Term Budget Outlook. It’s filled with all sorts of interesting data if you’re a budget wonk (and a bit of sloppy analysis if you’re an economist). If you’re a normal person and don’t want to wade through 118 pages, you’ll be happy to […]

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