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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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A Laffer-Curve Relationship between Welfare Spending and Poverty

The welfare state is bad news. It’s bad for taxpayers and it’s bad for recipients. It’s also bad for the economy since prosperity is in part a function of the quantity of labor that is productively employed. As such, government programs that lure people into dependency obviously reduce national economic output. We can get a […]

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When Picking the Correct Size of Government, the Choice Isn’t Anarchy or Greece

Back in 2011, I shared a video that mocked libertarians by claiming that Somalia was their ideal no-government paradise. I pointed out, of course, that the argument was silly. Sort of like claiming that North Korea is the left’s version of policy paradise. But the video was very clever, and I’m more than willing to […]

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Demographics + Entitlements = Europe’s Doom

The most depressing data about America’s economy is not the top tax rate, the regulatory burden, or the level of wasteful of government spending. Those numbers certainly are grim, but I think they’re not nearly as depressing as America’s demographic outlook. As you can see from this sobering image, America’s population pyramid is turning into […]

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