From the Right/
Resist Dangerous Political Theater and Look to 'That Which Is Not Seen'
Too many politicians are thespians. When there's a conflict -- as there often is -- between appearing to solve problems and actually helping to solve those problems, politicians can almost always be counted on to put appearance over substance. Unfortunately, politicians succumb to this bias even when their theatrics make real problems worse.
Surprise: Debt Conversation Brings More Pointless 'Tax-the-Rich' Talk
Whenever we have a national conversation about government debt, Democrats invariably respond that spending is not the reason the debt is now nearly equal to our national GDP. The real cause of our indebtedness, they inform us, is that taxes aren't high enough and the rich don't pay their fair share. From increasing the marginal tax rate to ...Read more
What is 'Common Good Capitalism,' and Why Are Some Conservatives So Enamored?
"Common-good capitalism" is all the rage these days with national conservatives. But what exactly is it, you may ask? That's a good question. As far as I can tell, it's a lovely sounding name for imposing one's preferred economic and social policies on Americans while pretending to be "improving" capitalism. If common-good capitalism's ...Read more
Why the Debt Ceiling Continues to Matter
The debt-ceiling standoff has people concerned about what will happen if the U.S. defaults on its debt. I certainly hope both sides will come together to avoid this outcome. But it is still worth reminding everyone how incredibly precarious the status quo is, and why something needs to change.
You've heard the warnings about our debt levels, ...Read more
Junk Fees Are Just Bureaucratic Junk Food
Any parent will tell you that forcing children to eat their spinach is no way to win a household popularity contest. Children don't care about the long-term benefits of eating healthy food when the alternative is the short-term thrill of sugary treats. Much to their children's chagrin, parents impose rules, like limiting the quantity of treats...Read more
What You Need to Know About the Debt-Ceiling Debate
If you read news coverage about the brewing battle over raising the debt ceiling, you might think it's a fight between demons and angels. On one side, you have Republicans who are willing to risk a default on the government's debt unless they get spending cuts that will starve people. On the other side, you have Democrats who, guarding the ...Read more
One Stat Rarely Tells the Story
Government debt as a share of the U.S. economy is falling. This must mean the Biden administration and Congress are practicing fiscal responsibility, right? No, it doesn't. The main driver behind the reduction is inflation -- inflation that politicians in Washington created with their irresponsible spending and refusal to engage in austerity ...Read more
The Fed Has More Than a 'Credibility' Problem
I have heard some people say that the Federal Reserve has a credibility problem. The agency missed the biggest inflation spike since the 1980s, was slow to start rolling back pandemic policies and failed to spot the risks that some banks, such as Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), were facing. Instead of instilling confidence and stability, the Fed's ...Read more
More Entitlement Red Flags as Politicians Tout Inaction
Republicans and Democrats have been tripping over each other to tell voters how committed they are to making zero changes to Social Security and Medicare. Meanwhile, the Social Security and Medicare Trustees just confirmed yet again that within 10 years the programs' funds will be insolvent.
It's hard to forget the scene during the most ...Read more
Progressives May Be Coming Around on Overregulation
George McGovern, the Democratic Party's 1972 presidential nominee, was a liberal icon. During many years in political office, including as a U.S. senator from South Dakota, McGovern successfully championed loads of regulations, taxes and mandates in the name of the public good. But as a businessman, he was held back to the point of failure by ...Read more
How Banning Chinese Products Could Backfire for the US
The controversy over proposed state and federal bans of Chinese-produced apps has sparked debate about the wisdom of country-of-origin bans in general. On the surface, banning TikTok and other controversial products coming from China appears reasonable. But the deeper you dig, the less these ideas make sense.
This is especially true when bans ...Read more
The President's Budget Reveals the Real Priority: Tax Hikes
Budgets are about priorities. In the Biden administration's new budget, its apparent priorities are marred by problems. Here's the cheat-sheet version: Rather than containing explosive growth in spending, it would use a bunch of new taxes to wage class warfare.
While this budget is dead on arrival in Congress, it's worth reviewing some reasons ...Read more
Welcome to the Age of Political Capitalism
Welcome to our regime of political capitalism, where merit matters but political connections matter even more. In an unalloyed capitalist system, money flows to those who offer goods and services of value to consumers. In a political capitalism system, money flows to special-interest groups with friends in high places.
In his 2018 book, "...Read more