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  • American Restoration: The Role of Private Equity

    Making something busted luster again. That’s the basic premise of an innovative television show called American Restoration featured on the History Channel. On the show, people bring their worn, rusted, creaky old stuff from America’s past—stuff like an old Dodge pickup truck, an old Chicago police phone box, or an … More

    Is Austerity Crushing Europe?

    Numerous governments across Europe have embarked on strict austerity programs. Europe is also sliding into a deep recession, with some countries already essentially in deep depression. Are the two phenomena related? Is the austerity exacerbating the economic downturn? Yes and no, and the yes should be no surprise. For context, … More

    Of Course Higher Taxes Slow Growth

    In The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Peter Diamond and Emmanuel Saez present a rambling defense of higher taxes on the rich to fund an engorged federal government. That they needed to throw out so many tired and errant arguments shows their entire argument is so much hot air. Of … More

    Why Won’t the Euro Crisis Just Go Away?

    The European euro/debt/growth/banking/identity crisis is entering its third year. With so many summits, toasts, tense conference calls, and self-congratulatory pronouncements of ultimate success by Europe’s brightest lights, why won’t the crisis just go away? Instead, it is ramping up as interest rates on Spanish and Italian debt rise to critical … More

    The ECB’s Buying Trouble

    Suppose you suddenly needed a new car, so you rush right out to the showroom, and your eyes fall upon this shiny new luxury sedan loaded with extras. The engine roars, the stereo sings, the seats envelop you like your mother’s arms, and the tires squeal delightfully as you drive … More

    The Buffett Rule is a Calculated Distraction from Obama’s Failed Leadership

    What do you do when you’re losing a debate?  Change the subject.  That’s really all you need to know to understand President Obama’s resuscitation of his infamous “Buffett Rule” that would impose a minimum 30 percent effective tax rate on businesses and families earning $1 million. The Supreme Court gave … More

    WaPo Admitting Keynesian Stimulus Failed?

    Does unprecedented deficit-spending such as on highways stimulate the economy? For the last few years, some have argued it could. Some have argued it might. Some have argued it would if done right. We have consistently argued that deficit spending on highways or anything else intended to lift aggregate demand, … More

    Debt Ceiling, the Sequel: Coming to a Theater Near You

    Remember last year’s titanic struggle over increasing the debt ceiling? A mighty contest that threatened to leave the nation in default, lasted for much of the year, and resulted in a $2.1 trillion increase in the national debt—papered over in part by the cover of the not-so-super committee? Well, this … More

    Obama Corporate Tax Reform a Sugar-Coated, Harmful Tax Hike

    With his corporate tax reform “framework,” President Obama today added another element to his ultimately harmful economic agenda. Previously announced anti-growth policies include massive budget deficits, a huge tax hike on individuals and small businesses in 2013, and his proposal to nearly triple the dividend tax rate. His new proposal … More

    Boehner's Payroll Tax Holiday Still Not Stimulus, but Extension Still Easy Call

    This is no time to be raising taxes on anyone. This is sufficiently obvious that even President Obama and House Republicans agree on it. And so now all sides support a simple extension of the payroll tax holiday through 2012. Hallelujah. It’s about time. The payroll tax holiday began in … More