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  • The Left’s Misplaced Nostalgia Debunked in One Chart

    In a throwback to the economic policy and theory of the 1950s, President Obama in a recent speech blamed the rich for concentrating wealth and spending too little on consumption: Concentrated wealth at the top is less likely to result in the kind of broadly based consumer spending that drives … More

    European Central Bank Lowers Interest Rates, Trumping "Zero Lower Bound" Theory

    The European Central Bank (ECB) lowered a key interest rate to 0.25 percent on Thursday. This is a big deal, since it demonstrates that the ECB has the ability and the will to stabilize euro inflation, which has fallen below the ECB’s target and become a drag on real growth. … More

    Look Closer: Tax Increases, Not Spending Cuts, Are the Harmful Austerity

    Proponents of government spending want to use the recent history of Europe as evidence that spending cuts are harmful, but their arguments lose traction when one looks closely at the data. One example comes from Paul Krugman, who used the International Monetary Fund’s Fiscal Monitor data to argue that “austerity … More

    Without Reform, Entitlement Spending Poses a Default Risk

    The Obama Administration argues that failure to raise the debt limit would lead to a default on federal debts, causing unacceptable harm to the economy. But the President has ample discretion to prioritize debt payments and avoid default. The President has failed to address the more fundamental risk of default: … More

    Don’t Hit Snooze on the Debt

    The national debt is a few years away from an unprecedented peacetime explosion, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Without serious fiscal restraint, public debt will reach 80 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022 and then explode to 190 percent of GDP in 2038, around the time … More

    Next Fed Chairman: Independence Is Paramount

    Larry Summers withdrew his name from consideration for the next chairmanship of the Federal Reserve. The office currently occupied by Ben Bernanke wields enormous power over short-run economic changes. Poor decisions at the Fed can cause recessions or boost markets briefly. For that reason, the most important feature of the … More

    Don’t Ignore Costs of “Stimulus”

      Shocking new economic research has shown that receiving large gifts from the federal government is actually beneficial to states. That is not such a shock, is it? Another non-shock is that pro-stimulus journalists have misinterpreted studies to use them as evidence for national stimulus benefits. The studies are econometrically … More

    How Government Shut Down the Chinatown Bus

    The federal regulatory apparatus has made Americans poorer and less safe, and it has eliminated hundreds of jobs by shutting down 41 bus companies in the past year. Ironically, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) justifies its heavy-handedness as promoting safety, when in fact the shutdowns will likely result … More

    Austerity and Stimulus: A Response to The Washington Post

    Journalists should check with both sides before committing pen to paper, especially those at respectable outlets like The Washington Post. It would have served Post reporter Dylan Matthews well if he had followed this dictum. In a blog post, Matthews attempted to refute testimony I gave before the Senate Budget … More

    Meretricious? Senator Whitehouse Is Projecting

    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) spent eight minutes berating me at a Senate Budget Committee hearing yesterday. He disliked the facts I presented on austerity, so he called into question my professional honor and integrity. My testimony pointed out that structural reform and well-designed spending cuts are the best policy for stabilizing … More