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    Kosovo’s Independence Welcome, but Work Still to Be Done

    Republic of Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, in his February 17 speech commemorating the 5th anniversary of the country’s independence, expressed pride in his country’s visible accomplishments, but noted appropriately his awareness that “we need to do much more.” Indeed. Despite notable reforms since independence, the foundations of economic freedom … More

    In Congress, a Welcome Desire for "Regular Order"

    As Members of Congress left town last week for the Presidents’ Day break, a refreshing and commendable sentiment followed them: nostalgia for the “regular order” of lawmaking. “Tired of watching as flailing leadership negotiations fail to produce any key legislation,” wrote The Washington Post, “senior lawmakers hope that a return … More

    Japan’s Economy - What Really Matters

    Japanese gross domestic product (GDP) fell for the third straight quarter (October–December) and was essentially flat for 2012 as a whole. This continues two decades of stagnation in annual output—Japan’s annual GDP in 2012 is essentially the same as 20 years ago. Stagnation is part of what motivated new Prime … More

    Trade Deficit Doesn't Matter - Trade Freedom Does

    On February 8, the government will release data on imports and exports for 2012. This annual release often ignites a misguided debate about trade deficits. A recent news report perpetuated a popular misstatement about how international trade works: Net imports suck cash out of the economy, subtracting from gross domestic … More

    CBO: Tax Increase Fails to Solve Spending and Debt Crisis

    While President Obama keeps calling for more taxes, today’s figures from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) show the tax hike he signed into law just last month will provide no lasting improvement in the federal government’s fiscal outlook. This is because spending continues to grow, driving deficits back toward the … More

    The Income Tax Turns 100 Years Old

    The federal income tax is now a centenarian. On February 3, 1913, the 16th amendment to the Constitution was ratified. The revenue the income tax raises allowed Congress to greatly expand the size of the federal government. We will likely never return to a federal government the size we had … More

    Morning Bell: How to Balance the Budget in 10 Years

    Both houses of Congress have now voted to suspend the debt ceiling until May 19, buying lawmakers more time to develop a budget. The Senate would put together a budget for the first time in three years—and the details of that budget are crucial. To prevent the federal debt from … More

    GDP Fell in the Fourth Quarter of 2012

    The Department of Commerce made news Wednesday by announcing the first quarterly decline in gross domestic product (GDP) since the recession ended in 2009. As always, GDP is only a summary measure, not the whole story. This GDP report continues the narrative of the past three years: We are making … More

    Scholars Agree: High Tax Rates Do Harm Growth

    The Congressional Research Service (CRS) stirred controversy last year when it released a study claiming that tax rates do not influence economic growth. Predictably, those who favor higher taxes used the flimsy report to bolster their backward argument that raising tax rates, as Congress and President Obama did with the … More

    Global GDP: U.S. Adds, China Subtracts

    China’s 2012 official economic numbers are due out at the end of this week and I, among others, will gently suggest that they aren’t particularly accurate. Sometimes, however, it isn’t Beijing that can’t get basic economic facts right. Sometimes it’s us. A lot of foreigners believe China is contributing a … More