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    Myths of Austerity Failures

    Evidence shows that “austerity” during a sharp downturn in 1920 coincided with quick economic recovery and robust growth throughout the rest of the decade. Nevertheless, there is a belief that the example of President Herbert Hoover from 1929–1933 was a failure of austerity, which pushed the economy into the Great … More

    Super Committee Proposal: Tax Hikes Should Be a Nonstarter

    For months now the so-called super committee has been meeting in secret, tasked with delivering a budget-cutting (er… make that deficit-cutting) plan. Many have doubted they could actually reach their minimum target of $1.2 trillion in cuts. Few, if any, details had leaked—until today, when we learned that the Democrats … More

    Does 'Austerity' Work?

    Remember the Great Depression of the 1920s? If not, that’s because it didn’t happen. The recession of the early ‘20s quickly ended after spending and taxes were cut dramatically. It provides a clear lesson in “austerity” that President Obama should heed. In 1920, newly elected President Warren Harding inherited a … More

    Morning Bell: What is the American Idea?

    What is the American idea? That all depends on whom you ask. According to President Barack Obama, it’s the notion that the federal government is the answer to America’s problems, and that through its intervention–by sheer force of spending–it can create a brighter future for all Americans. There’s a different … More

    Super Committee Gets Recommendations from Senate Finance Republicans

    Next month, the “super committee” will release its plan to find savings in the federal budget over the next decade. A report from the Senate Finance Committee Republicans outlines a possible route forward and includes reforms to reduce unaffordable federal spending on health care and improve programs like Medicare and … More

    The Video AARP Hasn't Made: Medicare's Need for Structural Reform

    Medicare—on its current path—cannot be sustained. At a recent hearing held by the Senate Special Committee on Aging, Ranking Member Senator Bob Corker (R–TN) stressed the importance of Medicare reform. According to Corker, in 2011, “The U.S. spent $572 billion on Medicare, and spending is projected to increase to $1 … More

    Illinois Shows that Taxing and Spending Has Consequences

    In January 2011, newly elected Illinois governor Pat Quinn imposed a 67% income tax increase on citizens and a sharp increase in the corporate tax rate to satisfy missed and unpaid bills. A month later, the state issued $3.7 billion in bonds just to make payments to unfunded state pensions. Unfortunately, … More

    Super Committee Health Goals Need Sound Policy

    If the goal is producing $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion in 10-year savings, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction must think big and produce recommendations with real substance. Nothing could be truer than dealing with the health care savings component. Typically, these negotiations are so focused on reaching the savings … More

    A Plan to Limit Dishonesty in Congress

    Give two U.S. Senators credit for trying to do something about the smoke-and-mirrors games in Washington. The “Honest Budget Act” by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) goes to the heart of public distrust of Congress, namely the dishonest budget gimmicks and accounting tricks. The public is … More

    In Pictures: Debt by President? Obama Leads the Pack

    When House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D–CA) staff released a chart in May that attempted to illustrate how much past Presidents increased the national debt, it collided with a meticulous critique from Politifact that in turn led to a revised chart. The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler weighed in as the … More