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    GDP: I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

    Many decision makers and commentators treat gross domestic product (GDP) as if it measures the whole of the economy. They even use “the economy” and GDP interchangeably. GDP is an accounting device—and a poor measure of economic health. Household wealth is much closer to what we mean by “the economy.” … More

    Backdoor Bailouts Begin

    The Treasury Department’s release of $100 million from the Hardest Hit Fund last week amounts to a federal bailout of five Michigan cities without congressional oversight or approval. The Hardest Hit Fund, part of the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program, was intended to provide assistance to homeowners in states particularly … 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

    The IRS, Obamacare, and You: The Spending

    Getting the Obamacare “train wreck” up and running will cost the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) an estimated $881 million between 2010 and 2013, according to the Government Accountability Office. As of last June, the IRS had already requested more than half a billion dollars from an implementation “slush fund” established … More

    Morning Bell: Time to Shrink the Monster

    Does the debt ceiling affect YOU? It does—in many ways. A new video by Bankrupting America uses humor to call attention to an issue that is anything but funny, and why it matters for every American household. Recent Heritage research reveals how the rising national debt hurts American families, including: … More

    Congressional Budget Office Looks at a Carbon Tax

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released its report on the impact of a carbon tax. (Disclaimer: I provided comments to the CBO on a draft of the report, earlier this year.) The economic parts were pretty sensible and conclude that (be sure you are sitting down)—there are no free … More

    Cost of Illegal Immigration and Amnesty Could Be Higher

    American taxpayers cannot afford the cost of amnesty. The cost of illegal immigration and amnesty could amount to $6.3 trillion, which would fall on American taxpayers over the long term, according to a Heritage Foundation analysis. As Heritage showed, the majority of illegal immigrants receiving amnesty would receive far more … More

    Quiet Before the Storm: CBO Reports $642 Billion Deficit in 2013

    At $642 billion, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports, the 2013 deficit will be lower by $200 billion than previously forecast. In February, the CBO projected a deficit of spending over revenue of $845 billion, but a large and temporary boost in revenues is pushing that figure down. Like the … More

    Morning Bell: Amnesty Would Cost Taxpayers $6.3 Trillion

    What is the goal of immigration reform? As Heritage President Jim DeMint put it yesterday, “Any immigration reform should improve the lives, the incomes, and the opportunities” of those who are lawfully in America. The Gang of Eight’s amnesty proposal does the opposite by burdening taxpayers with supporting unlawful immigrants. … More

    Critics Looking at Old Data Instead of New Heritage Research on Amnesty

    Some proponents of comprehensive immigration reform (including amnesty) are trying to find support for their position in Heritage Foundation papers from long ago. In the first paper they point to, from March 2006, Heritage rejected amnesty but also considered the economic effects of immigration. Since that time, there are two … More