Chris Edwards

Advantages of Low Capital Gains Tax Rates

Cato has released a new study on capital gains tax rates. With rates scheduled to rise in January, the study describes the six reasons why capital gains tax rates should be kept as low as possible. The piece also notes that the new top U.S. capital gains tax rate in January of 28 percent will be much higher than the 16 percent average in the OECD.

Hostess Bankruptcy: What Role Did Policy Play?

The demise of Hostess and Twinkies is not a national emergency, but it is certainly sad when a major business goes under and thousands of people lose their jobs.

Cut State Debt; End the Muni-Bond Exemption

Big government programs and special tax-code carve-outs often lead to corrupting ties between government officials and private interests. The Washington Post today discusses the municipal bond industry:

Economic Lessons from Obituaries

Where is the best place in the newspaper to learn about how the economy works?

Electric Guitars: Capitalism Built That

The magazine Guitar World is not known for addressing public policy questions, but a recent issue reminded me of President Obama’s July 13 comments on business. The president said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” Les Paul and other guitar industry pioneers must have turned over in their graves.

Water: Excess of Subsidies, Lack of Markets

recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal describes what happens in an industry that suffers from a plethora of subsidies and a dearth of free markets. Water experts Peter Culp and Robert Glennon write:

Election Pamphlets Raise Questions

I live in Virginia, which is a battleground state, and my mailbox has been littered with political propaganda in recent weeks. Here are some questions for the candidates:

Hurricane Isaac and Louisiana

Hurricane Isaac is heading for Louisiana, and everyone is hoping that individuals and government agencies are ready for the onslaught. Seven years ago, Hurricane Katrina caused huge damage, but to a large extent ”it wasn’t a natural disaster. It was a man-made disaster, created by lousy engineering, misplaced priorities, and pork-barrel politics,” noted journalist Michael Grunwald. Grunwald pointed his finger particularly at failures of the Army Corps of Engineers, as have others.

Paul Ryan Gets Free Markets

Paul Ryan is an excellent choice as running mate for Mitt Romney. He understands federal spending and tax policies in enormous detail. He has said that he started reading federal budgets when he was in high school. He’s also read Global Tax Revolution, my book with Dan Mitchell about the implications of globalization and tax competition. He knows that the American economy will not thrive with high tax rates, especially on business income and capital. He shares Mitt Romney’s goal of chopping the corporate tax rate to revive investment and job creation.

Federal Pay Advantage Narrows

Average private sector wages in the United States rose 3.0 percent in 2011, which was more than the 1.2 percent average increase for federal government workers. This was the second year in a row that average private pay rose faster than average federal pay, but that comes after many years of an escalating federal pay advantage.

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