Chris Edwards

The Downside of Federal Infrastructure Spending

My Washington Post op-ed on federal infrastructure yesterday elicited a large and vigorous response. The comments on the WaPo site and emails to my inbox were about 80 percent in opposition to my views.

Infrastructure Projects to Fix the Economy? Don't Bank on It.

In a recent television ad for her network, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow stands below the Hoover Dam and asks whether we are still a country that can “think this big” — Hoover Dam big. The commercial is built on the assumption that American greatness is advanced by federal spending on major infrastructure projects.

American Government Spending: 41% of GDP

My good friend Kathy Ruffing at CBPP takes me to task for testifying that government spending in the United States is 41 percent of GDP, which in my view is a very high and harmful level.

Did Canada Steal Our Tenth Amendment?

Under the U.S. Constitution, the federal government was assigned specific limited powers, and most government functions were left to the states. To ensure that people understood the limits on federal power, the Framers added the Tenth Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Those delegated powers are “few and defined,” noted James Madison.

Herman Cain: How About 15-15-15?

Presidential candidate Herman Cain has made a splash with his 9-9-9 tax reform plan. I love his 9 percent income tax, but the skunk at the tax reform picnic is his 9 percent retail sales tax. Mr. Cain is an articulate advocate of free enterprise and I wish him well in the contest, but he should ditch the sales tax.

Steve Jobs and Charity

Morally, it’s rather despicable for some news outlets to be essentially questioning the value of Steve Job’s life based on how much he did or didn’t give to charities, as the Washington Post did last week.

Steve Jobs: Exemplary Entrepreneur

With the sad passing of Steve Jobs, everyone is talking about what an awesome entrepreneur he was. But what exactly do entrepreneurs like Jobs do for the economy?

Government at War With Itself

An op-ed in the Washington Post discusses why federal farm subsidies don’t even make sense from an activist government point of view. Most farm subsidies go for animal-feed crops, which can be viewed as a subsidy for meat production. At the same time, the government propagandizes the public to follow healthy habits and eat lots of fruit and vegetables, but not so much meat.

Entitlements vs. Liberty

A reporter asked me about the rise in entitlement programs and the problems created with so many people suckling on the federal teet. I’ve reported that the federal government has more than 2,000 different subsidy programs.

Competitiveness: Let Markets Lead the Way

The American Enterprise Institute’s Kevin Hassett held a conference the other day on the idea of international “competitiveness.” He invited me to comment on his new co-authored paper that tries to nail down the murky meaning of the word.

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