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:
Where is the best place in the newspaper to learn about how the economy works?
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.
A 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:
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 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 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.
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.
Joelle Cannon is one of Capitol Hill’s top budget experts, and she looks great in her new Downsizing Government T-shirt. She’s good at cutting costs and knows a bargain when she sees it. The new shirts are just $18 from the Cato store and emblazoned with the inspiring slogan “Small is beautiful … when it comes to government.”