The federal government’s budget deficits are pushing the nation toward a fiscal meltdown, yet our leaders can’t seem to curb their zeal for infrastructure spending. President Obama has been pushing a $50 billion package for infrastructure and will likely include a similar plan in his upcoming budget. For their part, most Republicans eagerly pursue all the spending they can get for road, rail, airport, and dam projects in their districts.
Some good samaritans wanted to clean up some trash in a neighborhood near me in Northern Virginia, and they ran into a brick wall of bureaucracy. I happened to notice this write-up on a neighborhood blog.
When liberals make reference to U.S. economic history, they typically: 1) downplay the role of entrepreneurs, 2) suggest that bold government action has driven growth, and 3) fail to mention the scandals and screw-ups caused by federal interventions.
Cato has released a new study on infrastructure spending. The study discusses how federal involvement in infrastructure has many serious disadvantages, and few, if any, advantages.
Despite four years of annual budget deficits of over US$1 trillion and the most sluggish economic recovery since World War II, voters have rewarded President Barack Obama with a second term. The president has supported a huge growth in federal spending and deficits, believing it to be an economic stimulus. But while there is little evidence that such Keynesian policies actually work, electoral ratification of the president’s approach has further engrained the idea in Washington that higher spending is beneficial.
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.
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.
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.