Tad DeHaven

Un-Stimulating Bureaucracy

An essay from economist Arnold Kling in the latest Cato Policy Report discusses what Kling calls the “knowledge-discrepancy problem.” This occurs when knowledge is dispersed but power is concentrated, and it is particularly acute in government.

Canada's Private ATC Wins Award

Canada’s private air traffic control system, Nav Canada, recently received its second “Eagle Award” from the International Air Transport Association. The Eagle Awards “honor air navigation service providers and airports for outstanding performance in customer satisfaction, cost efficiency, and continuous improvement.”

Housing Regulator Has Doubts

Federal Housing Finance Agency director Edward DeMarco testified to the House Financial Services Committee this week on the state of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are currently under FHFA conservatorship. 

High-Speed Rail Battle

Wisconsin has become a battleground over the Obama administration’s plan to create a national system of high-speed rail. Of the $8 billion in HSR grants awarded to the states in the stimulus bill, $810 million of it went toward a high-speed route between Milwaukee and Madison. 

Government Increasingly 'Free'

Most of the debate over extending the Bush tax cuts has focused on whether to extend slightly lower marginal rates for higher earners who already bear a huge burden. But at the other end of the income spectrum, a growing share of Americans don’t pay income taxes. Indeed, the Bush tax cuts increased the share of U.S. households that pay no income tax.

Cash 4 Clunkers Fails Again

In a new study, economists Atif Mian and Amir Sufi find that the government’s “cash for clunkers” program “had no long run effect on auto purchases.” 

More Corruption at Amtrak

A joint report issued by Republicans on the Senate Finance and House Oversight and Government Reform committees finds that Amtrak’s management interfered with investigations by its inspector general and effectively forced his resignation in 2009.

Boehner’s Weak Call for Cuts

In conjunction with a proposal to leave the Bush tax cuts in place for two additional years, Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner also called for reducing non-security discretionary spending to 2008 levels. Unfortunately, this category represents a relatively small portion of the overall federal budget, and would only be about $100 billion less than what the president wants to spend.

Federal Subsidies = Higher State Taxes

A new study from economists Russell Sobel and George Crowley finds that federal subsidies to the states results in higher future state taxes. Specifically, the authors find that future state taxes increase by between 33 and 42 cents for every dollar the states receive in federal subsidies. A similar effect was found for federal and state aid to local governments.

Why Not Private Infrastructure?

In a speech to union supporters in Wisconsin, President Obama announced his intention to take the country $50 billion deeper into debt in order to finance more public infrastructure projects. The president defended his abysmal economic record by claiming that he has had to take on “powerful interests who had been dominating the agenda in Washington for too long.”

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