Chris Edwards

Ben Carson’s Tax Plan

Presidential candidate Ben Carson released a three-page tax plan yesterday. Based on the limited information the plan includes, it looks like the best GOP plan so far.

The GOP's Omnibus Spending Binge Will Undermine the Next President

The $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill passed by both the House and the Senate earlier today caps off a year of dreadful budgeting by Republicans in Congress.

CAP Study on Federal Land Issues

The federal government owns more than one quarter of the land in the nation, about 640 million acres. The holdings are concentrated in the West, where it owns about half of the 11 westernmost states.

CBO Says Federal Workers Overpaid in Two Categories

Federal workers are overpaid on wages by 2%, on average, and overpaid on benefits by a whopping 48%.

Fixing Federal Fumbles Forever

Congratulations to Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma for his new report “Federal Fumbles.” The senator and his staff identify 100 screw-ups in federal programs and agencies, and propose some modest fixes.

Universal Savings Accounts (USAs) Introduced

I have proposed that America adopt a Canadian-British innovation to encourage greater household savings. Canada’s Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) and Britain’s Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) are revolutionizing savings for moderate- and middle-income families in those countries.

Richard Nixon’s VAT

With two Republican presidential candidates embracing a value-added tax (VAT), it is worth looking back at the original federal debate over that bad policy idea. Richard Nixon appears to have been the first U.S. leader to push for a VAT, which is not surprising given that he was perhaps the most statist GOP president of the 20th century. With a three-percent VAT in mind, Nixon called for new federal financing of local schools in his 1972 State of the Union address.

New Study on Higher Education Aid

The U.S. Department of Education spends tens of billions of dollars a year on subsidies for higher education. Federal Pell grants are more than $30 billion a year, federal student loans are about $100 billion a year, and grants to colleges and universities are $2.5 billion a year.

Managing Federal Government IT

My blog on a federal computer project that went six times overbudget prompted an expert on information technology (IT) to send me an interesting email. In this study on government failure and this study on cost overruns, I discussed some of the reasons why $100 million projects end up costing $200 million.

How Big Is the Government?

One measure of the government’s size is government spending as a share of gross domestic product. The OECD has released new data (Table 25) on this measure for 31 member countries, which I chart here for 2015. The spending includes all levels government: federal, state, and local.


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