Populism

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    Gridlock is Good for the Economy

    Although legislative gridlock is a top concern of the American public, Investor’s Business Daily argues that gridlock saves the American tax payer a lot of money. Among other things, rates of spending are checked, and other potentially costly programs are held at bay by the lack of consensus. However,…
    Kory Swanson, January 15, 2019
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    Federalist columnist takes Rubio to task

    David Harsanyi of the Federalist is no fan of Sen. Marco Rubio’s latest campaign theme. “The American dream is about the opportunity to earn happiness and the government has a responsibility to facilitate that,” the new populist version of Marco Rubio writes in an essay titled “America Needs…
    Mitch Kokai, December 20, 2018
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    Why charitable contributions are tax deductible

    One of the currently fashionable complaints about charitable and philanthropic giving of even left-leaning billionaires like Jeff Bezos is that the money does nothing to help the poor or reduce income inequality. James Piereson and Naomi Schaefer Riley in an essay at Commentary  argue that charitable giving receives a tax…
    Joseph Coletti, November 30, 2018
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    Unemployed and overly optimistic

    People who are unemployed start their job search with needed optimism, like new entrepreneurs. Their optimism is generally too high for their situation, particularly when they have been unemployed for a long time, but their lack of success finding a job does little to temper their optimism.  New research…
    Joseph Coletti, November 27, 2018
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    Local debt means future taxes

    A simple change to ballot language and another small change in ball could have huge impacts on local borrowing. Dan Way reported for Carolina Journal that “Debt fared better than taxes in local referendums.” Only one bond referendum failed. Wake County alone received permission from voters to issue $1.017 billion…
    Joseph Coletti, November 13, 2018
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    “The historic rise in costs for American businesses, farmers and consumers is only the beginning”

    Reality bites. Here’s the impact — so far — of President Trump’s misguided tariff policies. U.S. businesses shelled out $4.4 billion in tariffs in September, a surge of more than 50 percent from the same month a year ago, according to the groups, which are operating under a coalition…
    Donna Martinez, November 6, 2018
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    Entitlements always expand

    Get paid now to take parental leave in exchange for deferring Social Security payments later. It sounds like a simple and “budget neutral” to help women earn more in their careers while getting their children off to a good start. Kristin Shapiro, Andrew Biggs, and others have argued on…
    Joseph Coletti, September 5, 2018
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    How tariffs harm the poor

    Not long ago I wrote about how tariffs are like minimum-wage laws: they're both policies based in bad economics, well outside the mainstream of economic thought. They're also (and for the same reason) especially bad for the poor.
    Jon Sanders, September 4, 2018