How to Ruin the U.S. Economy

Yahoo! Finance | Ben Stein | Oct. 6, 2008

1) Have a fiscal policy that creates immense deficits in good times and bad, burdening America’s posterity with staggering burdens of repaying the debt.

2) Eliminate regulation of Wall Street and/or fail to enforce the regulations that already exist, instead trusting Wall Street and other money managers and speculators to manage other people’s money with few or no regulations and little oversight.

3) Have an energy policy that disallows producing our own energy and instead requires that we buy energy from abroad, thus making our oil prices highly volatile and creating large balance of payments deficits, lowering the value of the dollar and thus making the problem get progressively worse.

4) Have Congress mandate that banks and other financial entities lend money to persons they know in advance to have poor credit ratings or none at all. [Read more…]


Bailout Numbers in Perspective

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council | Raymond J. Keating | September 26, 2008

When it comes to tallying up the federal government’s recent bailout announcements, the numbers are so staggering that they might seem unreal to many people.

For Bear Stearns: $29 billion.
For Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: $200 billion.
For AIG: $85 billion.

And now, of course, Washington debates Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s $700 billion to bailout financial firms that made bad debt decisions.

That’s $1.014 trillion in taxpayer money placed at risk. (And there’s the $25 billion loan package-bailout moving through the Congress for automakers.) Unfortunately, since there is no substantive analysis to back up the $700 billion the Treasury wants, the bill may go even higher.

But let’s take $1 trillion as the number for now, and put it in perspective. For example:
[Read more…]


Maybe the Economy Should Wait

Human Events | Dennis Byrne | Sep. 24, 2008

Never has the United States had to make such a momentous decision so quickly, except on more memorable dates such as December 7, 1941 or September 11, 2001. Is this really that urgent?

Our betters tell us that the “financial meltdown” leaves us only two choices: Either put this nation in hock in unspeakable amounts to who-knows-whom for how long. Or bring on another Depression. And we must pick our poison right now — no looking for reasonable alternatives. All the key players agree that we’ve got no time to spare; all us bit players can’t fully understand why. [Read more…]


US States Lead the World in High Corporate Tax Rates

TaxProf Blog | Paul L. Caron | Mar. 24, 2008

The Tax Foundation has released U.S. States Lead the World in High Corporate Taxes:
Many states impose state corporate income taxes at rates above the national average of 6.6%. Iowa, for example, imposes the highest corporate tax rate of 12%, followed by Pennsylvania’s 9.99% rate and Minnesota’s 9.8% rate.

When added to the federal rate, these states tax their businesses at rates far in excess of all other OECD countries. When compared to other OECD countries… 24 U.S. states have a combined corporate tax rate higher than top-ranked Japan. [Read more…]


On Takings, Taxes, and Entitlements

American Thinker | Steven M. Warshawsky | Aug. 2, 2008

America recently marked the third anniversary of one of the most controversial Supreme Court decisions of recent memory: Kelo v. City of New London. Kelo is the now-infamous “takings” case, in which the Supreme Court declined to rule unconstitutional a Connecticut town’s decision to use the power of eminent domain to take property away from a group of working-class homeowners and give it to a private development corporation for use as part of a government-approved “economic revitalization” project. [Read more…]


Encouraging Thrift Just Makes Cents | Rebecca Hagelin | Jun. 12, 2008

Ask 10 people to define capitalism. Chances are, eight or nine will stress the importance of buying things.

They’re making a common mistake — equating capitalism with consumerism. As our friends over at the Acton Institute understand, capitalism, properly understood, involves more than just spending. It’s an economic system that (to the horror of liberals) puts decision-making power over financial matters where it belongs — with free individuals, not with government. [Read more…]


Leftism Brings Economic Catastrophe

FrontPageMag | Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson | Jun. 10, 2008

A recent International Monetary Fund research report listed the countries expected to suffer the worst currency depreciation—that is, the worst inflation—this year. Zimbabwe (a mind-boggling 300,000 percent-plus), Venezuela (25.7 percent), Bolivia (15.1 percent), Nicaragua (13.8 percent), and Argentina (9.2 percent) are the top five. What do these countries have in common? You could reply in two ways: 1) they are poorly governed; 2) they are leftist governments, which is simply another way of saying that they are poorly governed. [Read more…]


What the Media Didn’t Tell You About Friday’s Unemployment Spike | Jerry Bowyer | Jun. 9, 2008

It wasn’t Bush, it wasn’t greedy corporations, or free trade, or history’s most over-predicted recession. It was not the oil companies, income inequality, or the excesses of cowboy capitalism. None of these things caused the unemployment rate to jump a half a percentage point in one month.

Ask yourself a few questions: Why did unemployment surge at a time when unemployment compensation claims are historically low? More to the point, how could unemployment spike this much without a coinciding spike in corporate lay-offs? [Read more…]


The Law of Intended Consequences

RealClearPolitics | Robert Tracinski | May. 8, 2008

In recent weeks, Congress has been furiously backtracking on ethanol, with Democrats considering legislation that would freeze ethanol subsidies and mandates at their current level, while Republicans are talking about rolling back the whole system. The buzzword on Capitol Hill is that government supports for ethanol in gasoline have led to “unintended consequences”: a cruel tradeoff of food for fuel that has contributed to a global increase in food prices.

This recognition of the so-called Law of Unintended Consequences–coming from the mouths of everyone from Republican Representative Jeff Flake to Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer–might seem like a good thing, like an overdue expression of skepticism about the wisdom of government intervention in a free economy. The problem is that “unintended consequences” are being invoked in this case by people who have never before expressed such skepticism about the power of government–and who are not likely to do so again. [Read more…]