The Value-Added Tax: A Nixonian Scheme to Fund Bigger Government

November 21, 2015

Phineas Fahrquar:

The VAT is to me an obviously bad idea, especially as long as there is also an income tax. But why Senators Cruz and Paul would support one is way beyond me.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

In early 2013, a reader asked me the best place to go if America suffered a Greek-style economic collapse.

I suggested Australia might be the best option, even if I would be too stubborn to take my own advice.

Perhaps because of an irrational form of patriotism, I’m fairly certain that I will always live in the United States and I will be fighting to preserve (or restore) liberty until my last breath.

But while I intend to stay in America, there is one thing that would make me very pessimistic about my country’s future.

Simply stated, if politicians ever manage to impose a value-added tax on the United States, the statists will have won a giant victory and it will be much harder to restrain big government.

But you don’t have to believe me. Folks on the left openly admit that a VAT is necessary to…

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Lost weekend

September 20, 2015

hammock nap day off

Had an old friend visiting yesterday, and then today was filled with a bunch of chores and… naps. So, not much to post about, not even the controversy over Dr. Ben Carson saying that Islam is incompatible with the Constitution. (I did reply to Rick Moran’s excoriation of Carson, if you’re interested.) For what it’s worth, I don’t find Carson’s statement about Islam and the Constitution at all controversial.

So, anyway, it’s a weekend blog holiday. Enjoy what’s left of it. Maybe even take a nap or two.

Government-Subsidized Third-Party Payer Is a Great Recipe to Make a Sector of the Economy More Expensive and Less Efficient

May 25, 2015

Phineas Fahrquar:

It’s had the same pernicious effect on college education costs as it has in the health sector.

Originally posted on International Liberty:

What’s the most effective way of screwing up a sector of the economy? Since I’m a fiscal policy economist, I’m tempted to say that bad tax policy is the fastest way of causing damage. And France might be my top example.

But other forms of government intervention also can have a poisonous effect. Regulation, for instance, imposes an enormous burden on our economy.

Today, though, we’re going to look at how subsidies can result in costly distortions. More specifically, using examples from the health sector and higher-ed sectors, we’re going to see how “third-party payer” is a very expensive form of intervention.

We’ll start with the example from the healthcare sector. Writing for the Institute for Policy Innovation, Merrill Matthews has a must-read article about an unintended consequences of Obamacare.

He starts with a very sensible point about the effect of third-party payer.

Health care actuaries will tell…

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Happy New Year from Public Secrets

January 1, 2015

It was a heckuva party last night, wasn’t it?

Happy New Year, folks. May 2015 bring you all you could desire. smiley dance

Merry Christmas, one and all

December 25, 2014

Santa and I wish you a very happy day.

(Normal service resumes tomorrow.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 27, 2014

No blogging today, folks. Enjoy the holiday. smiley eating gluttony

No posting from me today

October 13, 2014


We’re dealing with rats at work. No, not a delegation of visiting Democratic congressmen; real rats.

I hate rats.

And Democratic congressmen.

Rat Fink, however, is cool.


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