Video: government spending does not create jobs

September 8, 2011

Most people seem to get this, but this simple fact seems lost on the Democrat leadership, Leftist academics, and the mainstream media. (But I repeat myself.) Via Dan Mitchell, here’s a good video from Caleb Brown of the Cato Institute explaining the basics of real job creation and why government spending and regulation is a hindrance to that:

Seems straightforward enough to me. Maybe they should play it in the House just before Obama’s speech tonight.

PS: While they’re at it, maybe they should show Obama this report from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank comparing the effectiveness of Reaganomics vs. Obamanomics. Hmmm…

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Four reasons why big government is bad government

February 8, 2011

Via Dan Mitchell, here’s another video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity. This one explains why the growth of government is harmful to a nation’s prosperity:

Check out Mitchell’s post for some related interesting videos.

BTW: A message was making its way around Twitter last night; by “retweeting” it, one asks Speaker Boehner to post a live debt clock (like this one) in the House chamber. I like it.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Why a flat tax is a good idea

January 31, 2011

I believe I’ve posted this before, but, since tax season is fast approaching with all its wrangling over this rule and that deduction, I thought it worthwhile to offer again. In it, the Cato Institute’s Dan Mitchell explains how a flat tax would work and why it would be better for the country than the current Byzantine system we have:

And, speaking of those Mitchell mentions who benefit from the current tax code, I’m sure the tax-prep industry would just hate this.

via International Liberty

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


An easy way to balance the budget without tax increases

October 5, 2010

The current deficit of the United States -the difference between the federal government’s expenditures and its revenues- is roughly 1.3 trillion dollars, according to the Department of Commerce. That’s how much the government has to borrow in order to finance crucial services, such as Barbara Boxer’s research trips. Members of the Statist Democratic Party tell us that the only way to close this deficit is to raise taxes, whether through higher levies on “the rich” (the definition of which is rather broad) or some form of a value-added tax on top of everything else, or a combination of both.

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute calls “bull” on this. In this short video, he shows how one could easily balance the budget by doing something almost unheard of in Washington: showing some restraint.

In earlier years, even the minimal method Dan recommends would have been almost unthinkable, let alone eliminate whole departments of the government. But, if the elections next month and in 2012 turn out to be the true populist, anti-establishment wave that it seems to be building into, we may yet see some restraint at least in Washington’s wastrel ways.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Econ 101: the perils of Moral Hazard

August 8, 2010

I’ve occasionally posted videos from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, an ally or affiliate of the libertarian Cato Institute, that touch on aspects of economics and why government intervention in the free market often causes more problems than it solves. In this offering, the speaker discusses “moral hazard,” in which government interventions provide incentives for people to engage in irresponsible behavior:

What I like about this series is that it teaches economics by focusing on human behavior, rather than abstruse formulae and obscure jargon, and I recommend taking the time to watch them all.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Get rid of the capital-gains tax

May 3, 2010

As an investor (and one who believes that private investment is the best way for Americans to secure their retirement), I’ve never liked the capital-gains tax.  Dan Mitchell presents another Center for Freedom and Prosperity video on why the CG tax should be eliminated:

Dan offers six reasons, and I think they’re all sound.

LINK: More at Hot Air.


Of public unions and state debt

April 4, 2010

Following up on this post, the Washington Examiner’s David Freddoso writes about a study done by the Cato Institute (PDF) that shows a strong positive correlation between the size of public-sector unions and per-capita state debt:

There are hundreds of reasons why states accrue debt. In some cases, it has to do with special programs they pursue. (See RomneyCare.) In others, it has to do with their method of taxation.

But the states with the highest per-capita debt all have something in common: Robust public-sector unions that have, over the years, cut sweetheart deals with politicians — usually, but not always, Democrats.

In the graph below, each blue square represents a state (some are labeled), plotted by its per-capita debt and the percentage of state and municipal workers in public sector unions.

(Click the graph for a larger view)

I’m not sure what the answer is to this problem, but a major problem it is because of both the corrupting influence unions wield over state officials anxious for campaign donations and the increasingly underfunded and over-generous pension systems. Something has to give somewhere, but, if human nature is a guide, it probably won’t until states start going bankrupt.


The Flat Tax: Good for America, Bad for Washington

March 29, 2010

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute and the Center for Freedom and Prosperity has just released a video explaining why he believes a flat tax would be better for the country and fairer overall:

Here’s what he says about the “progressive taxes are more fair” argument favored by the left-liberals:

There are two big hurdles that must be overcome to achieve tax reform. The first obstacle is that the class-warfare crowd wants the tax code to penalize success with high tax rates. That issue is addressed in the video in a couple of ways. I explain that fairness should be defined as treating all people equally, and I also point out that upper-income taxpayers are far more likely to benefit from all the deductions, credits, exemptions, preferences, and other loopholes in the tax code.

You can read the other reason in his article at Big Government.

Personally, I’m drawn to the idea of a national sales tax or VAT as a replacement for the income tax. It makes sense to tax consumption instead of productive work, though I recognize some fear that it would be a hidden tax that fuels government growth.

Regardless, I think we can all* agree that the current tax system is a nightmare that needs to end.

*(Except for Democrats progressive statists and the tax-prep industry.)

LINKS: More at Hot Air.


Your school district is lying to you

March 15, 2010

Tito found this video at Big Government, in which a Cato Institute education analyst shows how the figures for spending per student released by school districts grossly underestimates the true cost of public education:

As the spokesman asks, how can parents effectively evaluate their children’s education if they don’t know the cost? This makes a good case for vouchers, too, since, if the crappy public school costs as much as a good private school, why not just give the parents the money to send their child to a good school, instead?


If even Sweden doesn’t want to be like Sweden…

March 12, 2010

Why then are President Obama and his progressive statist allies trying to force the social-democratic model that Sweden embodies down our throats? A Swedish economist with the Center for Freedom and Prosperity explains how Sweden became prosperous, how it wrecked that prosperity, and what it is doing to regain it:

I’m tempted to write something like “President Obama, take note,” but The Won really isn’t interested; like all good statists, he knows what’s best for the rest of us, whether we like it or not.

(via Dan Mitchell)


The stimulus was a failure

February 20, 2010

The Cato Institute’s Dan Mitchell explains why:

There was a good moment taking down the attempt by one of the hosts to defend the New Deal. I’d like to see a segment that goes into detail why the Hoover-FDR policies failed. Until then, here are some books on the topic.


Cash for clunker mortgages?

January 8, 2010

On Larry Kudlow’s show, Dan Mitchell of the libertarian Cato Institute and Christian Weller of the progressive Center for American Progress go head to head to answer Kudlow’s question about the money spent on the Obama administration’s mortgage-adjustment program: What do we have to show for $75 billion?

The plan to adjust mortgages is a failure: with the economy showing no real sign of improving and unemployment getting worse, thousands of homeowners still cannot afford their newly adjusted mortgages. What’s the statist, progressive answer? More intervention by the government! Mr. Weller and a banker quoted early in the clip advocate forgiving principle and using government power to coerce banks into, essentially, breaking contracts. This, of course, after government helped create the problem by using its coercive powers to push banks into making loans to marginal borrowers and then making it easy by guaranteeing those same bad loans.

In other words, the answer is more cowbell!

Watch the video. You will never see a clearer divide between the free-market and statist paradigms.

And, like Larry, I want my $75 billion back.  Not talking

RELATED: Is Ginnie set to join Fannie and Freddie in the poor house?


The problem is the spending

December 15, 2009

Dan Mitchell of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity (associated with the Cato Institute) explains that the government’s fiscal problems are not so much a function of deficits or debt, but of politicians’ uncontrolled spending:

Best line: “You don’t cure an alcoholic’s drinking problem by giving him more beer, and you don’t fix a politician’s spending problem by giving him more money.”

(via Hot Air)


A trillion for ObamaCare? Piker!

November 28, 2009

I’ll see your measly one-trillion dollars and raise you five-and-a-half trillion more:

One gimmick makes the new entitlement spending appear smaller by not opening the spigot until late in the official 10-year budget window (2010–2019).  Correcting for that gimmick in the Senate version, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) estimates, “When all this new spending occurs” — i.e., from 2014 through 2023 — “this bill will cost $2.5 trillion over that ten-year period.”

Another gimmick pushes much of the legislation’s costs off the federal budget and onto the private sector by requiring individuals and employers to purchase health insurance.  When the bills force somebody to pay $10,000 to the government, the Congressional Budget Office treats that as a tax.  When the government then hands that $10,000 to private insurers, the CBO counts that as government spending.  But when the bills achieve the exact same outcome by forcing somebody to pay $10,000 directly to a private insurance company, it appears nowhere in the official CBO cost estimates — neither as federal revenues nor federal spending.  That’s a sharp departure from how the CBO treated similar mandates in the Clinton health plan.  And it hides maybe 60 percent of the legislation’s total costs.  When I correct for that gimmick, it brings total costs to roughly $2.5 trillion (i.e., $1 trillion/0.4).

Here’s where things get really ugly.  TPMDC’s Brian Beutler calls “the” $2.5-trillion cost estimate a “doozy” of a “hysterical Republican whopper.”  Not only is he incorrect, he doesn’t seem to realize that Gregg and I are correcting for different budget gimmicks; it’s just a coincidence that we happened to reach the same number.

When we correct for both gimmicks, counting both on- and off-budget costs over the first 10 years of implementation, the total cost of ObamaCare reaches — I’m so sorry about this — $6.25 trillion.  That’s not a precise estimate.  It’s just far closer to the truth than President Obama and congressional Democrats want the debate to be.

And this yet another example of why the progressives in Congress don’t want anyone to actually read the bills before voting on them: we might actually learn what disasters-in-waiting they really are.

(hat tip: Hot Air)


ObamaCare: A Red-Ink Train Wreck

November 11, 2009

A new video from Dan Mitchell and the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, explaining why both the House and Senate health-care reform bills would be a red-ink train wreck:

(via Big Government)


No VAT in the USA

October 15, 2009

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Limousine Liberal) has proposed imposing a European-style value added tax to fund the health care “reform” plans now lumbering through Congress. Dan Mitchell of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity explains why this is a bad idea:


The case against big government

September 22, 2009

No, not the web site from Andrew Breitbart. That’s quickly becoming invaluable. Instead we present three videos from the Cato Institute -allied Center for Freedom and Prosperity, presented by Dan Mitchell. The first presents eight reasons why big government hurts economic growth:

The next argues the empirical case against big government:

Finally, Mitchell makes the case that, if you want to cut down on government corruption, cut down its size and cut back on the money that flows to it:

Fitting, given the revelations about ACORN, the NEA, and the administration’s dealings with both.


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