Trump Retreats from “The Road to Serfdom”
Paul Rubin, E21
The left cannot let go of the notion that President Trump is in the process of destroying American democracy and creating some sort of dictatorship. A leading force behind this belief is the frequently cited book, How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Donald Ziblatt, two Harvard political science professors. They identify four “Key Indicators of Authoritarian Behavior.” Unsurprisingly, they find that Trump meets all four criteria. But the criteria are not helpful. Read more here....
A constitutional convention: How well would it work?
Walter Berns et al. | AEI Public Policy Forum
An Enduring Error
A half-century later, the Kerner Report’s fame overshadows its mistaken analysis of urban riots and blindness to racial progress.
MYRON MAGNETProject FreedomNow is the time to end welfare.
DUELING POPULISMS: ANCIENT WAR BETWEEN URBAN RADICALS & AGRARIAN CONSERVATIVES; THE RISE OF ANTI-GLOBALISTS
DUELING POPULISMS: VICTOR DAVIS HANSEN: Dueling Populisms
by Victor Davis Hanson via Defining Ideas
Trump has revived the ancient tension between urban radicals who seek equality, and rural conservatives who seek liberty.
The Crisis Next Time
Ten years after a financial meltdown, America hasn’t grappled with the root problems.
Saturday Editorial: With Huge Debt, Fiscal Crisis Is Coming
quoting George P. Shultz via The Florida Times-Union
When the nation falls into a recession — which is inevitable — there are typically two ways to ease the pain. One way is to use government spending to stimulate the economy. That usually means building up debt. But what if the nation’s debt is already at levels not seen since World War II?
Ten Questions for Economists Downplaying Entitlement Costs
Brian Riedl, E21
Wise Up About America’s Deficits
Veronique de Rugy, Reason
A&G Interview: John Cogan On Plundering The US Treasury
interview with John F. Cogan via 760 KFMB
Hoover Institution fellow John Cogan discusses the problems with our federal budget deficits and why our government needs to get entitlement spending under control.
Is It The Spending Or The Taxes? Mostly The Spending, But ...
quoting John H. Cochrane via Bloomberg
The U.S. appears to face a future of large, chronic federal budget deficits. Is that because taxes are too low or because spending is too high?
Yes, Entitlements Are Driving the Long-Term Debt
Brian Riedl, E21
In the Washington Post, a distinguished group of liberal economists argues that entitlements are not chiefly to blame for the coming deluge of debt. Specifically, Martin Neil Baily, Jason Furman, Alan Krueger, Laura D’Andrea Tyson and Janet Yellen – all former Democratic chairs of the White House Council of Economic Advisers – dispute a group of Hoover Institution economists who had earlier shown that long-term deficits are determined by escalating entitlement program costs. Read more here....
New Welfare-to-Work Flexibility Can Increase Upward Mobility
Emily Top, E21
President Trump’s new executive order aims to reduce poverty by encouraging able-bodied adult welfare recipients to move into the labor force. A similar initiative in the United Kingdom over the past five years has been successful in raising labor force participation.
The new executive order, signed on April 10, directs federal agencies to review and adjust their public assistance programs. The Trump administration wants the federal agencies to reduce the waivers, exemptions, and exceptions for public assistance programs as well as encourage work requirements for these programs. Additionally, the executive order aims to promote flexibility for state and local governments to meet the needs of their residents. Read more here....
Washington Will Add $16 Trillion in Debt Over Next Decade
Brian Riedl, National Review
In the past year, Congress has cut taxes, increased spending, and refused to address the coming bankruptcy of Social Security and Medicare. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has finally added up the tab.
In 2018, Washington will spend $32,000 per household — on the way to $52,000 per household within a decade (are you getting your money’s worth?). Of course, taxes are not close to those levels. That is where the deficit comes in. Read more here....
Yes, Entitlements Are Driving Long-Term Debt
mentioning Hoover Institution via New York Post
A Congressional Budget Office study “indisputably proves that Social Security and Medicare’s shortfalls overwhelmingly cause the coming long-term debt.
Rising Entitlement Spending Is Straining the Budget
Charles Blahous, E21
An impassioned argument has broken out during the last few weeks over the federal budget. It was precipitated by an op-ed piece in the Washington Post by five prominent economists from the Hoover Institution, warning of a coming debt crisis and pointing the finger of blame at runaway federal entitlement spending. A riposte appeared in the Post soon after from several prominent left-of-center economists, headlined “Don’t Blame Entitlements” and highlighting the role of tax cuts in worsening federal deficits. Read more here....
REMEMBER THE DEFICIT?
By EPPC Hertog Fellow Yuval Levin
National Review Online
A new Congressional Budget Office report nicely summarizes what should be obvious to all: the Republican Congress and president do not seem to care about deficits or debt, and are not only failing to take steps to address the government’s poor fiscal situation but are taking steps likely to worsen it some. Read More
Congressional Budget Office forecast leaves no room for wishful thinking
James C. Capretta | Real Clear PolicyJames Capretta argues that the Congressional Budget Office’s budget forecast signals that the country is now close to the cliff’s edge and that any number of different events could trigger a US debt crisis. Capretta discusses a few of the proposed solutions, such as the balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution in the House and the active consideration for a bill to cut spending this year, but only for annual appropriated accounts, not entitlement programs. Capretta argues that the federal budget is heavily weighted toward entitlement spending, and if Congress were serious about taking action on the budget, they would offer a plan to reform entitlements and thus begin to lower federal spending over the next two decades.
The congressional budget process: A brief primer
James C. Capretta | AEI Economic PerspectivesJames Capretta discusses what the role of the budget request is, what the congressional budget looks like in theory, what it looks like in reality, and several other key features of the congressional budget process. Capretta argues that the current process was written for a time when appropriations spending was dominant; it does not work as well with so much of the federal budget devoted to spending that occurs automatically on entitlement programs. Further, he concludes that the current process does not facilitate executive-legislative agreement on budgetary aggregates, which is an important reason for instability and uncertainty in federal finances.
Government Policy Mistakes Led to Great Recession
Peter Ireland & Darko Oračić, E21
Crisis, Rinse, Repeat
Brad DeLong laments that obvious failures in the response to the Great Recession still have not been acknowledged.
The Limits Of American Patience
by Victor Davis Hanson via American Greatness
Not being willing any longer to be manipulated is not succumbing to isolationism. Wondering whether the United States can afford another liability is not mindless nationalism. Questioning whether America can afford the status quo here and abroad is not heresy. Assuming we can borrow our way out of any inconvenience is largely over.
How to measure the digital economy — and close the massive information gap
Bret Swanson | AEIdeas
The digital economy is growing much faster than the rest of the economy. Between 2005 and 2016, output in the digital economy grew 5.6 percent per year. Annual growth in total US gross domestic product was just 1.5 percent.
Can’t See For Miles
The perils of technology forecasting, particularly regarding energy
New Infrastructure Supports LNG Export Boom
Charles Hughes, E21
Natural gas has transformed the domestic energy industry. The United States now exports more natural gas than it imports-- for the first time since 1957. While higher levels of production and the development of new sources such as the Utica and Marcellus shales have played a significant role, putting the energy transportation infrastructure in place is just as vital, as can be seen from the evolution of liquefied natural gas exports. Read more here....