Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Tax Revenues Are Surging and More Economic Spin

Secretary Snow testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary on Wednesday: The economic indicators since the President signed the Jobs and Growth Act in May 2003 provide validity to this notion. Since that time, we have seen eleven straight months of positive business investment; nearly five […]

Fixing the Fiscal Nightmare

I’d like to get back to a problem that I was writing about last week: the possibility of using a value-added tax (VAT) to fix the “on-budget” federal budget deficit. That deficit, which excludes the Social Security trust fund (which will run a modest but declining surplus), is likely to be in the neighborhood of […]

Does the Earned Income Tax Credit Create Disincentives?

Mickey Kaus thinks so: Earned Income Tax Credit does send cash to low income earners, but again you need to earn at least some money to get it. And it’s already pretty big. We probably can’t increase it much higher without running into cost and disincentive problems when the credit is phased out in the […]

Monopoly Power Implies a Good is Not Important?

Mark Thoma reads John Tamny so we don’t have to. Tamny writes: What seemingly is missed every time the anti-trust crowd gets in a froth over a proposed merger is the nature of profits. If anything, consumers should hope that companies succeed in achieving monopoly profits. Large profits by definition speak to an unmet market […]

Tax Cuts Don’t Payment for Themselves

Richard Kogan and Aviva Aron-Dine recently put forth CLAIM THAT TAX CUTS “PAY FOR THEMSELVES” IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE: Data Show No “Free Lunch” Here: In recent statements, the President, the Vice President, and key Congressional leaders have asserted that the increase in revenues in 2005 proves that tax cuts “pay for themselves.” […]

The Reagan Era of Smaller Government?

Duncan Black’s post entitled Sully is a reaction to an article by Dana Milbank on a conference where Bruce Bartlett and Andrew Sullivan were doing some Bush bushing (also see Kash’s post). Sully and Bruce long for the days when President Reagan allegedly brought us a smaller government. Duncan writes: I know the myth of […]

Do Americans Want a Free Lunch (National Review’s Continuing Nonsense Regarding Taxes)

Mallory Factor condones political pandering over leadership: Americans do not want higher taxes … Most Democrats in Congress are ignoring the two-thirds of their constituents who want tax rates to stay where they are, voting consistently to raise taxes and using the procedural mechanism of the filibuster to keep automatic rate hikes looming over American […]

J. C. Watts Explaining the 2001 Tax Cut – While Robert Rubin Trumps Dick Cheney

I wanted to follow-up on a couple of aspects as to my post noting Dick Cheney hoping people would save more. First of all – one of our readers is now saying Bush and his allies never said that the Administration wanted to give people their money back so they could consume more. Yes – […]

Dead-Eye Dick Does Dynamic Scoring

Expert marksman and Nobel laureate Dick Cheney delighted the Conservative Political Action Conference with the suggestion that free lunch supply-side spin is solid economics: Cheney touted President Bush’s recently announced proposal to create a tax analysis division as a move toward providing more evidence for the administration’s side of the argument. “The president’s tax policies […]

What Tax Cut?

Tyler Cowen cuts through a quarter of a century of free lunch Republican spin in just two sentences: Taxes already were raised when the government spending occurred. In that sense the “tax cuts” never were permanent. This is what I love about conservative economists – they get right to the point. Twenty-five years ago, I’m […]