Daniel J. Mitchell is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who specializes in fiscal policy, particularly tax reform, international tax competition, and the economic burden of government spending. He also serves on the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review. Prior to joining Cato, Mitchell was a senior fellow with the Heritage Foundation, and an economist for Senator Bob Packwood and the Senate Finance Committee. Dan’s work has been published in numerous outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Villanova Law Review, Public Choice, Emory Law Journal, Forbes, USA Today, Offshore Investment, Playboy, and Investor’s Business Daily. He has appeared on all the major TV networks, and has given speeches in almost 40 states and more than 30 countries. Dan earned a PhD in economics from George Mason University.
Now if a government project were on time and on budget, that would really be a headline. Politicians routinely lie about the real costs of projects. They figure it will be too late to reverse path once it becomes apparent that something will cost far more than the initial low-ball estimates.
If you compared the map of which states receive the most aid with a map of poverty rates, there would be a noticeable overlap. A very libertarian-oriented state with a very low tax burden might look like a moocher state simply because its tax collections are small relative to formulaic transfers from Uncle Sam.
Philadelphians are obviously outraged by the skyrocketing cost of things as simple as a soda, which has prompted some businesses to post signs explaining why the drinks are now so damned expensive. Kenney said that this effort by businesses to explain the rising cost is “wrong” and “misleading.”
The left has expanded its goals to policies that are far more radical. They want to give everyone a guaranteed basic income, yet they want to wipe out the high-income taxpayers who finance the lion’s share of redistribution.
Why, all things considered, I like small businesses more than big businesses.
If we're going to be taxed, it's better to pay that tax explicitly. When you have to write a lump-sum check to the government, it’s a wonderful opportunity for people to ponder whether they're getting a good value for their money.
Whenever mass shootings occur, some people quickly jump to conclusions before there’s any evidence. Folks on the Right are occasionally guilty of immediately assuming Islamic terrorism, which is somewhat understandable. Folks on the Left, meanwhile, are sometimes guilty of instinctively assuming Tea Party-inspired violence (I’m not joking). I automatically wonder if we’ll find out welfare payments and other goodies from the government helped subsidize the evil actions. In my defense, there’s a reason I think this way.
There have been many humorous representations of burecaucracy, many of which have been very well done. But the reality for citizens continues to be more of a bog than a joke, and the bureaucrats themselves engage in behavior that is more and more ridiculous – unchecked by their own agencies, of course.
When the best-case scenario is that Trump merely bullies people over the pupit and not with policy, there's a serious problem. The mere fact that politicians think they have the right to interfere with the internal decisions of companies is a dangerous development.
Excessive pay for bureaucrats forces private employers to increase pay as well, but in ways that aren’t sustainable based on underlying levels of productivity.
2017 could see positive reforms in healthcare entitlements, reduced taxes, and fewer regulations. It could also be full of protectionism, public infrastructure programs, and bailouts. Hopefully we see more of the former.
Revenue-hungry local governments are increasingly turning toward fees to bridge their budgetary gaps. Corey Statham in Ramsey County, Minnesota is the latest victim of this kind of government greed and callousness.
2016 produced some genuinely great news from around the world. Government controls are on the run.
The United States has never been a laissez-faire paradise, but there’s been enough economic freedom that, over time, we’ve enjoyed amazing improvements in living standards. The same is true for the world. That policies have been "good enough" for this outcome is something to celebrate.
The creative destruction that results in a constantly changing group of Fortune 500 companies is driven by the endless pursuit of sales and profits that can only come from serving customers with low prices, high quality and great service.
Between 1950 and 2009, American public schools experienced a 96 percent increase in student population. During that time, the number of administrators and other staff increased by over seven times the increase in students. This staffing surge still exists today, but the promised benefits are nowhere to be seen.
I think poor people (indeed, all people) should be able to eat anything they want. That being said, there’s something perverse about subsidizing and encouraging unhealthy patterns. The program also has always had major problems with fraud, as illustrated by a recent scandal in Florida. Even millionaires bilk the system.
Subprime mortgages have existed for decades. But they were a small percentage of the mortgage market until Fannie and Freddie reduced credit standards to increase their market share and meet low-income homeownership targets mandated by Congress.
Yoga classes for federal employees have cost taxpayers over $150,000. Nine of the 20 richest counties are suburbs of D.C., chock full of our bureaucratic overlords. Employees at the FCC routinely spend the equivalent of a full workday each week watching porn. Should we fire them? Of course not! According to the government, 99 percent of federal employees are really good at their jobs and almost two-thirds exceed expectations. They're so good that only 1 in 500 will be fired in any given year.
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