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I’m not a fan of President Bush. The first one or the second one. Both adopted policies that, on net, reduced economic liberty. Today, let’s focus on the recently deceased George H.W. Bush (a.k.a., Bush 41). By all accounts, he was a very good man, but that doesn’t mean he was a very good president. […]

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With Florence about to hit, it’s time to preemptively explain how the federal government makes damage more likely and why post-hurricane efforts will make future damage more likely. There are just two principles you need to understand. When Washington subsidizes something, you get more of it, and the federal government subsidizes building – and living […]

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Federalism is the gold standard for reforming redistribution programs. This was the approach used in the very successful Clinton-era welfare reform, and it should be replicated for other means-tested programs. The core argument is that the federal government does a very poor job of managing such programs, resulting in a maze of handouts that produce […]

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Government intervention is not good for economic prosperity. That general observation is both accurate and appropriate, but it might also be helpful to contemplate what sector of the economy suffers the most damage and distortion because of government. In terms of aggregate impact, there’s a strong case to be made that government intervention – via […]

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I wrote two days ago about a jury correctly voting to acquit a Swiss banker who was being prosecuted (and persecuted) by the government. The jury presumably recognized that it’s not the responsibility of foreign national living in outside the U.S. to enforce our bad tax law. My support for that jury has nothing to […]

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Government subsidies have an unfortunate habit of causing widespread economic damage and often result in huge burdens for taxpayers (though sometimes consumers are the ones getting pillaged). Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac subsidies contributed to a massive housing bubble that destabilized the entire financial system. Means-tested subsidies have undermined progress on poverty by trapping people […]

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I’ve shared several surveys that people can take to determine whether they are libertarian. Now the good folks from FreedomFest are taking this to the next level by conducting a survey to determine the “50 Most Influential Libertarians.” I invite everyone to participate by clicking here, especially since filling out the survey gives you a […]

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I’ve argued before that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) should be the top target of those seeking to shut down useless and counterproductive parts of the federal government. And if President-Elect Trump’s choice for HUD Secretary, Ben Carson, is as sound on housing issues as he is on tax issues, presumably he […]

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Back in 2010, I joked that the Libertarian Party should give Barack Obama a Man-of-the-Year Award because his failed policies rejuvenated interest in limits of federal power. Though, in retrospect, perhaps the GOP should have given Obama the Award since Republicans reaped the short-term benefits. In any event, let’s not get distracted by electoral politics. […]

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I believe in free markets and small government, and I’m also against Washington corruption. Which is why I want to abolish the Department of Agriculture. And I suspect all sensible people will agree after reading excerpts from these three articles. We’ll start with Damon Cline, who produced a searing indictment of farm welfare for the […]

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As an economist with a boring personality (sorry to be redundant), I sometimes focus on numbers. And when contemplating the cost of regulation and red tape, there are some numbers that should frighten all of us. Americans spend 8.8 billion hours every year filling out government forms. The economy-wide cost of regulation is now $1.75 […]

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I’ve already explained why the Department of Housing and Urban Development should be eliminated, but a superb column in the Wall Street Journal by my old friend Jim Bovard has my blood boiling. After reading Jim’s piece, I no longer want to merely abolish HUD. I want to bulldoze the building, cover the ground with […]

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