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There are two reasons why I generally don’t write much about government debt. First, red ink is not desirable, but it’s mostly just the symptom of the far more important problem of excessive government spending. Second, our friends on the left periodically try to push through big tax increases by hypocritically exploiting anxiety about red […]

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Back in 2011, the Center for Freedom and Prosperity released this video citing four nations – Canada, Ireland, Slovakia, and New Zealand – that achieved very good results with multi-year periods of genuine spending restraint. Today, let’s focus on what’s been happening with government spending in Canada. As explained in the video, America’s northern neighbor […]

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The coronavirus has been horrible news, most obviously because of death and suffering. But the disease has also wreaked havoc with the economy and given politicians an excuse to push counterproductive policies. But if you want to find a silver lining to that dark cloud, the virus may be putting pressure on America’s government school […]

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Back in March, I explained that the coronavirus pandemic showed why it’s so valuable for people to have the right of gun ownership. Let’s revisit the topic and we’ll start with the bad news. As illustrated by this Reason video, Senator Elizabeth Warren wants to exploit the crisis by imposing sweeping limits on our civil […]

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Earlier this month, Neil Ferguson was awarded membership in the Bureaucrat Hall of Fame after he and his mistress were caught violating lockdown rules that Ferguson – in his role as a supposed public health expert – demanded for the entire United Kingdom. This was a stunning display of hypocrisy, perhaps even to the extent […]

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I started sharing politically-themed coronavirus humor back in March and that’s now been a tradition for nine consecutive weekends (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). This will be the final edition. We’ll start with a clever video from Kevin James. It could be entitled, Revenge of the Karens. Next we […]

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I wrote earlier this month about coronavirus becoming an excuse for more bad public policy. American politicians certainly have been pushing all sorts of proposals for bigger government, showing that they have embraced the notion that you don’t want to let a “crisis go to waste.” But nothing that’s happening in the United States is […]

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When I write enough columns with the same underlying point, I sometimes create a special page to highlight the theme, such as the “Bureaucrat Hall of Fame” and “Poverty Hucksters.” I may have to do something similar for people who assert that America’s response to the coronavirus has been hampered because the federal government is […]

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Continuing with an unfortunate tradition, here’s our eighth weekend collection of satire about the mix of public policy and coronavirus. We’ll start with one of Remy’s Reason videos, which are always worth watching. I wrote last year about superior education outcomes for home-schooled kids. Apparently there are other benefits to being away from government schools. […]

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The good news is that there will be a record reduction next year in the burden of government spending. Unfortunately, the bad news is that this reduction will only occur because of gigantic spending increases this year. In this webinar, I explain how fiscal policy is being affected by coronavirus, and then explain why a […]

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I’ve written four columns (here, here, here, and here) on the general failure of government health bureaucracies to effectively respond to the coronavirus. The pattern was so pronounced that it even led me to unveil a Seventh Theorem of Government. I’m not surprised at this outcome, of course, given the poor overall track record of […]

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As a policy wonk, I wish people would get excited about my columns about topics such as “tax depreciation” and “trade data” and my missives about issues such as “budget concepts” and “cost-benefit analysis.” Instead, I notice that my humor-oriented columns generate a lot more traffic, which is somewhat humbling since I’m not contributing anything. […]

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I’ve warned that the budgetary impact of the coronavirus may trigger another fiscal crisis in Europe. Especially Italy. But what about the United States? Will we reach a point, as Margaret Thatcher famously warned, of running out of other people’s money? We probably still have a couple of decades before that happens, as I speculated […]

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Having already written several dozen columns on public policy and the coronavirus, it’s time to add my two cents to the debate over Sweden’s (comparatively) laissez-faire approach to the pandemic. If nothing else, it’s remarkable that the nation Bernie Sanders praised for socialism (albeit incorrectly) is now the poster child for (some) libertarians. What makes […]

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I spoke last week about the “Economic Consequences of the Crisis” for a webinar organized by the Estonian Business School. My remarks focused on the severity of the downturn, the likelihood of a new fiscal crisis in Europe, and how to balance the costs and benefits of re-opening the economy. The full program, which was […]

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For this seventh edition of coronavirus humor (previous versions here, here, here, here, here, and here), let’s start with a clever video from Reason. There are many reasons why the Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves. The coronavirus is merely the most-recent example. While law-abiding people are worried about crime and societal breakdown, it […]

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A Supreme Court Justice pointed out in 1932 that “a state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” Well, we’ve had several experiments in higher taxes and higher spending, and they don’t work. States with heavier fiscal burdens […]

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Since government officials have imposed severe restrictions on economic activity, I’m sympathetic to the notion that businesses should be compensated. But, as I warn in this CNBC interview, I have major concerns about big government and big business getting in bed together. As is so often the case with interviews on live TV, there are […]

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A couple of weeks ago, I debunked a remarkably anti-empirical column by Dana Milbank of the Washington Post. He claimed that America’s response to the coronavirus was hampered because government is too small, yet the nations he cited as successful role models actually have much smaller public sectors than the United States. I congratulated him […]

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Having written about serious and depressing coronavirus-related issues during the week, it’s time for some politically-themed coronavirus humor. Regular readers know that I’m a long-time proponent of this message for healthy thinking. Moreover, I think it’s safe to say that coronavirus won’t come close to killing as many people as the various strains of socialism. […]

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Remember the “jobless recovery” of the Obama years? Part of the problem was that President Obama kept extending unemployment benefits, which subsidized joblessness, as even Paul Krugman and Larry Summers had warned. The good news was that Congress eventually said no in 2014 (actually one of the three best things to happen that year). After […]

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The folks who don’t want to let a crisis go to waste have been very busy in the era of coronavirus, pushing an ever-expanding menu of bad ideas. Propping up high-tax states such as New York, Illinois, and California by restoring the tax code’s deduction for state and local tax payments. Hindering the efficient allocation […]

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Time for the 5th edition of coronavirus humor (previous versions here, here, here, and here). Our first item is one that may me laugh out loud, perhaps because it also reminded me on another cameo appearance by Bill Clinton. Next, we have Bernie Sanders celebrating America’s coronavirus-inspired experiment with socialism. My friends on the left […]

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I’ve written that policy makers need to consider both the human toll of the coronavirus and the human toll of a depressed economy. I also discussed this tradeoff with Brian Nichols, beginning about seven minutes into this podcast. And, as you can see from this tweet, even the United Nations has acknowledged that a weak […]

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Exactly one month ago, I wrote “A Primer on Price Gouging” to explain why government-mandated price controls are an unwise response when prices for certain goods climb after a disaster. Here’s a video from Johan Norberg on the topic. And here’s Professor Michael Munger from Duke University on the same issue. Those are both excellent […]

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I’ve shared plenty of jokes about how America is getting a trial run of life under socialism thanks to the coronavirus. But, as discussed in this interview, there are some very serious issues relating to economic policy during a pandemic. I started the interview by stating that we’re in uncharted territory. And I openly acknowledge […]

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I’m a big fan of federalism. After all, compared to what happens when Washington screws up, there’s a lot less damage if a state or city imposes a bad law. Moreover, it’s relatively easy to move across a border if a state or city is doing something foolish. Leaving the country, by contrast, is a […]

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Libertarians and other supporters of limited government historically have mixed feelings about the European Union (and its various governmental manifestations). On the plus side, there are no trade barriers between nations that belong to the EU, and membership also makes it difficult for countries to impose regulatory burdens that hinder trade. The EU also has […]

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A new tradition (which I hope is very temporary) is sharing coronavirus humor every weekend. But not just random jokes about things like toilet paper hoarding. I’m only sharing humor that has some connection to politics or public policy. We’ll start with Bernie Sanders, who says that the Venezuela-ish conditions in some grocery stores don’t […]

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Welcome, Instapundit readers. Thanks, Glenn ================================================ About three weeks ago, I unveiled the “Seventh Theorem of Government” to support the libertarian proposition that a smaller government will do a better job of fulfilling its legitimate responsibilities. This should not be a controversial concept. There’s plenty of empirical data as well as academic evidence showing that smaller governments […]

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