Tag Archives: Cato Institute

The Sequester Should Be Embraced, not Feared

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Comment by Jim Campbell, Citizen Journalist, Oath Keeper and Patriot.

We have heard the term sequestration discussed on the news, but how many have a firm grasp of what it entails?

0914-white-house-sequestration-report.jpg_full_600I don’t think so!

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute does a masterful job of explaining it and when the reader finishes the article and views the video they will understand why the Tax and Spend Liberals are not for it. 

by Dan Mitchell

International Liberty

The looters and moochers in Washington are increasingly agitated by the prospect of sequestration.

sequester-2013

Automatic budget cuts, we are told, will indiscriminately slash vital programs and undermine economic growth by reducing government spending.

This is utter bunk. I would like to “slash vital programs,” but the chart I prepared earlier this week shows that the federal budget will expand by $2.4 trillion if a sequester occurs.

So the net effect of sequestration, as I explain in this Larry Kudlow segment on CNBC, is that the federal budget won’t expand by $2.5 trillion.

I did this interview from London, by the way, where is was past midnight, so I hope you’ll forgive me for looking a bit groggy at the very beginning.

But I think I did a decent job once the juices started flowing, though it’s hard to have an argument with someone who still believes in the snake-oil of Keynesian economics.

It’s sort of like having a debate about sailing with someone who thinks the earth if flat. Just like Krugman, Bernstein seems to reflexively think that it’s always a good idea to have a higher burden of government spending. So a sequester is a bad idea if you have this mindset, just like it would be a bad idea to sail off the edge of the earth. (Entire article below)

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What’s the Best Way of Achieving Good Fiscal Policy?

Comment by Jim Campbell, Citizen Journalist and Patriot.

As usual in matters of fiscal concern Dan Mitchell is on the money further give credence to Jim’s Law which simply states:

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, I’m J.C. and I approve this message. 

by Dan Mitchell

International Liberty and the CATO Institute

The half-joking response to the question in the title of this post is that policymakers should look at what’s happening in poorly run jurisdictions such as California, France, Illinois, and Greece – and then do just the opposite.

In other words, steer clear of punitive class-warfare tax rates and make sure to control the burden of government spending.

But there’s an even simpler rule that is very correlated with good fiscal policy, at least at the state level. Governments should not impose income taxes.

If you look at this map from the Tax Foundation, you’ll notice that there is a heavy overlap between the 10 states with the lowest overall tax burdens and the 9 states (Alaska, Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wyoming) that don’t have income taxes.

More specifically, 7 of the non-income tax states are among the 10 states with the lowest tax burdens. Only Florida and Washington are outside the top 10.

It’s also worth noting that some of the states with the most “progressive” income tax systems are well represented on the list of the 10-worst states – including California, New York, New Jersey, Maine, and Rhode Island.

One important implication of this data is that proponents of limited government should never give politicians a new source of revenue, which is why fighting the value-added tax is one of my main priorities (and why advocates of small government should be worried not just about Obama winning re-election, but also worried about Romney winning).

P.S. New Hampshire and Tennessee impose income taxes on certain forms of capital income, so they are only probationary and tenuous members of the no-income-tax club.

P.P.S. Politicians from Illinois will probably complain that they didn’t make the 10-worst list, but they shouldn’t be too worried. The Tax Foundation was looking at 2010 data and Illinois almost surely will be closer to the bottom when the 2011 data gets released and includes the impact of the midnight, end-of-session, post-2010 election tax hike imposed by the state’s kleptocrat politicians.

P.P.P.S. For a humorous – but accurate – perspective on the VAT, take a look at these clever cartoons (here, here, and here).

Tax Rates Impact Economic Performance, but other Policies also Matter

Comment by Jim Campbell, Citizen Journalist and Patriot.

There can be little doubt that Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute is a genius.

Here I go again disagreeing with him on one small point, he uses the term flat tax and may well mean the “FAIR TAX.” if he does he should say so as the “FAIR TAX” will do away with the IRS completely.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, I’m J.C. and I approve this message.

by Dan Mitchell

INTERNATIONAL LIBERTY

Cato Institute

I’m a big fan of fundamental tax reform, in part because I believe in fairness and want to reduce corruption.

But I also think the flat tax will boost the economy’s performance, largely because lower tax rates are the key to good tax policy.

There are four basic reasons that I cite when explaining why lower rates improve growth.

  1. They lower the price of work and production compared to leisure.
  2. They lower the price of saving and investment relative to consumption.
  3. They increase the incentive to use resources efficiently rather than seek out loopholes.
  4. They attract jobs and investment from other nations.

As you can see, there’s nothing surprising or unusual on my list. Just basic microeconomic analysis.

Yet some people argue that lower tax rates don’t make a difference. And if lower tax rates don’t help an economy, then presumably there is no downside if Obama’s class-warfare tax policy is implemented. (Complete article below)

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A New Prediction for the Electoral Map (and the All-Important Contest for Porn Star Endorsements)

Comment by Jim Campbell, Citizen Journalist and Patriot.

For intelligence and twisted wit turn no further than Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute for his “rationale” on why Obama will best Romney in the Electoral College.

His tong in cheek evaluation of the upcoming November election is excellent. 

One question remains, is he pulling the readers chain or serious about his prognostication?  I believe the former, what’s the readers take?

 

by Dan Mitchell

International Liberty

The Cato Institute

Two months ago, I predicted that Obama would win reelection with 297 electoral votes, 27 more than needed.

Last month, I shifted Virginia to Romney’s column and predicted Obama would still win, but with 284 votes.

Today, with just three months to go, I’m guessing the election will be even closer. In my latest electoral map, I’m moving Colorado from the lean-Obama category to the lean-Romney category. This leaves Obama with a lead of just 275-263 in the electoral college.

Now let me preemptively deal with some complaints and criticisms.

Some people ask why I’m so pro-Obama. After all, the unemployment rate is above 8 percent and I’ve told audiences that Obama won’t win unless the joblessness rate drops under that level. Surely I must have my thumb on the scale for Obama.

Other people ask why I’m so pro-Romney. After all, Real Clear Politics gives Obama 332 electoral votes and Intrade gives Obama a 58 percent chance of winning (up from 56 percent last month). Surely I must have my thumb on the scale for Romney.

Folks, I don’t have a dog in this fight. I’m just giving you my best guess as to the map we’ll see early in the morning of November 7.

Jenna Jamison, aging porn star

Now let’s move to the really interesting political news. I noticed on Twitter that people seemed to think it was somehow important that Jenna Jameson endorsed Romney. I’m not sure that her profession and her endorsement are all that helpful, but judge for yourself. Complete article below

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Excellent Self-Deprecating Libertarian Humor

Dan Mitchell

International Liberty

The Cato Institute

Commentary by Jim Campbell

Ode to my little buddy Jasper, the Ron Paul Supporter of all time. I met Jasper outside a gun show and he engaged me with conversation about Ron Paul.

This young man, 16/12, remember when we counted halves?, knew more about politics and was more capable of making an informed decision had he been old enough than the vast majority that vote in our country. 

 

Of course we don’t agree about Ron Paul but Jasper I predict big things for you. You are making it happen now with your enthusiasm and having your head screwed on “RIGHT.”

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, I’m J.C. and I approve this message.

Readers seem to really enjoy the political humor on this site, much of which mocks big government and statist politicians.

But the jokes and cartoons mocking libertarians also get good reviews, probably because advocates of small government have better senses of humor and are less insecure (how’s that for self-serving analysis?).

We started this series with a video portraying Somalia as a libertarian paradise.

Then we had two cartoons, one on libertarian ice fishing and the other showing libertarian lifeguards.

I thought we then hit a high point with the image showing 24 types of libertarians.

But this new cartoon, which I first saw on the What We Think and Why blog, may be even better. ( see more humor below)

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The Impossible is now Possible

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by Derek Sheriff

The Tenth Amendment Center

James Ostrowski, author of Direct Citizen Action: How We Can Win the Second American Revolution Without Firing a Shot recently wrote, “In the realm of politics, the best chance the liberty movement has is not winning elections but convincing states and localities to stop cooperating with the federal government. I believe the Tenth Amendment Movement, as it is known, has great potential.”

An important revolutionary principle that American colonists learned from reading “Cato’s Letters” in the mid-18th century was this: Unjust laws must be resisted immediately, or they will set the stage for additional encroachments. One of “Cato’s Letters” explains:

“A nation has but two sorts of usurpation to fear, one from their neighbors and another from their own magistrates. Nor is a foreign usurpation more formidable than a domestic, which is the most dangerous of the two, by being hardest to remove and generally stealing upon the people by degrees, is fixed before is scarce felt or apprehended.”

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Exiled Iranian Journalist Awarded $500,000 Milton Friedman Liberty Prize


The Cato Institute

The Cato Institutes  Award will surely become more meaningful than the Nobel Peace Prize. It’s cadere recipients include BARACK OBAMA for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. ( must have been the taxpayer-funded bowing and apology tour, monies should have been returned to the taxpayers.) Correction! That can’t be it, he was nominate while being in office for only ten days.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE (IPCC) and ALBERT ARNOLD ( AL) GORE JR. for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change. (Far better stated for the perpetration of the biggest hoax and fraud in history prior to the election of Barack Obama.

INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY and MOHAMED ELBARADEI for their efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way. ( That seemed to have a big impact LOL)

JIMMY CARTER JR., former President of the United States of America, for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.  (An obvious award for failure)

UNITED NATIONS, New York, NY, USA

KOFI ANNAN, United Nations Secretary General  (for either, nothing was stated as a reason, most probably because they accomplished little at best.)

YASSER ARAFAT , Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, President of the Palestinian National Authority. (Wow it’s getting like a prize in a Cracker Jack Box, they even awarded it to the terrorist president of the PLO)

MIKHAIL SERGEYEVICH GORBACHEV , President of the USSR, helped to bring the Cold War to an end. ( No politics here, sure gland Ronald Reagan wasn’t included among the losers, I mean the winners)

To be sure there were a number of deserving winners, Nelson Mandella and Mother Theresa, both would trade them for the Cato Prize had they had the opportunity.  Random thoughts while observing the passing parade, I’m J.C.

Akbar Ganji, an Iranian writer and journalist who spent 6 years in a Tehran prison for advocating a secular democracy and exposing government involvement in the assassination of individuals who opposed Iran’s theocratic regime, has been named the 2010 winner of the Cato Institute’s Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty.

Ganji may be best known for a 1999 series of articles investigating the Chain Murders of Iran, which left five dissident intellectuals dead. Later published in the book, The Dungeon of Ghosts, his articles tied the killings to senior clerics and other officials in the Iran government, including former President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

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Will Debate Constitutionality of Obamacare Anytime, Anywhere

Is Obamacare Constitutional?

Legal scholars argue that several of the health care overhaul’s provisions run afoul of the Constitution, and already more than a dozen states have filed suits against the new law. But do they have a winning case? Cato scholar Roger Pilon thinks so: “It will be an uphill battle, because modern ‘constitutional law’ is so far removed from the Constitution itself, but a win is not impossible. …This suit will keep the issue alive until November, when the American people will have a chance to weigh in.”

Posted by Ilya Shapiro

Zaid Jilani at the Center for American Progress put up a blog post titled, “College debate organizers unable to find any law professors to argue health reform is unconstitutional.” Indeed, it seems that none of the four panelists at the University of Washington Law School event had any issues with Obamacare.

Maybe the UW organizers, who couldn’t find anyone with the opposing view, are talking to the same folks who told John Conyers about the “Good and Welfare Clause.” Because, as I said before, it’s not that hard to find constitutional scholars who have problems with this legislation.

OK, look, I’ll make it easier:  I hereby announce that I am willing to travel anywhere at anytime to debate the constitutionality of Obamacare. Whoever sets up the debate has to pay my travel expenses, but that’s it.  Any takers?