Tag Archives: Dan Mitchell

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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An IQ Test for Criminals and Liberals

Comment by Jim Campbell, Citizen Journalist and Patriot.
With Dan Mitchell who blogs at International Liberty and is a fellow at the Cato Institute, count on receiving and excellent well informed read with his usual wit.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, I’m J.C. and I approve this message. by Dan Mitchell

A lot of people say Obama is anti-business, but there’s one part of the American economy that is delighted that he got reelected.

No, I’m not talking about bankruptcy lawyers or corrupt lobbyists, though those would be good guesses.

The real winners from Obama’s re-election are America’s gun manufacturers and gun sellers.

Not that I’ve looked at any data. I’m just basing this on the comments I’ve heard over the past few years and the up-tick in such comments in the past 36 hours.

But I’m quite confident that the overall firearms industry has profited from Obama’s tenure.

Anyway, the great economist Frederic Bastiat teaches us to look at both direct and indirect effects (or, as he put it, the “seen” and “unseen”), so I want to highlight a disadvantaged group that will suffer as a result of the Obama-induced increase in gun sales.

Yes, I’m talking about criminals.

To understand the point I’m trying to make, we’re going to do a thought experiment.

Start by closing your eyes and thinking about someone you know who has worked hard, saved some money, bought a nice house, and filled that house with nice things for the family to enjoy.

Now tell yourself, “I want those things as well.”

But you also think, “Damned if I’m going to wake up early every day like that chump and bust my rear end to earn a good life.”

Instead, you decide it’s okay to take things that don’t belong to you, even if it involves some coercion.

So what’s your next step?

No, this isn’t a thought experiment about voting for Obama. Besides, the election is over.

Close your eyes again and think about how you would obtain things that don’t belong to you and without using the government as the middleman.

What would you do? Well, you might beg the person to give you things.

But that might be a bit awkward or demeaning, and the person might say no.

That leaves burglary as your only option. Sort of a private sector version of income redistribution.

Now we get to the key point in our thought experiment.

You sneak up to the house with the nice things and you suddenly see a sign.

Here’s a quiz. What do you do after seeing this sign?

a. break into the house because you once heard a politician or journalist assert that gun ownership doesn’t deter crime?

b. decide after a bit of reflection about potential costs and benefits that it might be more prudent to find another house to rob?

If you need some help with the answer, think about the meaning of this cartoon.

If you’re still having trouble grasping the concept, this Chuck Asay cartoon might be worth a look. Or this post has some signs that may help your understanding.

And if you still don’t comprehend, then congratulations. You deserve a starring role in this video.

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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Cartoons about the Supreme Court’s Obamacare Decision: Laughing in the Face of Tragedy

Comment by Jim Campbell

Not to worry Dan this is not even close to being over.  You of all people know that, I will leave some links on your site, posted here.  The “Fat Lady” hasn’t begun warming them up.

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

by Dan Mitchell

International Liberty

The Cato Institute

I’ve already thrown in my two cents on yesterday’s disappointing decision, and I was planning on ignoring the issue for a few days because I’m so irked by the result.

But they say laughter is an effective part of grief therapy, so let’s take some solace in these cartoons.

This first one is about the very serious issue of increased authority and power for the IRS.

Technically, the Supreme Court decision didn’t give the IRS any more power than it already had been given under the legislation, but the cartoon isn’t claiming otherwise, so it gets points for being accurate and (tragically) amusing.

By the way, here’s a cartoon making a similar point from back in 2010 when Obamcare was being debated.

Next we have a cartoon about Chief Justice Roberts and his new BFF status with Obama. I almost didn’t include it because Roberts deserves nothing but scorn, but I don’t want my feelings to interfere.

Speaking of Roberts, this next cartoon is accurate in many ways.

It’s designed to blame Bush for appointing a Justice who would put establishment approval before fealty to the Constitution, but I think it’s also true because Obama might not have won – and the Democrats certainly wouldn’t have picked up so many seats in the House and Senate – if Bush had not imposed so much statist legislation and weakened the economy, thus paving the way for big Democrat victories in 2006 and 2008.

And here’s a cartoon making the obvious point that Obama prevaricated.

I’ve saved my favorite for last, showing how the Supreme Court botched its responsibility.

But even though it’s my favorite of the five cartoons, I would make a change (just like I suggested alterations to a very good Chuck Asay cartoon back in April).

In this case, I also would amend this gem by replacing “economy” with “Constitution.”

I hope all these cartoons make you feel a bit better. If not, you can look at some R-rated Obamacare humor here, here, and here. And, just for the heck of it, here’s a PG-rated Obamacare joke to end on a more subdued note.

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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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