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Is Donald Trump a supply-sider? In his still young presidential campaign, he has said several times that he wants to be the “jobs president.” In his announcement speech, he put it this way: “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”But those are generalities, and Trump has been short on specifics. In particular, he has said very little, if anything, about his tax policy. But a couple of recent articles on Trump and taxes have caught my eye. Heather Long at CNN Money and Tony Nitti at Forbes have done some digging. And much of what they write is confirmed by specific past…

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In November 2013, prosecutors in Nashville were apparently frustrated by a defense attorney’s repeated reference to them as “the government.” As USA Today points out (h/t National Review), it was an aggravated burglary case where the lawyer for the defense, the aptly named Drew Justice, was chastised to the judge by written motion to force Mr. Justice to stop using what the state called an intentionally derogatory slur, “meant to make the State’s attorney seem oppressive and inflame the jury.” Being a serious criminal case, bias is nothing to easily dismiss on either side, but the defense’s…

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The Fed believes economic growth is the source of inflation. Hard as the latter may be to believe to most readers, the broad view inside the Fed is that too many people working and prospering will cause the economy to “overheat.” Fearful of too much prosperity, the central bank explains that it must centrally plan economic growth that’s weaker than would otherwise be the case in a free market. More explicitly, the Fed’s policy - assuming a booming economy - is to put people out of work.
If readers doubt any of what’s just been written, they need only consider a recent op-ed by a once…

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When budget crises occur, Sacramento goes into tax reform frenzy. Commissions are appointed and elected officials travel the state touting reform ideas. Then, the economy recovers - and with it a boom in tax revenue - and the Commissions’ reports get stacked on bookshelves to collect dust, while those same elected officials revise their talking points toward program spending in lieu of reform. In Sacramento, short-term memories trump advancing good public policy.
Last week, the Hoover Institution released its July-August 2015 issue of Eureka, which explored California’s revenue…

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Ever since the 1970s, when Jude Wanniski and Arthur Laffer came up with the ideas that are now referred to as supply-side economics, conservative politicians have been unable to resist the siren song of tax cuts for big earners. In recent years, this enthusiasm has spread to state governments led by conservatives, offering new tests of a proposition that has generated scant evidence of success elsewhere.In the extreme versions that thrived through the early Reagan Administration years, supply-siders argued tax cuts would pay for themselves by increasing growth substantially. After decades in…

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Here are some statistics regarding the speeches that four presidential hopefuls used to announce their candidacies:
Jeb Bush: 2,217 words; “grow” or “growth” used 7 timesHillary Clinton: 5,125 words; “grow” or “growth” used 32 timesMartin O’Malley: 2,158 words; “grow” or “growth” used 3 timesBernie Sanders: 1,729 words; “grow” or “growth” used 0 times
So, is Hillary Clinton 4.5 times more pro-growth than Jeb Bush? No, although she may well be infinitely more pro-growth than Bernie Sanders. If you judge by Hillary’s announced policy proposals, she isn’t pro-growth at all. Rather, Hillary is…

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The worst sectors of the worst recovery since World War II are business investment in new plants and equipment and new business start-ups. These are the biggest job-creators, and their slump is a key reason for the sub-par labor recovery, with low participation rates and high involuntary part-time workers. So if investment is the problem, what does Hillary Clinton go out and do? She proposes jacking up the tax on investment. It’s almost inconceivably stupid. In her latest economic speech, Clinton proposes doubling the capital-gains tax rate on the profit made from asset sales (stocks, bonds,…

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This week marked the fifth anniversary of Dodd-Frank, the omnibus regulatory response to the last financial event. The law still has supporters, of course, but its praises are quite thin and scattered. Critical scrutiny, by contrast, is in no short supply. The reason for that varies as much as its reach, as after five years many of the important “rules” remain to be finalized or even written. In trying to answer every financial irregularity about 2008, Dodd-Frank has become, or intended to become, a part of nearly everything.
The reason for that is relatively straightforward even if still…

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Everyone should have an individual retirement account, designated as a ROTH IRA, as a tax free investment for their future. Unfortunately, most Americans have little education in investment economics and do not know how simple it is to begin the process and take control of their future. Anyone who believes Uncle Sam is going to provide for a vibrant and secure retirement is in for an old age rude awakening.Last week, the basics of investing were discussed so that everyone could have the confidence to open up a retirement account. Today things get even easier. Here are arguably the 3 best…

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Greece owes $320 billion to its creditors and cannot repay the loans. Like Greece, Medicare is also accumulating an unaffordable mountain of debt. And both Greece and Medicare are more likely to default on their debts than to adopt the highly unpopular reforms needed to pay them off.
Wednesday’s news from the Medicare Trustees may not seem that dire.
The headline is comforting, but misleading. Medicare’s Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund-also known as Part A-will run short of money, but not until 2030. Starting that year, Part A benefits can be paid out only to the extent that money…

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Current headlines in the popular and business media keep reminding us about the ongoing economic crisis in many European countries, especially, Greece. The annual government deficits leading to the current and large government debt in these European countries is an important reason for their current bleak economic outlook.
Persistent deficits and a growing national debt have a significant negative impact on their economic growth and well-being. A euro spent by the government ultimately comes from the savings of a private European household. Hence, the question of whether or not government…

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Last week USA Today reported that an average of 150 people move to Austin, TX daily. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed a few days later, the Manhattan Institute’s Jason Riley noted that the state of Texas has the U.S.’s second largest immigrant population. Both are relevant numbers to the discussion of U.S. immigration, and debates about same.
Easily the purest market signal of all - and nothing else comes close - concerns where individuals choose to live and work. That so many domestic and foreign migrants are choosing Austin, and then Texas more broadly, speaks volumes. Specifically, it…

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Singapore turns 50 this year. The celebrations of independence are going to be spectacular, if all the preparations being made across the island are any clue. But middle age is also causing some self-reflection, and a little disquiet.After an extraordinary first half century in which GDP per capita increased a hundredfold, Singapore is seeing its growth slowing, workers ageing, and anxiety rising. The question lurking behind the celebrations is: what now?Singapore is, as a nation, an archetypal rags-to-riches story. A sudden break away from the Malaysian Federation in 1965, just two years…

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Tax policy is thought by many in Washington to be one of the more effective tools in the battle against inequality. Indeed, presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders have implied they would raise taxes on the rich to correct for rising inequality, and according to the Wall Street Journal, Hillary Clinton is set to announce her plans to increase taxes on capital gains this week.
Populist calls for higher taxes on the rich play very well on the stump, but the resulting policies always seem to produce unintended consequences. Two provisions of Bill Clinton’s 1993 tax increase are good…

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We’re told that Puerto Rico is our Greece, and sometimes it seems so. The U.S. territory (its residents have been American citizens since 1917) has a heap of economic problems. Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla recently told the New York Times that its $72 billion debt is “not payable.” To buttress the point, he commissioned a study of the island’s economy by Anne Krueger, a highly respected economist who was a top official of the International Monetary Fund. Her report makes for grim reading.
Since 2005, Puerto Rico’s economy has shrunk by about 10 percent. Its population is also declining, from…

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