Category Archives: Fiscal Policy and Reforms

All Fireworks Shows Cancelled in Bay Area

Yes. That’s the San Francisco Chronicle digital headline, and it’s true all over the United States of America, with some exceptions like Mount Rushmore last night and DC tonight.  Back in 2010, I started writing on each July 4th about … Continue reading

Posted in Budget & Debt, Fiscal Policy and Reforms

Macroeconomic Modelling of Pandemics at Warp Speed

A pressing research issue with deep policy relevance concerns how econometric models should be adapted, changed, or modified in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  A new Webinar series–Macroeconomic Modelling and Pandemics–has been created to examine this issue, to exchange views … Continue reading

Posted in Fiscal Policy and Reforms, International Economics, Monetary Policy

Structural, Not Cyclical, Budget Reform

Today I published a column in Project Syndicate on fiscal policy. I am positive about pro-growth effects of the tax reform in the 2017 tax act and of the greater use of cost-benefit analysis in the recent regulatory reform effort. … Continue reading

Posted in Budget & Debt, Fiscal Policy and Reforms

A Decade of July 4th Debt Explosions: Are They Getting Less Spectacular?

Starting a decade ago, I’ve charted on Independence Day the most recent long-term projection of the federal debt by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Over the years the chart has continued to look much like the Fourth of July fireworks, … Continue reading

Posted in Budget & Debt, Fiscal Policy and Reforms

Take Off the Muzzle and the Economy Will Roar

In his Saturday Wall Street Journal essay “Why the Economy Doesn’t Roar Anymore”—illustrated with a big lion with its mouth shut—Marc Levinson offers the answer that the “U.S. economy isn’t behaving badly. It is just being ordinary.”  But there is … Continue reading

Posted in Fiscal Policy and Reforms, Regulatory Policy, Slow Recovery

Novel Research on Elections, Policymaking, Economic Uncertainty

The Becker Friedman Institute of the University of Chicago and the Hoover Institution of Stanford University teamed up yesterday to put on a Conference on Elections, Policymaking, and Economic Uncertainty. The conference was held at the Hoover Institution Offices in … Continue reading

Posted in Financial Crisis, Fiscal Policy and Reforms, Regulatory Policy, Stimulus Impact

CBO’s New Way to Evaluate Fiscal Consolidation Plans

In its recently released budget outlook, the Congressional Budget Office projects that this year’s federal deficit will increase by 35% from last year to $590 billion, and that the debt will rise from $14 trillion to $23 trillion by 2026, or … Continue reading

Posted in Budget & Debt, Fiscal Policy and Reforms

Desperately Needed:  Reforms to Raise Productivity Growth

The data released this week on labor productivity growth are really terrible. The growth rate has been negative now for three quarters in a row, and it was – .4 percent over the past year. Unfortunately, these data are reinforcing … Continue reading

Posted in Fiscal Policy and Reforms, Regulatory Policy, Slow Recovery

An Economic and Security Policy Blueprint for America

A timely new policy book, Blueprint for America, edited by George P. Shultz, is being released today online for the first time. The release coincides with the start of platform writing by Republicans this week and Democrats the following week, … Continue reading

Posted in Budget & Debt, Financial Crisis, Fiscal Policy and Reforms, International Economics, Monetary Policy, Regulatory Policy

An Economic Policy–Performance Cycle

For several years I have writing about an cycle in which economic policy swings toward and away from certain key principles of economic freedom. The poor performance of the U.S. economy during the past decade —the Great Recession, the Not-So-Great … Continue reading

Posted in Fiscal Policy and Reforms, Regulatory Policy