Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Will the Welfare State Cause the Next Great Depression?

According to Robert Samuelson’s article in the Wilson Quarterly, the answer is yes. Just as the gold standard amplified and transmitted the effects of the Depression, so the modern welfare state is magnifying the effects of the recession. The United States, Europe, and Japan, together representing about half of the world economy, face similar pressures: […]

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Do we need less democracy?

In The New Republic, Peter Orzag argues that to fix our budget mess, we need less democracy.  Specifically, he argues that implementing the following four recommendations more consistently would improve the budget situation. Progressive tax code Permanently link taxes to the unemployment rate Backstop rules Independent institutions I have my doubts…

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Why are we hitting the Debt Ceiling?

According to The American: “Between 1966 and 2007, the entire increase in the size of government relative to the economy resulted from growth in tax-financed health spending. … as a share of GDP, publicly financed health spending in 2007 was five times as large as it was in 1965 (the year immediately before Medicare and […]

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Federal Medicaid Spending: The Worst is Yet to Come

As the economy worsened, Medicaid enrollment has risen.  In the short-run, however, States have been able to avoid large increases in Medicaid spending because the Federal government has footed the tab.  According to the HHS: “Over the past three years, despite rising enrollment due to the economic recession, nationwide State spending on the Medicaid program […]

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Can the government create jobs?

On Tuesday, President Obama unveiled a plan to use repaid TARP monies to fund a job creation program.  The question is, can the government actually create jobs? Initially, one would say yes.  If the government hires more workers, this is job creation.  If the government hires more contractors, this is job creation.  If the government […]

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How did the national debt get so big?

The book Cadillac Desert discusses the development of dams, aquaducts, and irrigation canals to slake the thirst of cities and farmers in the Western U.S..  While these projects did eventually deliver the water they promised, they did so at huge costs to taxpayers.  In the words of former congressmen Robert W. Edgar: “The old-boy network […]

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How much is a $100m Cut from the Budget?

Obama Budget Cut Visualization. HT: Megan McArdle

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I.O.U.S.A.

The U.S. is in a huge amount of debt. This will only worsen in the short- to medium-term as the the baby boomers retire and Medicare and Social Security budgets balloon. Here’s a movie about it. “This country has started consuming more than it produces.” – Warren Buffet

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