Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has often talked about his desire for the United States to emulate the socialist welfare states of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden by providing free college and health care and expanding Social Security. Sanders also wants to ban oil, natural gas, and coal production on lands owned by the federal government, and he has called for a ban on hydraulic fracturing, which has dramatically increased production of oil and natural gas in the United States.
Due to this weekend’s torrential winter downpour, we are currently in the midst of a federal government shutdown. Uh oh. We’ve been told so often by so many that a government shutdown will shake the Earth from its orbital path and send us careening into the Sun. So far, thankfully, that has not occurred.
In today’s episode of The Heartland Daily Podcast, managing editor Jesse Hathaway talks with University of Arkansas-Little Rock economics professor Erick Elder about a new study, published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, about how well state lawmakers are preparing for the next economic recession.
In just eight years, Bitcoin and the idea of “virtual currency” have gained acceptance and use both online and in the physical world. Spread by word of mouth and other “viral” means, decentralized virtual currencies have gone from a mere thought experiment to a tangible economic reality.
Like it or not, lawmakers’ decisions have a large effect on our everyday lives. From increasing the cost of a car people need to take their children to soccer practice or go to work, to restricting job opportunities using occupational licensing rules (which reduce the supply of providers and raises prices), lawmakers’ actions have a serious and quantifiable effect on how much Americans pay for the things they need and want.
If you own a business—maybe a taco stand, a dress shop, or an insurance agency—you know it takes a lot of hard work, good market analysis, a better product or service than your competition, and advertising. Add in a bit of luck, and you hope to grow your business—though vacant storefronts and boarded up buildings in towns and cities across America show that isn’t always enough. Each going-out-of-business sale represents the death of someone’s dream.
In today’s edition of the Heartland Daily podcast, managing editor Jesse Hathaway and Heritage Foundation macroeconomics research fellow Salim Furth talk about the latest news from Puerto Rico’s slow-motion fiscal train wreck.
At this annual time of good cheer it might seem Grinch-like to challenge the spirit of Santa Claus, but the reality is that there is no jolly, bearded, rotund man in a red suit who brings us goodies for free. And the Congressional Budget Office has recently reminded us of this in reference to Social Security.
Personal choice and freedom of association are two fundamental and essential principles of any truly free society, and this includes a free market workplace. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration is spending taxpayer dollars to undermine those principles in other countries around the world.
In this edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, managing editor Jesse Hathaway is joined by Tax Foundation policy analyst Jared Walczak. Walczak joins Hathaway to discuss the results of the 12th annual State Business Tax Climate Index report – A state-by-state, apples-to-apples comparison of states’ tax systems, the Climate Index helps Index helps lawmakers and taxpayers gauge how their states’ tax systems stack up against those in other states. Instead of just showing how much taxes each states collect from taxpayers, the Climate Index shows how well states’ tax collection systems are designed.
Uncle Sam has added nearly an additional half a trillion dollars to the national debt over the past twelve months. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the Federal government ended its fiscal year on September 30, 2015 with a budget deficit of a “mere” $435 billion. Total Federal expenditures for the fiscal year were nearly $3.7 trillion, while Federal tax receipts came to around $3.3 trillion.
In Maine, state lawmakers expanded existing bans on tobacco use in private and public spaces to include e-cigarettes. Many cities and states are likewise considering banning e-cigarette use in public and private spaces, and state governments in Delaware and New York have already banned using e-cigarettes in restaurants and other privately owned spaces.
As National Football League teams start to go into their “bye” weeks when they don’t have a game to play, fantasy sports fans are scrambling to find replacements for their starting lineups on the waiver wires.
California lawmakers are proposing to increase taxes on cigarettes by $2 per pack in order to fund increased entitlement spending. Instead of placing faith in the morality of their cause, lawmakers would do better to place their trust in economic and public health realities.
In this episode of The Heartland Daily Podcast, managing editor Jesse Hathaway talks with Mercatus Center senior fellow Todd Zywicki. Zywicki’s new paper, “The Law and Economics of Consumer Debt Collection and Its Regulation,” examines the pitfalls of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s proposals to protect consumers from abuse by debt collection agencies.
Beginning in 1983 the government changed its method of calculation to show lower inflation by excluding food and energy, claiming they were too volatile to be reliable indicators. The result is the so-called “core inflation” CPI, which is a favorite of the Federal Reserve. The latest figure for this CPI reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is 0.4% (for August and also July), but if calculated by the method used in 1980 the inflation rate would be 7½ percent, as shown by Shadow Government Statistics (ShadowStats.com).