Categories

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Trump, Sessions, and the Disgusting Thuggery of Asset Forfeiture

One of the unfortunate features of Washington is that people often wind up in places that bring out their worst behaviors. The classic example is Jack Kemp, who did great work as a member of Congress to push a supply-side agenda of low marginal tax rates and less double taxation. Indeed, it’s no exaggeration to […]

Continue reading Trump, Sessions, and the Disgusting Thuggery of Asset Forfeiture

. . . → Read More: Trump, Sessions, and the Disgusting Thuggery of Asset Forfeiture

Putin, Trump, and False Moral Equivalence

Back in the 1980s, I would get very agitated when folks made excuses for brutal communist regimes by asserting that the United States also did bad things. This “moral equivalence” argument is now being recycled by Donald Trump, who basically excuses Putin’s brutality because America supposedly isn’t in any position to throw stones. Here’s the […]

Continue reading Putin, Trump, and False Moral Equivalence

. . . → Read More: Putin, Trump, and False Moral Equivalence

The Local Government Extortion Racket

What do Andy Johnson, Anthony Smelley, the Hammond family, Charlie Engle, Tammy Cooper, Nancy Black, Russ Caswell, Jacques Wajsfelner, Jeff Councelller, Eric Garner, Martha Boneta, James Slatic, Carole Hinders, Salvatore Culosi, and James Lieto, as well as the Sierra Pacific Company and the entire Meitev family have in common? They are all victims of brutal, […]

Continue reading The Local Government Extortion Racket

. . . → Read More: The Local Government Extortion Racket

Venezuela and Santa Claus vs Thomas Sowell and the Little Red Hen

Earlier this year, I borrowed from Dante’s Inferno and created the Five Circles of Statist Hell. At the time, I suggested that Venezuela was on the cusp of moving from the third circle (“widespread poverty and economic misery”) to the fourth circle (“systematic and grinding poverty and deprivation”). Since we now know that children in […]

Continue reading Venezuela and Santa Claus vs Thomas Sowell and the Little Red Hen

. . . → Read More: Venezuela and Santa Claus vs Thomas Sowell and the Little Red Hen

More Inane Developments in the Drug War

When writing about money laundering laws, I’ll sometimes highlight gross abuses by government and I’ll periodically make the usual libertarian arguments about privacy. But I mostly focus on how the laws simply don’t make sense from a cost-benefit perspective. Anti-money laundering laws and regulations impose large burdens on the private sector, which creates disproportionate hardship […]

Continue reading More Inane Developments in the Drug War

. . . → Read More: More Inane Developments in the Drug War

The Obama Administration’s Assault on the Rule of Law

What’s the worst development in economic policy of the Obama years? The faux stimulus scheme? The Obamacare boondoggle? The fiscal cliff tax hike? The Dodd-Frank bailout bill? Those are all good answers, but if you look at the data from Economic Freedom of the World, a major reason for the decline in America’s score is […]

Continue reading The Obama Administration’s Assault on the Rule of Law

. . . → Read More: The Obama Administration’s Assault on the Rule of Law

America’s Latest Epidemic: Bureaucrats with Guns

While I dismiss conspiracy theories that presume there’s a plan in Washington to strip away our rights, I do think there’s a natural “public choice” explanation for ever-growing, ever-more powerful government. And that can lead to ever-expanding examples of abusive mistreatment of citizens. If you don’t believe me, just ask people like Andy Johnson, Anthony […]

Continue reading America’s Latest Epidemic: Bureaucrats with Guns

. . . → Read More: America’s Latest Epidemic: Bureaucrats with Guns

The Global Warming Shakedown, Part IV

Whether they call it global warming or climate change, activists on the left are acting as if the issue is just an excuse to extort money and expand the power of government. In Part I, I wrote about kleptocrats exploiting the issue to shake down western governments for enormous amounts of aid money. In Part […]

Continue reading The Global Warming Shakedown, Part IV

. . . → Read More: The Global Warming Shakedown, Part IV

Tax Day Is America’s Anti-Holiday and the Tax Code Is Anti-American

It’s that time of year. Those of us who wait until the last minute are rushing to get tax returns filed (or extensions submitted). So it’s also a good time to remind ourselves that there is a better way. Economists look at the tax system and focus on the warts that undermine growth. High marginal […]

Continue reading Tax Day Is America’s Anti-Holiday and the Tax Code Is Anti-American

. . . → Read More: Tax Day Is America’s Anti-Holiday and the Tax Code Is Anti-American

Operation Choke Point, Bank De-Risking, and Obama Administration Coercion

For all his faults, you have to give President Obama credit for strong convictions. He’s generally misguided, but it’s perversely impressive to observe his relentless advocacy for higher taxes, bigger government, more intervention, and limits on constitutional freedoms. That being said, his desire to “fundamentally transform” the United States leads him to decisions that run […]

Continue reading Operation Choke Point, Bank De-Risking, and Obama Administration Coercion

. . . → Read More: Operation Choke Point, Bank De-Risking, and Obama Administration Coercion

When Local Governments Are Greedy and Corrupt, Don’t Expect Honest and Efficient Law Enforcement

While I’m a big fan of federalism, this isn’t because I have a starry-eyed view of non-Washington politicians. Of course there is plenty of grotesque misbehavior by state and local governments. And it’s most troubling when it involves law enforcement and the legal system. David French of National Review has a very powerful and compelling […]

Continue reading When Local Governments Are Greedy and Corrupt, Don’t Expect Honest and Efficient Law Enforcement

. . . → Read More: When Local Governments Are Greedy and Corrupt, Don’t Expect Honest and Efficient Law Enforcement

Lessons for the United States (and other Nations) from Estonia: Fight Corruption by Shrinking Government

I’m a big fan of Estonia. According to both the Fraser Institute and the Heritage Foundation, it has considerable economic freedom. It has a low-rate flat tax, meaning that investors, entrepreneurs, and small-business owners aren’t punished for contributing more to the nation’s economic output. It responded to the 2008 crisis by cutting spending rather than […]

Continue reading Lessons for the United States (and other Nations) from Estonia: Fight Corruption by Shrinking Government

. . . → Read More: Lessons for the United States (and other Nations) from Estonia: Fight Corruption by Shrinking Government

Rewarding a Corrupt IRS with a Bigger Budget: Another “Own Goal” by the GOP

The good thing about being nonpartisan is that I can freely criticize (or even praise) policy makers without giving any thought to whether they have an R or D after their name. That doesn’t mean Republicans and Democrats are the same, at least with regards to rhetoric. The two big political parties in the United […]

Continue reading Rewarding a Corrupt IRS with a Bigger Budget: Another “Own Goal” by the GOP

. . . → Read More: Rewarding a Corrupt IRS with a Bigger Budget: Another “Own Goal” by the GOP

Two Lessons from the Oregon Standoff: The Federal Government Is Thuggish and Owns too Much of America’s Land

When I first read about armed protesters taking over a federal building in Oregon, I thought some nutjobs were about to cause some real trouble. Was this a right-wing version of the loons from the Occupy Wall Street movement, only with guns? Then I learned that the “federal building” was nothing more than a remote […]

Continue reading Two Lessons from the Oregon Standoff: The Federal Government Is Thuggish and Owns too Much of America’s Land

. . . → Read More: Two Lessons from the Oregon Standoff: The Federal Government Is Thuggish and Owns too Much of America’s Land

Pro and Con: George Will vs. Al Hunt on Impeaching a Corrupt IRS Commissioner

When someone says “IRS,” my Pavlovian response is “flat tax.” That’s because I’m a policy wonk and I’d like to replace our punitive internal revenue code with something simple and fair that doesn’t do nearly as much damage to our economy. And it’s a fringe benefit that real tax reform would substantially de-fang the IRS. […]

Continue reading Pro and Con: George Will vs. Al Hunt on Impeaching a Corrupt IRS Commissioner

. . . → Read More: Pro and Con: George Will vs. Al Hunt on Impeaching a Corrupt IRS Commissioner

Microsoft Audit Scandal Shows that Restraints on Abusive IRS Should Be Part of Tax Reform Plans

I’m delighted that so many presidential candidates are talking about partial tax reform and I’ve specifically analyzed the plans put forth by Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, and Donald Trump. These proposals all make the tax code less punitive, and that would be good news for job creation, growth, and American competitiveness. But that […]

Continue reading Microsoft Audit Scandal Shows that Restraints on Abusive IRS Should Be Part of Tax Reform Plans

. . . → Read More: Microsoft Audit Scandal Shows that Restraints on Abusive IRS Should Be Part of Tax Reform Plans

The Willful Blindness of an IRS Sycophant

Remember Sleepless in Seattle, the 1993 romantic comedy starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan? Well, there should be a remake of that film entitled Clueless in Washington. But it wouldn’t be romantic and it wouldn’t be a comedy. Though there would be a laughable aspect to this film, because it would be about an editorial […]

Continue reading The Willful Blindness of an IRS Sycophant

. . . → Read More: The Willful Blindness of an IRS Sycophant

An Example of Government Theft and Thuggery, or an Example of Drug War Lunacy?

Politicians and bureaucrats are very creative in their pursuit of bad policy. In some case, I’m not even sure how to classify their actions. When the government squandered $224,000-plus for research on condom sizes, for instance, I thought that story easily could be classified as wasteful spending. But then I discovered the research was related […]

Continue reading An Example of Government Theft and Thuggery, or an Example of Drug War Lunacy?

. . . → Read More: An Example of Government Theft and Thuggery, or an Example of Drug War Lunacy?

A New Federal Crime: Train Riding While Black

If I had to pick a government policy that would be most upsetting to our Founding Fathers, I’d be tempted to pick the income tax. Or maybe some useless agency, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development. After all, surely the Founders didn’t envision – or want – today’s Leviathan government in Washington. […]

Continue reading A New Federal Crime: Train Riding While Black

. . . → Read More: A New Federal Crime: Train Riding While Black

Stealing Is Legal…if You Work for the Government

Notwithstanding the title of this post, I’m not going to make an ultra-libertarian argument that all taxation is theft (see the P.P.P.S. below if you want my thoughts on that issue). Instead, today’s topic is about a more specialized version of theft by government, which technically is called civil asset forfeiture but more accurately should […]

Continue reading Stealing Is Legal…if You Work for the Government

. . . → Read More: Stealing Is Legal…if You Work for the Government