How to advance economic freedom

By James Carter at The Hill

April 4, 2016

In April 2000, I joined a small group of international economists who met with President Vladimir Putin and his advisers in Moscow to discuss the economic problems besetting Russia. We advised Putin to take concrete steps toward establishing conditions conducive to economic growth. In short, we called for economic freedom.

The Putin administration adopted some of our advice. For example, it adopted a single 13 percent personal income tax rate in early 2001, scrapping the 12, 20 and 30 percent tax rates that had existed previously. The results? Revenue from Russia’s personal income tax increased 26 percent the following year in real terms.

Read more at The Hill

Congress’ Constitutional Prerogative vs. Executive Branch Overreach

By Matthew Spalding at The Daily Signal

April 1, 2016

“In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this,” Madison writes in Federalist 51, “You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

That meant that, in addition to performing its proper constitutional functions, there needed to be an internal check to further limit the powers of government. For that purpose, the Founders not only divided power, but also set it against itself.

Read more at The Daily Signal


Kids Born in 2016 Hold $42,000 in Pubic Debt

By Mollie McNeill at The Daily Signal

April 1, 2016

Out of control spending drives national debt to unsustainable levels and the government knows it. The recently published 2017 fiscal year HouseCongressional Budget Resolution even features a chart titled “Spending is the Problem.”

But Congress needs to practice what it preaches. The very same document proposes spending $57 billion more on discretionary programs than what Congress proposed to spend on this budget category last year.

Read more at The Daily Signal

March Employment Report Shows Labor Market Growing

By James Sherk at The Daily Signal

April 1, 2016

The March employment report showed continued growth in the labor market. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics found unemployment ticking up 0.1 percentage point, the good news was greater labor force participation and 215,000 new jobs created during the month.

The payroll survey found widespread job growth throughout the service sector. The retail trade (+48,000), healthcare (+37,000), and professional and business services (+33,000) sectors showed the largest job growth. Total government employment also increased (+20,000), driven almost entirely by greater hiring by local governments.

Read more at The Daily Signal

Since the Recession, We’re Spending Again–But With Less Income

By Jefrey Sparshott in The Wall Street Journal

March 30, 2016

U.S. household spending has fully recovered since the latest recession, but income hasn’t, squeezing budgets and pushing many lower-income families into the red, according to aPew Charitable Trusts report out Wednesday.

“The lack of financial flexibility threatens low-income households’ financial security in the short term and their economic mobility in the long term,” the report said.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal

Why is the Obama budget undermining small business and economic growth?

By Raymond J. Keating in The Hill

March 25, 2016

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis recently released a second estimate on the nation’s fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth, revising it from its initial January 29th announcement of 0.7 percent to a whopping 1.0 percent. Consider me unimpressed.  A 1.0 percent growth is dismal compared to the fact that we should be growing at better than 4 percent during a solid recovery/expansion period.

Given our continued anemic growth, one would think President Obama would release a budget that would provide substantive, pro-growth tax relief and rein in government spending.  Unfortunately, the fiscal year 2017 budget plan, released last month, accomplishes neither, instead, hiking spending and tossing in broad new tax hikes to boot.  Garnering the most attention is the proposed $10.25 per barrel oil tax that would raise an estimated $319 billion to fund clean transportation projects.  And like the president’s past budgets, this one would also eliminate certain tax deductions, but only for the oil and gas industry.

Read more at The Hill

IHS becomes latest company to give up U.S. citizenship for lower taxes

By Renae Merle in The Washington Post

March 21, 2016

Data provider IHS announced a $13 billion merger Monday that would make it the latest U.S. company to move its headquarters overseas, where it would face lower taxes.

Colorado-based IHS is merging with the smaller London-based Markit in what is known as an “inversion,” in which U.S. companies are bought by or merge with foreign firms to reduce U.S. corporate tax burdens.

Read more at The Washington Post


Corporate Inversions Are The Symptoms, Bad Tax Policy Is The Disease

By Wayne Winegarden at Forbes

March 8, 2016

Several politicians are looking for ways to punish companies considering a specific corporate restructuring known as a corporate inversion (a type of acquisition where a U.S. company purchases a foreign owned company and registers the new entity outside of the U.S.). Hillary Clinton’s ill-conceived “exit tax” exemplifies the types of harmful policies that are being proposed.

But, why would a company consider such a restructuring? The answer: the uncompetitive U.S. corporate income tax code.

Read more at Forbes


What Many Small Businesses Call Their Biggest Challenge

By Patrick Tyrrell at The Daily Signal
March 7, 2016

The 2015 Small Business Credit Survey Report on Employer Firms, released March 3 by seven Federal Reserve Banks, contains disturbing news.

Twenty-two percent of small businesses with annual revenues over $10 million identified compliance with government regulations as the biggest challenge they faced over the past 12 months. That’s up from only four percent in a similar but smaller survey last year.

Read more at The Daily Signal

America’s Economic Freedom Has Rapidly Declined Under Obama

By Anthony B. Kim at The Daily Signal
January 31, 2016

Millions of people around the world are emerging from poverty thanks to rising economic freedom. But by sharp contrast, America’s economic freedom has been on a declining path over the past decade.

According to the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom, an annual publication by The Heritage Foundation, America’s economic freedom has tumbled. With losses of economic freedom in eight of the past nine years, the U.S. has tied its worst score ever, wiping out a decade of progress.

The U.S. has fallen from the 6th freest economy in the world, when President Barack Obama took office, to 11th place in 2016. America’s declining score in the index is closely related to rapidly rising government spending, subsidies, and bailouts.

Read more at The Daily Signal