Evidence Shutdowns Increase Government Spending

A few days ago, I gave the theoretical logic for why the availability of the government shutdown results in growing government spending. Advocates of smaller government should advocate a default budget rule that is far milder than shutdown. Now, I have come across academic research by David Primo finding just this at the state level. … Continue reading Evidence Shutdowns Increase Government Spending

How Government Shutdowns Grow Government

Following Marc's great post on congressional dysfunction, I'd like to point how political science tells us that the availability of government shutdowns actually causes the growth of government spending. The analysis follows the 1979 spatial analysis of zero-based budgeting by Thomas Romer and Howard Rosenthal. Suppose that there is one dimension of politics: the size … Continue reading How Government Shutdowns Grow Government

My Vote and My Pairwise Preference

Following Grover's urging, I'm revealing my vote and my pairwise preference in the presidential contest. My vote in safely Democratic New York is for Libertarian Gary Johnson, but I do have a slight pairwise preference for Romney-Ryan over Obama-Biden. The reason is that while both sets of candidates are equally bad on all sorts of … Continue reading My Vote and My Pairwise Preference

Agenda 21 and Our Precious Bodily Fluids

"You know about Agenda 21, right?" It's always said in a tone approaching a hushed whisper. If I can manage to nod and smile, at least, rather than rolling my eyes, I will be admitted into the club: a club of knowing, Alex Jones-listening "true conservatives" or "patriots." Because I -- we -- know what … Continue reading Agenda 21 and Our Precious Bodily Fluids

Why “Vote GOP for the Court” Cuts No Ice with Me

I've never voted for a Democrat or Republican for president at a general election. I've always voted for a Libertarian (in 2008 I voted for George Phillies, who was on the ballot as a Libertarian in New Hampshire in addition to the official candidate, Bob Barr), and I've never had reason to regret my vote. … Continue reading Why “Vote GOP for the Court” Cuts No Ice with Me

Is It Bad That I Like Mitt Romney a Little More Now?

Because of this and this: Pressed about the constitutional basis for the individual mandate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney got snippy, and argued that it wasn't the U.S. Constitution that mattered. “Are you familiar with the Massachusetts constitution? I am,” he all but sneered before proceeding to note that states force people to do all … Continue reading Is It Bad That I Like Mitt Romney a Little More Now?

Will Cutting Spending Hurt the Republicans?

Peter Beinart argues that Over the last half-century, the Republican Party has been, at times, a genuinely anti-government party and, at times, a politically successful party. But it’s never been both at the same time. Once this fall’s elections are over, I suspect the Tea Partiers will begin learning that, the hard way. If a … Continue reading Will Cutting Spending Hurt the Republicans?

A Winning Agenda

Like many other people, I was underwhelmed by the recently released Republican "Pledge to America." Longwinded, wishy-washy, and mostly tinkering on the edges. I am not a member of the Republican Party (or any other party), and I am indeed one of those who fails to much difference of substance between the two major parties---at … Continue reading A Winning Agenda

O’Donnell in Double, Double Toil and Trouble

So about a decade ago Christine O'Donnell somehow got on the vile Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect" and claimed that while in high school---yes, high school---she had "dabbled into witchcraft." You can see the "Politically Incorrect" clip here. Now, you don't have to be Cal Lightman to realize, on watching that clip, that she's making it … Continue reading O’Donnell in Double, Double Toil and Trouble