The Ted Cruz Shutdown Is Looking like the Charge of the Light Brigade

Apparently, if anyone can make Americans love Obamacare, it's Ted Cruz. What? Just look at the polls. There are brutal numbers for the GOP in a new Fox News poll, confirming numbers from an earlier Quinnipiac poll. Obama's job approval is up, support for Obamacare is up (opposition running at just 47-45 in the Q … Continue reading The Ted Cruz Shutdown Is Looking like the Charge of the Light Brigade

The Debt Ceiling Raise Aftermath: Confusion Reigns

As Pileus readers know, the spending cuts Congress and the President agreed to in future budgets are a drop in the bucket of future deficits. Nevertheless, the cacophony of protest among partisan hacks is deafening. Jacob Weisberg has a particularly incoherent piece at Slate today. Two selections: But for the federal government to spur growth … Continue reading The Debt Ceiling Raise Aftermath: Confusion Reigns

Do Politicians Regulate When They Can’t Spend?

Noel Johnson, Matt Mitchell, and Steve Yamarik have a new working paper answering that question in the affirmative. They look at state fiscal and regulatory policies and find that Democrats generally like to increase taxes and spending when in control of state houses and Republicans do the reverse. But when states have tough balanced-budget requirements … Continue reading Do Politicians Regulate When They Can’t Spend?

Huntsman: No-Label Libertarianism?

Mitch Daniels seems to be the potential Republican presidential candidate getting the most attention from libertarians if one excludes the forthrightly libertarian candidates Gary Johnson and Ron Paul. Our own Grover Cleveland has expressed his man-crush here, while Ilya Somin puts the case for Daniels here. But I want to take a look at Jon … Continue reading Huntsman: No-Label Libertarianism?

That Was Fast

Wasn't it just five minutes ago that Democrats and Republicans alike were hailing their budget resolution from last week as "historic" and "unprecedented" in its cuts? Even the usually understated WSJ called it, as I pointed out only moments ago,¬†"The Tea Party's First Victory." I guess that was then. Today the WSJ reports that even … Continue reading That Was Fast

Yahoos of Media Lore

Wall Street Journal editorials are usually very good, the WSJ's editorial page being one of the few of major newspapers whose authors are economically literate. The editors recently argued that last Friday's late-hour budget agreement was "The Tea Party's First Victory." Maybe it was. But consider¬†this passage from the piece: Republicans also showed they are … Continue reading Yahoos of Media Lore

The Politics and Policy of Health Care in the Age of PPACA

Avik Roy has an interesting piece in National Review on how conservatives (really, free-marketeers) should approach the policy and politics of health care in the age of PPACA. I largely agree with his policy prescriptions, somewhat vaguely stated as they are: First, Republicans must foster a truly free market for health insurance by eliminating the … Continue reading The Politics and Policy of Health Care in the Age of PPACA

A rotten tax deal?

On the right there is growing resistance to the tax deal Republican leaders negotiated with President Obama. The deal trades another extension of the Bush tax cuts for something like $500 billion in new spending and a small cut to the payroll tax (it's devilishly hard to find any concrete details on the plan online … Continue reading A rotten tax deal?