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Lower the Corporate Tax Rate As Much As We Can, While We Can
The recently concluded tax reform conference report draft includes a one-percentage-point increase in the corporate tax rate above what both the House and the Senate passed, with some of the revenue savings being used to keep a portion of the deduction for state and local taxes as well as forego delaying its implementation until 2019, as the previous bills proposed. There remains a chance the rate may tick up yet again before negotiations are concluded, especially if other targeted tax breaks get some traction in the Congress over the next few days.However, even this small diminution in the rate reduction is a mistake: whi...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 14, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Ike Brannon Source Type: blogs

All I Want for Christmas Is...Civilian Leadership of U.S. Foreign Policy
In their infinite wisdom, the Founding Fathers warned against the dangers of standing armies and determined that it should be civilians, not military leaders, who had final authority over the size, shape, and use of America ’s armed forces. Their reasoning was simple. Without civilian control of the military there would be no bulwark against military coup or dictatorship. But civilian control should not stop at simple control over the armed forces. Civilian officials must provide active leadership and management of the full spectrum of American foreign policy efforts, from intelligence gathering and alliance bui...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 14, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: A. Trevor Thrall Source Type: blogs

Explaining Commerce to the Commerce Secretary
As college students across the country begin their final exams, we are reminded of the unfortunate reality that much of what we learn in school or other parts of life willeventually be forgotten. Usually, this is more of a nuisance than a problem. A failure to recall the finer points of Shakespearean literature is unlikely to trouble most accountants, nor is a marketing specialist apt to lose sleep over lost the ability to define the Pythagorean Theorem. It ’s a bigger problem, however, when the Secretary of Commerce forgets some basic lessons of international trade.Appearing atan Atlantic Council event earlier this ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 14, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Inu Manak, Colin Grabow Source Type: blogs

Would a Chilean-style Fiscal Rule Work for the US?
It was reported last week thata Republican working group is considering a proposal to link spending caps to the growth of actual or potential GDP. This is encouraging, and much more economically sensible thanrigid balanced budget legislation.I ’ll write about other countries’ experiences with backward-looking rules in the future. But one country which uses forward-looking estimates of potential GDP to determine overall government spending is Chile. Indeed,economists such as Jeffrey Frankel have previously written glowingly about Chile ’s fiscal rule, which Frankel concluded had constrained government...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 14, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Ryan Bourne Source Type: blogs

All I Want For Christmas Is to Fight Just the Necessary Wars
All I want for Christmas is for the U.S. to only fight the wars it has to and to stay out of all the others.  The lives of young Americans are too high a price to pay for wars driven by threat inflation, ego, or fool-hardy social experiments.First, we ’re Americans. Enough of the hand wringing. Islamist-inspired terrorists do not hide around every corner. Instead, we have been and continue to be quite safe. The threat from groups operating within failed states like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and so on pales in comparison to Hitler’s armies mar ching across Europe and our nuclear Cold War with the Soviet Uni...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 14, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Erik Goepner Source Type: blogs

All I Want for Christmas is the Travel Ban to End
On December 4, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Courtallowed thethird version of the President ’s travel ban, which limits the entry of citizens fromeight countries, to go into effect. The White House claimed the Supreme Court decision as a victory, with spokesman Hogan Gidleysaying, “The proclamation is lawful and essential to protecting our homeland. We look forward to presenting a fuller defense of the proclamation as the pending cases work their way through the courts.”While thedomestic implications of the Supreme Court ’s decision will unfold in the next few weeks, the foreign policy implications will be...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 14, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Sahar Khan Source Type: blogs

Food Stamp Reform in 2018?
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one of the costliest welfare programs at about $70 billion a year. Not only is it costly, but a large share of the benefits are not used as intended.Recipientsare supposed to use SNAP or food stamp benefits to “make healthy food choices” and “obtain a more nutritious diet.” But it turns out thatabout $15 billion of food stamp spending goes for junk food, such as candy and cola. Many recipients are not making the nutritious choices the government intends.The Trump administration is expected to pursue welfare reforms next year, and trimming food ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 14, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Chris Edwards Source Type: blogs

All I Want for Christmas...Is a BRAC
Five successive Secretaries of Defense have asked Congress for permission to reduce excess and unnecessary military bases. The fairest and most transparent way to make such cuts is through another Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round. So far, however, the SecDefs ’ requests have gone unanswered. For their sake, but mostly for the sake of the men and women serving in our armed forces, I want one, too. All I want for Christmas is a BRAC.According tothe Pentagon ’s latest estimates, the military as a whole has 19 percent excess base capacity. If it helps to visualize the nature of the problem, nearly 1 in eve...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 13, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Christopher A. Preble Source Type: blogs

Justice Department Tackles Rule By Guidance Letter
The U.S. Department of Justice, November 17 [press release/memo]:Today, in an action to further uphold the rule of law in the executive branch, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo prohibiting the Department of Justice from issuing guidance documents that have the effect of adopting new regulatory requirements or amending the law. The memo prevents the Department of Justice from evading required rulemaking processes by using guidance memos to create de facto regulations.In the past, the Department of Justice and other agencies have blurred the distinction between regulations and guidance documents. Under the Attorn...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 13, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Walter Olson Source Type: blogs

Muslim Ban? Fewer Muslim Refugees, Immigrants, and Travelers Enter U.S. in 2017
During his campaign, President Trumppromised to ban all Muslims outright until he could figure out “what is going on.” Helater explained that this idea had developed into several policies that would have the same effect. Since his inauguration, Trump has begun to implement them —they includeslashing the refugee program,banning all immigration and travelers from several majority Muslim countries, andimposing new burdens on all visa applicants as part of “extreme vetting” initiatives. So far, these policies appear to have “worked,” strongly reducing Muslim immigration and travel to t...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 12, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: David Bier Source Type: blogs

Estate Tax Lobbying
Pundits of every political persuasion decry corporate lobbying in Washington, and a major tax bill is a great opportunity for businesses to gain benefits if they convince members of Congress to help them out. However, battles over tax provisions are sometimes not what they appear on the surface.For years, liberal pundits have characterized efforts to repeal the estate, or death, tax as the plutocrats pulling the levers of power on the Republican side of the aisle. But anew investigative piece atDaily Caller by Richard Pollock exposes the lobbying that is undermining good policy on estate taxation.I favor estate tax repeal,...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 12, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Chris Edwards Source Type: blogs

One in a Billion Chance a Year of Being Killed by a Chain Immigrant in a Terror Attack
Yesterday, Bangladesh-born  Akayed Ullah attempted a suicide bombing in New York City.  Fortunately, he only injured a few people and severely burned his own torso.  Ullah entered the United States on an F4 green card for the brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens.Some are using Ullah ’s failed terrorist attack to call for further restricting family-based immigration and the green card lottery.  After hearing about the failed terrorist attack, President Trump argued that “Today’s terror suspect entered our country through extended-family chain migration, which is inc...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 12, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Alex Nowrasteh Source Type: blogs

Global Science Report: Another Indication of Lukewarming
In March 1990, NASA ’s Roy Spencer and University of Alabama-Huntsville’s (UAH) John Christy dropped quite a bomb when they published the first record of lower atmospheric temperatures sensed by satellites’ microwave sounding units (MSUs). While they only had ten years of data, it was crystal clear there was no s ignificant warming trend.It was subsequently discovered by Frank Wentz of Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), a Santa Rosa (CA) consultancy, that the orbits of the sensing satellites successively decay (i.e., become lower) and this results in a spurious but slight cooling trend. Using a record ending i...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 12, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Patrick J. Michaels Source Type: blogs

SALT Deduction Changes Could Improve State Tax Systems Too
Thirteen law professors have written about how the GOP tax plan will provide incentives for tax planning and behavioral changes that might undermine current revenue estimates.The document,“The Games They Will Play: Tax Games, Roadblocks, and Glitches,” is clearly written by professors skeptical of the overall tax package. But it provides useful examples of potential problems, such as ways new passthrough provisions could lead to complex battle lines between tax authorities and taxpayers.It also assesses how the elimination of the state and local income and sales deduction (SALT) from the federal income tax code...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 11, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Ryan Bourne Source Type: blogs

The Washington Post ’s False Tax Narrative
News stories are portraying the Republican tax bills as favoring the rich, even though the opposite is true. The GOP cuts would make the tax code more progressive, and the largest percentage cuts would go to middle-income households.TheWashington Postpushed another faulty narrative yesterday. The three layers of headlines on the hardcopy front page were, “Trump’s tax vow taking a U-turn—focus shifted away from middle class—GOP plan evolved into a windfall for the wealthy.” The story’s theme was that Trump originally promised middle-class tax cuts, but House and Senate tax bills have morp...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 11, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Chris Edwards Source Type: blogs

All I Want for Christmas …Is Information about U.S. Military Deployments
2017 has been a year of massive expansion for the Global War on Terror, but you could be forgiven for not noticing. In addition to the media focus on the ongoing chaos in the Trump White House, the Pentagon has consistently avoided disclosing where and who America ’s armed forces are engaged in fighting until forced to do so.Take Syria, where the Pentagon long claimed that there wereonly 500 boots on the ground, even though anecdotal accounts suggested a much higher total. When Maj. General James Jarrardaccidentally admitted to reporters at a press conference in October that the number was closer to 4000, his stateme...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 11, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Emma Ashford Source Type: blogs

Senate Tax Bill Increases Progressivity
AWall Street Journal op-ed last week by liberal billionaire Tom Steyer complained that the proposed Republican tax cut “overwhelming helps the wealthy.” He said that the American people will be furious “if they see a bill passed that hands out filet mignon to the wealthy while leaving them struggling over scraps.”Steyer ’s op-ed had more rhetoric than data, but he did cite aTax Policy Center (TPC) analysis of the Senate bill. So let ’s look at the TPC data. The table below summarizes the Senate tax cuts for 2019 and compares them to current-law taxes.Looking at the block on the right, TP...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 11, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Chris Edwards Source Type: blogs

Fewer than Half of Employment-Based Green Cards are for Workers
The United States ’ immigration system favors family reunification, even in the so-called employment-based categories.  The family members of immigrant workers must use employment-based green cardsdespite the text of the actual  statute and other evidence that strongly suggests that this was not Congress’ intent.   Instead of a separate green card category for spouses and children, they get a green card that would otherwise go to a worker. In 2015, 56 percent of all supposed employment-based green cards went to the family members of workers (Chart 1).   The other 44 percent went to the ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 8, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Alex Nowrasteh Source Type: blogs

The Structural Protections of the Double Jeopardy Clause
Michael Currier, like more and more defendants in recent years, was charged with multiple, overlapping offenses: (1) breaking and entering, (2) grand larceny, and (3) possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. This charging decision turned on an aggressive application of Virginia ’s felon-in-possession statute, because the alleged firearm violation here was fleeting happenstance: Currier supposedly “handled” the victim’s firearms by moving them out of the way in order to commit the different offense of stealing money from a safe. If Currier had been tried on all thes e charges at once, the eviden...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 8, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Jay Schweikert Source Type: blogs

Postscript: THINTHREAD-TRAILBLAZER DoD IG Report
I ’ve had lots of requests for a non-Scribd link to the 2004 DoD IG report on the THINTHREAD and TRAILBLAZER programs I mentioned in my JustSecurity.orgpiece yesterday, so you can now find ithere.  I should point out that at the end of the excellent documentary on this topic,A Good American, the film ’s creators noted that Hayden, NSA’s Signal Intelligence Division director Maureen Baginski, and two other senior NSA executives involved in this affair declined to be interviewed on camera. (Source: Cato-at-liberty)
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 8, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Patrick G. Eddington Source Type: blogs

Johnny Hallyday: Also Bucked Establishment on Taxes
French rocker Johnny Hallyday —the “French Elvis—has passed away at 74. I do not know his music, but it appears that he was an innovator. His sounds were apparently new to French ears, and his willingness to adopt rock styles from the English-speaking world upset the French establishment. But the people adored his music, and he sold 110 million records. So Hallyday and the market got the better of France ’s cultural rules.Hallyday didn ’t like French tax rules either. Here is what I wrote inGlobal Tax Revolution:The solidarity tax on wealth was imposed in the 1980s under President Francois Mit...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 7, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Chris Edwards Source Type: blogs

Hayden, NSA and the Road to 9/11
This article originally appeared on  Just Security on December 7, 2017.   Retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and CIA (and now, a national security analyst at CNN), has recently emerged as a leading  critic of the Trump administration, but not so long ago, he was widely criticized for his role in the post-9/11 surveillance abuses. With the publication of his memoir, Playing to the Edge: American Intelligence in the Age of Terror,  Hayden launched his reputational rehab campaign.Like most such memoirs by high-level Washington insiders, Hayden ’s tends to be h...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 7, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Patrick G. Eddington Source Type: blogs

A Few PIRLS of Wisdom on New Reading Results
The latest international academic assessment results are out —this time focused on 4th grade reading —and the news isn’t great for the United States. But how bad is it? I offer a few thoughts—maybe not that wise, but I needed a super-clever title—that might be worth contemplating.The exam is theProgress in International Reading Literacy Study—PIRLS—which was administered to roughly representative samples of children in their fourth year of formal schooling in 58 education systems. The systems are mainly national, but also some sub-national levels such as Hong Kong and the Flemish-s...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 7, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Neal McCluskey Source Type: blogs

The Use of Euphemisms in Political Debate
ConclusionThis post explores the theoretical base of using euphemisms as tools of influence. Although there issome excellent research into theseissues related to immigration, it is a field crying out for more experimental and empirical inquiry. Laboratory experiments with human subjects could confirm the effectiveness of specific euphemisms as primes or frames. Since such studies are often criticized for their external validity, a follow-up study that combines content analysis of relevant media with opinion polls that show changes in attitudes could also be useful.An underexplored possibility is how euphemisms and frames a...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 7, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Alex Nowrasteh Source Type: blogs

Hayek on the Creation of Moral Hazard by Central Banks
Some years ago I published a paper on the banking theory and policy views of the important twentieth-century economist Friedrich A. Hayek, entitled “Why Didn ’t Hayek Favor Laissez Faire in Banking?”[1] Very recently, working on a new paper on Hayek ’s changing views of the gold standard, I discovered an important but previously overlooked passage on banking policy in a 1925 article by Hayek entitled “Monetary Policy in the United States After the Recovery from the Crisis of 1920.” I missed the passage earlier because the full text of Hay ek’s article became available in English tr...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 7, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Lawrence H. White Source Type: blogs

Supreme Court Continues Its Gun-Shy Ways
Over a decade ago, James Hamilton was convicted of a felony in Virginia, for which he served no jail time. Since then, the state of Virginia has restored all of his civil rights, including the right to possess firearms. In the years since then, Hamilton has worked as an armed guard, firearms instructor, and protective officer for the Department of Homeland Security. Despite never exhibiting any violent tendencies and leading a stable family, the state of Maryland, where Hamilton now resides, forbids him from possessing firearms because of that decade-old Virginia conviction.Hamilton challenged Maryland ’s absolute pr...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 6, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Trevor Burrus, Matthew Larosiere Source Type: blogs

How to Deal with Honduras ’ Quagmire
There are good reasons to believe that fraud took place in Honduras ’ presidential election.The Economistdid astatistical analysis of the election results and found “reasons to worry” about the integrity of the vote—although they were not conclusive. Areport from the Organization of American States Observation Mission points out “irregularities, mistakes, and systemic problems plaguing this election [that] make it difficult… to be certain about the outcome.”At the heart of the controversy is how the results of the presidential election shifted dramatically after a blackout in the ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 6, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Juan Carlos Hidalgo Source Type: blogs

Federal Fumbles and Failures
The federal government has suffered from wasteful spending since the beginning. One of the biggest bureaucracies in the 19th century was the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Anofficial history says, “the Indian Bureau operated under constant and often well-founded criticism of corruption and inefficiency in its handling of the millions of dollars in supplies purchased each year for the reservations.”Senator James Lankford ’s new study on wasteful spending (“Federal Fumbles”) indicates that BIA mismanagement persists, with waste and failure in its housing, education, and health care programs. I ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 6, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Chris Edwards Source Type: blogs

Who Stole What from Whom?
I visited thePatagonia web site looking for some Christmas presents yesterday and learned that “the president stole my land.” How horrible! So I looked into it and discovered that President Trump took federal land that was managed by a particular set of federal agencies under a particular set of restrictions andchanged it into federal land managed by the very same federal agencies under a slightly different set of restrictions. Not to jump on Patagonia, whose clothing I ’ve always enjoyed, but where’s the theft in that?Of course, what Trump did was reverse changes by Presidents Clinton and Obama, wh...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 6, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Randal O ' Toole Source Type: blogs

Government Databases, Enough Already!
A headline today in theWashington Post is “Voter Database Alarms Experts.” The addition of another big government database alarms me as well. The other dayI noted the huge vulnerability created by the income tax and resulting IRS data horde. And then there are federal data stockpiles forhealth care,security, and many other things.Now apresidential commission apparently wants to create another juicy target for hackers.From theWashington Post story:More than a half-dozen technology experts and former national security officials filed an amicus brief Tuesday urging a federal court to halt the collection of voter i...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 6, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Chris Edwards Source Type: blogs

More Information Won ’t Resolve Management Problems at Border Patrol Checkpoints
ConclusionThe best information in the world cannot compensate for poor incentives and can make government management less efficient by providing cover for any choice. Government agents are not usually malevolent,or at least any more so than the rest of us, but they have incentives to satisfy political demands. Private firms that behave in these ways often fail or earn lower profits unless they are bailed out by the government, which is usually the source of these poor incentives in the first place. More metrics can even worsen efficiency. We should look to deeper structural reforms of government agencies rather than contin...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 6, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Alex Nowrasteh Source Type: blogs

Justice Kennedy Will Be Top Chef in Masterpiece Cakeshop Case
After this morning ’s Supreme Court argument in the Colorado wedding-cake case, the only thing that safe to predict about this case is that it’ll end up 5-4. It’s perhaps unavoidable that a case so politically fraught would break down on conventional ideological lines, with the four “conservatives” (presumab ly including the silent Justice Clarence Thomas) siding with the baker who didn’t want to create a custom cake for a same-sex wedding, the four “liberals” siding with the couple that wants to use the state’s anti-discrimination law to compel him to do so, and Justic...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 5, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Ilya Shapiro Source Type: blogs

How Black Markets Saved Spanish Cheesemaking (Plus, a Cookie Sequel)
Spain is now known to food lovers as one of the great cheese producers of the world, but it wasn ’t always so. At one of my favorite websites, Atlas Obscura,Jackie Bryant tells the story of how “one of Europe’s oldest and most varied artisanal cheesemaking cultures… was once entirely illegal. And its survival can be largely attributed to a black market of underground cheese.”The villain in the piece is dictator Francisco Franco, who ruled from 1939 until his death in 1975, his policies on this subject lingering on for some years thereafter. With a taste for centralized command, Franco wa...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 5, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Walter Olson Source Type: blogs

The Malady of Excessive Interventionism
There is a lot that ’s wrong with U.S. foreign policy right now, but a broader look at U.S. grand strategy in the post-Cold War era reveals just how broken things have been across administrations of both parties.The post-Cold War era has seen a continuation of along global trendtoward greater peace and stability,lower rates of conflict, and zero great power wars. More peace anddiminishing threats have merely enhanced theremarkable security already enjoyed by the United States thanks to its geographic isolation, weak neighbors, unparalleled economic and military power, and its nuclear deterrent.But America doesn &rsqu...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 5, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: John Glaser Source Type: blogs

Worst Bill in History?
House Minority Leader and former speaker Nancy Pelosisays that the Republican tax bill, “with stiff competition by some of the other things they have put forth, is the worst bill in the history of the United States Congress.”That is a tall order. A quick search of the history of the United States Congress reveals that Congress has passed:the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798the Indian Removal Act in 1830the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850Public Law 503, codifying President Franklin D. Roosevelt ’s Executive Order 9066 authorizing the internment of Japanese, German, and Italian Americans, in 1942the Eighteenth Am...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 5, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: David Boaz Source Type: blogs

Public Schooling Battles: November Dispatch
Last month we postedour first “dispatch” from the frontlines of public schooling ’s values and identity-based wars, conflicts ultimately entered on thePublic Schooling Battle Map, an interactive database of such contests. The monthly dispatch is intended to lay out some of the themes we ’ve observed in battles during the month, and to give you a sense over which basic values the public schools—inherentlyzero-sum arenas—have people battling. Here are the themes of November:Discriminatory Dress Codes:Allegations that school dress codes discriminate against girls, proscribing lots of attire...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 5, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Neal McCluskey Source Type: blogs

Trump Administration Expands Interior Immigration Enforcement
Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released areport detailing deportations (henceforth “removals”) conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during the fiscal year of 2017.  This post presents data on removals in historical context combined with information fromPew and theCenter for Migration Studies.  ICE deported 81,603 illegal immigrants from the  interior of the United States in 2017, up from 65,332 in 2016.  Removals from the interior peaked during the Obama administration in 2011 at 237,941 (Figure 1).  ICE also removed large numbers of people appre...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 5, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Alex Nowrasteh Source Type: blogs

ACA Subsidies and Labor Market Participation
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, many economists have predicted that the Act will cause a reduction in labor market participation and a recentNew York Timesarticle seemingly vindicates these expectations. The article recounts how the rapid increase in insurance premiums have led Anne Cornwell to cut her working hours, and thus her yearly income, by 30 percent in order to be eligible for health insurance subsidies. The $24,000 reduction in income allowed Ms. Cornwell and her husband to qualify for $27,000 in subsidies.Ms. Cornwell ’s reduced labor market participation supports economists&rsq...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 5, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Peter Van Doren Source Type: blogs

Kevin Hassett Updates Adam Smith
The chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, Kevin Hassett,visited Cato last week to talk about tax reform. Under Kevin ’s leadership, the CEA has producedtwo reports discussing how corporate tax cuts can boost wages and growth.The CEAexplains the basic mechanism:reductions in the corporate tax rate incentivize corporations to pursue additional capital investments as their cost declines. Complementarities between labor and capital then imply that the demand for labor rises under capital deepening and labor becomes more productive. Standard economic theory implies that the result of more productive and m...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 5, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Chris Edwards Source Type: blogs

High Cost of Government Housing
This article discusses San Diego ’s efforts to supply subsidized housing, and it focuses on the cost problem. The article discusses projects financed by a combo of the LIHTC and other programs, which is apparently called a “funding lasagna.” But a “subsidy lasagna” might be more accurate.By any measure, the city government ’s efforts to help low-income families are far behind the demand for subsidies, and losing ground.High cost has been a major factor. In recent years the public has paid luxury price tags for a handful of subsidized construction projects, draining money to build more ap...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 4, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Chris Edwards Source Type: blogs

Corporate Tax Rate: 20 Percent Is Better
The House and Senate have passed bills cutting the federal corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent. This overdue reform will spur capital investment, strengthen the economy, and reduce tax avoidance. Republicans have long championed this reform, and President Trump had proposed an even lower rate.So it was surprising that thepresident commented Saturday that a 22 percent rate would be fine. That would be snatching a defeat from the jaws of victory. Congressional Republicans should stick with their 20 percent. Senator Marco Rubio is incorrect that there is no economic difference between a 20 and 22 percent rate. Economics ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 4, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Chris Edwards Source Type: blogs

Time to Bury the Williamson County Rule
Claims for unconstitutional takings of property against state actors should not be treated differently than other fundamental rights claims and relegated to second-class status. Thirty years ago, inWilliamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank, the U.S. Supreme Court pronounced a new rule that a property owner must first sue in state court to ripen a federal takings claim. As illustrated byKnick v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania, in which Cato has filed abriefsupporting the property owner ’s petition to the Court—joined by the NFIB Small Business Legal Center, Southeastern Legal Foundation, a...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 4, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus, Meggan DeWitt Source Type: blogs

Smart Money Is on New Jersey in Sports-Gambling Case
It ’s never smart to bet on the outcome of Supreme Court cases, but if I had to wager on thebig federalism case disguised as a dispute over sports books, I ’d double-down on New Jersey in its fight against professional sports and the U.S. government. InChristie v. NCAA, argued this morning, I ’ll give decent odds that the state will prevail on its claim that the federal law that prevents states from legalizing sports-betting is unconstitutional because it “commandeers” state officials to enforce federal policy. By my best count, the vote should be 6-3, with Justices Ruth Bader Gins burg, Sonia...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 4, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Ilya Shapiro Source Type: blogs

Ryan Bourne: Corporate Tax Cut will Help Workers and Shareholders
In case you missed it over the weekend, Cato scholarRyan Bourne wrote about the Republican tax reform plan in an op-ed featured inThe Hill. He responds to the argument that corporations will use money saved from the reduction in the federal corporate tax rate to increase dividends, buy back shares, or other strategies that benefit their shareholders.  Major companies, including Cisco Systems, Pfizer and Coca-Cola, have said they will use most of the gains from proposed corporate rate cuts  to increase dividends to shareholders or buy back their own shares.  This has been reported and shared on Twitter as a s...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 4, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Cato Editors Source Type: blogs

Don ’t Gamble on Double Jeopardy
Terance Gamble was convicted of second-degree robbery in Alabama in 2008. That ’s a felony, so he was barred from possessing a firearm under both federal and state law. Seven years later, Gamble was pulled over for a broken taillight. Smelling marijuana, the police officer searched the car and found, among other things, a 9mm handgun. Alabama prosecuted Gamble under its “f elon-in-possession” statute and he was ultimately sentenced to a year in prison. Concurrent with the state’s prosecution, however, the U.S. attorney charged Gamble with the same offense underfederal law. He was sentenced to 46 mon...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 4, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Ilya Shapiro Source Type: blogs

A Hate Speech Hypothetical
The outrage du jour is a newspaper column entitled “Your DNA is an Abomination” published by a student newspaper at Texas State University. The case is no doubt difficult politically and practically for the people involved. But it really is not an interesting case concerning free speech. As Nancy Reagan said, we should “just say no.”The column was taken down from the newspaper ’s website. It should not have been. How can the rest of us assess its arguments absent an authoritative version of the writing? The student body president has called for defunding the student newspaper. He should not be...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 4, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: John Samples Source Type: blogs

China Cuts Some Tariffs
While U.S. trade policy under the Trump administration has become a confusing mix of bluster, posturing, threats, and uncertainty, China has gone in the other direction, at least incrementally by lowering some of its tariffs unilaterally.  On November 24, China’s Ministry of Financeannounced that it would cut tariffs on 187 consumer products. The lower duty rate took effect on December 1, so Chinese consumers are now benefitting from more competition and lower prices. As noted in the announcement, the average tariff on the covered products will be brought down from 17.3% to 7.3%.To give some specific e...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 4, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Simon Lester, Huan Zhu Source Type: blogs

Strange Bedfellows Event: Investor Protections in the NAFTA Renegotiation
It isn ’t very often that free traders at the Cato Institute and the anti-corporate left agree on matters of trade policy. We free traders oppose barriers and subsidies and seek straightforward, nonintrusive rules to ensure an equality of opportunity for businesses, workers, investors, and consumers. Th e left tends to see those rules as asymmetrically beneficial to business and seeks to leverage trade barriers and subsidies to achieve what it defines as a greater equality of outcome. Those fundamental differences explain why you would see very little overlap in a Venn diagram depicting the policy objective...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 4, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Daniel J. Ikenson Source Type: blogs

Democratic Tax Rhetoric Countered by JCT Findings
Democrats have been relentlessly attacking the pro-growth elements of the GOP tax bills, such as the corporate tax rate cuts. They label efforts to improve incentives for working and investment as “trickle-down economics.”Here are some recent examples:Sen. Pat Leahy (here): “Even these huge corporate tax cuts are not structured in a way that would truly encourage investments here at home and boost workers’ wages.”Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (here): “After the tax plan was released, a lot of talking heads on TV dredged up the talking points about the virtues of “trickle-down economics&r...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 1, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Chris Edwards Source Type: blogs

The World of Financial Regulation Gets Weird...Again
There ’s yet more strangeness afoot in the world of financial regulation.  No, it’s not theCFPB this time.   It’s the generally more staid Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  Earlier this week, the Department of Justiceweighed in onLucia v. SEC, a case challenging the constitutionality of the SEC ’s in-house judges, known as Administrative Law Judges (ALJs).  What is strange is that the DOJ sided with Raymond Lucia andagainst the SEC.   Seemingly in response, the SEC tookaction and ratified the appointment of its ALJs, a move it had been resisting for some time.  ...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - December 1, 2017 Category: American Health Authors: Thaya Brook Knight Source Type: blogs