A Lesson in Unintended Consequences: How Clinton’s Policies Would Raise Effective Tax Rates for the Middle Class

A Lesson in Unintended Consequences: How Clinton’s Policies Would Raise Effective Tax Rates for the Middle Class

photo: Marc Nozell Hillary Clinton is often said to be a policy wonk, deeply enmeshed in specifics and details, but that may be a mischaracterization. In some ways, her approach seems disturbingly superficial, skipping one perceived problem to another with little attention to their underlying causes. In some cases, Clinton seems to have paid little attention […]

Still Looking for a Free Lunch: Opinion Polls Bring Good News and Bad for Success of Paris Climate Talks

The latest polls of US public opinion bring both good news and bad for the success of the COP21 climate talks now underway in Paris. On the positive side, a new New York Times/CBS News poll finds that two-thirds of Americans think their country should join an international treaty requiring it to reduce emissions in […]

Could We Afford a Universal Basic Income? (Part 2 of a Series)

This version, revised June 25, 2014, corrects errors in calculating the value of the personal exemption and the size of the Social Security population that were present in the January original. The first post in this series looked at the economic case for a universal basic income (UBI), by which I mean an unconditional grant, […]

Why Progressives Should Love a Carbon Tax—Although Not All of Them Do

Progressives should love a carbon tax. Most progressives love the environment and believe that carbon emissions cause environmental harm. Unlike conservatives, whose attitudes toward carbon taxes were the subject of my last post, progressives have no generalized aversion to taxes. Carbon taxes should be a natural for progressives, then, if they can accept the power […]

Economists Should Love Paul Ryan’s Support of Policy Rules—but are they the Right Rules?

Economists love the idea of rules for monetary and fiscal policy. Many politicians hate them, preferring the discretion to do whatever seems like a good idea at the time. For that reason, if no other, economists should love Paul Ryan, an atypical politician who supports policy rules. But there is a catch—are the rules that […]