Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: CBO

How Trump’s Executive Actions are Like Obama’s–And How They’re Not

President Trump is fed up with everyone and everything. For months now, congress has refused to implement his agenda. He’s mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore. Does that sound like someone you know? It should–late in his presidency, Barack Obama became exasperated with years of Republican obstruction. He turned to his lawyers. What could the administration do unilaterally that might be legal? They threw the kitchen sink at it, trying all sorts of things and leaving it to the courts to decide what would stick. Like Trump, Obama began taking more executive action late in the first year, though most of his biggest and boldest moves came in the second term:

The fact that Trump is frustrated and is looking for ways to weasel around institutional impediments shouldn’t surprise us. When the Supreme Court got in Franklin Roosevelt’s way, he tried to pack the court with sycophants:

What’s interesting is how transparently bad this executive action is.

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America Should Welcome Latin American Child Refugees With Open Arms

America is rife with talk about a Latin American refugee crisis–tens of thousands of children are fleeing Central America for the United States. An estimated 60-80,000 will seek refuge this year, and that figure is expected to climb to 130,000 next year. The children are fleeing poverty and gang violence. The law entitles these children to a hearing and places them in the care of relatives or government operated shelters. If successful, they can obtain green cards, but many lack access to the sort of legal counsel that might make that happen. The focus in recent weeks in the American press has been on finding ways to get rid of these children and prevent more of them from entering the country. This is foolish mistake.

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How Spending Cuts Make Debt Problems Worse

The IMF has a new paper out that confirms what I have long suspected–when a state with a depressed economy reduces spending, the spending cuts lead to sufficient contraction to result in the cancellation of savings for the state. How does it work? Let’s explore.

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Jindal, Rubio, and 2016

The right is already tossing around Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio as potential US presidential candidates in 2016. Are they presidential material? Each has shown up recently in the news and offered us some insight into that very question. Today I would like to further examine the remarks of both Jindal and Rubio, the former on the fiscal cliff, the latter on young earth creationism.

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Fiscal Cliff Ignorance

I’m back in the United States for a month, so it’s only fitting to write an American piece. There’s a statistic out there that should put fear into the hearts of those of us who practise, either professionally or as a hobby, the art of statecraft. The implications of this statistic are vast for the health of the American economy and the American democracy.

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