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The February 2013 Deficit

March 26, 2013 Leave a comment

The deficit for the federal government in the month of February is now available – $203.5 Billion, the fourth largest monthly deficit since October 1980 (go here to check out the numbers). Combined with the small surplus in January 2013, this puts the federal government on track to run a $1.2 Trillion deficit for the entire year. It is amazing that in the face of these numbers, Senate Democrats voted out a budget which advocates a deficit increase (note that they always overestimate the additional tax revenues that come from increases in tax rates). Looks like we are on track for a debt crisis – more on that in a future post.

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Charging Admission into the U.S.

March 4, 2013 3 comments

Gary Becker and Edward Lazear, two distinguished economists, recently published an article advocating that the U.S. begin charging an admission price to immigrants into the U.S. Upon reading their piece, I couldn’t help but be amused by imagining how many non-economists would respond to such a proposal. I can just see the reaction. ¬†How absurd to charge admission! But what do you expect. This is the same crowd that thinks we should charge for human organs!

Before you think their idea to be crazy, I urge everyone to read the article. It is natural for economists to think of a market-based solution to a policy problem. Consider the benefits to the program that they list but also ask yourself this question. Would their program be worse than anything dreamed up by the government?

Categories: Immigration Policy
Economics One

A blog by John B. Taylor

The Grumpy Economist

One economist's views on economic policy.

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