The Tax Reform Chasm Widens

This article originally appeared in the George W. Bush Institute. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon If the cliché is true that D.C. is simply high school writ large, then the annual dinner of the Tax Foundation is its party for nerds who can’t get dates to the prom. Every November […]

After a Month of Trying, I Still Can’t Sign Up for Obamacare

This article originally appeared in the Weekly Standard. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon After a month of trying, I still can’t complete an application to join the D.C. Health Exchange. For a week, the Obamacare marketplace asked me to prove my citizenship, my daughter’s existence, and my fixed address in the[…..]

White House Skirts the Law in Expanding Davis-Bacon

This article originally appeared in Regulation. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon and Sam Batkins The Obama administration did a small favor for unions last spring by declaring that land surveyors are henceforth covered by the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires that workers be paid the “prevailing” union wage when employed by[…..]

The Fruits of Gridlock

This article originally appeared in Regulation. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon Innovations spread through an economy in complicated ways, especially when we look beyond the private sector. For instance, economists have noted that the surprisingly slow adoption of leading-edge medical practices across the United States mirrors the glacially slow propagation[…..]

The Fruits of a Failed Dissertation: Ed Clarke, 1939-2013

This article originally appeared in Regulation. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon IN MEMORIAM With the recent announcement of the 2013 winners of the Nobel Prize for economics came the sad news of the passing of Ed Clarke, who likely was on the award’s short-list. While Clarke is virtually unknown to[…..]

Tax Reform: Break-Up Edition

This article originally appeared at the George W. Bush Institute. Click here for the original article. By Ike Brannon As I was finishing graduate school I began dating a comely woman who happened to be in her last year of school as well. A couple of months into what I thought was a pretty good[…..]

Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac Exemplify The Horrors Of Crony Capitalism

This article originally appeared in Forbes. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon Nothing exemplifies the cost of crony capitalism like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. For years these fiefdoms were run as little more than as piggy banks for connected politicians, who could count on substantial financial support for re-election, and[…..]

Could Dan Snyder End Publicly Financed Stadiums?

This article originally appeared in Regulation. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon Back around the turn of the century I was a newly minted economics professor living in Oshkosh, Wisc., a picturesque city 40 miles southwest of Green Bay and deep in the heart of Packerland. I was also (and remain[…..]

A Better Way to Measure Growth

This article originally appeared in the George W. Bush Institute. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon One of the ostensible reasons the Fed gave for its recent decision to hold off on the taper is that the economic data haven’t been that great. Chairman Ben Bernanke specifically pointed to the moribund[…..]

Warning Pollution

This article originally appeared in The American. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon There was a small craft weather advisory for the Greater Washington D.C. area recently, which I know because my weather app duly notifies me of all weather alerts in the region. There was also one the day before,[…..]

The Case for a Carbon Tax

This article originally appeared at the George W. Bush Institute. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon In his scintillating new book about the American revolution, “The Men Who Lost America,” the historian Andrew O’Shaughnessy reports that upon receiving word that the British Army had surrendered at Yorktown, King George III sent[…..]

Economic Sanctions On Russia Would Be Worse Than Futile

By Ike Brannon President Obama is naturally distressed about Russia’s reprehensible behavior in Ukraine, and would like to punish Russia and nudge President Vladimir Putin to de-escalate the situation. Most of Congress shares his distress. But there is little the United States — despite its economic hegemony — can do by itself that would meaningfully[…..]

How a Fight with Rick Santorum made an IRS Commissioner

This article originally appeared in Salon. Click here to read the full story. By Ike Brannon While President Obama fired IRS commissioner Steven Miller this week for failing to stop the enhanced scrutiny the IRS gave 501c4 applications with conservative missions, most of the activity happened under a man who was never supposed to get[…..]

Why You Just May Come to Like a Carbon Tax

This article originally appeared in Real Clear Markets. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon Tax reform may involve simplifying the tax code, but actually achieving such a thing promises to be a terrifyingly complicated process. The battle over how (and by how much) to reduce the various tax deductions, credits and[…..]

Is America’s Workforce Disabled or Just Discouraged?

This article originally appeared in RedState. Click here to read the full article. By Logan Albright Over the past forty years, the number of Americans receiving disability benefits from the federal government has increased more than six-fold. This is an alarming statistic any way one looks at it, but the implications of it are far[…..]

Time for a Carbon Tax?

This article originally appeared at The George W. Bush Institute. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon The New York Times reports that the E.U. Parliament has elected to not remove carbon tax credits from the market, despite the price plunging from a peak of nearly €30 per ton to below €3[…..]

Solving the Parking Problem in DuPont Circle

By Ike Brannon One of our neighbors bought a genuine London Cab a couple of years ago. Importing such a vehicle is very challenging: the new cabs off the assembly line do not meet US emissions laws and those that qualify as antiques—and thus are exempt from such standards—are usually rusted through and unusable. The[…..]

How Republicans Really View Social Security

This article originally appeared in Salon. Click here to read the full article. By Ike Brannon Democrats surprised or angered by President Obama’s apparent willingness to reduce Social Security benefits may wonder why his entreaty has elicited mostly a snooze from Republicans, who speak often of their interest in “entitlement reform.” I worked on Capitol[…..]