The Debt Ceiling: Good Politics, Not Policy
Debt / Economy / Fiscal policy / Politics / U.S. Domestic Policy

The Debt Ceiling: Good Politics, Not Policy

As of this past week, our federal government has managed to clear the hurdle of fully funding the Department of Homeland Security. Unfortunately, this is only one of the many vitally important budget issues on the horizon, including Medicare payments to doctors, funding for the Highway Trust Fund and our crumbling infrastructure, and the prospect … Continue reading

A Federal Balanced Budget: Not a Cure-All, but Definitely Not a Bad Idea
Debt / Economy / Fiscal policy / Politics

A Federal Balanced Budget: Not a Cure-All, but Definitely Not a Bad Idea

To all the people who believe that a constitutional requirement forcing Congress to pass a balanced budget every year will make the federal debt (and yes, there is a difference between a debt and a deficit: deficit being how much money we have to borrow per year, debt being how much money we have borrowed … Continue reading

U.S. Businesses Dodging Taxes?  IRS Pulls Reins Tighter
Economy / Regulation / Tax / Taxes

U.S. Businesses Dodging Taxes? IRS Pulls Reins Tighter

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Department of Treasury issued a Notice (Notice 2014-52) last Monday that would further their efforts to prevent U.S. companies from using an increasingly prevalent tactic known as inversion to lower their tax bill. Conventionally, an inversion is a negotiation in which a U.S. multinational company restructures with a foreign … Continue reading

America Doesn’t Need Another Tax Hike
America / Economy / Fiscal policy / Tax / Taxes / U.S. Domestic Policy

America Doesn’t Need Another Tax Hike

Hillary Clinton is not the only feature of Washington that is “dead broke”: the Highway Trust Fund is set to run out of money by late August, and members of Congress are scrambling to find ways to raise revenue. One solution, proposed by Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), is to raise the … Continue reading

Volcker and The Capital Asset Pricing Model: Enforcing Ineffective Regulation Since 2013?
Economy / Fiscal policy / Regulation / U.S. Domestic Policy

Volcker and The Capital Asset Pricing Model: Enforcing Ineffective Regulation Since 2013?

One fundamental principle of financial markets is the relationship between risk and return. This tenet is reflected in the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), the workhorse of security pricing, where the return required by investors is measured by adding the risk free rate (such as a treasury bond) to a market risk premium, adjusted for … Continue reading

Playing Politics With America’s Retirement
Economy / Fiscal policy / Social Security / Tax / Taxes

Playing Politics With America’s Retirement

Social Security is both the largest program in the federal budget and one of the most fiscally unsustainable.  The program has already begun paying out more in benefits than it is taking in through payroll taxes.  By 2033, the Social Security Trust Fund will be drained and the benefits paid out will decline by 25 … Continue reading