PrestoPundit

Archive for August, 2005

Jude Wanniski (1936-2005)

Posted by PrestoPundit on 08/30/2005

Jude Wanniski — the greatest economic popularizer of modern times — has died.

UPDATE: Don’t miss James Glassman’s tribute to Jude Wanniski. Quotable:

Wanniski was no shrinking violet. The preface to the fourth edition of his influential book on supply-side economics began:

“When I sat down at an electric typewriter to write ‘The Way the World Works’ on January 2, 1977, I felt absolutely confident it would be a great book, perhaps one of the most influential of the twentieth century.”

In fact, he turned out to be right. I read “The Way the World Works” .. in 1978, essentially by accident, as editor of an alternative weekly newspaper in New Orleans.

I had taken economics courses at Harvard that solely stressed the Keynesian view that the well-being of citizens was shaped by government interventions to increase or lower demand. I had voted for McGovern and Carter, but, as a young entrepreneur, I was troubled by a model that held that, if the feds extracted more money from business owners and spent it on government projects, the beneficial economic effect would be multiplied many-fold.

Wanniski painted a different picture. By lowering taxes, government could get out of the way of people’s normal propensity to create, work hard, and produce — that is, boost the supply of goods and services. This idea is at the heart of classical economics, which Wanniski resurrected when he and economist Alan Reynolds coined the term “supply-side fiscalism” (later revised to supply-side economics) and popularized the notion as an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal.

Eventually .. Wanniski persuaded “then-California Gov. Reagan to make supply-side economics the centerpiece of his 1980 campaign for the presidency.” Today, classical or supply-side ideas are taken for granted, even by economists and politicians on the left.

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Posted in Economics | Leave a Comment »

Scalia rips his Constitution-trashing peers

Posted by PrestoPundit on 08/30/2005

Justice Scalia lets loose on the death of the rule of law in America:

“I am questioning the propriety — indeed, the sanity — of having a value-laden decision such as this made for the entire society … by unelected judges,” Scalia said.

“Surely it is obvious that nothing I learned during my courses at Harvard Law School or in my practice of law qualifies me to decide whether there ought to be, and therefore is, a fundamental right to abortion or assisted suicide,” he said.

Scalia also railed against the principle of the “living Constitution,” saying it has led the U.S. Senate to try to appoint so-called politically “moderate” judges instead of focusing on professional credentials and ability.

“Now the Senate is looking for moderate judges, mainstream judges. What in the world is a moderate interpretation of a constitutional text? Halfway between what it says and what we’d like it to say?” he said, to laughter and applause.

“Once one adopts this criteria, of course, the Constitution ceases to perform its principal function, which is to prevent the majority from doing what it wants to do.”

Posted in Liberty, The Left | Leave a Comment »

94 terrorists exploited America’s broken immigration system

Posted by PrestoPundit on 08/30/2005

From the AP:

at least 94 foreign-born visitors accused of terror activity [in the U.S.] between 1993 and 2004 exploited federal immigration laws to enter or remain in the United States, according to a study being released Tuesday.

And this caught my eye:

Recent studies indicate immigration-related cases made up for nearly 33 percent of all federal prosecutions last year, more than any other crime.

Maybe the President should be impeached.

Posted in Border Security, Terror War | Leave a Comment »

Bruce Bartlett on the risky business of home finance

Posted by PrestoPundit on 08/30/2005

New data suggests that the U.S. housing bubble is increasingly supported by high risk loans — Bruce Bartlett takes a look.

Posted in Business, Housing Bubble, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Lleftist “do-gooders” vs. the working class

Posted by PrestoPundit on 08/30/2005

Thomas Sowell points out that Lear jet leftists are invariably the biggest enemies of the working class:

Despite much [leftist] rhetoric about compassion for the poor, it is precisely in such overwhelmingly [leftist] enclaves as those in California where high housing costs resulting from restrictive laws have imposed the heaviest burden on lower income people.

Nearly half of those California renters who earn $30,000 a year or less pay half or more of their incomes for rent. Among those in this income bracket who have bought a home within the past two years, 72 percent are spending at least half of their income on monthly mortgage payments.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Wal-Mart, Marriott refuse to bankroll Bush’s open borders lobby group

Posted by PrestoPundit on 08/30/2005

Corporate America fears that Bush’s amnesty plan might not go far enough towards all-out mass immigration without restrictions.

UPDATE: Pat Buchanan faults the President for failure to uphold his sworn Constitutional duties to protect the nation from foreign invasion. Worth quoting:

Where is Bush [on the immigration crisis]? All wrapped up in the issue of whether women in Najaf will have the same rights in divorce and custody cases as women in Nebraska. His legislative agenda for the fall includes a blanket amnesty for illegals, so they can be exploited by businesses who want to hold wages down as they dump the social costs for their employees – health care, schools, courts, cops, prisons – onto taxpayers.

Posted in Business, Immigration | Leave a Comment »

Your son is killed by an illegal alien

Posted by PrestoPundit on 08/29/2005

And this killer remains free in Mexico due to anti-American laws in Mexico which protect Mexican nationals who kill Americans. Your government won’t do anything about it. So what do you do? You run for Congress seeking to defeat your current Congressman — Rep. David Dreier, a key leader of the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Immigration Blog has more details.

Posted in Immigration, International | Leave a Comment »

The Carnival of the Capitalists

Posted by PrestoPundit on 08/29/2005

A weekly festival of business and econ blogging. Ya’ll have a good time now.

Posted in Economics | Leave a Comment »

“If something cannot go on forever .. “

Posted by PrestoPundit on 08/29/2005

“.. it will stop.” — Stein’s Law. You can say the same about America’s spending patterns — if you consume, consume, consume, and borrow, borrow, borrow — and you don’t pay your bills or save and invest, down the road you will be far, far poorer than you would have been otherwise. This is Econ 101 — the lost economics of America prior to the Age of John Keynes — and Ronald Reagan. From the AP:

You owe $145,000. And the bill is rising every day.

That’s how much it would cost every man, woman, and child in the United States to pay the tab for the long-term promises the U.S. government has made to creditors, retirees, veterans, and the poor.

And it’s not even taking into account credit card bills, mortgages; all the debt we’ve racked up personally. Savings? The average citizen puts away barely $1 of every $100 earned.

Our profligate ways at home are mirrored in Washington D.C. and in the global marketplace, where as a society the U.S. spends $1.9 billion more a day on imported clothes and cars and gadgets than the entire rest of the world spends on its goods and services.

Also this:

David Walker, who audits the federal government’s books as the U.S. comptroller general, put it starkly in an interview with the AP:

“I believe the country faces a critical crossroad and that the decisions that are made, or not made, within the next 10 years or so will have a profound effect on the future of our country, our children and our grandchildren. The problem gets bigger every day, and the tidal wave gets closer every day.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan echoed those worries just last week, warning that the federal budget deficit hampered the nation’s ability to absorb possible shocks from the soaring trade deficit and the housing boom. He criticized the nation’s “hesitancy to face up to the difficult choices that will be required to resolve our looming fiscal problems.”

Posted in Economics, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

If it walks like a duck ..

Posted by PrestoPundit on 08/29/2005

Andrew Sullivan:

The Bush people spend like [Democrats]; they borrow like [Democrats]; and they regulate like [Democrats]. The only thing they don’t do is tax like [Democrats]. But that will come. This president has made the permanent increase of taxation in this country an inevitability.

Posted in Economics, Politics | Leave a Comment »