Lies, Damned Lies & the Inflation Reduction Act
Fact Checking White House Claims on the Inflation Reduction Act
Whenever you encounter a claim by a politician that they are going to “create jobs” or “reduce inflation,” you should be very suspicious.
Most Americans are aware that recent price increases are connected with new government spending, although fewer want to face the music that the solution is cutting said spending – not cutting new checks and subsidies to temporarily relieve some pain for some citizens.
Thomas DiLorenzo, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Economics, is not afraid to speak the truth and name names. His assessment of the poorly-named “Inflation Reduction Act” is grim, but we must face economic reality before we can improve it.
While politicians are certainly to blame for the Orwellian naming of bills that accomplish the opposite of their names suggest, DiLorenzo makes an underappreciated point about the average economist’s complicity in such shenanigans. The economics profession, he writes, “has been turned into the handmaiden of government in order to give a scientistic justification for things the government … wants to do.”
This explains how the White House ends up with “scientific” backing for absurd statements like this:
DiLorenzo – a senior faculty member at the Mises Institute – joins me this Sunday to expose what’s actually in the Inflation Reduction Act, and why it is virtually certain to increase inflation – especially energy costs – as well as production costs of most things we buy.
We will also discuss the enduring appeal of socialism among young people, and how DiLorenzo has disabused his students of their misguided ideas over the years through teaching sound economics.
The Return of Modern Monetary Theory?
Speaking of debunked economic ideas, it’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about so-called Modern Monetary Theory – i.e., the idea that deficits don’t matter because government can always just print more money.
Kellen Jones reports at FEE.org on the ultimate irony: now that MMT has become the default policy of the Biden administration, no one wants to talk about it explicitly anymore. Government spending has come completely unyoked from taxation, and the result has been painful inflation:
“Since the first signs of inflation began to surface in late 2020 and early 2021, there has been a nosedive in the discussion of MMT. According to Nexis Uni, there were around 5,000 mentions of MMT in the news and academic articles et al. between 2019 and the end of 2021. This year, there have only been around 700 mentions. The economic fashion de jure has quickly become the emperor’s new clothes.”
As Sarah Palin might say, “How’s that MMT working out for ya’?”
And speaking of Sarah Palin…
Ranked-Choice Voting Delivers Alaska Congressional Seat to Democrats
A few weeks ago, Ned Foley joined me to offer some suggestions for enhancing democracy, and ranked-choice voting was among his proposals.
Today, Sarah Palin is being blamed for splitting the Republican vote in a state that voted from Trump by more than 10 points over Biden, thus handing a seat in Congress to a Democratic candidate. Republicans are saying that the ranked-choice system is flawed, but others – including Dick Morris – have noted that perhaps they simply need to learn to play by the new rules of the game.
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Abolish the FBI?
In Compact Magazine, Harvey Silverglate has a thought-provoking proposal to replace the FBI with an entirely new agency. This isn’t the first time Silverglate has called for an end to the controversial agency, but his call may be taken more seriously now that Republicans – not Communists or other leftist subversives – are the target of its corrupt dealings. Of course, now it’s hard to find any partisan of the left who still takes a principled stand against the FBI.
Silverglate documents several instances of peak corruption by the FBI, including one agent who was effectively on Boston mobster Whitey Bulger’s payroll. Let’s hope that the ACLU remembers its roots and joins with conservatives to disband the lawless agency.
ICYMI… ENB on Student Loan Debt
If you missed my program with Elizabeth Nolan Brown, get the podcast and transcript here:
Read Elizabeth’s daily column, The Reason Roundup and follow her on Twitter @ENBrown.