Author Archive: Carl Close

Carl Close is Senior Editor and Research Fellow at The Independent Institute and Assistant Editor of The Independent Review.
Full biography and recent publications

Trapped by the State

Tuesday April 15th, 2014   •   Posted by Carl Close at 8:59am PDT   •   0 Comments

Over the past half century, federal spending on social programs has risen like a bubbling cauldron. In 1964, it amounted to less than one-quarter of the U.S. budget. Today it accounts for about two-thirds. What effect has the spending trend had on the American psyche? Independent Institute Senior Fellow Robert Higgs offers a brilliant…
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Farm Pork Even After Death

Thursday August 8th, 2013   •   Posted by Carl Close at 3:57pm PDT   •   3 Comments

Federal farm subsidies are a cash cow for the more than one million Americans who collect about $20 billion in farm-income support, disaster assistance, and crop-insurance discounts paid each year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With that kind of money floating around, one might be tempted to assume that effective controls to prevent…
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The $800 per Person Uncertainty Tax

Wednesday May 1st, 2013   •   Posted by Carl Close at 3:32pm PDT   •   3 Comments

On April 29, the U.S. Treasury announced that it expects to pay down $35 billion of the total national debt this quarter—the first debt reduction since 2007. Great news, right? Not so fast. That fat sum is miniscule compared to the size of the national debt—a mere 0.2 percent of the nearly $16.8 trillion…
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Deficit Reduction and the Coming Inflation?

Thursday April 18th, 2013   •   Posted by Carl Close at 12:23pm PDT   •   2 Comments

Would a higher rate of inflation be a worthwhile tool for lowering the federal deficit? Some in Washington, DC, think so. In a blog post written last month, Doug Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), makes the case that greater inflation would raise revenue more than it would raise spending. Here’s an…
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Disincentives to Work Have Slowed U.S. Economic Growth

Wednesday January 16th, 2013   •   Posted by Carl Close at 12:53pm PDT   •   7 Comments

The 21st century has not been kind to the U.S. economy: the annual rate of GDP growth for the past 12 years, once all the data are available, probably will prove to be about half the 3.5 percent annual rate the country enjoyed from its founding to the late 20th century. One key factor…
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