Author Archive: Craig Eyermann

Craig Eyermann is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute.
Full biography and recent publications

The Doubling of the National Debt


Thursday August 28th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:01am PDT   •   0 Comments

Joseph Lawler of the Washington Examiner reports on the state of the portion of the U.S. government’s debt that is held by the public: The federal debt this year will be double what it was before the financial crisis, Congress’ official budget scorekeeper projected Wednesday morning. The debt is on pace to reach 74...
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Do Big Infrastructure Projects Boost GDP?


Monday August 25th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:21am PDT   •   0 Comments

Does government spending on big infrastructure projects really increase economic growth in the long run? That’s an important question, because governments will often borrow large sums of money for the sake of building major infrastructure projects as they sell taxpayers on the notion that they’ll be rewarded with higher economic growth over time — particularly...
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Could the U.S. Tax Its Way Out of Debt and Inequality?


Thursday August 21st, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:11am PDT   •   0 Comments

What would happen if prominent income-inequality theorists, such as economists Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Peter Diamond, could get their way and hike the topmost marginal income tax rate in the United States to 80%? Would the nation enter into an enlightened state of economic nirvana as they claim? Or would things perhaps turn...
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Powered Wheelchair Medicare Fraud


Monday August 18th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:06am PDT   •   0 Comments

The single most expensive item for which the Medicare welfare program will pay claims is a power wheelchair. In 2008, Medicare “paid” for 158,185 power wheelchairs at a cost of over $490.4 million, or an average cost of $3,100.37 per power wheelchair. By contrast, the second most expensive medical line item that Medicare will...
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Social Security Benefits To Be Slashed


Thursday August 14th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 8:08am PDT   •   0 Comments

The Social Security Trustees have just released their 2014 report, which updates their actuarial estimates of when the program’s Disability Insurance (DI) trust fund and the Old Age and Survivor’s Insurance (OASI) trust fund will run out of money, forcing both disability and pension benefits to be cut. Let’s get to the worst news...
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Inflating Away the National Debt


Monday August 11th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 5:58am PDT   •   0 Comments

Can governments simply use inflation to make their national debts disappear? That’s the subject of a new working paper by Jens Hilscher, Alon Raviv, and Ricardo Reis, who used real-world data to see how effective that inflation might be in reducing the real value of a government’s outstanding liabilities. Here’s the abstract of the...
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Somewhat Less Than Transparent


Thursday August 7th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:30am PDT   •   0 Comments

In December 2007, the U.S. government launched a new website that it promised would make the spending by federal government agencies transparent to all, the Washington Post recalls: USASpending.gov was launched to great fanfare in 2007, the product of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act. “Technology makes it possible for every American to...
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Bureaucrats Behaving Badly


Monday August 4th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:55am PDT   •   0 Comments

What’s the latest perk enjoyed by federal government bureaucrats while on the job? It would appear to involve surfing for porn on the Internet. Jim McElhatton of the Washington Times reports: For one Federal Communications Commission worker, his porn habit at work was easy to explain: Things were slow, he told investigators, so he...
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Science: Cutting Spending Better Than Raising Taxes


Thursday July 31st, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 4:11am PDT   •   1 Comment

What is the best way to reduce a government’s budget deficit? A new working paper by European Central Bank economist Maria Grazia Attinasi and International Monetary Fund economist Alexander Klemm once again confirms what we’ve long argued: when it comes to preserving the prospects for economic growth, cutting government spending is a much more...
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US Agriculture Department Pays to Grow Soybeans in Foreign Nation


Tuesday July 29th, 2014   •   Posted by Craig Eyermann at 6:12am PDT   •   0 Comments

Did you know that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has paid over $34 million to grow soybeans in Afghanistan since 2009? The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) just delivered a report of their review of the program, finding evidence that the entire initiative is a multi-million dollar waste of time, money, and...
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