My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy is not optimistic that divided government in the United States will keep spending sufficiently restrained. A slice:

This debt explosion happened even though, during the 16 years under Bush and then Obama, Republicans enjoyed more congressional majorities than Democrats. But the Obama administration and congressional Democrats have been just as complicit. And the Democratic agenda has arguably never been more fiscally radical — more insistent on growing government’s size and scope — than it is now, as Joe Biden prepares to move into the White House. But here’s the difference: Democrats have been mostly honest about their desire to grow the government. Republicans have generally been — to put it politely — hypocritical.

The Trump administration deserves loud applause for this move. A slice:

Under the new rules finalized last month, consumers will have more options. The upcoming generation of dishwashers will take less time to get dishes clean, and they’ll actually get those dishes clean in the first place. As The Wall Street Journal notes, this isn’t “peace in the Middle East or a Covid-19 vaccine.” But it is the sort of rule-making that Americans should want from Washington.

Dan Ikenson, I fear, is correct: We free traders are not destined to get a great deal of substantive satisfaction from Pres. Biden. A slice:

Then along came Trump, who commandeered the Democratic Party playbook on trade, making good on promises unkept by Democrats in the past. Biden, who campaigned as the “tougher‐​on‐​China” candidate, promising to expand Buy American provisions and to compel supply chain repatriation, and emphasizing his blue‐​collar, Scranton roots is going to find it very difficult to rescind any of Trump’s tariffs anytime soon. The Rust Belt flipped for Biden and, indeed, the continued blueness of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan cannot be taken for granted.

David Henderson challenges Tyler Cowen who, comparing Covid-19 daily fatality figures to those of combat deaths in the U.S. Civil War and WWII, claims that it would be irrelevant, morally, to adjust Covid-19 fatality figures for differences in the size of the U.S. population.

John Tamny writes sensibly about Covid Derangement Syndrome and the media’s fueling of it.

The Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal warns of the dangers posed to Americans by Joe Biden’s Covid-19 advisory team, each of whom suffers from Covid Derangement Syndrome. (This disease – CDS-20 – is highly lethal and is on track to be one of the most painful and destructive viruses ever to afflict humanity.) A slice:

The problem with Mr. Biden’s advisory committee is that its members are part of the conformist Covid clerisy who think that lockdowns dictated from on high are good for the little people. He ought to diversify his advice by calling in the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration on the alternative policy of “focused protection.”

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