If Hawley, Rubio and Graham squint, they can see a silver lining on the dark cloud of Democratic control of the Senate: Majority Leader Schumer will soon give them an opportunity to vote for $2,000 disbursements. The national debt has increased almost 40 percent in the past four years. But when congressional Republicans rediscover (the rhetoric of) frugality, as surely they will at noon Jan. 20, Biden can cite Hawley’s assurance that there “obviously” is “plenty” of money.
My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy reminds us that changing the people who hold political power isn’t as important as changing the incentives and constraints facing the people who hold political power. A slice:
For evidence, consider President George W. Bush’s presidency, when, for a time, Republicans controlled both the House and Senate. During that time, we saw the creation of a new department (Homeland Security) and of a new entitlement (Medicare Part D), and spending exploded. We didn’t see any restraint during the two years when Republicans were fully in control under Trump, either. Further data confirm that unified government does not keep government restrained, even if the controlling party is supposedly the enemy of big government.
I’m always pleased and honored to be a guest on Ross Kaminsky’s radio program in Denver. A couple of days ago Ross and I spoke about how tech companies ought to be treated by the law and by government.