Category Archives: spending out of control

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Education Freedom Is on the Move

Milton Friedman – Public Schools / Voucher System

Published on May 9, 2012 by

JANUARY 24, 2023 3:48PM
File:President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan in The East Room Congratulating Milton Friedman Receiving The Presidential Medal of Freedom.jpg

Education Freedom Is on the Move

Published January 31, 2023

Somewhere, the late Milton Friedman is beaming. The godfather of school choice and all-around genius had a vision in 1955 to extricate the government from administering education by giving parents vouchers that they could use for specified educational services.

It took a while to get off the ground, but today Friedman’s plan is flying high. According to EdChoice (formerly the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice), 32 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico have some form of private school choice law in place.

At the same time that parental freedom is advancing, the naysayers are having conniptions. In The New RepublicDavid Marques fumes about the just completed National School Choice Week, referring to it as “that annual right-wing P.R. campaign to defund public schools that pretends to really just care about the children.

His fulmination is loaded with all the usual bogus tropes – that private schools are “unaccountable” and “unregulated,” and that the goal of National School Choice Week is to “gut public education, destroy teachers’ unions, and enrich unregulated private education companies.”

Not to be outdone, former teacher and uber-grinch Peter Greene wrote a blog post in which he summarizes the move to parental choice in his final paragraph. “It’s all about the three D’s—disrupt, defund, and dismantle. Call the voucher system whatever you would like, but it is about reducing education from a public good and shared societal responsibility to a simple consumer good.”

In Oklahoma, Duncan school superintendent Tom Deighan said supporters of taxpayer-funded school choice aim to “dismantle all public schools.

The belly-achers also insist that not only will school choice kill the government-run variety, but they also claim that choice is racist, and will lead to significant societal intolerance.

But study after study shows that the government monopolists are dead wrong.  Researcher Greg Forster looked at 34 studies on the effects of school choice on government-run schools, and found that in 32, school choice improves academic outcomes in public schools affected by the program, while one saw no visible difference, and just one found a negative impact.

Forster also reports that of 11 empirical studies, 8 found private schools in choice programs produced stronger tolerance and civic values than public schools, while three found no visible difference. Additionally, he asserts that ten empirical studies have examined private school choice programs on segregation, and nine found that the programs reduced it, while one found no visible difference. Not one showed that choice leads to racial discrimination. Also, concerning race, a recent poll shows that when given a fair description of school choice types, a great majority of minority parents are in favor of it.

The prophets of gloom also claim that rural areas would be devastated by school choice measures. But in fact, rural families benefit from school choice like everyone else. When parents are given a choice, new private education providers emerge to meet demand.

Florida is a good case in point. Ron Matus, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Florida’s Step Up For Students, explains, “Rural families in Florida are getting the best of both worlds. The overwhelming majority still choose traditional public schools, which in many cases have ably helped anchor rural communities. (Sixteen of the 30 rural districts earned A or B grades from the state this year; the rest earned C’s.) At the same time, families who need something different are able to access it.”

Perhaps the best endorsement for educational freedom of all comes from public school teachers. A survey released in 2016 by Education Next found that “no less than 20% of teachers with school-age children, but only 13% of non-teachers, have sent one or more of their children to private school.” And not surprisingly, 42% of teachers who don’t send their kids to a traditional public school back vouchers, compared to only 23% of the teachers who send their children to traditional public schools.

These results are similar to a 2004 Fordham Institute study that looked at 50 American cities and found that 21.5% of urban school teachers send their kids to private schools, while 17.5% of non-teachers do. Digging a little deeper, we learn that the disparity is considerably greater for larger urban areas. In Philadelphia, 44% of public school teachers’ kids attend a private school, Chicago 39%, San Francisco-Oakland 34%, and in New York City, 33%.

Polls invariably show widespread support for school choice. A recent survey of roughly 2,000 registered voters conducted online found that 62% of respondents would be interested in such an option, some 30% very much so.

The new year bodes well for educational freedom. In Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds just signed the Students First Act, whereby parents can control the portion of education dollars the state appropriates, approximately $7,600 annually. The legislation sets some caps for the first two years but removes them in 2025-26, making the educational savings account (ESA) program available to anyone. (ESAs allow parents to receive a deposit of public funds into a government-authorized savings account with restricted, but multiple uses. Those funds can cover private school tuition and fees, online learning programs, private tutoring, community college costs, higher education expenses, and other approved customized learning services and materials.)

In Utah, Gov. Spencer Cox has just signed a law creating an ESA for all children in the state. Students are eligible to receive $8,000 per year for qualified education expenses, including private school tuition, therapies, tutors, and curriculum.

Additionally, just a month into the new year, ten states are gearing up to add choice programs or increase their existing ones. Idaho lawmakers are expected to introduce a bill to create a universal ESA in the state. In Florida, a Republican proposal would extend the state’s already extensive choice programs to any student in the state.

While educational freedom is typically a red state phenomenon, this could change. Democratic Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro was elected governor after campaigning hard for school choice. Also, Illinois Democrat J.D. Pritzker supported his state’s tax credit scholarship program during his campaign.

Do you go to the government-run supermarket near your home to feed your family? Of course not. You find a local, privately-run store with the food you want at the best price. Just imagine if the government forced you to buy food from that awful government market down the street that sold contaminated meat, overripe fruit, and moldy bread, and was staffed by incompetent store employees.

We have had universal grocery choice forever. It is now time to implement educational freedom for all.

First published at For Kids and Country.

Milton Friedman, School Choice Pioneer


As our new School Choice Timeline shows, calls for public funding to follow students to a variety of educational options date back centuries. However, Nobel Prize‐​winning economist Milton Friedman is often considered the father of the modern school choice movement.

In a 1955 essay, The Role of Government in Education, Friedman acknowledged some justifications for government mandates and funding when it comes to education. However, he said it’s difficult to justify government administration of education. He suggested governments could provide parents with vouchers worth a specified maximum sum per child per year to be spent on “approved” educational services.

Friedman would return to this idea repeatedly over the years in his writings and his popular Free to Choose television series. But he did more than just write and talk about his idea. In 1996, he and his wife Rose, who was also a noted economist, started the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Their original plan included the eventual removal of their name from the foundation, which happened in 2016; the organization is now known as EdChoice and is the go‐​to source for up‐​to‐​date information on school choice in America.

Milton Friedman had a remarkable life. He was born in Brooklyn in 1912 to parents who emigrated to the U.S. from eastern Europe. His father died during his senior year in high school, leaving his mother and older sisters to support the family. He managed to attend Rutgers University through a combination of scholarships and various jobs. After earning a degree in economics, he was awarded a scholarship to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Chicago, where he met his future wife, Rose. The Friedmans had two children, a son and a daughter.

Friedman’s list of accomplishments is astonishingly long. In addition to his 1976 Nobel Prize for Economic Science, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science in 1988. He was a Senior Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution from 1977 to 2006, a distinguished economics professor at the University of Chicago from 1946 to 1976, and a researcher at the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1937 to 1981. He was a prolific writer of newspaper and magazine columns, essays, and books.

Milton Friedman’s focus on education choice made perfect sense in light of his other work. He had a consistent focus on preserving and expanding individual freedom. He saw parental control and the ability to choose the environment that worked best for individual children as essential to a quality education. His 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom included chapters on economic and political freedom, trade, fiscal policy, occupational licenses, and poverty, along with his earlier essay on the role of government in education.

In 1980, Milton and Rose released Free to Choose, a discussion of economics and freedom, as a book and a television series. One segment/​chapter asked, “What’s Wrong with Our Schools?” and then explained the importance of parents being able to choose what works for their individual children.

When the Friedman Foundation was launched, there were five education choice programs in the U.S. with fewer than 10,000 students participating. Today, according to EdChoice, there are 74 programs in 32 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, with 670,000 students participating.

While there is a long and deep history of individuals and organizations calling for various forms of school choice, it is clear that Milton Friedman played an enormous role in its advance in the U.S. He helped lay the intellectual groundwork for the programs in place today, and his relatable writings and videos helped explain his ideas to parents, policymakers, and thought leaders. As we celebrate National School Choice Week—and Cato’s new School Choice Timeline—it’s a great time to commemorate Milton Friedman’s important contributions to the movement.

The School Choice Revolution

It’s time to celebrate another victory for school choice.

  • In 2021, West Virginia adopted statewide school choice.
  • In 2022, Arizona adopted statewide school choice.
  • In 2023, Iowa adopted statewide school choice.

Now Utah has joined the club, with Governor Spencer Cox approving a new law that will give families greater freedom to choose the best educational options for their children.

Here are some details from Marjorie Cortez, reporting for the Deseret News.

The Utah Senate gave final passage to legislation that will provide $8,000 scholarships to qualifying families for private schools and other private education options…The bill passed by a two-thirds margin in each legislative house, which means it cannot be challenged by referendum. …The bill creates the Utah Fits All Scholarship, which can then be used for education expenses like curriculum, textbooks, education, software, tutoring services, micro-school teacher salaries and private school tuition.

As you might expect, teacher unions and their allies are very disappointed – which is a very positive sign.

…the Utah Education Association…opposed HB215… The bill was also opposed by the Utah State Board of Education, Utah PTA, school superintendents, business administrators and school boards. The Alliance for a Better Utah was pointed in its reaction… “Conservative lawmakers just robbed our neighborhood schools of $42 million. Private school vouchers have been and continue to be opposed by Utahns but these lawmakers are instead pursuing a national agenda to ‘destroy public education.’

The Wall Street Journal opined on this great development.

School choice is gaining momentum across the country, and this week Utah joined Iowa in advancing the education reform cause. …Utah’s bill, which the Senate passed Thursday, 20-8, makes ESAs of $8,000 available to every student. There’s no income cap on families who can apply, though lower-income families receive preference and the program is capped at $42 million. The funds can be used for private school tuition, home-schooling expenses, tutoring, and more.

But the best part of the editorial is the look at other states that may be poised to expand educational freedom.

About a dozen other state legislatures have introduced bills to create new ESA programs, and several want to expand the ones they have. In Florida a Republican proposal would extend the state’s already robust scholarship programs to any student in the state. The bill would remove income limits that are currently in place for families who want to apply, though lower-income applicants would receive priority. …South Carolina legislators are mulling a new ESA program for lower-income students. In Indiana, a Senate bill would make state ESAs available to more students. An Ohio bill would remove an income cap and other eligibility rules for the state’s school vouchers. Two Oklahoma Senate bills propose new ESA programs… ESA bills are in some stage of moving in Nebraska, New Hampshire, Texas and Virginia.

Let’s hope there is more progress.

School choice is a win-win for both students and taxpayers.

P.S. Here’s a must-see chart showing how more and more money for the government school monopoly has produced zero benefit.

P.P.S. There are very successful school choice systems in CanadaSwedenChile, and the Netherlands.

P.P.P.S. Getting rid of the Department of Education would be a good idea, but the battle for school choice is largely going to be won and lost on the state and local level.

The Machine: The Truth Behind Teachers Unions

Published on Sep 4, 2012 by

America’s public education system is failing. We’re spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children.

That’s because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn’t designed to produce better schools. It’s designed to produce more money for unions and more donations for politicians.

For decades, teachers’ unions have been among our nation’s largest political donors. As Reason Foundation’s Lisa Snell has noted, the National Education Association (NEA) alone spent $40 million on the 2010 election cycle (source: http://reason.org/news/printer/big-education-and-big-labor-electio). As the country’s largest teachers union, the NEA is only one cog in the infernal machine that robs parents of their tax dollars and students of their futures.

Students, teachers, parents, and hardworking Americans are all victims of this political machine–a system that takes money out of taxpayers’ wallets and gives it to union bosses, who put it in the pockets of politicians.

Our kids deserve better.

“The Machine” is 4:17 minutes.

Written and narrated by Evan Coyne Maloney. Produced by the Moving Picture Institute in partnership with Reason TV.

Visit http://www.MovingPictureInstitute.org to learn more.

No one did more to advance the cause of school vouchers than Milton and Rose Friedman. Friedman made it clear in his film series “Free to Choose” how sad he was that young people who live in the inner cities did not have good education opportunities available to them.

I have posted often about the voucher system and how it would solve our education problems. What we are doing now is not working. Milton Friedman’s idea of implementing school vouchers was hatched about 50 years ago.

Poor families are most affected by this lack of choice. As Friedman noted, “There is no respect in which inhabitants of a low-income neighborhood are so disadvantaged as in the kind of schooling they can get for their children.” It is a sad statement quantified by data on low levels of academic achievement and attainment. Take a look at this article below.

Lindsey Burke

September 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm

SAT scores among the nation’s test-takers are at a 40-year low.

As The Washington Post reports:

Reading scores on the SAT for the high school class of 2012 reached a four-decade low, putting a punctuation mark on a gradual decline in the ability of college-bound teens to read passages and answer questions about sentence structure, vocabulary and meaning on the college entrance exam.

The decline over the decades has been significant. The average reading (verbal) score is down 34 points since 1972. Sadly, the historically low SAT scores are only the latest marker of decline. Graduation rates have been stagnant since the 1970s, reading and math achievement has been virtually flat over the same time period, and American students still rank in the middle of the pack compared to their international peers.

On the heels of the news about the SAT score decline, President Obama filmed a segment with NBC’s Education Nation earlier today. The President notably praised the concept of charter schools and pay for performance for teachers.

But those grains of reform were dwarfed by his support of the status quo. During the course of the interview, President Obama suggested hiring 100,000 new math and science teachers and spending more money on preschool. He also stated that No Child Left Behind had good intentions but was “under-resourced.”

Efforts by the federal government to intervene in preschool, most notably through Head Start, have failed—despite a $160 billion in spending on the program since 1965. And No Child Left Behind is far from “under-resourced.” The $25 billion, 600-page law has been on the receiving end of significant new spending every decade since the original law was first passed nearly half a century ago.

President Obama was also pressed on the issue of education unions by host Savannah Guthrie:

Some people think, President Obama gets so much support from the teachers’ unions, he can’t possibly have an honest conversation about what they’re doing right or wrong. Can you really say that teachers’ unions aren’t slowing the pace of reform?

President Obama responded: “You know, I just really get frustrated when I hear teacher-bashing as evidence of reform.”

Criticizing education unions for standing in the way of reform should not be conflated with criticizing teachers, as the President does in the interview. The unions have blocked reforms such as performance pay and charter schools (which the President supports), have opposed alternative teacher certification that would help mid-career professionals enter the classroom, and have consistently fought the implementation of school choice options for children.

If we ever hope to move the needle on student achievement—or see SAT scores turn in the right direction again—we’ll need to implement many of those exact reforms, particularly school choice.

And as he has in the past, President Obama stated that his Administration wants to “use evidenced-based approaches and find out what works.” We know what works: giving families choices when it comes to finding schools that best meet their children’s needs. Instead of continuing to call for more spending and more Washington intervention in education, let’s try something new: choice and freedom.

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Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 9

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Milton Friedman at Hillsdale College 2006 (part 2)

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Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 8

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Milton Friedman remembered at 100 years from his birth (Part 2)

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Video clip:Milton Friedman discusses his view of numerous political figures and policy issues in (Part 1)

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Milton Friedman remembered at 100 years from his birth (Part 1)

What a great man Milton Friedman was. The Legacy of Milton Friedman November 18, 2006 Alexander Tabarrok Great economist by day and crusading public intellectual by night, Milton Friedman was my hero. Friedman’s contributions to economics are profound, the permanent income hypothesis, the resurrection of the quantity theory of money, and his magnum opus with […]

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 7

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Transcript and video of Milton Friedman on Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan (Part 1)

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Dan Mitchell’s article on Chili and video clip on Milton Friedman’s influence

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Dan Mitchell article “The Debt Limit and Long-Overdue Spending Restraint”

The Debt Limit and Long-Overdue Spending Restraint

Regarding the debt ceiling, the hysterical headlinesabout default and an economic apocalypse are silly because the Treasury Department surely will “prioritize” if Republicans and Democrats don’t reach an agreement.

The above clip was taken from an interview last week with the Soul of Enterprise.

I wasn’t intending to write about this topic, but it’s getting a lot of attention now that the deadline is approaching.

If you want to understand the real issue, there is an excellent column in the Wall Street Journal by former Senator Phil Gramm and his long-time aide, Mike Solon.

They explain that the fight is between House Republicans, who want domestic discretionary spending to grow at a slower rate and Democrats in the Senate and White House who want it to grow at a faster rate.

Here’s some of what they wrote.

Of the $5 trillion of stimulus payments between 2020 and 2022, some $362 billion has yet to be spent. The House debt-limit bill proposes to claw back $30 billion—or some 8% of the unspent balance. Only in Mr. Biden’s White House and Mr. Schumer’s Senate Democratic Caucus could such a modest proposal be considered extreme. …The most recent CBO estimate projects that fiscal 2024 discretionary spending will clock in at $1.864 trillion—a 10% real increase from the pre-pandemic estimate. …This growth in nondefense discretionary spending is the post-pandemic bow wave that Mr. McCarthy’s debt-limit plan seeks to mitigate. Even if the House GOP’s proposed reductions in discretionary-spending growth took effect, total discretionary spending would still be 2.4% more in inflation-adjusted dollars than the CBO’s 2020 projection for fiscal 2024. …A clean debt-ceiling hike would give us more government spending, and the House GOP’s proposal would allow more private spending. Only in Washington is that a hard choice.

Needless to say, I disagree with both sides. There should be deep and genuine cuts in domestic discretionary spending.

But a slower increase is better than a faster increase. And I reckon any support for fiscal restraint by Republicans is welcome after the reckless profligacy of the Trump years.

The bottom line is that fights over the debt limit are messy, but if we actually got some good policy reforms, such battles could save us from something very bad in the future.

The best way to destroy the welfare trap is to put in Milton Friedman’s negative income tax.

A Picture of How Redistribution Programs Trap the Less Fortunate in Lives of Dependency

I wrote last year about the way in which welfare programs lead to very high implicit marginal tax rates on low-income people. More specifically, they lose handouts when they earn income. As such, it is not very advantageous for them to climb the economic ladder because hard work is comparatively unrewarding.

Thanks to the American Enterprise Institute, we now have a much more detailed picture showing the impact of redistribution programs on the incentive to earn more money.

It’s not a perfect analogy since people presumably prefer cash to in-kind handouts, but the vertical bars basically represent living standards for any given level of income that is earned (on the horizontal axis).

Needless to say, there’s not much reason to earn more income when living standards don’t improve. May as well stay home and good off rather than work hard and produce.

This is why income redistribution is so destructive, not just to taxpayers, but also to the people who get trapped into dependency. Which is exactly the point made in this video.

P.S. Most of you know that I’m not a fan of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development because the Paris-based bureaucracy has such statist impulses. But even the OECD has written about the negative impact of overly generous welfare programs on incentives for productive behavior.

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If converted to cash and simply given to the recipients welfare check would be $44,000 per family of four

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“While Collins is largely receiving praise for her relentless fact-checking of the former president, she was facing an impossible task. CNN and new network boss Chris Licht are facing a fury of criticism — both internally and externally over the event,” Oliver Darcy wrote!

Trump won’t say whether he wants Russia or Ukraine to win war

Watch Donald Trump Humiliate Kaitlan Collins at His CNN Town Hall!

CNN facing ‘fury’ from staffers over Trump town hall: ‘It felt like 2016 all over again’

CNN CEO Chris Licht defended town hall to upset staffers on editorial call Thursday

CNN is facing a “a fury of criticism” from its own employees for airing a town hall with former President Donald Trump on Wednesday, according to the network’s own media reporter.

“It’s hard to see how America was served by the spectacle of lies that aired on CNN,” Oliver Darcy wrote in CNN’s “Reliable Sources” newsletter.

Trump, the frontrunner in the 2024 Republican primary, sparred with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins over his ongoing claim that the 2020 presidential election was “rigged,” the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and the recent verdict that found him liable for defamation and battery against his accuser E. Jean Carroll, whom he continued railing against to the amusement of some supporters in the audience.

“CNN aired it all. On and on it went. It felt like 2016 all over again,” Darcy complained. “Collins was put in an uncomfortable position, given the town hall was conducted in front of a Republican audience that applauded Trump, giving a sense of unintended endorsement to his shameful antics.”

LIBERALS RAGE OVER CNN’S ‘DISGUSTING’ TRUMP TOWN HALL: ‘THIS INSANITY SHOULD BE PULLED OFF THE F—ING AIR’

CNN town hall

Former President Donald Trump lashed out at CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, calling her a “nasty person” during a heated exchange about his handling of classified documents. (Screenshot/CNN)

CNN’s in-house media reporter continued to complain about the network, noting that “some news was made” but “the nation’s eyes were transfixed on Trump’s abuse of the platform that he was given.”

CNN famously went all in on then-candidate Trump in 2016, sometimes airing empty podiums to tease upcoming speaking events. At the time, many criticized CNN for relying on Trump to boost ratings, but the network did an about-face and eventually emerged as an anti-Trump platform. Trump countered by regularly mocking the network as “fake news” throughout his presidency.

Trump’s town hall marked his first appearance on CNN since the 2016 presidential election.

“While Collins is largely receiving praise for her relentless fact-checking of the former president, she was facing an impossible task. CNN and new network boss Chris Licht are facing a fury of criticism — both internally and externally over the event,” Darcy wrote.

“How Licht and other CNN executives address the criticism in the coming days and weeks will be crucial,” he continued. “Will they defend what transpired at Saint Anselm College? Or will they express some regret?”

TRUMP CALLS CNN’S KAITLAN COLLINS A ‘NASTY PERSON’ DURING TOWN HALL CLASH

Darcy on CNN

CNN reporter Oliver Darcy said network executives are facing “a fury of criticism” from its own employees for airing a town hall with former President Donald Trump on Wednesday.(Screenshot/CNN)

CNN CEO Chris Licht defended the decision on Thursday morning in a call with staffers, according to former CNN media reporter Brian Stelter.

Stelter, who founded the “Reliable Sources” newsletter and was fired by Licht last year, tweeted tidbits from the call.

“You do not have to like the former president’s answers, but you can’t say that we didn’t get them,” Licht said, according to Stelter. “”While we all may have been uncomfortable hearing people clapping, that was also an important part of the story… America was served very well by what we did last night.”

CNN’s newsletter also put a spotlight on the onslaught of criticism the network has received, including a Substack writer who called the town hall “CNN’s lowest moment as an organization.” Other media liberals like MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan have also been harshly critical of the event.

Not all CNN staffers were upset by the event, however, even ones who dislike Trump, with one insider praising Collins’ performance.

“We live in a democratic republic and Trump is the frontrunner for the GOP nomination,” they told Fox News Digital. “It’s not the media’s job to silence a politician they don’t like. The format was messy, but voters need to hear from both of the frontrunners, Trump and Biden. And by the way, Trump did what his base wanted but his performance last night was radioactive to moderates and undecideds.”

CNN has defended the decision to air the town hall

“Tonight, Kaitlan Collins exemplified what it means to be a world-class journalist. She asked tough, fair and revealing questions,” a CNN spokesperson said.

“She followed up and fact-checked President Trump in real time to arm voters with crucial information about his positions as he enters the 2024 election as the Republican frontrunner,” the spokesperson continued. “That is CNN’s role and responsibility: to get answers and hold the powerful to account.”

OCASIO-CORTEZ FUMES AT CNN FOR TRUMP TOWN HALL: ‘SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES’

CNN’s own commentator Adam Kinzinger declared on Twitter the town hall was an “absolute joke” and later told his colleague Jake Tapper on-air, “As somebody who spent the last two years countering the lies, I’m not going to pretend like it was easy for me to see the former president get this forum tonight — to lie to the American people over and over and over again.”

“I don’t think [Jeff] Zucker would have let this happen,” former CNN reporter Rebecca Buck tweeted, invoking CNN’s former boss.

Before the town hall even started, CNN contributor Michael Fanone, a former D.C. police officer who was injured during the Jan. 6 riot, attacked his own employer.

“I don’t believe for one second that this is about journalistic integrity. It’s about ratings and money,” Fanone wrote in a scathing Rolling Stone column.

Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report. 

Why President Trump believes US should default if White House doesn’t ag…

Trump calls CNN’s Kaitlan Collins a ‘nasty person’ during town hall clash

The CNN moderator grilled the former president over his handling of classified documents

Former President Trump took a personal swipe at CNN host Kaitlan Collins during Wednesday’s town hall, referring to her as a “nasty person.”

About an hour into the New Hampshire event, Collins grilled Trump over his handling of classified documents, which he defended by saying he had “the right” to declassify any records.

When Collins challenged him on why he held onto the documents despite a subpoena and requests from the National Archives, Trump lashed out.

CNN BLASTED BY ITS OWN CONTRIBUTOR FOR TRUMP TOWN HALL: ‘GUY WHO TRIED TO GET ME KILLED’

CNN town hall

Former President Trump lashed out at CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, calling her a “nasty person” during a heated exchange about his handling of classified documents. (Screenshot/CNN)

“Are you ready? Can I talk?” Trump asked.

“What’s the answer?” Collins shot back. “I would like you to answer the question.”

“It’s very simple to answer,” Trump responded.

“That’s why I asked it,” Collins told him.

“It’s very simple – you’re a nasty person, I’ll tell ya,” Trump said, which sparked cheers from his supporters in the audience.

MSNBC TORCHES CNN FOR AIRING TRUMP TOWN HALL, PLATFORMING REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS: ‘THIS IS NOT JOURNALISM’

Trump continued, “It’s very simple. I was negotiating and we were talking to NARA – that’s Washington, to bring whatever they want. They can have whatever they want. When we left Washington, we had the boxes lined up on the sidewalk outside for everybody. People were taking pictures, everybody knew we were taking those boxes and the GSA – government service, the GSA was the one taking them. They brought them down to Mar-a-Lago. We were negotiating with NARA. All of a sudden, they raid our house.”

Former President Donald Trump

Former President Trump defended his handling of classified documents, telling CNN’s Kaitlan Collins he had “the right” to declassify the presidential records he took as he left office in January 2021.   ((Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images))

Both Trump and President Biden are under investigation by two separate special counsels over their handling of classified documents.

Collins opened the town hall with a series of questions grilling the former president about his claims that the 2020 presidential election was “rigged,” his involvement on Jan. 6, as well as the recent verdict that held him liable for defamation and battery against accuser E. Jean Carroll, who he continued to rail against.

SUNNY HOSTIN FUMES OVER DONALD TRUMP DOING TELEVISED TOWN HALL: ‘I’M SO DISGUSTED’

Kaitlan Collins on red carpet

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins grilled former President Trump on several topics including his claims that the 2020 presidential election was “rigged” and his involvement on Jan. 6. ( Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for CBS News)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Trump’s town hall marked his first appearance on CNN since the 2016 presidential election. Liberal critics leading up to the event blasted CNN for giving the former president a platform despite the fact that he is the current frontrunner in the 2024 Republican primary race.


The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 19)

This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but from a liberal.

Rep. Emanuel Clever (D-Mo.) called the newly agreed-upon bipartisan compromise deal to raise the  debt limit “a sugar-coated satan sandwich.”

“This deal is a sugar-coated satan sandwich. If you lift the bun, you will not like what you see,” Clever tweeted on August 1, 2011.

Related DocumentsAUDIO: Kingston Opposes Debt Limit Increase
Washington, Aug 1-Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) released the following statement after casting his vote against a proposal to increase the nation’s statutory debt limit“I commend the Speaker for fighting the good fight.  We moved the debate from tax increases to spending caps and matched each dollar of debt limit increase to more than a dollar of spending cuts.  But as far as we came, the deck was stacked against us.  Controlling one-half of one-third of government limits the ability of small government conservatives to change the direction of our country overnight.

It is clear America has a long struggle ahead of her as we continue to rein in spending and get our fiscal house in order.  I intend to continue the fight and work for the reforms and spending cuts we need so badly in America.”

Trump calls CNN’s Kaitlan Collins a ‘nasty person’ during town hall clash

Trump won’t say whether he wants Russia or Ukraine to win war

Watch Donald Trump Humiliate Kaitlan Collins at His CNN Town Hall!

Why President Trump believes US should default if White House doesn’t ag…

Trump calls CNN’s Kaitlan Collins a ‘nasty person’ during town hall clash

The CNN moderator grilled the former president over his handling of classified documents

Former President Trump took a personal swipe at CNN host Kaitlan Collins during Wednesday’s town hall, referring to her as a “nasty person.”

About an hour into the New Hampshire event, Collins grilled Trump over his handling of classified documents, which he defended by saying he had “the right” to declassify any records.

When Collins challenged him on why he held onto the documents despite a subpoena and requests from the National Archives, Trump lashed out.

CNN BLASTED BY ITS OWN CONTRIBUTOR FOR TRUMP TOWN HALL: ‘GUY WHO TRIED TO GET ME KILLED’

CNN town hall

Former President Trump lashed out at CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, calling her a “nasty person” during a heated exchange about his handling of classified documents. (Screenshot/CNN)

“Are you ready? Can I talk?” Trump asked.

“What’s the answer?” Collins shot back. “I would like you to answer the question.”

“It’s very simple to answer,” Trump responded.

“That’s why I asked it,” Collins told him.

“It’s very simple – you’re a nasty person, I’ll tell ya,” Trump said, which sparked cheers from his supporters in the audience.

MSNBC TORCHES CNN FOR AIRING TRUMP TOWN HALL, PLATFORMING REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS: ‘THIS IS NOT JOURNALISM’

Trump continued, “It’s very simple. I was negotiating and we were talking to NARA – that’s Washington, to bring whatever they want. They can have whatever they want. When we left Washington, we had the boxes lined up on the sidewalk outside for everybody. People were taking pictures, everybody knew we were taking those boxes and the GSA – government service, the GSA was the one taking them. They brought them down to Mar-a-Lago. We were negotiating with NARA. All of a sudden, they raid our house.”

Former President Donald Trump

Former President Trump defended his handling of classified documents, telling CNN’s Kaitlan Collins he had “the right” to declassify the presidential records he took as he left office in January 2021.   ((Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images))

Both Trump and President Biden are under investigation by two separate special counsels over their handling of classified documents.

Collins opened the town hall with a series of questions grilling the former president about his claims that the 2020 presidential election was “rigged,” his involvement on Jan. 6, as well as the recent verdict that held him liable for defamation and battery against accuser E. Jean Carroll, who he continued to rail against.

SUNNY HOSTIN FUMES OVER DONALD TRUMP DOING TELEVISED TOWN HALL: ‘I’M SO DISGUSTED’

Kaitlan Collins on red carpet

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins grilled former President Trump on several topics including his claims that the 2020 presidential election was “rigged” and his involvement on Jan. 6. ( Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for CBS News)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Trump’s town hall marked his first appearance on CNN since the 2016 presidential election. Liberal critics leading up to the event blasted CNN for giving the former president a platform despite the fact that he is the current frontrunner in the 2024 Republican primary race.


The Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 19)

This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but from a liberal.

Rep. Emanuel Clever (D-Mo.) called the newly agreed-upon bipartisan compromise deal to raise the  debt limit “a sugar-coated satan sandwich.”

“This deal is a sugar-coated satan sandwich. If you lift the bun, you will not like what you see,” Clever tweeted on August 1, 2011.

Related DocumentsAUDIO: Kingston Opposes Debt Limit Increase
Washington, Aug 1-Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) released the following statement after casting his vote against a proposal to increase the nation’s statutory debt limit“I commend the Speaker for fighting the good fight.  We moved the debate from tax increases to spending caps and matched each dollar of debt limit increase to more than a dollar of spending cuts.  But as far as we came, the deck was stacked against us.  Controlling one-half of one-third of government limits the ability of small government conservatives to change the direction of our country overnight.

It is clear America has a long struggle ahead of her as we continue to rein in spending and get our fiscal house in order.  I intend to continue the fight and work for the reforms and spending cuts we need so badly in America.”

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Why Milton Friedman Saw School Choice as a First Step, Not a Final One

Milton Friedman – Public Schools / Voucher System

Published on May 9, 2012 by

JANUARY 24, 2023 3:48PM
File:President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan in The East Room Congratulating Milton Friedman Receiving The Presidential Medal of Freedom.jpg

Why Milton Friedman Saw School Choice as a First Step, Not a Final One

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Libertarians and others are often torn about school choice. They may wish to see the government schooling monopoly weakened, but they may resist supporting choice mechanisms, like vouchers and education savings accounts, because they don’t go far enough. Indeed, most current choice programs continue to rely on taxpayer funding of education and don’t address the underlying compulsory nature of elementary and secondary schooling.

Skeptics may also have legitimate fears that taxpayer-funded education choice programs will lead to over-regulation of previously independent and parochial schooling options, making all schooling mirror compulsory mass schooling, with no substantive variation.

Friedman Challenged Compulsory Schooling Laws

Milton Friedman had these same concerns. The Nobel prize-winning economist is widely considered to be the one to popularize the idea of vouchers and school choice beginning with his 1955 paper, “The Role of Government in Education.” His vision continues to be realized through the important work of EdChoice, formerly the Friedman Foundation for Education Choice, that Friedman and his economist wife, Rose, founded in 1996.

July 31 is Milton Friedman’s birthday. He died in 2006 at the age of 94, but his ideas continue to have an impact, particularly in education policy.

Friedman saw vouchers and other choice programs as half-measures. He recognized the larger problems of taxpayer funding and compulsion, but saw vouchers as an important starting point in allowing parents to regain control of their children’s education. In their popular book, Free To Choose, first published in 1980, the Friedmans wrote:

We regard the voucher plan as a partial solution because it affects neither the financing of schooling nor the compulsory attendance laws. We favor going much farther. (p.161)

They continued:

The compulsory attendance laws are the justification for government control over the standards of private schools. But it is far from clear that there is any justification for the compulsory attendance laws themselves. (p. 162)

The Friedmans admitted that their “own views on this have changed over time,” as they realized that “compulsory attendance at schools is not necessary to achieve that minimum standard of literacy and knowledge,” and that “schooling was well-nigh universal in the United States before either compulsory attendance or government financing of schooling existed. Like most laws, compulsory attendance laws have costs as well as benefits. We no longer believe the benefits justify the costs.” (pp. 162-3)

Still, they felt that vouchers would be the essential starting point toward chipping away at monopoly mass schooling by putting parents back in charge. School choice, in other words, would be a necessary but not sufficient policy approach toward addressing the underlying issue of government control of education.

Vouchers as a First Step

In their book, the Friedmans presented the potential outcomes of their proposed voucher plan, which would give parents access to some or all of the average per-pupil expenditures of a child enrolled in public school. They believed that vouchers would help create a more competitive education market, encouraging education entrepreneurship. They felt that parents would be more empowered with greater control over their children’s education and have a stronger desire to contribute some of their own money toward education. They asserted that in many places “the public school has fostered residential stratification, by tying the kind and cost of schooling to residential location” and suggested that voucher programs would lead to increased integration and heterogeneity. (pp. 166-7)

To the critics who said, and still say, that school choice programs would destroy the public schools, the Friedmans replied that these critics fail to

explain why, if the public school system is doing such a splendid job, it needs to fear competition from nongovernmental, competitive schools or, if it isn’t, why anyone should object to its “destruction.” (p. 170)

What I appreciate most about the Friedmans discussion of vouchers and the promise of school choice is their unrelenting support of parents. They believed that parents, not government bureaucrats and intellectuals, know what is best for their children’s education and well-being and are fully capable of choosing wisely for their children—when they have the opportunity to do so.

They wrote:

Parents generally have both greater interest in their children’s schooling and more intimate knowledge of their capacities and needs than anyone else. Social reformers, and educational reformers in particular, often self-righteously take for granted that parents, especially those who are poor and have little education themselves, have little interest in their children’s education and no competence to choose for them. That is a gratuitous insult. Such parents have frequently had limited opportunity to choose. However, U.S. history has demonstrated that, given the opportunity, they have often been willing to sacrifice a great deal, and have done so wisely, for their children’s welfare. (p. 160).

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Voucher Programs Today

Today, school voucher programs exist in 15 states plus the District of Columbia. These programs have consistently shown that when parents are given the choice to opt-out of an assigned district school, many will take advantage of the opportunity. In Washington, D.C., low-income parents who win a voucher lottery send their children to private schools.

The most recent three-year federal evaluation of voucher program participants found that while student academic achievement was comparable to achievement for non-voucher students remaining in public schools, there were statistically significant improvements in other important areas. For instance, voucher participants had lower rates of chronic absenteeism than the control groups, as well as higher student satisfaction scores. There were also tremendous cost-savings.

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program has served over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools.

According to Corey DeAngelis, Director of School Choice at the Reason Foundation and a prolific researcher on the topic, the recent analysis of the D.C. voucher program “reveals that private schools produce the same academic outcomes for only a third of the cost of the public schools. In other words, school choice is a great investment.”

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program was created in 1990 and is the nation’s oldest voucher program. It currently serves over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools. Like the D.C. voucher program, data on test scores of Milwaukee voucher students show similar results to public school students, but non-academic results are promising.

Increased Access and Decreased Crime

Recent research found voucher recipients had lower crime rates and lower incidences of unplanned pregnancies in young adulthood. On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.According to Howard Fuller, an education professor at Marquette University, founder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, and one of the developers of the Milwaukee voucher program, the key is parent empowerment—particularly for low-income minority families.

In an interview with NPR, Fuller said: “What I’m saying to you is that there are thousands of black children whose lives are much better today because of the Milwaukee parental choice program,” he says.
“They were able to access better schools than they would have without a voucher.”

Putting parents back in charge of their child’s education through school choice measures was Milton Friedman’s goal. It was not his ultimate goal, as it would not fully address the funding and compulsion components of government schooling; but it was, and remains, an important first step. As the Friedmans wrote in Free To Choose:

The strong American tradition of voluntary action has provided many excellent examples that demonstrate what can be done when parents have greater choice. (p. 159).

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Celebrating School Choice? Thank Milton Friedman, too

by Dr. Robert Luebke

Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation

January 25, 2021
  • In the 1950s, a young Milton Friedman argued that free market principles of consumer choice and competition were needed to remedy the nonresponsive and monopolistic system that controlled and delivered public education
  • Friedman’s work provided the intellectual foundations of the modern school-choice movement
  • If Friedman were alive today and came to North Carolina, he’d see school choice flourishing

In the decades after the American Revolution, parents were the drivers of how and where their children were educated. Parents could choose from private schools, tutors, and home schools as ways to educate children. In the mid-1840s, Massachusetts became the first state to lead a push for state-controlled and -funded public education. A century later, the rise of the Progressive Era saw government gain control over how schools were financed, administered, and regulated.

Along with these changes came a weakening in the ability of parents to control their child’s education. Of course, if parents didn’t like their child’s school or didn’t think it was a good fit, they could choose a private school — if they could afford it. If not, children were forced to attend the local public school, whether parents liked it or not.

In the mid-1950s, a young economist at the University of Chicago laid out a case for the role of government in education for its citizens in an article given the unassuming title of The Role of Government in Education. In it Milton Friedman acknowledged there is a case for government subsidizing public education, but not for government administering the schools. Friedman believed increased centralization and government control of public schools had led to less freedom and efficiency in education and a decline in quality. For government not only to finance education, but also largely to deliver education services was an arrangement Friedman considered unnatural as well as unjustified.

In his article Friedman argued that free market principles of consumer choice and competition were needed to remedy the nonresponsive and monopolistic system that controlled and delivered public education.

Friedman sought nothing less than to upend how American education was financed and administered. Instead of government deciding how and where children are educated, government would provide vouchers to parents for education or educational services at approved schools.

Friedman believed giving parents the power to “vote with their feet” would force monopolistic public-school systems to be responsive to parental concerns. He also was convinced that the use of vouchers would infuse competition among schools and encourage them to innovate and be more effective, qualities conspicuously absent from most public-school systems. Moreover, Friedman also thought it critical to separate the funding of education from the delivery of education services.

Six and a half decades later, it’s not difficult to see how “The Role of Government in Education” provided the intellectual foundations of the modern school-choice movement. People don’t always hear what they need to hear, so Friedman’s article went largely unnoticed outside the policy world. Those seeds took time to grow.

In 1989, Wisconsin become the first state to put Friedman’s ideas into practice when it approved a statewide voucher program that allowed low-income students to use vouchers to pay tuition at a private school. In 2013, North Carolina approved the Opportunity Scholarship Program, a similar program that today provides over 14,000 students with scholarships of up to $4,200 to help pay tuition at a local private school.

School choice today

If Milton Friedman were alive today and came to North Carolina, he’d see school choice flourishing. Today parents can choose from a variety of public and private school-choice programs. They include public options such as charter or magnet schools as well as private options such as the Opportunity Scholarship Program or the Special Education Scholarship Grants for Children with Disabilities.

Regarding charter schools, the table below shows that the number of students enrolled in charter schools has increased dramatically from over 38,000 in 2010 to over 117,000 today. Enrollment in private schools in the Tar Heel state saw modest growth over the last 10 years, while the number of home schoolers increased by 83 percent.

Over the past decade, while the average daily membership (ADM) enrollment in traditional public schools increased by just one half of one percent, the school-choice population in North Carolina expanded by 71 percent. Today over 370,000 students attend charter, private, and home schools and have access to a better education. Ten years ago, only 13 percent of students were enrolled in choice schools. Today nearly 80 percent of students still attend traditional public schools, but the number of students enrolled in choice schools has increased to almost 21 percent, up significantly from ten years ago.

K-12 Enrollment in North Carolina, by Type of School, 2010 and 2020

Schools 2010 Enrollment 2020 Enrollment Change, 2010–20
Traditional Public Schools (ADM) 1,402,269 1,409,391 0.5%
Charter Schools 38,449 117,264 204.9%
Home Schools 81,509 149,173 83.0%
Private Schools 96,421 103,959 7.8%
Total, Choice Schools 216,379 370,396 71.2%
Schools 2010 Enrollment 2020 Enrollment Percentage Point Change
Percentage of Students in Traditional Public Schools 86.7% 79.2% –7.5
Percentage of Students in
Choice Schools
13.3% 20.8% +7.5

Source: Highlights of the North Carolina Public School Budget, Statistical Profile of North Carolina Public Schools, and North Carolina Office of Non-Public Education (for specific years).

Friedman’s legacy

Friedman’s ideas have helped to fuel an education revolution in North Carolina and across the country. Choice empowers parents to make educational decisions, challenges monopolies, and calls out bureaucracies. Choice expands personal freedom but also highlights that accountability comes in different forms. In so doing, choice has helped to shift the public discussion of education from a focus on how much money is spent to how well money is spent.

Let’s be clear: Milton Friedman got it right. Choice benefits students, families, schools, and our communities. Today school choice continues to thrive because it empowers parents and students and enriches our communities. That’s not to say there haven’t been mistakes and growing pains. Nevertheless, having choices in education is far preferable. Choice recognizes what too many of our public schools ignore: children are different and learn differently.

If we are really concerned that our children receive a quality education, we must allow parents and children to access appropriate educational opportunities. As more and more families are empowered to make these choices, we should thank Milton Friedman for laying the intellectual groundwork for many of the school choice programs we enjoy today.

Milton Friedman, School Choice Pioneer


As our new School Choice Timeline shows, calls for public funding to follow students to a variety of educational options date back centuries. However, Nobel Prize‐​winning economist Milton Friedman is often considered the father of the modern school choice movement.

In a 1955 essay, The Role of Government in Education, Friedman acknowledged some justifications for government mandates and funding when it comes to education. However, he said it’s difficult to justify government administration of education. He suggested governments could provide parents with vouchers worth a specified maximum sum per child per year to be spent on “approved” educational services.

Friedman would return to this idea repeatedly over the years in his writings and his popular Free to Choose television series. But he did more than just write and talk about his idea. In 1996, he and his wife Rose, who was also a noted economist, started the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Their original plan included the eventual removal of their name from the foundation, which happened in 2016; the organization is now known as EdChoice and is the go‐​to source for up‐​to‐​date information on school choice in America.

Milton Friedman had a remarkable life. He was born in Brooklyn in 1912 to parents who emigrated to the U.S. from eastern Europe. His father died during his senior year in high school, leaving his mother and older sisters to support the family. He managed to attend Rutgers University through a combination of scholarships and various jobs. After earning a degree in economics, he was awarded a scholarship to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Chicago, where he met his future wife, Rose. The Friedmans had two children, a son and a daughter.

Friedman’s list of accomplishments is astonishingly long. In addition to his 1976 Nobel Prize for Economic Science, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science in 1988. He was a Senior Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution from 1977 to 2006, a distinguished economics professor at the University of Chicago from 1946 to 1976, and a researcher at the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1937 to 1981. He was a prolific writer of newspaper and magazine columns, essays, and books.

Milton Friedman’s focus on education choice made perfect sense in light of his other work. He had a consistent focus on preserving and expanding individual freedom. He saw parental control and the ability to choose the environment that worked best for individual children as essential to a quality education. His 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom included chapters on economic and political freedom, trade, fiscal policy, occupational licenses, and poverty, along with his earlier essay on the role of government in education.

In 1980, Milton and Rose released Free to Choose, a discussion of economics and freedom, as a book and a television series. One segment/​chapter asked, “What’s Wrong with Our Schools?” and then explained the importance of parents being able to choose what works for their individual children.

When the Friedman Foundation was launched, there were five education choice programs in the U.S. with fewer than 10,000 students participating. Today, according to EdChoice, there are 74 programs in 32 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, with 670,000 students participating.

While there is a long and deep history of individuals and organizations calling for various forms of school choice, it is clear that Milton Friedman played an enormous role in its advance in the U.S. He helped lay the intellectual groundwork for the programs in place today, and his relatable writings and videos helped explain his ideas to parents, policymakers, and thought leaders. As we celebrate National School Choice Week—and Cato’s new School Choice Timeline—it’s a great time to commemorate Milton Friedman’s important contributions to the movement.

The School Choice Revolution

It’s time to celebrate another victory for school choice.

  • In 2021, West Virginia adopted statewide school choice.
  • In 2022, Arizona adopted statewide school choice.
  • In 2023, Iowa adopted statewide school choice.

Now Utah has joined the club, with Governor Spencer Cox approving a new law that will give families greater freedom to choose the best educational options for their children.

Here are some details from Marjorie Cortez, reporting for the Deseret News.

The Utah Senate gave final passage to legislation that will provide $8,000 scholarships to qualifying families for private schools and other private education options…The bill passed by a two-thirds margin in each legislative house, which means it cannot be challenged by referendum. …The bill creates the Utah Fits All Scholarship, which can then be used for education expenses like curriculum, textbooks, education, software, tutoring services, micro-school teacher salaries and private school tuition.

As you might expect, teacher unions and their allies are very disappointed – which is a very positive sign.

…the Utah Education Association…opposed HB215… The bill was also opposed by the Utah State Board of Education, Utah PTA, school superintendents, business administrators and school boards. The Alliance for a Better Utah was pointed in its reaction… “Conservative lawmakers just robbed our neighborhood schools of $42 million. Private school vouchers have been and continue to be opposed by Utahns but these lawmakers are instead pursuing a national agenda to ‘destroy public education.’

The Wall Street Journal opined on this great development.

School choice is gaining momentum across the country, and this week Utah joined Iowa in advancing the education reform cause. …Utah’s bill, which the Senate passed Thursday, 20-8, makes ESAs of $8,000 available to every student. There’s no income cap on families who can apply, though lower-income families receive preference and the program is capped at $42 million. The funds can be used for private school tuition, home-schooling expenses, tutoring, and more.

But the best part of the editorial is the look at other states that may be poised to expand educational freedom.

About a dozen other state legislatures have introduced bills to create new ESA programs, and several want to expand the ones they have. In Florida a Republican proposal would extend the state’s already robust scholarship programs to any student in the state. The bill would remove income limits that are currently in place for families who want to apply, though lower-income applicants would receive priority. …South Carolina legislators are mulling a new ESA program for lower-income students. In Indiana, a Senate bill would make state ESAs available to more students. An Ohio bill would remove an income cap and other eligibility rules for the state’s school vouchers. Two Oklahoma Senate bills propose new ESA programs… ESA bills are in some stage of moving in Nebraska, New Hampshire, Texas and Virginia.

Let’s hope there is more progress.

School choice is a win-win for both students and taxpayers.

P.S. Here’s a must-see chart showing how more and more money for the government school monopoly has produced zero benefit.

P.P.S. There are very successful school choice systems in CanadaSwedenChile, and the Netherlands.

P.P.P.S. Getting rid of the Department of Education would be a good idea, but the battle for school choice is largely going to be won and lost on the state and local level.

The Machine: The Truth Behind Teachers Unions

Published on Sep 4, 2012 by

America’s public education system is failing. We’re spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children.

That’s because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn’t designed to produce better schools. It’s designed to produce more money for unions and more donations for politicians.

For decades, teachers’ unions have been among our nation’s largest political donors. As Reason Foundation’s Lisa Snell has noted, the National Education Association (NEA) alone spent $40 million on the 2010 election cycle (source: http://reason.org/news/printer/big-education-and-big-labor-electio). As the country’s largest teachers union, the NEA is only one cog in the infernal machine that robs parents of their tax dollars and students of their futures.

Students, teachers, parents, and hardworking Americans are all victims of this political machine–a system that takes money out of taxpayers’ wallets and gives it to union bosses, who put it in the pockets of politicians.

Our kids deserve better.

“The Machine” is 4:17 minutes.

Written and narrated by Evan Coyne Maloney. Produced by the Moving Picture Institute in partnership with Reason TV.

Visit http://www.MovingPictureInstitute.org to learn more.

No one did more to advance the cause of school vouchers than Milton and Rose Friedman. Friedman made it clear in his film series “Free to Choose” how sad he was that young people who live in the inner cities did not have good education opportunities available to them.

I have posted often about the voucher system and how it would solve our education problems. What we are doing now is not working. Milton Friedman’s idea of implementing school vouchers was hatched about 50 years ago.

Poor families are most affected by this lack of choice. As Friedman noted, “There is no respect in which inhabitants of a low-income neighborhood are so disadvantaged as in the kind of schooling they can get for their children.” It is a sad statement quantified by data on low levels of academic achievement and attainment. Take a look at this article below.

Lindsey Burke

September 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm

SAT scores among the nation’s test-takers are at a 40-year low.

As The Washington Post reports:

Reading scores on the SAT for the high school class of 2012 reached a four-decade low, putting a punctuation mark on a gradual decline in the ability of college-bound teens to read passages and answer questions about sentence structure, vocabulary and meaning on the college entrance exam.

The decline over the decades has been significant. The average reading (verbal) score is down 34 points since 1972. Sadly, the historically low SAT scores are only the latest marker of decline. Graduation rates have been stagnant since the 1970s, reading and math achievement has been virtually flat over the same time period, and American students still rank in the middle of the pack compared to their international peers.

On the heels of the news about the SAT score decline, President Obama filmed a segment with NBC’s Education Nation earlier today. The President notably praised the concept of charter schools and pay for performance for teachers.

But those grains of reform were dwarfed by his support of the status quo. During the course of the interview, President Obama suggested hiring 100,000 new math and science teachers and spending more money on preschool. He also stated that No Child Left Behind had good intentions but was “under-resourced.”

Efforts by the federal government to intervene in preschool, most notably through Head Start, have failed—despite a $160 billion in spending on the program since 1965. And No Child Left Behind is far from “under-resourced.” The $25 billion, 600-page law has been on the receiving end of significant new spending every decade since the original law was first passed nearly half a century ago.

President Obama was also pressed on the issue of education unions by host Savannah Guthrie:

Some people think, President Obama gets so much support from the teachers’ unions, he can’t possibly have an honest conversation about what they’re doing right or wrong. Can you really say that teachers’ unions aren’t slowing the pace of reform?

President Obama responded: “You know, I just really get frustrated when I hear teacher-bashing as evidence of reform.”

Criticizing education unions for standing in the way of reform should not be conflated with criticizing teachers, as the President does in the interview. The unions have blocked reforms such as performance pay and charter schools (which the President supports), have opposed alternative teacher certification that would help mid-career professionals enter the classroom, and have consistently fought the implementation of school choice options for children.

If we ever hope to move the needle on student achievement—or see SAT scores turn in the right direction again—we’ll need to implement many of those exact reforms, particularly school choice.

And as he has in the past, President Obama stated that his Administration wants to “use evidenced-based approaches and find out what works.” We know what works: giving families choices when it comes to finding schools that best meet their children’s needs. Instead of continuing to call for more spending and more Washington intervention in education, let’s try something new: choice and freedom.

Related posts:

Milton Friedman remembered at 100 years from his birth (Part 4)

I ran across this very interesting article about Milton Friedman from 2002: Friedman: Market offers poor better learningBy Tamara Henry, USA TODAY By Doug Mills, AP President Bush honors influential economist Milton Friedman for his 90th birthday earlier this month. About an economist Name:Milton FriedmanAge: 90Background: Winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize for economic science; […]

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 11

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 11 On my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org I have an extensive list of posts that have both videos and transcripts of MiltonFriedman’s interviews and speeches. Here below is just small list of those and more can be accessed by clicking on “Milton Friedman” on the side of this page or searching […]

Open letter to President Obama (Part 117.3)

A Taxing Distinction for ObamaCare Published on Jun 28, 2012 by catoinstitutevideo http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/it-now-falls-congress http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/taxing-decision http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/supreme-court-unlawfully-rewrites-obamacare-to… http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/congress-its-not-a-tax-scotus-yes-it-is/ The Cato Institute’s Roger Pilon, Ilya Shapiro, Michael F. Cannon, Michael D. Tanner and Trevor Burrus evaluate today’s ruling on ObamaCare at the Supreme Court. Video produced by Caleb O. Brown and Austin Bragg. ____________ President Obama c/o The […]

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 10

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 10 On my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org I have an extensive list of posts that have both videos and transcripts of MiltonFriedman’s interviews and speeches. Here below is just small list of those and more can be accessed by clicking on “Milton Friedman” on the side of this page or searching […]

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 9

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 9 On my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org I have an extensive list of posts that have both videos and transcripts of MiltonFriedman’s interviews and speeches. Here below is just small list of those and more can be accessed by clicking on “Milton Friedman” on the side of this page or searching […]

Milton Friedman’s biography (Part 2)(Interview by Charlie Rose of Milton Friedman part 3)

Biography Part 2 In 1977, when I reached the age of 65, I retired from teaching at the University of Chicago. At the invitation of Glenn Campbell, Director of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, I shifted my scholarly work to Hoover where I remain a Senior Research Fellow. We moved to San Francisco, purchasing […]

Milton Friedman at Hillsdale College 2006 (part 2)

Milton Friedman at Hillsdale College 2006 July 2006 Free to Choose: A Conversation with Milton Friedman Milton Friedman Economist Milton Friedman is a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Chicago, where he taught from 1946-1976. Dr. Friedman received the Nobel Memorial […]

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 8

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 8 On my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org I have an extensive list of posts that have both videos and transcripts of MiltonFriedman’s interviews and speeches. Here below is just small list of those and more can be accessed by clicking on “Milton Friedman” on the side of this page or searching […]

Milton Friedman remembered at 100 years from his birth (Part 2)

Testing Milton Friedman – Preview Uploaded by FreeToChooseNetwork on Feb 21, 2012 2012 is the 100th anniversary of Milton Friedman’s birth. His work and ideas continue to make the world a better place. As part of Milton Friedman’s Century, a revival of the ideas featured in the landmark television series Free To Choose are being […]

Milton Friedman believed in liberty (Interview by Charlie Rose of Milton Friedman part 1)

Charlie Rose interview of Milton Friedman My favorite economist: Milton Friedman : A Great Champion of Liberty  by V. Sundaram   Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who advocated an unfettered free market and had the ear of three US Presidents – Nixon, Ford and Reagan – died last Thursday (16 November, 2006 ) in San Francisco […]

Free or equal? 30 years after Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (Part 1)

Free or Equal?: Johan Norberg Updates Milton & Rose Friedman’s Free to Choose I got this below from Reason Magazine: Swedish economist Johan Norberg is the host of the new documentary Free or Equal, which retraces and updates the 1980 classic Free to Choose, featuring Milton and Rose Friedman. Like the Friedmans, Norberg travels the globe […]

Reason Magazine’s rightly praises Milton Friedman but makes foolish claim along the way

I must say that I have lots of respect for Reason Magazine and for their admiration of Milton Friedman. However, I do disagree with one phrase below. At the end of this post I will tell you what sentence it is. Uploaded by ReasonTV on Jul 28, 2011 There’s no way to appreciate fully the […]

Video clip:Milton Friedman discusses his view of numerous political figures and policy issues in (Part 1)

Milton Friedman on Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” 1994 Interview 1 of 2 Uploaded by PenguinProseMedia on Oct 25, 2011 Says Federal Reserve should be abolished, criticizes Keynes. One of Friedman’s best interviews, discussion spans Friedman’s career and his view of numerous political figures and public policy issues. ___________________ Two Lucky People by Milton and Rose Friedman […]

Milton Friedman remembered at 100 years from his birth (Part 1)

What a great man Milton Friedman was. The Legacy of Milton Friedman November 18, 2006 Alexander Tabarrok Great economist by day and crusading public intellectual by night, Milton Friedman was my hero. Friedman’s contributions to economics are profound, the permanent income hypothesis, the resurrection of the quantity theory of money, and his magnum opus with […]

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 7

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 7 On my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org I have an extensive list of posts that have both videos and transcripts of MiltonFriedman’s interviews and speeches. Here below is just small list of those and more can be accessed by clicking on “Milton Friedman” on the side of this page or searching […]

Transcript and video of Milton Friedman on Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan (Part 1)

Below is a discussion from Milton Friedman on Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan. February 10, 1999 | Recorded on February 10, 1999 audio, video, and blogs » uncommon knowledge PRESIDENTIAL REPORT CARD: Milton Friedman on the State of the Union with guest Milton Friedman Milton Friedman, Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution and Nobel Laureate in […]

Dan Mitchell’s article on Chili and video clip on Milton Friedman’s influence

Milton Friedman and Chile – The Power of Choice Uploaded by FreeToChooseNetwork on May 13, 2011 In this excerpt from Free To Choose Network’s “The Power of Choice (2006)”, we set the record straight on Milton Friedman’s dealings with Chile — including training the Chicago Boys and his meeting with Augusto Pinochet. Was the tremendous […]

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman, School Choice Pioneer

Milton Friedman – Public Schools / Voucher System

Published on May 9, 2012 by

JANUARY 24, 2023 3:48PM

Milton Friedman, School Choice Pioneer


As our new School Choice Timeline shows, calls for public funding to follow students to a variety of educational options date back centuries. However, Nobel Prize‐​winning economist Milton Friedman is often considered the father of the modern school choice movement.

In a 1955 essay, The Role of Government in Education, Friedman acknowledged some justifications for government mandates and funding when it comes to education. However, he said it’s difficult to justify government administration of education. He suggested governments could provide parents with vouchers worth a specified maximum sum per child per year to be spent on “approved” educational services.

Friedman would return to this idea repeatedly over the years in his writings and his popular Free to Choose television series. But he did more than just write and talk about his idea. In 1996, he and his wife Rose, who was also a noted economist, started the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Their original plan included the eventual removal of their name from the foundation, which happened in 2016; the organization is now known as EdChoice and is the go‐​to source for up‐​to‐​date information on school choice in America.

Milton Friedman had a remarkable life. He was born in Brooklyn in 1912 to parents who emigrated to the U.S. from eastern Europe. His father died during his senior year in high school, leaving his mother and older sisters to support the family. He managed to attend Rutgers University through a combination of scholarships and various jobs. After earning a degree in economics, he was awarded a scholarship to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Chicago, where he met his future wife, Rose. The Friedmans had two children, a son and a daughter.

Friedman’s list of accomplishments is astonishingly long. In addition to his 1976 Nobel Prize for Economic Science, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science in 1988. He was a Senior Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution from 1977 to 2006, a distinguished economics professor at the University of Chicago from 1946 to 1976, and a researcher at the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1937 to 1981. He was a prolific writer of newspaper and magazine columns, essays, and books.

Milton Friedman’s focus on education choice made perfect sense in light of his other work. He had a consistent focus on preserving and expanding individual freedom. He saw parental control and the ability to choose the environment that worked best for individual children as essential to a quality education. His 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom included chapters on economic and political freedom, trade, fiscal policy, occupational licenses, and poverty, along with his earlier essay on the role of government in education.

In 1980, Milton and Rose released Free to Choose, a discussion of economics and freedom, as a book and a television series. One segment/​chapter asked, “What’s Wrong with Our Schools?” and then explained the importance of parents being able to choose what works for their individual children.

When the Friedman Foundation was launched, there were five education choice programs in the U.S. with fewer than 10,000 students participating. Today, according to EdChoice, there are 74 programs in 32 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, with 670,000 students participating.

While there is a long and deep history of individuals and organizations calling for various forms of school choice, it is clear that Milton Friedman played an enormous role in its advance in the U.S. He helped lay the intellectual groundwork for the programs in place today, and his relatable writings and videos helped explain his ideas to parents, policymakers, and thought leaders. As we celebrate National School Choice Week—and Cato’s new School Choice Timeline—it’s a great time to commemorate Milton Friedman’s important contributions to the movement.

The School Choice Revolution

It’s time to celebrate another victory for school choice.

  • In 2021, West Virginia adopted statewide school choice.
  • In 2022, Arizona adopted statewide school choice.
  • In 2023, Iowa adopted statewide school choice.

Now Utah has joined the club, with Governor Spencer Cox approving a new law that will give families greater freedom to choose the best educational options for their children.

Here are some details from Marjorie Cortez, reporting for the Deseret News.

The Utah Senate gave final passage to legislation that will provide $8,000 scholarships to qualifying families for private schools and other private education options…The bill passed by a two-thirds margin in each legislative house, which means it cannot be challenged by referendum. …The bill creates the Utah Fits All Scholarship, which can then be used for education expenses like curriculum, textbooks, education, software, tutoring services, micro-school teacher salaries and private school tuition.

As you might expect, teacher unions and their allies are very disappointed – which is a very positive sign.

…the Utah Education Association…opposed HB215… The bill was also opposed by the Utah State Board of Education, Utah PTA, school superintendents, business administrators and school boards. The Alliance for a Better Utah was pointed in its reaction… “Conservative lawmakers just robbed our neighborhood schools of $42 million. Private school vouchers have been and continue to be opposed by Utahns but these lawmakers are instead pursuing a national agenda to ‘destroy public education.’

The Wall Street Journal opined on this great development.

School choice is gaining momentum across the country, and this week Utah joined Iowa in advancing the education reform cause. …Utah’s bill, which the Senate passed Thursday, 20-8, makes ESAs of $8,000 available to every student. There’s no income cap on families who can apply, though lower-income families receive preference and the program is capped at $42 million. The funds can be used for private school tuition, home-schooling expenses, tutoring, and more.

But the best part of the editorial is the look at other states that may be poised to expand educational freedom.

About a dozen other state legislatures have introduced bills to create new ESA programs, and several want to expand the ones they have. In Florida a Republican proposal would extend the state’s already robust scholarship programs to any student in the state. The bill would remove income limits that are currently in place for families who want to apply, though lower-income applicants would receive priority. …South Carolina legislators are mulling a new ESA program for lower-income students. In Indiana, a Senate bill would make state ESAs available to more students. An Ohio bill would remove an income cap and other eligibility rules for the state’s school vouchers. Two Oklahoma Senate bills propose new ESA programs… ESA bills are in some stage of moving in Nebraska, New Hampshire, Texas and Virginia.

Let’s hope there is more progress.

School choice is a win-win for both students and taxpayers.

P.S. Here’s a must-see chart showing how more and more money for the government school monopoly has produced zero benefit.

P.P.S. There are very successful school choice systems in CanadaSwedenChile, and the Netherlands.

P.P.P.S. Getting rid of the Department of Education would be a good idea, but the battle for school choice is largely going to be won and lost on the state and local level.

The Machine: The Truth Behind Teachers Unions

Published on Sep 4, 2012 by

America’s public education system is failing. We’re spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children.

That’s because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn’t designed to produce better schools. It’s designed to produce more money for unions and more donations for politicians.

For decades, teachers’ unions have been among our nation’s largest political donors. As Reason Foundation’s Lisa Snell has noted, the National Education Association (NEA) alone spent $40 million on the 2010 election cycle (source: http://reason.org/news/printer/big-education-and-big-labor-electio). As the country’s largest teachers union, the NEA is only one cog in the infernal machine that robs parents of their tax dollars and students of their futures.

Students, teachers, parents, and hardworking Americans are all victims of this political machine–a system that takes money out of taxpayers’ wallets and gives it to union bosses, who put it in the pockets of politicians.

Our kids deserve better.

“The Machine” is 4:17 minutes.

Written and narrated by Evan Coyne Maloney. Produced by the Moving Picture Institute in partnership with Reason TV.

Visit http://www.MovingPictureInstitute.org to learn more.

No one did more to advance the cause of school vouchers than Milton and Rose Friedman. Friedman made it clear in his film series “Free to Choose” how sad he was that young people who live in the inner cities did not have good education opportunities available to them.

I have posted often about the voucher system and how it would solve our education problems. What we are doing now is not working. Milton Friedman’s idea of implementing school vouchers was hatched about 50 years ago.

Poor families are most affected by this lack of choice. As Friedman noted, “There is no respect in which inhabitants of a low-income neighborhood are so disadvantaged as in the kind of schooling they can get for their children.” It is a sad statement quantified by data on low levels of academic achievement and attainment. Take a look at this article below.

Lindsey Burke

September 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm

SAT scores among the nation’s test-takers are at a 40-year low.

As The Washington Post reports:

Reading scores on the SAT for the high school class of 2012 reached a four-decade low, putting a punctuation mark on a gradual decline in the ability of college-bound teens to read passages and answer questions about sentence structure, vocabulary and meaning on the college entrance exam.

The decline over the decades has been significant. The average reading (verbal) score is down 34 points since 1972. Sadly, the historically low SAT scores are only the latest marker of decline. Graduation rates have been stagnant since the 1970s, reading and math achievement has been virtually flat over the same time period, and American students still rank in the middle of the pack compared to their international peers.

On the heels of the news about the SAT score decline, President Obama filmed a segment with NBC’s Education Nation earlier today. The President notably praised the concept of charter schools and pay for performance for teachers.

But those grains of reform were dwarfed by his support of the status quo. During the course of the interview, President Obama suggested hiring 100,000 new math and science teachers and spending more money on preschool. He also stated that No Child Left Behind had good intentions but was “under-resourced.”

Efforts by the federal government to intervene in preschool, most notably through Head Start, have failed—despite a $160 billion in spending on the program since 1965. And No Child Left Behind is far from “under-resourced.” The $25 billion, 600-page law has been on the receiving end of significant new spending every decade since the original law was first passed nearly half a century ago.

President Obama was also pressed on the issue of education unions by host Savannah Guthrie:

Some people think, President Obama gets so much support from the teachers’ unions, he can’t possibly have an honest conversation about what they’re doing right or wrong. Can you really say that teachers’ unions aren’t slowing the pace of reform?

President Obama responded: “You know, I just really get frustrated when I hear teacher-bashing as evidence of reform.”

Criticizing education unions for standing in the way of reform should not be conflated with criticizing teachers, as the President does in the interview. The unions have blocked reforms such as performance pay and charter schools (which the President supports), have opposed alternative teacher certification that would help mid-career professionals enter the classroom, and have consistently fought the implementation of school choice options for children.

If we ever hope to move the needle on student achievement—or see SAT scores turn in the right direction again—we’ll need to implement many of those exact reforms, particularly school choice.

And as he has in the past, President Obama stated that his Administration wants to “use evidenced-based approaches and find out what works.” We know what works: giving families choices when it comes to finding schools that best meet their children’s needs. Instead of continuing to call for more spending and more Washington intervention in education, let’s try something new: choice and freedom.

Related posts:

Milton Friedman remembered at 100 years from his birth (Part 4)

I ran across this very interesting article about Milton Friedman from 2002: Friedman: Market offers poor better learningBy Tamara Henry, USA TODAY By Doug Mills, AP President Bush honors influential economist Milton Friedman for his 90th birthday earlier this month. About an economist Name:Milton FriedmanAge: 90Background: Winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize for economic science; […]

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 11

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 11 On my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org I have an extensive list of posts that have both videos and transcripts of MiltonFriedman’s interviews and speeches. Here below is just small list of those and more can be accessed by clicking on “Milton Friedman” on the side of this page or searching […]

Open letter to President Obama (Part 117.3)

A Taxing Distinction for ObamaCare Published on Jun 28, 2012 by catoinstitutevideo http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/it-now-falls-congress http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/taxing-decision http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/supreme-court-unlawfully-rewrites-obamacare-to… http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/congress-its-not-a-tax-scotus-yes-it-is/ The Cato Institute’s Roger Pilon, Ilya Shapiro, Michael F. Cannon, Michael D. Tanner and Trevor Burrus evaluate today’s ruling on ObamaCare at the Supreme Court. Video produced by Caleb O. Brown and Austin Bragg. ____________ President Obama c/o The […]

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 10

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 10 On my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org I have an extensive list of posts that have both videos and transcripts of MiltonFriedman’s interviews and speeches. Here below is just small list of those and more can be accessed by clicking on “Milton Friedman” on the side of this page or searching […]

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 9

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 9 On my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org I have an extensive list of posts that have both videos and transcripts of MiltonFriedman’s interviews and speeches. Here below is just small list of those and more can be accessed by clicking on “Milton Friedman” on the side of this page or searching […]

Milton Friedman’s biography (Part 2)(Interview by Charlie Rose of Milton Friedman part 3)

Biography Part 2 In 1977, when I reached the age of 65, I retired from teaching at the University of Chicago. At the invitation of Glenn Campbell, Director of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, I shifted my scholarly work to Hoover where I remain a Senior Research Fellow. We moved to San Francisco, purchasing […]

Milton Friedman at Hillsdale College 2006 (part 2)

Milton Friedman at Hillsdale College 2006 July 2006 Free to Choose: A Conversation with Milton Friedman Milton Friedman Economist Milton Friedman is a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Chicago, where he taught from 1946-1976. Dr. Friedman received the Nobel Memorial […]

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 8

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 8 On my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org I have an extensive list of posts that have both videos and transcripts of MiltonFriedman’s interviews and speeches. Here below is just small list of those and more can be accessed by clicking on “Milton Friedman” on the side of this page or searching […]

Milton Friedman remembered at 100 years from his birth (Part 2)

Testing Milton Friedman – Preview Uploaded by FreeToChooseNetwork on Feb 21, 2012 2012 is the 100th anniversary of Milton Friedman’s birth. His work and ideas continue to make the world a better place. As part of Milton Friedman’s Century, a revival of the ideas featured in the landmark television series Free To Choose are being […]

Milton Friedman believed in liberty (Interview by Charlie Rose of Milton Friedman part 1)

Charlie Rose interview of Milton Friedman My favorite economist: Milton Friedman : A Great Champion of Liberty  by V. Sundaram   Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who advocated an unfettered free market and had the ear of three US Presidents – Nixon, Ford and Reagan – died last Thursday (16 November, 2006 ) in San Francisco […]

Free or equal? 30 years after Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (Part 1)

Free or Equal?: Johan Norberg Updates Milton & Rose Friedman’s Free to Choose I got this below from Reason Magazine: Swedish economist Johan Norberg is the host of the new documentary Free or Equal, which retraces and updates the 1980 classic Free to Choose, featuring Milton and Rose Friedman. Like the Friedmans, Norberg travels the globe […]

Reason Magazine’s rightly praises Milton Friedman but makes foolish claim along the way

I must say that I have lots of respect for Reason Magazine and for their admiration of Milton Friedman. However, I do disagree with one phrase below. At the end of this post I will tell you what sentence it is. Uploaded by ReasonTV on Jul 28, 2011 There’s no way to appreciate fully the […]

Video clip:Milton Friedman discusses his view of numerous political figures and policy issues in (Part 1)

Milton Friedman on Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” 1994 Interview 1 of 2 Uploaded by PenguinProseMedia on Oct 25, 2011 Says Federal Reserve should be abolished, criticizes Keynes. One of Friedman’s best interviews, discussion spans Friedman’s career and his view of numerous political figures and public policy issues. ___________________ Two Lucky People by Milton and Rose Friedman […]

Milton Friedman remembered at 100 years from his birth (Part 1)

What a great man Milton Friedman was. The Legacy of Milton Friedman November 18, 2006 Alexander Tabarrok Great economist by day and crusading public intellectual by night, Milton Friedman was my hero. Friedman’s contributions to economics are profound, the permanent income hypothesis, the resurrection of the quantity theory of money, and his magnum opus with […]

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 7

Milton Friedman videos and transcripts Part 7 On my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org I have an extensive list of posts that have both videos and transcripts of MiltonFriedman’s interviews and speeches. Here below is just small list of those and more can be accessed by clicking on “Milton Friedman” on the side of this page or searching […]

Transcript and video of Milton Friedman on Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan (Part 1)

Below is a discussion from Milton Friedman on Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan. February 10, 1999 | Recorded on February 10, 1999 audio, video, and blogs » uncommon knowledge PRESIDENTIAL REPORT CARD: Milton Friedman on the State of the Union with guest Milton Friedman Milton Friedman, Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution and Nobel Laureate in […]

Dan Mitchell’s article on Chili and video clip on Milton Friedman’s influence

Milton Friedman and Chile – The Power of Choice Uploaded by FreeToChooseNetwork on May 13, 2011 In this excerpt from Free To Choose Network’s “The Power of Choice (2006)”, we set the record straight on Milton Friedman’s dealings with Chile — including training the Chicago Boys and his meeting with Augusto Pinochet. Was the tremendous […]

Dan Mitchell article: “…the IRS data shows blue states are losing taxpayers and income at an increasing clip. …a net 105,000 people left Illinois in 2021, taking with them some $10.9 billion in AGI. That’s up from $8.5 billion in 2020 and $6 billion in 2019!”

——-

Blue-to-Red Migration, Part I

I realize it’s not nice to take pleasure in the misfortune of others, but that rule does not apply when bad things happen to greedy politicians.

As such, I greatly enjoy reading about when taxpayers “vote with their feet” by moving from high-tax jurisdictions to low-tax jurisdictions.

I enjoy when there is tax-motivated migration between nations.

And I enjoy when there is tax-motivated migration between states.

Regarding the latter version, there’s a must-read editorial in the Wall Street Journal about the ongoing exodus from fiscal hellholes such as Illinois, New York, and California.

The IRS each spring publishes data on the movement of adjusted gross income (AGI) and taxpayers across state lines from year to year. …the IRS data shows blue states are losing taxpayers and income at an increasing clip. …a net 105,000 people left Illinois in 2021, taking with them some $10.9 billion in AGI. That’s up from $8.5 billion in 2020 and $6 billion in 2019.New York’s income loss increased to $24.5 billion in 2021 from $19.5 billion in 2020 and $9 billion in 2019. California lost $29.1 billion in 2021, more than triple what it did in 2019. By contrast, the lowest tax states added some $100 billion of income during the pandemic. Zero-income-tax Florida gained $39.2 billion—up from $23.7 billion in 2020 and $17.7 billion in 2019. About $9.8 billion of the total arrived from New York, $3.9 billion from Illinois, $3.7 billion from New Jersey and $3.5 billion from California. Texas was another winner, attracting a net $10.9 billion in 2021, which follows a gain of $6.3 billion in 2020 and $4 billion in 2019. Californians represented more than half of Texas’s income gain in 2021.

Congratulations to Texas and Florida. Having no income tax is definitely a smart step.

Here is a chart that accompanied the editorial.

By the way, migration is the headline event, but it is also important to pay attention to who is migrating.

The WSJ‘s editorial notes that the people leaving high-tax states tend to be economically successful.

The IRS data shows that the taxpayers leaving Illinois and New York typically made about $30,000 to $40,000 more than those arriving. Of Illinois’s total out-migration, 28% of the leavers made between $100,000 to $200,000 and 23% made $200,000 or more. By contrast, the average return of a Florida newcomer in 2021 was about $150,000—more than double that of taxpayers who left. High earners spend more, which yields higher sales tax revenue. This helped Florida post a record $22 billion budget surplus last year. California is forecasting a $29.5 billion deficit.

In other words, the geese with the golden eggs are flying away.

Fiscal Follies: Texas vs. California, Part VIII

I have a seven-part series (here, here, here, here, here, here and here) comparing Texas and California, mostly to demonstrate that the not-so-Golden State has hurt itself with excessive taxation and a bloated government.

Today, we’re going to augment our comparisons by looking at a very practical example of how California’s approach is much worse.

The National Association of State Budget Officers publishes an interesting document (at least if you’re a budget wonk) entitled State Expenditure Report.

And if you to to Table 2 of that report, you’ll find the most important measure of state fiscal policy, which shows how fast the burden of government spending increased over the past two years.

Lo and behold (but to no one’s surprise), California politicians increased the spending burden much faster than their Texas counterparts.

As you can see, both states were irresponsible the first year, thanks in large part to the all the pandemic-related handouts approved by Trump and Biden.

But California was twice as bad. Politicians in Sacramento used federal handouts to finance a grotesque spending binge (whereas the spending binge in Texas deserves a more mild adjective, such as massive).

Both states were better the second year, with California’s spending burden climbing by 2.2 percent in 2022 and Texas actually delivering a spending cut.

Remember, though, that the spending burden exploded between 2020 and 2021, so the 2022 numbers only look reasonable compared to the bloated trendline.

Now let’s consider whether California’s grotesque spending binge had negative consequences.

The answer is yes, according to a Wall Street Journaleditorial.

Gov. Gavin Newsom last year touted a $100 billion budget surplus as evidence of California’s progressive superiority. He was less triumphant…when announcing a $22.5 billion deficit in the coming year, a contrast to Texas’s record $32.7 billion surplus. …California’s problem, as usual, is that Democrats baked too much spending into their budget baseline. They expanded Medicaid to undocumented immigrants over the age of 50, enacted universal pre-school and school lunches, extended paid family leave by two weeks, and boosted climate spending by $10 billion. …Much of Texas’s surplus this year owes to surging sales-tax revenue from inflation and population growth—i.e., Californians moving to Texas and spending their tax savings. Mr. Newsom claimed Tuesday that California has a more “fair” tax system than the Lone Star State and that Texans pay more in taxes. This is disinformation. According to the Census Bureau, California’s per capita state tax collections ($6,325) were second highest in the country in 2021 after Vermont. Texas’s ($2,214) were second lowest after Alaska. …California’s budget problems will grow as more of its rich and middle class move to lower-tax states like Texas.

Per-capita state tax collections are the most striking numbers in the editorial.  The average Californian is paying $6,325 for state government, nearly three times as much as the $2,214 that is paid by the average Texan.

Does anyone think that Californians are getting nearly three times as much value as their counterparts in the Lone Star State?

Based on how people are voting with their feet, the answer is obvious. But if you prefer more technical measures of state government value, California loses that contest as well.


TRY BORROWING AT A BANK WITH A FINANCIAL CONDITION LIKE THE USA HAS:

The problem in Washington is not lack of revenue but our lack of spending restraint. This video below makes that point. WASHINGTON IS A SPENDING ADDICT!!!

——-

The Honorable John Barrasso of Wyoming
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Barrasso,

On September 16, 2021 my post “46 REPUBLICAN SENATORS VOW NOT TO HELP DEMOCRATS RAISE THE DEBT CEILING (HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!!!)” and you were one of the 46 Senators who pledged not to raise the debt ceiling but you folded like a wet leaf just like I predicted:

I have written before about those heroes of mine that have resisted raising the debt ceiling but in the end I have always been disappointed and here we go again!

But first let me give you a taste of something I wrote about 10 years ago on this same issue!

Why don’t the Republicans  just vote no on the next increase to the debt ceiling limit. I have praised over and over and overthe 66 House Republicans that voted no on that before. If they did not raise the debt ceiling then we would have a balanced budget instantly.  I agree that the Tea Party has made a difference and I have personally posted 49 posts on my blog on different Tea Party heroes of mine.

What would happen if the debt ceiling was not increased? Yes President Obama would probably cancel White House tours and he would try to stop mail service or something else to get on our nerves but that is what the Republicans need to do.

I have written and emailed Senator Pryor over, and over again with spending cut suggestions but he has ignored all of these good ideas in favor of keeping the printing presses going as we plunge our future generations further in debt. I am convinced if he does not change his liberal voting record that he will no longer be our senator in 2014.

I have written hundreds of letters and emails to President Obama and I must say that I have been impressed that he has had the White House staff answer so many of my letters. The White House answered concerning Social Security (two times), Green Technologies, welfare, small businesses, Obamacare (twice),  federal overspending, expanding unemployment benefits to 99 weeks,  gun control, national debt, abortion, jumpstarting the economy, and various other  issues.   However, his policies have not changed, and by the way the White House after answering over 50 of my letters before November of 2012 has not answered one since.   President Obama is committed to cutting nothing from the budget that I can tell.

 I have praised over and over and over the 66 House Republicans that voted no on that before. If they did not raise the debt ceiling then we would have a balanced budget instantly.  I agree that the Tea Party has made a difference and I have personally posted 49 posts on my blog on different Tea Party heroes of mine.

A.F. Branco for Oct 21, 2021

46 Republican Senators Vow Not to Help Democrats Raise the Debt Ceiling

All but four Republican senators have signed a pledge that they will not vote to raise the debt ceiling, sending another warning to Democrats that they are on their own on the pressing issue.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) circulated a letter during the chamber’s vote-a-rama on the $3.5 trillion budget resolution Wednesday, signing up a majority of his fellow Republicans in an effort to link the Democrats’ proposed spending package with the statutory debt limit imposed on the federal government by Congress, which covers spending that has already been approved and must be paid by the U.S. Treasury.

In the letter, which is addressed to “Our Fellow Americans,” the Republican signatories claim that Democrats are responsible for increased federal spending and so must be responsible for raising the debt limit. “We will not vote to increase the debt ceiling, whether that increase comes through a stand-alone bill, a continuing resolution, or any other vehicle,” the letter says. “Democrats, at any time, have the power through reconciliation to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling, and they should not be allowed to pretend otherwise.”

The Republicans who didn’t sign the letter are Sens. Susan Collins of Maine, John Kennedy of Louisiana, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Richard Shelby of Alabama.

Why now: A two-year suspension of the debt ceiling expired at the end of July, forcing the U.S. Treasury to begin taking “extraordinary measures” to keep paying its bills as it waits for Congress to either raise or suspend the limit before the country is forced to default. Democrats opted not to include an increase in the debt ceiling in their budget resolution, which would have made it possible to raise the limit without Republican support, though they still have the option of revising the resolution to include such a provision.

What Democrats say: Democrats point out that much of the increased debt in recent years was produced during former President Trump’s administration. “I cannot believe that Republicans would let the country default,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Wednesday. “It has always been bipartisan to deal with the debt ceiling. When Trump was president I believe the Democrats joined with him to raise it three times.”

President Biden told reporters Wednesday that trillions in debt were added “on the Republicans’ watch” but said he was confident that the GOP would act in time. “They are not going to let us default,” he said.

The bottom line: No one expects Congress to allow the U.S. to default, but it looks like we could be in for a high-stakes game of chicken in the coming weeks — and the markets are starting to notice. According to Reuters Wednesday, “Some U.S. Treasury bill yields are beginning to reflect concerns that lawmakers may wait until the last minute to increase or suspend the debt ceiling.”

Will you stand up against the Democrats in the future and make the Government ONLY SPEND WHAT IT BRINGS IN? We are becoming an entitlement society and we must stop this trend!!!!

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org cell 501-920-5733

PS: In 2010 we had a group of conservatives get elected in the House and many of them stood up to President Obama when he wanted to raise the debt limit and I praised these 66 heroes of mine on my blog in 2011 and Representative Andy Harris of Maryland was one of those. Here is what I wrote about him:


Sixty Six who resisted “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal (Part 37)

This post today is a part of a series I am doing on the 66 Republican Tea Party favorites that resisted eating the “Sugar-coated Satan Sandwich” Debt Deal. Actually that name did not originate from a representative who agrees with the Tea Party, but from a liberal.

Rep. Emanuel Clever (D-Mo.) called the newly agreed-upon bipartisan compromise deal to raise the  debt limit “a sugar-coated satan sandwich.”

“This deal is a sugar-coated satan sandwich. If you lift the bun, you will not like what you see,” Clever tweeted on August 1, 2011.

August 1, 2011

Rep. Harris Votes Against the Debt Ceiling “Deal” 

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Andy Harris voted against the debt ceiling increase. The plan did not require passage of a balanced budget amendment, which Rep. Harris feels is essential to bringing permanent common sense accountability to Washington.

“A balanced budget amendment is the only way to make sure the federal government spends what it takes in and lives within its means,” said Rep. Andy Harris.  “Over the past few weeks I have repeatedly voted for reasonable proposals to raise the debt ceiling that included passage of a balanced budget amendment. But I didn’t come to Washington to continue writing blank checks. Maryland’s families and job creators sent me to Congress to permanently change the way Washington does business.  I appreciate Speaker Boehner’s remarkable, historic efforts to craft a proposal to solve the debt ceiling issue.  But today’s debt ceiling deal just doesn’t go far enough to build an environment for job creation by requiring passage of a balanced budget amendment to bring permanent common sense accountability to Washington.”

Currently, the U.S. Government has a national debt of $14.3 trillion and runs an annual deficit of $1.65 trillion.

Andrew Peter Harris (born January 25, 1957) is an American politician and physician who has been the U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 1st congressional district since 2011. The district includes the entire Eastern Shore, as well as several eastern exurbs of Baltimore. He is currently the only Republicanmember of Maryland’s congressional delegation. Harris previously served in the Maryland Senate.

Andy Harris
Andy Harris 115th Congress (cropped).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland‘s 1st district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Frank Kratovil
Member of the Maryland Senate
In office
1999 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Vernon Boozer (9th)
Norman Stone (7th)
Succeeded by Robert Kittleman (9th)
J.B. Jennings (7th)
Constituency 9th district (1999–2003)
7th district (2003–2011)

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Dan Mitchell: “The bottom line is that budget deficits don’t necessarily lead to inflation. But if a government is untrustworthy, then it will have trouble issuing debt to private investors”

——

Milton Friedman – Deficits and Government Spending

——

The Federal Reserve and “Fiscal Dominance”

Appearing on Vance Ginn’s Let People Prosper, I discussed spending caps, entitlement reform, past fiscal victories, and potential future defeats.

For today, I want to highlight what I said about monetary policy.

The above segment is less than three minutes, and I tried to make two points.

First, as I’ve previously explained, the Federal Reserve goofed by dramatically expanding its balance sheet (i.e., buying Treasury bonds and thus creating new money) in 2020 and 2021. That’s what produced the big uptick in consumer prices last year.

And it’s now why the Fed is raising interest rates. Part of the boom-bust cycle that you get with bad monetary policy.

Second, I speculate on why we got bad monetary policy.

I’ve always assumed that the Fed goofs because it wants to stimulate the economy (based on Keynesian monetary theory).

But I’m increasingly open to the idea that the Fed may be engaging in bad monetary policy in order to prop up bad fiscal policy.

To be more specific, what if the central bank is buying government bonds because of concerns that there otherwise won’t be enough buyers (which is the main reason why there’s bad monetary policy in places such as Argentina and Venezuela).

In the academic literature, this is part of the discussion about “fiscal dominance.” As shown in this visual, fiscal dominance exists when central banks decide (or are forced) to create money to finance government spending.

The visual is from a report by Eric Leeper for the Mercatus Center. Here’s some of what he wrote.

…a critical implication of fiscal dominance: it is a threat to central bank success. In each example, the central bank was free to choose not to react to the fiscal disturbance—central banks are operationally independent of fiscal policy. But that choice comes at the cost of not pursuing a central bank legislated mandate: financial stability or inflation control. Central banks are not economically independent of fiscal policy, a fact that makes fiscal dominance a recurring threat to the mission of central banks and to macroeconomic outcomes. …why does fiscal dominance strike fear in the hearts of economists and financial markets? Perhaps it does so because we can all point to extreme examples where fiscal policy runs the show and monetary policy is subjugated to fiscal needs. Outcomes are not pleasant. Germany’s hyperinflation in the early 1920s may leap to mind first. …The point of creating independent central banks tasked with controlling inflation…was to take money creation out of the hands of elected officials who may be tempted to use it for political gain instead of social wellbeing.

A working paper from the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, authored by Fernando Martin, also discusses fiscal dominance.

In recent decades, central banks around the world have gained independence from fiscal and political institutions. The proposition is that a disciplined monetary policy can put an effective brake on the excesses of political expediency.This is frequently achieved by endowing central banks with clear and simple goals (e.g., an inflation mandate or target), as well as sufficient control over specific policy instruments… Despite these institutional advances, the resolve of central banks is chronically put to the test. … the possibility of fiscal dominance arises only when the fiscal authority sets the debt level.

The bottom line is that budget deficits don’t necessarily lead to inflation. But if a government is untrustworthy, then it will have trouble issuing debt to private investors.

And that’s when politicians will have incentives to use the central bank as a printing press.

P.S. Pay attention to Italy. The European Central Bank has been subsidizing its debt. That bad policy supposedly is coming to an end and things could get interesting.

——-

A.F. Branco for Oct 21, 2021

US Debt by President: By Dollar and Percentage

Who increased the U.S. debt the most? That depends on how you measure it.

US President Barack Obama (L) former President Bill Clinton (C) and former President George W. Bush (R) walk to the Rose Garden
PHOTO:MARK WILSON/STAFF/GETTY IMAGES

What’s the best way to determine how much each president has contributed to our nation’s $31 trillion in U.S. debt? The most popular ways to measure involve comparing the debt level from when a president enters office to the debt level when they leave. It’s also good to compare the debt as a percentage of economic output, which takes into account the size of the economy at the time the administration accumulated the debt.1

Drawback of Measuring Debt by President

Neither of the techniques mentioned above is a very accurate way to measure each president’s impact on the national debtbecause the president doesn’t have much control over the national debt during their first year in office.

For example, President Donald Trump took office in January 2017. He submitted his first budget in May. It covered the 2018 fiscal year, which didn’t begin until October 1, 2017. Trump operated the first part of his term under President Barack Obama’s budget for fiscal year 2017, which ended on Sept. 30, 2017.2

fusing, Congress intentionally sets it up this way. An advantage of the federal fiscal year is that it gives the new president time to put together their budget during their first months in office.

The Best Way to Measure Debt by President

The best way to measure a president’s debt is to add up their budget deficits and compare that total to the debt level when they took office. A president’s budget reveals their administration’s priorities.

Note

Though they sound similar, deficit and debt are two different things. A deficit is a budget shortfall, whereas debt is the running total of all deficits and surpluses. Deficits add to the debt, while surpluses reduce it.

Top 5 Presidents Who Contributed to the Debt by Percentage

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)

President Roosevelt added the largest percentage increase to the national debt. Although he only added $236 billion, this was an increase of about 1,048% from the $22.5 billion debt level left by President Herbert Hoover before him. The Great Depression and the New Deal contributed to FDR’s yearly deficits, but the biggest cost was World War II—it added $186.3 billion to the debt between 1942 and 1945.3

Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)

President Wilson was the second-largest contributor to the debt, percentage-wise. He added about $21 billion, which was a 723% increase over the $2.9 billion debt of his predecessor. World War I contributed to the deficits that raised the national debt.3

Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)

President Reagan increased the debt by $1.86 trillion, or by 186%. Reagan’s supply-side economics didn’t grow the economy enough to offset the lost revenue from its tax cuts. Reagan also increased the defense budget by 35%.4

George W. Bush (2001-2009)

President Bush added $5.85 trillion to the national debt. That’s a 101% increase, putting him in fourth. Bush launched the War on Terror in response to the 9/11 attacks, which led to multi-trillion-dollar spending on the War in Afghanistan and the War in Iraq. Bush also dealt with the 2001 recession and the 2008 financial crisis.5

Barack Obama (2009-2017)

Under President Obama, the national debt grew the most in dollar terms ($8.6 trillion) and was fifth by percentage at 74%. Obama fought the Great Recession with an $831 billion economic stimulus package and added $858 billion through tax cuts. Even though the fiscal year 2009 budget was set by President Bush, Obama added to it with the Economic Stimulus Act in 2009.657

US Debt Increase by President Per Fiscal Year

The U.S. Treasury Department has historical tables that report the annual U.S. debt for each fiscal year (FY) since 1790. We’ve compiled this data from that source to create the figures used below.81

Joe Biden

In January 2023, the nation hit the $31.4 trillion debt limit Congress passed in 2021.9Republican lawmakers control the House of Representatives and said they won’t raise the debt limit unless Democrats, who control the Senate, agree to budget cuts.

On Oct. 1, 2021, at the end of fiscal year 2021, the national debt was $28.4 trillion. Between the end of fiscal year 2020 and the end of fiscal year 2021, the national debt grew $1.5 trillion, a 5.6% increase year over year. For fiscal year 2022, President Joe Biden’s budget included a deficit of $1.84 trillion, and by August 2022, the national debt had grown to $30.8 trillion.110

When Biden took office, the economy and household finances were still reeling from the pandemic, and Biden continued his predecessor’s policy of spending heavily to keep households afloat. In March 2021, Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, which showered taxpayers with pandemic relief cash in the form of stimulus checks and extra unemployment payments, and temporarily expanded child tax credits, plus other help. It all came with a cost to future budgets: The bill would add $1.9 trillion to the national debt by 2031, the Congressional Budget Office estimated.11

The bipartisan infrastructure bill, signed by Biden in November 2021, which provided new funding for highways, railways, broadband Internet expansion and other projects, added to the debt too, with estimates on its 10-year impact ranging from $374 billion to $400 billion, depending on how it’s calculated.1213

Some of Biden’s actions cut the other way. In August 2022, Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, an anti-climate change bill that spent money on new green energy programs and tax credits as well as to make drugs cheaper for patients, and paid for it by raising taxes on corporations and the ultra-wealthy. The bill should reduce the national debt by $102 billion by 2031, the CBO estimated.14

Biden followed up this bill with an executive action that forgave up to $10,000 of federal student loan debt per borrower, and $20,000 for those who received Pell Grants. He also proposed a new, cheaper income-driven student loan repayment program for future borrowers. However, he also announced that student loan interest and required payments, both of which had been frozen since the pandemic hit, would resume in January 2023.15

In August 2022, the government did not have an official estimate for how these measures would impact the national debt. One piece of it—forgiving $10,000 of debt per student loan borrower—would cost $329.7 billion over 10 years, according to an estimate by the Wharton School of Business.16

Donald Trump

At the end of fiscal year 2020, the debt was $26.9 trillion. Trump added $6.7 trillion to the debt between fiscal year 2017 and fiscal year 2020, a 33.1% increase, largely due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and 2020 recession.

In his FY 2021 budget, Trump’s budget included a $966 billion deficit.17 However, the national debt actually grew by $1.5 trillion between October 1, 2020, and October 1, 2021.

  • FY 2021: $1.5 trillion
  • FY 2020: $4.2 trillion
  • FY 2019: $1.2 trillion
  • FY 2018: $1.3 trillion

Barack Obama

President Obama added about $8.6 trillion, about a 74% increase, to the national debt at the end of President Bush’s last budget in 2009.

  • FY 2017: $671 billion
  • FY 2016: $1.42 trillion
  • FY 2015: $326 billion
  • FY 2014: $1.09 trillion
  • FY 2013: $672 billion
  • FY 2012: $1.28 trillion
  • FY 2011: $1.23 trillion
  • FY 2010: $1.65 trillion
  • FY 2009: $253 billion (Congress passed the Economic Stimulus Act, which spent $253 billion)18

George W. Bush

President Bush added $5.85 trillion to the national debt, a 101% increase from the $5.8 trillion debt at the end of Clinton’s last budget for fiscal year 2001.

  • FY 2009: $1.63 trillion (this was Bush’s deficit without the impact of the Economic Stimulus Act)
  • FY 2008: $1.02 trillion
  • FY 2007: $501 billion
  • FY 2006: $574 billion
  • FY 2005: $553 billion
  • FY 2004: $596 billion
  • FY 2003: $555 billion
  • FY 2002: $421 billion

Bill Clinton

President Clinton increased the national debt by almost $1.4 trillion, almost a 32% increase from the $4.4 trillion debt at the end of President H.W. Bush’s last budget.54

  • FY 2001: $133 billion
  • FY 2000: $18 billion
  • FY 1999: $130 billion
  • FY 1998: $113 billion
  • FY 1997: $189 billion
  • FY 1996: $251 billion
  • FY 1995: $281 billion
  • FY 1994: $281 billion

George H.W. Bush

President H.W. Bush added $1.55 trillion to the debt, a 54% increase from the $2.857 trillion debt at the end of Reagan’s last budget.4

  • FY 1993: $347 billion
  • FY 1992: $399 billion
  • FY 1991: $432 billion
  • FY 1990: $376 billion

Ronald Reagan

President Regan added $1.86 trillion to the national debt, a 186% increase from the $997.8 billion debt at the end of Carter’s last budget.4

  • FY 1989: $255 billion
  • FY 1988: $252 billion
  • FY 1987: $225 billion
  • FY 1986: $302 billion
  • FY 1985: $251 billion
  • FY 1984: $195 billion
  • FY 1983: $235 billion
  • FY 1982: $145 billion

Jimmy Carter

President Carter added $299 billion to the debt, a 42.7% increase from the $698.8 billion debt at the end of Ford’s last budget.4

  • FY 1981: $90.1 billion
  • FY 1980: $81.1 billion
  • FY 1979: $54.9 billion
  • FY 1978: $72.7 billion

Gerald Ford

President Ford added $223.7 billion to the debt.4

  • FY 1977: $78.4 billion
  • FY 1976: $87.2 billion
  • FY 1975: $58.1 billion

Richard Nixon

President Nixon added $121.1 billion to the national debt, a 34% increase from the $353.7 billion debt at the end of President Johnson’s last budget.4

  • FY 1974: $16.9 billion
  • FY 1973: $30.8 billion
  • FY 1972: $29.1 billion
  • FY 1971: $27.2 billion
  • FY 1970: $17.1 billion

Lyndon B. Johnson

President Johnson added $41.8 billion to the national debt, just a small 13% increase from the $312 billion debt at the end of President Kennedy’s time in office in 1964.4

  • FY 1969: $6.1 billion
  • FY 1968: $21.3 billion
  • FY 1967: $6.3 billion
  • FY 1966: $2.6 billion
  • FY 1965: $5.5 billion

John F. Kennedy

President Kennedy added $22.6 billion to the national debt.4

  • FY 1964: $5.8 billion
  • FY 1963: $7.6 billion
  • FY 1962: $9.2 billion

Dwight Eisenhower

President Eisenhower added $22.8 billion to the national debt.4

  • FY 1961: $2.6 billion
  • FY 1960: $1.6 billion
  • FY 1959: $8.3 billion
  • FY 1958: $5.8 billion
  • FY 1957: $2.2 billion surplus
  • FY 1956: $1.6 billion surplus
  • FY 1955: $3.1 billion
  • FY 1954: $5.1 billion

Harry Truman

President Truman added $7.3 billion to the national debt.43

  • FY 1953: $6.9 billion
  • FY 1952: $3.8 billion
  • FY 1951: $2.1 billion surplus
  • FY 1950: $4.5 billion
  • FY 1949: $478 million surplus
  • FY 1948: $6 billion surplus
  • FY 1947: $11 billion surplus
  • FY 1946: $10.7 billion

Franklin D. Roosevelt

President Roosevelt increased the national debt by $236 billion, a 1,048% increase from the $22.5 billion debt at the end of Hoover’s last budget.3

  • FY 1945: $57.7 billion
  • FY 1944: $64.3 billion
  • FY 1943: $64.2 billion
  • FY 1942: $23.5 billion
  • FY 1941: $6 billion
  • FY 1940: $2.5 billion
  • FY 1939: $3.2 billion
  • FY 1938: $740 million
  • FY 1937: $2.6 billion
  • FY 1936: $5 billion
  • FY 1935: $1.6 billion
  • FY 1934: $4.5 billion

Herbert Hoover

President Hoover added about $5.7 billion to the national debt.3

  • FY 1933: $3 billion
  • FY 1932: $2.8 billion
  • FY 1931: $616 million
  • FY 1930: $746 million surplus

Calvin Coolidge

President Coolidge reduced the national debt by about $5.3 billion.3

  • FY 1929: $673 million surplus
  • FY 1928: $907 million surplus
  • FY 1927: $1.1 billion surplus
  • FY 1926: $873 million surplus
  • FY 1925: $734.6 million surplus
  • FY 1924: $1 billion surplus

Warren G. Harding

President Harding reduced the national debt by about $1.6 billion thanks to budget surpluses.3

  • FY 1923: $614 million surplus
  • FY 1922: $1 billion surplus

Woodrow Wilson

President Wilson added about $21 billion to the national debt, a 723% increase from the $2.9 billion debt at the end of Taft’s last budget for fiscal year 1913.3

  • FY 1921: $1.9 billion surplus
  • FY 1920: $1.4 billion surplus
  • FY 1919: $12.8 billion
  • FY 1918: $9.8 billion
  • FY 1917: $2.1 billion
  • FY 1916: $551 million
  • FY 1915: $146 million
  • FY 1914: $0 (slight surplus)

Note

All presidents from 1790 to 1913 added a total of $2.8 billion to the national debt.8

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which president has put the United States the most in debt?

President Joe Biden is on track to add the most to the budget deficit, largely due to the costs associated with continuing to battle the coronavirus pandemic. In late 2021, Congress voted to raise the debt ceiling.

Why does the United States owe so much debt?

Continued decreases in the amount of taxes paid by corporations and the wealthiest Americans have resulted in less money coming in. At the same time, spending on pandemic relief and the military continues to increase.

March 31, 2021

President Biden  c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

Please explain to me if you ever do plan to balance the budget while you are President? I have written these things below about you and I really do think that you don’t want to cut spending in order to balance the budget. It seems you ever are daring the Congress to stop you from spending more.

President Barack Obama speaks about the debt limit in the East Room of the White House in Washington. | AP Photo

“The credit of the United States ‘is not a bargaining chip,’ Obama said on 1-14-13. However, President Obama keeps getting our country’s credit rating downgraded as he raises the debt ceiling higher and higher!!!!

Washington Could Learn a Lot from a Drug Addict

Just spend more, don’t know how to cut!!! Really!!! That is not living in the real world is it?

Making more dependent on government is not the way to go!!

Why is our government in over 16 trillion dollars in debt? There are many reasons for this but the biggest reason is people say “Let’s spend someone else’s money to solve our problems.” Liberals like Max Brantley have talked this way for years. Brantley will say that conservatives are being harsh when they don’t want the government out encouraging people to be dependent on the government. The Obama adminstration has even promoted a plan for young people to follow like Julia the Moocher.  

David Ramsey demonstrates in his Arkansas Times Blog post of 1-14-13 that very point:

Arkansas Politics / Health Care Arkansas’s share of Medicaid expansion and the national debt

Posted by on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Baby carrot Arkansas Medicaid expansion image

Imagine standing a baby carrot up next to the 25-story Stephens building in Little Rock. That gives you a picture of the impact on the national debt that federal spending in Arkansas on Medicaid expansion would have, while here at home expansion would give coverage to more than 200,000 of our neediest citizens, create jobs, and save money for the state.

Here’s the thing: while more than a billion dollars a year in federal spending would represent a big-time stimulus for Arkansas, it’s not even a drop in the bucket when it comes to the national debt.

Currently, the national debt is around $16.4 trillion. In fiscal year 2015, the federal government would spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.2 billion to fund Medicaid expansion in Arkansas if we say yes. That’s about 1/13,700th of the debt.

It’s hard to get a handle on numbers that big, so to put that in perspective, let’s get back to the baby carrot. Imagine that the height of the Stephens building (365 feet) is the $16 trillion national debt. That $1.2 billion would be the length of a ladybug. Of course, we’re not just talking about one year if we expand. Between now and 2021, the federal government projects to contribute around $10 billion. The federal debt is projected to be around $25 trillion by then, so we’re talking about 1/2,500th of the debt. Compared to the Stephens building? That’s a baby carrot.

______________

Here is how it will all end if everyone feels they should be allowed to have their “baby carrot.”

How sad it is that liberals just don’t get this reality.

Here is what the Founding Fathers had to say about welfare. David Weinberger noted:

While living in Europe in the 1760s, Franklin observed: “in different countries … the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee (15 October 1747 – 5 January 1813) was a Scottish lawyer, writer, and professor. Tytler was also a historian, and he noted, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.”

Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Milligan

April 6, 1816

[Jefferson affirms that the main purpose of society is to enable human beings to keep the fruits of their labor. — TGW]

To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, “the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.” If the overgrown wealth of an individual be deemed dangerous to the State, the best corrective is the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree; and the better, as this enforces a law of nature, while extra taxation violates it.

[From Writings of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Albert E. Bergh (Washington: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), 14:466.]

_______

Jefferson pointed out that to take from the rich and give to the poor through government is just wrong. Franklin knew the poor would have a better path upward without government welfare coming their way. Milton Friedman’s negative income tax is the best method for doing that and by taking away all welfare programs and letting them go to the churches for charity.

_____________

_________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733

Williams with Sowell – Minimum Wage

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell – Reducing Black Unemployment

By WALTER WILLIAMS

—-

Ronald Reagan with Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman The Power of the Market 2-5

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Democrats Refuse to Deal as House Republicans Deliver a Pro-Growth Bill to Reduce Spending

A.F. Branco for Oct 21, 2021

It’s important to understand why House Republicans’ proposal on the debt ceiling would be an excellent step toward restoring fiscal sanity to the Washington swamp. Pictured: President Joe Biden presents a copy of his State of the Union speech Feb. 7 to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., before delivering the address to a joint session of Congress. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/Getty Images)

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., releasedtext April 19 of legislation dubbed the Limit, Save, Grow Act. The bill, a focus of internal negotiationsamong House Republicans, would provide an increase in the federal debt ceiling lasting into next spring in exchange for a package of reforms aimed at lowering future deficits and boosting economic growth.

This approach of pairing debt ceiling increases with fiscally responsible reforms has public support, but Washington has an uneven track record of doing the right thing. In recent years, Congress has tended to punt and allow huge increases to the federal debt limit without any meaningful reforms.

Kicking the can down the road is exactly what Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, R-N.Y., wants.

A “clean” debt limit increase such as Democrats seek would mean ignoring the stark reality of what America’s financial trajectory looks like:

McCarthy has criticized President Joe Biden for an unwillingness to negotiate a debt limit deal, which puts Biden to the left of former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, both fellow Democrats. Even House Democrats are concerned about Biden’s approach.

Although there is no telling how the debt standoff drama will play out, it’s important to understand why House Republicans’ proposal would be an excellent step toward restoring fiscal sanity to the Washington swamp.

In turn, deficit reduction also would  go a long way toward slowing the inflation that has punished hardworking families since the start of the Biden administration.

Bringing Spending Back to Earth, Repealing Unspent COVID-19 Cash

On the spending side, the most significant proposal in House Republicans’ Limit, Save, Grow Act is a reduction in discretionary spending, which covers most federal activity outside of major benefit programs.

The bill would reduce budget authority for fiscal year 2024 to the level of fiscal year 2022, then allow increases of 1% per year moving forward.

Although this might seem like a modest change—reverting to spending levels passed less than two years ago—it would lead to big savings.

That’s because Congress passed a bloated, pork-filled spending frenzy to cover fiscal year 2023, which began Oct. 1. Merely undoing the spending increases from that one-year period would save taxpayers $131.3 billion.

Holding spending growth to 1% per year, rather than the almost 9% growth in the last bill, would lead directly to even larger savings every year thereafter, as well as significantly reduced net interest costs.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this approach would save $3.2 trillion over a decade, or about $25,000 per household.

If Congress enacts a long-term discretionary spending limit, it’s vital for taxpayers to hold their representatives’ feet to the fire. The Budget Control Act of 2011 led to spending caps that saved hundreds of billions of dollars, but the caps eventually were undone in a series of bipartisan deals.

Americans must remember that members of Congress will not do the right thing with public funds unless they know that there will be consequences for irresponsibility. As the tea party movement waned, Washington’s big spenders went hog wild.

Another way the Republican savings package would address reckless spending is by rescinding leftover funds passed during the COVID-19 spending spree, saving tens of billions of dollars.

Ending Biden’s Student Loan Bailouts

The next-largest amount of savings in the Limit, Save, Grow Act, worth $460 billion, would target the Biden administration’s outrageous attempt to cancel student loan debt for those who haven’t felt like repaying what they owe.

This attempted power grab is politically corrupt, so unconstitutional that even then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in 2021 that it would be illegal. It’s an insult to both those who repaid their student debt and to the tens of millions of taxpayers who never took out student loans in the first place.

The House package also would end the loan repayment pause that began in March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden repeatedly has extended the pause, which  now will last through June 30 even though the administration belatedly ended the national emergency two weeks ago.

Trading ‘Green New Deal’ for Low-Cost American Energy

The Limit, Save, Grow Act includes two sections devoted to energy policy:

  • Repeal of a swath of hyper-expensive “green” energy and electric vehicle tax credits passed by Democrats last year.
  • The entirety of HR 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, which the House passed March 30. It primarily serves to enable more domestic energy production by reforming outdated and cumbersome regulations that impose massive costs for minimal environmental effects.

Although the two sections are not explicitly linked, they flow from the same stream of thought.

Rather than using a mix of taxes, subsidies, and regulations to micromanage the nation’s energy and transportation sectors—the approach of Biden and other progressives—House Republicans would empower Americans to produce and consume energy in ways that best suit them.

This one-two punch has many benefits. It would help prevent energy dependence on China (which controls much of the supply chain for many “green” products such as batteries and rare minerals), grow the economy through increased energy production and lower energy prices, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and reduce future deficits by hundreds of billions (or even trillions) of dollars.

These provisions would do more to combat inflation than anything Congress has done in decades.

Rescinding That Huge Funding Boost for IRS

The so-called Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 provided the Internal Revenue Service with almost $80 billion of supplemental funding through fiscal year 2031. These funds were in addition to the agency’s regular annual appropriations, which stood at $12.6 billion as of fiscal 2022.

The Limit, Save, Grow Act would rescind most of the unspent portion of the supplemental IRS funding, but would leave in place funding set aside for taxpayer services, business systems modernization (technology improvements), and agency oversight. The new House bill potentially would prevent IRS outlays of more than $45 billion on enforcement and nearly $25 billion on operations between fiscal 2024 and 2031.

The enforcement portion of the IRS funding was perhaps the most controversial element of the biggest tax-and-spend bill of 2022. Enforcement almost entirely consists of new audit examinations and collections.

Repeal of the extra IRS funding would save honest taxpayers in at least three ways, by: (1) reducing direct taxpayer funding to the IRS, (2) reducing the number of costly and time-consuming audits Americans face, and (3) lowering consumer prices by reducing company overhead, especially for small businesses that can ill afford to pay high-priced accountants and lawyers for tax and audit services.

On April 19, the IRS submitted a compendium of its strategic operating plan to the Senate Finance Committee, and that document shows that the IRS plans to amass an enormous enforcement apparatus, more than tripling its spending on enforcement from about $5.4 billion in 2022 to about $16.9 billion in 2031.

If IRS employees assigned to enforcement were to increase at the same rate as enforcement funding, that would allow the IRS to hire more than 76,000 more full-time employees in enforcement by 2031. If the IRS averaged 50 audits of households per year per new full-time employee in enforcement (less than one audit per week per new employee), that would mean 3.8 million additional audits in 2031 alone.

(Incidentally, fewer than 3.8 million American households reported adjusted gross income of greater than $400,000 as of 2020.)

The coming wave of new IRS audits would impose a huge cost on Americans, regardless of whether they themselves were selected for an audit. The $144.5 billion accounting industry would benefit, but everyday Americans would pay the price if labor and scarce resources were diverted from producing the goods and services they need and shifted to the IRS, accountants, and lawyers.

By constraining the IRS and freeing American workers and small businesses from excessive audits, the Limit, Save, Grow Act wouldn’t just save Americans money, it also would limit the expansion of government and grow the economy.

Work Requirements: Good for Welfare Recipients and Taxpayers

An aspect of the Limit, Save, Grow Act that is receiving outsize attention considering its budgetary impact is adding and strengthening work requirements for federal programs such as Medicaid and food stamps.

The estimated savings, in the neighborhood of $100 billion over a decade, are certainly helpful. However, what matters more is the beneficial effect that work requirements have in rescuing families from the trap of dependency on government.

Welfare reform made great strides in the 1990s by steering the able-bodied into the workforce, which in turn dramatically reduced poverty in single-parent households. Unfortunately, some of that progress has been lost in recent years, and millions of open jobs are available to adults who are languishing in the welfare system.

While the Left portrays work requirements as a harmful burden, keeping adults in the workforce actually has a variety of positive effects beyond improved household financials, including better mental and physical health. That means these reforms would be worth passing even if they didn’t reduce future deficits—which they do.

Protecting the Economy from Regulatory Strangulation

Although discussions about the federal budget typically focus on spending and taxes, Congress has another method to reduce long-term deficits: increasing economic growth by reducing burdensome regulations.

The Limit, Save, Grow Act contains the contents of the REINS (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny) Act, a measure that would force presidential administrations to receive approval from Congress before implementing major regulations.

This would prevent administrations from abusing executive authority and also make it more difficult for Washington to entangle businesses in additional layers of red tape. Such protections are badly needed due to the radical bend of the Biden administration, which has pushed statutes to a breaking point in pursuit of increasing its control over the economy.

While the REINS Act is only one of many necessary actions Congress should take regarding regulation, it would help bolster economic growth, which in turn would help the nation’s bottom line.

Conclusion: This Can’t Wait

The debate over the debt limit is likely to take center stage in the coming months. Hopefully, Democrats will put aside demagoguery long enough to participate in good faith negotiations.

In the meantime, House and Senate Republicans must stand their ground and make it clear to the public that tackling Washington’s unsustainable, inflationary spending can’t wait.

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.

March 31, 2021

President Biden  c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

Please explain to me if you ever do plan to balance the budget while you are President? I have written these things below about you and I really do think that you don’t want to cut spending in order to balance the budget. It seems you ever are daring the Congress to stop you from spending more.

President Barack Obama speaks about the debt limit in the East Room of the White House in Washington. | AP Photo

“The credit of the United States ‘is not a bargaining chip,’ Obama said on 1-14-13. However, President Obama keeps getting our country’s credit rating downgraded as he raises the debt ceiling higher and higher!!!!

Washington Could Learn a Lot from a Drug Addict

Just spend more, don’t know how to cut!!! Really!!! That is not living in the real world is it?

Making more dependent on government is not the way to go!!

Why is our government in over 16 trillion dollars in debt? There are many reasons for this but the biggest reason is people say “Let’s spend someone else’s money to solve our problems.” Liberals like Max Brantley have talked this way for years. Brantley will say that conservatives are being harsh when they don’t want the government out encouraging people to be dependent on the government. The Obama adminstration has even promoted a plan for young people to follow like Julia the Moocher.  

David Ramsey demonstrates in his Arkansas Times Blog post of 1-14-13 that very point:

Arkansas Politics / Health Care Arkansas’s share of Medicaid expansion and the national debt

Posted by on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Baby carrot Arkansas Medicaid expansion image

Imagine standing a baby carrot up next to the 25-story Stephens building in Little Rock. That gives you a picture of the impact on the national debt that federal spending in Arkansas on Medicaid expansion would have, while here at home expansion would give coverage to more than 200,000 of our neediest citizens, create jobs, and save money for the state.

Here’s the thing: while more than a billion dollars a year in federal spending would represent a big-time stimulus for Arkansas, it’s not even a drop in the bucket when it comes to the national debt.

Currently, the national debt is around $16.4 trillion. In fiscal year 2015, the federal government would spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.2 billion to fund Medicaid expansion in Arkansas if we say yes. That’s about 1/13,700th of the debt.

It’s hard to get a handle on numbers that big, so to put that in perspective, let’s get back to the baby carrot. Imagine that the height of the Stephens building (365 feet) is the $16 trillion national debt. That $1.2 billion would be the length of a ladybug. Of course, we’re not just talking about one year if we expand. Between now and 2021, the federal government projects to contribute around $10 billion. The federal debt is projected to be around $25 trillion by then, so we’re talking about 1/2,500th of the debt. Compared to the Stephens building? That’s a baby carrot.

______________

Here is how it will all end if everyone feels they should be allowed to have their “baby carrot.”

How sad it is that liberals just don’t get this reality.

Here is what the Founding Fathers had to say about welfare. David Weinberger noted:

While living in Europe in the 1760s, Franklin observed: “in different countries … the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee (15 October 1747 – 5 January 1813) was a Scottish lawyer, writer, and professor. Tytler was also a historian, and he noted, “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.”

Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Milligan

April 6, 1816

[Jefferson affirms that the main purpose of society is to enable human beings to keep the fruits of their labor. — TGW]

To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, “the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.” If the overgrown wealth of an individual be deemed dangerous to the State, the best corrective is the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree; and the better, as this enforces a law of nature, while extra taxation violates it.

[From Writings of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Albert E. Bergh (Washington: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), 14:466.]

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Jefferson pointed out that to take from the rich and give to the poor through government is just wrong. Franklin knew the poor would have a better path upward without government welfare coming their way. Milton Friedman’s negative income tax is the best method for doing that and by taking away all welfare programs and letting them go to the churches for charity.

_____________

_________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733

Williams with Sowell – Minimum Wage

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell – Reducing Black Unemployment

By WALTER WILLIAMS

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Ronald Reagan with Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman The Power of the Market 2-5

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Dan Mitchell article: Another European Fiscal Crisis?

Another European Fiscal Crisis?

Why did many European nations, most notablyGreece, suffer fiscal crises about a dozen years ago?

Because the burden of government spending, which already was excessive, increased even further.

And with taxes already very onerous in those countries, much of that new spending was financed with borrowing.

Investors then realized it was very risky to finance the various spending sprees. And when they stopped buying bonds from these governments (or started demanding higher interest rates to compensate for risk), that triggered the crises.

One would think that the nations most affected – Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain (the PIGS) – would have learned a lesson.

Nope.

As you can see from this IMF data, those governments did not use the post-crisis recovery as an opportunity to get debt under control. Instead, every nation has more debt today than it did when the crisis occurred.

And why do these nations have higher debt levels?

For the simple (and predictable) reason that they have not reduced the burden of government spending.

Instead, as you can see from this next chart, governments are now consuming even greater shares of national economic output. Which means a greater chance of more crises.

To make a bad situation even worse, the European Central Bank cranked up the figurative printing press starting in 2020 by massively expanding its balance sheet.

Dumping all that money into the system quite predictably caused prices to soar. And now that the ECB is belatedly trying to undo its mistake.

That puts the PIGS under more pressure, as Desmond Lachman explained for National Review.

Christine Lagarde, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB)…has to raise interest rates at a time when governments in the euro zone’s economic periphery are more indebted today than they were at the time of the 2010 euro zone sovereign-debt crisis. This more hawkish interest-rate policy, coupled with a shift to quantitative tightening, now risks triggering another round of the euro zone debt crisis.…One of the ECB’s problems in having to raise interest rates aggressively to contain inflation is that such a course risks exacerbating the cracks that are now emerging in the European banking system. …if current trends continue, then another round of euro zone sovereign-debt crisis, where investors lose faith in the government’s ability to repay its debt, could be just around the corner. …This is especially true for Italy, where until recently the ECB had been buying Italian government bonds equivalent to that government’s net borrowing needs.

By the way, Lachman seems to think the Fed should allow continued inflation in order to help bail out Italy and the other PIGS.

That would be a big mistake. The long-run damage of that approach would be much greater than the long-run damage (actually, long-run benefits) of letting Italy and the others go bankrupt.

P.S. The problem in Europe is too much government spendingnot the euro currency.

P.P.S. Eurobonds will make things worse in the long run.

P.P.P.S. It is possible to reduce large debt burdens, so long as governments simply restrain spending.

P.P.P.P.S. From the archives, here’s some comedy (and more comedy) about Europe’s fiscal mess.

Maybe Romney will focus on cutting spending now that Ryan is on board.

Is the American Electorate that Dumb?

Posted by Roger Pilon

Today POLITICO Arena asks:

Can Ryan boost Romney’s poll numbers?

My response:

Ryan is the shot in the arm that Romney needed. If last night’s “60 Minutes” interview of the two is any indication, Romney is finally focused on the big issues. It’s rare that a vice-presidential pick adds much to a ticket, but this case may be the exception. So, yes, Ryan can boost Romney’s poll numbers. Just look at the weekend crowds.

Ryan put it simply: The country’s going broke. You’d never know that from listening to the Democratic response to the pick. For that side, it’s all about what the Romney-Ryan team will take away from seniors, women, students, and the middle class — as if all of that ”stuff” were free from government. They’re counting on seniors being too senile, women being too emotional, young people being too uneducated, and the middle-class being too focused on their mortgages to understand the situation we’re in, where we borrow 40 percent of what we spend and add trillions to the national debt every year. The Ryan budget won’t push Granny over the cliff. The Obama team’s head-in-the-sand will.

And it isn’t as if the Obama team doesn’t know exactly what they’re doing. In Obama’s latest ad, run last night during the Olympics closing ceremonies, he himself states plainly that the nation faces two fundamentally different visions of where we’re going. But he talks only about government benefits, not about costs — the “Life of Julia” nonsense. It’s a cynical view of the American public — a view that this election, more than any in recent memory, will put to the test.