This chart uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment Tables to show the number of jobs gained during each presidential tenure since 1945. The chart shows the historical record of how presidents rank against each other by number of jobs gained and the unemployment rate.
The largest claimed benefit of energy-efficiency regulations is based on the agencies' presumption that consumers and firms make irrational purchasing decisions and therefore gain when regulations restrict their choices.
One of the things holding productivity back and, along with it, compensation, is rent-seeking. When governments dispense privileges to particular firms, entrepreneurs spend their time asking politicians for those privileges instead of devising new ways to create value for customers. Economists call this activity rent-seeking, and research suggests that it depresses productivity growth.
Compare the size of the tax revenue increase to the total amount of spending, and you will see where the problem lies. Even if the president manages to collect an additional $967 billion by letting some of the Bush-Era tax cuts expire, Washington still has a spending problem.
While the bailouts of hundreds of firms in 2008 are, for many, the most prominent example of cronyism in modern American history, they are only the tip of the iceberg. Bailouts are but one example in a long list of privileges that governments give to particular businesses and industries.
Four out of every five dollars in the currently debated bill—roughly $80 billion per year—will be spent on groceries bought with food stamps for one in every seven Americans. An estimated 45 million Americans received food stamps in 2011 at a cost of $78 billion. That’s a two-fold increase from just five years ago, when 26 million people received benefits at a cost of $33 billion.
Nearly 90 percent of the 1705 loans guaranteed by the federal government since 2009 went to subsidize lower-risk power plants, which in many cases were backed by big companies with vast resources. It’s hard to imagine that these big companies wouldn’t have access to capital if the project were in such high demand.
The farm bill comes up for renewal every five years, and its specific provisions determine whether major farm programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will continue. As Congress considers reauthorization of the farm bill this year, it is important to put the history of farm bill spending in proper context.
The nation's economy at mid-year is operating like a three-lane expressway with one lane closed. GDP growth is breaking 2.0% when it should be 3.0%. But worse than that, the cars moving in the two open lanes are running on borrowed fuel that will someday have to be paid back.
The Mercatus Center’s clear-headed research is shaping the conversation on government spending, fiscal austerity, and financial market regulation. Come hear what the former New Zealand cabinet minister would do in this country to promote economic growth and fiscal responsibility.