Veronique de Rugy

Veronique de Rugy

  • Senior Research Fellow

Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Her primary research interests include the US economy, the federal budget, homeland security, taxation, tax competition, and financial privacy. Her popular weekly charts, published by the Mercatus Center, address economic issues ranging from lessons on creating sustainable economic growth to the implications of government tax and fiscal policies. She has testified numerous times in front of Congress on the effects of fiscal stimulus, debt and deficits, and regulation on the economy.

De Rugy writes regular columns for Reason magazine and the Washington Examiner, and she blogs about economics at National Review Online’s the Corner. Her charts, articles, and commentary have been featured in a wide range of media outlets, including the Reality Check segment on Bloomberg Television’s Street Smart, the New York Times Room for Debate, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, CNN International, Stossel, 20/20, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, and Fox News.

Previously, de Rugy has been a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute, and a research fellow at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. Before moving to the United States, she oversaw academic programs in France for the Institute for Humane Studies Europe.

She received her MA in economics from the Paris Dauphine University and her PhD in economics from the Pantheon-Sorbonne University.

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Published Research

Robert J. Barro , Veronique de Rugy | May 07, 2013
While the impact of across-the-board federal defense-spending cuts on national security may be up for debate, claims of these cuts’ dire impact on the economy and jobs are grossly overblown.
Veronique de Rugy, Alberto Alesina | Mar 07, 2013
There is still significant debate about the short-term economic impact of fiscal adjustments. However, as we will show in this paper, important lessons have emerged.
Veronique de Rugy, Jason J. Fichtner | Apr 28, 2011
This paper takes a detailed look at the facts behind raising the debt ceiling.
Antony Davies, Veronique de Rugy | Oct 01, 2009
Recent studies have shown preliminary evidence of a tendency for outgoing administrations to generate a flurry of last-minute regulatory activity. This so-called Cinderella effect is described as…

Working Papers

Veronique de Rugy, Matthew Mitchell | Sep 12, 2011
Four years into the deepest recession since World War II, the U.S. economy expanded at a rate of only 0.7 percent in the first half of 2011. This means that the economy is growing at a slower pace than the population and that capita output continues to fall. In response, the president has announced a plan for yet more deficit-financed stimulus spending.
Veronique de Rugy | Aug 04, 2011
This paper takes a look at the nature and size of supplemental appropriations bills and the abuse of emergency spending.
Veronique de Rugy | Sep 16, 2010
With the unemployment rate in the United States lingering just below 10 percent and elections approaching rapidly, job creation has become Washington’s top priority. Arguing that small businesses…
Veronique de Rugy | Jun 15, 2010
For every attempt to cap government spending by regulation or statute, lawmakers seem to find new and creative accounting techniques that allow them to continue spending recklessly. In fact, there is…

Charts

Veronique de Rugy | Apr 15, 2014
This week’s charts use data from the Congressional Budget Office and Internal Revenue Service to display average estimated federal tax burdens in 2010 and EITC trends from 1975 to 2010. The data show that, contrary to popular belief, federal tax burdens are quite low—and sometimes negative—for the lowest quintiles of the income distribution. Trends in EITC spending and beneficiaries over the past four decades shed more light on the program’s growing prominence.
Veronique de Rugy | Apr 15, 2014
This week’s chart uses data from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center to update a chart on average effective federal rates. The chart compares the average effective rate at which earners in different income quintiles are taxed by the federal government using newly available numbers for 2011.
Veronique de Rugy | Apr 15, 2014
Income equality and social mobility are important issues for many Americans. While many have been pessimistic about income distribution trends in recent years, arguing that the rich have gotten richer while low- and middle-incomes have been stagnating, the data reveal a more nuanced story.
Veronique de Rugy | Apr 01, 2014
This week’s charts use data from the 2013 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Tax Database to update a previous chart on corporate income tax rates among OECD countries. The data show that the United States still leads the world in high corporate income tax rates.
Veronique de Rugy | Apr 01, 2014
The large numbers that spill across Ex-Im balance sheets concern all US taxpayers. Although names like JP Morgan and TD Bank are listed on these records, taxpayers are ultimately responsible for these liabilities. The US government should not exploit taxpayers’ credit to funnel risk-protected assets to large private corporations. It is past time to put this cash cow for cronies out to pasture.
Veronique de Rugy | Mar 25, 2014
Occupational licensing stifles competition and raises prices while limiting options for consumers. More important, it hurts low-income Americans who are most in need of gainful employment. It is time for states to end these regressive practices.
Veronique de Rugy | Mar 10, 2014
The first chart compares the differences in debt projections between the FY 2015 budget and the CBO’s Budget and Economic Outlook for 2014 through 2024. While the president’s budget calls for higher debt levels as a percentage of GDP from 2013 to 2017 when compared to CBO current law numbers, the president’s budget plan projects that debt will drop below current trajectories by 2018.
Veronique de Rugy | Mar 04, 2014
The incentives to use political connections for personal gain grow as the power of government grows. Donating to political campaigns is one way that private interests try to win alliances of government authorities. Over the past 25 years, several of the top political contributors have sought political privilege largely under the radar, with some surprising names appearing among the top 25.

Policy Briefs

Veronique de Rugy, Adam Thierer | Oct 11, 2011
This paper considers the economic implications of an internet sales tax and its effect on trade and competition between states.
Veronique de Rugy, Jason J. Fichtner | May 26, 2011
While the United States should not default on its debt, neither should Congress raise the debt ceiling without addressing the problem that created the debt: excessive spending.
Veronique de Rugy, Jason J. Fichtner | Jan 24, 2011
Lawmakers will consider different options for Social Security reform in the coming year; do they have all the necessary facts to do this? This Mercatus on Policy highlights the key points they need to know.
Veronique de Rugy, Jakina R. Debnam | Jul 14, 2010
In response to the financial crisis, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act(ARRA) in February 2009, which totaled $789 billion in government spending. President Obama reassured…

Testimony & Comments

Veronique de Rugy | Dec 04, 2013
Despite Washington’s recent focus on the disastrous Affordable Care Act website rollout, policymakers are missing what the rollout glitches symbolize: the fundamental flaws that imbue government intervention. The work of public choice economists such as Nobel laureate James Buchanan, Gordon Tullock, Mancur Olson, and William Niskanen has shown that, despite good intentions and lavish use of taxpayer resources, government solutions are not only unlikely to solve most of our problems—they often make problems worse.
Veronique de Rugy | May 22, 2013
Good morning, Chairman Murray, Ranking Member Sessions, and members of the committee. Thank you for the chance to discuss the effect of tax increases and spending cuts on economic growth. I appreciate the opportunity to testify today.
Veronique de Rugy | Jul 18, 2012
The Department of Energy’s loan guarantee programs have been the focus of much public attention since energy companies Solyndra, Beacon Power, and Abound went bankrupt, leaving taxpayers to shoulder hundreds of mil- lions of dollars in loan guarantees. The evidence strongly suggests that these programs fall short of their stated goals of developing clean energy and creating jobs.
Veronique de Rugy | Jun 19, 2012
For obvious reasons, more than any other recent events, the waste of taxpayers’ money due to Solyndra’s failure has attracted much attention. However, the problems with loan guarantees are much more fundamental than the cost of one or more failed projects.

Research Summaries & Toolkits

Jason J. Fichtner, Veronique de Rugy | Dec 03, 2013
Some in Washington claim the federal spending and deficit problem is solved. While the deficit has been cut in half (from a record-high of $1.4 trillion in FY09 to $680 billion in FY13), this reduction can be attributed to several singular events, such as the end of the payroll tax “holiday” and higher receipts from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Over the longer term, deficits and debt are projected to continue increasing.
Veronique de Rugy, Jason J. Fichtner | Oct 10, 2013
As federal government borrowing is set to exceed yet another debt limit, most are quick to recall—and wish to avoid a repeat of—the 2011 debt-limit showdown. If current rhetoric is any indication, it appears many of the last debate’s lessons have been forgotten. Regrettably, it seems many of the debate’s facts have been forgotten as well.
Jason J. Fichtner, Jacob Feldman, Jeremy Horpedahl, Brandon Pizzola, Bruce Yandle, Veronique de Rugy | Jul 15, 2013
The most basic goal of tax policy is to raise enough revenue to meet the government’s spending requirements, preferably with minimal impact on market behavior. The US tax code has long failed to achieve this goal; by severely distorting market decisions and the allocation of resources, it impedes both potential economic growth and potential tax revenue. The nation’s persistently sluggish economic growth and dire long-term fiscal outlook have increased the urgency to reform the federal revenue system. But what does successful, sustainable tax reform look like? What are its key elements? And what would it achieve?
Veronique de Rugy, Jason J. Fichtner, Charles Blahous, Matthew Mitchell | Mar 15, 2013
Despite years without a federal budget, trillion-dollar deficits, and ad hoc, crisis-driven fiscal and economic policies that failed to deal with the looming entitlement crisis, leaders on both sides in Washington are now touting seemingly miraculous progress toward a “fix” to our budgetary woes.

Data Sets

Expert Commentary

Apr 16, 2014

What's the point of the Department of Commerce? If not for the Census and the Patent Office, the department would function as little more than a one-stop shop for special interests. Don't believe me? Look at its record.
Apr 11, 2014

States should be wary of the impact the expansion will have on their state budgets when the expansion is perceived as permanent, but the federal aid turns out to be temporary.
Apr 01, 2014

While commentators remain captivated by the bleak saga of such Eurozone basket cases as Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy, another European Union member is quietly slipping into economic despair. After years of fiscal mismanagement, France is in a bad, bad place.
Apr 01, 2014

Many congressional debates over how to improve the economy have centered on whether increased government spending will help create jobs. But in recent months the jobs debate is shifting toward something that could actually help: regulatory reform.
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