Taxes, the Deficit and the Size of Government

Good afternoon. I am John Berthoud, President of the National Taxpayers' Union. I'm very pleased that you could all join us today. This is the second in a series of four sessions being hosted by NTU and Heritage and Citizens Against Government Waste.

The Shipping News

In a recent interview, Nobel Prize-winning economist James Buchanan lamented the incentive structure in academia, which tends to reward those who find exceptions to accepted economic principles. By contrast, those who restate them — however opaquely, in the academic fashion — find themselves somewhere down the list of desirable tenure candidates.

Social Security still in trouble

A new report by Congress' official budget shop, the Congressional Budget Office, sent the Social Security universe into a tizzy. The CBO report says Social Security's long-term debt is slightly smaller than the $10.4 trillion price tag estimated by Social Security's trustees back in March.

Bush Savings Incentives

In the 2004 Budget, President Bush proposed to simplify and expand saving incentives. Instead of choosing from among a bewildering array of narrowly focused accounts, individuals would be able to save much larger amounts in a Lifetime Savings Account usable for any purpose and a Retirement Savings Account designed for retirement. His proposals will stimulate broader debates over tax reform and Social Security reform.

Reagan's Economic Triumph

Ronald Reagan's economic achievements were among the most important of his presidency. When he took office in January 1981 the American economy was suffering from many ills, including slow growth, high inflation, rising unemployment, and unprecedented interest rates.

Social Security & Medicare Forecast: 2004

The 2004 annual reports for Social Security and Medicare examine the short- and long-term health of these programs, and highlight the financial burdens they will create for future generations. If not reformed in a timely and responsible way, Social Security and Medicare will consume an ever-increasing portion of workers' incomes or the government must break its promises to future retirees.