Stephen Moore from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Wed, 21 Aug 2019 04:07:44 -0700 Stephen Moore from Creators Syndicate 743eb81dee5d44b69d11e9739ac78b27 Why Trump Should Stop the Reregulation of Freight Rail for 08/20/2019 Tue, 20 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Recently, two major railroad operators, CSX and Union Pacific, reported a significant drop in earnings, in part due to declining rail shipments. This was partially due to the impact of ongoing trade disputes. While we generally support a better trade relationship with China (hopefully with fewer tariffs and nontariff barriers), we need to see strong freight rail traffic if the economic expansion is going to roll on.</p> <p>Legendary investor Warren Buffet once said that if he were stuck on a desert island and could only be given one number to know how the economy was doing, he would pick rail car traffic. <p>Updated: Tue Aug 20, 2019</p> 50eed00f4ba2f0a99f376a0642bebc07 Sending an SOS to the Federal Reserve for 08/13/2019 Tue, 13 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>To keep the economy from a further growth slowdown, the Fed must inject more dollar liquidity into the global economy &#8212; immediately. </p> <p>The next Fed rate cut cannot wait until September. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell should call an emergency meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee and cut rates in the next few days. Waiting another month will only prolong economic uncertainty. We need the Fed for once to be proactive. <p>Updated: Tue Aug 13, 2019</p> 8a663d7af9fa71406b668901d1924ef3 Why the Fed Shouldn't Compete With Private Banks for 08/06/2019 Tue, 06 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Do we want the U.S. Federal Reserve Board to operate as a commercial bank &#8212; and compete with our private banking system? The Fed apparently wants to, and it's a policy shift that could greatly expand the mission of the Fed.</p> <p>Last week, while most of the world's Fed watchers were focused on interest rate changes, another key Federal Reserve decision was buried in that news cycle: The Fed is moving in on the real-time payments business. This is the business of speeding up financial transactions between people and financial institutions.<p>Updated: Tue Aug 06, 2019</p> 891943d8da68aeac2b36d527dcaf3a24 Why the Fed Is Right to Inject the Economy With More Dollars for 07/30/2019 Tue, 30 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Suddenly, nearly everyone wants the Federal Reserve Board to cut interest rates. I've been arguing for this for nine months, so it's nice to see the economic intelligentsia is finally persuaded. The Fed has become a restraint on growth since last August thanks to ill-advised interest rate increases (and promises to raise rates more in 2019), which slowly squeezed out of the economy dollar liquidity and tanked the stock market. </p> <p>Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is finally signaling a rate cut by 0.25 of a percentage point next week. This almost certainly will be accompanied by a reduction in the interest rate the Fed pays banks on reserves. That policy has reduced bank lending and shrunk the money pool as well. The stock market has reacted bullishly in anticipation of this decision to inject the economy with more dollars. <span class="column--highlighted-text">The Fed's primary job should be price stability with minimal inflation, but for many months now, inflation has fallen below its standard target.</span> <p>Updated: Tue Jul 30, 2019</p> a2cdbeae1dabd46bdff32eff3e734347 'Who's Afraid of Cryptocurrencies?' for 07/23/2019 Tue, 23 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Finally, we seem to have a bipartisan consensus in Washington. Both parties are terrified of new private money, and they want to regulate it out of existence. The near universal fear and loathing by government officials of these so-called cryptocurrencies is all the more reason they should exist. </p> <p>A cryptocurrency is a privately sponsored and operated form of money that is not supplied by government. Bitcoin has already been traded for years, but the new leading horse is the multibillion-dollar Libra, which Facebook is creating. <p>Updated: Tue Jul 23, 2019</p> 4073a442d72bf52fd2190e6e67ba1fb9 Trump Moves to Lessen the Pain of Capital Gains Taxes for 07/16/2019 Tue, 16 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It's official. President Donald Trump wants to index capital gains taxes for inflation. This would be a big stimulus boost for the U.S. economy immediately and over time and could get us back to 3% to 4% growth by liberating potentially hundreds of billions of dollars for new capital investment. My sources tell me that the president has told his White House team that if he can get his legal counsel to give him a ruling that he has the right to make this change administratively, he will do exactly that.</p> <p>I'm not a lawyer, so I won't weigh in on whether the White House has the authority to define what constitutes a capital "gain" on a stock or a property. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Traditionally, a gain has been defined as the difference between the price that an asset has been bought at and the price it is sold at. The issue is whether these gains should be adjusted for the inflation rate over the time period the asset was owned.</span> In other words, whether the gain should be defined as the change in the cost of living over the period.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 23, 2019</p> 0de7d300f87aec36f26c75e64cd46501 Busing, No; School Choice, Yes for 07/09/2019 Tue, 09 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In the first Democratic presidential debates, Sen. Kamala Harris of California defended forced busing back in the 1970s as a civil rights triumph and criticized former Vice President Joe Biden for racial insensitivity for once opposing the policy.</p> <p>We all want great schools for children of all racial groups and all income levels. But those of us who lived through this era know the reality of forced busing was quite different from the depiction of a civil rights triumph that Harris now says it was.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 09, 2019</p> dacbc4fb5531b22186ddb06e720798da 'It's the Spending, Stupid!' for 07/02/2019 Tue, 02 Jul 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The Congressional Budget Office has just released its mid-year update on the federal fiscal situation, and it portends a debt avalanche. But don't bother to tell Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren that. They're busy advocating tens of trillions of dollars in new federal spending.</p> <p>The new report shows that budget deficits are expected to remain in the $1 trillion territory for years to come. It appears that 13-digit deficits are the new normal in Washington, as spending inexorably keeps rising by hundreds of billions of dollars a year.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 02, 2019</p> d88e5544c57034a8f16e0949cdcca176 Blurring the Expense of Medical Care for 06/25/2019 Tue, 25 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Several years ago, I had a shoulder injury, and the doctor told me I might need surgery to fix the small tear in my rotator cuff. So, I asked, "Doctor, if I have this surgery, about how much will it cost?"</p> <p>He looked at me confusedly and said, "Steve, I've been doing these surgeries for 20 years, and you are the first patient to ever ask me what it costs!"<p>Updated: Tue Jun 25, 2019</p> 95614ae225a7828ce470a9e620d82a37 Without Mining There Is No 'Green Revolution' for 06/18/2019 Tue, 18 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The recent threats by Beijing to cut off American access to critical mineral imports have many Americans wondering why our politicians have allowed the United States to become so overly dependent on China for these valued resources in the first place.</p> <p>Today, the United States is 90% dependent on China and Russia for many vital "rare earth minerals."</p> <p>The main reason for our overreliance on nations such as China for these minerals is not that we are running out of these resources here at home. The National Mining Association estimates that we have at least $5 trillion of recoverable mineral resources.<p>Updated: Tue Jun 18, 2019</p> 3190378fff9a98016831b0f9a9561a5a Tortured Logic at the Federal Reserve for 06/11/2019 Tue, 11 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I've been shouting from the rooftops for six months that the Federal Reserve is too tight on money and that this lack of dollar liquidity has cut into growth. So it is somewhat vindicating that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell seems to be finally coming around to that idea. The betting markets are now predicting at least one rate cut this year &#8212; and perhaps two.</p> <p>Here's the problem: Once again, the Fed board has stumbled upon the right conclusion for the wrong reason. Its rhetoric and tortured logic confuse everyone.<p>Updated: Tue Jun 11, 2019</p> badbdb9f6069430e5813d96fdf55e0ac Are Men Becoming Economically Expendable? for 06/04/2019 Tue, 04 Jun 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Almost all of the economic discussion of late has been on the "wage gap" between men and women. A case in point: California Sen. Kamala Harris wants to create a federal bureaucracy that will ensure the government has more influence over workers' pay than workers and employers themselves. This will open up a Pandora's box for trial lawyers as employers find themselves deluged with lawsuits over pay "gaps" real and imagined.</p> <p>Men and women should be paid equally for equal work, and this is already mandated by law. Most of the current gender gap in pay (roughly estimated at 80 to 90 cents of earnings for women for every dollar men earn) is attributable to the different kinds of jobs men and women do and the generally lower lifetime hours in the workforce between men and women. In any case, the good news is that this gender wage gap has been narrowing for almost half a century, as women have raised their skill levels and education.<p>Updated: Tue Jun 04, 2019</p> 344adc1e8a6e0886ca6dedbfb2f0a7cf The Fed Hurts Farmers More Than China Does for 05/28/2019 Tue, 28 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>There's no question that many farmers are struggling this year with incomes down and bankruptcies up. Though some of the more dire reports on the farm sector recorded in the media are exaggerated, what is indisputable is that prices for major commodities such as corn are on a downward trend and are significantly lower than they were less than a decade ago, when prices were at or near record highs.</p> <p>It's natural to blame any declines in the farm economy on the tariff war with China. The trade dispute has certainly hurt the farm sector as the higher Chinese tariffs on American agriculture has reduced demand for their crops &#8212; especially the Farm Belt states of the Midwest. Even President Donald Trump himself has admitted that the trade war has hurt farmers, which is why he wants to send some of the money raised by his tariffs to the farmers directly.<p>Updated: Tue May 28, 2019</p> f91b2fb085d0feb47b86fc81b10207ee How to Modernize Immigration Laws for 05/21/2019 Tue, 21 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>When I used to talk to candidate Donald Trump about immigration, I would tell him, Make sure your "big, beautiful wall" has plenty of gates for people to come here legally. President Trump's new immigration initiative would achieve both goals &#8212; border security and a new system to admit the immigrants America needs most.</p> <p>We've only waited some 50 years for this moment to have a national debate about how to modernize our immigration laws. Elvis was at the top of the charts back in 1965 when we passed the last overhaul, and if we don't fix things, we will be governed by an antiquated 20th-century immigration system to deal with our labor needs and economic priorities through the middle of the 21st century.<p>Updated: Tue May 21, 2019</p> 004fce5e3ae0dd77bdea7e177dc2b509 Ohio the Comeback State for 05/14/2019 Tue, 14 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I recently took some flak from Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown for saying in a speech at the Heartland Institute several years ago that the "only place to live in the midwest is Chicago." He was particularly upset that I took a tongue-in-cheek swipe at Cleveland and Cincinnati as "armpits." This was supposedly evidence that I hate Ohio.</p> <p>In truth, I was acting like a homer when I said all this. I was raised in Chicagoland and practically grew up in Wrigley Field. Back then, the Cinncinnati Reds were fierce rivals.<p>Updated: Tue May 14, 2019</p> 0e13700c581a35615eeb63ad376910b0 Let the Sunshine in at the Federal Reserve for 05/07/2019 Tue, 07 May 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>I'm disappointed I had to withdraw from the nomination to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board because I do believe the Fed needs to change the way it operates. In the last month, I started investigating how it makes its decisions, which have such a dramatic impact on jobs, wages, interest rates and the overall well-being of the country. How does the Fed make its monetary policy decisions on setting interest rates, buying bonds and regulating our financial institutions?</p> <p>What I have discovered is that this powerful agency of government truly does operate under a stone wall of secrecy. Meetings are held behind closed doors; statements are carefully crafted to reveal little in the way of what monetary authorities actually think; and the day-to-day activities are shielded from audit.<p>Updated: Tue May 07, 2019</p> 08d92a95809c332a372a20873d90fe4a The Carbon Tax Fantasy for 04/30/2019 Tue, 30 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Every time a reporter asks me if I would support a carbon tax, I always say that I might if it led to a dollar-for-dollar reduction in income or payroll tax rates. And the new energy tax would have to replace onerous greenhouse gas regulations. And every time I say this, the next day a headline reads, "Steve Moore Is for a Carbon Tax."</p> <p>E&E News did it again two weeks ago, writing Stephen Moore says, "yes to carbon tax."<p>Updated: Tue Apr 30, 2019</p> 7641e54c3f3d2dbc17b55bda7dfe530d The Immigrants We Need Most for 04/23/2019 Tue, 23 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Of all America's immigrant visa programs, arguably the most successful for the U.S. economy has been the H-1B program. This program admits highly skilled foreign workers who fill vital employment niches to make our Made in America businesses more successful in international markets. Larry Kudlow, the director of President Donald Trump's National Economic Council, calls these immigrants the "brainiacs."</p> <p>In many ways, he is right. America's high-tech companies use tens of thousands of these visas each year. The workers come for usually about six years, and those that are successful here apply for permanent residence when the visa expires.<p>Updated: Tue Apr 23, 2019</p> 9f97b8028bea8a9a953dd061f43877c3 Is America Running Out of Workers? for 04/16/2019 Tue, 16 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>If you want one number that encapsulates the enormity of the economic turnaround under President Donald Trump, it is this: In America, as of the end of February, there were 7.1 million unfilled jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This number is larger than the entire population of the state of Indiana. That is how powerful and relentless the hiring spree has been under Trump policies.</p> <p>Today, there are just over 6 million Americans who are "unemployed." This means that even if every person in America looking for a job took a job (and had the skills to fill them), we would still have more than 1 million jobs that would not be filled. That's the University of Michigan football stadium filled 10 times. That's a lot of jobs.<p>Updated: Tue Apr 16, 2019</p> 98a822f882f8f8ef640973f9e84722aa How to Prevent the Next Financial Crisis for 04/09/2019 Tue, 09 Apr 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What caused the financial crisis and Great Recession? A decade later, economists still don't have a good answer. Of course, the financial bubble in the housing market was the proximate cause, but this begs the question of what inflated the bubble that burst in the first place.</p> <p>This isn't just an academic exercise for the history books. It's critical that we never repeat the mistakes that liquidated more than $7 trillion of wealth and sent unemployment rates to their highest levels in three decades.<p>Updated: Tue Apr 09, 2019</p>