Posts filed under “Taxes and Policy”
In the middle of the last century the U.S. started building the Interstate Highway System. It’s now named after President Dwight Eisenhower, who shepherded its passage through Congress in 1956. Connecting the far-flung corners of this large nation, this 47,714 mile network allows commerce to flow freely. The cost of construction, adjusted for inflation, was more than $400 billion. By any imaginable measure, it was a wild success, and soon became the envy of the world.
The construction and maintenance was paid for mainly through levies on sales of vehicles, tires and related goods, and a federal gasoline tax that generates about $28 billion a year for the Highway Trust Fund.
The assumption was that the system’s maintenance and improvements would be paid for by users: Those who drove on the roads and highways. The fairest way to assess that was through a gasoline tax. Drive more or bigger vehicles, you pay more. Seems rather logical.
Fast-forward a half-century.
Reassessing the Effects of Extending Unemployment Insurance Benefits Pedro S. Amaral and Jessica Ice To deal with the high level of unemployment during the Great Recession, lawmakers extended the availability of unemployment benefits—all the way to 99 weeks in the states where unemployment was highest. A recent study has found that the extensions served to…Read More
Quantitative easing over. It is a good occasion to consider what we know about central bank intervention, when it is appropriate and when it isn’t. We have a century of broad and deep central bank history and data upon which to make our assessment. Yet we seem to ignore much of what has been learned…Read More