Back in March, I shared a remarkable study from the International Monetary Fund which explained that spending caps are the only truly effective way to achieve good fiscal policy.
And earlier this month, I discussed another good IMF study that showed how deficit and debt rules in Europe have been a failure.
In hopes of teaching American lawmakers about this international evidence, the Cato Institute put together a forum on Capitol Hill to highlight the specific reforms that have been successful.
I moderated the panel and began by pointing out that there are many examples of nations that have enjoyed good results thanks to multi-year periods of spending restraint.
I even pointed out that we actually had an unintentional - but very successful - spending freeze in Washington between 2009 and 2014.
But the problem, I suggested, is that it is very difficult to convince politicians to sustain good policy on a long-run basis. The gains of good policy (such as what was achieved in the 1990s) can quickly be erased by a spending binge (such as what happened during the Bush years).