Obesity remains a serious health problem and it is no secret that many people want to lose weight. Behavioral economists typically argue that “nudges” help individuals with various decisionmaking flaws to live longer, healthier, and better lives. In an article in the new issue of Regulation, Michael L. Marlow discusses how nudging by government differs from nudging by markets, and explains why market nudging is the more promising avenue for helping citizens to lose weight.
In Bootleggers & Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics, economists Bruce Yandle and Adam Smith explain how money and morality are often combined in politics to produce arbitrary regulations benefiting cronies, while constraining productive economic activities by the general public.
Featuring: Rep. Phil English (R-PA), Ranking Member, Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee, Co-Chairman, Zero AMT Caucus; Chris Edwards, Cato Institute; and moderated by Daniel Mitchell, Cato Institute.
The alternative minimum tax (AMT) is a complex income tax imposed on top of the regular income tax. Without action by Congress, 23 million taxpayers will pay the AMT in 2007 and be hit with an average burden of more than $3,000. Some policymakers have proposed partial AMT relief, and the Bush administration supports replacing $1 trillion of future AMT revenues with other taxes.
By contrast, Rep. Phil English supports repeal of the individual and corporate AMTs without revenue offsets. Now is a good time for repeal given the flood of federal revenues from strong economic growth. English will discuss the prospects for reform and the shortcomings of proposals that fall short of full repeal. Chris Edwards and Dan Mitchell will discuss the workings of the AMT and how the tax fits into the broader budget picture this year and coming years.