Unconventional monetary policy—characterized by “zero interest rate policy” (ZIRP) and “quantitative easing” (QE), along with macro-prudential regulation—has increased the power of central banks in the United States, Japan, and Europe. In the new issue of Cato Journal, contributors revisit the thinking behind unconventional monetary policy and the “new monetary framework,” make the case for transparent monetary rules versus foggy discretion, and point to the distortions generated by ultra-low interest rates and preferential credit allocation.
When the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad in 2005, Denmark found itself at the center of a global battle about the freedom of speech. The paper’s culture editor, Flemming Rose, defended the decision to print the 12 drawings, and he quickly came to play a central part in the debate about the limitations to freedom of speech in the 21st century. In The Tyranny of Silence, Flemming Rose provides a personal account of an event that has shaped the debate about what it means to be a citizen in a democracy and how to coexist in a world that is increasingly multicultural, multireligious, and multiethnic.
The Cato Institute has released its 2015 Annual Report, which documents a dynamic year of growth and productivity. The thousands of individuals who contribute to Cato are passionate about freedom and committed to ensuring that future generations enjoy the blessings of liberty, unencumbered by an overreaching state that seeks to control their lives. This is Cato’s optimistic vision for the future, and it would be unimaginable without the Institute’s longstanding partnership with its Sponsors. We will continue our diligence and dedication to seeing this vision realized.
Congress Should Account for Excess Burden of Taxation
Featuring Christopher J. Conover, Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research, Duke University; and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President, American Action Forum, and Former Director, Congressional Budget Office; moderated by Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute.
Nearly all taxes impose hidden costs by choking off economic activity. In a soon-to-be-released Cato Institute study, Duke University professor Christopher J. Conover estimates how much economic activity the recently enacted health care law — the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — will destroy. Failing to account for those hidden costs of taxation and government spending can bias legislative decisions toward more costly policies. Conover argues that honest and transparent governance requires that Congress account for the “excess burden of taxation” in its legislative cost estimates, baseline budget projections, and budget options — much like the Office of Management and Budget already does.