Featuring A. Trevor Thrall, Associate Professor, School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs, George Mason University; and Erik Goepner, Doctoral student in public policy, George Mason University; with comments by Betsy Woodruff, Politics Reporter, The Daily Beast; Emily Ekins, Research Fellow, Cato Institute; and Aaron Schumacher, Director, International, Foreign Policy Group, and Senior Vice President, Young Professionals in Foreign Policy; moderated by Christopher Preble, Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute.
A limited constitutional government calls for a rules-based, freemarket monetary system, not the topsy-turvy fiat dollar that now exists under central banking. This issue of the Cato Journal examines the case for alternatives to central banking and the reforms needed to move toward free-market money.
Americans are finally enjoying an improving economy after years of recession and slow growth. The unemployment rate is dropping, the economy is expanding, and public confidence is rising. Surely our economic crisis is behind us. Or is it? In Going for Broke: Deficits, Debt, and the Entitlement Crisis, Cato scholar Michael D. Tanner examines the growing national debt and its dire implications for our future and explains why a looming financial meltdown may be far worse than anyone expects.
The Cato Institute has released its 2014 Annual Report, which documents a dynamic year of growth and productivity. “Libertarianism is not just a framework for utopia,” Cato’s David Boaz writes in his book, The Libertarian Mind. “It is the indispensable framework for the future.” And as the new report demonstrates, the Cato Institute, thanks largely to the generosity of our Sponsors, is leading the charge to apply this framework across the policy spectrum.
DOJ’s “Operation Choke Point”: Illegally Choking Off Legitimate Businesses?
Featuring Congressman Darrell Issa (CA-49), Chairman, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform; moderated by Mark Calabria, Director, Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute.
Launched in early 2013, “Operation Choke Point” is a joint effort by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the bank regulators to limit access to the bank payments system by various businesses. Initially targeted at small-dollar nonbank lenders, Choke Point has grown to cover a variety of legitimate, legal businesses that just happen to be unpopular with DOJ, such as gun dealers and porn stars. Initial responses from DOJ claimed such efforts were limited to illegal businesses committing fraud. A recent report by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform reveals DOJ’s claims to be false. In today’s economy, almost any economic activity depends on access to the payments system; allowing DOJ, without trial or a right to appeal, to arbitrarily limit access represents an almost unprecedented abuse of power.