Kyle E. Pomerleau, Director of Federal Projects, Tax Foundation

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Cato Intern Class Spring 2012

How did you decide to intern at the Cato Institute?

I had recently moved to Washington D.C. to study public policy after working in Maine as a policy intern. I read a lot of work by Cato scholars in the past and since I was here in D.C. I thought it would be really cool to work with someone whose work I enjoyed.

How did the internship affect the way you think about public policy?

Working at Cato helped me think of ways to put a lot of philosophical ideas I had about government into concrete policy proposals.

What kind of work are you doing now?

I currently manage the federal policy team at the tax policy think tank Tax Foundation here in D.C.

What advice can you offer to fellow alumni who want to secure a job like yours?

Be useful. Anyone can have an opinion about politics/policy, but not everyone can or should be able to turn that into a job. Instead you should first focus on what skills you can develop that would bring value to someone's organization.

What's something — a policy perspective, a philosophical point, a messaging strategy, anything — that a lot of libertarians get wrong?

Yes, yes, I get it. The government doesn't work very well and a lot of programs should probably go and the government's size should be reduced, but we live in a world determined by political realities. Libertarians should not focus on purity tests. Instead libertarians should focus on policy solutions that could actually be enacted.