Christie Backs Historic School Funding Reform, Tax Cut

Yesterday in Somerset County, New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie proposed an amendment to his state’s constitution that, if enacted in a referendum next year, will apportion state aid to local school districts on a per pupil basis. What would this mean when fully phased in? Each district would receive $6,599, multiplied by the number of students going to school in that district. Aid to special education programs would continue unchanged. This would replace the current system imposed 40 years ago by the New Jersey Supreme Court in which 59 percent of the state aid goes to 23 percent of the

The Politics of Shaming

I am often asked by fellow conservatives about my experience with Governor Chris Christie as the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey in 2014. When I reply that Gov. Christie and his team, after remaining scrupulously neutral during a tightly contested four-way primary, were very helpful to my campaign in terms of fund-raising and party unity, doing all that could reasonably be expected in my uphill general election campaign against Sen. Cory Booker, the predominant reaction is surprise verging in some cases on disbelief. No doubt some of the surprise traces to the unusual circumstances of my

Ted Cruz: The GOP’s Sound Money Candidate

This column from The Daily Caller last week is a great defense of Ted Cruz on the gold standard: Mr. Cruz has been excoriated for seemingly incompatible statements concerning the U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve. On the one hand, he has advocated exploring a return to the gold standard, seemingly questioning the Fed’s purpose. On the other hand, he has accused the Fed of implicitly creating the Great Recession by not intervening strongly enough in 2008 to prevent the crash. How can someone want the Fed to do more sometimes, but call into question its existence at other times? I do

Trump and Sanders Winning the Economic Debate — and Election — by Default

Most conservatives believe Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have wrong solutions to the stagnation in wages and job creation that has marked the American economy since 2000. But Trump and Sanders have proven better vote-getters than conservative candidates because, politically speaking, having wrong answers to a real and widely felt evil is better than offering no answers at all. The last several Republican debates have been remarkable for the virtual absence of discussion of economic policy, other than Trump’s attacks on establishment lobbyists and donors and demands for “better deals” with our trading partners. It’s true that economic-related questioning by

Trump’s Tax Plan: A Proposal Reagan Would Approve?

Donald Trump’s plan for tax reform is the most populist so far seen among the presidential candidates. It is also the most faithful to supply-side principles. Why? Populism in its root meaning is optimism about the ability of people to make decisions affecting themselves. Its opposite, elitism, is optimism about the ability of elites to make those decisions for them. Unlike most recent Republican plans, Trump avoids single year expensing for corporate investment in new physical capital (machines and buildings). Though rarely highlighted by its advocates, it is so expensive it preempts the ability to cut personal rates very much,

Walker Was the Biggest Winner Last Night

If I had to pick a winner of the debate last night, I would say it was Scott Walker for two reasons: 1.) His answer on what he would do as President was future-oriented. He talked about how he cut taxes and spending in Wisconsin, and how he would do the same thing in Washington. Most of the candidates focused on what they have already done. Walker talked about what he would do as President, and that’s important to the voters. 2.) He was unyielding on abortion and avoided a potential “gotcha” moment: Megyn Kelly: You recently signed a law

Making the 21st Century Case for Gold

From George Gilder is a prophet. He’s been right repeatedly about almost every issue—from sex to Israel to economics—and now he’s back to tackle the most important — yet least debated — issue of our time: money. Why is money—specifically, the value of our currency—so important? Why is it important to get right? Many economists believe there is only one factor to worry about when it comes to monetary policy—inflation. But that’s not true — there are plenty of factors to consider. Here is one: Since the U.S. government officially abandoned a gold-backed dollar in 1971, workers’ wages have largely

Audit the Fed is Not Enough

There’s a lot to admire in Alex Pollock’s Saturday piece in The Wall Street Journal, “It’s High Time to ‘Audit’ the Fed.”  Pollock, a longtime chief executive of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago and currently a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, attacks the faulty premise that the supposed “independence” of the Fed should lead Congress to forgo the wide-ranging audit called for in current legislation. In reality the Fed is a creature of Congress, which in turn is an elected institution specifically tasked in the Constitution (Article I, Section 8) with coining money and regulating its