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Richard W. Rahn

Richard W. Rahn

Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth.

Articles by Richard W. Rahn

Illustration on President Obama's fictional record by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The president’s fictional record

If you were a librarian, would you put President Obama's recently delivered State of the Union address in the fiction or nonfiction section? All presidents puff their accomplishments and gloss over their failures, but no previous president has been so blatant in just making up "facts" and numbers that are so disconnected from reality. Published January 26, 2015

Gary Becker

The lions of liberty

People are a bit more free and prosperous as a result of the work of Gary Becker, John Blundell, Leonard Liggio, Gordon Tullock and Henry Manne, all of whom passed away during the last eight months. Published January 19, 2015

George Washington in the Cayman Islands Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The great global lie

Cayman is prosperous, in part, because of a great global lie, which causes many big rich nations to pursue bad economic policies. The global lie is that the developed countries have too little government, rather than too much. Published January 12, 2015

Martin Anderson          The Washington Times

Martin Anderson, a man who made a difference

Martin Anderson, well-regarded economist and an adviser to three presidents, passed away on Jan. 3. Mr. Anderson will go down in history as a significant contributor to both the theory and practice of public policy as a result of his many influential books and the important posts that he held. Published January 6, 2015

The Republican Congress sizes up big government

What is the greatest obstacle confronting the new congressional Republican majority in enacting good policy? It may not be President Obama, because there is an even more formidable force in Washington that crushes good policy: the permanent bureaucracy. The permanent bureaucracy is made up of federal employees, government contractors and their employees, congressional staff and the special-interest lobbying community (including law and accounting firms). It also includes the media establishment, which depends on leaks and information from those in government for stories in exchange for protective coverage. Published January 5, 2015

Illustration on forecasting the coming year by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Risky business of New Year’s forecasts

How many hurricanes do you think will hit the East Coast of the United States in 2015? Will the Arctic ice sheet disappear next year? How fast will the U.S. economy grow? What will the level of the Dow Jones stock index be at the end of 2015? Which team will win the World Series? Published December 29, 2014

King Louis XIV of France

Common folk live better now than royalty did in earlier times

As we go into this Christmas week, you should count your blessings that you live in 2014. Would you prefer to live as the French King Louis XIV did (1643-1715), or as you do today? The average low-income American, who makes $25,000 per year, lives in a home that has air conditioning, a color TV and a dishwasher, owns an automobile, and eats more calories than he should from an immense variety of food. Published December 22, 2014

Socialist policies undoing success of South America's strongest economy

Why do very successful nations often adopt policies that lead to their undoing? After a revolution or major reform, some countries allow a high degree of economic freedom, establish the rule of law, protect private property rights and establish low tax rates with strict limits on government spending and regulation. The economy takes off, the citizens become far richer and then the government mucks it up, usually by attempting to redistribute income and expand state control. Published December 15, 2014

Illustration on political economic corruption in Ukraine by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Is it ‘game over’ for Ukraine?

Ukraine will likely go bankrupt within the next few months. This past Friday, it was reported that the country has less than $10 billion in foreign-currency reserves. My sources (who have been spot on the Russian/Ukrainian situation over the last couple of years) tell me the situation is actually worse than the official reports in that Ukraine is now losing foreign reserves at a rate of $3 billion a month and that rate is accelerating. Even worse, some of the reserves may be "illiquid" — which likely means they have already been spent or even stolen. Published December 8, 2014

Illustration on the use of static vs. dynamic impact models for government taxation by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Rejecting imaginary budget numbers

Would you make an effort to find ways to reduce your tax burden if your tax rate was suddenly raised 50 percent? The higher one's income, the more incentive a person has to find ways to minimize his tax burden — which is why very high tax rates on the rich always fail to produce the projected revenue. Published December 1, 2014

Illustration on further Union intrusion on McDonald's and other franchises by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Going overboard at the labor board

Whom do you work for? Such a simple question should not require a government agency to give an answer. However, the Obama administration, in its never-ending quest for power over individuals and businesses, has decided that it — rather than you or your employer — should determine whom you work for. Published November 24, 2014

Jonathan Gruber poses in his home in Lexington, Mass., in this Feb. 8, 2011, file photo. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

The stupidity of 'experts'

The only surprising thing about Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber's revelations that the legislation was based on a series of lies and voter stupidity was that Mr. Gruber was so stupid to think no one would see the videos of him saying so. Published November 17, 2014

Putin's Soviet Russia Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Possibilities and predicaments for Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin's clear goal is to re-establish as much of the Russian Empire (1721-1917) as he can. At its greatest extent, the Russian Empire included the territories of the old Soviet Union, most of Eastern Europe, Finland and Alaska (up to 1866). Published November 10, 2014

Constitution Day Sept 17 Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Reversing the tide of official lawlessness

The basic function of government is the protection of person and property, and the United States is losing ground both in absolute terms and relative to other countries on this basic measure of liberty. Published November 3, 2014

IRS Extinguishes Liberty Torch Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Either liberty or the IRS

After last week's ruling wherein a federal court failed to permanently bar the Internal Revenue Service from targeting conservative groups, there can be no doubt that liberty and the IRS are incompatible. Published October 27, 2014

Tax Rate Anvil Balloon Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The optimum income taxation

What is the maximum income-tax rate that anyone should be expected to pay? Published October 20, 2014

FILE - This Jan. 28, 2014 file photo shows Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in the House chamber on Capitol Hill waiting for the President's State of the Union address to begin. Roberts is beginning his 10th year at the head of the Supreme Court, and the fifth with the same lineup of justices. He has been part of a five-justice conservative majority that has rolled back campaign finance limits, upheld abortion restrictions and been generally skeptical of the consideration of race in public life. But his court has taken a different path in cases involving gay and lesbian Americans, despite the chief justice's opposition most of the time. (AP Photo/Larry Downing, Pool)

Taxes, fines and government extortion

When the government "fines" you for not buying health insurance, is it, in fact, a fine, a tax or government extortion? Published October 6, 2014