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J. Huston McCulloch Archive

J. Huston McCulloch is Professor Emeritus of Economics and Finance at the Ohio State University, and Adjunct Professor of Economics, New York University.
Biography and other publications

The Mullibuster Option



One of the zanier features of American politics is the Senate’s fillibuster rule. Long ago, the Senate, by a simple majority vote, ruled that a supermajority is required to get any business done, with the result that often nothing gets done at all. On the positive side, however, the threat of a fillibuster has...
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Filling the Federal Reserve Board Vacancies?



(See updates below, 2/13 and 2/24.) Five of the most important appointments Donald Trump will make during his first year in office will be to fill three vacancies on the Federal Reserve Board, to reappoint or replace Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve Board Chair, and to designate one of the Board members as Vice...
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Term Limits for Supreme Court Justices?



Article III, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution provides that “Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour ...” The result is that instead of choosing Justices on the basis of their experience, maturity and gravitas, there is a premium on packing the Court with youngsters who...
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Tax Reform for Investment Income



Executive Summary The unexpected election of an at least nominally Republican president, along with Republican control of both Houses of Congress, presents a unique opportunity for the incoming Congress to make meaningful reforms to the tax system. One major problem has been the over-taxation of corporate income. Another is the under-taxation of carried interest....
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The Carbon Tax: Welfare Triangle, or Welfare Obelisk?



Two recent position papers from the conservative libertarian Niskanen Center and the libertarian Cato Institute take diametrically opposite positions on the desirability of a Carbon Tax. [Corrected 2/8/17 per communication from Jerry Taylor.] Jerry Taylor, president of the Niskanen Center, argues in his 2015 “The Conservative Case for a Carbon Tax” that, “conservatives should...
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Adversarial Justice and Police Misconduct



We all know from the TV series Law and Order that, “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important, groups: the police, who investigate crime; and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders.” Day in and day out, these two groups work shoulder-to-shoulder for a common cause....
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Reining in the Fed



The House of Representatives is currently considering a variety of bills intended to reduce the power of the Federal Reserve System. (“House Republicans Resume Efforts to Reduce Fed’s Power,” New York Times, July 11, Business Section.) Under the pretext of fighting high unemployment, the Fed has more than quadrupled its balance sheet since summer...
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Campaign Donations: Freedom of Speech or of the Press?



On Wednesday, the US Supreme Court overruled the $123,000 cap on what any individual may donate to federal candidates over any two-year election cycle, on the grounds that the cap violates First Amendment free-speech rights. Although this ruling leaves the $2600 limit per candidate intact, it is a big step in the right direction....
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The Double Faustian Minimum Wage Bargain of 2007



In an ordinary Faustian bargain, a mortal sells his (or her) soul to an incarnation of the Devil in exchange for worldly power. However, in 2007 an extraordinary double Faustian bargain took place, in which, in effect, Lucifer and Mephistopheles both gave up their own souls, in exchange for the other’s. In 2006, Democrats...
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Krugman: “Why aren’t wages going up?”



In his New York Times column yesterday, Princeton economist Paul Krugman argues that unprecedented extended unemployment benefits can’t have been the cause of the unprecedented average duration of unemployment during the “Great Recession.” He reasons, “If unemployment is high because people are unwilling to work, reducing the supply of labor, why aren’t wages going...
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