Posts by Craig Eyermann
Craig Eyermann is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and the creator of the Government Cost Calculator at MyGovCost.org.
“Amtrak Joe” Tries to Resuscitate California’s Zombie Bullet Train


President Joe Biden is well known for having a choo choo fetish. It’s little surprise he wants to expand the already heavily subsidized Amtrak passenger rail service. If he’s successful, today’s toddlers will come to know why their grandparents came to reject the inconvenience of commuting between cities by rail. Aside from the unique...
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Pandemic Unemployment Fraud Tops $400 Billion


In early 2020, state governments across the country reacted to the arrival of the coronavirus epidemic by imposing lockdowns. By forcing businesses to close and ordering residents to stay at home, their aim was to “flatten the curve” and limit the spread of Covid infections. It was supposed to be for just 15 days,...
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The Biden Budget: Pandemic Spending That Never Ends


President Biden released his first budget proposal on Friday, May 28, 2021. Just ahead of the Memorial Day Holiday weekend. That wasn’t a mistake. The timing is part of a well-established practice by politicians called a Friday news dump. If they know the news is bad for them, they dump it on Friday, when...
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A Black Hole in California’s Fiscal Management


Does $320 billion sound like a lot of money to spend? If you answer yes, would you agree it is a good idea to have some way of keeping track of how and where you spent that money? All the way down to the penny? Now, what if that was your job? What would...
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Reality Check Ahead on Deficit Spending


George Orwell has a famous insight from his 1945 work Notes on Nationalism. “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.” Most people run into this insight in a paraphrased form. “There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could...
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Fed Chief Says U.S. on Unsustainable Fiscal Path


Do the U.S. national debt and the government’s budget deficits matter? If you listen to the economists shaping the Biden administration’s policy agenda, they say they do not. Their basic argument is that with interest rates so low, the government can borrow as much as politicians want to spend. They think they never have...
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Who Is Paying for President Biden’s Spending?


When President Joe Biden was sworn into office on January 20, 2021, the U.S. government’s total public debt outstanding stood at $20,751.9 billion. The chart below shows who Uncle Sam borrowed all that money from on that date:

Lessons from the Dirty Streets of San Francisco


If you ask most people, the way the government is supposed to work is simple. The people identify a problem they want the government to fix. The government hires and deploys people to fix it, using tax dollars to pay them to get the job done. Problem solved! Except that’s not what happens. More...
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Small Steps in Piercing the Government Veil


Government bureaucrats enjoy many benefits at taxpayer expense. One of those benefits is qualified immunity (or executive immunity), which exempts them from civil lawsuits for misdeeds on the job. Think of qualified immunity as serving as a protective veil for bureaucrats. It empowers government officials to engage in unethical behavior they otherwise would not....
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COVID Relief: Where Did All That Money Go?


One year ago, Americans began getting far more first-hand experience with a viral epidemic than any wanted. One year later, the U.S. government has spent $6 trillion to provide relief from the coronavirus pandemic. Of that total, $37 billion was spent on Operation Warp Speed’s development of several vaccines. The vaccines are the main...
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