Friday, February 10, 2017

Vice President Pence Hires Cato Economist

Mark Calabria, beltarian economist
By Robert Wenzel

Vice President Mike Pence has hired Mark Calabria as his chief economist, reports Politico.

Calabria was director of financial regulation studies at the Cato Institute.

In a recent blog post at Cato, he wrote:
Mr. Mnuchin, if confirmed [fro Treasry Secretary], should strongly consider reviving a plan developed by his predecessor, John Snow. That plan would take advantage of the Treasury’s authority to place limits on Fannie and Freddie’s debt issuance to reduce those agencies’ indebtedness. The reduction can and should be done in a controlled manner that could be easily reversed if necessary; a 5 percent monthly reduction, for instance, should work smoothly.
It is just a tweaking of the system but it is a tweaking in the right direction.

And he recently retweeted this:

But in the end, he thinks like a statist technocrat. He, for example, wants to end the mortgage interest rate deduction because, well, the money belongs to the state and there are "better" uses for it.

 He co-authored with Diane Yentel an op-ed for The Hill, "Time to reform the mortgage interest deduction." They wrote:
[T]he mortgage interest deduction [is no] longer a political “third rail,” experts from across the ideological spectrum are increasingly calling it what it really is: a wasteful use of federal resources that encourages households to take on higher levels of debt, disrupts the housing market by increasing costs for everyone, and mostly benefits those who do not need federal assistance to live in a stable home...
The result would be $241 billion in savings over 10 years. The savings could be reinvested into critical rental housing solutions—like the national Housing Trust Fund and rental assistance—for those families with the most acute needs: those who are homeless or who are one crisis away from being homeless.
And they sprinkle the technocratic tweak with politically correct justifications:
Reforming the mortgage interest deduction would help address growing income inequality and racial inequity...
This my friends is what to expect from Beltarians. Free market talk as the state is twisted and tossed by them but always ending up with an expanded state.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of and Target Liberty. He also writes EPJ Daily Alert and is author of The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Follow him on twitter:@wenzeleconomics and on LinkedIn.


  1. For some of us making a lot less, that interest and real estate tax deduction are not all that much. Really it's just enough to enjoy a trip or two to McDonalds each month at best.

    I've been a renter and an 'owner'. It's unfair to renters they get nothing but just owning property grants you some privileges. In the end the home cost you a lot more to have anyway from that crappy deduction.

  2. I love how taking more money from people is called a "savings". Its like calling a mugging a "contribution".

    I'm pretty sure mortgage deductions don't have anything to do with racial equality. Does the mortgage deduction change depending on your skin color? If so, will someone who believes this is the case please tell me which skin color I should claim to maximize my mortgage deduction. Thanks.