Jim — Yes, evidently we agree completely, I guess there is some mix-up in the terms we use that are causing an accidental misunderstanding.

A constant value for the primary structural deficit (the cyclically neutral rule) is exactly what I would call by “no intervention at all,” as opposed to purposely or accidentally perverse interventions the government often makes now. My rules 2 and 3 say that macroeconomics should take a subordinate role , not a preeminent role. For example, if we think VAT is better than an income tax or vice versa, then we should not let any macro consideration override our choice of which tax we use. Make your micro decisions first, then check that they do not introduce any unintended macro shocks.

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Economist, Senior Fellow at Niskanen Center, Yale Ph.D. Interests include environment, health care policy, social safety net, economic freedom.

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