Within the past decade, I’ve written three columns — titled “Deception 101,” “Stubborn Ignorance,” and “Exploiting Public Ignorance” — explaining which branch of the federal government has taxing and spending authority.

How can academics, politicians, news media people and ordinary citizens get away with statements such as “Reagan’s budget deficits,” “Clinton’s budget surplus,” “Bush’s budget deficits and tax cuts” or “Obama’s tax increases”?


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Which branch of government has taxing and spending authority is not a matter of rocket science, but people continue to make these statements. The only explanation that I can come up with is incurable ignorance, willful deception or just plain stupidity; if there’s another answer, I would like to hear it.

Let’s look at the facts. Article I, Section 7, of the U.S. Constitution reads:

“All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.”

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