Cato Daily Podcast

The Cato Daily Podcast allows Cato Institute scholars and other commenters to discuss relevant news and libertarian thought in a conversational, informal manner. Hosted by Caleb O. Brown.


  • Lofgren and Amash on Polarization, Civil Discourse, and Getting Things Done in Congress

    Jul 20 2019

    As civil discourse falters in the United States, House Democrat Zoe Lofgren and House independent Justin Amash discuss the process of lawmaking with Cato's Jeff Vanderslice. This was recorded on Capitol Hill at the Cato Institute's #SphereSummit held this week.

  • Grizzly Bears and Endangered Species Recovery

    Jul 18 2019

    Species recovery is a key goal of the Endangered Species Act. So why are recovering species so rarely removed from the list? Brian Yablonski of the Property and Environment Research Center comments.

  • Let Conservationists Compete for Use of Federal Lands

    Jul 17 2019

    Conservations are not a part of the conversation when it comes time to lease federal lands. Should that change? Shawn Regan of the Property and Environment Research Center comments.

  • Montana School Choice at SCOTUS

    Jul 16 2019

    Montana parents want to use a scholarship tax credit program to send their kids to religious schools. Montana’s high court says no. The Supreme Court will ultimately decide the issue this term. Erica Smith with the Institute for Justice comments.

  • National Security, Freedom to Trade, and Huawei

    Jul 15 2019

    Chinese tech company Huawei is widely perceived to pose a threat to US national security. Considering the high costs of mitigating that threat the way US policy makers seem to be demanding, the US public first should be convinced that the threat is dire and that the prescribed measures are necessary. Dan Ikenson comments.

  • Justin Amash and the Downtrodden Anti-War Conservatives

    Jul 12 2019

    Justin Amash's departure from the GOP means the continued fracturing of anti-war conservatives and libertarians. Jim Antle of The American Conservative comments.

  • Defining War Down

    Jul 11 2019

    There is no credible way to conclude that the United States is not at war. Ah, but "endless war" Is another thing altogether, right? Gene Healy comments.

  • The Community Reinvestment Act in the Age of Fintech and Bank Competition

    Jul 10 2019

    The Community Reinvestment Act should be scrapped wholesale. Failing that, it should be dramatically restructured. Diego Zuluaga is author of "The Community Reinvestment Act in the Age of Fintech and Bank Competition."

  • Is Auer Deference Truly Hobbled?

    Jul 10 2019

    The Kisor case decided recently by the Supreme Court reined in so-called "Auer deference," but what changes about regulating going forward? Will Yeatman comments.

  • Will 2020 Yield A Real Conversation about Educational Freedom?

    Jul 09 2019

    A Supreme Court challenge implicating state-level Blaine Amendments and Democrats' revival of school busing as an issue could force a real conversation about educational freedom. Neal McCluskey comments.

  • The Conservative Sensibility

    Jul 05 2019

    Rights precede government. That's the core of the American founding, and George F. Will argues that it's worth preserving. His new book is The Conservative Sensibility.

  • A Troubling Military Pageant in Washington

    Jul 04 2019

    The President's decision to flex military hardware at an Independence Day celebration is at odds with a commemoration of liberty. Chris Preble comments.

  • The New Chicago Way: Lessons from Other Big Cities

    Jul 03 2019

    One of the ways Chicago is special is the way in which all power appears to flow out of the mayor's office. It causes massive and relatively intractable problems. It's not a problem of personalities, but of structure. Ed Bachrach and Austin Berg are authors of The New Chicago Way.

  • Tyranny Comes Home: The Domestic Fate of U.S. Militarism

    Jul 03 2019

    In the land of the free, how has U.S. militarism changed domestic policing? Chris Coyne and Abigail Hall are authors of Tyranny Comes Home: The Domestic Fate of U.S. Militarism.

  • Who Wins in Opportunity Zones?

    Jul 02 2019

    Opportunity Zones are a part of the 2017 tax bill, but who benefits? And how is it appropriate to single out some places for special investment tax breaks? Chris Edwards comments.

  • Sen. Hawley's Bad Answer to Anti-Conservative Bias: License Speech Platforms

    Jun 28 2019

    In an attempt to take on what he calls "censorship" on big speech platforms online, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) would prefer to effectively compel big tech firms to secure federal licenses to operate. John Samples comments.

  • Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump

    Jun 27 2019

    Many young protestors on college campuses appear intent on achieving something new: Ending campus debate on controversial ideas. Robby Soave is author of Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump.

  • Testing the Limits of Congressional Delegation in Gundy

    Jun 26 2019

    Congress can't just delegate all of its duties away. Where should the line be drawn? In Gundy, the Supreme Court turned away a challenge to one particular Congressional delegation, but new challenges are coming. Trevor Burrus and Ilya Shapiro comment on the case.

  • Growing Abuse of the National Security Rationale for Restricting Trade

    Jun 25 2019

    Many of the trade restrictions imposed by the White House have been accompanied by concerns over national security. Simon Lester is coauthor of a new paper detailing how this rationale can and has been abused.

  • Facebucks? Zuckercoin? Libra.

    Jun 24 2019

    A new currency offered by Facebook among others stands to be a substantial financial innovation, but important elements about the sort-of cryptocurrency have yet to be revealed. Diego Zuluaga comments.

  • Double Jeopardy Alive and Well after Gamble

    Jun 22 2019

    The Supreme Court has given new life to a large exception to a Constitutional prohibition on double jeopardy. Ilya Shapiro and Clark Neily discuss the Gamble case.

  • Dubious Legal Authority in the Push for War with Iran

    Jun 20 2019

    Nearly two decades ago, one Congress voted once to strike back against those who perpetrated 9/11. Now that same legal authority is enabling a push to take the U.S. to war with Iran. Gene Healy comments.

  • Public Access and Free Speech at SCOTUS

    Jun 19 2019

    In Manhattan Community Access Corporation v. Halleck, the Supreme Court affirms that private platforms are not state actors, and are therefore not subject to First Amendment constraints. Trevor Burrus comments.

  • The Growing Green Card Backlog

    Jun 18 2019

    Legal immigration is becoming more challenging. David Bier explains how in a new paper.

  • Is This Time Different? Schumpeter, the Tech Giants, and Monopoly Fatalism

    Jun 17 2019

    Remember MySpace? What about Kodak? These companies seemed to be unstoppable monopolies. So what happened? Ryan Bourne is author of the new Cato paper, "Is This Time Different? Schumpeter, the Tech Giants, and Monopoly Fatalism."

  • What Is Postal Banking?

    Jun 15 2019

    Postal banking offered in financial reform legislation is a solution to a problem created by current interventions in the banking sector. So says Cato's Todd Zywicki.

  • The Jones Act Spikes the Price of Hawaiian Rum

    Jun 14 2019

    Bob Gunter's Koloa Rum is extremely expensive to ship to the mainland U.S., all thanks to the Jones Act.

  • More from The Wealth Explosion

    Jun 13 2019

    What makes modernity persist? When do efforts to perfect modernity undermine it? Stephen Davies is author of The Wealth Explosion.

  • The SEC's New Enforcement Action against Kin Cryptocurrency

    Jun 12 2019

    When does the SEC make a decision to go after a particular cryptocurrency offering? What standards apply? The case of Kik and its related crypto offering, Kin, isn't yielding any answers. Diego Zuluaga comments.

  • Arabic Numerals and Open Societies

    Jun 10 2019

    What are the important lessons from Islam's inward turn centuries ago? Mustafa Akyol comments.

  • A New Presidential Power Grab over Mexican Tariffs

    Jun 08 2019

    Is the president's assertion of authority to unilaterally lay a five-percent tariff on all Mexican goods authorized under law and the Constitution? Gene Healy comments.

  • Elizabeth Warren’s ‘Economic Patriotism’

    Jun 08 2019

    Senator Elizabeth Warren's presidential campaign has presented a broad economic plan that includes a shift in priorities for trade under the banner of "economic patriotism." Simon Lester comments.

  • Next Steps in Prison Reform

    Jun 07 2019

    Many federal inmates are about to be released under the First Step Act, but the road ahead for prison reform should focus more directly on putting fewer people in prison to begin with. Kevin Ring, president of FAMM Foundation, comments.

  • When Regulators Are Also Competitors

    Jun 06 2019

    The Supreme Court turned away a challenge to Amtrak's regulatory power wherein the agency/company regulates its private sector rivals. What does that mean for competition between private and public entities in the future? William Yeatman comments.

  • Parsing the Julian Assange Indictment

    Jun 05 2019

    How much of Julian Assange's alleged espionage was the kind of thing good reporters do every day? Patrick Eddington comments.

  • Kamala Harris and the Authoritarian Impulse

    Jun 03 2019

    The policy and professional choices of U.S. Senator and presidential hopeful Kamala Harris seem to be rooted in … no particular ideology. But her past uses of prosecutorial power show a willingness to abandon her own kinder and gentler public political commitments. Elizabeth Nolan Brown of Reason looked into the longtime prosecutor's statements and record.

  • The Kamala Harris Plan to Address the Gender Pay Gap

    Jun 01 2019

    Would taxing big firms that fail to pay men and women the same achieve gender pay equity? Ryan Bourne comments on a new proposal from Senator Kamala Harris.

  • Trump Threatens New Tariffs on Mexican Goods

    May 31 2019

    After the President threatens new tariffs on Mexican goods, other countries hoping to secure trade agreements with the U.S. may think twice. Simon Lester explains why.

  • A New Model for Helping Students Assert Freedom of Speech

    May 31 2019

    When Speech First is the defendant, students who want to speak freely don't have to make themselves targets for harassment or ostracism. Nicole Neily is president of Speech First.

  • The Warren and Sanders Plans for Student Loans and Free College

    May 30 2019

    Two Democratic U.S. Senators running for President have unveiled their plans for potential federal roles in managing the costs of college. Diego Zuluaga describes the plans and their problems.

  • Congress Sleeps While Trump Spends and Spends

    May 29 2019

    Congress should guard its power of the purse. In the case of handouts to farmers injured as a result of Trump tariffs, members of Congress are fighting to make sure their farmers get some. William Yeatman comments.

  • The Wealth Explosion and Why It Might Not Continue

    May 27 2019

    When parts of Europe began to develop faster economically than ever before, it was only unprecedented because that rapid development still hasn’t stopped. There are historical examples or rapid economic development that did stop, and Stephen Davies examines them all in his new book, The Wealth Explosion.

  • Punishment without Crime Examines Our Broken Misdemeanor System

    May 25 2019

    Alexandra Natapoff argues forcefully in Punishment without Crime that the misdemeanor system in the United States consistently fails low-income people and makes America more unequal.

  • The Surge of Populism in Mexico

    May 25 2019

    Mexico’s President ALMO, as he is known, came to power pledging to raise living standards and lower the murder rate. How he’s going about it troubles Roberto Salinas-León, President of the Mexico Business Forum and Director of Atlas Network’s Center for Latin America.

  • New York City Takes a Gun Restriction to the Supreme Court

    May 24 2019

    The Supreme Court will weigh in on a curious gun restriction in New York City. Matthew LaRosiere comments.

  • Sweeping Executive Privilege vs. Congressional Subpoenas

    May 22 2019

    The President asserts a broad executive privilege in fighting Congressional subpoenas. It's not a privilege rooted in the Constitution, so where does it come from? Gene Healy comments.

  • Feds Should End Aid to States

    May 22 2019

    The feds don't just offer handouts to individuals and corporations, they also subsidize state and local activities. Chris Edwards explains why this should end in "Restoring Responsible Government by Cutting Federal Aid to the States.”

  • Neoliberalism 101

    May 17 2019

    Neoliberalism has a long history, and yet neoliberals think about many issues very differently than libertarians do. Jeremiah Johnson directs policy at the Neoliberal Project. And yes, this is a crossover episode.

  • How Congress Could Legalize Immigrants

    May 17 2019

    A new Cato paper details several ways Congress could legalize immigrants. Alex Nowrasteh and David Bier comment for the latest edition of Cato Audio.

  • Facebook, Content Moderation, and Free Expression

    May 16 2019

    At the Cato Institute's city seminar in San Francisco last month, John Samples discussed the challenge of respecting the values of free expression while moderating content on a massive platform.

  • A Bankrupt Plan to Cap Credit Card Interest

    May 14 2019

    A new proposal would likely sharply curtail the issuance of credit cards and the extension of unsubsidized credit to lower-income people. Diego Zuluaga comments.

  • Watering the Tree of Liberty Today

    May 14 2019

    What does the struggle for liberty look like today? Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) discussed some of his ideas at the Cato Institute Benefactor Summit in April.

  • Considering the 'New START' for Nuclear Arms Reduction

    May 10 2019

    Will the Trump Administration have enough time, or interest, in nuclear arms reductions before 2020? Eric Gomez discusses what's driving the discussions surrounding the New START treaty.

  • Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, and the Regulatory Challenge

    May 09 2019

    At a live recording of the Cato Daily Podcast in San Francisco, Cato's Diego Zuluaga and Matthew Feeney explored the costs and benefits of a relatively unregulated cryptocurrency marketplace.

  • What Does the U.S. Expect to Get with 'Maximum Pressure' on Iran?

    May 08 2019

    The "maximum pressure" being applied to Iran is definitely costly to the U.S. and its allies, so we should expect to get a lot out of the policy, right? Emma Ashford and John Glaser explain why that's less than clear.

  • A Risk Analysis of Foreign and Native-Born Terrorists

    May 07 2019

    The Trump Administration has ratcheted up rhetoric on the threat of terrorism on U.S. soil, calling for costly policy changes to foil foreign-born terrorism. The data don't support the claims. Alex Nowrasteh comments.

  • Trump Threatens More Tariffs on Chinese Goods

    May 07 2019

    New threats of heightened tariffs may further complicate efforts to resolving trade relations with China. Dan Ikenson discusses what that means for Americans.

  • The Politics on the Ground over School Choice

    May 01 2019

    As founder and head of schools of Capital Prep schools, Steve Perry knows how school choice works, and the bankrupt politics that inhibit educational freedom.

  • The Telegraph As Technological Singularity

    Apr 30 2019

    The telegraph was supposed to liberate humanity. So what happened? Historian Anthony Comegna explains.

  • Donald Trump: Standing on the Shoulders of Tyrants

    Apr 25 2019

    How does the Trump record of aggrandizing the Oval Office compare to his predecessors? Cato's Gene Healy details his case in a new article in Reason.

  • Congress Should Consider Impeachment More Often

    Apr 25 2019

    Impeachable offenses aren't merely what members of the House agree they are. It's a substantial authority with some clear guidelines. One problem is, according to former Obama White House Counsel Bob Bauer, Congress is too afraid to launch inquiries.

  • The Mueller Report Is Out (Mostly)

    Apr 24 2019

    The long-awaited Mueller report into Russian meddling in U.S. elections is now available in a redacted form. Julian Sanchez discusses what's new in the report and how Congress could use the information.

  • Trump Imposes A Bad Deal on Major League Baseball

    Apr 19 2019

    A deal that would have made it easier for Cuban baseball players to join MLB has been nixed by the Trump Administration. Dara Lind, a senior correspondent at Vox, discusses the change.

  • Educational Freedom, Teacher Sickouts, and Bloated Higher Ed

    Apr 18 2019

    At the Cato Institute's Benefactor Summit, Neal McCluskey and Corey DeAngelis discussed the bloat and expense of modern higher ed, the data on school choice options, and why choice is second-best to educational freedom.

  • Devin Nunes Has a Cow

    Apr 17 2019

    California Congressman Devin Nunes is suing Twitter for facilitating what he calls defamatory comments about him. He's also suing political strategist Liz Mair. Mair says Nunes doesn't understand how civil liberties work.

  • Antitrust and Big Tech

    Apr 16 2019

    The benefits and rationale for subjecting large tech firms to antitrust claims seem less clear than the costs, according to Kristian Stout with the International Center for for Law and Economics.

  • Trump's Planned Drawdown in Afghanistan Is a Good Sign

    Apr 15 2019

    Between the start of talks with the Taliban and moving forward with plans to draw down U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Donald Trump deserves some credit. Emma Ashford explains why.

  • How Do Doctors Think about Harm Reduction?

    Apr 13 2019

    Harm reduction isn’t an alien concept for doctors. The problem in the context of opioids is that the feds and states won’t get out of the way to let it happen. Jeff Singer comments.

  • A New Day Dawns for Trade in Africa

    Apr 13 2019

    A new trade deal will dramatically reduce tariffs among participating countries in a new African trade zone. Alexander C. R. Hammond of African Liberty discusses the upside for regional trade.

  • Eisenhower’s Relevance to Peace, War, and Liberty Today

    Apr 12 2019

    Eisenhower's presidency still has enduring lessons for prospects for peace and liberty today. Chris Preble, author of the forthcoming book, Peace, War, and Liberty: Understanding U.S. Foreign Policy, offers his thoughts. Related podcast: Peace, War, and Liberty: Understanding U.S. Foreign Policy

  • Why Mark Zuckerberg Is Mistaken to Welcome Federal Regulation of Facebook

    Apr 09 2019

    John Samples is author of the new Cato paper, "Why the Government Should Not Regulate Content Moderation of Social Media."

  • How Governments Seize Guns with 'Red Flag Laws'

    Apr 08 2019

    Red flag laws are aimed at getting guns away from people who are at risk of suicide or crime. David Kopel explains the due process implications of these preemptive gun seizures. Related testimony: "Red Flag Laws: Examining Guidelines for State Action."

  • Cannabis and Opioid Overdoses

    Apr 07 2019

    Can cannabis become a key player in stemming the tide of opioid overdoses? Adrianne Wilson-Poe is a neuroscientist who studies the potential of cannabis in the opioid overdose epidemic.

  • A Big-Spending Divided Congress

    Apr 05 2019

    Will a divided Congress yield lower spending? Jonathan Bydlak of the Coalition to Reduce Spending comments.