President Obama gave a strong speech on the economy today, focusing on the long-term problems of inequality and its negative impact on opportunity, mobility, and growth. In terms of diagnosis, it was a speech of great depth. In terms of prescription, it was ambitious. Clearly, he knows this Congress will not legislate his economic agenda. [...]
So, nu? There’s maybe a bissel budget deal in the offing? Let me get this straight: –Sen. Murray and Rep. Ryan may actually agree on a budget, i.e., top line discretionary spending numbers, that shaves a bit off of the mindless 2014/15 sequester cuts? –The healthcare.gov website is on the mend—not perfect, but much better. [...]
This piece from today’s NYT comparing outcomes in neighboring states with quite different approaches to economic policy caught my eye for two reasons. First, some of the best empirical research in economics exploits these sorts of natural experiments. The idea is that neighboring states, in this case Wisconsin and Minnesota, face roughly similar economic forces, so [...]
Look, I’m fine with the occasional puff piece, but you gotta give me something to go on. This AM’s WaPo printed a feature on Rep. Paul Ryan’s plans to fight poverty by embarking “…on an ambitious new project: Steering Republicans away from the angry, nativist inclinations of the tea party movement and toward the more inclusive [...]
Every time I read stuff like this about Jeff Zients, the fixer the White House has brought in to get the healthcare.gov site up and running, I think about Mr. Wolf from Pulp Fiction, impeccably played by Harvey Keitel (warning: some rough language and images). I worked with Jeff a bit back in the day [...]
I talk a lot, as one should, about market failures. But government failure is unfortunately, increasingly worthy of attention. Over at the NYT Economix blog.
…even our current politics might be able to clear it. Over at the NYT blog.
Keith Hennessey and I have a pretty rousing debate on budget policy, the role of government, the shutdown debacle, and more over at the NYT Room for Debate room. Check it out.
Reflecting on the recent shutdown/debt ceiling debacle, the resolution of which is only a few months’ respite until the same self-imposed deadlines reappear, you’ve got to wonder: what’s wrong with America? Certainly this is the question I’m hearing from friends and other observers from abroad. Economic authorities, like the IMF or Asian bankers with large [...]
…without even a breath to consider that the immediate threat is unquestionably not the budget deficit; it’s the growth, jobs, and income deficits. Over at the NYT Economix blog. In addition to the points in the post, one thing you see happening quite clearly in recent days is how essential a crisis mentality is to [...]
Over at the NYT Economix blog.
I’ve been sparing my readers the blow-by-blow on the shutdown and debt ceiling. First, it’s way too depressing; second, it’s not worth our time to track every head fake, as seemingly important developments turn out to be dead ends. From the very beginning, it seemed to me and others–this is no great insight–that the end [...]
It looks like the Senate is hammering out a deal to end the shutdown/debt ceiling debacles–they appear to arguing over time parameters, e.g., how long the budget patch, ceiling-increase will last. But both Reid and McConnell just appeared to say they’re making progress and I believe them. But here’s the question: will Speaker Boehner allow [...]
I’ll let you read about the latest machinations of the dysfunctionistas up on Capitol Hill. The House melted down–turns out the Cruz strategy had some glitches–and the Senate has taken over (there’s a comforting thought). D’s, to their credit, are trying to avoid locking in sequester-level budget cuts, while R’s are begging for some face-saving [...]
In a bit of truly absurdist political theater, Tea Partiers are apparently staging protests against…you guessed it…the government shutdown. The protesters, including veterans and truckers’ groups, have apparently broken through barricades at various memorials around town, egged on by Tea Party stalwarts including Sens. Lee, Cruz and former governor Palin. So the Tea Party didn’t [...]
I hung about on the Larry Kudlow Show tonight and we spent the whole show talking about the status of the shutdown and debt ceiling (and the relief rally in the markets today–here’s one link). The plates of the debate seem to be shifting in ways that could be positive, though virtually all the signals [...]
According to a CNN survey of members of the House, and contrary to what Speaker Boehner said yesterday, there are enough votes in that chamber to end the shutdown. Of course, we’re talking a small minority of R’s voting with all the D’s, but there it is. A friend asks, “How’d you like to be [...]
I’m beginning to see—thankfully—more ink (bytes?) devoted to the critical study of dysfunctionology: the anatomy of how we got into this political mess we’re in and how to get out (see here for example from just this AM, and here for Dean Baker’s rebuttal). As I’ve noted in recent posts, one of the problems we’re [...]
Over at the NYT Economix blog.
Isn’t there some scientific principle where the stability of one object leads to greater instability in another object? The more President Obama and Harry Reid assert their simple strategy–we won’t negotiate under these conditions; pass a clean budget patch and debt ceiling bill and then we’ll talk–the wilder the House R’s are getting. I just [...]
Who gets hurt by the shutdown? The short answer: lots of folks. Depending on how long this drags on, we’re talking about students waiting on Pell Grants, low-income mothers and infants who benefit from the WIC nutrition program, elderly Meals on Wheels beneficiaries, and even cancer patients (including kids). But it’s not just less-advantaged Americans [...]
Besides this newspaper account of negative multipliers in action, you’re probably hungering for more information on the economic impact of the shutdown. –In terms of direct costs, which are lower than total costs (as you’ll see below), that of course depends on how long it lasts, but we’re likely talking single-digit billions. The three-week shutdown [...]
Washington, DC 10/1/13 The fiscal year began today, but it did so with the Federal government in partial shutdown, as Congress was unable to come to a last minute budget agreement. While positioning has predictably begun in the battle for public opinion, early poll results suggest that the public is unhappy with the obstructionist strategy [...]
–The House actually pinged two bills back to the Senate: one that conditions funding the gov’t on defunding the health care law, and the other that exempts military pay from the shutdown. I suspect the Senate will unanimously approve the latter. The former will lead to the shutdown. –There’s a line of thought (e.g., from [...]