Blog Archives

Hillary Clinton's Unfortunate Defense of Higher Taxes

Speaking to a DC crowd at the Brookings Institution, Hillary Clinton made an off-the-cuff comment about raising taxes that might get some play in the political entertainment world:
“Brazil has the highest tax-to-G.D.P. rate in the Western hemisphere.
And guess…

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Good News: Income Now Growing Faster Than Spending

Americans’ income grew faster than spending in April. We’re earning more, we’re saving more and we’re spending the same. Good news for long-term recovery trends, because you don’t want a debt-fueled recovery coming out of debt-powered recession. Bad news in…

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One Reason Why the GOP Can't Repeal Health Care Reform

GOP House leaders introduced a bill on Thursday to repeal the health care reform law … the same day the Obama administration announced that it will begin sending seniors the first Medicare “doughnut hole” rebate checks to demonstrate the HCR’s…

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'Jobs Bill' To Include Perks for NASCAR, Hollywood, Rum

Today in special interest giveaways, the “jobs bill” edition:
The pending bill still includes a $38 million extension of a
depreciation break for “certain motorsport entertainment complexes,”
otherwise known as the NASCAR break. And television and film producers
would reap…

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In Praise of the Teacher Bailout

States are facing record budget shortfalls, which almost always result in huge cuts to education. So the jobs bills moving through Congress propose a $23 billion infusion to public schools to save between 100,00 and 300,000 teacher jobs. Neil McCluskey…

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Hedge Funds Don't Deserve a Special Tax Break

Normally, jobs bills don’t raise the ire of Wall Street. But these aren’t normal times.
The $150 billion Senate stimulus bill that extends unemployment insurance and multiple tax cuts will try to recoup some of that money taxing hedge fund…

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Is Social Security 'Sustainable'? Kinda

Let’s skip straight to the chorus of the deficit reduction song: our debt crisis is our entitlement crisis is our debt crisis. Catchy! But not easily solved. The real long term threat is Medicare spending. The ghost in that machine…

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What the Next Jobs Bill Will Look Like

House and Senate leaders are scrambling this week to glue together a stimulus bill to avert massive teacher layoffs, plug up holes in state spending and keep doctors from taking up to a 20% pay cut with Medicare patients. Today’s…

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Apple Bites Microsoft, Becomes World's Most Valuable Tech Company

Apple overtook Microsoft this afternoon as the world’s most valuable technology company, and the second most valuable US company behind Exxon Mobil (as if it needed a spotlight).
Apple shares rose 1.8
percent, giving the company a value of $227.1…

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Facebook's New Privacy Rules Are Simple and Smart

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced new, simple privacy controls today after weeks of withering criticism and multiple reports of users deleting their profiles. Zuckerberg told reporters on a conference call that he agreed with critics that the company’s privacy controls…

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Are Millennials Private, or Just Savvy?

BusinessWeek looks at a Pew study on privacy and social media trends and finds many Millennials, long thought to be laissez-faire toward their privacy, are actively guarding their personal information:
Seventy-one percent of social networking users aged 18 to 29…

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The Next Two Years for the World Economy


The OECD has released its economic outlook (pdf) for the United States, Japan and the entire OECD member states (map here). The report projects GDP growth, inflation, unemployment and other stats out through 2011. One broad takeaway is that, in…

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The Bubble and Squeak Congress

The spending bills are coming fast and furious in Washington, with the summer deadlines looming and Democrats and Republicans looking to tie a pretty little bow on 111th United States Congress by appeasing valuable constituency groups.
The spending bills moving…

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Which State Benefits Most From the Mortgage Deduction?

The mortgage interest deduction has lots of enemies, including urban sprawl critics, tax reformers, deficient hawks, and personal debt gurus. But it also has a lot of friends: namely, the millions of Americans who use it to reduce their tax…

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Making College a Three-Year Experience

Maybe we should start to call it the best three years of your life. Today we’ve got a spat of articles arguing that some colleges should shrink the bachelors degree requirement by a year, either by adding summer classes or…

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Don't Fetishize Small Banks

A friend and source in the finance industry in New York has repeatedly made the argument to me that regulators focusing on the size of banks are missing the point.
“Small banks did the worst in this crisis,” he once…

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Home Buyers Should Celebrate the Greek Debt Crisis

How might the Greek debt crisis be good for the United States?
Last week, we counted three possibilities: cheaper oil, greater international investment in the United States (as investors flee the eurozone for America’s embrace), and a longer period of…

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The White House Finally Explains Keynesian Economics

Larry Summers gave an interesting speech yesterday defending and explaining the White House’s economic policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His thesis was classic Keynesian economics: “Appropriate short-run expansionary budget policy can make an important…

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In (Partial) Defense of Obama's Spending Cut Gimmick

President Obama has asked Congress to give him the authority to pare down spending packages and toss them back to Congress for a quick up or down vote. This would let the president burnish his frugal bona fides and give…

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New War Bill Enough to Make Americans' First $35,000 Tax Free

How about this for a tax cut: If you take the president’s request for $159 billion of supplemental war spending and send it to American taxpayers instead of Afghanistan, you could make every American’s first $35,000 completely tax free for…

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