Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.
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 what? It’s growing like crazy. The rich are getting richer, but they are pulling people [...]no comments.
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 the short-term since consumption accounts for about two-thirds of GDP, by many measures. When consumption [...]no comments.
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 benefits to some likely voters.* Interesting juxtaposition. Stories like this help explain why it’s politically [...]no comments.
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 an expensing provision worth $46 million over 10 years. Puerto Rican and Virgin Island rum [...]no comments.
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 at the New York Post shrugs at the “teacher bailout,” noting that 300,000 jobs lost [...]no comments.
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 managers — not by raising the income tax, but by applying the income tax. Private [...]no comments.
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 is rising medical costs, which will take some Herculean efforts to curb. So for now, [...]no comments.
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 House vote could determine the outcome of a final stimulus bill that could be worth [...]no comments.
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 billion, as shares of Microsoft fell, which gave the company a market capitalization of $226.3 [...]no comments.
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 had become arcane and damaging to Facebook’s chief mission: helping its 400 million members connect [...]no comments.
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 said they’d adjusted privacy settings on social networks in order to make some information private, [...]no comments.
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 a reversal of fortune, strong recoveries in “emerging” nations like China and India will help [...]no comments.
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 through the House and Senate are an American version of Bubble and Squeak: a mess [...]no comments.
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 bills by $80 billion a year. For a short refresher, here’s how the deduction works. [...]no comments.
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 requiring fewer courses. The upsides are fairly straightforward: More students get a chance to go [...]no comments.
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 wrote to me. “Making banks smaller would not have changed a thing. If you have [...]no comments.
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 easy money from the Federal Reserve. Today, the Wall Street Journal’s Nick Timiraos finds a [...]no comments.
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 contribution to establishing the confidence necessary for sound growth,” Summers said. In other words, deficits [...]no comments.
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 the White House some ammunition when Republicans accuse them of Big Government. It is a [...]no comments.
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 one year. Yes, Rep. Alan Grayson’s War Is Making You Poor Act is a gimmick. [...]no comments.
Facebook has faced backlashes before, but this time feels different. Despite amassing an empire of nearly 500 million users, the company is in the midst of a public relations fiasco, with users, tech columnists and even the FTC slamming CEO Mark Zuckerberg for privacy violations. So Zuckerberg took to the Washington Post today to defend [...]no comments.
Congress will get moving on spending bills now that financial regulation has passed both houses of Congress and moved on to conference committee. Passing a self-described “jobs bill” when 16% of the country is unemployed or forced into part-time work should be a bipartisan cinch. Instead, Republicans and Democrats seem to have reach the opposite [...]no comments.
Germany’s Parliament voted today to approve a $185 billion contribution to $1 trillion bailout plan designed to calm the debt crisis sweeping through euro-zone states. Many analysts doubt that the emergency fund will help troubled countries like Greece avoid defaulting on their debt. But the fund could buy time for Greece to manage an “orderly [...]no comments.
US retail sales rose 5.7% in April, after a 7.8% jump in March, which was the best year-over-year improvement since August 2005 at the peak of the housing boom. But unemployment is near 10 percent. Why are Americans shopping? Three quick theories. 1) People are skipping mortgage payments to go to the mall. Yep, it’s [...]no comments.
It’s unlikely that Congress will get to a climate change bill in 2010. Between financial regulation, another jobs bill, the summer hiatus, the fall midterms and necessary end-of-year tax reform (pre-2001 tax levels and the estate tax are scheduled to reappear in January 2011), there’s little time to debate, amend, conference and pass the most [...]no comments.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget designed a budget simulator that challenges users to limit the US public debt burden to 60% of GDP by 2018. I took the challenge yesterday, and faced some blowback over my tax-heavy plan to remake the budget. The criticisms of my plan in the comment section were provocative [...]no comments.
The Greek debt crisis is, ultimately, a story about the European Union and the euro that binds its member states in a straitjacket of currency and monetary policy. But what if the euro doesn’t last the year? What if it doesn’t last the summer? Reuters blogger Felix Salmon plays Nostradamus on BBC Radio 4, narrating [...]no comments.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget designed a budget simulator. Awesome. Now everybody can stabilize U.S debt in the comfort of their homes. The goal is to achieve a debt level less than 60% of GDP by 2018. You should try it. I did. Below you can read up about how I stabilized the [...]no comments.
European states in the splash zone of the Greek debt crisis will almost certainly have to cut back on spending and raise taxes, triggering a double-dip recession throughout the European Union, and hurting US exports. But what if Europe’s debt disaster actually works out for the United States … kind of? Tim Duy finds three [...]no comments.
James Madison owned 5,000 acres. George W. Bush ran an oil business. But no president amassed more wealth than our first one. George Washington’s net worth was equal to $525 million in 2010 dollars, according to a study from 24/7 Wall Street. By comparison, eight presidents — including Lincoln, Grant and Wilson — had net [...]no comments.
After financial regulation, jobs, and jobs, and jobs. That seems to be the Democrats’ plan for the last few weeks on Capitol Hill before everybody goes home to raise money and worry about November. The New York Times reports: The House, which in December narrowly passed a $154 billion stimulus package that hit a wall [...]no comments.
The European Union experiment could be coming to an end. As the euro continues to slide, a wide range of interested parties — from international investors to op-ed pages — are seriously considering the once unthinkable: Greece might become the first country to drop the euro. Last week the EU and the European Central Bank [...]no comments.
Greece’s debt crisis won’t stay in Greece. It’s quickly becoming Europe’s nightmare. Newspapers often refer to Greece’s inability to balance its own checkbook as a kind of “contagion effect” that could spread through the continent. How can a nation’s debt be like a disease? First, let’s think about debt. A country’s debt — or “sovereign [...]no comments.
It’s hard to know whether the recession will push Americans — especially younger Americans — to the left or the right because generations coming of age during recessions tend to rely on government more but trust it less. We’re seeing this play out today. Automatic spending on jobless benefits, food stamps and Medicaid assistance is [...]no comments.
Conservatives have ideas, and it’s silly for liberals and moderates to claim they don’t. So let’s take a look at this article on some “innovative and controversial” ideas in the conservative movement. First: taxes and babies. Robert Stein argues that the tax system is unfair to parents. “Once a country adopts an old-age pension system, [...]no comments.
The New York Times’ David Carr has an interesting column on how the Internet changes headline writing. A century ago, headlines meandered down the page like a “wedding cake,” Carr writes. Some magazines like the New Yorker and New Republic still hold fast to two-word punches. But the trend online is toward short, keyword-heavy descriptors [...]no comments.
With the Tea Parties on Main Street and pitchforks on Wall Street, it seems to be a populist moment. But if you look at US policy, Washington appears to be moving toward more consolidation and centralization. That’s Ross Douthat’s argument in this elegant and thought-provoking op-ed for the New York Times. The broader theory is [...]no comments.
When experts look at how healthy a country’s finances are, they tend to look at what’s called the public debt-to-GDP ratio rather than the size of one year’s deficit. The IMF, and many others, tend to define “healthy” as anything below a 60% debt-to-GDP ratio. From an academic standpoint, it’s an appropriate measurement of debt [...]no comments.
Within the debate about the deficit, there is another debate about timing. If public debt does trigger a financial crisis, it won’t be tomorrow. It won’t be next year. It probably won’t be in five years. So what is everybody doing running around screaming about the fierce urgency of VAT? Here’s Bruce Bartlett’s answer: What [...]no comments.
“What if we aren’t talking about a jobless recovery? What if we’re talking about the emergence of a part-time lifestyle?” That’s the concern of many Americans forced into part-time work by the downturn. It’s also the question Julie Ruvolo at Solvate wants to answer. Solvate is a basically a work agency for freelancers. It’s a [...]no comments.
The U.S. economy grew by 3.2 percent annualized in the first three months of 2010. It wasn’t terribly strong growth, but it was the right kind of growth. As Dan Indiviglio explains, consumer spending — which generally accounts for about two-thirds of the economy — made up 80 percent of GDP growth in the first [...]no comments.
The SAFE Banking Act proposed by Sens. Brown and Kaufman (which should be introduced soon as an amendment to the Senate financial regulation bill) answers the Too Big to Fail conundrum decisively by capping each bank’s deposits at 10% of total deposits in the country. That doesn’t hit many banks, since the country’s largest commercial [...]no comments.
The Recovery Act cut taxes by more than $100 billion and spent another $150 billion in 2009 on projects like Medicaid, schools and infrastructure projects while raising GDP by an estimated one to three percentage points at the end of the year. So this is not good: Nearly two-thirds of Americans do not believe the [...]no comments.
The VAT may resolve the debt crisis, but for politicians it’s too soon to be right. That’s the headline of this David Ignatius piece in the Washington Post suggesting that the value-added tax is an idea before its time. Perhaps. But he writes: By ruling out a VAT when it could keep the federal deficit [...]no comments.
President Bill Clinton spoke at the Peterson Foundation Fiscal Summit in Washington, D.C., about how he would advocate for fiscal responsibility were he running for office in 2010. His big pitch boils down to two ideas: (1) the future and (2) immigrants. Here were his self-transcribed (read: rough, but directionally accurate) statements. On reducing the [...]no comments.
At the Peterson Foundation Fiscal Summit in Washington DC today, most panelists tried to distingiush between necessary short-term deficits and harmful structural long-term deficits. “I think Americans are smart enough to think about two things at the same time,” former CBO director Alice Rivlin said. Maybe so. But the President himself isn’t always good at [...]no comments.
At the Fiscal Summit in Washington DC, noted deficit scold Peter Peterson made something of a Kinsley gaffe: saying the truth in a way that sounds like a mistake. “We must unencumber ourselves of promises,” he said. From a framing perspective, “let’s break promises, together” sounds horrible. But that’s essentially what dramatic fiscal reform amounts to. [...]no comments.
Public policy is hard. Two-word sound-bites are easy. That’s why they drive the news cycle. Remember “death panels”? Remember “you lie”? Remember, most recently, “bailout bill” — Mitch McConnell claim that financial regulation allows endless taxpayer-funded bailouts? Of course you do. That’s because the media did our best to keep them alive. After the sound [...]no comments.
At the first gathering of the President’s bipartisan fiscal commission, former Congressional Budget Office Director Rudy Penner makes a good point about Social Security reform: The other point that I’d make about Social Security, it’s not as important as health care, but it’s much more simple to understand. We understand the effects of every option. [...]no comments.
On Thursday the Peterson Foundation will host a star-studded summit on fiscal responsibility in Washington, DC. To some readers, that might sound as hallow as the Academy Awards and as thrilling as the International Academy on Financial Management, but this is genuinely important stuff. Ruminating on about how the government collects and spends money is [...]no comments.
The Internet provides an infinity of stuff, but it’s all too easy to siphon off oneself in a cozy, ideologically uniform echo chamber of information — or disinformation. You might expect that the searchable, personalized architecture of the Internet might guarantee that we find the information we’re looking for rather than the information that we [...]no comments.
Incentives matter. It’s one reason why bankers’ and ballplayers’ salaries are often loaded onto bonuses. In that vein, Mental Floss has an interesting rundown of the weirdest baseball contract clauses of the last twenty years. Some of them are real incentives. Others aren’t. A $300 bonus to each Oakland A’s player growing a mustache by [...]no comments.
On April 16, the Senate overwhelmingly passed a symbolic measure to reject the idea of a value-added tax. Many people who read the news must have responded: a what? Americans like to think of our country as exceptional. Our tax system certainly is. The United States is the world’s only developed nation without a national [...]no comments.
Do you like your Hulu free? Then enjoy the next month, because things are about to change. The online TV and video streaming site is going ahead with its plan to put old episodes of popular shows behind a $9.95 monthly subscription wall called Hulu Plus. The last five episodes of popular shows will still [...]no comments.
Facebook wants to ride its new Open Graph protocol past Google on the road to Internet domination. But first, they’re going to have to get past Sen. Chuck Schumer. The New York senator wrote a letter to the FTC asking them to look at Facebook’s privacy guidelines. Facebook’s new plug-ins allow users like you and [...]no comments.
If you’re going to argue that the size of government is the defining debate in modern politics, you should probably explain why the government is so big. It’s not because of new laws. It’s because of old laws. David Brooks latest column argued that “as government grew,” moderates and independents recoiled and conservatives revolted. Brooks [...]no comments.
Health care costs will raise projected spending by about 1 percent over 10 years and Medicare cuts could put 15 percent of hospitals into the red, according to a new report from the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services. The full estimates are here (warning: PDF). The report is generating quite a bit of heat [...]no comments.
This week, with the announcement of Google’s new plug-ins and Open Graph protocol, the Internet became Mark Zuckerberg’s playground, and his buffet. We the Users aren’t just playing around in the Facebook ecosystem. We’re also feeding it. Every time we click the “like” button by a CNN article, every time we our favorite music on [...]no comments.
One of the principle conservative objections to a value-added tax is that it is “invisible” to consumers. In other words, we would go about our daily consumer lives, shopping and swiping our debit cards, without knowing that somewhere, deep inside the price tags, lives a phantom tax on various stages of the production cycle. They [...]no comments.
As Republicans inch closer to Democrats on the piece of financial reform that would limit and regulate the trading of complex instruments called derivatives, some Democratic are trotting out increasingly aggressive strategies to break up the big banks. Sen. Chuck Schumer is building bipartisan support to levy a bank tax similar to the 0.15 percent [...]no comments.
Republicans accuse Democrats of being neck deep in the pockets of Wall Street. Democrats accuse Republicans of being neck deep in the pockets of Wall Street. Who’s right? Everybody. Politicians often do this thing where they take a lot of money from people with a lot of money, and bankers do have a lot of [...]no comments.
Gizmodo nearly broke the Internet with its exclusive review of a lost new iPhone. Is it possible that the Gawker Media technology blog also broke the law? Slate’s Brian Palmer says Yes. California’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act prohibits the theft or disclosure of legitimate commercial secrets. The state law does not distinguish between rogue employees, [...]no comments.
Financial reform is complicated. Understanding why we need it is not. When President Obama makes his pitch for banking regulation Thursday in New York, he’ll have more than enough ammunition. Everybody felt the credit crunch’s tsunami, and everybody knows that the wave began on Wall Street. But whereas the motivation for reform is simple to [...]no comments.
What happens when you put a picture of a Sesame Street character on vegetables? Something like this: Findings from Sesame Workshop’s initial “Elmo/ Broccoli” study indicated that intake of a particular food increased if it carried a sticker of a Sesame Street character. For example, in the control group (no characters on either food) 78 [...]no comments.
Some commentators who take the economy’s temperature by watching Wall Street just don’t understand why consumers are so bummed. Look, they say, GDP is up! The S&P looks awesome! Hello, retail stocks! Well, yes. GDP is growing. The S&P is up 70% year-over-year. Retail stocks look nice. But this misses a bigger picture. Consumers are [...]no comments.
Being young and looking for a job in the United States is hard. But it could be worse. You could be Spanish, where the youth unemployment rate is 40%. That’s right. Forty. Percent. Or if you’re more worried about your generation’s comparative unemployment, thank your lucky stars you’re not living in Scandinavia, especially Sweden where [...]no comments.
Gallup asked some people whether they supported new laws to regulate “large banks and major financial institutions.” Less than 46% said they were in favor. Then they changed the object of regulation to “Wall Street.” The result? A four-percentage point increase. Matt Yglesias and the FT Alphaville are impressed by the framing effect opening [...]no comments.
One of the major criticisms of the government’s war on joblessness is that we are unwittingly encouraging unemployment with unemployment benefits. It’s a simple argument, really. You subsidize something to get more of it. When you pay people because they’re unemployed, you risk producing higher unemployment. Moderate and liberal economists like Larry Summers and Paul [...]no comments.
Jobs are so 20th century. The future is part-time. Whatever you want to call it — contracting, contingent labor, part-time work, gigs, freelance — independent work is on the rise. While the government does a poor job at consistently counting the self- and marginally-employed workforce, the available evidence all points to booming trend. According to [...]no comments.
President Obama used to blame the economy on “the last eight years.” Now that he’s been president for a year, he can’t do that, because “the last eight years, if you start counting back from a little over a year ago” isn’t a very pithy culprit for the recession. So he occasionally blames a smorgasbord [...]no comments.
Democratic legislators in the House and Senate are looking to use the SEC’s fraud suit against Goldman Sachs to inject some adrenaline into the financial regulation debate. Rep. Barney Frank said reform would have stopped Goldman from selling complex securities that were designed to fail and today Sen. Chris Dodd told CBS, “our bill would [...]no comments.
The economy is getting better quickly, but Americans won’t believe it until we feel the extra cash in our wallet or hear an end to our friends’ stories about the job market resembling a giant bottomless pit for cover letters. What’s keeping GDP growth from trickling down into employment growth? Christina Romer, chair of the [...]no comments.
Public trust of government is near its all-time low according to the Pew Research Center, which finds a perfect storm of factors — including a deep recession, high unemployment and polarized Congress — are driving distrust near an all-time high of 80%. What accounts for this outpouring of discontent? After all, the recession is over, [...]no comments.
After Google’s historic public offering in 2004, analysts assumed that the company’s moneymaker, online advertising, would similarly lift other tech start-ups into the IPO stratosphere. It hasn’t worked out (ask any publisher). If anything, Google’s success has tantalized entrepreneurs with a false narrative: Start small, grow an audience, wait for ad revenue to come. Starting [...]no comments.
The Senate overwhelmingly voted 85-to-13 on Thursday to reject the idea of a value-added tax in a resolution proposed by Sen. John McCain. All six of the senators on the president’s bipartisan commission on the deficit — three Democrats and three Republicans — voted with the majority. Sad. The resolution isn’t even close to binding, [...]no comments.
Bank of America reported $3.2 billion in first-quarter earnings, almost entirely on the strength of bond and stock trading on Wall Street. If you’re looking for evidence of a top-heavy economic recovery, consider these two statistics. BofA made $7 billion from trading revenues on Wall Street alone. It also lost $36 million on all non-investment [...]no comments.
March 2010 was the best month for jobs in three years, but it didn’t make a dent in the official unemployment rate. As we prepare for the long climb out of historic unemployment, Annie Lowrey of the Washington Independent submits “The Jobless Recovery in Two Simple Statistics”: 1. Fortune 500 companies tripled their profits to [...]no comments.
The Bush tax cuts are scheduled to expire at the end of the year. Barack Obama has repeatedly said he wants to extend the cuts for 98 percent of households, or those making less than $250,000. If he gets his wish, that’s just the beginning of the story. The White House is considering “limiting an [...]no comments.
Experts believe the economy moved from negative to positive growth in June 2009. That puts the recovery around 9 months old. But instead of acting like a 9-month old recovery, it’s behaving more like a 9-month old baby: crawling slowly and occasionally falling over things rather than standing up and moving forward on solid footing. [...]no comments.
Forty-five percent of Americans think their taxes are “about right.” according to a new Gallup Poll. An even higher number 62% think that their level of income tax is “fair” according to a New York Times poll, also released today. The difference between 45% and 62% is large, and indicative of why policy makers shouldn’t [...]no comments.
Public opinion polling is something between a dark art and a Rorschach test. Sometimes it can reveal significant and real trends. But too often the questions are leading, offer false choices or ask respondents to make enormous statements while withholding information or context. Consider that disclosure for this and all public polling analysis. This New [...]no comments.
It’s easy to get sidetracked over the 47% of Americans who don’t pay taxes. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. When that 47% figure gets chucked into the dustbin of cable news statistics, we will be back to the old familiar debate about taxes. Conservatives will complain the wealthy pay an ever-higher share of [...]no comments.
Republicans in the Senate used a procedural vote to delay extending unemployment insurance to some of the 6 million Americans who rely on these benefits for day-to-day expenses. Republicans didn’t mount much of a substantive fight against the measure — only Sen. Tom Coburn spoke out against it. But as it so often happens, where [...]no comments.
Taxed Enough Already? Or not taxed at all? One of the striking ironies of Fox News running with the statistic that 47% of Americans might not owe federal income taxes is that Fox News also moonlights as the unofficial station of the Tea Party movement, which clamors for lower taxes. You might ask: half of [...]no comments.
You might have heard, if you’ve been watching cable news at any point in the last 72 hours, that 47 percent of Americans will not owe income taxes this year. Conservatives argue that this is just one more way the economy is slipping into a social-egalitarian morass in which more Americans live off the productivity [...]no comments.
On April 15, taxes are due. And for almost 30 percent of Americans, TurboTax or some other online software tax program will do the deed for them. Does TurboTax’s technical mastery of the tax code cause us to avoid reforming a system that is so fundamentally complex that even experts struggle to comprehend its effects [...]no comments.
‘Tis the season for taxes. And for 90 percent of Americans, ’tis the season for other people to do their taxes. With all those perplexing deductions and exemptions and calculations for the average family, it’s just easier to send your stuff to H&R Block and hope the experts spot enough savings to make the outsourcing [...]no comments.
The federal deficit is running lower than the administration anticipated due to higher tax revenue and lower spending on federal bank bailouts. Is this good news? The Washington Post’s David Cho says the lower deficit is a “favorable number.” Economist Brad DeLong says it’s bad news because if unemployment is higher in 2010 than 2009, [...]no comments.
Spinning off a speech by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumpka at Harvard about why working people are angry, Ezra Klein makes this point comparing the reaction to job losses in manufacturing to job losses in journalism: Consider the way elites have treated the decline of journalism jobs and the decline of manufacturing jobs. Both sectors are [...]no comments.
The American economy is in a period of sustained recovery. But suddenly, in Newsweek, and BusinessWeek, and the New Yorker, there are a blitz of articles predicting that the recovery will be faster, stronger, and broader than most people expect. After all, the optimists argue, look at the stock market, which is going gangbusters. Look [...]no comments.
Nearly 50 percent of American tax filers will pay no federal income taxes in 2009. Half of them earn too little and the other half receive tax credits — the Earned Income Tax Credit, child-care credits, subsidies for college and savings — worth more than their tax burden, according to the Tax Policy Center. Many [...]no comments.
There is a growing consensus in Washington among policy and opinion makers (if not yet lawmakers) that taxes must rise in the next four years, and not just on the wealthy. According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, 60 percent of Americans favor rolling back the Bush tax cuts for families making more than $250,000. Apparently [...]no comments.
There is considerable evidence that the economy is steadily recovering and that the odds of a double-dip recession have shrunk to practically zilch. Unfortunately there is also considerable evidence that the recovery will not have the firepower to dramatically shrink unemployment to its pre-recession levels for years. Besides the sheer size of our unemployed ranks [...]no comments.
Staff members for Senator Richard Shelby, ranking Republican on the Senate finance committee, have said he will support an independent consumer finance protection agency — but with limitations, including an outside commission that could override CFPA rules. There are not many more details in the Washington Post article that breaks the story this morning. It’s [...]no comments.
We used to wonder what the iPad would look like. Then we asked what it would cost. Then what it would do, and what it would sell. Now everybody’s asking what it means. The consensus is hardening around the interpretation that the iPad is a consumer’s device rather than a creator’s tool. Nice distinction. What’s [...]no comments.
Health care reform is done. Financial reform is on its way. What’s next? Rich Gold, the head of the lobbying group at Holland and Knight, says it is only a matter of time until Washington is consumed in a major battle over tax reform. Here is a brief edited transcript of our conversation on Monday. [...]no comments.
The District of Columbia’s plastic bag tax of 5-cents generated only $150,000 in January, far below analyst’s expectations. But that’s the good news. The number of bags handed out by supermarkets and other establishments plummeted 85%, from 22 million to 3 million. The revenue will go to cleaning up the Anacostia River. As Atlantic colleague [...]no comments.
This winter, economic analysts explained that 5.6% annualized GDP growth in the last three months of 2009 was not as good as it looked. This fall, economic analysts will explain that 2010′s sticky, high jobless rate near 10% is not as bad as it looks. Projecting seven months forward, monthly job additions will rise and [...]no comments.
Within the genus of deficit hawk, there is moderate species that finds the long-term deficit crisis distressing but believes the solution can involve a prudent combination of new taxes and spending constraints rather than the wholesale demolition of our entitlement program. David Brooks appears to classify as a member of this species. The style of [...]no comments.