Peter Cohan and I fail to disagree about the downgrade: like the debt ceiling fiasco, it’s a distraction from the straightforward task of re-stimulating the economy to put people back to work.
Archive for the ‘Macroeconomic Policy’ Category
Perhaps Mark is right, and I was too anxious. After all, now that Republican hostage-taking demands have begun to cave, Obama has doubled down, calling again for entitlement cuts and higher taxes: For all its talk of the importance of averting a debt default, the White House is signaling that major deficit reduction has become [...]
I realize that this whole, raise-taxes, cut-benefits, eat-your-peas thing worked for Ike, but you know, he did win the war and all, and you didn’t. Just saying….
Some observers, including Garrett Epps, who is a legal scholar, and Bruce Bartlett, who is not, have argued that Section 4 of the 14th Amendment makes the debt ceiling invalid. That Section reads, in relevant part: The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law…shall not be questioned. That’s it, at [...]
Garrett Epps thinks that the debt ceiling is unconstitutional; Bruce Bartlett agrees. I’m not so sure; the question would turn on whether appropriations and entitlements that the Treasury would need to borrow to pay for would be regarded as “public debt” within the meaning of Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment. You could argue it both [...]
“Mr. President, Speaker Boehner says that he will not agree to raise the debt ceiling unless there are trillions of dollars in spending cuts. How do you respond?” “Well, Jake, since the Speaker has refused to make the very wealthiest pay their fair share, and has taken Defense spending off the table, the only way [...]
First, they came for Social Security. But lots of people like Social Security, so they couldn’t privatize Social Security. Then, they came for Medicare. But lots of people like Medicare, so they couldn’t privatize Medicare. So now, they are coming for Medicaid. And Steve Benen and Ezra Klein are worried. It’s hardly surprising that Paul [...]
…which Matt will win because he will channel his Inner Tarantino and slice my head in half. But before then, let me express some skepticism that Matt’s rational actor utility-maximizer will come through for us. 1) Strictly speaking, it seems to me that the competitive market theory does not imply that firms will always maximize [...]
Lots of talk across the blogosphere regarding Standard & Poor’s “downgrading” of US Treasury debt. But let’s recall the source. Standard & Poor’s, together with Moody’s, is one of the great dupes of the recent financial crisis (villains, if you are more cynical). It repeatedly issued AAA ratings to what we now know — and what any sharp-eyed [...]
By now it is a theological dogma among Republicans that cutting marginal tax rates for the wealthy will incrase revenue. But if that’s the case, why does the Republican budget make any budget cuts at all? Why not just keep cutting marginal rates and using the extra revenue to pay for Medicare and Medicaid? If [...]