Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Alan Greenspan Forecasts Extremely Low Economic Growth for Germany, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Holland and Canada

Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, weighed in last week on one of the pressing issues facing the incoming Trump administration and the country — slow economic growth. Greenspan’s explanation is novel and bound to be controversial. To preview: He blames the welfare state and overall uncertainty for the slowdown. …

By scouring economic statistics, Greenspan thinks he’s discovered heretofore hidden relationships that explain weak productivity growth.

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A (Very Big) Problem With Robert J. Samuelson’s Political Advice to Romney – [Corrected]

Earlier this week, before the, um, video-recording news broke, it was reported that Romney planned to bring one of those debt clocks to his campaign rallies.  Hmmm, I thought; Obama should return the favor; he should bring a debt clock to his own rallies. A clock that shows what the debt will be under Romney’s “I’ll cut taxes by 20%, and then I’ll cut them more, and then I’ll …”, as he told the Detroit Economic Club last February. 

Or maybe Obama should take two debt clocks to his rallies: one showing the likely debt under Romney’s plan, the other showing the projected debt under the Ryan serious-about-debt-reduction plan.

Sounds like a (campaign) plan, to me!

But, of course, now that the video-recording news has broken, Republicans are scrambling to figure out how Romney can salvage his campaign.  The solution?  Turn it into a plus by illustrating how unmanageable the debt will become—and how awful it will be for later generations to have to handle—if we don’t get entitlements under control!  Y’know, by reversing the savings in Medicare under Obamacare!  And by reducing by 205, rather than raising to Clinton-G.H.W. Bush levels, income tax rates on people with incomes above $250,000!

Yup.  Conservative Washington Post columnist Robert J. Samuelson* uses his column today to join that chorus.  He urges Romney to turn that video-recording lemon into lemonade by claiming that what he (Romney) really meant when he said he knows “some believe that government should take from some to give to the others,” and that he thinks “that’s an entirely foreign concept,” was that the 47% of people who make too little money to pay income taxes as the current tax code is structured should be required to pay income taxes in order to negate some of the revenue loss from the 20% reduction in the tax rate for people with incomes above $250,000, some with incomes way above $250,000.  Like Romney.

Er … I mean … he should turn the discussion into one that shows how serious a challenge it will be for younger generations of people who will take personal responsibility for themselves by forgoing, say, college-tuition loans because those loans no longer exist—oh, or by asking their parents to pay the tuition, and then to lend them the money to become entrepreneurs, like Tagg Romney—to pay down that national debt that by then will be trillions of dollars larger, courtesy of the Romney/Ryan income tax reductions.

Sounds like a (campaign) plan, to me!  Go for it, Mitt!

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*CORRECTION:  Welllll, commenter rjs informed me that Samuelson is not an economist.  He just sorta masquerades as one.  Ooooops.  Sorry about my gullibility there, folks.

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