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Oh, Dear. The David Brooksification of the Washington Post Editorial Board. And Brooks Doesn’t Even Write For The Washington Post. (But he does still write for the New York Times.) – UPDATED

As Greg Sargent pointed out this morning, the new “it” gimmick of the pox-on-both-houses punditry is to borrow National Journal editorial something-or-other Ron Fournier’s tac of pretending that Obama can order the military to invade the House of Representatives and hold its members at assault-weapon-point until they agree to a grand bargain.  Or at least to a less-grand one that includes additional tax revenue mainly through the closing of loopholes for the wealthy.  

Sargent doesn’t give credit where it’s due, though; he fails to identify Fournier as the etymoligcal source for this.  But, best as I can tell, he is; he just forgot to copyright it.

The key to this particular gimmick is a slight variation on the Orwellian redefinition of the word “lead” offered, repeatedly now, by John Boehner. In that original form, lead actually means follow.  Or, capitulate.  As in: The president needs to show leadership by delegating policymaking to the Republicans.  But in the slightly morphed from being employed by the punditry, it means–seriously–using actual force to compel the House to agree to a compromise that includes raising more tax revenue from the wealthy.

And surely this will resonate with the public.  After all, doesn’t everyone want a president who leads?  And isn’t all that matters simply the use of the word lead–regardless of how closely that use corresponds to the actual common English-language meaning of the word?

Well, obviously, the answer to that question is yes, because today the Washington Post features an editorial called “Sequester offers President Obama a time to lead,” which suggests that Obama offer a grand bargain that includes … additional tax revenues from the wealthy.

Call up the Army, Mr. President. And a Marine unit or two.  

Actually, apparently the purpose of the editorial–its purported purpose, anyway–is to try to goad Obama into proposing a grand bargain that would cut Social Security and Medicare benefit and that would include additional tax revenue.  So editorial writer casually segues from “leader” as someone who forces an actual agreement to “leader” who proposes a bold, sweeping, grand solution that the other side will reject out-of-hand and that therefore doesn’t resolve the sequester issue that the writer insists Obama is obligated to force a resolution of.  

But the actual purpose of the editorial–at least one actual purpose–is to support and subtly reiterate Bob Woodward’s false and baldly silly claim in that paper last weekend that in Aug. 2011 Obama agreed to a deal that forbade him and the Senate Democrats from bargaining to replace the sequester with any agreement except one that was even more abhorrent to the Dems’ position than the sequester.  According to Woodward, Obama agreed as part of the sequester itself that the Repubs were free to try to replace the sequester with a deal that removed Defense Department cuts and replaced those cuts with draconian cuts to social safety net programs and to other agencies and programs that the Dems support.  (The EPA!  The SEC! The Consumer Product Safety Commission!)  But, Obama agreed, the Dems would not be entitled to try to replace some of the cuts with additional tax revenue. 

Uh-uh.  No, sir.  This train runs in only one direction: Republican.

Sounds to me like a deal that Obama could have just cut to the chase and taken right then and there, in Aug. 2011 rather than waiting 18 months.  But it doesn’t sound that way to Woodward. Or to the editorial’s author, who writes:

The Republicans are right when they say that the sequester was Mr. Obama’s idea, in the summer of 2011, and that he agreed to a deal that was all spending cuts, no tax hikes.

Yup. I guess that if you’re a Washington Post editorial writer, you can try to get away with saying that Obama “agreed to a deal that was all spending cuts, no tax hikes,” and not identify which deal you’re talking about–the sequester deal, which indeed was all spending cuts, or instead a deal to replace the sequester, which has yet to be made and therefore includes no deal that is all spending cuts.  At least if you don’t give a damn about your paper’s credibility.  

And if you don’t care that you’re playing with fire.  Words have actual meanings, and these semantics sleights of hand are matches.

But the editorial is dangerous in a substantive, rather than only a semantics, respect as well, because it bases its grand-bargain argument upon a claim that we must agree now to cut Social Security and Medicare in the future in order to pay for things like increases in education funding and guaranteed quality preschool now.  At least I think that’s what it’s saying.  

Ben Bernake, by the way, made clear today under questioning before the Senate Banking Committee, that he begs to differ with the assessment that this is a grand idea. The Washington Post’s economics and finance reporter who covered the hearing will report accurately on what transpired. The Washington Post’s editorial board won’t even understand it. Or won’t admit that they do.

Meanwhile, never to be outdone in recommending policies to Obama so that Obama can lead, without offering an iota of explanation or support for them, David Brooks weighed in this morning with another leadership-as-a-double-entendre column.  This time, fresh from his mea culpa about his last column, and in fact reiterating the walk-back, Brooks acknowledges that inequality has spiraled out of control since the Clinton era, and agrees that Obama should propose policies to address this.  Like a consumption tax to offset an elimination of income taxes on incomes up to $100,000 and a reduction of corporate tax rates to 15%.  

Brooks doesn’t explain the policy reasons for the two offsets he suggests.  But he doesn’t have to.  Everyone knows that the less progressive the tax code, the less inequality in wealth we will have, and that record corporate profits and record corporate hoarding of those profits leads to more equality of income.  After all, they’ve read past Brooks columns.

As for the Washington Post editorial board, when they consider important people who should lead, but aren’t, they might want to look in the mirror.  They emphasize that the Republicans are right that the sequester was Mr. Obama’s idea, in the summer of 2011.  But they don’t mention that the alternative was the default by the United States on all of its already-incurred financial obligations, including its Treasury bonds. Nor that that, by absolutely all accounts, would have destabilized the entire world economy.

This is important stuff. And as the editorial board of one this country’s emanant general-news publications, they’re important people. They should take that responsibility seriously. They should lead.


UPDATE:  Washington Post columnist David Ignatius writes, in a column posted this afternoon:

Much as I would criticize Obama, it’s wrong to say that both sides are equally to blame for what’s about to hit us. This isn’t a one-off case of Republicans using Obama’s sequestration legislation to force reckless budget cuts. It’s a pattern of behavior: First the Republicans were prepared to shut down the government and damage the national credit rating with their showdown over the debt ceiling; then they were careening toward the “fiscal cliff.” This isn’t a legislative tactic anymore; it’s an addiction.

Excuse me, Mr. Ignatius, but given that you acknowledge that the Republicans were prepared to shut down the government and damage the national credit rating with their showdown over the debt ceiling, isn’t it a bit–oh, I don’t know–odd for you to imply that that was unconnected to, y’know, Obama’s sequester? Since, without* Obama’s sequester, the government would in fact have shut down, and the damage the national credit rating would have been, um, significant–so, this is what Obama’s sequester avoided?

Or was Obama’s sequest really just proposed in a vacuum, as you suggest? I forget. Or you do.

Or maybe you just pretend to.

*Typo-corrected. Originally, it said “with” rather than “without.” Oops.

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Risk is Mispriced Because Money Managers Face no Risk

Here’s what risk looks like:

Having to tell your six-year-old son that you don’t have a birthday present for him because you didn’t have any money left after buying food for the week.

Telling your daughter she has to attend the semi-shitty local community college instead of the awesome out-of-state school where she was accepted and is dying to go.

Shutting down your small business and taking a shitty wage job because your customers evaporated, due to financial forces utterly beyond your ken and control.

Ending up $900,000 in debt for your dead husband’s terminal cancer treatment, because you didn’t have a spare $12,000 a year to spend on health insurance.

Being forced from your family home, even from your whole community of decades- or generations-long friends and family, because you made the foolish and irresponsible decision to get married and buy a house in 2006 instead of 2003.

Looking your kids in the face as you’re taken to jail for non-appearance, because you failed to send notification to your creditor’s attorney and the court where he’s pursing you of the current correct notice address, the latest place where you’ve managed to put a roof over your kids’ heads.

The money managers and financial prestidigitators who “price” “risk” don’t face any risk. If they blow it they’ll be fine, (maybe) just somewhat less prosperous. They and their kids will go to nice schools, live in nice houses, and have good health care.

If they blow it, even to the point of blowing up their companies or the whole financial system, they’ll be fine, (maybe) just somewhat less prosperous. Even if their (firms’) behavior was deceptive and fraudulent by any reasonable measure, they face (statistically) approximately zero risk of going to jail.

They (we) have offloaded all the risk onto the people whose money those managers are managing, on the low-level employees of their own firms, and on the employees of the firms whose finances they’re arbitraging with sophisticated, high-risk, leveraged machinations.

Is it any surprise that the cost of insuring against so-called “risk” in the world of money management turned out to be so wildly underpriced? It’s because the people buying and selling that insurance weren’t facing, and don’t current face, any actual risk.

They’ve found a way to get real insurance against real risk, from real people, and they don’t even have to pay those people any premiums.

Cross-posted at Asymptosis.

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An Organization That Provides Food Stamps for Pet Food

Two weeks ago, Linda posted a terrific, detailed post on the Camp hearings in the House Ways and Means Committee–which is not known for kumbaya, despite the chairman’s surname–on the possibility of ending or curtailing the tax deduction for charitable donations.  The hearings apparently were surprisingly serious in tone and nature, from what I could tell from Linda’s reporting, and Linda’s analysis, commentary and recommendations were helpful.  For my part, I posted the following comment in the Comments thread to her post:

Most people have one or two causes that they care deeply about, and one of mine is animal rescue. It’s not happenstance that virtually every time I go onto the web, an ASPCA ad or two appears on the page–including on AB. I mention this because animal rescue is not something that is funded at all by federal tax money, so additional tax revenues wouldn’t make up for lost charitable donations. Not directly, anyway.

But I doubt that most people who donate to animal-rescue nonprofits do it with even a moment’s thought to the tax deduction. I suspect that most people who donate are not wealthy, and a good percentage of them don’t itemize their tax returns. But among those who are wealthy, does the tax deduction make a difference in how much they donate? In most cases, I doubt it.

About two years ago, an obviously wealthy Detroit resident donated $1 million to fund a huge new no-kill animal shelter in Detroit–a city that has thousands of strays at any given time. Undoubtedly, he was happy to receive the tax deduction; the gift was announced during the last week of December. But surely he didn’t give the gift in order to get the deduction; he’s active in the most important part of what the shelter does: finding the stray dogs and bringing them to the shelter, as well as in the establishment of the shelter itself, such as buying and renovating a huge empty warehouse for it. If he could have afforded to donate the full $1 million irrespective of the tax deduction, he would have, if the deduction had not been available. I don’t know whether he could or not.

But then there is another side of the lost revenue, regarding, at least, animal rescue. Last fall, I got a call on my cellphone from a number that I didn’t recognize. When I answered, a young woman on the other end said something like, “I’m so-and-so, at such-and-such. Your dog is ready, but I’m calling about your Visa card, and …” I cut her off, and said, “You’re who, from where, and you’re calling about what??” She took a moment to respond, and then said, “Oh, I’m sorry. I must have the wrong number.” About 20 minutes later, she called back. Apologetically, she read the phone number and asked whether I had dropped off a dog that morning to be groomed. I said I hadn’t. In a sad tone of voice, she apologized for the call.

Obviously, someone who could no longer afford to care for his or her dog, but who was unwilling to take the dog to shelter, much less to simply dump the dog somewhere outside, had decided to take the dog to a groomer and provide false contact information and a no-longer-good Visa card, in the hope that the groomer would find a good home for the dog. I don’t know whether the person was someone who knew me and had my phone number, or instead just picked my number randomly.

But a decent social safety net, rather than one that is fraying–especially one that is reduced rather than increased during a recession or very slow employment and wage growth–does have an effect, if an indirect one, on animal rescue efforts. Both in the number of animals that need to be rescued and in the number people who can afford to rescue one.

Kudos to Linda for this terrific post.

I’ll indulge this interest of mine further here, by posting a link to a news article today on Yahoo! News called “Food Stamps … For Pets?”  The article reports:

A new donation-based program called Pet Food Stamps aims to provide food stamps for pets of low-income families and for food stamp recipients who otherwise could not afford to feed their pets, reported ABC affiliate KVIA in Las Cruces, N.M.

Based in New York, the program is open to anyone in the United States. More than 45,000 pets have already been signed up in the past two weeks, according to the program’s founder and executive director Marc Okon. Once need and income is verified, the families will receive pet food each month from pet food retailer Pet Food Direct for a six-month period.

The story is reported elsewhere, too, but the photo in the Yahoo! article sort of cut to my heart.  Detroit and a couple of its close-in suburbs are known for their large population of pit bulls, the breed shown in the photo.  Many, many are strays.  And anyone who thinks pit bulls are likely to be mean and aggressive hasn’t met the sweetheart that I spend a delightful hour or so last fall playing with–a stray found by a friend’s neighbor the day before, and taken to a wonderful shelter to be examined by a vet and then placed in a loving home.  She looked exactly like the white doggie in the photo, except that she was full-grown.

Anyway … anyone who knows of a pet owner who is struggling financially and may have to give up the pet because of that, please pass along the word about this organization.  

Thanks.  This is important, to a lot of animals, and to a lot of people.

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Dean Baker on Social Security and Obama

Via Truthout Dean Baker points to continuing insistent of President Obama to keep Social Security ‘on the table’. Dean Baker has a take on some numbers surrounding the politics and stories politicans offer:

While most of the DC insiders probably don’t understand the chained CPI, everyone else should recognize that this technical fix amounts to a serious cut in benefits. It reduces benefits compared to the current schedule by 0.3 percent annually. This adds up through time. After someone has been getting benefits for 10 years, the cut in annual benefits is 3 percent. After 20 years, people would be seeing a benefit that is 6 percent lower, and after 30 years their benefit would be reduced by 9 percent. (AARP has a nice calculator which shows how much retirees can expect to lose from the chained CPI.)

We can debate whether the chained CPI benefit cut should be viewed as “large,” but there is no debate that chained CPI cut is a bigger hit to the typical retiree than the ending of the Bush tax cuts were to the typical high-end earner. Social Security provides more than half of the income for almost 70 percent of retirees. This means that the 3 percent cut in Social Security benefits amounts to a reduction in their income of more than 1.5 percent.

By contrast, if a wealthy couple has an income of $500,000 a year, as a result of President Obama’s tax hikes, they would be paying an addition three percentage points in taxes, or $3,000, on the income above $400,000. That comes to just 0.6 percent of their income.

If the proponents of using the chained CPI to cut Social Security want to claim that this cut is not a big deal, then they must also believe that the tax increases on the wealthy were not a big deal. That’s what the arithmetic says, and there is no way around it.

(h/t Nancy Ortiz)

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Private equity and real estate managers get a "costly and unjust [tax] perk"

by Linda Beale

Private equity and real estate managers get a “costly and unjust [tax] perk”

Through a process of Wall Street interpretation of the law and the “Wall Street Rule” (that says that the government tax administration will have great difficulty gainsaying an interpretation of the tax laws that lots of high-powered–read “wealthy”–Wall Street bankers and friends have arrived at for their own benefit), private equity fund and real estate investment partnerships have long operated under the assumption that their managers can earn compensation income as though they were “partners” in the firms they are managing, even though they make no capital contribution whatsoever.  This is the so-called “carried interest” treatment of so-called “service partners” who receive a so-called “profits interest” in various types of investment partnerships for managing the assets.

Various commentators, myself included, have long argued that carried interest should be taxed as ordinary compensation income, just like everybody else’s compensation for work done.  I would go further.  The Internal Revenue Code provides for capital interests that are received, in a nonrecognition transfer, for contributions of capital to the partnership.  The concept of profits interests is developed in regulations and lower-court case law, both of which could be overturned (as in General Utilities “repeal” when a court case allowing distributiion of appreciated property from corporations without tax to the distributing corporation was “repealed” through a statutory enactment of a provision that required gain recognition)  by a legislative restructuring of the partnership provisions to make clear that there is no such thing as a service partner other than one who has made a contribution of equity and who also works for the partnership and receives a “guaranteed income” payment of compensation.

There are many in Congress who recognize the unfairness of the carried interest compensation loophole–not only does an interest that is claimed to represent a portion of the partnership’s capital gain income get taxed at a much lower preferential rate than ordinary compensation, but it also avoids all the payroll taxes that the lowliest wageearners must pay.  Sannder Levin, a Michigan Democrat, introduced a bill in 2007 in Congress that would have taxed carried interest at ordinary rates.  It was defeated by massive lobbying by the private equity, hedge fund,  and real estate millionaires (and billionaires).

As Lynn Forester de Rothschild notes in her op-ed in today’s New York Times, A Costly and Unjust Perk for Financiers, New York Times (Feb. 25, 2013):

This state of affaires denies our Treasury much-needed revenue; fuels public cynicism in government; and is evidence of the ‘crony capitalism’ that favors some economic sectors over others.
It is time for Congress to end this travesty.  Tax compensation to private equity fund mangers and their ilk as what it is–compensation income for services rendered to investors.

cross posted with ataxingmatter

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More on the adaptive inflation expectations hypothesis

This post will be long, fairly wonky, and confused.  I am typing, because I just have  to stop playing with FRED and write something.   My claim is that expected inflation over the next 5 (and 10 and 20) years is very similar to actual inflation over the past year.  I think the data generally fit the crudest most mechanical adaptive expectations hypothesis.

This would be interesting for two reasons.

First, the adaptive expectations hypothesis has been treated with utter contempt for roughly 4 decades.  It is considered an example of the sort of thing which economists must utterly reject.  The effort to replace it has lead to a lot of mildly interesting math and highly implausible assumptions.

Second, there is a huge and very vigorous discussion of forward guidance by the Fed Open Market (FOMC) Committee.  It has been argued that even when the Federal Funds rate is essentially zero, the FOMC can stimulate the economy by causing higher expected inflation.  It is generally agreed that the FOMC has been convinced by this argument.  I think this implies that there should be anonalous increases in expected inflation on the dates when the FOMC began to try to cause higher expected inflation — roughly the announcements of QE 1-4, operation twist and of forward guidance of how long it will keep the Federal Funds rate extremely low.  An excellent fit of expected inflation using only lagged inflation creates serious difficulty for those who think the FOMC always could and finally has promoted higher expected inflation.

I think I will put the actual post after the jump.

I will show time series and scatter graphs of two time series one of which should be lagged inflation and one of which should correspong roughly to expected inflation.  Here’s a graph before the reader gets too bored.

My variables for lagged inflation are the percent increase in the consumer price index (CPI) (blue)  and CPI excluding food an energy (green).  My variable for expected inflation is the 5 year constant maturity TIPS breakeven (in red explained below).  Notably all three variables fluctuate, but the breakeven is usually between the two measures of past inflation or very near the closer of the two.  The exception is during the total freakout late 2008 and early 2009.

I should stress that this is not all information available to market participants.  The price indices are reported monthly.  The price index for a month is reported during the next month.  I will look at asset prices the month of the prices and not after the prices are reported.  I think this is a minor problem, since the prices of ordinary goods and services are sticky and I am using changes over a full year.  I did it because it is quick and easy.

My variable for expected inflation is the 5 year constant maturity TIPS breakeven.  I have taken the monthly average of the daily series so the frequency is the same as the freequency of measured past inflation.  It is the difference beteen the return on regular nominal treasuries which pay dollars in 5 years compared to the Fed staff’s estimate of the real 5 year return on Treasury inflation protected securities (TIPS) which pay a multiple of the CPI (that is are bonds indexed to the CPI).  Both series are constructed by fitting a yield curve to the market prices of bonds.  This is especially problematic for the TIPS real interest rate series, because there are rather few different TIPS.   The 5 year constant maturity series involves some fairly heroic interpolation.

Fed staff (among others) stress that the TIPS breakeven is not equal to market particpants expected inflation.  The reason is that regular nominal Treasuries are more liquid and their price includes a liquidity premium.  The expected return on TIPS is generally higher, so the breakeven is general lower than expected inflation.  During the period of total panic and desperate quest for ready cash or equivalent, the liquidity premium appears to have become huge.  TIPS became very cheap compared to regular tresuries and the breakeven became negative.  I don’t deal with this, but just consider the months of blind terror to be exceptional.  I assume they were September 2008 through May 2009.

OK another graph.  Here I use a weighted average of the two series for lagged inflation.  The green line is
core CPI inflation times 0.75 plus CPI inflation times 0.25.  The weight was chosen by eyeballing and trying to make the green line look like the red line.

I think the series are dramatically similar (except for the panic period late 2008 through early 2009).

To check more (I apologise for the graphs — I am having computer trouble and made them in excel) I look at the scatter.  In the first scatter I have the 5 year constant maturity breakeven on the y axis and the weighted average past year inflation on the x axis.  I have connected the dots to show that the ones with very low breakevens all occured at roughly the same time.

except for the 8 funny months (September 2008 through April 2009) that is an amazing scatter.  I stress that it shouldn’t be that way — there is little useful information in the month to month fluctuations in inflation in the past 12 months.  Also there is almost no room for the effects of QE and other forward guidance.

I can’t resist two more graphs.  One shows the same variables for the period May 2009 through January 2013.  The scatter is very compact.  The slope is slightly under one.  There does seem to be less impact of lagged inflation over 2% on expected inflation.

Now the graph which amazes me the most.  This shows data from before the fall of the house of Lehman.  This was during the great moderation.  the Fed aimed roughly to target inflation at about 2% and keep unemployment pretty low.  More importantly, it was generally believed that the Fed could achieve its aims.  Yet the breakeven fluctuated with lagged inflation.  The slope is again slightly under one (zero would correspond more closely to prevailing theory).

I think the much ridiculed adaptive expectations hypothesis is pretty much what’s in the data.  Also I challenge anyone to find the months of the FOMC’s much ballyhood announcements in the scatters.
OK one last graph.  Here I add the 20 year constant maturity breakeven (blue).   This should be totally different from the 5 year breakeven (for one thing no one imagines that Bernanke can inform us about monetary policy in the 2030s).  But it is about the same (recall the heroic interpolation the 5 year and 20 year series are constructed from the same fairly few prices).

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Offer Woodward a Buyout, Mr. Graham. And This Time Force Him to Take It. [UPDATED]

In followup to this post of mine from earlier today, I want to point out Ezra Klein’s post from last night titled “On the sequester, the American people ‘moved the goalposts’.” It begins:

I don’t agree with my colleague Bob Woodward, who says the Obama administration is “moving the goalposts” when they insist on a sequester replacement that includes revenues. I remember talking to both members of the Obama administration and the Republican leadership in 2011, and everyone was perfectly clear that Democrats were going to pursue tax increases in any sequester replacement, and Republicans were going to oppose tax increases in any sequester replacement. What no one knew was who would win.
“Moving the goal posts” isn’t a concept that actually makes any sense in the context of replacing the sequester. The whole point of the policy was to buy time until someone, somehow, moved the goalposts such that the sequester could be replaced.

He then notes:

The sequester was a punt. The point was to give both sides a face-saving way to raise the debt ceiling even though the tax issue was stopping them from agreeing to a deficit deal. The hope was that sometime between the day the sequester was signed into law (Aug. 2, 2011) and the day it was set to go into effect (Jan. 1, 2013), something would…change.

There were two candidates to drive that change. The first and least likely was the supercommittee. If they came to a deal that both sides accepted, they could replace the sequester. They failed.

The second was the 2012 election. If Republicans won, then that would pretty much settle it: No tax increases. If President Obama won, then that, too, would pretty much settle it: The American people would’ve voted for the guy who wants to cut the deficit by increasing taxes.

The American people voted for the guy who wants to cut the deficit by increasing taxes.

And then there’s the coup de grâce:

In fact, they went even further than that. They also voted for a Senate that would cut the deficit by increasing taxes. And then they voted for a House that would cut the deficit by increasing taxes, though due to the quirks of congressional districts, they didn’t get one.

He ends his post by saying:

Here in DC, we can get a bit buried in Beltway minutia. The ongoing blame game over who concocted the sequester is an excellent example. But it’s worth remembering that the goalposts in American politics aren’t set in backroom deals between politicians. They’re set in elections. And in the 2012 election, the American people were very clear on where they wanted the goalposts moved to.

So Klein first makes clear, from his own direct, first-hand knowledge, that Woodward’s central representation of fact is false. He then deconstructs the very meaning of Woodward’s essential opinion claim by pointing out that it’s nutty.  

The Washington Post for the last several years has been engaged in numerous rounds of cost-cutting efforts, mainly through layoffs and buyouts.  Yet it continues to pay this has-been an almost-certainly-outsized salary, because 40 years ago he played a key role in breaking open this country’s worst (by far) political scandal, and thus cemented the Post’s status as a rival to the New York Times.  

But this episode highlights that that has become counterproductive.  


UPDATE: Oh, dear. Turns out that Woodward took a buyout from the Post all the way back in 2008.  Who knew?  After all,  the preface to that now-infamous reporting–er, opinion-piece–published this weekend says he’s an associate editor.  And he gets paid only about $2 per word!  Maybe when his current contract runs out, the Post will start requiring him to pay the newspaper $2 per word to allow him to publish his outstanding reporting there.  Or at least will start requiring him to fact-check what he publishes there. 

Given that this info was easily available on the web before I posted this post yesterday, the Post might consider hiring me to write for them.  Looks like I qualify.

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