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

Wow. Seriously, Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan? Seriously??

Am I misunderstanding (certainly a possibility), or do the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan write an entire article based on a really obviously ridiculous conflation of two separate concepts: what tax law is, and what tax law should be? The article, titled “Mitt Romney was right (on taxes),” chastises the public for hypocrisy […]

Piestein

by Sandwichman  (re-posted with author’s permission): In his Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke affirmed, “I do not question but that human knowledge, under the present circumstances of our beings and constitutions, may be carried much farther than it hitherto has been, if men would sincerely, and with freedom of mind, employ all that industry […]

Saving, Investment, and Lending in the Real Economy (Graphs). S=I?

With all the chaff that’s been flying around (recently, and for years now) about saving and investment, dissaving, and lending/borrowing, I felt the need to go back to the numbers and see how they’ve played out over the decades in what we tend to call the “real” economy — domestic households and nonfinancial business. Click […]

Lifted from comments: Program sustainability is?

Lifted from comments comes a beginning thought on the term ‘sustainability’ for programs…Sustainability Rusty asks: Is there an accepted definition for “sustainability?”I tend to think of it in an environmental context, but apparently it is used more broadly. Your thoughts? Bruce Webb’s quick reply: STR, well in Social Security lingo ‘sustainable’ is mostly used in […]

How high does senior poverty have to go?

It’s official: President Obama has proposed cutting Social Security by replacing the program’s current inflation adjustment with the stingier “chained” Consumer Price Index. As I’ve discussed before, this risks undoing all the progress made against senior poverty since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. 25% of seniors were poor according to official poverty […]

Obama caves yet again: offering Social Security cuts to appease the right…

by Linda Beale Obama caves yet again: offering Social Security cuts to appease the right… Obama’s budget isn’t even released yet and he’s already caving to the “let’s make the rich richer and forget the rest” crowd.  That crowd that claims that we need a capital gains preference so the rich can gather all that […]

Employment Situation

The headline numbers in the employment report were very weak as  payroll employment rose by only 88,000  and the household survey reported a -206,000 drop in employment while the labor force fell by -496,000.  The futures markets are reacting very badly.  But the workweek expanded and aggregrate hours worked increased 0.3% as compared to 0.5% […]

Employment Situation

This was one of the better employment reports of this cycle.  Private payroll employment grew 246,00while  government employment fell about 10,000 for a net gian of of 236,000.  The household survey also showed a nice gain of 170,000.   On a year over year change basis both series are showing nice gains. You would never […]

The employment situation

This was another tepid employment report not much different than the reports in 2012. Payroll employment rose 168,000 and the household survey showed a gain of only 17,000   Private payrolls expanded 168,000 while government employment fell 9,000.  Perhaps more importantly the year over year change in employment is showing significant signs of weakness,  Both […]

THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION

At first glance the December employment report shows that the trends throughout 2012 were unchanged in December.  But within the report there were some greater signs of strength. Private payroll employment showed a gain of 155,000 and the household survey reported a much smaller gain of only 28,000.  These changes are about the same  as […]