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

Can Get Fooled Again

Our president once made the following statement: “There’s an old saying in Tennessee—I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can’t get fooled again.” If only our current Fed Chairman had taken those sage words to heart: Mr. Greenspan’s comments, in testimony to the Senate […]

Read Me

Dave Neiwert has a new book out, Strawberry Days. Like his previous books, and his blog, I’m sure it’s worth a read: AB

Privatization: John Quiggin Says There is No Free Lunch

Readers of the Angrybear know that I have touted this wisdom from Robert Barro to suggest that privatizing Social Security will neither increase risk nor expected return. The introduction to Andrew Abel’s AER 2001 article states this position quite clearly as well. It turns out that Max Sawicky and John Quiggin are eloquently making this […]

Will it Ever End?

Once again, Japan’s economy disappoints: TOKYO (MarketWatch) — Japan’s economy unexpectedly contracted in the October-December quarter as consumer spending slumped, data released Wednesday showed, raising concerns that the nation’s fragile economic recovery has stalled. The downside GDP surprise was déjà vu for investors disappointed by Europe’s downbeat data Tuesday. Japan’s Cabinet Office said real gross […]

There is Plenty of Tax Revenue – in that Lock Box

The Club for Growth is spinning out of control. First, we get their blog quoting the WSJ editorial page with: But after receiving a federal bailout for a fiscal “crisis” that never materialized, America’s 50 state governments now find themselves benefiting from a revenue boom. So how about repaying the $20 billion handout they’ve received […]

Investigating Financial Mismanagement in Iraq (or not)

Two CNN stories tell us clearly what our GOP leaders care about. If the issue involves past behavior by officials of other governments that does not involve U.S. taxpayer dollars, there will be several investigations. But if it involves ongoing misappropriation of U.S. taxpayer dollars by our current government, why bother.

Disingenuous Defense of Bush’s Fiscal Policy

The Luskin-Kudlow-Moore free-lunch supply-side crowd over at NRO have been trying to convince us that Bush’s fiscal train wreck will actually promote long-term growth. Their new ally is William Kucewicz who must have figured out that candidate Reagan was right in 1980 when he advocated growth through more savings and investment. Alas, the policies of […]

Tiny Savings in Modest but Important Budgets

The White House budget notes how the Deparment of Agriculture is providing assistance to almost 25 million Americans in need: Food stamps alleviate hunger and malnutrition among low-income individuals. In 2005, the Food Stamp program will provide approximately $26.3 billion in benefits to 24.9 million people. The Federal Government will provide an additional $4.1 billion […]

Is There is a Laffer Curve for Dividend Taxes?

The Club for Growth uses this spin to suggest there is. If one skips to the bottom of page 2 for the last graph, all of the action is there. But wait – tax revenues have been falling even if personal dividend income rose from $392.8 billion in 2003 to $441.4 billion in 2004. But […]

CNN reports weak employment growth (finally)

Our press catches on eventually as witnessed by this story: There’s little dispute that U.S. job growth has been well below normal since the last recession ended in November 2001. But rather than strengthening anytime soon, the labor market may not pick up much, or at all, at least for the foreseeable future, a growing […]