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

Modest Employment Growth as Kudlow Nips at the Korbel

The latest employment report shows payroll employment rose last month by 157 thousand to close 2004 at 132,266,000. This figure is slightly less than the 132,441,000 reported for December 2000. The report also shows the unemployment rate staying at 5.4%. It seems that noisy household survey show a 137,000 decline in reported employment but the […]

Armstrong Williams

Conservative pundit Armstrong Williams: Seeking to build support among black families for its education reform law, the Bush administration paid a prominent black pundit $240,000 to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same. The campaign, part of an effort to promote No Child […]

Schwarzenegger on fiscal restraint learns from Bush

Since replacing Gray Davis as governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger has adopted the George W. Bush approach to balancing budgets: keep tax rates from rising, talk about spending cuts but do nothing, and use a lot of misleading rhetoric to keep the press at bay. So he gives a speech yesterday and here is how […]

Deconstructing the White House Social Security Memo with Hat Tip to KHarris

Peter Wehner’s memo on Social Security can be found here. There are two substantive points as far as I can see. The first: Second, we’re going to take a very close look at changing the way benefits are calculated. As you probably know, under current law benefits are calculated by a “wage index” — but […]

Peter Wehner’s Social Security Memo is Right About One Thing

Joshua Marshall criticizes the memo from Karl Rove’s aid. Wehner’s suggestion that the Social Security Trust Fund is heading for an iceberg is simply absurd. But this line is correct: We need to establish in the public mind a key fiscal fact: right now we are on an unsustainable course. The GENERAL FUND is on […]

Social Security Debate: The DeLong Talking Points

Brad DeLong provides this list, which we should all print and refer to as we discuss this issue. My version will have two edits to Brad’s excellent list. This bullet point has been put in bold: Robbing Peter to pay Paul is in general not a good idea. Conservatives love this expression when the discussion […]

Soc. Sec. Deform: Taxing the Unborn

I spent so much time yesterday hat-tipping Max Sawicky’s Little Nell post that I sprained my right wrist so let me use my left wrist to hat-tip this piece of brilliance: It’s a three-in-one masterpiece akin to those Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons (slapstick for the little kids, humor for those of us who were about […]

GOP on Social Security Reform: Waffling and Lying

CNN has commented on the Washington Post story with this report. President Bush is still refusing to say whether he supports the reported proposal: Administration officials insist, however, President Bush has not made a decision to embrace the approach and the first White House priority is a massive public relations campaign this month to raise […]

Bush Soc. Sec. Reform – How Little Nell Will Lose

Max Sawicky has another excellent post this time commenting on what seems to be a revival of Model 2 from the Bush Social Security commission. Little Nell is a typical person born in 2000. You know – one of those children that Bush wishes to “save” the Social Security system for. To save further ado, […]

The Social Security Fear Factor

This is the title of a very good oped from Gail Collins. I would argue that among Gail’s many excellent statements, this one hits at the core of why this White House wants to adopt its proposal: In any event, doing well under privatization is relative. Congress’s budget agency analyzed the privatized plan that is […]