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

What Once was Naivete is Now Idiocy

Update: Brad DeLong appears to confirm that Obama’s inner circle would be best served by being placed in a circular firing squad, given live ammo, and being told to “do what is right.” The plethora of disingenuous claims that Barack Obama “won” with the McConnell-Obama “compromise” are legend. See, for instance, the idiocy of Andrew […]

Can Either James Kwak or Mark Thoma Build This Model?

Update: Brad DeLong looks at the data and suggests that the problem may be that the current President is as innumerate as the previous one. Mark Thoma quotes James Kwak: So no, I don’t think Obama is abandoning his principles for political advantage; I think these are his principles. And while I’m upset at him, […]

The Impoverished, and Impoverishing, Debate about Fiscal Deficits

by Peter Dorman The Impoverished, and Impoverishing, Debate about Fiscal Deficitsoriginally posted at Econospeak It is like living in a dream—a very bad dream. Everything seems at once real and imaginary, serious and deliriously impossible. The language is familiar and incomprehensible. And it seems there is no waking up, ever. I’m talking about the “debate” […]

218 + 60 + 1….math of the budget deficit

To solve the deficit, the numbers add up – but not the votes Ezra Klein The sudden proliferation of deficit-reduction plans is a reminder that the deficit is, at its heart, a math problem. To get the budget into “primary balance” in 2015 – that’s wonk-speak for a balanced budget before interest payments, and it’s […]

WaPo (inaccurately?) reports "consensus forming" on deficit

by Linda Beale WaPo (inaccurately?) reports consensus forming on deficitcrossposted with Ataxingmatter The buildup in the corporate media supporting the corporatist wishlist on budgeting is growing.  First there was the clamor about the Bowles-Simpson road map to conquering the deficit–depicted as a reasonable, middle-of-the-road approach.  Bowles-Simpson is a neo-liberal/neo-conservative group of people with little understanding […]

…the sacrifices necessary…

Beat the Press Dean Baker November 22, 2010 says it well: The Washington Consensus That Excludes the Overwhelming Majority of the Public A front page Washington Post editorial * touted the “accord seen in debate over deficit.” It begins by telling readers that: “the sacrifices necessary to achieve those goals are coming into sharp focus.” […]

Extrapolated September 2010 Debt, by President

by Mike Kimel Extrapolated September 2010 Debt, by President Cross-posted at the Presimetrics blog. This one is quick and dirty because I’m very low on time…. Anyhow, these days there’s a lot of talk about the debt, and some talk about how irresponsible Obama is, or maybe its GW. Who knows, there’s a lotta talk […]

Who’s saving where? An application of the 3 Sector Financial Balances Map

Dean Baker finds gaping holes in deficit hawk rhetoric using the simple accounting identity that national saving must equal the current account (S-I = CA). If the domestic private-sector’s desire to save is positive, then the only way for the public sector (i.e., government) to net save is for the economy as a whole to […]

Campaigning on Tax Increases II The Republicans.

Robert Waldmann Kevin Drum writes“The GOP leadership has released “Tread Boldly,” a guidebook for Republican members of congress during the summer recess, and it includes a whole section called “Spending Restraint Solutions for Discussion.” Finally, we’ll get some details! So here they are: ‘Canceling unspent “stimulus” funds, saving up to $266 billion …’ Being hep […]

Current fiscal deficit hawks…oops!

Projected growth in spending on the federal government’s big health and retirement programs–Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security–dominates the long-run budget outlook. If current policies continue, that spending is likely to grow significantly faster than the economy as a whole over the next few decades. By 2040, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects those outlays will […]