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

What it means to be a Conservative Economist Today

Bruce Bartlett posts a note that could have come from me (but, for reasons that will become obvious, did not: During the 8 Reagan years, when marginal [tax] rates were sharply cut (but deficits were substantial), equities on the NYSE and the S & P 500 about doubled. During the 4 Bush 41 years, when […]

The Doomsday Scenario

by Tom aka Rusty The Doomsday Scenario So why are conservatives so excited about health care reform? Many see the progressive left pushing a gradual move to the Doomsday Scenario, something like this: 1) private health insurance is hyper-regulated, underwriting standards are eliminated, and premium costs rise astronomically 2) employers, especially smaller employers, drop coverage […]

Are Medicare Administrative Costs High?

by Tom Bozzo A few weeks ago, reader Pete emailed a link to Real Clear Politics, where Tom Bevan cited an analysis by Robert Book of the Heritage Foundation that purports to show that Medicare administrative costs, widely claimed (e.g.) to be far lower than comparable private sector costs when expressed as a fraction of […]

How is Bruce Bartlett Cheating: Let us Count the Ways

Robert Waldmann Steve Benen made a graph out of a table from a column by Bruce Bartlett. Bruce Bartlett is an interesting figure — a heterodox conservative who praises Reagan and criticizes Bush Jr. The figure sure fits Bartlett’s line. It shows the effective tax rate on families with median income. Sad to say, Steve […]

Reasons to be Cheerful

Ken Houghton Christopher Buckley leads the Republican Party to water, and speculates on watching them sink: …GOP pin-up girl Sarah Palin. I’ll stipulate that that’s condescending, if my former confreres on the Right will stipulate that had Gov. Palin’s first name been “Bob” or “Chuck,” her surname would still be unrecognizable to 90 percent of […]

Pull Quote of the Day from a National Review loyalist

Wick Allison, editor-in-chief of D Magazine and who succeeded William Rusher as the publisher of the National Review says what I’ve been saying for months about Barack Obama. But those don’t matter as much as what Obama offers, which is a deeply conservative view of the world. He continues: Nobody can read Obama’s books (which, […]