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

Stimulus Compromise Line Items

Talking Points Memo got ahold of a confidential summary of the Conference compromise Stimulus Conference Agreement Chart Long and detailed, only the wonks need apply. If I see something interesting I will update the post or put up a new one. Otherwise fell free to dive in.

Freedom vs. Four Freedoms

by Bruce Webb In a previous post I made a stab at explaining the differences in Republican and Democratic responses to the economics of stimulus by an appeal to differences in world view. With limited success due I think to my not developing my major premise. Here I want to back up a little and […]

St. Anselm’s Ontology, Normal Science & Irrational Voters

by Bruce Webb What do these three things have in common and what possible relevance do they have to the debate over the Stimulus Bill? The short answer is belief systems. Over at Krugman’s blog there was a certain amount of baffled debate over issues connected with the Treasury View. From the outside in these […]

Stimulus Update

Brad DeLong has the breakdown of things taken out of the no-longer-possible-to-defend-as-stimulating stimulus bill. Nice to see that no Republican, and precious few Democratic Senators, believe in following even Andrew Samwick’s tepid endorsement: Congress and the Obama Administration should be very discriminating in what they will spend money on. Bailout money for banks and large […]

Pick your Pork: Semi-Final Edition (Senate Stimulus Bill)

McClatchy via their Planet Washington web page brings us a list of what actually got cut from the Senate bill. And the title pretty much tells the story (though I will be adding a few words later). What the Senate’s cut: Funds for states and schools Here’re the cuts, according to Sen. Leahy’s office. Based […]

Stimulus Package Infrastructure

What is infrastructure? Some people seem to have a working definition that limits to highways and bridges. Others would expand it to include anything built of concrete and steel. Well that is a little too narrow a view. Instead we should include pretty much all public capital goods in that definition. So in addition to […]

How many "Free Trade" Economists will thank the Union?

I’ve said before that the “Buy American” provisions in the stimulus bill were not exactly a major issue. (I believe the phrase was roughly, “could drive a broken Mexican truck through the holes, even if dead drunk.”) Many economists (hi, Barkley) disagreed, even while some acknowledged that the income effect from “buying American” would be […]

Senate Version of the Stimulus Bill

Up to now most of the numbers used in the Pick your Pork series have been drawn from the initial House version of the bill. But now the action has moved to the Senate and it is time to shift our ground in response. So lets develop some links. CBO Director’s Blog: Macroeconomic Effects of […]

Columbus Dispatch Picks its Pork

Well not really, they just repeat some talking points without giving numbers. (via Dean Baker) Stimulus plan should focus on private-sector jobs, not increased social spending Also, the $300 billion targeted for social programs, many of them Democratic favorites, would not generate much immediate economic activity. Improving teacher quality, providing additional cash for Head Start […]

GOP Senators Pick Their Pork

Well the gloves came off this morning. What GOP Leaders deem wasteful in Senate stimulus bill STORY HIGHLIGHTSHouse Republicans unveil list of “wasteful” Senate stimulus spendingStimulus bill passed in the House without any Republican supportOne provision: A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producersAnother concern: $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI […]