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

New Model Legislation Would be Great First Step Toward Subsidy Reform

¬†by Kenneth Thomas New Model Legislation Would be Great First Step Toward Subsidy Reform Yesterday, Good Jobs First released new model legislation to increase the transparency, accountability, and effectiveness of state and local subsidies, which I estimate to total $70 billion per year. If states were to adopt these laws, subsidy administration would improve dramatically, […]

Conservative roots of Obamacare

by Kenneth Thomas¬† Conservative roots of Obamacare The pile-on continues. As I discussed in February, Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation wrote a breath-taking op-ed in USA Today (via Don Taylor) denying that he fathered the individual mandate. In fact, his revised 140-page research paper was published January 2, 1989, before President George HW Bush […]

Mitt Romney’s Unintentionally Hilarious Tax Return FAQ

by Kenneth Thomas Mitt Romney’s Unintentionally Hilarious Tax Return FAQ Unless you’ve been in a coma, you have certainly heard about Mitt Romney’s release of his 2011 tax returns last Friday. You no doubt know that he and his wife did not claim all the charitable tax deductions they were due, so their tax rate […]

Every State’s State/Local Tax System Taxes the Poor More than the Wealthy–And All Exceed Federal Taxes

by Kenneth Thomas Every State’s State/Local Tax System Taxes the Poor More than the Wealthy–And All Exceed Federal Taxes A new report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) shows that in every state in the country, the bottom 20% of households pay more of their income in state and local taxes than […]

More New Books Highlight Plight of Middle Class

by Kenneth Thomas More New Books Highlight Plight of Middle Class The situation of the middle class is a hot topic these days, and rightly so. In addition to James Carville and Stan Greenberg’s recent book, It’s the Middle Class, Stupid, new books are out by Donald Barlett & James Steele, Jeff Faux, and Mike […]

US wages trail 10 OECD countries, but with higher unemployment than 9 of them

by Kenneth Thomas US wages trail 10 OECD countries, but with higher unemployment than 9 of them Contra Eric Cantor, Labor Day celebrates the importance of labor and the labor movement in American history. But the bluster of Cantor, where he celebrates the so-called job creators, does illustrate that organized labor has been in decline […]

Is the Growth of Manufacturing Production a Mirage?

by Kenneth Thomas Is the Growth of Manufacturing Production a Mirage? A lot of people lament the decline in manufacturing employment, which has fallen by about 1/3 since 2000. As Upjohn Institute economist Susan Houseman points out in the linked article, we’re talking about 5.5 million lost manufacturing jobs in that time frame. Here’s what […]