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

A New IOM Report Reveals Why Medicare Costs So Much (Hint–It’s Not Just the Prices)

by Maggie Mahar A New IOM Report Reveals Why Medicare Costs So Much (Hint–It’s Not Just the Prices) (reposted with authors permission) George W.  Bush is 67. Chances are Medicare paid for the stent operation that I describe in the post above. For years, medical researchers have been telling us that this procedure will provide no […]

Rep Marsha Blackburn’s snow job. Explains how Social Security money flows

I was watching C span Washington Journal this morning.  Rep Marsha Blackburn was the guest.  I got to listen to her explanation of how the Social Security funds flow and just had to post the clip.   Copied from the transcript of the clip: THEIRS MONEY THAT GOES TO MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY AND I THINK […]

Carpe David Brooks. Before He Drives Me Crazy. [Freudian typo now corrected. 3:25 p.m.]

An exchange between reader nitu mishra and me in the Comments thread this morning to this AB post of mine from yesterday. nitu mishra: Here’s a good article on 2012 Q4 earnings outlook. http://tinyurl.com/investing002 Me: Ah. If only I could actually understand graphs, without having to stare at them for ten minutes or so first, […]

The "Fiscal Cliff" and the Coming Retirement Crisis of the Middle Class

On January 1, Congress approved a tax and spending bill to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” combination of tax hikes and spending cuts that would have created deflationary pressure on the United States (though Yglesias questioned the conventional wisdom of whether it would necessarily cause a recession). Let’s take a look at the deal in […]

There are no "per se" tax or spending caps: lame duck negotiations no place for Medicare/Medicaid cuts

 by Linda Beale There are no “per se” tax or spending caps: lame duck negotiations no place for Medicare/Medicaid cuts When George W. Bush got reelected with a minority of the popular vote and contested state counts, the GOP claimed a mandate to keep going with the fiscally irresponsible program of high military spending combined […]

After selling the election

In a previous post Fiscal cliff and the frenzy  I pointed to the rush of reporting the day after the election. Some of these articles should be in the op-ed section instead of reporting. Lori Montgomery “Avoiding hard decisions could have grave consequences, analysts say…”         …  Few expect Washington to replicate the […]

Farmers, Medicare Recipients, and Sons of Multimillionaires, Some of Whom Won’t Take Responsibility for Their Own Lives – [UPDATED]

This summer’s widespread drought has been extremely hard on Midwestern and plains-states crop farmers, and many of them are chafing at the thought of having to take responsibility for their own lives if the Farm Bill doesn’t make it through Congress before the upcoming recess. They had panicked earlier in the summer when Congress was […]

Omigod

(Dan here…Lifted from Robert’s thoughts) Robert writes: Omigod Sept 4 2012 really is opposites day.  Ezra Klein made an incorrect claim of fact about health care financing.  He wrote: But I’m not going to make that argument. I’m on-record saying that trust-fund accounting is by and large a ridiculous way to look at the federal […]

The Elephants are Still Thirsty

by Run 75411 The Elephants are Still Thirsty In my earlier post on Carrying Water for Elephants I explained how the $716 billion in planned reductions to Medicare was calculated, who it impacted, and from where it originated. The $716 billion is far larger than the initial $449 billion first reported. In 2010, the CBO arrived […]

Oh, Mr. Ryan, Do Get Wonky On Us. Please. (I.e., thank you, Brit Hume and Matt Miller.)

In poker a “tell” is the physical giveaway or tic that lets you know someone is lying about his or her hand. In politics it’s the mode of evasion a politician chooses to sidestep a truth he or she doesn’t want to admit or to avoid saying something against self-interest. In his debut interview with Fox […]