Over at Equitable Growth: The trouble that is the King v. Burwell case arises because of one sub-sub-section of the law which says "established by the state" rather than "established in the state" or "established for the state". The purpose of "established by the state" in its context:
...the monthly premiums for such month for 1 or more qualified health plans offered in the individual market within a State which cover the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, or any dependent (as defined in section 152) of the taxpayer and which were enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State under 1311... READ MOAR
In the Shadow of the Grand Tetons:
...[Alan] Greenspan will address a counter-conference organized by a group called the American Principles Project. The group combines social conservatism — it’s anti-gay-marriage, anti-abortion rights, and pro-‘religious liberty’ — with goldbug economic doctrine. The second half of this agenda may be appealing to Greenspan, a former Ayn Rand intimate — as Paul Samuelson remarked, ‘You can take the boy out of the cult but you can’t take the cult out of the boy.’ But the anti-gay stuff? And helping these people attack his former colleagues? Awesome.
Over at Equitable Growth: From last week:
The "free trade because Adam Smith comparative advantage BAM" stuff has got to stop! http://t.co/c5q1Oxkvf7— Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) April 25, 2015
An excellent piece by the very sharp and thoughtful Jonathan Chait.
The remarkable thing is that Republican ideologues could, right now, be taking a huge victory lap with the apparent success of ObamaCare. All they had to say was: "this is really RomneyCare." But they didn't.
How much of what he says these days does Michael Tanner believe? My feeling is: relatively little.
...The trouble is that anti-Obamacare dogma sits so deeply at the GOP’s core that any discussion of health care must pay fealty to their belief that the law has failed utterly. The Republican Party in the Obamacare era is a doomsday cult after the world failed to end. Its entire analysis of the issue is built upon a foundation of falsehoods.
Live From the Laura Ingalls Wilder Farm: Rocky Ridge: Discussion with Senator Blunt. Subject: King v. Burwell.
Me: "A great many people here in Missouri might be unable to afford their health insurance in three months."
Ann Marie: "You need to be on the right side". Sen. Blunt: "That's really up to the judges."
Me: "But you in Congress could fix it in a sentence".
Sen. Blunt: "You are right."
Of course, "You are right" means not "we will do the one sentence fix if necessary" but "I came to Rocky Ridge on a Saturday afternoon to be avuncular, not to justify my rhetorical pose of root-and-branch opposition to something that is at bottom 'RomneyCare'".
I think Ezra Klein nails this completely. The Washington DC press corps is not becoming better with time. It is becoming worse.
So I am going to make you read Ezra:
...ostensibly... lighthearted laughs. But it's evolved into a recital of brutal truths — albeit one neither side ever really admits happened. The joke of President Obama's performance on Saturday was that he wasn't joking. Everyone just had to pretend he was. Take this:
Live from the Roasterie: Perhaps the strangest thing about hanging out on the Missouri-Kansas border is the moderate Republicans who come up to one: "Isn't the failure to expand Medicaid insane?" they say
Across the Wide Missouri: Does George Packer really think the purpose of American politics is to thrill him?
...The author, Nate Cohn, concluded, ‘It will be fun to watch.’ That was when he lost me.... The 2016 campaign doesn’t seem like fun to me.... If this is any kind of fun, it’s the kind of fun I associate with reading about seventeenth-century French execution methods, or watching a YouTube video of a fight between a python and an alligator. Fun in small doses, as long as you’re not too close....
Over at Equitable Growth: Trying to get the issues straight in my mind here...
>email@example.com: Dear Mr. Delong: I hope this note finds you well. In light of recent activity in Congress related to the Trade Promotion Authority legislation, I write to invite you to join an off-the-record conference call with XXXXXX senior staff for an update on the current state of play. The call is scheduled for today, Tuesday, April 21 at 3:45 p.m. ET
Dear Mr. White:
Thank you very much for your invitation. I will try. I will have to move a couple of things--and I am not the most important person involved in them...
But if you want to know where my concerns are, let me start by quoting something that I wrote before http://www.bradford-delong.com/2015/03/the-debate-over-the-trans-pacific-partnership.html: READ MOAR
Over at Equitable Growth: In the Oil Patch, probably yes--lost demand from the failure to expand Medicaid is likely to push them over the edge and into recession. Elsewhere it will be close, but probably not:
...is leaving red states poorer and sicker.... King v. Burwell.... If the Supreme Court rules for the plaintiffs, those states, including Arizona, will lose their subsidies. That would be a disaster for those states. As Sarah Kliff writes: READ MOAR
Thank you for a wonderful talk. A comment, and a question:
The comment: I have long had a bone to pick with Amy Finkelstein and company and their Oregon Medicaid study. They use “significant” in two different ways in their paper. Improvements in blood pressure and in blood sugar levels in their study were not statistically significant. Not a lot of people in the sample had high blood pressure or high blood sugar, and so the drops seen were not big enough to be confident in a statistical sense that they were not just the luck fo the draw. But the drops in blood pressure and in blood sugar levels were in line with what we expect to follow from prescribing first line lisinopril and metphormin to those who need them, and those drops are clinically significant. I’ve been trying to get them to say that the improvements in the physical health indicators they found were clinically but not statistically significant — but without conspicuous success. READ MOAR
Over at Equitable Growth We all know this.
But it is highlighted by the work of the very sharp Carter Price and David Evans, who have the infographic of the month:
...access to expanded Medicaid... and how a ruling by the Supreme Court in... King vs. Burwell... would affect ACA coverage...
From the perspective of any individual state, both the Medicaid expansion funds and the health-exchange subsidy funs are free money: READ MOAR
...Titled 'issues with various countries' it noted in passing that basically none of the Bush administration's foreign policy initiatives were working well, and asked Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith to solve all the problems:
Needless to say, none of this got solved.
Given that that was supposed to be the Republicans' first team, I cannot understand why anyone would pull the lever for the Republicans again...
For the past decade Stanford's John Taylor has been loudly crying:
And we all have said: This makes no sense! If the original derivation of the Taylor rule is accurate, minor deviations from it have small consequences. If minor deviations from optimal policy rules have major consequences, than the original Taylor rule simply cannot be the optimal policy rule.
And we have never gotten a coherent answer.
Matthew Yglesias puts his finger on why friends don't let friends trust any of the conclusions of Jeffrey Goldberg:
...Jeffrey Goldberg's reluctance endorsement of the Iran deal is a big PR win for the Obama administration.... You won't hear many complaints....
But part of that arbiter role is that he has to take some swipes at the White House, leading to a ridiculous interpretation of how we got here.... [Goldberg's] central--and incorrect--premise... is that the Iran deal (which is good) is better than no deal... but that a tougher approach could have produced some much better utopian deal had Barack Obama really wanted one:
It is time for me to reedit and revise this before I give it again. How should it change? What does it say that no longer needs to be said? What does it not say that now needs to be said?
Zimbabwe!: Here is a piece of currency, a dollar bill. It is from Zimbabwe. It is for $100,000,000,000,000 Zimbabwean dollars.
J. Bradford DeLong on March 31, 2015 at 09:57 AM in Economics: Health, Economics: History, Economics: Macro, History, Long Form, Obama Administration, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted, Streams: The Honest Broker | Permalink | Comments (6)
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April Fools' Festival, Day XVII: Note that the Insane Clown Posse picture at the top right is not a happy clown. This is an insane clown. And this is a somewhat dangerous clown...
Shorter Thomas Friedman: Because my cell phone company drops calls when I take the Acela, it is very important that Michael Bloomberg run for President in 2012. He should run on the platform of Obama's policies. Thus he should split the vote for those policies between two candidates, and so raise the chances for Mitt Romney--who is running against those policies--to squeak in.
Over at Equitable Growth: Picking up on In Lieu of a Focus Post: March 2, 2015 (Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality...): Janet Currie points out that the damage from a ruling adverse to the government in the King v. Burwell ObamaCare subsidies case is likely to carry a very heavy cost in terms of societal well-being along private health, public health, and economic growth dimensions. READ MOAR
James Kwak: Who’s a Freeloader?: "Daniel Rodgers’s review [of Williamson et l.]... is titled “‘Moocher Class’ Warfare”...
...Tea Party members like Medicare and Social Security, which they think they have earned through their work, but don’t like perceived freeloaders who live off of other peoples’ work. From the [Williamson et al.] paper (p. 33):
Nighttime Must-Read: Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR): "We have to stand up to Iran’s attempts to drive for regional dominance. They already control Tehran increasingly they control Damascus and Beirut and Baghdad and now Sana’a as well..."
I steal my title from my esteemed ex-roommate and coauthor Robert Waldmann, who writes:
I wonder why wealthy investors vote for Republicans against their self-interest.
Brad DeLong wonders why they favor tight money and austerity against their self-interest....
...dressed in my TV-from-the-Princeton-studio uniform: dress shirt, jacket, tie, shorts, and sandals (the camera doesn’t pan below the belly button). With me, Andy Serwer of Fortune and Stephen Moore of the WSJ.
Live from La Farine: class="author">Scott Lemieux**: Lawyers, Guns & Money: "It’s hard to be sure, given how badly bungled it was by the Clintons...
...but my guess is that as far as comprehensive health care reform in 1993 they were drawing dead anyway. On health care, the Republican conference was already where it would be on pretty much everything in 2009; he was not getting more than token Republican support.
Live from Crows' Coffee: I had always thought that Richard Epstein was just pulling the traditional not-very-ethical lawyer's trick of knowingly and falsely claiming that what he hoped would be law in the future had in fact been law in the past. There is great and weighty precedent for this way of lawyering, after all. Consider Lord Chief Justice William Draper, 1st Baron Wynford (13 December 1767 – 3 March 1845:
We [would] get rid of a great deal of what is considered law in Westminster Hall, if what Lord Coke says without authority is not law...
Now comes Scott Lemieux to say that Richard Epstein has drunk his own koolaid: He really does believe that the Constitution mandated classical-liberal doctrines a century before they were thought up. He really does believe that misquotations of Jon Gruber should govern interpretations of ObamaCare. He really does believe that Chevron was wrongly decided--that the Courts should flip a coin rather than let experts who understand the issue make (and possibly change) administrative decisions:
...TPP... will almost certainly have nothing on currency... It will not make it any easier, and could well make it more difficult, for the United States to address the trade deficit that results from having an over-valued dollar....
J. Bradford DeLong on March 12, 2015 at 09:23 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: Inequality, Economics: Information, Economics: Macro, Obama Administration, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: Across the Wide Missouri, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth | Permalink | Comments (27)
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Ah. Crossing my desk today, two intersecting streams. The first is unpacking a stray box and finding in it a copy of NBER Working Paper 12398...
Back in 2004, you see, George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, headed by Greg Mankiw, released its 2004 Economic Report of the President--and immediately found the reporters of Washington enthusiastically throwing a low-tech necktie party, with the Bush CEA as the center of attention. In 2006 Greg and Phil Swagel wrote a good retrospective:
over offshore outsourcing connected with the release of the Economic Report of the President (ERP) in February 2004, examines the differing ways in which economists and non-economists talk about offshore outsourcing, and assesses the empirical evidence on the importance of offshore outsourcing in accounting for the weak labor market from 2001 to 2004...
In their 2004 Economic Report of the President, Greg and company made three points with respect to outsourcing, of which I count two and a half as likely correct:
J. Bradford DeLong on March 10, 2015 at 08:27 AM in Economics: Growth, Economics: Inequality, Information: Better Press Corps/Journamalism, Information: Internet, Moral Responsibility, Obama Administration, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: Across the Wide Missouri, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (8)
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Live from The Roasterie: We see what Paul Gigot, Rupert Murdoch, and the rest of the Wall Street Journal are doing here:
They are saying to Anthony Kennedy and John Roberts: "You aren't going to let yourself be persuaded by some women, are you?"
It is a rare honor in this life to follow one of your heroes. And John Lewis is one of my heroes.
Now, I have to imagine that when a younger John Lewis woke up that morning fifty years ago and made his way to Brown Chapel, heroics were not on his mind. A day like this was not on his mind. Young folks with bedrolls and backpacks were milling about. Veterans of the movement trained newcomers in the tactics of non-violence; the right way to protect yourself when attacked. A doctor described what tear gas does to the body, while marchers scribbled down instructions for contacting their loved ones. The air was thick with doubt, anticipation, and fear. They comforted themselves with the final verse of the final hymn they sung:
Over at Equitable Growth: Excellent work from David Frum--reviewing even more excellent work from Adam Tooze.
Let's give David the floor:
Live from the Roasterie: With respect to King v. Burwell, can anybody tell me the statistics on what the ultimate Supreme Court vote is when the Supreme Court did not have to take jurisdiction, but rather took it because four of the justices explicitly decided to?
Over at Equitable Growth: For the first time, we have a clue as to what Republican plans are for what to do with respect to health policy in the event of an anti-government Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell. And the Republican plan of Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse is the same as the Democratic plan--override the Supreme Court. The difference is that the Democratic override would be permanent, while Sass is only proposing a temporary override. For now. READ MOAR
Some Hoisted from the Archives from Six Years Ago, Most Newer...: Speaking of people who had not done their homework, were spreading lots of wrong information, and who lack the ovaries to have ever marked their beliefs to market or apologize for their purveying misinformation, we have Allan Meltzer starting in February 2009 as the Paul Revere of the coming upward breakout of inflation.
It is a real clown show.
I remember how back in 2007 and 2008 I would say that one reason Barack Obama might be a better candidate than Hillary Rodham Clinton was simply that America was now less racist than it was sexist--that the conservative quarter of the country would not be motivated to throw the filth at Barack Obama that they had and that they would throw at Hillary Rodham Clinton.
I was wrong.
Ezra Klein muses on the racist origins of Obama Derangement Syndrome:
Over at Equitable Growth: I see that the femina spectabilis Diane Lim is a very unhappy camper:
...‘Critical investments’ and ‘shared prosperity’ are ‘in.’ Deficits are down to an economically sustainable range.... Our policymakers are no doubt relieved to take a break from having to talk about the hard stuff (spending cuts and tax increases) and getting to focus on the nice-sounding stuff (spending increases and tax cuts).... Dismissing fiscal responsibility as a socially irresponsible idea is irresponsible.... READ MOAR
Have I mentioned that no matter what else Jonathan Chait writes, we love him for things like this?
...to more than 11 million, and the conservative response to the law’s demonstrable success at carrying out its goals has been fascinating to behold. Measured by volume, the right-wing backlash has diminished severely, as great roaring waves of furious anger have given way to irregular ripples of discontent. But measured by its content, very little has changed.... To take a typical example, here is Stephen Moore, "chief economist at the Heritage Foundation, making his case", such as it is, that Obamacare has failed to meet its cost targets. Perhaps the most revealing aspect of Moore’s column is the fact that, five years after its passage, the chief economist of the most influential conservative think tank in the United States lacks even a passing familiarity with it....
I read the Economist, and I shake my head in confusion:
...and Mr Putin is winning... the Kremlin’s undisputed master... a throttlehold on Ukraine.... His overarching aim is to divide and neuter [the western] alliance.... Only the wilfully blind would think his revanchism has been sated.... To him, Western institutions and values are more threatening than armies. He wants.... supplant them with his own model... [in which] nation-states trump alliances, states are dominated by elites, and those elites can be bought.... The biggest target is NATO’s commitment to mutual self-defence. Discredit that—by, for example, staging a pro-Russian uprising in Estonia or Latvia, which other NATO members decline to help quell--and the alliance crumbles....
...hosted by the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation, where he cited reporting by former NPR reporter Julie Rovner that, he claims, supports his understanding of the law. Cannon’s interpretation of Rovner’s reporting, however, did not sit well with the moderator of the debate, former NPR reporter Julie Rovner. After Cannon attempted to use Rovner’s reporting in support of his argument, Rovner, who now reports on health policy for Kaiser Health News, produced a copy of the article Cannon cited and read it aloud to him in order to prove that it does not actually support his claims...
And, rather than apologizing or retracting, Michael Cannon writes:
Note: neither @jrovner, nor @nicholas_bagley, nor @imillhiser, nor @MyConstitution has accepted my challenge...
Maybe @imillhiser or @MyConstitution will lend space to @jrovner, @nicholas_bagley, me to discuss @RepLloydDoggett letter & JR's reporting?
Notice what he did there? He cited Julie Rovner's story as an authority. When she pointed out to him that the story did not say what he had cited it to say, he shifted ground to not citing but challenging her reporting.
I must say, the lies here are just too thick for me...
Over at Equitable Growth: Can someone point me to something Stuart Butler has written in the past three years that has turned out to be correct?
I mean, it seems to be blinkered, partisan, wrong--and obviously wrong at the time, both in its analysis of the political forces and of the policy substance.
Am I wrong?
Take a look:
At least when the Cravath partners went hunting for named plaintiffs for anti-New Deal cases back in the 1930s, they found plaintiffs like the Schechters who had in fact been injured by New Deal policies.
Jones, Day is going to be spending a long time trying to live this down, I must say...
...defending the Crusades and the Inquisition. This example, on the Crusades, by First Things, is their most liked/shared article on their Facebook page by far. I mean, look, I get it. That’s the environment I grew up in. I read young adult novels about the noble Leper King Baldwin and entertained the nostalgia about the Crusader Dream. And yes, fair enough, the Crusades were envisioned as wars of self-defense to reopen Christianity’s holy sites to pilgrims. That’s true. But also, all historical accounts agree that when the Crusaders took Jerusalem, they massacred almost everyone in the city, Christian, Jew and Muslim. Is that something you want to defend, really?
I am left with a lot of questions: If Senator Richard Burr does not see a path to passing an ObamaCare replacement this year, why make a splash with a proposal that is not a bill rather than simply scheduling hearings?... And why does Peter Sullivan of The Hill not tell his readers that BHU is a reboot of BCH–if, that is, he has the slightest desire at all to be in the trusted-information-intermediary business?... Why does it please Burr to have The Hill’s readers thinking that this is something that Burr has come up with in the last two months, rather than a line of approach that he has been thinking bout, tweaking, and trying to get right for years?....
I actually think that the motives of Burr et al. are eminently comprehensible... Randy Barnett explained it for us:
With or without bipartisanship, however, Republicans need to have a well-vetted replacement in the pipeline. To make a favorable ruling in King more likely, the legislative wheels must be visibly in motion by the time of oral arguments in March.
If it’s entirely clear that siding with the ACA troofers will throw most of the country’s health care insurance markets into chaos will Congress does nothing, it might give Roberts and Kennedy pause. It might not--I can very much see Roberts writing a hilariously disingenuous conclusion asserting that his troofer holding will modestly allow Congress to clarify its intent--but as Barnett’s concerns indicate, it might.... Congressional Republicans putting on a kabuki make[s] it easier for... Kennedy and Roberts to lie to themselves a la Michael Strain.... Republican legislators showing up at press conferences... after having visited Kinko’s with copies of earlier terrible proposals may be good enough for the swing votes on the court....
As Ed Kilgore pointed out at the time Barnett’s proposals can only be called black comedy gold.... Even for an ACA troofer, declaring that ‘such a bill is very likely to be bipartisan’ is shameless. It’s the lying to yourself/lying to others question again--in Barnett’s case, I’m pretty confident that it’s the latter.