Comment of the DayScowcroft, the GOP, and the Nuclear Deal: "Responsible Republicans acted...:
Live from the Roasterie: John Cole: Deluded Old Man Dick Cheney Goes on Television: "I seriously think Cheney is suffering from pumphead and dementia...
Over at Equitable Growth: I find the very sharp Marty Felstein engaging in a goalpost-moving effort that I cannot endorse:
There may be some powerful argument that the true consumer price index has risen more for the rich than for the middle class and the poor. But if there is, I am not aware off it. And so I think: The existence of downward bias from failure to measure the value of new good and new kinds of goods in official statistics of real income growth does not reduce the rise in inequality over the past generation--although it does mean that we collectively are richer now relative to our predecessors than we would be if official statistics were gospel.
Here I think we need to draw some distinctions. If you are not tech-savvy--if you are not a relatively intensive user of modern information, entertainment, and communication technologies--then you do not benefit from them. Then the official statistics showing declining median incomes over the past generation apply to you. And you are certainly much poorer now than you reasonably expected back then to be now. And it is wholly reasonable for you to believe that, while the economy has worked for the rich, it has not worked for you and somebody should be held accountable. READ MOAR
Must-Read: Two points: (1) Kevin Drum reveals that he writes his weblog posts not in his bathrobe but in his shorts. (2) Ever since the closing of the health-care expansion frontier opened by Medicare and Medicaid plus the industrialization of the hospital, we have seen a steady if saw-toothed decline in the pace of spending growth--your standard logistic in the share of spending devoted to health care.
The big question for me is: Are we near the asymptote? Or will there be another wave of backlash against narrow networks and bureaucratic blockages of authorizations?
Time will tell!
Kevin Drum: The Future of Health Care Costs Looks Surprisingly Rosy: "You've seen various versions of this chart from me...
Live from Yellowstone Lake Lodge: The Washington Post has already lasted longer than I thought it would a decade ago--kept afloat by Jeff Bezos's willingness to commit money to it without doing a proper housecleaning.
It is a great pity:
Martin Longman: The Worst Ruth Marcus Column Ever: "We need to freeze this Ruth Marcus column in amber so that it never perishes...
...Future generations will not believe that it actually existed if they can’t see it with their own eyes.... I thought I had seen Peak Beltway Trolling, but I had not seen anything. How can I find the right analogy for her argument? Imagine if you will that there is a giant anvil hanging by a rope over your head and that the rope is on fire and the anvil will soon fall on you and kill you. Now, imagine that someone comes up with a plan to put out the fire before it burns through the rope and you die. Now imagine that some people are concerned that the rope might catch fire again at some future date and are therefore against putting out the fire right now and saving your life. I could expand on this analogy to make it more realistic, but I think it’s best to keep this really simple. What Ruth Marcus is saying is that of course we should put out this fire, but we shouldn’t be impatient with the people who say that we should not.
As you will remember from yesterday, the grifter-goldbug conference featuring grifter-goldbug George Gilder, Steve Moore, Benn Steil, Peter Schiff, and Jim DeMint as its five top headliners is a production of the American Principles Project.
What is the American Principles Project? It says:
Robert P. George – Founder: Dr. George is the Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). He is also a McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University...
I have read one thing written by Robert P. George--one thing and one thing only:
Robert P. George: Killing Abortionists: A Symposium: "I am personally opposed to killing abortionists. However, inasmuch as my personal opposition to this practice is rooted in a sectarian (Catholic) religious belief in the sanctity of human life, I am unwilling to impose it on others who may, as a matter of conscience, take a different view...
The Strange Story of Robert Lucas's "Support" for Obama's 2009 Recovery Act (with tweets): A twitter dialogue with--well, monologue at--smart young whippersnapper Marshall Steinbaum:
I would say that Ramesh Ponnuru needs to decide whether he is going to be part of a reality-based technocratic conversation about the future of our social-insurance system, or a booster of individual politicians who evanescently catch his current fancy.
But that choice has already been made, hasn't it?
Kevin Drum: A Conversation About Scott Walker's Health Care Plan: "A Conversation About Scott Walker's Health Care PlanRamesh Ponnuru thinks I got Scott Walker's health care plan wrong...
...I complained that Walker's plan would cost a lot but he doesn't tell us how he's going to pay for it without raising taxes. Ponnuru:
Walker says he is going to reform the tax break for employer-provided plans and get savings out of Medicaid....There’s no reason to doubt that some such mix could be made to work. READ MOAR
Monday Smackdown: I score this for Lemieux, 6-0, 6-0, 6-0:
Scott Lemieux: The Mandatiest President Who Was Ever Mandated: A Mandate for Change: "Preferring ideas that sound cool to more rational ones that could work has been a persistent problem for Lessig...
Eric Wemple: Will the New York Times ever finish cleaning up Clinton story?: "Rep. Elijah Cummings... criticized the paper...
...saying that the reporters didn’t do their homework. ‘[I]f the Times spoke with Republicans in Congress, even off the record, they could have checked their facts with me or other Committee Democrats,’ wrote Cummings, who took strong issue with the statement of New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet that the paper’s errors may have been ‘unavoidable.’ Jennifer Palmieri, communications director for the Clinton campaign, told CNN’s Brian Stelter in an interview, ‘It took them not just a long time to correct it, but it took them an indefensible time to get rid of ‘criminal’ in the headline and the lede.’... Yet the New York Times story remains defiant:
Live from the Big T-- Mountains: Gilder, Moore, Steil, Schiff, DeMint. Would it be possible to put together a set of speakers who have been more wrong in their predictions over the past generation about how the economy works, and less willing to do anything to mark their beliefs to market? I do not think so...
American Principles Project: FIVE WEEKS: Historic Economic Summit to Take Place in Jackson Hole, Wyoming August 27-29: "The first official Jackson Hole Summit is just five weeks away...
Live from Bullwinkle PlazaHarry Reid: On Twitter: "Been carrying this in my wallet a long time..." http://t.co/ZoiqsoVwdk
Been carrying this in my wallet a long time. It shows you how long Republicans have been wrong about health care. pic.twitter.com/ZoiqsoVwdk— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) July 30, 2015
Live from La Farine: Jeebus! Does the New York Times have a lot of stable-cleaning to do!
Norm Ornstein: The Birth of Obamacare: "It is worth going back and recounting what actually happened leading up to the enactment of Obamacare...
...and reflect a little bit on what might, and what should, happen going forward.
Did Obama Leap Rashly to Consider Healthcare Instead of Focusing on Jobs or the Economy?
There is no doubt that the president made healthcare reform a top early priority. There was good reason for doing so; past experience, including that of the Clinton health-reform plan, showed that waiting to pass a major social-policy change, in the absence of a great crisis, is a fool’s errand. A president’s momentum, his public support, and the backing of his party peak early, and major social-policy change by definition shakes up the status quo, creating losers along with potential winners and an even larger number of those unsettled by change. The longer presidents wait, the greater the likelihood that their opposition will mobilize and exploit uneasy voters. And the closer midterm elections loom, the more nervousness builds among lawmakers from the president’s party. [READ MOAR]
Jonathan Chait: The Obamacare Resistance Regroups: "The 16th Amendment to the Constitution, authorizing the federal income tax...
...was ratified in 1913. Still, every once in a while, the news will report the arrest of some right-wing kook who has failed to pay his income tax on the grounds that it’s illegal. Also in 1913, the 17th Amendment, requiring the popular election of senators (who before then were often appointed by state legislatures) took effect. And yet many conservatives still want to repeal it--and not just kooks, or at least influential kooks and not just completely marginal and obscure kooks [but Antonin Scalia, Rick Perry, now-Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), and Ted Cruz (R-Texas). And those things happened more than a century ago. So how long will the Obamacare resistance live on? A long, long time....
Simon Maloy: “Moops” now, “Moops” forever: The sad, final yawp of the defeated King v. Burwell mastermind: "Michael Cannon argues that by losing at the Supreme Court...
...he actually won, because blah blah something whatever: If you read the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in King v. Burwell, you probably came away thinking that the plaintiffs and the conservative activists who dreamed up the legal challenge lost. That’s because they did. The plaintiffs argued that the Affordable Care Act was written in such a way that the government could not provide insurance subsidies to people in the majority of states. The Court disagreed and the law emerged unscathed. But according to the Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon, one the legal minds behind the King challenge, losing the case doesn’t actually mean that they ‘lost the case.’
Live from La Farine: The slaveholders who forced through Virginia's joining the Confederacy in 1861 and the Social Darwinist libertarians of the 19th century did not pretend.
They did not go to war honorably and reluctantly because they needed to make a point of constitutional law.
They did not seek to eliminate regulation of wages an hours because the "Big Children" and "Big Slovak Immigrant" lobbies had captured the government and were imposing high rent-seeking costs on society.
In this, they were more honorable than their latter-day epigones and defenders:
Live from La Farine: Scott Lemieux: The Party of Lincoln Is Now the Party of Jackson, and Vice Versa: "It’s not exactly news that Sean Wilentz’s punditry during the 2008 primaries was an embarrassment...
...But, via Chait, I somehow missed this definitive example....
Richard Mayhew: On Twitter:
Richard Mayhew @bjdickmayhew 4h4 hours ago @xpostfactoid1 http://www.balloon-juice.com/2015/07/06/cash-flow-of-rejecting-free-money/ … Medicaid Rejection has lower net GDP component than @Delong argued in 10/14 due to APTC and CSR $$$
Richard Mayhew @bjdickmayhew 4h4 hours ago @xpostfactoid1 @delong so for Florida, net cash missed is Medicaid Expansion for 100k... Rounding error
Richard Mayhew @bjdickmayhew 4h4 hours ago @xpostfactoid1 @delong what % 100-138℅ are of 0 to 138℅ expansion eligible... Need an intern for this
xpostfactoid @xpostfactoid1 2h2 hours ago Alabama update: perhaps 22% of those who should have been Medicaid-eligible now in QHPs. @bjdickmayhew http://bit.ly/1TaGCei
Richard Mayhew @bjdickmayhew 2h2 hours ago @xpostfactoid1 OK, that is still a big multiplier cost
xpostfactoid @xpostfactoid1 2h2 hours ago @bjdickmayhew Can be calculated state-by-state. I'll work up for FL & MS too shortly.
xpostfactoid @xpostfactoid1 2h2 hours ago @charles_gaba @bjdickmayhew I had 1.9m originally - figuring now 1.6m, w/ attrition, v. 4m in Medicaid gap, per Kaiser. That's 28.5%.
Richard Mayhew @bjdickmayhew @xpostfactoid1 @charles_gaba so net loss of about .5% GDP, not @delong initial .7% rejection state GDP...
Across the Wide Missouri: What would "civil disobedience" against the Supreme Court's ruling in Obergefell even mean? What does Mike Huckabee want his people to do? Run up to people's weddings and interrupt them? Grab people's marriage licenses and rip them up?
STEPHANOPOULOS: So what exactly are you calling on people to do right now? You say resist and reject this judicial tyranny. Spell out exactly what that means?
Across the Wide Missouri: Scott Lemieux: Friday Links: The Repulsion of the Moopish Invasion: "Nice to see the conspiracy theories already heating up already...
...The reviews of Scalia’s dissent continue to come in. (Tushnet has been on this beat for a while, and his analysis looks more prescient than ever.) Lead plaintiff David King, earlier this month:
Mr. King said that he was not really worried about the outcome of the case, King v. Burwell, because as a Vietnam veteran, he has access to medical care through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Yeah, really sorry you lost this one, buddy. Smart analysis from Brianne Gorod, Nicholas Bagley, Ian Millhiser, and Jon Cohn. Cue Nelson Muntz.
This morning, Republican-appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wrote and five of his colleagues -- Democrat-appointed Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan, and Republican-appointed Kennedy -- agreed that:
Section 18031 [of the Affordable Care Act--i.e., the ObamaCare Law--] provides that “[e]ach State shall . . . establish an American Health Benefit Exchange..." [But] if [a] State chooses not to do so, Section 18041 provides that the Secretary [of Health and Human Services] “shall . . . establish and operate such Exchange..." (emphasis added [by Roberts]).... The phrase “such Exchange”... instructs the Secretary to establish and operate the same Exchange that the State was directed to establish.... Black’s Law Dictionary 1661... (defining “such” as “That or those; having just been mentioned”).... State Exchanges and Federal Exchanges are equivalent—they must meet the same requirements, perform the same functions, and serve the same purposes...A simple matter of black-letter law, no? The plain meaning of the phrase "such Exchange" means that anything legal that is true of a health-insurance exchange established by, say, the state of New York is also true of a health-insurance exchange established by the federal government for, say, the state of Florida if the state of Florida fails to establish its exchange, no?
Must-Read: Josh Marshall: Is Israel's Big Problem Jewish Journalists in America?: "The whole thing descends to a parodic, almost Dolezalesque level of gobsmacking when [Michael] Oren...
Live from La Farine: Lindsey Graham: "Part of who we are... used by people in a racist way...": "This[flag] is part of who we are...
...The flag represents — to some people — the Civil War, and that was the symbol of one side.... It’s been used by people in a racist way...
Live from Above Hetch-Hetchy: Why has King v. Burwell not been DIGed--or, at least, why haven't the lawyers and funders for the plaintiff been told to go back and get a new and different lead plaintiff?
Because at least the four justices who voted to grant certiorari are so partisan that they are willing to throw more than two centuries of Supreme Court precedent that the court decides only real cases out the window.
One does have to wonder what is going through the mind of John Roberts. How much credibility does he think he and his fellow partisan right-wing horsemen have to waste after Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, anyway?
Over at Equitable Growth: Ezra Klein has a very nice explainer on the likely consequences of the possible announcement next week of a 5-4 partisan Supreme Court vote to disrupt ObamaCare via the case King v. Burwell:
Ezra Klein: King v. Burwell Won’t Destroy Obamacare: "A ruling for the plaintiffs in King won't change anything about Obamacare...
...in California, or New York, or Massachusetts, or even Kentucky. And it won't be a long-term problem for the states using a federal exchange out of convenience rather than ideology; they'll just set up their own exchanges.... Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Delaware, and Maine are already working on backup plans. So King can't destroy Obamacare. What it can do is let Republican elected officials destroy Obamacare in states where they have a majority. That's a very different thing, and it will lead to very different political dynamics.... Resistant red states will be left with a wrecked insurance market — and a hefty tax bill.... READ MOAR
What about today's Republican Party?
Let me give a stream-of-consciousness-personal-psychodrama-confessional-oversharing answer to that question:
I am not a political scientist. I am not an especially deep student of politics.
My government experience came from working in 1993-1995 in Lloyd Bentsen's Treasury Department, when he had just gone from being senator from Texas and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Treasury Secretary. He and his staff, broadly, believed that what you did in order to govern--with a kinder and gentler, technocratic, equitable-growth approach to policy--was to start with a centrist block, Bentsen and his friends and allies, people from Jack Danforth on the right to Daniel Patrick Moynihan on the left. You would then call for bids from the left and right. You would ally with whichever was willing to give you better deal to build a majority. And you would then vote your bill out of the Senate Finance Committee 12-5 and roll it through initial passage, conference, and presidential signature.
Must-Must-Read: Steve Benen: The importance of setting Sessions straight: "The Senate Judiciary Committee held a... hearing...
...which became notable for one very specific reason. As much of the political world wait for the Supreme Court to issue its ruling in the King v. Burwell case, Republicans at least pretend to believe that the Affordable Care Act was written in such a way as to deny subsidies – on purpose – to consumers who enrolled through healthcare.gov. To that end, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) thought he was making an important point yesterday, addressing the Constitutional Accountability Center’s Elizabeth Wydra:
Over at Equitable Growth: The sharp Tyler Cowen writes:
Tyler Cowen: Has fiscal conservatism met an impasse at the state level?: "The latest from Louisiana is that taxes are going up...
...but in a strange way that won’t be called a tax increase.... It is even weirder than that sounds. Combine that with the recent fiasco in Kansas.... Fiscal conservatism has been stymied at the state level... for many other states, especially those governed by Republicans.... Trying to cut taxes at the state level doesn’t seem like a useful or productive way forward. If you have a better revisionist take on Louisiana and Kansas, please do put it in the comments, I would gladly read it, and if you have something really good I will pass it along. But I see myself as stating what has to be the default hypothesis for the time being--should we not all come out and admit this? READ MOAR
Over at Equitable Growth: Can somebody please tell me what is going on? What happened with the Obama administration and its making the case for the TPP?
I am what Paul Krugman calls "Davos Man" to a substantial degree--a card-carrying neoliberal, a believer in globalization and free trade, someone who has seen more than enough of the stupidities of places like Berkeley and so doesn't mind hippy-punching now and then. As a believer in free-trade, in the importance of harmonizing global economic regulation, and in getting intellectual and general property rights right, I ought to be a very strong technocratic advocate for the TPP. Yet I found myself having major questions about it: READ MOAR
Hoisted from the Archives from Spring 2009: This Is Getting Damned Annoying: Will I Ever Be Allowed to Disagree with Paul Krugman Again About Anything? (Niall Ferguson Edition):
There have been two annoying things about the past decade. The first is that I feel like I have been living in a Ken Macleod novel--and one of the more dystopic ones too, at least up until January 21, 2009 (I am glad he has stopped: Ken: please don't get cranky again).
The second is that the best way to understand the world is through these two rules:
Over at Equitable Growth: I found myself debating Tom Davis--a very smart and well-trained professional--on Bloomberg TV last Friday, on the occasion of the monthly employment report. I did better than I had expected, probably because we are both on the same side of the technocratic "we badly need to do more for infrastructure" issue: READ MOAR
U.S. Employers Add 280,000 Workers in May: "Is Jobs Data Truly Good News About U.S. Economy?
39:21 - UC Berkeley Professor of Economics Brad Delong and former republican Congressman Tom Davis examine the state of the U.S. economy following the May jobs report and discuss what the U.S. government needs to do to spark growth. They speak on ‘Bloomberg Markets.’ (Source: Bloomberg)
The past three months' job market reports do not lead us to change our minds about anything. What did you think three months ago? You should think the same thing now.
What should you have thought three months ago? Four things:
First, for the past 50 years the unemployment rate and other indicators of the health of the labor market--ease of getting a job, business willingness to build more to fill vacancies, employment the population adjusted for demographics and sociology--have all pointed in the same direction.
Thus, second, it looks to me like we are still far short of anything that might be called a normal or neutral business-cycle level of employment.
Third, it will not be time to start cooling off the economy until either we get different signals:
Fourth we never recovered to the pre-2007 trend.
Fifth, it is still not too late to turn the macroeconomic policy ship around:
Sixth, there are also important structural issues:
Seventh, Obama... Taking a broad view, under Obama the American economy has done worse than it has done under any Democratic president since the Civil War
Eighth, things could have been much better:
Matt Miller: Tom, let me start with you. Weren't you impressed with this month's job report? We added 280,000 jobs. That is much higher than the average of the past twelve months. We boosted hourly pay.
Tom Davis: Yes. It was a good report.
Matt Miller: And, Brad, do you find it to be a good report as well?
Brad DeLong: Yes. It was a good report. But combine it with the past two reports. We are about where we were three months ago. Whatever you thought about the state of the economy three months ago, you should think it now. The last quarter has not been one in which there has been a great deal of news to lead anyone to change their mind.
Matt Miller: Tom, are you more positive about this report than Brad? He's got a lot more "buts" and "ifs" in there.
Tom Davis: Well, there are a lot of "buts" and "ifs". I think lower gas prices have given a tax cut to everybody. I think they have created a lot of optimism. But there is still a lot of uncertainty. And there are still a number of international factors that come into this that nobody can control. I think some times we give the government too much credit for what goes well and too much blame for what goes badly.
Matt Miller: So what should we do, Tom, to make things better here? What is your prescription? Or what is the Republican prescription, I should say?
Tom Davis: Look: Our prescription has always been that higher taxes and needless regulations--and there are a lot hanging around. You need to be looking at them so that businesses can operate more efficiently. One of the biggest problems right now is that we have a political system that is not operating very efficiently on issues from the Export-Import Bank; to getting a long-term transportation bill which has been on life-support for six months--for six years; to just getting the Appropriations bills out on time. We just have a political system that is not functioning very efficiently. And that has, I think, a drag on the economy. We're not getting out of the government what we ought to be.
Matt Miller: Brad, Democrats and even President Obama would agree with that. They would like to see lower taxes and fewer regulations, but also more spending. Right?
Brad DeLong: Well, I don't think it is just Democrats who would like to see more spending. Back in the 1970s Milton Friedman looked back at the Great Depression. He talked about what his teachers had recommended as policies and what he would have advocated in the Great Depression. He called for, in situations like that, and, I think, in situations like this, for coordinated monetary and fiscal expansion. With interest rates at their extraordinarily low levels, now, as in the 1930s, is a once-in-a-century opportunity to pull all the infrastructure spending we will be doing over the next generation forward in time and do it over the next five years, when the government can finance it at such extraordinarily good terms.
Matt Miller: We have a national infrastructure crisis, right? Roads and bridges, ports and airports are at levels that are critical and certainly not worthy of a first-world country. Tom, don't you agree we need to fix that up quickly?
Tom Davis: I agree with that. Look, I think that with the stimulus package that was passed in 2009 they blew an opportunity to do more for infrastructure. We should have had something to show at the end of that. With the money, maybe we got a short-term stimulus, but we should have gotten something long-term.
Brad DeLong: They had to get it through with only Democratic votes. Why weren't there any Republicans willing to deal? We could have gotten a larger and much better-crafted program.
Matt Miller: There was a lot of money there. There was a lot of money there, Brad.
Tom Davis: Let me interject. I know something about politics. I think the President's inclination was to deal with Republicans, but Democrat leaders said: "No: We are in charge. You have to go through us." And I think that hampered his ability. It wasn't just Republicans. You offer us a bad deal, don't expect us to take it.
Matt Miller: That doesn't change the fact that we still have crumbling infrastructure in this country.
Tom Davis: No, I agree.
Matt Miller: It needs to be, somehow, brought up to snuff. How would you do that?
Tom Davis: You need a massive transportation bill at this point. And you need continuity. Right now this thing is on life support. So long-term projects are not moving through. States are taking some initiative in some cases. But this is the time to do it.
Matt Miller: Brad, it sounds like...
Brad DeLong: When Larry Summers was in the White House, he spent two years trying to assemble a centrist bipartisan coalition for a large-scale long-lasting infrastructure bank, and got no Republican bites at all.
Tom Davis: Well, the Democrats controlled both houses. They could have done it. That is all I am saying. We have to look ahead at this point. But I think they blew the opportunity with that bill when they controlled everything. I think bipartisan government right now has just crumbled. We have turned almost into a parliamentary system in our behavior, and unfortunately with our system of government that just does not work very well.
Matt Miller: It sounds like we are all in agreement that something needs to be done. Hopefully that can happen. Maybe the two of you can get together after this program.
At that time--or, rather, in that logical state to which the economy will converge if values of future shocks are set to zero--expected inflation will be constant at about the 2% per year that the Federal Reserve has announced as its target. At that time the short-term safe nominal rate of interest will be equal to that 2% per year of expected inflation, plus the real profits on marginal investments, minus a rate-of-return discount because short-term government bonds are safe and liquid. At that time the money multiplier will be a reasonable and a reasonably stable value. At that time the velocity of money will be a reasonable and a reasonably stable value. Why? Because of the powerful incentive to economize on cash holdings provided by the the sacrifice of several percent per year incurred by keeping cash in your wallet rather than in bonds. And at that time the price level will be proportional to the monetary base. READ MOAR
Arithmetically, the U.S. economy is depressed because residential construction and government purchases are well below previously-expected trend levels...
Live from Strada at Bancroft and College: Last year's journamalism. Is there a trend, is there a number that is correct? And is there an argument other than the sadistic undercurrent that the bottom third of America's white population (and a much greater fraction of the minority population) deserve to be fleeced by credit-card and payday-loan companies, and deserve to die prematurely from lack of routine and preventative care?
Michael Barone: How ObamaCare Misreads America "The Washington elites who designed the law must be bewildered...
...Why doesn't everyone behave as they do?...
Comment of the Day: Brian Schmidt on "Neoliberalisms", Left and Right: "Brad raises the issue of the strength of the magic wand he's given...
Time-Tested Rules for Life:
Josh Bivens reminds Mike Konczal reminds me of how out-to-lunch the Obama Treasury was about the macroeconomic situation back in late 2009:
Paul Krugman (November 20, 2009): Interest Rates: The Phantom Menace: "From various bat squeaks...
...what I think lies behind the surprising--and damaging--deficit squeamishness of the Obama administration....
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...
>firstname.lastname@example.org: 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