...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.
...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.
As ex-senator and current lobbyist Evan Bayh beats the drum for the U.S. to launch an attack on Iran, Duncan Black reminds me of what may be the best thing Ezra Klein has ever written:
...but got his revenge as well as he could. Now it's more war all the time. It's the greatest grift of all, really. War breaks out, and 'everyone' gets rich.
...'There are better ways to serve my fellow citizens,' Bayh said. 'I love working for the people of Indiana. I love helping our citizens make the most of their lives, but I do not love Congress.
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:
Live from Crow's Coffee: At least with Teddy White journalism it's the campaign PR people who are willing to suck up to the reporters, the "strategists", who are the stars--not the reporters themselves. At least with Hunter Thompson journalism even though the reporters are the center of attention, they are so as anti-heroes and villains:
...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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The kha-khan Cosma Shalizi smacks me down for seeing the Federal Reserve as afflicted by intellectual errors, rather than as a prisoner of Gramscian top 0.1% hegemony and the revolving door.
He has a point, a definite point.
In a good world the Janet Yellens and the Charles Evanses would be the vital center of the Federal Reserve, not its left wing. And they would be acting as its left wing, pointing out the manifold benefits of labor-force upgrading in a high-pressure economy, the extraordinary quiescence of core inflation, and the continued overoptimism of the Fed model. READ MOAR
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?"
Femina illustris Dahlia Remler:
The problem with the @WashingtonPost (and the @NYTimes) is that it sells itself as a trusted intermediary interested in informing you while it is actually focused on seizing your eyeballs so that it can sell them to advertisers...
It’s true that both papers have had financial problems and need eyeballs to sell to advertisers. But Brad is being a bit unfair.
Over at Equitable Growth: Last week I noted my wife Ann Marie's:
...a poster child for the clear articulation and active supervision standards required to determine whether an anticompetitive policy is indeed the policy of a given state, and entitled to immunity…. North Carolina’s Dental Board functioned more as a trade association with super powers granted to it by the state–apparently with an open-ended portfolio of responsibilities relating to dentistry in the state…. The dissent argues the delegation was valid.... READ MOAR
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:
Mark Halperin has been grading the Republican candidates in an... interesting... way. We read his mind, and attached his thought comments:
Scott Walker: Style A-, Substance C+. Overall: A <--I have no idea what "averaging" is, but I like Scott Walker!
Scott Walker: Style A-, Substance B. Overall: A- <--I don't like Scott Walker quite as much because his people haven't been leaking to me recently. So even though he did much better, I won't raise his grade! Instead, I will lower it!
Rand Paul: Style B, Substance B. Overall: A- <--I really have no idea what "averaging" is, but I like Rand Paul!
Carly Fiorina: Style A-, Substance C-. Overall: A- <--What? You thought I would have learned what "averaging" is?
Jeb Bush: Style A-, Substance B+. Overall A- <--See! I can give a slightly plausible grade!
Jeb Bush: Style A-, Substance B. Overall: A- <--Just joking, unless, of course, substance counts for zero...
Rick Santorum: Style B+, Substance B. Overall B+ <--But if I admitted substance counts for zero, I would have to report only one number rather than three...
Ted Cruz: Style B+, Substance C. Overall: B+ <--I agree that Ted Cruz is, relative to Rick Santorum, a policy imbecile. But it doesn't matter!
Chris Christie: Style A-, Substance B-. Overall: B+ <--Faked you out! See I can give an overall grade that is not equal to or higher than the "style" grade! But it's not that I can take averages and that substance matters, it's that Chris Christie's staff hasn't leaked to me enough...
Marco Rubio: Style B, Substance B+. Overall: B+ <--And even though I think substance counts for zero, Mark Rubio's staff has leaked to me. So he gets a bump even though his performance was that of a blancmange...
Ted Cruz: Style B+, Substance B-. Overall B <--Been hitting the books Ted? Isn't going to help you with me!
Lindsey Graham: Style B, Substance B. Overall B <--Bow-ring!
Chris Christie: Style B, Substance B, Overall B <--Bow-ring!
Rick Perry: Style B, Substance B-. Overall B <--Knows less than Chris Christie, but that doesn't matter...
Mike Huckabee: Style B, Substance B-, Overall B <--Also knows less than Chris Christie, but that doesn't matter...
Donald Trump: Style B, Substance B. Overall: B- <--I have forgotten about this "averaging" thing again? Can someone remind me?
Rick Perry: Style B, Substance B-. Overall: B- <--I know I think substance counts for zero, but Rick Perry's staff need to step up their leaks...
Bobby Jindal: Style B, Substance B-. Overall: B- <--I know I think substance counts for zero, but Bobby Jindal's staff need to step up their leaks...
Rick Santorum: Style B, Substance B-. Overall: B- <--I know I think substance counts for zero, but Rick Santorum's staff need to step up their leaks...
Ben Carson: Style B, Substance C+. Overall: B- <--You really didn't think that Ben Carson knows less about policy than an iguana would lead me to penalize him, did you?.
John Bolton: Style B-, Substance B-. Overall: B- <--Super bow-ring!
George Pataki: Style B-, Substance B. Overall B- <--You didn't think that the fact that Pataki is not as ignorant about policy as Bolton would lead me to cut him any breaks, did you?
Sarah Plain: Style B, Substance C-. Overall: C+ <--I am sure I can explain why it is only a female candidate that I give an overall grade not more than, not equal to, not a hair less than, but two steps below their "style" grade. It's not that I am a sexist pig! There's another reason! I'll think of it soon...
Why these people in journamalism even have jobs, let alone high-paid ones, continues to escape me...
In their essay last fall on the state of economics, Seth Ackerman and Mike Beggs charged that today’s mainstream is irredeemably captured by conservative ideology. The good news is they’re wrong — Piketty’s work testiﬁes to that.
Josh Barro: Why Does Josh Barro Hate the Merely Affluent?: "I called out the ‘merely affluent’...
...people with family incomes of, say, $175,000--for pleading poverty and putting themselves off limits for tax increases. Comments on the article drew a lot of poverty pleas from merely affluent readers. Liz from Utah... Robert from New York... A reader from Queens....
Over at Equitable Growth: Excellent work from David Frum--reviewing even more excellent work from Adam Tooze.
Let's give David the floor:
Glaukon: So: Blogging...
Hypatia: I would like to start by offering the floor to the Great and Good Felix Salmon:
Felix Salmon: To All the Young Journalists Asking for Advice...: I’m also very flattered by the lovely things you said... about how you’d love to have a career in journalism... do[ing] the kind of thing... I do. You won’t.... By the time you’re my age... you’ll... be doing something... nobody today... foresee[s]....The obstacles facing you are much greater than anything I managed to overcome.... The exact same forces which are good for journalism and good for owners are the forces which are bad for journalists....
J. Bradford DeLong on March 04, 2015 at 12:52 PM in Economics: Information, Information: Internet, Long Form, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Science: Cognitive, Streams: Economics, Streams: Highlighted, Streams: The Honest Broker, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (5)
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Over at Equitable Growth: Ezra Klein, one of the viri illustres making us hope that the press corps over the next generation will actually be a net plus to the nation (cough, Judy Miller of the New York Times; cough, Fred Hiatt of the Washington Post) has a good post that, I think, misses one important point:
WE stand to-day upon an eminence which overlooks a hundred years of national life—a century crowded with perils, but crowned with the triumphs of liberty and law. Before continuing the onward march let us pause on this height for a moment to strengthen our faith and renew our hope by a glance at the pathway along which our people have traveled.
Daily Economic History: From George Dangerfield: The Era of Good Feelings:
Indeed, when one attempts to restore [Chief Justice John Marshall] to the context of his times, it becomes exceedingly—difficult to separate the business—minded judge from the nationalist statesman.... In his decision on the case of Gibbons v. Ogden, Marshall struck down a steamboat monopoly, and did as much as any single man could do to make the steamboat free upon the western rivers; and the steamboat was not merely an essential factor in the development of the internal market, it was also the very symbol of democracy.... He gained much popularity from his decision, and he might have established the “dormant” power of the commerce clause—that is to say, its implicit veto upon state legislation—without too much disagreement from the rest of the Court. Instead, he merely suggested—and in terms that may have been deliberately confused—the existence of the dormant power.... “We must never forget,” he once said, “that it is a constitution we are expounding...” something organic, capable of growth, susceptible to change....
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 02, 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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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?
...but averting the prospect of unemployment getting too low, and encouraging the election of Republican presidents--see http://utip.gov.utexas.edu/papers/utip_42.pdf. (It would be good to update that paper with another ten years of data.) The phrase "executive committee of the bourgeoisie" comes to mind. To say it another way--this post, and those of our host's like it, seem far to close to saying: "If only the Little Fathers knew knew what was going on were more careful about their decision theory, they would set things right". And yet, as a wise man used to say often, the cossacks work for the Czar.
I do think it is more complicated than that...
Live from the Roasterie: For those who missed this last fall...
Paul Krugman on Allan H. Meltzer:
...when you look at the pronouncements of seemingly reputable economists. In May 2009, Allan Meltzer, a well-known monetary economist and historian of the Federal Reserve, had an Op-Ed article published in The New York Times warning that a sharp rise in inflation was imminent unless the Fed changed course...
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.
One of the things that was supposed to get done in January but didn't was a revision of this piece--it is now three years out-of-date, after all, and while it is still useful it is less useful than it was, or would be were I to properly review and update it. But it did not get done in January. It is not going to get done in February. So I am putting it up both as a useful (albeit somewhat out of date) resource, but primarily as a reproach to myself to get cracking on the revision in my copious spare time...
FEBRUARY 2012 VERSION: Budgeting and Macroeconomic Policy: A Primer
by J. Bradford DeLong
Budgeting and Macroeconomic Policy: A Primer
Socialism has demonstrated its right to victory, not on the pages of Das Kapital, but in an industrial arena comprising a sixth part of the earths surface--not in the language of dialectics, but in the language of steel, cement and electricity. Even if the Soviet Union, as a result of internal difficulties, external blows and the mistakes of leadership, were to collapse--which we firmly hope will not happen--there would remain an earnest of the future this indestructible fact, that thanks solely to a proletarian revolution a backward country has achieved in less than 10 years successes unexampled in history.
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:
Right now, the financial markets are telling us that for the next 20 years at least they expect not a surplus but rather a shortage of federal debt.
The interest rates at which investors are willing to hold federal debt now and expect to hold federal debt in the future tell us that it is an extraordinary valuable asset
Those interest rates tell us that investors at least think the world economy would be better off with more federal debt than with less. READ MOAR
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
I would still dearly love to see what this is a reply to.
But I don't think I ever will.
Which is, in itself, very very interesting: it suggests that whatever I imagine Hayek wrote to Thatcher, the reality is worse...
February 17, 1982
Thank you for your letter of 5 February. I was very glad that you able to attend the dinner so thoughtfully organized by Walter Salomon. It was not only a great pleasure for me, it was, as always, instructive and rewarding to hear your views on the great issues of our times.
I was aware of the remarkable success of the Chilean economy in reducing the share of Government expenditure substantially over the decade of the 70s. The progression from Allende's Socialism to the free enterprise capitalist economy of the 1980s is a striking example of economic reform from which we can learn many lessons.
However, I am sure you will agree that, in Britain with our democratic institutions and the need for a high degree of consent, some of the measures adopted in Chile are quite unacceptable. Our reform must be in line with our traditions and our Constitution. At times the process may seem painfully slow. But I am certain we shall achieve our reforms in our own way and in our own time. Then they will endure.
Over at Equitable Growth: I had always thought that dynamic scoring was a bad idea because it leads to a ratchet--Democrats when they are in power claim deficit reduction from a stronger economy if their policies are enacted , and then Republicans when they are in power claim deficit reduction from a stronger economy if they undo what the Democrats did. You have no chance of getting policy-effect forecasts that are unbiased on average if you allow the party in power to shape CBO's estimates of macroeconomic impacts.
The vir clarissimus Robert Lynch has a good look at all the other issues in this can of worms: READ MOAR
...in Utah this week, Romney told the crowd that a new-and-improved candidate Romney would focus on climate change, poverty, and education.... In a bizarre Freaky Friday sort of way, Romney appears to have been body-snatched—perhaps by the ghost of Ted Kennedy.... What's next? Supporting gay rights, gun control, and abortion rights? (Or, in his case, going back to supporting gay rights, gun control, and abortion rights.)...
And I have to clean it up manually...
Gutter Dweller has replied to dr2chase’s comment: Here’s the rub: the numbers don’t exist. They are deliberately not tracked by the BLS. The BLS is run by a Chinese American. Fools.
The BLS Commissioner is Erica L. Groshen.
I mean, the statement that "Chinese immigrants are America's new Jews" is a joke! It is not supposed to be taken literally!
Over at Equitable Growth: I have a new list of three articles that bring you up to speed on the current state of the process of assessing and assimilating Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century:
...between r and g is indeed one of the important forces that can explain historical magnitudes and variations in wealth inequality: in particular, it can explain why wealth inequality was so extreme and persistent in pretty much every society up until World War I.... That said, the way in which I perceive the relationship between r > g and wealth inequality is often not well-captured in the discussion that has surrounded my book--even in discussions by research economists.... For example, I do not view r > g as the only or even the primary tool for considering changes in income and wealth in the 20th century, or for forecasting the path of income and wealth inequality in the 21st century. Institutional changes and political shocks--which can be viewed as largely endogenous to the inequality and development process itself.... READ MOAR
...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?
130 men and women met at Washington's Willard Hotel to save American liberalism. A few months earlier, in articles in The New Republic and elsewhere, the columnists Joseph and Stewart Alsop had warned that 'the liberal movement is now engaged in sowing the seeds of its own destruction.' Liberals, they argued, 'consistently avoided the great political reality of the present: the Soviet challenge to the West.' Unless that changed, 'In the spasm of terror which will seize this country ... it is the right--the very extreme right--which is most likely to gain victory.'
the story… in the print edition, asked, ‘Can a white male liberal critique the country’s current political-correctness craze (which, by the way, hurts liberals most)? We’re sure you’ll let us know.’ This was my editors’ playful way to provocatively anticipate the firestorm the piece would set off.
I read the phrase ‘playful way to provocatively anticipate the firestorm’ as an unsubtle euphemism for ‘calculated strategy to turn the troll-dial from 10 to 11.’ This was a piece that Chait’s editors (and, one presumes, Chait) knew would get an outraged reaction, and presumably wanted to get an outraged reaction. In other words, it was an exercise in trolling.
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.
Over at Equitable Growth: 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? If Richard Burr thinks that the Burr-Coburn-Hatch proposal from last year was unfairly rejected by his Republican colleagues and that they should take another look at it, why put Burr-Hatch-Upton forward as if it were brand-new--as if it were not a reboot of last year's Burr-Coburn-Hatch? 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? And even if he doesn't want 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? READ MOAR
Many, many are saying complimentary things. From Sullivan himself comes a much worth-reading self pat-on-the-back about what he regards as his many, many successes intermixed with a cri de coeur about his mistakes in The Arc Of The Dish 2000-2015. IMHO, he pulls a number of punches in his self-criticism, but "my own traumatized loss of judgment... shameful outbursts... my colossal failure of judgment..." is much further than most people go.
Sullivan asks: "What was your favorite moment of Dishness?".
My answer is that when I think of The Dish, I find I don't have a favorite moment. I think of the incompleteness of Andrew Sullivan's self-criticism. I think of him casting himself as Curly of The Three Stooges in his enthusiastic prosecution of the intellectual War on Paul Krugman that, IIRC, began in 2001 with things like:
November 13, 2001: My revulsion at Paul Krugman’s increasingly hysterical attacks on the good faith of this administration...
May 11, 2001: NOSTRADAMUS AWARD: “Ah, but the details. The Krugmans and the Chaits will shortly have a cow, if not a whole herd of them.”... last week. “The Bush Tax Cut Is A Lie--Part I”--by Paul Krugman, The New Republic, this week. “The Bush Tax Cut Is A Lie--Part II”--by Jonathan Chait, The New Republic, same issue. Honest, I had no idea when I wrote my piece.
And, of course, the promises of and forecasts by the Bush administration of the consequences of passing its tax cut did not come true--and if Andrew Sullivan thought in 2001 that it was aimed at improving the lives of "waitress moms", he was the only one.
But the fact that, in general in the 2000s, Paul Krugman was right did not keep Sullivan from continuing to carry on his long, doomed, twilight struggle against realistic assessments of the economic situation. For example:
JUN 21, 2010: The Smug Condescension Of Paul Krugman: Kinsley takes aim:
Krugman himself looks at CBO projections of deficits declining from 10 percent of GDP now to four percent in 2014 before starting to rise again, and concedes that this is 'not enough.' Then he cavalierly says that all you need to solve the problem is (a) to bring health costs under control, and (b) a five-percent value added tax. Oh, is that all? I have no doubt that if Paul Krugman were economic dictator, we could impose these or other solutions. In the real world (or should I say 'unreal world') of current American politics, either one of these partial solutions is unthinkable without a catastrophic crisis to force our hand.
How hard is that to understand?
Well, Paul Krugman's forecast of what would happen to the deficit was correct. We have--at least for now--health-care costs under control without a catastrophic crisis. Not a value-added tax but a carbon tax is definitely on the agenda for 2021 if not 2017. Tuesday night George W. Bush's first Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Glenn Hubbard, was speaking besides me and pushing for not a value-added but for the enormous broadening of the tax base that comes from a shift to a consumption tax. And this morning Republican Committee Chairs Burr, Hatch, and Upton called for moving an ever-increasing share of the cost of employer-sponsored health insurance into the tax base as well.
Looks to me--just like back in 2001--like Krugman 3, Kinsley and Sullivan 0.
And it is not as though that piece is an outlier. A quick search through the Dish's archives for most recent mentions of Krugman pulls up these recent headlines:
The "Dick Morris Award" is not complimentary. And somehow I think "Krugman and Frum, Together At Last" is intended to be as uncomplimentary as Sullivan's November 2001 rhetorical attribution to Paul of a disordered womb was intended to be.
My bottom line: Dean Wormer and Spiderman did not say: great rhetorical powers and influence used irresponsibly is no way to go through life...
Needless to say, Emporia State University professor Michael Smith's Wichita Eagle column is dead-on correct...
What 1st amendment? KS politicians introduce bill to ban college professors from criticizing politicians in newspaper columns. (more)— Yael T. Abouhalkah (@YaelTAbouhalkah) February 5, 2015
From The Wichita Eagle:
...or will economic growth save the day?
Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig: The Economist Magazine Is Wrong About Welfare's Impact on Family http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120929/economist-magazine-wrong-about-welfares-impact-family
Rebecca Traister: Maternity Leave Policies in America Hurt Working Moms http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120939/maternity-leave-policies-america-hurt-working-moms
Jeet Heer: The New Republic's Legacy on Race: From Du Bois to the Bell Curve http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120884/new-republics-legacy-race
I am impressed!
Time to subscribe to the New New Republic, people...
Apropos of people regarding the models they teach as ritualistic incantations to be thrown away the moment they contradict their political masters' ideological prejudices...
The way to analyze whether, at the margin, it is raising or lowering government spending that is better for the economy right now is to do a benefit-cost analysis.
Following DeLong and Summers (2012), let the parameters for an economy at the zero lower bound of nominal interest rates and with anchored inflation expectations be:
The policy debate on the sources, causes and potential solutions to rising income and wealth inequality has intensified in the past few years. Recently, French economist Thomas Piketty’s popular book 'Capital in the Twenty-First Century' garnered much attention and ignited further debate about these issues. Piketty argues that wealth will inevitably become more concentrated under capitalism because the returns to wealth are larger than economic growth rates. The solution he proposes is a coordinated global tax on wealth. The Baker Institute's Tax and Expenditure Policy Program will host two renowned economists to discuss the underlying causes and consequences of inequality, evaluate the empirical evidence of rising inequality, and examine potential solutions for dealing with these problems in the United States.
As prepared for delivery:
J. Bradford DeLong :: U.C. Berkeley, NBER, WCEG, INET :: February 3, 2015 :: http://tinyurl.com/dl20150202a
I am very happy to be here, especially as Texas is a state I get to relatively rarely. I have unusually few relatives in it, you see. When the DeLongs got to Wichita they decided to turn north rather than south and wound up in DeKalb County, Illinois. And those who did end up here decamped to North Carolina, leaving me with none until last year when my cousin Annie and her husband moved to Dallas. The last time my wife and I spent any extended time in Texas was on our honeymoon, when we were washed out of our campsite in a swamp near the Louisiana border by a midnight mid-June thunderstorm, so we bypassed Galveston and Houston and then spent a week and a half going Austin-San Antonio-Permian Basin-El Paso.
...which confirmed what the judges had ruled for years based on the testimony from doctors concerning her prognosis. Her limbs had atrophied, and her hands had clenched into claws, and her brain had started to disappear. It weighed barely more than a pound and a third, less than half the size it would have been under normal circumstances. ‘No remaining discernible neurons,’ the autopsy said. She couldn’t see. She couldn’t feel, not even pain. Forty-one years after her birth, 15 years after her collapse, Terri Schiavo was literally a shell of who she had been.
Bush read the autopsy—then wrote a letter to the top prosecutor in Pinellas County. He raised questions about Michael Schiavo’s involvement in her collapse and about the quickness of his response calling 911. ‘I urge you,’ the governor wrote to Bernie McCabe, ‘to take a fresh look at this case without any preconceptions as to the outcome.’
McCabe, a Republican, responded less than two weeks later, saying he and his staff ‘have attempted to follow this sound advice’--without any preconceptions:
unlike some pundits, some "experts", some email and Web-based correspondents, and even some institutions of government that have, in my view, reached conclusions regarding the controversy...
McCabe’s assessment: ‘all available records’ were ‘not indicative of criminal activity...’.