How Not to Create Jobs
June 10, 2011
Congress wants to focus on jobs. Hooray! And that means focusing even harder on deficit reduction. Hooo--wait, what? The Washington Post's Lori Montgomery explains in her article about the ongoing, bipartisan talks over the debt ceiling: “The news on the economy and on the jobs front of the last several days, I think, underscores the importance of this meeting we just came out of,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said after emerging from the talks at the U.S. Capitol.
Debt Ceiling Deal Moving Forward?
June 06, 2011
This sounds like an important clue from Eric Cantor: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.), speaking at a Friday press conference, said Republicans needed to "see some will" on the part of the Obama administration to meet GOP demands. "I can tell you that everything is on the table, other than raising taxes on the people we need to help create jobs," Mr. Cantor said. What's the clue, you say? Cantor didn't rule out raising taxes there. He just ruled out raising taxes "on the people we need to help create jobs" -- i.e., rich people.
GOP to Obama: Stop Scaring Seniors. That's Our Job.
June 02, 2011
At a closed door meeting about the budget on Wednesday, House Republican leaders reportedly got testy with President Obama over his portrayals of their Medicare plan.
From A.Q. Khan to … DSK?
May 27, 2011
One of the most striking changes to Newsweek in recent months has been the influx of celebrity authors. The current issue alone contains contributions from Gordon Brown, Cindy McCain, Betty White, and A.Q.
This seems pretty significant -- Joe Biden is laying down a marker of $1 trillion in cuts (over a decade, presumably) in order to raise the debt ceiling: Vice President Biden and congressional leaders left a meeting on the debt limit saying they were on track to find $1 trillion in deficit cuts. “We are confident that if we keep on this pace we can get to a relatively large number,” Biden told reporters as he exited the meeting in the Capitol that lasted more than two-and-a-half hours.
What NY-26 Means
May 24, 2011
With polls showing Democrats Kathy Hochul surging and likely to win today, the spin about what the race means is going to supercede the election itself. Republicans say the race tells you nothing about the Republican budget, which became its central issue, or the state of public opinion. (Here’s some spin from Eric Cantor and American Crossroads.) Mainstream analysts are taking a very cautious approach to interpreting the race. (Here’s a cautious Nate Silver, and an even more cautious Charlie Cook.) I’m not so cautious. I think the race is quite significant.
The notion that House Republicans might risk financial chaos by flirting with a failure to raise the debt ceiling strikes many people, including people who buy Treasury bonds, as too irrational to happen. But leaders can act irrationally, and it's worth thinking about the kinds of circumstances that cause them to do so. When Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq, he had a devious scheme for rooting out potential dissidents. Members of his government would be startled by a small team of officials bursting in to announce they were undertaking a coup against Saddam -- were you with them?
I'm Getting Scared About The Debt Ceiling
May 19, 2011
I had been assuming that somehow we'd figure out a way to muddle through the debt ceiling without imposing much harm on the economy, in part because the markets haven't yet assigned any weight to the risk of default. But I'm starting to think about the problem differently. Here is how Alan Blinder puts it: [M]arkets now assign essentially zero probability to the U.S. losing its fiscal mind. They'd be caught flat-footed if the threat of default suddenly started to look real, possibly triggering a world-wide financial panic. Remember how markets reacted to the Lehman Brothers surprise? As Mr.
Are Republicans Retreating on the Budget?
May 05, 2011
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor wants to make clear that the Republican Party leadership isn't preparing to give up on Paul Ryan's budget and its proposal to end Medicare as we know it. "Our position is the Ryan budget," a Cantor spokesperson told Politico last night. But reading between the lines of various media accounts in the last 24 hours, it seems like the Republicans are ready to back off. And it's not really surprising. Senate Democrats have said they would not pass such a proposal. President Obama has said he would not sign one.
The Budget Deal Emerges
May 05, 2011
Two reports out this morning suggest a budget deal is coming into focus -- not a long-term grand bargain, but something that Republicans can agree to in return for lifting the debt ceiling.