Jeb Hensarling

In 2001, as the economy slowed, Republicans endorsed temporary payroll tax cuts in order to boost demand. And again in 2008, when the economy slowed, they endorsed payroll tax cuts to boost demand: Giving temporary tax rebate checks to families, as important as that is, is not the same as economic growth,” said Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas, chairman of the Republican Study Committee.

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Brian Beutler reports that Republicans sound opposed to President Obama's plan to temporarily cut payroll taxes: In a briefing with reporters in the Capitol Tuesday, the House and Senate GOP conference chairs said they're through with short-term stimulus measures, even if they take the form of tax cuts. "Well they've tried this once, and it hasn't seemed to be working," said Rep.

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When the Republicans used their appointments to the deficit commission to name hard-core right-wingers like Tom Coburn and Jeb Hensarling, everybody assumed that meant the commission would just deadlock. But the hard-core right-wingers are sounding... flexible: "Everything is on the table," said Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.), one of six GOP lawmakers on the commission, when asked by The Hill whether he'd block any recommendation to raise taxes.

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Obama's New Bank Tax

Today the Obama administration unveils a new tax on large banks. It's the (partial) answer to a policy dilemma and a political dilemma that were dying to be solved together. The policy dilemma is that the administration is having trouble crafting a long-term fix to the financial crisis. Large financial institutions have an inherent tendency to threaten the entire economy. Those institutions know that if they make huge risky investments, they get to keep all the upside if they pay off.

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The closest thing Congress has to its own Tea Party takes place every Wednesday afternoon, in the Gold Room of the Rayburn House Office building.

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The debate over re-regulation of the financial sector has finally, and irreversibly, turned partisan. This helps define issues in ways that may be more familiar and thus easier to understand. In the blue corner we have Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Secretary Geithner's overall banking policy continues to be problematic, and his broader re-regulation effort is hampered by all the free passes he gave to bank CEOs earlier this year. But on consumer protection he has the right message and he delivered it forcefully to Congress last week: we need a Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) and

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There's some news buzz around Dick Durbin, Ted Kennedy, and Chuck Schumer's proposal, introduced earlier this week, to create a Financial Product Safety Commission (FPSC) that would regulate, among other things, mortgages, credit, and payday loans to "reduce [their] consumer risk." The Chicago Sun-Times even touted the commission as "Durbin's big idea." But, as Clay Risen noted this morning, the brain behind the idea is Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard professor, bankruptcy expert, and chair of the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel (COP). In her COP role, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ha

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Here's one way to think about the bailout rejection: Overseas investors have been an important, if undercovered, aspect of the story. And in a globalized world, they matter as much as our own investors to the overall strength of the U.S. economy. They're the ones who buy our bonds, who invest in our property, who make our dollar the default world currency. Without those things, American economic power would greatly diminish.

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