John Taylor

Too Much of a Good Thing

In an 1814 letter to John Taylor, John Adams wrote that “there never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” That may read today like an overstatement, but it is certainly true that our democracy finds itself facing a deep challenge: During my recent stint in the Obama administration as director of the Office of Management and Budget, it was clear to me that the country’s political polarization was growing worse—harming Washington’s ability to do the basic, necessary work of governing.

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The Taylor Rule

Jackie Calmes has a good story in today's New York Times describing the near-consensus among economists that we should be increasing short-term deficits in order to stimulate (or at least not deflate) consumer demand, while reducing long-term deficits.

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John Taylor, the Hoover Institute economist who always supports the Republican position, has an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal supporting the Republican position on the debt ceiling. How could an economist justify a policy of risking the severe economic consequences of risking the full faith and credit of the Treasury? Taylor doesn't mention that.

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&c

-- My latest TRB, on the right's love of for-profit schools. -- Jonathan Cohn on the end of "compassionate conservativism" -- Justin Wolfers and Paul Krugman team up to demolish John Taylor. -- The latest GOP fashion: pro-child labor laws.

Jonathan Chait has responded to my post about our lack of knowledge about the practical effects of stimulus spending. He seems to be taking on opinions that aren’t mine. Chait begins his reply by claiming that I “oppose any stimulus at all.” This is a position which I did not present in the post, and which I do not hold. In fact, I have consistently advocated stimulus in the face of the current crisis, and generally in venues that are not as hospitable to this idea as The New Republic.

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During the whole epistemic closure debate there was some talk about the rewards conservatives get for ideological fidelity.

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Is Stanford's John Taylor -- who, according to this measure is the 10th most influential economist in the world -- exhibit A for the corrosion that occurs when politics meets academic economics? In a blog post last week titled "National Accounts Show Stimulus Did Not Fuel GDP Growth," Taylor writes: Along with the news that real GDP growth improved from -0.7 percent in the second quarter to 3.5 percent in the fourth quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released detailed National Income and Product Account tables...These tables make it very clear that the $787 billion stimulus packag

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Notebook

SCARLET LETTER: John Ashcroft's two-page letter to Attorney General Janet Reno, apparently unreported by any major news outlet, rang with a sense of urgency. "This year," he wrote, "several disquieting events have raised serious questions about the integrity of the elections." The electoral irregularities were striking enough, he argued, to merit investigation by the Justice Department. "I would appreciate your immediate attention to this problem, using the resources of your Department, to ensure the integrity of [the] election process," he pleaded.

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Not long ago a very eminent member of the present administration at Washington, in speaking to the students of the University of Virginia, declared with evident candor and some fervor that all he knew about the science of government he had learned from Thomas Jefferson who, by the way, so highly prized things academic that he omitted from his chosen epitaph all mention of his service as President of the United States, and in its place recorded his labors in the foundation of the honorable university that bears the name of the Old Dominion. We have no reason to believe that the distinguished Se

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