Matthew Yglesias

How Occupy Wall Street Is a Rational Response to a System That’s Failed
October 21, 2011

Matt Yglesias on how the economy isn’t working for average Americans.

OWS Contemplates a Jobs Agenda. Crazy, Right?
October 18, 2011

Occupy Wall Street is working on an agenda. Sort of. In a dispatch from the demonstration, John Harkinson of Mother Jones reports on the work of the “Demands” group, first reported in the New York Times. And high on the list of demands is a federally funded jobs program, like the ones that operated during the New Deal: The plan would involve the federal government raising about $1.5 trillion in new revenue and using it to create 25 million new public-sector jobs paying union-level wages.

The Balanced Budget Scam
August 31, 2011

The 1997 Balanced Budget Act is one of the great propaganda coups in the history of American governance. It is remembered today fondly by right and left as the hallmark of a bygone era of bipartisan cooperation, when the two parties came together in the spirit of shared sacrifice in order to secure a balanced budget. Here's Matthew Yglesias noting how the law "managed to raise revenue." Here are conservatives like Keith Hennessey and Paul Ryan holding it up as a case of the government cutting taxes and balancing the budget. What really happened in 1997?

Understanding Ron Paul
August 29, 2011

Matthew Yglesias points out that Ron Paul is much more of a Buchananite than a libertarian: a lot of progressives seem to be slightly confused as to who Ron Paul is. They think he’s like that one rich uncle you have, shares a lot of your basic values but hatespaying taxes and seems to take a dim view of poor people. The reality is that Paul is much closer to Pat Buchanan, a socially conservative nationalist whose idea of nationalist foreign policy is to withdraw troops from South Korea and deploy them to the Mexican border.

You Know Who Else Favored Monetary Expansion?
August 19, 2011

Nazi monetary policy fan Matthew Yglesias reviews the exploits of Hjalmar Schacht: FDR’s first move was to devalue the dollar relative to gold. Hitler’s parallel move was devised by the very clever Hjalmar Schacht who (as you can read in his Nuremberg Trials indictment) essentially introduced a parallel currency called “Mefo bills” by setting up a government-backed shell company that issued scrip. FDR’s second move was to have people panic that Hitler was going to conquer them and shift their gold to the USA.

August 01, 2011

-- What's the deal with Norwegian sentencing?  -- How the Super Committee can raise taxes. -- Why left-of-center parties all over the world are having problems. -- Matthew Yglesias's five books that influenced him. -- You won't like William Gale when he's angry.

The Deal Isn't So Bad, But The Rationale For It Is
August 01, 2011

The nickel summary of the debt ceiling deal is this: We don't know whether it's a good deal or a bad one until we see how President Obama handles the Bush tax cut expiration. The deal itself does not limit Obama's ability to secure a positive outcome if he plays his tax hand strongly, but it does diminish one's confidence that he'll do it. Here's Matthew Yglesias: the president’s description of his own thinking was disturbing. He complained that Republicans had held the national economy hostage to their extreme demands.

What Does John Boehner Really Want?
July 06, 2011

Katrina vanden Heuvel argues that President Obama should immediately commit, in public, to invoking the 14th Amendment prohibition against defaulting on the debt in the case of any failure to lift the debt ceiling. Matthew Yglesias seconds her, on the grounds that Obama needs leverage to force Republicans to accept a deal: Ultimately, to get a bargain there has to be some reason to prefer a bargain to not having a bargain. The White House would clearly prefer a deal on the long-term deficit to trying to invoke a novel constitutional doctrine.

June 27, 2011

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The Ryan Budget And Asymmetrical Party Discipline
May 24, 2011

Matthew Yglesias agrees that Glenn Thrush and Jake Sherman's story, about how the House GOP decided to pass the Paul Ryan budget despite clear warning signs, is deeply revealing. One thing it reveals is the almost absolute level of party discipline at work: All put together, it’s a fascinating picture of the emergence of very strong party discipline of the sort that hasn’t traditionally existed in the United States and continues not to exist in the Democratic caucus.