Category Archives: Conservatives and Liberals

What Do Obamacare and the EITC Have in Common with Cap-and-Trade?

My preceding blog post described how market-oriented mechanisms to address environmentally damaging emissions, particularly the cap-and-trade system for SO2 in the United States, have recently been overtaken by less efficient regulatory approaches such as renewables mandates.   One reason is that Republicans — who … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Conservatives and Liberals, Environment, Obama Administration, Poverty | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Nominal GDP Targeting is Left, Right?

The recent surge in interest in Nominal GDP Targeting, as an alternative to money targeting or inflation targeting if the central bank is to commit to a nominal target of some sort, has prompted some pushback.   This is not surprising.  … Continue reading

Posted in Conservatives and Liberals, Monetary Policy, Nobel Prize | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Debt Ceilings, Bombs, Cliffs and the Trillion Dollar Coin

Needless to say, the US has a long-term debt problem.  The problem is long-term both in the sense that it pertains to the next several decades rather than to this year.  (Indeed, the deficit/GDP ratio has been falling since 2009, … Continue reading

Posted in Budget, Conservatives and Liberals, Obama Administration | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Four Magic Tricks for Aspiring Fiscal Conservatives

Politicians who advertise themselves as “fiscal conservatives” sometimes campaign on crowd-pleasing pledges to cut taxes while simultaneously reducing budget deficits.  These are difficult promises to deliver on in practice, since the budget deficit equals government spending minus tax revenue. Aspiring … Continue reading

Posted in 2008 presidential election, 2012 presidential election, Budget, Conservatives and Liberals, Laffer Curve | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Sinners, Red States, Blue States

Mitt Romney, presidential candidate, said in now-infamous comments that 47% of the American electorate is dependent on the federal government, that he will never be able to teach them to take personal responsibility for their lives, and that they are … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 presidential election, Budget, Conservatives and Liberals, Obama Administration | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

The Unemployment Rate and Private Job Growth

Once again this morning, the BLS employment release tells conflicting stories depending on whether one looks at the unemployment rate or job growth.   The U.S. unemployment rate fell from 8.3% in July to 8.1% in August, continuing the gradual three-year … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 presidential election, Conservatives and Liberals, Labor Market, Obama Administration, Recession | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Procyclicalists Across The Atlantic Too

My preceding postbemoaned the tendency for many US politicians to exhibit a procyclicalist pattern of behavior:    voting for tax cuts and spending increases when the economy is booming, which should be the time to save money for a rainy day, … Continue reading

Posted in Budget, Conservatives and Liberals, Emerging markets, Euro, Europe, Recession | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

The Procyclicalists: Fiscal Austerity vs. Stimulus

The world is in the grip of a debate between fiscal austerity and fiscal stimulus.  Opponents of austerity worry about contractionary effects on the economy.  Opponents of stimulus worry about indebtedness and moral hazard. Is austerity good or bad?   It is … Continue reading

Posted in Budget, Conservatives and Liberals, Obama Administration | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Look Who Opposes Obamacare, By Fat Margins

The Supreme Court today upheld the Affordable Care Act of 2010, otherwise known as Obamacare.  Judging from the polls, American public opinion appears to be very sharply divided over the legislation.  Some view it as socialism, others as the first … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 presidential election, Conservatives and Liberals, Obama Administration | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Barack Obama’s Biggest Economic Mistake Has Been…

In the current issue of Foreign Policy, the editors of the FP Survey ask “top experts” for pithy solutions to the world’s economic problems, “twitter style.”  Some of the answers: THE BIGGEST THREAT TO THE GLOBAL ECONOMY IS … Anti-market bias. … Continue reading

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