The Motor City Mess—A Harbinger of Things to Come?

The Economist thinks so, and has dedicated a good deal of space to the question in the newest issue (here  and here). A few quotes: Other states and cities should pay heed, not because they might end up like Detroit next year, but because the city is a flashing warning light on America’s fiscal dashboard. … Continue reading The Motor City Mess—A Harbinger of Things to Come?

Debt and Growth: The Politics of Ideas

The Economist provides a concise discussion of the debates surrounding the impact of debt on economic growth. The focus is on the work of Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, drawing on some of the research they conducted for their fine book This Time is Different.  The Reinhart/Rogoff paper (link here) had a simple takeaway point: … Continue reading Debt and Growth: The Politics of Ideas

A Path to Fiscal Stability or Symbolic Politics?

The Washington Post reports on some of the details of the Obama administration’s budget proposal, which is to be released next Wednesday. There are several important proposals (the largest of which have appeared before in the negotiations with the Speaker). Although the devil is in the details, a few salient points: $200 billion cut from … Continue reading A Path to Fiscal Stability or Symbolic Politics?

First they came for the political scientists…

Yesterday the Senate approved a continuing resolution. One of the casualties was NSF funding for political science, at least political science that cannot be certified "as promoting national security or the economic interests of the United States." The amendment was proposed by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) who questioned whether public financing of political science research … Continue reading First they came for the political scientists…

What is Old is New Again: The New Old Politics of Budgeting

Congressman Paul Ryan has completed his work on the new budget proposal, one that he claims will leave the nation with a budget surplus by 2023. Lori Montgomery (Washington Post) has a decent piece reviewing some of the details. The budget looks like very much like the last one (e.g., reductions in future spending on … Continue reading What is Old is New Again: The New Old Politics of Budgeting

Grasping at Shadows

So it looks as if the sequestration is upon us. The past few weeks have witnessed claims about the catastrophic implications of sequestration and ongoing efforts to assign responsibility (it was the GOP’s idea…unless it wasn’t). It has been quite the circus. My chief concern: we are so busy grasping at shadows that we are … Continue reading Grasping at Shadows

Sequester This

As we approach midnight February 28 (tick..tick…tick…) and March 1st arrives, the nation appears to be headed toward a cataclysm. There is an ever-growing number of stories informing us how bad things could get. The sequestration will force a sharp drop in the economy. It will kill the surging stock market. It will delay tax … Continue reading Sequester This