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Archive for 2012

David Glasner: Resolved! The State of Macro is Rotten

Posted on: December 28th, 2012 by Mike Sax 2 Comments

     Krugman's post skewering modern macro predictably provoked a feverish reaction by Stephen Williamson.       Others weighed in from there-Noah Smith, Scott Sumner, Bob Murphy, et. al. However, as is often the case, David Glasner has about as succinct take on it as I've seen:        "Last week, Paul Krugman, set off by this blog post, complained about the current state macroeconomics. Apparently, Krugman feels that if saltwater economists like himself were willing to accommodate the intertemporal-maximization paradigm developed by the freshwater economists, the freshwater economists ought to have reciprocated by acknowledging some role for countercyclical policy. Seeing little evidence of accommodation on...

Take a Bow 112th Congress! The Most Unproductive Ever

Posted on: December 28th, 2012 by Mike Sax No Comments

     This Congress has consistently had terrible poll numbers and we can now quantitatively see that it's fully deserved. The Congress was bad, but it was bad on the grand scale, as an outlier. It's now officially the most unproductive Congress ever, far worse than the 80th Congress- the 1946-48 GOP Congress that Harry Truman gave hell...     "According to a Huffington Post review of all the bills that hit President Barack Obama's desk this session, Obama has signed 219 bills passed by the 112th Congress into law. With less than a week to go in the year, there are currently another 20 bills pending presidential action. In comparison, the last Congress passed 383 bills, while the one before it passed 460."     "The 104th Congress (1995-1996) currently holds the ignominious distinction of being the least productive session of Congress, according to the U.S. House Clerk's Office, which has records going back to 1947. Just...

Starbucks and the Fiscal Cliff: Just Who Needs to Compromise?

Posted on: December 28th, 2012 by Mike Sax No Comments

     Starbucks Howard Schultz just sponsored a new promotion he hopes will end the fiscal cliff. He calls for both sides to compromise.      "So Washington-area Starbucks are putting “Come Together” on their cups for the next few days in support of a deal on “fiscal cliff” issues, with CEO Howard Schultz blogging a can’t-we-all-just-get-along type of explanation on the company’s Web site."      This is the usual centrist confusion that Krugman does such a great job in skewering.      "he has the politics all wrong, in the characteristic centrist way: he makes it sound as if the problem was one of symmetric partisanship, with both sides refusing to compromise. The reality is that Obama has moved a huge way both in offering to exempt more high-earner income from tax hikes and in offering...

So We’re Going Over Fiscal Curb; Or Are We?

Posted on: December 28th, 2012 by Mike Sax No Comments

    It now looks like there will be some kind of attempt to get something done. Yesterday was the nadir of pessimism, and while I've been skeptical about going over the cliff, after Harry Reid said it looks like that's where we're headed I begun to think maybe...     Even then, however, I was skeptical. From the standpoint of the GOP it makes no sense. The only logical premise seems to be that Boehner will be safer to wait till he's re-elected as House Speaker before passing something.    However, there's little doubt that the deal they could get in the Congress coming in 10 days will be worse than what they can get now as by then taxes will have already gone up and the new Congress will be significantly more Democratic than this one.      There is a narrative that what's happening is that many GOP House members fear a...

Amid ‘Fiscal Cliff Pessimism” What Does Scott Brown Know?

Posted on: December 27th, 2012 by Mike Sax No Comments

     All we've heard in the last few days is that we're going over the fiscal cliff-though the record will show I've always been somewhat skeptical of that claim. Still Harry Reid's comment this morning that the fiscal cliff "seems like what we're going to do" has made more take this more seriously as a real possibility.      It's not necessarily a bad thing to go over the cliff anyway from a Democratic standpoint-not to say we shouldn't prefer a deal but a bad one is surely worse than none.       Now we have Scott Brown claiming that the President is finally "getting serious" about making an offer to the GOP.      "While we're expecting Democrats to finally act, I...

Some Good News For President Obama at the Start of 2013

Posted on: December 27th, 2012 by Mike Sax No Comments

      Right now the headlines make things sound pretty bad. There's all the hand-wringing over going over the fiscal cliff. While I have taken much of this talk with a grain of salt, with Harry Reid now saying going over the cliff "looks like where we're going" I have to accept that it's now a real possibility-though even now it's not inevitable.        I just never thought Boehner would be this stupid. Does he imagine he'll get a better deal than what the President offered him last week? Will a January-or March-deal have chained CPI and a $400,000 floor on higher taxes? As John Bernstein says, at the end of the day, it's not if but when we get a deal-a decent deal that we Democrats will like:       "And going back a bit: the other underlying fact is that there will,...

Boehner’s New Plan A For ‘Abidcation” of His Responsiblity

Posted on: December 27th, 2012 by Mike Sax No Comments

</body>      Throughout this fiscal cliff fiasco I've assumed that there would be a deal, that despite what the media alarmists say, we will avoid the fiscal cliff. It's now beginning to seem I was too optimistic. I guess I overestimated GOP House Speaker Boehner reasoning he can't be this silly.      I just figured that he had the common sense God gave a billy goat and would figure that there is no way to stop the tax cuts on the rich anyway and doing a deal in January will be less efficacious to the GOP as there will be a more Democratic Senate with 8 more Dems in the House as well. Beyond that the public has made clear they will blame the GOP if there is no deal. And yes, I thought, so help me, that even Boehner would realize that getting something done was the right thing to do.      However, we are hearing more and more talk about going over the cliff. Greg Sargent now seems to think it's likely. Politico...

I’ve Found Something I Agree With Mitt Romney On

Posted on: December 24th, 2012 by Mike Sax No Comments

     According to his son, Tagg-the fellow who wanted to punch out the President of the United States-Mitt Romney never wanted to be President. Great! I never wanted it either. Nice to see we do agree after all:      "Mitt Romney's eldest son Tagg Romney told the Boston Globe that the ex-governor had "no desire" to run for president again 2012 but was persuaded by his family to do so."      “He wanted to be president less than anyone I’ve met in my life. He had no desire to . . . run,” he said. “If he could have found someone else to take his place . . . he would have been ecstatic to step aside. He is a very private person who loves his family deeply and wants to be with them, but he has deep faith in God and he loves his country, but he doesn’t love the attention.”      "Read the Globe's post-mortem of the Romney campaign here"     ...

What is wrong with Neoclassical Macro?

Posted on: December 24th, 2012 by Mike Sax 1 Comment

     Nothing gets Stephen Williamson going more than a Krugman post, particularly a Krugman post that is critical of Macro-something Williamson feels just should never happen. How can you criticize post-Lucas Macro?!      "I thought I would offer some light entertainment today. This Paul Krugman post struck me as perhaps more deranged than usual on the topic of macroeconomists."     "Here are the two closing paragraphs, to give you the idea: In fact, the freshwater side wasn’t listening at all, as evidenced by the way 80-year-old fallacies cropped up as soon as an actual policy response to crisis was on the table; and as for changing views in response to facts, well, we all know how that has gone. The state of macro is, in fact, rotten, and will remain so until the cult that has taken over half the field is somehow dislodged.      ...

Rush Limbaugh, Scott Brown, and John Kerry: Who Exactly is Screwing Up?

Posted on: December 22nd, 2012 by Mike Sax No Comments

      Rush Limbaugh is dismayed by Brown's epiphany in favor of gun control:       "Rush Limbaugh blasted outgoing-Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) on Thursday for backing a federal ban on assault weapons, saying Brown would “lose forever” for his political posturing on guns. Brown became the first Republican senator to back a renewed assault weapons ban during an interview Wednesday." He has guaranteed that, if he’s gonna stay a Republican, he’s gonna lose forever now. This is how Republicans lose. He may pick up some independents with it, but I don’t even think he’s gonna do that,” the conservative commentator said on his radio program, according to a show transcript. Read more:      I find this funny that this guy is supposedly the kingmaker in American conservatism-or was at one time....

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