Obama’s Latest Fiscal Slope Offer: I’m Missing the Part Where Republicans Give Up Something

By: Tuesday December 18, 2012 6:54 am

The headlines here is that the Obama Administration narrowed the demand they maintained for four years, for tax rates to increase above $250,000, and they would agree to a benefit cut for Social Security and $400 billion in unspecified Medicare cuts, and in exchange they would mostly extend current law on a few fronts (but not all) and get an unspecified amount, no more than $50 billion, in infrastructure spending.


Boehner’s Counter-Offer: Based on Impromptu Bowles Super Committee Testimony

By: Tuesday December 4, 2012 7:09 am

In trying to make a quick understanding of the Boehner counter-offer on the fiscal slope yesterday, I knew that his reference to the “Bowles plan” was not a reference to Bowles-Simpson but rather something Bowles wrote or said in November 2011. It turns out that it came from testimony before the failed Super Committee, where Bowles basically spitballed a reform measure totaling $2 trillion by averaging out each sides’ initial offers.

White House Makes Aggressive Opening Bid in Fiscal Slope Negotiations

By: Thursday November 29, 2012 4:48 pm

In the context of doing a deficit reduction deal at all, this is an extremely strong bid that Tim Geithner delivered to John Boehner today. Now we know why Boehner whined and cried all afternoon.

Let’s walk through it.

CBO Joins CRS in Finding Almost No Economic Impact From Letting High-End Bush-Era Tax Rates Expire

By: Thursday November 8, 2012 3:13 pm

You may remember that, last week, Republicans forced the Congressional Research Service (basically Congress’ think tank) to take down a study that analyzed 65 years of individual tax rates and found no correlation between lower taxes on the rich and economic growth. This just did not compute with the GOP, so they had to suppress the facts.

Now the Congressional Budget Office has come out with an analysis of the fiscal slope measures, and guess what? They found the exact same thing.

White House Returns to Making Work Pay as Potential Stimulative Tax Measure

By: Friday October 26, 2012 6:30 pm

The White House, per Zachary Goldfarb at the Washington Post, is considering returning to the working family tax cut used in 2009-2010 as part of the Recovery Act, to replace the payroll tax cut, which expires at the end of the year. The refundable tax credit would not deal with the Social Security trust fund in any way and serve to boost take-home pay.

Democrats Begin Talking About Extending Payroll Tax Cut

By: Monday October 22, 2012 10:15 am

After giving up the payroll tax cut for dead, a few Democrats have tentatively returned to reanimate the policy, arguing that the economy could benefit from another year of fiscal accommodation. But the approach is so hedged and conflicted, that I don’t see it as a game changer.

Another Study Shows Payroll Tax Cut Expiration Damaging to the Economy

By: Saturday October 20, 2012 4:00 pm

I don’t know that we needed another analysis of the effect of the expiration of the payroll tax cut, but JPMorgan Chase provided that yesterday. They estimate a cut to GDP of 0.6% next year from canceling the payroll tax cut, which will suck $125 billion out of the economy.

Larry Summers Wants to Extend Fiscal Stimulus

By: Friday October 12, 2012 10:19 am

It’s come to this in America: the most prominent champion of extending stimulus, including the payroll tax cut, is Larry Summers. And he also obliterated the argument for the confidence fairy succinctly.

Debate Preview: Where Are the Jobs Questions?

By: Wednesday October 3, 2012 5:15 pm

Thoughts turn to tonight’s Presidential debate, which is scheduled to focus on domestic issues, particularly the economy. These debates actually matter less than the media would have you believe, at least according to the political science literature. But they may be crucial in ways outside the mere political sphere and in terms of the policy going forward.

Fiscal Policies Already in Place Will Depress US Economy in 2013, Regardless of Fiscal Cliff

By: Thursday August 23, 2012 8:16 am

It’s not the threat of recession from the fiscal cliff that is despairing so much as it’s the CBO estimate that, even if the fiscal cliff gets put off, we’re staring at anemic 1.7% growth for 2013, and an unemployment rate remaining above 8% by the end of next year. This points to some serious problems with the US economy, and being the “best in the world” at a time of global slowdown is a cold comfort.

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