Bubbles and the Candidates Who Live in Them

By: Sunday November 11, 2012 10:30 am

Social Security is still a target for Obama, despite the fact that it will harm millions of people who voted for him and help the loser Republicans who loathe the ground he walks on.


Here Come the Fiscal Scolds Giving a Discredited Solution to a Problem of Their Own Invention

By: Thursday November 8, 2012 7:46 am

There’s a Third Way on the deficit, not exemplified by Biden or Orszag. It’s nothing that Third Way would actually endorse. That would be fixing the economy instead of fixing the debt, and it starts with a massive rebuilding program on the Atlantic Coast to protect it from the new reality of 100-year storms every year or two.

Obama Campaign “Clarifies” Approach on Social Security

By: Saturday October 6, 2012 10:00 am

After being criticized for emphasizing points of agreement on Social Security during Wednesday night’s debate, President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign delivered an email to supporters clarifying their response, which left a number of key details unanswered and retained a degree of flexibility for the President over his choices for the program.

Insurance Exchanges Are Useless at Controlling Costs

By: Thursday August 23, 2012 2:12 pm

There is a zombie myth that if you make people buy health insurance on exchanges the magic of the marketplace will bring down costs. The problem is that this idea has never worked in reality. It didn’t work for Medicare Advantage’s private health insurance exchange, it didn’t work in the federal employee insurance exchange, and it has not worked when tried by other countries.

Peter Orszag Questions Private Health Insurance Competition. So Where Was He During the ACA Debate?

By: Monday August 20, 2012 11:55 am

For much of 2009-2010 ACA supporters kept saying how vouchers to buy private health insurance on an exchange was a great idea for a 64 year old (or younger person — i.e., anyone not eligible for Medicare) when trying to sell Obamacare. Now to attack Ryan’s plan the exact same people are correctly pointing out what a horrible idea it is to offer vouchers to buy private health insurance on an exchange for those 65 or older.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Daniel Altman, Sabotoge: How the Republican Party Crippled America’s Economic Recovery

By: Sunday August 12, 2012 1:59 pm

My initial reaction to Sabotage: How the Republican Party Crippled America’s Economic Recovery was an incredulous, “Jeez, will anyone really get snookered into blaming the Republicans for that at this point in affairs?” And then yesterday happened, and we all realized we’d probably have to vote for Obama again, because the conservatives will always be better at the whole “nihilism” thing than liberals. This book is a useful source of the talking points Democratic Party operatives will repeat so relentlessly between now and November they might actually succeed in dissuading any self-respecting leftist who can still afford cable from voting at all.

Issues With State Control of Medicaid Are Not Going Away

By: Wednesday July 11, 2012 1:05 pm

Currently several Republican governors are threatening not to take part in the Medicaid expansion, which has become an optional part of the Affordable Care Act. Even if you share the optimism of people like Peter Orzag, who claims all states will eventual adopt the expansion because federal funding will end up being too good of a deal to refuse, that will not change the fact that, long term, having states manage and fund a large part of Medicaid will become a larger and larger problem.

How Political Elites Narrow Economic Choices

By: Monday June 18, 2012 2:00 pm

Tyler Cowen, a conservative economist who’s very good when it comes to finding a good restaurant, is further off base in this editorial, where he attributes the lack of expansionary fiscal policy to “broken trust.” You could write a book about the loss of faith in institutions and particularly the government; actually, Chris Hayes has (which allows me to plug the FDL Book Salon I’m moderating with Chris on Wednesday afternoon!). But Cowen misses the point.

Peter Orszag Probably Right About the Depressing Future of Health Care

By: Wednesday December 7, 2011 2:00 pm

Peter Orszag, President Obama’s former OMB director, has a rather depressing column in which he predicts the future of health care in America. He thinks employer health care will go the route that private pensions have gone, being replaced by individual 401(k) plans. He also thinks the Affordable Care Act he helped create will accelerate this trend

Pay No Attention to Those Banksters Behind the Curtain

By: Wednesday October 5, 2011 6:26 pm

The big question for banks like Peter Orszag’s Citigroup then becomes “what do we do with all that property?” For them, these are “non-performing assets” that have value but produce no revenue and in fact will even cost them money to maintain like mowing the lawn, paying the taxes, etc. Repairs and such make them even more expensive to hold.

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