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Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows: Give Us Real Tax Reform, Not a Pig In a Poke
Posted: September 19, 2017 at 07:01 PM (Tuesday)

Congress shouldn’t repeat the errors that killed the plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Reconciliation is a parliamentary vehicle linked with the budget and designed to achieve specific revenue and spending requirements. This is the preferred approach for certain policy objectives because only 51 votes are required for passage in the ...


Seema Verma: Medicare and Medicaid Need Innovation
Posted: September 19, 2017 at 07:00 PM (Tuesday)

Trump’s HHS seeks to encourage health-care competition. More than 130 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid. America’s elderly and most vulnerable citizens depend on these programs. But both face fiscal crises. Medicare’s main trust fund is projected to run out in just 11 years, and Medicaid is the second largest budget ...


Donald Luskin and Michael Warren: Tesla's Cool Electric Cars Can't Compete As Long As Fracking Continues
Posted: September 19, 2017 at 03:56 PM (Tuesday)

If you were among the brave few who bought a Tesla Roadster in 2008, you purchased your government-subsidized $100,000-plus electric car when a barrel of oil cost as much as $162 in today's dollars. "Peak oil" was an article of faith — as crude supplies ran out, ever-higher oil prices would destroy demand for the internal combustion engine ...


Tim Duy: Fed Would Surprise Markets If It Stays Hawkish
Posted: September 19, 2017 at 01:05 PM (Tuesday)

Inflation weakness should compel the central bank to take a dovish tack. The Federal Reserve meeting this week will likely end with unchanged policy rates and the initiation of balance-sheet normalization. Market participants widely expect these outcomes, so they will come as no surprise. The real action in this meeting will come from the ...


John Cochrane: Stranded profits
Posted: September 19, 2017 at 10:03 AM (Tuesday)

The tax reform discussion includes the idea that by moving to a territorial system, US companies will bring lots of money stranded offshore back to the US, unleashing a wave of investment here. While I think a territorial system makes sense, as does reducing or eliminating the corporate tax, as a pure matter of economics, I don't think ...


Lanhee Chen and Micah Weinberg: The Sanders Single-Payer Plan Is No Miracle Cure
Posted: September 19, 2017 at 09:33 AM (Tuesday)

Last week, Senator Bernie Sanders introduced "Medicare for all" legislation, which would enroll all Americans into the nation's Medicare program within four years. Senator Sanders, the Vermont independent, argues that his proposal would create a system that "works not just for millionaires and billionaires, but for all of us." Elizabeth Warren ...


Jeffrey Dorfman: Higher Taxes On The Rich Are Not Enough To Stop Inequality
Posted: September 19, 2017 at 09:00 AM (Tuesday)

Economic inequality is one of the most prominently debated issues of the day, fueled partly due to the fact economic inequality has risen over the past few decades. This has caused some people to investigate the causes of the inequality and an overlapping set of people to demand government action to combat the inequality. Last week provided ...


Caroline Baum: The Federal Reserve is peddling 'Tinker Bell economics’
Posted: September 19, 2017 at 08:35 AM (Tuesday)

The Fed is waiting for wages to push up prices, but that’s not about to happen. Was last week's 0.4% increase in the consumer price index (CPI) for August enough to convince a wary Federal Reserve that inflation is finally on track to hit 2%? I doubt it. The big contributors to the increase in the CPI last month were gasoline (+6.3%), a ...


Charles Hughes: Stifling Innovation in San Francisco
Posted: September 19, 2017 at 07:51 AM (Tuesday)

San Francisco is home to some of the most successful technology companies, to the point that the city could be called the cradle of innovation. Even as companies headquartered in San Francisco develop new technologies or novel products, some of the city’s bureaucrats have recently expressed support for policies that would hinder ...


Mohamed El-Erian: The Risk of a New Economic Non-Order
Posted: September 19, 2017 at 07:40 AM (Tuesday)

LONDON – The upcoming IMF and World Bank annual meetings offer a critical opportunity to start a serious discussion on how to arrest the lose-lose dynamics that have been gaining traction in the global economy. The longer it takes for the seeds of reform to be sown, the less likely they will be to take root. Next month, when finance ministers ...


Norbert Michel: Trump's Golden Opportunity to Redirect the Fed
Posted: September 19, 2017 at 06:54 AM (Tuesday)

When President Trump took office, there were three vacancies on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. Earlier this month, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer announced his resignation, effective “on or around October 13, 2017.” And even though Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s term as Fed Chair expires February 3, 2018, were she to resign then, it ...


Charles Lieberman: Bond Investors Rationalize the Unrealistic
Posted: September 19, 2017 at 05:00 AM (Tuesday)

Buying 10-year Treasuries means locking in negative after-tax and inflation returns for a decade. That's hardly a satisfactory investment. Bond investors, your time is up. Four consecutive months of weaker-than-expected inflation excited buyers, helping them rationalize the unrealistic heights reached in the bond market even though the ...


Theodore Kupfer: Graham Cassidy Health Reform – Federalist Bill
Posted: September 19, 2017 at 04:00 AM (Tuesday)

It faces hurdles, but the GOP has an incentive to pass it. Republicans are trying to pass health-care reform: The noontide hour returns. The latest installment of this eternal endeavor is a bill drafted by Senators Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R., La.) that was introduced on September 13. The bill, which is also sponsored ...


Daniel Moss: What U.S. Decline? The World Still Watches the Fed
Posted: September 19, 2017 at 01:00 AM (Tuesday)

If America is in decline, that message hasn't gotten through to the world's most powerful unelected officials. Central bank chiefs the world over still mostly look to the Federal Reserve for guidance and precedent. Same goes for the armies of analysts, investors and journalists who follow monetary policy for a living. I broached this theme on ...


Roger Stone: Russian collusion? It’s a delusion
Posted: September 18, 2017 at 07:13 PM (Monday)

Leaks and allegations show intelligence agencies have been politicized. Next Tuesday, I will testify before the House Intelligence Committee in its ongoing investigation into whether Donald Trump, his family, campaign or associates colluded with the Russian government to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.I am testifying voluntarily ...


James Blumstein: How to End ObamaCare in Two Pages
Posted: September 18, 2017 at 06:49 PM (Monday)

Call John Roberts’s bluff by disavowing the taxing power. The GOP’s push to repeal the Affordable Care Act is running out of steam—and time. Unless Republicans can agree by Sept. 30, they won’t be able to pass a bill without 60 Senate votes. So here’s a wild idea: Instead of repealing ObamaCare, make ...


Chris Edwards and Vanessa Brown Calder: Kill the Loopholes, Including the One for 'Low-Income Housing’
Posted: September 18, 2017 at 06:47 PM (Monday)

Developers and investors, not the poor, benefit most from the credit. It should not survive tax reform. As tax reform begins to wind its way through the legislative process, President Trump should not forget his call last month to get “rid of the loopholes and complexity that primarily benefit the wealthiest Americans and special ...


Thomas Binion: Tax reform doomed if Republicans use Obamacare repeal model
Posted: September 18, 2017 at 05:57 PM (Monday)

There is universal agreement that the tax code is a disaster, and a general consensus among Republicans about what needs to be done. Tax reform could unleash the American economy, sparking the growth that has been lacking for a decade. Can it actually get done? Many believe it can. Of course, many were optimistic that Obamacare would be ...


Tyler Cowen: Last-Ditch Obamacare Repeal Is Worth Taking Seriously
Posted: September 18, 2017 at 05:03 PM (Monday)

Critics should compare Graham-Cassidy bill to realistic alternatives, not their ideal insurance world. The Republicans are making yet another run at repealing Obamacare, this time with a bill sponsored by Republican senators Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina, and Bill Cassidy, of Louisiana. While this legislation doesn't seem workable in ...


Bill Cassidy and Lindsay Graham Last Ditch Effort To Repeal ObamaCare Is Surprisingly Good
Posted: September 18, 2017 at 04:53 PM (Monday)

Health Reform: After nine fruitless months, Republicans have finally come up with an ObamaCare replacement plan that is simple and appealing, and that should easily pass the Senate. Will the GOP blow it again? Put together by Sens. Bill Cassidy and Lindsay Graham, the plan would take the money being spent on ObamaCare's insurance subsidies ...


Joseph Stiglitz and Martin Guzman: PROMESA’s Dangerous Premises
Posted: September 18, 2017 at 11:00 AM (Monday)

NEW YORK – Improving Puerto Rico’s economic dynamics will require a new set of policies, including a debt restructuring that provides the country with the relief it needs to implement policies that enable a restoration of growth. But the ten-year fiscal plan that will provide the basis of debt-restructuring decisions could make a bad ...


John Goodman: Ten Reasons Why Every State Should Welcome the Graham/Cassidy/Heller/Johnson Health Reform Bill
Posted: September 18, 2017 at 09:56 AM (Monday)

Three states – California, New York and Massachusetts -- are receiving 37 percent of all Obamacare funds , according to a group of Republican senators. As an example of this inequity, Pennsylvania has nearly twice the population of Massachusetts, but it receives less than half as much Obamacare money. The senators propose to radically ...


Jared Bernstein: The importance of historical perspective in understanding recent good economic news
Posted: September 18, 2017 at 08:44 AM (Monday)

When the Census Bureau's closely watched income, poverty and health insurance results for 2016 came out last week, those of us who track such numbers were glad to see the results. Poverty fell, middle-class incomes rose and the percentage of Americans without health coverage fell to its lowest level on record. As I stressed last week, ...


Peter Morici: Like P&G, the Fed has an outdated business strategy
Posted: September 18, 2017 at 06:00 AM (Monday)

The Federal Reserve, like Procter & Gamble and a host of other icons on the decline, faces a tough new world but appears captive to a failed strategic doctrine and is at wits' end about how to effectively navigate monetary policy. Sadly, for all of us, the Fed has no real competition — unlike P&G and other private-sector dinosaurs, it can't ...


Komal Sri-Kumar: Harvey and Irma Have Global Market Implications
Posted: September 18, 2017 at 05:00 AM (Monday)

The fallout for investors is likely to include a delay in the normalization of interest rate policies and a further weakening of the dollar. The term "butterfly effect" was coined to describe how a hurricane's intensity could be influenced by the fluttering of a distant butterfly's wings. In the wake of the recent devastation by Harvey and ...


Paul Krugman: Complacency Could Kill Health Care
Posted: September 18, 2017 at 04:33 AM (Monday)

I haven't yet read Hillary Clinton's "What Happened," but it seems pretty clear to me what did, in fact, happen in 2016. These days, America starts from a baseline of extreme tribalism: 47 or 48 percent of the electorate will vote for any Republican, no matter how terrible, and against any Democrat, no matter how good. This means, in turn, ...


Mohamed El-Erian: What Last Week Tells Us About Bitcoin
Posted: September 18, 2017 at 02:00 AM (Monday)

It will take time to understand the currency's full array of costs and benefits. Last week was relatively eventful for bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that has been attracting growing attention from investors, speculators and regulators. Considerable price volatility was accentuated by reactions to commentary (some constructive and some less so) ...


Betsy McCaughey: How BernieCare slams working people
Posted: September 17, 2017 at 10:09 PM (Sunday)

Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All Act, introduced last Wednesday, outlaws private health insurance. Curiously, not one of the Democratic presidential wannabes crowding around Sanders for photo ops mentioned this alarming fact.
If Sanders has his way, 180 million Americans who currently have private coverage would have it ripped away and ...


Robert Samuelson: The middle class rocks — again
Posted: September 17, 2017 at 07:52 PM (Sunday)

The middle class is back — or so it seems. That's the message from the Census Bureau's latest report on "Income and Poverty in the United States." The news is mostly good. The income of the median household (the one exactly in the middle) rose to a record $59,039; the two-year increase was a strong 8.5 percent. Meanwhile, 2.5 million ...


Steve Forbes: Skeptics Are Wrong, A Big - But Different - Tax Cut Is Coming
Posted: September 17, 2017 at 07:08 PM (Sunday)

Republicans are promising that a substantive outline of their tax plan will be--at last--unveiled during the week of September 25. After that, they say, the appropriate congressional committees will fill in "legislative" details. Getting any details from the GOP has been akin to watching the play Waiting for Godot. That achieving a big ...


Stephen Moore: Private aviation gets unfair break over commercial airlines
Posted: September 17, 2017 at 04:37 PM (Sunday)

Liberals love to portray the Republicans as the party of the rich and powerful. The GOP has tried valiantly to shed that criticism, but then why are so many in the party defending the special interest favors that go to private and corporate jet owners over the interests of all the rest of us? Do Warren Buffett and LeBron James really need ...


Mark Mills: The Cyber Age Has Hardly Begun
Posted: September 17, 2017 at 02:27 PM (Sunday)

The information sector accounts for less than 10% of GDP and 5% of jobs. Apparently American companies can be organized now into two camps: smoking-hot tech firms and old economy roadkill. Economists cite soaring tech stock valuations as evidence of a two-speed economy. Yet Silicon Valley magic hasn’t benefited most companies or created jobs ...


William Isaac and Richard Kovacevich: The Fed Should Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Low Inflation
Posted: September 17, 2017 at 02:25 PM (Sunday)

America’s central bankers ought to be focused on revving the economy and adding jobs—period. There’s no excuse for the Federal Reserve’s dawdling—not even its obsessive concern that inflation is too low. At 1.4% year on year as of July, core inflation is below the Fed’s target of 2%, but that goal is arbitrary and unrealistic for today’s ...


Avik Roy: Take Two, Inside Bill Cassidy's Plan To Replace Obamacare
Posted: September 17, 2017 at 01:18 AM (Sunday)


Just seven weeks ago, Republican health reform efforts were left for dead on the Senate floor. A group of senators led by Bill Cassidy, a freshman from Louisiana, is aiming to change that, with a new bill that’s more centrist in orientation. Will they succeed where others have failed?
Why the GOP’s first attempt failedThe first attempt ...


Eric Cantor: How to End the Immigration Wars
Posted: September 16, 2017 at 02:30 PM (Saturday)

THE decision by the Trump administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and to defer instead to Congress for a solution to the problem threw a wild card onto a congressional agenda that was already packed. But far more important, it thrust the lives of roughly 800,000 of our friends and neighbors into ...


Holman Jenkins: Let’s Get Rational About Disaster Risk
Posted: September 15, 2017 at 06:08 PM (Friday)

An unfortunate truth is that American influencers have one thing in common: a beach house in Florida. Houston has been celebrated by economists for its experiment in real-estate freedom—no zoning laws to stop developers from throwing up commercial and residential properties right next to each other. The result critics say is sprawl, and ...


Nathan Nascimento: ObamaCare Shouldn't Be Bailed Out As It Collapses
Posted: September 15, 2017 at 03:44 PM (Friday)

Massive premium rate increases have become an ugly trend under the Affordable Care Act (ACA); one that shows no signs of relenting. Across the country, insurers have requested hefty rate hikes for individual plans in 2018. In Maryland, for example, insurers are seeking an average rate increase of 48%. In Nevada, that number is 45%. Meanwhile, ...


Larry Kudlow: President Trump's Turnaround Has Greatly Increased Chances for Significant Tax Cuts
Posted: September 15, 2017 at 03:30 PM (Friday)

Chances for significant tax cuts in the next ten weeks have risen sharply. Financial markets and most media pundits are missing the new writing on the wall. For a variety of reasons surrounding shrewd moves by President Trump, the chances for significant tax cuts in the next ten weeks have risen sharply. Since the Charlottesville blow-up in ...


Jerry Bowyer: The Real Adam Smith Vs. The Fake Adam Smith
Posted: September 15, 2017 at 12:18 PM (Friday)

Free to Choose Media, the people who brought Milton Friedman into public prominence through the PBS documentary series Free to Choose, have recently released a free version of their documentary series, The Real Adam Smith, along with free DIY screening kits. The series on which the enterprise was built helped create a global ...


Diana Furchtgott-Roth: America Needs Congressional Action on Immigration
Posted: September 15, 2017 at 07:20 AM (Friday)

President Trump is working with Congress to find a way to allow young adults covered by President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order to be able to stay in America. The President can’t win. He was attacked when he announced that he was phasing out DACA, and now is attacked for trying to find a legal way to keep ...


Tim Duy: Fed May Have Too Much Faith in Inflation Forecasts
Posted: September 15, 2017 at 06:30 AM (Friday)

One view would imply a much more dovish path of policy than warranted by the current projections. Despite a low unemployment rate, inflation slowed this year, confounding central bankers who set in motion a tightening cycle on the expectation of firming prices. This leaves the Federal Reserve stuck in a quandary. Either transitory factors ...


Mohamed El-Erian: Fed to Join Bank of England in Warning Against Complacency
Posted: September 15, 2017 at 02:00 AM (Friday)

Traders and investors have been underestimating the probability of a rate hike this year. Although the Bank of England kept interest rates unchanged, it reminded traders and investors on Thursday that they had been underestimating the probability of a hike this year. This is similar to the approach that the Federal Reserve used effectively ...


Lewis Uhler and Peter Ferrara: Tax reform requires aggressive stance
Posted: September 14, 2017 at 08:45 PM (Thursday)

While bipartisanship can be acceptable, a ‘zero sum’ mentality is not. The evening news and front pages are dominated by natural disasters. But our federal tax code is an unnatural disaster strangling America with long-term stagnation. To restore booming growth, America needs tax reform as proposed by President Trump and Republican ...


Bill Frist: Children's Health Insurance Program Demands Quick, Bipartisan Passage
Posted: September 14, 2017 at 06:02 PM (Thursday)

Why would someone give up a career as a full-time surgeon to become an elected official?
It was a question I was asked time and again during my two terms in the U.S. Senate. To me, the answer was always clear: I was searching for a way to make a positive impact on the greatest number of lives.
Surgery certainly provided an avenue for ...


Joseph Sternberg: How Mark Carney Can Save Brexit
Posted: September 14, 2017 at 03:14 PM (Thursday)

Britain needs to boost productivity, and if politicians won’t do it the central bank will have to. The best Brexit news of the week—and it’s mostly bad news at the moment—comes from an unlikely source. The Bank of England announced Thursday that an interest-rate rise could come considerably sooner than most people expected. In ...


Jeffrey Sachs: Disaster insurance needs an overhaul
Posted: September 14, 2017 at 02:53 PM (Thursday)

The federal government provides formal and informal disaster insurance to the states. Formal programs include the National Flood Insurance Program, while informal insurance comes in special recovery grants following major disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Harvey, and Irma. We urgently need an overhaul of such funding, starting with ...


Scott Dorf: Bond Market Bogeymen Make a Return Appearance
Posted: September 14, 2017 at 01:05 PM (Thursday)

Traders fear a return of inflation and supply at an inopportune time. What a difference a few days can make in the bond market. Last week, traders were using phrases such as "melt up," "short squeeze" and "capitulation" to describe the rally in Treasuries that sent yields to their lows of the year without any real change in the usual ...


Nathan Lewis: Real World Examples Of More Revenue With A 15% Corporate Tax Rate
Posted: September 14, 2017 at 10:18 AM (Thursday)

One of the harder economic concepts to embrace is that tax revenues, as a percentage of GDP, are often lower when rates are higher, and higher when rates are lower. Huh? The reason is that high rates have a multitude of effects, among them: people do not engage in highly-taxed activities; and there is inevitably intense pressure upon the ...


Bernard Weinstein: Despite Hurricanes Harvey And Irma, U.S. Energy Infrastructure Largely Intact
Posted: September 14, 2017 at 10:12 AM (Thursday)

The southern United States has just experienced two of the most severe storms of the century: Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The economic damage wrought by these disasters may approach $150 billion. While the loss of life has been fairly low considering the severity of these storms, the human cost in terms of individual suffering can only ...


Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry: American Social & Economic Malaise, New Normal Is French Old Normal
Posted: September 14, 2017 at 09:58 AM (Thursday)

The French know the economic and social malaise that now reigns on this side of the Atlantic well. They've been living with it for decades. France and America are countries linked at birth. Each has always seen in the other a funhouse-mirror version of itself, and they have used each other to try to understand themselves. Writers such as Alexis ...


Ruchir Sharma: What Trump Can Do to Prevent the Next Crash
Posted: September 14, 2017 at 09:03 AM (Thursday)

The Federal Reserve arguably has more influence on the daily lives of Americans than any other government agency. In the coming year President Trump has a chance to appoint or replace five of the central bank's seven governors, including the vice chairman, Stanley Fischer, and possibly the chairwoman, Janet Yellen. Few presidents have had so ...


DJ Jaffe: It’s Time to Tackle Suicide Rates Smartly
Posted: September 14, 2017 at 08:00 AM (Thursday)

September is Suicide Prevention Month and well-meaning suicide advocates are out in force calling for a greater effort to reduce it. But can we reduce suicide? While researching, "Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill," I learned that mortality from strokes, AIDS, heart disease, and leukemia have ...


Noah Smith: Big Cities Aren't Better in Amazon's Contest
Posted: September 14, 2017 at 07:30 AM (Thursday)

The company could create America's next big tech hub. The competition to host HQ2, as Amazon's planned second headquarters is called, has captivated the nation. The lucky city can expect an economic bonanza: 50,000 jobs, plus the tech ecosystem that the online retail giant's presence will inevitably attract.But the winner doesn't have to be a ...


Juanita Duggan: Cut Business Taxes for the 99.9%
Posted: September 13, 2017 at 06:54 PM (Wednesday)

Aim reform at small companies that make the economy hum. Businesses with 500 employees or fewer are the cornerstone of the U.S. economy. There are 29.6 million of them in the U.S., and they represent 99.9% of all businesses. Small businesses employ 58 million Americans, or 48% of ...


Bernie Sanders' Radical 'Medicare For All' Gets Widespread Democratic Support
Posted: September 13, 2017 at 06:14 PM (Wednesday)

Health Reform: Democrats are lining up to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders' plan to socialize medicine. But have they actually read what it is they are signing up for? Sanders touts his "Medicare for all" as the solution to all our nation's health care woes. No more premiums, no more deductibles or copays, no provider networks. The government ...


Matt Mackowiak: Donald Trump sets clock for tax reform with unexpected move
Posted: September 13, 2017 at 06:10 PM (Wednesday)

September was supposed to be a brutal month. The combination of the debt ceiling and the continuing resolution made it combustible, with the political reality that the party in power will be held responsible for keeping government open and functioning, particularly in the aftermath of a major natural disaster. Republicans knew that ...


Ben Emons: Fed Leadership Changes May Bring a GDP-Focused Agenda
Posted: September 13, 2017 at 01:00 PM (Wednesday)

A makeover at the central bank is on the horizon, and it may be bigger than the market currently discounts. Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer's decision to resign in October with nine months remaining on his term could mean the potential is high for central-bank policy to be reshaped much sooner than many investors expected. ...


Robert Samuelson: The growing black-white wage gap is unexplained — and scary
Posted: September 13, 2017 at 12:22 PM (Wednesday)

There are few economic problems more frustrating than the stubborn gaps in wages and unemployment rates between blacks and whites. Despite decades of trying to reduce or eliminate these gaps, black workers continue to experience higher unemployment rates and lower wages than whites. That's true even after correcting for age, education ...


Greg Ip: The Fed’s Bad Options for Addressing Too-Low Inflation
Posted: September 13, 2017 at 11:05 AM (Wednesday)

The central bank’s choice: overheat the economy or give up its 2% target. Unemployment and inflation are near their lowest levels in decades. Who wouldn’t love that? Janet Yellen, for starters. What looks like a dream economy could be a nightmare for the Federal Reserve chairwoman. Ms. Yellen’s worldview assumes that when unemployment is ...


Mark Hendrickson: U.S. Record Levels Of Debt -- Who Cares?
Posted: September 13, 2017 at 10:43 AM (Wednesday)

Do you remember the pop-rock band Chicago’s 1970 single, “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” I thought of it the other day in connection with the U.S. debt problem, except I tweaked the lyrics: “Does anybody really know how much debt there is? Does anybody really care?” Indeed, there are oceans of red ink all around, but the ...