New post at Policy Shop. Excerpt: Instead of going down either of those routes, I think we should go in a totally novel direction, at least in the short-term. What if there was a way we could reduce the federal deficit and the federal debt without raising taxes and without cutting spending? It seems too… Continue reading Policy Shop: How About a U.S. Sovereign Wealth Fund?
I’ve written earlier that austerity does not appear to materially benefit anyone really. This was meant to raise a challenge to the claims of some that austerity is being pushed by a class of people who stand to benefit from it. Emails and comments and various other methods of communication flooded in, but a persuasive… Continue reading What motivates the austerity crowd?
A classic way to figure out why something is happening politically is to follow the money. It does not always work (ideas do matter), but it is at least a good starting point. Here is a survey of people who have been said to benefit from austerity, and my analysis (usually confusion) as to how… Continue reading Who does US austerity benefit?
A popular right-wing rhetorical trope involves saying that families work hard and sacrifice to balance their budgets, and so should the federal government. The standard line against this point has been to retort that family budget and federal budgets are very different animals. And indeed they are. But the argument that there is a disanalogy… Continue reading Families don’t balance their budgets
The hysteria that generally surrounds the federal debt is almost entirely a joke. Smart Republicans pretend to be concerned with it, but only insofar as they think they can use it to push what they always push: more for the rich, less for the rest. Dumb Republicans push it because they are dumb. The reporting… Continue reading A breakdown of the federal debt