Deficit emergency over

The Congressional Budget Office’s latest debt and deficit projections for the next ten years are out and there’s no way any honest analyst could read them as anything but the official end to any rational concern about red ink. Of course, given that the phantasmic plays such a large role in politics, it’s likely that important people will still worry about fiscal ruin. But to the degree that reality exerts even a weak gravitational pull on discourse, it should be harder to generate the sense of emergency that austerians thrive on. From the… Read More

It really is about that 1%

Wow, that top 1% is doing really, really well, you’ll not be surprised to hear. Everyone else, not so well. The Congressional Budget Office is out with some new stats on Trends in the Distribution of Income over the last three decades. Between 1979 and 2007, here’s how various slices of the population did in real (inflation-adjusted) income growth after federal taxes: top 1%: +275% next 19%: +65% middle 60%: +40% bottom 20%: +18% Or, in graphic form: The stairstep pattern—the higher you go up the income ladder, the stronger the growth—is remarkable…. Read More

StimPak still stimulating

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is out with its latest estimates of the effects of the stimulus package—officially the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA)—on employment and incomes. For the fourth quarter of 2010, the CBO estimates that ARRA: raised real GDP by 1.1–3.5% lowered the unemployment rate by 0.7–1.9 points increased the number of people employed by 1.3–3.5 million increased the number of full-time equivalent jobs by 1.8–5.0 million above what would have happened without ARRA These are substantial numbers. Take GDP. The midpoint of the estimate is 2.3%. Real GDP is… Read More

The CBO’s deep, unappreciated gloom

In this article from LBO #128 (yes, it’s posted quickly to the web, but that doesn’t happen often, so you really should subscribe if you don’t), I talk about the lust that some people—within Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, and the world of punditry—have for getting the federal deficit down. Contrary to this I argued that this is really the wrong time to start thinking about that—we still need the short-term kick of deficit spending to help get the economy off the mat, and then over the longer term we need to… Read More