Debate Preview: Where Are the Jobs Questions?

By: Wednesday October 3, 2012 3:13 pm

(I’ll probably have some real-time bon mots about the debate on my Twitter feed) 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 [...]

Payroll Tax Cut Will Expire Because of Its Relationship to the Social Security Trust Fund

By: Monday October 1, 2012 7:52 am

It’s been pretty clear for a while that the payroll tax cut would not be making a return appearance in 2013. Nancy Pelosi basically confirmed this last week, but you could actually see this coming as far back as June. So Annie Lowrey’s eulogy for the payroll tax cut really plays catch-up more than anything. [...]

Ending High-End Tax Cuts Has No Impact on Economy

By: Monday September 24, 2012 10:17 am

While common sense dictates that cutting the nominal wages of everyone making $110,000 a year and under would have a direct impact on the economy, new research confirms that raising taxes on the top 2% would not. Jared Bernstein summarizes the new literature on this subject, which comes in two separate studies that reach the [...]

Pelosi Confirms that Payroll Tax Cut Will Expire at End of the Year

By: Monday September 24, 2012 8:57 am

On her way out the door at the end of Congress’ last session before the elections, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sealed the fate of the payroll tax cut, if it wasn’t sealed already, ensuring that fiscal policy will snap back in 2013 by at least $125 billion. “I would hope that we would not [...]

The Forgotten Payroll Tax Cut and the Fiscal Cliff

By: Tuesday September 18, 2012 9:40 am

Though Congress has decided to slink out of Washington early, there is one meeting of some importance going on in Washington this week. The House Ways and Means Committee, the main tax-writing body, will meet in a bipartisan closed session tomorrow to go over the spate of expiring tax measures that hit at the end [...]

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

By: Thursday August 23, 2012 7:41 am

As I noted yesterday, 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 [...]

Fiscal Cliff Already Having Impact on Hiring

By: Monday August 6, 2012 7:35 am

Nelson Schwartz reports that the prospects of Congress allowing the country to fall over the fiscal cliff, that combination of tax hikes and spending cuts set to trigger at the end of the year, has already led to businesses pulling back on hiring: A rising number of manufacturers are canceling new investments and putting off [...]

Both Sides Posture as Tax Cut Vote Hits Senate Floor

By: Wednesday July 25, 2012 6:21 am

The messaging and posturing is hot and heavy as the Senate nears a vote on competing tax plans that in large measure will define the election in November. The fact that the two plans happen to have a lot in common will not be heard – they envision the same individual income tax rate for [...]

Senate Democrats Holding Firm on Strategy to Let Bush Tax Cuts Expire, Come Back in 2013

By: Wednesday July 18, 2012 6:59 am

It’s with some pride that I note the current strategy from Senate Democrats to let the Bush tax cuts expire and then, if necessary, come back with a more progressive tax cut later. I was calling for this in 2010, and pretty much nobody agreed, save for perhaps Tom Udall (D-NM). Two years later, it [...]

The Fiscal Slope, and Why Words Matter

By: Tuesday June 5, 2012 12:55 pm

I want to revisit Chad Stone’s important analysis about the “fiscal cliff” and the dangers of metaphorical language. The truth is that there’s no such thing as a “cliff” in fiscal policy. First of all, everything is changeable, in many cases retroactively so. Second, it’s not like on January 1, 2013, without Congressional action, all [...]

230,000 Unemployed Will Lose Benefits This Weekend

By: Friday May 11, 2012 10:15 am

The deal to extend the payroll tax cut through the end of the year included a deal to “extend” unemployment benefits. I put “extend” in sarcasm quotes because the bill actually reduced that extension gradually. Instead of 99 weeks of unemployment to jobless workers in hard-hit states, the bill gradually backed that off to 79 [...]

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