19 February 2010

Healthcare Protestors Wield Pitchforks, Torches in CT

I left the title alone because it's not clear that the pitchforks-and-torches protesters were protesting lack of GOVERNMENT health care.
Healthcare Protesters Wield Pitchforks, Torches in CT

Why are there no Arab democracies?

Good question, that.
Why are there no Arab Democracies?

How the government fudges job statistics | Analysis & Opinion | Reuters

Ye flippin' stars, this is from Felix Salmon!
In the Marketplace letters segment yesterday, Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) took issue with me saying that infrastructure investment is an extremely expensive way of creating jobs and “costs a good $200,000 per job”. Just as well I didn’t use the $1 million figure here, which I stand by, and which was fact-checked by the Atlantic!
How the government fudges job statistics | Analysis & Opinion | Reuters

Greg Mankiw: Thoughts about the Fiscal Commission

Here is a question I have been pondering. If you were a member of the fiscal commission, what would you try to achieve?

The answer for liberals is easy: They want to raise taxes to fund the existing, and even an expanded, social safety net, while politically insulating the Democrats as much as possible from the charge of being the "tax and spend" party. President Obama can then campaign in 2012 that he did not break his no-taxes-on-the-middle-class pledge, but rather a bipartisan group broke it. That is, the President wants to take credit for fixing the fiscal situation but duck responsibility for having imposed higher taxes.

But what if you are conservative? This is harder. You can try to stick to your no-tax-increase position. The problem is that doing so would require spending cuts larger than are politically realistic. If I were king, I bet I could find sufficient spending cuts. But I am not expecting to be anointed any time soon. If the fiscal commission is going to succeed, tax increases will have to be part of the deal.

the rest is here:
Greg Mankiw's Blog: Thoughts about the Fiscal Commission

18 February 2010

McDonnell puts down a marker

Let’s see what the Legislative Branch does. I think he’s giving the legislature – especially the Ds – some potential cover: “I got back x% or the governor’s cuts”. But there’s got to be some serious cuts somewhere.

Another potential: "Sell the ABC stores and we can restore X.
McDonnell's Deep Cuts Send Shock Waves in Virginia | NBC Washington