Wednesday, July 25, 2012

General Economics

CNN Money | Britain's economy slumps for 3rd straight quarter
The British economy slumped for the third consecutive quarter, adding to the economic concern throughout Europe, with some economists calling this the most prolonged double-dip recession in the United Kingdom since the 1950s.
WSJ | Downturn Deepens in Euro-Zone Economy
Business activity in the euro zone contracted for the sixth straight month in July, a closely watched survey showed, with powerhouse Germany weakening and the government in Greece now predicting an even deeper economic recession for this year.
Politico | Hill braces for lame-duck frenzy
Tax rates, spending cuts and the deficit will dominate the Capitol this fall, but lawmakers and lobbyists are quietly maneuvering to use the lame-duck session to clean up a whole mess of other issues that Congress has been unable — or unwilling — to handle.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Smart Money | Businessmen Versus Bureaucrats
There are generally just two ways people deal with each other: with reason or with force.

Political Calculations | The Regulation of the American People
With the role of red bureaucratic tape in hampering small business just in the news, we thought we'd take a historic look at how many pages of new rules and regulations the federal government spits out every year.
Calculated Risk | MBA: Refinance Activity Highest since 2009
The Refinance Index increased 2 percent from the previous week to its highest level since April 19, 2009. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent from one week earlier to its lowest level since June 22, 2012.

Health Care

Marginal Revolution | CBO forecasts Medicaid Wars
In 2022, for example, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are expected to cover about 6 million fewer people than previously estimated, about 3 million more people will be enrolled in exchanges, and about 3 million more people will be uninsured…


WSJ | Fed Moves Closer to Action
Federal Reserve officials, impatient with the economy's sluggish growth and high unemployment, are moving closer to taking new steps to spur activity and hiring.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | The Tax Cliff Endangers Seniors
Most people know that the U.S. government is rapidly approaching the edge of a fiscal cliff that will raise taxes for millions of Americans—at every income level and age. What is less known is that seniors, many of whom depend on investment income to fund their retirement, will be hurt the most.

National Review | Consequences of High Taxes: French Edition
It is official: France is about to become a tax hell. Here is a list of what French people can expect.
Keith Hennessey | Lame Ducks & Fiscal Cliffs (part 2): Income tax rates
Yesterday’s introductory post to this series gave a broad overview of the fiscal policy debate, listing issues in play at the end of this year, deadlines and timeframes, and three partisan configurations that are worthy of analysis.  Today we’ll begin to drill down into the income tax issues.
The Hill | House GOP sets out plan for tax reform in early 2013
House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) and 22 other House Republicans introduced legislation on Tuesday that sets out guidelines for a major tax reform bill, and expedited procedures for moving that bill in early 2013.


Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Minyanville | Spain on the Run, Italy Not Far Behind
The European Union is on the boil once again and this time it doesn’t look like a patch job will be enough. Greece is a well-known basket case, but not big enough to sink the ship. Now Spain is a different story.

AEI | Raising the minimum wage by 38% to $10 per hour could drive the teenage jobless rate to 28% and would be ‘economic malpractice’
Unlike Baker, and contrary to his assertion that the “minimum wage is non-controversial,” most economists believe in the Law of Demand, which means that there is a non-controversial inverse relationship between wages and the number of workers hired. 


Market Watch | Health-law costs dip, repeal adds deficit: studies
Adjustments to President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul as a result of the recent Supreme Court ruling upholding the landmark law will result in some cost savings, and a proposed repeal of the legislation would add to the deficit.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Politico | New farm bill: Welfare in disguise
Lawmakers frequently claim they want to rein in spending. But the Senate’s recent failure to make any meaningful cuts to the farm bill speaks loudly to the contrary. Notably, 16 Senate Republicans — the purported party of smaller government — voted in favor of it.