Thursday, December 6, 2012

General Economics

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
RCM | It's Time To Shut Down the Federal Housing Administration
It was no real surprise last month when the Federal Housing Administration's annual accounting report found that the agency was in the red to the tune of $13.4 billion, among other problems.
WSJ | Right to Work in Michigan
Lawmakers consider a law to help the lagging state economy.
RCM | Crunch Time For the Trans-Pacific Trade Pact
The first nine months of 2013 will mark a crucial period for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations being conducted by the United States and 10 other trans-Pacific nations.
Washington Times | BROWN: America’s big-government problem
The Reagan Revolution has been reversed. Since the turn of the millennium, America’s standing as one of the most free and prosperous economies has eroded, dropping from 2nd to 16th in the world.
Bloomberg | German Manufacturing Orders Surge in Sign of Resilience
Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, jumped 3.9 percent from September, the Economy Ministry in Berlin said today.

Politcal Calculations | This Chart, Explained!
Why does the following chart, which spans 50 years of data for the United States in the post World War 2 era, look the way it does?
AEI | Sometimes it’s good if people aren’t paying attention
The government “spends” over $100 billion per year in tax expenditures to encourage retirement saving.
Café Hayek | The Very Talented Mr. Papola
John Papola has created this lovely holiday greeting card on the history of the idea that spending creates prosperity.

Health Care

NY Times | Interest Groups Push to Fill Margins of Health Coverage
The main goal of the health care law has always been to guarantee medical coverage to nearly all Americans, but as states finalize their benefits packages, it is becoming clear that what is received will depend partly on location.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
WSJ | Rivkin and Casey: The Opening for a Fresh ObamaCare Challenge
By defining the mandate as a tax, one that will not be uniformly applied, the Supreme Court ran afoul of the Constitution.


Market Watch | 6 tax issues to watch in 2013
With 2012 winding down, we’re rushing into the new year amid utter insecurity about our tax lives. Talking heads expound on the “fiscal cliff” ad nauseum. But without the passage of any legislation, the chatter provides no useful information to guide you into the coming year.

Fox Business | 2012 vs. 1982: How Our Taxes Have Changed
With a new year right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to reflect back and compare how taxes are reported today with how they were filed 30 years ago in 1982.
Tax Foundation | Fiscal Cliff: Capital Gains and Dividend Tax Increases Pose Greatest Threat to Economy
The debate over the fiscal cliff will continue for the near future, but much of the debate is focused on the short-term effect of “going off the cliff.” It is true that the immediate impact of the fiscal cliff deserves attention, but the potential long-term damage to the economy may be even more damaging.
AEI | Again, raising taxes on capital gains and dividends is a truly horrible idea
Right now the US economy is growing too slowly to generate many jobs or sharply raise incomes. And it may stay in a muddle for some time.
Tax Foundation | If Top Rates Must Go Up, Extending Full Expensing Would Ease the Economic Pain
President Obama wants a plan that would boost top tax rates while Congressional Republicans have rejected this notion, and instead propose to raise new revenues through broad-based tax reform.


Market Watch | Draghi’s no Grinch, but ECB won’t play Santa
Mario Draghi proved long ago that he’s no Grinch, but the European Central Bank chief on Thursday was in no mood to deliver early Christmas gifts either.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
RCM | Quantitative Easing: The Monetary Policy Of the Adolescent
QE creates new money-tickets out of nothing and deposits them in the banking system in return for interest-bearing assets. Its actions create no new capital, and cannot add anything to the circulation of capital through the economy.

The Economist | What to expect when you're expecting faster growth
Higher inflation expectations are also a means to address stubbornly sticky wages and prices. Weak demand implies that there is insufficient total spending in the economy to employ available resources.


WSJ | ADP: Superstorm Sandy Slows Job Growth
Private-sector hiring slowed in November, in part because of superstorm Sandy, according to a report released Wednesday.
Market Watch | U.S. jobless claims drop 25,000 to 370,000
New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell for the third straight week, but they still haven’t fallen to quite the same level that prevailed before the superstorm Sandy smashed into the Northeast in late October.

WSJ | Jobs Forecasts Even Cloudier Than Usual
No matter how strong or weak Friday’s payroll number is, expect any analysis to carry caveats. November’s economic performance was skewed by Mother Nature, politics and the calendar.


WSJ | White House Unyielding on Debt Limit
The White House hardened its position that Congress should raise the U.S.'s borrowing limit without preconditions, adding an unpredictable new element into the high-stakes budget talks.
Washington Times | Obama changes tune on tax rate
While he now demands that higher tax rates for the wealthy must be part of a “fiscal cliff” deal, President Obama took a very different line just over a year ago in the last major clash with Congress over a long-term budget deal.
WSJ | Plan to Limit Tax Breaks Gets a Push From Boehner
A cap on tax breaks designed by a former Reagan adviser is drawing attention after House Speaker John Boehner floated it as an option this week.
CNN Money | Perils of going over the cliff temporarily
What happens if Washington fails to avert the fiscal cliff before the end of the year?

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Politico | Fiscal cliff deal: What we need
When is a fiscal deal different from a Grand Bargain?
Washington Times | EDITORIAL: The student debt explosion
Student loan debt jumped $42 billion last quarter, the New York Federal Reserve reported last week, bringing the total owed to about $1 trillion.