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Entries by James Kwak from 03/2012

Fiscal Affairs: Beware of "Centrists" Bearing Consensus

| Posted 03.02.2012 | Business

You may want to make the Bush tax cuts permanent and then trade off fewer loopholes for lower rates. But if that's what you think, just come out and say it. Don't claim to be increasing taxes in the name of fiscal responsibility.

Fiscal Affairs: Democrats and the Bush Tax Cuts

| Posted 03.02.2012 | Politics

If the tax cuts were bad a decade ago, what has changed since then (for now, leaving aside cyclical issues)? We have had one more decade of aging and health care inflation (and war), so the long-term budget outlook looks considerably worse.

Fiscal Affairs: Invisible Handouts and Anti-Government Conservatives

| Posted 03.05.2012 | Business

Higher taxes make people think they're not getting their money's worth; larger deficits make them think the government is incompetent. Either way, they get mad at the parts of government they can see, not the tax breaks that the rich benefit from.

Fiscal Affairs: Who's a Freeloader?

| Posted 03.14.2012 | Business

If people realize that the government's principal activity is protecting them against long-term risks through programs that they already like, they may change their opinions of the government and their willingness to pay for it. We can all dream.

Fiscal Affairs: The Fetishization of Balance

| Posted 03.15.2012 | Business

Thomas Friedman's fetishizing of balance as an end in itself, in order to brand himself as a reasonable centrist who wishes we could all get along, is not going to get us anywhere.

Fiscal Affairs: How Long Can We Finance the Debt?

| Posted 03.20.2012 | Business

The current privileged status of U.S. dollar debt is a recent phenomenon, and one that is by no means permanent. This is a major reason why it is important to begin reducing structural deficits during the next decade.