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Jagadeesh Gokhale
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Entries by Jagadeesh Gokhale

Social Security Ponzi Scheme? Perhaps, but That's Not the Problem

(37) Comments | Posted September 20, 2011 | 3:33 PM

Presidential candidate Governor Rick Perry's claim that Social Security is a "Ponzi scheme" -- that is, the program not very different from the operation run by Bernard Madoff -- sparked a firestorm, but the comparison is not wholly inappropriate. Even so, that is wrong issue to focus on. We've inherited...

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President Obama's Jobs Dilemma

(35) Comments | Posted September 7, 2011 | 11:03 AM

Tomorrow's much heralded jobs speech by President Obama before a joint session of Congress will contain many proposals -- including new spending on infrastructure and education, tax credits for job-creation, jobs training for workers displaced by the recession, tax breaks for employers to hire workers among particular voter groups, and...

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What's Next After the S&P Downgrade

(16) Comments | Posted August 8, 2011 | 11:22 AM

What now, in the wake of Standard & Poor's downgrade of U.S. debt?

Well, the real answer is: nothing much.

Though the agency's downgrade is being reported apocalyptically by news media -- and had a corresponding effect on markets early Monday -- the fact is that the S&P rating should...

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The Futility of the Gang of Six Budget Plan

(147) Comments | Posted July 20, 2011 | 2:08 PM

The budget showdown in Congress is being described as a "crisis," "looming catastrophe," "approaching disaster" -- pick your hyperbole. But anything that happens on August 2 will pale in comparison to the real fiscal disaster that is several years down the road. Policymakers need to take the long view in...

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Even If He Hadn't Said So, We'd Know the President Is Bluffing

(176) Comments | Posted July 14, 2011 | 11:35 AM

The president's Wednesday night warning to House Majority Leader Cantor to not "call his bluff" suggests that... well, he's bluffing. But the president has already been playing some transparently thin cards in this game of poker, including his melodramatic -- but highly questionable -- hint that Social Security...

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Confused Thinking on Social Security

(29) Comments | Posted May 27, 2011 | 10:25 AM

Is Social Security a program that is independent of the federal budget ("off budget") or one that is intimately linked to the federal budget (the "unified budget" perspective)? Writers on Social Security appear to constantly switch between the two alternative perspectives on the program's finances, which ends up confusing rather...

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Higher Taxes or Smaller Entitlements: What Should Voters Choose?

(543) Comments | Posted April 20, 2011 | 2:39 PM

Standard and Poors shifted its outlook for medium- and long-term U.S. fiscal policy from "stable" to "negative" -- implying a one-in-three chance that that the U.S. debt rating itself may be downgraded within two years.

The reasons cited by S&P analysts include

  • Ballooning U.S. deficits and debt;
  • Heavy...
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