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Jared Bernstein
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Jared Bernstein is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, former economist for the Obama administration, and a CNBC and MSNBC contributor.

Entries by Jared Bernstein

The 529 Microcosm: A Revealing Political Train Wreck with Regard to an Inefficient Tax Break

(11) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 5:06 PM

This little train wreck over the White House's proposal and then retraction of a plan to cut back on a wasteful yet beloved tax benefit is highly instructive. It's a clear example of how much hot air there is in these fiscal debates, where policy makers and pundits scold everyone...

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The White House Announces a Renewed Push for Balancing Work and Family

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2015 | 11:20 AM

Well, this is turning out to be a pretty impressive week for the introduction of progressive ideas in high places. And while it's easy to dismissively say, "um...they're not going anywhere in this Congress," I'd argue that reaction is too short-sighted.

Before we get to the latest salvo, let...

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Rep. Chris Van Hollen's Bold Attack on Inequality

(9) Comments | Posted January 14, 2015 | 11:20 AM

One of the things I talk a lot about on these pages is the need for policy to reconnect economic growth to middle-class prosperity. There are a number of policy approaches to attacking that fundamental problem of the US economy. I've often stressed full employment as a solution, a goal...

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Ed Kleinbard Calls Out 'Dynamic Scoring'

(47) Comments | Posted January 5, 2015 | 9:32 AM

There are many strong, substantive reasons to be worried about the use of "dynamic scoring" by the new Republican Congress. As Ed Kleinbard tells it in Saturday's NYT, the new majority is instructing the official scorekeepers of the revenue implications of tax changes to employ models that incorporate...

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Minimum Wage Increases Breaking Out All Over!

(33) Comments | Posted January 3, 2015 | 10:49 AM

As some wit tweeted a few months ago, the American electorate wants legal pot, higher minimum wages, and the most conservative Congress ever.

At any rate, the newly legislated higher wage floors in states and cities across the land, in tandem with a number of annual adjustments in minimum wages...

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Who You Callin' Massive? The 'CRomnibus' Actually Cuts Discretionary Spending to Historic Lows as Share of GDP

(15) Comments | Posted December 12, 2014 | 5:37 PM

If you Google "massive budget bill" you get a lot of hits.

"House...Approves Massive Spending Bill"

"Congressional leaders unveiled a massive $1.01 trillion spending bill..."

"...the House narrowly passed a massive spending bill late Thursday"

"A massive federal spending bill finally won...

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First Impressions: Strong Payroll Gains Mark Another Solid Jobs Report

(4) Comments | Posted December 5, 2014 | 7:59 PM

Employers added workers at a much faster-than-expected clip last month, as payroll gains 321,000, the largest monthly gain since January 2012. Upward revisions to the prior two months added another 44,000, while the unemployment rate held steady at 5.8 percent. Even wage growth, which has been a critical missing piece...

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How Much Does Immigration Increase Poverty? Less Than Robert Samuelson Thinks it Does

(22) Comments | Posted November 18, 2014 | 8:45 AM

It is a common mistake to overestimate the contribution of immigration to the increase in poverty. This week's purveyor of this erroneous association is the Washington Post's Robert Samuelson, who writes in the context of a discussion about immigration reform:

The influx of unskilled Hispanics has sharply boosted...
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October Jobs Report: First Impressions

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2014 | 3:55 PM

The US job market continues to truck along at a solid clip, with payrolls adding over 200,000 jobs for the ninth straight month -- including 214,000 last month -- the unemployment rate ticking down to 5.8%, the closely watched participation rate ticking up a tenth, positive payroll revisions of 31,000...

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Book Review: Edward Kleinbard's 'We Are Better Than This'

(3) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 8:36 AM

When it comes to fiscal policy -- government taxes and spending -- there's a lot we Americans get wrong.

We think we're taxed a lot more heavily than our counterparts in other countries.

If we're conservative, we think any bump up in tax rates will have terrible unintended consequences.


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A Solid Jobs Report as the Recovery Continues to Lift Employment... Though Not Yet Wages

(15) Comments | Posted October 3, 2014 | 11:13 AM

September turned in strong jobs numbers as payrolls were up 248,000, surpassing expectations (sort of; see below), and the unemployment rate ticked down to a six-year low of 5.9 percent. August's initially disappointing payroll count of 142,000 was revised up to a more respectable 180,000, and the average work-week ticked...

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Jobs Day! First Impressions -- A Disappointing Report, But One Month Does Not a New Trend Make

(7) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 11:42 AM

In a surprisingly downbeat look at last month's job market, today's jobs report shows payrolls up only 142,000 in August, a downward revision to June's gain, flat weekly hours, and a slight tick down in the labor force. While one month does not a new trend make -- far from...

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Bipartisan Solutions to Poverty?

(7) Comments | Posted September 3, 2014 | 10:51 AM

Tom Edsall takes an interesting tour through various partisan views on the causes and solutions to poverty, suggesting that there's a unified theory in there somewhere:

The emergence of a rough ideological consensus on the causes of poverty and inequality would increase the likelihood of, but by no...
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An Awfully Bleak Poll

(30) Comments | Posted August 29, 2014 | 10:46 AM

Clearly, there are a lot of people who feel that the economic recovery-over five years old by now, at least by the official count-isn't reaching them. That's a central result from a pretty gloomy poll out today from Rutgers University.

I put some thoughts and data together over...

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Inequality and Growth: What I Think We Know and Don't Know

(3) Comments | Posted August 8, 2014 | 10:18 AM

This new S&P study on inequality and growth is creating a bit of buzz, mostly because it's from a firm we associate with financial markets, not inequality analysis.

I found the study to be a worthy collection of the arguments that have been brought to bear...

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July Jobs Report: First Impressions

(14) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 12:27 PM

Payrolls grew by 209,000 last month and the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.2% according to today's report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The payroll gain was below expectations of around 235,000, and well below June's upwardly revised gain of 298,000. However, while the payroll number is somewhat disappointing,...

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Hey Kids: Keep the Noise Down! (GDP Version)

(1) Comments | Posted July 30, 2014 | 3:59 PM

What parent, busily trying to make sense out jumpy data, hasn't yelled that down to the basement, especially during summer, when the kids are home from school?

My kids, however, schooled in the volatility of high-frequency data, yell back: "Dad, if you want to filter out the noise, compute year-over-year...

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The Tradeoff Between Inflation and Unemployment: What We Don't Know Can Hurt Us

(4) Comments | Posted July 28, 2014 | 11:38 AM

To assert that economists are having trouble figuring out the relationship between inflation and unemployment is like saying chefs can't figure out what to do with salt and pepper. It's that fundamental. Yet, we're befuddled, and that has powerful policy implications.

For example, a prominent macro economist recently suggested to...

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What Does the Minimum Wage Do? An Interview With Author/Economist Paul Wolfson

(34) Comments | Posted July 24, 2014 | 12:22 PM

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the last increase in the federal minimum wage and to call attention to the fact that the federal wage floor has not risen in five years, the US Department of Labor has declared July 24th to be a "Day of Action."


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GOP: Tax Evasion as a Back Door Strategy

(149) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 8:59 AM

My CBPP colleague Chuck Marr flags something important from a recent press release by Rep. Dave Camp, the Republican Chair of the tax writing committee in the House.

In regard to their bill to patch the Highway Trust Fund through next May, Rep. Camp writes:

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