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Federal Budget

Should the Fed Be Worried About Deflation?

Michael Farr | Posted 12.18.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

For an economy heavily dependent on consumer spending, this is not a trivial consideration.

Elizabeth Warren: An Honest and Courageous Woman in a Cowardly and Centrist Democratic Party

H. A. Goodman | Posted 12.17.2014 | Politics
H. A. Goodman

Wall Street may have won today, and will probably win again tomorrow, but at least we all have Elizabeth Warren to defend the people of this country from those who'd bet the farm and get the farm back when they inevitably lose the bet.

IRS Funding Cuts Likely Mean More Tax-Credit Errors

Bob Greenstein | Posted 12.11.2014 | Politics
Bob Greenstein

Errors in the CTC and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) -- another working-family tax credit -- need to be reduced (as do errors related to small businesses and various other groups of tax filers). But the debate around this issue often is misleading and ignores three significant points.

Understanding the Economics of School Reform

Lydia Dobyns | Posted 12.10.2014 | Education
Lydia Dobyns

It's critical we focus on equalizing education and providing all students -- whether they reside in rural, urban or suburban settings -- with the skills that prepare them for today's technological jobs.

Shahien Nasiripour

Senate Democrat Wants To Take Money From College Students To Pay Loan Contractors

HuffingtonPost.com | Shahien Nasiripour | Posted 12.06.2014 | Politics

An outgoing Senate Democrat wants to take federal money from low-income college students to pay student loan contractors, whose tactics toward borrowe...

The Squeeze of the Middle Class

Michael Farr | Posted 12.05.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

The median household income in 2013 was only slightly above that reported for 1995 (after adjusting for inflation), while costs for necessities like housing (rent), health care, and education are making it much more difficult for middle-class folks to get by. 

What Is Causing the Drag?

Michael Farr | Posted 11.21.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

Using inflation-adjusted numbers, we indexed each component of GDP to 4Q07 levels, beginning with a value of 100 for each. We graphically display the results below, followed by some commentary.

Will Congress Shortchange the Census?

Arloc Sherman | Posted 11.18.2014 | Politics
Arloc Sherman

Under pressure from Congress to cut costs, Census has committed to conduct the 2020 census for the same cost as the 2010 census, despite inflation, population growth, and the growing tendency of busy Americans to ignore surveys.

Deleveraging Has Not Yet Run Its Course

Michael Farr | Posted 11.06.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

I've argued for some time that the process of deleveraging has yet to run its course. The aggregate level of debt in our economy currently stands at a record high, even though many pundits continue to say that debt levels are much more manageable now as compared to the pre-crisis days.

How The Koch Brothers Are Bait and Switching Voters

Erik Ose | Posted 11.03.2014 | Politics
Erik Ose

As the Koch brothers and their ultra-wealthy cronies think they've figured out, a little chicken manure goes a long way when it comes to misleading voters into supporting the GOP.

What Oil Is Telling You

Michael Farr | Posted 10.31.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

The drop in oil (and corresponding drop in energy stocks) is causing much consternation throughout the investment world because it is inconsistent with the narrative articulated by most economists.

The Ebola Vaccine, Traffic Congestion, and Global Warming

Dean Baker | Posted 12.27.2014 | Business
Dean Baker

There is a real cost of having determined selfishness as a fundamental political principle.

Low Health Bills Slow Economy

Jim Jaffe | Posted 12.23.2014 | Politics
Jim Jaffe

A more efficient health system does augur well for these cities and more than a few others and may cause a revision in the way we plan our economic future. This is not a theoretical issue.

Should You Sell???

Michael Farr | Posted 12.15.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

The growth of the American and global economies are the underlying drivers for most all equity investments. A clear discipline, dogged research, and dispassionate assessment are an investor's best friends.

The Buyback Binge

Michael Farr | Posted 12.02.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

Remember, markets go down from time to time, and it's normal. Cool heads and steady hands make money over time.

Another Flash Crash or Market Shutdown?

Michael Farr | Posted 11.11.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

Technology seems to have solved the trade execution issue, so I don't foresee an overwhelming market shutdown. Fidelity now offers an amazing 1 second trade confirmation guarantee.

Loan Me $250,000. Please!

Michael Farr | Posted 11.04.2014 | Money
Michael Farr

I want to buy a house. Would you be willing to loan me $250,000 for 30 years at 4.25 percent? Your answer is crucially important. Before you answer, keep in mind that you will be taxed on the interest you receive.

Margins Remain Suspicious

Michael Farr | Posted 10.22.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

So what are the causes for optimism with regard to future earnings power? Well, the most notable are probably the recent sharp decreases in interest rates and gas prices.

The Ice Bucket Challenge Has Raised More Than $13 Million -- Meanwhile, Medical Research Has Been Cut By Billions

Matthew Segal | Posted 10.18.2014 | Politics
Matthew Segal

While their videos have been unquestionably successful in terms of raising awareness (1.2 million videos uploaded) and funds ($13.3 million contributed) on behalf of an intractable disease, they have overlooked the most important message of all: vote.

Enough Fed! Give Free Markets a Chance!

Michael Farr | Posted 09.24.2014 | Business
Michael Farr

The widespread expansion of credit to car-buyers, especially to sub-prime borrowers, is beginning to cause some industry observers to cry "bubble." Is this economic progress?

Kate Sheppard

Cost Of Wildfires Burns Through Budgets, Pushing Feds To Find Other Funds

HuffingtonPost.com | Kate Sheppard | Posted 07.24.2014 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- As a massive wildfire burned in Washington state this week and the threat of more fires looms over the West, there has been increasing p...

House GOP's IRS Budget Cuts: A Field Day for Tax Cheats

Chuck Marr | Posted 09.14.2014 | Politics
Chuck Marr

When it considers IRS funding, the Senate should take a stronger stand for honest taxpayers by rejecting all cuts and giving the IRS the resources it needs to do its job. The president should accept no less.

New CBO Long-Term Budget Projections Tell Familiar Story

Paul N. Van de Water | Posted 09.14.2014 | Politics
Paul N. Van de Water

The Congressional Budget Office's new long-term budget projections, released today, are very similar to those that CBO published in September 2013 and to ones that we released in May 2014. They show that the nation's fiscal outlook is stable for the rest of this decade and then worsens gradually.

The Federal Historic Tax Credit: Transforming Communities

National Trust for Historic Preservation | Posted 09.02.2014 | Business
National Trust for Historic Preservation

By Donovan Rypkema Editor's Note: On Monday, June 23rd, the National Trust For Historic Preservation gave the federal historic tax credit watch statu...

Time Is Now to Rediscover Bipartisan Cooperation in Washington

Gov. John Kasich | Posted 08.27.2014 | Politics
Gov. John Kasich

A balanced federal budget isn't a pipedream or some crazy economic theory that will never come to pass. Our home states of Ohio and Minnesota balance their budgets thanks to constitutional requirements, as does nearly every other state in the nation.