Ten Second News

Eric Cantor’s Plan to Save the GOP

Ron Fournier of National Journal is following Eric Cantor around as the House Majority Leader terrifies DC’s infants (“Eric Cantor grabs a plastic dinosaur from the pile of toys in front of 1-year-old Mekhi Scott, taps the beast on the table and growls, ‘RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!’”) and fact-finds for a big speech intended to compel the Republican Party to…

John Boehner: Liked but Not Well-Liked

National Review‘s Robert Costa has a behind-the-scenes report on Speaker Boehner’s failed effort to get his caucus to pass his “Plan B,” an entirely political, ultimately feeble attempt to confuse the issue and insulate Republicans from incurring the public’s wrath in the event that we go off the cliff. It’s a tragicomic read that, in its weird way,…

The Grand Bargain, Revisited

Before describing himself as “agonizing” over whether to support it or not, Paul Krugman tries to distill the pro/con of the latest potential Grand Bargain: So is what Obama gets out of this — basically unemployment benefits and infrastructure — worth it? The hardship of the unemployed is important; on the other hand, the numbers here are…

About Today’s Fiscal Cliff Trial Balloon

Note: Such are things right now that writing about the fiscal cliff struck me as a welcome diversion. Ezra Klein is the White House’s favorite young journalist, so he’s been the guy when it comes to the post-election fiscal cliff negotiations — especially regarding trial balloons from a Democratic White House trying to find out how much it can…

Note to Fix the Debt: Your Class Interest’s Showing

I guess the Fix the Debt folks are worried that their decades-long quest to roll back the New Deal and lower their own taxes is in peril, because they’re responding now to a Matt Yglesias post which argued they mainly care about rolling back the New Deal and lowering their own taxes. Here’s their non-sequitur-tastic…

Election 2012 Wasn’t Close. Here’s Why It Matters.

Note: Here’s a post that I began some time ago and that is increasingly losing relevancy as post-election developments multiply. But it ended up being rather long and, frankly, the idea of having spent the time all for naught gives me a sad. So… enjoy? Following up on why the results of the 2012 election…

Stimulus first, austerity later

Via Alex Tabarrok, a recent study by Richard Evans, Laurence Kotiloff, and Kerk Philips at VoxEU examines the effects of long-term large-scale redistribution of young Americans’ savings to the elderly: [T]he young, because they have longer remaining lifespans than the old, have much lower propensities to consume out of their remaining lifetime resources. This prediction…

Riots, left and right

The critique of the riots and neoliberalism that Elias links to below reminds me quite a bit of Theodore Dalyrmple’s piece in City Journal, and this piece in The Australian. Perhaps individualism cannot really come into its own in a society like modern Britain, where the welfare state is truly cradle-to-grave, taxes are abysmally high,…

Hayekian Stimulus

If you watch this Hayek vs. Keynes rap again, you’ll notice that very rarely throughout are the two men actually disagreeing with one another. They’re largely talking past one another, with Keynes speaking directly to the issue of recession and recovery, and Hayek speaking more along the lines of central planning, decentralized knowledge and the importance…

Stocks collapse, threaten to go even lower than our opinion of Congress

Here’s Krugman: It’s not the whole story, but something like this threatens to develop: 1. US debt is downgraded, sparking demands for more ill-advised fiscal austerity 2. Fears that this austerity will depress the economy send stocks down 3. Politicians and pundits declare that worries about US solvency are the culprit, even though interest rates…

Auserity Measures

Via National Review, here’s an interesting article on Lithuania’s belt-tightening response to the financial crisis: Faced with rising deficits that threatened to bankrupt the country, Lithuania cut public spending by 30 percent — including slashing public sector wages 20 to 30 percent and reducing pensions by as much as 11 percent. Even the prime minister, Andrius…