Category Archives: Fiscal Policy and Reforms

CBO’s New Way to Evaluate Fiscal Consolidation Plans

In its recently released budget outlook, the Congressional Budget Office projects that this year’s federal deficit will increase by 35% from last year to $590 billion, and that the debt will rise from $14 trillion to $23 trillion by 2026, or … Continue reading

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Desperately Needed:  Reforms to Raise Productivity Growth

The data released this week on labor productivity growth are really terrible. The growth rate has been negative now for three quarters in a row, and it was – .4 percent over the past year. Unfortunately, these data are reinforcing … Continue reading

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An Economic and Security Policy Blueprint for America

A timely new policy book, Blueprint for America, edited by George P. Shultz, is being released today online for the first time. The release coincides with the start of platform writing by Republicans this week and Democrats the following week, … Continue reading

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An Economic Policy–Performance Cycle

For several years I have writing about an cycle in which economic policy swings toward and away from certain key principles of economic freedom. The poor performance of the U.S. economy during the past decade —the Great Recession, the Not-So-Great … Continue reading

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Surprising Findings at the Macro Handbook Conferences

In order to further progress on the new Handbook of Macroeconomics, which will be published next year, Harald Uhlig and I, the co-editors of the Handbook, hosted two conferences at Stanford and Chicago in April. Harald and I attended both … Continue reading

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First Principles Versus Secular Stagnation

With real GDP and employment data now in for all of 2013, the recovery still looks about as weak as ever. Sure, it’s good news that growth picked up again in the 3rd and 4th quarter, but  the three updated … Continue reading

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Shoven Says: Defer Social Security Benefits

John Shoven’s practical advice on when people should start taking Social Security benefits is rightly getting  increased attention. The economics is quite straight forward, and baby boomers should pay careful attention. So should the Social Security Administration.  This table from John’s Policy … Continue reading

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Paul Krugman is Wrong about Fiscal Policy Research

Over the weekend, Paul Krugman responded to my post in which I show that the slowdown in state and local government purchases of goods and services is a consequence, rather than a cause, of the weak recovery.  My basic point … Continue reading

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Krugman’s Claims Are Wrong

Paul Krugman commented early this morning on the Wall Street Journal oped by John Cogan and me.  Our oped is based on our research paper with Volker Wieland and Maik Wolters which shows that there are beneficial effects on the economy—in … Continue reading

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Keep the Sequester Totals But Add Flexibility Within

Scare stories about the automatic reduction in federal spending to start on March 1—commonly called the sequester—fall mainly into two categories. First are the concerns that reducing every discretionary budget account by the same percentage—the “meat-axe” approach—would not allow government … Continue reading

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