Tag Archives: recession

US Issues: Iran, Nigeria, Global Energy, Security

Reprinted from Mullings.com

Like most people I have gotten so caught up in the rising and falling of GOP Presidential candidates’ fortunes that I more-or-less forgot about President Obama and what else is going on in the world.

What else is going on is that gasoline prices are on the rise.

Some people are following the so-called “Doc Fix” issue – that is to forestall a 27 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements to physicians. More people understand an extension of unemployment benefits. A lot of people would recognize whether or not payroll taxes (to pay for Social Security and Medicare) were being withheld from their paycheck. Continue reading

It’s Not Just the Economy

Reprinted from The Hill

“It’s the economy, stupid.” That was the battle cry from Bill Clinton’s crack campaign team in the months leading up to the 1992 election.

And the conventional wisdom continues to be that Americans vote their pocketbooks when deciding whom to support in presidential elections. But it would be a mistake to conclude that only economic factors play in to how voters will decide this election.

The unemployment rate is at 8.3 percent, on the high end of the historical average, which should be bad for Barack Obama. But it is trending the right way, which is usually a good sign for the incumbent.

Mitt Romney, the likely Republican standard-bearer, has run his whole campaign on the argument that he can run the economy better than Obama because he has deep experience as a CEO. But CEOs are about as popular as the Congress, so that theory might be a bit flawed.

Here are some other factors that will play an outsized role in this campaign. Continue reading

Obama’s Double-Dip Learning Curve

Reprinted from The Washington Times

In one of the least-needed reassurances in modern political history, President Obama’s top political man, David Plouffe, “told Democrats late last week that the White House would not suffer from overconfidence. ‘What I don’t want to suggest is that we’re sitting around and thinking everything is great,’ he said.”

With the White House’s own economists predicting 9 percent or worse unemployment on Election Day, the president at about 39 percent job approval, college graduates unable to find jobs, a quarter of American homes under water, no credible White House policy or strategy for changing things – and with most non-institutionalized Americans convinced we are in a recession that is going to get much worse – it is surpassingly odd that Mr. Plouffe, as The Washington Post said, was worried that his fellow Democrats might think the president and his men think everything to be hunky-dory. Continue reading

Goodnight Irene


Reprinted from Mullings.com

Just went through a 5.9 earthquake. We who live along the Potomac River are on flood watch. The Libyans can’t find Moammar Gaddhafi and, more importantly, don’t have any idea how to run the country even if they do. And, Hurricane Irene is taking dead aim at the Eastern coast of the United States.

I tweeted yesterday: Alexandria VA: Earthquake, Potomac flooding, now a hurricane? Not going to the Safeway for milk & bread. I’m looking for Mezuzahs.

Continue reading

Reality and Romer View of Recession


Reprinted from the feeherytheory.com

Just about every Monday night over the last several years, I have tried to recapture my youth by playing basketball with a bunch of other guys who are similarly trying to recapture their youths.  It is fun way to exercise, as long as you don’t snap your Achilles or anything like that.

One of the guys I have been playing with is Jared Bernstein.  Before he became famous, Jared was an economist with a labor-affiliated think tank.  Jared is a very good athlete, a tough defender, but (and I think he would admit this himself) his jump shot leaves a lot to be desired.

Jared and I have a friendly rivalry on the court and off the court, and now that he is Joe Biden’s top economic advisor, we talk about what the Obama White House is up to and what the Republican response is likely to be.

Earlier this week, Jared pointed me to Christina Romer’s farewell address, telling me that it had some good stuff in it.

Continue reading