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    Paul Krugman: Selective Data Usage

    Paul Krugman, in the words of a former New York Times public editor, “has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers.” Most recently, he selectively cited numbers about austerity in Europe, hoping to redefine the policies that made the German economy so buoyant. Germany is worth paying … More

    CBO Again Repeats Faulty Methodology to Estimate Impact of Stimulus

    There they go again. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just released yet another report on the beneficial impacts on the economy of President Obama’s 2009 stimulus. This latest one uses the same faulty methodology CBO used in prior reports. The CBO report follows closely on the heels of a similarly … More

    White House Still Defending Failed Stimulus Plan Five Years Later

    Five years later, it is obvious that President Obama’s stimulus was a failure. This week marks the fifth anniversary of Obama’s 2009 stimulus plan, a $763 billion package of increased government spending and non-growth-promoting tax cuts that was supposed to be a panacea for all that ailed the economy still … More

    How President Obama Is Killing Jobs

    Five years on and President Obama still refuses to assume responsibility for his woeful economic record. The buck stops with Republicans, other countries, changes in the weather, etc.—anywhere but the Oval Office. Of course, it’s not new having a chief executive who refuses to admit failure. What is rare is … More

    European Central Bank Lowers Interest Rates, Trumping "Zero Lower Bound" Theory

    The European Central Bank (ECB) lowered a key interest rate to 0.25 percent on Thursday. This is a big deal, since it demonstrates that the ECB has the ability and the will to stabilize euro inflation, which has fallen below the ECB’s target and become a drag on real growth. … More

    Tax Revenue Rose Five Times Faster Than Spending Fell in 2013

    The monthly Treasury statement of the actual budget figures for 2013 this week shows tax revenue rising five times faster than spending fell in 2013. Taxes revenue climbed by 13.2 percent from $2.45 trillion in 2012 to $2.77 trillion in 2013. Spending, on the other hand, fell by only 2.4 … More

    Farm Bills Would Cost More Than Obama Stimulus

    The House and Senate are considering farm bill legislation this week whose costs should raise red flags for all Americans. In fact, the House and Senate versions of the bill would cost far more than the Obama stimulus package. The costs are just one example of how the farm bill … More

    The Story on November’s Food Stamps “Cuts”

    The latest buzz about food stamps is that benefit amounts will be “cut” beginning November 1. But what is this “cut”? Basically, it’s the benefit amount returning to the level it would have otherwise been if not for the 2009 stimulus. In 2009, President Obama’s stimulus package temporarily pumped extra … More

    Look Closer: Tax Increases, Not Spending Cuts, Are the Harmful Austerity

    Proponents of government spending want to use the recent history of Europe as evidence that spending cuts are harmful, but their arguments lose traction when one looks closely at the data. One example comes from Paul Krugman, who used the International Monetary Fund’s Fiscal Monitor data to argue that “austerity … More

    Japan’s Revolving Door Tax

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is likely to increase Japan’s sales tax from 5 percent to 8 percent next year. Abe and his close ally Haruhiko Kuroda, head of the Bank of Japan, have long advocated for increasing Japan’s money supply by targeting a higher inflation rate in an attempt to … More