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Ezra Klein: November 15, 2009 - November 21, 2009

Democrats find 60 votes to go find 60 votes

Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, and Ben Nelson have all said they're voting for cloture now. That makes 60, at least barring any surprises. The bill can pass go. But that's all it can do, at least for now. Today's cloture...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 21, 2009; 3:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
 
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Read Ron Brownstein

Ron Brownstein's latest column is probably the best thing written on both the delivery-system reforms and the cost controls built into the Senate bill. Read it....

By Ezra Klein  |  November 21, 2009; 1:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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You can't cut the deficit without a bill that cuts the deficit

David Broder has a column today expressing skepticism that health-care reform will really cut the deficit. But he doesn't provide much evidence for the charge. The specific budget gimmick mentioned in the column is that Reid has delayed the subsidies...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 21, 2009; 12:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Budget , Health Economics , Health Reform  
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Talking about talking

The Senate is -- sigh -- "debating" health-care reform. Actually, to be more technical about it, they are debating whether to move forward to debating health-care reform. But as with the House, there's no real debate here, and few votes...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 21, 2009; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Tab dump

1) Sarah Palin's foreign policy doctrine, or lack thereof. 2) A small win for Ron Wyden and choice. 3) Brad DeLong is puzzled by America's political economy. 4) Paul Krugman on the "phantom menace," though not the one you're thinking...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 20, 2009; 5:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Excise tax: 'a rare win-win opportunity'

That's economist Jonathan Gruber's take, anyway. He's got a new analysis of the revised excise tax that's present in the Senate plan. The takeaway numbers are that the tax is expected to raise net worker wages from 2013 through 2019...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 20, 2009; 5:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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The worst policy idea in the world gets a bit better but still isn't good enough

Harry Reid's bill has made a number of complicated changes to the free-rider provision, a.k.a. The Worst Policy Idea in the World. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities says these tweaks make the free rider a bit better, although...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 20, 2009; 3:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Inflation and the Fed

In general, the Fed's behavior tends to track the Taylor Rule, which is an economic formula based off a mixture of unemployment and inflation. Don't worry, there's not going to be a quiz. Suffice to say that the situation...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 20, 2009; 2:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Federal Reserve  
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Mary Landrieu gets $100 million from health-care reform bill she doesn't yet support

It's nice to be an undecided senator in a 60-vote Senate: Sen. Mary Landrieu's state of Louisiana is still ailing years after Hurricane Katrina devastated its largest city. So Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could be killing two birds with...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 20, 2009; 2:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Part D Republicans

Bruce Bartlett tees off on the Republicans who voted for the deficit-busting Medicare part D but now say their concern for the debt prevents them from supporting the deficit-improving health-care reform bill. Just to be clear, the Medicare drug benefit...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 20, 2009; 1:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Lunch break

Next week, as you may have heard, is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a nice holiday marred by the tradition of eating turkey, which is probably the least tasty of all meats. Think how much more thankful you'd be if you were...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 20, 2009; 12:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Max Baucus likes to elongate his vowels

If you read this profile of the relationship between Max Baucus and Jim Messina and thought it weird that Baucus is repeatedly quoted as saying "Noooo," let me assure you, he really does say that in interviews. Also, this might...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 20, 2009; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Why did the poor lose money in the new Senate bill?

As the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities points out, the Senate bill's subsidies are, in general, more generous than the Senate Finance bill's subsidies, but a sliver of folks between 134 percent and 154 percent of the poverty line...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 20, 2009; 12:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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The plural of anecdote

Steve Pearlstein: I should acknowledge that I have no idea who should and should not get routine mammograms. But I know enough about statistics to say that the issue is not settled just because you know of someone in her...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 20, 2009; 11:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
 
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Locked in a drill's world

Dave Bry's confusion over how much cordless drill he needs reminds me of my confusion over how much lock I need, particularly in a world with, well, cordless drills. My doors, as I found when I recently locked myself out...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 20, 2009; 11:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
 
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Cloture vote on health care scheduled for Saturday. Also on the agenda: Cruel, cruel irony.

Today, the Senate debates. I've been watching all morning. Not sure what it says that the level of debate in my comments is a whole lot higher than in the world's greatest deliberative democracy. Either way, tomorrow, the Senate...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 20, 2009; 11:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Wall Street owes the administration a really nice Christmas card

Things are getting ugly as Congress considers financial reform. Legislators don't like the (entirely accurate) perception that the banks got a sweetheart deal last fall. The public wants someone to lose a pound of flesh over what happened to...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 20, 2009; 10:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Financial Regulation  
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Do a majority of Republicans really believe ACORN stole the election from John McCain?

A couple of days ago, Ross Douthat and I spoke to a class that E.J. Dionne teaches. At some point, I was riffing about how it's a pretty odd political system in which a solid 45 percent of the people...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 20, 2009; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Polls  
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Sarah Palin takes revenge on the media

Given Sarah Palin's reputation as a polarizing figure, the degree to which everyone can agree that they'd like to talk about her is really amazing. Conservative outlets want to lionize her. Liberal outlets want to mock her. Mainstream outlets...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 20, 2009; 8:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Mammograms and leeches

With the Senate health bill dropping on Wednesday night, I haven't had time to dig into the new mammogram standards as deeply as I'd like. Suffice to say, you could hardly imagine a better example of why cost control is...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 20, 2009; 8:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Why solve problems?

"After you do one really, really big, really, really hard thing that makes everybody mad, I don't think anybody's excited about doing another really, really big thing that's really, really hard that makes everybody mad," Sen. Claire McCaskill said. "Climate...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 19, 2009; 4:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
 
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Joe Lieberman says Obama didn't support a public option during the campaign

"If you look at the campaign last year, presidential, you can’t find a mention of public option,” Joe Lieberman said. “It was added after the election as a part of what we normally consider health insurance reform." That's not true,...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 19, 2009; 3:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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For New York readers

I'll be at the McNally Jackson bookstore tonight for a panel on health-care reform. Details here. The event starts at seven. In theory, it ends at eight, and I'm wondering how totally impossible it would be to run by Momofuku...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 19, 2009; 1:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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What happens before 2014?

A lot of people have been asking what the Senate bill does immediately. To put it another way, in 2010 and 2012, when Republicans are saying that reform has done nothing despite the fact that it hasn't yet gone into...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 19, 2009; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
 
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Lunch break

It's a bit of a heavy day around here, so today's lunch break is a little boy seeing a lobster for the first time. I want my ringtone to be that kid saying "wow!"...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 19, 2009; 12:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Defining health benefits

I don't want to spend a lot of time talking about actuarial values and you don't want to spend a lot of time talking about actuarial values, but they're pretty much at the center of the Senate health-care reform bill,...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 19, 2009; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Excise tax changes in the Senate bill

In the Senate Finance bill, the excise tax was a 35 percent surtax on employer-sponsored health-care premiums that cost more than $21,000 for families and $8,000 for individuals. Reid's bill has an excise tax that lays down a 40 percent...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 19, 2009; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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The CBO puts $900 billion in perspective

At $900 billion over 10 years, health-care reform seems pretty expensive. In part, that's because people have a hard time breaking it down. If recent trends hold steady, the federal government will be spending about $4 trillion a year come...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 19, 2009; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Budget , Health Reform  
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Senate bill more generous than Finance bill

That, at least, is the early impression of most wonks I've talked to. The subsidies hold steady or are very slightly reduced on the low end, but they become more generous than the Finance Committee's proposal as you travel up...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 19, 2009; 9:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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The filibuster is popular

A new CNN poll shows that a majority of Americans support the filibuster, though it's not nearly as lopsided a majority as I would have expected....

By Ezra Klein  |  November 19, 2009; 9:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Polls  
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Health-care reform's grand bargain

There's nothing fun about reading legislative language. But spend enough time reading legislative language and it makes reading other things seem fun, like CBO reports. And so it was last night, where after hours spent digging through the legislative...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 19, 2009; 9:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (67)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Primary sources on the Senate bill

Read the 2,074 page bill here. The Hill got its hands on a short summary here, and then a white paper on the reforms that go into effect immediately here. What we really need to understand the legislation is a...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 18, 2009; 10:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Health-care reform will not be remembered for its price tag

The numbers came first. The Senate bill, we now know, costs a smidge under $850 billion during its first 10 years, cuts the deficit by $127 billion, and covers 31 million people. In the second decade, it cuts the...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 18, 2009; 6:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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More on Cash for Caulkers

Commenter retr2327 gets at the appeal of the Cash for Caukers program more succinctly than I was able: Leonhardt mentions, in passing, the best part about the cash for caulkers program, but misses its significance: most people wouldn't get around...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 18, 2009; 5:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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CBO: Senate bill cuts $127 billion from deficit in first decade, covers 31 million

I haven't seen the full report yet, but the top line numbers are that the Senate bill costs $849 billion in the first 10 years, cuts the deficit by $127 billion, and covers 31 million people. In the second 10...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 18, 2009; 4:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Nice to see some honest advertisements

In the 1960s, oil companies were advertising that they supplied the world with enough energy to melt glaciers!...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 18, 2009; 3:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Reading the bill

Sen. Tom Coburn's parliamentary threat du jour is that he will force someone to read the Senate health-care reform bill aloud on the floor. It's a bit of a strange threat, as the main target appears to be whichever...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 18, 2009; 3:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Entropy and the universe

I spend most of my day thinking about the precise configuration of votes in the Senate. Seems complicated. Then I read physicist Sean Carroll talking about the very nature of the universe and, well ... my day seems less complicated....

By Ezra Klein  |  November 18, 2009; 3:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Reid may not have 60 votes, at least for a few days

Politico reports that Max Baucus is rushing back to Montana for a family emergency. Word was that Reid was hoping to vote to proceed on the bill on Saturday, but if Democrats don't have Baucus, that could leave them...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 18, 2009; 2:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Lunch break

I'm looking forward to reading Zadie Smith's new book of essays, so here she is reading, and discussing, her earlier novel "On Beauty."...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 18, 2009; 1:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Cash for caulkers

It would be an extremely good thing if the nation's houses were weatherized. It would save homeowners money. It would lower carbon emissions. It would create jobs. The problem, however, is that it's not necessarily a rational investment for...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 18, 2009; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Stimulus  
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The individual mandate is too good of a deal, not too bad of one

"While the eventual health care legislation is likely to be a boondoggle, it at least holds out the hope of partially remedying the present system’s worst injustice," writes Ross Douthat on his new blog. "The way our mix of semi-free...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 18, 2009; 12:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Health Economics , Health Reform  
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Robert Byrd's record

Robert Byrd Jr. is celebrating a milestone today: The 91-year-old West Virginian is officially the longest-serving member of Congress, having cast more than 18,000 votes and served for more than 20,000 days. Congratulations? This will reveal me as something of...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 18, 2009; 11:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Senate  
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Richard Foster on the Medicare Part D debacle

On Tuesday, I wrote about Richard Foster, Medicare's chief actuary and the number-cruncher who saw his estimates suppressed by the Bush administration during the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit debate. Today, he writes in with a bit more context from that...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 18, 2009; 11:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Filibuster hypocrisy

If the sign of a great mind is the ability to hold two opposing ideas at the same time, the sign of a great partisan is the ability to hold two opposing ideas depending on whether your party is in...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 18, 2009; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Republicans more interested in ideological purity than Democrats

Political Wire flags an interesting result in the latest CNN poll: "The poll indicates that a slight majority, 51%, of Republicans would prefer to see the GOP in their area nominate candidates who agree with them on all the major...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 18, 2009; 11:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Polls  
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Why do employers want to continue providing health-care benefits?

One of my standard questions when I talk to business types is why does your business, or any business, want responsibility for your employees' health-care coverage? After all, businesses aren't interested in their employees' housing decisions, or their choice...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 18, 2009; 10:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  Health Economics  
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Reid 'very pleased' with CBO score

According to sources in the leadership's office, Harry Reid has the CBO's estimate of the merged Senate bill in hand and is "very pleased" with the numbers. The rest of the world should get a look at it sometime today....

By Ezra Klein  |  November 18, 2009; 9:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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The government hearts debt

The ongoing economic crisis has been, in every way, a crisis of debt. The banks were brought down by mortgage debt. Wall Street -- and, quite nearly, the economy -- was brought down by leverage. But as James Surowiecki writes,...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 18, 2009; 7:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Economic Policy , Financial Crisis  
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Tab dump

1) Europe is on track to meet the Kyoto goals. 2) The Senate's practice of placing "holds" on nominees is less important than the filibuster, but probably more absurd. 3) Ross Douthat has a new blog at the Times. 4)...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 17, 2009; 7:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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When policies get repealed

Earlier today, I argued that repeal of health-care reform is wildly unlikely, and that there aren't very many cases of new administrations overturning major pieces of recent policy. Tim Westmoreland, a former Waxman staffer and current professor at George Washington...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 17, 2009; 6:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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The public option imitates 'The Office'

Speaking of Blanche Lincoln and Arkansas, a new poll shows that 39 percent of voters support the public option and 48 percent oppose the idea. On the one hand, that could mean that Arkansas opposes the public option. On...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 17, 2009; 6:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is not the master of magnetism

A poll today shows that New Yorkers narrowly favor trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in their city, and this is being treated as a surprise in some quarters. New York sure is brave! More baffling were the lawmakers who cowered...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 17, 2009; 5:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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Is Blanche Lincoln canny or misinformed?

For months now, Blanche Lincoln has been saying that she "would not support a solely government-funded public option." This has really annoyed progressives, as none of the bills include a government-funded public option. The public plans are entirely funded...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 17, 2009; 4:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Will Republicans repeal health-care reform in 2012?

Telling the Republican base that you'll repeal health-care reform might prove a popular applause line in 2012, but I doubt it's actually worth worrying about. Democrats did the same thing with No Child Left Behind and Medicare Part D,...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 17, 2009; 2:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Robert Reischauer's bright idea

I was reading the transcript of the Center for American Progress/Center for Budget and Policy Priorities deficit conference over lunch today -- totally gangster, I know -- and was rewarded with an interesting idea from the Urban Institute's Robert Reischauer:...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 17, 2009; 2:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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A 5 percent chance of another Great Depression?

Brad Delong thinks so, and despite the improving economy, that estimate is up from a few months ago: For 2 1/4 years now I have been saying that there is no chance of a repeat of the Great Depression or...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 17, 2009; 1:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Budget , Government , Senate  
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Lunch break

David Plouffe, the mastermind behind Obama's 2008 presidential campaign and the author of a new book on the subject, chats with the Google folks about the experience....

By Ezra Klein  |  November 17, 2009; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Turning Swiss

Kevin Drum predicts the future: The current bills pretty clearly move us along the path toward a Swiss system — not my first choice for a model to follow, but certainly better than what we have now — and I...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 17, 2009; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Health of Nations  
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Are the crime rates of D.C. and New York comparable?

Commenter mjames2 doesn't think so: This post is a bit unconvincing. Is the problem that DC residents don't care about murders? Or is it that DC is filled with poor people with little hope, and unlike New York or Philly,...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 17, 2009; 12:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Evan Bayh: No difference between voting for a filibuster and voting against a bill

“For the final vote," says Evan Bayh, "I see no distinction between substance and procedure.” That is to say, if he decides to vote against the bill, he'll also vote against breaking a filibuster. On some level, that makes sense....

By Ezra Klein  |  November 17, 2009; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Senate  
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Why the Senate will have to use the House health-care reform bill [CORRECTED]

From Congressional Quarterly: The Constitution requires that tax and revenue-raising bills -- such as a health care overhaul -- originate in the House. For that reason, the Senate is expected to take up a House-passed bill, strip the text of...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 17, 2009; 11:12 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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The surprisingly exciting life of Medicare's chief actuary

Richard Foster testifies before Congress. The CMS report that's caused House Democrats some trouble this week was authored by Richard Foster, the chief actuary of Medicare. But this isn't the first time he's prepared a troubling report on a major...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 17, 2009; 11:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Crime in D.C.

On Saturday night, much of Columbia Road was blocked off by sirens and tape. It says something about Washington that this didn't strike me as particularly abnormal. Another shooting, probably. And that's exactly what it was. But this time,...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 17, 2009; 10:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Fun with federalizing

A nice point by Matthew Yglesias: I can’t help but think that it would be really nice to see some work done on clever things the federal government could do on a systematic basis to prevent (or discourage) the boom/bust...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 17, 2009; 9:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Tab dump

1) "As a vegetarian I've always felt the perverse need to apologize for my dietary choice. ... But the more I learn about the negative impact of meat production, the more I feel that it's the consumers of meat who...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 16, 2009; 6:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Will the Medicare Commission survive Congress?

The easy dismissal of the Medicare Commission is that Congress will simply reject its recommendations, no matter how streamlined the process or wise the wonks. The template here is the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate, which sought a growth rate that...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 16, 2009; 5:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Why does Third Way oppose the Stupak amendment?

Third Way is a centrist Democratic group that's generally associated with calls for Democrats to compromise on divisive cultural issues, not aggressive efforts to reject compromises on divisive cultural issues. So their angry report on the Stupak compromise caught my...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 16, 2009; 5:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Interviews  
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The lessons of Medicare Part D

Mathew Yglesias: John Breaux and Bill Frist have an op-ed in Politico whose exoteric message is that Congress should use the 2003 Medicare bill as a model for bipartisan health reform. The esoteric message is a reminder that the easiest...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 16, 2009; 5:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Sarah Palin's unfavorables far lower than Bernie Madoff's

I'm no campaign expert, but when your argument for Sarah Palin's 2012 candidacy is that high-stakes, nationally televised interviews will help her repair her image and, in any case, "Ms. Palin isn't as unpopular as John Edwards," you're on shaky...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 16, 2009; 4:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Why the Senate bill is better than the House bill on cost control

The Senate Finance Committee's bill, which will be quite close to the merged Senate bill, allows you to tell three credible stories on cost control that the House bill simply doesn't. The first comes from the excise tax on...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 16, 2009; 3:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Lunch break

The talk is called "life lessons from an ad man," and the point is that "advertising adds value to a product by changing our perception, rather than the product itself, [and ] a change in perceived value can be just...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 16, 2009; 3:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Worrying about inflation

The main argument of Bruce Bartlett's book “The New American Economy” is that economic policies that work for one set of conditions don't work for another, but that people aren't very good at changing their ideology when the circumstances...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 16, 2009; 11:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Economic Policy  
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Wanted: "Respected economist" who doesn't like being so respected

The Chamber of Commerce recently blasted out a fundraising e-mail to its member groups asking for $50,000 to hire a "respected economist" to study the health-care bills. Seems sensible enough. Knowledge is power, and all that. But then, as Michael...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 16, 2009; 10:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Why conservatives should start worrying if Republicans don't learn to love taxes

In his excellent book "The New American Economy," Bruce Bartlett counsels his fellow conservatives to get serious about raising taxes: The reality is that even before spending exploded to deal with the economic crisis, the government was set to grow...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 16, 2009; 10:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (23)
Categories:  Taxes  
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CMS: House bill great on coverage, weak on cost controls

The weekend's big health-care reform news was that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released their analysis (pdf) of the House's health-care reform bill. What they found depends on who you ask. Republicans saw a mortal blow to health-care...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 16, 2009; 8:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Advice for gluttons

From a surprisingly exhaustive guide to buffet dining: An important side note here is the time at which you choose to eat. You’ll want to make sure that there is a high volume of other diners at the buffet...

By Ezra Klein  |  November 16, 2009; 8:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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