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Ezra Klein: March 14, 2010 - March 20, 2010

The president talks

The president gave a rousing, rambling speech before the House Democratic Caucus this afternoon. It wasn't so much a closing argument as it was a summation: of the bill, of the politics, of the moment, of the history, and even...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 20, 2010; 6:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (63)
 
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Health-care updates

The Democrats are looking like they're going to win this one clean. And when I say clean, I don't just mean they seem to have the votes. I mean they seem to have the votes without going the deem and...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 20, 2010; 4:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
 
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Re: Interest groups

My "Twilight of the Interest Groups" post has provoked a bunch of incorrect readings, which almost certainly means that I wrote it poorly. But to be clear, I was making three points: 1) There's been an extraordinary amount of interest...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 20, 2010; 4:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Health-care weekend

I'll be blogging on the vote tomorrow. If you want to watch the jockeying in real time, however, I've set up a Twitter list with some of the best health-care bloggers (and tweeters). You can read it here....

By Ezra Klein  |  March 20, 2010; 11:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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Reconciliation

Today I defended the CBO, wondered what Republicans will do when they take control of a legislative process they're on record opposing, looked at the odd interest-group politics of the bill and admitted a secret shame. Here's what I didn't...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 19, 2010; 6:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Some good news on climate legislation?

The details dribbling out about the carbon bill that Lindsey Graham, John Kerry and Joe Lieberman are working on are more encouraging than I would've thought. That's partially a comment on the bill's potential quality and partially a comment...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 19, 2010; 6:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Climate Change  
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What would health-care reform mean to you?

This is a bit of a reductive way of looking at it (as it's just about subsidies), but the Kaiser Family Foundation has worked up a calculator where you can put in your income and family size and age and...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 19, 2010; 5:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Re: Health care and abortion

A reader writes in with another side of this debate: In your recent post you mention that providing universal health care may make abortions go up or go down because "women have more access to birth control. Another answer is...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 19, 2010; 5:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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The passage before the passage

The fact that 222 House Democrats voted down a Republican effort to outlaw "deem and pass" as a way to pass the health-care reform bill strikes me as very strong evidence that this bill is going to pass. In some...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 19, 2010; 5:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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The case against Greenspan

If you're in the market for an extremely clear explanation of how low interest rates worsened the financial crisis, Barry Ritholtz has one....

By Ezra Klein  |  March 19, 2010; 4:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Tom Toles is worth a thousand words

By Ezra Klein  |  March 19, 2010; 4:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Did the Massachusetts reforms decrease abortions?

Putting aside the question of whether health-care insurance should cover abortions, what happens when it does cover abortions? One answer is that abortions go up, because they're cheaper. Another is they go down, because women have more access to...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 19, 2010; 4:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Public divided and uninformed on health-care reform

Here's the summary of the latest Kaiser poll: The March Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds the public still divided on health reform legislation, with 46 percent of Americans backing the reform proposals on Capitol Hill, 42 percent opposing them and...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 19, 2010; 3:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
Categories:  Polls  
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Notes on CBO skepticism

My colleague Neil Irwin has a very good piece on the difficulty the Congressional Budget Office has predicting the cost of something complex like the health-care reform bill. But because his piece is coming in the context of a...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 19, 2010; 2:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (68)
Categories:  Budget , Health Reform  
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The student loan reform

Attached to the health-care reconciliation bill is a major reform of the student loan program. The easy way to explain this is that the current student loan program is both about education loans and corporate welfare. To keep rates down,...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 19, 2010; 1:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Education  
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Lunch break

I like the new She & Him song, and I like the new video. In particular, I'm glad Zooey Deschanel is keeping the retro vocals even though the new album isn't composed of covers....

By Ezra Klein  |  March 19, 2010; 12:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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My favorite books -- or not

Matt Yglesias, Tyler Cowen and an array of other bloggish luminaries are running through the lists of books that most influenced their thinking. I've written this sort of thing before. The mainstays on my list are John Steinbeck's "Grapes of...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 19, 2010; 12:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Books  
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Twilight of the interest groups

Think back to 1994 for a second. The insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the American Medical Association, the hospital industry and the major business groups ferociously opposed Bill Clinton's health-care reform proposal. In some ways, I think that speaks to...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 19, 2010; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Discrediting the legislative process itself

So far in the health-care debate, Republicans have attacked the legitimacy of private negotiations, parochial dealmaking, the budget reconciliation process, self-executing rules, the Congressional Budget Office's analyses, and even the constitutionality of the legislation. It's a good theory: Make...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 19, 2010; 10:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (96)
Categories:  Congress  
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Vague funeral plans

Mike Konczal says my favorite of Dodd's FinReg bill isn't actually worth very much. Nuts....

By Ezra Klein  |  March 19, 2010; 8:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Against a value-added tax

A reader e-mails: Just wanted to make a really brief philosophical point to you as to why a national VAT is a really terrible idea: The US already has a tax regime that fills the tax space occupied by the...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 19, 2010; 7:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
 
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Reconciliation

Today I blogged about the CBO report's effect on health-care reform, Rep. Mike Pence's disbelief that you can spend and save at the same time, and interviewed Andy Stern. Here's what I didn't get to: 1) The problem isn't that...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 18, 2010; 7:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Andy Stern: 'We need to make ourselves more involved in these people's career planning'

In the final days of the health-care reform effort, organized labor has stepped up as the bill's most able enforcer, threatening primary challenges against recalcitrant Democrats and ignoring substantive setbacks (like the excise tax) in their push to get...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 18, 2010; 5:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Interviews  
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How Joe Biden could change the Senate

Bruce Ackerman notes that filibuster reform has long been a preoccupation of Senate presidents (which is to say, vice presidents). In fact, it took three of them, working from both parties, to pass the 1975 change that brought the threshold...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 18, 2010; 5:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Senate  
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Want some final bill text? A section-by-section summary?

Of course you do....

By Ezra Klein  |  March 18, 2010; 3:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
 
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Pelosi and the White House say they've nearly got the votes

Jon Chait comments on the latest whip counts: MSNBC's First Read reports, "We’re told that the White House and House Dem leaders are fewer than five votes away from 216." I have always thought that the key is to get...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 18, 2010; 2:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
 
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Mike Pence's confused response to the CBO report

"Only in Washington," said Rep. Mike Pence, "can you spend a trillion dollars and say you’re gonna save the taxpayers' money.” And only in Washington can such willful obtuseness be considered a professional attribute. You can believe that the...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 18, 2010; 1:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (45)
 
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Lunch break

This isn't so much a lunch break as something you could spend the rest of your life watching, but C-SPAN has uploaded its archive in searchable, categorized, embeddable form. Here, for instance, is Bill Clinton announcing that he would not...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 18, 2010; 1:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Democrats get the bill, and the score, they needed

The question people generally ask about the final health-care reform vote is, "Won't it be politically difficult for many House Democrats to vote yes?" But with the release of the CBO report (pdf), I'd flip that question a bit:...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 18, 2010; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (90)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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The three 'intelligent' ways to raise taxes

Clive Crooks is making sense on taxes: Get used to the idea. Taxes are going up -- a lot. The only question is, which taxes? There are countless stupid ways to raise more tax revenue but really just three intelligent...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 18, 2010; 12:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
Categories:  Tech  
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The CBO score is out

You can download it here (pdf)....

By Ezra Klein  |  March 18, 2010; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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A note on timing

House leadership said they'd allow 72 hours between the CBO score and the release of the reconciliation text and the actual vote. Since the score and the text will be available later today, that means the vote is likely for...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 18, 2010; 10:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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Health-care reform and women

Michelle Goldberg makes the feminist case for health-care reform: The simple fact is that health-care reform, even with its awful provisions on abortion, will hugely improve the health of American women. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 17...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 18, 2010; 10:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Cutting spending and raising taxes won't save us

David Leonhardt, in a very sensible column, says that reducing the long-term deficit will require both spending cuts and tax increases. But I've come to question this view, or at least its framing. It will be reforms, not increases...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 18, 2010; 10:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Budget  
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Another way the CBO score helps the Democrats

It moves the story from process to substance. How Congress will vote is not a good story for the Democrats. What they will be voting on is rather better, and they're much more comfortable talking about it....

By Ezra Klein  |  March 18, 2010; 9:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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CBO: Health-care reform bill cuts deficit by $1.3 trillion over 20 years, covers 95%

Washington has spent the past week or so waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to release its preliminary estimate of the Senate bill with the reconciliation fixes. Not only are those numbers important for the debate, but Democratic leaders refuse...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 18, 2010; 9:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (82)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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The Margolies-Mezvinsky story

Watching congressmen kick and scrape and claw their way to reelection, you'd think something really terrible happens to them if they lose. Maybe they're deported. Or executed. Or maybe their family has to bear the winner's campaign debts. Whatever it...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 18, 2010; 9:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Reconciliation

Today, I wrote about the weird reality of bipartisan legislation coexisting with partisan votes, fretted over Chris Dodd's FinReg bill, and pulled a reverse-Brooks on deem and pass. Here's what I didn't get to: 1) Larry Lessig proposes a constitutional...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 17, 2010; 6:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Pelosi's strategy to get the votes

Dennis Kucinich's decision to switch his vote from "no" to "yes" is interesting. The Senate bill, even with the reconciliation fixes, will be a much more conservative document than the House bill. There'll be no public plan, lower subsidies,...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 17, 2010; 6:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Could LBJ have passed health-care reform in 2010?

Earlier today, I was asked whether LBJ could've passed the health-care reform bill with more ease and grace. I don't really think so, though maybe he would've sped the process a bit. But here's what I do wonder. LBJ operated...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 17, 2010; 5:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Congress  
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How would a lobbyist look at FinReg?

Mike Konczal examined Sen. Chris Dodd's FinReg bill from an interesting angle: What would an investment bank hate about this bill, and lobby hard to change? I actually read this bill as if I was a Goldman Sachs lobbyist, looking...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 17, 2010; 3:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Bipartisan processes that don't lead to bipartisan votes

One of the most important, but hardest to convey, realities of the legislative process right now is that we're seeing much more substantive bipartisanship even as we're getting much fewer bipartisan votes. Financial regulation is a good example: Chris...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 17, 2010; 2:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
 
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How do you film a blogger?

Alyssa Rosenberg notes that movies and films are increasingly replacing reporter characters with blogger characters. That's what's hip and with it, right? But this poses certain problems: One of the great virtue of putting reporters on film is they're great...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 17, 2010; 1:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Movies  
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Unemployment is bad right now

But it's been a lot worse in the past....

By Ezra Klein  |  March 17, 2010; 1:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Lunch break

This cover of The Hold Steady's “Sequestered in Memphis” is uncommonly, well, adorable. Make sure to catch the facial expression at 0:13....

By Ezra Klein  |  March 17, 2010; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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We won't get another chance at FinReg

Steven Pearlstein isn't a big fan of Chris Dodd's FinReg package either. "There are so many political accommodations involving carve-outs and size limits and overlapping responsibilities that it creates exactly the kind of complexity, the opportunities for regulatory arbitrage...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 17, 2010; 12:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Financial Regulation  
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Better rules for a better market

"In 1980, Bank of America's credit card agreement was 700 words. If you write big, that's a smidge over one page long. Their credit card contract today? Thirty pages by the time you add up the inserts. And 30 pages...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 17, 2010; 11:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Financial Regulation  
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Sometimes you have to burn a village to rule it

I'm going to pull a reverse-Brooks in this post, but break the rules and simply tell you what I'm doing at the beginning: On the deem and pass question, Democrats are wrong, but Republicans are wronger. The problem with...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 17, 2010; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (57)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Programming note

Blogging may be a bit slow this morning as I'm doing some real, on-the-ground reporting on our health-care system (read: getting a cough checked out). Please ask CBO not to say anything important till I get back....

By Ezra Klein  |  March 17, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Business and FinReg

Justin Fox asks an important question: What should the business community want from financial reform? And why aren't we hearing from them? Take, for example, the by now well-documented phenomenon (it began in the 1980s) of financial workers making substantially...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 17, 2010; 8:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Financial Regulation  
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Was Medicare popular when it passed?

For some time, I've been trying to find good polling from the passage of Medicare. According to Greg Sargent, though, the Democrats beat me to it: In a last-minute effort to stiffen Dem spines, senior Dem leadership aides are circulating...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 17, 2010; 8:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (38)
Categories:  Polls  
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Reconciliation

No reconciliation tonight, as I'm in a hurry and I'm hoping you'll read my breakdown of Chris Dodd's FinReg bill instead. But for those who prefer to see me talk about things in living color, I'll be on Countdown tonight...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 16, 2010; 7:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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How Chris Dodd's FinReg proposal solves the problem of information, but not of regulators

Consider this: Regulators such as the Federal Reserve had 48 hours of warning before the fall of AIG. They had 72 hours before the collapse of Bear Stearns. The system's most powerful watchdogs had no idea that the most...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 16, 2010; 6:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Financial Regulation  
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Don't know much about history

Dana Milbank catches Dick Armey talking some nonsense about Alexander Hamilton: A member of the audience passed a question to the moderator, who read it to Armey: How can the Federalist Papers be an inspiration for the tea party,...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 16, 2010; 4:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
 
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Karl Rove gets a taste of his own medicine

Karl Rove's memoir knocked "Rework" from Amazon.com's top spot. In response, "Rework" takes a page from the master's playbook and fires back with a devastating attack ad. That's how you build a permanent Rework majority....

By Ezra Klein  |  March 16, 2010; 3:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Books  
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Explaining deem and pass

Byron Tau doesn't think I, or anyone else, has done a very good job explaining deem and pass, so he takes a shot: So here’s how the “deem-and-pass” procedure would actually work. The House Rules committee is often called the...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 16, 2010; 2:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (91)
Categories:  Congress  
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'Unprecedented'

So using the budget reconciliation process is unprecedented. And using Deem and Pass is unprecedented. According to my conservative friends, it's all unprecedented. The fact that budget reconciliation and Deem and Pass were both common Republican tactics does not,...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 16, 2010; 2:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  Congress  
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Lunch break

The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers is pretty extraordinary:...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 16, 2010; 1:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Financial funeral plans

I'm still working my way through Sen. Chris Dodd's FinReg proposal, but this seems like a really good idea to me. Funeral Plans: Requires large, complex companies to periodically submit plans for their rapid and orderly shutdown should the company...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 16, 2010; 12:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Financial Crisis , Financial Regulation  
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Everything David Brooks says about reconciliation is wrong

Jon Chait did a very funny job taking apart David Brooks's column on reconciliation. I want to do a serious job on it. The factual statements Brooks uses in his argument are wrong. Not arguable, or questionable, or suspicious. Wrong....

By Ezra Klein  |  March 16, 2010; 11:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  Senate  
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Think tank

1) The Center for American Progress's Scott Lilly proposes some "modest changes to make the Senate a more responsible institution." 2) The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities released a critical analysis of Rep. Paul Ryan's budget. Ryan's office took...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 16, 2010; 10:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Think Tank  
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The arms race of rules

The conservative case against "Deem and Pass" is getting very complex, very fast. Yesterday, the argument was that it was flatly unconstitutional. But it turns out that Republicans used Deem and Pass dozens of times while they were in power....

By Ezra Klein  |  March 16, 2010; 9:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Congress  
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Does universal coverage reduce abortion?

"To oppose expanded coverage in the name of restricting abortion gets things exactly backward," writes T.R. Reid. "It's like saying you won't fix the broken furnace in a schoolhouse because you're against pneumonia." Here's his argument: The latest United Nations...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 16, 2010; 8:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (70)
 
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You don't win elections by failing to govern

Republicans have been very generous recently in offering House Democrats strategic advice in advance of the 2010 election. But Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann, who were around in 1994, remember what happened last time Democrats took the GOP's advice and...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 16, 2010; 8:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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Reconciliation

Today I outlined Nancy Pelosi's 'Deem and Pass' strategy for health-care reform, wished the Democrats would stop mucking about with clever procedural tricks, and looked at the consequences of failure. Here's what I didn't get to: 1) Think Progress compares...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 15, 2010; 7:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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What's the use of politician op-eds?

A lot of you have asked my response to Rep. Paul Ryan's op-ed on health-care reform this morning. I'd just direct you back to my original post on his argument or our subsequent interview. But to make one meta-point, I...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 15, 2010; 6:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Journalism  
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I threaten you with a continuation of current trends!

Of all the Republican threats meant to derail health-care reform, this has to be the emptiest: While a bill-signing ceremony in the Rose Garden would provide at least a short-term boost to a beleaguered president, Republicans have made clear that...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 15, 2010; 5:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (28)
 
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Skyping wth Diane Sawyer

We talk decline of the middle class. I'll just note that after this interview, Diane Sawyer literally sent coffee and donuts to my office. Classy!...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 15, 2010; 4:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Federal Reserve could get powers Federal Reserve advisers don't think it should get

The advisory council that watches the Federal Reserve's consumer-protection activities weighed in with a depressing message today: “We think it would be imprudent to give the Federal Reserve or any other existing agency primary consumer protection responsibilities. No agency, including...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 15, 2010; 4:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Federal Reserve , Financial Regulation  
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More Paul Volcker anecdotes, please

I don't have much to say about it, but I enjoyed this profile of Paul Volcker, the unlikely populist who now represents the leftmost edge of the administration's financial regulation debate. Among the best tidbits: That the 6-foot-7, 82-year-old economist...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 15, 2010; 3:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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If only we'd listened to Nixon, Carter or Clinton

Over the course of the health-care reform discussion, we've gotten pretty good at talking about the insufficient benefits of reform. It doesn't cut costs as much as we'd like, and it doesn't cover all of the uninsured, and it...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 15, 2010; 3:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Direct loans and health-care reform: two great tastes that go great together

One other point of interest from the meeting with Nancy Pelosi: In accordance with the reconciliation instructions that were in the 2010 budget, which included both education and health care sections, student loan reform will be bundled into the reconciliation...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 15, 2010; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (44)
 
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Nancy Pelosi's strategy for passing health-care reform

"My biggest fight has been between those who wanted to do something incremental and those who wanted to do something comprehensive," Nancy Pelosi said in a meeting with reporters this morning. "We won that fight, and once we kick...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 15, 2010; 1:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (195)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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A lot of people listen to talk radio

But not a lot of people in Washington listen to talk radio. They all watch cable news, or read political blogs, which remain decidedly niche products. As Eric Alterman reminds us, however, talk radio is decidedly more mainstream: 48 million...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 15, 2010; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Lunch break

A magician demonstrates the power of the placebo effect....

By Ezra Klein  |  March 15, 2010; 12:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Some real talk on daylight saving time

Alex Tabarrok writes: Had the idea of a government plan to shift the clocks back and forth twice [a] year been proposed today I am reasonably certain that I would have been against it. I probably would have argued that...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 15, 2010; 11:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
 
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This is a lesson children learn about the whole world

They "had always sort of assumed that there was some grown-up in charge of the financial system whom they had never met; now they saw there was not." That's from Michael Lewis's new book, 'The Big Short,' but I actually...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 15, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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Mr. Smith lies

Tim Noah was on CBS on Sunday and gave a great history lesson on the filibuster. As he says, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington might have been a good movie, but it was bad information. Back then, the filibuster wasn't...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 15, 2010; 9:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Tom Toles is worth a thousand words

On a related note, the president's debt reduction commission is going to be an amusing exercise. Its first meeting will presumably occur a few weeks or months after health-care reform finally passes. But if the people around the table...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 15, 2010; 8:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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Democrats should stop being clever and pass the bill.

Every time I write something like "health care has entered its end game," it turns out that there's another overtime just around the corner. So I'm going to stop writing that. But the expectation is that the House will pass...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 15, 2010; 7:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (48)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Did the House just release its reconciliation package?

Nope. The bill on the House Budget Committee's web site that's being called the reconciliation bill is not the reconciliation bill, or at least not what people mean when they talk about the reconciliation bill. It's the bill that will...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 15, 2010; 12:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
 
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It's time for tax reform

This article first appeared in the Washington Post's Sunday business section. Congress is ready for a nap. The financial crisis was a year-long emergency. Health-care reform has been a seemingly endless grind. No one quite knows what to do...

By Ezra Klein  |  March 14, 2010; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (36)
 
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