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Reconciliation

Today I wrote about House and Senate mistrust, the political economy of killing health-care reform while letting the health-care industry grow, and the media's Massa problem.

Here's what I didn't get to:

1) David Waldman makes a convincing case that you can use reconciliation on pending legislation.

2) It was really only a matter of time until Glenn Beck began verbalizing his nostalgia for McCarthyism directly.

3) It's good to see Los Angeles getting serious about its transportation problem.

4) Apparently, it's possible for America to double exports in five years.

5) Nick Lemann considers the problems of pluralism.

6) I'll be on Countdown tonight.

Recipe of the day: Breakfast pizza is one of my favorite things in the world.

By Ezra Klein  |  March 11, 2010; 7:24 PM ET
 
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Next: The health-care bill's spending in context

Comments

With regards to #4, the post you linked to made several errors.

First, the author claimed that the average five year export increase is 140%. Actually, the average five year export increase is 40%. What typically happens is that exports, if at 100 in year 1, typically rise to 140 in year 5. Our poster took 140/100 x 100 and got 140% growth. The correct formula is (140/100-1) x 100, getting us to 40%.

However, she is correct to claim exports have doubled before in the post war period, most recently over the 1976-1981 period. Unfortunately, we have to remember that inflation was out of control then. Exports did roughly double in nominal terms over that time period, but were up only 40% or so after subtracting inflation. If we only want to double exports, all we have to do is (roughly) double the money supply. However, I'm hoping that Obama wasn't setting a goal of doubling exports through money illusion.

Anyway, since quarterly records began being kept in 1947, exports have never doubled after adjusting for inflation. Almost 80% real growth over five years was realized once, 1969Q1-1974Q1, but that was due to a depressed starting point in 1969Q1 (which was down 40.1% at an annual rate from 1968Q4, the sharpest quarterly export drop on record). Not even the rapid dollar devaluation of the 1980s was able to double real exports in five years - in fact, exports didn't even double then in nominal terms.

So even with massive currency devaluation, we couldn't double nominal or real exports over five years in the 1980s - it looks like we'd need double digit inflation in order to hit Obama's goal. Hopefully that doesn't come to pass.

Posted by: justin84 | March 11, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

" Breakfast pizza is one of my favorite things in the world."

breakfast pizza, followed by, breakfast ben and jerry's pfish ice cream:-)
dinner is always best served for breakfast:-)

Posted by: jkaren | March 12, 2010 2:12 AM | Report abuse

RECONCILIATIN aka the NUCLEAR OPTION..and ONLY 235 Days before the LOONS in the Seante and House of Piglosi Get Slammed out of Office ... Then may be an IMPEACHMENT as INEPT in Chief can be brought Forward and Clean up the Other Branch of Governmant???? COULD BEEEE!

Posted by: redhawk2 | March 12, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

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