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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 issue with it. The CBPP fired back.

3) The Commonwealth Fund tries to tally up the economic consequences of the failure to enact the Nixon, Carter, and Clinton health reforms.

4) Robin Chait look at the problem of "chronically ineffective" teachers, and how to solve it.

5) The Urban Institute looks at the cost of uncompensated care with and without health-care reform.

By Ezra Klein  |  March 16, 2010; 10:14 AM ET
Categories:  Think Tank  
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Comments

I think we can safely conclude that Ryan is a typical, right-wing, lying crackpot.

Posted by: Lomillialor | March 16, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

^more attacks huh?


I can't wait until reform happens and that $220 billion -$370 billion in savings from uncompensated care no longer used trickles down to the consumer. I'll be here holding my breath until that happens.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 16, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I think Ryan's proposals are at best unworkable and, at worst, insane.

However, the CBPP opens their objective critique thusly: "[Ryan's Budget] calls for radical policy changes that would result in a massive transfer of resources from the broad majority of Americans to the nation’s wealthiest individuals."

That's all I need to read to know that they reached their conclusions first, then bent their analysis to fit them. Apparently, the CBPP's goal is to preach to the choir.

"He wants to steal from the needy to give to the greedy! Testify!"

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | March 16, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Uh Kevin

It is common for opening remarks in reports to include some summaries or conclusions, and then follow those remarks with details.

Believe it or not, Ryan's plan is in fact "radical" and it does in fact shift the tax burden from the wealthiest to other classes.

Krugman, I think, had a chart on his blog showing the proposed tax rates and they favor the rich.

Posted by: Lomillialor | March 16, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

"Similarly, the New Teacher Project conducted a recent study of evaluation practices in 12 districts entitled “The Widget Effect” and found that 81 percent of administrators and 58 percent of teachers reported there was a tenured teacher in their school who delivers poor instruction."

I hope the teacher unions (UFT) won't look to stop making sure tenure isn't just handed out but earned. Experience tells me differently but I hope I'm wrong.

Posted by: visionbrkr | March 16, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Uh, Lomillialor:

I'm not surprised the choir likes the sermon. That doesn't mean that it's not a sermon, intended for the choir, rather than a serious policy analysis.

Let me be clear: I don't care for Ryan's plan. There are lots of legitimate objections to it. The scale of his "road map" is, to paraphrase Lamar Alexander, "too big for the senate".

However, the CBPPs "analysis" is a collection of partisan talking points, most of them well-tread, than a good-faith effort at honest analysis.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | March 16, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Why not title this post "Left-wing Think Tanks"?

Posted by: novalfter | March 16, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

In response to Kevin, it's a common writing technique to state your conclusion in the intro paragraph and to sum it up in your concluding paragraph. You will lose your audience right away if they have to wade through something like CBPP's meta-analysis of the facts behind Ryan's proposal.

Re the Commonwealth Fund analysis, it looks like they simply assumed each of the predecessor proposals cut health spending growth to 4.5%, rather than it's 6% annual average. In reality, the different proposals might have had different effects on costs. I don't think we have the data to do detailed cost analyses of each proposal. But the point is well taken: the earlier we act the better off we are. If health reform fails, if nothing is done and neither party is able to act for the next 5-10 years, then things will get so bad they cannot be fixed without really drastic action, like cutting Medicare benefits (not just Medicare Advantage subsidies), price controls, or single payer.

Posted by: weiwentg | March 16, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

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