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By Ezra Klein  |  June 30, 2010; 11:29 AM ET
 
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Next: Angle vs. Reid -- and Nevada -- on unemployment benefits

Comments

What states experience the highest racial achievement gap and how is has that changed over the course of history?

Posted by: roberthemphill | June 30, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

What does the tax exemption on religious institutions cost the federal and state treasuries every year? How big of a boost to revenues might we expect if this archaic and counter-productive exemption were removed?

Posted by: Buffalonian | June 30, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I live in Texas 10th Congressional District. Mike McCaul is the Rep for this gerrymandered district (was Lloyd Doggett's district before). Reading a article about him in a local business rag, he states that, while he wants to repeal health care reform, he wants to keep the pre-existing conditions idea and make recision illegal. Have you seen any numbers from Republicans that can justify this approach, that you can do these things without requiring everyone to have insurance (or at least increasing the pool), and without sending premiums through the roof?

Posted by: nickthap | June 30, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Does the government actually save money in the long run when they don't extend unemployment benefits? Isn't there a significant cost to the government if the unemployed can't afford food and medical care, get sick, and have to use an emergency room?

Posted by: byelin | June 30, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

now that it seems certain we'll be a nation with even more guns floating around than before, is there any way to look at gun data that might suggest this could have positive repercussions?

(1) are there any data that would back up the NRA's assertions that more guns make society safer? clearly the raw statistics (numbers of gun deaths per year, etc.) on their face suggest that the prevalence of guns in the US makes it a vastly less safe place to live than japan, england, etc., but is there any way to process those statistics that makes it look like ordinary citizens are actually safer in gun-rich countries like the US than in gun-poor countries, as i think the gun folks would insist?

(2) aside from international comparisons, are there any data that analyze the numbers of gun deaths per year in the US and try to figure out how many of those were "good" gun deaths (innocent homeowner shoots violent nighttime intruder, concealed-weapon-bearing teacher stops school shooting, etc.) which might partially compensate for the huge number of senseless and unnecessary gun deaths?

Posted by: homerFromBoston | June 30, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

What are some specific conservative ideas to reduce the long term deficit? Are there any conservative ideas to stimulate the economy? Are any of these ideas being incorporated into current legislation?

Posted by: ismith260 | June 30, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Well, Ezra, I'm sorry it's come to this, but between l'affaire Weigel and the loaf Kathleen Parker pinched off today, I'm going to be deleting my WaPo userid today, and deleting all WaPo bookmarks from my browser. I'll miss you and Greg Sargent, and look forward to reading of your new gigs when you bail on the WaPo Titanic.

Posted by: allanbrauer | June 30, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

How about a primer on Revenue Sharing and whether it would be feasible today in light of the Great Recession as a way for localities to fill their budget gaps as well as act have a multiplier effect.

One definition from Britannica

Funding arrangement in which one government unit grants a portion of its tax income to another government unit. For example, provinces or states may share revenue with local governments, or national governments may share revenue with provinces or states. Laws determine the formulas by which revenue is shared, limiting the controls that the unit supplying the money can exercise over the receiver and specifying whether matching funds must be supplied by the receiver. Forms of revenue sharing have been used in several countries, including Canada, India, and Switzerland. From 1972 to 1986 the U.S. pursued a revenue-sharing program in which state and local governments received federal funds to spend as they saw fit.

Posted by: MerrillFrank | June 30, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

homerFromBoston,

(1) There are gun-rich countries such as Switzerland which aren't known for being violent. Violence is primarily culture driven.

I'd imagine you'd get a fairly large drop in gun violence (especially in Mexico) if you ended drug prohibition.

Posted by: justin84 | June 30, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

A question I would answered is....why do some economists think that debt held by the public is the right measure to use when comparing debt/gdp ratio's and others think you should use total debt.

Why would someone (like Paul Krugman) believe public debt is the right measure.

In the case of default how would creditors be treated differently

Posted by: Mazzi455 | June 30, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

If we restored the top marginal tax rates to post-World War 2 levels...or let's say even 50-60 range), how much would that alleviate the deficit?

Posted by: brandonsilverman | June 30, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

If Californians pass the Marijuana Legalization initiative on the November ballot, will the state be likely to (or even obliged) to release those imprisoned for marijuana offenses? If so (and given the huge cost of housing prisoners), how far to fixing the state budget problem would this go? And what if the legalization trend (like the medical marijuana trend) spreads across the country?

Posted by: grhabyt | June 30, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Could you explain the mechanism by which higher government deficits could eventually lead to higher inflation? In the arguments between the pro and anti stimulus camps, the "how" of possible higher inflation has been glossed over and the debate has centered only on the "whether" aspect.

Posted by: MattMilholland | June 30, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

One comment that gets made about the stimulus (including by this blog's proprietor) is that the net government stimulus was much smaller than it looked, once you take into account the cuts at the state & local levels. Do international comparisons take into account these regional & local cuts, automatic stabilizers, and everything else, not just the "stimulus bills"? Do other countries have similar anti-stimulus from regional & local governments? How would the US stimulus stack up to other countries with everything taken into account?

Posted by: vince432 | June 30, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse


I'd like to see some more projections on the economy with and without the Bush tax cuts. Sort of like Ezra's earlier post but playing around a bit more with other variables if the extension happens or doesn't happen or partially happens (deficit and debt maybe, Medicare solvency maybe, get creative!)

Posted by: ThomasEN | June 30, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

What if I were an unannounced candidate for President -- everyone is talking about me, but I have made no commitment, nor do I plan to do anything publicly about this. No one can say that I am running. I wouldn't set up an exploratory committee until the day before I announce, if at all.

During this time can I get/take money from anywhere and anyone that are gifts/loans or payment for services to me personally or to a corp/nonprofit I am the head of? Can I set up foundations, corps and other 501(c)(3)s to study policy issues, even if they relate to the impending campaign without being characterized as a potential candidate? And if I finally decide to run will I be subject to the FEC for the money I received prior to my announcement, even though I did nothing to indicate that I was a potential candidate?

Posted by: jjj5819 | June 30, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Is there a reason why Democrats can't pass a bill (say jobs stimulus) identical in both chambers and pass it on simple majority via reconcilliation? I'm not asking about political reasons, I mean is there a real procedural reason?

Posted by: TomCantlon | July 1, 2010 1:44 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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