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Dylan Matthews can speak in bar graphs.

By Ezra Klein  |  August 17, 2010; 11:29 AM ET
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On NPR this morning there was a segment discussing Republican governor's who are still holding out on taking Stimulus funds for political posturing reasons. In the case of Gov. Rick Perry, the total amount was approx. half a billion dollars. What is the estimated economic impact of sitting on these funds? What political moves have been taken to redirect them into the system elsewhere? If Texas doesn't want these funds, why not give them to Michigan, Nevada or California where unemployment is much higher than Texas anyways?

Posted by: brooklynpsu | August 17, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Correlation between aging populations and GDP declines.

I'm interested in this on an international level....I'm more interested in just the fact that older people are more expensive to take care of....i have a theory that older populations become static and make it hard to maybe there is something better than GDP to show this

Posted by: Mazzi455 | August 17, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Dylan, a tough political question for you. Do public opinion surveys offer any hints regarding likely reactions should Obama or Democrats propose a major jobs-creation initiative that would temporarily increase the deficit but reduce long-term deficit projections? (Yes, I know that most commentators dismiss it as politically impossible, but such common wisdom often--very often--is wrong.)

Posted by: pjro | August 17, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I'd be curious to know the consequence to government revenues of providing tax exempt status to religious organizations. Also, at some point, the Obama campaign had proposed limiting the deduction for charitable contributions (including to religious org's) to a base percentage rather than allowing deductions at the individual's highest marginal rate -- was that plan dropped?

Posted by: wswest | August 17, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

1. Noneconomic Question: How much attention is the Islamic world paying attention to the Park51 project (aka "the Cordoba Center" or "Ground Zero Mosque") and could the outcome of the dispute have security consequences for the United States?

2. Economic Question: How much GDP will the United States lose by choosing to temporarily extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans (per Mark Zandi's recommendation) instead of collecting that revenue and spending it on a more stimulative government program (like food stamps)? How many jobs does that amount of GDP translate into?

Posted by: QuiteAlarmed | August 17, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse


I'd like more data on who is included in this phantom 3% of the uber-wealthy.

What percentage are doctors, lawyers, plumbers, electricians etc?

Posted by: visionbrkr | August 17, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Congress has put off President Obama's request for a $30 billion fund for small business lending to boost the economy and create jobs. Two questions: Has small business lending continued to be tight since the 2008 financial crisis? Can we establish that small business lending creates jobs?

Posted by: jerrypolner | August 17, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Can you research what the unemployment rate would be if the prison incarceration rate and average sentence were the same as they were in, say, 1970?

Posted by: theo2709 | August 17, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I would like to know something that affects every election in the country, whether it be local, state or federal.

How have the overall tax burden and the ratios of federal/state/local taxes (including property taxes) changed for the average American in all states over the last thirty years or so?

It is a common perception that taxes are going higher and higher to a point they are too high for the average person to be able to afford them.

I certainly know from personal experience that I had to sell my home because I could not afford the property taxes, which indeed seemed to rise drastically each year (from 2003-2007).

Many people seem to believe that federal taxes are the problem, but I think it's local/state taxes that are the problem, and perhaps diminishing incomes as well.

Posted by: lauren2010 | August 17, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

What is the history of former presidents stepping into, or not stepping into, controversies in the subsequent term?
The silence from Bush over the vilification of all of Islam about the Not-At-Ground-Zero-Non-Mosque is deafening.
Especially since all the pundits are comparing his explicit statements to the country to separate Islam from the terrorists after 9/11. Shouldn't he be chastising his own party for their rampant xenophobia here?

Posted by: rpixley220 | August 17, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

What would the tax base be if there were absolutely no deductions or personal exemptions?

What are the tax compliance costs of the federal income tax, and what are the compliance costs of FICA?

Posted by: justin84 | August 17, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

In one report issued today, there is a statement that "Aggregate welfare spending now approaches $1 trillion annually" How does that number compare with other estimates of welfare spending?

Posted by: rmgregory | August 17, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Silly question: was there a noticeable temporary drop in gross productivity due to the much-anticipated release of Starcraft II (i.e. from people playing for the first day), especially in countries like Korea where the game is extraordinarily popular?

Posted by: cglick | August 17, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Distribution of pharmaceutical profits around the world.

Posted by: zosima | August 17, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Just two niggling questions I never heard the answers to.

Did Ollie Morth ever account for where he and Richard Secord got that ten million dollars he found for his Senate campaign? (It wouldn't have drained a certain secret swiss bank account, would it?)

Did Pat Buchannon ever file his expense accounts for his non campaign for President in 2000, and what did he do with the $12 million the ARP was due from Ross Perots successful campaign for president in 1992? (He did make sure the right guy got elected.)

Enquiring minds wish to know.

Posted by: ceflynline | August 17, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

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