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

Reconciliation

Recap: The Democrats have picked a bad strategy on the Bush tax cuts; a concrete budget prediction; and Rachel Maddow's cocktail advice. Elsewhere: 1) I review some cookbooks. 2) Josh Barro is not impressed by the deficit-reduction plan put out...

By Ezra Klein  | November 19, 2010; 6:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Why does D.C. care so much more about Pelosi than about Reid?

For all the hubbub over the decision House Democrats made to keep Nancy Pelosi, there's been almost nothing said on the decision Senate Democrats made to keep Harry Reid. But what's the difference? Pelosi might be a bit more...

By Ezra Klein  | November 19, 2010; 5:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (59)
Categories:  2010 Midterms  
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Commissions as stalling devices

Jonathan Bernstein is even more pessimistic about deficit commissions than I am: In this case, the Democrats didn't want to act (then) on the deficit -- quite correctly in my view, but regardless, they didn't want to act, and for...

By Ezra Klein  | November 19, 2010; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Cocktail advice from Rachel Maddow

I can't get behind Rachel Maddow's prohibition on eating delicious, gin-soaked olives, but I would like to try her reengineered pina colada. And no, I don't think I have to explain why I'm thinking about cocktails at 4:15 p.m. on...

By Ezra Klein  | November 19, 2010; 4:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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What makes this cost control different from all other cost controls?

One of the difficulties conservatives had opposing the Affordable Care Act was that the program was projected to cut the deficit. They got around this by denying the projections: The cuts might pass CBO's muster, they said, but they'd never...

By Ezra Klein  | November 19, 2010; 4:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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The filibuster and the deficit

I was at a dinner last night where everyone in the room had to name a few policies that they thought would increase economic growth in the coming decades. Increasing the number of visas we give to high-skill immigrants got...

By Ezra Klein  | November 19, 2010; 3:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (25)
Categories:  Senate  
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The magic of a millionaires' bracket

Noam Scheiber doesn't love the policy behind a millionaire's bracket -- is it really impossible to raise taxes on people making $750,000 a year back to Clinton-era rates? -- but he does see "another big advantage to pursuing this, which...

By Ezra Klein  | November 19, 2010; 2:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Taxes  
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Where the Simpson-Bowles commission failed, cont'd (plus a deficit prediction)

Andrew Sullivan thinks I'm "bitter" about Simpson-Bowles, but I don't really think so. I'm actually more positive on the policy than some, because I think Simpson and Bowles correctly focused on procedural reforms. Wonks like to play fantasy deficit...

By Ezra Klein  | November 19, 2010; 2:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Budget  
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Against a payroll-tax holiday

Bruce Bartlett is not sold on the idea....

By Ezra Klein  | November 19, 2010; 12:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Lunch break

How do you make law for international waters?...

By Ezra Klein  | November 19, 2010; 12:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Why did primary-care doctors increase from 1990 to 2000?

A few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Richard Hannon, a senior vice president of marketing and provider affairs for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, explaining how Medicare's 1992 adoption of the "resource based relative...

By Ezra Klein  | November 19, 2010; 11:33 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Health  
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An unnecessary, inevitable slump

Alongside Gauti Eggertsson of the New York Fed, Paul Krugman has been spending some time on a longer paper looking at debt, deleveraging, and liquidity traps. Building the model for it, he says, has helped him see the crisis more...

By Ezra Klein  | November 19, 2010; 11:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Economics  
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START here

Josh Marshall has pulled together a quick primer on the START arms-control treaty. There's very little the Senate can do -- or, more to the point, not do -- to shock me at this point, but letting this treaty go...

By Ezra Klein  | November 19, 2010; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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The Democrats have picked the wrong strategy on the Bush tax cuts

The Democrats are converging around a strategy on the Bush tax cuts that, if it works, would potentially eliminate the tax cuts for the rich. The votes in the Senate are such that legislators on both sides say the strategy...

By Ezra Klein  | November 19, 2010; 10:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (98)
Categories:  Taxes  
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Tom Toles is worth a thousand words

By Ezra Klein  | November 19, 2010; 9:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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The progressive case for Social Security reform

Kevin Drum notes that the strategy to privatize Social Security has always relied on conflating privatization with solvency (the two are not related, and privatization actually worsens the immediate shortfall), and that progressives might want to think about cutting that...

By Ezra Klein  | November 19, 2010; 9:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (31)
Categories:  Social Security  
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Wonkbook: Dems have plan on Bush tax cuts; Bernanke backs stimulus; Lew confirmed

Reid and Pelosi have settled on a strategy for the Bush tax cuts: Split them up. The tax cuts for income under $250,000 will come up for a vote, the tax cuts for income over $250,000 won't -- or...

By Ezra Klein  | November 19, 2010; 6:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Wonkbook  
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Reconciliation

Recap: Scott Brown and Ron Wyden have a good idea for reforming health-care reform; Bernie Sanders thinks it could get Vermont to a single-payer system; and I talked with Michael Pollan about the Food Safety Modernization Act. Elsewhere: 1) You...

By Ezra Klein  | November 18, 2010; 6:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Steny Hoyer says House will split the Bush tax cuts

Greg Sargent has the news: Steny Hoyer, the number two in the House Dem leadership, told Democrats at a caucus meeting this morning that they would get to vote this year on just extending the Bush tax cuts for the...

By Ezra Klein  | November 18, 2010; 4:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Michael Pollan on the food safety bill

The Senate might get to the Food Safety Modernization Act as soon as tonight. Though I'm interested in the subject, I haven't been able to spend much time looking into the bill. But Michael Pollan, author of the Omnivore's Dilemma,...

By Ezra Klein  | November 18, 2010; 4:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Food, Interviews  
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'Superhero therapy'

You'll want to see the rest of these, and read the back story....

By Ezra Klein  | November 18, 2010; 3:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Sen. Bernie Sanders: 'Vermont stands a chance to be the first state in the nation to pass single-payer'

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has long supported state waivers in the health-care bill, and for a very specific reason: He'd like to see Vermont create the first single-payer system in the nation, as he believes it'll demonstrate enough cost and...

By Ezra Klein  | November 18, 2010; 2:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Health Reform, Interviews  
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The failure of Simpson-Bowles

What's odd about the sudden rash of deficit-reduction plans is that they're all being released by members of the Simpson-Bowles commission. Rep. Jan Schakowsky is on the commission, and so too is Alice Rivlin, who co-chaired the group that led...

By Ezra Klein  | November 18, 2010; 2:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Budget  
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Lunch Break

Andrew Bird's one-man orchestra:...

By Ezra Klein  | November 18, 2010; 1:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Have Scott Brown and Ron Wyden figured out the way forward on health care?

The GOP’s slogan on health-care reform has, till now, been “repeal and replace.” But they don’t have the votes for either. What they might have the votes for is reform that, maybe, one day, if all goes well, could...

By Ezra Klein  | November 18, 2010; 12:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (55)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Think government is bureaucratic and rationing-happy? Try dealing with insurers.

Here's what we know about government: It's inefficient, and working with it requires endless paperwork and arguments about bureaucrats. And here's what we know about government-run health care: It rations, and is constantly rejecting claims. At least, that's what we...

By Ezra Klein  | November 18, 2010; 10:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (50)
Categories:  Charts and Graphs, Health of Nations  
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The regulatory burden in one graph

Michael Mandel has the chart: Between 1970 and 2000, the proportion of regulators to private workers stayed basically steady, and even drifted down a bit. Then came 9/11, and the explosive growth in security-related regulations (though, as Mandel notes, other...

By Ezra Klein  | November 18, 2010; 10:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
 
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The Green Lantern

I like the Green Lantern comics and, somewhat embarrassingly, really like Ryan Reynolds, but this doesn't look very good: The Green Lantern is one of the odder comic properties out there: all-powerful ring granted by the "guardians of the universe"...

By Ezra Klein  | November 18, 2010; 9:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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How people use their iPads

Business Insider publishes its survey. When the iPad came out, I decided to wait for the second generation before putting down that kind of money. I wish I hadn't....

By Ezra Klein  | November 18, 2010; 9:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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The biggest problem with the health-care system is...

This graph is much more volatile than I'd have expected. Neither the problems of access nor the problems of cost have changed much in recent years -- but their salience in the mind of the public clearly have. The...

By Ezra Klein  | November 18, 2010; 9:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Health Coverage, Polls  
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Wonkbook: The no-compromise conference; food safety bill moves; paycheck bill doesn't; Elmendorf in trouble?

It's early yet, but those who were hoping the GOP's capture of the House of Representatives would give Republicans and Democrats a shared stake in governance and compromise can't be feeling too confident. Yesterday, Boehner and McConnell postponed a...

By Ezra Klein  | November 18, 2010; 6:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Wonkbook  
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Reconciliation

Recap: Rep. Jan Schakowsky outlines her deficit-reduction plan; it would've been better to focus on growth; and Austan Goolsbee is super sexy. Elsewhere: 1) When did political science forget about politics? 2) It's sad to see the Washington Independent shutting...

By Ezra Klein  | November 17, 2010; 6:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Has Facebook changed friendship?

One of the worries you hear with Facebook -- and online relationships in general -- is that strong, close relationships are being replaced with weak, superficial acquaintances. As Zadie Smith put it, "If the aim is to be liked by...

By Ezra Klein  | November 17, 2010; 4:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Spending is fun, cutting is hard

The House Appropriations Committee used to be the committee everyone wanted to serve on, because it was the committee that got to spend money. If you were on that committee, a larger-than-average amount of that money got spent on your...

By Ezra Klein  | November 17, 2010; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Congress  
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The health-care reform negotiations in one cartoon

Source....

By Ezra Klein  | November 17, 2010; 2:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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The Bipartisan Policy Center vs. the Simpson-Bowles Commission

I need to spend some more time with it, but my initial reaction to the Bipartisan Policy Center's stimulus-and-deficit-reduction recommendations is that they're more comprehensive and thoughtful than what Simpson-Bowles released, and this chart (pdf) comparing the two plans makes...

By Ezra Klein  | November 17, 2010; 2:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Budget  
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Lunch Break

Health care is too damn high:...

By Ezra Klein  | November 17, 2010; 12:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
 
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Roger Altman to replace Larry Summers?

Roger Altman, who served as deputy secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton administration, met with President Obama yesterday. Bloomberg is reporting that he's a leading candidate to replace Larry Summers as director of the National Economic Council. The wonks...

By Ezra Klein  | November 17, 2010; 12:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Economic Policy, Obama administration  
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'Armed with clear data and even clearer blue eyes'

Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, is officially one of Salon's 15 sexiest men. Photo credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters....

By Ezra Klein  | November 17, 2010; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Why the deficit commission should've focused on growth

David Leonhardt picks up on one of my favorite points: The best way to reduce the deficit is growth. The numbers on this are just undeniable. "If the economy grew one half of a percentage point faster than forecast each...

By Ezra Klein  | November 17, 2010; 11:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Budget  
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Judith Miller: 'A reporter's reporter'

Marty Peretz defies parody....

By Ezra Klein  | November 17, 2010; 11:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Insurers spent $86 million to fight health reform

Funneled through the Chamber of Commerce, of course: The Chamber of Commerce received the money from the Washington-based America's Health Insurance Plans when the industry was urging Congress to drop a plan to create a competing public insurance option. The...

By Ezra Klein  | November 17, 2010; 11:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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A carbon tax, not a VAT

I agree with Matt Yglesias on this: Every benefit you could name for a value-added tax also applies to a carbon tax. And a carbon tax also has the advantage of reducing carbon emissions and accelerating the development of renewable-energy...

By Ezra Klein  | November 17, 2010; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Taxes  
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Buffet: 'Well, Uncle Sam, you delivered.'

Warren Buffet pens a thank-you note to Uncle Sam for saving the financial sector -- and his company: Only one counterforce was available, and that was you, Uncle Sam. Yes, you are often clumsy, even inept. But when businesses and...

By Ezra Klein  | November 17, 2010; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Economic Policy  
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The Bush tax cuts' effect on the deficit in one graph

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities updates its chart: Look at that number in 2050: By that point, the Bush tax cuts have added debt equal to 100 percent of the nation's gross domestic product. Which goes to underscore...

By Ezra Klein  | November 17, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Charts and Graphs, Taxes  
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Rep. Schakowsky: 'We have not had what I’ve wanted from Day 1'

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) is co-chairman of the House Progressive Caucus and a member of the fiscal commission. But she's not particularly happy with how the commission is playing out. In fact, participating in their process and products spurred...

By Ezra Klein  | November 17, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (12)
Categories:  Budget, Interviews  
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Sorry, White House

But these are not "key administration posts."...

By Ezra Klein  | November 17, 2010; 9:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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What your e-mail address says about you

Alexandra Petri breaks it down: Learning that your prospective date still has an Earthlink e-mail is the equivalent of discovering his vestigial tail. E-mail says something about you. It says, "I can be reached here," but, like a physical address,...

By Ezra Klein  | November 17, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Wonkbook: Tax cut negotiations off to bad start; two more deficit plans (now with added stimulus!)

Tis the season for plans...to cut the deficit? Apparently so. The group headed by Alice Rivlin and former senator Pete Domenici are throwing their effort into the ring today, and Rep. Jan Schakowsky added her progressive alternative to the...

By Ezra Klein  | November 17, 2010; 5:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Wonkbook  
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Reconciliation

Recap: The ultimate deficit graphic; my dinner at El Bulli; and who the mortgage-interest deduction benefits in two graphs. Elsewhere: 1) The lede of Jeffrey Rosen's Al Franken profile is amazing. 2) CBPP on Simpson-Bowles. 3) Michael Mandel argues for...

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 7:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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The progressivity of Simpson-Bowles cont'd

A number of the fiscal commission's staffers have been in touch to argue that the "current law baseline" that the Tax Policy Center is judging their proposal against isn't very useful. That's a world in which the Bush tax cuts...

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 6:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Taxes  
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The new wisdom of capitalism

In his column today, David Brooks exhorted readers to "doubt the wizardry of the economic surgeons and appreciate the old wisdom of common sense: simple regulations, low debt, high savings, hard work, few distortions." Economist Karl Smith had a useful...

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 5:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Economics  
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Simpson-Bowles first tax reform option hits the poor the hardest

A few moments ago, I interviewed Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who is serving on the deficit commission. I'll post the transcript a little later, but one of her complaints was that the commission has been resistant to producing distributional analyses of...

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 5:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Taxes  
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The 2008 election was more, not less, race-driven than most

I haven't read it yet, but the University of Chicago Press just sent me “Obama's Race,” and it looks interesting: Barack Obama’s presidential victory naturally led people to believe that the United States might finally be moving into a post-racial...

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 4:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Books  
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Can the GOP sell reform and repeal?

Reason's Peter Suderman outlines the central dilemma facing Republican legislators who want to roll back health-care reform: They can probably find the votes to change some of the elements conservatives find most egregious, but if they do that, they're implicitly...

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 4:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Who does the mortgage-interest deduction benefit?

Alex Hart has a good post examining whether the mortgage-interest tax deduction -- which will cost taxpayers $131 billion in 2012 -- is really a "middle-class tax break," as some people like to claim. The answer is no, but it...

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 4:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (26)
Categories:  Charts and Graphs, Taxes  
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Why Mitt Romney may not be the Republican nominee in 2012

You often hear that Republicans will definitely nominate Mitt Romney in 2012 because he's next in line, and they always nominate whoever's next in line. But as Jonathan Bernstein notes, "always," in this case, really only describes three elections...

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 3:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  2012 Presidential  
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Can the government pick winners?

Maybe....

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 2:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (29)
 
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'What is their model?'

Paul Krugman responds to the conservative mobilization against the Federal Reserve: I know what my model is: I believe we’re suffering from a severe deleveraging shock, in which the immediate problem is to get someone to make up for the...

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 2:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Federal Reserve  
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What a clean tax code would look like

In the New York Times today, Glenn Hubbard admits to vandalizing federal property: When I left my job as the deputy assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy in 1993, I left a message on my office blackboard for my successor....

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 1:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Taxes  
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What causes deficits?

James Fallows posts a table created by Chuck Spinney that shows -- or attempts to show -- the change in debt under different types of administrations. The basic takeaway is that it's not just that Democrats tend to reduce the...

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 1:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
Categories:  Charts and Graphs, Economic Policy  
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Lunch Break

Should math class be turned into computer programming class?...

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 12:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Why liberals like numbers

David Brooks wonders why liberals have adopted "an economic philosophy that excludes psychology, emotion and morality." The answer, of course, is that they haven't. Brooks chides his ideological opponents for dismissing business leaders who say they are holding off because...

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 11:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
 
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Partisanship is not about policy

Adam Serwer explains why bipartisan legislation and centrist legislation are not the same thing: The reality is that the "center" is not an ideological place but a political one, defined not by the nature of a specific policy but the...

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 10:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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El Bulli

On Nov. 4, I had the good fortune to go to El Bulli with my fiancee. El Bulli is the Spanish temple of modernist cuisine that, for the past few decades, has usually been ranked as the greatest restaurant...

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Food  
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Big Apple announcement today

Here's an early leak:...

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 10:04 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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GOP legislator frets over 28 days without insurance -- but what about 30 million he'd leave uninsured?

It's worth dwelling for a moment on the reaction of Rep. Andy Harris, an incoming legislator who staunchly opposes the new health-care law and ran promising its repeal, to news that he'd had to wait a month for his government-funded...

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (109)
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Wonkbook: DeMint wins major internal battle; unemployment benefits might expire for 2 mil; anti-reform congressman wants his gov-provided health care now

Last week, Politico reported that Mitch McConnell was quietly meeting with incoming senators to talk them out of banning earmarks. "Eliminating earmarks would effectively cede Congress’ spending authority to the White House while not making a real dent in...

By Ezra Klein  | November 16, 2010; 6:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Wonkbook  
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Reconciliation

Recap: Where was the policy uncertainty in 1993?; being "fully human" online; and four possible deals on the Bush tax cuts. I owe a huge thanks to the excellent work Dylan, Suzy, Karl, Michael, Nick and Dana did while I...

By Ezra Klein  | November 15, 2010; 6:39 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Kent Conrad: 'That makes so much sense that it’s unlikely to happen'

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) is chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, a member of the deficit commission and one of the party's leading voices on tax reform. Recently, he proposed a plan tying an extension of the Bush tax...

By Ezra Klein  | November 15, 2010; 5:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Budget, Interviews  
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Four possible deals on the Bush tax cuts

The Bush tax cuts will not be permanently extended. But they -- or at least some of them -- will be temporarily extended. That we don't know which ones, or for how long, should embarrass Congress and the White...

By Ezra Klein  | November 15, 2010; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (71)
Categories:  Budget, Taxes  
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Jim DeMint 1, Mitch McConnell 0

A week ago, Politico reported that "in a series of one-on-one conversations with incoming and sitting senators, McConnell is encouraging his colleagues to keep an open mind and not to automatically side with DeMint, whose plan calls on Senate Republicans...

By Ezra Klein  | November 15, 2010; 3:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Being 'fully human' online

If we're going to keep arguing about "the challenge of staying fully human in the brave new online world," at some point, we're going to have to define what "fully human" means. Too often, it seems to refer to the...

By Ezra Klein  | November 15, 2010; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Tech  
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Questions, questions

"What could you say to prove, over the phone, that you are the President of the United States?"...

By Ezra Klein  | November 15, 2010; 1:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Congratulations, Sarah Palin

The Oxford English Dictionary has named "refudiate" its word of the year. For context, the 2009 word of the year was "unfriend," and 2008's winner was "hypermiling."...

By Ezra Klein  | November 15, 2010; 1:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
 
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Four budget calculators, one story

The New York Times' deficit-reduction calculator is worth playing around with, though the Center for a Responsible Federal Budget's calculator is more comprehensive, and the calculator from the Center for Economic and Policy Research works harder to include policies that...

By Ezra Klein  | November 15, 2010; 1:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Budget, Health Economics  
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Lunch Break

Elizabeth Warren delivers the Mario Savio memorial lecture at Berkeley:...

By Ezra Klein  | November 15, 2010; 12:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Bill Gates: 'Energy innovation is not a nationalistic game'

There's a lot of good stuff in the Rolling Stones interview with Bill Gates, but his rebuke to those who bemoan foreign innovation is particularly worthwhile: You've just come back from China, which many people argue is beating us at...

By Ezra Klein  | November 15, 2010; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
 
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The Food Safety Modernization Act

The Senate is set to consider S.510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, in the next few days. I've not been following this legislation closely enough to say much about it yet, but if you're looking to get some perspectives on...

By Ezra Klein  | November 15, 2010; 11:24 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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A marriage hack?

Washington is one of fairly few places in America where same-sex partners can legally marry each other. But the District's equality may be less geographically bound than we think: As the law is currently written, it seems that a couple...

By Ezra Klein  | November 15, 2010; 10:31 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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The small-government vision of Bowles-Simpson

Brookings's Hank Aaron is fair as they come, and he's really not impressed by Simpson-Bowles: Even more troubling than timing, is the program itself. Over the first nine years, 70 percent of the deficit reduction under the Bowles-Simpson “mark” would...

By Ezra Klein  | November 15, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Budget  
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Where was the policy uncertainty in 1993?

Kevin Drum takes a few whacks at the argument that policy uncertainty is really holding back American businesses. There's just not that much to be uncertain about, he argues. And what there is to be uncertain about isn't new,...

By Ezra Klein  | November 15, 2010; 9:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Economic Policy  
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D.C.'s taxi drivers supported Vince Gray -- and now they want payback

The worries that some of us had about D.C. mayor-elect Vince Gray were never really about Vince Gray. They were about the constellation of interests that had converged behind his candidacy -- many of which were angry about common-sense reforms...

By Ezra Klein  | November 15, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  DC  
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Wonkbook: Voters don't care about the deficit; lame duck looks lame; junior Dems pushing on filibuster reform

Here's the dirty little secret that Washington's politicians know but its elites want to deny: Voters don't really care about the deficit. And don't take it from me. Take it from them: A CBS News poll found that only...

By Ezra Klein  | November 15, 2010; 6:46 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
Categories:  Wonkbook  
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