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Posted at 6:21 AM ET, 02/17/2011

Wonkbook: Bipartisanship -- whether the two parties like it or not

By Ezra Klein

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To cadge an opening from NPR's 'This American Life,' the theme of this morning's top stories is bipartisanship -- whether the two parties like it or not. In the House, which is working its way through the 400+ amendments attached to the bill funding the government for the rest of 2011, dozens of Republicans have been joining with the Democrats to beat back some of the more draconian cuts that have come to the floor. In the Senate, three Republicans and three Democrats are working together to build a legislative vehicle out of the Fiscal Commission's recommendations. And plenty of Republicans are begging Obama to work with them -- and, in fact, walk in front of them -- on entitlements. "We need his leadership," Ways and Means Republican Rep. Wally Herger told Politico. "If it’s something this big to get through, it’s very important for the president to lead."

The normal model of how bipartisanship happens is that the two parties want to work together. That model frequently fails, because they often don't. It's not in their interests. A better model might be that bipartisanship happens when they have to work together. That was the case on the tax deal, where inaction would've meant a quick rise in taxes, and it wasn't clear who the public would blame. And it may be the case on some of these budget questions going forward, where key Republicans don't feel they can ignore their base's demands for deficit reduction, but they also don't feel they can do much without Obama's agreement and cover; while key Democrats don't feel they can let the Republicans completely own deficit reduction, but they don't feel they can step out in front of their base and start proposing Social Security reforms.

Top Stories

Republicans still want Obama to make the first move on entitlement reform, reports Jake Sherman: "House Republicans were giddy when President Barack Obama took a pass on entitlement reform in his 2012 budget, ripping him for punting on the future of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. But when they’re pressed for answers about what needs to happen on entitlements, Republicans are punting right back, saying the president needs to take the lead and come up with his own ideas. Before stating their own policy prescriptions, no fewer than a dozen GOP lawmakers and aides Wednesday said that it is Obama’s responsibility to put forth ideas on entitlement reform. 'We need his leadership,' Ways and Means Republican Rep. Wally Herger (Calif.) said. 'If it’s something this big to get through, it’s very important for the president to lead.'"

But it may be a group of senators who actually step out in front, reports Jonathan Weisman: "A bipartisan group of senators is considering legislation that would trigger new taxes and budget cuts if Congress fails to meet a set of mandatory spending targets and other fiscal goals aimed at reducing federal deficits...The plan would break the task of deficit reduction into four pieces: a tax code overhaul; discretionary spending cuts; changes to Medicare, Medicaid and other entitlements; and changes to Social Security, aides said. The Social Security system is on firmer financial footing than other major entitlement programs and raises political sensitivities that lawmakers want to deal with separately...In addition to Mr. Durbin, the second-ranking Senate Democrat, the group include Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D., N.D.), and one of the Senate's most conservative fiscal hawks, Tom Coburn (R., Okla.). Messrs. Coburn and Durbin are personally close to President Obama."

Centrist Republicans are breaking party to help Democrats prevent cuts, reports David Rogers: "House Democrats and more centrist Republicans joined forces in a series of spending votes Wednesday, scoring quick wins and sending the clearest sign yet of second thoughts in the GOP over the depth of reductions demanded by the party’s new tea party supporters...Sixty-eight Republicans backed Democrats in defense of preserving at least reduced funding for legal aid to the poor, for example. Minutes later, 70 Republicans joined 158 Democrats on a 228-203 vote that restored $280 million for the Community Oriented Policing Services or COPS program, a favorite initiative of Vice President Joe Biden. And given the power of the firefighter lobby, the dike seemed to break when as many as 132 Republicans backed an amendment by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) to restore $510 million for Homeland Security grants for first responders."

The FEC could start allowing corporations to raise money for candidates directly, reports T.W. Farnham: "The fallout from the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission keeps coming. The case loosened restrictions on corporations that do political campaigning with the proviso that they do it without working with candidates. But in a little-noticed document, three FEC commissioners have said they think corporations should be allowed to raise money directly for candidates. As it is now, corporations are prohibited from helping candidates raise money. The furthest they can go is allowing a candidate to hold fundraisers on their property, and even then, the campaign must pay for the space in advance. But the three commissioners, all Republicans, said those prohibitions are 'at best suspect' in light of Citizens United's protection of free speech for corporations."

Dub interlude: Major Lazer covers Beyoncé's "Halo".

Got tips, additions, or comments? E-mail me.

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Still to come: House Republicans are looking to take control of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; the Fed has brightened its economic outlook; regulators think a human life is worth more than it was a few years ago; the White House won't block Arizona's Medicaid cuts; the House GOP is targeting net neutrality rules; the House voted to slash the EPA's climate regulation enforcement budget; and James Earl Jones channels Justin Bieber.

Economy

The GOP is gearing up to defund the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, reports Brian Beutler: "A House Republican on the Financial Services committee has introduced legislation that would make it easier for Congress to hamstring, or defund, the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Once fully erected, the Bureau will be housed within the Federal Reserve and be guaranteed a percentage of the Fed's budget, with the option of asking Congress for more money. Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) proposes keeping it in the Department of Treasury, where Congress would have complete control over its purse strings."

The Fed has upgraded its economic forecast, reports Jia Lynn Yang: "Federal Reserve policymakers expect the U.S. economy to grow as much as 3.9 percent this year, slightly higher than earlier projections, according to minutes of the central bank's latest policy meeting. The officials think the recovery is on 'firmer footing,' the minutes say, but they remain concerned that the pace of growth isn't enough to put a serious dent in the country's 9 percent jobless rate. They expect high unemployment to persist at least through the end of 2013...The minutes noted discussion among committee members over whether to alter the bond-purchase program, given that the economy has been picking up some speed. According to the minutes, a 'few members' said that a strong enough recovery could cause the Fed to pare it back."

The budget shows interest payments on debt quadrupling over the next ten years, reports Steven Mufson: "Interest payments on the national debt will quadruple in the next decade and every man, woman and child in the United States will be paying more than $2,500 a year to cover for the nation's past profligacy, according to figures in President Obama's new budget plan. Starting in 2014, net interest payments will surpass the amount spent on education, transportation, energy and all other discretionary programs outside defense. In 2018, they will outstrip Medicare spending. Only the amounts spent on defense and Social Security would remain bigger under the president's plan. The soaring bill for interest payments is one of the biggest obstacles to balancing the federal budget, pushing the White House and Congress to come up with cuts deeper than previously imagined."

The stimulus worked, write Ethan Pollack and Josh Bivens: "The Recovery Act was enacted at a time when the private economy was contracting by more than a 6% annual rate and losing more than 750,000 jobs a month. In the first full quarter after its enactment, the Recovery Act had cut average monthly private job losses by more than a third and slowed the economic contraction to a -0.7% annual rate. Private job loss fell again, by over half, in the following quarter and then fell by nearly half in the quarter after that, at which point the economy was growing at a 5% annual rate. Clearly, the economy and private job market began to recover right when the Recovery Act began to take effect. EPI analysis shows that by the end of 2010 the Recovery Act had created or saved 3-4 million jobs, and up to 5 million full-time equivalent jobs. It had also boosted gross domestic product by up to $560 billion and reduced the unemployment rate up to 1.8 percentage points."

Regulators are increasing the dollar amount assigned to a human life, reports Binyamin Appelbaum: "The Environmental Protection Agency set the value of a life at $9.1 million last year in proposing tighter restrictions on air pollution. The agency used numbers as low as $6.8 million during the George W. Bush administration. The Food and Drug Administration declared that life was worth $7.9 million last year, up from $5 million in 2008, in proposing warning labels on cigarette packages featuring images of cancer victims. The Transportation Department has used values of around $6 million to justify recent decisions to impose regulations that the Bush administration had rejected as too expensive, like requiring stronger roofs on cars. And the numbers may keep climbing.

The Fed made $13 billion by lending during the crisis: http://bit.ly/hHe4BF

Members of Congress who are enthusiastic about cuts also push for pork, reports Manu Raju: "Furious at the rapid growth of the national debt, members of Congress insist that they’re ready to swing the budget ax anywhere and everywhere to get the country back on a sound fiscal track. Everywhere, that is, except their backyards. So as they bash President Barack Obama’s budget, Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) are upset about his proposed cuts to coal subsides. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) wants to protect his state’s agriculture interests, and his fellow Nebraskan, GOP Sen. Mike Johanns, is concerned about cuts to airport grants. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) says everyone will need to feel some budget pain -- but he’s weighing how much pain NASA should feel."

Obama should call the deficit hawks' bluff, writes E.J. Dionne: http://wapo.st/g3WT3f

State and local corporate income taxes should be abolished, writes Josh Barro: "Currently, states and localities collect about 14.7 percent of all corporate income tax in the United States in a typical year...Yet, because of a lack of uniformity in tax law and the complications associated with apportioning corporate income among states, state and local taxes account for about 30 percent of large companies' income tax compliance costs. But more important than direct compliance costs are the economic distortions caused by state corporate income tax. Multistate corporations have significant leeway to determine the jurisdiction in which their income will be taxed -- whether by actually moving operations or through accounting shifts -- which had led states to enact beggar-thy-neighbor tax policies aimed at luring the most mobile firms to change states."

Corgis being excellent interlude: A corgi on a swing.

Health Care

The White House is temporarily exempting insurers in four states from health-care reform's care requirements, reports Robert Pear: "The Obama administration said Wednesday that it had granted broad waivers to four states allowing health insurance companies to continue offering less generous benefits than they would otherwise be required to provide this year under the new federal health care law. The states are Florida, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee, the administration told Congress. Lawmakers said that many other states, insurers and employers needed similar exemptions from some of the law’s requirements and would seek waivers if they knew of the option. Steven B. Larsen, a top federal insurance regulator, said the waivers would allow many consumers to keep the coverage they had, a goal often espoused by President Obama."

The White House likely won't block Arizona's Medicaid cuts, reports N.C. Aizenman: "The Obama administration would permit a controversial plan by Arizona's governor to cut an estimated 250,000 impoverished adults from Medicaid, despite a provision in the new health-care law barring states from tightening their eligibility standards for the program, federal officials said Wednesday. Gov. Jan Brewer (R) formally requested a federal waiver from the provision last month to make the cut. But in a letter dated Tuesday, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius wrote that no waiver is necessary, because the provision does not apply to Arizona's somewhat unusual circumstances...Advocates for the poor noted that only about a dozen states have Medicaid programs with the particular set of features that would enable Arizona to trim its rolls."

House Republicans have introduced amendments to defund health care reform: http://politi.co/icTiOR

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels wants Republicans to get serious about health care reform, writes Peter Suderman: "Besides jettisoning the PPACA and starting over, Daniels says that it is time both parties recognize that Medicare is 'completely unsustainable,' and will need to be pared back accordingly... He argues instead that the GOP should get specific with the public about what the country can and cannot afford to do--and push policy accordingly. For starters, he wants to make Medicaid look more like his Healthy Indiana Program. He also favors 'rigorous' means testing of all entitlement programs and a shift toward 'concentrating resources on people who are the most vulnerable.'...But the biggest change he says he’d make is to delink insurance from employment--a change that has been politically impossible because it would require many individuals to let go of their current health insurance."

Health care reform's implementation is going well but not great, write Jacob Hacker and Carl DeTorres: http://nyti.ms/dQZLeZ

Domestic Policy

The House GOP is starting to target the FCC's "net neutrality" rules, reports Amy Schatz: "In a contentious hearing, House Republicans attacked new regulations for broadband Internet lines and criticized the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission for adopting them. Republicans are targeting the 'net neutrality' rules, which would bar Internet providers from blocking or slowing Internet traffic and services, as well as new regulations in such areas as health care and the environment, as unnecessary and overly burdensome on industry. 'Why would you put the government in charge of the Internet?' asked Rep. Fred Upton (R., Mich.), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a Democrat, defended the new rules during the hearing, saying the FCC 'did the right thing' and that it is 'pro-job and pro-investment' for the U.S. economy."

The Department of Homeland Security is conducting the biggest illegal immigration audit in two years: http://on.wsj.com/gtAVLk

The governor of Wisconsin's attempts to break state employee unions is spurring protests, report Kris Maher and Douglas Belkin: "For a second straight day, thousands of Wisconsin public employees converged on the state capitol in Madison to protest Gov. Scott Walker's plan to close the state's projected $3.6 billion budget shortfall by increasing the cost of their pensions and health benefits and taking away their collective bargaining rights. About 10,000 teachers, nurses, city workers and firefighters chanted 'Kill the Bill' and held signs outside that said 'Recall Walker,' while others squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder inside the capitol rotunda as a key legislative panel held hearings on the bill...In exchange for bearing more costs and losing bargaining leverage, the state's 170,000 public employees were promised no furloughs or layoffs."

The House is moving forward on tort reform, reports Brett Coughlin: "The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved a medical malpractice reform bill by an 18-15 party-line vote after turning aside several Democratic attempts to amend it, including one which mirrored the concerns of two Republican members of the panel. The two Republicans, Texans Louie Gohmert and Ted Poe, were noticeably absent from the room when the panel rejected two amendments by Hank Johnson (D-Ga) aimed at striking provisions that would pre-empt state medical malpractice laws or constitutional provisions. Both Texans had raised concerns about those provisions when the markup began Feb. 9, saying they doubted the federal government has the power to do that under the Commerce Clause."

Lyric recitation interlude: James Earl Jones says the words to Justin Bieber's "Baby".

Energy

The House voted to slash the EPA's budget for collecting greenhouse emissions data, reports Corey Boles: "House lawmakers voted Wednesday evening to drastically reduce the budget of an Environmental Protection Agency program that collects data on greenhouse-gas emissions from U.S. companies, as part of Republicans' continuing push to reduce the regulatory reach of the agency. Lawmakers successfully reduced funding for the program to $3.2 million from its current funding levels of $16 million. The vote came as an amendment to spending legislation to fund the federal government through the remaining months of fiscal 2011. While compared to the more than $61 billion in cuts to federal spending included in the legislation by Republicans, the amount cut by the vote wasn't significant. But it does signify the latest salvo in the GOP's attack on the EPA."

Greenhouse gas emissions declined in 2009 as well as 2008: http://nyti.ms/iccXIh

Florida's governor is turning down funding for a high speed rail project, reports Timothy Williams: "In the most significant blow yet to the Obama administration’s vision of a national high-speed rail network, Gov. Rick Scott of Florida on Wednesday rejected plans for a high-speed link between Tampa and Orlando, in the process turning down more than $2 billion in federal money. Mr. Scott is the third newly elected Republican governor to turn down a portion of the administration’s national rail system, joining John Kasich of Ohio and Scott Walker of Wisconsin...Mr. Scott’s move comes a little more than a week after Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. called for spending $53 billion on passenger trains and high-speed rail projects over the next six years as part of the administration’s goal of making high-speed rail accessible to 80 percent of Americans within 25 years."

Senate Democrats want to create a "green bank": http://bit.ly/h6wS89

Senate Democrats are preparing a clean energy standard bill, reports Darren Samuelsohn: "Senate Democrats are preparing energy legislation for the floor that includes the 'clean energy' standard sought by President Barack Obama, Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday. Reid said he's looking to Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and ranking member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to hash out details on the plan which would increase the nations' reliance on cleaner burning sources of energy, including solar and wind, and perhaps folding in 'clean coal' and nuclear power. 'There's an agreement as I understand it between Chairman Bingaman and Sen. Murkowski on the standard,' Reid said. 'It's not as high a standard as I'd like.'"

Closing credits: Wonkbook is compiled and produced with help from Dylan Matthews and Michelle Williams. Photo credit: White House.

By Ezra Klein  | February 17, 2011; 6:21 AM ET
Categories:  Wonkbook  
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Comments

Starting in 2014, net interest payments will surpass the amount spent on education, transportation, energy and all other discretionary programs outside defense. In 2018, they will outstrip Medicare spending. Only the amounts spent on defense and Social Security would remain bigger under the president's plan.


out of all the stories in Wonkbook today this is BY FAR the most troubling. It would really be nice if we had a leader in the White House that would stop playing politics and start working on the problem. Republicans were called the Party of No for the last several years so what does that make President Obama now?

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 17, 2011 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Klein, we have had bipartisanship in our politics for decades, ever since both party twins started sleeping with powerful corporate interests.

Gary Brumback
www.democracypowernow.com

Posted by: garybrumback1 | February 17, 2011 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Rick Scott doesn't need more money for high speed rail. All he has to do is get it from Medicare. As Hiassen said on `Wait wait don't tell me', only in Florida would `I wasn't indicted' be something to boast about.

Posted by: instanton | February 17, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

yeah, right, it's all Obama's fault

Nevermind that Obama tried to create a debt commission and the republican participants broke ranks and sabotaged it with their own partisan report before any official report could be published. In so doing the GOP report held blatant disregard for the facts.

Nevermind that every idea, decision, attempt to do anything is met with a resounding chorus of socialism or Dems are creating deathpanels or met with violent rhetoric or Dems are cutting Medicare.

Never mind that the Supreme Court has opened pandora's box and that foreign or domestic corporations can now overtly and legally influence elections, and that Dems have to wonder if they'll play any significant role after 2012.

Nevermind that the system is so broke and the corporate media is so anti-gvmt that no man or woman in existence could lead this Congress, much alone an evil Democrat.

The White House is not broke. The Congress is broke. That's where the problem is.

The Constitution invests the HOUSE with the responsibility for funding origination. If the House wants to pass a budget that solves our problems, let them do so, and then if Obama vetoes it without offering a valid compromise that is acceptable to the House and Senate, THEN you can pretend it is Obama's fault.

I see a President who time and again has attempted to offer moderate solutions (i.e. starting compromises) to major issues such as health care, finreg, debt, taxes, stimulus, yet the GOP just says no or sabotages everything with no solutions of their own.

Where is their finreg plan other than status quo?

Where is their energy plan other than to keep Mubarak in power?

Where is their revenue plan other than to cut taxes for the wealthy?

Where is their plan to reform or privatize or diminish or cut entitlements, a cause THEY, not Obama, have championed.

Obama will surely not lead us to prosperity. On that I can agree. But the major part of the reason for that is that it is impossible to lead us to prosperity with this Congress and this corporate media.

Again, if Obama "opened" with a plan to balance the budget, he would be impeached or shot, and his party would be voted out of office in 2012 because the GOP and the corporate media would roast Obama and the Dems alive between now and then as the GOP paints itself as the protectors of SS and medicare and the American way of life.

That said, I think he should take the hit and propose a responsible budget. You won't like it though, and then you'd be complaining about our socialist president. You are one of those who whine for the sake of whining. You'll always find something to complain about Obama.

Obama should cut all programs, including defense and entitlements, and raise taxes on the wealthiest to well over 50%, and raise the SS withholding threshold, and immediately end our wars, and get rid of the mandate in favor of some other mechanism, and he should cut corporate tax rates for companies that hire American workers.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 17, 2011 9:14 AM | Report abuse

"The Recovery Act was enacted at a time when the private economy was contracting by more than a 6% annual rate and losing more than 750,000 jobs a month. In the first full quarter after its enactment, the Recovery Act had cut average monthly private job losses by more than a third and slowed the economic contraction to a -0.7% annual rate."

A great example of the post hoc fallacy.

Of course, if you buy this, you should also accept that the 2003 Bush tax cuts are responsible for the surge in growth and significant decline in unemployment which ocurred right after they were enacted.

GDP grew by 4.1% in the year after the 2003 tax cuts took place, vs. 1.4% in the prior year.

Despite a deeper recession (which historically meant a rapid rebound), year on year GDP growth this cycle has yet to top 3.3%.

Posted by: justin84 | February 17, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

So why do I feel like my dog just died?

Posted by: SarahBB | February 17, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

@lauren,

I'm assuming that's "targeted" at me so I'll respond simply by saying you're biased. The first ones I heard all over MSNBC bashing the debt commission was Rep Schakowsky of IL, you know the PROGRESSIVE. Many republicans signed off on it (even those like Tom Coburn who are strongly anti-tax. Did all of them sign off on it no but don't come on here making like they did because that's rewriting history.


And when Republicans offer (and I pray they do) a fiscally sound entitlement reform plan that HOPEFULLY includes defense spending cuts liberals will decry it as the "Catfood Commission". Exactly how is that not just as bad as the "death panel" talk from Sarah Palin?

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 17, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

and while its just a very small drop in a very needed change Freshman Republicans stopped the alternate engine for the F-35.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/49724.html


surprised that wasn't mentioned in Wonkbook unless I just missed it.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 17, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"The Department of Homeland Security is conducting the biggest illegal immigration audit in two years"

Great. The government is taking my money and using it to conduct a witch-hunt against people who simply want a better life by living and working here.

Posted by: justin84 | February 17, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Scott Walker is a patriot. I already have a great fondness for this man, standing up for the people.

For those who do not know, Wisconsin unions are the most sleazy, corrupt, underhanded thugs even amongst labor unions. Here is the history.

1. Unions whine that former governor Jim Doyle was not giving them enough money and stall the 2009-2011 contracts.

2. Democrats get utterly demolished in the 2010 elections.

3. Unions, realizing that Scott Walker is going to kick their butt, quickly agree to a bloated union contract with their friend Doyle.

4. Democrats who were voted out of office try to ram through lame duck union contracts in order to hamstring the incoming governor. They have to bail a drunk driving legislator out of prison in order to pass them in the house by 1 vote.

5. Democrats try to pass contracts in the senate. However, patriotic Senate Majority Leader Russell Decker decides to side with the taxpayers and votes down the contracts.

6. Democrats instantly turn on Russell Decker and kick him out of leadership. Unions call him a 'wh*re'. Unions threaten him with lack of funding support in future elections. Decker, however, makes a last stand worthy of General Custer and fights the unions on behalf of the taxpayers.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 17, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"Reid said he's looking to Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and ranking member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to hash out details on the plan which would increase the nations' reliance on cleaner burning sources of energy, including solar and wind, and perhaps folding in 'clean coal' and nuclear power."

Good news for the Chinese!

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 17, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank said its business activity index rose to 35.9 in February from 19.3 the month before. It was the highest reading since January 2004 and reflective both of economic growth and inflation pressures.

The prices paid index, which measures business expectations for inflation, jumped 13 points and is now up 55 points over the past five months."

Krugman wrong.

Any questions?

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 17, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Here's a less cherry-picked look at some inflation opinions, some of which would seem to agree with krugman, and some not so much.

I don't think watching CNBC will get you anywhere in figuring out if krugman is wrong or not. CNBC has one agenda, to further wallstreet gains.

As for me, I'm not smart enough to figure this out, though I do know when people seem motivated mostly in trying to marginalize one man's opinion, then those people have agendas.

http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/interest-rates/long-term-inflation-target-of-17-to-2-set-by-fed/1000388/

The U.S. economy has weakened further and a gradual recovery in economic activity isn’t expected until later this year, Fed policy makers agreed, according to minutes released Wednesday and taken during the closed-door Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting Jan. 27-28.

The committee also noted their outlook had significant "downside risks," and provided a set of informal long-term economic projections, including that of inflation at 1.7% to 2%. After the meeting, the FOMC held the federal funds rate to a range of between 0 to 0.25%, as it first set in December, and concluded low interest rate levels would need to be kept for some time.
The released minutes make it clearer, however, how some members see the potential for excessive disinflation in 2009, or a deflation risk as St. Louis Fed’s Bullard addressed in a speech Tuesday. Deflation is a persistent decrease in general prices, or the opposite of inflation.

"Many participants noted some risk of a protracted period of excessively low inflation, especially if inflation expectations were to move down in response to lower actual inflation and increasing economic slack, and a few even saw some risk of deflation."

On the flip side, some members noted a risk that inflation could go the other way.

"Some [committee members] noted a risk that expected inflation might actually increase to an undesirably high level if the public does not understand that the Federal Reserve’s liquidity facilities will be wound down and its balance sheet will shrink as economic and financial conditions improve."

The minutes also revealed forecasts and long-term economic projections by Federal Reserve Governors and Reserve Bank presidents. Notable "informal" central tendency figures follow:

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 17, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

"so I'll respond simply by saying you're biased."

Everybody is biased. You too. If you are looking to debate with unbiased people, you'll need to go to a different planet.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 17, 2011 12:48 PM | Report abuse

yes that's true we're all biased based upon our beliefs but I'd prefer if you'd debate honestly. Like mentioning that the liberal blogosphere has named the deficit commission the "Catfood Commission" before its report came out and irresponsible Rep Schakowsky was all over the place before the report was even published saying it was irresponsible if it even considered entitlement cuts.

Instead you put the below up there:


"Nevermind that Obama tried to create a debt commission and the republican participants broke ranks and sabotaged it with their own partisan report before any official report could be published. In so doing the GOP report held blatant disregard for the facts."


Yes Obama was good to create the commission (and then he ignored it for now) and republicans put up plans, liberals put up plans and joint plans were put up so it wasn't just Republicans putting up plans in some attempt to push an agenda. Everyone did it but you didn't bash everyone did you, you only bashed those who you disagree with.


Posted by: visionbrkr | February 17, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

lauren:

"Some [committee members] noted a risk that expected inflation might actually increase to an undesirably high level if the public does not understand that the Federal Reserve’s liquidity facilities will be wound down and its balance sheet will shrink as economic and financial conditions improve."

A few of the public understands all too well, like most of those who make a living doing this.

The agenda of the Fed, and the agenda for you and me are entirely different things. Core CPI does not include energy and food, and therefore lags well behind what you and I actually spend on basic living. But it does include housing costs which are stagnant or declining.

This is a complete outlier because the formula they use, rent equivalent, is based on exactly what it says, the cost of renting a property today. However since many of us are not renting but paying inflated mortgage payments that are 40-50% over what they would go for in rent equivalency. So core CPI not only underestimates the actual inflation of goods that you and I buy, but vastly over estimates a declining cost of housing which many of us cannot take advantage of.

Here's the decisive measure. If over the last year you'd have listened to the hundreds of thousands like me who have skin in the game, you'd have made a lot of money. If you'd have listened to Krugman, you would have lost money.

Krugman on the economy has no more weight than George Will, or Dana Millbank, or any other activist columnist. He simply hides behind the label to say things that are economically unsound but push his political agenda.

Maybe you can ask yourself this question. Everyone is howling like banshees over the debt issue presented by the new budget (see the Post headline). Krugman wanted a stimulus that was about double what actually occured, ALL of which would have had to have been borrowed. Sound financing, eh?

Oh, one last thing about the "winding down of balance sheets". Have you have ever seen a driver who has parked their car in gear on an incline? If they don't get back in the car in the first steps, they have to take greater and greater risks to themselves to get back in and step on the brakes as it picks up momentum. In other wards, the farther and faster the car rolls, the danger isn't just to the car anymore but to the person/methods being used to stop the car.

All this mind you from a guy who LOVES Bernanke but who doesn't confuse HIS agenda with my own!

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 17, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

visionbrkr, President Obama may not take the strong public stands that many people want him to, but it seems he's decided (correctly) that when the White House takes a strong public stand on an issue that issue is suddenly polarized. It suddenly becomes a lot harder for the politicians in both parties to compromise on getting a solution.

This Administration has certainly made its share of mistakes over the last two years, but refusing to work on solving the big problems really isn't one of them.

Posted by: MosBen | February 17, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

vision

Calling me dishonest for a factual error is itself the greatest dishonesty.

I do appear to have made a mistake calling the co-chair report a GOP report. I should have said it was a report intended to subvert the commission by conservative republicans and democrats (the co-chairs). That's a common theme of mine, because I truly believe greedy and paranoid conservatives are wrecking this country in their quest for a libertarian utopia.

I am happy to stand corrected on the little detail I misstated. I was checking it even as you immediately was predisposed to call me dishonest.

Interesting that just a few days ago you denied ever calling me dishonest in the past. And yet, here we go again.

Also notice I did not call you dishonest a day or so ago when I provided proof that you were wrong TWICE about Bush revenues falling. You indeed again made the same claim after I showed you proof. Yet, was there any admission of inaccuracy on your part? No, instead krazen just called me a liar and you laughed with him and ignored the facts.

Sad.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 17, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

john

If the fed has a hidden agenda, then I suggest you stop trying to stalk krugman, a man who is not in the fed, and stop quoting certain fed reserve members who happen to agree with you, and start stalking the fed itself.

Sorry that you reacted so strongly to my posting of yesterday's fed comments, which sort of go against your anti-krugman tirade, but hey, most of us don't work for wallstreet and understand the issues like you pros.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 17, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Obama did not create the debt commission so he could ignore it.

That's utterly silly.

He did it to put political pressure on Congress to force Dems and Repubs alike to make tough choices. He knows he, as President, does not have the clout to force a fix and that if he tried to dictate or propose a balance budget, he would be handing the 2012 election to lunatics like Palin and would cause the Dem party to basically become extinct.

Congress is broke. Not the white house. And the debt commission itself is proof that Obama was tuned to the issue long before the 2010 election.

Obama is a poor leader. But he is not responsible for the debt or the current budget problems. You can thank BushJr for that.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 17, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

lauren:

You notice that I always enjoy the give and take between us. Of course I quote people who agree with me, don't we all?

Hey this is just something I do for fun while I'm sitting in front of the computer. (they don't serves lunch at the mission, so I have to go somewhere!)

Nothing I say impacts the world in any way, but it's fun to point out that in the case of some commentators the emporer has no clothes on. I used to post more on Rubin's blog, but she piss#d me off when she suggested that Generals Petraeus and Jones should should shut up and go fight without daring to say anything about Israel. LOL

So I dumped her and I'm only posting here now.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 17, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

@MosBen,

when and if Republicans do make a plan to attack entitlements where will you stand when liberals and progressives demagogue it? You can disagree potentially with how it goes about it but to demagogue it is just wrong unless you choose to come up with your own plan.

Oh and entitlement reform is polarized to the "nth" degree already. His stand will (IMO) not affect that one way or the other. To me I only see sheer politicization of the topic which if that is the case (which could easliy be proven if its demagogued once Republicans come forth with a plan) then that's shameful especially for one who's promised "hope and change".

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 17, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing how lame all the comments are on this comment board.

Posted by: nickthap | February 17, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

All of you act like you have all the answers but you really don't know diddly. Have you heard the theory that the more you actually do know about something, the less sure you are of your own opinions about the matter? I think the opposite is true of the folks commenting here.

Posted by: nickthap | February 17, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

vision

Most ordinary conservatives ALSO want to preserve SS and medicare.

Most of the ones who don't are either in upper tax brackets or work for wallstreet and anticipate being in the upper tax bracket.

Don't pretend that only libs want to preserve entitlements.

I live near the villages, FL, a heavy GOP voter base where GOP pols and personas enjoy great fanfare and book tours and campaign appearances. These people overwhelmingly want to preserve SS and medicare the way it is now.

When Bush stepped away from the SS privatization effort, it was largely due to conservatives like these telling him to keep his hands off their SS and medicare.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 17, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

@lauren,

you're not understanding what I'm saying. I'm saying I'd like you to debate honestly by also mentioning or admitting that liberals came up with their own plans to suit their own agendas and there were also dual plans. it wasn't just conservative Repbulicans coming up with their plans meant to somehow hurt Obama's deficit commission. The fact that you called on the carpet Republicans for their report but didn't mention Rep. Schakowsky who was all over MSNBC the week before the Simpson-Bowles Commission Report came out is plain wrong and sorry but I'm going to call you on it. You can't just act like it didnt' happen.


This was 2 WEEKS prior to the report coming out on December 1st.

http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/11/16/take-schakowsky-seriously/

If this doesn't undermine the commission I don't know what does. If Repbulicans did it too then that's wrong as well but if they both did it then they're BOTH wrong.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 17, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"Also notice I did not call you dishonest a day or so ago when I provided proof that you were wrong TWICE about Bush revenues falling. You indeed again made the same claim after I showed you proof. Yet, was there any admission of inaccuracy on your part? No, instead krazen just called me a liar and you laughed with him and ignored the facts."

Well, that's because you somehow pretend that George W. Bush was President in 2010.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 17, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"Also notice I did not call you dishonest a day or so ago when I provided proof that you were wrong TWICE about Bush revenues falling. You indeed again made the same claim after I showed you proof. Yet, was there any admission of inaccuracy on your part? No, instead krazen just called me a liar and you laughed with him and ignored the facts."

Well, that's because you somehow pretend that George W. Bush was President in 2010.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 17, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"But he is not responsible for the debt or the current budget problems. You can thank BushJr for that."


Nope. $3.5 trillion in debt run up during Obama's Presidency.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 17, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Also notice I did not call you dishonest a day or so ago when I provided proof that you were wrong TWICE about Bush revenues falling. You indeed again made the same claim after I showed you proof. Yet, was there any admission of inaccuracy on your part? No, instead krazen just called me a liar and you laughed with him and ignored the facts.

Sad.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 17, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Wait was I wrong on this? I posted this from Wikipedia so unless they were wrong or I read it wrong, I wasn't wrong.


I just went back and checked and didn't see your post. I'll say I missed it instead of calling me a liar as you did. You're looking at revenue as a percentage of GDP, I was looking at overall revenue so basically we're looking at two different things.

And i Didn't make the same claim AFTER you showed me proof (which I now just showed how we were comparing two different things). I never commented after your 4:15 comment so that's not factual.

Here's where I took it from and again when I initially made the comment I prefaced it by saying I only had it from Wikipedia that was only from 2006 going forward.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_United_States_federal_budget

And since I never commented or even saw your link I didn't "laugh with him" or anything of the sort.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 17, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"
I just went back and checked and didn't see your post. I'll say I missed it instead of calling me a liar as you did. You're looking at revenue as a percentage of GDP, I was looking at overall revenue so basically we're looking at two different things."


In terms of revenue in overall dollars, it was higher during the Bush administration.

In terms of revenue/GDP, it was also higher during the Bush administration.

GDP itself was in fact higher during the Bush administration.


It really doesn't matter how you look at it. The answer is the same.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 17, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

@krazen,

that's not my point though. My point was we were discussing different things (now that I realize it as I didn't see his posts of 3:20 or 4:17 on the 15th) and he gives me the "you called me a liar" and for some reason johnmarshall gets the:


"Maybe I am looking at wrong data, and if so, you can correct me please.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 15, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: visionbrkr | February 17, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm reposting something to show how wrong krazen and vision are about revenues.

revenues as a percentage of GDP are the important way to look at this. And it is clear that Bush's revenues went down to historic lows (twice) during his terms in office.

Now, do I get any sense of fairness from vision and krazen on this issue? No, of course not, I get stubborn refusals to acknowledge the proof I again offer. AND krazen calls me a liar and vision, again, raises questions about my dishonesty.

vision you are an IDIOT and, next to krazen, the most dishonest person I've debated online.

Indeed, have I ever seen you admit you were wrong about anything to anyone? Maybe once, in a very qualified way.

All you do is wait for someone honest (someone like me willing to admit when I make a factual error) to make any kind of factual error and you suddenly whip out the dishonesty label instead of simply making a point of correction.

-------------------------------------

http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/revenue_history

Some here (vision, krazen) have insisted that revenues did not fall under Bush.

However, history disagrees.

And though I have showed them proof, they cling to their dogma.

Well, there are charts in that link above that shows revenues fell twice under Bush.

Indeed, if I'm looking at those charts correctly, revenues at the end of Bush's 8 years were LOWER than when he started.

At one point in his first term, revenues as a percentage of GDP were the lowest they've been since the Great Depression. That is a historic low. And if you scan the charts, you will see an abrupt and historic reversal to long-term, steady revenue growth in 2001 after the Bush tax cuts.

So, why are conservative commenters here allowed to repeatedly lie, and instead say I am lying when I say revenues fell under Bush?

The fact that no single conservative reading this blog never chastises or disagrees with other conservatives when they blatantly, and repeatedly, and in a disruptive manner, lie about facts that are easily verified and pointed out to them, calls into question the integrity of every conservative on this blog and everything they say.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 17, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

That comment by me was to John about a discussion about inflation and had nothing to do with our conversation about revenues.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 17, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

again lauren THAT'S NOT WHAT YOU SAID YESTERDAY.

you didn't qualify it to say "as a percentage of GDP" when you first made your crack about Bush or Herbert Hoover (proof below so i don't get called an idiot or a liar)SEE BELOW:

"Obama inherited a legacy of debt and falling gvmt revenues from a thoroughly disgraced herbert hoover--I mean, George W. Bush."

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 15, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

You didn't specify falling government revenues as a percentage of GDP you simply said falling revenues. Don't believe me go back to the Wonkbook from 2 days ago. As a percentage of GDP you may be right, I don't know haven't looked but the overall revenues (unless Wikipedia is wrong)

Again I prefaced with where I looked (Wikipedia) it didn't have the figures for some reason before 2006 so it was imcomplete and I'd gladly admit I was wrong if other figures showed it.


i'm not a fan of GWB. If you think I am I'm not. As per the chart you link to revenues show to be:

IN BILLIONS

2000-2,025.2
2001-1,991.1
2002-1,853.1
2003-1,782.3
2004-1,880.1
2005-2,153.6
2006-2,406.9
2007-2,568.0
2008-2,524.0
2009-2,105.0


So in reviewing this data I was wrong that it never went down but from the data source that I found it from Wikipedia it showed different figures. Maybe Wikipedia includes other things like state and local revenues, maybe there's another reason.

Whatever. The point is that if you've said that I've never admitted that I'm wrong that again is proven wrong. And to call me an idiot and dishonest is just well, wrong.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 17, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

vision you are lying

Several posts up I quote from the below page in which I clearly talk about revenues as a percentage of GDP

Here's the proof

"revenues as a percentage of GDP"

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/02/reconciliation_196.html#comments

"http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/revenue_history

Some here (vision, krazen) have insisted that revenues did not fall under Bush.

However, history disagrees.

And though I have showed them proof, they cling to their dogma.

Well, there are charts in that link above that shows revenues fell twice under Bush.

Indeed, if I'm looking at those charts correctly, revenues at the end of Bush's 8 years were LOWER than when he started.

At one point in his first term, revenues as a percentage of GDP were the lowest they've been since the Great Depression. That is a historic low. And if you scan the charts, you will see an abrupt and historic reversal to long-term, steady revenue growth in 2001 after the Bush tax cuts.

So, why are conservative commenters here allowed to repeatedly lie, and instead say I am lying when I say revenues fell under Bush?

The fact that no single conservative reading this blog never chastises or disagrees with other conservatives when they blatantly, and repeatedly, and in a disruptive manner, lie about facts that are easily verified and pointed out to them, calls into question the integrity of every conservative on this blog and everything they say."

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 17, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I know it was about something else but the point I'm trying to make is that you're respectful in your comments to him (and almost everyone else) and every word out of your mouth is calling me an idiot or dishonest. I'm trying my hardest to be understanding of your positions but its tough to do when every word you type is disrespectful and comparing me for example to an msoja type around here.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 17, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

glory be

vision finally admitted he was wrong about something

Now I ask, when you were trying to fight my claim a few days ago about revenues falling under Bush, how could you possibly just pull out the three best numbers from that table without also seeing that revenues had falling at TWO POINTS?

Certainly sounds like to me you just proved you had no intention of admitting I was right a few days ago, and instead cherry picked the data to fit your propaganda.

Now, if I were you (thankfully, I am not), I would now call you a liar JUST for being wrong, as you did to me earlier. But I won't.

Though you did lie by claiming I never ever talked about the "percentage GDP" phrase. Because I did, even if not in EVERY single post that I made that day. I did use it enough to clearly indicate that's what I was referring to once you challenged my basic assertion.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 17, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

vision

that's because from day one, you have implied I was lying about even basic things about my personal experience and background.

You did it again today and jumped on the lie bandwagon when I was factually wrong about the co-chair report.

I've tried making peace with you to no avail. Just a few days ago we had this same conversation where you denied calling me a liar, but right up above we can all see you are prone to do that.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 17, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

uh lauren I'm not lying.

The original post is from Wonkbook from Feb 15th. you just copied Reconciliation from that date. TWO DIFFERENT COMMENTS SECTIONS. As I copied directly from Wonkbook where the discussion is you'll note that in your orignial post you don't specify in total or as a percentage of GDP so I eventually took it that we were talking about two different things. I also never went back after my comment at 11:49 AM and since I've admitted that I am wrong about that based upon your data (although to be honest I don't know which figures are right or better yet complete).

And get this, I SAID YOU WERE RIGHT.

Now you go and call me a liar because you post something from later that evening, in a different post (Reconciliation). Do you not realize how silly that sounds? Personally its silly that I'm carrying this one but that's my deal I guess. Again respect is all I ask for.


Sadly you seem more interested in attacking me than anything else.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 17, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

I know very well in my original post I did not include the GDP thing. The revenue comment was generic at that time.

But in my followup posts to your challenge, I did.

You just implied a few posts ago I never said the GDP thing. But as my earlier link proves, I did.

Where is the link to your comment that you admitted I was right? I don't see the link and I missed that post if indeed it exists.

If you wanna show me the link/comment, I'd appreciate it. Otherwise, I have a life to live and gotta go, and if you and krazen want to have fun at my expense while I am absent, go for it.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 17, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

@lauren,

It wasn't the three best numbers from that table. It was all that Wikipedia showed for some reason. Did you go to the Wikipedia link. For some reason it only shows back to 2006. I don't know why you'd have to ask them.


lauren,

to me there's a difference between calling someone a liar and asking them to be factually honest about things. Maybe you don't see the sematics in that but I do. I asked you to be honest about the fact that liberals bashed up the Fiscal Commission Report 2 weeks prior to them coming out with it when all you did was bash Republicans for their reports. it had nothing to do with it being co-chairs or whatever. it had to do with being totally honest with yourself as to everyone that did anything. Conservatives should have come up with more defense spending cuts (as I've said on several occasions) but Schakowsky's plan goes further the other way.

And I've explained the personal issues before and apologized for them. The "former Republican" issue is honestly something I had never thought of. The medicaid thing was something that someone else brought up but I was responsible for in your eyes. I apologized for them and you're now the only one that ever brings them up.

personally I don't ever remember you "trying to make peace" with me other than one attempt about a month ago. Everything else is just personal attacks. Calling me a liar, "clinging to my dogma" whatever.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 17, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Gov. Rick Scott of Florida correctly turned down $2.4 billion of Obama Bucks that would partially fund construction of an ill-advised high-speed rail line that would lose tens of millions of dollars and be a drain of Florida taxpayers. Now the incensed Democrat members of Congress from Florida want to force him to take the money. One of their suggested schemes is for Amtrak to guarantee any losses. Hello!! Where does AMTRAK get is money? Leprechauns? NO! It gets its money from taxpayers. The Dems from Florida are saying, "It would be a travesty to let some other state waste this money when we have the chance to waste it." Is this a great country or what?

Posted by: Chippewa | February 17, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

@lauren,

I never did see the revenue as a percentage of GDP thing (as i've mentioned three times now I never went back to Wonkbook after my 11:47 AM post) and never went to Reconciliation at all and if I did see it in your original post I never would have questioned it in the first place as I'd suspect that would be correct so if you had correctly stated that then none of this would have come up. It just seems incorrect that the actual dollar amounts would go down (but as I see now in some years it did.


The point is you need to STOP calling me a liar and all of that. If you would have simply, calmly said to me at the time or even after that, that it was a percentage of GDP then I would have asked for your proof or seen it and told you that you were right and moved on.

But for some reason you have a need to personally attack me more than anyone else around here.


Call me wrong, Don't call me an idiot or a liar. Its not called for and others have said it as well before (I believe MosBen had mentioned it before).

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 17, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

If you wanna show me the link/comment, I'd appreciate it. Otherwise, I have a life to live and gotta go, and if you and krazen want to have fun at my expense while I am absent, go for it.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 17, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I have to go as well. its above at 3:49 PM. As I've said many times now I never went back to Wonkbook from the 15th until you linked to it today. I never had seen Reconciliation from that day until you linked to it just above.


I likewise have things to do so for the sanity of ourselves and the poor souls that had to read our diabtribe can we please either leave each other alone and/or be respectful and not call each other liars, names or whatever?

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 17, 2011 4:35 PM | Report abuse

"So, why are conservative commenters here allowed to repeatedly lie, and instead say I am lying when I say revenues fell under Bush?"

I agree with Lauren's view.

Nominal revenue? It actually went up, even from 2000 to 2009.

Inflation adjusted revenue? Down a bit.

Inflation adjusted revenue per capita? Down some more.

Revenue as % of GDP? Down, quite a bit.

Lauren's right that using nominal dollars isn't the best way of measuring tax revenue - you have to adjust for prices, at a minimum. Otherwise, Robert Mugabe could credibly claim to have presided over a surge in tax revenue in the 2nd half of the last decade.

"In terms of revenue/GDP, it was also higher during the Bush administration."

Krazen, I'll have to disagree with you there. The ratio was higher during the Clinton administration both on average and during each President's last budget.

Of course a tax cut should be expected to reduce revenue as a % of GDP. Revenue as a % of GDP is also sensitity to tax code progressivity - if taxes are flat, revenue as a % of GDP remains constant.

I'll give you that GDP was higher, as was total revenue in nominal dollars. However, the growth of both variables was slow relative to what was experienced under the Clinton administration.

Posted by: justin84 | February 17, 2011 4:37 PM | Report abuse

i don't get any kicks making fun of anyone at anyone's expense. Its not what I'm about. I also never did that the other day even though you seemingly inferred that I did. All i did say was (based on my different or incorrect info) that:

@krazen,

yes I'll be glad when Lauren comes back on here and admits he/she are wrong. There's a LOT to blame Bush about but revenues is not one of them. To be fair too the lack of revenues in the Obama administration is not his fault (ie the recession) and if I was as partisan as Lauren claimed me to be earlier I'd conveniently ignore that fact. That being said spending went up way too much and now is being taken back down way too little.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 15, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

So I assumed you were wrong based on my wrong info from Wikipedia (and have since admitted I was wrong and also admitted Obama's revenues are less becuase of the recession which wasn't his fault). I don't know how much less partisan I can be for you than to admit that the Bush policies helped create the recession and Obama is only having to deal with those facts of life dealt to him.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 17, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

chippewa wrote:

"Gov. Rick Scott of Florida correctly turned down $2.4 billion of Obama Bucks that would partially fund construction of an ill-advised high-speed rail line that would lose tens of millions of dollars and be a drain of Florida taxpayers"

while I am a huge opponent of HSR, I suspect in Scott's case he simply surmised that the opportunities for him to commit fraud were not large enough, or that tranparency might become an issue when he made the attempt.

Posted by: johnmarshall5446 | February 17, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

@justin,

thank you. I don't mind being wrong but where were you an hour or two ago before my migrane started?

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 17, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

"thank you. I don't mind being wrong but where were you an hour or two ago before my migrane started?"

I jumped in as soon as I noticed. Sorry about that.

Posted by: justin84 | February 17, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

vision: "The point is you need to STOP calling me a liar and all of that. If you would have simply, calmly said to me at the time or even after that, that it was a percentage of GDP then I would have asked for your proof or seen it and told you that you were right and moved on."

And yet, here is the proof that I used the words "percentage of GDP" in my responses to you and krazen just a few posts after you challenged me.

So your assertions that I never used those words are also inaccurate.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/02/wonkbook_washington_reacts_to.html#comments

lauren: "yes vision, revenues fell during the recession, and I attribute that to Bush. See link below. Also, revenues during the mid-aughts were at one point the lowest as a percentage gdp since the great depression. Revenues for the bush years were overall anemic."

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 17, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

"Krazen, I'll have to disagree with you there. The ratio was higher during the Clinton administration both on average and during each President's last budget.

Of course a tax cut should be expected to reduce revenue as a % of GDP. Revenue as a % of GDP is also sensitity to tax code progressivity - if taxes are flat, revenue as a % of GDP remains constant.

I'll give you that GDP was higher, as was total revenue in nominal dollars. However, the growth of both variables was slow relative to what was experienced under the Clinton administration."


In terms of comparing Clinton to Bush, you are correct.

However, that post was written in regards to President Obama. Revenues have been much lower under President Obama for 3 years now.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 17, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Furthermore:

On that same day and in that same thread (see link in my previous post), I made the following comment after the one above. And I made it twice, because I accidently double-posted.

If you look at that link, the headline in the chart has giant letters that talk about percentage of GDP.

--------------------------------

http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/downchart_gr.php?year=1900_2010&units=p&title=Revenue%20as%20percent%20of%20GDP

That chart clearly shows two deep revenue dips as a result of bush policies.

Obama did not cause this.

Clinton did not cause this.

The bush tax cuts, the two wars, medicareD, and the recession, which happened even as bush declared a sound economy caused these revenue problems.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 17, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse

krazen, the data I linked to proves revenues started plummetting before Obama took office.

All you have to do is look at the data I linked to.

Indeed under Bush, historic revenue growth suddenly stopped following the same trend line that it had since the Great Depression. There is a clear and distinct peak under Bush and two instances of significant revenue declines, the second one of which continues to this day.

And your response: It's all Obama's fault.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 17, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

And let's not forget this gem of a post where I proved krazen lied about certain things he claimed he said he never said...

-------------------------------------

krazen to lauren: "It's one thing to lie about the issues. Please do not lie about me. Nowhere have I advocated for the complete eradication of anything of any kind"

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/09/how_to_balance_the_budget_thro.html

krazen: "END MEDICAID"

I think that qualifies as "anything of any kind".

Krazen has uttered similar things about medicare and the full repeal of ACA without replacing it without anything of any kind, but I assume one instance of proof (above) is sufficient to show that the one claiming I am lying is in fact the liar.

Posted by: lauren2010 | February 17, 2011 7:11 PM | Report abuse

"Indeed under Bush, historic revenue growth suddenly stopped following the same trend line that it had since the Great Depression. There is a clear and distinct peak under Bush and two instances of significant revenue declines, the second one of which continues to this day.

And your response: It's all Obama's fault."


That's convenient partisan hackery.

Your chart clearly shows that revenues ranged from from 15.84% to 19.36% during George W. Bush's terms, and 14.14% to 16.62% during Obama's term.

The largest sustained decrease is of course due to Obama's legislation following his stimulus bill.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 17, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

@Justin

That's fine I was just kidding!

@Lauren

But if I didn't see those posts then how would I know. Yes now when you specifically direct me back to that page and separately to reconciliation post I see that and noted that you clarified your point.

You can't fault me for not seeing that fact. If you were reasonable instead of calling me a liar or an idiot you'd simply direct me to those pages and I'd clarify and change my response.

As you can see I didn't post on either link after you posted your clarification and if I did you'd certainly be right in calling me a liar.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 17, 2011 7:19 PM | Report abuse

"Indeed under Bush, historic revenue growth suddenly stopped following the same trend line that it had since the Great Depression. There is a clear and distinct peak under Bush and two instances of significant revenue declines, the second one of which continues to this day"


That very same trendline shows that revenues during President Bush's 2 terms were higher than most Democratic administrations since WWII.

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 17, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

"Also, revenues during the mid-aughts were at one point the lowest as a percentage gdp since the great depression"


Hmm...

Revenues in 1950 under Harry Truman: 14.82%
Revenues in 2004 under George Bush: 15.84%

Posted by: krazen1211 | February 17, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Shocking that Republicans are unable to answer about entitlement cuts

Seems to happen whenever Republicans are asked to explain anything in detail

Ask Palin to count her ABC's and she screams about socialism

Posted by: Bious | February 17, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse

"However, that post was written in regards to President Obama. Revenues have been much lower under President Obama for 3 years now."

Ah, gotcha. Lauren kept referring to revenues falling under Bush, implying a comparison to Clinton.

By the way, real GDP did manage to set a new record high in 2010Q4, but only just. Real GDP per capita remains well below the 2007Q4 peak.

http://www.bea.gov/national/nipaweb/TableView.asp?SelectedTable=6&ViewSeries=NO&Java=no&Request3Place=N&3Place=N&FromView=YES&Freq=Qtr&FirstYear=2006&LastYear=2010&3Place=N&Update=Update&JavaBox=no#Mid

Posted by: justin84 | February 17, 2011 11:43 PM | Report abuse

so lauren no response? did you finally realize after about the third time of me explaining the explanation behind how events transpired? Nothing???

No, "I'm sorry I called you a liar", "I'm sorry I wasn't more respectful of the possibilty that you didn't see what I said?"

Nice!

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 18, 2011 8:29 AM | Report abuse

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