Posts filed under “Taxes and Policy”

Fed Gives Congress Room to Shirk Resposibility

One of my favorite thought experiments is the careful-what-you-wish-for scenario. I was reminded of its utility during Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen’s Congressional testimony the other day.

Consider the critique of the Fed by some members of Congress. As the New York Times described it, the three-hour hearing was “testy” as “Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee accused Janet L. Yellen, chairwoman of the Fed, of using her office to advance liberal policy goals.”

I find it rather surprising that the Fed’s mandated goals of containing inflation (check!) and reducing unemployment (check!) are deemed liberal. That is how topsy-turvy the partisan world of Washington has become during the past decade.

“You’ve already made monetary policy a partisan political exercise,” declared Representative Scott Garrett, a New Jersey Republican, in a partisan political response to Yellen’s House testimony yesterday.

The upside-down worldview that statement reflects seems to be lost on the Congressman. It’s an exercise in massive projection. No wonder Congress’s approval ratings keep breaking all sorts of record lows.

I suspect the contingent in Congress that wants to audit the Fed really hasn’t thought through its goals. As we shall see below, the Fed bashers might not be happy with the results.


Continues here



Category: Bailouts, Politics, Really, really bad calls, Taxes and Policy

Does front-loading taxation increase savings?

Category: Taxes and Policy, Think Tank

John Oliver on Big Tobacco

Thanks to tobacco industry regulations and marketing restrictions in the US, smoking rates have dropped dramatically. John Oliver explains how tobacco companies are keeping their business strong overseas.


Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Tobacco



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Category: Humor, Science, Taxes and Policy, Video

The Shrinking American Middle Class

click for interactive infographic Source: The Upshot

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Taxes and Policy, Wages & Income

There’s Never Been a Better Time to Be Rich . . .

Source: MoJo

Category: Politics, Taxes and Policy, Wages & Income

The Where-To-Be-Born Index

Source: The Economist

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Psychology, Taxes and Policy

Supersize Ambitions

Source: NY Times

Category: Digital Media, Economy, Taxes and Policy

Brother, Can You Spare 12 cents for Crumbling Infrastructure?

In the middle of the last century the U.S. started building the Interstate Highway System. It’s now named after President Dwight Eisenhower, who shepherded its passage through Congress in 1956. Connecting the far-flung corners of this large nation, this 47,714 mile network allows commerce to flow freely. The cost of construction, adjusted for inflation, was…Read More

Category: Really, really bad calls, Taxes and Policy, Transports

Impact of Oil Price Drop on Producer Nation Deficits

click for larger graphic Source: Economist

Category: Digital Media, Energy, Taxes and Policy

Weak Eurozone

Source: Deutsche Bank Research, The House View, 25 November 2014

Category: Economy, Markets, Politics, Taxes and Policy