Ed Dolan's Econ Blog

Archive for August, 2012

  • Do the Latest GDP and Profit Data Justify Tax Cuts for ‘Job Creators’?

    This week’s second estimate of US GDP shows a disappointing Q2 growth rate of 1.7 percent, just slightly faster than the 1.5 percent of the advance estimate released a month ago (see chart). These latest data ensure that weak GDP growth and what to do about it will remain major issues in the presidential election […]

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  • Court Rejects EPA Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. Where to Next?

    Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected an EPA rule known as the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). The rule was supposed to have gone into effect at the beginning of 2012, but the same court had previously stayed its implementation on procedural grounds. Last week’s ruling is […]

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  • Latest CBO Budget Projections Underline Need for Goldilocks Budget Deal

    The latest analysis from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows a sharp divergence between  a baseline projection and an alternative fiscal scenario for the U.S. economy. To put it in language a child could understand, the baseline projection is too cold while the alternative scenario is too hot. It is clear from the report that […]

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  • Economists Should Love Paul Ryan’s Support of Policy Rules—but are they the Right Rules?

    Economists love the idea of rules for monetary and fiscal policy. Many politicians hate them, preferring the discretion to do whatever seems like a good idea at the time. For that reason, if no other, economists should love Paul Ryan, an atypical politician who supports policy rules. But there is a catch—are the rules that […]

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  • It’s Unanimous: All Indicators Show Inflation is Slowing, Even the Index of Sticky Prices

    To no one’s surprise, today’s inflation numbers from the BLS showed that U.S. inflation is slowing according to almost every indicator anyone has thought to report. Seasonally adjusted monthly data for the headline consumer price index, the core CPI and the Cleveland Fed’s trimmed-mean CPI are running well below the Fed’s 2 percent target, as […]

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  • Repeal and Replace the Ethanol Mandate

    During the debate over the Obama administration’s health care policy, Republicans came up with the catchy phrase “repeal and replace.” I’ll get back to health care in another post, but for now, I’d like to filch the phrase for the increasingly lively debate over the federal ethanol mandate, or Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), as it […]

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  • Choice of Ryan as VP Puts Tax Reform Back on the Table

    I am thrilled by Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate. I say that not because of its effect on the outcome of the election, which has yet to play out, but because it puts tax reform squarely back on the table. Fixing the tax code is a two-part process that simultaneously […]

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  • Will the Dutch Disease Kill Hopes Raised by Colombia’s Free Trade Agreement?

    After a torturous journey through Congress, the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA), first signed in 2006, came into effect on May 15 of this year. The agreement has raised high hopes in Colombia, for which the United States is by far the largest trading partner. However, while the CTPA was fighting its way through […]

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  • Another Weak Jobs Report. Is it Time for the Fed to ‘Throw the Gun?’

    A recent on-line discussion of the Fed’s continued inaction in the face of worsening economic data included the following exchange of comments: Commenter 1: When you got nothin’ but blanks left you just stand there with the gun and pretend you might pull the trigger Commenter 2: Maybe Bernanke should just throw the gun Now, […]

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