Scrivener.net

Sunday, June 07, 2009

From around the blogroll:


"Assume a can opener". The take on the Obama Administration's plan for containing rising health care costs, as part of its national health care proposal, as per Andrew Biggs.
These costs savings are what [budget director] Orszag in his Social Security days called a "magic asterisk," money that materializes out of nowhere.

"Deficits matter", says Andrew Samwick.
the Obama administration has announced a target of reducing these bloated deficits in half in five years. That means that we are running these deficits even as the economy is projected to be growing again. That's just as pathetic, but on a much larger scale, than the budget target we had under the Bush administration.
That's my emphasis added in the quote, but it is a much larger scale. The Obama deficits incurred in two terms are on course to be as large as the Bush and Reagan deficits incurred over four terms, combined. Speaking of which...


A first small sign of Bush-bashers on fiscal policy coming around to give Obama some of the credit he is due: EconomistMom now calls the "Bush tax cuts" the "Bush-Obama tax cuts".


Supreme Court justice nominee Sotomayor's decisions affecting baseball and football get a look from The Sports Economist.


The world's first transparent (as in "glass walled, you can see through it") auto factory, via Carpe Diem.


"The late" fiscal stimulus, reviewed by Keith Hennessey. "CBO says that $25 B of spending had gone into the economy by May 22nd. Thatís less than 4% ..."


How the "public option" government health plan to be included in Obama's national health care proposal, purportedly simply as an extra free choice option for consumers, is likely to be a camel's snout sneaking forward through tent in the dark of night with a knife in its mouth to murder private sector health care in its bed, explained by Greg Mankiw.


How wrong Nobel economists can be. This time Joe Stiglitz (not Krugman). Back at the end of March, Stiglitz was publicly savaging the Treasury's "Public Private Investment Program", intended to get investors to buy troubled assets from banks, as a give away that could give a 50% return to investors at the cost of a -40% return to the government. But, as it turned out, the plan hasn't been able to attract investors. So either a 50% return isn't attractive to them or Joe was pretty darn wrong, says Falkenblog.


"French courts are basically legislating Reality TV shows [as we know them at least] out of existence by stipulating that they pay overtime and provide holidays as well as allowing contestants to sue for unfair dismissal..." [Oxonomics, HT: AdamSmith.org]

The decision that Washington should save Detroit was made for Obama by...
a not-quite graduate of Yale Law School who had never set foot in an automotive assembly plant ... when the administration was divided over whether to support Fiatís bid to take over much of Chrysler, it was Mr. Deese who spoke out strongly against simply letting the company go into liquidation, according to several people who were present for the debate... [NY Times, HT:Flyinderthebridge]

The asking price for Pol Pot's toilet (and a few accessories) is $1.5 million, reports Marginal Revolution. (One wonders what the price would be for Eva-and-Adolph's bidet.)