March 30: The Party of Bad Faith and Billionaires
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Broccoli and Bad Faith (NYT)
Paul Krugman argues that the Supreme Court conservatives grasping for reasons why Congress lacks the power to do anything that they don’t like have forgotten the most important distinction: the one between a judge and a politician.
Who Captured the Fed? (NYT)
Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson write that FDR tried to make the Fed accountable, but it became too politicized. Now it’s viewed as “independent,” which is a central banker term for answering to Wall Street instead of elected officials.
Is the GOP Still the Party of Business? (Baseline Scenario)
James Kwak notes that the business community that saw Republicans as steadfast allies is realizing there’s a difference between being the party of business and the party of billionaires, whose preferred economic policy is “Screw you; I’m a billionaire.”
In a Shift, the World Bank’s Next Likely President Is Facing 2 Rivals (NYT)
Annie Lowrey reports that despite the well-received nomination of Jim Yong Kim to head the World Bank, many countries are still under the impression that they should have a choice instead of just being glad they weren’t stuck with a walking disaster.
The Shadow of Depression (Project Syndicate)
Brad DeLong writes that the government’s job, especially during a major downturn, is to mitigate risk by matching up supply and demand. Sadly, ours would hesitate to throw a drowning man a life preserver for fear of crowding out private rescuers.
Is the Economy Growing Faster Than We Knew? (NYT)
Binyamin Appelbaum notes that economists scratching their oft-bearded chins about why the job market recovery is going pretty well when GDP growth is nothing to write home about should try paying attention to gross domestic income instead.
No, the affordable housing push didn’t cause the subprime crisis (WaPo)
Suzy Khimm flags a St. Louis Fed report that finds Fannie and Freddie didn’t buy up risky securities because they were being forced to help poor people against their will, but because, like other subprime investors, they were out to make money.
What Are We Doing? (On the Economy)
Jared Bernstein argues that if politicians really think education is the key to the future, they must not want to start the ignition, because they’re cutting funding for Pell grants when U.S. college attainment has been stagnant for a generation.
While White House Emphasizes Easing Student Debt Burden, Fed Contractors Play Hardball (ProPublica)
Marian Wang writes that both the president and his Department of Education are focused on the problem of student debt, except the former wants to relieve it while the latter is hiring debt collectors to strongarm people into unaffordable payments.
Paul Ryan Finally Meets a Budget Cut He Hates (MoJo)
Paul Ryan loves and respects the leaders of America’s armed forces so much that he just knows they’re lying straight to his face when they come to him and tell him that they don’t think we need to waste quite so much money on defense.
With additional research by Roosevelt Institute intern Elena Callahan.