Wind Energy Fails Again - 8/30/11

Last week brought yet another unspeakably hot day to Texas and, alas, it was yet another day when wind energy failed the state’s consumers. Indeed, as record heat and drought continue to hammer the Lone Star State, the inanity of the state’s multi-billion-dollar spending spree on wind energy becomes ever more apparent.

More

Apple: Manufacturing Giant - 8/29/11

When we celebrate the genius of Steve Jobs and the success of Apple Computers, we should remember  that we are also celebrating the success of American manufacturing.

More

Households and Income Growth - 8/29/11

If you had to guess, what adjusted gross income range would you say had the biggest gains in the number of households included within that range during the years from 1996 through 2009? Here are the choices:

More

Illinois Taxes and Jobs - 8/26/11

Correlation doesn’t necessarily equal causation, but some disturbing correlations are evident in the nation’s economic woes. Take Illinois.

 

More

Where Are High-Income Taxpayers? - 8/26/11

This map shows percentage growth of taxpayers earning over $200,000, minus the percentage growth of all taxpayers, over the decade-long period from 1999 to 2009.

More

Growth In Occupational Licensing - 8/25/11

Restrictions on who can and cannot practice a certain profession have increased significantly in recent years. Occupational licensing — the most onerous restriction — requires people to pass tests and meet other criteria before they can practice a trade. It is a barrier to employment, disproportionately affecting low-income and immigrant workers, and frequently benefitting established practitioners by ... More

What Congress Studied - 8/25/11

Almost 80 percent of lawmakers might need to crack open an economics textbook before the congressional recess ends.



More

Job One: Entitlements - 8/23/11

No deficit-reduction agreement can credibly be called balanced if it fails to do one simple and necessary thing: cut the projected cost of new spending enacted in last year’s health care law.

More

Gaining In A Down Economy - 8/22/11

Which economies have fared best and worst during the global financial crisis?

More

Entitlements and Defense Spending - 8/22/11

Spending on defense as a percentage of GDP has declined significantly over time.

More

Adios OPEC - 8/19/11

For half a century, the global energy supply's center of gravity has been the Middle East. This fact has had self-evidently enormous implications for the world we live in -- and it's about to change. By the 2020s, the capital of energy will likely have shifted back to the Western Hemisphere.

More

Warren Buffet Tax Revenues - 8/19/11

Warren Buffett's recent call to increase taxes on the super- and mega-rich has garnered much media attention.  But how much money could such increases actually raise?  What effect could they have on reducing the nation's deficit or debt? 

More

Going Nuclear - 8/18/11

Quick, which nation has the most nuclear power? France, right? Everyone passingly familiar with the energy scene knows the one-liner that France gets about 80 percent of its electricity from nuclear power, which is the main reason it has the lowest per capita greenhouse gas emissions of any major industrial nation. Wrong!

More

The Cost of Tax Expenditures - 8/18/11

One possible explanation for the difficulty in controlling the budget is that a major component of spending—tax expenditures—receives privileged status. It is treated as tax cuts rather than spending.

More

Dying Consumer Economy - 8/17/11

The big problem with consumer spending is that if you buy a product made outside the U.S., it doesn't encourage domestic investment. And that's what we really need.

More

States' Interest Payments - 8/16/11

With so much recent discussion of the fiscal outlook of the federal government, it's worth looking at the solvency of state governments as well. Today's map shows how much interest on their debt the states pay as a percentage of their direct spending.

More

Public Employee Health Costs - 8/15/11

Behind some of the state and local budget woes are the rising costs of health care for public employees relative to the private sector.

More

Deleveraging Americans - 8/15/11

In the first quarter of 2011, required payments on outstanding mortgage and consumer debt as a share of disposable personal income fell to 11.51%, the lowest ratio since the second quarter of 1995; and the... More

National Debt Spiral - 8/15/11

We can  work out how much an increase in the risk of default for the United States over the last several years is hurting U.S. GDP.

More

The Fed's Last Few Bullets - 8/12/11