WASHINGTON -- Just for the record, we ought to note that trustees for Social Security and Medicare recently released their annual reports. The two programs alone constituted 45 percent of the non-interest federal budget in 2018, a share that the trustees say is being driven up by the continuing retirement of baby boomers and the high cost of ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It's unclear whether one or both, or neither, of President Trump's selections for the Federal Reserve Board -- Stephen Moore and Herman Cain -- will win Senate confirmation. What is clear is that this is a teachable moment concerning the Fed's vaunted "independence."
If you think it means that the Fed can do whatever it wants and ...Read more
To: David Brooks
Columnist, The New York Times
We have met a few times over the years while covering the same events. I'm a big fan. You write beautifully and, more often than not, have insights about our politics, lifestyles and beliefs that others have missed. But as time passes, you have grown increasingly somber about our ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- It is astonishing that, even though the global financial crisis occurred a decade ago, we do not yet have a clear and convincing explanation of its basic cause. To be sure, theories abound. Liberals blame Wall Street greed and lax government oversight. The conservatives' villain is the government's aggressive promotion of ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The Phillips Curve is dead; long live the Phillips Curve.
One of today's economic mysteries is: Why is inflation so low? The unemployment rate is a puny 3.8%. The recovery from the 2007-09 Great Recession is nearly a decade old, just when tight labor markets and strong demand usually push up wages and prices. Yet inflation (...Read more
WASHINGTON -- You can count on one familiar refrain in the 2020 presidential campaign: Fix the schools. Faith in education is one of the nation's bedrock values. Better schools would (we think) narrow economic inequalities and help people reach their personal potential. Promises to revitalize schools are inevitable.
There's a magical quality to...Read more
WASHINGTON -- If you think you understand what's going on with the global economy, you're probably not paying attention.
On the one hand, the stock market is powering ahead. Since its recent low on Dec. 24, it was up 22.4 percent, according to the Wilshire 5000 total market index, which measures the value of all publicly traded U.S. stocks. ...Read more
WASHINGTON -- The real reason that Stephen Moore does not belong on the Federal Reserve Board is not that he is unqualified for the job, though he is. Nor is it that he has been a highly partisan and divisive figure for many years, though he has been. The real reason is that, if he's confirmed by the Senate, Moore could become the Fed chairman -...Read more
WASHINGTON -- There are still some economists who fear another crash. The latest is Eugene Steuerle of the Urban Institute, a liberal think tank in Washington. In a new article, he warns that the economy may be on the edge of a giant "wealth bubble" that will collapse with possibly-dire consequences.
Steuerle is especially worried by parallels ...Read more