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Tag Archives: Taxes/regulation

Au Revoir, Robert J. Samuelson

Au Revoir, Robert J. Samuelson  For quite a few years not so long ago I was regularly posting here variations on “Today is Monday, so on the WaPo editorial page Robert J. (not related to Paul A.)* Samuelson is calling yet again for Social Security benefits to be cut,” and he did indeed do that very frequently over a long time.  However, today was his final column for the Washington Post, so we shall no longer have RJS to kick around, sob! It was titled,...

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Consumer inflation continues to accelerate YoY, but so far no big problem

Consumer inflation continues to accelerate YoY, but so far no big problem The consumer price index for August was reported up +0.4% this morning. This is the third straight big increase. Below I show this plus the more stable consumer prices minus gas (red): Here’s what the monthly changes look like over the past 10 years: As you can see, these are at the upper end of monthly inflation increases for the past 10 years. On a YoY basis, however,...

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Two links to ponder

The Revolutionary Post Winifred Gallagher, author of How the Post Office Created America: A History, argues that the post office is not simply an inexpensive way to send a letter. The service was designed to unite a bunch of disparate towns and people under one flag, and in doing so, she believes the post office actually created the United States of America. Digital Sight Management, and the Mystery of the Missing Amazon Receipts  Amazon stopped including...

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Should We Fear A Reappearance Of Inflation?

Should We Fear A Reappearance Of Inflation?  In today’s Washington Post Robert J. Samuelson has raised the possibility that the Federal Reserve may be setting the US up for a reappearance of inflation.  He invoked the 1960s and 1970s when supposedly the Fed allowed inflation to get out of control out of a supposedly misguided effort to bring down unemployment by allowing successive small increases in inflation. Supposedly the newly released report on...

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There Will Be No Postponing Social Security Taxes

[unable to retrieve full-text content]There Will Be No Postponing Social Security Taxes  Among the items that President Trump issued an “executive action” about three weeks ago was that for people earning less than around $104.000 per year, their fica taxes were to be postponed until Jan. 1, not cut, merely postponed, although Trump made noises that if he is […]

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Jobless claims slowly continue to get “less worse,” while longer term deadweight loss builds

Jobless claims slowly continue to get “less worse,” while longer term deadweight loss builds The good news in this morning’s jobless claims report is that the trend of “less worse” news continues. The bad news is that the improvement has slowed to a snail’s pace, at levels worse than the worst levels of the Great Recession. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, new jobless claims declined by 68,038 to 889,549, a new pandemic low. After seasonal adjustment...

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Coronavirus dashboard for August 19: a regional look at infections; the Deep South remains almost totally out of control

Coronavirus dashboard for August 19: a regional look at infections; the Deep South remains almost totally out of control Total US cases: 5,457,824 Average last 7 days: 48,764 Total US deaths: 163,595 Average last 7 days: 1,048 Source: COVID Tracking Project My overall thesis is that under the present leadership the US as a whole is politically and socially incapable of bringing the coronavirus under control, as almost every other industrialized country...

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Initial and continuing claims: the most “less awful” so far

Initial and continuing claims: the most “less awful” so far This Thursday morning’s initial and continued jobless claims continue the trend of “less awful” numbers that resumed last week. New jobless claims, which fell to under 1,000,000 for the first time on an unadjusted basis last week, declined about 150,000 further to 831,856 (red in the graph below), and on an adjusted basis (blue) declined to 963,000, the first time since the pandemic that number...

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The End Of Special Fiscal Stimulus

The End Of Special Fiscal Stimulus  A week ago a two week long negotiation between Dem Congress people, Nancy Pelosi from the House and Chuck Schumer from the Senate and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who cut deals with Pelosi and Schumer three times earlier this year, but now Trump’s Chief of Staff, former Freedom Caucus leader in the House, Mark Meadows, notorious for only destroying deals and never making any. And in this case, all the reporting is...

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July inflation consistent with early recovery; no compelling evidence of wage deflation

July inflation consistent with early recovery; no compelling evidence of wage deflation Yesterday morning July consumer prices were reported to have increased 0.6% for the second month in a row (as did core inflation, ex-food and energy): As a result, YoY inflation has increased to 1.0%: The widespread price increases are signs of increased demand, which in these circumstances is a good thing. In the past, deflationary recessions, most notably...

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