Economy

Economic Daily Outlook

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2012

ECONOMICS:
The Buffet Tax Rule Is Really More of a Guidelinehttp://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/17/us/politics/white-house-sees-buffett-tax-rule-more-as-a-guide.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha23President Obama has made the Buffett Rule, mandating that millionaires pay at least 30 percent of their incomes in taxes, the centerpiece of his campaign for “fairness.” But look for it among the myriad tax changes the White House detailed in the 2013 budget proposal it released this week, and you will not find it.

Payroll-Tax Cut Pact a Rare Sign of Bipartisanship

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204792404577227241166535050.html?mod=rss_Politics_And_Policy

A deal signed Thursday to extend the payroll-tax cut until year’s end was reached with an efficiency and bipartisanship unlike any agreement in the current Congress. But it’s unclear if that’s an aberration or a sign of change.

 

REGULATION:

Congress Will Auction Public Airwaves to Pay for Benefits

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/17/business/media/congress-to-sell-public-airwaves-to-pay-benefits.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha2

The need for revenue to partly cover the extension of the payroll tax cut and long-term unemployment benefits has pushed Congress to embrace a generational shift in the country’s media landscape: the auction of public airwaves now used for television broadcasts to create more wireless Internet systems.

Collection and Credit Firms Facings Broad New Oversight

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/02/16/consumer-bureau-proposes-first-crackdown/?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha25

Debt collectors and credit reporting companies are bracing for intense scrutiny after the government’s consumer finance watchdog unveiled a broad plan to regulate financial firms that have largely evaded federal oversight.


HEALTHCARE:

OPINION: The Options for Payment Reform in U.S. Health Care (Uwe Reinhardt)http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/17/the-options-for-payment-reform-in-u-s-health-care/?partner=rss&emc=rss

No simple method is available for reducing the cost of health care, and the various payment methods each have strengths and weaknesses, an economist writes.

OPINION: Burr-Coburn: The Best Medicare Reform Proposal Yet (Avik Roy)http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2012/02/16/burr-coburn-the-best-medicare-reform-proposal-yet/

Many politicians (and many voters) duck the hard choices when it comes to Medicare reform. But what’s remarkable about the past year is that, in some ways, momentum appears to be building for real improvements to the program’s quality and sustainability. Based on a new proposal from Sens. Richard Burr (R., N.C.) and Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), the impossible seems within reach: the triumph of sound policy over interest-group politics.


ENERGY:

Republicans pounce as gas prices climb

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/73010.html

Gasoline prices are on the rise, and Republicans are licking their chops. It’s a familiar refrain: Once again, GOP lawmakers and conservative commentators are on the attack, blaming President Barack Obama for higher prices at the pump. And they’re promoting a “drill, baby drill” agenda as the answer.


EDUCATION:

OPINION: In defense of NAEP (Valerie Strauss)http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/in-defense-of-naep/2012/02/16/gIQAiyYkIR_blog.html?wprss=rss_higher-education

I published a guest post that was highly critical of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, an exam sometimes referred to as the nation’s report card and the gold standard of standardized assessment.


FOREIGN POLICY:

Divisions erupt over cybersecurity bill

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/checkpoint-washington/post/divisions-erupt-over-cybersecurity-bill/2012/02/17/gIQAG348IR_blog.html?wprss=rss_national-security

Battle lines over new Senate legislation to defend the country against cyber attacks are forming on the issue of regulation, with some experts testifying on Thursday that it goes too easy on industry, while others say it is already too tough to be effective.

Obama to Announce Matched Financing for Exporters

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204792404577228451191365234.html?mod=rss_US_News

President Barack Obama will announce Friday that the Export-Import Bank will match any financing by countries like China to ensure U.S. exporters can compete.

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