Why Senator Warren’s Student Loan Proposal Doesn’t Add Up
Economy / Education / Fiscal policy

Why Senator Warren’s Student Loan Proposal Doesn’t Add Up

Last week, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) unveiled her first piece of legislation on the Senate floor — a proposal to allow students to borrow at the same rates as banks. While this move galvanizes the populist movement, the economics behind it does not quite add up. The interest rate on direct subsidized loans for undergrads … Continue reading

4 Reasons Why the Reinhart-Rogoff Fiasco Doesn’t Change Anything
Debt / Economy

4 Reasons Why the Reinhart-Rogoff Fiasco Doesn’t Change Anything

Two weeks ago, a grad student at UMass Amherst discovered a spreadsheet error in the Reinhart-Rogoff (R-R) paper, a paper that many austerity advocates cited as proof that too much debt cripples economic growth. In the days and weeks after the spreadsheet error fiasco, many were quick to draw significant implications from this event, calling … Continue reading

If the Senate passes a bill to end the big-bank subsidy and nobody notices, does it matter?
America / Economy / Fiscal policy

If the Senate passes a bill to end the big-bank subsidy and nobody notices, does it matter?

Last Friday, among the flurry of amendments that the Senate passed before it adjourned for a two-week recess, the Brown-Vitter amendment, which pledged to end funding advantages to banks with more than $500 billion in assets, passed in a 99-0 vote. Great, right? Senator Vitter, one of the co-authors of the amendment, stated afterwards, “This … Continue reading

7 Things That Happened While You Were Following the Gay Marriage Debate
America / U.S. Domestic Policy

7 Things That Happened While You Were Following the Gay Marriage Debate

1)   The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, celebrated its three-year anniversary, but a Kaiser poll shows that Americans are still divided on it. A study from the American Action Forum also estimated that the ACA has cost 111 million paperwork burden hours. 2)   Cyprus re-opened its banks on Thursday, with sharp limits on … Continue reading

Are we giving “too big to fail” banks $83 billion a year?
America / Fiscal policy

Are we giving “too big to fail” banks $83 billion a year?

The short answer is: maybe. On Wednesday, during the Senate Banking Committee hearing, Senator Elizabeth Warren grilled Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on the $83 billion implicit subsidy that big banks receive from low interest rates. That night, Fox Business News’ Gerri Wilson misquoted the figure, expressing outrage over the “$83 trillion dollars, you know, … Continue reading

What’s Driving Growth in Spending on Means-Tested Programs
Fiscal policy

What’s Driving Growth in Spending on Means-Tested Programs

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office released an interesting infographic depicting the growth since 1972 in spending on federal means-tested programs and tax credits, such as Medicaid, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp program). The expansion of such programs has been staggering: … Continue reading