Daily Archives: March 19, 2010

Democrats are pleased with the CBO’s preliminary score of the reconciliation package. Adding the cost of higher insurance subsidies, extra spending on Medicaid, and other outlays, then subtracting Medicare savings and new revenues yields a $138 billion reduction in the ten-year deficit, says the agency. That is better than many had expected.

I don’t question the competence of the CBO’s analysts, but I wouldn’t bet my 401(k) on these numbers turning out to be even roughly correct. The uncertainties lie in both directions. The plan might save more money than the CBO says: it has scored the efficiency-promoting experiments conservatively. The bigger risk is that the provisions yielding the projected savings and tax increases will be reversed before they take effect. I would need to think about it, but I might be willing to bet my 401(k) on that.

After John Paul Stevens. Jeffrey Toobin, New Yorker. Fascinating profile of the Supreme Court’s “senior Justice, in every respect”.

Has Obama turned against Israel? Fred Kaplan, Slate. The underline says “The charge is ludicrous”, but the piece doesn’t make that case. See also: Israel slapped America-and may have jolted Obama awake, by Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian.

The weak renminbi is not just America’s problem. Arvind Subramanian, FT. The case for a new WTO rule. Paul Krugman proposes a tough unilateral line; Greg Mankiw disagrees, and links to this column from last year.

Clive Crook’s blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

I have been the FT's Washington columnist since April 2007. I moved from Britain to the US in 2005 to write for the Atlantic Monthly and the National Journal after 20 years working at the Economist, most recently as deputy editor. I write mainly about the intersection of politics and economics.

Clive Crook’s blog: A guide

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