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February 11, 2005

Website Appears to Be Under Attack...

More later...

Posted by DeLong at February 11, 2005 11:10 PM

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Does this seem ideologically motivated or random vandalism?

I hate to sound like an old timer, but I remember when the web used to be reasonably safe. The web has become exhibit "A" of the tragedy of the commons.

Posted by: SZ at February 12, 2005 04:36 AM

Maybe Luskin got mad?

Posted by: Unstable Isotope at February 12, 2005 05:24 AM

Maybe because he's beginning to sense that he's losing the debate.

Posted by: Angry Blue Planet at February 12, 2005 05:59 AM

Seems OK now.

Posted by: knobboy at February 12, 2005 07:03 AM

Just a general comment-
Both you and Krugman maintain that there are no real disagreements over fiscal policy only those who lie or don't know what they are talking about and those (like yourselves) 'with the facts'. But tell me, did you happen to predict the end of the deficit in 2000?

[The end of the deficit? What are you talking about? We certainly predicted back in the very early 1990s that the Clinton administration's economic policies would severely reduce the deficit and stop it from being a crisis...]

Posted by: joe at February 12, 2005 08:43 AM

Since joe has raised this question about the people "with the facts" versus everyone else, let me throw out a common-sense way we might look at the bush administration's fiscal policies.

Suppose we're talking about a household. Its financials are now trending toward much greater outgo than income. For about the last six or seven years it covered a lot of the gap by borrowing a dedicated income stream from a rich uncle whose will specifies that the money has to go toward a house 20 years from now, and using that to pay current bills. So the household knows its borrowed money has to be replaced in the future. And the gap between income and outgo is still widening.

Now, most financial advisors would say what? They'd say "both adults ought to be working." If both are already working, they'd say "get a second job." Or "get a third job." Or "get the kids working." And at the same time they'd say "make a budget with everything in it and stick to it." No secret credit cards that don't get added into the spending, no off-the-books lunches.

In other words, a sane household has to tackle the outgo and the income, and it has to be honest about the numbers. Otherwise, ruin probably awaits.

In our national household, the chief steward has laid down the law: First, we have to have secret credit cards and keep our lunches off the books. Second, we have to start saving money by shrinking the kids' meals, not fixing the furnace, and not seeing the doctor. Third, when we're supposed to start repaying rich uncle's account, we're just not gonna do that.

Fourth, finally, he flatly forbids any second or third jobs. It all has to be done on his declining income.

That's the analogy I think most people would make. Chief steward's conditions just don't make sense on any rational money-handling model that I can think of, and the really deep lunacy is the bedrock insistence that it all has to be done on his salary.

Now I know that a national economy is much more complicated and that there are effects of tax policy to be considered. But has anyone ever shown, outside of the one fabled Kennedy tax cut away back more than forty years ago, that tax cuts actually, in the real world, generate more tax revenue? If it works in theory but doesn't work in practice, maybe it needs to be revisited.

In the meantime, most households do know what works, and the chief steward who absolutely refused to allow any extra income would be considered insane. Disconnection might be seen in, for example, telling some woman who has to work three jobs to keep her head above water that it's just "fantastic" that she's doing that. Extra income is good for her, but not for his own national household? What gives?

Tell me how, in principle, this is not what's happening at the national level.

Posted by: Altoid at February 12, 2005 09:49 AM

'the end of the deficit'

a big reduction, if not the end, of the deficit seemed likely at the time, if only from increased tax on realized equity capital gains. everybody saw their taxable income spike -- if they bailed out in time. what also seemed obvious was that the incremental revenue was self-limiting, since selling afforded revenue only until capital gains turned to capital losses.

Posted by: psh at February 12, 2005 10:03 AM

Atoid: an excellent observation and comparison.

Think of a household full of secrets and lies and pretending that everything is just fine. The father sneaks around and goes to bars spending the mortgage money; mom runs up the credit cards at the liquor store and hides bottles all over the house and drinks all morning when the kids are in school.

When confronted, dad gets mad and violent, breaking up the furniture and slapping mom and the kids around. He wrecks the car and drives into the front of a supermarket, killing and wounding several people.

But he's the son of a family with connections and money, and dad's friends keep him out of trouble with the law.

Is any of this sounding familiar?

Posted by: pragmatic_realist at February 12, 2005 10:41 AM

Well, I guess it's a good thing that our 'chief steward' also knows how to print money... Hmm. Or maybe not.

Posted by: Matt at February 12, 2005 01:02 PM

Posted by: at March 15, 2005 07:55 AM

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