The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label CBPP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CBPP. Show all posts

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The GOP/RNC And One Presidential Candidate: "The Economic Horror Of Obama"

Despite no mention of the US economy as we move to the fall elections, we insist on providing information for readers who use reliable data for voting-related decision-making. US media is simply too busy seeking ratings and revenue related viewing while "chasing the Trump dragon" to disseminate such information related t the US economy. we often hear conservative pundits and surrogates railing about horrific economic growth over the past seven years. Their words are perfect examples of: "If you tell the lie often enough people will believe it." 

Image result for joseph goebbels quotes

Another example of a cogent quote regarding GOP lying and politicking is "It isn't a lie if people believe it" (Seinfeld).

While we have grown to anticipate and actually expect politicians to as a minimum stretch the truth (to keep it clean), GOP mantra regarding the US economy and its nascent party leader Donald Trump), continue to feed America lies about the horrors of the Obama economy. How often do we hear about the "sluggish" US economy? The rhetoric is pure political mantra.  

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI)  has a credible reputation or publishing information about the US Economy. I early August  the EPI published a detailed report on our "sluggish" economy with direct attribution to the GOP as the underlying reason for the sluggishness. A key takeaway from the report; it is critical to understand and accept the past reality of the depths of the Bush Recession. 

Jobs as the Bush Years came to an end.
Image result for how bad was the bush great recession

Let's set the August report aside and take a quick peep at data (charts and graphs) which show the Democratic Party is by far more effective and trustworthy with the US economy than the GOP.

   Image result for US economy DEM VS GOP
Image result for US economy best with DEM or GOP  Image result for US economy best with DEM or GOP
job creation by presidency

The Obama economy four months from the end of his term.

We more often hear GOP politicians railing about US poverty and its devastating impact on minority communities. Actually, poverty by the sheer numbers affects more white families than black or Latino families. The impact takes on a different light when we consider the proportional impact of poverty on a per capita basis. In simple terms, there are fewer African-Americans and Latinos. When we review poverty with per capita considerations, yes the impact seems dire.  Hence the reason we have a higher Food Aid participation rate in the black community vs that of white America. Is it possible that reality has anything to do with a population demographic which has been denied full opportunity to leverage America's greatness? 

Let's review a set of recently published data from the US Census Bureau via the White House Economic Team. It seems the Obama years have contrary to popular rhetoric, have been good for economic growth in black and Latino communities. 


In 2015, household income grew at the fastest rate on record, the poverty rate fell faster than at any point since 1968, and the uninsured rate continued to fall.

Watch as President Obama discusses the remarkable progress today's Census report laid out with the Chairman of his Council of Economic Advisers, Jason Furman. 
President Obama is briefed on the economy by Advisor Jason Furman


(Charts and graph and relevant explanation of each chart is available via the linked article title above.)

Change in Real Median Household Income, 1968-2015

Change in Poverty Rate, 1960-2015

Growth in Real Household Income by Percentile, 2014-2015

Changes in Income and Poverty by Race/Ethnicity, 2014 to 2015

A bit more from the New York Times

Recovering From Recession

Household income rose significantly last year, but it is still slightly lower than it was before the last two recessions. The rate of those living in poverty fell to its lowest level since the Great Recession, but, as with income, the rate is higher than it was before.

household income
thousand a year
Poverty rate

We can assume a McCain or even a Romney win in 2008 and 2012 respectively would have shepherded in economic policy and initiatives quite the opposite of Obama's team.  Thus, we can assume the gains via the Obama years may not have materialized via Republican economic leadership. Especially true if we accept GOP economic policy  is first of all based on cutting taxes which benefit the wealthy (Trickle-down economics). 

The Center for Budget and Policy Prioritizes (CBPP) published a chart book in September 2016, which addressed where we are in relation to the depths of our task in 2009.

As we close the piece I offer an opportunity to visit with Milt Shook and his running archiving of President Obama accomplishments.
THE List of 386 Obama Accomplishments so far, With Citations Updates, expanded and citations checked.— (((Milt Shook))) (@MiltShook) September 14, 2016


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

US Economy: Jared Bernstein's Testimony Before the Joint Econimc Committee

At five years old, the US economic recovery is finally showing signs of strength, particularly in the job market , where employment growth has accelerated in recent months.  In fact, compared to the last recovery, payrolls have grown considerably faster at this stage, a fact that is more remarkable when one considers how much deeper the “Great Recession” was compared to the very short and mild recession that proceeded the 2000s expansion.  

                                            - Jared Bernstein July 2014

Published with permission from the center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

If you are averse to data, charts, graphs and economic data, consider at least reading the "Conclusion."  Remember, intelligent decisions require information counter to the conservative garbage we see, hear and read on a daily basis. Economic data can be a nation saver. We must remember the GOP would (will) deploy economic policy quite the opposite of Obama Administration.

Testimony of Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Before the Joint Economic Committee

July 15, 2014


Chairman Brady and Vice-Chair Klobuchar, I thank you for the opportunity to assess the current recovery and applaud the committee for taking up this important topic.


The official dates of the last recession are from December 2007 — the peak of the previous recovery — to June 2009 — the trough of the downturn.  Given that we now have at least some economic data through the first half of this year, it is important to assess the progress that’s been made over the first five years of recovery. 
In a review of trends of key variables including real GDP, jobs, unemployment and other measures of labor market slack, my testimony shows the following:
  • Thanks in part to countercyclical policies legislated by Congress in 2009, along with aggressive monetary policy by the Federal Reserve, significant progress has been made in repairing the damage done by the uniquely deep recession that began in late 2007.
  • These gains, while incomplete, are evident in the job market, particularly in the recent acceleration in job growth and decline in unemployment.  After 52 consecutive months of net private sector job growth, non-government employment is up 9.7 million jobs since early 2010. 
  • Moreover, employment growth has accelerated in recent months.  Payrolls added 1.4 million jobs in the first half of this year, their strongest six-month growth period since late 1999.
  • Un- and underemployment are both down significantly over the recovery, as are other slack metrics that rose sharply in the downturn, including long-term unemployment and involuntary part-time work.  While part of the decline in unemployment was due to labor force exits, this negative trend has also stabilized in recent months.
  • Private payrolls grew about 3% faster over the first five years of this recovery compared to the prior recovery, despite the fact that the recession that preceded this expansion was much deeper in terms of lost output and much longer lasting than the downturn that preceded the 2000s expansion.  The private sector added 3.4 million more jobs in the first five years of this recovery than were added in the last one.
  • Yet, slack remains in the job market and wage growth has generally not yet accelerated; real median household income, after falling sharply by around 10% in the downturn, is up about 3% over the past few years, largely due to more work at flat real earnings.  Corporate profitability and financial market returns, on the other hand, have more than recovered their losses.
In other words, while there are many positive attributes to the current recovery, especially in relation to the depth of the recession that proceeded it, it is clearly not yet reaching everyone. 
Looking back at the “Great Recession,” policy actions taken by the Obama administration (as well as the George W. Bush administration) and Congress (fiscal and financial stability policies) and the Federal Reserve (monetary policies) helped to stabilize key markets.  Trends that were sharply negative, like real GDP, employment, or the increase in involuntary part-timers, either stabilized (employment rates) or started to grow (GDP, jobs).  Though these actions have often been cast as ineffective or worse, the evidence points the other way.  In this regard, the quick and forceful actions taken by some members of this committee and your colleagues back in the depth of the Great Recession were essential.
However, since then, factions within this Congress have far too often blocked measures that could have built on this stabilization, like the American Jobs Act or more recently, emergency unemployment compensation.  Worse, Congress has at times imposed self-inflicted wounds on the economy, including the government shutdown, sequestration, and the threat to default on our national debt.  The imposition of these headwinds has blocked progress on growth, jobs, and wages at a time when the opposite was needed.  In fact, many of the same policy makers who today criticize the economic progress I’ll document have at the same time blocked legislative initiatives targeted at improving that progress.  It’s one thing to critically point to the fire yet quite another to do so while blocking the hydrant.
I would thus summarize the message from this testimony as follows: when markets fail as massively as they did in the late 2000s, quick and forceful action clearly helps offset the damage.  But to stop at stabilization, instead of rebuilding jobs and incomes that were lost over the downturn is a serious policy mistake, one that has proven to be extremely costly to working families.  Still, as I conclude below, there is time to build on the recent momentum we’ve seen, particularly in the job market.
The testimony proceeds by briefly reviewing some salient facts about the sharp downturn that proceeded the recovery and the countercyclical policies, most notably the Recovery Act, that targeted this large market failure.  I then look at indicators over the last five years of recovery with an emphasis on the labor market, including jobs, unemployment, the labor force, and wages.  Next, I review policy actions and inactions that have hurt the recovery, largely by creating fiscal headwinds that taken as a whole pushed hard against growth and jobs.  I conclude with some diagnoses and prescriptions to build on the recent progress, measures that I urge the committee to consider in the interest of generating full employment and more broadly shared prosperity.

The Damage Done By the Great Recession

Evaluating this recovery first requires examining the uniquely deep recession that proceeded it.  Real GDP fell 4.3% from peak to trough, more than any other recession on record going back to the Great Depression.  The average percent loss in real GDP in the prior seven downturns going back to the early 1960s was 1.3%.  As officially dated, the Great Recession lasted 18 months, compared to the 10.2 months average length of every other post-war recession.

In the quarter before President Obama took office — 2008Q4 — real GDP declined at a nightmarish annual rate of 8.3%.  Real investment, including businesses and housing, fell by over 30%.  Employment fell by almost two million jobs in the last quarter of 2008 and by more than that — 2.3 million — in the first quarter of 2009.  Home prices — and it was a housing bubble that was at the root of the market failure — were in the midst of what would ultimately be a 34% price decline (Case-Shiller 20-city index).  The S&P 500 fell by half between October 2007 and March 2009.
As noted, the roots of the recession were a massive housing bubble inflated by reckless and under-regulated finance.  Once the bubble burst, the loss of trillions in housing wealth generated a negative wealth effect that sharply reduced consumer spending and ushered in a protracted period of deleveraging of household balance sheets.  In a 70% consumption economy like ours, the negative wealth effect from the loss of something like $8 trillion in housing wealth by itself ensured a deep demand contraction.  In addition, research associated with economists Reinhardt, Rogoff, Koo, and Minsky all point to the particular tenacity of downturns born of underpriced risk in financial markets and the collapse in asset prices that inevitably follows. 
In that regard, the extent to which countercyclical policy took effect, pulling the recovery forward and preventing the recession from becoming a depression was impressive.  As I stress below, these efforts needed to continue longer than they did, but their effectiveness, reviewed next, is a matter of historical record.

The Countercyclical Policy Response

Less than four weeks into his first term, President Obama and Congressional Democrats passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  A thorough review of the Act goes beyond my subject, which is the recovery that followed.  But since the effectiveness of such policies is key to the later discussion and conclusion, I will note some salient facts regarding the Recovery Act and related policy actions.
The two figures below provide simple but compelling evidence regarding the impact of the Recovery Act and other countercyclical policies in play at the time.  The first figure shows annualized quarterly changes in real GDP and the second shows monthly changes in total and private payrolls.  A vertical line is drawn in February 2009 to show when the Recovery Act was passed.
Read more after the break below

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Medicaid Losers! Doesn't Have To Be You

Does your state governor or state legislature respect your vote?  Do they show any degree of compassion for the elderly and poor who stand to gain from Medicaid Expansion. If you answered "no" to either of the question have a history or inclination to vote GOP, you are showing signs of Albert Einstein's....

You do not have to live as a Medicaid Expansion "loser." 


But, the Medicaid Expansion landscape changed over time.

Medicaid Expansion status 2014.....

Status of state Medicaid expansion decisions as of 2014. (Pew Charitable Trusts)

The Center for Budget ad Policy Priorities (CBPP) w/permission

States’ Very Good Deal on Expanding Medicaid Gets Even Better
April 22, 2014 at 3:51 pm

In a little-noticed finding in last week’s Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on health reform, CBO sharply lowered its estimates of how much the Medicaid expansion will cost states. We’ve noted repeatedly that the federal government will cover the large bulk of the expansion’s cost. As our new report explains, these new figures make it even clearer that the expansion is a great deal for states.

  • CBO now estimates that the federal government will, on average, pick up more than 95 percent of the total cost of the Medicaid expansion and other health reform-related costs in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) over the next ten years (2015-2024).
  • States will spend only 1.6 percent more on Medicaid and CHIP due to health reform than they would have spent without health reform (see chart). That’s about one-third less than CBO projected in February.

Moreover, the 1.6 percent figure doesn’t reflect states’ savings in providing health care for the uninsured, many of whom will now have Medicaid coverage. The Urban Institute has estimated that if all states took the Medicaid expansion, states would save between $26 billion and $52 billion from 2014 through 2019 in reduced spending on hospital care and other services provided to the uninsured.

Related Posts:
The Federal Financial Commitment to the Medicaid Expansion Stands
More Evidence That Medicaid Expansion Makes Fiscal Sense for States
The Growing State Cost of Not Expanding Medicaid StumbleUpon

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Center On Budget And Policy Priorities: Federal Tax Dollars

Re-Blog w/permission from the CBPP

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Policy Basics:
Where Do Our Federal Tax Dollars Go?

The federal government collects taxes to finance various public services. As policymakers and citizens weigh key decisions about revenues and expenditures, it is instructive to examine what the government does with the money it collects.
In fiscal year 2013, the federal government spent $3.5 trillion, amounting to 21 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, or the total value of goods and services that a country produces in a year. Of that $3.5 trillion, nearly $2.8 trillion was financed by federal revenues. The remaining amount ($680 billion) was financed by borrowing; this deficit will ultimately be paid for by future taxpayers. As the graph shows, three major areas of spending each make up about one-fifth of the budget.

Policy Basics:
Where Do Federal Tax Revenues Come From?

The three main sources of federal tax revenue are individual income taxes, payroll taxes, and corporate income taxes; other sources of tax revenue include excise taxes, the estate tax, and other taxes and fees.
Over recent decades, the share of federal revenues coming from individual income plus payroll taxes has grown, while the share coming from corporate taxes and other revenues has fallen. The Great Recession — one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression — and the policies enacted to combat it, including temporary tax cuts, depressed federal revenues below the typical levels of recent decades. Revenues fell from 17.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2007 (the last fiscal year before the recession) to 14.6 percent in 2009 and 2010. In 2013 they were 16.7 percent. As the economy recovers, federal revenues are projected to return to higher levels.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

CBPP ...Illustrating Income Inequality, Part 3

Re-Blog W/permission from The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities

Off the Charts: Policy Insight Beyond the Numbers

Illustrating Income Inequality, Part 3: Top 1 Percent’s Share of Income Largest Since 1920s

January 17, 2014 at 10:51 am

Chad Stone Posted by: Chad Stone

In our second post, we showed how income gains since 1979 at the very top have far outpaced those for everyone else.  In this post, we’ll look at how the top 1 percent’s share of all income has changed over time.
The top 1 percent’s slice of the total economic pie has grown sharply in recent decades, approaching highs last reached in the Roaring ’20s.  The top 1 percent of households’ share of income fell from nearly a quarter of all income in the late 1920s through the period of greater equality in the middle of the 20th century, according to data from decades of tax returns.  But the top 1 percent’s share has increased once again in recent decades.  By 2007, before the financial crisis and Great Recession, it was closing in on late-1920s levels.

For a more detailed discussion of the data underlying these charts, see A Guide to Statistics on Historical Trends in Income Inequality.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Affordable Care Act: State Exchanges, Federal Web Page, Medicaid Expansion And GOP Governors

A quick look at state exchanges. GOP strategy severely crippled a digital tools that, in developed according to the ACA could serve millions and would have performed and "end-around" against current problems with the federal government site.

Obama Facts Dot Com
state health insurance exchanges

Will My State Run Their Own Health Insurance Exchange?

We have compiled a list below as to where the states stand in regards to the status their health insurance exchange, which branch of Government will run the exchange, the structure of the exchange and what type of exchange they run.

Over the past three years, Republican governors have been stead-fast and subservient-robotic in refusing to both setup state enrollment exchange websites and more tragically, those same governors refused to accept medicaid expansion.

Let's focus for a bit of Medicaid Expansion.

In July of this year, we found a close to even split between Expanding/Leaning toward expansion vs .Unclear/Undecided/Leaning against expansion.

Governors who continue to refuse Medicaid Expansion are simply, and selfishly, perpetrating a serious disservice to people who may have cast votes to place them in office.   One can make a case the recalcitrant governors are committing crimes against humanity (in their respective states).

The Kaiser Family Foundation offers visuals that illustrate the point.

The five (5) million plus coverage gap is particularly disturbing based on the very construct of Medicaid Expansion.  The expansion was developed with the express purpose of providing coverage for the poor who cannot afford insurance premiums 

ObamaCare Facts Dot Com
ObamaCare Medicaid Expansion is one of the biggest milestones in health care reform. ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion expands Medicaid to our nations poorest in order cover nearly half of uninsured Americans. The law previously required states to cover their poorest or lose federal funding to Medicaid (federal funding covers 90-100% of the costs) until the supreme court ruling on ObamaCare. State's can now opt-out of Medicaid Expansion leaving millions of poor working families without coverage. 
States opting out of the expansion of Medicaid under ObamaCare is projected to drive up insurance costs drastically (check out the facts below), while saving the States relatively small amounts, if anything at all. Join the ObamaCare Facts Mailing List to keep up to date on Medicaid Expansion vote in your state.
The SCOTUS in 2012 re-affirmed the constitutionality of the ACA, but the conservative Court carved-out wiggle room for GOP governors, some of which won elections in 2010 via the Koch Tea Party movement.  Most GOP governors are paving the way for Koch efforts to stifle the ACA. It appears loyalty to the party and the Kochs (who have spent $200 million fighting the ACA) is more critical to the governors than people who cast votes. Unless, the GOP has data indicating the chronically poor may not stand as a reliable voting bloc. Only 60% of eligible voters voted in the 2012 general election. The figure was slightly up from previous general elections. It is possible the GOP ignores the impact of the following graphic based on knowing something about voters in their districts. 

The graphic illustrates why GOP governors in Arizona and Indiana decided to accept Medicaid Expansion. Decisions to forgo expansion seems illogical, deranged and insensitive. We are, however, referencing GOP governors; a temporary mental lapse on my part.

Where is the need for the ACA most prevalent?

Care Barriers

2009 Wiki image
Percentage of people without health insurance coverage by state, according to the United States Census Bureau(2009).[1]
“People in the coverage gap are likely to face barriers to needed health services or, if they do require medical care, potentially serious financial consequences,” the commission concluded in the report. “Further, the safety net of clinics and hospitals that has traditionally served the uninsured population will continue to be stretched in these states.” 
Mississippi leads the nation in the percentage of uninsured adults in the coverage gap with 37 percent, followed by Alabama with 36 percent, Louisiana at 34 percent and South Carolina at 33 percent. 
With 1 million uninsured in Texas, the state has the largest number of people without access to health insurance, representing a fifth of U.S. citizens without coverage. Florida has the second highest.
"Qu'ils mangent de la brioche" Translated and mis-attributted as "Let them eat cake!"

The phrase is commonly mis-attributed to Marie Antoinette

Additional source: Bloomberg,  Addictinginfo

GOP Recap: 

  • $60 plus million wasted on House of Oz repeal ACA votes,
  • $24 Billion wasted during the GOP Federal government shutdown,
  • Federal shutdown damage to the Us economy long-term, 
  • GOP governors refusing to setup ACA state exchanges and refusal to expand Medicaid subsidized by the Feds at the 93% level.
Should we bother to ask about a common thread among the bullet-ed items?  The common thread is: "people."