Browsing Archive: February, 2013

What Medicare Problem?

Posted by Timothy McBride on Thursday, February 28, 2013, In : Medicare 

Yesterday's New York Times included a fascinating article by Eduardo Porter on Medicare financing.  Porter makes the point that with the drop in the growth in health spending that we have recently seen (at least three, if not four years in a row of less than 4% growth in health spending), the projections already show Medicare spending will be $143 billion less over the next decade.  This is what the CBO now projects, compared to what they projected just last August.  Wow.  And that is without...


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How to Fix Entitlement Programs? Fix the Economy First!

Posted by Timothy McBride on Monday, February 11, 2013, In : Deficits 
Many folks seem fixated on solving the long-term budget deficit, RIGHT NOW.  And of course that means focusing in on the big problems of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  Thus, the so-called deficit hawks say that we must cut these entitlement programs now.

But other economists say this is a mistake because the economy is still fragile and we should not focus on significant deficit-cutting until the economy has recovered.

What seems to have been also missed in this discussion is that inc...

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Poppycock about "Not Passing a Budget"

Posted by Timothy McBride on Wednesday, February 6, 2013, In : Deficits 
It has become a common attack point that the Senate has "not passed a budget" in years -- according to the "Morning Joe" program (Joe Scarborough is fixated on this) for over 1,300 days.  People want to point to this as somehow an indicator of the fundamental flaw in our Legislative process.  Several points.

First, budget historians would know that until the early 1970s that Congress NEVER actually passed a budget bill.  So we actually survived as a Republic for almost 200 years without a budg...
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January Employment Report Upbeat

Posted by Timothy McBride on Saturday, February 2, 2013, In : Miscellaneous 

Although it is not getting as much attention as the top line numbers of the unemployment rate (7.9%, up slightly) and new jobs created (157,000, which was about the number expected, the best news in the January employment report were in the revisions to the November and December jobs reports.  

The Bureau of Labor Statistics added 129,000 jobs to the estimates from those jobs reports so that in November and December 256,000 and 202,000 jobs were created, a total 458,000 jobs, not the previousl...


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How to Fix Medicare?

Posted by Timothy McBride on Saturday, February 2, 2013, In : Medicare 

A local reporter, James Gallagher, sat down and did a long interview with me to discuss how to reform entitlement programs, focusing mostly on Medicare.  A transcript of some of what we discussed is here:

 http://www.stltoday.com/print/business-section/wu-health-economist-talks-about-fixing-medicare/article_46130c66-b69c-5f76-b9eb-50b8c20814a6.html

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More Interesting Analysis from the Employment Report, September 2012

Posted by Timothy McBride on Saturday, February 2, 2013, In : Miscellaneous 

There has been a lot of excellent analysis written on the employment report today.  Of course, as always, much of the best quick-turn around analysis has appeared on the "Wonkblog" by Ezra Klein and his colleagues:

The young are leaving the Labor Force and the Old are flocking to it:

  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/07/the-young-are-leaving-the-labor-force-the-old-are-flocking-to-it/ 

Discouraged workers are NOT why unemployment rates fell
  http://www.washingtonpost.co...

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Why has Paul Ryan Suddenly become Factually Challenged?

Posted by Timothy McBride on Saturday, February 2, 2013, In : Deficits 

A lot of people are scratching their heads about what "has happened to Paul Ryan?" After all before the last week, he was supposed to be like Robin to Batman, a wizkid, the savior -- he had a great reputation on Capitol Hill for being a deficit hawk, a numbers guy. He wowed the press. So now, all of the sudden he cannot tell anything factual. So what happened? Jonathan Chait has a very good theory. It is worth considering. Here are the operative paragraphs:


"The thing about Ryan is that he has...

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About Me


Timothy McBride Timothy D. McBride, Ph.D. is a Professor at the Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis. Here you can find musings on health policy and other issues. Opinions are my own, and not those of my employer. Contact: mcbridetd@gmail.com