• Some thoughts inspired by Trump versus California on emissions Link
    Paul Krugman Wed 18 Sep 2019 14:20

    Modern conservatives hate regulation, and the Trump administration has channeled that hatred into policy. It has scrapped or emasculated rules designed to limit everything from predatory lending to exploitative for-profit education, and has moved on multiple fronts to undo environmental protection. Yesterday it took perhaps its most dramatic anti-regulation step so far, announcing that it would try to prevent California from setting strict rules on auto emissions.

    But what’s behind this hatred of regulation? You might think that it’s all about profits, that corporations want to be free to pollute and rip off their customers because it’s good for the bottom line. In fact, however, the striking thing about many of Donald Trump’s deregulatory moves is that major corporations actually oppose his actions.

    Thus, most of the big auto companies, having already based their plans on the expectation that Obama-era emission standards would remain in place, don’t want to see...

  • Which is something I wrote about a few years ago 4/ Link
    Paul Krugman Wed 18 Sep 2019 11:05

    Washington State has turned its residents into a group of drug runners — crossing state lines to buy dish washer detergent with phosphate. At what point do the people tell the politicians to go to hell? At what point do they get off the couch, march down to their state legislator’s house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp for being an idiot? At some point soon, it will happen.

  • Dishwasher rage is also a thing 3/ Link
    Paul Krugman Wed 18 Sep 2019 11:05

    Of all the conservative efforts to persuade the Trump administration to weaken the nation’s environmental rules, the dishwasher lobby might be the most peculiar.

    “Dishwashers used to clean a full load of filthy dishes in under an hour. But now they take an average of two and a half hours and STILL leave dishes dirty!” reads one online petition promoted by FreedomWorks, a libertarian offshoot of a group co-founded by the late David H. Koch and his brother Charles Koch, who made their fortune in fossil fuels. The decline of American dishwashers, the site says, is “all thanks to crazy environmentalist rules.”

    The petition, titled “Make Dishwashers Great Again,” is just one part of a broad campaign coordinated by conservative organizations with ties to fossil-fuel companies. Trump administration emails made public as part of a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club shed new light on the effort, designed to persuade the Trump administration to weaken standards on a long list...

  • And Trump wants to bring those good old days back 2/ Link
    Paul Krugman Wed 18 Sep 2019 11:00

    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is expected on Wednesday to formally revoke California’s authority to set auto emissions rules that are stricter than federal standards, taking a major step forward in its wide-ranging attack on government efforts to fight climate change.

    The formal abolishment of one of California’s signature environmental policies — tailpipe pollution is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States — will be announced Wednesday afternoon at the Washington headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency, according to two people familiar with the matter. Mr. Trump at the time will be traveling in California, where he is scheduled to attend fund-raisers in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley.

    Lawyers said the action takes the administration into uncharted legal territory in its battle with the state, which has vowed to fight the change all the way to the Supreme Court.

    “This is unprecedented and a tremendously big...

  • So now we know what Making America Great Again looks like. Here's what LA was like in 1975 1/ https://t.co/lf8rgyD0CB
    Paul Krugman Wed 18 Sep 2019 11:00
  • Weird stuff going on in the repo market. Supposedly just technical, but worth remembering that a "run on repo" was at the heart of the 2008 financial crisis Link
    Paul Krugman Tue 17 Sep 2019 18:54
  • RT @dandrezner: The president faces a crisis in the Persian Gulf with an understrength national security team, diminished international sta…
    Paul Krugman Tue 17 Sep 2019 16:49
  • Jamelle Bouie and I are thinking along similar lines Link
    Paul Krugman Tue 17 Sep 2019 12:39

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  • Is Trump's foreign policy driven by his personal financial interests, or by a general affection for murderous tyrants? Not a question one ever expected to ask about a US president Link
    Paul Krugman Tue 17 Sep 2019 12:29

    WASHINGTON — After oil installations were blown up in Saudi Arabia over the weekend, President Trump declared that the United States was “locked and loaded,” a phrase that seemed to suggest he was ready to strike back. But then he promised to wait for Saudi Arabia to tell him “under what terms we would proceed.”

    His message on Twitter offered a remarkable insight into the deference Mr. Trump gives to the Saudi royal family and touched off a torrent of criticism from those who have long accused him of doing Riyadh’s bidding while sweeping Saudi violations of human rights and international norms under the rug.

    It was hard to imagine him allowing NATO, or a European ally, such latitude to determine how the United States should respond. But for Mr. Trump, the Saudis have always been a special case, their economic import having often overwhelmed other considerations in his mind.

    Whether, and how, to commit forces is one of the most critical decisions any American...

  • One crucial question about Democratic candidates is whether they understand what they're facing. Joe Biden doesn't seem to Link
    Paul Krugman Tue 17 Sep 2019 12:24

    Item: Last week Republicans in the North Carolina House used the occasion of 9/11 to call a surprise vote, passing a budget bill with a supermajority to override the Democratic governor’s veto. They were able to do this only because most Democrats were absent, some of them attending commemorative events; the Democratic leader had advised members that they didn’t need to be present because, he says, he was assured there would be no votes that morning.

    Item: Also last week, Representative Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, issued a subpoena to the acting director of national intelligence, who has refused to turn over a whistle-blower complaint that the intelligence community’s inspector general found credible and of “urgent concern.” We don’t know what the whistle-blower was warning about, but we do know that the law is clear: Such complaints must be referred to Congress, no exceptions allowed.

    On the surface, these stories may...

  • This is unfair. Greenspan may have completely blown in on the housing bubble, but he also made terrible diagnoses and gave disastrous advice after the bubble burst Link Link
    Paul Krugman Mon 16 Sep 2019 17:53

    Lonegan also said Friday that in conjunction with the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole symposium in Wyoming this year, a group of conservative economists are planning to hold a meeting of their own “directly across the street” featuring former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan as the keynote speaker.

    ###

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  • That's not what's happening in China, where money is being eased at the same time as stimulus. But I wouldn't stake my reputation on either optimism or pessimism here; the main point may be that China is consciously trying to offset the trade war, while the US basically isn't 3/
    Paul Krugman Mon 16 Sep 2019 13:28
  • This number doesn't come out of thin air; it's what you get if you look at the average effects of austerity programs pre-Great Recession. But it's a multiplier that reflects the usual tendency of monetary policy to move in the opposite direction of fiscal policy 2/
    Paul Krugman Mon 16 Sep 2019 13:23
  • Fair enough. I'd say that China's stimulus is much less dysfunctional than the Trump tax cut, but it may be insufficient. I'm less convinced by the IMF estimate, which looks like the Fund's standard multiplier of 0.5 1/ Link
    Paul Krugman Mon 16 Sep 2019 13:23

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  • So basically China is doing what it has to to cope with the trade war, while Trump and co pandered to the ideological right, which doesn't do the trick — and now Trump is demanding that the Fed bail him out 6/ Paul Krugman Sun 15 Sep 2019 20:52

    Donald Trump marked the anniversary of 9/11 by repeating several lies about his own actions on that day. But that wasn’t his only concern. He also spent part of the day writing a series of tweets excoriating Federal Reserve officials as “Boneheads” and demanding that they immediately put into effect emergency measures to stimulate the economy — emergency measures that are normally only implemented in the face of a severe crisis.

    Trump’s diatribe was revealing in two ways. First, it’s now clear that he’s in full-blown panic over the failure of his economic policies to deliver the promised results. Second, he’s clueless about why his policies aren’t working, or about anything else involving economic policy.

    Before I get to the economics, let’s talk about one indicator of Trump’s cluelessness: his remarks about federal debt.

    In addition to demanding that the Fed cut interest rates below zero, Trump declared that “we should then start to refinance our debt,”...

  • The Trump stimulus, by contrast, consisted largely of giving corporations a big tax break and hoping that they would invest it and/or use it to raise wages. What they're using it for instead is dividends and stock buybacks. So bang for the buck much smaller 5/
    Paul Krugman Sun 15 Sep 2019 20:52
  • But the shape of the policies is different. China's stimulus is about half infrastructure spending, the other half cuts in taxes like VAT that affect ordinary families. So it's probably pretty effective stimulus 4/
    Paul Krugman Sun 15 Sep 2019 20:47
  • What about the US? We've also had a lot of fiscal stimulus from the Trump tax cut. Here's CBO's estimate of the cyclically adjusted budget balance, one widely used measure of stimulus 3/ https://t.co/jFDLHjRDQm
    Paul Krugman Sun 15 Sep 2019 20:47
  • However, the Chinese are offsetting the drag from the trade war with fiscal stimulus and other measures 2/ Link
    Paul Krugman Sun 15 Sep 2019 20:47

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  • Thinking some more about policy responses to the trade war. The trade war is having a depressing effect on both the US and Chinese economies. You might think this effect would be bigger on China, because it sells more to us than we do to them 1/
    Paul Krugman Sun 15 Sep 2019 20:47
  • Trump thinks he has China on the ropes. But "the entire contractionary shock from the trade wars up to August 2019 has been comfortably offset by policy interventions in China." Link
    Paul Krugman Sun 15 Sep 2019 12:57
  • RT @crampell: 7 years ago today Link
    Paul Krugman Sat 14 Sep 2019 19:41

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  • PPS: One reason California-hate may be a big thing right now 8/ Link
    Paul Krugman Sat 14 Sep 2019 18:36

    [Sign up for our daily newsletter about news from California here.]

    LOS ANGELES — When President Trump flies into San Francisco next week for his first visit to the Bay Area as president he will set down in a state that has never fully welcomed him.

    Harmeet K. Dhillon, a member of the Republican National Committee and a host of a fund-raising luncheon on Tuesday where seats for a couple at the president’s table go for $100,000, likened his visit to a trip “behind enemy lines.”

    Behind those lines, Mr. Trump’s detractors have been remarkably active, as Democrats have been energized by anger against the president to enact a sweeping liberal agenda that in almost every way offers a counternarrative to the deregulation, anti-immigrant stance and conservative policies of the Trump administration.

    Just in recent days, California has approved statewide rent control and moved to reshape the gig economy by forcing companies like Uber and Lyft to classify their...

  • PS: Lou Dobbs is the only full-on Trumper media figure I used to know when he was sane. I would go on his show in the early 2000s, and he seemed like a personally nice, sorta reasonable conservative. A mind is a terrible thing to lose 7/
    Paul Krugman Sat 14 Sep 2019 18:31
  • But expecting people to believe that CA in 2019 is a uniquely terrible place is an amazing case of "what are you going to believe — me or your own eyes?" Next thing they'll be saying that Trump is the only source of everything good. Oh, wait 6/ Link
    Paul Krugman Sat 14 Sep 2019 18:26

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