Three graphs to ponder before (and on) election day

I know what you’re thinking: “Just three?” I love graphs as much as the next guy, but I’ve squished what you need to know about the labor market into three graphs, courtesy of the St. Louis Fed’s FRED database. I’ve said before that it annoys me when the single piece of data the news media uses to assess the economy is the unemployment rate, which is subject to ... More
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Stimulate the economy: buy another yacht!

Spotted on teh Twitters yesterday: Obama in Columbus: “You give a tax break to millionaires, what’s he going to do with it? You can only buy so many yachts.” — Alan Johnson (@ohioaj) September 17, 2012 It was supposed to be a laugh line, I assume. A real gotcha. Because Mitt Romney is rich and another tax break would mean he would have more disposable income, with which he wou... More

Santorum gives an excellent defense of his proposed 0% tax on manufacturing

Yes, Rick Santorum is a leader on life and family, but he’s also proposed some great ideas in his economic plan. And his economic plan is very pro-worker and pro-family. His plan would be a big help to families, as it calls for a tripling of the child exemption. And of course, this gives the Wall Street Journal fits. Most disappointing is the Pennsylvanian’s proposal to triple the tax ... More

Reader: Supercommittee superfails, Winning the Latino vote in ’12, Could Ron Paul win Iowa?

Welcome to the Lunchtime Reader, where we assemble important stories to keep your eyes on. (Sorry for missing the last few days.) The 12-member Supercommittee tasked to cut $1.2 trillion for federal spending has failed to reach an agreement. Shock. http://cvote.to/8h Ron Paul has a legitimate shot of winning Iowa, says Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post. http://cvote.to/8i Former Florida Gov. J... More

Reader: WSJ bemoans drop in consumer debt, Vile sex-ed planned in NYC, Jindal reelected, Santorum slams the pill

Welcome to the Lunchtime Reader, where we assemble important stories to keep your eyes on. Since the financial crisis, millions of families have stopped using credit cards, have accelerated mortgage payments and have delayed purchased until they have the cash. Total household debt has dropped by $1.1 trillion or 8.6% since mid-2008. To this glorious news, leave it to the Wall Street Journal to wa... More

Eye-Opening: The U.S. Budget Explained As a Family’s Household Budget

We have a hard time understanding big numbers, because we never encounter them in day-to-day life. “1 Trillion Dollars”? What does that even mean? Carrie Lukas at NRO’s The Corner blog points us to something very helpful — explaining the U.S. Budget in terms of a household budget: The Gainesville Tea Party seems to have the right idea: They take some of our key economic num... More
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Lessons Learned From the Wisconsin Union Battle

Joan Frawley Desmond has published an excellent and balanced recap of the Wisconsin fight over reforming government unions and how local bishops responded to the struggle. It’s not a rosy picture — Bishop Morlino of Madison in particular laments the divisions and partisanship which defined the Catholic debate throughout its course. But it’s important going forward that we underst... More

My $0.02 on the Debt Limit Debate

Update: See my follow-up post as well — “$0.02 More On the Debt Limit Debate” I’ve been reading snippets of headlines, articles and news reports about the ongoing debate in Washington DC over raising the debt limit this week, and I think it’s important to publish something about the question because I believe our national debt is a moral issue in which every American ... More

Private vs. Public. Not non-union vs. union.

[Update: I altered a paragraph at the bottom that flummoxed some people so grievously that they couldn't find their way to addressing the actual point of the post.] My union friends. My friends-of-union friends. Those of you who do not wish to be my friend but who are upset about the what’s happening in New Jersey, Wisconsin, and now Ohio, regarding unions and collective bargaining… C... More

“You’re not going to afford it…. You’re going to have to make choices.”

The choice quotes in this video are just too numerous to pull out. But note a couple things as you watch this video: Christie doesn’t try to sugar coat the reality to please the guy; he is sympathetic, honors the guy’s service, but he’s honest about the reality that the economy “stinks” for everyone, and everyone has to pitch in making sacrifices. The questioner, e... More

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