Dean Baker

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Sunday, November 25, 2012
NYT's Douthat Dead Wrong on Social Security
Ross Douthat argues convincingly that if we eliminated the link between contributions and benefits it would be much easier politically to cut Social Security. Of course he thinks ending the link would be a good idea for that reason, but his logic is certainly on the mark, people will more strongly protect benefits that they feel they have earned. Douthat is off on a few other points. He tells readers:
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Saturday, November 17, 2012
Fiscal Cliff Hysteria is Manipulated by Self-Serving Deficit Hawks
Washington elites have spent much of the last three decades getting hysterical about budget deficits, but they are outdoing themselves in the current budget stand-off which they labeled as the "fiscal cliff" .
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Thursday, November 08, 2012
Climate Change, Not the National Debt, Is the Legacy We Should Care About
The political leadership, including the Washington press corps and punditry, were already intently ignoring the economic downturn that is still wreaking havoc on the lives of tens of millions of people across the country. Now, in the wake of the destruction from Hurricane Sandy , they will intensify their efforts to ignore global warming.
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Why Even President Obama Won't Champion Social Security
It is remarkable that social security hasn't been a more prominent issue in the presidential race. After all, Governor Romney has proposed a plan that would imply cuts of more than 40% for middle-class workers just entering the labor force .
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Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Social Security: President Obama's Biggest Failure in Last Week's Debate
President Obama definitely had a bad night when he faced Governor Romney in Denver for the first presidential debate. However, for many listeners the worst moment was not due to his atypical inarticulateness. Rather, the worst moment was when he quite clearly told the country that there was not much difference between his position on Social Security and Governor Romney's.
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Monday, October 08, 2012
What Price Basic Competence in Economics Reporting?
One of the reasons that the United States and much of the rest of world remains mired in near-recession conditions is that many involved in the policy debate are completely confused on even the most basic facts of the downturn.
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Does President Obama Want to Cut Social Security by 3 Percent?
That is a pretty simple and important question. Unfortunately most voters are likely to go to the polls this fall without knowing the answer.
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Tuesday, September 04, 2012
David Brooks Tells Us That His Populist Agenda Won't Appeal to Moderates (or People Like Him)
David Brooks tells us that Obama has three choices for "big ideas." (Too bad he could only think of three, but that's another matter.) Anyhow, his choice number 2, fixing a broken capitalism, sounds pretty good. The basic point is that the gains from growth have been going primarily to the richest 1 percent and that this could be reversed. (Why this can't be merged with his idea number 1, slowing global warming, is a mystery to me.)
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Poverty: The New Growth Industry in America
Recent trends in poverty rates should have the country furious at its leaders. When we get the data for 2011 next month, we are likely to see yet another uptick in poverty rates, reversing almost 50 years of economic progress. The percentage of people in extreme poverty, with incomes less than half of the poverty level, is likely to again hit an all-time high since the data has been collected.
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Monday, August 27, 2012
The Pacific "Free Trade" Deal That's Anything But Free
"Free trade" is a sacred mantra in Washington. If anything is labeled as being "free trade", then everyone in the Washington establishment is required to bow down and support it.
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