Dean Baker

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The Budget Deficit Crisis: The Blame Is Bipartisan
The country is being bombarded with stories claiming that record budget deficits threaten our children's future and jeopardize the credibility of the dollar. These stories are a serious problem -- they have hugely confused the public about the nature of the country's economic crisis. And both parties share the blame.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Making Wall Street Pay
The deficit hawk crew, famous for missing the $8tn housing bubble that wrecked the economy, is now on the warpath, pressing the case for a big, new, national sales tax . They claim that the United States badly needs additional revenue to address projected budget shortfalls .
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Monday, November 02, 2009
Breaking Up the Banks is Hard to Do
Those who like banks that are too big to fail will love the latest financial reform proposals circulating in the US Congress . The bill put forward by Barney Frank , the chairman of the House finance committee, does little to change the current structure of the financial system.
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Monday, October 05, 2009
Banks 1, America 0
Last Friday's job report showed that most of the US is experiencing enormous economic pain, even if America's economy is now in a recovery. Overall unemployment rose to 9.8% , with the unemployment rate for men hitting a new post-depression high. The economy shed another 260,000 jobs in September and the previous figure for jobs lost in the recession was revised up by more than 800,000. The average workweek continues to shorten.
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Progressives and the Budget Deficit
The budget situation today looks hugely worse than it did two years ago. The reason for the deterioration is not that the country has suddenly embarked on a massive new round of social spending, undertaken another major military adventure or even emptied the coffers through tax breaks. The reason that the deficit situation looks hugely worse than it did two years ago is that the $8 trillion housing bubble that had been driving the economy finally collapsed and threw the country into the worst downturn since the Great Depression.
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Monday, September 28, 2009
The Public Option Is Nothing To Fear
Back in the good old days, the conservatives were the folks who favoured individual choice. Not any more. In the current healthcare debate, the top priority of the so-called conservatives is to deny people choice .
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Monday, September 21, 2009
Break Up America's Banks
The large number of people who protested against Barack Obama 's healthcare plan in Washington last week drew an enormous amount of media attention . Clearly some of the leaders are certifiably crazy, questioning whether Obama is an American and likening him to Hitler.
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Tuesday, September 08, 2009
What Exactly Did the Fed Do with $2 Trillion?
To combat the financial crisis set off by the collapse of the housing bubble, the Federal Reserve Board has lent out more than $2tn through various special lending facilities. While the Fed discloses aggregate information on the loans made through each of the facilities, it will not disclose how much money it lent to specific banks or under what terms.
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009
How to Solve the Housing Crisis
Winston Churchill supposedly said: "You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have tried everything else." This may prove to be an accurate description of the response to the foreclosure crisis that has followed the collapse of the housing bubble. The folks in Washington have developed a series of complex mortgage modification schemes designed to keep people in their homes. George Bush put forward the first plan in the summer of 2007. It was entirely voluntary for lenders and came with no government money.
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Seance on Wall Street
There is a long history of mediums who claim to communicate with the dead. They sell their services to people anxious to talk to relatives or great figures of the past. Such exercises can be dismissed as harmless entertainment – people spend a few dollars to be treated to tall tales.
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