Dean Baker

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008
McCain Would Privatize Social Security
The Republicans have already turned to sick sexual innuendo and nonsense about their vice-presidential candidate, pigs and lipstick in order to distract the public from the real issues in this campaign. One of the items that should be on top of the list of real issues is Senator McCain's plans to privatize and cut Social Security.
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Tuesday, September 09, 2008
The Whiner's Recession
Senator McCain and his friends no doubt still believe that the economy's fundamentals are strong, but Friday's jobs numbers clearly show how bad things have gotten. The 6.1 percent unemployment rate reported for August is almost as high as the worst levels from the last recession. A broader measure of labor market weakness, that includes people who can only find part-time work or who have given up looking for jobs, is higher than at any point in the last recession.
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Wednesday, September 03, 2008
John McCain Wants to Drill in Your Tolilet: Part II
Two months ago, I wrote a column saying that John McCain wants to drill in your toilet. I was joking at the time, but that comment turned out to be pretty much accurate. The Republicans' top slogan going into the fall elections is "drill here, drill now." It all depends on your definition of "here."
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Swift Boat Economics
In the last election, the Republicans invented their brilliant Swift boat strategy to get George W. Bush back in the White House. Challenged by a decorated Vietnam War veteran, President Bush, who couldn't be bothered in serve in a war that he supported, took the offensive. He enlisted a group of right-wingers to invent stories impugning Kerry's integrity and service record.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Pay-As-You-Drive Insurance Comes to Brookings
Many of the ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will require major changes in behavior and/or impose serious costs. However, there is one mechanism that could lead to substantial reductions in emission with no cost: pay-as-you-drive auto insurance.
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Tuesday, August 05, 2008
The Compromise 'Drill Anywhere' Plan
Senator McCain and the Republicans in Congress are calling Senator Obama and the Democrats environmental wimps for refusing to allow the oil industry to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, environmentally sensitive offshore areas and anywhere else they please. The Republicans are claiming that the Democrats don't care about Joe Sixpack, who now has to pay $4 a gallon for his gas. Nor do they care that most of this oil is now imported.
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Tuesday, July 29, 2008
After the Housing Bill: Time to Address Foreclosures
Last week Congress finally passed its long-debated housing bill. In addition to securing the multimillion-dollar salaries of the top executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and protecting their shareholders from facing the full consequences of their bad stock picks, the bill also provided funds for guaranteeing new mortgages for homeowners facing foreclosure. The bill allows lenders to bring failing mortgages to the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), which will guarantee a new mortgage at 85 percent of the current appraised value of the home.
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Saturday, July 05, 2008
Employment Rate Drops as Economy Sheds 62,000
"Private sector job gains in the Bush years may fall below 3 million by November."
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Monday, June 30, 2008
Barack Care vs. John Care: Health Care Under the Next President
By far the most important domestic policy issue facing the next president will be fixing the health care system. The United States stands out among wealthy countries in not guaranteeing health insurance to its citizens. Yet, even though many people cannot get access to care, we still pay more than twice as much per person as the average in other wealthy countries. And we have the worst outcomes. Only a severely over-medicated politician would claim we have the best health care system in the world.
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Monday, June 23, 2008
Bloodletting on Wall Street
There were two noteworthy episodes last week in the continuing drama surrounding the housing market meltdown. First, the New York Times did the arithmetic and found that the Wall Street banks had already written down debts that amounted to almost half of their profits in their boom years from 2004 through the first half of 2007.
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