Chronicle of the Conspiracy
Friday, October 20, 2006NUMBERS ARE TRICKY THINGS Reader Rick Gaber asked about a seeming contradiction in Dan Clifton's statistics about the economic benefits of the Bush tax cuts.
Among Dan Clifton's list of facts, how can the "$207,788,000,000 Reduction in the Deficit in the Past 29 Months Due to Stronger Economic Growth" item and the "$60,000,000,000 Deficit REDUCTION Since the Tax Cut Was Signed Into Law" item both be true at the same time? It doesn't make sense to me.Here's Dan's reply:
...three dynamics were occurring when the tax bill was signed into law at the end of May 2003. First, revenue was declining (negative job growth, no stock market gains) and spending was rapidly increasing as the War in Iraq had just begun. Second, the tax cuts were immediate in which a transition period sets in before the short term gains from increased growth begins to affect tax revenues. And finally, the tax bill increased the child credit from $600 to $1,000 payable in April 2004 and this tax credit has no effect on savings and investment. As such, the deficit widened from May 2003 through April 2004 (although not as much as expected by the bean counters at JCT and CBO). And since that time has steadily declined. The deficit was $307 bill at the time of the signing and then hit a peak of $455 billion by April 2004.Update [10/21/2006]... Rick posts his own version in pass-it-along format.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 10:06 AM | link
BETTING ON BLOODSPORT Reader Bruce Dayhuff suggested to me that Tradesports ought to list a futures contract on the impeachment of President Bush by a new Democratic congress. I passed the idea onto Tradesports CEO John Delaney, and he tells me that such a contract will be listed the day after the election. I have no idea what structure it will take (separate contracts on impeachment and conviction? time-limited?). Whatever, at least it will be a way to make a buck off what will surely be a sickening and unnecessary spectacle.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 10:06 AM | link
A WRITER FOR ATLAS SHRUGGED Randall Wallace, the writer of Braveheart, will be doing the screenplay for the film adaption of Atlas Shrugged. Strikes me as a decent choice. Thanks to Rick Gaber for the link.
Update... Rick also points to this posting by Robert Bidinotto, who has blogged frequently on the Atlas Shrugged project, offers his fantasy league cast list. I'm amazed by how many of his picks are precisely matched to my own visualizations. But how did he miss Jack Nicholson for James Taggart?
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 7:46 AM | link
Wednesday, October 18, 2006OKAY, NOW I UNDERSTAND THEIR EDITORIAL VIEWPOINT Here's the "Greatest Philosopher" in history, according to the BBC. Thanks to reader Art Patten for the link.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 8:57 AM | link
FACTS ARE STUBBORN THINGS Our friend Dan Clifton at the American Shareholder Association sends along this "Harpers Index"-style look at the "Bush tax cuts by the numbers." What more should any citizen or legislator need to know?
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 8:30 AM | link
SCIENCE V. RELIGION AMONG TRADERS Institutional investors have to follow the money, not their political religions. From the daily bulletin of Black Swan Capital, quoting private commentary from Gavekal Research:
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 8:19 AM | link
Tuesday, October 17, 2006TO HEAR IS TO OBEY From the Club for Growth blog:
David...Obey is a liberal appropriator from Wisconsin who has been in the House for 37 loooong years. In his Almanac of American Politics, Michael Barone described Obey as "a true believer in traditional liberalism, in Keynesian economics and economic distribution." Obey thinks high [sic] of himself and his campaign name reveals it -- "Lot of People for David Obey".
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 9:53 AM | link
Monday, October 16, 2006CARRY IT WITH YOU ALWAYS, JUST IN CASE
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 10:24 PM | link
ANOTHER NOBLE NOBEL Really great choices this year in the economic domain. The Peace Prize went to Muhammad Yunus of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. The bank makes "microloans" -- loans of sometimes just a few dollars at a time -- to help the poorest people in the world better their lots with that first critical application of financial capital that can make all the difference. When you're farming with a hand-plow, even the simplest application of capital can create enormous productivity gains.
Here's an op-ed from Yunus in the Wall Street Journal, making the heretical suggestion that microloans might be the way to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 9:54 AM | link