President Obama personally announced that at the close of the first open enrollment period 8 million Americans had signed up for coverage in the Affordable Care Act (ACAs) exchanges. He also took this opportunity for a full-throated defense of the ACA, arguing "I find it strange that the Republican position on this law is still stuck in the same place that it has always been. They still can't bring themselves to admit that the Affordable Care Act is working.”
Polling indicates that the economy remains the top issue on voters’ minds. This is hardly surprising. The graph below compares the actual (red) performance of the economy (measured by Gross Domestic Product, GDP) from 1947 to 2013 with an estimate of the long-run economic trend over the same period.
Will Rogers once said "The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has,” which is probably why the Masters and tax day fall in the same month. But it is an important reminder that the U.S. still relies to a great degree on a system of voluntary reporting of taxes.
The growth of National Health Expenditures (NHE) has been a central policy dilemma for decades. The fact that NHE growth outpaces GDP growth underlies the continued rise in health insurance premiums, crowds out cash raises for workers, and fuels the federal red ink emanating from the social safety net — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and now the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The most important economic event of the past decade is that North America is leading a global shift in energy supply. In 2012, the International Energy Agency predicted that by 2017 the U.S. would overtake both Saudi Arabia and Russia as the largest global oil producer and it appears that the U.S. is ahead of schedule.
The administration announced yesterday that President Obama will sign two executive orders regarding equal pay and federal contractors, the most significant of which will require that contractors report to the government salary data broken down by gender and race.
Every now and then you (hope to) win one. A while back Eakinomics weighed in on a minor tweak to Obamacare that would minimize its havoc on the labor market: changing the definition of full-time work from 30 hours to 40 hours.
Attention today will be focused on the Labor Department and its release of the March data for payroll employment and household unemployment at 8:30. Forecasting the data has been dicey in recent months, and this month does not appear any easier.
Budgets serve the crucial function of connecting policy aspirations to the reality of resources. Budgets that come to balance deliver policies that are feasible and match the reality of resources to the rhetoric and aspirations.
The federal government has piles of debt; oceans of debt; epic amounts of debt … but enough technical terminology, you get the idea. But what does it mean?