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The Ledger 08/02/13

The Ledger 08/02/13

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A weekly snapshot of news, views, and economic cues from AEI's Economic Policy team
A weekly snapshot of news, views, and economic cues from AEI's Economic Policy team

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Published by: American Enterprise Institute on Aug 05, 2013
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09/16/2013

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Subject: Recession in 2014? (AEI Economics Ledger)If you have trouble reading this message, click here to view it as a web page. 
Economic growth
NEW RESEARCH — Recession in 2014? 
 John Makin:“There exists a high probability, tied to the shapeof past expansions, of a recession beginning in early 2014.”
Key takeaways:
 
Economic indicators and long-term business cycle patterns suggest that the United States maybe in another recession by early 2014.
Two post–financial crisis economic swoons have been curbed with easy money and fiscalstimulus, but flat retail sales, slowing employment growth, and a faltering housing sector mayprevent these strategies from working again.
To prolong the expansion, Congress and the Fed should enact near-term fiscal stimulus, lowertax rates and broaden the tax base, deregulate the financial sector, and focus on maintaining lowand stable inflation.
Health care spending slows, but not because of Obamacare. 
 Joseph Antos:“It’s the economy, stupid.Millions of people lost their jobs during the deep recession that ended in 2009, and many of them stilldon’t have work. Without a job and the health insurance that comes with it, it’s difficult to pay for healthcare.”
Obama’s speaking tour continues
Obama addresses the middle class, neglects the poor. 
Arthur Brooks: “We have a robust and growingeconomy for high-income Americans. Those at the bottom see few prospects for growth and little reasonfor optimism. Nevertheless, a 2013 analysis by researcher Mark M. Gray at Georgetown University foundthat Mr. Obama mentions the poor less than any president in decades.”
 Facts conflict with “middle-out” economics. 
 James Pethokoukis:“According to Obama, the onlylasting effects of the Reagan “neoliberal” revolution are stagnant middle-class wages, extreme incomeinequality, and reduced income mobility. . . . Time for a fact check.”
Financial reform
Harsh words for Corker-Warner bill. 
Edward Pinto:The bill instead should be called the GovernmentMortgage Complex Act. It solidifies the federal government‘s grip on the mortgage market and combinescrony capitalism for industry supporters and crony socialism for community advocates by providingbillions in revenue for each.”
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau turns two.
 Alex Pollock:“The CFPB has attracted a large staff already numbering over 1,200. . . . Over 60 percent of the CFPB’s employees make salaries of $100,000 or more . . . [and it is] in the process of preparing luxuriously renovated new headquarters.What a surprise all of this is when there are no congressional controls on their budget or congressionaloversight!”

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