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Commentary

The daily commentary section provides insights on complex issues in a brief and digestible format. Here you can find analysis of changing economic conditions and original perspectives on how the economy is affecting policy debates.

Independence, Accountability, and Transparency: Three Keywords for the Fed

Monetary policymakers always face tradeoffs, and today provides no exception.  By holding interest rates lower, for longer, Federal Reserve officials might temporarily strengthen the economy, but only at the cost of risking higher inflation down the road.

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A Misbegotten Showdown on Immigration

Jason L. Riley | 03/04/2015

Leave it to Republicans to do the right thing after exhausting all other options.

Speaker John Boehner announced Tuesday that the House would vote to fund the Department of Homeland Security, even though some members of his caucus thought Republicans could withhold funding to protest President Obama ’s immigration policies and not pay a price politically. 

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Research

e21 spotlights and directly supports new research that's necessary to develop innovative economic policy solutions for the 21st century. This section highlights in-depth research papers from a range of academics, economists and thinkers across the political spectrum, fostering creative nonpartisan policy solutions to pressing economic concerns.

http://www.economics21.org/files/pdf/Calomiris%20Ireland%20Levy%20Feb%2016%20Central%20Banking.pdf

Current Conditions and the Policy Problem

Peter Ireland, Mickey Levy, Charles W. Calomiris | Central Banking | February 19, 2015

The Federal Open Market Committee’s Policy Statement from its January 27-28 meeting provides a favorable outlook for the US economy with solid economic growth and strong job gains and renewed momentum heading into 2015.

Real gross domestic product, our broadest measure of inflation-adjusted income and spending, advanced at a 2.5 percent rate during the past year, weighed down considerably by the severe weather-related decline in 2014Q1; real GDP growth exceeded 4 percent in the final three quarters of 2014.. This healthy growth generated more than three million new jobs during 2014, and the Employment Report for January 2015 brought even more good news from the American labor market. 257,000 new jobs were created and upward revisions to already strong gains in prior months lifted the cumulative 3-month job gain above one million. At 5.7 percent, the unemployment rate is down almost a full percentage point from a year ago, and wage growth rebounded in January, suggesting that December’s puzzling decline was an anomaly.

 

Full Report

http://www.economics21.org/files/pdf/waysandmeans%20testimony%20winship.pdf

Scott Winship Testimony Before the House Subcommittee on Human Resources

Scott Winship | February 11, 2015

While policymakers face real economic challenges—including a secular rise in the duration of jobless spells, a recovery that until recently seemed to taunt us, poorer job prospects for workers with limited skills, and the continually expanding federal disability rolls—the ability of the U.S. economy to provide work for those who seek it has not diminished. Policies to help low-income individuals and families should not presume that the American job-creation machine is broken, or that our recent cyclical challenges portend a “new normal” in the coming decades.

Morning eBriefs

Each weekday morning, e21 delivers a short email that provides a snap shot of the day's economic news. These eBriefs include e21 exclusive commentaries and the latest market news and updates from Washington.

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What Is Next for the Fed?

Caroline Baum and Marvin Goodfriend discuss the Shadow Open Market Committee's core principles and monetary policy.

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Why Your Plan Was Cancelled: Health Insurance and the Affordable Care Act

There's a bizarre reason why millions of Americans saw their health plans cancelled in 2013 and, as explained in a new video featuring Robert Graboyes of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, millions more will lose their plans in years to come. 

Insurance coverage for Americans will remain in permanent turmoil because the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that all plans fit within cookie-cutter designs called "metallic tiers." (The tiers—bronze, silver, gold, and platinum—refer to the percentage of medical expenses a particular plan pays.) The video also explains that families may have to switch plans repeatedly because, as circumstances change, a plan that fits within a tier one year may not fit in any tier in a later year.

Please see Dr. Graboyes’ op-ed on this issue (Under Obamacare, Americans Will Continue to Lose Coverage) http://www.usnews.com/opinion/economic-intelligence/2014/09/22/under-obamacare-americans-will-continue-to-lose-coverage

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