CommentaryThe 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.
Did you notice how the U.S. economy was suddenly thrown into recession this year when tax increases and spending cuts took effect? If you didn’t, that’s no surprise because the economy actually accelerated to 2.5% growth in the first quarter of 2013 from just 0.6% growth in the fourth quarter of 2012. Preliminary estimates for growth in the second quarter suggest that growth will remain close to 2%, about the same trend rate achieved since the recovery began in 2009.
ReactionEconomic policy debates in the 21st century evolve quickly and part of e21's mission is to provide a forum for around-the-clock reactions. In this section, you can find posts from leading economists, scholars and writers on what's happening in the global economic landscape.
The federal income tax code is saddled with inefficient exemptions, deductions and credits. Streamlining them is an important policy goal, and Senator Max Baucus and Congressman Dave Camp, the respective Chairmen of the two tax writing committees in Congress, are in the process of working through an overhaul of the tax code to lower rates and remove distortionary deductions. Tax simplification is a universal goal, but it has thus far been elusive because what seems a special interest carve-out to many can seem to others the promotion of a valid public policy goal. One example is the deduction for charitable contributions. A group of over two hundred economists published an open letter to Congress as a full page ad in Politico on Thursday, April 25, arguing for the uniqueness of the charitable deduction, which is pasted below.
In-Depth Researche21 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.
The broad-based support for price stability is at risk today in the United States and in Europe. Prominent voices in academia, the media, the International Monetary Fund, and inside the Federal Reserve have proposed that the commitment to price stability should be relaxed in one way or another to concentrate on achieving more pressing objectives. The inflationist policy proposals are varied with respect to their objectives and operating guides.