Economics, Pethokoukis, Taxes and Spending, U.S. Economy

3 things account for 85% of higher government spending over the next decade

Federal spending is projected to rise by $2.3 trillion over the next decade, according to CBO. That average annual increase of 5.2% will help take the US debt/GDP ratio from 72% last year – and just 35% in 2007 – to 77% in 2024. This is key: just three parts of the budget account for 85% of that increase. read more >

Pethokoukis, Economics, U.S. Economy

Here’s what Goldman Sachs thinks Obama is going to do on immigration with executive amnesty

Sometime soon, it seems, President Obama will announce he’s taking executive action on immigration, both legal and illegal. In a new note, Goldman Sachs speculates what those actions might be, exactly. Its informed guesses: (a) excluding dependents from the cap on employment based green cards, (b) recapturing employment-based green cards. (c) allowing dependents of H-1B visa holders to work. Overall, Goldman thinks these changes would expand the US labor force by by 170,000 to 375,000, “equivalent equivalent to 0.1% to 0.25% of the US labor force.” read more >

Economics, Pethokoukis, U.S. Economy

Michael Strain: Here’s how we should fix US infrastructure — and boost upward mobility

In his Washington Post column, AEI economist Michael Strain makes the case that any way you want to massage the data, it’s clear the US has an infrastructure problem. So how can you go about fixing and upgrading the power grid, bridges, roads, and schools without turning the whole effort into a top-down, Keynesian boondoggle? Keep the project-picking local and give cities and states the flexibility to figure out how to fund their share. read more >