April 16, 2021

In Surprise, Fed Decides to Maintain Pace of Stimulus

All summer, Federal Reserve officials said flattering things about the economy’s performance: how strong it looked, how well it was recovering, how eager they were to step back and watch it walk on its own.

But, in a reversal that stunned economists and investors on Wall Street, the Fed said on Wednesday that it would postpone any retreat from its monetary stimulus campaign for at least another month and quite possibly until next year. The Fed’s chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, emphasized that economic conditions were improving. But he said that the Fed still feared a turn for the worse.

He noted that Congressional Republicans and the White House were hurtling toward an impasse over government spending. That was reinforced on Wednesday, when House leaders said they would seek to pass a federal budget stripping all financing for President Obama’s signature health care law, increasing the chances of a government shutdown.

And the Fed undermined its own efforts when it declared in June that it intended to begin a retreat by the end of the year, causing investors to immediately begin to demand higher interest rates on mortgage loans and other financial products, a trend that the Fed said Wednesday was threatening to slow the economy.

“We have been overoptimistic,” Mr. Bernanke said at a news conference Wednesday. The Fed, he said, is “avoiding a tightening until we can be comfortable that the economy is in fact growing the way that we want it to be growing.”

Investors cheered the Fed’s hesitation. The Standard Poor’s 500 stock-index rose 1.22 percent, to close at a record high, in nominal terms. Interest rates also fell; the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury reversed some of its recent rise.

Some analysts, however, warned that the unexpected announcement was likely to worsen confusion about the Fed’s plans, increasing the volatility of the markets in the coming months as investors sort through the Fed’s mixed messages about how much longer it plans to continue its bond-buying campaign. The delay also means that the decision to retreat may ultimately be made by the next Fed chairman, after Mr. Bernanke steps down at the end of January. President Obama has said that he plans to nominate a replacement as soon as next week. Janet L. Yellen, the Fed’s vice chairman, is the leading candidate.

“The cost of not setting out on a default gradual glide path for completing QE3 today is that this issue is now likely to be front and center in the nomination and confirmation process for the new Fed chair,” wrote Krishna Guha, head of central bank strategy at the financial services firm International Strategy Investment, referring to the Fed’s asset purchases of quantitative easing.

The Fed unrolled an aggressive combination of new policies last year in an effort to encourage a housing recovery and increase the pace of job creation. It started adding $85 billion a month to its holdings of Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities, to help keep long-term borrowing costs down and said it planned to keep buying until the outlook for the labor market improved substantially. The Fed also said it would keep short-term rates near zero for even longer — at least as long as the unemployment rate remained above 6.5 percent.

Half a year later, in June, Mr. Bernanke surprised many investors by announcing that the Fed intended to start cutting back on those asset purchases by the end of 2013. Fed officials reiterated that intention in July, and several officials had since suggested that the Fed might begin to pull back at the September meeting. It is also scheduled to meet next month and in mid-December.

Some critics question the Fed’s assessment of the economy, in particular its claim that a declining unemployment rate is a sign of progress. They note that unemployment is falling in part because fewer people are looking for work, and therefore are no longer officially counted as unemployed.

Jack Ewing contributed reporting from Frankfurt.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/19/business/economy/fed-in-surprise-move-postpones-retreat-from-stimulus-campaign.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Markets Jump on Fiscal Deal

Global stocks kicked off the 2013 trading year with a strong start Wednesday, as investors welcomed a deal between President Obama and Congressional Republicans that ended, at least temporarily, an impasse over fiscal policy that had threatened chaos in the new year.

The broad-based Standard Poor’s 500-stock index leapt 1.7 percent in afternoon trading. The Dow Jones industrial average also jumped 1.7 percent, or about 225 points, and the Nasdaq composite index climbed 2.2 percent.

The deadline drama over the fiscal impasse ended when a sufficient number of Republicans in the House of Representatives joined Democrats to back a deal the Senate had reached earlier. The deal modestly raises income taxes on the highest-earning Americans, ends payroll tax cuts and creates permanent tax cuts for others.

“There’s clearly a big relief rally,” said Christian Schulz, an economist in London with Berenberg Bank.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index of euro zone blue chips ended 2.4 percent higher, while the FTSE 100 index in London gained 2.1 percent. The euro gained 0.6 percent to $1.3270, and yields fell on Spanish and Italian government bonds.

Asian indexes also gained, with the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong rising 2.9 percent. But markets in Japan and mainland China were closed for holidays.

Still, analysts warned that the gains might not last, as the last-minute deal had only bought time.

The deal “is likely to prove only a temporary fix to address fiscal uncertainty in the U.S.,” Lee Hardman, an analyst at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in London, wrote in a research note, pointing out that “the planned sequester government spending cuts merely delayed for two months.”

Investors, he added, probably will begin to focus on “whether U.S. politicians will be able to raise the debt ceiling in the next two months to avert a technical default, and whether the delayed sequester spending cuts will now come into force on March 1.”

Mr. Schultz noted that the United States hit the debt ceiling of $16.4 trillion, or 104 percent of 2012 gross domestic product, on Dec. 31, and could it exceed it as soon as February without Congressional action.

There are also questions about how America’s new commitment to cutting the deficit will affect the economy and its credit ratings.

“The austerity they’ve imposed is very modest,” Mr. Schultz said, “perhaps 1 percent of G.D.P. So maybe the most interesting thing will be to see how the ratings agencies react.”

Analysts at DBS in Singapore wrote in a research note: “Call it breathing room, call it kicking the can down the road, call it whatever you like — come mid-February, when the decision on the legal U.S. debt limit will be needed, the fight starts afresh.”

They added, “Two more months of shenanigans and waffling/seasick markets? It certainly looks that way.”

In economic reports, the Institute for Supply Management said manufacturing in the United States expanded slightly in December. Its manufacturing activity index rose to 50.7 points in December, up from 49.5 in November.

In Europe, manufacturing activity remained in the doldrums. Surveys of purchasing managers by Markit Economics showed euro zone factories ended 2012 in poor shape, with both production and new orders declining in December. German factories posted declines in both output and new orders, according to the Markit data, while the Spanish manufacturing shrank a 20th consecutive month, with both the decline and the pace of job cuts accelerating.

David Jolly reported from Paris. Bettina Wassener reported from Hong Kong.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/03/business/global/03iht-asiamarkets03.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Consumer Spending Spurs Forecasts for Faster Growth

In light of the latest figures, some analysts said the economy could end up growing faster in this quarter and next year than they had thought.

“I see momentum building,” said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors. “If Washington makes the moves it needs to make, then the economy should pick up speed next year,” he said, a reference to the bumpy negotiations between the White House and Congressional Republicans to avert tax increases and spending cuts that are to take effect on Jan. 1.

The Commerce Department reported that consumer spending, which fuels about 70 percent of the economy, rose 0.4 percent in November compared with October. Spending dipped 0.1 percent in October. But that decline was linked in part to disruptions from Hurricane Sandy.

Incomes rose 0.6 percent in November, the biggest gain in 11 months. That reflected a rebound in wages and salaries, which were depressed in October. Damage from Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast prevented some people from working at the end of October and reduced wages at an annual rate of $18 billion.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed that a category of durable-goods orders that tracks business investment had risen 2.7 percent. That gain came after an upwardly revised 3.2 percent increase in October, the biggest in 10 months.

The back-to-back increases came after a period of weakness in so-called core capital goods that had raised concerns about business investment, a driving force in the economy.

The economy grew in the July-to-September quarter at a solid 3.1 percent annual rate. But some analysts said they thought growth would slow significantly in the October-to-December period. They predicted that consumers and businesses would cut back on spending because of worries about tax increases and spending cuts.

But after Friday’s reports, Peter Newland, an economist at Barclays Capital, said Barclays was raising its estimate of growth in the current quarter to a 2.4 percent annual rate from a previous estimate of 2.2 percent.

Mr. Naroff said fourth-quarter growth could reach a 2.6 percent annual rate. He said he expected growth to reach 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013 and 3.6 percent in the second quarter.

He said those estimates were based on his confidence that Washington policy makers would avert the sharp tax increases and spending cuts, which could set off a recession if they remained in place for much of 2013.

“I remain hopeful that saner heads will prevail in Washington,” Mr. Naroff said.

Economists said the budget impasse and the uncertainty it had created about tax rates were hurting consumer confidence. The University of Michigan said on Friday that its index of consumer sentiment for December fell to 72.9, its lowest point since July. It was a sharp drop from the November reading of 82.7, a five-year high.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/22/business/economy/consumer-spending-spurs-forecasts-for-faster-growth.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Economix Blog: Bruce Bartlett: The Real Long-Term Budget Challenge


Bruce Bartlett held senior policy roles in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations and served on the staffs of Representatives Jack Kemp and Ron Paul. He is the author of “The Benefit and the Burden: Tax Reform – Why We Need It and What It Will Take.”

On Dec. 3, the Government Accountability Office released new estimates of the federal government’s long-term budget outlook. They show that our real long-term problem is quite different from the one constantly portrayed by congressional Republicans.

Today’s Economist

Perspectives from expert contributors.

As the table shows, spending is not out of control. Entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare are rising gently as the baby-boom generation retires. All other spending, including that for the military and domestic discretionary programs, falls – with the notable exception of interest on the debt. Interest rises sharply as the deficit rises, principally because the G.A.O. assumes that revenue will not be permitted to rise above its historical average – as Republicans continually insist.

Government Accountability Office
Government Accountability Office analysis of Census Bureau data

Republicans demand that Social Security and Medicare be cut immediately to deal with the so-called fiscal cliff. Popular suggestions for doing so include raising the age of eligibility for Medicare and changing the indexing formula that adjusts Social Security benefits for inflation.

To be sure, some restraint is needed in federal entitlement programs. But the idea that we are facing a crisis is complete nonsense. Spending for Social Security, in particular, is very stable. Relatively modest changes, such as raising the taxable earnings base slightly, would be sufficient to put the program on a sound footing virtually forever.

As a Nov. 28 Congressional Research Service report explains, historically 90 percent of covered earnings was subject to the Social Security tax. In recent years, this percentage has fallen to 84 percent, as the bulk of wage gains has gone to those making more than the maximum taxable income, currently $110,100. Raising the share of covered earnings back to 90 percent would be sufficient to eliminate almost half of Social Security’s long-run actuarial deficit, according to the Social Security actuaries.

Frequently, Republicans assert that domestic discretionary spending is the major source of bloated government. These are basically all programs other than entitlements and interest on the debt outside the Department of Defense, which always needs more money in the Republican world view. These include agriculture, education, energy, science, law enforcement and many other programs that people take for granted and oppose reducing. Moreover, such programs have already been cut sharply by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

That leaves interest on the debt as the principal driver of long-term spending and deficits. As the G.A.O. projections show, net interest rises from 1.4 percent of gross domestic product this year to 3 percent in 2020, 4.9 percent in 2030 and continues rising astronomically thereafter as interest accrues on the bonds previously sold to pay interest on the debt.

Interest rises from 6.1 percent of the federal budget in 2012 to 12.9 percent in 2020, 21 percent in 2030 and eventually reaches 59 percent if current projections are maintained through 2082, the last year in the G.A.O. analysis. As a share of the deficit, interest would rise from 19.2 percent this year to 62 percent in 2020. In the long run, virtually all of the deficit is accounted for by interest on the debt.

These facts explain why the tax pledge that virtually all Republicans blindly support is ultimately self-defeating. Refusing to raise revenue automatically leads to higher spending for interest on the debt. However, Republicans routinely deny this, asserting that capping revenue at some arbitrary percentage of G.D.P. will somehow or other force huge cuts in spending that will prevent deficits from rising to inconceivable levels. Implicitly, they believe in a nonsensical theory called starve-the-beast that is totally refuted by the budgetary experience of the last 20 years.

The frightening thing is that the projections for interest on the debt assume that interest rates don’t rise in the near term and don’t rise at all even as the federal debt rises to 200 percent of G.D.P. in 2037 and to 885 percent of G.D.P. in 2082. The G.A.O. assumes that short-term rates on Treasury securities average 1.3 percent through 2017 and 3.7 percent in the long run, and rates on 10-year Treasuries will average 3.4 percent in the short-run and 5 percent in the long run.

These assumptions cannot be taken at face value. Federal borrowing of the magnitude projected would undoubtedly raise inflation and real interest rates, both of which would raise market interest rates far above those projected, sharply raising federal spending for interest. Rising inflation would also force the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy, which would also raise real rates.

In short, the G.A.O. projections are a best-case situation insofar as interest on the debt is concerned. It could get a lot worse very quickly, and at that point it is almost a certainty that taxes will rise far more than would be necessary to stabilize the debt-to-G.D.P. ratio and hence interest on the debt. Therefore, the absolutist position against raising revenue is essentially penny-wise and pound-foolish.

It’s too bad that misplaced fears about the fiscal cliff have taken off the table the option of simply letting all the automatic tax increases and spending cuts go into effect. While this would indeed reduce short-run growth, the Congressional Budget Office says the reduction in projected deficits would actually raise growth in the medium- and long-term (see pages 24-25 of the report).

Article source: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/11/the-real-long-term-budget-challenge/?partner=rss&emc=rss

Economic View: ‘Getting to Yes’ Offers Clues to Fiscal Talks

The Warner Brothers 1999 hit comedy “Analyze This” portrays a mob boss (Robert De Niro) and his psychiatrist (Billy Crystal), who share a passion for the recordings of Tony Bennett. With the film almost completed — and with Mr. Bennett already an integral part of the plot — the studio finally got around to approaching the crooner with an offer of $15,000 to sing “I’ve Got the World on a String” in the movie’s closing scene. But as Danny Bennett, the singer’s son and business manager, later explained, the executives made a fatal mistake by not scheduling this conversation sooner: “Hey, they shot the whole film around Tony being the end gag and they’re offering me $15,000?”

Had studio officials made their offer at the outset, they would have had much more leverage. If the Bennetts demanded an unreasonable sum, the filmmakers could have rewritten the script and used some other singer. At the 11th hour, however, Warner Brothers’ best alternative to a negotiated agreement was to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars reshooting the film. In the end, the studio paid Tony Bennett $200,000 for a brief cameo appearance.

A similar logic is shaping the current negotiations between President Obama and Congressional Republicans. The Republicans want to keep everyone’s tax rates the same while raising revenue by closing tax loopholes yet unspecified. The president, for his part, wants to restore the 39.6 percent top tax rate for families earning more than $250,000, while maintaining current rates for everyone else. But with the Bush tax cuts scheduled to expire at year’s end, the Republicans face a hurdle similar to the one that confronted Warner Brothers.

In the earlier instance, both sides knew that failure to reach agreement would be far more costly to Warner Brothers than to Tony Bennett. Here as well, both sides know that failure to reach agreement before January will be much more costly to the Republican negotiators than to the president. That’s because expiration of the Bush tax cuts lets Mr. Obama confront the Republicans with an extremely unpalatable choice.

If the year ends without a deal, tax rates for everyone automatically revert to those in effect when President Bill Clinton left office. Neither side wants that to happen, but if it does, the president has a strong hand to play. On Day 1 of the new Congressional session, he could propose legislation that would restore the Bush tax cuts for families with incomes under $250,000. Republicans could then vote in favor, in which case the president gets exactly what he had hoped for; or they could vote against, in which case they will have blocked a reduction in almost every voter’s tax rates. They may wish that these weren’t the alternatives they face, but both sides know that many Republicans would find the second option politically untenable.

That realization appears to have led some Republicans to resurrect their time-honored claim that because many top earners own small businesses, higher top tax rates would severely compromise job creation. But that argument flies in the face of the basic cost-benefit test that governs rational hiring decisions. As every economics textbook on the subject makes clear, a business will hire additional workers whenever, and only whenever, their contribution to the bottom line promises to exceed their pay. If that criterion is satisfied, hiring makes economic sense, no matter how poor the business owner might be. And if it isn’t, no hiring will occur, even if the owner is a billionaire.

An awareness of the weakness of their negotiating position may also explain recent Republican attempts to portray the impasse in Washington as a fiscal cliff that poses an unthinkable disaster for the nation. But as Jonathan Chait of New York magazine has argued, the fiscal cliff is a bad metaphor for the situation we are facing. Because middle-class tax rates would be unlikely to remain higher for long, they would have little impact on overall spending. And as the president would tell voters, even that limited impact can be avoided by making the middle-class tax cuts retroactive to Jan. 1.

THE same goes for so-called sequestration — the across-the-board spending cuts to defense and other non-entitlement spending that automatically start to occur after Jan. 1 in the absence of a budget deal. As both sides recognize, blanket cuts are a terrible way to reduce government spending. But here, too, getting to year’s end without an agreement would strengthen the president’s hand.

Government programs exist because at least some constituents want them, which makes even wasteful ones extremely difficult to cut. Both parties could curry favor by embracing proposals to restore money for the programs that voters value most, and the president could delay cuts while Congress was debating those proposals.

In short, the nation faces not a fiscal cliff, but rather a gentle fiscal slope.

Getting to January without a deal would cause anxiety that everyone wants to avoid — especially Republicans, since opinion polls suggest that most voters will blame them if negotiations break down. But the president and Republicans would prefer to reach agreement now on whatever they would be willing to agree to after new year.

Let’s hope they move rapidly. Any such agreement, however, will be heavily shaped by knowledge of what would otherwise happen after Jan. 1. As Mr. Fisher and Mr. Ury wrote, Batna is the only standard that can protect negotiators from accepting terms that are too unfavorable and from rejecting terms it would be in their interest to accept.

Some have likened today’s negotiations to a game of chicken, in which the loser is whichever of two cars on a head-on collision course swerves first. But that metaphor isn’t instructive without some additional texture: if Republicans are driving a Chevy Spark, the president is driving a Mack truck.

Robert H. Frank is an economics professor at the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/business/getting-to-yes-offers-clues-to-fiscal-talks.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Economix Blog: Americans Used to Be Much More Anti-Tax



Dollars to doughnuts.

In addition to his Economix post, Bruce Bartlett also has a Tax Notes column today looking at public support for raising taxes (instead of or in addition to cutting spending)  to narrow federal deficits. He found dozens of surveys conducted over the last year showing that most Americans believe that taxes should be part of any deficit reduction package.

Incidentally, for an article (and related blog post) I wrote a while back on the evolution of deficit deals, I asked The Times’s polling department to see how American attitudes toward debt consolidation packages had changed in the last three decades. They pulled up the polls below.

As you’ll see, Congressional Republicans may have become more anti-tax in the last 30 years, but the American public has made the opposite transition: in March 1982, three-quarters of Americans said spending cuts alone should be used to reduce deficits; today, about the same share say tax increases should be included in any debt-reduction package. Remember, of course, that tax rates were much higher 30 years ago than they are today.


NBC News/Associated Press Poll, March 1982
In order to help reduce the federal budget deficit, which of the following would you prefer — federal income tax increases or federal spending cuts?

13% Tax increases
77% Spending cuts
4% Both (volunteered)
6 % Don’t know

Time/Yankelovich, Skelly White Poll, November 1985
What do you think should be done to reduce the federal deficit? Do you think we should: cut government spending, raise taxes, or both cut our spending and raise taxes?

54% Cut government spending
4% Raise taxes
36% Both cut our spending and raise taxes
6% Not sure (volunteered)


Gallup, May 1988
There are a number of ways to reduce the federal budget deficit, if the government decides to. Some people say we can reduce the deficit simply by cutting spending. Others say a combination of spending cuts and tax increases is required. Which of these views comes closer to your own?

47% Cutting spending
39% Combination of spending cuts and tax increases
2% Do neither (volunteered)
12% Don’t know/Undecided


Quinnipiac University Poll, March 2010
To reduce the federal budget deficit do you think there should be a combination of tax increases and spending cuts, or that only taxes should be raised, or only that spending should be cut?

42% Combination
4% Only tax increases
49% Only spending cuts
5% Don’t know/No answer


New York Times/CBS News, September 2011
Do you think any plan to reduce the federal budget deficit should include only tax increases, or only spending cuts, or a combination of both tax increases and spending cuts?

3% Only tax increases
21% Only spending cuts
71% Both
5% Don’t know/No answer


Time/Abt SRBI Poll, October 2011
Over all, what do you think is the best way to reduce the federal budget deficit — by cutting federal spending, by raising taxes, or by a combination of both?

29% Cutting federal spending
4% Increasing taxes
65% Combination
3% No answer/Don’t know

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=35c3750de604145aa4836e101e88ff6c

Economix: How the Budget War Was Framed


Nancy Folbre is an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Political strategists often refer to “framing” as the way in which the edges of an argument define perceptions of its core. The term also has an older, sharper meaning that implies miscarriage of justice – as in “he was framed.”

Today’s Economist

Perspectives from expert contributors.

In the debate over the budget deficit and debt ceiling, the American people have been framed in both senses of the term. They have been given a misleading picture of the possibilities, and they have taken the blame for unrealistic attitudes.

Nominally, the budget debate focuses on spending cuts versus tax increases, with Republicans in one corner and Democrats in the other. What I see is a three-way tussle among the rich, the not very rich and the not rich at all over who should pay the costs of balancing the budget.

On this issue, differences among Democrats run deeper than those between the major players getting most of the press: President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner.

Consider a largely invisible proposal for balancing the budget, the People’s Budget, released in April by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which includes 83 members of Congress.

Its proposed budget savings include major cuts to military spending based on immediate withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. Its proposed revenue sources include new tax brackets for the rich (from 45 percent on income over a million dollars a year to 49 percent on income over a billion a year), restoring the estate tax and eliminating the Bush tax cuts.

The Economic Policy Institute provides a more detailed supportive analysis. Proponents have also developed a three-way comparison with budget proposals advocated by President Obama and Congressional Republicans that allows you to register your own preference.

Deficit hawks (at least those who are not tax chickens) should welcome the People’s Budget, because it offers a plausible path to debt reduction.

Matt Miller of The Washington Post noted that the People’s Budget would, unlike the Roadmap for America’s Future advanced by Representative Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin and chairman of the House Budget Committee, generate a budget surplus at a predictable point in the future, winning the “fiscal responsibility derby.”

Paul Krugman, who praised the People’s Budget in The New York Times, observed that it stood little chance of being passed, but that the same was true of Mr. Ryan’s proposed budget.

Serious consideration of the People’s Budget in April could have reframed the budget debate by counterbalancing the rightward thrust of the Republican proposals. Serious consideration of it today would make President Obama’s focus on closing tax loopholes for wealthy individuals and corporations seem faint-hearted, at best.

The progressive tax policies endorsed by the People’s Budget have drawn remarkably strong support in public opinion polls, suggesting that the views of our most powerful elected officials don’t accurately reflect the views of the electorate.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in late February found that 81 percent of people would support a surtax on millionaires to help reduce the budget deficit. A Pew Research Center poll in late May found that 66 percent favored raising income tax rates on those making more than $250,000 and 67 percent raising the wage cap for Social Security taxes.

So why hasn’t a budget proposal that features more progressive taxes had a stronger, more visible impact on the national debate?

Poor press coverage is one explanation. Dave Moberg of In These Times asserted, “The corporate media give progressive alternatives short shrift, even though opinion polls show the public often supports such measures.” Peter Hart of the media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting made the more specific assertion that media coverage of the People’s Budget has been confined to opinion pieces, with no “hard news stories about it in the big papers.”

What about The New York Times, often characterized by some of its critics as having a liberal bias?

On July 14, I searched for the phrase “People’s Budget” on The Times’s Web site for occurrences over the last 12 months. I found the mention by Mr. Krugman, two readers’ comments on a previous post of his and a link on the Green blog to a brief derogatory comment in The Atlantic blog.

In short, “no hard news stories” about it (unless they omitted the proposal’s title). On the other hand, Representative Ryan’s Roadmap for America’s Future was mentioned more than a dozen times, though, of course, it has been in play longer. The most prominent articles focused on Mr. Ryan and his general philosophy rather than on the budget itself.

Maybe that’s the problem: the budget debate seems to elicit less hard news analysis than political framing and reframing.

And there’s no way that people can frame the People’s Budget if they haven’t even heard of it.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=d21fc5e9bab29a8a7f43a86f75808359