In yesterday's NYT, N. Gregory Mankiw, conservative Harvard Economist and former Chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisors (2003-2005), comment's on the Obama's Bi-partisan Deficit Commission. His comments largely favor the findings of the preliminary proposal while outlining the political ironies on both sides of the aisle that may stand in the way of progress.
"The Bowles-Simpson proposal is not perfect, but it is far better than the status quo. The question ahead is whether we can get Senator Porkbelly and Congressman Blowhard to agree."
Agree or disagree, he offers a refreshing analysis of this seemingly pragmatic approach to achieving fiscal balance.
Another reason I remain a fan of Mankiw is his position on the latest round of quantative easing. Unlike many conservative economists, he did not sign the open letter critical of recent Fed actions. But this reflects largely a personal view on my end (that quantitative easing will not result in dangerous levels of inflation, potentially offers a net benefits, and the management of the Fed's balance sheet is not hopeless).
Jack Brown, CFA