Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?
I realize that nobody is listening over there at the New York Times, but everytime somebody smart and honest like Menzie Chinn is forced to waste time doing intellectual garbage pickup because you cannot be bothered to exercise any quality control, your chances of surviving the next decade drop.
Outsourced to Menzie Chinn:
Econbrowser: State and Local Employment and Spending Trends: In a recent Economix post, Casey Mulligan asserts that aid to the states and localities is unwarranted given that state and local government employment is doing just fine. His graph highlighting cumulative gains/losses ends in January 2009.... I'm willing to say public policy types [in late 2008] were able to see the handwriting on the wall, note that in the future that state and local tax revenues would decline, and in the absence of countervailing action, would have to cut employment deeply.... [S]tate and local real spending on goods and services was tanking in 2008Q4 and 2009Q1. It picked up in 2009Q2; most reasonable people agree that in the absence of the transfers to the states, spending would have been lower.