One positive this week has been that crude has been clobbered, especially the past 48 hours.

The much celebrated 2% payroll tax cut starting Jan 1, has essentially been swallowed up by the price hikes at the gas station in 2011.  As I predicted when that cut was passed, the economy would be weak enough 1 year forward that the politicos would be talking about extending it another year rather than letting it expire - especially with an election year ahead.  After all, its only money and whats the difference between running a $1.4T deficit and a $1.5T deficit at this point.

Now the scuttlebutt is going 1 step forward... Larry Summers is opining from the walls of Harvard (where he ran back to make sure he kept his tenure) that not only should the 2% payroll tax cut (for employees) be extended, but another 2% cut should be given to employers.  Thankfully that Social Security trust fund is full .... of IOUs.


Side note - did you know Austan Goolsbee makes nearly half a million annual being a professor at Univ-Chicago?*  I wonder if Obama ever called him a fat cat.  On a serious note - why am I in the private sector again?

  • In his last year at Chicago, he earned $465,000, according to federal financial disclosure reports. Goolsbee’s salary as CEA chairman is $191,300 a year. 

*he too is running back to his professorship so as to not lose tenure.  Smart move, hard to find half a million a year jobs outside of Wall St.  Or, apparently, our university system.