Money

The last Laffer

Money | Increasing federal revenues are causing the deficit to fall, but it's hard to get excited when spending increases threaten to break the bank
by Timothy Lamer
Posted 7/30/05, 12:00 am

Imagine learning that you're about to receive a raise at work. Now, imagine learning at the same time that your spouse went on a spending spree and maxed out all your credit cards.

This scenario is a rough equivalent to what is happening right now with the federal budget. Increasing federal revenues are causing the deficit to fall, but it's hard to get excited about that when promised spending increases threaten to break the bank in the future.

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Exit signs

Money | For 19 straight weekends box-office receipts lagged behind the same weekends in 2004
by Timothy Lamer
Posted 7/23/05, 12:00 am

Hollywood set a record this year that it would probably like to forget. For 19 straight weekends box-office receipts lagged behind the same weekends in 2004, the worst year-over-year losing stretch since the industry began tracking the statistic 25 years ago.

The good news for theater owners: A strong opening by Fantastic Four (see "story") during the July 8-10 weekend finally broke the slump.

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The record on oil

Money | The real record oil prices were set nearly 25 years ago, records that we have not even approached yet this year
by Timothy Lamer
Posted 7/16/05, 12:00 am

In 1981, a postage stamp was 15 cents, a typical new home cost about $83,000, and the median household income was about $19,000. Today those numbers are 37 cents, about $217,000, and more than $43,000, respectively.

Remember that as you read press reports this month about "record high" oil and gasoline prices, and be skeptical. The number of dollars that it takes to buy a barrel of oil or a gallon of gas may be higher than ever, but that is not the whole story.

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