Ezra Klein

Ezra Klein is a staff reporter at The Washington Post. You can read his blogging here. His work has appeared in the LA Times, The Guardian, The Washington Monthly, The New Republic, Slate, and The Columbia Journalism Review. He's been a commentator on MSNBC, CNN, NPR, and more.

Recent Articles


It's good to be lucky in your friends, but it's better to be lucky in your enemies. And as Rachel Maddow argues, Obama seems increasingly lucky in his enemies: Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News , World News , and News about the Economy The opponents of health reform are, at this juncture, entirely isolated. Industry is adopting an attitude of relentless positivity. Republicans are grudgingly attempting to appear cooperative. The only straight opposition is coming, as Maddow and Howard Dean say, from Rick Scott, a disgraced former hospital executive whose company was convicted of defrauding the federal government in the largest ever case of its kind. You can say, of course, that the traditional opponents of reform will rapidly find their voice when the bill emerges. But they're lagging. The difference between this year and 1994 is that in 1994, it was the opponents of reform who spent the preceding year massing their forces and organizing their grassroots. This year, it's Health Care...


This gets a bit wonky, but Dave Roberts has a good post explaining why cap and trade -- or a carbon tax -- may not be enough to really move us over to renewable energy. Simply slapping a price on carbon might be a sufficient answer if the only failure in the market was that carbon sat lonely and unpriced. But it's not. Roberts explains .


I'm not sure why official Washington is insisting on releasing so much health care news today, but here's the Finance Committee's paper on policy options to expand coverage . This is, in theory, the guidebook that the Committee will use when building its bill. The whole thing is worth reading, but for those interested, the public plan options begin on the 13th page.


Via Dave Weigel and Matt Yglesias comes the depressing news that the vast majority of the public doesn't know what cap and trade" is . And I don't mean in the sense that they don't understand the auctions. They have no idea what problem the policy actually refers to. "Given a choice of three options, just 24 percent of voters can correctly identify the cap-and-trade proposal as something that deals with environmental issues. A slightly higher number (29 percent) believe the proposal has something to do with regulating Wall Street while 17 percent think the term applies to health care reform. A plurality (30 percent) have no idea." Matt made a graph: The struggle to define this policy, in other words, is ongoing. Republicans have been referring to it as the "energy tax." Al Gore's group has been trying out "the carbon pollution loophole." But the thing you can probably say is that it's not going to pass all that quickly. It's fairly hard for Congress to manage large action on issues...


The Peterson Institute's Adam S. Posen and Marc Hinterschweiger have a couple neat graphs making the case against financial innovation. They did not begin as skeptics. They liked the idea of financial innovation. They believed the promises "that expansion in the use of newer derivatives and the like would lead to an expansion in the country’s capital stock, and that these financial products would be useful to nonfinancial companies, not just to banks." But that didn't happen. Their first graph plots the growth of derivatives against the growth of capital stock. It basically shows a massive rise in fake money that's unconnected to any similar increase in real money. The second graphic shows the counterparties for derivatives. Again, facts did not match theory: The theory was that financial innovation was making the economy stronger. The fact was that we were inflating the financial sector so it looked bigger . Posen and Hinterschweiger end with an appropriate note of caution. "We are...