Inflation Outlook – Looking Forward to August Data

If the Cleveland Fed nowcasts are accurate, month-on-month CPI inflation will be down, core CPI rising slightly from 4 to 4.2% (annualized).

Figure 1: Month-on-month annualized inflation from CPI-all urban (blue), and nowcast as of 8/30 (light blue square),  from personal consumption expenditure (PCE) deflator (black), chained CPI  (brown), sticky price CPI (green), and 16% trimmed mean CPI (red). Chained CPI inflation seasonally adjusted by author. Source: BLS, Atlanta Fed, Cleveland Fed, via FRED, Cleveland Fed, and author’s calculations.

Figure 2: Month-on-month annualized inflation from CPI-all urban (blue), and nowcast as of 8/30 (light blue square), from personal consumption expenditure (PCE) deflator (black), chained CPI  (brown), and sticky price CPI (green). Chained CPI inflation seasonally adjusted by author. Source: BLS, Atlanta Fed, Cleveland Fed, via FRED, Cleveland Fed, NBER, and author’s calculations.

Note that both headline and core year-on-year inflation rates will show up as rising if these nowcasts are accurate – largely because of the April-June surge in the index levels.

Update, 8/30 1pm Pacific:

Reader macroduck argues y/y comparisons can be misleading given the volatility of inflation. Here, I present the levels of the price indices, normalized in logs to 2020M02=0. Since the series are plotted in logs, then you can interpret the slope as the inflation rate – steeper slope means higher inflation.

Figure 1: CPI-all urban (blue), and nowcast as of 8/30 (light blue square),  personal consumption expenditure (PCE) deflator (black), chained CPI, not seasonally adjusted  (brown), sticky price CPI (green), and 16% trimmed mean CPI (red), all series in logs, normalized 2020M02=0. Source: BLS, Atlanta Fed, Cleveland Fed, via FRED, Cleveland Fed, and author’s calculations.


Figure 2: CPI-all urban (blue), and nowcast as of 8/30 (light blue square), personal consumption expenditure (PCE) deflator (black), chained CPI, not seasonally adjusted  (brown), and sticky price CPI (green), all series in logs, normalized 2020M02=0. Source: BLS, Atlanta Fed, Cleveland Fed, via FRED, Cleveland Fed, NBER, and author’s calculations.

65 thoughts on “Inflation Outlook – Looking Forward to August Data

  1. macroduck

    The volatility of inflation data mean that any simple comparison — year-over-year, month-to-month — is likely to be misleading. Headlines are built on simple comparisons, so we won’t be allowed to ignore them, but persistence and breadth are what matter in figuring out the welfare effects of price change. They are also what is likely to drive the policy response. You don’t get persistence or breadth from a single y/y comparison.

  2. Moses Herzog

    What a shame. [ If you can’t hear the sarcasm in my typing voice, it’s there. ]

    Their “change of heart” reminds me of so many celebs, who once they come down with an illness/genetically linked disease (offhand example Arlen Spector) suddenly think it should move to the top of everyone else’s list in importance. Why did it mean nothing 2 days ago???—and now I’m supposed to think you’re “a hero” because your ass is in the frying pan.

    1. baffling

      i only wish those that refuse to take the vaccine pledge to not go to the hospital and take up an ICU bed for somebody who needs it. if you are so certain the vaccine is bad and the virus is harmless, then take this pledge.

      1. Moses Herzog

        @ baffling
        That’s a solid point friend. But here’s the catch~~Doctors, nurses, and health care workers, nearly down to a man, would take care of these asses whether they had signed the vaccine pledge or not. And with the possible exception of doctors (who are very monetarily inclined, and even them I would give 50%+ the benefit of the doubt) would do it because they care rather than any legal obligation. And subconsciously these asses like Marc Bernier, at the very least subconsciously, know that. Which is why they do what they do. It’s like the cigarette smokers working up to lung cancer and their 2nd electrolarynx circa 1985, they know we’re all supposed to save them.

        1. baffling

          this is why i request they do not go to the hospital in the first place. if they do not seek medical assistance, then health care workers do not become part of the mix. just sit at home and keep watching faux news. but it seems none will take me up on the offer.

      2. paddy kivlin

        i will endure severe angst if septuagenarian me cannot get an icu bed bc some bmi 45 youth is taking it up…..

        usa would have nuked the world if western culture were going down to the communists!

        the one aspect of western civilization that justifies a military deterrence is the respect for the individual…..

        what happened…….we all got scared!

  3. Moses Herzog

    I hope Neera Tanden had dried all of her tears because she was so worried about proper OMB management. But some may believe the real war for minority rights and vulnerable segments of the population lies elsewhere. Maybe if Neera Tanden wants to make a more believable pretense about believing in such things, and make much better use of her law degree instead of taking titles where her deputies do the hard work, she can take up this cause:

    Or if Tanden is not interested in real work, rather than status figurehead titles and raising money from foreign outlets to poison American democracy, she can go on advising President Biden. That’s been especially contributory.

    1. Barkley Rosser


      Sigh, you just go on and on after one woman and another for who knows what reason. At least Tanden is not an older one, so maybe she does not remind you of your oppressive mother.

      Aside from that this post has nothing to do with the thread, I note that there seems to be absolutely nothing behind it. What is it she has done that inspired you to post this attack on her? That she is not somehow leading the charge from the Biden admin on voting rights?

      I checked, and the Center for American Progress that she led was very active on the voting rights issue all through last year. I do not see any grounds for you to be dumping on her about this issue.

      Yes, she was hired by Biden to be a senior domestic policy adviser on May 14 or thereabouts. In such a position she must work on and do what her boss wants, not just whatever she wants. There is almost no reporting on what she is doing, but the littel I could find has it that she is supposed to be focusing on health care issues and also issues related to digitization in the US economy. She is not supposed to be working on voting rights issues, despite her history of being involved in pushing for voting rights.

      Really, Moses, you are just completely out to lunch yet again with this utterly wortthless and misleading post. Can you stop getting so worked up about various women that you keep posting garbage lies about them here? It is simply embarrassing for you, reminding everybody that you have some deeply sick obsession about smearing and attacking various women wrongly.

      1. pgl

        “Sigh, you just go on and on after one woman and another for who knows what reason.”

        You didn’t know? She was seen buying Breyer’s ice cream yesterday.

    1. Moses Herzog

      I just did a web search and there’s only basically one up in Portland Oregon:

      I think there’s been some efforts at Chipotle and some others, but very rare. I would definitely make the effort to support one if they were here locally. I do most of my grocery shopping at a worker owned supermarket. And purchase most of the in-house-brand or union brands with exceptions here and there. It makes you feel good, because by every measure I am hearing/reading they treat their workers better than Wal Mart does, and on top of it, I’m usually getting better prices. And believe me, I cross-check.

  4. baffling

    based on the recent drops in the inflation indicators, one begins to wonder if the fed will need to begin walking back their recent comments about the need to taper or reduce their bond buyback strategies. in think the drop in inflation readings is actually problematic. i would like to see >4% inflation for a year or two.

    1. Moses Herzog

      I have a theory that was a “strategic” statement by Powell. He’s using “market expectations” to get that inflation number where he wants it. It’s a pragmatic “white lie” and the type that won’t cause him trouble if he reneges.

    2. macroduck

      In the framework I suspect they are using, the Fed has two medium-term goals. One is to eliminate the output gap, the bother to restore the credibility of their 2% inflation target. Powell’s recent statement indicated that they see the output gap closing. The distortions caused by the pandemic make it hard to know what the underlying inflation trend is, but a period of above-target inflation may help restore public faith in the Fed’s ability to hit it’s 2% target after a period of below-target inflation.*

      Meanwhile, policy is as expansionary as it ever has been. Asset purchases were explicitly a response to the drag from Covid. If the intension is to use rates to deal with whatever the underlying inflation dynamic turns out to be, then continued economic stabilization is likely to mean a tapering of asset purchases. Leaving policy as expansionary as it has ever been while the output gap narrows substantially is not in line with the Fed’s way of operating.

      Not saying that’s right or wrong, just saying that’s how they operate.

      * Two points worth noting. One is that the public seems mostly ignorant of the Fed’s inflation goals, so the objective of restoring the credibility of the inflation target may be quixotic. The other is that Fed actions haven’t been the main factor in boosting recent inflation, so rationally, recent above-target inflation shouldn’t do much to boost the credibility of the inflation target.

    1. Barkley Rosser


      It is probably a waste of time commenting on these junk posts you put here. Yeah, looks like this strike against a supposed about-to-strike suicide bomber hit the wrong target on the way out of a very big mess. And I shall grant that you caught Hillary in a singularly tasteless moment. But what does this latter have to do with anything here at all? In terms of the former, do you really pose seriously the substantial alternative of Biden sending in lots of troops forever to prop up the clearly barely functional Afghan government?

      I think I would have let those two links alone, but then you added this bizarre and completely off-the-wall wisecrack about “Arabic children” and “Catholic priests.” Your first link does involve children who apparently were accidentally killed in this attack (with many more children killed in the suicide bomb attack that preceded this and which this apparently misguided strike was trying to prevent a repeat of), but they are presumably Afghan children, not Arabic ones. And what on earth is this reference to Catholic priests doing here? We have had a lot of badly behaved Catholic priests out there, but none of that has anything to do with Afghanistan, nor am I aware of Catholic priests being involved there at all in any way, although maybe there are a few.

      Oh, Gaddafi was an Arab, but hardly a child, and Catholic priests also had nothing to do with his death.

      Bottom line is that you have two links that have basically nothing to do with each other, and then you add a weird comment that also has nothing to do with either of them. Why are you wasting everybody’s time with this sort of nonsense, aside from, oh yes, Hillary is an older powerful woman, and you have caught her doing something arguably wore than publicly eating fancy ice cream?

      There is a very unfortunate situation left over from the withdrawal of US troops. That is the reported fact that there remain several hundred Americans in Afghanistan who reportedly want to get out and have not. This is a point critics will pound on relentlessly, and while more of them will probably get out, probably there will remain some unknown and unknowable number of others there who can be whined about. This issue will be impossible to resolve, because like those supposedly still missing POWs in Vietnam, it will remain probably forever that there will be some Americans still there who want to leave who have not. We shall never know, even if we never hear anything out of them or know who they are.

  5. Not Trampis

    The only figure worth looking at is the annual trimmed mean figure.
    If you are going to look at annualised figures then examine the last three months of the trimmed mean compared to the previous three months.

  6. pgl

    Ida – like Katrina – has temporarily knocked out refinery production in the Gulf region, which could drive up gasoline prices. But the rise in gasoline prices after Katrina came not from higher oil prices but from refinery margins soaring.

    The news reporting on this got me thinking about Princeton Steve’s forecast that oil prices would soon exceed $100 a barrel. So let’s check the recent data:

    Wow from Sept. 2020 to mid July 2021, WTI crude doubled from less than $37.50 per barrel to around $75 per barrel. But wait – in the last 6 weeks, this price has declined to around $65 a barrel.

    Maybe I just compensate Stevie by sending him a dozen bagels!

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Moses Herzog: I’m sure it’s something. I still remember when the Vietnamese army invaded Cambodia using Hueys. Esssentially, our aid made the Vietnamese army airmobile.

      1. pgl

        And of course this is all my fault. Given all the pointless lies from this worthless troll, could we just ignore his rants from now own?

      2. macroduck

        The Taliban are reported to be disappointed that the U.S. disabled Blackhawks and other high-capability equipment abandoned in the evacuation. Maybe somebody will help them restore operational capability, but if we did our job on the way out, the equipment left behind will remain inoperable.

        1. Moses Herzog

          I hope you’re right. Things like Humvees and machine guns I’m less confident. I mean, let’s take the realistic scenario here—that is the U.S. Military destroyed 98% of the equipment near/inside the Kabul airport, But think of all the weapons they gave to the Afghanistan government army that were basically handed over with very little fight. What would the numbers there be you think vs what was destroyed at the airport?? Color me cynical on that,

    2. joseph

      I think you might be remembering this a little bit backwards. After all, it was over forty years ago.

      The Vietnamese invaded Cambodia with mostly Russian military hardware including Russian Hind helicopters. The Cambodian Army had about 20 Huey helicopters left behind by the U.S. The Vietnamese Army deposed the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot. The U.S. was tacitly supporting the Khmer Rouge as a counterweight to the Vietnamese.

      1. pgl

        Getting rid of the Khmer Rouge was a good thing. But something tells me that Moses worshipped their leadership in Cambodia.

  7. joseph

    At last the U.S. is out of the insane war in Afghanistan. The last troops have left today. Credit to Biden for having the good sense and courage to do what his three predecessors where unwilling to do for 20 years.

      1. CoRev

        Amen tot he BAD, BAD WAR! Ltr tell us it cost the US ~$2.3 trillion over 20 years and still climbing.

        Although those good war costs, Climate Change and Covid-19, don’t count. Although the US costs to fight the much shorter term war on Covid-19 is estimated to be ~$16.1 trillion. And, the war on Climate Change has estimated US FEDERAL EXPENSES at just ~$.3 trillion. Remember that does not include state and private level funding and impacts, which factors the US Federal investment by several factors.

        For WEATHER (erh climate) Events, this graph averages annual deaths to be ~353 for a total of 285 events. BTW, they are MOSTLY all weather and not climate related.

        So the costs for Covid and Climate Change wars are GOOD, while wars to preserve lives from terrorism are BAD.

        1. Willie

          CoRev, you make no sense. You are not making a valid comparison of any kind. Invading Afghanistan has always been a recipe for disaster. Dealing with a pandemic is a very different thing. I suppose you would just as soon not spend money on fighting COVID and see 5 million American citizens and who knows how many other people in other countries die. And, climate change has the potential to wipe out the livelihoods of untold millions of people, with global consequences ranging from population migrations to wars to famines to mass drowning when places like Bangladesh are inundated by violent storms and rising waters.

          But, hey, priorities. Kinda like soy beans, I guess.

          1. CoRev

            Willie: “Dealing with a pandemic is a very different thing.” As in the Biden’s mangled (a democrat liberals description) withdrawal from Afghanistan. Remembering the early Biden days, he claimed: “…President Biden made a call for unity, and he promised a COVID strategy ‘based on truth, not politics….based on science, not denial.’…” Yet, too many Democrats are misinformed about the science:

            Just as misinformed about Climate Change: “And, climate change has the potential to wipe out the livelihoods of untold millions of people, with global consequences ranging from population migrations to wars to famines to mass drowning when places like Bangladesh are inundated by violent storms and rising waters.” Having potential is similar to “correlation is NOT CAUSATION”. Many, many studies have shown those claims to be false. This study: “…We find that recorded century-scale increases in Atlantic hurricane and major hurricane frequency, and associated decrease in USA hurricanes strike fraction, are consistent with changes in observing practices and not likely a true climate trend….”

            Read ALL the science not just the press releases or press articles. Neither are science. Non-science is there to reinforce misinformed beliefs. This is true for Covid and Climate Science.

          2. baffling

            corev, do you even read what you post? for example, in your examiner i quote:
            “Maher then turned his attention to states such as Florida and Texas, who he credited with doing a better job on the coronavirus than states under Democratic control.”
            now granted, this is from april of this year. but let me ask you how that has worked out through september of 2021? florida and texas governors have been in a race to see how many constituents may be hospitalize or die from covid this fall. you cannot really be this stoooopid, can you?

          3. Barkley Rosser


            Oh gag. Why are your posts so relentlessly stupiid and wrong?

            Your first link is to an article from April. It has Bill Maher praising Govs. Abbott and DeSantis for how well they handled the coronavirus in their states. Guess what? Since then their states have become disastrous basket cases with among the highest rates of infection in the country, with both of them pushing outright insane and deadly mask policies.

            As for your second link I guess you did not bother to read posts here by me and 2 Slugbaits. While indeed there are a lot of poorly informed people running around yapping about global warming bringing on more hurricanes, some of us know better. But what it has been bringing, and the article you linked to does not address, is that it has brought on more extremely severe hurricanes, cat 4 and 5, with the recently arrived Ida the latest example.

            Your intelligence, what there ever was of it, seems to be dribbling away right before our eyes, CoRev.

          4. CoRev

            What an amazement is the liberal mind. Comparing the BAD War(s), particularly Afghanistan, LOOK OVER THERE TO the GOOD wars, Covid and Climate Change, they can/will not discuss their candidates performance in his MANGLED withdrawal from Afghanistan. But the Covid war is a political and NOT medical war. Just look at the points of the comments.

            But that ole bad war had now dropped voters’ opinions of Biden’s performance to huge lows.

            As for Climate Change, the left ELITIST intelligentsia can not discern the difference between WEATHER and Climate events. Mankind’s history has been wrapped around weather events. ELITIST minds want to replace geological and mankind’s history by removing it from records. simple and accepted periods, previous warm and COLD periods, must be ignored. Glaciations are almost never mentioned in AGW studies as if they never occurred. Instead recent, the past century’s, warming, is emphasized, while ignoring or even removing the evidence for prior historical warm periods, Optimum, Roman, Medieval etc. are removed. Doing this while ignoring evidence that trees existed in areas now uncovered by ice is the epitome of ignorance and use of blind belief (religion) over logic.

            These poor deluded ELITIST minds think changing history and the weather can be changed by reducing a minor atmospheric gas(s).

          5. pgl

            “CoRev September 3, 2021 at 4:38 am
            What an amazement is the liberal mind. Comparing the BAD War(s), particularly Afghanistan, LOOK OVER THERE TO the GOOD wars, Covid and Climate Change”

            Wait – it was CoRev who tried to jump from the Afghan airlift not going smoothly to a claim that Climate Change and this virus was some liberal hoax. And now this lying troll tries to claim it was liberals who conflated these issues. Come CoRev – me thinks you need to check your wardrobe as your panties are showing.

          6. baffling

            “they can/will not discuss their candidates performance in his MANGLED withdrawal from Afghanistan.”
            americans who wanted out got out. on the other hand, we left far too many of our afghan allies behind. perhaps if the trump administration had not deliberately halted their ability to leave, we could have helped them out a bit more
            corev, you want to explain stephen miller and the white house policy to keep the “iraqs and stans” from entering our country? or was that not a part of the mangled withdrawal. idiot.

        2. baffling

          ok, let’s play this game corev. how many people died on 9/11? how many people died to to covid?

          1. pgl

            “let’s play this game corev. how many people died on 9/11?”

            CoRev has been employed by Rudy G. for a long time so he will answer that only 300 people died on 9/11/2001 thanks to Rudy’s leadership of banging his girl friend that morning.

        3. 2slugbaits

          CoRev And you don’t think climate change will result in mass migrations and future wars that will make Afghanistan and Iraq look like child’s play? Really? Do you expect the hundreds of millions of people living along the coastal Indian subcontinent to just passively accept death? Do you honestly believe that sub-Saharan Africa won’t erupt into endless wars? How stupid are you? The Pentagon knows a thing or two about waging wars and the Pentagon planners see climate change as a grave future threat. Of course, by then you’ll be long dead and forgotten, so you probably don’t care about the wars your great-grandchildren will end up fighting because you’re too proud to admit that you’ve been wrong about climate change. Sad.

          while wars to preserve lives from terrorism are BAD.

          You have a failing memory. The reason we invaded Afghanistan in 2001 is because the Taliban would not surrender Osama bin Laden. Prior to 9/11 we did not have any problems with the Taliban. In fact, the day before 9/11 US companies were negotiating a pipeline deal. And the best way to ensure Afghanistan doesn’t end up harboring international terrorists is to hope the Taliban is able to solidify its control over the country and avoid a tribal civil war. People forget that the Taliban only tolerated A-Q in 2001 because the Taliban’s hold on Afghanistan was tenuous at best and it needed A-Q’s military and financial support. The Taliban / A-Q marriage was a shotgun wedding. The Taliban has always been inward looking while A-Q (and now ISIS-K) are outward looking.

          1. CoRev

            2slugs, \how stupid are you? The Pentagon knows a thing or two about waging wars and how to withdraw from them, but when the CiC doesn’t and over rides their informed recommendations we end up with “MANGLED” withdrawal results.

            As you obviously are confused that climate change is defined by weather events, then you will continue to be willfully misinformed and continue to over emphasize the validity of unlikely projections.

            Your revisionist Afghan history is fascinating, but your naive analysis: “…the best way to ensure Afghanistan doesn’t end up harboring international terrorists is to hope the Taliban is able to solidify its control over the country and avoid a tribal civil war…. The Taliban has always been inward looking while A-Q (and now ISIS-K) are outward looking.” What makes you think that the ongoing Afghanistan civil war has stopped?

          2. 2slugbaits

            CoRev You don’t know a damn thing about military logistics. As these things go, the Afghanistan withdrawal went much better than we had a right to expect. There was really only one security failing and that was primarily due to the Taliban’s inability to secure the airport against ISIS-K attacks despite warnings from US intelligence. By almost any objective measure (e.g., tons per day, people evacuated per day, equipment demilitarized, etc.) the withdrawal went better than most…certainly much better than the godawful withdrawal from Kuwait in 1991. Did it look chaotic on TV? Sure, but so do lines at rock concerts. Anytime you pack a lot of people into a small area it will look chaotic. Given the constraints that Biden and the Pentagon inherited from the Trump Administration, things went surprisingly well. If you think they could have gone better, then I challenge you to set up a constrained withdrawal plan using discrete event simulations (BTW…that’s how the professional logisticians worked it. They used a software package from Arena We all await your DES analysis. I’m sure Menzie would be happy to publish it for all of us to review. In other words, when it comes to military logistics. put up or shut up. No more bar room bluster from the Fox Noise crowd.

            Your revisionist Afghan history is fascinating,

            Not sure why you call it “revisionist.” The reason we invaded Afghanistan was because the Taliban would not surrender OBL. At the time President Bush was very clear in telling the Taliban that if they surrendered OBL we would not invade. You’re an old man with a seriously failing memory, so you really shouldn’t be making comments about someone else spouting revisionist history.

            As you obviously are confused that climate change is defined by weather events,

            One of you stupidest comments to date. We aren’t just experiencing the occasional severe weather event. Those severe events are happening more and more frequently. The West is very hot and dry, just as predicted. The Southeast and East are very wet, just as predicted. The Midwest is experiencing 24 hour 4 inch rainfall events at roughly 10 times the pre-1990 historical rate. Seed catalogs from fifty years ago are useless. Animals emerge from hibernation weeks earlier than they used to. Sugar Maple tree lines have moved north. When weather events over the last 30 years are very different from the previous 30 years, then you have climate change. Ask the people in Louisiana if climate change isn’t real. Ask the people on some island nations. Ask the people in Bangladesh. You need to get off your farm and see the real world.

          3. CoRev

            2slugs asks for my bona fides. They are two DOD systems, Command and Control and the other Combat Support. For the uninitiated, Command and Control is how missions are managed, and Combat Support is how combat components, only one of which is logistics, are put together to form the mission.

            From the objective measures, this Afghanistan withdrawal was horribly mangled. Just look at the responses from the retired military community, the voters, and our NATO allies. Leaving American citizens and our Afghan allies behind is a horribly bad idea. But, your candidate did it. The results of that horrible failure is still TBD, but it will assuredly be bad.

            slugs admits his ignorance about climate being the average of weather factors over and extended period with recent/current WEATHER conditions: ” The West is very hot and dry, just as predicted. The Southeast and East are very wet, just as predicted. The Midwest is experiencing 24 hour 4 inch rainfall events at roughly 10 times the pre-1990 historical rate. ” These are all EASY predictions. Not due to climate but to ENSO. No meteorologist nor climatologist claims ENSO is due to anthropogenic global warming nor climate change.

            Perhaps the most ignorant comment too often repeated by the fuzzy thinking misinformed is: “Ask the people in Louisiana if climate change isn’t real. Ask the people on some island nations. Ask the people in Bangladesh.” ONLY AGW BELIEVERS THINK CHANGING CLIMATE HAS NEVER HAPPENED. IT HAS HAPPENED ALWAYS. As does weather change. The knowledgeable understand the difference.

        4. macroduck

          Jebus! Could you, perhaps, tell us what you meant? I can’t imagine you actually had an idea to convey, but I want to hold open the possibility.

    1. pgl

      ISIS-K does not have easy targets any more. I would say that is a good thing but what do I know since I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia which according to drunk old Uncle Moses makes me a member of the KKK.

      1. Dr. Dysmalist

        Both Moses and CoRev have predetermined their conclusions. No facts or logic will deter them from defending those conclusions, no matter how compelling those facts or that logic are(is), and no matter how incoherent, delusional, dishonest, or tasteless such a defense becomes.

        In other words, just another day in this blog’s world.

        1. Moses Herzog

          @ Mr. Dysmalist
          The fact that you can’t parse out comments shows that if you indeed have a doctorate, you are undeserving. The whole point of getting higher education is to differentiate matters which those without a degree maybe cannot. Those 13 American military men probably wouldn’t have died had they kept the military instillation open (Bagram Air Field) until most of the citizens had exited. If you are too dumb to figure that out, I can only assume you and Barkley went to the same grad school in the same era.

          There is zero doubt in my mind the braindead Georgia born and raised “New Yorker”, Menzie, and many others would be calling this what it in fact is~~~a clusterF**K ~~~ if a Republican president had pulled this same stunt. I am judging this from tangible facts, not from whether the President has or hasn’t got a “D” by his name.

          1. Barkley Rosser


            It is true that over 80 generals (and other high ranks) wrote a letter criticizing the withdrawal and claiming things would have gone better if Bagram had been held longer. The evidence is that mostly these people really just opposed the withdrawal period and wanted Biden to add more troops and stay essentially forever, which I guess is your position, although you have been only semi-coherent on all this, if quite full of yourself as usual. But aside from pgls’s point that ISIS-K knew where Bagram is, there is more.

            In particular, given that a pullout was happening, current military strongly recommended leaving Bagram early as we did, although we should have probably told the Afghan military we were doing it when we did rather than just leaving in the middle of the night, although it is now clear that the Afghan military was utterrly worthless. So what were their reasons for this recommendation?

            The main one is that the base is large and that as a withdrawal was occurring it would require a much larger number of troops to secure it during the withdrawal. This implies a contradiction and a danger, this associated with the fact that it take more time to pull out such a much larger force, with this raising a higher chance of attack than trying to defend the airport in Kabul.

            While it was the Taliban who failed to stop the suicide bomber from getting next to US troops to set off his deadly bomb, being at Bagram would have in no way reduced the chance of such a bomber getting up to US troops. Whether at Bagram or the airport, there would be point where anybody trying to leave the country would encounter US troops on the way who would check them out before approving their entry to the base/airport. That is the point where the bomber blew himself up and killed 13 Americans. He would have had exactly the same opportunity at Bagram, approach just like any other Afghan trying to leave and blow himself up the minute he got next any Americans. Maybe only 10 would have been blown up at Bagram, but maybe 20. But it is complete nonsense to say that the ISIS-K attack would not have happened at Bagram. It mot certainly could have, may even have had more opportunity to have happened.

            There is also the problem that Bagram is 45 miles outside of Kabul. Now many who do not think about it carefully may think that this would have prevented the chaotic mob scene we saw at the airport. But why would it have? For starters, it would have made it harder for both Americans and deserving Afghans to get to the exit location who were located in Kabul, where I suspect the majority were located. They would have had to travel on an open road from Kabul to Bagram, subject to attacks by whomever. And while maybe fewer would have made it there, so the crowds might not have been quite as big, there surely would also have been a mob scene of people desperate to get out in the time frame given.

            Finally we have that black swan that you are studiously ignoring, the fact that some f=guards of Pres. Ghani falsely told him Taliban were in the palace hunting him down, which led him to suddenly leave the country with the Afghan government then just collapsing. That was what triggered the fall of Kabul to the Taliban and the subsequent panic and mob scenes. Would the US holding on to Bagram have prevented that? How would it have done so?

            Bottom line is that holding Bagram would not have noticeably improved anything, and may well have made the whole situation even worse.

        2. pgl

          Moses Herzog September 2, 2021 at 12:06 pm

          is even dumber than the garbage CoRev wrote. I guess in his usual drunken rage, old Uncle Moses thinks ISIS-K does not know where the Bagram airbase even is. Of course the fallen 13 would not have even been in Kabul had Obama listened to Biden 10 years ago and ended this war after we got Bin Laden.

          Here is the other thing drunk Moses forgets – it was Hillary Clinton who convinced to extend this stupid war back in 2011. Of course Moses wants to extend even further but he hates Hillary. But he loves Susan Rice for spewing the same foreign policy advice that Hillary spewed.

          You really need a program to keep up with the dumb positions and forever contradictions we get from our favorite drunk.

      2. Moses Herzog

        @ pgl
        Well, telling people you were born and raised in Atlanta, and stating that Atlanta doesn’t have the same problems Georgia has historically had , and even has up to this very day (segregation and stratification), doesn’t shine a good light on you.
        Everyone is welcome to look at the graph (after the link jump, scroll down the page roughly halfway down) on Fulton County schools, (Fulton is the same County Atlanta is located in)

        Sometimes maybe you should think a little bit, before you type. And telling people Atlanta public schools are not segregated and stratified makes you one of two things: incredibly dumb about the city you yourself were born and raised in, or having a casual attitude towards educational barriers and roadblocks put up for Atlanta Blacks trying to make their way towards a college education, and upwards mobility in society. Does that make you KKK?? Not quite, pgl, you’re “just” the guy shrugging his shoulders passively when the guys in the KKK take off their white sheets, put on their day job suits and ties and keep things status quo. “That’s all”.

  8. ltr

    August, 2021

    Human and Budgetary Costs to Date of the U.S. War in Afghanistan
    By Neta C. Crawford and Catherine Lutz


    Estimated Congressional Appropriations and Spending in Current Billions of U.S. Dollars,
    Excluding Future Interest Payments and Future Costs for Veterans Care

    Total FY2001-FY2022

    Defense Department Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) (War) Budget ( $1,055)
    State Department OCO (War) Budget ( $60)
    Defense Department Base Budget War-Related Increases ( $433)
    Veterans Care for Afghan War Vets to Date ( $233)
    Estimated Interest on War Borrowing ( $532)

    TOTAL in Billions of Current Dollars ( $2,313)

    Since invading Afghanistan in 2001, the United States has spent $2.313 trillion on the war, which includes operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. Note that this total does not include funds that the United States government is obligated to spend on lifetime care for American veterans of this war, nor does it include future interest payments on money borrowed to fund the war.

  9. ltr

    August 18, 2021

    The Long-Term Costs of United States Care for Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars
    By Linda J. Bilmes


    Between 2001 and 2050, the total costs of caring for veterans of the post-9/11 wars are estimated to reach between $2.2 and $2.5 trillion. This includes the amount already paid in disability and related benefits and medical care, as well as the projected future cost of lifetime disability benefits and health care for those who have served in the military during these wars. This estimate is double the author’s previous projections in 2011 and 2013. Several factors account for this dramatic increase. These include: extraordinarily high rates of disabilities among this cohort of veterans, greater outreach by the federal government to inform veterans of their eligibility for benefits, more generous eligibility and benefit compensation, as well as more advanced and expensive medical care, and substantial investment by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to process and administer claims and benefit programs and deliver health care. Federal expenditures to care for veterans doubled from 2.4 percent of the U.S. budget in FY 2001 to 4.9 percent * in FY 2020, even as the total number of living veterans from all U.S. wars declined from 25.3 million to 18.5 million.

    Yet the majority of the costs associated with caring for post-9/11 veterans has not yet been paid and will continue to accrue long into the future. As in earlier U.S. wars, the costs of care and benefits for post-9/11 veterans will not reach their peak until decades after the conflict, as veterans’ needs increase with age. This time around, veterans’ costs will be much steeper. More than 40 percent of the troops who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan and related locations have already been approved to receive lifetime disability benefits.

    This paper provides evidence of the strain that veterans have borne during this conflict. These young men and women have served longer tours of duty, been exposed to more raw combat, and suffered much higher rates of disability, than during any previous U.S. war. The author warns that the United States risks defaulting on our financial obligations to this generation of veterans; one solution would be to create a Veterans Trust Fund to track and set aside funds for these commitments. Additionally, the federal government can make simple changes that would significantly reduce the burden on troops as they transition to veteran status; for example: to automatically enroll all veterans in VA healthcare within 60 days of discharge from active duty.

    * 4.9 percent of 6.6 trillion dollars = 323.4 billion dollars

    Linda J. Bilmes is the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Chair in Public Policy and Public Finance at the Kennedy School, Harvard University.

    1. ltr

      August 18, 2021

      Estimated Budgetary Costs for Post-9/11 Veterans Care
      By Linda J. Bilmes

      Current Projections for costs 2001-2050 *

      Veterans Medical ( $853 – 903)
      Veterans Disability and Benefits ( $1,228 – 1,497)
      VA Administration ( $100 – 106)
      Social Security Disability ( $50 – 69)

      Total ( $2,231 – 2,575)

      * Billions of dollars

  10. baffling

    “States that ended enhanced federal unemployment benefits early have so far seen about the same job growth as states that continued offering the pandemic-related extra aid, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis and economists.”
    ““If the question is, ‘Is UI the key thing that’s holding back the labor market recovery?’ The answer is no, definitely not, based on the available data,” said Peter Ganong, a University of Chicago economist, referring to unemployment insurance.”
    each day seems to show the early termination of unemployment benefits was simply a situation of republican governments enjoying the occasional beating of its constituents. all because some mythical cadillac driving welfare queen is sitting back laughing at them on a couch at home while an extra $300 a month is direct deposited into her investment account.

  11. joseph

    “TOTAL in Billions of Current Dollars ( $2,313)”

    Afghanistan’s GDP is about $20 billion. For the cost of the war the U.S. could have simply doubled the income of everyone in Afghanistan for over 100 years. Or for the duration of the war, increased their income by a factor of 10 times making their lives much easier and winning friends.

    What an incredible waste of money. Think how much better the lives of people in Afghanistan would be if the U.S. had not wasted their money on bombs and tanks and defense contractors and mercenary soldiers.

    The average person in Afghanistan regards the Taliban as the lesser of two evils. At least they provide stability. While people in the U.S. regard Afghanistan as just a distant field of war, the people of Afghanistan regard it is their home where they live and work and try to raise their children without the constant violence from the U.S. military.

    1. pgl

      We did waste a lot of money over the 20 years but the military contractors made trillions – which really was the whole point of staying. But it was more than a waste of money. They were a lot of American soldiers who died or were severely injured including in the Kabul terrorist attack.

      Yes the chicken hawks here want to stay longer as if staying would reduce American deaths? Yes – the chicken hawks are THAT stupid.

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