The research discrediting the Reinhart-Rogoff study is upending the economic policy discussion everywhere. Everywhere, apparently, except for HBO’s new series “Vice,” which recently featured Kenneth Rogoff as an expert on austerity.
The Fiscal Swindle
The “Grand Bargain” is about showing the world that we can hurt people, so they will know we are “serious.” Reading Jason Linkins’ HuffPo account of elite-pundit thinking about the “Grand Bargain,” Passing ‘Grand Bargain’ Voters Don’t Care About Is Critical To Confidence In Government, Apparently, I am struck by the similarity between the (elite [...]
The “sequester” – mindless, across-the-board spending cuts designed purposefully to be abhorrent to both political parties – now seems likely to go into effect on March 1. If not reversed, we will see the degrading of all government services from food inspection to airport controls, as mass furloughs – 20-30 day forced absences without pay [...]
President Obama today warned that the “brutal” budget cuts in the looming “sequester” — the latest Republican-manufactured hostage-taking crisis — will take a “meat-cleaver” to government and cost “hundreds of thousands” of jobs. He proposed eliminating tax loopholes and … other budget cuts … as a solution, calling it a “balanced” approach. He has even [...]
Well, there they go again. Less than a week after its chief economist apologized for wrongly imposing austerity on European nations – hey, sorry about that, unemployed millions! – the International Monetary Fund is misleading another country into the miasma of austerity economics: ours. The IMF released a report that rates nations on their “profligacy” and [...]
Bloggers have learned some hard lessons about engaging with right-wing nutcases who leave nasty comments: “Don’t feed the trolls.” Starve them of the attention they seek. Ignore them and move on. This advice also applies to the right-wing nutcases threatening to bring down our economy by refusing to raise the debt-ceiling limit. They won’t get any traction on this unless Democrats engage with them. So ignore them, isolate them and scorn them but do not engage with them. Their billionaire & Wall Street funders will stop them and the pubic will see them for what they are, but only if we all just leave them alone. They aren’t really going to hold their breath until we all die.
Washington is careening off the fiscal cliff smack into the debt ceiling. These mind-numbing mixed metaphors are not the currency of a well-governed nation. Once more, Washington is fixated on what and how to cut. Once more, the media is clamoring for a deal, for “shared sacrifice.” Once more, Republicans have indicated that they are [...]
Before ‘W’ got in and made changes in taxes and military spending we were paying off the debt. Bush said the deficits that resulted from his changes were extremely positive news.”
Just how radical and extreme are the Republicans today? Republicans didn’t oppose Boehner’s radical “Plan B” because it would devastate American families and small businesses and destroy government — that was OK, in fact that wasn’t even enough destruction for them. They opposed it because it would raise taxes a small bit on the billionaires who grease their wheels. In other words, they opposed it because it was not extreme and radical enough.
If the President decides to give into Republican demands to cut this kind of deal, thinking that launching a civil war with people like me who were part of his winning coalition in the election is better for the country and worth the trade-off, he will do what feels like he should.