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Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:57 AM

 

U.S. now on pace for European levels of austerity in 2013

For years now, economists like Paul Krugman have been criticizing countries in Europe for engaging in too much austerity during the downturn — that is, enacting tax increases and spending cuts while their economies were still weak.

But after this week’s fiscal cliff deal, the United States is now on pace to engage in about as much fiscal consolidation in 2013 as many European nations have been doing in recent years — and more than countries like Britain and Spain...

So how does the sheer scale of the U.S. austerity program for 2013 compare to what European countries have been doing over the past few years? We can get an approximate sense by looking at this paper from the European Trade Union Institute on the size of Europe’s various fiscal consolidation programs. A few comparisons:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/oimg?key=0AoSDSGwq-KBTdGpwbEZId2l4UzEyYTJqdVJ4TW81bmc&oid=1&zx=ewa8ytksbxid

Britain has earned a lot of criticism for its austerity programs in the past two years. But at a total size of 1.5 and 1.6 percent of GDP, each of those two deficit-reduction years were smaller than what the United States is planning this year. The United States is also planning to cut and tax more heavily this year than Spain did in 2010 and 2011. Or France. That said, we’re nowhere near Greek or Portuguese or Irish levels of austerity...

Either way, Congress is starting to tighten fiscal policy this year.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/02/the-u-s-is-now-planning-more-austerity-than-europe/

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Reply U.S. now on pace for European levels of austerity in 2013 (Original post)
HiPointDem Jan 2013 OP
We People Jan 2013 #1
gtar100 Jan 2013 #2
davidpdx Jan 2013 #3
tama Jan 2013 #4
Downwinder Jan 2013 #6
tama Jan 2013 #7
TheKentuckian Jan 2013 #14
tama Jan 2013 #19
TheKentuckian Jan 2013 #42
tama Jan 2013 #46
1ProudAtheist Jan 2013 #10
GoCubsGo Jan 2013 #12
Downwinder Jan 2013 #13
tama Jan 2013 #20
Downwinder Jan 2013 #23
tama Jan 2013 #24
Downwinder Jan 2013 #26
tama Jan 2013 #27
Downwinder Jan 2013 #28
tama Jan 2013 #29
Downwinder Jan 2013 #30
tama Jan 2013 #32
davidpdx Jan 2013 #49
fasttense Jan 2013 #5
tama Jan 2013 #8
Katashi_itto Jan 2013 #9
newfie11 Jan 2013 #11
leveymg Jan 2013 #15
newfie11 Jan 2013 #38
Earth_First Jan 2013 #16
mmonk Jan 2013 #17
Earth_First Jan 2013 #21
Downwinder Jan 2013 #22
woo me with science Jan 2013 #36
xchrom Jan 2013 #18
FarCenter Jan 2013 #25
leveymg Jan 2013 #39
FarCenter Jan 2013 #45
leveymg Jan 2013 #48
socialist_n_TN Jan 2013 #31
Fire Walk With Me Jan 2013 #33
Octafish Jan 2013 #34
Fire Walk With Me Jan 2013 #37
Octafish Jan 2013 #43
woo me with science Jan 2013 #35
On the Road Jan 2013 #40
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #41
roamer65 Jan 2013 #44
Starry Messenger Jan 2013 #47

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:09 AM

1. K&R

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:23 AM

2. Ironic how teabaggers ridicule Europe for its economic problems but rejoice at austerity measures

being implemented here in the US. I guess that's the kind of thinking one can expect from a mind so full of hate for other people.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:12 AM

3. The area we need heavy cuts is defense

Which is why we need Hagel as SoD. The cuts are going to have to come from either discretionary or defense and I'd rather have them come from defense.

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Response to davidpdx (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:20 AM

4. Austerity would be fine

 

on military, banksters and generally on 1%.

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Response to tama (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:02 AM

6. Austerity on Defense means employment cuts.

Which will increase the income gap that needs to be reduced.

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:23 AM

7. There is lot of unnecessary, harmful and insane employment

 

And there is far more important "gap" of adaptation to environmental sustainability instead of escalating the destruction of carrying capacity.

The term "civil disobedience" comes from a book by Thoreau, who refused to pay taxes and otherwise aid and abet US imperialistic wars. Thoreau's book and ideas made great impact on Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

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Response to tama (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:48 AM

14. How many useless jobs are there? We are already at least at 7-8% unemployment

with loads hopelessly pushed out of the market.

There are very limited and diminishing unemployment benefits, there is a demand crisis, many have lost their property so they cannot grow food and are struggling to find shelter, we have millions of homeless (including children), and we gutted welfare because too many worry themselves that somebody, somewhere is getting over.

So what are we going to do with these folks, tama? Soylent factories, death camps, mow down chunks of the populace with machine guns, or just let "the useless eaters" starve or kill each other over crumbs from scraps?

What does the flood of jobless you want to pile on top of what we have do to the wages and opportunities still available?

I don't see how you wouldn't create conditions that would make the Great Depression look like tech boom.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #14)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:22 AM

19. Well

 

As long as you need money to eat and a job to get money (=wage slavery) all jobs are "necessary" in that sense. But only in that sense. Much if not most of those jobs degrade general well-being by directly or indirectly by destroying environment, communities, etc.

Look at it this way: assume for example for a moment that money system was democratic, people-powered, instead of controlled by banks, and that all people would receive citizen salary. What work would be really needed and beneficial to satisfy our basic material etc. needs?


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Response to tama (Reply #19)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:33 PM

42. I can dig that but the dynamic must be changed first otherwise it is just cold hearted mass murder

or dystopia at best.

The system must be replaced, goals changed, and value divorced from wealth. You can't delete large chunks of an economy and hope that it all comes out in the wash.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #42)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:02 PM

46. What we are living in

 

and what TPTB want and are doing more of is already cold hearted mass murder and dystopia.

What is a fools dream is that the change of dynamic can come through the representative system or that alone, we need to build our own people powered networks of mutual support at the level of local communities at the same time we are fighting to change the dynamic at the state and global levels. As e.g. Occupy is doing. As long as we are fully dependent from the system of oppression and destruction and thus slaved by it, we can't change it but go down with it.

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:29 AM

10. Our Defense Budget Has To Be Slashed

 

last year it was 740 billion. the next 17 countries combined (including russia and china) only spent 540 billion on defense. Currently, 53 cents out of every dollar of revenue taken in by our government, gets spent on defense in one way or another. There just isn't enough money left in the decrectionary budget to make any kind of significant dent in our debt. Medicare and Social Security cuts do not count against our debt or deficit because any savings created there goes by law, into their respective Trust Funds. Congress has already gutted everything else to the point of just scraping by.

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Response to 1ProudAtheist (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:44 AM

12. Hell, we'd go a long way just to get rid of the waste and fraud.

I just want them to tell us what the hell happened to that $2 billion they lost in Iraq. And, I want them to account for the countless other billions of dollars that habitually disappear year after year with no accounting. I have seen total figures running into the $2 TRILLION range, which is a quarter of their budget! If they can lose that kind of money, that tells me, you, and everyone else that they don't even need that kind of money.

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Response to 1ProudAtheist (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:46 AM

13. 2006 (Last available) Total Defense Employment 144,646,000

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #13)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:28 AM

20. All

 

And if you worry about employment, how many health care workers would you need to heal all the insanely violent?

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Response to tama (Reply #20)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:37 AM

23. None.

You crash the economy there won't be any health care. Nor food or transportation.

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #23)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:43 AM

24. You work for MIC?

 

It's got nothing to do with real economy of putting food on the table and feeding your kids. It's not gardening. MIC designs and makes and uses weapons and people to destroy gardens and real economies.

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Response to tama (Reply #24)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:57 AM

26. Nope. What manufacturing is left in this country that is not

Defense oriented? Not a good situation to be in, but we got there.

The only way out is to grow the economy. Prepare for global warming, rebuild the infrastructure. Seek alternate energy sources. Increase education.

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #26)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:42 AM

27. There is lot to do

 

in building sustainable food etc. production, energy, communities. but that work is not money-oriented, or oriented to robbing natural resources from rest of the globe. You don't think there's connection between MIC and US military imperialism, and that a nation of 300 million consumes quarter of global resources (and that there is wide spread poverty and malnutrition even among the 300 million)?

GDP and it's growth measures only how much and fast money moves, it's not real in that sense, and basing economy on growing GDP is insane.

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Response to tama (Reply #27)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:59 AM

28. Austerity did not work before

should we expect different results now? I think there is a word for that.

How many people would be employed moving everything located at sea level one meter above sea level?

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #28)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:49 AM

29. Good example of "less is more"

 

How much less work and burning of fossil fuels should be done to avoid climate change raising sea level by one meter - and then getting employed to moving everything below sea level?

The latter would manifest as GDP growth, but it does not produce anything, only tries to fix problem caused by too much work in the first place.

We need holistic approach to comprehend ecological system as interdependent whole, not desperate clinging to our chains of wage slavery and more more more money and power to banksters and the rest of 1% which they rob from people and rest of nature.

That is what they mean by "austerity" - more and more to them by leaving us less and less. It's a matter of distribution, not production of what we don't need and what harms ecological balance and ourselves. As a whole, our societies need to adapt to evolutionary challenges and live within means of what can be produced sustainably without destroying the carrying capacity of ecosystems that we all depend from, which means "austerity" in the sense that we cannot continue mindless consumerism at the cost of environmental destruction. And that means also that our societies cannot any more afford distribution pattern of more and more to 1% (most of which is just insane waste and pollution) and less and less to 99% and our basic needs, which include not only food and roof over our head, but also safety, sense of community, self expression etc. time for ourselves and our most loved ones, instead of being forced to sell more and more of our time and attention to greedy banksters and militarists for less and less power to decide how we want to live.

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Response to tama (Reply #29)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:06 AM

30. CCC and WPA did not really produce anything necessary.

But they provided employment, training, and education for the post war boom and a means to live.

Back to defense spending. How many of these electronic devices that are so much a part of every day life were made possible by defense spending?

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #30)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:26 PM

32. It has contributed to some technological innovations.

 

And much more to destroying lives and ecosystems.

But if you insist on remaining in denial that we live as parts of nature, not outside nature, and that our lives depend from maintaining balance with the greater whole of ecosystem, and that in terms of energy consumption the fossil resources are finite and peaking and we have met the natural limits of growth, there is not much room for sensible discussion.

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:39 AM

49. Yes, it may mean employment cuts

But to some degree employment is going to be cut one way or another. If they start slashing discretionary programs that would cause unemployment as well. The government would literally have to start laying people off and those they would be helping (the poor and elderly) would be screwed as well. People in the defense industry for the most part could be picked up by new technology companies.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:49 AM

5. Well then, expect another dip into depression, I mean recession

With bankster gone wild, stocks and corporate profits at all time record highs, with unemployment still high and wages and benefits for workers at all time lows, with bankruptcies and foreclosures still topping the charts, you know there is going to be another crash.

Austerity gave Europe a double dip recession, what do you think austerity will do to America?

Capitalism has hit the pinnacle of destruction. The monopolies, or multinational corporations, will continue to harvest America's wealth until only a shell remains. Until We The People get up and fight back, the pain and suffering will continue.

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Response to fasttense (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:28 AM

8. It's not America's wealth

 

if by America you mean USA. Global commons is sound base of ethical thought and action, nationalism and national imperialism is not.

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Response to fasttense (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:29 AM

9. Oh no, Capitalism hasnt even started to REALLY feed on us yet. But your right we are on that path

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:36 AM

11. Sheer stupidity

We have been through this before, why can we not learn from history? This is pure greed until we all go down.

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #11)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:58 AM

15. "This is pure greed until we all go down" . . . or, all rise up.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #15)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:57 PM

38. Yeah I guess we will see

I can only hope the bullshit in congress stops and Obama doesn't cave.
If that happens hopefully the American people will get in the streets.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:12 AM

16. I bet as a population we don't resist it like the Europeans...

:sigh:

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:17 AM

17. Explains why the government spent so much time infiltrating Occupy.

They needed to tamp down the resistance to nip it in the bud.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #17)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:29 AM

21. +1

It explains a lot.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #17)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:29 AM

22. Can't afford to have the disadvantaged get together

and form a movement. Remember the Bonus Army.

Especially with Hoover economics.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #17)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 01:34 PM

36. Imposing a "new normal" can be tricky

when it involves masses of people realizing they can no longer feed, shelter, and support their families the way they used to.

They are definitely preparing for pushback, and I don't think just from Occupy.

People will accept a lot of pain as long as they believe that their elected representatives are doing their best to represent them under tough circumstances. They tend to become much less patient when they realize they are being deliberately stolen from.

Money is poured into propaganda, but they have been building a strong security state, as well.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:18 AM

18. du rec. nt

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:47 AM

25. What we need to fix is the $500 billion / year trade deficit.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #25)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:23 PM

39. Don't shop at WalMart. Buy Made in USA & local. Generate your own heat/electric.

If we all took steps to implement the 3 above principles into our lives, the trade deficit would be a thing of the past.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #39)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:42 PM

45. It's more than WalMart

Virtually all consumer electronics from any store are imported, for example.

Same with clothing.

There needs to be some systematic policy by the government to limit imports and restart US businesses.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #45)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:07 PM

48. Unfortunately, one doesn't follow the other in and of itself

The idea of self-sufficient national markets was largely abandoned 30 years ago, and it's almost inconceivable to imagine as to how one might practically go back to them given the enormous costs of building new factories in the U.S. Where is the capital going to come from, if all the capital is in the hands of global banks which see higher returns by investing in companies in China that themselves outsource much of their own components from places like Bangladesh and Vietnam where labor costs are even lower?

If you know how to overcome those practical obstacles, let us know. We'd all like to know some alternative, any workable way out of the downward spiral that sucking down the American population that is not linked-up with Multinational Corporations and Global Banks or federal contractors.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:32 AM

31. Oh well as a positive coming out of suffering.....

More and more will begin to realize that Marx and Engels were right.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:29 PM

33. "austerity" is the socialization of the thefts and mistakes of the rich. How can he not know it's

 

on purpose exactly like the "wall street/bank bailouts"? THEFT paid for by the little people. Goldman Sachs has/had advisors in government in Greece and Italy during these "austerity" periods. Ahem.

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #33)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 12:39 PM

34. + All the Money Went

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Response to Octafish (Reply #34)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 02:41 PM

37. Thanks for the link! n/t

 

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Response to Fire Walk With Me (Reply #37)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:46 PM

43. You are most welcome, Fire Walk With Me!

Thank you for putting the truth into words. These are gangster, er, bankster times where the ownership class continues to enjoy their victory in the class war.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 01:20 PM

35. But...but....we have a *Democratic* President,

who involves himself intimately in the negotiations and even has a veto pen.

How could this possibly happen?

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:43 PM

40. Most of Items He Cites Do Not Really Amount to an Austerity Program

This includes the expiration of the payroll tax cut, which will raise about $125 billion this year. It includes $50 billion in scheduled cuts to discretionary spending from the caps in the 2011 Budget Control Act, as well as $24 billion in new Obamacare taxes and $27 billion in new high-income taxes. It also includes about $78 billion from the now-delayed sequester cuts — assuming that these either take effect or are swapped with other cuts.

Allowing the payroll tax cut to expire and implementing Obamacare are longer-term measures that have to be implemented at some point.

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Response to On the Road (Reply #40)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:48 PM

41. The point isn't who individual items affect; the point is the cuts to spending/deficits slow the

 

economy & that translates to job loss, service cuts & belt-tightening. iow, austerity.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:21 PM

44. Austerity = depression

Ask Argentina, Greece, Spain, Italy and Britain.

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Response to roamer65 (Reply #44)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:06 PM

47. Bingo.

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