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Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:24 PM

 

Why are we shooting ourselves in the foot?

In a bipartisan act of stupidity, Congress and the President are setting up the US for more economic pain. In an economy that is barely recovered, if you want to call it that, an austerity package known as sequestration is now set up to needlessly knock this country back into a recession. Meanwhile, instead of trying to reconcile this completely manufactured crisis, 'Pugs and Dems are instead busily campaigning to assign blame rather than actually trying to solve the problem.

Yes, yes, before you say it, I do know how the sequestration came about. It was born of the debt ceiling battle of 2011. Instead of calling the 'Pugs bluff over the debt ceiling, Obama signed off on kicking the can down the road, and now you and I both get to pay.

Frankly, this is a case of, "a pox on both your houses." The 'Pugs obstinance combined with Obama's seeming inability or unwillingness to fight back, is going to cost this country dearly.

Or perhaps this was the plan all along, applying austerity measures under the cover incompetency. I would actually be impressed if that turned out to be the case, because it at least shows that some folks in DC are thinking. But I suspect that isn't the case, rather this is just more of the same stupidity that has been gripping DC for a long, long time now.

What is sad, with millions still unemployed and underemployed, we need to be applying a serious stimulus program instead of austerity measures. Austerity, as we have seen in Greece and elsewhere, simply leads to an economy that spirals down and down, out of control.

But of course that's not going to happen. Instead, while the finger pointing reaches a crescendo, sequestration is going to come crashing in, wrecking out economy and causing real hurt for the American people. You know, if I was manufacturing disasters on my job in the same manner they are doing in DC, I would be fired.

Perhaps that's the ultimate solution, just fire all them, and start with a clean slate. We can't do any worse that we're doing now.

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Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why are we shooting ourselves in the foot? (Original post)
MadHound Feb 2013 OP
upaloopa Feb 2013 #1
great white snark Feb 2013 #5
MadHound Feb 2013 #15
matwilson Feb 2013 #2
WillyT Feb 2013 #3
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #4
MadHound Feb 2013 #16
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #6
JaneyVee Feb 2013 #7
theaocp Feb 2013 #8
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #10
MadHound Feb 2013 #18
JaneyVee Feb 2013 #9
OceanEcosystem Feb 2013 #11
JaneyVee Feb 2013 #12
liberal_economist Feb 2013 #13
JaneyVee Feb 2013 #20
MadHound Feb 2013 #22
MadHound Feb 2013 #19
MadHound Feb 2013 #17
Egalitarian Thug Feb 2013 #23
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #24
Pterodactyl Feb 2013 #14
forestpath Feb 2013 #21
woo me with science Feb 2013 #25
MotherPetrie Feb 2013 #26

Response to MadHound (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:37 PM

1. The Repubs want to use this to forward

an agenda that they could not sell to voters. Dems want what will get us the best economic recovery. So tell me who is shooting who in the foot.
There is no equivalency here.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 07:00 PM

5. But if that equivalency narrative doesn't hold, so many allegations fall short.

You'll get complaints from those with a vested interest in the narrative-but you won't get any from me.

Well said.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:10 PM

15. Then why did the president sign off on this back in 2011?

 

Better to have the battle over the debt ceiling then, crush the 'Pugs and move on than kicking the can down the road.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)


Response to MadHound (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:41 PM

3. Because They Are Too Cowardly To Deal With Their Own Jobs...

We think they represent us... we are horribly wrong.

See: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022427797





& Rec !!!

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 06:49 PM

4. Actually, "we" are doing nothing, but the House of Reps is is shooting everyone....

....in every possible extremity they can find.

I really wish the President would announce an Executive Order designed to clean up this mess.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:12 PM

16. I would love an EO, but that's not going to happen at this juncture.

 

The time for that was back on the original fight that engendered this mess, the debt ceiling. He would have been on solid constitutional ground, but instead he decided to sign off on kicking the can down the road, and here we are.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 07:24 PM

6. "A serious stimulus program" - when we already have a $15 trillion+ national debt? No. n/t.

 

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 07:39 PM

7. We're gonna need to see your long form voter registration card.

OF COURSE we need a stimulus program. We can end unemployment for the masses if we really wanted to, which in turn would generate much more tax revenue to eventually pay down the deficit, combined with higher taxes on the rich.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 07:46 PM

8. What is your plan?

True, strong stimulus is the only way out of this mess. You have to spend money to make money, you know?

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Response to theaocp (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 07:52 PM

10. The math can get very debatable, but

 

I find it doubtful that stimulus spending, dollar for dollar, would actually generate a sufficient amount of economic growth/benefit to be worth it.


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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:17 PM

18. The math isn't debatable at all,

 

Spending money on infrastructure and other such stimulus spending is the best way to stimulate the economy, bar none. Tax cuts and tax credits are the worse way, bar none. This is Econ 101.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 07:49 PM

9. The opposite of stimulation is stagnation. Your choice.

Last edited Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:48 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 07:54 PM

11. If our national debt were, say, $7 trillion instead,

 

then maybe yes, stimulus spending.



Problem is, our national debt isn't $7 trillion.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:04 PM

12. Our deficit could be $7Trillion if we were collecting much more tax revenue.

Austerity has never saved the economy of ANY NATION in the history of the world. We will NEVER get to $7Trillion as long as we have an unemployment problem. Unemployment IS the driver of our debt right now. And taxes too low for too many. When we stabilize the problem we can then reduce taxes slightly again. But shit needs to get paid for, stagnation won't pay the bills.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:22 PM

13. thats actually not true...

 

First, As an economist, any deficit spending is technically 'stimulus', so all of our debt was stimulus spending.

second, i can think of two obvious times that austerity got america out of depressions. The first was the depression of 1920-1921, government cut spending and taxes in half in the midst of over 12%unemployment, the next year the economy boomed and it led to 'the roaring twenties'. The second, is the great depresion, it didnt officially end until the year after the government cut spending by 60% and taxes by some 40%.

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Response to liberal_economist (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:43 PM

20. Bullshit that any deficit spending is technically stimulus. That's a BS line and I shouldn't even

acknowledge the rest but I will. Govt cut taxes because THE TAX RATE WAS 67% and it was CUT down to 25% which then led to the NEXT GREAT DEPRESSION, and the TAX RATE WAS RAISED to 91%. It's 35% today and we're fighting twice as many wars. NOT SUSTAINABLE without TAX REVENUE.

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Response to liberal_economist (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:50 PM

22. I'm not sure you're an economist, much less a liberal,

 

And you certainly don't know your history. OK, let's go.

First, no, technically or otherwise, deficit spending is not a stimulus. All spending can be considered a stimulus, yes, but there are certain types of government spending that get you a much bigger bang for the buck. The number one best way to spend money in order to stimulate the economy is to institute programs like the WPA. The utter worst way is tax cuts and tax credits.

Second, austerity did not get us out of the 1920-1921 Depression, stop believing everything that Thomas Wood is trying to sell you, he is a hack and a poor economist. Most of the actual spending cuts occurred under Wilson, before 1920, and combined with returning soldiers looking for jobs, led to the Depression. What was much more instrumental in our recovery was events like the flight of gold from an unsafe Europe to the US, which helped lead to the market boom/bubble of the Twenties, along with monetary stimulus and the expansion of the tax base in this country.

As far was what happened in the Great Depression, I don't know where you are getting your information, but it is wrong. First of all, there was no lowering of taxes by forty percent. Here, see for yourself.



Tax rates rose for the greatest income earners, and either rose or remained flat for the rest of us. Oh, and let's not forget that Social Security taxes appeared upon the scene in 1936. Furthermore, in 1937 when government spending was cut back, it sent the economy back into a tailspin that it didn't pull out of for thirteen months.

Austerity has never, ever gotten any country, including the US, out of a depression. That is a myth being peddled by the right wing in order to cram austerity down our throats. I don't know where you got your economic degree from, if you actually have one, but wherever it was, it isn't worth the paper it was printed on.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:20 PM

19. This isn't the time to be fixated on the debt.

 

Right now, borrowing costs are at record lows. If we've got to borrow money, this is the time to do so. Put together a major WPA style stimulus package, upgrade our infrastructure so that we can be globally competitive, put people back to work, grow the economy, and the debt will easily be paid back.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:15 PM

17. So?

 

Look, when you have private spending pulling back, you have to have something to take up the slack. That's where the government comes in, the spender of last resort, basic Keynesian economics. The price for borrowing money is at record lows right now, so why not a stimulus program? Put people to work, build our infrastructure for the future so we can compete with the world, and thus grow the economy.

If you pull back both private and public spending, then all that's going to happen is you're going wind up with lost decade after lost decade.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:54 PM

23. Quit listening to people that don't know what they're talking about and are always wrong.

 

This is exactly what we need, and people listening to bullshit like what you've repeated here is what's stopping it. Money is never, ever going to be any cheaper than it is now, and this is exactly what government spending is for.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 11:38 PM

24. Yeah....the CCC program FDR initiated really worked out poorly, didn't it? nt.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:53 PM

14. This is a Washington-manufactured crisis, created to scare us so Washington can save us.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:46 PM

21. K&R

 

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:16 AM

25. We aren't doing it. It's being done to us.

That's a quibble of words, I know...but it sticks in my craw that the propagandists are so good at perpetuating the myth, even in the way we use language, that we still have representative government...when we really don't. It doesn't matter what Americans tell our government we want anymore. We keep getting a corporate agenda anyway. The polls are very clear that they are doing exactly the opposite of what Americans want.

I think to a certain extent Americans have been *trying* to do what you suggest. Barack Obama was elected by a landslide in 2008 because the country was enraged at Bush and were promised real Hope and Change. But Hope and Change turned out to be a bait and switch back to the same Bush policies, and so angry and frustrated Americans put Republicans back into office in the midterms. Two more years of corporate, right-wing garbage later, Obama wins by a landslide again, running on populist rhetoric and a promise to protect Social Security and defend the 99 percent. And then he turns around and fights for a Chained CPI, austerity, and more corporate garbage in education, trade, the environment, etc., etc., etc.

Firing (almost) all of them sounds good to me. The problem is that the system is purchased and deeply rigged to elect more corporatists, no matter what. IMO what we really need is a huge outcry from the masses, that cannot be ignored even by our corporate media. We need millions of us on the steps of the Capitol and the White House now to demand lobbying reform, campaign finance reform, reform of our electoral and debate process, and the end of Citizens United before the next elections.

K&R for this OP.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 12:28 AM

26. K&R

 

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