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Bill USA

Profile Information

Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 05:25 PM
Number of posts: 6,436

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.Ē __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

Boehner says he's seen Gov't avoid addressing the deficit since he's been in D.C. and he's

..."had enough of it." ...

Really??? Well Mr. Boehner -- you were there when the Cheney-shrub regime blew a surplus and took the total public debt to a record high - all to pay for two wars on debt and to give tax cuts going mostly tothe wealthiest few percent in the country.

YOu didn't seem too bothered by massively expanding the public debt then - and for no good reasons. And your votes in Congress back then helped create the infamous Republican Trickle Down Deregulation disaster we have been trying to dig out of which has forced the deficit even higher (the gifts from Republican Trickle - Down Supply Side economics just keep on giving) - while you Republicans have been doing everything you could to sabotage any recovery from this Republican Dystopia we now live in.

Too bad you (and all the other Corporate Lobbyist Party members) didn't start worrying about the public debt BEFORE you massively expanded it!

Paul Krugman had a few words to say on this:

The Undecade

John Boehner speaks:

ďAt some point, Washington has to deal with its spending problem,Ē Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio said Wednesday. ďIíve watched them kick this can down the road for 22 years since Iíve been here. Iíve had enough of it. Itís time to act.Ē

22 years, huh? Indeed, Boehner was elected in 1990, and entered the House at the beginning of 1991. So what kind of can-kicking was going on during his first, say, decade in office? Hereís the picture:

[center] [/center]

Hmm ó it sort of looks as if the US was sharply reducing its debt during the presidency of a guy named, I donít know, Bill something or other.

OK, joking aside, this is important. Republicans have invented a history in which it has been fiscal irresponsibility all along ó and far too many centrists have bought into the premise. The reality is that we had low debt and no fiscal problem before Reagan; then an unprecedented surge in peacetime, non-depression deficits under Reagan/Bush; then a major improvement under Clinton; then a squandering of the Clinton surplus via tax cuts and unfunded wars of choice under Bush. And yes, a surge in debt once the Great Recession hit, but thatís exactly when you should be running deficits.

The point about the fake history that expunges the Clinton years is that it turns the budget into a story in which nobody is at fault because everyone is at fault, and the problem is a generic issue of runaway spending. No, it isnít; we would have come into this crisis with very little debt if the GOP hadnít always insisted on tax cuts.

Deficit Obsession Has Hurt The Recovery: CBO


Hereís the buried lede(sic) from the Congressional Budget Office, which on Tuesday released its Budget and Economic Outlook for the coming decade: D.C.ís deficit obsession has been quite effective at cutting deficits at the expense of the still-struggling economy.

ď[E]conomic activity will expand slowly this year, with real GDP growing by just 1.4 percent,Ē according to CBOís projections. ďThat slow growth reflects a combination of ongoing improvement in underlying economic factors and fiscal tightening that has already begun or is scheduled to occur-including the expiration of a 2 percentage-point cut in the Social Security payroll tax, an increase in tax rates on income above certain thresholds, and scheduled automatic reductions in federal spending. That subdued economic growth will limit businessesí need to hire additional workers, thereby causing the unemployment rate to stay near 8 percent this year, CBO projects.Ē

In other words, intentional efforts to reduce annual deficits and stabilize the debt are working. But if you retrain your gaze from the governmentís balance sheet to the real economy, youíll see the impact of that austerity is fewer people working and slower growth. According to CBO, the recovery wonít really pick up steam until next year, and the economy wonít have recovered until the end of 2017, when it will reach its output potential, and unemployment will fall to 5.5 percent.

Economic Growth Absent From Television Coverage Of Debt Ceiling Debate - MediaMatters.org

I thought this was important enough to warrant a cross-post to Media in GRs....


Dept of Labor revised 2012 increase in employent UPWARD by 335,000 -- oops. But that's not all ..

the total employment level at the end of 2012 was stated as 134,021,000 but was revised to 134,668,000 for a difference for the total employed number of 647,000. so, there must have been an understatement in years before 2012. At any rate, the total employment level as previously published, as of Dec 2012, was understated to the tune of 647,000.

The job gains in 2012 were understated 15% (1,835,000 vs revised: 2,170,000). Interesting. Now we know how to adjust DoL employment change numbers. Going by their recent track record they understate the actuals by about 15%.



Media Matters shows that with the new corrected numbers for jobs growth, the difference in the job gains for the private sector and the job losses for public sector is even worse. Private sector gains since the bottom of the Trickle Down Deregulation Disaster:

"The private economy has added 4,968,000 net jobs since the economy began growing again, and the public sector has lost a net 721,000 workers in that same period."

... this is a measure of the Republican War on Obama and on the livelihoods of millions of Americans.


REPORT: Economic Growth Absent From Television Coverage Of Debt Ceiling Debate

..as per usual, the Corporate Media provide a dependable echo chamber for the Corporate Lobbyist party.....

(emphases my own)

In recent weeks, media outlets have focused heavily on negotiations regarding raising the debt ceiling. But television news has failed to highlight the pressing need for stronger economic growth. Furthermore, discussions about the debt ceiling often ignore facts about deficits, instead pivoting the focus to entitlements as a driver of deficits.

Economic Growth Discussed In Only 12 Percent Of All Segments. Of the 273 total segments analyzed, only 33 mentioned the need to encourage economic growth. All networks included in the analysis are equally deficient in mentioning this point.

Negative Effects Of Failing To Raise Debt Ceiling Not Prominent. Only 100 segments out of 273 mentioned the negative economic effects of failing to raise - or threat of failing to raise - the debt ceiling. MSNBC most frequently mentioned negative effects in 41 of 68 segments (60 percent), while CNN mentioned them in 13 of 23 segments (57 percent). The remaining networks lagged far behind, with CNBC, Fox Business, and Fox News mentioning macroeconomic consequences in 26, 23, and 25 percent of segments, respectively.

Journalists Made Up Largest Share Of Guest Appearances. Of the 429 guests appearing in segments discussing the debt ceiling, 192 were identified as journalists. Political guests made up the second largest share at 135, with economists(7%) and other guests - those not identified as one of the three main classifications - accounting for the rest of guests.



[font size="3"]Also see: Media Ignore Economic Growth, Expert Analyses In Debt Ceiling Coverage [/font]
Warnings From Economists Like Paul Krugman Consistently Overlooked

Media outlets have focused heavily on the topics of deficits and debt, while largely ignoring economic growth during their coverage of the debt ceiling debate. However, experts agree that the need for growth is more pressing than problems of debt, and that growth itself can be a deficit reduction tactic.

Report Outlines Plan To Fix Long Lines On Election Day


WASHINGTON -- As the federal government works to address the long lines and administrative problems voters nationwide faced on Election Day, a new report from the Brennan Center for Justice argues that the first steps should be modernizing voter registration, providing a national period for early voting and setting minimum standards for polling place access.

During his victory speech on Nov. 6, President Barack Obama thanked Americans for turning out to vote, noting many people had waited in line for hours to do so. He made clear that voting reform would be a priority in his second term, when he said that the country needed to "fix" those long lines so that all Americans are able to carry out their constitutional right.

Since then, several lawmakers have introduced election reform bills, and the Justice Department is already working on solutions.

In its new report released Monday, the Brennan Center said the biggest obstacle facing Americaís electoral system -- and a central cause of long lines on Election Day -- is the countryís outdated voter registration system.

Congress Ignores Jobs, Despite Americans Ranking Issue Their Top Priority


WASHINGTON -- Congress has a lot on its plate these days. Immigration reform and gun control have taken center stage in the Senate, and House Republican leaders are ramping up their calls for a balanced budget. But the one issue that Americans routinely say matters the most appears to have taken a back seat: jobs.

Gone are the days of party leaders demanding action on "jobs, jobs, jobs." When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) recently outlined the top 10 priority bills for the year, just two of them were directly related to job creation. (A third one has jobs in the title, but the "Agriculture Jobs Bill" is actually just the farm bill). House GOP leaders, meanwhile, emerged from their annual party retreat last month with their members fired up about one issue: their "No Budget, No Pay" proposal, which would temporarily withhold lawmakers' pay if they don't pass a budget.

Some senators tried to explain the disconnect between what the public says is their biggest priority and what Congress is actually doing.

"Well, there are lots of subjects out there with great import, and somehow or other, we bounce from one to another depending on the severity of an incident," Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) said. "We should be talking about jobs because therein lies our return with the economy."

GOP Delight - Public Sector Austerity Still Slowing U.S. Economy


All along, the real danger of the so-called "fiscal cliff" wasn't that U.S. national debt would increase, but instead that it would drop too quickly. Now, the surprise news that the American economy contracted by 0.1 percent in the last quarter of 2012 is providing a case in point. Along with the impact of super storm Sandy, declining exports and shrinking inventories, steeps cuts in federal (especially defense) spending explain much of the shortfall from the consensus forecast of 1.1 percent growth. As it turns out, since the start of the great recession the unprecedented shrinkage of the U.S. public sector has hampered economic growth and likely added a full point to the unemployment rate.


As Thinkprogress noted Wednesday, "The 0.1 percent contraction is almost entirely attributable to cuts in government spending." The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) explained:

Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 15.0 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to an increase of 9.5 percent in the third. National defense decreased 22.2 percent, in contrast to an increase of 12.9 percent. Nondefense increased 1.4 percent, compared with an increase of 3.0 percent. Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 0.7 percent, in contrast to an increase of 0.3 percent.

That development came just one day after the Bipartisan Policy Center warned that the automatic budget sequester now scheduled to kick in on March 1st could cost the U.S. one million jobs in 2013. As Jared Bernstein lamented Wednesday:

The role of diminished government spending--austerity at time when we need a fiscal push--is a useful reminder that it's not nature that has us stuck in this slog, it's policy.

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All told, the public sector at all levels of government has shed over 600,000 employees since mid-2009. (The figure was 89,000 over the last three months of 2012, representing one government job for five gained in the private sector.) The triple whammy of declining state and local tax revenues (which only returned to 2008 levels last year), draconian budget cuts and the drying up of federal stimulus funds have led to a record decline in government jobs.


E.J. Dionne has an article in WaPo, "The Urgency of Growth". He's taking flack from usual idiot

conservatives. If motivated, perhaps some would like to post some rational comments to his article and do some debunking of conservative bullshit thrown on the 'wall' there. Just a suggestion.


The Urgency of Growth - E.J. Dionne - WaPo

a very good article by a very good writer. He's getting a good deal of flack from jack-ass conservative schmucks, in case anybody would like to add some rational comments to his article.


If you care about deficits, you should want our economy to grow faster. If you care about lifting up the poor and reducing unemployment, you should want our economy to grow faster. And if you are a committed capitalist and hope to make more money, you should want our economy to grow faster.

The momentís highest priority should be speeding economic growth and ending the waste, human and economic, left by the Great Recession. But you would never know this because the conversation in our nationís capital is being held hostage by a ludicrous cycle of phony fiscal deadlines driven by a misplaced belief that the only thing we have to fear is the budget deficit.

Letís call a halt to this madness. If we donít move the economy to a better place, none of the fiscal projections will matter. The economic downturn ballooned the deficit. Growth will move the numbers in the right direction.

Moreover, the whole point of an economy is to provide everyone with real opportunities for gainful employment and economic advance ó the generational ďrelayĒ that San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro affectingly described at last yearís Democratic convention. When we talk only about deficits, we take our eyes off the prize.


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