Showing posts with label fiscal cliff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fiscal cliff. Show all posts

Sunday, December 30, 2012


It sure looks as if we’re going over the fiscal cliff, but that may be the least of our problems. The debt ceiling is a much bigger and more dangerous issue, and it looks very much as if Republicans are set to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States if they can’t get their way.
Read the entire post.  I wanted to add "stupid" to my title, but I refrained in the spirit of the season of peace and good will, but I suppose thinking "stupid" is in the same category as lust in the heart.  Oh well. Mea culpa.

Paul Krugman is my favorite economist.  Why the president and Democrats in Congress don't pay attention to Krugman is a mystery to me. He knows his subject, does the research and the math, and speaks what looks like plain common sense to me.  He should be Secretary of the Treasury, but, if offered the position (not likely), he might not accept.  A Facebook friend reminded me that Krugman won the Nobel Prize, which should count for something, however I fear certain citizens of the country view Nobel Prizes as a liberal plot, thus it counts for nothing with them.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Yes, I do feel a bit sorry for Boehner, who now has something else to cry about. He thought he was the leader of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives, but, though he should have known before now, he is not the leader of the GOP, because there is no longer a Republican Party to speak of, but only a group of individuals, each with his own agenda, who are responsible only to those who gave them money to get elected and feel no responsibility whatsoever to govern the country.  Charles Pierce says it best: 
There is no possible definition by which the Republicans can be considered an actual political party any more. They can be defined as a loose universe of inchoate hatreds, or a sprawling confederation of collected resentments, or an unwieldy conglomeration of self-negating orthodoxies, or an atonal choir of rabid complaint, or a cargo cult of quasi-religious politics and quasi-political religion, or simply the deafening abandoned YAWP of our bitter national Id. But they are not a political party because they have rendered themselves incapable of politics.
With whom does President Obama negotiate if and when talks about avoiding the fiscal cliff resume?  Obviously, Boehner cannot call the troops to order.  Is another Republican in the House capable of doing the job?  Anyway, Obama was giving away far too much in the deal, but the Republican members of the House did not have the good sense to appreciate their Christmas gift and and ended up saving the president and certain Democrats from themselves.  So it's probably off the cliff or the gentle incline - take your choice.  The Republicans really need to stop scaring investors, banksters, and financiers with their brinkmanship in this fragile economy.

Oh, and to change the subject, Obama nominated John Kerry as Secretary of State.  Kerry is an excellent choice, but he is likely to be swiftboated all over again (yawn), just as Susan Rice was swiftboated out of contention for the cabinet post, through no fault of her own.  

Friday, December 7, 2012


Paul Krugman is fairly certain Bobby Jindal doesn't understand the fiscal cliff, based on a recent op-ed by the Louisiana governor.

"You really have to wonder how someone who's a major political figure could be this uninformed," the Nobel Prize-winning economist wrote in the New York Times blog post.

Krugman wrote that Jindal fails to mention that "the looming problem is spending cuts and tax increases that will shrink the deficit too soon."

The fiscal cliff is a set of $1.2 trillion in tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled to take place on Jan. 1 if the government does not reach a deal to avert it. Economists warn that it could cause a recession by slashing government spending and raising taxes too quickly, but Krugman argues that Jindal doesn't seem to understand this.
I wonder what exactly Jindal does understand as he sets about destroying institutions in Louisiana.  Despite his Ivy-League university education and Rhodes Scholarship sponsored study at Oxford University, he seems to have only a dim understanding of his policies and their consequences.  He travels the country expounding his views, and the media see him as a shining light in the new Republican Party, but neither the media nor the Republican Party seem yet to have arrived at reality-based thinking.  How can it be that politicians and the media either ignore or make only feeble efforts to discover the facts of a situation or policy before holding forth? 

Thanks to Elizabeth for the link.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


In this sharp new video, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich breaks down the fiscal choice in 2 minutes and 30 seconds—with pictures too. And he gives Democrats the inside scoop on how to fight and win this fiscal showdown for the middle class.

From MoveOn. 

Friday, November 30, 2012



Excellent column by Paul Krugman in the New York Times.
The important thing to understand now is that while the election is over, the class war isn’t. The same people who bet big on Mr. Romney, and lost, are now trying to win by stealth — in the name of fiscal responsibility — the ground they failed to gain in an open election. 

Consider, as a prime example, the push to raise the retirement age, the age of eligibility for Medicare, or both. This is only reasonable, we’re told — after all, life expectancy has risen, so shouldn’t we all retire later? In reality, however, it would be a hugely regressive policy change, imposing severe burdens on lower- and middle-income Americans while barely affecting the wealthy. Why? First of all, the increase in life expectancy is concentrated among the affluent; why should janitors have to retire later because lawyers are living longer? Second, both Social Security and Medicare are much more important, relative to income, to less-affluent Americans, so delaying their availability would be a far more severe hit to ordinary families than to the top 1 percent.
President Obama and congressional Democrats hold the cards since the election.  Let's hope they play the game to the advantage of the great majority of the citizens of the country.  Keep in mind that the fiscal cliff is not that at all, but is rather a fiscal incline, and, if it comes to that, the slide down the incline will play a lot worse for Republicans than for Democrats.

Note to Mr President and Congressional Democrats: Hold the line!  (You don't need to tell me; I know I'm mixing metaphors.)

As for Thelma and Louise, they landed safely and moved to Mexico.