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Posts Tagged ‘debt’

I guess the big “gotcha” in the Krugman bankruptcy “story” was that Krugman’s big spending liberal views on debt led him into bankruptcy and therefore he’s been proven wrong. He has, in essence, refuted himself. Gotcha!

Of course, even if this story were true, it would prove nothing. It would not be a case of Krugman refuting himself because it overlooks the other thing that Krugman says all the time, which is that the finances of an individual / family in no way relate to those of the federal government. 

So to recap: In order to prove that damn hippie Krugman wrong, conservative “journalists” pushed a fake “story” that wouldn’t actually make a point about Krugman even if it were true, which it isn’t. 

Heckuva job, Brownie.

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Behold in all its horrible glory: Fox & Friends interviews “Thomas Jefferson”

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This is your semi regular reminder that our years long focus on the deficit in the face of very high unemployment and tepid growth is both terrible and stupid, having resulted in needless suffering by many.

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Seriously. Just stop.

[Obama] is also open to a bill that would avert the sequester for as little as two months.

Just cancel the goddamn thing. Or just implement it. Or do anything other than this. Constant, monthly fiscal fights and unceasing budget uncertainty prevent anyone from doing anything.

Oh, that’s the point, isn’t it?

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Sullivan:

These are not the words of a president serious about cutting the debt. Cutting “waste” in government isn’t going to get you anywhere near what you need. And the president needs to get serious about the burgeoning long-term costs of Medicare. That requires real honesty about real future sacrifice – not blandishments about how we might be able to bend the cost curve slightly.

Can we, please, get something other than typical deficit-scold group think? Andrew seems to think that all we need is more seriousness and more sacrifice and then we’re golden. He decries the President’s desire to raise additional revenue as not serious because it won’t raise enough. Well, OK, I agree it won’t raise a whole hell of a lot. But previously Sullivan complained that the President wanted too much (relative) revenue! 

I would ask how much, specifically, is thecorrect amount? 

More importantly, I would ask how much deficit reduction, specifically, is the correct amount? 

We’ve already done $2.4 Trillion. But I guess that’s just not enough serious sacrifice for the deficit scolds. They won’t be happy until, well, they will never quite say. Is stabilizing the debt to GDP ratio sufficient? We can do that with another $1.2 Trillion. Obama’s “not serious” revenue ask gets us half way there. 

Alas, we will now continue our charade of THE DEFICIT WILL KILL US ALL MORE AUSTERITY NOW I’M VERY SERIOUS AUSTERITY NOW! followed by AUSTERITY WILL KILL US ALL! (remember the fiscal cliff?) and then back again. 

If you’re having trouble making sense of the Very Serious beltway opinion on fiscal matters, its because it doesn’t make a goddamn bit of sense. 

Sullivan finishes:

If you want to go small, Mr President, and leave the real debt cutting to your successor, that’s your prerogative. But it is not the change we believed in. Or voted for.

Well, actually that’s exactly what we voted for. Obama made no secret of his desire to squeeze revenue out of the rich via sunsetting the Bush tax cuts for only high earners and via closing Mitt Romney’s favorite loopholes. In fact, it was the entire premise of his campaign. Voters overwhelmingly rejected Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s (conflicting) versions of austerity for Obama’s “balanced” and minimally austere (by comparison) approach. 

I don’t ever recall Barack Obama running on a platform of “serious” austerity. Sullivan has been lamenting Obama’s failure to “embrace Bowles-Simpson” for two years, a lamentation that made as little sense then as now. On spending, Obama actually has (very nearly) embraced BS (in terms of net amounts, if not line items). On revenues, he never intended to. He’s made that abundantly clear for almost two years. 

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This is your semi-regular reminder that we continue to ignore an actual, immediate problem in order to Get Very Serious about a hypothetical, future problem.

That is all.

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God damn it:

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) told the Wall Street Journal that Republicans “are discussing whether to support a short-term increase in the nation’s borrowing authority, possibly linking the debt ceiling to future talks aimed at reaching a major deficit deal.”

Predictable outcomes etc etc.

Drink two.

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