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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The triumph of the right

If Obama were to invite Paul Krugman to another dinner, Krugman might decline.
A spending freeze? That’s the brilliant response of the Obama team to their first serious political setback?

It’s appalling on every level.

It’s bad economics, depressing demand when the economy is still suffering from mass unemployment.
And it’s a betrayal of everything Obama’s supporters thought they were working for. Just like that, Obama has embraced and validated the Republican world-view...
And perhaps the most important element of that world-view is this: The only jobs-creation program which our political culture now permits is a program involving weaponry. The economists who (rightly) castigate Obama's plan as a failed attempt at budget-balancing may be missing the point.

Obama may try to slash agricultural subsidies, and that attempt probably won't succeed, but he'll come out of it looking like a deficit hawk. In reality, the lion's share of the budget goes to the military, Social Security, Medicare and interest payments on the debt. Only military spending can create jobs. The ballyhooed spending freeze is nothing but political cover.

In short and in sum: Barack Obama is Ronald Reagan without the whimsy. The Reagan boom was ascribed -- rightly, I think -- to what was called "military Keynesianism." Today, only 40 percent of the citizenry wants to see increased military spending, yet increase it will -- because any other form of stimulus would face crippling right-wing opposition, and the right still controls the country.

All we need is a trigger. An incident. Watch it happen.

Looks like the psy-warriors are prepping us for a WMD attack in the U.S....

Health care reform: Bye bye!
Mr. Reid said that he and the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, were working to map out a way to complete a health care overhaul in coming months. “There are a number of options being discussed,” Mr. Reid said, emphasizing “procedural aspects” of the issue.
They're passing it further down the line. In an election year, that means they are doing nothing. Looks like there's no hope of the Dems going down the filibuster-busting reconciliation route.

Of course, I did not like this reform package. But I did want to see a true filibuster take place.

Nipped! The young right-wing twerps who set-up ACORN were caught infiltrating Senator Mary Landrieu's office. They posed as telephone repairmen to set up wiretaps. Naturally, the conserva-bloggers are hailing these neo-Watergaters as heroes.

The Watergate advice remains sound: Follow the money. Who was paying these guys?
Perhaps you can enlighten me because I'm not up to speed on economics but a spending freeze makes sense to me when the nation doesn't have any money. The way the government is going, it would be like me having a handful of credit cards, going out and spending until they are maxed out then having to borrow money from friends, neighbors,etc, to pay them back plus interest. That, to me, is just stupid, if I'm understanding the economics of it right.

As far as the military spending, I believe that is a necessity for two reasons. One is our national security, which is a no-brainer. The other is the fact that if the defense budget is cut, the military can't afford the equipment they need nor the manpower so they would have to give early outs to the troops who, in turn, would come home to no jobs.

I expect Obama is all talk(that is rarely the truth anyway)so I don't see much for those who want to spend, spend, spend to have anything to worry about.

Lonni, national security?
Are the Russians going to mount an armor attack west into Germany?
Who are the Chinese going to invade on a scale that requires a nuclear response?
When out military budget is as large as everybody else's put together, something is wrong. Specially when we are getting our butt kicked in Iraq and Afghanistan.
These guy didn't learn or forgot the lessons of Viet-nam.

It's pretty easy - when the economic chips are down, the government should spend. It's also, in my opinion, a good time to cut taxes.

When times are flush, that's a good time to raise taxes, cut spending and attempt to bring the deficit and debt into line.

If you think otherwise, you are buying in to faulty macroeconomic theory that dominated just about every presidential administration with the exception of Clinton's.
Maybe the problem (this is in response to Lonni's post) is that government finances should NOT run like individual home finances.

When the citizens are hurting, the government should spend, and spend on things that'll make the citizens hurt less. Weapons aren't really one of those things.

When the citizens are flush the government should tighten its belt, and conserve for when the citizens aren't flush.

What's so hard about that? Why do so many people fail to see that?

Maybe that's why so many people seem to be conservative. They can't understand the difference between running a household and running a government.

The problem is that "those" people do not believe in the role of Gov in the first place, so the usefulness of Gov is lost on them.
Lonni, imagine you are close to the limits on your credit cards, and determined to cut down your debt. Now your tire blows out, and you need the car to get to work. Even though you want to be frugal, you should charge the tire on your card. If you didn't, it's true you'd have less debt for now. But lacking continued income, you would shortly be far worse off.

That's the case in the economy now. A large part of the current deficit is caused by people out of work, who therefore don't pay taxes, don't generate as much sales tax because they buy far less, etc. The answer to this is to get more people working.

Without the federal aid, Florida would have laid off 55,000 workers, according to our governor Charlie Crist. We are already at 11.8% unemployment. Multiply that figure by 50 states. Can you see preventing another 1-2.5 million lost jobs makes sense?

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