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Rohirrim
12-07-2012, 07:46 AM
Let’s get one thing straight: America is not facing a fiscal crisis. It is, however, still very much experiencing a job crisis.

It’s easy to get confused about the fiscal thing, since everyone’s talking about the “fiscal cliff.” Indeed, one recent poll suggests that a large plurality of the public believes that the budget deficit will go up if we go off that cliff.

In fact, of course, it’s just the opposite: The danger is that the deficit will come down too much, too fast. And the reasons that might happen are purely political; we may be about to slash spending and raise taxes not because markets demand it, but because Republicans have been using blackmail as a bargaining strategy, and the president seems ready to call their bluff.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/07/opinion/krugman-the-forgotten-millions.html?_r=2&adxnnl=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1354885607-Jjys0AIQl5fI3FhblUtB5A&

Keep in mind, the real incomes of the top 1% have increased by 700% over the last thirty years. Over that same period of time, the increase for the average, working American has topped out at about 22% (one third the growth of the previous 30 years).

In other words, the whole "fiscal cliff" is a campaign of bull**** designed to steal more wealth from the bottom 99%.

You'll see. ;D

BroncoInferno
12-07-2012, 01:17 PM
The problem is that people have a tendency to conceptualize complex things in more simplistic ways they can understand. So, the national economy is thought of as similar to one's personal finances (which, of course, it isn't). Hell, a large chunk of the debt is money we owe to ourselves. Cheney wasn't entirely wrong when he said "Deficits don't matter." This is a made up crisis so the plutocrats can steal more from the social safety net and funnel into their coffers.

Meck77
12-07-2012, 04:38 PM
Talked to my friend who works in the White House today. I'll be visiting there in two weeks. His exact words "If the public really knew what was going on it would be pure chaos out there right now".

Cito Pelon
12-07-2012, 04:41 PM
I don't want to see the cliff, can't be laughed off as no big deal. Markets will crash worldwide. It's a big deal.

W*GS
12-07-2012, 06:01 PM
Talked to my friend who works in the White House today. I'll be visiting there in two weeks. His exact words "If the public really knew what was going on it would be pure chaos out there right now".

So what's going on that we don't know?

Or are you channeling gaffe?

Kid A
12-07-2012, 07:11 PM
I don't want to see the cliff, can't be laughed off as no big deal. Markets will crash worldwide. It's a big deal.

Markets won't crash the day after the deadline passes. I expect they will react negatively, but the detrimental effects of the tax hikes and the sequester will be gradual—and minimal if they pass a deal soon after. So really the "cliff" metaphor has always been a poor one in that sense. If bargaining drags on well past the deadline, then we reach the oh **** situation.

What Roh/Krugman are saying, though, is that the nature of the problem posed by the "fiscal cliff" is being widely misrepresented. The main narrative seems to be "this 'cliff' is the result of putting off needed deficit reduction measures for too long, and now me must agree on a way to implement them." Hell, both parties are largely sticking somewhat close to that narrative.

They're wrong. The "cliff" really represents an austerity crisis: a sudden implementation of taxes (on everyone) and budget cuts—anti-stimulus that would wreck havoc on a very weak economy. Priorities #1-10 should be strengthening that recovery by, yes, running up further deficits and stimulating further job growth. Taking the bitter medicine of taxes and budget cuts should wait until we are in a stable economy. If we implement them now, even only in part, it will only backfire and make the long term deficits worse (see: Great Britain).

Frankly, the best thing they could do is kick the can down the road even further. But that would be politically toxic, so here we are...

Cito Pelon
12-07-2012, 11:07 PM
Markets won't crash the day after the deadline passes. I expect they will react negatively, but the detrimental effects of the tax hikes and the sequester will be gradual—and minimal if they pass a deal soon after. So really the "cliff" metaphor has always been a poor one in that sense. If bargaining drags on well past the deadline, then we reach the oh **** situation.

What Roh/Krugman are saying, though, is that the nature of the problem posed by the "fiscal cliff" is being widely misrepresented. The main narrative seems to be "this 'cliff' is the result of putting off needed deficit reduction measures for too long, and now me must agree on a way to implement them." Hell, both parties are largely sticking somewhat close to that narrative.

They're wrong. The "cliff" really represents an austerity crisis: a sudden implementation of taxes (on everyone) and budget cuts—anti-stimulus that would wreck havoc on a very weak economy. Priorities #1-10 should be strengthening that recovery by, yes, running up further deficits and stimulating further job growth. Taking the bitter medicine of taxes and budget cuts should wait until we are in a stable economy. If we implement them now, even only in part, it will only backfire and make the long term deficits worse (see: Great Britain).

Frankly, the best thing they could do is kick the can down the road even further. But that would be politically toxic, so here we are...

Yeah, you better be safe on your investments, because the markets worldwide will nosedive the day the cliff comes about.

chadta
12-08-2012, 04:06 AM
So if a Canadian was to be in the USA on January 1st as you guys go off the cliff, what should he do ?

I spend the holidays in myrtle beach and am actually a little concerned.

BroncoBeavis
12-08-2012, 06:40 AM
So if a Canadian was to be in the USA on January 1st as you guys go off the cliff, what should he do ?

I spend the holidays in myrtle beach and am actually a little concerned.

Avoid taking any work that requires you to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. Do that and you'll be fine. :)

Rohirrim
12-08-2012, 06:41 AM
Markets won't crash the day after the deadline passes. I expect they will react negatively, but the detrimental effects of the tax hikes and the sequester will be gradual—and minimal if they pass a deal soon after. So really the "cliff" metaphor has always been a poor one in that sense. If bargaining drags on well past the deadline, then we reach the oh **** situation.

What Roh/Krugman are saying, though, is that the nature of the problem posed by the "fiscal cliff" is being widely misrepresented. The main narrative seems to be "this 'cliff' is the result of putting off needed deficit reduction measures for too long, and now me must agree on a way to implement them." Hell, both parties are largely sticking somewhat close to that narrative.

They're wrong. The "cliff" really represents an austerity crisis: a sudden implementation of taxes (on everyone) and budget cuts—anti-stimulus that would wreck havoc on a very weak economy. Priorities #1-10 should be strengthening that recovery by, yes, running up further deficits and stimulating further job growth. Taking the bitter medicine of taxes and budget cuts should wait until we are in a stable economy. If we implement them now, even only in part, it will only backfire and make the long term deficits worse (see: Great Britain).

Frankly, the best thing they could do is kick the can down the road even further. But that would be politically toxic, so here we are...

Yep. The solution is more stimulus to create more jobs. Robert Reich agrees.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/november-jobs-numbers_b_2257674.html

We don't have a fiscal crisis. We have a jobs crisis. If, in solving this so called "fiscal crisis" we resort to austerity measures, that means fewer jobs, fewer consumers, less spending. The perfect analogy is the "graveyard spiral." This is where a pilot loses his horizon and then tries to correct using his own sense of his position, which has been compromised, instead of reading his instruments. It's what probably happened to JFK, Jr. What the Republicans want to do is instinctively "pull back on the stick" which will tighten the spiral and drive us into the ground. What economists like Krugman are telling us is "read the instruments," we need to level off.

Too bad we are stuck in a political "perfect storm." Nobody can do anything about it because the Right is stuck in an ideological vise. They can't move, and they can't allow anybody else to move either. So, they bring down the whole show. Enjoy.

orinjkrush
12-08-2012, 06:46 AM
Let’s get one thing straight: America is not facing a fiscal crisis. It is, however, still very much experiencing a job crisis.

It’s easy to get confused about the fiscal thing, since everyone’s talking about the “fiscal cliff.” Indeed, one recent poll suggests that a large plurality of the public believes that the budget deficit will go up if we go off that cliff.

In fact, of course, it’s just the opposite: The danger is that the deficit will come down too much, too fast. And the reasons that might happen are purely political; we may be about to slash spending and raise taxes not because markets demand it, but because Republicans have been using blackmail as a bargaining strategy, and the president seems ready to call their bluff.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/07/opinion/krugman-the-forgotten-millions.html?_r=2&adxnnl=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1354885607-Jjys0AIQl5fI3FhblUtB5A&



Keep in mind, the real incomes of the top 1% have increased by 700% over the last thirty years. Over that same period of time, the increase for the average, working American has topped out at about 22% (one third the growth of the previous 30 years).

In other words, the whole "fiscal cliff" is a campaign of bull**** designed to steal more wealth from the bottom 99%.

You'll see. ;D

QFT!!

Kid A
12-08-2012, 06:51 AM
So if a Canadian was to be in the USA on January 1st as you guys go off the cliff, what should he do ?

I spend the holidays in myrtle beach and am actually a little concerned.

You'll be fine. Seriously. I'm not really on board with the Intentionally Go Over the Cliff crowd, but it's seriously not a "cliff." It's a gradual slope. Look at the markets right now. They aren't panicking. If going past that deadline is going to send them plummeting, they would already be reacting. They obviously don't love the uncertainty here, and will react poorly if we pass the deadline, but it won't be armageddon by any stretch. The danger of going past the deadline is Washington rushing to make a deal that lets a lot of the austerity measures stay in place, which would be bad for growth.

But this will have zero impact on a vacation to Florida. There won't be panic in the streets, canceled flights, etc on Jan 1 if nothing was passed yet.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/11/16/markets-arent-very-worried-about-the-austerity-crisis/

orinjkrush
12-08-2012, 07:01 AM
Yep. The solution is more stimulus to create more jobs. Robert Reich agrees.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/november-jobs-numbers_b_2257674.html

We don't have a fiscal crisis. We have a jobs crisis. If, in solving this so called "fiscal crisis" we resort to austerity measures, that means fewer jobs, fewer consumers, less spending. The perfect analogy is the "graveyard spiral." This is where a pilot loses his horizon and then tries to correct using his own sense of his position, which has been compromised, instead of reading his instruments. It's what probably happened to JFK, Jr. What the Republicans want to do is instinctively "pull back on the stick" which will tighten the spiral and drive us into the ground. What economists like Krugman are telling us is "read the instruments," we need to level off.

Too bad we are stuck in a political "perfect storm." Nobody can do anything about it because the Right is stuck in an ideological vise. They can't move, and they can't allow anybody else to move either. So, they bring down the whole show. Enjoy.

we have tons of good, honest, needed public works that need done. (i.e. harden the electric grid against EMP etc.) and we have tons of good, honest, hardworking people who need work.

the private sector (i.e. the Wall St banksters) has ruined the real economy to profit from their gambling derivatives and offshoring. the "job creators" are anything but.

Its time to take job creation out of the hands of Wall St. and invest in the national security of the US. And that doesn't mean anything outside the confines of the CONUS. the perpetual wars need to end now.

The notion that a worldwide governance of benevolent ECONOMISTS will lead to peace and prosperity is showing to be a dismal failure. ECONOMISTS need to shut up, sit down and let real people deal with real work, real jobs (the jobs crisis), real money and real life.

End the Fed. (cancel all "debt" the Treasury owes to the Fed.) End the World Bank. End the IMF. End the G8. End the G20. And most of all arrest and incarcerate all current and past Goldman Sachs employees and send them to Gitmo, waterboard them and send a clear message that their treason will have consequences.

whew. i need to move to decaffeinated.

Meck77
12-08-2012, 07:31 AM
So what's going on that we don't know?

Or are you channeling gaffe?

Well W*gs we all like to think we know WTF we are talking about around here but none of us really do. What I do know is there is a lot more going on that we don't know which is keeping things calm for now.

It just makes sense to prepare yourself, family, loved ones for the future no matter what it holds for us. The world has certainly changed from the pre 9-11 world we once enjoyed.

I don't exactly know what is coming our way but if there is one thing certain is that things will change. Maybe I'll know more later in a few weeks.

orinjkrush
12-08-2012, 07:41 AM
Well W*gs we all like to think we know WTF we are talking about around here but none of us really do. What I do know is there is a lot more going on that we don't know which is keeping things calm for now.

It just makes sense to prepare yourself, family, loved ones for the future no matter what it holds for us. The world has certainly changed from the pre 9-11 world we once enjoyed.

I don't exactly know what is coming our way but if there is one thing certain is that things will change. Maybe I'll know more later in a few weeks.

do you suggest buying gold/silver?

Requiem
12-08-2012, 08:13 AM
The sky is falling people are right on cue as usual.

Bob
12-08-2012, 08:51 AM
So 16 trillion in debt doesn't matter? We will have inflation at some point and it will be significant - do you think that we can continue to have monetary easing without consequences? I would like for you to be right - that we could continue to spend much, much more than we bring in, but you are wrong on this point.

You must be one of those people that believed Obama when he said he would decrease the debt in half - when he doubled it. You are actually worried about our debt going down too fast? Freaking amazing! What color is the sky on your planet? Bush was very bad on this -- Obama, the Fed and Congress over the past four years have shockingly been worse. When the dollar bubble pops most likely they (and certainly you) will blame capitalism.

Kid A
12-08-2012, 09:40 AM
So 16 trillion in debt doesn't matter? We will have inflation at some point and it will be significant - do you think that we can continue to have monetary easing without consequences? I would like for you to be right - that we could continue to spend much, much more than we bring in, but you are wrong on this point.

You must be one of those people that believed Obama when he said he would decrease the debt in half - when he doubled it. You are actually worried about our debt going down too fast? Freaking amazing! What color is the sky on your planet? Bush was very bad on this -- Obama, the Fed and Congress over the past four years have shockingly been worse. When the dollar bubble pops most likely they (and certainly you) will blame capitalism.

If you honestly want to know where we are coming from (not to necessarily win you over, but to just at least understand the argument), take the 20 minutes to watch this video Drek posted in an earlier thread:

http://www.c-spanarchives.org/clip/4161813

Watch, learn, grow.


And here is a link to the slideshow used in the video. (http://www.businessinsider.com/stephanie-kelton-fiscal-cliff-presentation-2012-11?op=1) Useful to have up while watching, as it's hard to read in the video.

Rohirrim
12-08-2012, 11:10 AM
Keep in mind that the politicians, including Obama, are buying into the argument that we have to do something to make the world better for business and then business will do good stuff for the American people; Sort of a modified "What's good for GM is good for America" approach. Keep in mind, when we did all that deregulation, that was for the good of business. And what did they do in return? They bankrupted the country.

Also keep in mind, those who are howling most about the deficits, like the banksters who say they can't loan money until things are more stable, are also many of the same corporations who received the most in stimulus payments and bailouts. In other words, they are screaming about deficits which they are largely responsible for, by creating the need for them to be bailed out, and now they hide that money in offshore accounts, while demanding that the solution for the deficits is to cut entitlements and give them more tax breaks. Ha!

Lewis Carroll couldn't come up with this kind of ****. Hilarious!

Rohirrim
12-08-2012, 11:27 AM
If you honestly want to know where we are coming from (not to necessarily win you over, but to just at least understand the argument), take the 20 minutes to watch this video Drek posted in an earlier thread:




And here is a link to the slideshow used in the video. (http://www.businessinsider.com/stephanie-kelton-fiscal-cliff-presentation-2012-11?op=1) Useful to have up while watching, as it's hard to read in the video.

Bingo! Thanks to Drek for that video. Why don't they play that thing, in its entirety, on the evening news? There's the real question for our media.

mhgaffney
12-08-2012, 01:23 PM
Avoid taking any work that requires you to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. Do that and you'll be fine. :)

Butthead is obviously just a kid. Probably thinks he will live forever.

haha

mhgaffney
12-08-2012, 01:26 PM
The banksters just got ~$40 billion in virtually free money via QE 3.

They won't invest it in the real economy because they can get a guaranteed return by purchasing US gov't bonds.

Banksters prefer a low rate of return if its no risk.

Meanwhile, the dollar erodes, there are no jobs, and we face likely cut backs in SS and medicare --

not to mention political paralysis -- an explosive mix

MHG

Meck77
12-08-2012, 01:38 PM
Gaff that is 40 billion per month with no end date.


Orinjkrush...I have no idea what your financial situation is and how much paper you are sitting on. If you had any amount of paper before Obama's first administration that was the time to convert it or when Garcia started the (Gold is a bad investment thread):rofl: Gold was under $1,000 then.

Silver was just $10 bucks.

Gold is a little spendy in the $1,700 range but again it all depends on your financial situation. Silver at $33 is much closer to the $26 price point that it has bottomed out at numerous times since Feb 2011.

Well anyway.....Thanks Ron Paul at least one man gave those who were listening a warning about the fiscal cliff MANY MANY years ago.

orinjkrush
12-08-2012, 06:40 PM
Gaff that is 40 billion per month with no end date.


Orinjkrush...I have no idea what your financial situation is and how much paper you are sitting on. If you had any amount of paper before Obama's first administration that was the time to convert it or when Garcia started the (Gold is a bad investment thread):rofl: Gold was under $1,000 then.

Silver was just $10 bucks.

Gold is a little spendy in the $1,700 range but again it all depends on your financial situation. Silver at $33 is much closer to the $26 price point that it has bottomed out at numerous times since Feb 2011.

Well anyway.....Thanks Ron Paul at least one man gave those who were listening a warning about the fiscal cliff MANY MANY years ago.

thanks Meck. am looking into buying silver rounds/bars. just in case the sun don't come up.

Meck77
12-08-2012, 08:36 PM
www.goldmart.com good service, lowest premiums you will find on the net in smaller quantities.

You can pick up "generic" silver rounds for just .89 cents http://www.goldmart.com/bullion-1/silver-bullion/silver-rounds.html over the spot price. You can try your local LCS aka local coin shop but they'll probably want 2.00 over spot.

www.tulving.com but you got to buy big

www.kitco.com great site to follow pricing...

www.monex.com another good site for pricing and longer term charts for perspective. Click on the various metal prices then click on the 1 yr, 5yr and 10 yr charts. You'll soon realize what is going on.

http://www.goldshark.com/ You can compare prices with almost every major website but again you it's hard to beat goldmart.

Craigslist is another great place to buy pms below spot price but I'd get your feet wet elsewhere first.

I think some confuse being prepared with "end of the world" mentality. Being prepared to me means controlling your own financial destiny, being diversified, and making sure what you are working for holds true value. Holding dollars is a slow losing battle no matter how hard or smart you think you are working.

Anyway feel free to send me a private message anytime if you have any questions. Happy stacking.

Bob
12-08-2012, 09:01 PM
www.goldmart.com good service, lowest premiums you will find on the net in smaller quantities.

You can pick up "generic" silver rounds for just .89 cents http://www.goldmart.com/bullion-1/silver-bullion/silver-rounds.html over the spot price. You can try your local LCS aka local coin shop but they'll probably want 2.00 over spot.

www.tulving.com but you got to buy big

www.kitco.com great site to follow pricing...

www.monex.com another good site for pricing and longer term charts for perspective. Click on the various metal prices then click on the 1 yr, 5yr and 10 yr charts. You'll soon realize what is going on.

http://www.goldshark.com/ You can compare prices with almost every major website but again you it's hard to beat goldmart.

Craigslist is another great place to buy pms below spot price but I'd get your feet wet elsewhere first.

I think some confuse being prepared with "end of the world" mentality. Being prepared to me means controlling your own financial destiny, being diversified, and making sure what you are working for holds true value. Holding dollars is a slow losing battle no matter how hard or smart you think you are working.

Anyway feel free to send me a private message anytime if you have any questions. Happy stacking.

Or some extra food -- silver doesn't taste so good.

Rohirrim
12-09-2012, 07:47 AM
Keep in mind that the politicians, including Obama, are buying into the argument that we have to do something to make the world better for business and then business will do good stuff for the American people; Sort of a modified "What's good for GM is good for America" approach. Keep in mind, when we did all that deregulation, that was for the good of business. And what did they do in return? They bankrupted the country.

Also keep in mind, those who are howling most about the deficits, like the banksters who say they can't loan money until things are more stable, are also many of the same corporations who received the most in stimulus payments and bailouts. In other words, they are screaming about deficits which they are largely responsible for, by creating the need for them to be bailed out, and now they hide that money in offshore accounts, while demanding that the solution for the deficits is to cut entitlements and give them more tax breaks. Ha!

Lewis Carroll couldn't come up with this kind of ****. Hilarious!

What? No comments? Ha!

orinjkrush
12-09-2012, 06:58 PM
What? No comments? Ha!

Lewis Carrol maybe couldn't, but George Orwell did. Just reread it again, it is frighteningly accurate.

orinjkrush
12-09-2012, 07:00 PM
Or some extra food -- silver doesn't taste so good.

neither do bitcoins or dollar bills. and food has expiration dates. (once ate a C-ration from the Korean War that was 25 years old. nasty. nasty.)

orinjkrush
12-09-2012, 07:11 PM
www.goldmart.com good service, lowest premiums you will find on the net in smaller quantities.

You can pick up "generic" silver rounds for just .89 cents http://www.goldmart.com/bullion-1/silver-bullion/silver-rounds.html over the spot price. You can try your local LCS aka local coin shop but they'll probably want 2.00 over spot.

www.tulving.com but you got to buy big

www.kitco.com great site to follow pricing...

www.monex.com another good site for pricing and longer term charts for perspective. Click on the various metal prices then click on the 1 yr, 5yr and 10 yr charts. You'll soon realize what is going on.

http://www.goldshark.com/ You can compare prices with almost every major website but again you it's hard to beat goldmart.

Craigslist is another great place to buy pms below spot price but I'd get your feet wet elsewhere first.

I think some confuse being prepared with "end of the world" mentality. Being prepared to me means controlling your own financial destiny, being diversified, and making sure what you are working for holds true value. Holding dollars is a slow losing battle no matter how hard or smart you think you are working.

Anyway feel free to send me a private message anytime if you have any questions. Happy stacking.

most excellent, dude! am going to check out goldmart. had looked into apmex and monex and a few others. mostly thinking of 1 oz silver bars (new). not much into chinese symbols though.

Kid A
12-11-2012, 08:03 AM
Barack Obama's re-election has sent demand for gold coins soaring

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/12/10/gold_coin_boom_worried_republicans_stocking_up.htm l?wpisrc=obinsite

The irony of gold buyers is that while yellowish metal has a reputation as a conservative investment, it's basically the most purely speculative investment you can make. There's no way I can think of that you can even conceptualize what the fundamentals of gold are or are supposed to be. People who think they need a hedge against inflation should buy Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities—bonds whose payoff is indexed to the inflation rate. Current TIPS prices indicate a market expectation of inflation that runs a bit below 2 percent on average over the long term. If you think that's wrong and we'll experience even moderate inflation, then you'll make a ton of money buying TIPS and being proved right. Alternatively, this isn't 1944, and it's extremely simple to invest in foreign currency if you think Australian or Norwegian or Brazilian money will retain its value better than the U.S. dollar.

Rohirrim
12-12-2012, 08:11 AM
Sacrifice is being parceled out by people who will feel none of it. Charles P. Pierce

footstepsfrom#27
12-12-2012, 09:53 AM
Most Americans are ignoramuses, sad but true.

Rohirrim
12-12-2012, 10:06 AM
Most Americans need to ask the question, "If the recession is so bad, and the deficits are so dangerous, why have the incomes on the rich gone up 19%?"

Cito Pelon
12-12-2012, 05:28 PM
The stock markets are edging up a little bit on optimism. If the cliff comes about, they'll tank worldwide. Why? Because the world needs a stable US.

Some investors are obviously gambling right now, and many of them are probably in the know about how talks are going behind the scenes to avert the cliff. For me, the market isn't going up enough to gamble. I'll stay safe for now.

Rohirrim
12-13-2012, 07:14 AM
"The Rush Limbaughs and the echo chambers around the country have really manufactured this," he said, comparing it to the Y2K crisis. "This crisis has been manufactured to scare people so that we will do something here in a hurry."

Harkin said it's "like hostage-taking," and added that the conservative media has "confused people deliberately in order to try to get their way."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/12/tom-harkin-conservative-m_n_2288696.html

orinjkrush
12-13-2012, 10:32 AM
the fiscal cliff is a manufactured docu drama that Congress needs to keep the audience tuned in. oh, look! Congress to the rescue!

Congress is Hollywood for ugly people. Drama queens of the first order.

if there were a real "free market" of ideas in the Congress, then reasonable stuff would probably be enacted. However, with the two PARTY system, it has become crips and bloods and all the good Mr./Mrs. Smiths who go to Washington to do good get co-opted into the R & D gangster bloodbaths.

Rohirrim
12-14-2012, 06:51 AM
It’s important to make this point, because I keep seeing articles about the “fiscal cliff” that do, in fact, describe it — often in the headline — as a debt crisis. But it isn’t. The U.S. government is having no trouble borrowing to cover its deficit. In fact, its borrowing costs are near historic lows. And even the confrontation over the debt ceiling that looms a few months from now if we do somehow manage to avoid going over the fiscal cliff isn’t really about debt.

No, what we’re having is a political crisis, born of the fact that one of our two great political parties has reached the end of a 30-year road. The modern Republican Party’s grand, radical agenda lies in ruins — but the party doesn’t know how to deal with that failure, and it retains enough power to do immense damage as it strikes out in frustration.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/14/opinion/krugman-the-gops-existential-crisis.html?ref=opinion&_r=1&

If the Republican Party disappeared from Washington tonight, all of these economic issues would be resolved tomorrow and we would be on our way out of this mess.

(more from Krugman)
It’s a dangerous situation. The G.O.P. is lost and rudderless, bitter and angry, but it still controls the House and, therefore, retains the ability to do a lot of harm, as it lashes out in the death throes of the conservative dream.

Our best hope is that business interests will use their influence to limit the damage. But the odds are that the next few years will be very, very ugly

Cito Pelon
12-14-2012, 08:41 PM
It’s important to make this point, because I keep seeing articles about the “fiscal cliff” that do, in fact, describe it — often in the headline — as a debt crisis. But it isn’t. The U.S. government is having no trouble borrowing to cover its deficit. In fact, its borrowing costs are near historic lows. And even the confrontation over the debt ceiling that looms a few months from now if we do somehow manage to avoid going over the fiscal cliff isn’t really about debt.

No, what we’re having is a political crisis, born of the fact that one of our two great political parties has reached the end of a 30-year road. The modern Republican Party’s grand, radical agenda lies in ruins — but the party doesn’t know how to deal with that failure, and it retains enough power to do immense damage as it strikes out in frustration.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/14/opinion/krugman-the-gops-existential-crisis.html?ref=opinion&_r=1&

If the Republican Party disappeared from Washington tonight, all of these economic issues would be resolved tomorrow and we would be on our way out of this mess.

(more from Krugman)
It’s a dangerous situation. The G.O.P. is lost and rudderless, bitter and angry, but it still controls the House and, therefore, retains the ability to do a lot of harm, as it lashes out in the death throes of the conservative dream.

Our best hope is that business interests will use their influence to limit the damage. But the odds are that the next few years will be very, very ugly

Well, that's a good point your making. "bitter and angry, but it still controls the House". That's a big deal, controlling the House.

"Our best hope is that business interests will use their influence to limit the damage"

Yup, they're trying. But the doctrinaire Tea Party fools are too ignorant.

BroncoInferno
01-10-2013, 12:48 PM
America Is Having the Wrong Fiscal Argument

By Jeff Madrick

This week’s agreement on the fiscal cliff is disappointing. Although President Obama can claim victory on such important measures as extending unemployment insurance for the long-term unemployed, he agreed to raise the income threshold for the tax hikes he sought from $250,000 to $450,000. Most important, he failed to secure an agreement to mitigate future social-spending cuts, meaning Social Security and Medicare will still be on the table in the next few months. This leaves the Republicans in a position to once again employ brinksmanship when it comes time to raise the debt ceiling, which could be as soon as mid-February. At that time, they may well succeed in their demands for serious and unnecessary social-spending cuts.

It’s more than a little unfortunate that the United States was boxed into the fiscal-cliff situation in the first place. That the nation is adopting a contractionary policy with an unemployment rate of nearly 8 percent is absurd. And that there is such a widespread consensus — accepted by the media as simple common sense — that substantial deficit reductions must be made in 2013 to solve a deficit problem that won’t begin seriously until in the 2020s, is a question for future historians and maybe psychologists. Even the current compromise, which rescinds the payroll tax cut and includes significant tax breaks for others, takes significant spending power out of an economy that is too weak to withstand the move.

The fiscal cliff, recall, was effectively imposed on America by Republicans who in 2011 threatened to cause an unprecedented default on U.S. debt by not raising the legal debt limit. At the time, an agreement to reduce sharply the budget deficit across ten years was put in place, intensifying the pressure to cut social-program (and military) spending. The central battle now is whether deficit-cutting should be weighted toward higher taxes or sharp cuts in social spending — but it should be about whether deficit reductions of $4 trillion to $5 trillion over ten years are necessary at all, especially if they’re to start now. We have already seen caps placed on valuable social programs, including on the National Institutes of Health, on subsidies for low-income housing, and on college loans, which all told amount to about $1.5 trillion in future spending reductions.

Deficit-cutting under the current circumstances is bad economics, according both to theory and to historical precedent. Austerity economics are palpably and tragically failing in Europe, yet the same types who urge austerity on Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and even France — not to mention the non-Eurozone giant, Britain — are also urging it in broad consensus in America. And they are succeeding. Dedicated to their polite even-handedness, meanwhile, the media have tended to blame both sides and to assume unquestioningly that deficit reduction is required, rather than identifying the clear culprits responsible for sustaining our economic mess. These culprits are not evenly distributed across the political spectrum. In order of importance, they are:

First and foremost, the small-government, tea-party Republicans who have been working for an economic policy driven by ideology and a hatred of most social policies. True, small-government ideologues — there are a few — would also seek to cut the military, but this group’s target is solely what it thinks of as the nanny state.

Second are the self-appointed “common sense” centrists, who agree that the federal deficit is our biggest problem, and thereby lend credibility to the right-wing extremists. These are the seemingly serious and purportedly moralistic practitioners of the anti-Keynesian austerity economics that are failing so badly in Europe. They include the powerful Campaign to Fix the Debt, which has aggressively signed up supporters across political and racial spectrums, and the Concord Coalition, as well as the Committee For a Responsible Federal Budget, which is financed by investment-banking billionaire Pete Peterson. But it is dominated by CEOs, almost all of whom have massive retirement funds and health-care benefits, yet demand cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Their great public-relations tool is the budget-balancing committee appointed by President Obama and led by Clinton Administration official Erskine Bowles and Republican former senator Alan Simpson. With heavy support from the groups mentioned above, the conservative document this group produced has come to be seen as the common-sense middle ground. Alarmingly, it calls for federal spending to be capped at 21 percent of GDP, the average since the 1970s, in order to control the deficit. Such an average cannot accommodate an aging population, rising health-care costs, and new public investments. It would require sharp cuts in social spending. The press nevertheless seems to trust the document and Simpson and Bowles are paid handsomely by deficit hawks, reportedly led by Peterson, to make speeches around the country in support of their views.

Third is the Congressional Budget Office, which is almost never mentioned as a partisan in the debate because it is legally bipartisan, answerable both to Democrats and Republicans. This distinction is almost meaningless. The CBO’s economics are utterly neoclassical, which means it is conservative, in that it almost always favors less government spending. Its projections generally assume that high budget deficits will crowd out private investment and slow economic growth. This is simply biased economics. It also presumes that higher taxes reduce the incentive to work — a dubious conjecture at current levels of taxation, to say the least.

Guided by such assumptions, the office frequently arrives at questionable conclusions. For example, its long-term projections have suggested broadly that it would have been better to go over the fiscal cliff than to arrive at the sort of compromise reached this week. In its long-term outlook, the CBO claims that had the drastic spending cuts and tax hikes of the fiscal cliff gone into force, the economy would have bounced back robustly from an ensuing modest recession with 9 percent unemployment. Unemployment would thereafter have fallen to nearly 5 percent, and that federal deficits as a percentage of GDP would have fallen sharply, to 2 percent or so between the late 2010s and 2022. (The CBO’s assumption here is that the recession would lead to lower interest rates and rapid capital investment — that economies are basically self-adjusting, a profoundly conservative notion.)

The fiscal-cliff compromise, by contrast, will in the CBO’s eyes lead to bigger deficits and ultimately higher taxes, therefore robbing the economy of growth. Deficits would rise to 4 or 5 percent, and debt as a percent of GDP will soar. This is austerity economics, pure and simple. If you read the fine print, the CBO provides alternative projections based on milder assumptions about the impact of deficits — assumptions that in my view are much closer to the truth. But the “central’ projections, which are alarmist about the size of the deficit, are the ones the office publishes, and the ones Congress, fiscal hawks, and most of the media take at face value. Economic absurdity, as I say. America badly needs a shadow CBO that publishes more realistic projections, unconstrained by neoclassicism.

President Obama may have been able to make a better deal, but the Republicans are formidable enemies thanks to their numbers and their refusal to compromise. Obama made a mistake when he joined the deficit hawks so enthusiastically back in 2009. It is probably too late to change course — the great social programs inspired by the New Deal are now at stake.

http://harpers.org/blog/2013/01/america-is-having-the-wrong-fiscal-argument/

nyuk nyuk
01-19-2013, 04:35 PM
Talked to my friend who works in the White House today. I'll be visiting there in two weeks. His exact words "If the public really knew what was going on it would be pure chaos out there right now".

What does this mean?

El Minion
04-25-2013, 09:50 AM
Let’s get one thing straight: America is not facing a fiscal crisis. It is, however, still very much experiencing a job crisis.

It’s easy to get confused about the fiscal thing, since everyone’s talking about the “fiscal cliff.” Indeed, one recent poll suggests that a large plurality of the public believes that the budget deficit will go up if we go off that cliff.

In fact, of course, it’s just the opposite: The danger is that the deficit will come down too much, too fast. And the reasons that might happen are purely political; we may be about to slash spending and raise taxes not because markets demand it, but because Republicans have been using blackmail as a bargaining strategy, and the president seems ready to call their bluff.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/07/opinion/krugman-the-forgotten-millions.html?_r=2&adxnnl=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1354885607-Jjys0AIQl5fI3FhblUtB5A&

Keep in mind, the real incomes of the top 1% have increased by 700% over the last thirty years. Over that same period of time, the increase for the average, working American has topped out at about 22% (one third the growth of the previous 30 years).

In other words, the whole "fiscal cliff" is a campaign of bull**** designed to steal more wealth from the bottom 99%.

You'll see. ;D

America Is Having the Wrong Fiscal Argument

By Jeff Madrick

This week’s agreement on the fiscal cliff is disappointing. Although President Obama can claim victory on such important measures as extending unemployment insurance for the long-term unemployed, he agreed to raise the income threshold for the tax hikes he sought from $250,000 to $450,000. Most important, he failed to secure an agreement to mitigate future social-spending cuts, meaning Social Security and Medicare will still be on the table in the next few months. This leaves the Republicans in a position to once again employ brinksmanship when it comes time to raise the debt ceiling, which could be as soon as mid-February. At that time, they may well succeed in their demands for serious and unnecessary social-spending cuts.

It’s more than a little unfortunate that the United States was boxed into the fiscal-cliff situation in the first place. That the nation is adopting a contractionary policy with an unemployment rate of nearly 8 percent is absurd. And that there is such a widespread consensus — accepted by the media as simple common sense — that substantial deficit reductions must be made in 2013 to solve a deficit problem that won’t begin seriously until in the 2020s, is a question for future historians and maybe psychologists. Even the current compromise, which rescinds the payroll tax cut and includes significant tax breaks for others, takes significant spending power out of an economy that is too weak to withstand the move.

The fiscal cliff, recall, was effectively imposed on America by Republicans who in 2011 threatened to cause an unprecedented default on U.S. debt by not raising the legal debt limit. At the time, an agreement to reduce sharply the budget deficit across ten years was put in place, intensifying the pressure to cut social-program (and military) spending. The central battle now is whether deficit-cutting should be weighted toward higher taxes or sharp cuts in social spending — but it should be about whether deficit reductions of $4 trillion to $5 trillion over ten years are necessary at all, especially if they’re to start now. We have already seen caps placed on valuable social programs, including on the National Institutes of Health, on subsidies for low-income housing, and on college loans, which all told amount to about $1.5 trillion in future spending reductions.

Deficit-cutting under the current circumstances is bad economics, according both to theory and to historical precedent. Austerity economics are palpably and tragically failing in Europe, yet the same types who urge austerity on Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and even France — not to mention the non-Eurozone giant, Britain — are also urging it in broad consensus in America. And they are succeeding. Dedicated to their polite even-handedness, meanwhile, the media have tended to blame both sides and to assume unquestioningly that deficit reduction is required, rather than identifying the clear culprits responsible for sustaining our economic mess. These culprits are not evenly distributed across the political spectrum. In order of importance, they are:

First and foremost, the small-government, tea-party Republicans who have been working for an economic policy driven by ideology and a hatred of most social policies. True, small-government ideologues — there are a few — would also seek to cut the military, but this group’s target is solely what it thinks of as the nanny state.

Second are the self-appointed “common sense” centrists, who agree that the federal deficit is our biggest problem, and thereby lend credibility to the right-wing extremists. These are the seemingly serious and purportedly moralistic practitioners of the anti-Keynesian austerity economics that are failing so badly in Europe. They include the powerful Campaign to Fix the Debt, which has aggressively signed up supporters across political and racial spectrums, and the Concord Coalition, as well as the Committee For a Responsible Federal Budget, which is financed by investment-banking billionaire Pete Peterson. But it is dominated by CEOs, almost all of whom have massive retirement funds and health-care benefits, yet demand cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Their great public-relations tool is the budget-balancing committee appointed by President Obama and led by Clinton Administration official Erskine Bowles and Republican former senator Alan Simpson. With heavy support from the groups mentioned above, the conservative document this group produced has come to be seen as the common-sense middle ground. Alarmingly, it calls for federal spending to be capped at 21 percent of GDP, the average since the 1970s, in order to control the deficit. Such an average cannot accommodate an aging population, rising health-care costs, and new public investments. It would require sharp cuts in social spending. The press nevertheless seems to trust the document and Simpson and Bowles are paid handsomely by deficit hawks, reportedly led by Peterson, to make speeches around the country in support of their views.

Third is the Congressional Budget Office, which is almost never mentioned as a partisan in the debate because it is legally bipartisan, answerable both to Democrats and Republicans. This distinction is almost meaningless. The CBO’s economics are utterly neoclassical, which means it is conservative, in that it almost always favors less government spending. Its projections generally assume that high budget deficits will crowd out private investment and slow economic growth. This is simply biased economics. It also presumes that higher taxes reduce the incentive to work — a dubious conjecture at current levels of taxation, to say the least.

Guided by such assumptions, the office frequently arrives at questionable conclusions. For example, its long-term projections have suggested broadly that it would have been better to go over the fiscal cliff than to arrive at the sort of compromise reached this week. In its long-term outlook, the CBO claims that had the drastic spending cuts and tax hikes of the fiscal cliff gone into force, the economy would have bounced back robustly from an ensuing modest recession with 9 percent unemployment. Unemployment would thereafter have fallen to nearly 5 percent, and that federal deficits as a percentage of GDP would have fallen sharply, to 2 percent or so between the late 2010s and 2022. (The CBO’s assumption here is that the recession would lead to lower interest rates and rapid capital investment — that economies are basically self-adjusting, a profoundly conservative notion.)

The fiscal-cliff compromise, by contrast, will in the CBO’s eyes lead to bigger deficits and ultimately higher taxes, therefore robbing the economy of growth. Deficits would rise to 4 or 5 percent, and debt as a percent of GDP will soar. This is austerity economics, pure and simple. If you read the fine print, the CBO provides alternative projections based on milder assumptions about the impact of deficits — assumptions that in my view are much closer to the truth. But the “central’ projections, which are alarmist about the size of the deficit, are the ones the office publishes, and the ones Congress, fiscal hawks, and most of the media take at face value. Economic absurdity, as I say. America badly needs a shadow CBO that publishes more realistic projections, unconstrained by neoclassicism.

President Obama may have been able to make a better deal, but the Republicans are formidable enemies thanks to their numbers and their refusal to compromise. Obama made a mistake when he joined the deficit hawks so enthusiastically back in 2009. It is probably too late to change course — the great social programs inspired by the New Deal are now at stake.

http://harpers.org/blog/2013/01/america-is-having-the-wrong-fiscal-argument/


"Who are you going to believe, us or your lying eyes" – Republicans to Americans


––––––––––––––––––––––––
Spanish unemployment tops 6 million (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-spain-unemploymentbre93o06c-20130425,0,3597549.story)

http://snsimages.tribune.com/media/photo/2013-04/75630453.jpg
People wait in line to enter a government-run employment office in Malaga (Jon Nazca Reuters, / March 4, 2013)

Paul Day
Reuters
3:03 a.m. CDT, April 25, 2013

MADRID (Reuters) - More than six million Spaniards were out of work in the first quarter of this year, raising the jobless rate in the euro zone's fourth biggest economy to 27.2 percent, the highest since records began in the 1970s.

The huge sums poured into the global financial system by major central banks have eased bond market pressure on Spain, but the cuts Madrid has made in spending to regain investors' confidence have left it deep in recession.

Unemployment - 6.2 million in the first quarter - has been rising for seven quarters and the latest numbers will fuel a growing debate on whether to ease off on the budget austerity which has dominated Europe's response to the debt crisis.

"These figures are worse than expected and highlight the serious situation of the Spanish economy as well as the shocking decoupling between the real and the financial economy," strategist at Citi in Madrid Jose Luis Martinez said.

The collapse of a property boom driven by cheap credit has seen millions in the construction sector laid off since 2009 and private service sector, worth almost half gross domestic product, has followed as Spaniards tightened purse strings and investment plummeted.

The malaise has been made worse by billions of euros in state spending cuts and tax hikes to reduce one of the euro zone's highest deficits and convince nervous markets Spain can control its finances.

Spain and Italy's costs of borrowing hit their lowest in more than two years this week and EU officials have begun to talk openly of easing up on deficit targets.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said earlier this week that a new reform plan, to be announced on Friday, would not include more austerity measures in an effort to calm increasingly desperate Spaniards and reassure investors the country will soon be able to grow.

Protests have become commonplace across the country and thousands of police have been drafted in to Madrid to handle a march on Parliament on Thursday.

But few believe the government's plans will be ambitious enough to restart the ailing economy and create jobs. The International Monetary Fund sees Spanish unemployment at 26.5 percent next year.

(Additional reporting by Manuel Maria Ruiz; Editing by Julien Toyer)

Rohirrim
04-25-2013, 10:26 AM
Keep in mind, the real incomes of the top 1% have increased by 700% over the last thirty years. Over that same period of time, the increase for the average, working American has topped out at about 22% (one third the growth of the previous 30 years).

That quote from the original article I posted still boggles my mind. This is the core, economic issue of our times. Who's talking about it in Washington? Less than a handful that I know of - Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown and Mary Landrieu. And that's about it. And yet, history tells us that few elements of a society carry as much danger as income inequality. This is why I'm coming to despise Obama. He's phoning it in. It doesn't matter that you have a bunch of troglodyte reactionaries jamming the works on the Right. If that happens, you get out on the road like TR and you start leading. You start making the argument.

Like this, Barry:

At many stages in the advance of humanity, this conflict between the men who possess more than they have earned and the men who have earned more than they possess is the central condition of progress. In our day it appears as the struggle of freemen to gain and hold the right of self-government as against the special interests, who twist the methods of free government into machinery for defeating the popular will. At every stage, and under all circumstances, the essence of the struggle is to equalize opportunity, destroy privilege, and give to the life and citizenship of every individual the highest possible value both to himself and to the commonwealth. (TR)

Obama is just another status quo president, like Clinton.

That 27% unemployment rate in Spain is going to take that country apart. I just hope that fascism doesn't rear its ugly head again.

nyuk nyuk
05-03-2013, 09:23 AM
Why would they talk about it in Washington?

Because this isn't the USSR and the government doesn't control wages here.

Rohirrim
05-03-2013, 09:26 AM
Why would they talk about it in Washington?

Because this isn't the USSR and the government doesn't control wages here.

A fitting, purely ideological response. I would expect nothing more from you.