Ezra Klein did a piece yesterday offering the conventional deficit dove position on deficits and debt. Here’s a commentary on it.
|By: letsgetitdone Thursday September 16, 2010 8:22 pm|
Tuesday night, I thought I’d attend The National Journal’s Debate on “Our Fiscal Future” between John Podesta and Douglas Holtz-Eakin with Jim Tankersley moderating at The George Washington University’s Marvin Center. I was interested because Podesta is often thought to be on the left-wing of “mainstream” opinion, and also it is said that he is one of the leading possibilities to succeed Rahm Emanuel as the President’s Chief of Staff. So, I wanted to see if I could find some glimmer of novelty in the point of view he expressed; some indication that he might bring some new thinking into The White House beyond what Obama has been hearing from say, Austan Goolsbee.
Unfortunately, the event filled up too fast and I wasn’t able to go, so I tuned into the live video stream, which is now available at the Center for American Progress web site. By the end of the debate I was very glad I didn’t go. First, because I got to “cover” the debate in my living room, and Second, because I didn’t appear to lose anything in translation, especially since the promised Q & A period was limited to answers to one question, and contained nothing that could possibly embarrass any of “the notables” or make them think twice about what they were saying.
|By: letsgetitdone Tuesday September 7, 2010 10:50 pm|
Orszag’s maiden voyage at the New York Times entitled “One Nation, Two Deficits,” is full of myths, and that’s the polite way to say it. I’ll review these and comment on each of them one-by-one.
|By: letsgetitdone Wednesday August 11, 2010 8:01 pm|
Today, Dean Baker questioned the sanity of The Washington Post, after its editorial staff once again came out for cuts in Social Security to avert a crisis which will not be manifest until 2037. In reply to the Post’s observation that this year is the first in which the Social Security program will pay out more than it takes in, and that this is a warning sign, Dean points out that it:
. . . certainly is a warning sign. The falloff in Social Security tax revenue is a warning that the economy is seriously depressed due to the collapse of the housing bubble. Double digit unemployment leads to all sorts of problems, including the strains that it places on pension funds like Social Security.
He then goes on to criticize the Post for not advocating the urgency of the need to get back to full employment to solve any pending shortfall in Social Security, and for advocating instead for possible Fiscal Commission–recommended “balanced” measures, including Social Security spending cuts to be implemented gradually to avert the projected 2037 crisis.
Dean then advocates that we reject this recommendation and wait to act. He says:
|By: letsgetitdone Tuesday July 27, 2010 11:27 pm|
The debates between the deficit doves and the deficit owls continued at New Deal 2.0 (ND20) today. Jeff Madrick, a dove, gives us a post entitled: “Stimulate Now: On Inflation and Deficits.” In this post, I’ll evaluate Jeff’s views paragraph by paragraph.
|By: letsgetitdone Tuesday July 13, 2010 12:01 am|
Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the Co-Chairs of “the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform,” would have us believe that a deficit and debt crisis threatening the fiscal future of the United States is upon us, that “This debt is like a cancer,” and that unless we begin to make across the board cuts in expenditures, and also raise taxes in a way that distributes the pain across all segments of the population, there is no way we will return to fiscal sustainability. This view is false and also alarmist for many reasons.
|By: letsgetitdone Sunday June 27, 2010 8:23 pm|
After going to one of the AmericaSpeaks community conversations Saturday, I’m even more confident that the deficit crisis being promoted by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, AmericaSpeaks, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and the Obama Administration, as well of much the world’s global elite is a fantasy. There is no truth to it, and it is a dangerous fantasy, because if one believes it, then that can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The austerity they recommend for the long-term can make the slow growth and difficult times they project come true. It can catch us all in a nightmare of their making. The “reasoning” behind their fantasy is simple enough.
|By: letsgetitdone Monday June 14, 2010 7:00 am|
Warren Mosler has an important forthcoming book called The Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds, which is, fortunately, available right now in a pre-publication version for reading and commenting from Warren’s site.
Jamie Galbraith, Warren’s friend and occasional co-author has recently written a Foreword to the book, which also can serve as a Foreword to the Modern Money (or Monetary) approach to economics. I think the foreword is important enough in itself that I decided to comment on it. That commentary is the subject of this blog post. I’ve arranged the post as a series of quotes and additional, hopefully, value-added, comments on what Jamie said.
|By: letsgetitdone Monday May 24, 2010 10:23 pm|
The progressive counter-attack against the President’s emerging “austerity” political strategy and program is beginning to emerge. In the last few days, we’ve seen posts by Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson of Social Security Works, Jane Hamsher, Robert Kuttner, and Dean Baker writing against the thrust by the Administration, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and its network of related organizations, and the deficit hawks in the Congress, seemingly aimed at Social Security. These posts make or imply a number of points sometimes in the form of questions. They are:
— The commission is unaccountable.
— It meets in secret.
— Its members will keep their recommendations secret until after the election, and then will present them to a lame duck Congress that is itself unaccountable.
|By: letsgetitdone Sunday May 23, 2010 4:13 pm|
Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson Co-Directors of Social Security Works have written an article called “Has Obama created a Social Security ‘death panel’? In the article they raise questions about the composition, process, and intentions of the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and say:
”We write to raise questions and encourage press inquiry now, before the commission reports, at which point its recommendations could be on track and moving fast.”
And the questions they raise include:
”Q. Have the members of the Commission made up their minds, at least with respect to the broad outlines, making the whole exercise simply an effort by elected officials to escape political accountability?
Q. Why is the Commission apparently working so closely with billionaire Peter G. Peterson, who served in the Nixon administration and who has a clear ideological agenda?”