It’s been nearly 35 years since we’ve had a “tax and spend” political party. During the 1970s, the Democrats gave up fighting the Republicans about the “tax and spend” label, and the Carter Administration tried to escape from that charge by making very serious attempts to balance the budget. During the 1980s, more and more Democrats emphasized their concern for reducing deficits and balancing budgets as a way of distinguishing themselves from the Reagan Administration’s unprecedented peacetime deficits. This didn’t work for them during Reagan’s time, but they finally were able to use the balanced budget old-time religion game to get George Bush to violate his no new taxes pledge, which both contributed to the Bush recession and, as a further consequence, was a big reason why Bill Clinton was elected.
|By: letsgetitdone Sunday September 19, 2010 8:02 pm|
Earlier this month, Thomas Geoghegan wrote a piece for The Nation telling the Democrats the ten things they could do to really get the base excited, and at the same time do good things for the country. Here’s his list.
|By: letsgetitdone Tuesday September 14, 2010 11:50 am|
The other day, in one of their e-mails, Democracy For America (DFA) posed the choice for me in the 2010 elections this way:
This election, the choice is clear:
* Republicans like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell want to retain the Bush-Cheney reckless tax cuts for the wealthy that created out of control budget deficits and lead America into a jobs-losing recession.
* Democrats like Barack Obama and Patrick Leahy want to return to the booming Clinton-Gore economy that led to balanced budgets and created over 22 million new jobs.
|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 18, 2010 11:57 pm|
Professor L. Randall Wray of the Department of Economics, University of Missouri, Kansas City is one of the leaders of the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) approach to economics. His blogs are very clearly and simply written, well-organized, thorough, and generally fairly dispassionate. But the recent attack of the right on Fannie and Freddy really blew his gasket, and he responded with a really passionate rant against all the present attempts by the righties to impoverish the middle class, the old, the young, and generally everyone else except the rich in a post entitled: “The Wingnuts Go After Fannie and Freddy.”
|By: letsgetitdone Friday August 13, 2010 8:32 pm|
Laurence Kotlikoff has been making waves by using “inter-generational accounting” and CBO and IMF data, to compute a fiscal gap of $202 Trillion in present value. He concludes that this gap shows that the US is “bankrupt” as of now. Evidently, publications like Bloomberg take this sort of thing seriously since they publish it. But Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) economists, think it’s nonsense, due to the inapplicability of inter-generational accounting to Governments sovereign in their own currency.
|By: letsgetitdone Monday August 9, 2010 7:07 pm|
Paul Krugman got a lot of attention among leftward tweeters today for following Glenn Greenwald down the road of writing about the de-evolution of the United States into a de-developed nation, because of the irresponsible preference of its ruling elite for lower taxes rather than infrastructure and essential services, and also because of impact of a generation of fantasy anti-government rhetoric on American minds. Again, I was happy to see Paul take this issue up, but would have been much happier if he done so with, perhaps, a little more fire, and a little more insistence on what the Government ought to be doing, and why we need not, ever, worry about deficits in the abstract.
|By: letsgetitdone Monday August 9, 2010 8:28 am|
On Friday, Glenn Greenwald did a piece called “What Collapsing Empire Looks Like,” in which he contrasted the cutbacks in essential domestic spending throughout the country with the “no problem” funding of Homeland Security and our two wars. Among other things he said:
Does anyone doubt that once a society ceases to be able to afford schools, public transit, paved roads, libraries and street lights — or once it chooses not to be able to afford those things in pursuit of imperial priorities and the maintenance of a vast Surveillance and National Security State — that a very serious problem has arisen, that things have gone seriously awry, that imperial collapse, by definition, is an imminent inevitability? Anyway, I just wanted to leave everyone with some light and cheerful thoughts as we head into the weekend.
|By: letsgetitdone Friday July 30, 2010 10:03 pm|
Bob Herbert, in his column on June 7th said:
There is no plan that I can see to get us out of this fix. Drastic cuts in government spending would only compound the crisis. State and local governments, for example, are shedding workers as we speak.
And by July 26th he still hadn’t come up with a solution and began his column with:
The pain coursing through American families is all too real and no one seems to know what to do about it.
|By: letsgetitdone Thursday July 29, 2010 8:19 pm|
After reviewing the terrible state of our economy and the need to reconstruct it so that people can find work and a vibrant middle class can be rebuilt, Bob Borosage suggests that Congress go back to first principles. he briefly reviews the post- WWII history of employment legislation and says:
That debate was revisited in the 1978 Humphrey Hawkins Full Employment Act, which initially sought to revive the mandate to full employment, and the right to a job. In the end, it too was diluted, offering five ultimate goals: full employment, growth in production, price stability, balance of trade and balanced budgets. It was this act that gave the Federal Reserve the dual mandate of pursing both full employment and price stability. Needless to say, over the last decade, the goals were distorted in practice, with price stability becoming primary, while trade deficits soared, manufacturing was shipped overseas, and budget deficits rose — before the collapse.