Please join KLRU’s Overheard with Evan Smith for an interview with Senator Bernie Sanders on April 2 at 8:45am in KLRU’s Studio 6A (map). Doors open at 8:15am. The event is free but an RSVP is required. Read more about Anyone here from Austin?
House Republicans are set to unveil a budget on Tuesday morning that will reportedly slice over a hundred billion dollars out of the food stamps program over the coming decade.
Dan Glazebrook in “Israelis Vote to Abandon All Pretense of Seeking Peace” presents a realistic epitaph for the soul of the Israeli collective.
Let’s face it, to paraphrase Glazaebrook, the supposedly left Zionist Union to Netanyahu’s Likud maintained a hypocritical pretense over “peace talks” and seriously supported “violent colonial domination of the indigenous Arabs.” Read more about Israeli Election: Full Fascism Loses Its Mask (coming to a country near you!)
The public debt-to-GDP ratio is, perhaps, the most important measure used in discussions of the relative fiscal sustainability of nations. Nations with high levels of debt-to-GDP are viewed as having more serious fiscal problems than nations with lower levels. Nations having increasing ratios over time are viewed as becoming less fiscally sustainable, while those with decreasing ratios are viewed as more fiscally sustainable.
But is the public debt-to-GDP ratio really a valid measure of fiscal sustainability, or is it a measure that incorporates a neoliberal theoretical bias in its fundamental assumptions? In the United States, the total value of public debt subject to the limit at any point, is the total principal value of all the outstanding debt instruments sold by the Treasury Department. The GDP is the aggregate value of the production of goods and services in the United States within a particular period of time, adjusted for price changes.
So, the public debt is a variable measuring a cumulated stock, while GDP is a flow variable measuring economic activity within a particular period of time. Why compute a ratio of a cumulated stock to a flow within a circumscribed period of time?
Well, in this case of the debt-to-GDP ratio, neoliberal economists reason that the stock, the debt, can only be reduced if the government takes away part of the flow each year to repay a portion of the stock, the debt, leaving less of the flow to add financial savings to the private sector. After all, what other sources of government revenue are there except taxation? Read more about The Value of the Right Ratio Is Zero
Just as every Spring we can count on the Peter G. Peterson Foundation (PGPF) to do a supportive press release when the CBO issues one of its budget outlook 10 year projection reports, we can also count on being treated to public statements by Maya MacGuineas joining in the Peterson Army choir, warning about the coming debt crisis, and singing about the glories of deficit and debt reduction. And this while completely ignoring the real and sad consequences of deficit and debt reduction policies throughout the world since the crash of 2008, as well as previous applications to Latin American, Asian, and the nations of the disintegrated soviet empire, most notably Russia itself. Let's look at Maya MacGuineas latest effort; her testimony to the Senate Budget Committee. Read more about Maya MacGuineas: The Profound Fiscal Irresponsibility of Resistance to Facts
Unprecedented State Violence In Plain Sight Courtesy Of The State-Propped-Up Medical-Industrial Complex: Reconnecting To Our Humanity Is The Key To Healing Our Bodies, Minds And Connections To All Life
“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.” – Albert Einstein Read more about Unprecedented State Violence In Plain Sight Courtesy Of The State-Propped-Up Medical-Industrial Complex: Reconnecting To Our Humanity Is The Key To Healing Our Bodies, Minds And Connections To All Life
If you were a young upwardly mobile professional during the Reagan years the money was good. The corporate life, though, became more of the Rat Race it is today: mergers and acquisitions and leveraged buyouts and downsizing made the survivors scramble to keep up. Home life was a luxury.
But for the lower economic ranks, Reagan ushered in dark days: Read more about (Mis)remembering Reagan
The difference between today's Left and the one FDR had to contend with was that they were a credible threat to jump ship. Now, all we hear is Must Vote Demicrat because 'The Koch bros.' and so the country keeps moving Right. Here's a snippet from a great article that deserves a complete read: Read more about The Left
The Peter G. Peterson Foundation (PGPF) always does a press release when the CBO issues one of its budget outlook 10 year projection reports. The PGPF did another in January quoting its President and COO, Michael A. Peterson. Let's go through that press release and see how many troublesome or false statements we can find. Here's a breakdown of the press release quotation from Michael Peterson.
Today's CBO report reminds us once again that our nation has significant fiscal challenges that have yet to be solved.
It certainly does, but I doubt that Peterson and I would agree on what those challenges are. He thinks they have to do with bringing the national debt under control. I think they have to do with creating full employment with a federal job guarantee program, price stability, a robust economy, a great public and free educational system through graduate school, stopping and reversing climate change, providing everybody in, nobody out, no co-pays and no deductibles health care for all, a first class infrastructure, and a greatly expanded social safety net including a doubling of SS benefits.
He thinks the debt is a long-term problem that we have to start to solve now. I think there is, literally, no public finance-related debt problem for a fiat sovereign like the U.S., and that the problem that exists is not a debt problem, but a political problem created by Peterson and his allies across the political spectrum who have propagandized the view that there is a debt crisis since the mid-1970s, with increasing success since the 1990s. Read more about The Peterson Foundation Sings the Same Old Song
This is the last post in my analysis and commentary on Bruce Bartlett's testimony to the Senate Budget Committee. There's one very significant issue left to discuss, and that is the issue of fiscal gap and generational accounting and whether it should be institutionalized in legislation. I'll begin this post with that discussion and then end the series with my overall evaluation of his effort.
Fiscal Gap and Generational Accounting
15. Generational accounting exaggerates the burden of debt. Intergenerational accounting attempts to assess financial burdens through time, especially with a view to claiming that financial decisions taken in one generation can impose burdens on another. But this argument refuses to count as real assets the infrastructure and other national assets that the current generation will leave for future generations, and it does not understand that federal government debt never needs to be retired. In real terms, there obviously are no intergenerational transfers, except for the knowledge, the physical assets and the larger environment, which the present leaves to the future. The real goods produced in 2050 will be distributed to those alive in 2050, regardless of the public debt in existence at that time. Meanwhile, the U.S. government can always meet its payments when they come due. . . .