Not you, Corrente. You know who.
Well it seems this continuing debacle every 3 months has ceased, for now. However, I really can't get over this pathetic celebration over the really low bar involved with regard to avoiding what I call a political default on the public debt. This is the same embarrassing type of celebration that ensued in 2011. We need to get real. Despite the government being opened up again, there's nothing to celebrate. We've already lost. After all, the debt ceiling was a precious gift Obama bestowed onto John Boehner in the 2010 tax deal as he put his full faith in Speaker John Boehner hands, as he took the full faith and credit of the United States hostage.
Of course, it was a deal struck between both of them to put who they called the "extremists" of both their parties in check, for a grand bargain like in 1983 when Tip O'Neil and Ronald Reagan cut social security. President Obama and Speaker Boehner weren't fooling everyone, though. Just those involved in their hyper deluded, hyper partisan, claptrap. To some of us, this was entirely predictable and preventable. Now people are suffering because some people, blinded by their hyper-loyal partisan illusions, couldn't or didn't want to see what was there. Maybe their lack of sight reveals they don't really care? It doesn't matter though. This will continue to be what we go through when some of this crap continues again in 4 months in February, regardless.
This austerity government will reopen at sequester levels of funding; a sequester I predicted would be born out by the stupid Super Committee from the super austerity Budget Control Act of 2011, which I saw was inevitable since the 2010 tax deal led to the first, now ongoing, debt ceiling debacle; a miniature crisis to crisis government with no plans to invest in its citizens' future. Anything else is possible though, from government shutdowns over the false prospect of defunding Obamacare, to any austerian Senator or Congressman using the threat of default for whatever demands they want.
We, the so called professional left as the White House derisively called us, warned about this. Anyone who denied this can either apologize now or forever restrain from speaking about matters regarding politics, civics, political deals, and the debt ceiling. We told all of you back in 2011 around this same time when that debacle was coming to its end — until this one and the next one 4 months down the line — that this was no victory. Read below the fold...
Disclaimer: This forum rules like the moderator. I'm talking about a different one that tends to skew towards Obots in an orange way.
And here we are again! It started in 2010. The Bush tax cuts were about to expire. There was leverage to negotiate a debt ceiling raise or to just let them expire. How do I know there was leverage? I know Republicans like tax cuts for the rich, and there was a deal for the purpose of extending them with Republican votes. It passed with those Republican votes, which led to this whole thing because there was no debt ceiling raise included.
Maybe others are unaware of this? I don't know. It doesn't matter though; the uninformed shouldn't dictate fantasy as reality in a reality based community. This is the actual reality and why we are worried about a global financial calamity with regard to a possible political default on the public debt, which is a choice and otherwise impossible for a sovereign currency issuer.
Q Mr. President, thank you. How do these negotiations affect negotiations or talks with Republicans about raising the debt limit? Because it would seem that they have a significant amount of leverage over the White House now, going in. Was there ever any attempt by the White House to include raising the debt limit as a part of this package?
THE PRESIDENT: When you say it would seem they’ll have a significant amount of leverage over the White House, what do you mean?
Q Just in the sense that they’ll say essentially we’re not going to raise the — we’re not going to agree to it unless the White House is able to or willing to agree to significant spending cuts across the board that probably go deeper and further than what you’re willing to do. I mean, what leverage would you have –
THE PRESIDENT: [silence].... Look, here’s my expectation — and I’ll take John Boehner at his word — that nobody, Democrat or Republican, is willing to see the full faith and credit of the United States government collapse, that that would not be a good thing to happen. And so I think that there will be significant discussions about the debt limit vote. That’s something that nobody ever likes to vote on. But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower.
You know, we on the left knew what this would lead to. You don't trust John Boehner with the full faith in credit of the United States unless one is completely clueless or an economic nihilist. The resulting signs we are starting to see of a financial panic in response to the prospects of a default on top of the ongoing depression, the jobs crisis, the continuing climate and ecological crisis all converging into one huge Epochal crisis, point to a special kind of disdain for the public that all our elected leaders have for us. I mean, we have enough problems without adding to them through a self induced global financial then economic crisis caused by the President's pursuit of a deficit terrorist grand bargain whether through incompetence or outright corruption. Read below the fold...
The LA Times editor says they are publishing this letter, so I'm posting it in case anyone else may want to send something like it to their paper. Feel free to rewrite, improve, expand, whatever you like. But as Ralphbon notes in the comments below, cut-and-paste copying is probably not the best idea. If it starts looking like a form letter, it'll be trashed.
The Times only accepts pieces under 150 words, so this one is short. It's in response to an editorial entitled "Debt and Taxes in DC."
And here's the letter:
RE: Debt & Taxes in DC (9 November, 2012)
We, the Enemies?Read below the fold...
There are no operational or legislative constraints which prevent the Federal government from eliminating deficits and debt forever.
Cynical subversion triumphs in the national debate on tax policy. Ezra Klein's review of the Tax Policy Center's report further dissects Romney's Tax Plan so that the regular guy can appreciate just how much worse off he will be with Romney. But what none of these analyses of the Romney or the Obama Tax Plans question is the fundamental rationale for taxation and borrowing to generate revenue in the first place. Read below the fold...
I originally wrote the following essay in late 2009, almost three years ago. I never got it published, though I did circulate it privately. At the time I theorized that debt was the common element of oppression in American life across ages, ethnic groups, geography, etc.. Debtors were the largest oppressed group in the US if only they would recognize it. Therefore teachingpeople to recognize that fact would be a way of organizing people against the current system. Read below the fold...
House leaders have agreed on a compromise continuing spending resolution at the same level as before from October 2012 through March 2013. It's likely now that the President(s?) will probably try to make the money available for deficit spending, as of today, last through the time period of the continuing resolution so that one deal including both the budget and raising the debt limit can be made by March of 2013. Read below the fold...
It's hard to listen to the doomsday rhetoric of Austerians like Paul Ryan and intermittently the less hysterical, but equally mythical narratives of the President when he talks about deficit/debt reduction, when you know better; when you know that both are talking about a bogeyman that doesn't exist. Here's Ryan, the Republican wunderkind:
“We face a crushing burden of debt. The debt will soon eclipse our entire economy, and grow to catastrophic levels in the years ahead.”Read below the fold...
This one is a message intended for all progressive organizations, especially those who have worked so hard to derail the drive for cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, or are working hard to protect other valuable discretionary programs.
There's another hostage-taking coming in the next three months over the 2012 Budget legislation. You know it! I know it! Everyone knows it!
So ask yourselves these questions:
1. Would Congress and the President be trying to cut Federal spending if the Treasury General Account (TGA) at the Fed had more than $50 Trillion in it?Read below the fold...
How can the President win a victory for the people in the coming hostage-taking over the budget? Here's a scenario!
1. Mint a platinum coin with face value big enough to cover pay-off of the national debt, and the gap between tax revenues and Government spending for many years to come. For example, $60 Trillion in face value would generate enough electronic credits in the Treasury General Account (TGA) at the Fed to last for about 20 years or through 2030. Result: $60 Trillion in the TGA, none of it spent, so no possibility of inflation. Read below the fold...
Over the past year, in an attempt to head off the austerity program gaining steam in Washington, DC, I've blogged the truth about the deficit/debt problem on many occasions. That truth is that there is no deficit/debt problem, and that deficits and debts, no matter how large they may be, don't affect the ability of the United States to create more money.
So, there is not and cannot be a solvency problem, unless Congress refuses to do its duty and appropriate dollars to pay the Government's bills. Of course, if the Government spends beyond what's necessary to add enough aggregate demand for the US to get to full employment, then demand-pull inflation will result from the excess spending. But 1) we've got a long way to go until we reach that point; and 2) the inflation issue not a debt/deficit/solvency issue.
So, the solvency issue needs to be taken off the table for discussion, and certainly as a basis for action, and austerity programs and long-term deficit reduction plans like those of Paul Ryan and the Administration. In addition, our erstwhile leaders need to all get off their high horses about fiscal responsibility, fiscal sustainability, "biting bullets," "having adult conversations," and other such nonsense, and face up to their real responsibility which is spending enough, in the right way, to give every American who wants to work a job at a living wage with decent fringe benefits. Until they do that, they are the ones who are being fiscally as well as morally irresponsible. Read below the fold...
A national teach-in on "Austerity, Debt, Corporate Greed, (and what YOU can do about it)."
In a beautifully simple post that should crystallize everything for you, Professor Stephanie Kelton of the University of Missouri at Kansas City crystallizes the logic of the Sectoral Financial Balance Model for President, Obama, the Catfood Commission, the deficit hawks and doves and you and me. She says:
In a 'closed economy' (one without foreign trade), the government's budget position is, by accounting logic -- the negative of the private sector's (firms and households combined) position. Thus, a public sector DEFICIT is equal to the private sector's SURPLUS. To the penny.
So, in a closed economy, a Federal Government budget deficit adds to private sector financial assets, while a Government surplus represents a leakage and subtracts financial assets from the private sector. Or more briefly, Government deficits make private individuals richer; Government surpluses make private individuals poorer. Read below the fold...
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.
1. Raise Social Security to 50 percent of working income.
2. Let's extend Medicare to people 55 to 65.
3. Make it a civil right to join, or not to join, a labor union.
4. Put in a usury cap of 16 percent.
5. Set up small government banks like the German Sparkasse.
6. Give everyone the right to six days of vacation -- six consecutive paid working days.Read below the fold...
This is probably the wrong time to post this, but I just discovered this blog and the angry posts about education, employment and debt there. Don't get me wrong; I can wax plenty angry on those subjects and the way they interact today in this country. But I'm disturbed. It seems to me more and more people are giving up on the idea that education, the real and good kind, is of value in and of itself. I could never believe that. Read below the fold...