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State of the Union

letsgetitdone's picture

Ryan's Follies: Back to Liberty

More on liberty from Ryan's reply to the President's 2011 SOTU. These are about that old Republican hypocritical favorite, “small government.”

”The President and the Democratic Leadership have shown, by their actions, that they believe government needs to increase its size and its reach, its price tag and its power.”

What planet does Congressman Ryan live on? The Democrats have done very little to increase the size of Government. The measure of that is that the average annual growth in Federal Government spending is the lowest it's been in the period since Dwight Eisenhower became President. In addition, Federal spending as a percent of GDP is still extremely low compared to National Government expenditures by the nations mentioned in my last post, and has only risen about 5 percentage points from Bush Administration levels, in response to the economic crisis, which, remember, was caused by policies avidly supported by Paul Ryan and conservative Republicans.

In addition, the President, much to his discredit, has done all he could to keep Government expenditures revenue neutral or revenue positive, beyond expenditures for defense, the stimulus, and increases in social safety net expenditures resulting from the recession. His health care reform bill is a disgraceful attempt to bailout the insurance companies without taking them over, because he would not entertain Medicare for All, since it wasn't “revenue neutral.” Never mind that enhanced Medicare for All would have saved the private sector $900 Billion per year in Medical Costs, and that the stimulus involved in an additional $800 Billion of Federal deficit spending would probably have created an addition 2 million jobs, at least. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

Ryan's Follies: Limited Government, Liberty, and Effective Government

More Ryan's follies from his answer to the President's 2011 SOTU. These are about that old Republican hypocritical favorite, “small government.”

”So I’d like to share with you the principles that guide us. They are anchored in the wisdom of the founders; in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence; and in the words of the American Constitution.

They have to do with the importance of limited government; and with the blessing of self-government. . . .

We believe, as our founders did, that “the pursuit of happiness” depends upon individual liberty; and individual liberty requires limited government.”

Read below the fold...
letsgetitdone's picture

Ryan's Follies: Bureaucracy, Austerity, and Depression

Here's the next group of Ryan's follies from his answer to the President's 2011 SOTU.

On bureaucracy and innovation:

”Depending on bureaucracy to foster innovation, competitiveness, and wise consumer choices has never worked – and it won’t work now.”

That may be. But depending on the big banks and big US corporations to either get lending going again, or to bring innovation and jobs to the United States also won't work. What will work is for the Government to increase aggregate demand by deficit spending in areas of the economy we want to grow.

“Bureaucracy” is just a scare term. The big corporations that Ryan, the Republicans, and many Democratic Congresspeople serve are all just as bureaucratic, and in the case of the health insurance companies, even more bureaucratic than the Government. The dirty little secret of the social sciences is that bureaucracy comes with large size whether we're talking about private or public organizations. So, unless Ryan has plans to break up the large banks, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, telecommunications companies, and exporters he loves so much, he really ought to shut up about “bureaucracy,” because his precious private sector has absolutely nothing to crow about when it comes to that feature of large organizations.

If we don't like bureaucracy, then what we need is regulation that will break up large organizations, making them illegal beyond a certain size. Then perhaps we might create functioning markets and be able to shrink the Federal government too. But this kind of solution is off the table for Ryan and Romney since regulation is a no-no from the standpoint of their ideology. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

Paul Ryan On Limited Government

In my last two posts I reviewed the deficit reduction aspects of Paul Ryan's Republican response to the SOTU. But Ryan also placed considerable emphasis on the idea of “limited government” in his response. In this post, I want to evaluate what he had to say on this theme.

So I’d like to share with you the principles that guide us. They are anchored in the wisdom of the founders; in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence; and in the words of the American Constitution.

They have to do with the importance of limited government; and with the blessing of self-government. . . .

Read below the fold...
letsgetitdone's picture

Paul Ryan's Deficit Reduction Fairy Tales: Part Two

Here's Part Two of my textual analysis of the deficit reduction portion of Paul Ryan's Republican response to the SOTU.

Then the President and his party made matters even worse, by creating a new open-ended health care entitlement.

What we already know about the President’s health care law is this: Costs are going up, premiums are rising, and millions of people will lose the coverage they currently have. Job creation is being stifled by all of its taxes, penalties, mandates and fees.

Read below the fold...
letsgetitdone's picture

Paul Ryan's Deficit Reduction Fairy Tales: Part One

Many of my recent posts have focused on fairy tales I thought the President would tell in the SOTU and also those that he did tell. The reason for this is that I think people on the left have a greater need to be informed about Obama's fairy tales, then they do about Republican fairy tales, since they are automatically skeptical about what Republicans say given their 40 year history of systematically lying about reality every chance they get. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

More Fairy Tales of the SOTU

Yesterday, I scored the SOTU on the 7 Fairy Tales I discussed previously, and concluded that the President was subscribing to at most two of them, and that he accepted the deficit reduction framing of the Republicans as a basis for negotiation, and was trying to point the US in the same direction as export-led economies emphasizing fiscal austerity, thus joining the world's race to bottom. Today, I want to analyze the details of the portion of the SOTU dealing with deficit reduction. The President said: Read below the fold...

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Fairy Tales of the SOTU Related to Deficit Reduction

In "All Together Now: There Is No Deficit/Debt Problem,” I warned against the message calling for deficit reduction that the President would probably deliver in his State of the Union Address. And in a series of later posts, I looked at 7 fairy tales I thought he would tell. Finally, in a summary post, I offered a table summarizing the fairy tales and corresponding truths. In this post, I'll do a post-mortem. How many of the 7 fairy tales did he tell us? Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

Fairy Tales of the Coming State of the Union: Fairy Tales and Truths

Thread: 

In "All Together Now: There Is No Deficit/Debt Problem,” I warned against the message calling for deficit reduction that the President will probably deliver in his State of the Union Address next month. I view the coming narrative as very likely to be composed of a number of fairy tales. In previous posts in this series I've analyzed and critiqued seven of the fairy tales I expect the President to tell us in his coming State of the Union speech. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

Fairy Tales of the Coming State of the Union: Our Grandchildren Must Have the Burden of Repaying the National Debt

Thread: 

In "All Together Now: There Is No Deficit/Debt Problem,” I warned against the message calling for deficit reduction that the President will probably deliver in his State of the Union Address next month. I view the coming narrative as very likely to be composed of a number of fairy tales. In previous posts in this series I've analyzed and critiqued six of the fairy tales I expect the President to tell us in his coming State of the Union speech. In this post, I'll discuss a seventh fairy tale: the idea that our grandchildren must have the heavy burden of repaying our national debt.

Let's begin with a little history, only once, in the history of the Republic has the United States fully repaid that national debt, and that was in 1835, when Andrew Jackson's second Administration paid off the debt. That pay-off and the further attempt to establish a fund that would compensate for future deficits was followed by the one of the worst depressions in American history in 1837. That depression brought back the deficit and the national debt, and though the Government has sometimes run surpluses since then, it has never again paid off the national debt. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

Fairy Tales of the Coming State of the Union: If We Keep Issuing Debt Our Main Creditors Won't Buy It

Thread: 

In "All Together Now: There Is No Deficit/Debt Problem,” I warned against the message calling for deficit reduction that the President will probably deliver in his State of the Union Address next month. I view the coming narrative as very likely to be composed of a number of fairy tales. In previous posts in this series I've analyzed and critiqued five of the fairy tales I expect the President to tell us in his coming State of the Union speech. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

Fairy Tales of the Coming State of the Union: If We Borrow More the Bond Markets Will Raise Our Rates

Thread: 

In "All Together Now: There Is No Deficit/Debt Problem,” I warned against the message calling for deficit reduction that the President will probably deliver in his State of the Union Address next month. I view the coming narrative as very likely to be composed of a number of fairy tales. In previous posts in this series I've analyzed and critiqued four of the fairy tales I expect the President to tell us in his coming State of the Union speech. In this post, I'll discuss a fifth fairy tale: the idea that if the Government borrows more money, the bond markets will raise our interest rates.

This fairy tale assumes that the bond market actually controls the interest rates that Governments like the United States must pay. Sure, they can determine interest rates if the Government sits idly by, and lets them do so. However, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury, can target bond interest rates and set these for the bond markets by manipulating overnight bank reserves. Specifically, one way to do this, is that the Treasury can cease issuing long-term bonds, and sell only three-month bonds. Three-month bond interest rates are generally controlled by overnight rates for bank reserves, and overnight rates can be driven down to near zero by flooding the banks with excess reserves. That's basically how the Japanese keep their bond interest near zero, and that's how we can do the same. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

Fairy Tales of the Coming State of the Union: We Need to Cut Government Spending And Make Do with No More Money

Thread: 

In "All Together Now: There Is No Deficit/Debt Problem,” I warned against the message calling for deficit reduction that the President will probably deliver in his State of the Union Address next month. I view the coming narrative as very likely to be composed of a number of fairy tales. Read below the fold...

letsgetitdone's picture

Beat the Deficit Hawkism Frame or Lose

Thread: 

The corporatist-centrist politicians, such as Judd Gregg, Kent Conrad, Evan Bayh, no longer afraid of a total collapse of the world economy, are using deadly innocent frauds, scare, myths, and lies about the deficit and the national debt to undermine the possibilities of progressive change in the United States. Read below the fold...

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