[Originally posted at IndependentPoliticalReport.com, hence the somewhat dry tone about a campaign I actually have been slightly involved in. The Green Party of Philadelphia will also be nominating candidates for other offices this Thursday, and we've been keeping busy with fracking protests, a May Day event, a monthly dinner, among other things.] Read more about Update on Cheri Honkala's Green campaign for Sheriff of Philadelphia
Not having the intestinal fortitude to tolerate a "Facebook forum" with Obama, I missed this response. Comment by a blogger caught my eye;
"some people should just rent"? (When really, the outcome of ALL Versailles' policies is that ALL the "little" people will be renters, of everything.) Interesting that the truth slipped out, there. Gah. Read more about Obama's answer for struggling homeowners: "Just rent"
acceptance of students after graduation for higher learning, would YOU consider closing it? Of course not! Catherine Ferguson Academy in Detroit is the only school of its kind in the country, and has succeeded not only in giving teenage mothers their best chance to graduate from HS, but also provides day-care, parenting classes, and a host of support programs to give these young women the opportunity to learn and grow, and pursue self-actualization and post-HS learning. Read more about If there was a school in YOUR community with a 90% graduation rate, and 100%
(Author's Note: In December I posted a piece on Moody's threat to downgrade the US's Rating in International Bond markets. I argued that Moody's action was foolish. Today, Standard and Poor's actually revised the US ratings outlook from stable to negative, but continued its sovereign credit rating at ‘AAA/A-1+’. Read more about Standard and Poor's: Bring It On!
Before Tahrir Square happened almost nobody predicted that President Hosni Mubarak would be forced out of office by a movement that didn't pick up a gun. Had President Barack Obama expected that outcome, he might have publicly backed Mubarak's departure before, rather than after, Mubarak stepped down.
Obama can be seen as overcompensating for that performance in Libya, but there he is placing faith in weapons. Anybody can do that. Egypt still has a long way to go on its path to a just society. But the question of whether Tunisian-Egyptian movements will find success elsewhere is the question of whether people can take the far more challenging step of placing trust in nonviolence. Read more about If Cairo Came to Kabul
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 more about Tell Obama, everyone: there is #nodeficitproblem because we are #sovereign in our own currency
While some progressives are happy with the President's speech on the budget; others are suspicious, recognizing the President's repeated pattern of offering words that are reassuring to progressives while later acting to work against the general principles he asserts in a major speech. As Bernie Sanders is saying: “the devil is in the details.”
It surely is. But also, the devil is in the framing of the issues and the negotiation to come. And if the framing is done in such a way that the definition of the problem already implies an unfavorable solution for the middle class, American workers, the poor and the vulnerable, then I'm afraid the outcome is a predetermined defeat. So let's look at the framing in the form of a number of assertions made by the President during his speech. Read more about It's All In the Framing and That's Terrible
(573 Obama-dumping days until 2012 election-Hugh's Obama's Scandals List)
Lawrence Davidson in his article “The Ghost of Joe McCarthy Walks the Land” writes of an indifferent public and the potential motivation on moderate conservatives to question their Republicanism:
Part III – The Indifferent Public
One of the most emotional issues in American politics is the sovereignty of the United States itself, and its independence from foreign powers, interests, other nations and their ruling elites, and emerging globalizing elites who place their own interests against the nation interest of America and its people. The issues of fiscal sustainability and fiscal responsibility should be discussed from the viewpoint of our national interest, not from the viewpoint of abstract financial ratios, or supposedly critical indicators that generate a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. Read more about Why Do “They” Want To Limit Our Sovereignty In Our Own Currency?
One commenter at FireDogLake says:
”. . . we should be exceptionally careful not to jeopardize the hard-fought for benefits (like S.S.) by risking devaluation of the dollar. That would be truly tragic.”
and another at New Economic Perspectives says about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and inflation: Read more about Worrying About Demand-Pull Inflation Is A Distraction
What appears to be a belated April Fool's post at Yves' place describes the mysterious death of Prof. Outis Philalithopoulos, with the disappearance of all his work on the "theory of Academic Choice".
Yesterday's must-read! Read more about Sociology of economists, without romance
(Author's Note: Most of this diary was previously published back in January; but I've revised it slightly for these reasons. First, a Government shutdown is now upon us, even though the debt ceiling issue isn't quite at the forefront yet. Second, I'd like more comments and discussion on this proposal, because, at a minimum, it would give the Treasury the wherewithal to pay Social Security interest and benefits without relying in any way on new Congressional appropriations, or on raising the debt ceiling. Read more about Use Coin Seigniorage Now!