Saturday, January 14, 2012

Delaying the Obvious Via the Oblivious

I think that we all know what the final deficit reduction compromise is ultimately going to look like. It's going to resemble something very similar to the Bowles-Simpson/Domenici-Rivlin/"Gang of Six" proposals. It has to. It has to because there's a) no way that we can simply tax our way out of it (even if we taxed everything over $250,000 at 100%, we'd still have a deficit) and b) no way that we can simply cut our way out of it (that moronic Tennessee Congresswoman, Marsha Blackburn, seems to think that we can reach a balanced budget simply by cutting non-discretionary defense spending). We have to do both. WE HAVE TO DO BOTH......................................................................................................And, yes, it's going to be painful, too. This whole progressive schpeel that we can somehow create prosperity by taxing the shit out of a certain small segment of society is ludicrous (and, yes, the very type of thinking that, in a far saner society, would probably get you locked up).........................................................................................................Thankfully, folks, we DO have some sane politicians who are actually interested in addressing this issue; Mike Crapo and Tom Coburn on the Republican side, Dick Durbin, Kent Conrad, and Ron Wyden on the Democratic side (hell, folks, even the fairly progressive Chris Van Hollen has stated that the above-mentioned plans are probably where we're ultimately going to end). Unfortunately, as long as we still have idiots like Marsha Blackburn, Nancy Pelosi, and Michele Bachmann to deal with, the can will probably continue to be kicked down the road.


Rational Nation USA said...

Yup Will, the can will continue to be kicked down the road.

After all is it not for future generations, who no doubt will be brighter than the present ones, to solve the problems created by prior generations? A rhetorical question of course, and meant wth a bit of sarcasm.

The liberal conservative divide, and the battle of smoke and mirrors has been going on so long the people are just numb to it, and Life seems to just somehow go on.

Perhaps saner minds will prevail. However, I'm not holding my breath.

w-dervish said...

Here Will goes again advocating for economically devastating austerity! If any of these plans are how we arrive at "deficit reduction" it will be a HUGE mistake that will result in depression and stagnation for the foreseeable future.

These proposals are completely self-defeating, because they will hurt the poor and middle class and drastically lower tax receipts. The only feasible road out of our deficit problem is the "people's budget" proposed by the progressive caucus.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Hey, Les, one of these days wd is going to surprise us and serve up a compromise that HE'S willing to make. So far it only seems that he wants to demand sacrifices from others. What's that, you're not going to hold your breath on that one, either? Yeah, you're probably right.............And it's a mischaracterization to refer to these proposals strictly as austerity. They're balanced proposals that a) raise revenues and b) reform entitlements in a sensible way. And EVEN IF the progressive proposal was as boffo as wd alleges, there aren't nearly enough votes to pass it. HELLO! There has to be a compromise.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

From Talking Points Memo - "President Obama will reportedly embrace these recommendations as a good starting point for negotiating a long-term budget for the nation — and he has the tacit backing of the Democrats’ top budget guy in the House, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).'I think that the Bowles-Simpson blueprint provides enough running room for the President,' Van Hollen said in response to a question from TPM at a budget presentation Tuesday at the Center for American Progress.'The basic approach of Bowles-Simpson, which is to look at both sides of the deficit equation, that is revenue and spending … I believe does provide, in that sense, an important starting point,' Van Hollen said.............Chris Van Hollen, ladies and gentlemen, a sensible progressive.

MickeyWhite said...

Benefit, Child Nutrition Programs, Surface Transportation, Job Training and Worker Services, Agriculture Appropriations, Foreign Aid, Debt Limit Increase, Fiscal 2005 Omnibus Appropriations, Vocational/Technical Training, Supplemental Appropriations, UN “Reforms.” Patriot Act Reauthorization, CAFTA, Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations, Head Start Funding, Line-item Rescission, Oman Trade Agreement, Military Tribunals, Electronic Surveillance, Head Start Funding, COPS Funding, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Peru Free Trade Agreement, Economic Stimulus, Farm Bill (Veto Override), Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening, Patriot Act extension., Supplemental Appropriations, Patriot Act Extension.

Marsha Blackburn Voted AGAINST:
Ban on UN Contributions, eliminate Millennium Challenge Account, WTO Withdrawal, UN Dues Decrease, Defunding the NAIS, Iran Military Operations defunding Iraq Troop Withdrawal, congress authorization of Iran Military Operations, Withdrawing U.S. Soldiers from Afghanistan, Libya Troop Withdrawal.

Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
See her “blatantly unconstitutional” votes at :

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Interesting stuff, MickeyWhite. I will stop by.

w-dervish said...

Apparently Will is so in love with the recession that he wants to make it last as long as possible. Also, he's so in love with the wealthy that he just can't stomach them making too large a sacrifice.

Everything Will advocates for in this post is totally unnecessary and will actually be harmful to the economy.

Will: Chris Van Hollen, ladies and gentlemen, a sensible progressive.

Will Hart, ladies and gentlemen, doesn't know what the hell he's talking about. Chris Van Hollen is not a member of the Progressive Caucus!

According to the source YOU quoted (TPM), "Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles... personally recommended a series of CONSERVATIVE LEANING policy proposals for reducing deficits and debt..."

Van Hollen may be a fairly good Democrat, but NO sensible Progressive would support "conservative leaning" policy proposals! Progressives ARE NOT conservative, they're PROGRESSIVE! You'd think any dummy should have been able to figure that out.

Also, the Van Hollen quote is 10 months old... it is in NO WAY indicative of what the White House is going to do ultimately (as you suggest).

The final deficit reduction compromise is NOT ultimately going to look like any of the proposals you list... not if the real Progressives stand their ground (and fight for the 99 percent over the 1 percent).

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Those are your opinions, wd, not the facts. The facts are that we've been doing demand-push stimulus for quite some time now; Bush's rebates, Obama's (very poorly crafted) stimulus and omnibus, a lengthy now payroll tax holiday, multiple extensions of unemployment compensation, food stamps, etc. and the recovery has been anemic at best. We have to start working on the deficit and if we do so in a balanced way the markets will no doubt respond favorably. And, just for the record, the progressive caucus's top tax rate is 49%, significantly closer to MY 40% than it is to your highly destructive 70%. And I like Van Hollen. He seemed pretty progressive to me whenever I heard him talk. Maybe he's like me, wd, not a joiner.

w-dervish said...

Austerity doesn't work.

There are a number of other things we've failed to do that are holding back the recovery, so you can't simply say demand side stimulus hasn't worked. It HAS worked (as the recent job growth proves), but it isn't enough on it's own.

We need to raise taxes and back away from the free trade agreements. I'd also get out of Afghanistan and drastically cut military spending. Doing those things would put us on the path back to prosperity.

Yours is the path to prolonged recession and possible depression. I vociferously oppose it. I hate this recession.

Also, the highly constructive 70 percent top tax rate isn't "mine", it's Robert Reich's. I've posted to his article on the topic many times.

Rational Nation USA said...

Hey Will, I rally think the initials wd is apprppriate... Wacky Delusionist. What say you?

w-dervish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
w-dervish said...

"Rational" Nation: I really think the initials wd is appropriate... Wacky Delusionist. What say you?

I think you're suffering from psychological projection.

Economists Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz both say Austerity doesn't work.

When Will says, "We have to start working on the deficit and if we do so in a balanced way the markets will no doubt respond favorably"... he's talking about what Paul Krugman calls the "confidence fairy".

IMO it's those who believe in the confidence fairy who are the delusional ones.

It's time for the banksters to bail *us* out.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Truer words you've never spoken, Les.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

wd, 1) I agree with you that we need to raise revenues. b) Bowles-Simpson agrees with you that we need to raise revenues. c) Dick Durbin was a member of that commission and he voted YES. Are you going to throw Dick Durbin under the bus, too? d) Yes, I realize that you got the 70% from Robert Reich but you agreed with it. Again, I'M closer to the progressive caucus's rates than you are, extremist. e) Again, you fail to grasp the central tenets of epistemology. You say that "austerity doesn't work" as if it were a matter of fact. It isn't a matter of fact, it's an opinion. Economics is a social science and, as a result of that, we know very little for certain. What we do know is that the Canadian economy recovered well when they tried to cut the deficit and that the American economy recovered well when Warren Harding did the same. We also know that the Depression of 1929 lasted 12 years despite 12 years of Keynesian economics (Hoover and FDR) and that the Japanese wasted nearly a decade and a half on that same set of strategies. f) I could give a rat's ass what Mr. Krugman says. He's a nut. Whenever Keynesian economics fails to produce the desired results, he always says that it just wasn't enough. We should have done significantly more. It's bunk.

w-dervish said...

Will: Are you going to throw Dick Durbin under the bus, too?

WTF are you talking about? I can't disagree with a Democrat without you characterizing it as me "throwing him/her under the bus"? All I said about Chris Van Hollen is that he isn't a member of the Progressive Caucus (which is TRUE).

Will: I realize that you got the 70% from Robert Reich but you agreed with it.

The 70 percent rate would not apply to very many people. It would not be destructive... that is your OPINION. You agree with Robert Reich regarding the elimination of corporate taxes. I think it's total BS for you to suggest I'm an extremist for agreeing with one Robert Reich opinion, while you can agree with another Robert Reich opinion and you are not an extremist.

Will: You say that "austerity doesn't work" as if it were a matter of fact.

In my opinion it is a fact. How the hell can removing dollars from a demand driven economy improve the economy? It's a looney suggestion. And I don't believe in the confidence fairy.

Mr. Krugman... He's a nut.

That's your OPINION. I think he is an extremely intelligent economist that the Democrats should listen to.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I brought up Robert Reich in the Corporate tax issue to show you that even somebody as far left as Mr. Reich sees that particular form of taxation as obfuscatory and counterproductive.............Yes, I believe that taking money from private individuals who will spend, invest, and donate it better than a bunch of knuckle-dragging bureaucrats is destructive. Demand is only one part of the equation, wd, and focusing on it solely has never eventuated in a strong economy (reference the U.S.A. in the 30s and Japan in the 90s).............As for the austerity argument against Bowles-Simpson, again, that's a blatant mischaracterization of what Bowles-Simpson truly is. It's a balanced plan that both raises revenue and reforms entitlements.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said... Canada, in the early 90s, government spending amounted to 53% of GDP and the deficits were massive. The government up there reduced that spending to under 40% of GDP and had strong economic growth for well over a decade. Now, did one necessarily cause the other? I don't know. I, unlike you, do not make absolute causal statements based strictly on correlational analysis. But, it is a hell of a lot more interesting than douche Krugman's incessant "they just didn't spend ENOUGH" idiocy.

w-dervish said...

Spin from a Rightwing rump organization? No thanks.

did one necessarily cause the other?

No. Also, Canada wasn't in recession when it made the cuts. That's the worst time to make cuts.

Rusty Shackelford said...

WD there are already economies you seem to be enamored with...Greece,Spain and Portugal come to mind...high tax rate and high spending.

Today both Greece and Portugal have debt equal to over 110% of GDP.Your idea of utopia has'nt been all that successful in Europe.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

It isn't spin, wd (and the CATO institute is a well-respected libertarian think-tank - just because their politics are different from yours doesn't make them rump). The numbers on that graph come from the U.S. and Canadian governments. I was able to verify the U.S. numbers here highly doubt that the Cato Institute would use the real American data and then make up the Canadian numbers.......And, yes, Canada did have a recession in the early 90s. It is well documented.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Brace yourself, Russ. He's going to blame capitalism.

w-dervish said...

Let's see... who am I going to believe on this one? Do I believe spin from freaking Will Hart and a Conservative/Libertarian rump organization, or Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman? That's a tough one, not!

Rusty Shackelford said...

WD,no comment about Greece,Portugal or Spain?

All three have economic structures you champion.

All three very close to default.

w-dervish said...

Rusty, I've already answered your question. It isn't my fault if you aren't paying attention. I don't believe in austerity. The countries you mention have imposed it... and their economies have predictably suffered... thus making their debt situation that much worse.

I'm not a champion of austerity; I'm a crusader against it.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

What are you saying, wd, that the Cato Institute fabricated the numbers? And why are you running down the Cato Institute? They're nonpartisan to the degree that they've consistently been critical of both parties (I site Bush's foreign policy, for example). AND they're predominantly made up of scholars and academics. Compare this to thinkregress, a group that virulently skewers Republicans and constantly spins for Democrats.............Yes, Mr. Krugman has (inexplicably) won a Nobel Prize but, so, too, have conservative economists such as Milton Friedman and Hayek. Your point is what exactly?

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Austerity didn't cause the financial meltdown in those countries, wd. Yes, it's been a huge result of it but what do you think that they SHOULD do, spend MORE money that they obviously didn't have?............And, again, what I provided wasn't spin. Those were facts. Canada had a recession in the early 90s and they attacked it by getting their financial house in order and making government less of a factor in their economy. I mean, I know that this doesn't fit into your little paranoid progressive paradigm and all but.......