Your booty makes me moody

Another day, another independent economic report saying that the Republican budget cuts will hurt the economy. Last week it was Goldman, today it’s Moody’s.

A Republican plan to sharply cut federal spending this year would destroy 700,000 jobs through 2012, according to an independent economic analysis set for release Monday.

The report, by Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi, offers fresh ammunition to Democrats seeking block the Republican plan, which would terminate dozens of programs and slash federal appropriations by $61 billion over the next seven months.

Atrios summarizes why actual reports by actual industry economists mean nothing politically:

It doesn’t matter how many “reports” from “economists” get released making the obvious point that cutting spending=cutting jobs, the Real Americans in the Tea Party and those who understand them and speak for them, the Villagers, know that cutting spending is the right thing to do. Because arglebargle!

Maybe I shouldn’t complain, given that the short-term fiscal policy debate here is much less stupid than the one going in Europe.






62 replies
  1. 1
    catclub says:

    “Maybe I shouldn’t complain, given that the short-term fiscal policy debate here is much less stupid than the one going in Europe.”

    But is migrating (European immigrants, hah!) in that direction – rather than away from it.

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    Maybe I shouldn’t complain, given that the short-term fiscal policy debate here is much less stupid than the one going in Europe.

    This should comfort people standing in unemployment lines.

  3. 3
    Ash Can says:

    When you’ve lost even Wall Street…

  4. 4

    But what blows donkey chunks the most about this is that if said budget puts the economy back into the shitter, then the Republicans will run in 2012 on “Obama’s economy” and could very well win, because no one in the media will point out that the return to recession was caused by the Republican budget. Fuck fuck fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

  5. 5
    Cris says:

    That wasn’t actually Moody, it was Barty Crouch, Jr. using a polyjuice potion.

  6. 6
    Zifnab says:

    Maybe I shouldn’t complain, given that the short-term fiscal policy debate here is much less stupid than the one going in Europe.

    Is it? Europe has a much higher tax rate than the US. They have vastly more government spending. And the spending they have is weighted heavily towards domestic benefits, rather than military costs.

    At least when a European politician argues for government austerity, he can point to tax rates in the 40%+ range and social services consuming the majority of the discretionary budget and proclaim “Shit we’re out of money!”

    The US can’t seriously make that excuse. We could blow away the entire discretionary non-military agenda and still remain mired in debt. But passing a nine digit tax cut for billionaires? That’s no problem at all.

  7. 7
    minachica says:

    Deleted, in wrong thread.

  8. 8
    catclub says:

    Is Moody’s one of the bond rating services that completely misrated tons of CDS bonds? Why should I trust them now?

  9. 9
    FlipYrWhig says:

    This whole debate is so stupid. It’s as though no one has ever heard of borrowing money to invest in a worthy endeavor–for example, to start a business or go to college–or carrying a balance on a credit card to get through a rough patch. You pay it off _later_, when you’ve turned things around, or gotten a better job, or started to get orders. These are _routine financial decisions_.

  10. 10
    Cris says:

    @FlipYrWhig: It’s as though no one has ever heard of borrowing money to invest in a worthy endeavor—for example, to start a business or go to college—or carrying a balance on a credit card to get through a rough patch.

    Well, those are good things when it’s a Republican in the White House.

  11. 11
    Egypt Steve says:

    @Brian S (formerly Incertus): Exactly. Increased unemployment as a result of budget cuts is a feature of Rethug policy — *not* a bug.

  12. 12
    Zifnab says:

    @Brian S (formerly Incertus):

    But what blows donkey chunks the most about this is that if said budget puts the economy back into the shitter, then the Republicans will run in 2012 on “Obama’s economy” and could very well win, because no one in the media will point out that the return to recession was caused by the Republican budget.

    If you’re that far outside the loop, you aren’t a likely voter. Politics is center stage in the US right now. This isn’t a matter of “Are you paying attention” nearly so much as it is “Who are you paying attention to?”

    Glenn Beck will be screaming from the right. Keith Olbermann and the netroots will be hollering from the left. And it’s just going to come down to a nationwide ground game.

  13. 13
    Cris says:

    If you’re that far outside the loop, you aren’t a likely voter.

    You know better than that.

  14. 14
    cyntax says:

    Maybe I shouldn’t complain, given that the short-term fiscal policy debate here is much less stupid than the one going in Europe.

    How bad can their debate be when we’ve got McMegan?

    Maybe we could export her. I know we want to increase exports so getting her out of our discourse would be make it win-win.

  15. 15
    Mudge says:

    It is a sad state of affairs when we assess a situation by its degree of stupidity.

  16. 16
    Zifnab says:

    @Cris: Hey, I’m not saying you can’t be wrong on the facts. But there is a flood of political discourse out right now. The indie voters are making way more misinformed choices than they are making uninformed choices. Just watch as normally rational polling gets completely skewed up the yin-yang the day after Glenn Beck launches a crusade on the poll subject.

  17. 17
    Cris says:

    @Zifnab: The indie voters are making way more misinformed choices than they are making uninformed choices.

    That’s a really interesting distinction, and strangely enough it gives me hope. I’d rather think that the bad choices are being made by people capable of receiving communication, than by brick walls. The former we stand a chance of reaching, however remote.

  18. 18
    LGRooney says:

    3 possible outcomes:

    1) Republicans attack the credibility of those reports because the banks & ratings agencies were responsible for the economic meltdown, i.e., not because there might be anything factual in the reports to discuss, then Republicans all of a sudden think it’s a great idea to start investigating and jailing leaders from both industries who were responsible in order to shut them up;

    2) Republicans will heed the reports and actually look at ways to avoid cutt… Apologies, had to get a new keyboard because my coffee-spewing fit as I started writing this bullet required me to get a new keyboard; or,

    3) Republicans cover their ears and shout “La la la!” anytime someone brings up the reports.

  19. 19
    Svensker says:

    Am I shallow and childish for always laughing at “because arglebargle”?

    Cheap date.

  20. 20
    Davis X. Machina says:

    The Tories ran on a “where are the jobs” platform, going into an election simultaneously pushing a plan that they knew ahead of time would sandbag growth, and make unemployment worse, and they got within a Nick-Clegg’s-ego-length of winning a Commons majority outright.

    Why not do stupid, contradictory things? Where’s the disincentive?

    I figure, if you’re a politician, until U3 is a lot nearer 20% than 10%, and U6 nearer 40% than 20%, a steady diet of noisy virtue, probity and righteousness should be just the ticket.

  21. 21
    Morbo says:

    Austrian economics just works. We don’t need no steeking evidence!

  22. 22
    The Dangerman says:

    @Brian S (formerly Incertus):

    …then the Republicans will run in 2012 on “Obama’s economy” and could very well win…

    It feels like Obama is getting Carterized; sink the economy, both from Republican Policy and in partnership with the Big Money (who’ve been raking it in bigtime but are sitting on all that Capital), and hope for a one term Presidency. Given the fact that the Republican field is weak in 2012, they have to REALLY fuck the economy over. Who gives a shit what the nonpartisan CBO says or independent analysts say…

  23. 23
    Cris says:

    @The Dangerman: Given the fact that the Republican field is weak in 2012

    I have to ask, because I was too young at the time: did the 1980 field look strong in 1979? I understand that Reagan was a strong frontrunner, having primaried Ford four years earlier, but was the general feeling at the time that the GOP had as potent a candidate as he turned out to be?

  24. 24
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Cris: Reagan was considered stronger, the more westward you went.

    People on the east coast had, in those pre-internet days, little actual exposure to what was a pretty high-profile tenure as governor of California. I had a friend from Santa Barbara who kept warning us Easterners about Reagan all through the fall of ’79 and the spring of ’80, while we were laughing at him, and his movies.

    And Reagan had been at it since forever. Nixon was worried about him in ’68….

  25. 25
    Legalize says:

    This won’t make a dent in the Teabagger noise machine because no GOPer will ever be called on it by the liberal media. “Rating agencies”? David Gregory shouldn’t have to waste his beautiful mind asking questions about rating agencies. Who are they? That’s not even news. Sarah Palin’s tweets are news.

  26. 26
    rickstersherpa says:

    McConnell has said, and Boehner endorsed it, that the primary job of Republicans is to ensure Barack Obama’s defeat in November 2012. If another million unemployed and double dip recession is the price, well, I guess they and their millionaire pals can bear it.

    The indifference of the elite to problems and anxieties of the middle class (except to utilized them for the purpose of resentment politics against the “undeserving” blacks, browns, and Government workers), and outride disregard, if not sadistic pleasure, in the suffering of the poor is kind of monstrous. I actually they think long term unemployment will help bring down the price of help and make for a docile, subservient work force.

  27. 27
    PeakVT says:

    Moody’s is right, this time, but that doesn’t change my wish to see the organization DIAF.

  28. 28
    ppcli says:

    @Zifnab: Yes, also the benefits are generous to a degree that really is hard to believe. I was working in France last summer when there was a big hoohhah with work stoppages etc. (Though ingeniously targeted, in a way that would cause minor inconvenience but never outright disaster – you might have to walk to a different entrance for a subway station that had multiple entrances or something, but you’d never be in a position where you just couldn’t get where you were going. All announced days in advance, with posters in the relevant subway stations, etc. Those French have work actions down to a science.) The issue was over raising the age before you could claim their equivalent of social security retirement benefits from 60 to 62. Even my hard core super-søciålist pals were a bit sheepish about that one.

  29. 29
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Cris:

    Reagan was a strong campaigner and the economy was suffering from stagflation. As Davis X. Machina mentioned, Reagan wasn’t as politically well known outside of the West but, because of the economy, I saw the election as a matter of how badly Carter would get beaten by whomever the Republicans nominated.

  30. 30
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @rickstersherpa:

    I actually they think long term unemployment will help bring down the price of help and make for a docile, subservient work force.

    Not just a subservient work force — a subservient society.

    They aren’t exactly reticent about it. I recommend from eight years ago now John Holbo’s review of David Frum’s 1994 book Dead Right

    Here’s Frum:

    “The great, overwhelming fact of a capitalist economy is risk. Everyone is at constant risk of the loss of his job, or of the destruction of his business by a competitor, or of the crash of his investment portfolio. Risk makes people circumspect. It disciplines them and teaches them self-control. Without a safety net, people won’t try to vault across the big top. Social security, student loans, and other government programs make it far less catastrophic than it used to be for middle-class people to dissolve their families. Without welfare and food stamps, poor people would cling harder to working-class respectability than they do now.”

    Holbo nails it:

    The thing that makes capitalism good, apparently, is not that it generates wealth more efficiently than other known economic engines. No, the thing that makes capitalism good is that, by forcing people to live precarious lives, it causes them to live in fear of losing everything and therefore to adopt – as fearful people will – a cowed and subservient posture: in a word, they behave ‘conservatively’. Of course, crouching to protect themselves and their loved ones from the eternal lash of risk precisely won’t preserve these workers from risk. But the point isn’t to induce a society-wide conformist crouch by way of making the workers safe and happy. The point is to induce a society-wide conformist crouch. Period. A solid foundation is hereby laid for a desirable social order.

  31. 31
    Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel) says:

    Which story will “independents” (really, low info voters we flatter by not calling them what they are) buy? The Obama economy? Or Republican extremism is choking off the recovery?

    What that second one’s got going against it is complexity.

  32. 32
    goblue72 says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Makes installing a guillotine at the foot of Wall Street sound better every day.

  33. 33
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Cris:

    I have to ask, because I was too young at the time: did the 1980 field look strong in 1979? I understand that Reagan was a strong frontrunner, having primaried Ford four years earlier, but was the general feeling at the time that the GOP had as potent a candidate as he turned out to be?

    Yes, give or take. There was much derision of Reagan on the left as a dummy, but mostly from folks who were never going to vote for him anyway. On the other hand he had been a contraversial but on balance fairly popular governor of one of the largest and most complex states in the nation and a state which at the time was a crucial swing state in the electoral college (yes, that’s right kids – the GOP used to take California back in the day). And he had strong support amongst the Villagers, which back in the pre-internet and pre-cable TV days was even more important than it is today. It was obvious to anybody who was paying attention that RR had a good shot at winning the GOP nomination after having come so close in 1976 and that he was going to be a formidable candidate, and that between the dismal economy, the Iran hostage crisis, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the emerging Vietnam dolchstosslegende (which was already doing its poisonous work silencing the more liberal members of the press) Carter was in deep trouble.

  34. 34
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Parallel 5ths (Jewish Steel): It’s gonna be tough, slogan-wise, to beat “OMG! N*gg*r in the White House!”….

  35. 35
    The Dangerman says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    …I saw the election as a matter of how badly Carter would get beaten by whomever the Republicans nominated.

    This is how I recall it, too, but Reagan was far stronger than anyone the Right will nominate in 2012. The only one of the potentials with a decent shot is Cristie – and he swears he isn’t going to run (he may end up being drafted).

    Along with the economy, let’s not forget that Carter was likely ratfucked over the Hostage Crisis. That they were released minutes after inauguration isn’t a reflection on Reagan’s oratorical gifts.

  36. 36
    jwb says:

    @Cris: No, Reagan did not look that potent, and people still had a difficult time thinking that a divorced actor could be a serious candidate, but Reagan was not nearly as lame as the current crop of GOP candidates. Palin might have been a close approximation, if instead of playing the grifter the past two years she’d set herself the task of preparing to be a candidate.

  37. 37
    Svensker says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    How does Frum feel about the bailout of the banksters? I feel a column coming on about how lack of consequences for those guys has left the banksters unable to maintain middle class respectability and turned them to a life of weak dependency. Any minute now.

  38. 38
    Cris says:

    Frum via @Davis X. Machina: Without a safety net, people won’t try to vault across the big top.

    Jesus Quinana Christ. So, if we don’t give people a safety net, they are too risk-averse to achieve big things. But if we do, they have no incentive to work. Shorter Frum, I guess: working people are lazy scum and nothing will ever improve them, so We should keep them frightened and in line.

  39. 39
    The Dangerman says:

    @jwb:

    Palin might have been a close approximation, if instead of playing the grifter the past two years she’d set herself the task of preparing to be a candidate.

    Reagan was far, FAR greater “Presidential Material” as compared to Palin. Not even close (and given how Reagan wasn’t exactly brilliant, well, extrapolate accordingly).

    As I recall, from 76 to 80, Reagan was doing commentary on the radio regularly (perhaps even daily). And it wasn’t like today’s radio hacks, this was serious commentary (perhaps flawed, but it wasn’t like Limbaugh/Beck are today).

  40. 40
    PaulW says:

    Experts have a known liberal bias.

    Just look at how easy it is for Republicans to ignore scientists who tell them toxins are in the water and air and that climate change is caused by human pollution.

    They’ll ignore anyone who’s not on a conservative think tank payroll. Unless what the person says fits their already-established world-view.

    The reality-based world just has to keep up while Republicans make their own reality, that’s all.

  41. 41
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Svensker: Frum’s actually an interesting case…

    “The idea that there is a widespread demand in the United States for politics of radical reduction in the size of government in the middle of a recession, for paranoid fantasies, for the nomination of incompetent people and for coded racial signalling, that’s not true,” he [Frum] says. “And the fact that the Republicans are going to win in 2010 a big victory, that’s happening despite those things, not because of them.” When prosperity returns, he says, Republicans will find themselves with a party reliant on a shrinking and unsustainable base.

  42. 42
    RalfW says:

    “A unionized public employee, a member of the Tea Party, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table there is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, looks at the tea partier and says,”look out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie.”

  43. 43
    drkrick says:

    Seen on Facebook this morning – Our politics are like a table surrounded by a worker, a Tea Partier and a CEO with a jar containing a dozen cookies in the middle. The CEO takes eleven of the cookies and on his way out of the room tells the Tea Partier “You better watch out for that worker, he wants to take part of your cookie.”

  44. 44
    ericblair says:

    @Cris:

    Jesus Quinana Christ. So, if we don’t give people a safety net, they are too risk-averse to achieve big things. But if we do, they have no incentive to work. Shorter Frum, I guess: working people are lazy scum and nothing will ever improve them, so We should keep them frightened and in line.

    Pretty good summary. Back to The Dark Ages post-haste.

    Frum’s actually an interesting case…

    Frum grew up a Canuck, and his mom was a very well respected anchor for The Journal, a nightly analysis program after the national news. She died several years ago, unfortunately. David Frum is therefore a transplant and doesn’t have enough Kool-Aid tolerance when the serious gooper bullshit comes out, so he starts rejecting it.

    Don’t know what happened to that Frum kid, he came from such a good family.

  45. 45
    drkrick says:

    Heh, indeedy.

  46. 46
    Bill Arnold says:

    @rickstersherpa:

    McConnell has said, and Boehner endorsed it, that the primary job of Republicans is to ensure Barack Obamas defeat in November 2012. If another million unemployed and double dip recession is the price, well, I guess they and their millionaire pals can bear it.

    I’ve been struggling for months for a non-shrill way to say this. Got nothing.

  47. 47
    Cain says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Not just a subservient work force—a subservient society.

    Nah uhh! We got us, guns! Nobody can tell us what to do cuz we got guns, you have no authoritah!

    cain

  48. 48
    Dave L says:

    “A Republican plan to sharply cut federal spending this year would destroy 700,000 jobs through 2012…”

    That’s not a bug, that’s a feature.

  49. 49
    LGRooney says:

    @Bill Arnold: How about, “And so it goes…”

  50. 50
    Corner Stone says:

    @goblue72:

    Makes installing a guillotine at the foot of Wall Street sound better every day.

    This sounds like a fascinating opportunity for some enterprising artist. A series of guillotine’s in the public sphere.
    I wonder how long some of them might stay in place until authorities realized they weren’t commissioned pieces?

  51. 51
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Cain: The best serfs don’t know they’re serfs. They think they’re just country boys.

  52. 52
    Mike in NC says:

    @PaulW:

    The reality-based world just has to keep up while Republicans make their own reality, that’s all

    Case in point: yesterday I saw an article on the lackluster field of GOP aspirants for president. One activist was quoted as saying, “I prefer Michelle Bachmann because she’s like Sarah Palin with brains”. Oy.

  53. 53
    azlib says:

    Our political debate about what we need to do to generate jobs is just incredible. Of course a cut in government spending will reduce jobs. We already have data points on State spending cuts which confirm that. Duh!

    Of course the austerians will not listen, since their goal is to punish us for our economic sins. Except for the wealthy, of course!

  54. 54
    ed drone says:

    @azlib:

    Of course the austerians will not listen, since their goal is to punish us for our economic sins. Except for the wealthy, of course!

    Well, hey! The wealthy have money, and therefore have no sins to be punished for. Simple, isn’t it?

    Ed

  55. 55
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @ed drone:

    Well, hey! The wealthy have money, and therefore have no sins to be punished for. Simple, isn’t it?

    It makes more sense if you think of this mindset as Economic Calvinism. All the necessary doctrines are there: predestination, the salvation of the Elect, the hopeless depravity of the many, the futility of charity and good works, etc.

  56. 56
    liberal says:

    @Brian S (formerly Incertus):
    Yeah, that’s what went through my mind.

  57. 57
    Yurpean says:

    Maybe I shouldn’t complain, given that the short-term fiscal policy debate here is much less stupid than the one going in Europe.

    Yeah, we’re doing things the stupid way in Britain, although not quite as stupid as large chunks of the Eurozone.

    We do however also have our own groups of wingnuts, who make you wonder if they’re just plain evil; Westminster council have hit upon a novel way to move homeless people from their part of London: make it illegal for anyone to give them food!

  58. 58
    Comrade Mary says:

    @ericblair:

    Don’t know what happened to that Frum kid, he came from such a good family.

    His sister Linda was appointed to the Senate by Harper recently, so he’s not the only conservative in the bunch. And the sainted Barbara was pretty centrist, IIRC, so the kids aren’t as far away from her positions as you might think.

  59. 59
    Neo says:

    And yet the same Moody’s study, authored by Mark Zandi, one of the architects of President Obama’s 2009 “stimulus,” says the Democrats will have to cut $400 billion a year if the economy is ever to stabilize.

    So, it seems, the Republicans aren’t doing nearly enough. They should be cutting $400 billion in spending and let the private sector reorganize in a reality-based economy.

  60. 60
    Cris says:

    @Neo:

    the Democrats will have to cut $400 billion a year if the economy is ever to stabilize.

    You left something out. Here, I’ll put it in bold.

    Zandi:

    Policymakers will eventually need to cut annual spending and/or raise taxes to shrink the deficit by $400 billion, bringing it down to a sustainable level at no more than 2.5% of GDP.

    So indeed, the Republicans aren’t doing nearly enough. They should be returning the top marginal rate to something reality-based.

  61. 61
    El Cid says:

    We don’t need all yer damn ‘book learnin’ and ‘facks’ to tell us what’s going on with the econmy.

    It’s all caused by the deficit, and the debt.

    If we didn’t have all this spendin’, then we wouldn’t have all the inflation right now, and businesses would start hiring because people would feel like spending money again.

    And all them people what ain’t got jobs need to stop waitin’ for a handout and get their asses out there and do some work!

  62. 62
    Neo says:

    Cris: If you raise the top margin rate by about 45% (i.e 33% becomes 78%), you might be able to get $400 billion a year, but you’d be watching all foreign sports teams.

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