We are all Herbert Hoover now

Don’t expect the economy to get better anytime soon:

Whatever the validity of their arguments, for now the anti-Keynesians have prevailed. Part of the reason is optics: at a time when citizens are cutting back, it looks good to engage in a bit of sympathy rhetoric about Washington “tightening its belt.” On Monday night even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi – for so long demonized by the right as the smiling face of big government – released a pro-austerity statement. That’s a clear sign which way the wind is blowing.

Eventually, the near-recession conditions will end, maybe in two years, maybe in ten. And when they do, no matter how long that takes, it will prove that the anti-Keynesians were right!

158 replies
  1. 1
    Redshirt says:

    I’m not sure it will ever end, without some fundamental change to our economy. To wit: We’re a debtor nation now, and the Galtians like it that way, since they make money off the debt.

    They want us – Your Average American – to be in debt up to our eyeballs, but just to the point where we can still pay off the minimum amount per month.

  2. 2
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Fucking idiocy. I understanding the appeal of the household analogy; it is simple and easily understandable. The main problem with it is that it is wrong, as in not correct, inaccurate, etc..

  3. 3
    Duckest Fuckingway: Ask not for whom the Duck Fucks. . . says:

    We’re fucked, pass the liquor!

  4. 4
    BGinCHI says:

    Does anyone know whether letting the Bush tax cuts expire is Obama’s ace in the hole here?

    Is there anything about that in either plan?

    They can cut, but if revenue gets raised with the lapses of those tax breaks, there will be a surplus and Congress will spend it.

    Anyone??

  5. 5

    So you mean that the Golden Age has passed? Damn, it didn’t look so golden at the time.

    I don’t know what’s ahead but looking at the future sure does fill me with insecurity.

  6. 6
    TJ says:

    Heh. Not getting better implies it might stay the same. No way, DougJ.

  7. 7

    Hey, somebody’s going to make money off this shit:

    “Chaos creates opportunity,” said Stewart R. Massey, chief investment officer at Massey, Quick & Co., which helps endowments, foundations and wealthy families manage more than $3 billion of investments.
    __
    If the stock market plunges by more than 10 percent, “we would start to be fairly aggressive buyers,” Massey said.

    It’s not a stock market – it’s a cas1no.

  8. 8
    lacp says:

    Yeah, austerity will work. Probably take a couple generations, say 40-50 years, but it will work eventually. We could choose to do something else, say, massive economic stimulus, but what’s the hurry?

  9. 9
    cat48 says:

    The prez refused to give up any of the stimulus left over to go in the first part of the deficit deal. Don’t give up yet.

  10. 10
    joes527 says:

    We will pass the radical right austerity plan that is in the senate, the batshit insane plan that is in the house, or, more likely, a compromise between the two.

    In any case, the economy will take a dump, and the narrative will be that all bad thing are because we missed the chance to Cut, Cap and Balance.

  11. 11
    gwangung says:

    Fucking idiocy. I understanding the appeal of the household analogy; it is simple and easily understandable. The main problem with it is that it is wrong, as in not correct, inaccurate, etc..

    People, and I don’t mean Tea Party folks, won’t accept anything other austerity. The moment I say I even hint that their ideas may not apply, they get all pissed off and rant for hundreds of words at a time.

  12. 12
    kwutor says:

    Why refer to them as “anti-Keynesians”? If they are embracing the long ago destructive policies of Herbert Hoover label them Hoover-ites.

  13. 13
    General Stuck says:

    Eventually, the near-recession conditions will end, maybe in two years, maybe in ten. And when they do, no matter how long that takes, it will prove that the anti-Keynesians were right!

    And of course, that is what’s important. The question of whether Keynesians are right or wrong, and ditto the anti – keynesians, with no nuance that maybe both are right and wrong, depending on the details.

    So tired of the shallow horse races fueled by the pundit class, that has become THE political debate in this country. Did Obama and dems cave? Did the wingers cave? Yadda Yaddy Yadda.

    A small nugget of good news this morn, is that new unemployment claims dropped below 400,000 this week. It’s not much, but something in this sea of bullshit political angst the internet and msm traffics in all day, every day.

    The other win is that whatever happens today on the debt ceiling votes, nothing that will be voted on damages the social safety net and entitlements. The rest is debatable.

  14. 14
    Bulworth says:

    Yeah and the Wash Post printed an op-ed full of excrement from some teabag moran. No linky for you.

  15. 15
    Trollenschlongen says:

    But…but…NANCY SMASH!

  16. 16
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Austerity is what people voted for last year. Austerity is what they are going to get.

    The question now is, who’s going to be the Democratic POTUS candidate against President Perry Bachmann Palin Cain Inanimate Carbon Rod in 2016?

  17. 17
    OzoneR says:

    Fucking idiocy. I understanding the appeal of the household analogy; it is simple and easily understandable. The main problem with it is that it is wrong, as in not correct, inaccurate, etc..

    Ever tried telling an America s/he is wrong? People have gotten murdered over it.

  18. 18
    Bulworth says:

    Does the Austerity Teabag Caucus understand that a whole bunch more people are getting older and are retiring and that this will necessitate an expansion in gubmit spending, unless they intend for their parents and grandparents to die starving on the streets?

  19. 19
    cleek says:

    @BGinCHI:
    as long as there are must-pass bills (budget, defense authorization, the next debt-ceiling bill, etc.) there will be ways for the House to force another vote on the Bush tax cuts. and the let-em-expire vote will not prevail.

  20. 20
    General Stuck says:

    Is there anything about that in either plan?

    Nothing far as I know. They remain in Obama and dems pocket. Mostly because they don’t expire until after the election. The wingers will try to campaign on making them permanent, but hopefully dems will join that debate before the election, this time, unlike last time.

  21. 21
    terraformer says:

    Wasn’t it Bastille Day recently?

    Sadly, people don’t recognize what that was about and its parallels to today. Indeed, they have been trained to clamor for the societal conditions which led to the storming. Plus, it’s French, and we all know what pansies they are.

  22. 22
    OzoneR says:

    that new unemployment claims dropped below 400,000 this week. It’s not much,

    Actually, that’s a lot. If there’s no default, it could mean a stable job market for a while, which will help the recovery. The blip earlier in the year that a lot to do with oil prices from the Arab Spring and Japan.

  23. 23
    Violet says:

    @Bulworth:

    nless they intend for their parents and grandparents to die starving on the streets?

    Feature not a bug. And why didn’t you have a a bunch of kids when you were young so they can take care of you when you get old? Your fault. The street it is.

  24. 24
    Bruce S says:

    “The crisis within the unemployment crisis” – by far, most of the jobs that are being created post-meltdown are low wage – and among low-wage workers, wages are falling…

    http://titanicsailsatdawn.blog.....ithin.html

    This debt-ceiling bullshit – along with the “deficit” and “cut spending” hysterics – is so far removed from the real problems or any serious solutions, it’s sickening.

  25. 25
    homeruk says:

    Look, the President has always said two things about the debt and deficit. One that is important to get a handle on it – for the purpose of the long term outlook. That is surely a common sense position since no country can sustain the kind of increasing debt that the US economy is on track to sustain. Second, and more importantly for the long term, it is important not to make cuts (which are surely inevitable and necessary) in the short term to avoid further damage to the economy in the short term. There is no reason, logically, why the two things cannot be done at the same time. When you look at reports of the President’s first gambit at reducing spending by 4 trillion over 12 years, the amount actually cut fy2021 was $1 billion (and that’s from a high spending year in any event) so I think that he gets the short term issue. The reason why Boehner’s plan is so much worse than Reid’s plan (other than entitlements etc) is that I understand that it imposes immediate cuts whereas Reid’s plan has its cuts in the out years.

    Notwithstanding Keynes, there is something to be said for showing that the government can have a long term outlook as well as a short term emergency one.

  26. 26
    BGinCHI says:

    cleek, I don’t see how they have leverage in perpetuum. I can see the WH turning the tables and saying, well, we gave you cuts, now we need revenue.

    After all, they literally have to do nothing to let them expire.

    If this is Obama’s gambit, I can see it flipping this whole debate around, especially after the GOP burns their cred with the people. The polls are against them and only the beltway journos have their back at this point.

  27. 27
    OzoneR says:

    Does the Austerity Teabag Caucus understand that a whole bunch more people are getting older and are retiring and that this will necessitate an expansion in gubmit spending, unless they intend for their parents and grandparents to die starving on the streets?

    They don’t understand anything.

    I have a tea party friend who posted a rant on Facebook complaining about high taxes and then bitched we don’t take care of the elderly enough. He suggested we can solve the problem by “cutting spending.”

    He suggested we stop giving money to Haiti, but when i said foreign aid is such a small amount of the budget that it would make no difference, he told me I didn’t know what I was talking about, I was a brainwashed liberal and lower taxes and lower spending would allow us to spend more on Social Security.

    How do you get through to these people? I don’t know.

  28. 28
    General Stuck says:

    The way I am going to look at just spending cuts of either the Reid or Boehner bills, is that when wingnuts start screaming “tax and spend liberals” during the on going campaign, Obama and dems can call bullshit on that.

  29. 29
    gene108 says:

    @arguingwithsignposts #7

    What’s wrong with what the fund manager said? If the stock market drops, it is a great buying opportunity.

    I can’t fault folks, who have some extra cash, to buy up stocks when they are low and sell them when they are high.

    That’s not turning finance into a casino. If he said he was going to aggressively short positions to drive down stock prices, that’s a whole different issue.

  30. 30
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Right now on You Tube while I am typing this, I am listening to “One Of The Living” by Tina Turner, from the move Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. I think the song will make a fine National Anthem for America, until the country wakes the Fuck Up!

  31. 31
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    just spent half an hour reaming a dear friend and first cousin because she declared that unless she could vote for a liberal purity pony she would cast no pres vote in 2012.

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

  32. 32
    cat48 says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I agree with you b/c the Senate will not pass Boehner’s plan &
    the prez will NOT take a debt ceiling that does not go past the election.

  33. 33
    gex says:

    @17 – those grandparents are the solid voting bloc for the GOP. Not all, mind you, but a hell of a lot. There’s a reason why the GOP wants to target SS cuts for those 55 and under.

    So, I hate to throw those that aren’t with the GOP under said bus, but the rest of them will be getting what they voted for, and I won’t cry too hard for their plight.

    And yes, I include my teabagger, tax cheat, defense contractor worker dad. Fuck him. He can vote for tax cuts, cheat on taxes, and cash in on the tax payer dime. And when he ends up on the street I’ll just remind him he could have had social security, but he didn’t want it.

  34. 34
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Keynesian economics is even in the Bible, for the love of Jehovah.

    Joseph interpreted Pharoah’s dreams to counsel that Pharoah had 7 years of plenty to stock up on government wealth. In this case, it was grain stored up. Then, during the seven years of famine, Pharoah could open the storage containers, “spend” the government grain, and keep Egypt and the world fed.

    That’s Keynesian economics right there – government spending during hard times, government build-up of wealth in the good. Clinton did it right, paying down the national debt with his surplus budgets. Bush blew it, taking a possible surplus, squandering it on mindless tax cuts, and then starting two wars and creating an unfunded Medicare prescription drug program. When the downturn came at the end of his second term, Bush still manned up and did what government was supposed to do in hard times.

    But now the government is ready to shoot our economic recovery in the head again. It’s the age of austerity. No use worrying about why the government wealth that could have been ready for these hard times isn’t there. Even though, really, the wealth is there, because the government is still getting fantastic terms on the borrowing it’s having to make.

    I tell you what, if Pharoah had spent his kingdom’s wealth down during times of prosperity and then kept the feasts going for the rich while the poor suffered during times of famine, like as not Pharoah found his head on a spike sooner or later.

  35. 35
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Hi there, OO. Nice to see you again. Here’s some ,,,,,, and a . for your ellipses. Heh.

    I got nothing on topic. It’s too depressing.

  36. 36
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Redshirt:

    I’m not sure it will ever end, without some fundamental change to our economy. To wit: We’re a debtor nation now, and the Galtians like it that way, since they make money off the debt.

    Yeppers.

    They floated the “return to gold standard” BS, and that failed. They floated the “Fed’s printing money so we have to raise rates” BS, and that failed (turns out the bond market is reality-based). So now they’re doing their very best to get the US downgraded, to get higher interest rates that way.

    The US Constitution explicitly forbids landed titles: Controlling access to credit (and therefore capital) so that only the thin upper slice gets to play the Capitalism game is the next best thing.

  37. 37
    General Stuck says:

    Notwithstanding Keynes, there is something to be said for showing that the government can have a long term outlook as well as a short term emergency one.

    The Boehner bill in particular is mostly backloaded with the cuts, starting with a whopping 1 billion cut the first year, and Reid’s is actually higher at around 30 billion, I think, maybe 40 billion in the near term. So neither appear to be anti Keynesian, because long term deficit reduction past a recession is Keynesian. It is also anti Keynesian to raise taxes right now, in early recovery, so Obama extending the Bush tax cuts was also Keynesian.

  38. 38
    Elizabelle says:

    Really sickening, and I regret that Democrats are pandering to the uninformed.

    Real failure for Obama not to use the bully pulpit, with some prime time addresses to make the case for government spending until business and consumer spending take up the slack. Also for more regulation of the financial markets and pushing for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

    So what if GOP would have screamed? It’s their communications mode.

    I think Obama’s done as good a job as he probably can with the economy and wars he inherited, but it’s a tragedy that he doesn’t make more of a prime time case for his policies.

    Over the public airwaves, on broadcast TV, to try to get past the filter and address Americans, personally.

    Idiocy has filled the vacuum left by MSM refusing to do their jobs and cover the merits of political ideas, vs. the process and he said/she said.

    That’s MSM failing, but I wish Obama had used primetime addresses for the good as effectively as Bush the Lesser did to sell us a war of his choice.

    That’s an Obama failing, IMHO.

  39. 39
    Montysano says:

    @Bulworth:

    unless they intend for their parents and grandparents to die starving on the streets?

    We’ll start to transition back to what we had pre-1950: multi-generational households, where the elderly are cared for by the younger generations. The lifestyle that my parents enjoy (2 pensions, 2 SS checks, 2 old people living in a 3,000 sq ft house, 3 vehicles + an RV) is over. It’s simply not sustainable, both in terms of wealth and of natural resources. I’m OK with that, but the road from here to there will be rocky.

  40. 40
    gex says:

    Oh, and my grandparents don’t bother to vote because “it doesn’t make a difference which party wins” so they can eat cat food too.

    I’m pretty bleeding heart usually, but if people don’t give a shit about their own well being, I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.

    ETA: And I might just be really cranky today.

  41. 41
    BGinCHI says:

    When Obama holds the Bush tax cuts hostage then we’ll get some fucking blood in the water for progressives.

    The worm will turn.

    (OO, good to see you back)

  42. 42
    BGinCHI says:

    gex, I like the cut of your jib.

    My wife’s family is the same and I can’t wait till they wake up and smell the cat chow.

  43. 43
    joes527 says:

    General Stuck

    The way I am going to look at just spending cuts of either the Reid or Boehner bills, is that when wingnuts start screaming “tax and spend liberals” during the on going campaign, Obama and dems can call bullshit on that.

    Oh yeah. Facts and accuracy. That’ll swing the election. For sure!

  44. 44
    OzoneR says:

    We’ll start to transition back to what we had pre-1950: multi-generational households, where the elderly are cared for by the younger generations.

    We already do that

  45. 45
    gene108 says:

    There’s a Pew Poll in the link, which shows the whole debt deal is being held hostage by 53% of right-wing Republicans.

    When did the majority of Americans views get shoved aside by the screaming howler monkeys on the far right?

    What can we do to return this country to majority rule, with protection for minority rights?

  46. 46
    OzoneR says:

    I wish Obama had used primetime addresses for the good as effectively as Bush the Lesser did to sell us a war of his choice.

    I wish the networks would let him do prime time addresses and not threaten to pull them if it preempts their lineup.

    Yes, they’ve done this before.

  47. 47
    OzoneR says:

    When did the majority of Americans views get shoved aside by the screaming howler monkeys on the far right?

    last November.

  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    @gex: Someone pulled on the crankypants today!

  49. 49
    General Stuck says:

    That’ll swing the election. For sure!

    What will swing the election, as with all our POTUS elections since 2000, in this 50 50 country, will be how a relative small number of swing voters perceive what is happening, and decide which side is doing it right. They aren’t all that bright or well informed, as a group, but they will likely decide the 2012 election, as they have for more than a decade now.

  50. 50
    gex says:

    46 Corner Stone In this economy, those are the only pants I have left.

  51. 51
    Violet says:

    @Montysano:

    We’ll start to transition back to what we had pre-1950: multi-generational households, where the elderly are cared for by the younger generations.

    It’s already happening. A lot of younger people are moving back in with their parents and just not leaving.

    What are people without kids or extended family supposed to do? Not everyone has kids or nieces or nephews or step-kids or whatever.

  52. 52
    Marty says:

    Whatever the validity of their arguments, for now the anti-Keynesians have prevailed. Part of the reason is optics

    I wish people would stop using the word optics as a pretentious synonym for appearances or PR. It’s totally a journalist thing, like saying pontiff when you mean the Pope.

  53. 53
    cat48 says:

    Obama is appearing thru the body of Secy. Ray LaHood who’s talking compromise, compromise, compromise, so 70,000 construction workers don’t get laid off & FAA can go back to work & we can collect taxes from Airlines again.

  54. 54
    Montysano says:

    @Redshirt:

    They want us – Your Average American – to be in debt up to our eyeballs, but just to the point where we can still pay off the minimum amount per month.

    Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine”: you’re soaking in it.

    The number one advice I would give anyone: get out of debt. Cut up the credit cards. Otherwise, you’re chained to the wheel.

    Our son is 23, just out of college, has a job (thanks, FSM!), and is debt free, with cash in the mattress. My father-in-law recently gave me a ration of shit because the young man doesn’t have a credit card. Sheesh…

  55. 55
    Dennis Doubleday says:

    Nice, annoying example of “on the one hand”, “on the other” reporting, when the facts as they have unfolded have all been on the side of the Keynesians (read some Krugman/Baker/DeLong).

    “Cameron had embraced the opposite approach from the US, and had heralded “austerity” in Britain. This has not so far had a significantly positive impact on the country’s GDP or employment ratings”

    is a ridiculously generous way to describe a policy that is SHRINKING Britian’s GDP. Sort of like “the war has not necessarily developed to our advantage”.

  56. 56
    Xenos says:

    Ultimately, Democracy means that people get what they want, even when they are foolish. I don’t know enough about the political history of the Depression, but it must have made sense at some level, and there must have been political support, for the austerity measures that brought about the 1937 recession.

    Our beliefs about rugged individualism and being more authentic and such than those big-government eurotrash may false ideologies, but they are terribly effective.

    The last time I felt this way was then the Supreme Court threw the election to W. It turned out to be much worse than I expected, and that may well be the case now.

  57. 57
    Corner Stone says:

    For anyone speculating that President Obama / Dems will not extend the Bush Tax Cuts again, I have many fine and shiny bourbles* to sell you. All authentic and quite valuable.

    *One of Peter Falk’s best films.

  58. 58
    Joseph Nobles says:

    One other thing: the GOP debt ceiling plan requires us to do this all over again during the holiday spending season, the biggest lift we’ve got to the economy. Yes, while we need people to increase demand to celebrate the Baby Jesus, etc., the House Republicans want to spend the whole time bashing the economy and making even more draconian cuts to federal spending!

    Talk about a War on Christmas!

  59. 59
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Does anyone know whether letting the Bush tax cuts expire is Obama’s ace in the hole here?

    I can confirm this. He plans to save it to negotiate away when he really needs it, such as for a promise from the Republicans that they’ll really think hard about possibly not passing a bill requiring the unemployed to be ground into sausage, or at least not by a super-majority or, if they do wind up passing it by a super-majority, at least the unemployed will be ground into decent sausage like chorizo or, failing that, dog kibble. The final compromise will be that the unemployed get ground into cat food but not the kind that’s available for sale to the destitute elderly.

    ETA: I kid, I kid.

  60. 60
    wrb says:

    It is also anti Keynesian to raise taxes right now, in early recovery, so Obama extending the Bush tax cuts was also Keynesian.

    It looks like about the only stimulus passible now would be in the form of tax cuts, so I say go for it, even if it isn’t the most ideal form of stimulus.

    A business tax exemption for long-term hires, a one-year holiday on tax on the first $50,000 earned- something big and aggressive and hard for Republicans to oppose.

  61. 61

    @Violet:

    What are people without kids or extended family supposed to do? Not everyone has kids or nieces or nephews or step-kids or whatever.

    The problem is even larger than that. Extended families are dispersed geographically. Maw and Paw don’t live down the road like they might have during the ’30s or whatever.

  62. 62
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)

    That weren’t no ellipsis. It was a period ending an abbreviation followed by a period ending a sentence. Looks weird, but what can you do?

  63. 63
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @homeruk 24#:

    Notwithstanding Keynes, there is something to be said for showing that the government can have a long term outlook as well as a short term emergency one.

    Excellent summary.
    My only nitpick is that we need counter-cyclic fiscal policy (which in turn strongly implies that short-term policy does not equal long-term policy) precisely because Keynes was roughly correct. So “Notwithstanding” above is the wrong qualifier, in fact it is the reverse.

  64. 64

    And in case anyone thinks Wall Street gives a shit about the rest of the country, the Dow keeps bobbling along – up 30 now! whee!

  65. 65
    NonyNony says:

    @General Stuck

    The way I am going to look at just spending cuts of either the Reid or Boehner bills, is that when wingnuts start screaming “tax and spend liberals” during the on going campaign, Obama and dems can call bullshit on that.

    Please tell me you mean that ironically?

    If you haven’t noticed, facts don’t matter once election season comes around – narrative does. The folks who will be swayed by facts get set in their vote sometime around primary season (if not before) and after that it’s all emotion and narrative.

    Democrats are the party of big government and spending. Since Clinton and W, the narrative has shifted a little bit so that Democrats are also the party of fiscal discipline (believe it or not). Republicans are the party of Big Business and tax cuts. They used to be the party of fiscal responsibility, but W and the Republicans squandered that and the antics in the House aren’t changing that view (if anything, they’re making it worse).

    So if you’d suggested that these antics are shifting the narrative towards Democrats being the “responsible people” party I’d agree with that. And I think that’s the tactic that Obama and the Dems are (deliberately or just by who they are) taking. The Republicans have lost the script and have become an undisciplined party who values tax cuts more than responsibility and discipline.

    But facts are incidental to this except how they play into people’s emotions and the overall narrative leading up to the election. Republicans will demagogue on Democrats being tax and spend liberals and no amount of evidence to the contrary will shift the reaction to that – it’ll all be about whether people “feel” that Democrats are needlessly tax and spending or if they’re being ‘responsible’ instead.

    (And the numbers don’t look good for Republicans in that respect – it’s hard to sell a narrative of “tax and spend liberals” when the majority of the country – including a majority of their own party – think that taxes are too low and should be raised to close the budget gap. A “tax and spend liberals” attack may backfire spectacularly in that kind of environment – if the Democrats figure out how to play it right).

  66. 66
    homeruk says:

    Thatleftturninabq – fair enough on the “notwithstanding”. presumably the name is a reference to Bugs Bunny? if so, cool.

  67. 67
    General Stuck says:

    LOL, lots of fortune tellers on this blog. Maybe Cole should add a palm reading service and charge a dollar for quicky future tells. We could use the extra cash to buy a reply button.

  68. 68
    Elizabelle says:

    Joseph Nobles at 32.

    Good comment, and the biblical story would resonate with a lot of people.

    From your lips to …

  69. 69
    gex says:

    @54 Democracy is the theory that people know what they want and they deserve to get it good and hard.

  70. 70
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Mmmmmm, “austerity.” It sounds good, it sounds like self-sacrifice and toughing it out – except that it’s just the latest form of “sacrifice for thee and thine but not for me and mine.”

    When non-politicians say that they want austerity they mean that they want it for everyone else.

    For conservative politicians, austerity means “cutting shit that we don’t like.” For Democrats, austerity means “we’ve allowed the other side to frighten us into adopting their talking points” – again.

    So let’s all drink a toast from the cup of austerity in celebration of the fuckees getting more fucked while the fuckers thrive.

  71. 71
    jwb says:

    homeruk: The scoring I’ve seen suggests that Boehner’s plan is actually less worse for GDP than Reid’s. IIRC, Reid’s protects SS and Medicare and avoids a second fight over the ceiling.

    We estimate that the Reid plan would slow GDP growth (again, statically) by about ¼ percentage point on average from fiscal year (FY) 2012 through FY 2015, with the peak effect being almost ½ percentage point in FY 2013.
    __
    We estimate that the Boehner plan would slow GDP growth by only about 0.1 percentage point on average over the same period, with the peak effect being a little over 0.2 percentage point in FY 2014.

  72. 72
    BGinCHI says:

    Thanks for the comments on the Bush tax cuts and their use value, you snarky jackals.

    Seriously, if Obama and the Dems don’t use THAT, then they are well and truly fucked and aren’t going to hold any majorities. I think that’s a hill they can either die on or find work elsewhere.

    Why wouldn’t they draw the bright line right there?

  73. 73
    Zifnab says:

    Eventually, the near-recession conditions will end, maybe in two years, maybe in ten. And when they do, no matter how long that takes, it will prove that the anti-Keynesians were right!

    Success has a million parents. But failure is an orphan.

    ~ Some Smart Person

  74. 74
    Corner Stone says:

    @wrb:

    A business tax exemption for long-term hires, a one-year holiday on tax on the first $50,000 earned- something big and aggressive and hard for Republicans to oppose.

    It’s a false choice.
    Businesses aren’t hiring because there is no demand. There is no incentive to give money directly to companies to generate hiring because they just won’t do it.

  75. 75
    gex says:

    @70 – It seems like the narrative should be simple enough. Those tax cuts were proposed by Bush when there was a surplus. We don’t have a surplus now, so we don’t need those tax cuts. People will get that, won’t they? I mean, sure we need to navigate the mire of the media, but the average Joe would see the sense in that, right?

  76. 76
    General Stuck says:

    Please tell me you mean that ironically?

    Not at all, though I am saying pretty much what you say, that narrative matters. And when the usual winger narrative starts with the big “tax and spend liberals” demogoguing , they will have a knock down of that narrative, and be some inoculated from the charge, which is something that matters to independent swing voters who don’t analysis stuff very deeply, but can judge something this pervasive in the media right now. The tax and spend liberal meme has been around for a long time, and is one of the most successful of wingnuts memes to define liberals and dems.

    If you are saying that none of it matters anyways, and the public is just going to believe the wingers no matter what bullshit they spout about dems, then what is the purpose of even caring about this shit, let alone waste the time to write about it on blogs.

  77. 77
    jwb says:

    BGinCHI: Allowing the tax cuts to expire would permit the Goopers to run on a platform of “if you don’t elect us, the Kenyan usurper will raise your taxes to pay for his death panels.” Obama might be able to thread this needle, and he may well try because he thinks it is the right thing to do, but it will be difficult.

  78. 78
    BGinCHI says:

    gex, if the Dems can’t do that, they might as well just surrender and move to FL.

    Seriously, I think the GOP is trapped on this now. The polls show that folks see them as crazy on the economy and want to tax the rich. And here is the perfect opportunity.

    And it doesn’t take a bill with any language to do it! It’s just an inaction! Fucking hell. Let’s get a Two Nancy Smash (Pelosi and W-S) and get this done after the next election, and reverse whatever bullshit they pass now.

    OK, problem solved. Next?

  79. 79
    Zifnab says:

    General Stuck:

    We could use the extra cash to buy a reply button.

    Sorry. We won’t be getting that reply button back. We had to give it up for austerity purposes. But we will get more lady-swallowing-a-cucumber ads, because that’s where the job creation lays.

  80. 80
    Corner Stone says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Seriously, if Obama and the Dems don’t use THAT, then they are well and truly fucked and aren’t going to hold any majorities. I think that’s a hill they can either die on or find work elsewhere.

    By all current indicators we’re going to have a floor of minimum 8.5% U3, and I think closer to 9% still when 2012 election gets hot and bothered.
    I’m confused as to why anyone thinks the, “You don’t raise taxes and kill jobs in this kind of bad economy!!” isn’t going to be printed on banners to be posted behind every politician, of all stripes, for every press conference they give.
    The Deal to extend the Bush Tax Cuts was a horrible mistake, and we’re not going to see the end of them any time soon.

  81. 81
    GregB says:

    So when does any asshole in the establishment media point out that aside from far right congressional districts the tea-party politicians that have to govern over large areas are scraping the bottom of the barrel in the polls?

    Tea-partiers keep passing themselves off as having a large mandate when in fact they have begun getting thrown out of office one by one.

    From Mr. 29% in Florida to Murdoch’s hand picked flunky Kasich and on, the tea-partiers are very unpopular.

  82. 82
    BGinCHI says:

    jwb, if “difficult” isn’t that motherfucker’s middle name by now, then somebody needs to wake him up.

  83. 83
    Montysano says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    The problem is even larger than that. Extended families are dispersed geographically. Maw and Paw don’t live down the road like they might have during the ‘30s or whatever.

    This can change, and it will change.

    I’m a fan of James H. Kunstler, and agree with him that, regardless of what happens in Washington, we are transitioning to a different world. The “wealth” and good times that we’ve enjoyed for the past couple of decades were an illusion, made possible by borrowing from the future, by cheap fuel, and by a virtual slave class in Asia. Whether this new world will be a Mad Max-style nightmare or a New Golden Age is TBD.

  84. 84
    catclub says:

    “Does anyone know whether letting the Bush tax cuts expire is Obama’s ace in the hole here?”

    Fasteddie was faster than I.

    Another way to put it is: The ONLY promise that Obama keeps repeating is: “If you make less than $250K I will NOT raise your taxes.” So, the GOP holds the middle class tax cuts hostage in order to keep the tax cuts for the gazillionaires. Result: Bush tax cuts never expire.

    It is thus kind of an anti- ace in the hole. I hope I turn out wrong.

  85. 85
    Corner Stone says:

    If you are saying that none of it matters anyways, and the public is just going to believe the wingers no matter what bullshit they spout about dems

    I hate to sound like a Nick, but the majority of voters in 2010 thought President Obama had raised their taxes.

  86. 86
    DZ says:

    @ #7 Arguingwithsignposts:

    This surprises you?

    Wall Streeters and bankers (not the same thing) are not teatards. Unlike the teatards, they are smart and rational. If you are smart and rational and you have some money (not necessary to be rich) and you know what you’re doing, you can make money in almost any economic circumstance. It has ever been thus. I have made quite a bit of money in the last 3 years and I am not wealthy. My retirement plans (mine plus my wife’s who dies in 2007) have lost 45% of ther value since 2007, but I have made most odf that back because I do have some money and I am a smart investor.

  87. 87
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I see. I sit corrected. I’ve had a rough week and my copy edit skills are suffering. It’s still awfully nice to see you and I’ve hoarded lots of commas for you.

  88. 88
    Corner Stone says:

    @Zifnab:

    But we will get more lady-swallowing-a-cucumber ads, because that’s where the job creation lays.

    I know it has inspired me to put a little more money in the local economy.

  89. 89
    lacp says:

    Coming August 2nd! The Ultimate Global Wrestling Championship:
    3 falls
    15 minute time limit
    IN THE STEEL CAGE!

    FEATURING: THE AMERICAN PUBLIC’S HERO, THE CLUELESS CRUSADER

    VS.

    STONE COLD STEVE AUSTERITY!

  90. 90
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Eventually, the near-recession conditions will end, maybe in two years, maybe in ten. And when they do, no matter how long that takes, it will prove that the anti-Keynesians were right!

    And this is why the Village must be destroyed.

  91. 91
    wrb says:

    Businesses aren’t hiring because there is no demand. There is no incentive to give money directly to companies to generate hiring because they just won’t do it.

    That is too simple. Such an incentive wouldn’t cause every business to hire but but it would have an effect on the margins, lead to more wages being paid leading to more demand leading to more hiring. There are cash rich companies that could hire, but aren’t because they don’t think the cost quite pencils out now. If the cost changed a company like Cat might add some engineers to an on-going project to develop a next generation engine, etc.

  92. 92

    @DZ:

    Wall Streeters and bankers (not the same thing) are not teatards. Unlike the teatards, they are smart and rational.

    Smart, yes. Rational, no. Greedy bastards who brought down the world economy because they wanted to make a few extra bucks, operate massive speculative plays on commodities markets, destroy companies through a single-minded devotion to short-term profits, help to engineer huge budget deficits for the weak Euro countries like Greece, etc., and expect to have their asses bailed out when their bets are proven to be worthless are not rational.

    YMMV

  93. 93
    jwb says:

    Corner Stone: I think no matter what happens between now and next Tuesday, the crank factor is going to go through the roof, since every plan on the table is a shit sandwich and doing nothing is a shit sandwich too.

  94. 94
    Martin says:

    @jwb:

    I’ve seen suggests that Boehner’s plan is actually less worse for GDP than Reid’s. IIRC, Reid’s protects SS and Medicare and avoids a second fight over the ceiling.

    Given that the prime material difference between the two plans is that Reid’s directly cuts off the flow of money to make bullets and humvees while Boehner’s does not, those differences in GDP are entirely in the mil industrial complex. Assuming the wars end anyway, even if Boehners plan were adopted the GDP drop would still happen, but on top of what his plan is scored. Would the sum wind up being worse? Possibly, and Boehner’s plan could result in deeper cuts if the discretionary spending cuts there wind up happening on top of the defense cuts that should happen naturally – which of course he’ll demand happen (even if he can’t deliver votes to actually make it happen). Reid takes care of that possibility up front by saying ‘xx billion in cuts comes from Iraq/Afghanistan’ precluding them from coming from other areas. Reid’s approach on the economy may score higher, but appears to be far more predictable in its impact, and far more desirable for anyone on the left, not to mention protecting the entitlement programs.

    The trap being laid for the GOP here is that Boehner passes his bill, sends it to the Senate, the Senate passes Reid’s bill and they reconcile along Reid’s lines – with support from Obama, and the veto threat on Boehners standing. It goes back to the House looking like Reids plan, Boehner loses the teapartiers, and it passes due to Dem support and gets called a Democratic solution.

    Democrats cutting spending is appetizing to true independents.

  95. 95
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    The problem is, most people are like my six year old: They have no concept of anything that scales beyond their immediate senses. They can’t envision a large yet finite expanding universe, they can’t imagine any time beyond the time humans have been writing, they can imaging the difference in scale between $60,000 and $10Trillion dollars, and that things that work at one scale do not work at another. (This also makes my job as a software developer harder.)

    The difference between my 6 year old and these other people is that he can learn the difference.

  96. 96
    Corner Stone says:

    @wrb: They are sitting on trillions in cash. And taking that cash on hand and investing in Asia and other overseas destinations.
    There is not sufficient demand for the kind of significant job growth needed. You’re talking about “at the margins” ?

  97. 97
    patrick II says:

    @gex:
    No tax raise when there is a suruplus — the government is taking your money.
    No tax raise when there is a deficit — taxes hurt job creators.
    No tax hikes in the between times — tax hikes cause uncertainty.

    There never was nor will there ever be a good time to raise taxes.

    Just so you know the rules.

  98. 98
    MazeDancer says:

    @TheMightyTrowel:

    just spent half an hour reaming a dear friend and first cousin because she declared that unless she could vote for a liberal purity pony she would cast no pres vote in 2012.

    Take “liberal” out of that sentence and it could also be true for RedStaters. Lots of Pure or Nothing thinking on both ends.

    It’s July 2011. We have no ideas what will be happening a year from now. And purity in the face of potential theocracy of Prez Bachmann may not look as sweet.

    Though we can certainly continue to hope that the Purity Ponies in Winger Corral decide it’s time to create a third party of Real Conservatives. They threaten it. Please may Palin’s ego drive her to start one. The grifting opportunities are so high, maybe she’ll be fooled into thinking it’s a good idea.

    Though, alas, her best timing on that would be after Mr. Obama’s victory in 2012. (Knock wood and all things holy that preserve any hope of freedom for that.)

    Just hope no egomaniacs on the left decide to grift their way into the speaking fee gravy train by running against the President.

  99. 99
    catclub says:

    wrb @ 91 If you raise taxes, hiring employees becomes a tax avoidance strategy — because they are a deductible business expense. This is also why there is less charitable giving: taxes have been lowered, making charitable donations less attractive. I think the technical term for this realization is Duh.

  100. 100
    Montysano says:

    @Corner Stone:

    “You don’t raise taxes and kill jobs in this kind of bad economy!!”

    This shit drives me insane, but it’s now been repeated sufficiently so as to be accepted as truth.

    I’ve been intimately involved with a small business for the last 20 years. When we discuss the hiring of new employees, I’ve never once heard the owner say “Wait…. let me check my tax rate.” The only question is “Is there sufficient demand to justify it?”

    As always, my greatest fear is that we’ll get what we deserve.

  101. 101
    Dexter says:

    So Orange Julius has scheduled the vote for his bill 545PM today, after the stock market closes. So far looks like he doesn’t have the votes. 22 confirmed Teabaggers opposing his bill with a dozen or so non-committal.

  102. 102
    catclub says:

    Belafon @ 95 Six year olds, heck you can’t teach 45 year olds to floss their teeth. Even with graphic pictures.
    The future is out of almost everyone’s immediate senses.

    ETA: Also what Montysano said on taxes.

  103. 103
    Mark S. says:

    I don’t think this is too bad:

    And because this legislation won’t bind a future Congress, a future Congress could undo the caps and spend more money, undoing the savings.

    The key is that we don’t have this stupid debate again in six months.

    As for letting the Bush tax cuts expire, I seem to recall they are supposed to expire like in December 2012. Hmmm, I wonder if they’ll be extended before some event that is to occur in Nov 2012.

  104. 104
    gex says:

    @97 – This game makes me sad. Why does one team insist on heads we lose, tails we lose and go for it with gusto?

    Now I’m thirsty for some Brawndo.

  105. 105
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The difference between my 6 year old and these other people is that he can learn the difference.

    Many of these people have all the emotional maturity of a three year old screaming “mine, mine, MINE!”.

  106. 106
    DZ says:

    @ #92 Arguingwithsignposts:

    Sorry, I can’t agree with that. Oh, you and I would probably agree on lots of things, but what is rational depends entirely on POV. If the goal is profit above all else, it is quite rational to pursue the strategies that they did.

  107. 107
    jwb says:

    Patrick II: It’s in the overlords’ political handbook: when dems are in power, the deficit is horrible and we must get spending under control; when the goopers are in power, deficits don’t matter and we must cut taxes for the economy. They don’t even try to hide their pivot from one position to the other so I haven’t a clue why people, even inattentive people, don’t catch on, but there it is.

  108. 108
    gex says:

    @107 – that’s where the tribalism kicks in. Their team is always right because it’s their team.

  109. 109
    PurpleGirl says:

    gex — we are all somewhat cranky today (every day right now?)

    Elizabelle — I’ve finally accepted that no Democratic president, and especially our current black one, can effectively use a bully pulpit. He can give a speech every hour on the hour and the pundit/media forces WILL NOT report it in any way other than to denigrate what he says and will not report in an understandable way the nuance and fine points of economics or policy. They will continued to do report by sound bites anything the Republicans say. The corporate rulers don’t want issues reported on honestly or in an understandable way.

  110. 110
    wrb says:

    @ Corner Stone

    There is not sufficient demand for the kind of significant job growth needed. You’re talking about “at the margins”

    In the economic sense, that there some people close to wavering over whether to add jobs who would thire if the cost was changed. Or weighing whether to hire here or in Asia. That kind of stimulus wouldn’t instantly generate full employment, but it would help start a healthy, self-reinforcing cycle: new hires spend money which increases demand.

    The other form of stimulus I suggested: a temporary tax holiday for the lower part of incomes would stimulate by putting more money in the hands of people who would spend it.

  111. 111
    fasteddie9318 says:

    I’ve been intimately involved with a small business for the last 20 years. When we discuss the hiring of new employees, I’ve never once heard the owner say “Wait…. let me check my tax rate.” The only question is “Is there sufficient demand to justify it?”

    Don’t you mean to say that it’s the only question AFTER “zOMG WHAT ABOUT TEH UNCERTAINTY?!?!? WE”RE PARALYZED BY UNCERTAINTY?!?!? KENYAN ANTI-COLONIALIST SOCIALIZED MEDICINE UNCERTAINTY?!?!? WON”T ANYONE THINK OF TEH CHILDREN UNCERTAINTY?!?!?”

    Because I’ve been told that something like the above is for sure the first set of questions that any company asks before it hires someone.

  112. 112
    jinxtigr says:

    Why would they be talking about letting those tax cuts expire NOW?

    Shut up already. What tax cuts? We’ll talk about the Bush tax cuts when people are ready to hear about them- i.e. when public opinion has hardened even more in the direction of ‘yes, those tax cuts caused big deficit problems and yes I’m paying less taxes than ever in history and yes, all those tax cuts should go away now, we’ll manage. It’s like austerity or something! It’s shared sacrifice to better our country!’

    This isn’t the time to talk about them. Turning around requires momentum, not just intent. Let the momentum build towards taking responsibility.

    That means illustrating why the deficits are so big by showing historical taxation relative to today, that means shaming the tea party guys who rant but won’t pay their own taxes or child support, and that means developing the climate for more of a pendulum swing back to sanity.

    Hell, if the Village is starting to splinter and show breaks in the facade, that means the populace in general has already swung back. Look at the turnout of that Tea Party rally. Open your eyes and see.

    You have to build the climate first without covering any useful ground. Clear the path BEFORE charging down it. This is pretty basic. It’s what I see happening from the Dems.

  113. 113
  114. 114
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Montysano:

    As always, my greatest fear is that we’ll get what we deserve.

    Well, Montysano, every month the wife and I sit around the kitchen table, with the checkbook, and do our bills….

    (ducks)

    This meme, all by itself, is enough to keep us bumping along the bottom of the U for years.

    And how long has the “Republicans are the party of fiscal probity” legend survived huge annual Republican deficits?

    We could bump along the bottom of the U forever.

  115. 115
    BGinCHI says:

    The GOP don’t want to govern. They use the government as a tool to increase profits for the people who fund their election campaigns and with whom they will work after and play golf with. They have no desire to aspire to any “greater good” or to “conserve” anything but their advantage over other people.

  116. 116
    Montysano says:

    @jwb:

    They don’t even try to hide their pivot from one position to the other so I haven’t a clue why people, even inattentive people, don’t catch on, but there it is.

    Citizen-ing is hard work.

  117. 117

    @GregB:

    I agree. Throwing the bums out of office will undoubtedly have an effect.

  118. 118
    jwb says:

    gex: that explains the tribe behavior, not the mushy middle who blithely follow from one concern to the other, presumably because a bunch of talking heads on the TV are telling them that’s what they need to worry about. But it depends on a very distracted electorate who pays just enough attention to take in information and subconsciously realize that they are receiving the same story from multiple sources but not enough attention to remember that these same bobbleheads were telling them last year the very opposite of what they are telling them now.

  119. 119
    catclub says:

    Funny headline on google finance “Treasurys rise ahead of House vote ” They are becoming scarce, so the price goes up.
    (interest rate goes down). Of course, the US govenrment is not benefitting from the higher price, because we cannot issue new ones.

  120. 120
    BGinCHI says:

    jinxtigr, um, that’s pretty much what we’ve been talking about. When this can get used or put into play. It comes up after the election and I think Dems have to build towards it by invoking it, then making good on letting them expire. They have to lay the groundwork though, absolutely, and the msm isn’t going to help.

    Ps. Ed Fucking Henry is a douchebag.

  121. 121
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @PurpleGirl: Guy doesn’t do much except give speeches, most weeks. Here’s the White House calendar — flip through a typical non-crisis week.

    If a tree falls on a philosopher in the middle of a forest, is he dead?

  122. 122
    danimal says:

    Look, folks, the ‘anti-Keynesian’ bs that the GOP is spewing is just a smokescreen. President Perry, with a GOP Congress in January 2013, would pass a massive tax cut/infrastructure bill within days of inauguration. The ‘anti-Keynesian’ belief is simply a method to handcuff Obama and the Dems.

    Also, several folks are asking if Obama is using the expiration of the Bush tax cuts deferral program as a bargaining chip. Of course he is. He is committed to retaining the middle class portion of the tax structure, while eliminating the upper-income tax rates. But the whole thing goes away if there is no Congressional action. Everyone involved in the debt negotiations is WELL aware of this leverage point and using it in their calculations.

  123. 123
    Elizabelle says:

    Purple Girl:

    I know.

    And that’s why I suggested primetime network TV addresses.

    To remove that filter, because otherwise you just hear about “angry Obama” and what a dick he is.

    Network corporations receive their licenses from the public — those are our airwaves.

    In The Great Recession, with more people unemployed since before Eisenhower’s terms, some public presidential addresses would have been in order.

    Obama or his advisors are slow to realize this, and I don’t care if Obama doesn’t LIKE doing it or if it’s not his style.

    He has underestimated his opponents and the weariness/gullibility/cynicism of the average American.

  124. 124
    Elizabelle says:

    Davis at 121:

    You just made my point.

    Obama makes tons of speeches, which don’t get covered.

    Just cherry-picked for controversy and poutrage. The evening news cannot do in 35 seconds what Obama could convey in 3 or 4 (or OK, ten) minutes

    He can’t get past the filter and needs to make his case himself, on network TV.

    Anybody know offhand how many network primetime appearances GW Bush made?

    Or Clinton, and GHWB?

  125. 125
    daveNYC says:

    Those tax cuts were proposed by Bush when there was a surplus. We don’t have a surplus now, so we don’t need those tax cuts. People will get that, won’t they?

    Tax cuts are proposed by Republicans all the time, the only thing that changes is the reasoning behind them.

  126. 126
    BGinCHI says:

    danimal, I agree, except for the teaparty dipshits who seem unaware of anything multi-syllabic.

  127. 127
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @jwb:

    the mushy middle who blithely follow from one concern to the other…

    They’re a tribe of their own with their own ideology — or actually two tribes, one of them the bunch of solipsists who keep Maher and Stewart in beer and peanuts. “Oh, that stuff is all just for show. Nobody I know actually takes that stuff seriously. Tragically unhip.”

    The pure chuckleheads are separate, different, and don’t anger me as much. Invincible ignorance in moral theology gets treated differently

    Stupidity and irony can both kill a republic, but irony will do it faster, but it looks real good doing it.

  128. 128
    MazeDancer says:

    @Montysano:

    The number one advice I would give anyone: get out of debt. Cut up the credit cards. Otherwise, you’re chained to the wheel.

    Good advice. Though, if you’re fortunate enough to have gotten yourself off the debt wheel and pay in full every month, credit/charge cards can bring in money.

    I put every possible expenditure on my card. They pay me 1% on every dollar. This is better than any savings account. Free money.

    If you shop at CostCo – I don’t – you can get a CostCo Amex and make big bucks. They give 3 to 5% on gas and restaurants. And something like that on CostCo expenditures. And they hand you the cash. I had a friend with a big family, who is a heavy shopper/driver/restaurant goer be surprised at check-out when she got handed a check for $1,800 just for a year. Nice surprise.

  129. 129
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Elizabelle—I’ve finally accepted that no Democratic president, and especially our current black one, can effectively use a bully pulpit. He can give a speech every hour on the hour and the pundit/media forces WILL NOT report it in any way other than to denigrate what he says and will not report in an understandable way the nuance and fine points of economics or policy. They will continued to do report by sound bites anything the Republicans say. The corporate rulers don’t want issues reported on honestly or in an understandable way.

    This.
    Oh and one more thing. The POTUS who actually coined the term “bully pulpit” was routinely castigated by the progressives of his era as a serial capitulator and sellout to Wall St.

  130. 130
    Martin says:

    Or weighing whether to hire here or in Asia.

    Well, that’s a different variable. Half of cash held by US corporations is overseas and will incur a 35% tax rate if repatriated. That’s a HUGE additional cost to hiring US workers. A simpler solution might be that every new US hire allows their annual salary plus benefits to be repatriated tax free for 3 years (with some usual wording to protect against it being used for seasonal workers, etc.) Hire 1,000 workers at a cost of $50K per year and you can repatriate $50M per year for 3 years tax free. Maybe a similar deal for infrastructure, construction, upgrade.

    Costs the government nothing, because those dollars aren’t getting taxed now. Puts all of the incentive on hiring, and gives some incentive to not hire at the lowest possible wage. Some of these companies have so much money overseas that they literally don’t know what else to do with it out there.

    The thing to protect against is that we had a repatriation holiday 7 years ago and everyone simply bought back stock and issued dividends. That’s when Microsoft issued their $3/sh special dividend – they repatriated the money and gave it to shareholders. Useless.

  131. 131
    joes527 says:

    Corner Stone

    Well, Montysano, every month the wife and I sit around the kitchen table, with the checkbook, and do our bills….

    Well, OK. But I’m sure you use the credit card for the Predator drones to take out that house in your neighbourhood that won’t keep up its lawn.

  132. 132
    bemused says:

    OT but I just heard on the radio that Gov. Christie was take to the hospital, as a precaution, because he was having trouble breathing.

  133. 133
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Elizabelle:

    The evening news cannot do in 35 seconds…

    17 seconds, actually. The average major-network nightly-news soundbite hasn’t been 35 seconds long or longer in at least twenty years.

    At 200 words a minute, 17 seconds is ~60 words. Explain Keynsian counter-cyclical spending in 60 words.

  134. 134
    Pangloss says:

    My guess is that when the GOP teams with disaffected independents and stay-at-home progressives to elect President Romney, they will institute many of the spending practices they now oppose, simply because they are necessary to an economy that doesn’t suck.

  135. 135
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @joes527: Well, OK. But I’m sure you use the credit card for the Predator drones to take out that house in your neighbourhood that won’t keep up its lawn.

    Why yes. We use Capital One. They have those neat commercials with the barbarians — and we can design our own cards!

  136. 136
    MazeDancer says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    At 200 words a minute, 17 seconds is ~60 words

    Is 200 words per 60 seconds the official newsroom rule of thumb? For commercials it’s approximately 72 words max in a voice over for :30 spot.

  137. 137
  138. 138
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Elizabelle: Prime-time TV addresses have slowly lost their effect. Repetition, epistemic closure, alternative media, all have had their effects over time. Started in the Reagan years, by Clinton’s time, poli-sci people were noticing it.

    But the generals still fight the last war.

    (link to PDF)

  139. 139
    gex says:

    jwb I guess I would contend that Atwater, Weyrich, Steele, and Melmen all admitted to what causes the mushy middle to side with the GOP tribe. The hard core party tribe is what you are referring to. The mushy middle still belongs to the white Christian tribe.

  140. 140
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @MazeDancer: That’s absolute top public-speaking-podium speed. No graphics to talk over, for instance. And it’s a maximum — I’m being generous.

  141. 141
    Emma says:

    elizabelle: You mean the networks that cut away from a Nancy Pelosi press conference because she wanted to talk jobs instead of sex scandals? Those networks?

    Networks in the US are private, for-profit business. They can decide not to cover a presidential address. If the president complains, he will get relentlessly negative publicity for his pains.

    If you’d ask me what my ultimate long-term dream would be, I would say that it is to dismantle the American broadcast media.

  142. 142
    joes527 says:

    President Perry, with a GOP Congress in January 2013 …

    The worst possible outcome of 2012 for the Republicans would be to keep the house, and take the senate and the presidency.

    They. Do. Not. Want. To. Govern.

    They don’t have a plan to govern. If they were forced to make a plan, the party would dissolve along the visible factional lines and ultimately into fratricide and cannibalism.

    In contrast, as long as there is a branch of government that doesn’t have a big red R stamped on it, they can stick with their current governance policy: “No.” (“No” is such an easy policy to rally behind)

    Fortunately, or unfortunately, the most likely outcome in 2012 is that the R’s get both houses and the evil Kenyan soc1alist keeps the white house. This will strengthen the Republicans’ position, because they will have another house of congress to shout their policy (“no”) from, but won’t have to actually govern.

  143. 143
    soonergrunt says:

    Mencken was right:

    Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

  144. 144
    wrb says:

    Hire 1,000 workers at a cost of $50K per year and you can repatriate $50M per year for 3 years tax free. Maybe a similar deal for infrastructure, construction, upgrade.

    Good ideas.

    My overriding point was just that it if we can’t do Keynesian stimulus spending the situation is dire enough that we should be pragmatic, hold our noses, and do short-term Keynesian stimulus cutting, even if less efficient.

    It could even present opportunities to do some good in addition to stimulating, such as repatriating money that gets spent on wages or temporarily making the tax code less regressive.

  145. 145
    MazeDancer says:

    Shouldn’t we be the big boys and pass a clean bill.

    That’s from a commenter at RedState asking since passing Boehner’s bill is a “trap”, and it’s all grandstanding and useless anyway, and as Paul Ryan said on Hannity it was only going to take 40 moderate Repubs to side with Dems to pass some last minute thing, shouldn’t the GOP go with being the solution providers of what’s likely to happen.

    Now, that commenter may be a fake RedStater. But it would be the smartest PR move for the GOP. They would get so much media credit for high ground. Of course, the Black Caucus has already introduced such a bill. Possibly to ace out that GOP getting the credit move.

    Also, darkly amused at RedStaters being tired of bickering and the process.

    Not to mention, how come Erickson only posted his “it’s a trap” alleged “warning” about Boehner’s bill today. This has been common knowledge for days that Reid is going to keep the bill’s number, if Boehner’s bill passes, change it all up and send it back. Guess RedStaters don’t do oppo research watching of Lawrence O’Donnell.

    We’ve been wondering what happens after all the kabuki for quite some time. What’s with Erickson just “noticing”?

    Truth be told, I don’t quite understand why Boehner is setting this up for Reid. But still hoping the clean bill, by someone, is the last resort.

  146. 146
    Nemesis says:

    Eventually, the near-recession conditions will end, maybe in two years, maybe in ten. And when they do, no matter how long that takes, it will prove that the anti-Keynesians were right!

    And if the economic downturn never ends it means we didnt austere enough. Got it?

  147. 147
    agrippa says:

    We will see. Hooverism will not work out all that well.

    The ideas of J M Keynes have never been all that popular or highly regarded. Hooverism has always remained the preferred soltuion for many.

  148. 148
    Martin says:

    @Montysano:

    The number one advice I would give anyone: get out of debt. Cut up the credit cards. Otherwise, you’re chained to the wheel.

    The rule my parents taught me when I was young: only borrow for appreciating assets. House, education, health – things that increase in value as fast or faster than the cost of the loan. That’s basically it. Credit card debt and car loans were financial cancers.

  149. 149
    4jkb4ia says:

    @101: Thank you. They were supposed to have started legislative business 45 minutes ago per KagroX.

  150. 150
    OzoneR says:

    The evening news cannot do in 35 seconds what Obama could convey in 3 or 4 (or OK, ten) minutes

    From my college radio days, clips in news stories rarely exceed 20 seconds.

  151. 151
    El Cid says:

    Herbert Hoover, in contrast to today’s right wing movement, actually was deeply concerned with the situation of struggling and suffering peoples.

    He had proven it with his hugely successful aid programs for the 1927 Mississippi floods victims.

    Now, it’s true that his ideological conviction that it was just wrong for government to get too involved and mainly should be there to facilitate private charity and business assistance kept people suffering from the collapse this outlook encouraged.

    FWIW, he wasn’t some mean bastard who hated the fucking poor with a passion and gleefully looked forward to a 1970s-style junta-led Brazilian style favela social structure, which is the fantasy of today’s right.

    A lofty circle of the super-rich living in heavily fortified cities enjoying government largesse, exploited labor, force against troublemakers applied at their whimsy, and natural resources theirs for the despoiling; a tiny professional class serving them; a working population desperate to keep what jobs existed; a more marginalized poor population of small traders and scrap existence; and a desperately impoverished chunk of the nation’s people living in handmade shacks and watching so many infants die of hunger and childhood preventable illnesses that a heart-numbing protective tradition is created of believing children acquire a soul only when they survive to four or five years old.

    Hoover might have caused and perpetuated them, but he didn’t enjoy the Hoovervilles.

    Today’s conservative “movement” is fortunate that most members have enough PR skill to keep from laughing at the poor and unemployed and homeless too frequently in front of cameras.

  152. 152
    MazeDancer says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Thanks for words per minute info.

    Soundbytes R Everything.

  153. 153
    Pangloss says:

    1970s-style junta-led Brazilian style favela social structure, which is the fantasy of today’s right.

    I visited my dad in Brazil several times in the 70s and 80s, and seeing those conditions firsthand is EXACTLY the nightmare that comes to mind with where the GOP wants to go.

  154. 154
    catclub says:

    Joes527 ‘They do not want to govern’
    Nope. They want power and that means they want all the power
    if they can get it.

    Tell it to Dick Cheney.

  155. 155
    Thoughtcrime says:

    Martin @ 148

    To be clear, revolving credit card debt is a cancer. But using a credit card and paying off the entire balance each month is getting a free loan.

    Some people don’t have the discipline, or funds, to pay off the balance every month.

  156. 156
    PurpleGirl says:

    Martin @ 130 — I like your idea for repatriating overseas profits.

  157. 157
    sneezy says:

    @Omnes Omnibus, 62:

    It was a period ending an abbreviation followed by a period ending a sentence. Looks weird, but what can you do?

    When a sentence ends with an abbreviation, a single period is enough. For example:

    Correct: He arrives at 6 p.m.
    Incorrect: He arrives at 6 p.m..

  158. 158
    marginalized for stating documented facts says:

    What makes you think the current near-recession conditions will ever end?

    As globalism cranks up, the American middle class will shrink. The tax base will dry up, and we’ll be locked into a death spiral of ever-decreasing revenues forcing continuous cuts in basic services, which in turn will fuel higher unemployment, which in turn will lead to lower tax revenues.

    At some stage we’ll reach a tipping point and the entire economic system will collapse, since expenses will continue out of control while revenues will constantly decline.

    We’re trapped in a vicious cycle of endless foreign wars, endlessly escalating medical costs that Obama’s non-reform HCR bill did nothing to contain, endless financial bubbles and global meltdowns that the TARP bailout did nothing to rectify. What will change except that U.S. military expenditures will increase faster? What will change other than medical costs rising more steeply? What will change other than the next global financial collapse getting even steeper and more prolonged than the collapse of 2008?

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