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Sunday, September 23, 2018
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The GOP Balanced Budget Amendment: Hypocrisy & Poor Economics

by John Suddarth I’m a Congressional candidate in VA-01, a Progressive in favor of Single-Payer & investment in Education, Infrastructure & action on Climate Change.  I’m...

Virginia Republicans Vote to Balloon the Deficit/Debt, Screw Everyone but the...

As if you need any MORE reasons to vote Democratic up and down the ballot both this November and next November, check out this...

Hey, Cantor, the “Deficit Crisis” Doesn’t Exist

Eric Cantor is back home from voting a 40th time to overturn "Obamacare," with a pit stop at Fox News where he spouted the latest right-wing talking points about how we have to cut "entitlements" to get the House to fund the government for the next fiscal year because of the "deficit crisis."  But, guess what? There IS no run-away budget deficit. In spite of the do-nothing GOP House of Representatives and the filibuster-loving Senate GOP minority, the deficit is under control. This deficit reduction wasn't done the right way, nor was it done in a way to actually improve government efficiency. Atlantic magazine this month explains just how deficit management was stumbled into, in spite of the Republican-caused gridlock in Washington.

The first step to lowering the deficit was the fiscal-cliff deal the president got Congress to agree to before the first of the year, the deal that raised income tax rates on wealthy Americans. Then, because Congress refused to act to stop a ridiculous sequester that was so extreme no one figured it would happen, another $1 trillion will be lopped off the deficit by the end of the next decade. Those combined actions, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, are sufficient to stabilize the U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio. That means the debt is no longer growing faster than the U.S. economy. The deficit crisis is over. As the economy slowly regains momentum after the Great Recession, the improvement in the deficit picture will become even more pronounced.

It's time to declare victory in the deficit war and work to replace the idiotic sequester with more reasonable and sustainable budget constraints. Plus, Congress needs to raise the debt limit and pass a budget. However, Cantor and his tea-poisoned majority in the House now insist that Social Security and Medicare have to be slashed. Since neither one caused the deficit in the first place, it would be foolish to agree to whatever cockamamie scheme Cantor and company have planned to wreck the social safety net for seniors.  

Three Graphs: Obama Deficit Reducer; Better on Debt than Reagan or...

When he claims the president has doubled the deficit, Mitt Romney is an extreme  liar.

First, as the graph shows, the President has reduced the deficit. The Red column on the graph represents George W. Bush's contribution to the deficit. But serial liar Romney falsely claims Obama has doubled the deficit.  Not only has the president NOT doubled the deficit, the president has reduced it. The data are clear. Barack Obama has reduced the deficit more than two Bushes and more than Ronald Reagan. In point of fact, only Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have actually reduced the deficit.  

But as Rachel Maddow discussed today, amazingly Mitt Romney supposedly has more supposed "cred" on the matter of deficit reduction.  The new Washington Post poll shows that is the only element upon which Mitt Romney does better than the President.  

Warner Being Warner: Pandering, False Equivalence.

Please take a look at Mark Warner being Warner in a way that is just so hurtful to Dems this year.  Says he:
I think it's going to  be very close.  I know he's got problems in SW Virginia He's doing better in Eastern and Northern Virginia.

And I'll tell you this much, I'm supporting President Obama, but I also am awful tired of all the negative ads. I wish we wouldn't be spending  2 billion dollars on tv tearing each other down. That money could be used for interstate 81 and scholarships.  Hopefully, we'll get through this election like we've gotten through all the others and get back to solving our country's problems, especially the debt and deficit.

He just cannot seem to help himself.  He can't endorse the president without trying to distance himself at the same time. He can't talk about health care reform without saying there's a lot that needs to be fixed (in the Affordable Care Act).  

His effort to create out of nothing a false equivalence between the two parties regarding negative ads is appalling. The GOP lie machine spins the lies faster than we can rebut them. But Warner pretends both parties are doing it. He also implies that it's "negative" to refute a pile of lies. I call it necessary. And there is nothing wrong with that. Such a false equivalence is cowardly, shameful, and self-serving. Lying down and playing dead will not work. And putting up only "positive" ads won't work either.  

Along the way, Warner panders to Bristol Motor Speedway fans, coal, enemies of "ObamaCare," and Peter Peterson's "deficit" hawkeroos. (Hawkeroos are two-faced show-offs who like to prattle away at how spending conscious they are. But they won't make the rich pay their fair share. No, sir.)

What is really disconcerting is his self-adulating self-absorption. He is posturing every minute. Warner's myth of the "radical center" is really all about such posturing and it's also about trying to reinvent as virtuous all those things he doesn't stand for, but should, like enabling the EPA to keep our air and water clean. Or helping the 99% as opposed to the wealthy who don't need more tax cuts. It is as if he's out there saying, "Look at me.  I'm better than all of you. I am especially better than President Obama." (No, you are not, Mark.)

No, Romney/Ryan, It’s Not a Deficit Problem But Rather a Masssive...

Over and over the Dynamic Duo of Tax Evasion (because they both encourage it by their policies) have separately deceived Americans concerning trickle down "economics," which is nothing more than a blatant scheme to steal from the poor and middle class.  Whatever deficit problem we have isn't really the deficit per se. It is a massive tax avoidance problem by the acolytes of and by the uber wealthy. Every single cut Paul Ryan makes with his draconian budget masks that the pols supporting this condone Robin Hood in reverse.  They steal from you, or at least 99% of you and hand it over to the already rich.

Paul Ryan and his budget are at the forefront of aiding and abetting the largest heist the US has ever seen. Between 21 and 32 Trillion are parked off-shore in a blatant tax avoidance scheme. Romney alone has (at minimum) foreign tax avoidance accounts in the Caymans, Bermuda and Switzerland. Now he has selected the twit who pretends to know economics and presumes to tell everyone what they should do on the subject of the US economy. That is laughable, but also outrageous.

In her backgrounder on Paul Ryan, Andrea Mitchell of NBC told the audience that: Paul Ryan studied economics. And (are you ready for this): He read Ann Rand.  BTW, Mitchell is the significant other of  Alan Greenspan, who learned his "economics" from a 10th rate novelist and helped steer  the economy into the ditch. My God, do they still not get that she was a fiction writer, and a crappy one at that??????  

My Two Cents: Loser Man In Overdrive Pitching Failed Economics to...

Peter Peterson and his "institute" (which is really a propaganda machine) are ubiquitous once again. They really never went away though. They've slithered in and out and around the halls of power, dropping nearly half a billion dollars to own the conversation according to a recent article at Huffington Post. And own it they did and do.  

Once again this week, the Peterson Foundation called a "fiscal summit" and the salivating dogs of the press were there on the spot to pay homage. From NPR to newspapers to cable news we heard once again about the purported need to reduce the deficit while doing the worst possible thing for deficit reduction, slashing revenue.

It's astounding that Peterson thinks we are so stupid that we believe the BIG LIE of trickle down non-economics still. Even more astounding, his institute wants, no, demands, huge added tax cuts for the rich. The fairy tale that tax cuts cuts solve deficits is is laughable. More laughable is that a man who has worked the system, not bettered it, but milked it, thinks he should run the show.

Is Mark Warner’s Unflappable Deficit Focus Ironically Pound-Foolish?

Mark WarnerCongress has been unable to pass a deficit reduction plan because Republicans steadfastly refuse to raise taxes on the wealthy. Democrats have put discretionary spending, the social safety net, and even the short-term health of the economy on the table, but the GOP will accept no deals. That's why the Gang of Six broke down in May. That's why talks between President Obama & John Boehner went nowhere in July. That's why the Deficit SuperCommittee defaulted to automatic cuts to discretionary & defense spending in November. Yes, Republicans would rather risk re-election on charges of being weak on national security than raise taxes on the ultra-wealthy. So why would they rather do so something so thankless as cut the long-term deficit than raise taxes on the ultra-wealthy?

Yet long after Washington has moved on to extending the payroll tax cut & discussing the best ways to create jobs, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) is continuing his deficit crusade:

Virginia U.S. Sen. Mark Warner won't relax until significant federal debt reduction is accomplished. "This is whether Congress is up to governing and knocking $4 trillion off the debt. It's not curing cancer and it's not defeating Communism. But until we get this dealt with, we can't do anything else," Warner said.
Congress IS doing other things. It's working on extending payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance. President Obama has begged Congress to pass his American Jobs Act to raise taxes on the wealthy to put people back to work.

But instead of cutting his losses, Warner is still investing his time in the failed Gang of Six:

Message to Corporate Media: Failure of “Supercommittee” is NOT Difficult to...

I know this is very difficult for the corporate media, let alone the conservative-dominated media (a large chunk of it), to comprehend, but it's really NOT difficult to understand why the "supercommittee" failed. It's so NOT difficult, in fact, that Greg Sargent manages to boil it down to one (1) easy-to-understand sentence.
Democrats wanted the rich to pay more in taxes towards deficit reduction, and Republicans wanted the rich to pay less in taxes towards deficit reduction.
Is that really so hard to understand? No, it's not, for anyone with a high school education or higher (or lower, for that matter - this is really, really easy!).

Amazingly, though, the geniuses in the corporate and conservative media can't, or won't, report what happened honestly and accurately. They won't do this despite the fact that it's their job to do so - to explain what's happened in the news objectively and accurately, not just to lazily and mindlessly parrot political talking points handed to them, or whatever "everyone else" is saying.  I mean, if that's all they're going to do, plus their absurd "on the one hand, on the other hand" false equivalency (which the corporate media has become infamous for), then why even bother "reporting" at all?  If that's all they're going to do, then frankly they might as well just fold up their operations and go into a more lucrative business, since theirs is going steadily down the tubes regardless. Clearly, they're not adding any positive value here. To the contrary, what the corporate media's doing is actively harmful to helping the public understand what happened here, to analyze it and put in context, and ultimately to assign blame. As Greg Sargent adds, "Any news outlet that doesn't convey this basic fact to readers and viewers with total clarity is obscuring, rather than illuminating, what actually happened here." Which is, as Sargent explains very simply (again, even a lazy, mindless corporate media hack should be able to figure this one out), "the GOP proposal would have really meant is that that the wealthy would pay less in taxes towards deficit reduction than they would if we just did nothing, i.e., let the Bush tax cuts expire, as stipulated by current law."

So, how many of you are willing to bet the ranch that the corporate media will rise to the occasion here, starting on the tee-vee (aka, "idiot box") tonight? Personally, I wouldn't bet a really cheap lunch, let alone the ranch!

P.S. The corporate media might also want to report the fact that if we simply DO NOTHING, let current policy (including expiration of the Bush tax cuts) play out, U.S. budget deficits will be $7.1 TRILLION lower over the next 10 years than they would otherwise have been. That's a LOT more than what the "supercommittee" was talking about. Want to eliminate deficits entirely and go into surplus? Simple: combine the $7.1 trillion "do nothing" approach with the ditching of wasteful subsidies for oil companies, corn ethanol, mortgage interest deductions for rich people, and other utterly wasteful/stupid...uh, stuff. That would pretty much do the trick. Again, this isn't conceptually difficult to understand, it's just politically impossible to DO, because anti-government/anti-tax fanatic Grover Norquist and his Repubiclan puppets  won't allow it. End of story.

Attention Congress: Do Nothing at All, Deficit Disappears


For everyone out there who claims (falsely) that the ridiculous "Supercommittee" is the answer, or that failure of said ridiculous "Supercommittee" (or the even more ridiculous "Gang of Six") would be a really bad thing, look at that graph for 10 seconds and read this excellent analysis by Ezra Klein. Bottom line: if our fine representatives in Washington, DC simply "do nothing, or pay for the things they choose to do, the deficit mostly disappears."

That's it, end of story. Only Republicans and "blue dog"/"radical centrist" (the latter phrase being utterly meaningless) Democrats could possibly find that a difficult concept to grasp. In other words, the deficit essentially disappears if only Congress doesn't f*** it up by...well, doing something! Pretty funny on one level, pretty pitiful on most others.