Saturday, July 3, 2010

Deficit Spending During A Journalistic Holiday

Sunien Miller
Kristi Keck
Paul Begala

Karl Rove lecturing Barack Obama about fiscal responsibility is like... 
Like an arsonist complaining that the fire department is wasting water.
Like Lizzy Borden campaigning against elder abuse.
Like Tiger Woods lecturing about abstinence.
Like Sarah Palin calling Elie Wiesel shallow.
Like Lady Gaga saying you're over the top.
Like Tony Hayward saying you're not managing your image well.
Your turn.     - Paul Begala

I didn't post anything yesterday, and it looks like I will be taking random days off for some mental rest. I have days when I can barely make it out of bed in the morning, and am in a lot of pain during the day, until I sit at night with the lights off doing nothing but petting the dogs and cat. Yesterday was like that except I had a book to read, which takes away the self-pitying absorption on my deteriorating health conditions. In the links above are two different takes on Obama's calling out the GOP and their obstruction of the unemployment insurance package that was before Congress.

Not a lot going on this weekend, most of the reporters took off on a long weekend. A lot of people are beginning to freak out over the economy, it's taking much longer to recover than their short attention spans will allow, intensifying the debate over whether we should continue to create more stimulus packages or concentrate on reducing the deficit. Paul Begala gives a brief history of how we got to our present situation: "When President Clinton took office, the federal budget deficit was $290 billion—the largest deficit in American history. In January 1993, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the deficit would grow to $513 billion by 2001. Instead, President Clinton and Democratic economic policies balanced the budget. Clinton and his Democratic allies—(not one Republican voted for the Clinton economic plan in 1993)—turned the projected $513 billion deficit into a $281 billion surplus. We lifted 7 million people—including 4 million children—out of poverty and up into the middle class, producing the lowest poverty rate in a quarter-century. We created 22.5 million private-sector jobs, lifted the wages of working people and left Social Security with a projected $2.49 trillion surplus.
Democratic economic policies under Clinton reduced the federal civilian payroll by 377,000 employees—the lowest level since the Kennedy administration. Under Clinton, federal spending as a percentage of GDP dropped from 22.2 percent to just 18.5 percent—the lowest level since 1966.
Had we simply continued Clintonomics, we would have paid off the national debt. Not the annual deficit—we'd already eliminated that—but the entire national debt, in 2009. For the first time since Andrew Jackson (a Democrat, too, by the way) was president, in 1833."

Robert Reich

So, we are in the middle of a global recession, state and local governments aren't hiring, and, what's worse, is that nobody has been able to focus on helping small businesses. Even the Pentagon is reviewing and revamping the process on how they give out contracts, which will affect hundreds, if not thousands, of small businesses who depend on those contracts, to the tune of $22 billion. Obama has been trying to figure out a way to provide a climate for long term job creation in the private sector, yet there is pressure to eliminate federal jobs and programs. Every lay off, whether its in the public or private sector is a defeat for our economy. Even though statistics show a decrease in the jobless rate, from 9.7% to 9.5%, over one million of job seekers have become too discouraged and have stopped looking for work. Mostly they are black males in the midwest and young males that probably still live at home...

And, as we all lose more and more social services until we become treated like a nation of immigrants, there is more resistance and hot talking over what we need to do next. Robert Reich thinks that: "The irony is that had there been no bank bailout in 2008 and 2009, no large stimulus, and no extraordinary efforts by the Fed to pump trillions of dollars into the economy, we'd have had another Great Depression. And because it would have sucked almost everyone down with it, the nation would have demanded from politicians larger and more fundamental reforms that might well have lifted everyone, and set America and the world on a more sustainable path toward growth and shared prosperity: A stimulus that financed the rebuilding of the nation's infrastructure and alternative energies, single-payer health care, a cap on the size of big banks and resurrection of Glass-Steagall, earnings insurance, an Earned Income Tax Credit that extended into the middle class, and a truly progressive tax coupled with a price on carbon to pay for all of this over the long term." Of course, our economy could be in better shape that the statistics indicate, and a lot of it could be a snowjob of conservative propaganda to keep fostering a negative image of Obama. So, maybe I will go out and buy some illegal fireworks and do a little celebration tomorrow, see if I can find a Texas tiger-striped watermelon instead of a Chinese seedless...

The other set of horns that Obama is straddling deals with Afghanistan - should we stay or should we go? Stuck in the deficit and defense doldrums this weekend, many pundits and policy wonks are barbecuing up tasty versions of roadkill rather than touch some government pork... Bets are being placed on whether General Stanley McChrystal will work as a lobbyist or as a security consultant once he doffs his uniform and enters the private sector. Of course, he can always enjoy his retirement pension of over $181,000 per year, courtesy of your tax dollars at work. So, don't cry for him, Kabul, it's not like he will come back and do anything for you on his own dime...

Should i stay or should i go now?
Should i stay or should i go now?
If i go there will be trouble
An' if i stay it will be double
                    So come on and let me know       - The Clash

Here's something either funny or sad, from a Marist poll taken recently. People were asked what country the US separated from when we declared our independence in 1776.

TPM reports that 20% weren't sure and had no answer. Another 6% gave answers of France, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and China. The answer, of course, is Great Britain, and here I urge you to look for and enjoy the movie, based on the play by Alan Bennett, The Madness of King George, which deals with the state of mind of Britain's King George after he lost control of the colonies... They also state that the older ones were likely to get the right answer, perhaps signaling that a return of rote learning on some things may not be a bad idea. Have a happy 4th of July, and never stop learning...

1 comment:

  1. This is really useful for the public of any country that the government fixed some extra budget for spending holidays. your article is helpful for my knowledge.


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