As The Economy Picks Up, the GOP’s Hostage Plans Have Been Foiled!

hostagenegListening to the PoliSciFiRadio podcast is one of my favorite things to do with my clothes on. Steve Benen, Bill Simmon and Emily Stoneking are a joy to listen to and of course, anyone who reads this blog knows that I pretty much worship Steve Benen as a political blogger. On a recent show, Steve pointed out that with the pick up in the economy, and thus increased revenues coming in, we will not hit the debt ceiling until much later in the summer. The GOP was counting on it in May or June and saw it as their leverage in the budget negotiations. Because you know, that’s how they roll these days.

Steve pointed to this great article from Greg Sargent at The Washington post that reveals this idiocy.

In today’s exercise in Fiscal Fraudulence, Republicans are making it clear they’ve decided they don’t want to enter into budget negotiations with Democrats until the debt ceiling deadline gets a good deal closer. ”The debt limit is the backstop,” Paul Ryan says. “I’d like to go through regular order and get something done sooner rather than later. But we need to get a down payment on the debt. We need entitlement reform.”

Greg Sargent quotes Kevin Drum, who sums it up pretty concisely.

Republicans are flatly refusing to even start budget negotiations until they can threaten default on the national debt if they don’t get their way. Apparently this is literally the only way they’re now willing to do business.

The even crazier part of this story is that the Republicans have already made it clear that they will not ever actually crash the economy with the debt ceiling threat. Greg Sargent sums up the whole mess pretty nicely.

It’s actually even crazier than Beutler and Drum say. Republicans are not willing to enter into fiscal negotiations without being able to wield the threat of crashing the economy to get their way — even as they have already revealed they are not willing to actually crash the economy to get their way. We already know Republicans are not willing to allow default. As you’ll recall, they caved during the last debt ceiling fight. More recently, John Boehner flatly admitted: “I’m not going to risk the full faith and credit of the federal government.” And Republicans are also set to vote on a bill (a nonstarter for Dems) that would allow Treasury to raise the debt ceiling just to pay off bondholders — with the goal of being able to continue demanding concessions in exchange for raising the debt limit while simultaneously avoiding default. That alone is yet another admission that Republicans are not willing to allow default to actually happen.

And so the GOP position, with no exaggeration, is this: Of course we’re not crazy and irresponsible enough to allow default to wreck the economy, but Democrats should pretend we are indeed crazy enough to do just that, so that we can win concessions from them in exchange for coming down (hint, hint, wink, wink) from the ledge.

The modern Republican Party has lost its way, we welcome all into the sane Democratic Party. Join us in sending the Republicans packing in 2014.

Romney’s One Point, “Magic Bullet” Plan To Fix Everything

With the passing of Senator Arlen Specter, I was reminded of the “magic bullet theory” he devised while working for the Warren Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. I couldn’t help but see a parallel to Mitt Romney’s singular solution to all the country’s problems – more tax cuts for the 1%. He believes that cutting tax rates that benefit the wealthy disproportionately and rolling back regulations that President Obama put on Wall Street after the 2008 crash, will somehow fix everything.

Just forget about Bush’s tax cuts in 2001 & 2003 that added $3 trillion dollars to the national debt and ignore the fact that in the years after those tax cuts, America lost 8 million jobs during the Bush recession, which was handed to our newly elected president. And of course, you should also forget that the Republican leaders, including Paul Ryan, met on President Obama’s inauguration day to plot complete obstruction of the new president for political reasons.

Let’s call Romney’s one point plan what it is, TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS. The belief that if we just coddle the rich, they will, in their benevolence, share the wealth with the rest of us by supposedly creating jobs. Just ignore that new Jaguar they are driving, or the 4th home in the Hamptons or the Rolex watch that is weighing down their Bermuda tanned arms. It will trickle. Really!

The concept of supply-side economics has been thoroughly tested and thrown on the trash pile. We only have to look at Mitt Romney’s personal history to see a perfect example of how giving even more to those who don’t need it, won’t do a damn thing for the rest of us. Where is Mitt Romney’s money at? IN THE FUCKING CAYMAN ISLANDS, BERMUDA AND IN SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS. Do you think that money will ever trickle down to you?

Mitt Romney is a walking example of how greed and selfishness only creates more greed and selfishness.

Businesses don’t create jobs unless there is a demand for their products or services. It would be fucking stupid to do it otherwise. It’s why they do market analysis and studies to determine whether there is demand. When there is demand, businesses expand and create jobs. No demand, no reason to expand. Any business person who says they will create jobs if we just give them more disposable income is applying Romney’s “greed is good” principle and probably has an eye on a new car or vacation home.

If the government were to invest in rebuilding our infrastructure – roads, bridges, schools, railroads and other foundations of our country that we all rely on – real people will get those jobs like construction workers, teachers, contractors, firefighters, suppliers of the materials for the projects and many more businesses that support those industries. And when those people receive their paychecks, they will create demand for products and services and give a reason for the 1% to actually invest in new jobs. We don’t have to rely on their benevolence, they will do it because it makes business sense.

Here is an analysis that shows the difference between the effects of spending versus tax cuts.

The most widely cited studies include those by the Congressional Budget Office, economists Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi, and economists James Feyrer and Bruce Sacerdote. These reports find a range of values for each program. In these studies, the “bang for the buck” value—what economists call the “multiplier,” or how many dollars of economic activity is fueled by one dollar spent—for overall social protection ranges from 0.8 to 2.31. Separately, Blinder and Zandi report a value of 1.61 for unemployment insurance and 1.74 for food stamps.[2]

Research by Urban Institute economist Wayne Vroman estimates that one dollar spent on unemployment insurance fuels between 1.7 and 2.1 dollars of activity in the overall economy.[3] According to these studies, the value for a dollar of spending on infrastructure ranges from 1 to 2.5, while the value for aid to state and local governments ranges from 0.7 to 1.8.

The analyses value middle-class tax cuts, such as the Making Work Pay tax credit that gave tax credits of $400 ($800 for couples), as generating between 0.6 and 1.5 dollars of additional economic activity; the value of extending the Alternative Minimum Tax patch for high-income earners for an additional year ranges from 0.2 to 0.6 dollars of additional activity. And the analyses value the extension of the housing tax credit for first-time homebuyers, providing credits up to $8000, in the Recovery Act from 0.3 to 0.9.[4]

As you can see, putting money in the hands of consumers who will spend that money does a lot more to spur economic activity. Handing money over to the rich and hoping they create jobs with it is just plain stupid.

President Obama has been working hard to pass legislation like the American Jobs Act that would create an estimated 1.9 million jobs, but the obstructionist Republican party isn’t interested in creating jobs while President Obama is in office. They should be shown the door on November 6 for letting petty politics keep America from recovering from the mess that the GOP congress and President Bush created in the first place.

There is an easy solution, vote Democratic across the board and send a message to the Republicans that American workers are more important than politics.

Cross posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles

The Truth In Graph Form – Bush Saddled Us With Massive Debts

The Republicans and their media enablers continuously spread misinformation about the deficit and debt. For anyone who is unclear, the definitions are below.

The Federal Deficit – The deficit is the difference between the money federal government takes in, called receipts, and what it spends, called outlays, each year.

The National Debt – The amount of the Treasury securities issued to the public and to the government trust funds is considered that year’s deficit and becomes part of the larger, ongoing national debt.

An incoming president, no matter who it is, inherits the previous president(s) deficits and debts. It’s a nice welcoming gift for the person “lucky” enough to win the election. The following chart breaks down what the national debt consists of and projects it into the future. It’s been around for a while, but never gets old as far as spelling out the truth in graph form. Courtesy of Steve Benen, now of The Maddow Blog.

The Republican Jobs Plan Is To Help Wall Street And Pollute!

President Obama spoke in Asheville, North Carolina this morning as part of his continued push to bring jobs to the American people. He laid waste to the Republican’s “plan” and did a little comparison for us that spells out a stark reality. It needs to be shared with the people marching in the streets across the country…(emphasis mine)

THE PRESIDENT:  They said no to helping veterans find jobs.
Essentially, they said no to you — because it turns out one poll found that 63 percent of Americans support the ideas in this jobs bill.  (Applause.)  So 63 percent of Americans support the jobs bill that I put forward; 100 percent of Republicans in the Senate voted against it.  That doesn’t make any sense, does it?


THE PRESIDENT:  No, it does not.

Now, it turns out that the Republicans have a plan, too.  I want to be fair.  They call — they put forward this plan last week.  They called it the “Real American Jobs Act.”  The “real one” — that’s what they called it — just in case you were wondering.  (Laughter.)  So let’s take a look at what the Republican American jobs act looks like.  It turns out the Republican plan boils down to a few basic ideas:  They want to gut regulations; they want to let Wall Street do whatever it wants. 

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Occupy Wall Street – Sign Of The Day

I’m very encouraged by the energy being generated by the “Occupy” movements happening across the country. And even though it is made up of people with many different views on politics, I’m hopeful that it gets people involved and more people register to vote — because elections do matter. If you don’t think they matter, you must have been sleeping through President Bush’s 8 years in office. This movement has the potential to change the corporate hold on Washington and give voice to those who don’t have lobbyists, the 99% of us just trying to survive. Viva La Occupy!

Projecting Wishes and Dreams onto the Occupy Wall Street Movement

Guest Blogger: Joan Ruaiz

Initially, the Occupy Wall Street movement was ignored by the corporate media. The networks and cable outfits figured that perhaps after a few days, the movement would simply go away. But it didn’t, and in fact, the movement gained more sympathy than scorn from various factions for different reasons.

It’s been almost humorous watching the media insist that OWS needs to “define” itself in order to “achieve” their (unstated) goals. They need to have a list of clear demands, news anchors on the six o’clock news bellowed. But once again, the corporate media misses the obvious mark. For one, “Occupy Wall Street” is a moniker that speaks for itself. No explanation is needed, if one reflects on the current turmoil that our nation is experiencing. In a Twitter-oriented society, it helps, not hinders, to label a movement with a general descriptive tag that is short and inclusive.

It is not a mystery that there is a general consensus that Wall Street’s gains have not alleviated the misery of those on Main Street. “The 99%”, which is a self-conferred name, has also provided a connective link to the general public. What could be so wrong about a movement that calls itself the overwhelming majority? After all, most folks know doggone well that they aren’t part of the 1%. So both the name of the movement as well as that of its participants have allowed a visceral kinship to ordinary Americans without even trying, something the media doesn’t quite yet comprehended. The OWS’s truth in labeling is its connective strength that could be key to its eventual success, however that success materializes.

Also, the recorded acts of police brutality perpetuated upon the young, peaceful protestors certainly helped foster public sympathy early in the movement’s plight. As YouTube provided visual footage of inexplicable police action against peaceful protestors, that pitiful sight allowed a large segment of the public to side with the defenseless. This has always been the case in prior successful movements. Americans who might have otherwise paid no attention realized that the young women being pepper sprayed could be their own daughter or granddaughter who showed up to protest their lack of finding a job after graduating from college. These events had an impact.

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A Saturday Link-O-Rama For Lefties!

Here are some links for your reading pleasure, culled from my reading list over the last week. Please come back and comment here if you are so inclined.

Have a most excellent Saturday people. Do your part to neutralize the false information floating around about our President. The forces aligned against him are many and we all need to help beat back the misinformation and hatred.