And now, they're coming for your Social Security money - they want your fucking retirement money - they want it back - so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this fucking place. It's a Big Club: and you're not in it.
Even more reason to do nothing. The joy of gridlock will hike capital gains taxes up to 25% in the absence of any actions on the part of Congress. Barring anything actually, you know, happening in the Congress, Mitt and other Masters of the Universe will finally see something approaching a reasonable tax rate. Very Serious People will tell you otherwise, but for the next few years gridlock is decidedly Our Friend.
Do nothing, Congress. Ezra Klein and EJ Dionne both write today about the benefits of simply letting various existing policies expire…doing so would net $7.1 TRILLION in deficit savings over the same decade that the “Super-committee” can’t find a way to reliably extract $1T. This path requires no votes, it requires no legislation, it requires no GOP assistance of any kind. Gridlock is all that’s required to make it happen.
So why is it no Serious Person (to whom deficits are, always have been, and always will be the preeminent policy question come-what-may) ever talks about the biggest deficit reduction plan currently out there, a plan that outstrips all other extant deficit plans by several orders of magnitude? Because they don’t actually care about deficits. None of them do. Because deficit reduction is not the goal. The GOP and their media enablers do not care about deficits. They care about eliminating social spending in this country to lower taxes on the richest 1%. Period. Everything and anything else that happens is collateral damage to that desired policy outcome.
Gridlock works. Gridlock will help America. Relying on gridlock is the best possible negotiating tool for Democrats. Period. Be prepared to end the Bush tax cuts. All of them. Be prepared to end the “doc fix.” All of it. Be prepared to end it all. Then you begin to drive policy decisions and have actual governing authority to get jobs bills and other things done.
Instead, they will, of course, continue to negotiate with themselves and parrot right-wing talking points. This is why they fail.
Just sit there quietly and let it all expire. Whenever the GOP talks about deficits, you bring up the $7T you are cutting deficits by over the next decade.
When the GOP gets tired of that, realizes you are serious about this, and is ready to talk, they’ll come to you. Then you set the terms. Then you begin to govern. This is how politics works. The Democrat seems to have largely forgotten this. Again: this is why they fail.
Compare and contrast with this exchange on NPR yesterday (emphasis added):
[NPR’s Melissa] BLOCK: Let’s move on to the budget questions that are pending here. You sent a rather lengthy letter to the Defense Secretary Leon Panetta about a month ago, making the case for the Marine Corps in a time of, what you called, considerable fiscal austerity. And the message to Secretary Panetta seemed to be, as you’re slicing an ever small, an ever shrinking pie, protect us, protect the Marines. I wonder if this becomes a battle essentially among the service branches of who is most worthy. And if that is the battle, what’s the case from the Marines?
[Marine Corps Commandant General James] AMOS: Well, I think in anybody budget crisis - when you’ve got multiple services - in some cases, it can relegate into roles or missions. In other words, what’s the role of this service, the mission of this service? I think it can happen that way. And if you’re not careful, it can break out probably the worst of behavior.
So, what I was really trying to say is that as we come down and reduce capabilities and capacity in our nation, one of the ways that you can - and you assume a level of risk when you do that. You know, we’re going from what we are down to something less. When that happens, how do you mitigate the risk?
Indeed, it’s going to take a lot of risk mitigation to even begin thinking about some smallish cuts to this budget. And but also: this is what they call a “budget crisis” and “considerable financial austerity.”
Reblogged to note that an identical poll that instead targeted only Democratic “strategists” would produce the inverse result. They see none of these as “winning” issues, and plainly have no desire to get out of the defensive crouch on any issue of genuine importance, much less any of these. This is why they fail.
How to square the circle: Assuming Medicare for all tomorrow and that you can find a way to return the dollars in-between the red and blue lines to the people paying it: the American worker with employee provided health insurance. Right now, that’s all invisible income, spirited away into the employer-shared costs of providing coverage. It’s the underlying reason that real wages have been stagnant for most of my lifetime. Turn that into real wages and the broader economy would explode. There would suddenly spring into existence a middle class with (gasp) actual purchasing power. Who knew?!?
Naturally, the plutocrats would, at least initially, turn that space into more profits for themselves. Sooner or later, though, it seems likely that constraints on quality workers would gradually bring the money over into regular salary as companies competed to find highly trained folks. You’d still have to solve the manufacturing issue and/or something to do with all that idle but essentially untrained labor force out there…but it would be a start.
At any rate, a few more than the 17 Americans vaguely cognizant of this cost gap need to be made painfully and continually aware of it. Every day, every hour, every time a microphone is switched on with a Democrat behind it. Complete with this graph. That Medicare, far from being “expensive,” saves money in dramatic fashion. And that, since they, the average hardworking healthcare consumer, cannot buy into that massive bargaining pool or something very much like it, they are being robbed. Every. Single. Day. With malice aforethought. And that they have precisely one party, the GOP, and Joe Lieberman to thank for it.
But that would be shrill. And Weiner lied to his fellow Democrat. That’s what’s important here.
“…in a decent world, conservatives would be forced to acknowledge that these are the [employment] results they claim to want. The private sector’s not being held back by the grasping arm of big government. Government is shrinking. And the shrinking of the government sector isn’t leading to any kind of private sector explosion. It’s simply offsetting meager private sector growth. Indeed, I’d say it’s holding it back. Fewer state and local government layoffs would mean more customers for private businesses and even stronger growth on the private side.”
— **Matt Yglesias**, pining for a decent world. That sort of attention to detail would require the media to leave critical questions about Weiner’s penis on the cutting room floor. I don’t think *anyone* wants to live in an America that’s like that.
What’s sad about this is that Yglesias knows he’s being disingenuous. He knows the the size of government isn’t measured by the number of people it employs. He knows that federal spending has increased substantially during Obama’s presidency. He knows that federal contractors are counted in the private sector employment numbers. He knows that there are more, not fewer, regulations now than there were two years ago. He knows that there are more, not fewer, laws on the books now than there were two years ago.
Democrats had control of this country for two years, and things are terrible. I understand it’s the job of the political hack to spin this as a Republican failure, but it isn’t one. In a decent world, Yglesias would acknowledge this.
Indeed, our troubles began on Jan 19, 2009 and haven’t improved a whit since. Goddamned Democrat monsters:
Shocking. Overall economic growth and employment were both dramatically higher post Clinton tax hikes than post Bush tax cuts. It’s almost, almost like tax cutting doesn’t guarantee economic boom days. Almost.
This should be sitting behind every Democrat in each and every public appearance until it is indelibly burned into the retinas of each and every voter in the most distant reaches of East Turkmenistan and Americans simply cry a few involuntary tears when it’s brought out yet again. Then you can start cleaning out the tax reforms barn once and for all.
I think this response is at times weird and at times unfair.
1.You may hate Ryan’s plan. You may agree with Krugman. (Whose criticisms, ironically, can be just as appropriately applied to the Affordable Care Act.) You might think its unserious, or that its ideological. I would agree that its ideological, and that it’s based on some fantasy numbers. But it is a plan and not a speech. Obama has offered a speech. We’d like to see a plan. That’s a fair request of a President who has increased spending to unprecedented levels.
2.The Negro Dialect crack is completely unfair. It has nothing to do with my criticism.
3.Yes, winning office is an achievement. Becoming Senator is an achievement. Neither of these made the world more peaceful. It is wonderful that Obama was able to become the first African-American president. He deserves a lot of credit for this. So does the American electorate, but I wouldn’t give them a Peace prize either.
You specifically stated that the President won his Nobel because of his oratorical gifts. I simply say that this is not significantly different than pointing out that he has “no negro dialect”. Hyperbole to be sure, but not utterly unfair as they are similarly unrelated to the issue at hand: the Nobel Prize. He did not win the Peace Prize because he is a fine orator. Didn’t hurt his chances, but not why he won. Deserved or not, he won it because he had an historically significant election over the more typical “angry old white man who promises endless war if elected” and because he was replacing Bush. I don’t think this is even a particularly debated point outside of more loopy websites. This factors into (8), but we’ll get there.
4.Why are you acting as though I suggested or believe that ACORN rigged the election, or that Obama didn’t win legitimately? Again, that’s completely unfair.
Again, you stated he had no experience whatever. This despite the fact that he previously won an election for a national office. Disregarding that implies that that win was not won fairly or otherwise simply doesn’t count for some reason. I simply inserted a potential motivation for that belief.
5.Obama has not reduced the size of government, […] Federal government employment has grown since Obama took office.
We’ve covered this extensively before. But, by all means, let’s go to the chartsngraphs:
You are simply incorrect by any measure you care to look at. The federal government hired people to conduct the Constitutionally mandated census. Period. The GOP has used this particular hobby horse again and again to create the illusion of massive federal government expansion and “takeover” of everything under the sun that simply does not exist. Period. Repeating this bit of dogma, though, again leads to point (8).
6.George W. Bush, Clinton, and most of their predecessors had a considerably firmer record of actual achievement prior to election than Obama. I find it difficult to imagine how one could make a case to the contrary. But if you can provide a list of Obama’s legislative achievements, I’ll gladly reconsider.
George W. Bush owned the Rangers (primarily and by his own admission he was there as the “showcase” minority owner) and was governor of Texas, also a largely ceremonial position. He had very little achievement politically. Every business he was involved with prior to his political career had failed. He couldn’t even show up regularly for the National Guard. It is an insult to imply that he was more qualified than Obama. Period. I see this level of purposeful ignorance and silliness as on par with birtherism; the previous statements above simply add to that. Thus point (8). Again: hyperbole. But hyperbole in service of a larger point made across a relatively long post.