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.
John Kyl (R, AZ), Saturday: [tax increases are] the wrong medicine for our ailing economy, [...] [any possibility of a potential future increase only serves to] put a wet blanket over job creation and economic recovery.
John Kyl (R, AZ), Sunday: The payroll tax holiday has not stimulated job creation. We don’t think that is a good way to do it. [Thus we want to raise taxes on every American that currently receives a paycheck]. The best way to hurt economic growth is to impose more taxes on the people who do the hiring. As a result, the Republicans have said, ‘Don’t raise the existing tax rates on those who do the hiring.’ [That is to say, the 1%. Who aren't, uh, actually hiring. But still. Don't raise THEIR taxes. Raise the 99%'s taxes. Only that will get the old economy going again!]
Lemkin: Again, the MSM will see no dissonance whatsoever in these positions. Of course raising taxes on most everyone in the country to avoid a tiny tax increase on a tiny fraction of the country makes the best economic sense in an aggregate demand-based economic downturn. What other conclusion is even possible given this data? Surely both sides are at fault for low aggregate demand in the 99%; this is only fixable if both sides agree to lower taxes on the 1%. Again: what other conclusion is even possible?
"…if you tax achievement, some of the achievers are going to pack it in. Again, let’s take me. My corporations employ scores of people. They depend on me to do what I do so they can make a nice salary. If Barack Obama begins taxing me more than 50 percent, which is very possible, I don’t know how much longer I’m going to do this. I like my job but there comes a point when taxation becomes oppressive."
— Bill O’Reilly, considering his future employment options in some Obama-wrought hellscape. 50% top tax rate it is, then.
PS, Bill: Wikipedia has a fascinating entry on just how it is that marginal tax rates work. Surely a man with your tremendous job-creation skill-set (one that has led to the employment of four score and seven employees) can read and understand this. So you know: not actually half your income. Even if it happened. Which it won’t, since it’s a figure (like most you employ) that you pulled out of a falafel.
"Results [matter]. If I were the one in charge of this pop stand, I’d direct my economics team to come up with the “If I were a prime minister instead of a president, this is what we would do” plan. And if all they came up with was minor tax breaks for hiring, “patent reform,” and “trade deals,” I’d, you know, fire them."
— Duncan Black, being exactly right. The key thing that needs to happen in the immediate future (e.g. the imminent “jobs speech”) is for Obama to set the stage such that the eventual legislative outcome makes very clear exactly who is obstructing economic growth and recovery efforts.
The only way to do this is to swing for the fences and wait for the GOP to obstruct it. Not only does this paint the GOP as the party of economic obstruction, it also allows the eventual compromise to be closer to your “dream plan” than it is to whatever constitutes a GOP “go die in the streets” policy outcome. By taking the traditional “sensible Obama” defensive crouch approach and starting with the bar set at the lowest possible level (e.g. what they think might pass the House) all in the vain hopes that this time the GOP will suddenly start playing along for America, you’re actually only working to guarantee an outcome that favors the GOP in every way, politically, economically, and (most importantly for Obama) in 2012.
Once again: This is why they fail.
“…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:
"…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.
…if even 1/50 of the austerity-induced decline in current output flows through to reduce the economy’s productive potential, that austerity today worsens the debt burden.
This is an unusual result: it applies only to a country with a substantial fiscal multiplier that can fund its debt at very low interest rates. But we are a country with a substantial fiscal multiplier that can fund it’s debt at very low interest rates…
Indeed we are. But no one seems interested in noticing. We can borrow against a 10-year Treasury at a 2.96% yield. The money behind that rate is clearly not concerned with either deficits or the capability of the United States to meet the debt incurred by their purchase yesterday or all the days before that. As Jared Bernstein notes, the current “budget math” still strongly favors a jobs target and not a deficit target.
This is very simple stuff. How many ways do you have to prove that cuts today worsen our long-term fiscal situation before somebody with a D after their name starts talking about this in a compelling, no-nonsense fashion? We can borrow, cheaply, and those dollars (when pumped into the economy) would hasten the closing of our current output gap. This would simultaneously a) obviate the need for further borrowing, b) close the revenue shortfalls of Great Recession, and c) coupled with a do-nothing legislative approach relative to the Bush tax cuts would almost entirely close the existing budget deficits within a few years.
But, by all means, let’s go on pretending that deep, punitive cuts to the social safety net and eliminating access to abortions are the only Serious Person positions possible given the current situation.
"Academic books pack about 600 words to a page. Normal books clock in around 400. Large-print books — you know, the ones for kids or the visually impaired — fit about 250. The House GOP’s jobs plan, however, gets about 200 words to a page. The typeface is fit for giants, and the document’s 10 pages are mostly taken up by pictures. It looks like the staffer in charge forgot the assignment was due on Thursday rather than Friday, and so cranked the font up to 24 and began dumping clip art to pad out the plan."
"A number of economists tell us if we can cut spending it will lead to a better environment for job creation in America"
— John Boehner, Speaker of the House.
Exactly what number of economists would that be, John? One? Two? Because the vast preponderance of economists, at least those located anywhere on the Earth think otherwise. And you don’t have to throw your lot in with a bunch of pointy-headed intellectuals either, because that’s an experiment that’s been tried. In fact, they’re trying it right now in the UK and, hey presto!, it’s costing jobs not creating them. And the UK’s experience is far from being an outlier in this regard. Cutting government spending to “create” jobs is something that’s never been shown to, you know, work. Ever.
"…how much more concrete could our current situation be? Republicans — and, unfortunately, some Democrats too — are pushing for an economic austerity plan that will keep unemployment high and the job market loose. The result is downward pressure on wages, which keeps middle-class incomes stagnant and corporate profits high. This benefits the executive and investor class, and while it’s a shortsighted benefit, it’s a benefit nonetheless. And it’s not thanks to globalization or returns to education or anything like that. It’s due to a deliberate political decision that favors the rich at the expense of everyone else."
— Kevin Drum
If only we had a particularly skilled orator in high office somewhere who could use some sort of bully pulpit to explain this concept in simple terms once or twice a day from now until the thought finally sinks in and takes root. Meh: So it goes.