Archive for July, 2011



The Bush tax cuts did the opposite: $3 trillion worth of tax cuts were predicated on the premise that we were returning the people “their” money. As it turned out, the money wasn’t there to return. Even without the tax cuts, the wars, or anything else, the government would have entered 2011 with $1.3 trillion in debt, not $2.3 trillion in savings. Basically, in the grip of careless enthusiasm about the economic future, we borrowed $3 trillion from bond markets and handed it out to citizens in rough proportion to how rich they already were. In the middle of a recovery. This is not a useful thing for the government to do.

 

 

Deficits: There never was a surplus | The Economist.

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The Chart That Should Accompany All Discussions of the Debt Ceiling – James Fallows – Politics – The Atlantic.


An insider’s six-step plan to fix Congress

 

How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans – Magazine – The Atlantic.


President Obama: Go ‘big’ on debt deal – USATODAY.com.


Washington’s spending has recently been higher as a percentage of the nation’s economic output than at any time since World War II. But by the same measure, Washington’s revenues are the lowest in more than 60 years.

So does the U.S. have “a spending problem,” as Republicans keep repeating in the current debate over how to reduce the nation’s record deficits? Or is the problem that taxes are not high enough? Those questions frame a long-running partisan debate, and as usual we won’t offer an opinion one way or the other. But for those seeking their own answers, we can offer some fiscal history and factual context.

Some key facts we think are worth considering:

 

Fiscal FactCheck | FactCheck.org.


Liaquat Ahamed: U.S. taxes are too low | Video | Reuters.com.


 

The emotional supercharge of 9/11 in the US is many times greater than Milly Dowler in the UK – and look what happened here.

Commentators have compared the crisis to Watergate; Carl Bernstein, the former Washington Post reporter whose revelations helped depose a US president, says it is evident to him the events of the past week “are the beginning, not the end, of the seismic event”.

To coin a famous Murdoch newspaper headline: will the last person to leave News Corporation turn off the lights?

 

Worst Is Yet to Come for News Corp..


Yes, the rest of the world is watching this embarrassing debt ceiling nonsense, and it is growing dismayed. 

Der Spiegel has a roundup of commentary in German newspapers about the fight, and the universal message is this:

The US is holding the entire world hostage, and it’s the Republicans that are playing with fire.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/its-official-the-whole-world-thinks-republicans-are-dangerous-maniacs-2011-7#ixzz1SCJ8FzLA

 

 

IT’S OFFICIAL: The Whole World Thinks Republicans Are Dangerous Maniacs Threatening Everyone.


 

 

 

 

 

 


The Mother of All No-Brainers – NYTimes.com.

But we can have no confidence that the Republicans will seize this opportunity. That’s because the Republican Party may no longer be a normal party. Over the past few years, it has been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative.

The members of this movement do not accept the logic of compromise, no matter how sweet the terms. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch in order to cut government by a foot, they will say no. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch to cut government by a yard, they will still say no.

The members of this movement do not accept the legitimacy of scholars and intellectual authorities. A thousand impartial experts may tell them that a default on the debt would have calamitous effects, far worse than raising tax revenues a bit. But the members of this movement refuse to believe it.

The members of this movement have no sense of moral decency. A nation makes a sacred pledge to pay the money back when it borrows money. But the members of this movement talk blandly of default and are willing to stain their nation’s honor.

The members of this movement have no economic theory worthy of the name. Economists have identified many factors that contribute to economic growth, ranging from the productivity of the work force to the share of private savings that is available for private investment. Tax levels matter, but they are far from the only or even the most important factor.

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