Peterson Thinks We Need Austerity While He Lives It Up!

By: Sunday March 9, 2014 1:05 pm

If we focus on Peterson’s faux problem and implement the policies that he and his allies advocate, then all that awaits us is austerity, periodic deeper and deeper recessions, and eventually a war of all against all, accompanied by lives that will be “nasty, brutish and short.”

 

Richard Eskow Asks: Which Side Are You On?

By: Sunday December 23, 2012 6:45 am

I certainly hope that Nancy Pelosi cannot convince most Democrats to risk their seats and prepare the way for a Republican sweep in 2014 by voting to cut SS. The Republicans will respond to this by casting themselves as the protectors of SS, and while this is ridiculous, the Democrats will not be credible in claiming that they are its protectors, and they will lose their identity as the protectors of the safety net, a very high price to pay for the sake of raising taxes on the rich by an amount that is insignificant in the greater scheme of things.

The Fiscal Slope Exposes Deficit Scolds as Cowards

By: Friday December 21, 2012 5:51 pm

Let’s just stipulate something for the record. If the Congressional Budget Office were asked to step in and score John Boehner’s “Plan B,” it would score as an increase to the deficit by about $4.9 trillion over ten yeas. If CBO scored the Obama plan, it would score as an increase to the deficit by about $4.1 trillion over ten years. That’s because current law dictates that America goes over the cliff and stays there. It doesn’t contemplate any changes to the law. And if America went over this cliff, the resulting austerity would be so great that it would swing the economy into recession. It would also virtually wipe out the long-term deficit gap, even while it would probably increase it a bit in the near term, because of increases in automatic stabilizers. But over the long-term, the deficit would essentially be wiped out.

Let’s Defend Social Security and Other Entitlements With the Second Bill of Rights

By: Tuesday November 27, 2012 3:20 pm

We can’t look at Social Security and our other entitlements in isolation. We have to fight and win the battle for FDR’s economic bill of rights, and for an expansion of all the entitlements in the American social safety net; now the stingiest, most inadequate safety net among modern industrial nations!

Stop Using Obama for America Against the People!

By: Saturday November 24, 2012 7:52 am

Obama for America, the campaign apparatus with the very large e-mailing list and great segmentation techniques that exploited Romney’s weaknesses to help the President to eke out (yes, I know the electoral vote involved no “eking out,” but the popular vote was something else again) his re-election victory, is now trying to mobilize people who voted for the President to work against their own interests by supporting his deficit/debt cutting activities. So, I couldn’t resist the following commentary on their mobilization e-mail.

The Fiscal “Cliff” and the Real Problem

By: Friday November 16, 2012 4:31 pm

Like many others, I’m not worried about the so-called fiscal “cliff,” and the ravages to the economy that are likely to occur if Congress doesn’t do something about it before the end of the year. That’s because a lot of the impact can be cushioned in the short run by Executive Branch manipulations while negotiations continue to go on. But if measures aren’t taken to reverse the contractionary effect of the sequestration-induced changes, we’re looking at deficit cuts of $487 Billion over 9 months of the fiscal year.

By comparison, the American Recovery and Reinvestment (ARRA) of 2009 produced only $350 B in stimulus during its first year. And, if the full sequestration were allowed to proceed unmodified, then it would result in a “claw-back” of about 60% of the total ARRA stimulus.

The Grand Confusion: The “Fiscal Cliff” is an Austerity Program

By: Monday November 12, 2012 9:10 am

There are riots in Greece precisely because they have engaged in long-term austerity measures, the equivalent of, I don’t know, cutting $4-5 trillion from the budget over ten years. In particular, the Greek rioters object to raising the retirement age, an exact parallel for the potential grand bargain measure of raising the Medicare eligibility age.

A Modern Monetary Theory Fiscal Responsibility Narrative: Some Truths After Crowd Sourcing Revision

By: Sunday November 11, 2012 1:00 pm

Many Modern Monetary Theory posts and other writings on fiscal responsibility, including my own, focus on the myths of neoliberalism, pointing out why they are myths and developing an alternative MMT perspective in some detail. Off hand, and I may have forgotten something, I couldn’t think of a brief positive MMT narrative related to fiscal responsibility containing primarily the truths, rather than the myths.

So, here’s my version, revised after calling for and receiving comments from readers at New Economic Perspectives, Correntewire, FireDogLake, DailyKos, and ourfuture.org. Thanks to Tadit Anderson, Mitch Shapiro, Nihat, James M., Marvin Sussman, joebhed, Clonal Antibody, Ed Seedhouse, JonF, Lyle, Thornton Parker, Sean, Golfer1john, Rodger Malcolm Mitchell, econobuzz, Lambert Strether, maltheopia, Ian S., for contributing significantly to the critical evaluation of the earlier version.

Neoliberalism Kills: Part Two

By: Wednesday October 24, 2012 7:13 pm

With increasingly grave warnings of doom they try to make us believe that we are facing a national crisis that must be met with a bipartisan solution that will be impervious to the inevitable protests that will arise from most people when their solution causes suffering — as it inevitably will, since as MMT shows, deficit reduction and government surpluses, in the presence of trade deficits, and desires to save in the private sector will inevitably cause destruction of private sector financial assets. Since the elites are in a better position to protect their financial assets than other Americans, the burden of austerity and the resulting hardships and fatalities will inevitably fall on most of us.

We’ve Already Cut Spending By Almost All of the Bowles-Simpson Targets

By: Wednesday October 3, 2012 11:15 am

Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has an important piece that reinforces something I’ve been saying for a long time. Contrary to the opinion of Michael Grunwald that there has been no austerity in Obama’s first term, Bernstein lays out the numbers that actually shows the austerity, in both the short- and long-term, that actually encompasses most of what deficit scolds seek in their grand bargain.

And this is actually a bad idea,.

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