What Does the Trillion Dollar Coin Do?

By: Sunday December 9, 2012 11:50 am

The Trillion Dollar Coin proposal for solving the debt ceiling problem is again experiencing a blogosphere explosion this past week. The precipitating factor may be that people are starting to believe that the Republicans will come to a “fiscal cliff” settlement with the Democrats including very little in entitlement spending; but will then come back, in 2013 with a very tough position on the price they want to agree to raise the debt ceiling to give the Executive operating room for any length of time.

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.

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.

Neoliberalism Kills

By: Friday October 19, 2012 8:15 am

During the run-up to passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), I wrote a number of posts (here, here, and here) assessing the ACA very negatively, and pointing out the shortcomings of the various versions of this bill, preceding its final passage. My focus was on contrasting varying versions with HR 676, the Conyers-Kucinich Medicare for All bill, in relation to its likely impact on fatalities, bankruptcies and divorces attributed to lack of health insurance coverage in the US.

Promises for America

By: Saturday September 22, 2012 12:45 pm

The polling since the conventions shows that Democrats are doing better than expected. President Obama now apparently has a clear lead over Mitt Romney. Democratic Party control of the Senate seems likely to survive this election year of many more Democratic rather than Republican Senate seats up for election. And, even in House races, it looks like the Democrats will pick up a number of seats; though whether they can pick up enough seats to take back the House is still an unlikely prospect, and without the House President Obama’s second term is likely to be much like his last year and three-quarters, rather than his first two years.

No Plan B?

By: Thursday September 13, 2012 6:45 am

Bob Woodward’s releasing a new book, so we are now seeing articles based on it. A few days back, The Washington Post published the ”Inside story of Obama’s struggle to keep Congress from controlling outcome of debt ceiling crisis.” This account is a pretty downbeat one of how our political leaders and President Obama handled the debt ceiling crisis of the summer of 2011. I want to comment on what for me was the most salient point: that during the crisis, the President had no “Plan B” to get around the debt ceiling beyond negotiating a deal with Congress.

Ryan’s Follies: A Crushing Burden of Public Debt

By: Sunday August 12, 2012 7:40 am

In celebration of Paul Ryan’s nomination, and in consideration of his reputation among Washington, DC villagers as a fiscal guru, I thought it might be fun to do a series of posts, of which this is the first, critiquing examples of Ryan’s past wisdom. Here’s the first example:

”We face a crushing burden of debt. The debt will soon eclipse our entire economy, and grow to catastrophic levels in the years ahead.”

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