The Five Worst Reasons Why the National Debt Should Matter To You: Part Two, the Record Since 1930

By: Sunday August 25, 2013 6:40 pm

In Part One, of a critique of the most important of “Fix the Debt’s” reasons for “Why the National Debt Should Matter To You,” I asserted that high debt levels haven’t caused high unemployment in the United States, and that, if anything causation was in the other direction. I didn’t want to disturb the flow of the argument there with a relatively lengthy survey of some of the numbers in the historical record since the 1930s. But let’s test the idea that High debt causes fewer jobs and lower wages in the United States by looking at that record now.

 

The Five Worst Reasons Why the National Debt Should Matter To You: Part One, High Debt Levels and Jobs

By: Saturday August 24, 2013 4:00 pm

I came across a post from the “Fix the Debt” campaign last month called “The Top Five Worst Reasons Why the National Debt Should Matter to You.” It’s a post full of debt/deficit lies that cry out for correction. That’s what I’ll provide in this series.

Robert Samuelson Tells Us That Our Ratio of Interest Payments to GDP Is Near a Post-World War II Low

By: Monday February 25, 2013 5:45 am

If we don’t get the Robert Rubins of the world again playing crazy games at government insured banks, is it necessary to spend a lot of time worrying about the $7.3 trillion in insured deposits? (Wait, I forgot Robert Rubin is still a highly respected person in DC policy circles, maybe we should be worried.)

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.

Natural Disasters and Economic Disasters Require the Same Urgent Response

By: Friday November 2, 2012 7:00 pm

David Callahan had a smart column in The American Prospect about natural and economic disasters, and why they must be met with the same level of urgency.

Talk Rises About Sovereign Debt Cancellation

By: Monday October 22, 2012 9:40 am

It’s an intriguing question: why can’t central banks around the world, practically all of whom have bought up sovereign debt, just cancel it?

Countries would get more headroom on their debts, inflation would rise but not necessarily at an unmanageable rate. It would have the effect of hitting the reset button.

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.

Obama Continues to Accept Debt Crisis Frame

By: Thursday September 20, 2012 9:45 am

Republicans have gone all-in on their “redistributionist” attack on President Obama, which will work about as well as the last time they tried it, in 2008 with Joe the Plumber. If anything, it will reinforce the desire to increase taxes on the wealthiest Americans, a popular policy.

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