Saturday, November 10, 2012

Flat Earthers and Tax Stimulus

Nobody could ask for a starker demonstration of the superiority of government spending over tax cuts as a means of stimulating a weak economy or achieving fiscal balance than the Congressional Budget Office's breakdown of the economic impact of various aspects of 'plunging' over the 'fiscal cliff.'  It's particularly impressive because that is not the avowed purpose of the exercise, which is to assess the loss of economic growth attributable to various reductions in spending and increases in taxes.

Bottom line, removing a dollar of government spending is far more injurious to the level of economic activity than adding a dollar of taxation.  And, adding a dollar to the tax burden of the 99% is more injurious than adding the same dollar to the tax burden of the 1%.  Anyone with an open mind would conclude that a serious exercise in fiscal responsibility without derailing the private sector would emphasize increases in tax revenues and not cuts in government spending.  But there aren't many open minds out there.

Mind you, all this is on the margin, where direction doesn't make much difference.  But that's where we live.  No extrapolated straw men, please.

How much longer will the braying advocates of economic stimulus through tax cuts and fiscal responsibility through cuts in government spending be given column inches, bandwidth or airtime to tell their lies?  They are today's answer to the flat earth society.  They may be free to believe the earth is flat, just like Donald Trump, the first citizen of Richistan, is free to question the president's Hawaiian birth.  But they shouldn't be given any more respect than the science know nothings or grownup boys born on third who think they've hit a triple.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Lynching and the Tea Party

In my lifetime, lynching has been defended as necessary to protect the  virtue and flower of Southern womanhood from the rapacious animal appetites of the subhuman African male.  Today, commonly and to national audiences, Republicans have defended the position of the Minutemen, the Tea Party and the Arizona legislature on immigration issues as necessary to protect the sanctity of American national culture and the purity of the English language from the assaults of the Hispanic horde.  Unless a Republican Party candidate publicly, loudly and repeatedly repudiates that position for the mean-spirited, un-American and bigoted drivel that it is, he or she isn't worth supporting for dog-catcher (Mexican catcher?).

America is all about paths to citizenship.  Always has been.  Always will be.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cliffs and Sunsets

Why is everyone talking about the fiscal cliff and no one talking about the expiration of the Bush tax cuts?

The Bush tax cuts are the immediate source of the government's fiscal 'woes' (assuming the government has any, hard to see it from Treasury's borrowing costs, but I don't want to needlesly insult conventional wisdom by speaking too much truth to power, or whatever).  Those 'woes' are the justification for that Simpson-Bowles business which is the fiscal cliff.  Voila, let the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of 2012.  Strike a Democratic blow for fiscal responsibility.  And it's probably the only avenue in the next four years to restoring some fairness and progressivity to the federal tax code.

Start 2013 staring at the fiscal cliff.  Maybe it won't seem so awful.  And if the Republican House retaliates for allowing the tax cuts to expire by pushing the country over the fiscal cliff, well, if a recession ensues, Team Obama's job is to clearly and convincingly show the country whose fingerprints are all over it.  That should be no hill for a climber.