Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Why do Republicans hate America?

Obama to Republicans: 'Stop holding workers hostage to politics' - The Oval: Tracking the Obama presidency
AFP
In unusually blunt, podium-pounding language, President Obama this morning called on Senate Republicans to stop blocking more jobless benefits for the unemployed.

I just don't get it ... You see, the GOP has somehow been able to create the illusion that they're for 'the little guy', 'the average worker' ... that they are there in DC looking out of "us". Well, if that's the case, why do they do everything in their power to obstruct economic recovery? ... and I mean EVERYTHING.

Most every economist will tell you: during a recession consumer spending plummets. As spending plummets, layoffs increase (due to reduced demand) and hiring slows down or stops. With decreased consumer spending, more unemployeed -- the cycle tends to intensity.

This isn't theory, these are the defining characteristics of a
recession.

The way out? Government spending.

And that's what's happened during EVERY recession since WWII (which, by the way was the way we spent our way out of the great depression).

During a recession the only entity that has the pockets deep enough to put cash in peoples' hands and jump start the economy is the Government... And on of the surest ways to get people spending money is to extend unemployment benefits. Remember: unemployment benefits aren't entitlements... they're extensions to insurance that the employer paid into and a policy the worker has for just such a situation.

But now, for the first time, we have Republicans in lock-step trying to thwart EVERY attempt to bring the country out of the worst recession in memory... Why? Well, only a few possibilities exist: they are either 1- hopelessly stupid, 2- political opportunists who put power over the welfare of the people, or 3- a combination of the two.

Given any of the causes, these people simply don't belong in government ...


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The complete intellectual bankruptcy of the GOP

To obfuscate is one thing... but to simply deny facts is another...

The GOP excels in the latter.

This is the caliber of representative the right brings to the economic table.

Ezra Klein - McConnell: 'No evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue'
Sen. Mitch McConnell, however, hit my sore spot today. "There's no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue," he told Brian Beutler of TPMDC. "They increased revenue because of the vibrancy of these tax cuts in the economy. So I think what Senator Kyl was expressing was the view of virtually every Republican on that subject." In other words, this is why Republicans don't think tax cuts need to be paid for. They pay for themselves.

Why does this make me sad? Because it's hard to see the country prospering when one of its two major political parties is this economically illiterate. McConnell isn't some backbencher. He's Senate minority leader. And he thinks there's "no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue."

There's an ontological question here about what, exactly, McConnell considers to be "evidence." But how about the Congressional Budget Office's estimations? "The new CBO data show that changes in law enacted since January 2001 increased the deficit by $539 billion in 2005. In the absence of such legislation, the nation would have a surplus this year. Tax cuts account for almost half — 48 percent — of this $539 billion in increased costs." How about the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget? Their budget calculator shows that the tax cuts will cost $3.28 trillion between 2011 and 2018. How about George W. Bush's CEA chair, Greg Mankiw, who used the term "charlatans and cranks" for people who believed that "broad-based income tax cuts would have such large supply-side effects that the tax cuts would raise tax revenue." He continued: "I did not find such a claim credible, based on the available evidence. I never have, and I still don't."

Here we are, 25+ years after Reagan and the right is still trying to convince us that lowering taxes INCREASES revenue. Well, it didn't work in the 80's (when deficits soared) and it didn't work under Bush. But, apparently, if you lie loudly enough, people will believe any nonsense you can spew. Vis a vi Fox News...