How Obama has played, and should play, the deficit reduction issue.
Obama should have supported Simpson-Bowles right from the start. Instead he played smarter-than-one-half, believing his support would be the Kiss of Death with the Republicans in the House.
America is looking for Obama to be a different, bold leader. However, the whole Simpson-Bowles fiasco made him look like a typical politician. If he thinks being a typical Liberal politician is going to work in this election, he is in for a rude awakening. He crushed McCain in the last election because independants believed he would be a different type of politician. They will not be supportive this election and it makes him vulnerable given the tough economic times.
Joe: Read a real expert.
Joseph Stiglitz: 'This Deficit Fetishism Is Killing Our Economy'
Obama reduce the deficit? Surely you jest, Joe. His proclivity for spending is unparalleled and threatens to bankrupt our nation. The man cannot get a budget passed during his White House tenure and adds to our 15.8 trillion dollars deficit by over FOUR billion dollars per day!
Any hope for fiscal sanity from this man, is like trying to rub a Leprechaun for luck.
Americans want to see real hope restored, not false hopes raised.
The more I think about the column it really is a perfect mix of bad politics ( republican commercial "Obama wants to harm Medicare and Social Security!" we saw this 2 years ago) and bad policy (as England illustrates).
Smell the "leadership"!
Charlie Pierce has a different take on the coming Sting.
And the motto of his blog is "Fck the deficit. People got no jobs. People got no money."
Pulitzer prize winning writers Barlett and Steele discuss what they believe is the bad economic policy that will be followed by either candidate and make the point that the important deficit is the trade deficit. The debt (or budget deficit) that is causing such palpitations will go away once there are jobs in this country. The first link has a transcript of a brief interview; the second link is to a radio interview where they explain more fully about the difference between the deficits.
Of course you're done, Ivy, because the facts totally contradict your "Fck the deficit" assessment. The ramifications of this escalating deficit can and will reduce our nation to poverty. Obama has only escalated our decline and shows no inclination (or expertise) in reversing this downward spiral....he only worsens an already bad situation.
So stay smug and in denial...it is a trait much coveted by liberal ideology. Your senior citizen status has not brought you much wisdom, I'm afraid.....perhaps your daughter can explain it all to you when you are in a more receptive mood.
If reducing the trade deficit is the key to recovery, Ivy, then Obama has done an abysmal job. From the WSJ:
News that the U.S. trade deficit shot upwards in June to
near record heights is a reminder that the steady export growth
President Barack Obama has been counting on to restore U.S. economic
health has yet to materialize.
One significant reason
is the administration's continuing ambivalence about free trade. Instead
of pushing for adoption of trade agreements his party has held up for
at least five years, Mr. Obama continues to raise obstacles to their
early ratification by Congress.
And his administration has been content to let
multilateral trade negotiations languish while it does nothing to revive
lapsed presidential trade negotiation powers.
June trade deficit increased 4.4 percent from May, largely because of an
unanticipated decline in exports. A world-wide slowdown in economic
growth contributed to the disappointing export figures.
Earl, I said I was done because it was clear you have no interest in having a discussion, had not read anything in any of the links I posted and simply copy and paste something from the Wall Street Journal. I posted discussions from Pulitzer Prize winning reporters and you don't address what they say, simply google the phrase and find something to support your point of view.
I mention the books and indicate I wasn't going to engage you any more and you respond by resorting to insults just like the other wingers who post here. I'm sure you're proud to be in the company of Rusty. Perhaps you can aspire to being banned as he has been so many times.
This time I am done responding to you - although I note you still haven't learned to post links to material you copy.
I'm done. Ask for the Barlett and Steele book for Christmas. And you can read their previous one in the meantime in case you are interested in learning anything.
Each taxpayer owes 138,345 to payoff our enormous national debt of 15,871,202,480 trillion dollars. This figure does not include the unfunded portion of SS and Medicare, now estimated to be over 80 trillion dollars and yet, you still say... "Fck the deficit"....interesting how the liberal mind works. Sooner than later, Ivy, someone will have to pay the piper. You cannot keep kicking that can down the road.
There is no "deficit reduction" issue.
There is only a "crappy economy for most people" issue.
Beltway-driven, centrist consensus is wrong --again.
"There is no "deficit reduction" issue."
Even if their were, there's no meaningfully reducing the deficit without creating real and sustained growth, which means (since the policy direction gets reset every four years) pretty much ignoring the deficit until government creates real and sustained growth. That's if we had leadership in government and the establishment punditocracy motivated to and capable of doing so. Obviously, we have no such thing.
Thanks Stuart. I don't have the energy to help Joe understand his usual shallow, conventional wisdom punditry. He will now be invited to CNN and MSNBC to espouse the merit of his latest column. Joe, the revered expert on every topic, will be taken seriously and never challenged.
Just not for them... and THAT's the problem.
It's hard to identify with suffering and poverty if that's the last thing you'll see from your front door.
Just cut Social Security for the little people, and that will solve everything!
All the 3rd Way types agree. And sadly, this includes our right-wing Democratic President.
He (Obama) particularly believes that Democrats do not receive enough credit for their willingness to accept cuts in Medicare and Social Security, while Republicans oppose almost any tax increase to reduce the deficit.
Obama's not right-wing, Tom Friedman isn't right-wing, Joe Klein isn't right-wing. These are not right-wing Democrats, they're Third Way Democrats. Not Blue Dog/Bart Stupak, but New Democrat/Brad Sherman:
These are ideological (not political, not "middle of the road") centrists. They're center-wing ideologues, not right-wing. This confusion between center and right has been exploited masterfully (so far) by the parties and the political press corps, and we need to help folks understand that "the left" is something entirely different from both "the right" AND "the center-left coalition," don't you agree?
JK concludes, after noting that the republicans refuse to move an inch. -
Has he tried hard enough? Probably not, but why disappoint your own base--with entitlement reform--when the other side won't play? Even so, should the President make a big SimBowlic statement in this campaign, perhaps in his convention speech? Absolutely. It's called leadership."
Leadership is betraying your supporters at your nomination? And for, as JK says, no real point. That is almost a parody of Beltway advice to Democrats.
How Obama has played, and should play, the deficit reduction issue.
Dear God. You're so wrong, Joe. Obama should be on stealth mode for the rest of this year when it comes to deficit reduction, and let Congress fight it out...as they are the ones who have to put together and pass the bill.
The line should be, "Last year, Congressional Republicans wouldn't negotiate in good faith or take 'Yes' for an answer. Ball is in their court to come up with a bill that can pass both the House and Senate. If they can't get their act together, the automatic reductions kick in and we'll have deficit reduction whether we like how it's done or not."
"Now who wants to ask me if I think Romney should release his tax returns?"
I am going to have to disagree strongly with you on this issue. While those of us in the know understand the importance of Congress, for most Americans, the President gets all the credit and all the blame for economy policy.
Obama should have been bold and supported Simpson-Bowles and asked the Republicans to come up with an alternative. Instead, the President tried to be smarter-than-a-half and felt that if he supported Simpson-Bowles, it would have been the Kiss of Death.
The problem is that Obama campaigned that he would bring something different to Washington. By sidestepping Simpson-Bowles, he started looking just like the typical politician. It is looking like the typical politician which will drive independants away and make Obama very vulnerable in the general election.
We are in an economic crisis which requires bold leadership, not waiting for the other side to make a mistake and jumping all over it. We need economic leadership from Obama and at this point, the best grade I can give him is a "C".
All else aside, Simpson-Bowles offset the tax rate cuts with equivalent cuts to all tax preferences (aka loopholes). And I do mean ALL. Everything from the oil depletion allowance to the mortgage interest deduction to the lower rates for dividents and interest was not only on the table but a necessary part of deficit reduction. I defy you to find any non-crackpot politician of either party who wouldn't object to a single one of those closed loopholes.
For that reason, if no other, Simpson-Bowles could not possibly have survived unscathed, and Obama , by challenging everybody's favorite loopholes, would have lost himself the election two years before it was held.
As usual, Paul Krugman debunked the whole thing. I can't turn up a link, but I remember very well the scorn he heaped on it.
It's almost past the point where it matters if Romney releases them or not. Damage has already been done, releasing the returns won't change perceptions and would most likely be even more harmful to Romney. Better a slow burn than to be lit up like a bonfire.
Should he? Yup.
Will he? Not likely.
Why should Romney not release his returns when it has become standard...
He should, Ivy.
He won't, because he's not required to and releasing them would likely confirm much of the speculation.
grape, why should Romney not release his returns when it has become standard for Presidential candidates? I'm all for keeping it going until he somehow does, but I'm not willing to give up the fact that he should.
His father set the standard, saying one year could be a fluke.
I think it is amusing that the pundocracy thinks he should release his tax returns. After all, not doing so is more damaging.
How do they know what nastiness will be exposed if he releases them?
I think we need to know the tax information of someone who is going to
be responsible for revising the tax code which will affect all of us.
We need to know, yes.
But does Romney himself need to disclose? I don't think so.
As Paul Dirks has been pointing out, I think we need to know the tax information of someone who is going to be responsible for revising the tax code which will affect all of us.
I'm reminded of what Kerry used to say about Iraq. Wrong War - Wrong Place - Wrong Time.
There's certainly a proper time to worry hard about deficits. The decade immediately before the economy went into freefall comes to mind right away.
Reduce unemployment and you'll reduce the deficit.
This "pain for thee, but not for me" austerity nonsense from the Village is going to fail. Like just about everything else (wars, deregulation, tax cuts, etc.) that they've pushed for the last three decades.
"This "pain for thee, but not for me" austerity nonsense from the Village is going to fail."
It has already failed. The only question now is how spectacularly.
Speaking of Krugman --
I also like that he carefully points out that the Bowles-Simpson report is simply a report of the two chairs since they couldn't get the number of votes from the full committee to make it a committee report.