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Saturday, October 01, 2011


Stan Gibilisco

"The question is not whether to raise taxes or cut spending, but what combination of revenue growth and spending cuts is most likely to actually reduce public debt."

In my opinion, the real question is "Can we as a nation learn to live within our means, individually and collectively?"

If the answer is yes, we can recover.

If the answer is no, we face economic doom.

It's that simple.

Donald Pay

Some economists have taken apart the arguments and data presented in the study you cited.





The Roosevelt Institutes analysis apply's several "filters" some of which are a comparison to the G7. These two analysis can not be held side by side.

Donald Pay

Did you read and understand any of the links, Jimi? Filters were applied by Alberto Alesina and Silvia Ardagna. The Roosevelt Institute describes the effect of those filters, ie., constricting the data in three ways that aren't really applicable to the current situation, and that obscure what the data indicates about what actually happened. Their filters obscure the fact that the cuts happened in the middle of a boom, not during a slump, and that if you look at the data without their filters it becomes clear that fiscal austerity in the middle of a slump is the exact wrong way to deal with our fiscal issues. The Roosevelt Institute study slso looked at the effects of a different, more appropriate filter.

Mike Cooper

We have made promises to pay that we cannot keep. All the tax raises in the world will not stop the government from increasing spending. Many local governments are headed towards bankruptcy. Greece is right around the corner. I hope I'm Chicken Little, but I doubt it.

Great article in Vanity Fair, by the way, entitled California and Bust.

Stan Gibilisco

We need to effect a fundamental attitude change. "The government" comprises us, the people.

All this gloom reminds me of the Ford and Carter years. I thought the whole country would end up moving south to keep from freezing in the dark.

I darn near drank myself to death in the sunshine in the Reagan years, but that's a topic for another blant (blog rant).

Point is, we recovered then, and I think we can recover now, too. We might, however, want to consider redefining the meaning of the "happiness" that we intend to "pursue."

Ken Blanchard

The point of the chart above is that spending cuts are more effective for reducing deficits than tax increases. Nothing in Donald's counter tells against that.

Ken Blanchard

The point of the chart above is that spending cuts are more effective for reducing deficits than tax increases. Nothing in Donald's counter tells against that.

Donald Pay

The point of the chart can be seen only if you understand that if you purposely filter out information that explains when cuts occurred, you miss the lesson. Your mistake was in not realizing the effects of the filters in your cited study. Yes, revenue increases and cuts in government should have been made--before the downturn during the Bush Presidency, not now. And cuts should be made when the economy recovers.

There should have been no Bush tax cuts. The wars should have been paid for. There should have been pay-go. There should have been tough financial regulation. This is not a "normal" business cycle downturn. This is a near depression brought on by Republican mismanagement of the economy.

Stan Gibilisco

Donald has a point, in my opinion. This near-depression was, in fact, brought about by Republican mismanagement of the economy! I sure hope that my colleagues in the GOP "get the message" and learn from their mistakes.

But also in my opinion, Donald oversimplifies the situation. The "original illness" (recession) was brought about by reckless behavior on the part of the "patient" (us) under an irresponsible "parent" (Bush). However, the "advancing chronic disease" (incipient depression) has deepened under the mismanagement of an incompetent "doctor" (Obama).

That said, the time for blame games ended months ago. It no longer serves any purpose to assign blame, except insofar as the guilty parties can learn from their errors and avoid repeating the same mistakes in the future.

Honestly, I don't see anybody in either party right now who has the unique combination of chutzpah and charm to lead us out of this economic mess. But we, the people, can still do it ourselves. I can change the world a little bit by changing myself ... that much I know. Multiply that by 300 million ...

Donald Pay

I don't think the time for pointing out who and what's to blame is over for the simple reason that we're still suffering from the same problems for many of the same reasons.

But I will say Obama is almost as hopeless an idiot as Bush. He has tried to do some things right, but he's got no spine and the Democrat Senate is hopeless. Obama is too tied to discredited Republican policy to be of much use. His stupid trade policies hand over American jobs to Columbia, South Korea, and China. He doesn't stand up for American jobs, because he's trying to be bought off by the same corporate elite that have already bought off the GOP. He's just a wannabe Republican. Our only hope is if Obama jettisons the corporate cronies and joins the middle class fight for America and American jobs. Otherwise, Stan is right. We are alone in this fight, and only can join together like the people occupying Wall Street, revolt peacefully and overthrow the whole crowd of corporate criminals and their lackeys in government.

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