Monday, May 16, 2011

Kenyan Socialist President to GOP "Fiscal Conservatives" on the dangers of not raising the debt limit

What would Reagan do?
“The full consequences of a default – or even the serious prospect of default – by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar.”

Oh wait a minute. That was Ronald Reagan telling Congress what was at stake back in 1983.

Via Steve Benen/Washington Monthly.

Sing it again Woody: "Some people rob you with a six-gun..."

"Some rob you with a fountain pen!"

Shahien Nasiripour at Huffington Post:
Woody Guthrie sings at McSorley's, NYC


"Federal Audits Accuse Five Biggest Mortgage Firms Of Defrauding Taxpayers"


Read the whole thing, HERE.

Tax cut kool-aid

Our favorite conservative economist, Bruce Bartlett, explains the fraud that is GOP fiscal policy and suggests it's starting to unravel:
The flavor of GOP fiscal policies.
Republicans have a problem. The American people are concerned about the budget deficit and know enough basic arithmetic to understand that it can result from higher spending or lower revenues. Republicans, however, insist that taxes must not be increased by a single penny; indeed, they argue that the government doesn’t even have a deficit problem, just a spending problem. Therefore, the only deficit reduction measures they will consider in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives are spending cuts. So certain are Republicans that tax cuts have no impact on the deficit that they included another $3 trillion worth in the budget they passed on April 15.

Democrats all know that the Republican position is ridiculous, that the Bush tax cuts have added some $2 trillion to the national debt and constitute the largest component of projected deficits going forward. These facts are documented in recent reports from the Congressional Budget Office, Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. They show that simply allowing all the Bush tax cuts to expire on schedule next year would be sufficient, by itself, to stabilize the debt-to-GDP ratio.

Unfortunately, Democrats have been oddly reluctant to explain the truth about the deficit. They seem paralyzed by fear that they will be attacked by Republicans for being tax increasers. Consequently, the Republican mantra that spending must be slashed, even if it means effectively abolishing Medicare, and any tax increase, no matter how small, will destroy the economy is just about the only budget option voters ever hear.

Big Spender

The hypocrisy of the GOP on deficit issues is manifest - most especially given their "Starve the Beast" tax-cut ideology over 30 years that deliberately underfunded government in order to create the kind of "deficit crisis" that they are currently using in their arsenal of shameless demagogy to kill government programs.  What is often less apparent is their big-spending hypocrisy.

Newt and the Mistress Missus
Current Presidential aspirant Newt Gingrich - who has unleashed the "big spender" attack on President Obama (actually one of his least obnoxious assertions about the President, but let's leave the pure nutso stuff like "Kenyan Socialist" out of this, if only to control my blood pressure) - is a case in point. Think Progress has the goods on this disingenuous character, whose combination of grotesque pretensions, egomania and lack of self-awareness rival perhaps only Donald Trump's in the GOP's "Presidential" over-stuffed Clown Car of wannabe candidates:
(A)s Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 1990′s, he himself was one of the most avid big spenders in the entire country, using government cash to enrich his district and lift it up to being one of the wealthiest in the country.
During his tenure in Congress, Gingrich represented large portions of Cobb County, Georgia. Cobb was a mostly-white district and largely suburban — completely different from the crude stereotypes Gingrich and others used to blast the welfare state, which were generally portrayed as minority-heavy urban environments. At the same time Gingrich was working with President Bill Clinton to cut back on spending for programs for the poorest Americans, Gingrich made Cobb one of the most subsidized districts in the entire country.
A 1996 article from New York Magazine notes this:
[Gingrich] represents Cobb County, a prosperous jurisdiction that ranks third among suburban counties in federal dollars returned per resident. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the federal government spent $4.4 billion in Cobb County in 1994, some $10,000 per resident, or nearly twice as much per capita as it spent in New York City.