Category Archives: economy

Romney carefully details how he’ll pay for his tax cuts

Haha just kidding he won’t say shit. Now let me map out why a candidate would dodge this kind of questioning:

  1. He has a plan he won’t let us in on. Maybe he’s telling the truth. Maybe Mitt has discovered some mathematically feasible way to pay for gigantic tax cuts. So why wouldn’t he tell us? Well…
    1. His plan would be wildly unpopular with moderates. Given that he’s an ultra-wealthy businessman, odds are pretty good that anything he’s got on hand wouldn’t be with the middle and lower class in mind, likely slashes to social programs and the like.
    2. His plan would be wildly unpopular with the base. Okay, etch-a-sketch comments aside, Mitt can’t just abandon Republicans entirely in the hopes of courting the middle/left. So let’s say the only way to pay for tax cuts is via chopping away at defense spending and other GOP-friendly programs. What then? Keep a lid on it.
    3. He’s under the impression that tax plans are intellectual property and he doesn’t want Obama stealing it. If, you know, Mitt is just completely bonkers.
  2. He has no plan at all.Maybe he’s lying. Maybe Mitt is banking on the lie carrying him into the White House, hoping…
    1. By the time he gets elected he’ll come up with something. We’ve all done this and you know it. You say you have a plan for something before you do (I totally know how we’ll sneak you into the concert), crossing your fingers that when it comes time to actually do it, you’ll have it set.
    2. He can just get into the White House and not worry about it. So this one is pretty cynical, but certainly not out of the realm of possibility. Make a crazy claim with a “secret way to do it”, knowing that there’s kind of a “no backsies” policy with electing presidents, so he can just refocus on other things once in office like how Bush ran solely on an anti-terror platform in 2004 and immediately set about attempting economic reform.

These are all just possibilities. Who knows.

For example, THIS is a terrible policy of Mitten’s

Monetary incentives for the president to do well:

“Well I don’t have an announcement for you on that today … But I do believe in linking my incentives and my commitment to the accomplishment of specific goals,” Romney said. “I wish we had that happen throughout government — where people recognized they are not going to get rewarded in substantial ways unless they are able to achieve the objectives that they were elected to carry out.”

Okay let’s explain why this is an idiotic idea.

  1. Given that Romney is a millionaire, I’d like to know how much money he’d have to get offered for him to consider it an incentive.
  2. What happens if Congress blocks him? Who gets their paychecks hurt?
  3. Who decides what is and isn’t worth incentive? If Romney repealed Obamacare?
  4. Aren’t these people public servants? Shouldn’t they be running for the purposes of improving the country, rather than economic gain?

That should get us started. Seriously, fuck this idea.

So yeah. Paul Krugman is amazing.

I say it a lot, but it’s true. One thing that really needs tackled by everyone is the myth of Ronald Reagan. He’s attained truly legendary status to the right, but based on, apparently, what they imagine he did versus the reality of his actions. And Krugman really nails is here.

Why was government spending much stronger under Reagan than in the current slump? “Weaponized Keynesianism” — Reagan’s big military buildup — played some role. But the big difference was real per capita spending at the state and local level, which continued to rise under Reagan but has fallen significantly this time around.

And this, in turn, reflects a changed political environment. For one thing, states and local governments used to benefit from revenue-sharing — automatic aid from the federal government, a program that Reagan eventually killed but only after the slump was past. More important, in the 1980s, anti-tax dogma hadn’t taken effect to the same extent it has today, so state and local governments were much more willing than they are now to cover temporary deficits with temporary tax increases, thereby avoiding sharp spending cuts.

Possibly my greatest qualm with the American media-ocracy (not to be confused with American mediocrity) is that the echo chamber has people voting based on completely incorrect assertions concerning the candidates, leaving the people getting their “information” based mostly on which media source best lines up with their inherent biases. Democracy is rooted in everyone voting and having a say, but that only works when their votes are educated, and so few are.

Bit of a digression there, but every time I read an article about Reagan (and I want to point out that this is one of the instances where I actually think ol’ Ronnie did a good job) it just reminds me of how twisted and distorted all talk of him has become and its affect on current policy.

Awesome graph: GOP budget cut priorities

Thanks, ReChan, for ruining my day again. 😐

Like, it’s almost cartoon level evil. Taking help for the poor simply to give it back to the rich.

I’d like to point out that this is, in fact, a redistribution of wealth, and it’s giving it to the people who already have plenty of it. If this was actually good for the economy, you’d imagine that the US would have the greatest economy on the planet right now.

QotD

“Paul Ryan’s budget would take us back to 1950. That’s not a metaphor. That’s a statistic.”

It’s actually almost comical the way these guys faff around with their awful budget solutions. The conservative method for promising a budget fix is basically a three step process:

  1. Promise that you can slash the budget by X% or by $Y by Z year.
  2. Keep the old people, Tea Baggers, and economic conservatives happy by assuring that you won’t touch social security, medicare, defense spending, or raise taxes.
  3. Slap together a budget that just DECIMATES EVERYTHING ELSE.

You have to remember that Social Security, medicare, defense, and taxes are kinda the biggest factors in determining the budget in a given year. Trying to trim down a budget without either raising taxes or cutting those is like trying to save $5000 this year without changing your eating/driving/vacation habits. The money’s just not there unless you plan on annihilating pretty much everything outside of those activities. But again, the right thinks of government as “bad” (except for the stuff THEY like), so maybe it’ll make them happy.

Unpleasant economic truth

If the claim that giving more money to the top 1% yields more jobs were accurate, then we would be in a period of record low unemployment. We’d be swimming in jobs. The top has more money, proportional to the GDP, than at any time in American history, and yet we’re in an unemployment crisis.

Maybe it’s got something to do with the fact that HAVING money isn’t the same as SPENDING money.

Study finds that stimulus helps decrease homelessness

Believe it or not, I saw this headline while flipping past FOX, but the article I got is from CNN.

The Homelessness Research Institute, the educational arm of Roman’s organization, put the number of Americans living on the streets or in shelters at just over 636,000 in 2011. That’s down about 6,000 from the group’s 2009 estimate. The figure is based on reports and street counts from state and local agencies that receive federal housing funds.

Roman said the stimulus money, coupled with pre-recession federal programs aimed at veterans and the chronically ill, have kept that figure down even as the U.S. economy saw its worst downturn since the 1930s. But that money is drying up now that the Obama administration, Congress and the states are grappling with budget issues fueled by the recession.

Once again, when you look at the figures, things have gone much, much better than they could have. Keep that in mind as the year progresses.