Thursday, April 28, 2011

A campaign of lies

The birther accusations and Obama's response has made more clear than ever that Republi-con politics is fundamentally dishonest, and is a campaign of deliberate deception. Exhibit one is that they say "oh no, the Ryan plan is not a voucher," but they never say how it differs from a limited, fixed voucher, because that's what it is. In other words they want to deceive the public into accepting their policies, instead of having an honest debate.

The disgusting racist birther accusations are even more stark. The idea that an 18 year old pregnant girl and her 25 year old student husband would fly to Kenya to have their baby in a country is so ludicrous that nobody who is not hate-filled could believe it, even aside from the certified birth certificates, contemporaneous announcements in the newspapers, etc. Where would they get the money? Why would they fly to a third-world country with poor medical care to have a baby? Would the grandparents subsidize such a lunatic trip? This is about lies and hate.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Long piece on Krugman

Here is New York Magazine's long piece on Krugman . It quotes criticisms from Larry Summers, but, disappointingly, does not give Krugman's replies. My take: Obama's basic mistake has been listening to Summers and Geitner, instead of Krugman and Steiglitz.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Don't ever make your move too soon

I'm starting to think, now that Obama is fighting back, that he has been slyly holding back, giving the Republicans enough rope to hang themselves with. Maybe he's a devotee of the philosophy "don't ever make your move too soon", in the immortal words of B.B. King. But did he have to wait till we lost the House?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

At Last! DCCC put out fact check pointing out the lies of Republi-cons this morning

This links to the DCCC blog. This April 17 it contains a series of good refutations in particular of Paul Ryan's lies on this mornings talk shows.

I don't think they've been listening to me, but hopeful things are starting to turn, and there will be rebuttal.

Analysis of the Republi-con from Austan Goolsbee

In his latest, Paul Krugman links to two interesting, detailed refutations of the claim that cutting taxes on the rich is the key to economic growth. Both are by Austan Goolsbee—who I believe is a former student of Krugman. Here they are:

Evidence on the High Hncome Laffer Curve

Taxing the Rich

Friday, April 15, 2011

"Incremental wins in a context of national erosion"

Matt Miller I think really nails what is right and wrong with Obama's current speech in his column in today's Post. Miller writes, "Is Obama’s framework better than Ryan’s? Absolutely. Is it equal to what America needs for renewal in an age of global competition? Absolutely not. It’s Clinton redux — a recipe for incremental progressive “wins” within a broader context of national erosion."

What we need is vigorous investment in the future. Air traffic controllers sleeping on the job is just the latest indication of what happens when you starve governmental institutions: they don't work well, and the public suffers. Hence, too few at the SEC to enforce bank regulations, too few to enforce food safety. And of course, no investment in a whole new, more excellent primary and secondary education system. We are talking about probably 3-4% more of our economy for public investment in the future. That's what is needed. Are we eating our seed corn?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Continuing to Tell The Big Lie - The Republi-con Marches On

Well Gentle Readers:

On the Republican side, the con goes on. Both John Boehner and Eric Cantor (not to forget Congressman Paul Ryan) continue to rail about the job destroying effects of President Obama's stated policy (in his speech last nite) to NOT extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. Supply side economists of course (usually found only in the employ of the Heritage Foundation or the Cato Institute) continue to insist that such "tax increases" are highly stimulative. Regrettably, "big-lie" statements appear to be the preferred truffles of the Republican party these days (but then, if you consistently advocate for the wealthiest among us, while consistently eschewing any need for safety nets for the poorest among us - while insisting on treating your empoverishing policies toward low-income earners as a sign of your greater Christian morality - it's clear that your interest is in truffle eaters..not those who eat cabbage and beans.

Such statements however ignore some interesting facts. For example, the highly respected CBO analyzed a wide variety of economic stimulus options and found that the tax cuts for the wealthy (see ) were in fact minimally stimulative (in terms of Gross Domestic Product). That is, for each dollar in budgetary cost incurred, this policy would have returned 40 cents on the dollar (while the extension of unemployment benefits would have returned about $1.90). Still, the Republicans preferred the truffles.

Instead of hewing to a theoretical (or if you prefer, an ideological argument), lets look at the actual growth in jobs and income after the Clinton tax increases and the Bush tax cuts respectively. As the Center for American Progress points out clearly in their discussion of tax cuts (see ) the empirical evidence is strong. Real GDP growth was 26% under Clinton's increased tax rates, and 16% under Bush's tax cuts for the rich. The changes in median income were profoundly different. Under Clinton, median household income went from $45,839 in 1993 to $ 52,587 in 1999 - a 14.7 percent increase. Under Bush's tax cuts, real income went from $51,356 in 2001 to $52,163 - an increase of 1.6%. In short, the actual evidence here is damning.

The good news is that for the first time in office Obama actually availed himself of the "bully pulpit." Amazing!!! I was beginning to believe that certain bodily organs had permanently left for warmer climes....

Will Van Horne

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Obama Comes Through

In his speech he attacked the Republicans forcefully, but not the RepubliCON. Overall, I relieved, and impressed by the power of his attack, combined with his tone of understanding and compassion. I didn't hear the whole thing, but want more on the RepubliCON that cutting taxes on the rich will help grow the economy. Krugman has a similar reaction, with an important caveat: that he doesn't bargain away what he's asked for.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What to look for in Obama's Speach

Obama I think has done a lot of good, but he has been missing in action in rebutting the RepubliCON—that cutting taxes and spending will be great for the economy. All evidence is against it. Will Obama cite that evidence or not? Will he say that the RepubliCON is an attack on the middle class and poor, and that the rich must pay more for a good future for this country?

This is the moment. I'm worried.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Calling out the Ryan Plan as a Fraud

As Krugman repeats here, and quotes others as emphasizing the same thing, the Ryan plan to cut the deficit is not a serious plan that is to radical. It is a fraud plain and simple. It's the RepubiCON again. Same old story.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ludicrous and Cruel

Krugman nails it again, labelling the Paul Ryan budget "Ludicrous and Cruel". When are the mainstream media going to stop taking him seriously as an "intellectual."

Thursday, April 7, 2011

John "Herbert Hoover" Boehner

In today's column Nicholas Kristof aptly renames speaker Boehner. Are journalists more widely than Krugman and Ezra Klein waking up to the RepubliCON, and are they going to call it out more forcefully?

Monday, April 4, 2011

The coming challenge: Will Obama stand up publically to Ryan?

In the Washington Post, E.J. Dionne point out that crunch time is almost here: Cong. Ryan will propose a budget that will eviscerate the federal government. Will Obama talk to the nation, with the facts and charts on the RepubliCON—increased inequality and flat growth—that many have noted, and that we have posted here? Stay tuned...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Krugman calls out the RepubliCON lie that cutting spending will grow jobs

Paul Krugman calls out the latest RepubliCON propagandasaying that cutting discretionary spending will increase economic growth. As he warned last year, the British Conservatives pushed in austerity (which is always on the backs of the poor, not the rich!) and result has been miserable as predicted. Krugman points out that the International Monetary Fund, not exactly a left wing organization, has refuted the idea that austerity kicks off economic growth. The shameless RepubliCON keeps going relentlessly nonetheless.