I read an exciting article by David Sirota recently entitled “How the 1 Percent Always Gets Its Way”.
Sirota’s answer for that is simple. BOTH legacy parties are “up for sale.”
I figure MSNBC and others of Team Dem are doing a more than adequate job inventorying and calling out the lack of empathy and the greed of the rabid leadership of the Republican party. Read below the fold...
I gotta love Bernie Sanders, because he seems so much like people I grew up with and like myself too, and he also seems to have that passion for equality and democracy that is so important for the future of America. Sometimes I think Bernie is one of the few champions of the people left in Congress. But I also think that along with other progressives he has constructed chains for himself that prevent him from being as effective a champion of the people as he otherwise might be.
His chains are the chains of either false beliefs or a decision not to speak the truth about fiscal matters for fear that the “very serious people” in the Washington village will marginalize him even more than they do right now. I can't say which of these is true, but I think whichever reason is operative, his self-shackling reduces his effectiveness. Read below the fold...
Yesterday on Fox, Senator Dick Durbin said:
WALLACE: I'm going to talk about ObamaCare on a second, but you're not answering my question. Why does taxes -- why do taxes have to be on the table? Why can't you just make a deal, short-term spending for long-term entitlement reform -- which, Senator, you support and President Obama support. You have supported the idea of some entitlement reform.
DURBIN: That's right. I do, and I'll tell you why -- because Social Security is going to run out of money in 20 years. I want to fix it now, before we reach that cliff.
Medicare may run out of money in 10 years, let's fix it now. And that means addressing the skyrocketing cost of health care. That's what ObamaCare is focused on, and yet, the Republicans want nothing to do with it.
If we don't focus on the health care and dealing with the entitlements, the baby boom generation is going to blow away our future. We don't want to see that happen. We want to make sure that Social Security and Medicare are solid.
The “. . . may run out of money. . . . ” and “. . . dealing with entitlements. . . “ memes, in reply to Chris Wallace's question suggests that a deal trading increased revenues for Social Security and other entitlement cuts is acceptable to him. So, Durbin's argument is that because Social Security Trustee and CBO projections, based on very pessimistic economic growth projections for the whole period, show a shortfall in the Social Security “Trust Fund” in 20 years, it is acceptable to make entitlement cuts now if the Democrats can get increased revenue from higher taxes, as if entitlement “reform” were the only way to meet the perceived Social Security solvency problem. But who would it be acceptable to? Read below the fold...
Salon.com's news editor, Steve Kornacki, lamented yesterday that "Obama won’t face a credible primary challenge", going on about how the closest thing to a liberal challenge he has comes from Republican candidate Buddy Roemer. While it is true that many liberals aren't seeing any "viable" candidates materialize on the left, Kornacki isn't telling us why that is: the failure of supposedly liberal pundits to report on candidates who are actually running. Read below the fold...
My friend and MMT mentor, Warren Mosler offered this fine, simply stated speech to President Obama for September 8th.
My fellow Americans, let me get right to the point.Read below the fold...
I have three bold new proposals to get back all the jobs we lost, and then some.
In fact, we need at least 20 million new jobs to restore our lost prosperity and put America back on top.
First let me state that the reason private sector jobs are lost is always the same.
Jobs are lost when business sales go down.
Economists give that fancy words- they call it a lack of aggregate demand.
But it’s very simple.
A restaurant doesn’t lay anyone off when it’s full of paying customers,
(Editor's note: I'm re-posting this here from moslereconomics.com with a follow-on commentary of my own with the permission of Warren Mosler)
From Warren Buffet to Alan Greenspan,
And from all the responses to the S and P downgrade by
economists and financial professionals from the 4 corners of the world,
THE WORD IS OUT!
The US government is the issuer of the US dollar.
So no matter how large the federal deficit might be: Read below the fold...
There have been many reactions to S & Ps action in downgrading the credit rating of the US, Apart from the widespread annoyance and repudiation of S & P and its procedures, there are some who are saying that it won't have much effect on interest rates. Others even saying that it is a “non-event,” and still others saying that S & P should be investigated and prosecuted on a number of grounds. However, I found two views of the “non-event” particularly interesting. Read below the fold...
Last December, my friend beowulf had this to say at the time Moody's began to make noises about downgrading US debt. He said:
”I don’t think we’ll see Moody’s or any other rating service based in the US ever downgrade US Treasuries. It would cause a tremendous amount of financial loss and would leave Moody’s and its executives exposed to criminal prosecution. If I were Moody’s general counsel, I’d tell the CEO in no uncertain terms, Do Not Tug On Superman’s Cape.
14th Amendment, Sect. 5Read below the fold...
By Warren Mosler
(Editor's Note: This post is cross-posted from The Huffington Post at the request of the author)
The headline progressives are in full retreat. They have found out the hard way that their bleeding heart pleadings -- 'yes, the financial markets might destroy us, but how can we cut this or that worthy cause' -- don't cut it. They have fallen into the out of paradigm world that takes it as gospel that the U.S. is at imminent risk of becoming the next Greece; where financial markets can cut off funding and ability to spend and force the giving up of national sovereignty and begging for an IMF bailout, or else, face the option of default or printing money, which launches one down that slippery slope to hyperinflation... bla bla bla...
And so to show they too are indeed fiscally responsible grownups who wouldn't think of instigating such a financial crisis, the headline progressives more than agree that the federal deficit is indeed a very dangerous long term menace that demands appropriate attention. Accordingly, President Obama, on behalf of the Democrats, has proposed over $4 trillion of his version of deficit reduction over the next ten years, with "everything on the table" including Social Security and Medicare. The main difference seems to be that the Democrats include tax hikes, while the Republicans only support spending cuts. Read below the fold...
(Author's Note: In December I posted a piece on Moody's threat to downgrade the US's Rating in International Bond markets. I argued that Moody's action was foolish. Today, Standard and Poor's actually revised the US ratings outlook from stable to negative, but continued its sovereign credit rating at ‘AAA/A-1+’. Read below the fold...
I seem to recall that someone, late last month, posted an entry arguing that it is immoral for Democrats not to run a primary challenge against Barry Obama in 2012, in light of the things he's done to institutionalize Bush-Cheney crimes. (Glenn Greenwald chronicled the latest violation of the Constitution by Obama on his own blog, which you can read here). Read below the fold...
(Author's note: I've offered this idea a couple of times over the past few months here, with surprisingly little reaction. I'm trying once again, because I'm persuaded that much of the leverage that conservatives and Republicans have over our fate is due to the belief that most people hold that federal deficits, the national debt, and the GDP ratio are important, and that we must bring them under control to avoid Government insolvency. In addition every one seems to believe that the existence of the debt is due the to the profligacy of the Government, its monumental waste, and the lack of courage of its politicians who spend too freely to please constituents, gain campaign contributions, and help themselves to stay in office. None of this is true. The current existence of the National Debt, and also of a non-zero public debt-to-GDP ratio is the inevitable result of a technical decision that Congress has made about how the Treasury should finance its spending. This post talks about that decision, points out that its consequence is the National Debt, and also points out that the very existence of the National Debt is the fault of Congress.)
It is Congress's fault that we have a national debt at this point in our history. And also Congress can largely get rid of this debt over a 10 year period any time it wants to.
The national debt exists today because when the nation went off the Gold Standard in 1971 and adopted its fiat currency system, Congress did not repeal its mandate, very appropriate when our currency was convertible to Gold on demand, in least in theory, requiring that the Government back all its deficit spending with already existing borrowed dollars whose convertibility was covered by our holdings of Gold. This Congressional mandate to borrow funds by issuing debt instruments when the Government deficit spends, is what has caused the national debt to persist.
Had Congress repealed it when President Nixon took the country off the Gold Standard, and had we ceased to issue debt at that time, then the Government would have re-paid all of our 1971 debts as they came due, and our national debt today would be zero and our debt-to-GDP would now be at 0%.
The Congressional mandate to issue debt when the Government deficit spends has no useful function today, and the interest income it provides for mostly wealthy investors and foreign Governments who buy Treasury Securities is simply a form of welfare for the rich. In fact, it is welfare that will cost the Treasury almost $12 Trillion over the next 15 years if we continue the policy of issuing debt instruments. Read below the fold...