August 11, 2011

Wrong turn

The theme at Goat Rope these days is the current economic mess the US is facing and how we got there.

Installment one is here. It traces the roots of the Great Recession to 30 years of supply side economics, deregulation, tax cuts and privatization.

Installment two is here. It's about the inadequacy of policy responses such as TARP and the Recovery Act to counter the Great Recession.

Installment three is here. It's about how shifting the agenda from the jobs crisis to the deficit isn't going to do much good to either.

One problem with the current budget debate is that all the attention is placed on cutting programs rather than raising revenue. Another problem is that the right wing approach to dealing with the budget doesn't look at what really caused it to mushroom. The main drivers of current deficits are things like the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, other increases in military related spending, the industry-friendly prescription drug Medicare benefit, and rising health care costs.

There are realistic solutions to these deficits drivers: raise revenues, end the wars, cut military spending, redo the drug benefit law and implement health care reform. Unfortunately, these ideas aren't on the table. And the jobs crisis continues to be ignored at a time when 25 million Americans are either un- or underemployed.

Instead, we have a situation in which political ideologues are willing to inflict vast harm on ordinary Americans and the global economy to protect the interests of the very wealthy.

I believe the technical term for such situations is a goat rope

A REAL LOOK A DEFICITS can be found here.

IS ANYBODY LISTENING? Here's a look at what Americans really think about taxes, spending and budget cuts from a recent poll.

INEQUALITY, REAL AND IMAGINED. There's a big difference between what Americans think the division of wealth is, what they think it should be, and the way it really is. Here's a brief discussion of the difference and here's a more detailed look.

HIGHLIGHTING AN ABSURDITY. Here's how some of El Cabrero's amigos plan to save the good old USA, one hot dog at a time.


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