Tag Archives: deficit hawks

Dear Dr. Krugman: Please Let Me Explain

By Joe Firestone

Paul Krugman can’t explain why the deficit issue has suddenly dropped off the agenda. He says:

. . . quite suddenly the whole thing has dropped off the agenda.

You could say that this reflects the dwindling of the deficit — but that’s old news; anyone doing the math saw this coming quite a while ago. Or you could mention the failure of the often-predicted financial crisis to arrive — but after so many years of being wrong, why should a few months more have caused the deficit scolds to disappear in a puff of smoke?

Why indeed are they so quiet? Could it be because the deficit hawks have succeeded in getting the short-term result they want, which is a likely deficit too small to sustain the private savings and import desires of most Americans, and also because the political climate is such right now that they cannot make progress on their longer term entitlement-cutting program until after the coming elections have resolved the issue of whether there will be strong resistance to such a campaign if they renew it? Let’s look at the budget outlook first.

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In Search of Sin

By Glenn Stehle

When Stephanie Kelton spoke of orthodox economics and its “one size fits all perspective” in her recent lecture at the Fields Institute, it got me to thinking that when it comes to deficit hawks, they really know how to do sin right.   And like all good religious fundamentalists, proportionality never enters the picture.  One sin takes precedence over all others, others becoming unimportant in the ardor to root out the one true evil.

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Blinder Leading the Blind

By Dan Kervick

The establishment’s debt and deficit hawks have taken flight once again, this time to launch a counterassault against Paul Krugman’s sensible and increasingly successful campaign to get people to stop clutching their pearls over the federal budget situation, and to focus attention on more pressing matters of high unemployment and economic stagnation.  Joe Scarborough, Ezra Klein and the Washington Post editorial board are among those springing into action on behalf of deficit worry, and against the dangerous movement of calmness and sobriety breaking out all over.  One thing that becomes more apparent as this debate unfolds is that the budget warriors frequently confuse broader public policy challenges that happen to have a budgetary component with narrower problems related to size of the budget deficit itself.  A recent Atlantic piece by Alan Blinder unfortunately contributes to that confusion.

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Pete Peterson and the Deficit Hawks Teach Lawmakers Deep Fiscal Irresponsibility

By Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.

We have come to accept in the Orwellian world of mass communication and media spin that pressure groups and political organizations name themselves in ways that contradict their actual mission.  Continue reading

CNBC’s Quick uses Clinton to aim at Krugman, but shoots herself in the foot

By William K. Black
(Crossposted at Benzinga.com)

Becky Quick is a television co-host of a business entertainment program on CNBC.  She has written a column stating that Paul Krugman’s “claim that there is no fiscal crisis isn’t just laughable, it’s downright dangerous.”  She argues that the “only problem” with Krugman’s conclusion was:  “It is hard to find anyone who actually agrees with him.”  She is furious that Krugman concluded that the Bowles-Simpson austerity plan is “a really bad plan.”

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Neoliberalism Kills: Part Two

By Joe Firestone

During Part One of this series,  I approached the end of my post with this paragraph.

Apart from the political opposition from the insurance companies that Medicare for All would have engendered, I think the main justification for abandoning Medicare for All and switching to the PO and eventually the PO-less ACA, was actually neoliberalism. The President, his main advisers, the Democratic leaders in Congress, and most progressives working for Washington progressive organizations were steeped in neoliberal doctrine. They viewed the Bush tax cuts and the two Wars as unpaid for. The ARRA stimulus Act was similarly unpaid for and added to deficit spending and to the debt-subject-to-the-limit. They believed and most believe today that the Federal Government can have solvency problems if the debt-to-GDP ratio increases too much, and interest rates on the national debt are driven up by the bond vigilantes.

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Deficit Hawks (Obama, Romney, Bowles, Boehner) Plan to Shrink YOUR Economy – Part 2

By Michael Hoexter

Shrinking “Their” Economy Shrinks Yours

The word “economy” comes from the Greek “oikos” meaning “hearth” or “household”.  Everybody has a household economy that looks slightly different from that of their neighbors.  However, because of the nature of a monetary economy, household economies are linked quite tightly together and trends that effect one household start to have effects in other households soon or over the longer term.  While within the same economy some households can prosper while others do not, generally there is a movement in tandem for some obvious reasons related to how society and the monetary system work. Continue reading

Deficit Hawks (Obama, Romney, Bowles, Boehner) Plan to Shrink YOUR Economy – Part 1

By Michael Hoexter

Most of the US political class has been infected with the “mind virus” of austerity that suggests to them that either virtue or necessity consists of cutting government spending and government programs.  Under the influence of this “folk economics” with no evidentiary support, the equivalent of economic superstition, politicians seem prepared to slash vital supports to the economy despite the ability of monetarily sovereign governments, like the US federal government, to afford continued spending on current and even expanded government programs.  Continue reading