By Joe Firestone
Recently, I’ve been writing about oligarchs advocating for entitlement cuts and austerity. I’ve discussed attacks on entitlement benefits for the elderly from Abby Huntsman (of MSNBC’s The Cycle) and Catherine Rampell (a Washington Post columnist), both the children of well-off individuals. These posts have come in the context of the English language release of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and the more recent pre-publication release of a study by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page using quantitative methods and empirical data to explore the question of whether the US is an oligarchy or a majoritarian democracy. They conclude:
Posted in Joe Firestone
Tagged #PCS, austerity, CBO projections, congress, consols, deficit spending, deficit terrorism, Gilens and Page, Michael A. Peterson, net interest, oligarchy, Peter G. Peterson Foundation, platinum coin seigniorage, Sector Financial Balances, the Fed, Treasury
By Dan Kervick
Matt Yglesias is now hawking an initial White House budget proposal that is apparently being negotiated by Tim Geithner. Predictably, the two-stage proposal involves entitlement “savings” and cuts in both stage one and stage two, and backs off a bit on higher tax rates on the rich. In exchange, the White House gets some more stimulus spending. Yglesias advises Republicans to tell Obama:
… he can have his stimulus and he can even have higher tax revenue if he really wants it, but that the price is giving up his obsession with higher rates. Is he more interested in soaking the rich or in creating jobs? I don’t think Obama says no to a deal like that, and if he does lots of sensible liberals (like this guy) will call him out on it. Then we can put this sorry episode behind us, proclaim the Grand Bargaining Era done for, and hopefully move on to other things.
It seems strange to endorse a grand bargain in order to move on and proclaim the Grand Bargaining Era over. Maybe next week Democrats should propose the elimination of the minimum wage so we can then declare an end to the Era of the Fight Over the Minimum Wage?