Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘national debt

‘If a Center-Left Coalition Succeeds in Stabilizing the Budget, Republicans Will Eventually Destabilize It’

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In a nutshell, when you have a political party that does not agree that revenue levels must bear a relationship to outlays, and is willing to foment a systemic crisis in order to maximize its leverage, you’re in trouble.

Jonathan Chait on the U.S. debt trap.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 6, 2011 at 1:27 pm

‘Fiscal Irresponsibility’

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 6, 2011 at 1:03 pm

More Good News

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UPDATE: Yeah, it’s done.

A government official tells ABC News that the federal government is expecting and preparing for bond rating agency Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the rating of US debt from its current AAA value.

Officials reasons given will be the political confusion surrounding the process of raising the debt ceiling, and lack of confidence that the political system will be able to agree to more deficit reduction. A source says Republicans saying that they refuse to accept any tax increases as part of a larger deal will be part of the reason cited.

The official was unsure if the bond rating would be AA+ or AA. 

Via ThinkProgress.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 5, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Tuesday Afternoon!

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* If only! Newt Gingrich, currently riding a cresting wave of fake Twitter followers all the way to the White House, declares the Obama administration the “Paul Krugman presidency.”

* How bad is the debt deal? Really bad.

The Obama-GOP plan cuts $917 billion in government spending over the next decade. Nearly $570 billion of that would come from what’s called “non-defense discretionary spending.” That’s budget-speak for the pile of money the government invests in the nation’s safety and future—education and job training, air traffic control, health research, border security, physical infrastructure, environmental and consumer protection, child care, nutrition, law enforcement, and more.

The White House’s plan would slash this type of spending nearly in half, from about 3.3 percent of America’s GDP to as low as 1.7 percent, the lowest in nearly half a century, says Ethan Pollack, a senior policy analyst at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.

There’s a reason John Boehner is so happy.

* Former Reagan and Bush economist Bruce Bartlett has joined the Canavan caucus and called for the elimination of the debt ceiling.

* BREAKING: Neil Cavuto knows nothing about anything.

CAVUTO: I would welcome a downgrade. I really would. I think it would be the pain from which we have a gain.

STOSSEL: Maybe that would wake people up.

* Internal polls apparently show Wisconsin Democrats retaking the state senate after the recall fightif the debt-ceiling debacle hasn’t blown the mission there as well.

* “If you’re younger than 26, you have never seen a month where the global mean was as cold as the 161 year average,” observes Robert Grumbine. In contrast, “there are no periods as long as even 20 years of continual below reference temperatures.” He finds that the period 1880-1940 seems to best represent a stable long-term average for global temperatures. If that’s the case, then the “last time the global mean was below the climate normal was March, 1976. If you’re 35 or younger, you have never seen a global mean below climate’s real normal.”

* But in good news: Spider-Man takes one giant leap closer to the Donald Glover era.

Depressing Sunday Links

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Establishment Democrats are enthusiastically betraying their constituents, and gloating about it. I’ve already committed to not giving money and not volunteering in 2012, but the sticker’s coming off the car if the deal as described goes through. I’m done.

While the New Deal stoically awaits the guillotine, some links, many shamelessly stolen from zunguzungu’s supersized edition of Sunday Reading:

* Congressional Black Caucus: Use the 14th Amendment.

* Jeffrey Sachs: “Every part of the budget debate in the U.S. is built on a tissue of willful deceit.”

* The basic error was that Buchanan approached American politics in procedural or legal terms at a moment when the reigning political conflicts in American life were no longer in any sense shaped or resolved by procedural or legal processes. Obama as James Buchanan. More here from John Judis:

Over the last four decades, the Republican Party has transformed from a loyal opposition into an insurrectionary party that flouts the law when it is in the majority and threatens disorder when it is the minority. It is the party of Watergate and Iran-Contra, but also of the government shutdown in 1995 and the impeachment trial of 1999. If there is an earlier American precedent for today’s Republican Party, it is the antebellum Southern Democrats of John Calhoun who threatened to nullify, or disregard, federal legislation they objected to, and who later led the fight to secede from the union over slavery.

* In a nutshell, what’s going on is something that hasn’t happened in American politics for 50 years: an ideologically coherent social movement with clear political aspirations has taken shape out of murkier antecedents and disparate tributaries and at least for the moment, it has a very tight hold on the political officials that it has elected. The movement is not interested in the spoils system, its representatives can’t be quickly seduced into playing the usual games. And the movement’s primary objective is to demolish existing governmental and civic institutions. They’ve grown tired of waiting for government to be small enough to drown in a bathtub, so they’re setting out with battleaxes and dynamite instead.

Social movements that aren’t just setting out to secure legal protection and resources for their constituency, but are instead driven to pursue profound sociopolitical transformations are unfamiliar enough. What makes this moment even more difficult to grasp in terms of the conventional wisdom of pundits is that this isn’t a movement that speaks a language of inclusion, hope, reform, innovation or progress. It speaks instead about restoration of power to those who once held it, the tearing down of existing structures, about undoing what’s been done. This movement is at war with its social and institutional enemies: it has nothing to offer them except to inflict upon them the marginalization that the members of the movement imagine they themselves have suffered.

* Ezra Klein dangles the carrot: maybe Obama won’t capitulate on the Bush tax cuts again. Sure, maybe.

* Surely there must be a name, in advertising parlance, for the figure of the anthropomorphized food item that happily consumes a non-anthropomorphized version of itself?

* The great teddy bear shipwreck mystery.

* On misremembering the victims of injustice as small children.

* Julian Sanchez: “The very existence of such massive trade in “defensive patents” is, in itself, pretty strong evidence that there’s something systematically quite wrong with the American patent system—because a patent that’s useful for “defensive” purposes is very likely to be a bad patent. I love that Planet Money and This American Life got non-IP people talking about this.

* And I may have done this one before, but what the hell: Inside an abandoned East Berlin amusement park.

Thursday Night Links

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Destroying the Republic in Order to Save It

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Very bad news from the White House today as the Obama administration is now floating an even more ambitious austerity package than Republicans have even been asking for. There’s a lot of debate about whether this is an earnest attempt to compromise with nihilists, a poison pill, what Obama genuinely wants, or (in the words of one intrepid Talking Points Memo reader) “mutual positioning to try to win what is seen as an inevitable post-apocalypse blame game.” Regardless of the intent, it’s truly obscene; the right answer to this mess is staring them in the face but they simply refuse to take it.