The Fiscal Slope Exposes Deficit Scolds as Cowards

By: Friday December 21, 2012 10:00 am

Let’s just stipulate something for the record. If the Congressional Budget Office were asked to step in and score John Boehner’s “Plan B,” it would score as an increase to the deficit by about $4.9 trillion over ten yeas. If CBO scored the Obama plan, it would score as an increase to the deficit by [...]

The Grand Confusion: The “Fiscal Cliff” Is an Austerity Program

By: Monday November 12, 2012 7:05 am

Paul Krugman explains the problem for all of the deficit scolds trying to use the fiscal it’s-not-a-cliff cliff as a forcing mechanism to cut the social safety net. The fiscal cliff poses an interesting problem for self-styled deficit hawks. They’ve been going on and on about how the deficit is a terrible thing; now they’re [...]

We’ve Already Cut Spending By Almost All of the Bowles-Simpson Targets

By: Wednesday October 3, 2012 8:27 am

Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has an important piece that reinforces something I’ve been saying for a long time. Contrary to the opinion of Michael Grunwald that there has been no austerity in Obama’s first term, Bernstein lays out the numbers that actually shows the austerity, in both the short- [...]

Democrats Figuring Out How to Accept “Concessions” in Spending in Exchange for Inevitable Tax Hikes

By: Friday September 21, 2012 10:55 am

Republicans want to use the tax issue as a election tactic, and that’s really the substance of these remarks in the Washington Post claiming that taxes will go up if President Obama wins a second term. But there is some reality behind them. If Obama wins, the Senate will have already passed a bill to [...]

Debt Scolds Build War Chest to Force Grand Bargain

By: Wednesday September 19, 2012 8:57 am

The forces wanting to put together a grand bargain have amassed a war chest to promote their ideas in the public. The new Campaign to Fix the Debt, organized by fiscal scolds on the left and the right, announced it has raised over $25 million for its campaign. I enjoy the use of the phrase [...]

Corey Robin’s Incredible Breakdown of Democrats as the Party of Austerity

By: Friday August 31, 2012 8:23 am

I want to go back to Corey Robin’s incredible take on austerity politics in the Democratic Party, through the lens of how Republicans once embraced, and then abandoned it. The fact that you can draw a line in inverse proportion between what party embraces austerity and what party has the dominant position in the politics [...]

Obama: “I’m prepared to make a whole range of compromises”

By: Monday August 27, 2012 6:15 am

The big news in that AP interview with President Obama over the weekend comes in this exchange, from the transcript (and let me add parenthetically that transcripts to major interviews like this should be a prerequisite for news organizations, and I’m glad AP supplied one). Q. But, I mean, I can certainly see Republicans, led [...]

Erskine Bowles-to-Treasury Rumor Picks Up Steam

By: Friday August 10, 2012 12:34 pm

Jon Walker was basically right about Erskine Bowles’ op-ed in the Washington Post today, criticizing Mitt Romney’s tax plan. Romney has been trying to associate his plan with Bowles-Simpson when the two have little in common. But I was more distressed last night by the fact that Obama campaign bigwig Stephanie Cutter approvingly tweeted out [...]

Obama Frustrated He Doesn’t Get Credit For Wanting to Cut Social Security and Medicare

By: Thursday August 9, 2012 8:55 am

Kevin Gosztola already went over the New York Times article on the President’s media diet and opinions of the press. He focused on a good deal of important issues. But I want to highlight what Obama uses as the signature example of his argument about the false equivalence of the press: The news media have [...]

House Passes One-Year Extension of Bush Tax Cuts

By: Thursday August 2, 2012 7:40 am

Yesterday the House put themselves on the record on the Bush tax cuts, ensuring that the issue will extend into the lame duck session and that the election, in large part, will determine the course of action. The House approved a one-year extension of all the Bush tax cut rates, rejecting a Democratic bill already [...]

Steven Pearlstein Informs Us of a Corporate-Led Coup

By: Monday July 23, 2012 10:14 am

In the wake of the news about the expectations that the poverty rate rose in 2011 to pre-Great Society levels, I have to second Dean Baker’s story about the plans by the corporate elite to exacerbate that problem even more. Steven Pearlstein at the Washington Post wrote approvingly over the weekend of an effort by [...]

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