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View Diary: The national debt? Republicans built that (39 comments)

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  •  Yes! (2+ / 0-)
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    citylights, hannah

    Why do we as progressives even buy into the austerity framing that the debt national  is an issue that our politicians should be spending any time on?  

    There is only two differences between a dollar and a US Treasury. The government pays no interest on one and pays interest on the other.  The government also only accepts one as payment for tax obligations and not the other.  Everything else is self imposed by our poltical so-called leaders.

    The US debt is the collective dollar denominated net financial savings of the US private sector plus the accumulated trade deficit.  Any attempt to reduce the deficit as a percent of GDP must either reduce net domestic private sector savings as a percent of GDP.  Or, reduce the trade deficit.  The only way austerity does this is by driving the country into a deep and prolonged recession that might depress domestic demand and wages enough to flip the trade deficit at the expense of the horrible suffering of most people. Most likely the dollar amount of the deficit might go down a little bit but the economy decreases so much more that deficit to GDP increases while inflicting horrible suffering on most people.

    This basic understanding of the nature of money and deficits leads to only one conclusion about all politicians that even accept the idea that the deficit is a problem in the face of a recession let alone argue over austerity vs more austerity.  They either do not understand the actual economics of a sovereign government or they are deliberately cruel and inhumane people or both.

    Our politicians should be debating increasing spending by trillions of dollars on the things we need. First and foremost JOBS.  An easy start would be to fund the hiring of all the government workers laid off by the states and municipalities because they cannot have deficits.  Then, a highway bill.  And, more of a pet project, but doubling NASA's budget would be valuable.  Perhaps even a Job Guarantee.

    As for the wars there are good reasons to end them, but budget deficits are not one.  Their redirection of productive capacity away from  the US people stinks. These are good reasons to reduce the defense budget as well, but not overall spending. Instead that spending needs to be redirected to more jobs. Perhaps in renewable energy and the infrastructure to support it.

    The conversation needs to change the US government is NOT like a household.  Those who make that analogy don't get it, or want you ignorant so they can make you suffer and accept it. The wealthy are hoping for a fire sale of public property and want you to accept it on the grounds that the deficit is bad, that deficit is our collective net savings (admittedly concentrated among the wealthiest).  Reducing it will most likely harm everyone some but the wealthy least of all.

    My passion on this is predicated on the unnecessary suffering that the current arguments over austerity and more austerity will create if they become law.  I want to remain optimistic that maybe the Democratic leaders just don't get it and are not deliberately being cruel. I have no such optimism on the Republican side. I expect they don't get it and are being deliberately cruel. Can we at least try not to support the suffering of our fellow citizens, and stop buying into the false dogma that the deficit is a problem under any circumstance short of full employment.

    •  Some people are antagonists. The Republican (0+ / 0-)

      party has become their home. While their antagonism has no rational basis, they can tolerate the objects of their hatred, if they can somehow exploit them. The monetizing of the economy has made it possible to hide their antagonism and disguise their predation behind the numbers. Percentages make it particularly easy to turn the screws and squeeze ever more out of the working population for the delectation of the "elites."
      The antagonists aren't, as one might think, anti-social. They are associated by their shared antagonisms and exclusive of those who don't hate. "Exclusive" neighborhoods and "gated communities" are the evidence on the ground. Their locks and keys secure them from the knowledge that most people wouldn't want to live that way, if you paid them.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 03:34:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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