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View Diary: FAIL! There Will Be Austerity Kabuki Every 3 Months (146 comments)

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    these self-inflicted crises they end up spawning a new crisis. Eventually they hope to spawn enough crises to force the American public to acquiesce to austerity.

    The Shock Doctrine is finally coming home to roost, after being applied in umpteen countries abroad, from Poland to South Africa to Chile and many more.

    The goal is not to solve the problems at all. The goal is actually to keep creating problems, holding us hostage until we surrender and give them what they want, i.e. the privatization of the New Deal programs.

    This is a tremendously difficult project because those programs are extremely popular. It's taken all of Obama's considerable political skills and much time for the Austerians to bring the Democratic party down this path.

    In 2011, Obama threatened to veto any attempt to get rid the sequestered cuts in the "fiscal cliff." Then last year he went around telling us the sky was gonna fall if they didn't get a deal before the "fiscal cliff" hit.

    There are two possible conclusions one can draw from this: either Obama is stupid, or he wanted those sequestered cuts to help him broker a deal. I don't think he's stupid at all, so one has to go with the second.

    What kind of deal does he want? I mean he's only put SS/Medicare on the table as his first offer to the GOP every time they've talked about deficit reduction. So...

    And the administration's "balanced approach" to deficit reduction is straight-up Hooverism with a tiny bit of meaningless tax raises on the rich to make it go down easier. They're proposing to cut the budget during an economic crisis, just like Hoover did.

    They are not remotely interested in stimulus. The stimulus Congress passed in '09 was one-third tax cuts, rather than direct stimulus which is much more effective in boosting economic growth. It was too small, the money was not disbursed quickly enough (it took time for even the "shovel-ready" projects to get started), and it was not designed as part of a continuing stimulus effort. The administration insisted that compromise with conservative Democrats was more important than getting the most effective stimulus.

    It was designed to kick the can down the road long enough for them to proceed with other projects the administration really wanted to do, like getting the individual mandate in the ACA, and bailing out the banks. That is the only effort at stimulus we are going to get from this president and this Congress.

    Sure, after pounding the pulpit and fulminating like a fanatical preacher about the importance of deficit reduction, Obama will talk vaguely and tantalizingly of the good things they'll spend the resulting budget surplus on afterwards--help boost the economy, fighting climate change, etc.

    Sure, you'll get stimulus, he promises us. Right after we cut our way out of this deficit.

    Nonsense. Everyone knows we will go further into the red by cutting in the middle of a recession. Unemployment will go up, demand will go down, and so production will go down too, causing the economy to shrink. There won't be a surplus, only more bleeding. Of course, the prescription to cure that bleeding? Why, more bleeding.

    Deficit spending via a massive, systematically designed long-term stimulus is the only way to increase economic growth and decrease unemployment. And that is the one thing that our leaders are shrinking from.

    This is an economic fairy-tale they're selling us, one which will result in our being forced to drink the hemlock of austerity.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 04:46:51 PM PST

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