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View Diary: We don't have a Deficit Problem -- We have a Revenue Problem (232 comments)

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  •  So it's not a revenue problem? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opinionated, kck, jamess, gulfgal98

    It's not clear what your point is...

    Obama administration economic policy (as expressed in his $3.7 trillion budget) seems to be taking the right steps to economic stability, but has two glaring shortcomings.

    1) Unnecessary cuts to social spending programs that are in fact stimulative (return higher multiples of federal spending into the economy, measured in GDP)

    2) Fails to recapture surplus revenue that get trapped in private sector accounts which are non-stimulative (tax cuts to wealthy that go into investment portfolios -- each dollar of federal revenue lost returns less than 40 cents to GDP).

    Beyond that, I think you might be falling for the myth that deficits are bad per se. Since we're a sovereign economy, we can't go broke. There actually is an appropriate, sustainable level of government deficit, and the Obama budget forecasts it will get there (temporarily) by 2016.

    In the short term, this diary's thesis is correct -- we should be managing the deficit problem as a revenue problem.

    Our cause: a More Perfect Union

    by Roby NJ on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 08:58:39 AM PST

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    •  I should be more clear, I do believe it's revenue (5+ / 0-)

      ...and don't care about deficits per se. I believe the diary thesis is correct (although not the poker analogy).

      I just don't believe that correctness will determine the outcome. Those "at the table" are creating their own reality, are playing their own hand, and they have the power to do so, and time is always a factor in the equation.

      •  Got it (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        opinionated, kck, jamess, gulfgal98

        Yes, this is the most frustrating thing that's going on. Obama is playing someone else's political game. Even if polls show he's holding his own, that doesn't mean it was the best play. I still believe he would have done better in December to force them to play HIS game, and should get back to that now.

        (To be clear, what I mean is that the administration should be setting the rules and the stakes by their own brinksmanship on taxes, forcing GOP and media to talk about it in terms that are more realistic and reflect OUR values, not their framing.)

        Our cause: a More Perfect Union

        by Roby NJ on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 09:16:57 AM PST

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        •  Agreed, and he's using the tax cut deal as a model (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          opinionated, Roby NJ, jamess, gulfgal98

          ...of success! Obama's press conference  yesterday:

          we're going to be in discussions over the next several months. I mean this is going to be a negotiation process. And the key thing that I think the American people want to see is that all sides are serious about it and all sides are willing to give a little bit, and that there's a genuine spirit of compromise as opposed to people being interested in scoring political points.

          Now, we did that in December during the lame duck on the tax cut issue. Both sides had to give. And there were folks in my party who were not happy, and there were folks in the Republican Party who were not happy. And my suspicion is, is that we're going to be able to do the same thing if we have that same attitude with respect to entitlements.

          But the thing I want to emphasize is nobody is more mindful than me that entitlements are going to be a key part of this issue -- as is tax reform. I want to simplify rates. And I want to, at the same time, make sure that we have the same amount of money coming in as going out.

          Those are big, tough negotiations, and I suspect that there's going to be a lot of ups and downs in the months to come before we finally get to that solution. But just as a lot of people were skeptical about us being able to deal with the tax cuts that we did in December but we ended up getting it done, I'm confident that we can get this done as well.

          •  "both sides had to give" (0+ / 0-)

            Um, what did the pubs give?  And please nobody tell me that they agreed to lift the debt ceiling or extend unemployment, which they were going to do anyway.  

            Hey, I got my teenager to promise not to shoot heroin in the house, and all I had to do was to give him the keys to my car, buy him beer, and let his girlfriend stay overnight!  Both sides had to give!  

            I used to think Obama was PART of the problem.

            by Nada Lemming on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 06:42:39 PM PST

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        •  Arrggghhh! Totally agree with this (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jamess, Calamity Jean
          Yes, this is the most frustrating thing that's going on. Obama is playing someone else's political game. Even if polls show he's holding his own, that doesn't mean it was the best play. I still believe he would have done better in December to force them to play HIS game, and should get back to that now.

          (To be clear, what I mean is that the administration should be setting the rules and the stakes by their own brinksmanship on taxes, forcing GOP and media to talk about it in terms that are more realistic and reflect OUR values, not their framing.)

          The United States is not just losing its capacity to do great things. It's losing its soul.--Bob Herbert

          by gulfgal98 on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 03:02:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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