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Interesting juxtaposition between the NYTimes front page and the column by its star columnist today. First, the (web) front page: Treasury officials are racing to lock in today’s low rates by exchanging short-term borrowings for long-term bonds, the government faces a payment shock similar to those that sent legions of overstretched homeowners into default on their mortgages.

With the national debt now topping $12 trillion, the White House estimates that the government’s tab for servicing the debt will exceed $700 billion a year in 2019, up from $202 billion this year, even if annual budget deficits shrink drastically. Other forecasters say the figure could be much higher.

In concrete terms, an additional $500 billion a year in interest expense would total more than the combined federal budgets this year for education, energy, homeland security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


In contrast, in the opinion pages and in his blog, Mr Krugman tells us this is bullshit, that we shouldn't worry about deficits, and that the US government can borrow for next to free as far as his eye can see. Furthermore, concerns about borrowing endless piles of cash, to be paid by taxpayers of the future, the Grandchildren of boomers in essence, are bullshit.

Current account deficits larger than any country's in the history of the world? No worries! Take another Woodstock hit! No way can the US be a very large Argentina.

Of course, Krugman has his ideas about reasonable economic discourse, and then Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the IMF, which eventually deals with profligate nations like the US, has his:

In economies that have run large current account deficits, national savings will need to increase. In many of these economies, including the United States, fiscal consolidation must take priority.

Yup, that means the US has to start paying for what it consumes.

Now, usually I think Paul Krugman has some excellent insights about where the US should be going, in terms of tax and fiscal policy. But lately, he's been the left-wing's version of those right wing tea-baggers who think lower taxes solve everything, people rightfully referred to as glibertarians. In essence, unlike glibertarians, who say "I got mine, fuck you," Mr Krugman rightfully defends those who don't have theirs...but his answer is still, in essence, fuck you.

How so? Because his solution, given America's regressive tax regime, makes the poor and the vulnerable he purports to defend pay, in the end, for what he proposes.

Let's take this as an economic given: The US cannot continue for the foreseeable future to run up deficits and never pay them off. Mr. Gross of Pimco, cited in today's front page NYTimes article is absolutely correct to say that

What a good country or a good squirrel should be doing is stashing away nuts for the winter...the United States is not only not saving nuts, it’s eating the ones left over from the last winter."

Now, Mr Krugman is correct that something must be done, today, to reduce unemployment. But, Mr Gross is also correct to assert that this needs to be paid for.

Surprisingly, the answer is quite simple, and oddly enough, one that neither Krugman nor anyone else on the supposed left in America are willing to point out - if you tax the rich properly, you can raise a lot of deficit-fighting cash. In fact, if you simply re-establish taxation at pre-JFK levels, the federal government raises $400bn a year more, and state deficits largely disappear.

Eliminate the funding for wars Obama promised to wind down but hasn't and you save another $100bn.

Pretty soon it starts adding up into real money.

So, next time Krugman starts belly-aching about how the Obama administration should piss away billions to re-start the American economy, I would like for him to say how he intends to pay for it. He says future economic growth. If we build it, they will buy it.

That sounds a lot like a supply-side Reaganite to me. The same Reagan who gave Krugman his first job in government.

Instead of that bullshit, I'd like to see that the people who've taken all the wealth from the US' last three decades of growth, the top 2% who took 90% of everything since Krugman first started in government, pay for the mess they, as well as the economic system to which he still subscribes, created.

By paying their fair share.

Until then, all of Krugman's belly-aching about printing more government paper to fund deficits seems hollow to me. Yes, get America working again. But first, take the fuckers who took America down the last dozen pegs pay for it. Get the fuckers who caused the deficit in the first place, and are sitting on more cash than you and I can imagine, to start paying back first.

And then we can talk about our kids taxes.

Originally posted to redstar on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:20 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Having read all of Mr. Krugmans NYTimes (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheMomCat, mbayrob, grrr, Jagger, Johnny Q

      articles, and a lot more besides that - it seems that you have lost the most salient point that he makes when talking about the US deficit.

      Krugman's argument goes something like this:

      The US (and the rest of the world) is suffering from the worst recession in decades; brought on by multiple factors, including: de-regulation of the banking and investment banking sectors; large changes in the top marginal US taxrates; the entire mortgage embroglio (from bad loan terms to fake loan documents); and the undeniable greed of the upper class in the US.

      The US was in a similar (but not as urgent) situation when Bill Clinton won office for the first time (high unemployment, high interest rates, the Gulf War).

      Clinton spend Federal dollars to 'jump-start' the economy, loading up a bunch of federal debt to do so - but expected to make up the difference in the long term, as rising employment would lead to rising tax revenues. At the time, the mainstream media and the Republican Party were telling everybody that the Clinton Administration was piling up a debit account that 'our grandchildren' would be paying off for forty years.

      Guess what?  The Clinton Administration made the right move - they used Federal dollars, increased the federal debt and 'jump-started' the economy.

      Not only did they pay down the debt that was originally called a 'generational theft', they left the incoming republican president (G.W. Bush) a budget surplus.

      Krugman simply points out the game plan and the end result and makes an analogy to the current fiscal situation and the Obama Administration.

      Since the 'shovel truckloads of cash into the Wall Street Banks and Investment Houses' gambit seems to have allayed Big Money fears (hence the over 10K Dow of late), but not to have actually worked (it seems that the Stimulus was too small and failed to actually jump-start anything other then a run on bankers bonuses), with unemployment getting worse less quickly than a year ago and with recent news of worsening mortgage news (Late on two or more mortgage payments is now almost 1 out of 5) - the Obama Administration will likely be forced to go hat-in-hand to Congress for anther Stimulus bill before the State of the Union next year.

      Krugman has offered a variety of things he (as a Professor Emeritus and a Nobel Prize winner) believes would be beneficial under current economic conditions.

      One of them is the idea that current deficits to cure our 'on life-support' economy is an acceptable risk, considering the recent history of just such a program.  I agree with him. We have had increasingly higher federal deficits, in the stratospheric range, since before the Reagan Revolution.  The nation has survived them all.

      What we can't survive, as evidenced by the catastrophe of the Great Depression (and it's decades long effects on US society), is a nation that is without jobs for it's people.

      If the President wants to get the economy back on track, he's going to have to find a way to pressure Business to start hiring again, and it better be soon.  A new Works Program (like the WPA, the CCC and other 20th century programs enacted in reaction to the Great Depression) may be Obama's best, and only, path to success.

      •  Krugman is many things, but not Emeritus (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angie in WA State

        Krugman hasn't retired yet, which is what Professor Emeritus means :-)

        Good comment on your part, otherwise ;-)

        "If another country builds a better car, we buy it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. If they have better healthcare . . . what's our problem? "

        by mbayrob on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:28:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  arrgh..... (0+ / 0-)

          lack of concentration here on my part - you are correct.  

          Got the kids and grandkids here in the living room playing team Mario on the Wii and it's a bit distracting.

          I wasn't sure and googled it, but must have read half of one and half of another posting while flipping back and forth between tabs (and, I shamefacedly admit, watching the stoopid Mario game)... and conflated them.

          Glad you liked the rest of the post.


          Happy Gobble-Gobble!

      •  Well, I don't think that's true. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angie in WA State, jmknapp53

        The US is suffering the worst recession in decades. Here in Europe, it's not even close to being as bad as in the early '90's. India and China are booming again. Eastern Europe isn't doing so good but much better than in the aftermath of the end of the cold war. And Africa, with commodity prices up? Not so bad either.

        Seriously, y'all gotta start looking a bit at yourselves and cleaning up house in America.

        •  I agree with you - but to 'clean up house' (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          as you so aptly put it, will require a less than 1 in 6 (maybe as bad as 1 in five) person unemployed in this country to do it.

          We're teetering here in These United States, and I'm not sure the nabobs in DC are really clued-in as to how close a drop off the edge into chaos really is.

          It's like their driving 50 mph on two feet of snow, in a blizzard - and they know the road ends at a cliff somewhere nearby, but they are not going to stop and ask for directions either.  

          It's not manly.  Someone might see them as weak.

          Better dead than read.

          I just wish those guys in DC would wake up, take off the corporate blinders, re-read the Constitution once a week, and try to remember what made them interested in politics back in the first place.

          You know, before their sole interest in politics is what are the latest polls reporting, or what does the latest industry Lobbyist need from us today, or where can we raise another seven hundred thousand dollars for our next campaign.

          Lastly, I want them (politicians) to stop talking in the third person about themselves.  This last one may seem innocuous, but let me tell you, it's obscene for elected American politicians to speak about themselves in the manner formerly (and currently) used by royalty.  As in, "we" don't find this legislation appropriate.

          Seriously, this last one should be seen as a warning to the populace that their elected government is getting the idea that they are imbued with power above and beyond any allowed by our representative democracy, power that is derived not from those governed, but from power garnered through immoral or unethical use of their office.

          Anytime an elected official starts to say we when they should be saying I - watch out. Time to replace this person with someone who still says me instead of we, when talking about something that might lend them honor or shame, because it's the concept of responsibility at stake here.

          No matter what they do, responsibility weighs heavily on The People, for themselves, their families, neighbors, their schools and the wider community the live in, much less the results of decisions made on their behalf in DC and state capitals round the nation.

          It's time the Government remembers that with Power come Responsibility, and in a share larger than the one dished out to The People. After all, the politicians come begging for the right to bear the Power.  It's only fair that they stop shirking the responsibilities that come with it.

    •  Gliberal yourself ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mbayrob, Jagger, BachFan, Johnny Q

      You quote:

      In economies that have run large current account deficits, national savings will need to increase. In many of these economies, including the United States, fiscal consolidation must take priority.

      A glib person would stop right there without asking how much is too much?

      Krugman, on the other hand, looks closer at the numbers and asks how the US compares to other countries that have worse debt to GDP ratios and have not yet been destroyed.

      Second, the biggest reason why we will continue to run deficits is falling revenues. So the more recession continues the worse off the budget will be.

      Right or wrong, Krugman makes a deeply thought out case for why we need to spend about $300 Billion. His answer is humane (get people jobs now) and aimed at long term fiscal soundness (raise revenues, cut health care costs ....).

      Go gliberal yourself ....

      "Self-regulation is to regulation as self-importance is to importance." Willem Buiter

      by Bronxist on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:26:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Damn...I forgot that Belgium was (0+ / 0-)

        at war with the Netherlands and Djibouti at the same time it was running those deficits.

        Thanks for reminding me.

        •  And ... (0+ / 0-)

          that would have mattered to your economic analysis because ...?

          "Self-regulation is to regulation as self-importance is to importance." Willem Buiter

          by Bronxist on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:54:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because you linked to a chart (0+ / 0-)

            that PK published which suggested that because the US' deficit/public debt as a percent of GDP is equivalent to Belgium's in the early '90's. NO WORRIES!

            Gliberalism, in a nutshell.

            As anyone who lived in Belgium (myself included) will tell you, there followed a period of shared austerity, whereby the national debt was reduced.

            Oh and by the way Progressive Taxes were part of the mix back then.

            Again, still wondering why supposed progressives in America don't want to tax the rich. The word catamite coming to mind.

            •  So ... (0+ / 0-)

              When the situation gets dire the US will tax the rich and stop the wars. Just because there is no political will for that to happen right when you want it to, there is no reason to claim that the sky is falling ... it is not. And no reason to call Krugman names because he won't stop the war right now.

              "Self-regulation is to regulation as self-importance is to importance." Willem Buiter

              by Bronxist on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 06:08:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, Mr Krugman is not even talking about when (0+ / 0-)

                the situation "gets dire," even through the U6 unemployment rate in the US is approaching 20%.

                If that's the definition of "not dire," good thing the US is far from most of the rest of the world, as any dead Iraqi civilian from the last American colonial war will tell you.

    •  Tip of the Day: Learn Some Economics (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Shorter Paul Krugman to folks who keep harping on the deficit in the short run, before employment starts coming back:

      Assume the position

      They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  Certainly, the above picture beats the 850 or so words of this diary.

      "If another country builds a better car, we buy it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. If they have better healthcare . . . what's our problem? "

      by mbayrob on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:26:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow, that is a precious picture to use (0+ / 0-)

        to express yourself.

        I have to say, you've really made a point of how you've thought of the economic position of the US by posting that picture up there.

        I for one am impressed.

        •  I'm not one to waste words (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          furi kuri

          If you have read Krugman consistently over the last couple of years, you know what he has to say about deficit spending.  If you haven't gotten it yet, you ain't gonna get it.  So I'm not going to bother trying to teach you economics you refuse to learn.

          That said:  I agree with you on the need to fix the tax system to make the wealthy pay their share.  But that's another issue entirely, regardless of how you're attempting to conflate them here.

          So, cease and persist before we taunt you again...

          "If another country builds a better car, we buy it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. If they have better healthcare . . . what's our problem? "

          by mbayrob on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:35:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Krugman wrote about the need for doing more (12+ / 0-)

    to get the economy going to generate more jobs. Raising taxes on the rich is something he didn't write about, yet you seem to think he is for keeping the present taxation policy.

    There's no evidence of that.

    look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:28:14 PM PST

    •  He's had over a year to talk about fair taxes. (0+ / 0-)

      If you can show me where he foundthat a good idea I'd like to hear about it.

      As faras I can see, he's basically a '70's style Italian finance minister. Print lira and jobs will come, and for god's sake don't talk to me about fair taxes!

      •  We need jobs now. (7+ / 0-)

        Blue dogs would do doing every stupid pet trick known to man for their corporate owners to obstruct tax increases for the rich while the unemployment rate would keep on going up given your strategy.

        Krugman wants Obama to have policies that stimulate more job growth - something Democrats desperately need for success in 2010 .

        look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

        by FishOutofWater on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:35:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I must be missing something here. (7+ / 0-)

        In his 2007 book, Conscience of a Liberal, Paul Krugman wrote,

        Both historical and international evidence show that there is room for tax increases at the top that go beyond merely rolling back the Bush tax cuts.

        He continues:

        Taxing capital gains as ordinary income in the United States would yield significantly more revenue, and also limit the range of tax abuses like the hedge fund loophole.

        Where did you get the idea that he doesn't support a progressive tax structure?

        I wish elections had consequences.

        by Susan Grigsby on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 04:33:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Rant w/out substance (9+ / 0-)

    Raising taxes during the worst recession in 60 years is not good economic policy. Taxes will go up after 2010 because the bush tax cuts will expire, so you get your wish. If there is any time to run big deficits, its now when credit is so cheap. It would be better now to borrow when it is cheap and repay later with tax increases when the economy is actually doing better. I agree that higher progressive taxes on income would be a good start. The financial transactions tax is another good way to raise money from those who actually drove the economy off the cliff. I don't think that now is the time to do this.

    •  correction (6+ / 0-)

      now is not the time to raise income taxes, it is time to institute the financial transactions tax.

    •  Oh? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      So, you're saying that the wealthy shouldn't pay their fair share until the economy is really rip-roaring.


      That must be what "beyond left" means...

      Personally, I think (with economist hat on) you threaten inflation by putting in doubt independence on the Fed (and be prepared to follow through) and not only let the Bus tax cuts expire, but also rol back the Clinton, Reagan, and Kennedy tax cuts too.

      •  That would make you an idiot. (0+ / 0-)
        •  So, you don't think the wealthy should pay (0+ / 0-)

          their fair share?

          Is that your opinion?

          •  I would love to see the wealthy pay their share. (0+ / 0-)

            We will be increasing taxes on them with the sunseting of the Bush tax cuts next year. I think that we should continue to raise rates - but just as importantly eliminate loopholes. I don't think that rates as high as during the 1950's would be productive<but i do feel people should be paying at least 50% of income above $1 million.</p>

            •  So, why do you call me a dumb ass (0+ / 0-)

              and an asshole for saying that, and pointing out that the leading light of the supposed economic left in the US hasn't said shit about that for over a year?

              •  I apologize (0+ / 0-)

                for calling you an idiot. That was unnecessary and uncalled for.

                There is a strong consensus among Keynsian economists that the only way our of a recession/depression is a stimulus - which means the Government pumps money into the economy to get it growing again. Taxes are anti-stimulative as they pull money out of the economy. This is why the stimulus package included tax reductions and why many people are now calling for a moratorium on payroll taxes.

                Krugman hasn't addressed tax increases for the past year because now is not the time for such action. In Keynsian terms the deficit is our friend, especially since interest rates are so low the Government can borrow at absurdly low cost. This is why Treasury is trying to lock these rates in long-term. We are also protected by the fact that our largest debtor, China is in any position to stop loaning us money, as their econommy is dependent on our ability to buy their goods.

                Thye need to loan us money so we can buy their stuff - it's not healthy over the long run, but it provides short term peace of mind.

                Once again, I apologize for the personal nature of my earlier remarks.

        •  Why? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          What are the top 2% doing with their loot that would be disrupted by increasing their tax rate?

          If I had a few million, or tens of millions, I sure as hell wouldn't be investing it in this economy (at least unless I had a government guarantee). I'd be looking for tangible assets, countries with either much higher potential growth rates or much lower risk... I wouldn't be playing the US stock market fast and loose.

          So, what do we lose by setting up a progressive taxation system? That folks with money will take their cash and run? If they have a brain, they'd be on their way to the airport right now...

        •  Can we criticize content and avoid ... (0+ / 0-)

          ...the personal invective, please?

          Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 04:28:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't recall saying anything about rip roaring (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades

        However, getting job creation into positive territory before reforming the income tax structure seems like a good idea. I am all for reforming the income tax structure to make it simpler with less deductions and more progressive. I also think that eliminating the cap on payroll taxes would be a great policy initiative, once the economy starts growing again (which is not the same as rip roaring, we may not see that for many years.)

        •  Well alrighty then, that seems a good start (0+ / 0-)

          to a discussion.

          Personally, I think the fuckers who made this happed should pay mightily for it, and yesterday. And what's more, I think politically, that's also the mood of the nation.

          But, if you think we should wait a little bit before the fuckers least we're only talking about timing.

      •  Fairness of taxes vs. Deficit Financing (0+ / 0-)

        I agree with you on the need for the wealthy (and the super-wealthy) to start paying their weight.  The rich are undertaxed without a doubt.

        But that has really nothing to do about deficit spending.  Really:  nothing.

        "If another country builds a better car, we buy it. If they make a better wine, we drink it. If they have better healthcare . . . what's our problem? "

        by mbayrob on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:31:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Today yes. (0+ / 0-)

          Tomorrow no.

          And it's all about contingency planning.

          Plus, it's also time to make the fuckers pay. I think this part,many here just do get, but the Palin/Huckabee administration, or at least the assholes who try to get them elected, will understand this.

  •  There is no political will to do as you propose. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Turkana, TomP, iRobert, beyondleft

    And I trust Krugman's judgement over yours.

  •  wow (23+ / 0-)

    That sounds a lot like a supply-side Reaganite to me.

    probably because you don't understand the difference between creating deficits by cutting taxes and creating deficits by spending on stimulus.

    yeah, deficit spending sure was a bad idea, during the great depression. that keynes guy sure was clueless! what we really need is another 1937!

    •  Cutting deficits & ending stimulus worked (13+ / 0-)

      as predicted, ending economic growth, prolonging the Great Depression. That's just what the Republicans would have us do now so that they can blame Democrats and Obama in the upcoming elections.

      look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:38:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm finding it super odd that (0+ / 0-)

        supposed progressives don't want the wealthy to pay their fair share.

        That is what you are arguing, right?

        •  Well, now that you have indicated multiple times (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that you "find it super odd", let's work under the assumption that we have heard you, but you sure haven't heard us.  And it appears you're not making much of an effort to understand.  So, put a sock in your Little Johnnie One Note Response and start asking question about the parts that seem to confuse you.

          For an example, do you understand the implications of the dollar being the world's reserve currency?

          "Never let up. Crush bigotry and greed."

          by LouisMartin on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 04:03:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  yep (5+ / 0-)

        the big setback in the recovery caused by exactly what the deficit hawks now are proposing.

        •  Well, you guys must know that FDR went (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          unrelentlessly against the bankers and the wealthy, and was called a class traitor for it.

          If you guys can show me how the Obama administration is doing the same, I'd like to hear about it.

          •  um (5+ / 0-)

            you seem to be overly focused on class issues and not enough focused on economic issues. there's plenty of time to adjust our tax imbalances. meanwhile, there's that little unemployment problem. how about we focus on that, for now?

            •  Plenty of time? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Laughing hard. America has had plenty of time and in every instant does the opposite.

              During the war, and in the '30's too, what was the marginal tax rate on the top 5%?

              And what is it now?

              And in the 1950's, in booming America, what wasthe marginal tax rate on the top 5%, and what is it now?

              Again, why are you supposed "progressives" so against making the wealthy pay their fair share?

              This is getting ridiculous.

          •  Four numbers: 1-9-3-7....history... (7+ / 0-)

            ...some people learn from it, many who ignore it are bound to repeat it.

            You implement a more progressive income tax on a DELAYED basis, AFTER the rebound takes a FIRM hold in the society...perhaps a couple of years (or more) down the road.

            In the meantime, a hefty transaction tax on Wall Street sure would help!!!  What is it, exactly, that's of any benefit to our society that those assholes do for us?

            The used to provide credit to Main Street. And, they used to underwrite municipal/state bonds for public needs (at a reasonable fee). And, they used to consider the public good--at least somewhat--in terms of how the invested in business, in THIS country, too.

            But, they no longer do much of that, do they? So, f**k 'em because they've morphed into the parasites that they, indeed, are!  

            "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

            by bobswern on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:55:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Not Relentlessly, He Went Fiscal Responsible in (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            37 which slid us back into depression.

            We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

            by Gooserock on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:44:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  You know, back in the 1930's the US (0+ / 0-)

      produced a lot more relative to what it consumed.

      In particular its capacity to produce was far outstripped by its capacity to consume.

      Not the same America now. So, when Krugman imposes the Japan model on the US when talking about its fiscal future, it isn't particularly apt. Japan still made stuff the rest of the world would buy, so starting from 2.8% it stagnated for two decades and ended up, bursting the same bubble, at 5.6% (and by the way still rising).

      In the US the bubble hasn't deflated yes and what is the unemployment rate? Almost double that.

      Let's talk in a decade, huh?

      •  actually (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TheMomCat, beyondleft

        i'd say we have an enormous capacity to produce, if we focused on that. but please explain why 1937 was so different from the rest of the fdr recovery. what happened that year? hmmm...

        •  what...fdr raised taxes on the wealthy? (0+ / 0-)

          i missed that part.

          i know he cut government spending on public works...and raised some duties too...but taxes on the wealthy?

          that happened earlier.

          and, that's all i'm asking for.

          why is it so hard for democrats to ask for fair taxation?

          •  wow (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TheMomCat, beyondleft

            you really don't know what you're talking about. i mean you really don't. i'll give you a little hint- do some research on what fdr did in 1937, and how the affected the recovery. and what he did to recover from what he did in 1937. that krugman guy has written about it. google it.

            •  Bullshit. (0+ / 0-)

              In 1937, FDR drastically cut back on federal spending to reduce the deficit.

              Now, where did I say the contrary?

              And, where did I say Obama should do the same?

              All I am saying is that the wealthy need to pay their fair share. And, I am increasingly puzzled that you supposed progressives think that is wrong.

              •  as i said (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                how about we focus on jobs? that's krugman's whole point. we can get to taxes later. get it?

                •  Sure, get it. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  But you know, I've watched Krugman talk about stimulus for a year and not get the rage of voters who want fuckers who made this shit happen to pay.

                  And making them pay is both fair and economically efficient. And not only that, politically feasible.

                  Why? Well, look no further than wall street bonuses to see why.

                  Additionally, I wonder why supposed progressives think we shouldn't go after the fuckers who made the mess, and I scratch my head really hard. But, oh well...if the left doesn't want to play on the rightful rage of the working- and middle-classes who are being fucked over today, I can tell you someone will step into the vacuum.

                  And I sure hope it ain't an idiot Brunette from Alaska or an eager religious dude from Arkansas.

                  •  maybe because (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    it's more important to produce jobs than to exact retribution. we get that you don't understand, and are scratching your head. if we produce jobs, we'll do fine in the elections.

                    •  I doubt you will understand because it's been (0+ / 0-)

                      since Truman that Democrats understood fair taxes.

                      Plus, let's face it, the employment situation in the US will be miserable well past Obama's next Presidential campaign. And that's pretty much a fact any decent economist will tell you, even Krugman.

                      Time to defend class.

                      Of yeah, that's right, Democrats don't defend class. Why?

                      That's easy... Like reverse Robin Hood, they take money from the rich to get re-elected and keep the rich rich, all the while making the working poor feel like they aren't as poor as the really are, and that there are worse off (single moms who couldn't get an abortion, illegal immegrants or other undeserving poor) than they.

                      •  i doubt you'll understand (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        TheMomCat, The Navigator

                        but clinton raised taxes, primarily on upper income brackets, and the democrats got hammered in 1994. i'm all for raising upper income taxes. but most people don't care about upper income taxes, right now, most people care about jobs. raising taxes would be politically difficult and a distraction, right now. how about we focus on what the country needs, and what also would be politically helpful- jobs? then, we can talk about taxes.

                        •  You've got your politics all wrong. (0+ / 0-)

                          Clinton didn't lose, nor did the Democrats, in 1994, because of taxes.

                          It was Democratic corruption and lack of passing HCR. Which is what Democrats are sorta looking at today.

                          Are you channeling David Broder or something?

                          Pretty lame shit anyhow.

    •  Precisely -- it's demand-side... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ... that Krugman and the neo-Keynesians are proposing, not supply-side.

    •  For the record, I do know the difference. (0+ / 0-)

      And, if you had read Krugman well, you'd admit that the US had certainly not properly spent on stimulus.

      And not only that, my main point continues to be that the wealthy should pay for their profligacy. And I note that progressives, including a front pager who prides himself on being a progressive takes issue with that.

      Well, if that's what passes for progressive in America I'm gonna wait for Evita, because it's her economy which awaits yous all.

  •  Good god, get a clue (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, LouisMartin, iRobert

    Gross is talking his book-he doesn't want the U.S. to inflate the debt away.  Krugman realizes that we need to do exactly that (even though he won't say it).

    BTW, our debt is denominated in dollars.  Argentina is not an apt analogy.  

    They are unanimous in their hate for me--and I welcome their hatred.

    by bdtlaw on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:56:50 PM PST

  •  that'll work... (0+ / 0-)

    it makes so much sense.  But... what does Sarah Palin's supporters think about this?  You know, the people who have to wait in the cold for hours to get her autograph....


    by henry porter on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:57:40 PM PST

  •  This quote says it well (4+ / 0-)

    What a good country or a good squirrel should be doing is stashing away nuts for the winter...the United States is not only not saving nuts, it’s eating the ones left over from the last winter.

    We are in Winter. The worst economic times since the great depression.  How much colder does it need to get?

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 04:07:05 PM PST

    •  Lest I checked, the US government is annoucing (0+ / 0-)

      that there is robust growth and that the winter is over.

      I think that is what Gross is talking to.

      Now, I think people are still suffering in the US, even though there is growth. Seems to me, someone needs to pay to alleviate that, namely, the people who profit from that growth at the expense of those who are suffering.

      I know people in the US will eventually come around to this, defence of Krugman notwithstanding.

      •  People are not hurting (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        denise b, Susan from 29

        they are dying without jobs, health insurance, or food.  Don't confuse wall street and main street.

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 04:13:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why is it so hard for you people to understand? (0+ / 0-)

          Tax the fuck out of the assholes on Wall Street currently raping Mainstreet.

          That shouldn't be hard to understand, should it?

          But I get it, Obama is majorly funded by Wallstreet. Geithner closed his eyes for Wall Street. Summers basically came from there. Bernanke also close his eyes.

          And, they're Obama's people now, and this is Obama's web site.

          So, ok, I get it...

  •  Going to bed folks... (0+ / 0-)

    and those of you who aren't particularly wealthy, planning a trip to Europe in the near- or medium (i.e. next 3-5 years) term....come soon, before it takes two dollars to buy a euro!

  •  The unspoken methods of reducing the deficit... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1.  Print lots of little pieces of green paper and give them to our creditors.  It's our printing press and we get to turn it on and off.
    1.  Related to 1., kick a bit more inflation into the economy and pay down debt with dollars that are worth less.  Pass an increase in the minimum wage up over $12 per hour and watch what happens.
    1.  Roll over debt coming due into lower interest rate longer term govt. paper.  In fact, consider including in the increased minimum wage an automatic savings program (savings bonds).  Thus the threat of China's reluctance to finance additional debt is reduced.
    1. Threaten to impose heavy tariffs on imported Cinese products in direct proportion to their reductions of holdings of our government debt.

    And while we are doing this, take a deep breath and recognize that total government debt is a declining percentage of our GDP.

    "Never let up. Crush bigotry and greed."

    by LouisMartin on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 04:25:24 PM PST

    •  Total government debt is declining as a percent (0+ / 0-)

      of GDP?

      What the hell are you smoking? GDP is declining. The dederal dbt alone went up over 10% last year.

      •  1946....1919...1952 are only a few times (0+ / 0-)

        when our federal debt was a much larger percentage of GDP than it is now.  Is there some ideological basis for your fixation on screwing Wall Street?

        "Never let up. Crush bigotry and greed."

        by LouisMartin on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 04:36:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You said that gov't debt was declining as a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          percentage of GDP.

          Today, that is patently false.

          You can say what you want but that particular statement is bullshit.

          Plus, comparing the fiscal situation of the US at the end of two Great Wars to the profligacy of the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush era is morally as laughable as it is reprehensible.

  •  Krugman has been railing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TiaRachel, grrr, leftykook

    against our tax system, frequently, for as long as I've been reading him, which is at least 15 years. He clearly opposes the policies that brought us the new Gilded Age and supports restoring more progressive taxation.

    I don't know what you were taught about the Great Depression, but I was taught the Keynesian view when I was in junior high in the pre-Reagan days: massive spending is what gets you out of a recession. You must create as many jobs as you can and quickly, because people who aren't working can't spend, creating a downward spiral; Hoover had let things deteriorate by not spending money; FDR killed off his own recovery by cutting back on spending after things starting looking better. In my day this was the standard thought. Of course, most economists have rejected Keynes during the last 30 years, but THOSE are the guys who brought us supply-side, trickle-down and regressive taxation theories.

    One of the reasons we care what Krugman has to say is that he was NOT among the majority of economists who were pushing the inequality-doesn't-matter agenda, but rather one of the very few hammering on the decline of the middle class and the burdens on the poor due to poor public policy.

    BTW, while I don't know anything about Ms. Strauss-Kahn or what the IMF is doing currently, it is widely viewed now that the austerity policies it forced on countries such as Argentina were totally disastrous and caused enormous hardship and suffering.

    And Mr. Gross of PIMCO? He may be a fine man personally for all I know, but here's what Wikipedia has to say about him:

    In September 2008, by holding large positions in agency backed mortgage bonds of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Gross netted U.S. $1.7 billion after the Federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac[3] for which he had lobbied[citation needed].

    According to the Forbes 400 in 2007, he is the 380th richest person in America[4] and the 897th richest person in the world,[5] with a net worth of $1.3 billion.

    I take Wikipedia with a grain of salt; but I also take with a grain of salt people who have huge vested interests to protect, such as Mr. Gross.

    "There -- it's -- you know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror." --GWB

    by denise b on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 05:10:36 PM PST

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