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A new study of the Simpson-Bowles proposal--the precursor to the deficit commission's recommendations, should the panel come to agreement--by the Economic Policy Institute shows a major flaw of this proposal in this economy.

The recommendations issued by co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles would cost 4 million jobs over three years and reduce economic growth by 0.7 percent in 2012, 1.4 percent in 2013 and 1.9 percent in 2014, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

The Simpson-Bowles approach calls for job-killing budget austerity to begin in October 2011, even though most economic forecasters expect unemployment to remain as high as it is today or even increase by then....

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Simpson and Bowles “just told working Americans to “Drop Dead.”

Especially in these tough economic times, it is unconscionable to be proposing cuts to the critical economic lifelines for working people, Social Security and Medicare. Some people are saying this plan is just a “starting point.” Let me be clear, it is not.

In the EPI report, economists Josh Bivens and Andrew Fieldhouse note that  because the Simpson and Bowles recommendations would reduce economic growth, they would end up lowering the deficit far less than Simpson and Bowles claim.

Bivens and Fieldhouse say the co-chairs’ proposal “threatens to increase the already unacceptably high level of unemployment and increases the possibility of the economy falling back into outright recession.”

The answer to deficit reduction, the EPI analysts (and plenty of economists say) is investing in job creation and growth, "raising revenue from new sources over the medium-term to stem the hemmoraging caused by the Bush-era tax cuts for the very well-off, and reforming the health care provision to generate long-run budgetary savings." Reducing unemployment is a twofer--more direct revenue in income taxes and keeping the flow of payments into Social Security.

The limits of trickle down prosperity have been proven over and over and over again. More austerity for the people already living on the economic margins, and more tax cuts for everyone else hasn't worked yet, and won't. Seems like it might be time to try a different approach.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 06:20 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Yeah, who'd have thought that one would (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kimball Cross, JeffW

      pine for the old days, when the GOP was peopled by sane individuals.

      IIRC Jack Kemp was also big time into the "grow the pie" school of economics over the "fear the deficit" folk . . .

      •  But Jack Kemp believed in supply side economics. (0+ / 0-)

        He would have considered the Bush tax cuts a job stimulus package.

        For relevant sci-fi and fantasy, go to http://www.betty-cross-author.net/

        by Kimball Cross on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 06:43:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, to some degree, but (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kimball Cross, JeffW

          IIRC, his tax policies were a tad more nuanced - for example, he was big on (and I can't remember the catch phrase for this) tax-free zones in economically depressed inner city areas  . . ..  

          You know, I have no idea if that would have worked or not, but at least he was giving lip service to helping out some of the more down-trodden in this country.

          •  "Enterprise Zones" was the term. nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:55:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  We call those "more tax cuts for the rich" (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wsexson, Roadbed Guy, Kimball Cross

            Tax Increment Financing, is what they are called in Kansas City, MO. Basically a developer gets a property tax holiday for building in "blighted" areas of the city. Unfortunately, the city council defines a "blighted" area.

            Google the "Kansas City Plaza" sometime.  Apparently this island of prosperity is closely surrounded by (and sometimes contains) vast areas of "economic blight", allowing developers in the Plaza area to claim TIF on their projects in this "urban blighted" area. The city council, after consulting with developer lobbyists, has declared these areas "blighted", so they must be blighted, right? Meanwhile, areas of actual blight never get development, so they stay economically depressed.

            So what it boils down to is rich developers get a property tax cut on their developments, and the city loses out on much-needed property taxes on some of the most valuable land in their borders while not getting economic development in areas that really need it.

            Or in other words, more tax cuts for the rich...at the expense of cutting funds to city services largely utilized by the poor and entirely failing to develop real economically blighted areas of the city.

            I can enlighten you: This Idea Does Not Work.

      •  And ol' Jakie-boy's "nuance" had a bit too much.. (0+ / 0-)

        ...of the Hard-on-for-the-Oval-Office to suit me.

        In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king; in the land of the braindead, the intelligent person is cast as the village idiot.

        by dendron gnostic on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:12:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Duracell Dick himself doesn't matter... n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 06:32:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And in 12 hours he'll be right again. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dendron gnostic

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:04:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Deficits DO matter & we need a much bigger one (0+ / 0-)

      The worst possible thing we could do now is try to balance the budget and repeat FDR's mistake in 1937 which plunged the economy back into the Great Depression.

      We need to double the deficit now to create jobs and economic growth.  When we reach full employment, we need to raise taxes to reduce the deficit and prevent inflation by reducing demand.

      Keynes figured this out 75 years ago. Why haven't our "experts" in government?

      •  Both Poppy Bush and Clinton (0+ / 0-)

        raised taxes. Neither tax hike hurt the economy at all. If anything, it helped.

        •  Increasing taxes reduces demand (0+ / 0-)

          which is the correct approach when the economy is at full employment, not when demand is deficient such as is now the case.  We need much more demand right now to accelerate economic growth and create jobs.

          •  Increassing taxes on the wealthy (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wsexson, Roger Fox

            does little to reduce demand.

            That's supply-side bullshit.

            •  No, what is BS is (0+ / 0-)

              trying to reduce the deficit now by raising taxes or reducing spending.  

              Raising taxes on the rich is fine if you increase unemployment benefits by the same amount, but I have never heard any "tax the rich" proponents talk about increasing spending correspondingly.  Instead, like Obama, they always talk about the supposed need to cut the deficit.

              •  Nope -- you were way overbroad (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Roger Fox

                with your comment

                Increasing taxes reduces demand

                That's the line that disingenuous right-wingers use to justify immorally low tax rates for the wealthy. The reality is that the monies collected from taxing upper income brackets would do virtually nothing to "increase demand" if it were left in the pockets of the wealthy.

                •  Virtually nothing is not nothing (0+ / 0-)

                  Reducing demand in any way is completely wrong now. Case in point: Chelsea Clinton's wedding on which Bill and Hill spent millions for a single day.  Obviously, they increased work opportunities for many locals in New York and elsewhere.

                  Increasing taxes on the rich must be offset with increased spending for the poor and middle class, but Obama has never said anything like that.  Instead, he talks about reducing the deficit which is complete BS.

                  •  What's BS (0+ / 0-)

                    is your defense of the hideously low tax rates of the wealthy.

                    •  Raising taxes on the rich is fine with me (0+ / 0-)

                      but those increases need to be offset with increased spending on unemployment benefits or other spending for the poor and middle class.

                      Your complete disregard of the job killing aspects of reducing the deficit now is hideous.  You couldn't care less about the millions of unemployed who are really suffering.

                      •  Glad to see you've walked back (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Roger Fox

                        your incredibly stupid defense of keeping tax rates low for the wealthy.

                        Have a good weekend.

                      •  wrong, raising taxes in the depression (0+ / 0-)

                        did not stifle demand.

                        Pent up demand is like potential energy, unleashed demand from massive job creation is like kinetic energy. THe demand is still there.

                        At the end of WW2 many on the right thought we would go right back into a depression, they were wrong because they did not account for pent up demand. YOu seem to have failed in taking the 2 basic forms of demand into account, while couching your tax comments in demand side talk.

                        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                        by Roger Fox on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 04:03:43 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You disregard the liquidity preference (0+ / 0-)

                          which Keynes explained clearly in The General Theory.  Pent up demand is irrelevant when the liquidity preference is high, as it has been for the past two years.

                          Interesting that you bring up WWII, which was the reason that the Great Depression ended.  Only the massive demand created by the war spending was enough to overcome the liquidity preference that built up in the 1930s.  Also, your facts are wrong:  there was a major recession in 1948 and two more in the next ten years due to insufficient demand.

                          Raising taxes, without spending offsets, reduces demand and produces permanently high unemployment.  Why this is not obvious to you is incomprehensible.

                  •  you fail to account for pent up demand (0+ / 0-)

                    and the difference between that and unleashed demand born of massive job stim.

                    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                    by Roger Fox on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 03:58:25 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  not supply side, just bullshit (0+ / 0-)

              FDR increased the top rate in the depression, job stim created jobs and in 1936 Chevy set a record for selling sedans and L. Armstrong set a record for selling records.

              ThinkFirst fails to note the pent up demand that already exists, has existed for at least 20 yrs and is accelerated by the current recession. His is a text book response that fails to account for current conditions.

              FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

              by Roger Fox on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 03:56:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well I'll agree with you that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Roger Fox

                his remarks seem to come via pulling shit out of textbooks without demonstrating any critical thinking.

              •  Oh really? (0+ / 0-)

                The unemployment rate in 1939 was higher than it was in 1931 so your "pent up demand" was just nonsense then as it is now.  By your logic, auto sales in the U.S. should already be over 16 million annually instead of crawling along at 12 million.

                My "textbook" response is based on Nobel prize winning economists who have studied these issues for decades.  Your "pent up demand" theory doesn't exist anywhere.

            •  my apologies (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              livosh1

              talking about demand side but.... rationalizing a supply side argument.

              FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

              by Roger Fox on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 09:59:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  increased taxes in 193o's (0+ / 0-)

            did squat for demand, there is so much pent up demand now, that upping the top rate wont have that effect, what it will do is un burden the working and middle classes and help engage them in the economy.

            Median ind income has not kept up with inflation for 30 yrs. Just look out on the streets at the 15-20 yr old cars, poorly insulated houses, kept warm by obsolete furnaces...

            FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 03:51:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So Bernanke, Krugman et al. are just wrong (0+ / 0-)

              when they say that the economy now is suffering from insufficient demand?  Why hasn't "pent up demand" already kicked in to raise GDP growth above 2%?

              There is no pent up demand; there is a strong liquidity preference which will continue as long as inflation remains very low.

  •  Tax cuts don't create jobs. (17+ / 0-)

    What will it take to get this through people's thick skulls. If we want to reduce the deficit, we need to take a hard look at defense and also, as you note, look at medical costs. We pay an awful lot of have the 37th best medical system in the world.

  •  Couple of crackpots. (6+ / 0-)

    Especially the big-mouthed one who thinks bloodletting is fun.

    I, for one, welcome our new hillbilly overlords.

    by Bush Bites on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 06:24:39 AM PST

  •  This was not unplanned (11+ / 0-)
    These events were not unplanned.  Summers, Gheitner, Paulson, Greenspan, Bernanke -- all cut from the same cloth.  These individuals were intregal in deregulating the financial markets, yet many were mysteriously hand picked to be part of this administration's financial team.  

    I hope this is not lost on us.  

    The Shock Doctrine

  •  Funny, I read the words ... (9+ / 0-)

    ..."trickle down prosperity" as "trickle down poverty."

    Sometimes the subconscious knows more than the conscious mind... :-D

    "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

    by QuestionAuthority on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 06:30:55 AM PST

  •  This useless commission is more interested (6+ / 0-)

    in protecting their rich asses than they are about helping the poor and middle class.

  •  oh goody (rubs hands together) (3+ / 0-)

    another positive for the upper 1 % of our country to squeal about.

    Pigs get fatter, hogs get slaughtered.

  •  boom...bust....more bust.....sounds like a plan. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10
  •  ok. so. yeah. but (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eddie C, JeffW, littlezen

    The answer to deficit reduction, the EPI analysts (and plenty of economists say) is investing in job creation and growth, "raising revenue from new sources over the medium-term to stem the hemmoraging caused by the Bush-era tax cuts for the very well-off, and reforming the health care provision to generate long-run budgetary savings."

    the question and the issue we need to be asking and answering (rather than nodding our heads and snarking it up about the dumb the deficit commission is and such) is:

    how do we get there from here realistically?

    I'm tired of saying it over and over. I'm tired of making snarky "jokes" about it. I think this blog is a place where we need to be trying to actively figure out how to get this going forward.  We need to take into consideration the new congress, the public sentiment, the president's nature and various other factors and begin to figure out ways to get this to happen. Or, at worst, figure out ways to minimize the damage it wold cause politically and socially.

    can we talk?

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

    by mdmslle on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 06:35:45 AM PST

    •  it's no longer something to joke about n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eddie C, mdmslle
      •  long since lost its "funniness" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poliwrangler

        And yet read the comments on tis story.

        20% snark.

        70% yep-yep.

        10% other

        zero% suggestions for HOW to get this done.

        I have NO idea how to get it done but really reading about it and getting pissed about it and saying "Yep yep, they're all a bunch of crooks" is getting way old.

        Its time we do something. I just don't know what. maybe if we could all think SOLUTIONS we might come up with a workable plan.

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

        by mdmslle on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 06:40:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  exactly, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mdmslle

          I'm getting a lot pissed off about the snark, yep-yep's and others who keep saying free markets good, capitalism good, too bad you don't have a job, crapola.

          Solutions are not wanted by the 90% you mention.

        •  yep-yep. We Organize. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mdmslle

          This may not be the right site for that but rather just one of it's branches.

          Here's my thought and a question for feedback:  To be effective in our current economic/political/cultural system we need to develop a structure with a goal, and a plan.  Else we're all moving like (who on this site said it?) cats in LA during an earthquake in the rain.  I believe this system has to have a core structure similar to a (non-evil) corporation or military unit where there is a leader/figurehead, a board of directors, VPs, Managers, and so on.

          This start of this structure may already exist.  So my first question, assuming this doesn't get lost in the comments, is what entities are potential candidates to assume this role?  

          I have a thought but I'd like to see others comments first.

          Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't. - r. bach

          by poliwrangler on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:17:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  i think you have to define the goal (0+ / 0-)

            before your can decide what the structure is going to be or who is needed to be in that structure.

            I think the goal must be a concrete one with quantifiable benchmarks.  It can't be "retake the congress" or "promote progressive causes".

            There must be a clearly defined goal and then you can begin a discussion about how to organize a structure to support it.

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

            by mdmslle on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 09:11:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Get where? (5+ / 0-)

      There is a very good suggestion out there as to how to get where progressives want to go, Jan Schakowsky's plan is both possible and palliative, if we actually want to address the long term debt while increasing short term job opportunities. Defining where we want to go is the issue and the Simpson-Bowles "leaked" report is not where progressives should want to go.

      The reason this plan is being derided from both the left and the right is not because it's a good plan or equally gores everybody's ox, it's because it is a bad plan. The plan does not merit serious consideration because it does not seriously address the problem. It is pure and simple pandering and ill thought out reactionary program cutting without regard for real defense cuts or tax increases, both of which we need.

      When people start talking about equalizing the tax burden by increasing corporate taxes and by eliminating incentives for outsourcing and moving jobs offshore. When people start seriously considering eliminating favorable tax treatment for Wall Street hedge fund managers. When people start talking about defunding both wars and cutting Defense Department spending and Homeland Defense expenditures. When people start talking about real Medicare fixes like bargaining with pharmaceutical companies and regulating insurance costs, then we will be seriously addressing the real components of the "deficit problem" and not until these issues are addressed will there be any true progress on the debt.

      "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

      by KJG52 on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:03:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with you 100% (0+ / 0-)

        but my question is HOW to we begin to see, for example,  Jan's plan implemented?

        THATS where my frustration lies, not on HOW to fix the problem. We all KNOW what needs to be done, as was clearly stated in the story. Economists, everyone with credibility knows this plan is crap.  We know WHAT needs to be done. What I don't see is a clear plan to implement something better.

        That's what I wish we were talking about.

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

        by mdmslle on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 09:14:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We aren't going to implement anything... (0+ / 0-)

          with the Congress in the hands of Republicans intent on doing nothing but bringing down the Democratic Party and relegating it to a permanent minority status. If the Speaker of the House had not supported the President in bringing the commission's plan to an up or down vote in Congress we could simply dismiss this as a bad move and try coming up with something else; however, we will now have an up or down vote on this horrible plan and will be forced to deal with the aftermath.

          Politically this will be toxic for both parties and no matter what the result will end up buried in the Senate or vetoed. From the start this was a fool's errand and another example of the President's wishful thinking or worse, a pure political ploy.

          I agree with you, we should have a plan, a workable fair plan, but I don't think we are going to see one because few Americans really want it enough to get one.

          "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

          by KJG52 on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 11:48:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  We should contact members of Congress (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      akeitz, mdmslle

      and demand that their top priority be a bill with no tax extension for the top 2%. The Republicans are coming to town soon and this must get done. This will bring in money, of course, which could be used to stimulate jobs. When the Republicans come, it will be too late and we will have tragically lost this source of revenue.

      "We Don't Pay Taxes. Only The Little People Pay Taxes." -- Leona Helmsley

      by MaizeandBlue on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:13:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Robobagpiper, mdmslle, schnecke21

      If you're looking for a serious answer, or at least a serious point at which to start a debate, JOBS is mine.  More jobs means more spending on manufactured goods which creates "real" wealth, not the "speculative" wealth that sometimes comes from Wall Street.  It also creates more tax payers and people paying into Social Security as the report notes, easing the deficit and extending the solvency of Social Security.

      So how do we get more people employed when the private sector, on its own, can't or won't hire more workers?

      The government has to invest heavily in infrastructure, clean energy and other programs that benefit the general welfare and force the private sector to hire in order to implement government contracts.

      That's right, short term deficit spending to achieve long term deficit reduction.  Seems contradictory, but not according to Nobel Prize winning economists like Paul Krugman.

      "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

      by Doctor Who on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:21:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Someone needs to get Stephen Ballmer to (0+ / 0-)

        do a viral video with your headline.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:32:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  yes we know this. (0+ / 0-)

        But my question/comment is:

        HOW to do get this implemented?

        That's what my frustration is about.

        YES JOBS!!!

        But how? We will not be passing another stimulus. So that's not a solution. What CAN we do to create more jobs and,more importantly, WHAT can we do to create them in this political environment?

        THAT what I want us to be talking about.

        It seems we are all saying the same things, mostly. We need JOBS. We need this or that or the other thing. This needs to be done and that needs to be done.

        Nobody is addressing the process of HOW.

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

        by mdmslle on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 09:17:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Simpson-Bowles... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Robobagpiper

    just a couple of more rich old white guys trying to find a new way to squeeze working Americans.  I think any thinking person who played with the "You Fix the Deficit" program in the NYT a couple of weeks ago could have come up with a better proposal. What would have been wrong with appointing some people from business, people with no ties to lobbyists and no political agenda?

    "L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux." - Le Petit Prince

    by littlezen on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 06:37:05 AM PST

  •  Half Keynesian, the real problem (3+ / 0-)

    The problem with our government is that  try to follow a half-Keynesian approach and it doesn't work.  Anyone remember the lockbox?

    If we'd done that it would have been the other half of the keynesian approach, the hard part.  The part that says when times are good we run surpluses.  But our government, both sides, want to either cut taxes or increase spending or both when times are good.  No problem with cutting taxes and increasing spending when times are bad, but the flip, forgetaboutit.

    Some parts of the Bowles-Simpson plan might have been good in 200o when times were good, but not now.  

    Democracy is dead.  We're too stupid for it.  Sorry.  

  •  which jobs? (0+ / 0-)

    If the 4 million jobs are being lost in the public sector, I don't have a problem with that. It means the private sector will have 4 million less dependants which means more opportunity to grow and thus absorb those jobs into the private sector.

    •  yeah, that private sector you speak of (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wsexson, JeffW, Robobagpiper, schnecke21, Keori

      has done a bang up job so far...........

      •  that's just it (0+ / 0-)

        without those private sector jobs there will never be any public sector jobs.

        •  and without consumers to buy stuff (10+ / 0-)

          from private businesses, there is no reason for businesses to hire people.

          if you own a mcdonalds and you're only getting 1000 customers a day, then suddenly you drop to 850 customers a day, why would you HIRE more people?

          you wouldn't.

          Yet this is what will happen if the economy loses another 4 million jobs (I don't frankly care if they are private or public sector jobs. Four million fewer people with INCOME necessarily means a contraction in consumer spending. Period. You don't need an economics degree to understand that).

          And when people don't have any money, the FORST thing they do is cut their expenses. So AT&T will see cancellations on cell phone services. Stores like Macys and the Gap will see fewer people walking through their doors. The insurance company will have fewer policy holders. The credit card companies will have more defaulted account and fewer paying customers. Auto dealers will see fewer purchases. Restaurants will have fewer diners. And on and on.  When you have LESS business, you don't hire MORE people, duh. You LAY OFF more people so you can keep the doors open. AND you charge more to those who are still able to pay. It's a losing deal and an economic disaster all around.

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

          by mdmslle on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 06:51:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  And you're a troll... (4+ / 0-)

          ...so get a clue.

          Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

          by JeffW on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 06:53:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  huh? You don't get it do you? (8+ / 0-)

      4 million jobs lost = 4 million FEWER people who can afford to buy groceries, clothes, pay rent or mortgage, take vacations, fix up their homes, buy furniture, pay for cable or satellite, pay for cell phone service or internet connection, eat dinner at a restaurant, go to a movie or theme park, buy a car or a flat screen TV etc etc.

      Why do you think the private sector (can you define that please?) would NEED tpo hire people after an additional 4 million people have lost their jobs and the economy have 4 million FEWER people to walk into their stores everyday?

      THINK! for a change.

      One of the reasons businesses aren't hiring TODAY is because consumer spending is still down. Consumer spending is down because we have lost so many jobs people aren't buying stuff.

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

      by mdmslle on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 06:46:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  me thinks your talking to the cheerleading (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, Robobagpiper, mdmslle, tardis10

        sector for free markets

        Again - I say people on this site don't give a shit about jobs or others who don't have one.

        If you all think ''I got mine - too bad for you'' your day may come too.

        Unless of course your a trust funder or independently wealthy.

      •  It's simple, (0+ / 0-)

        a public sector job can not be created unless there is sufficient tax revenue to support it. That tax revenue support comes from the taxation of private sector jobs. As more public sector jobs are created, private sector jobs have to be taxed more or more private jobs created or money borrowed to sustain. Once we get to the point that there are more public sector jobs than private, the system will collapse from lack of support, which is where we are at now.

        •  tax revenue comes from people working (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vacantlook, Roger Fox

          and paying income tax.

          And from PROFITABLE BUSINESSES paying business taxes.

          The reason we don't have more private sector jobs is because employers are NOT going to hire people if there is no one to buy their products or services. And FWIW, yes, public sector jobs cannot be supported either with a decrease in overall tax base. So you're right about that much. BUT the answer right now is NOT to cut more jobs (whether they're public or private) because that will only exacerbate the low consumer spending and further hurt businesses.

          look, i don't know you but I can tell you that I am a lifelong business owner.  I own a C corporation.  If I'm not profitable I don't pay business taxes. And if no one is buying my service, I fire people. I don't keep them on.  And whenever there are fewer people collecting a paycheck from me, there are fewer people paying taxes into our economy and fewer people buying things with their bi-weekly paychecks, which in turn hurts businesses that rely on working people to actually BUY things like groceries and pizza and vacations and haircuts.  I only hire as many people as I need to serve my buyers. the reason employers are not hiring right now is because there aren't enough buyers.

          Look at the holiday season hiring spate as a microcosm of what I;m saying. Stores know they'll have tons more customers so what to they do? They hire employees (seasonally) to handle the extra transactions.  In many ways, this is what needs to happen in our larger economy. We need MORE people to buy things (not fewer, whether they're public sector or not doesn't matter to businesses). Companies will not hire UNTIL they perceive that they HAVE to in order to accommodate the increase in consumption. Otherwise they will make due with their present staffing levels. If they experience a DROP in revenue/customer spending they will FIRE people. It's really simple.

          What is so difficult to understand about that?

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

          by mdmslle on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 09:27:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  How about a restructuring? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wsexson, JeffW, Robobagpiper

        Downsize the military. These physically fit man and women can get jobs in the new green energy America we can build with that wasted money.

        Single payer heath care. All the insurance people can get jobs with the wealth created from not sending 700 billion overseas to Saudi Arabia and Iraq and Mexico and Canada and Venezuela.

        The system we have now is bankrupting us and dragging us down. Why would you fight to save it?

      •  Many posters here are simply ideological (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vacantlook, mdmslle

        They don't "get it" because they don't want to get it.  They are strictly about ideology, not facts and reason.

    •  Um... (10+ / 0-)

      ...as a retired public sector employee, I'm calling bullshit. My particular section was deficient by at least two epole to do a decent job, and now its by three. That's like saying government jobs aren't real jobs, which is itself bullshit.

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 06:49:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  doesnt matter, we'll be over the edge (0+ / 0-)

      A 25-30% U6 is just that near.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 03:26:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Erskine Bowles strikes again! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10
    I'm so glad this turkey isn't a Senator from my state (NC). He ran against Liddy Dole in 2002.

    For relevant sci-fi and fantasy, go to http://www.betty-cross-author.net/

    by Kimball Cross on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 06:42:16 AM PST

  •  A trickle job is like a snipe hunt. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW

    Smoke, it's what's for dinner.

    Now that the Blue Dogs are out, can we get the Democratic Party started?

    by 88kathy on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 06:46:07 AM PST

  •  Tax "Cutting" vs. Tax "Shifting" (5+ / 0-)

    This is where the "Shock Doctrine" is taking us:

    This First Great Republican Tax increase was folded into a reduction in tax rates across the board – above all on the highest tax brackets. This has been ongoing since 1981. The 1981 tax "reform" also gave an accelerated depreciation allowance to absentee property owners, permitting them to pretend that their real estate was losing value even as it was soaring in market price. The effect of this "fictitious property accounting" was to free the real estate industry as a whole from having to pay income tax. (The loophole was not available to homeowners!) The rental income thus "freed" was available to be paid to banks as interest.

    Meanwhile, at the state and local level, governments have scaled back property taxes and replaced them with income taxes and sales taxes. These taxes fall mainly on wages and on consumer goods, not financial and property income.

    The trick has been for Republicans (and "Blue Dog" Democrats) to pose as "tax cutters" rather than tax shifters. Many wage earners now pay more in FICA paycheck withholding and other taxes cited above than they do in income tax. These changes over the past thirty years have reversed the 20th century’s tendency toward progressive taxation with a regressive tax system.

    The 2000 Republican presidential primaries saw Steve Forbes run on a plank that would be the capstone of this tax shift off wealth: a "flat tax," one that would do away with taxing the wealthy more than blue-collar labor. Mr. Forbes was laughed out of the presidential primaries for proposing this flat tax. It was promoted as being "tax simplification." The problem was that it is so "simple" that it falls only on employees and their employers as a wage tax.

    The details are much more regressive than seem at first glance. The flat tax actually would tax wage earners much more steeply than the wealthy, whose income it would largely exempt! The flat tax is supposed to fall on employment, not returns to wealth. Employees and their employers would pay the tax, as they pay today’s 12.4  per cent  FICA paycheck withholding, but the flat tax would not be levied on financial and property income.

    READ the entire piece.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/...

    "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

    by Superpole on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 06:47:49 AM PST

  •  Playing the servant role (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, tardis10

    The self-serving Simpson-Bowles proposal has a more noble cause, "Obedience to the Wealthy"

    Being seduced by the Wealthy is hard to resist, the Wealthy are experts at this ploy.

    Money can buy trust and loyalty, the Republican Party tells me so!

  •  So where's the revolution? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, tardis10

    The fact that these proposals are being recommended at a time when corporations are seeing historic profits makes me wonder if there would be (at long last) a class uprising in the states like we are seeing in parts of Europe, or would Americans just roll over and go back to sleep.

    This is why I can't take the teabaggers seriously. Their anger is so hopelessly misplaced.

  •  Simpson is whining about all the heat he's taken (5+ / 0-)

    It's time to turn that heat up even higher. This man needs to feel as if he's landed in Hell on Earth.

  •  First of all any deficit reduction shouldn't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Robobagpiper

    happen until 2015.  Starting it in 2012 is just dumb.

    Also, I agree that that in order for deficit reduction to work there must be a huge component of trying to grow jobs. Now that our economy is no longer contracting I believe what we need to do is a payroll tax holiday in 2011 which has the potential to grow 2 million to 7 million jobs and then consider various methods to reduce the deficit in 2015.

    I actually think that the Bush tax cuts should expire for EVERYONE in a couple of years.

    Jim Manley: "Republicans are making love to Wall Street, while the people on Main Street are getting screwed."

    by Drdemocrat on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:02:20 AM PST

    •  I think the Bush tax cuts... (4+ / 0-)

      ...should be allowed to expire at the end of this year, especially if the lame duck session can't pass an extension of the sub-$250K tax cuts. The Republicans talk about "uncertainty", and they're only "uncertain" as to whether or not the President will cave on extending all the cuts. Around here, there are people who seem a lot less uncertain. And the swells are starting to spend like President Obama already extended their damned cuts. I wish Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi would run out the clock on the damned tax cuts.

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:09:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But won't running the clock (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, tardis10

        (which, let's face it, Congress is good at) only guarantee that the Republicans will create a bill including the tax cuts to the top 2% that will pass in the House and that many Democrats in the Senate won't be able to refuse without being called tax hikers?

        The only hope is passing a bill for under $250,00 immediately. It is hard to believe the Democrats can't do this. Then they could let the Republicans fight for a bill for the rich.

        "We Don't Pay Taxes. Only The Little People Pay Taxes." -- Leona Helmsley

        by MaizeandBlue on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:30:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Any bill that might pass next year... (0+ / 0-)

          ...would definitely be vetoed by President Obama. And the time to have gotten that sub-$250K extension passed was beofre the midterms. The Blue Dogs talked Speaker Pelosi out of it, and look how well it worked out for many of them.

          Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

          by JeffW on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:45:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  eff the Bush tax cuts (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wsexson

        lets talk about effective pragmatic tax policy instead.

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 03:35:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  economy no longer contracting.... wtf? (0+ / 0-)

      and lets stop talking about the Bush tax cuts, instead lets talk about a pragmatic tax policy. say 60% top rate, 20 brackets, tax breaks for emerging markets and tech, like solar wind and a new high voltage DC grid. and then some serious, not play jobs stim, we need 15 million jobs.

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 03:34:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Austerity is like eating your seed corn (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, lostinamerica, coppercelt, tardis10
    Suicide.

    And others advocating austerity is like vermin eating your seed corn. Time to get a cat.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:04:15 AM PST

  •  willful pain (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Robobagpiper, lostinamerica, tardis10

    Whatever was learned during the Great Depression has been forgotten--or--the evils remember how Bernard Baruch succeeded in profiting from others misfortune.  Throughout the world, Friedman's anti Keynes bullshit rules the day.  The upcoming depression will be worse than the 1930s--we are an urban society now--more hungry mouths without home grown food.
    The richest amongst us will move to a gated community--or a gated country--not realizing that their kids will also suffer.  The dark ages are upon us--and it's a plan, not a phenomena.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:08:38 AM PST

  •  What I want to hear PROGRESSIVES go off about... (4+ / 0-)

    ...is this fuckstick "broaden the tax base" crap.  

    Does that mean what I think they're advocating: "let's tax the motherfuckers at the BOTTOM of the shit-pile, too" or am I being TOO paranoid?

    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king; in the land of the braindead, the intelligent person is cast as the village idiot.

    by dendron gnostic on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:10:26 AM PST

  •  It strikes (7+ / 0-)

    me as sadly ironic that we are really ticked off about the same things that the teabaggers are, and that in their own crazy way, they have organized.  The best we have done so far is to congratulate ourselves over how smart we are and throw spitballs at Washington.  

    It is time for organized protest, IMO.  I don't think there's any amount of letters to congressman or signed petitions that will get us out of the cycle we're in.

    "L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux." - Le Petit Prince

    by littlezen on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:12:16 AM PST

    •  yup, I've basically given up on letters, emails (0+ / 0-)

      and petitions.    

      •  Honestly, I do 'em because it makes me feel... (0+ / 0-)

        ...better,

        But I have ABSOLUTELY no "CandyLand" dreams that they do the least bit of good.

        (Unless, of course, you're voting for "Best Fat Little High School Fuck-slut" on DWTS.  Ooops, sorry, that just kinda slipped out of my id.  Damn you, Dr. Freud!)

        In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king; in the land of the braindead, the intelligent person is cast as the village idiot.

        by dendron gnostic on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:25:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      littlezen

      organized protest won't get us anywhere. IMO (thinking of the lead up to the Gulf war where hundreds of thousands protested and it was barely a sentence on the news)

      We need to hurt them where it counts.

      Take your money out of their banks.

      Stop using their credit cards.

      Don't take their loans.

      Stop buying their junk.

      Try not to use gas.

      Stop watching and listening to their media.

      Vote No Confidence in this government next election.

    •  We don't have astroturfers to organize us (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crazy like a fox, tardis10

      The astroturfers organized the teabaggers, because whatever the teabaggers are actually angry, or what they say they're angry about, they're naive tribalists first, and will always support Republicans and oppose Democrats.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:16:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think you are correct. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chemborg, littlezen

      It would be great if there were a protest against social security cuts, say, that could not be dismissed as a "Lefty" protest. Invite everyone who opposes SS cuts. Avoid blaming Republicans, as many Democrats are also part of the problem. Political leaders can dismiss protests when they come from the "Left" because it may conjure up visions to people of a certain age of hippies, etc. The fact of the matter is that we are not protesting cuts to SS or Medicare or favoring taxing the rich because it's part of our "Leftist" ideology. We do it because 1) it is an issue of morality and 2) it is in our economic self-interest. A protest that would invite everyone would be most effective.

      "We Don't Pay Taxes. Only The Little People Pay Taxes." -- Leona Helmsley

      by MaizeandBlue on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:41:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  At some point deficit reduction (0+ / 0-)

    is going to need to happen. We can do it soon and have it be less painful, or we can wait until we're the next Ireland or Greece and have riots in the streets.

  •  The deficit is caused almost entirely by (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vacantlook, tardis10, poliwrangler

    three things now:

    1. The wars and pseudo-wars.
    1. The Bush tax cuts
    1. The economic downturn.

    Two of these three the WH can fix without any say-so from the incoming Republican Congress - by sticking to the SOFA in Iraq (no matter how much the Pentagon wants to violate it), and immediately beginning to draw-down in Afghanistan; and by vetoing any renewal of the Bush tax cuts.

    In the long run, we're going to have to address Medicare too; but that will have to wait for a few states to lead the way with single-payer.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:20:23 AM PST

  •  I'm all for deficit reduction, (5+ / 0-)

    if by that you mean get our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, close half of our military bases around the world, slash the defense budget, as well as Homeland Security, kill all funding to black ops, including secret prisons, and subsidizing businesses that ship jobs overseas.  Yep, I'm all for it!

    Culbert Olson is my hero!

    by chemborg on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:20:55 AM PST

  •  telling working people to "Drop Dead"... (0+ / 0-)

    I have a feeling that's something alan simpson is not particularly worried about.   Wouldn't bother him in the slightest if everyone who makes under 100,000$ or so disappeared from the face of the earth.  All markets would disappear, but again, that's not his problem.

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:31:23 AM PST

  •  Sickening (0+ / 0-)

    Literally.

    What do we do about this?  What's the most effective way of speaking out on this and pushing back?

    Having been watching this for months, it feels like a slow motion trainwreck.

    I'm also watching Ireland and just knowing that's what is coming here soon too.

  •  Hey guys, (0+ / 0-)

    wish I could stay and discuss, but my kitchen still looks like a turkey had a bad day there.

    Cheers!

    "L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux." - Le Petit Prince

    by littlezen on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 07:51:05 AM PST

  •  There is a proposal on the table. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wsexson

    The Schakowsky proposal for deficit reduction over the next decade not only cuts the full-employment deficit more than the Simpson-Bowles does, it also schedules money for job creation now.

    Corporations are people; money is speech.
    1984 - George Orwell

    by Frank Palmer on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 09:50:26 AM PST

    •  Bernanke said the biggest risk, not the deficit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wsexson

      its unemployment and called for large scale job stim. Wanna cut spending like in 1936, and create a recession like 1937?

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 03:40:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Full-employment deficit. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roger Fox

        The deficit has two components, the "full-employment deficit," which is what the deficit would be if unemployment were at some particular level (usually 3% or 4%)
        AND
        the extra deficit because the government is getting less revenue and spending more due to the recession.

        The chairmen of the catfood commission are proposing to cut the full-employment deficit, which -- really -- isn't all that bad. Their proposal would increase the second component.

        It's like the company whose sales weren't meeting expectations. So, they cut their advertising budget to save money.

        Corporations are people; money is speech.
        1984 - George Orwell

        by Frank Palmer on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 09:49:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Simpson-Bowles Proposal (0+ / 0-)

    We can be sure it wouldn't cost them theirs.

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