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Paul Krugman in The New York Times:

For the past two years most policy makers in Europe and many politicians and pundits in America have been in thrall to a destructive economic doctrine. According to this doctrine, governments should respond to a severely depressed economy not the way the textbooks say they should — by spending more to offset falling private demand — but with fiscal austerity, slashing spending in an effort to balance their budgets.

Critics warned from the beginning that austerity in the face of depression would only make that depression worse. But the “austerians” insisted that the reverse would happen. Why? Confidence! “Confidence-inspiring policies will foster and not hamper economic recovery,” declared Jean-Claude Trichet, the former president of the European Central Bank — a claim echoed by Republicans in Congress here. Or as I put it way back when, the idea was that the confidence fairy would come in and reward policy makers for their fiscal virtue.

The good news is that many influential people are finally admitting that the confidence fairy was a myth. The bad news is that despite this admission there seems to be little prospect of a near-term course change either in Europe or here in America, where we never fully embraced the doctrine, but have, nonetheless, had de facto austerity in the form of huge spending and employment cuts at the state and local level.

Former Obama economic adviser Lawrence Summers takes on Mitt Romney's "fantasy" economic plan:
The Romney campaign has been very clear about what the former governor is promising: $5 trillion in tax cuts on top of extending the Bush tax cuts, with those benefits heavily weighted toward the country’s wealthiest taxpayers. Romney himself has acknowledged the lack of details, stating in reference to his tax plan that “frankly, it can’t be scored.” I have been party for many years to searches for “high-income tax shelters” that can feasibly be closed. I know of no reputable expert in either political party who would find that there is anything even approaching $5 trillion in potential revenue to be generated from this source.

Romney has also proposed a massive defense buildup, even while he says he will cut spending deeply enough to balance the budget. I think it’s clear why he won’t tell voters which cuts he would make: In the past, disclosing his planned budget cuts was politically damaging.

We have seen this movie before. When President Bill Clinton left office, our country was paying down its debt on a substantial scale. I was privileged as secretary of the Treasury to be buying back federal debt. George W. Bush campaigned on a program of tax cuts supported by economic advisers who were not subject to the rigors of official budget scorekeeping. The results — trillions of dollars of budget deficits — speak for themselves.

David Gibson of Religion News Service, writing in USA Today, picks apart Republican Paul Ryan's claim that his austerity budget is based on the misunderstood principle of subsidiarity:
The misunderstanding is in part because subsidiarity has two complementary elements: It argues that lower levels of society (individuals, families, communities) should be allowed to carry out social functions that they can fulfill and larger society (state and federal governments), meanwhile, should provide help ("subsidium," is the formal Latin term) to cover things the smaller units cannot.

Society's decisions should be made, Clark wrote at the Catholic Moral Theology blog, "at the lowest level possible and the highest level necessary." It's not just a matter of ever smaller government, or reflexively devolving responsibilities downward, but of making sure that key societal functions are provided for. [...]  "The principle of subsidiarity protects people from abuses by higher-level social authority and calls on these same authorities to help individuals and intermediate groups to fulfill their duties," says the Vatican's Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. [...]

In an interview in early April that prompted the latest debate, Ryan doubled down on his version when he compared subsidiarity to "federalism," "meaning government closest to the people governs best." Even a number of Catholic conservatives were prompted to correct the House Budget Committee chairman on that score.

Tom Cohen at CNN:
For Republicans and certain presidential nominee Mitt Romney, the best defense appears to be a good offense on issues and themes being pushed by President Barack Obama and Democrats. In recent days, Romney has come out in favor of steps also advocated by Democrats to hold down interest rates for federal student loans and renew the Violence Against Women Act.[...]

Coming off a primary campaign dominated by conservative issues, Romney is now pivoting toward the center to try to win independent support while also challenging Obama on topics considered strengths for the president.

In addition, Romney offered a GOP variation of a central theme Obama has pushed in recent months -- fairness, or the lack of it, in America's economy -- in his speech Tuesday night after five more primary victories that amounted to his virtual coronation as the Republican standard-bearer.

"We will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the very taxpayers they serve," the former Massachusetts governor said. "And we will stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger and larger debts on to the next."

From the AP:
Republicans controlling the House are opting for the politically safe route as they follow up their tightfisted, tea party-driven budget with less controversial steps to cut spending.

Instead of big reductions in Medicaid and Medicare, top GOP lawmakers are sticking mostly with familiar proposals like cutting money for President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul and federal employee pensions while reaching out to Democrats to help pass annual spending bills. [...]

Still, conservatives are enthusiastic about the cuts, though they pale in comparison to what’s in store if Republicans win the Senate and take back the White House.

“It is, to a certain extent, an introduction to what we might go through next year if the elections go the way we want,” said Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Krugman is wrong (17+ / 0-)

    The Repug slash-and-burn mentality doesn't have a damn thing to do with dealing with a recession or the deficit----it is based solely and completely on the John Bircher idea that government, in and of itself, is communistic, and their desire to eliminate government completely by eliminating all its funding and its functions.

    This should be crushingly apparent, since the Repug bleating doesn't change, ever--they sing their "lower taxes! less government!" refrain in good economic times as well as bad. Indeed, during the boom economic times of the 90's, the Repugs wanted to slash and burn all the same things they want to slash and burn now. The economy doesn't have a damn thing to do with it. It is government itself--the very idea of it--that they are against.

  •  "subsidiarity" is another gopper line of BS (9+ / 0-)

    For decades the extremists have been telling us that they simply want to devolve Federal government functions to the state or local level.  And yet whenever they win power at the state and local levels, the first thing they do is slash and burn everything--which is why my city currently has closed down local parks and cut library hours for lack of funding. The whole "local government instead of central government" thingie is a scam---what the goppers really want is NO government.  None at all, at any level.

    Somalia is their model.

  •  Zimmerman's $200K (0+ / 0-)

    iirc - his original lawyers & his Dad created a website for donations for his legal defense. But Zim then went out on his own and created "the real Zim" site - which was part of his lawyers' reasoning for dumping him.

    During his bond hearing, Zim claimed he was "broke" - and the judge lowered the bail.  But is it possible that Zim didn't know how much was in "the real Zim" account?  No doubt, some of the donations were made after he was jailed, with no access to the account.

    Republicans have the 1% vote locked up.

    by MartyM on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 04:50:39 AM PDT

  •  Romney, while predictably (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    moves to the center for the general election, methinks it will only add to policy disconnect with the Tea Party run House. In fact, Romney has yet to prove himself as the prime mover of the platform as any candidate should. His shape shifting will continue to cost him dearly and I will relish this prolonged tension in the coming months. Does Romney want to backtrack on last winter's budget deals? Where does he stand on CISPA?

    •  Romney may be trying to pivot (6+ / 0-)

      to the "center" in his campaign, but that apparently is not stopping him from lying.  The best you can say is that the man does not understand enough about economics to know when he's lying.

      "We will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the very taxpayers they serve," the former Massachusetts governor said. "And we will stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger and larger debts on to the next."
      When Romney says things like this he's playing on the ignorance of his audience (and maybe his own).  The first part of his statement is a simple lie.  The federal government hires more highly trained workers than any other employer in the country, and the cost of these workers skews the average federal employee pay toward the high end.  Workers with the same training and experience in the private sector are paid much higher salaries than government employees.

      Both Krugman and Dean Baker have repeatedly refuted the second part of Romney's statement.  One generation does not pass debt onto subsequent generations, as argued by Dean Baker here and Paul Krugman here.

      Surely Mr. Romney has someone on his economic team who can read.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 05:40:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Austerians" (8+ / 0-)

    I see what Krugman did there :-)  

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 04:52:19 AM PDT

    •  Austerians are members of a cult (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      just like Mormons, Christians and Satanists.

      •  It may also relate to Austrian Economists (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raboof, Dallasdoc, lcbo, joe wobblie

        Ron Paul, for example, speaks of the Austrian school of economics represented by Von Mises and Hayek. They are definitely members of a cult.

        I am guessing about this, though. Corrections appreciated.

        Democrats stand for Liberty, Security, Support of Families and Opportunity Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

        by Rick B on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 05:28:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Austerians = people who believe (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lcbo, Rick B

          that economic austerity leads to economic expansion.  Krugman's article is an effort to prove the fallacy of this argument by relating what the imposition of austerity measures has done - and continues to do - to the economies of Europe and the UK, and what it would do if implemented, as the Republicans plan to do, in the US.

          Krugman has been sounding the alarm about this in his blog since the Republicans began insisting on deficit reduction as the way out of our economic problems.  He used his blog to attempt to re-educate Obama when the president showed signs of agreeing that the deficit was a huge problem, and he went absolutely ballistic on the Ryan budget (and Ryan himself), when the Ryan budget was rolled out in the House.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:06:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have been following Krugman's discussion (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joe wobblie, SueDe

            but I was wondering if there was a combined play on words here. Both austerity and Austrian Economics resemble Krugman's "Austerian."

            The Austrian school does not believe that economic models are effective or that statistics is of any value in economics. Followers of that school have been important in arguing against the Keynesian economic model.

            They are also often found arguing for laissez-faire economics. Retired Senator Phil Gramm wrote his Ph.D. Dissertation based on the Austrian School economics so it was short (79 pages) and had no statistics in it. Gramm, you will remember, was the chair of the Senate Banking Committee and wrote the law ending Glass-Stegall. His wife was on the board of Enron, and last heard Gramm was a vice President of the Swiss Bank UBS.

            I can't help but think that Krugman's term "Austerians" includes some connection to the discredited Hayek/Von Mises Libertarianism.

            Democrats stand for Liberty, Security, Support of Families and Opportunity Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

            by Rick B on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 11:29:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  "laissez-faire" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rick B, blueoasis

          Let me guess _
          This erstwhile midwife's plan would be 'supply-side economics' and the total deregulation of Wall Street.
          He needs to keep his Bob Hope nose up babies asses and go trickle down elsewhere...

          ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

          by joe wobblie on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 08:03:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This spring the Brookings Institution (7+ / 0-)

      hosted a panel on Economic Activity.  At that event Brad DeLong and Laurence Summers presented a paper they had co-authored, Fiscal Policy in a Depressed Economy.  The Abstract alone is worth a few minutes' reading time.

      This paper is the basis for the arguments now being put forward regarding the mistaken belief that economic austerity can be expansionary when an economy is in a state of depression.  The argument's truth is now on display in the UK and the periphery economies of the Eurozone that are hitting the wall and sliding back into a double dip recession.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 05:21:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Question Mark and the Austerians (0+ / 0-)

      Reminds me of the great garage band hit,
       "96 Tears"

      Too many teardrops
      For one heart to be crying
      Too many teardrops
      For one heart to carry on

      You're gonna cry ninety-six tears
      You're gonna cry ninety-six tears
      You're gonna cry, cry, cry, cry now
      You're gonna cry, cry, cry, cry
      Ninety-six tears

      The red tide of ignorance and hatred stopped at the Sierra Nevadas.

      by Aeolus on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 05:41:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Why Hollywood Loves Washinton" (0+ / 0-)

    Where's that article from?

    Also: "A 140 Characters Say a Lot About Modern Politics".

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 05:03:11 AM PDT

  •  We have been warned ... (10+ / 0-)
    “It is, to a certain extent, an introduction to what we might go through next year if the elections go the way we want,” said Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C.
  •  Republicans would rather (4+ / 0-)

    see the country and its people drift into chaos and starvation rather than let go of their agenda. They'd rather run the country into the ground.

  •  Summers is an imperfect messenger (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OnlyWords, raboof, tb mare

    But to the extent that he knee-caps the idea that Romney has a valid, workable vision for jobs, the budget and the broader economy, I will tepidly embrace his effort .

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 05:05:29 AM PDT

  •  "The unfairness of government workers getting (7+ / 0-)

    better benefits and pay than the very taxpayers they serve"--- wouldn't be unfairness if people like Romney weren't rigging the playing field to be vastly unfair for the taxpayers, who are denied union jobs, minimum wage hikes, subsidized healthcare, pension benefits, and any sort of living wage protections by corporations and financiers.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 05:06:58 AM PDT

    •  The sad thing is many of the people in my office (11+ / 0-)

      (I'm a federal employee) will hapily vote for Romney come November, not realizing that when he talks about the evils of the government worker, he means them. Any public employee that votes Republican needs to get their head examined.

    •  It really wasn't that long ago... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, concernedamerican, Amber6541

      ...that government workers were undeniably under compensated compared to Private Sector employees of comparable skill, knowledge, expertise and responsibility.  The Financial Elites created their own reality by seizing a disproportionate amount of gains due to productivity among their employees the past couple of decades, and now use that "new reality" to denigrate the compensation of most Public Employees.

      I say most, because they have no problem with the compensation of arguably the highest paid Public Employees: top-tier Division I Football and Basketball coaches. Priorities matter.

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 05:29:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Ying Chases the Yang (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SueDe, Amber6541

    Austerity comes down to cutting back government programs. Republicans love this because cutting earned benefits fits their model of making everyone fend for themselves.

    I'm sympathetic to their arguments that we've gone overboard in providing programs for everything. But just cutting back doesn't fix the underlying problem, which is that essentially we no longer pay people enough to live on. We've let the minimum wage deteriorate and we've depressed union membership (and respect for unions) to such a point that there's no way for many people to live without subsidies.

    We need to address the wage problem directly with an international minimum wage and a hike in the domestic one. Any proposal to cut government social spending should be met with a demand that this be paid for with an increase in the minimum wage.

    This is important not just economically but because it puts the emphasis back on the real problem. Otherwise we let the Republicans get away with making the problem worse while claiming to improve things. Cutting government spending doesn't improve things if you don't do anything to fix the underlying problem.

    The question we should be asking is, "If you cut these programs, how much are you willing to increase the minimum wage to make up for it?" Progressives in Congress should always propose an amendment to pay for these cuts with an increase in the minimum wage. And they ought to start with a whopping proposal to increase it in exchange for the cuts already made.

    •  Be careful about that "going overboard" bit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe wobblie, lcbo

      In the move from rural agricultural society to modern industrial and post-industrial society we have moved to an economics based on micro-specialization. That's what permits the productivity increases.

      But to achieve that the work force needs to be much more educated and social mobility has to increase. class and status barriers have to be reduced, and in urban jobs few people can do the same work that their suppliers do. A bureaucracy is required to coordinate each workers inputs and to organize moving the end product each worker produces.

      In short, urban industrial work is a lot more complicated that the work done on rural farms and requires more regulation, both government and private. Do you really know what kind of health insurance you personally need? Or how to fix your own computer - either software or hardware?

      Living in the city is very different from living in a rural community. Do you live in a bedroom community and work or go to school elsewhere? How do you get between them?

      There are so many reasons for needing more services in the city that it is amazing. The founding fathers would be totally swamped with the information requirements, and people who expect a 1950's living environment with simplicity simply don't have a clue about the society they are currently living in. But the tradeoff is that living and working in the city can be much more productive and certainly allows a lot more flexibility.

      There are real reasons for more and more complicated services and programs. That's part of the micro-specialization that is characteristic of modern urban work.

      Democrats stand for Liberty, Security, Support of Families and Opportunity Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

      by Rick B on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 05:48:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Throwing Out the Baby (0+ / 0-)

        Well, I work in the city and I live on a farm. So, I have some experience in both worlds.

        My suggestion isn't to do away with regulation, which is necessary in both worlds. However, we should not be putting programs in place to paper over the fact that people simply aren't being paid enough to support themselves. When I see people with full-time jobs getting food stamps it's clear that people aren't being paid a living wage. Why should we have a program (with program overhead) that can do what the minimum wage can do without overhead?

    •  Making everyone fend for themselves is (0+ / 0-)

      half of the plan. The other half is to change the revenue stream from taxes to corporate services so that corporations can make enormous profits from services previously rendered to non-profit government services.

      The result will be that "consumers" will have to pay MORE for fundamental services due to the profit margins that corporations normally take, which will give way to a more extreme drain of wealth from the working and middle classes.

      It's all part of the plan for a stable and growing plutocracy.

      Welcome to the new America. Brought to you by the New Corporate Network.

      •  Right (0+ / 0-)

        Government services should never be outsourced. That's always a loser because it forces the taxpayers to pay for the services and then to pay for profits on top of that. It's nothing but a boondoggle, and we need to insist on a zero-tolerance policy for government outsourcing.

    •  I would rec this comment 1000 times. (0+ / 0-)

      If the Republicans want people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, pay them enough to be able to do so.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 08:05:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good thing Democrats aren't Austerians -- oh, wait (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "It is clear we must enter an era of austerity; to reduce the deficit through shared sacrifice.” -- Nancy Pelosi, 7/25/2011

    "most Americans understand ... shared sacrifice is going to be necessary." -- DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, 4/14/2011

    “If everybody took an attitude of shared sacrifice, we could solve our deficit and debt problem next week."  -- Barack Obama, 8/17/2011

    Get ready to enjoy your shiny new wars!

    by Tommy Allen on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 05:19:04 AM PDT

    •  The shared sacrifice they are talking about.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, TrueBlueDem, Satya1

      is making the 1% sacrifice by paying taxes at a rate equivalent to what the rest of us poor suckers pay....

      but of course you knew that.

      If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. John F. Kennedy ( inaugural address, January 20, 1961)

      by Outraged Mom on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:02:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's the worst pissing match (0+ / 0-)

      the Democrats have gotten into with the Republicans, no doubt.  But at least the Democrats aren't insisting we have to do so next week.  The Dem's would be just as happy not talking about the deficit or debt at all right now when the economy is still struggling along.  It's just a cudgel the Republicans use to rhetorically beat up on the Democrats.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 08:09:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So Rmoney says (4+ / 0-)
    "We will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the very taxpayers they serve," the former Massachusetts governor said. "And we will stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger and larger debts on to the next."
    Once again the one-dimensional republican mind gets it backwards.

    How about: "We will stop the unfairness of corporate workers getting inferior and declining pay and benefits while We The People continue to pay our public employees a fair living wage with decent benefits."

    Republicans seek the lowest common denominator because their thought process are largely limited to the low and the common.

  •  The Governments That Are Imposing Austerity Were (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    all elected democratically, especially all those RepubliKlan controlled state and local governments elected in the 2010 Great White anti-Obama Backlash Midterms.

    Which begs the questions "How's that working out for ya, Wisconsin?"

    In 1980, I said that anyone who makes less than $100,000/year and voted for Reagan was [insert DKos banned word here]
    {hint: it begins with "re" and ends in "tarded"}.

    My inflation calculator indicates that $100k in 1980 was equivalent to $264,631.07 in 2010

    Nuff Said...

    I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party.

    by OnlyWords on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 05:24:08 AM PDT

  •  OMG! I Don't Believe It! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, skillet, kefauver

    Lawrence Summers agrees with Paul Krugman on an economic policy (austerity budgeting in a depressed economy is bad).

    I'm Shocked!  Cats and Dogs lying down together.  Must be another one of those "end of the world signs."  

    "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 Apr 27, 2012 at 05:28:42 AM PDT

  •  Those who advocate for austerity... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, tb mare, TrueBlueDem, lcbo

    are the ones who will suffer least.

  •  I agree with Mitt! (6+ / 0-)
    We will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the very taxpayers they serve
    I look forward to Mitt announcing a plan to immediately end the extremely generous Congressional pensions and close the Office of the Attending Physician, which for a mere $503 per year (yes, you read that right!) entitles members of Congress to receive unlimited excellent medical care with no co-pays or deductibles.

    Shhh, it's a secret.

    We should start with those.

    Newt Gingrich: Believes marriage is between one man and a series of ever younger women. Wife #1 born ~ 1936, divorced when in her mid-40s...Wife #2 born ~1947, divorced when in her mid-40s...Wife #3 born ~1966.

    by trillian on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 05:39:26 AM PDT

  •  Austerity is an interesting idea (0+ / 0-)

    It's completely contrary to Keynesianism, but it's an idea.  Thing is, the liars in the GOP aren't trying austerity.  They're talking about austerity and putting forth a budget that might get balanced someday.  Maybe in the next few decades!

    I've said before that I wouldn't support the Ryan budget, but I would be far less opposed if it, you know, actually did what the Republicans say they want.  Intellectual consistency is a good thing.  The Ryan budget is just the typical GOP mess: lies, intellectual inconsistency, and corporate welfare.

  •  The GOP Would Not Be Pushing Austerity . . . (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pjb927, maryabein, Satya1

    If a Republican were in the white house. They pushed all of this "cut the budget/balance the budget" crap back during the Clinton years, yet the rhetoric was nowhere to be found during the Bush years. In fact, if they were sincere, they would have maintained Clinton era tax levels to help pay for the Afghan and Iraq wars. Instead, they cut taxes, a first during wartime.

    Whoever got me a DKOS Subscription - thank you so much. Maybe one of the nicest things anyone has done for me.

    by kefauver on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 06:05:14 AM PDT


    Not a risky, reckless tax scheme like Bush....

    "Letting people keep more of their own money"....sounds like a good idea....but it has FAILED BADLY over the last 11 years....!!!!!!

  •  Funny how they never want to take a knife (0+ / 0-)

    to the taxes of the people whose government services they plan to gut.

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

    by dinotrac on Fri Apr 27, 2012 at 07:37:53 AM PDT

  •  Too bad Austerity (0+ / 0-)

    doesn't apply to the Military Industrial Complex.

  •  The CNN Article is the most disconcerting... (0+ / 0-)

    I find the CNN article the most disturbing of the above articles. I have been ranting to anyone who will listen for years about the dangerous developments in mainstream media outlets of defining "objectivity" as "quoting both sides without qualification," or, as the Kos community accurately and eloquently describes it, "creating false-equivalences." I know this is a bit of preaching to the choir, but I think that is far more dangerous than the far-right, now known as the mainstream right, spouting crazy non-sense. The right will say what the right will say; however, the purpose of the press, indeed the ethical obligation of journalists, is to ensure the claims are appropriately contextualized and reported alongside empirical evidence.

    I've noticed a trend that I was thankful to see pointed out elsewhere on Kos with left-of-center millenials embracing the label "moderate" and describing their views as "fiscally conservative and socially liberal." While that's another issue I can spend days on, I think this has been shaped not by the pols, but by the media environment millenials grew up in. Anecdotally, many of the peers I know embrace CNN as "objective" and view it as having more journalistic integrity than Fox or MSNBC. I've noticed, however, that CNN seems to be tracking further and further to the right naively pursuing Fox News rating share. It seems the right's media strategy has worked: attack anything that points out the failures of conservatives, personally (read: corruption, infidelity) or policy-wise, as being liberal bias. Other news orgs, getting creamed in the ratings race mostly due to divided viewership, become defensive and decide to pursue the objectivity as defined above.

    The result? Articles like the one cited above from CNN. If you read that article, there is no filter whatsoever for what the various politicians say. And what they are saying is inherently crafted messaging and empty-rhetoric. By simply reporting it, without any context, CNN essentially abdicates any journalistic responsibility. No research necessary. No fact-checking. Simply report a few quotes from both campaigns, and you're done. Hence we are talking deep cuts in a recession, social-security is discussed as "going bankrupt" (thank you Kos for pointing out the absurdity of that frame), and on and on. I mean, let's take the quote from point made by CNN that controlling for education and experience, public employees make, on average, less than their private sector counterparts. No mention of who public employees are (in many cases regulators and researchers that attempt to protect those they "serve"). Nothing. Just Mittens quote, move to Jay Carney quote, move to activist quote. No analysis or filter AT ALL. In the WHOLE article. I mean, it's not like campaign and PR are going to have the time in a 30 second sound bite to respond fully, so simply quoting an Obama staffer, campaigner, or official is going to allow complete context for the response. Besides, that's the JOURNALISTS' job.

    Of course, CNN can point to an occasional investigative report and say, "See? We do our part. We're still journalists. Why is everybody laughing?" But what good is it reported separately? How often do people read every article available? If they only read one, and not the other (or read both and don't put the pieces together), what good is it? I just think the consequences of this shift in journalism are more severe and more to blame for the degeneration of our country's discourse, political awareness, and policy understanding than anything else. The right will be the right. Unfortunately, they are no longer held accountable by the people that have the largest audience and influence.

  •  Summers (0+ / 0-)

    Whats so great about paying down the national debt?  Really, this guy is priceless.
    And, why is Kos allowing this washed-up excuse for an economist to continue to spout out his drivel?

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