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Controlling the Analogy is 80% of winning the argument. This is being done with the Deficit fight. The current analogy being pushed by Republicans (and brain-dead Pundits) is the Income/Expense analogy. We have to cut our expenses because we are spending too much of our income.

A better analogy is something like a home business where everyone in the house makes and sells their output. For example:

You live in a family where everyone makes wooden boxes. Recently, due to an incident of the Flu most of the family got sick and could not work on making boxes. Our income went down, even through we could sell every box we make.

With such an analogy the rational response is to spend our income to buy medicine so those that are sick get well and can make boxes and to purchase additional tools so we can make more boxes. Keeping members of our family productive and giving them the tools to make boxes increases our income and erases the money we spent on medicine and tools.

Equating our deficit problems to a fixed income/fixed expenses is mis-characterizing the analogy. We need to push the small-business analogy and not the family-income analogy.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We're Already Spending All Our Income. The Analogy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, HugoDog, Andrew F Cockburn, a2nite

    I think would be to take out a loan for treatment.

    That's my situation, living off a home business and having been sick, I will be taking out a loan this month.

    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 Jan 07, 2013 at 08:40:47 PM PST

  •  We need to portray every tax loophole (4+ / 0-)

    as spending. Every trick corporations use to avoid paying taxes - like Shell moving their drilling rig out into a Alaskan storm to avoid $7 million in taxes - is spending. The 'carried interest' exemption that Mitt RMoney used to put $100 million in an IRA is spending. The mortgage interest deduction on second homes is spending.

    Once we establish that as spending, it is far easier to make a choice between Mitt's tax break and building a new interstate bridge or train tunnel or smart grid or funding school lunches - that is the choice that's being made.

    Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

    by bear83 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:49:35 PM PST

  •  the analogy I used recently (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David PA, Andrew F Cockburn

    was a business being in financial problems taking out loans so that could retool and become profitable. Of course, the function of gov't isn't about earning a profit...

    These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people... -Abraham Lincoln

    by HugoDog on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:50:55 PM PST

  •  I like the mortgage analogy. I refinanced my house (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    when rates came down. Even though I have a much bigger mortgage, my payments are lower. If the government is spending on useful things like education, bridges, and so on this works.

    Of course if it is pissing the money away on wars in areas that have no significance to us it isn't good- sort of like running up your credit card to pay for crack and whores.

  •  it makes perfect sense (0+ / 0-)

    when you think about it this way.

    your family or business is super rich.  except your money is tied into assets.  so your actual cash flow is negative. the reason you can keep getting loans is because your assets dwarf your debt.

    we are a very rich nation.  our assets are worth more than 100 trillion.

    so a little debt of 15 to 20 trillion is actually pretty low.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:32:25 AM PST

  •  How about reality vs. analogy (0+ / 0-)

    Reality: as a sovereign issuer of non convertible fiat currency the United States is not fiscally constrained by either earnings or credit. The whole platinum coin controversy proves that. Any obligation denominated in dollars can always be paid, and the idea of insolvency or involuntary bankruptcy is meaningless. Willful default on bills they've already run up is par for the course for certain Republicans. like infamous dead-beat dad Joe Walsh. In fact, any of those in congress willing to threaten default should be held up as examples of "dead-beat Republicans" - that should be our meme - "fuckin' dead beat Republicans trying to skip out on their bills - again!"

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