If Republicans want to kill this, let them:
It’s hard to see how the Super Committee can possibly reach a consensus by this time next week after Republican co-chair Jeb Hensarling’s appearance on CNBC Tuesday night. The short version is that he left the ball in Democrats court, and hinted that if the committee fails, Congress will spend the next year or so trying to change the terms of an automatic penalty to make sure that hundreds of billions of cuts to defense programs never take effect.
Hensarling claimed that if the committee recommended even a dollar of new net tax revenue — the kind of revenue Dems are demanding — it would constitute a step in the wrong direction. He said a GOP plan put forward by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) — one which Republicans claim would raise revenues by nearly $300 billion over 10 years, but would also make the Bush tax cuts permanent — is as far as Republicans are willing to go on revenues. But that’s an offer Democrats flatly rejected as unserious. And unless one of the parties breaks cleanly with its publicly stated position, the committee will either fall well short of reducing the deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years as required by law, or will fail altogether.
“We have gone as far as we feel we can go,” Hensarling said. “We put $250 billion of what is known as static revenue on the table, but only if we can bring down rates [but] any penny of increased static revenue is a step in the wrong direction. We can only balance that with pro-growth reform and frankly the Democrats have never agreed to that…. if we can’t get any type of reforms in health care, which has helped drive the nation towards insolvency, then, no, there’s no reason to frankly put any static revenues on the table.”
When Hensarling says “static,” he means revenue that will actually, predictably come into the Treasury. Republicans claim in a Laffer-ite way that their preferred tax policy will create enough economic growth to raise revenues even if the math says it won’t. Democrats reject that kind of analysis.
Who has done more damage to this nation- Osama bin Laden or Arthur Laffer?
Villago Delenda Est
Given that Osama bin Laden got his start as a mover and shaker about the same time as Arthur Laffer, and both got support from the shitty grade Z movie star, well, draw your own conclusions.
“Who has done more damage to this nation- Osama bin Laden or Arthur Laffer?” That’s easy. Another easy one–which has been more destructive? Religion or capitalism. Until the 20th century, that was a close call. Since, easy.
Laffer – hands down.
I really hope Democrats do nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Don’t help the Republicans stave off Defense cuts. Let the Bush tax cuts expire.
That in itself would do more to fix the deficit problem than any deal coming out of Congress would.
Those weak dems better not give into making the Bush (Now Obama) tax cuts permanent.
The lasting tragedy of this country will be that one of the two major political parties centered their entire economic policy around a doodle on a cocktail napkin.
Part of their strategy is the assumption that the democratic leadership will not allow the Bush tax cuts to expire. Otherwise they’d be looking to make at least some of the cuts permanent.
Anyone who’s been awake for the last 10 years rejects that analysis.
We’ve spent 10 years testing Laffer/Rethug economics and we know it’s a crock because we have seen it fail.
Laffer, by far.
why isn’t grover norquist included?
The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik
Fuck, that’s not the tragedy. The tragedy is the fact that said economic policy has become the only fucking thing considered ‘serious’ in Washington now. How the fuck did the whole country fall for fucking napkin doodle economics?
Is hump day easy question day?
Laffer. There is no scale that can measure the difference.
I read the comment thread of that post last night and there was some argument over how damaging it would be if there is no agreement. Although there would be pretty big cuts to Medic(aid/are, I forget which), it would be to providers and hence not too painful to the little folk. The opposite point was that although the cuts would target providers, the pain would (shudder) trickle-down. Anyone who knows better have an idea on whether or not the cuts are going to really hurt?
@The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik: How did the whole country fall for a doodle? Well, about twenty-seven percent of the country are crazy and many others either don’t pay attention or cannot. How else can you explain the various foreign adventures since Korea?
@The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik:
fucking napkin doodle economics
That is a classic. One of the all time classics.
John please make this a tag line. Leave out the first adjective if necessary but a tag line is the only proper response.
Ever-helpful Charlie Pierce (yeah, him again) has penned a speech for Obama on the topic:
Laffer for sure. I would put Ayn Rand ahead of either of them though.
The Stupid Duper Committee is an orphaned monster created by our diseased political system. Or, maybe a time bomb planted as a tactic in during a past (and since then abandoned) political campaign in our ongoing scorched earth political war, and a bomb that no one knows how to defuse.
If that is correct, looks like the main action will be the GOP and Dems trying to maneuver each other to be over the thing when it blows up.
It is complete and dangerous nonsense.
@Splitting Image: thanks. What Pierce said.
In honor of Laffer’s influence, I would like to present the GOP with the best foreign policy plan ever. I will have my nine year old draw it on some construction paper. It will have lots of explosions and “Pew Pew!!” sounds written all over it.
Sorry, but it needs a hyphen:
Fucking napkin-doodle economics.
NOW it’s a classic. And I feel better.
The Moar You Know
Republicans want the Democrats to gut safety net programs, so that Dems get the blame and they get the win.
Dems would be insane to roll over on this one. Let the Republicans find revenue for their precious defense programs.
I might add that I have a stake in this: if defense gets gutted, I am fucked right out of a job. But if the deficit is the monster that Republicans make it out to be (it isn’t and they know it), it is a sacrifice that both them and I can and should make.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
Laffer’s influence has killed our economy. The right’s reaction to the effects of Bin Laden (aided by the passivity of the Democratic Party) has killed our civil liberties in a way that reminds me of the early 50s.
So, it’s a toss up. The question is kinda like “which eye would you rather have poked out, left or right?”
Culture of Truth
In other words, the GOP offered to give up something the Democrats want in exchange for getting something they want.
“fucking napkin doodle economics”
Umm… that is about all the econ we have any more, at least of the kind the VSP will believe in.
Well, no. I am not sorry. When people ask me what I do, I say ‘statistician’ now. Thank the Lord, I finally gave up trying to make sense of it and decided to get a useful trade.
The Moar You Know
@MeDrewNotYou: Medicare is for old people.
Medicaid is for poor people.
Now you know which gets the cuts.
Well, it still remains to be seen if Boehner actually lets his sole accomplishment get pulverized by his party. But ultimately this just shows how foolish it was not to stand firm against the GOP from day one. I feel sort of like the Burt Lancaster character from Seven Days In May, only on the other side of the aisle and actually correct. No piece of paper is going to be honored by the other side.
@The Moar You Know: Amazingly, that’s not correct this time.
@jl: I think this gets back to a point Kay often makes. (Or made, before rightfully focusing on the BS in Ohio lately.) Congress has completely abandoned their job of legislating; its too hard and we might make a decision voters don’t like. They’ve abdicated as much responsibility as possible to the executive branch, and when that isn’t possible, to whatever outlet absolves them of making tough choices. This is one of the few ‘both sides do it’ claims that’s true.
If she’s around, I’m sure Kay can make a better case for it. I wouldn’t mind a post on her thoughts over all the super committee nonsense and how it ties into Congress avoiding their job. (Pretty please Kay?)
Too easy, John. Of course, it’s Laffer. And every single asshole who bought into his economics on a napkin.
@The Moar You Know: These days, lot of Medicaid is for old and poor, and old and ex middle class people, and the two program coverages are somewhat intermingled. The Medicare/Medicaid wedge finagle might not be as easy as some corrupt and callous Congressional know nothings think.
Osama created a lot of jobs.
Laffer is/was just flat wrong. It’s the maniacs who devote their entire poltical lives to following the Laffer curve who are the real villians.
The democrats are taking no particular prizes for courage here either. Neither side wants to mention that the Bush tax cuts will expire, but that the ‘expected’ policy is that they do not. The required cuts are relative to expected policy, not present law. Democrats do not want to be the ones to ‘raise taxes’ by themselves, just as much as the GOP wants democrats to help cut SS and Medicare.
So the democrats are not simply saying
“Let the bush tax cuts expire, problem solved.”
@jl: yep. I think the a very large fraction of medicaid is paying nursing home fees for seniors whose children have strategically (or not) let them spend all their resources down to the Medicaid qualifying asset levels.
@The Moar You Know: I knew that, just not which one is facing cuts. I think its both but can’t look it up right now.
But trust me, I know the difference. I’m way too young for Medicare, and have too many Y chromosomes for Medicaid in Indiana. I’m one of the millions that the ACA will save the ass of. :)
ETA- I probably shouldn’t have used “poor.” As I understand it, the cuts potentially screw over the not-rich, not necessarily people below the poverty line or close to it.
I blame their nexus, Dick Cheney, whom I wouldn’t pee on if his mechanical heart caught on fire
Yglesias: The two interesting questions are as follows. One is whether Democrats will surrender during the super committee negotiations or wait until the super committee deadlocks and then surrender on separate legislation to reverse the defense cuts. The second is whether in the latter scenario, Democrats will get any of the non-security trigger cuts rolled back alongside the defense ones.
It is to laugh, or cry.
I also saw this way for it to work out as soon as the triggers were described. The point is that thinking Democrats dislike defense spending is all wrong. Only in comparison with defense mad GOP does the Democrat’s enthusiasm for it seem like opposition.
This is excellent news for Mitt Romney.
@Ruckus: I second the motion of a new tag line.
All in favor, say Aye!
The prez has the GOP’s balls right where his were earlier this year. I can see him smiling from my house.
Even if generic gop should win, they won’t be sworn in until after the Bush tax cuts expire. I think he is rooting for failure too.
Culture of Truth
Neither Rand nor Laffer.
They are mere tinsel are on the tree of selfishness.
Agree with others, no need to do anything, just let the Bush Tax Cuts expire.
None of the above.
The distinction goes to Grover Norquist.
Neither Osama or Art could/can run effective primary challenges to oust incumbent Republicans, who vote in a rational manner, on occasion. Norquist is the reason we no longer have Republicans, who sometimes vote for a tax increase or are not tripping over themselves to cut taxes even more.
Seriously, let it fail. This entire “Super Committee” was a boondoggle from the beginning, a sham effort aimed at fixing a sham problem. It was nothing but make-work rammed through on Republican terms because Republicans were flogging the deficit as if it had a goddamn thing to do with why there are no jobs and the economy is in the crapper.
There is no possibility–none, zero, zilch, nada–of anything good coming out of this committee, not while the outcome is dictated by Republican sociopaths who will accept nothing less than complete capitulation to their demands. The best possible outcome would be to let them fail to meet the deadline, dissolve this useless fraud of a committee, and get to work on fixing the damage done by the automatic cuts that were triggered.
This committee would not even exist if they’d tried to push the idea once OWS shifted the national discussion from debt to jobs. The lie that the deficit drags down the economy isn’t completely discredited, but it has a lot less currency now than it did six months ago.
@Ruckus: I second, or is the word ‘third’ that ‘napkin doodle economics’ be a new tagline, except it needs to be more offensive.
…just checked. I forgot about that first part.
Well OK then, seems ready for prime time to me.
Oh, I would. In fact, if I ever see Dick Cheney I think I’ll yell “OMG, his mechanical heart is on fire!” just because no one can prove me wrong.
Clearly the Dems are being obstructionist for not caving 100 percent to Republican demands (as more or less heard on NPR this morning)…
@The Moar You Know: As others may have said, yes. It is apparently little-known, but a substantial part of Medicaid funding goes to senior citizens–you can bet that most of them don’t know it. Who do you think is paying the lion’s share of all the nursing home $$ ? Not Medicare or private insurance.
And cutting Medicaid funding to doctors/providers does affect people on Medicaid; it makes it that much harder to find a doctor (especially a specialist) who will accept it. My son, who is a quadraplegic, hasn’t seen an orthopedic doctor since he turned 21–and he is 29 now. The ones here in Southern NV just won’t deal with Medicaid. It isn’t just the low reimbursement rates–it is the slow pay.
Now that NV has a private company “managing” Medicaid, it has gone to hell–and it wasn’t exactly awesome to start with. Providers have to wait 3-6 MONTHS for payment. They have dropped like flies, and I truly can’t blame them.
@cckids: Moderation? Why, why?? It says “specialist, not soc**list. FYWP
A bit of clever maneuvering on the President’s part. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing the military budget slashed. That said, I’m a bit dreadful of what lies ahead for Medicare/Medicaid. If Obama has $60b / year tucked away, ready for the ax, that I’m not aware of then good for him. But I’m not really seeing where that money comes from such that it doesn’t hurt someone.
If the cuts go into effect AND the Bush Tax cuts expire, what does that put us at in terms of deficit?
That article you quoted misspelled “laugher-ite.”
I’m sure the Democrat’s will offer a SUPER DEAL…with a cherry on top!
I think he will repeal the automatic cuts before they are made sometime after the next election. They won’t be done until 2013.
If ALL the Bush taxcuts expire, we don’t really need to cut much of anything so of course then, you repeal the Supercommittee. Meanwhile the GOP, says they will work on repealing in 2012 so they’ll all have something to do and if necessary; he will veto it.
Edit: This is the JChait Deficit Plan: DO NOTHING.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@The Moar You Know: More poor people are on medicaid, but the largest chunk goes to old people who are also receiving medicare.
Broder’s policies killed more Americans then bin Laden could dream of.
I’ve been wanting to believe that the Democrats are playing the long game on this. Set up the automatic triggers to make serious, but important cuts to defense that ultimately don’t impair the DOD since instead of spending as much as the next 9 nations combined on defense we’ll be spending as much as the next 8.75 nations combined. Then send Panetta out to scream over and over how these cuts will cripple our defenses and result in us all converting to Islam within one FU from their implementation. Then the public, which miraculously sees Republican intransigence on taxes for what it really is despite the Democrats’ reluctance to say so, blames the Repubs for the failure to compromise and they take a hit right in their national defense wheelhouse.
Unfortunately, I can’t help shake the feeling that there is no long game, they really have no plan, Panetta is just spewing his nonsense about the cuts because it’s Village Idiot Conventional Wisdom, and that the frightened bunny Democrats in Congress will cave and agree to roll back the DOD cuts without wringing out so much as a dollar in concessions on taxes from the Repubs. Past performance in this case probably is a predictor of future outcomes.
Culture of Truth
“They bought their tickets, they knew what they were doing… I say… let ’em crash!”
Ot, of sorts, but Jesus Christ, never let it be said that the media machine is not efficient.
What’s it been, like 2 hours since the arrest?
T’was Reagan who sold the Laffer curve to Americans. Had a role in making Osama the man he was. The second he went about making people feel good just because they are American, we were heading down this road. Tribalism, cult of personality, all that good stuff.
The Other Bob
I am confused. Is there a difference?
Ok, Cole, I give up, is the music ‘Let it Be’ or ‘Let it Snow’?
I think Let It Snow is a better choice. Fits the season and has a cheerful tune, has a beat, and you can dance to it.
Oh the Super Committee’s frightful,
And their crap is not delightful,
And since we’ve no way to bail,
Let It Fail! Let It Fail! Let It Fail!
I don’t have time to finish it now, but it will be a great rally song.
Drum circles will like it.
@fasteddie9318: Well, there shouldn’t be any kind of cuts during a weak recovery. So if they don’t actually cut anything in 2013 that would be good Keynesian policy.
This whole charade reminds me of Gramm-Rudman in the 80s. The then republican Senate and republican president would always find a way put off the automatic cuts. Eventually, Bush raised taxes 1990 and Congress scrapped Gramm-Rudman.
@The Moar You Know: Both if using republicanspeak.
The Other Bob
Didn’t the CBO say that if the Bush tqx cuts expire the deficit will be zero in 2014?
Once again, I hope Congress does nothing. Let the cuts kick in, let the Bush tax cuts expire and we are on the road to not only deficit elimination by 2014 and debt reduction whenever the cuts kick in.
Are the defense cuts immediate?
Laffer’s contention that tax cuts will increase revenue requires one important ingredient….
An ever increasing middle class tax base with livable wage jobs.
That bubble popped long ago while NAFTA was still in it’s infancy.
@The Other Bob:
I don’t think it would be zero solely from the tax cuts’ expiration, but IIRC it would close about half of the gap. The withdrawal from Iraq will close a big chunk more.
If the Bush Tax cuts were supposed to be permanent, they would have made them permanent 10 years ago. Curiously, that would have blown up the budget, so they couldn’t do so.
So, basically, up their ass with razor wire.
Arthur Laffer – he’s not the problem. The Eagles:
“Ah but she can’t take you anyway
You don’t already know how to go ”
You can’t tell people something they don’t want to hear.
You can’t lead people where they don’t want to go.
Laffer just said – there’s always a free lunch, if you don’t pay taxes.
It’s the morons that believe that crap that are the problem.
Laffer — by a lot.
Bin Laden was a piker. Hell, our response to bin Laden has done more damage to this nation than bin Laden and al Qaeda have done.
“Laugher” is so stupid he can’t even spell his name right.
Try as I might, I really can’t answer this one. It’s like trying to choose between
apples and orangesscorpions and venomous snakes.
Laffer, ultimately, is not a ringleader. He’s just one cog in a U.Chicago/Real Business Cycle Theory attack on the US economy. So I guess Khalid Sheik Mohammed is a better analogue to Laffer than bin Laden.
Still doesn’t tell us which one was more damaging to the country though.
@The Moar You Know:
Welcome to Bush’s Peace Dividend (circa 1991, post Iraq War I and the collapse of the Soviet Union). I read someplace that there were 250K jobs in Southern California when the Peace Dividend hit (I assume that number is direct jobs, else the number is way too low). Now? 35K. That’s one hell of a contraction. Not coincidentally, my last day in Aerospace was 10/December/1991.
FWIW, I don’t miss it at all – although the transition fucking sucked; point being, a defense job being lost can be survived, but ya have to hang in there. It’s a hell of a ride.
I’m with you…let it die
Conceptually, the Laffer Curve makes sense. It’s intuitively obvious that there is some marginal tax rate at which some people will say “fuck it, I’m playing golf.”
It’s just that in my lifetime, we’ve never gotten close to the region where it is negatively sloped.
Yes indeed, let the Bush tax cuts expire.
As O’Donnell reported last night, the repugs have a way out of the Norquist trap: They could vote for higher taxes which would not be a net tax increase given that the lower rates expire soon. But apparently they won’t. So let the expiration date come and go.
@fasteddie9318: no, they’re all scheduled to start in 2013.
The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik
OT: The Blue Dogs fuck that chicken once again, as they’re throwing out signs that they’ll jump behind the Balanced Budget Amendment.
This is why we can’t have nice things. I’d say much more colorful things, but my blood pressure’s already spiking and my temples throbbing.
The SuperDuperCommittee is playing out exactly as some folks predicted when it was first put in place.
If the Dems hold their nerve, there is nothing but win in the SuperDuperCommittee failure.
Of course, that’s a big-ass “if.”
@The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik:
Chill. Constitutional amendments require two-thirds approval of both houses of Congress and ratification by the legislatures of 38 states. If the right-to-lifers can’t get an amendment banning abortion, then the probability of the Pee Tarty getting a BBA is approximately equal to the probability of my high school’s football team beating the Packers.
Obama’s Cat Food II Commission’s greatest success would be its failure.
Laffer’s laughable nonsense has cost Americans – individually and collectively – trillions of dollars in wealth, earnings and lost opportunity.
@Mnemosyne: “The withdrawal from Iraq will close a big chunk more.”
Hence the reason Obama put Iraq operations ON budget. Taking it off will be a budget cutting action. The long view, you’re soaking in it.
@The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik:
There are something like three of them floating around. And they’re all DOA in the Senate so it’s not really a big deal what anyone votes for in 2012. Let the Blue Dogs posture, so they can get in a few quality photo-ops before election season. No harm in that.
@The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik: I still am amazed that no one has asked them why they think losing 15M jobs when a BBA passes is a good thing. … and waited for an answer.
I guess they are backing it in expectation that the sane parts of the government act to make sure the BBA fails.
They can burnish their deficit peacock reputations while
thus forcing other parts of the Democratic party to clean up their mess.
So I agree on the ‘no nice things’ lament.
Just face it. No new taxes. No tax hikes. Ever. Again. Period. This is the core belief of the conservative movement. The Bush tax cuts will eventually be made permanent, we’ve won the tax argument.
25 House Dems are ready to side with the GOP on this, according to the article.
The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik
It’s not whether it’ll pass that pisses me off so much as the fact that the Blue Dogs still fucking prove that they’re willing to shitkick their own party (you know, for principle’s sake) for the stupidest fucking things, as well as why we can never get our shit passed it seems. “On the one hand, the GOP has a point, on the other hand, FUCK YOU GET OUT OF MY FACE HIPPIE!”
FYWP is the operative phrase here. The problem is that the spam filter in use here is one of the worst I’ve ever seen, in that it triggers not just on exact text matches, but on substrings.
In English: the reason why the spam filter traps “socialist” in the first place is because it contains the substring “cialis”, the name of a well-known Boehner pill. Unfortunately, there are a number of words which also contain that substring–and “specialist” is one of them.
The only sure way to defeat this fail parade of bad design is to break up the substring. I use empty HTML tags to do this–for example, each time I spelled out one of the words above I inserted [i][/i] in between the “a” and “l” in “cialis”.
Edit: Replace the square brackets with < and > symbols, because FYWP also doesn’t consistently respect standard HTML substitutions.
I am delighted to say you’ve finally lost the tax argument. For the first time in 30 years, raising taxes on the rich polls very well. People will speculate in every direction about what broke your hold on the masses’ belief that all tax hikes are middle class tax hikes, but I personally give the credit to Obama’s nationally televised speeches about how the rich aren’t paying their fair share.
@Frankensteinbeck: That, and of course Obama’s use of Kenyonesian Caliphate witch doctors.
Oh yeah, Laffer. How’s that “trickle down” economics going? What?!… greater disparity of income today than 30 years ago? Not a problem, we haven’t waited long enough to see the trickle take effect.
Is that a prediction (like when you said that Sarah Palin was going to run for President) or a declaration of VICTORY (like when you kept insisting that the Mississippi personhood bill had passed)?
P.S. Don’t tell anyone in the “Taxed Enough Already” party that taxes haven’t been raised, or they might water the tree of liberty with you.
You are completely bonkers.
@cckids: Because it isn’t soshulism the filter dislikes. It’s the name of a ED med that it dislikes. And that is in speshulist too.
Considering that a majority of Americans support letting the cuts expire…VICTORY! Amirite?
No cuts to the Department of
WarDefense either. I wonder what the plan is to pay for all that? It won’t be invading other countries with that massive military machine (that can’t be cut for no reason whatsoever ever) in order to pillage their resources, no?
The problem is that Obama’s own Secretary of Defense has already said, publicly, that the automatic defense cuts will harm our national security. The Republicans are already hitting that talking point over and over now that there’s a chance the Super Committee might fail. So don’t expect any defense cuts even if this thing does fall through.
You think for once, FOR ONCE – that the Democrats will actually do the right thing?
Let the Bush tax cuts expire?
Tell the Rethugs, if you want a deal, half and half, or no deal?
Watching the Dems ‘negotiate’, it’s like watching bullies taking candy from a baby.
Except the Dems aren’t babies, so one wonders if it’s a setup. “Oh noes, the Republicans MADE ME take this trillion dollar deal with no tax increases!”
@JC: If they have seven days to make a deal, then this is the timeline:
Four days from now, you will hear rumors that a deal is in the works. Three days from now, you will hear that the deal involves the GOP getting everything they want, with a timely defection from a ‘moderate’ Democrat. Two days from now, Balloon Juice will be full of people angry about the deal, and the penultimate day, Balloon Juice will be full of people explaining that this deal was the best we could do and that people shouldn’t be angry about it, because Nothing Can Be Done.
Then the deal will be signed.
Sadly, the answer is not obvious. bin Laden.
Look, Laffer’s BS is terrible BS, especially if taken seriously and actually implemented. But Laffer didn’t do that, WE did.
A majority of voting Americans put the clowns in office who either believed Laffer or thought they could profit by getting US to believe it.
I suppose some adults would like to believe a jolly man in a red costume is going to fly to their house in a sleigh drawn by magical flying reindeer, but when it has never happened for 30 years you’d think they’d get past that solution.
@NobodySpecial: Basically, more of the same since the elections of 2010?
I’d have to agree with that prediction – fool me once, same on you. Fool me – what, 4 times now?
Shame on me.
I’ll still vote for the lesser of two evils of course, especially since one of the evils lives vile.
What’s Arthur Laffer got to do with it?
Right now we’re being taxed at a rate of 29.9% of GDP. But the peak of Arthur Laffer’s curve is at around 45% of GDP. (http://www.truthfulpolitics.com/http:/truthfulpolitics.com/comments/the-laffer-and-armey-curves/)
Dick Armey, on the other hand, pointed out that there’s a Goldilocks zone of government spending which maximizes GDP growth at around 30% of GDP (in the absence of emergencies, and assuming prior fiscal probity), and we’re not too far off that mark.
But we DO have an emergency, and we HAVE NOT had prior fiscal probity. Dubya lowered taxes too much, and so squandered Clinton’s surplus. He led us into the present adventure with war and recession, resulting in the present record deficits.
We have to take our medicine by raising taxes to make up for the Bush tax cuts. Cutting spending on wars is a necessity. And we need Keynesian stimulus to get us out of this depression.
That’s what I should have majored in!
Laffer’s “curve” is a pretty picture that’s overlaying a fiction.
Its one and only use has been to lend the air of legitimacy to the GOP’s unwavering pursuit of tax cuts today, tax cuts tomorrow, tax cuts forever.
I have always found it to be an interesting contradiction that right-wingers will, on one hand, insist that Laffer proves that there’s such as thing as a “free lunch” economically speaking, yet on the other hand, they use William Dembski’s mangled interpretation of game theory mathematics to “prove” Intelligent Design Creationism because there’s “no free lunch” in nature and, according to Dembski’s misconstrued understanding, evolution demands a “free lunch” to be correct.
The truth is that any and every lie that supports the outcome of self- and in-group enrichment is candidate for elevation to status as “fact” with right-wing rhetoricians.
Witness Gingrich’s replay of the Limbaugh paradox.
Truth hurts, don’t it.
Obama created Cat Food I out of whole cloth a.k.a. Executive Order 13531 after his proposal to create such a “commission” failed in the Senate. It was Obama who selected Simpson and Bowles to lead his committee, a committee that despite failing, was roundly applauded by Villagers, VSPs and idolatrous O-Bots.
The creation of Cat Food II came about when Obama failed to use his special “11 Dimensional” chess skills to head-off the all-too-obvious exploitation of the debt ceiling update for political gain by the GOP. Even though he was caught flat-footed, or with one of his 11th dimensional pawns out of position, he chose to reject various alternatives to cut-off the GOP’s efforts to hang a bad bill around his neck.
In the end, Obama’s direct talks with Reid and Cantor/Boehner and even McConnell, but no Pelosi or Stenny, failed. Then, magically, after meeting with the President at the minutes of the 11th hour ticked off of the clock, Reid “proposed” a deficit “super committee” that was and is nothing more than a refresh of Obama’s shitty deficit commission idea – an idea when attempted previously failed not once but twice.
Hopefully, the American people are 3 times lucky and this latest iteration of Obama’s Cat Food Commission fails as well.