Friday, July 16, 2010

Haven't Posted Long in a While

(c) 2010 F. Bruce Abel

It's so easy to cut and save to one's blog a short paragraph, with the title automatically embedded so that the reader can click on the whole article.

Sometimes the comments to a Krugman piece are just as good as the Krugman piece.


Friday, July 16, 2010

OpinionWorldU.S.N.Y. /
Redo That Voodoo


Republicans are talking confidently about the midterm elections, which is cause for concern.

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Edward Reno, NV July 16th, 2010 2:00 am

I've only taken two basic university classes in economics. I mostly read my medical journals for work and history for recreation. I do like to follow the news daily. There are a few things that are extremely obvious even to a non-expert like me! For example, that both the Reagan and Bush era tax cuts to the wealthy led to larger deficits and long term decline in growth. And, that deregulating any industry too much can lead to disasters, since the public is left unguarded against excess. What I fail to understand is this: do these conservative Congressional Republicans really believe that tax cuts for the wealthy work? Do they believe that more and more deregulation is in the interest of the nation's safety and prosperity? That is, have they missed the obvious evidence? Or, do they merely spout propaganda to mislead people so that they get the backing of wealthy donors?

Recommend Recommended by 1639 Readers

Douglas Minneapolis July 16th, 2010 11:11 am

It would be cynical enough if it were only about pure economics. But it isn't, and it never has been. A nation in which the majority owe more than they make doesn't understand economics at any level. That cupidity makes Americans vulnerable to manipulation on breath-taking scale.

What it is about is ownership. Many fair-minded conservative Americans have been duped for generation after generation by the little club of the hyper-wealthy that appeal to the patriotism and sense of fairness of their poorer compatriots to get them to tilt the playing field ever further. Right now, about a third of America's billionaires inherited it. They didn't work for it. They didn't have to be good at something or know anything to acquire it. It was just handed over - the world's biggest welfare check. The working people who helped earn that wealth for the master in the first place certainly don't see any of it. These insanely wealthy people suddenly find themselves in charge of enormous economic power, and also with choices to make that affect millions of lives. You might as well give a six-year-old a TAC-nuke. People of this stripe lobby Congress, outsource their factories, and bank in the Caymans. They do it because they don't owe this country or its people anything. They belong to a small nation that has no boundaries, and whose passport is universally recognized.

George Carlin said it best. "It's a club.....and you ain't in it."

Recommended by 208 Readers

Jerry St. Louis July 16th, 2010 11:44 am

What is totally amazing to me is that the Republican Party has convinced so many middle and lower income groups to believe that tax cuts on the wealthy is somehow good for them and the country. Now that is Voodoo.

I have a Republican conservative friend who is constantly harping about Obama and higher taxes, and all the while this guy is on Social Security and pays no taxes anyway. Go figure! When I ask him what his complaint is he has no answer, he just hates Obama and because he believes in the Republican idea that we should not need taxes to pay for the hugh military he likes so much.

What the Democrats need is better propaganda and a boss that is a little more aggressive and willing to fight a propaganda ideology war.

Kamachanda Illinois July 16th, 2010 12:05 pm

“There’s no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue"

"The Congressional Budget Office, the Treasury Department, the Joint Committee on Taxation, the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers and a former Bush administration economist all say that tax cuts lead to revenues that are lower than they otherwise would have been – even if they spur some economic growth."

I am so sick of the lies.

Recommend Recommended by 117 Readers Report as Inappropriate188.HIGHLIGHT (what's this?) Sal AnthonyQueens, NYJuly 16th, 201012:58 pmDear Mr. Krugman,

The reason we always hear that the rate of a permanent flat tax ought to be between 19 and 23 percent is because no matter how we've tried to configure the tax system over the course of the past eighty years or so, on average, that's what we've managed to collect. This happens because the higher you raise rates, the more those being slammed find ways to avoid getting hit.

As for the Reagan years, anyone can look up the fact we collected half a trillion dollars in taxes in 1981 and nearly a trillion in 1989. Revenues doubled over the course of his presidency. That is irrefutable economic fact. That we spent more than we brought in? So what else is new? As for Clinton's mild increase in taxes generating prosperity - surely you're joking. Subtract the blowout tax revenues brought in by the internet boom on Wall Street and we're quickly back to hundred-billion dollar budget deficits.

The issue is spending. Always has been, always will be. We can debate what we ought to spend ON, and I will surely concede that I'd rather send money to the unemployed than to bail out failing banks, but playing with the tax code is where all the mischief happens, and we should stop doing it.

When you put the same rate on everyone, someone making ten times what someone else makes is paying TEN TIMES the amount of taxes. If that isn't enough for you bloodthirsty liberals, then something's clearly wrong in your moral math.


Sal Anthony

Recommend Recommended by 26 Readers Report as Inappropriate190.HIGHLIGHT (what's this?) Nick LentoCliffside Park, NJJuly 16th, 201012:58 pmThis is a time when Democrats should be passing uncompromised good/progressive legislation that is popular with the people and that repudiates the old Bush/Reagan agendas......and then let the Republicans try to obstruct using the filibuster.

Let them talk and talk for days weeks and even months! let them talk right up till election day itself trying to justify their intellectually, morally and spiritually bankrupt positions that simply serve to enhance the short term wealth of a relatively tiny portion of the electorate.

Of course such a tactic would require a bold strategic vision and profoundly courageous leadership.

What the administration still doesn't get is that their poll numbers will go up when they truly stand up and lead. No compromise....just lead and stick to your guns. The American people are not so stupid nor so ignorant as the Republican propaganda machine would have us believe.

Bullies need to be stood up to and defeated. Please Mr President, take the lead and fight back.....enough with the compromising Mr Nice Guy stuff.

Recommend Recommended by 84 Readers Report as Inappropriate191.HIGHLIGHT (what's this?) John G.NYCJuly 16th, 201012:59 pmThe GOP has now reduced its entire fiscal program to one Orwellian sentence: Tax cuts good, spending bad.

Recommend Recommended by 55 Readers Report as Inappropriate216.HIGHLIGHT (what's this?) richard wilsonEurekaJuly 16th, 20101:12 pmIm embarrased by how gullible the working class in the US are. I bought the Tea Party line and , once my wife became unemployed, I watched Republicans clap for war and give a thumbs down for unemployment extensions. Why? Spending they say. Right. And, you continue to waste money on two unwinnable wars. Our infrastructure is gone, no party has done anything to create jobs and the unemployed are getting worse. If Huey Long came back Id vote for him. Anyone, even Lenin. Trust me, I know exactly what he did.You want a class war---then have one.

Recommend Recommended by 71 Readers Report as Inappropriate242.HIGHLIGHT (what's this?) Charles W.NJJuly 16th, 20101:39 pmI will take Voodoo economics over Marxist economics any day.

Recommend Recommended by 21

Cdr. John Newlin Vista, Calif. July 16th, 2010 2:05 pm

Aye, Dr. Krugman, there's the rub. And where is the President on this issue? Nowhere, Dr. Krugman. He's the invisible Commander-in-Chief. I wonder if he relies on you and others to spill a lot of ink in the Times and other organs so he doesn't have to take to the bully pulpit.

I don't think he's listening, Dr. Krugman. And his deafness is sending this once great country careening to the cliff of oblivion.

Then there is the complication of the Tea Party nut cases. Millions of people actually support this "movement." They are frustrated, angry, and are willing to believe anything that Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck spouts. Why is that? It's because the President has not a clue on how to lead, how to fight for what he believes, how to marshal the assets at his disposal to combat the forces of evil that have risen from the ashes of the Bush/Cheney disaster.

It is being reported today that Timothy Geithner, the Wall Street fox Obama hired to guard the nation's hen house, is lobbying against the appointment of Elizabeth Warren as the head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If the President makes the mistake of listening to Geithner, his presidency is doomed and we will suffer the slings and arrows of Boehner and McConnell. Those arrows will slay the middle class in America for certain.

Recommend Recommended by 51 Readers

MarkTucson, Arizona July 16th, 2010 2:07 pm

Paul: I am one Arizonan who CANNOT wait until 2012 to make Senator Kyl unemployed! He may be the most heartless man in America leading the fight to NOT extend unemployment benefits!

Recommend Recommended by 72 Readers

VA Vancouver, BC July 16th, 2010 2:18 pm

Absolutely this is happening right before our very noses. You can read it in any major newspaper or comment site.

The bank bailout fed blood to the voodoo economics vampire.

Recommend Recommended by 17 Readers

RayWashingtonJuly 16th, 2010
2:40 pm

With apologies to Karl Marx: "Tax cuts are the opiate of the masses."

Recommend Recommended by 36 Readers

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