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View Diary: Before You Start Bashing Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) Read This (293 comments)

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  •  No, the debt and deficit are not a big problem. (21+ / 0-)
    It's appalling that some here at Kos are bashing her for stating the obvious: our country has a tremendous debt and deficit problem. To say otherwise is to practice the same delusional behavior of the FOX News crowd.
    It's very easy to get people to go along with assertions about a debt crisis and out-of-control spending when they think of government debt as being similar to personal debt. It's not at all the same though, and there are very good reasons why we should not buy into the imperative of paying down the debt ahead of other priorities.

    As background:

    * The national debt is about $16 trillion, and it reflects the combined deficits (or surpluses) of every past year.

    * The largest holder of U.S. government debt is the U.S. government itself, in the amount of about $5 trillion. For example, the Social Security Administration buys and invests in U.S. treasury bonds. Thus, interest payed by the federal government to the owners of those bonds actually goes back to another part of the federal government.

    * Of the remaining $11 trillion in debt, about 43% is owed to U.S. individuals and institutions. In a sense, "we" as a nation owe that money to ourselves.

    * Most of the remaining $6 trillion is owed to foreign individuals and institutions, but it is largely (89%) offset by debts owed by foreign governments to U.S. individuals and institutions.

    Interest rates are extremely low right now. Because of that, a good case can be made that is is a better choice to borrow money in order to invest in social and civic infrastructure (e.g. schools, teachers, bridges, etc.) than to pay down the debt. It is a better choice if it results in a strengthened and more robust economy, which it probably would.

    Finally, the notion that government spending can be financed only by revenues and debt is itself false. It is quite possible for a nation to create funds (often described as "printing money") in order to commission work by its citizens. If this is done in a fairly conservative way, cutting back on the practice and also increasing taxation when inflation creeps up, then things can be kept in balance. (This largely is not how we fund things at present.)

    *** All our work toward economic and social justice won't matter the slightest bit unless we start reversing global warming right now. ***

    by CupaJoe on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 02:20:04 PM PST

    •  Our national debt is not an immediate (11+ / 0-)

      problem, but it certainly is over the long term. No amount of progressives saying that the debt doesn't matter is likely to persuade the public that this is the case.

      Attacking the debt by extracting more revenue from the wealthy, while simultaneously investing money in creating jobs and stimulating the economy in order to create an expanding economy which is able to pay down this debt burden over the long haul is a very sensible policy.

      I would argue that it is the best policy, which is why I support the efforts of Sen. Murray and the President to achieve these policy objectives. No amount of Keynesian argument is going to convince the American public that the debt doesn't matter.

      What's important is persuading them that we are handling that problem while first attacking the unemployment crisis. Polls suggest that the vast majority of Americans are in alignment with these policies. Sen. Murray did not achieve the remarkable feet of strengthening the Democratic majority in the Senate without understanding how to frame an argument.

      Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

      by OIL GUY on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 02:52:58 PM PST

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    •  The 10-year bond is trading at yield of 1.61% (5+ / 0-)

      Is the bond market "delusional" for believing that there is NO debt / deficit problem.

      Or are Dems who believe that there is a debt / deficit problem "delusional".

      Es Pregunta.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 03:13:36 PM PST

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    •  It's pretty discouraging when even "progressives" (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CupaJoe, zett, chuck utzman, FloraLine

      refuse to be educated on some fundamental economic concepts and simply parrot the austerity meme "deficits are bad and surpluses are good." As long as a Democrat is saying it, it's suddenly OK.

      And do you remember the admonition not to criticize Dems before the election, just wait until after the election. Well, now it's after the election and it appears that criticism of Dems is still verboten! SMH.

      Just another faggity fag socialist fuckstick homosinner!

      by Ian S on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 03:45:09 PM PST

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