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View Diary: 350 economists sign letter advocating jobs and growth rather than austerity and budget cuts (86 comments)

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  •  It's true. A more honest media (17+ / 0-)

    would have been saying this the last few years.  Instead we continually got calls for austerity "validated' by "serious" people.  President Obama and Dems held the with some early stimulus, and now hope to do austerity-lite.  Better than Europe and far better than the Rs want.  

    I'm glad Barack Obama is our President.

    by TomP on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 09:55:55 AM PST

    •  Yes TomP, agree with you ! Have to go step further (14+ / 0-)

      though because reality is the Obama admin has imposed austerity from the start of first term as well.

      Via digby

      Wednesday, October 03, 2012

         We've had austerity lite whether we want to admit it or not

          by digby

      I've been detecting quite a bit of smug, self aggrandizement coming from certain Democratic quarters about the brilliance of the stimulus and how it deftly avoided all the problems that Europe and the UK are facing with their harsh austerity programs. It's a nice story and there's no doubt that the US dodged the UK bullet but there's no doubt that the administration has not only been talking up austerity since they came into office, they've actually enacted it.
      Many of us seem still to be in denial about the stunning freezing of Federal wages several years ago and extended them in August.

      The post also points out that the Pres already met 70 f*cking percent of Simpson Bowles draft goals.......

      Now that the election is over, and thankfully Romney lost ,we need to get back to reality and take action. The post above is a good start:

      Bernstein references this paper by Richard Kogan of CBPP, which lays out the deficit reduction deals already put in place by Congress and the President, both from the 2012 budget deal and the Budget Control Act (i.e. the debt limit deal). This generated $1.5 trillion in discretionary spending cuts between 2013-2022,as part of a spending cap that President Obama is unlikely to violate as long as he’s President. And Kogan writes that, while 2/5 of these cuts come from defense, “These reductions will shrink non-defense discretionary spending to its lowest level on record as a share of GDP, with data going back to 1962.”
      BTW, I have always respected your leadership on labor issues on dkos.  Are these Federal Employees not our brothers and sisters of the middle class.? Is this not austerity?  Frankly, a lot of Obama's claims of championing the middle class on campaign trail rang quite hollow:
      The American Federation of Government Employees issued a statement slamming the decision as "absolutely unwarranted and unjustified."

      "Federal employees are the lone Americans who have made any sacrifice whatsoever to deficit reduction," AFGE president J. David Cox Sr. said in a statement. "The well is dry, Mr. President."

      http://www.ibtimes.com/...

      Of courseCox is slightly wrong on that claim, many lost unemployment benefits and according to MB post this week many more will as well. If that's not austerity, given the fat in the rest of the budget, I don't know what is.  Yeah, Iknow, the Republicans, the Republicans..  

      We've got lots of work to do with millions unemployed. A good start is to assess where we have already been vis a vis austerity, then take action.

      Action Link  :  http://act.rootsaction.org/...

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:11:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've been writing about it since then, as well. (7+ / 0-)

        The number of Federal employees -- the kind that work for the people -- is way down. Their salaries have been frozen. Cost of living hikes for Social Security have been blocked (because the price of food isn't going up they say). Those are slashes to human capital. Cutting funding to colleges and hiking tuition is slashing human capital.

        There are cycles when spending should be plateaued and taxes raised -- but we don't do that, either.

        Unfortunately, most economists in charge of government policy were educated in America.


        A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

        by Pluto on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:00:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I would have preferred a larger, more stimulative (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior

        stimulus.  I think the Obama admin has overall been stimulative, but might have beem more.  After November 2010, Obama essentially got a second, albeit small, stimulus with the payroll tax cut.  

        I don't like the fed employee wage freeze, but I think it was more symbolic than anything.

        To the extent we have had austerity-litish the last few years, I credit Obama for keeping the austerity less than it could have been.  I know it's kind of an eye of the beholder thing.  I hear your criticism and understand it.

        The Rs continued to do great damage throughout the last 4 years, especially at the state levels as they forced layoffs of government workers.  

        Digby (and you) have a point.

        But regardless on any differences we have in how ot interpet Obama so far, we both agree that the Trumka effort is essential.   The harder we fight against austerity, the more room we create for a better outcome.

        Based on the past, there will be compromises we don't like.  But if we get teh Bush tax cuts ended for over 250 (which only has a slight austerity effect, much better than what Rs want to do), it will be an important victory.

        To get UE extended is important, but we need R votes in the House to do it.  The only way to get them to to fuck poor folks or elderly.  That is the reality.  

        So UE extension could cost a rise in Medicare age or cuts in Medicaid.   The defense and other cuts will happen anyway (sequester) and the Bush tax cuts end w/o doing anything.

        I agree UE is very stimulative.  I coudl even support a deal with Rs fucking some other group of poor folks who need their benefits, if the fucking were light, but that would only get a small extension.  That is a zero sum game until we get Rs out of control of the House.

        I would not agree to throw some small kids off medicaid so UE gets extended.   But rest assured, an extension of UE will cost dearly.

        The Rs likely would extend UE for a year for an extension of Bush tax cuts on rich for a year.  Would you make that deal?  But then the Rs might demand cuts elsewhere.

        I'm glad Barack Obama is our President.

        by TomP on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:22:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nope. Need Strikes, accept no deal. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          smiley7, mrkvica, elwior

          #OWS

          General Strike! Historic Transeurope Solidarity Against Austerity

          and

          Millions Join Europe-Wide Strike Against Austerity

          Millions of workers in Europe have joined a general strike today protesting the wave of spending cuts and tax hikes that has swept the continent in the name of austerity. Spanish and Portuguese workers are coordinating their strike with work stoppages also planned in Greece, Italy, France and Belgium.

          Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

          by divineorder on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:36:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I favor not making any deals if it means... (8+ / 0-)

          ...entitlement cuts. So if UE is held hostage such cuts, no deal, period.

          However, we shouldn't say BFD to UE. (I know you're not.) If we were not to have the extended benefits for six or more months of 2013, there is good reason to believe that we could slide back into recession. And large numbers of children would be tossed in to poverty. Some kind of deal is going to have to be made because we can't wait two years until we have a chance to get a Democratic House majority again. So, once again, rock and hard place. The best we can hope for is that Obama "tells the story" well and beats up on enough Republicans among their constituents that they choose to vote against the party. Not saying that will be easy. But I am so sick of pre-compromising.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:12:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The way to get a good deal is by playing Hardball. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Meteor Blades, TomP

             If the Republicans are opposed to extending Unemployment, let that be known. Make them defend that position. Let them piss people off with it.
                And let us make the argument that this is Insurance, something people have worked for ands paid into, and they are by definition, not at fault.
               And the argument that this is money that cycles through the economy faster and more effectively than anything else we could do. Job creation (and economic stimulus) comes from people spending money, not from rich folks getting even more to salt away.

               In the end compromise from our side may come from lessening, delaying, or otherwise softening the impact of the Defense cuts. Good old fashioned pork. Unnecessary expenditures really, but we can at least console ourselves that at least those too have some (those less effective) stimulative effect.

            "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

            by elwior on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 03:40:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •   Bigger ARA (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior

          170 billion was actually spent on infrastructure. Roads, buildings, bridges, etc.

          A trillion dollars would have created 20-25 million jobs.

          Last year we spent 1.3% of GDP on infrastructure, we used to spend 5%+ of GDP.

          Remember, in 1934 the economy grew at 11%, 1935=9%, 1936=13.9%. Thats because the scale of the solution roughly matched the scale of the problem.

          New Deal Tax Policy
          Financial regs like Glass Steagal II
          5% of GDP infrastructure spending

          All of the above has been taken away, now we have the jobless recovery since Regan eviscerated the New Deal.

          FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:53:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  "Now that the election is over, and thankfully ... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smiley7, divineorder, mrkvica, elwior

        ... Romney lost, we need to get back to reality and take action."

        Indeed.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:05:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And obviously YOU have. Thanks. :) (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades, elwior

          OT, but speaking of action we are taking the train down to Albuquerque this weekend to support efforts at divestment at UNM.  

          WHAT: Do the Math Livestream Event
          WHEN: Sunday, November 18th, 11:00 AM (had been scheduled for Friday)
          WHERE: Kiva Lecture Hall, UNM Main Campus, Albuquerque
          BRING: Friends! We need students, faculty, alumni, and community leaders.

          Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

          by divineorder on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 03:07:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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