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View Diary: Bernanke to Congress: Enough with the austerity, already (46 comments)

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  •  It's not economics, it's ideology (30+ / 0-)

    That is what austerity is all about.  A hatred of the federal government that might have made John C. Calhoun (a one-time Whig) uneasy.  And a desire to wreck the economy so people would blame Obama and put the right into power.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Wed May 22, 2013 at 12:41:48 PM PDT

    •  If Romney had won the election, (17+ / 0-)

      The Republican house would have passed a huge unfunded "stimulus" plan (ie:increased defense spending and lower taxes) to help the economy.

      "We must hang together,...else, we shall most assuredly hang separately."

      by GreatDane on Wed May 22, 2013 at 12:45:05 PM PDT

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      •  All "stimulus" must be unfunded....otherwise (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Milk River Madmen

        it wouldn't be stimulative.  If GDP = Govt spending + Private spending + Net exports => If you increase Govt spending by $100 billion but "pay" for it by raising taxes by $100 billion then besides for some small multiplier differences.....from a fiscal POV you have done nothing.....GDP would have stayed the same.  Raising taxes is just as much austerity as is cutting Govt spending

        "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens

        by Auburn Parks on Thu May 23, 2013 at 06:06:54 AM PDT

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    •  Not entirely (7+ / 0-)

      Sure, there's ideology and politics, but there's also entities who believe that austerity serves their interests more than stimulus. E.g. rich people and big corporations who want their taxes cut or at least not raised. Also, racists who believe that too much money goes to "lazy" minorities.

      Calhoun may have been a crazy racist idologue, but he was also in favor of government spending on infrastructure, having been a Hamiltonian and champion of the "American System". I don't know much about the details, but I believe that there were economic issues as well at play in that whole "states rights" movement he led, having to do with the south's agrarian economy vs. the north's industrial economy, tariffs, etc.

      Time to do some reading...

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Wed May 22, 2013 at 01:20:17 PM PDT

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      •  Good points (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DSPS owl, kovie

        The champions of austerity are typically the wealthiest 1% who want more power, control, and wealth. Austerity measures, coupled with other legislative moves like discouraging foreign workers from citizenship, will ultimately help to drive down wages, thereby creating more profits at the top.

        Their ideal is something out of "The Jungle" unions, no labor laws, dispensable workers that are so desperate for any source of income that they will do whatever is necessary for whatever minimal wage they can get.

        The rest are either people who are currently receiving (or planning to receive) benefits and don't want others to take what they have so they exclude expansion/spending more to cover more people; many of which are also racists.  Either way, they are just political pawns that don't realize that they are fighting for the enemy and often against their own best interests.

        My argument for Austerians, especially with the racist Tea Party-types, is that we should cut federal spending at the state level so that each state receives $1 in Federal benefits for every $1 in Federal Taxes they contribute.  Seems fair right? That's how a household budget works - you can't spend what you don't why not the federal government as well?

        It's amazing how many people in Alabama, Mississippi, and other red states love this idea, even though they are in states that are receiving far more in federal spending than they contribute in taxes. Either they don't receive any Federal benefits, so they are not impacted at all. Or, they sincerely believe that its states like NY and CA that are the welfare states and nothing but takers; meanwhile it would largely be the red states that would suffer the most. Fools.

        •  Even people who don't receive benefits (0+ / 0-)

          benefit from them, via the stimulative effect of those who do. There is no good economic argument for austerity or against stimulus. They're all based on old testament moralism, racist spite, or self-interest, be it financial or political.

          These people want to drag us back to the middle ages.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Wed May 22, 2013 at 09:19:06 PM PDT

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        •  I'm sorry but the Federal Govt is in no way (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Milk River Madmen, mad cat

          like a household or business.  The Govt is the ISSUER of the the US dollar.....we are USERS of the currency.  The Federal Govt doesn't have to "get money" from anywhere to credit bank accounts like we would have to.  Every time someone on the left uses the false household budget analogy, we make the deficit terrorists on the Right and left' arguments for them.  The Federal Govt adds money to the private economy through its deficit....its called national accounting.

          "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens

          by Auburn Parks on Thu May 23, 2013 at 06:10:04 AM PDT

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          •  I know that the gov't is budget is different (0+ / 0-)

            but to the ignorant Tea Partiers who believe that it is, you have to frame the argument in a way they'll understand.

            The household budget argument is how they believe government spending ought to be; so, let's give them what they want.

            Generally speaking, the average person who clamors for austerity measures and is fearful of the debt, in fact wants austerity measures "for other people" and not themselves.

            Typically, they believe that the government spending that they benefit from is in some way better and worth protecting, as opposed to the "other" people that benefit from spending. (Not unlike Tea Party groups who feel entitled to a fast application approval by the IRS).

            So, the 1:1 ratio for federal spending:federal taxes largely impacts the people who are calling for austerity, while benefitting the areas that  wants more stimulus and are already paying out more than they receive in Federal tax dollars.

    •  Half right, don't forget that Obama is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude

      Chicago School.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:30:56 PM PDT

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      •  And Obama wanted a much bigger stimulus ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        METAL TREK, TRPChicago

        Politics - unfortunately - is the art of the possible.  And when you are dealing with "modern" Republicans, what is possible becomes much diminished, as compared to when we had Republicans who actually felt that a functional government was a good thing.

        •  Obama has repeatedly told the Big Lie over and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          enhydra lutris

          over again about the Federal Govt "running out of money" or the Govt needing to "tighten its belt just like average americans."  The Federal Govt is where the US dollar comes from.  If the Govt never created any dollars, they wouldn't exist.  The US dollar is not a commodity that you mine, grow, or harvest.....the US dollar is a simple public monopoly or utility.

          "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens

          by Auburn Parks on Thu May 23, 2013 at 06:11:58 AM PDT

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