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09:14 AM on 12/25/2012
The big problem with this analysis is that it's absolutely true. The rest of us - the media, the politicians and their non-thinkging followers would rather continue to support the corporately funded attempt to take over, capture the social security tranche, and turn the middle class into the new desperate, working slaves.
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Freemillet
Finding freedom in the psycho ward
08:07 PM on 12/25/2012
I couldn't have said it better. It's quite a depressing thing to consider.
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ennis438
08:57 AM on 12/25/2012
The "cliff" is a Republipunk way to discredit Obama. The same "brainwaves "that remained mute while Bushrag destroyed the surplus of Democrat Bill Clinton now are acting like nursery school 4 year olds who act like one of the other kids stole their cookie. We are asked to believe that these losers , who cause a depression or serious recession every time they gain power, are concerned about deficits. I will believe this when a blizzard strikes Miami in July.
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hipocampelofantocame
retired pediatrician
06:44 AM on 12/25/2012
We have a tremendous overload of GOP politicalization, primarily
from the House of State Representatives (GOP majority), with one
conservative goal--no tax increases. This can no longer be the
turning point of our government's finance; we must keep our union
intact and viable. At this juncture, all political oars must pull for survival.
04:42 AM on 12/25/2012
this reveals the bipartisan nature of the problem and, unfortunately, shows why a solution under the present rules is highly unlikely. The establishment is not likely to give in without serious resistance.
03:41 AM on 12/25/2012
Unbelievably naive! Who and when and how does the bill get paid? What is happening to Greece, Italy and Spain right now is a direct result of following this suggestion and now they have the Bankers dictating their policy.........at a certain point if we just continue to have the Fed print more money there will be hyperinflation.

With all due respect to the author/professor/whatever; has this philosophy worked in your private life?...Did you get a government loan to pay for your college education and you just never paid it back?.........
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12:45 PM on 12/25/2012
He doesn't post at HuffPo

You can contact him via email at:

http://law.umkc.edu/faculty-staff/people/black-william.asp
People | Faculty and Staff | School of Law | University of Missouri-Kansas City

"...Professor Black was litigation director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, deputy director of the FSLIC, SVP and general counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and senior deputy chief counsel, Office of Thrift Supervision. He was deputy director of the National Commission on Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement.

His book, The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One (University of Texas Press 2005), has been called “a classic.” Professor Black recently helped the World Bank develop anti-corruption initiatives and served as an expert for OFHEO in its enforcement action against Fannie Mae’s former senior management. .."
07:42 PM on 12/25/2012
The money is there. Gut the bloated defense budget! Notice the GOP only targets the entitlement and Social Security.
02:56 AM on 12/25/2012
Not a professor of economics or whatever, but while I concede that implementing the budget cuts will cause "government expenditures for programs like unemployment compensation to increase", I don't think that this increase in expenditures would entirely offset the 85bn reduction in federal spending. It's hard to believe that the slight increase in unemployment rates, caused by higher taxes and budget cuts, would entail such a gargantuan increase in expenditures such as unemployment compensation to the point that it will cause the budget deficit to burgeon even more.

Just my 2 cents worth
07:44 PM on 12/25/2012
It is increasing revenue the is the way to go. The Social Security cap can be eliminated and the monies taken from the fund restored plus interest.
zinxeb
Empathy ends cruelty
02:25 AM on 12/25/2012
I think that we need to go over the fiscal cliff, Mr. Black, if only to bring the point of what you are saying home to the neocons...since if Obama and Congress kill the sequistration, they will never give up their belief of cutting spending to reduce the debt.

Neocon politicians, their rich campaign donors in big business and finance...and their voter base...should feel the pinch of sequestration...which is a lot more equitable than any "grand bargain" Obama makes with them to strip only the old, sick and poor from what little benefits they have left.

The neocon voter base will have a lot to say to their elected officials if their taxes go up, since they hate to pay even what they are paying now. Their "reality" is that cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will save them the pain of having to pay more taxes...but cutting entitlements to the extent that they want will cause a lot of pain for the most vulnerable in our country, and that can't be allowed to happen.

Let's all go over the cliff and live with the results...until the neocons suffer along with the rest of us, and cry "uncle" when they also feel the pinch.
04:44 AM on 12/25/2012
Most of them have so much money that they are unlikely to feel any significant pinch, particularly since the policies implemented will give them a bigger share of the reduced pie.
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11:12 PM on 12/24/2012
"Fiscal cliff" is Republicanese for "Let's make sure the D's take back the house in the mid-terms"...
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redscarecrow
Left-wing knowitall
10:52 PM on 12/24/2012
Grand Betrayal, I like that. But how much more betrayal are the people going to put up with? How much more blood is there to be gotten out of the stone?
04:45 AM on 12/25/2012
They have been putting up with it for a long time, and almost all of them are roped in by the bipartisan kabuki masquerading as a democratic system.
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Hateahater
We need Billy Jack!!!
10:34 PM on 12/24/2012
All around the world this article would be considered rhetorical, except here in the US! You are so Spot On! Except for the military cuts you didn't mention. They just raised the military budget to 800 Billion for next year, up from this year by 62 Billion! Same amount the " sequester calls for over 10 years. So the military ain't gonna take no frigin loss, so who and what does that leave? No after further thought from the article, we are not dealing with sane opposition. Lets take the cliff, and straighten out the rest when the whining begins! Merry Christmas to Everyone out there! Hate never sleeps, but on this night and tomorrow, like it or not Haters, we pause. We celebrate, one day of not being selfish! Enjoy this one day all! Be kind and thankful today.
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Scurvydog74
09:35 PM on 12/24/2012
Raising taxes on the very wealthy does not decrease demand. They do not buy groceries, car tires, home improvement products or televisions with their 3rd or 4th million in income. For the most part, they shelter or invest it overseas. Money in the pockets of the poor or middle class, on the other hand, only stays there long enough to get to the grocery store, car repair shop, Home Depot or Best Buy. Where should money go to fix this economy? Think about it...
09:05 PM on 12/24/2012
Anyone who seriously wants to save the world from the myriad of things afflicting it need to focus on the major true cause of them: the growing wealth disparity fueled by the obscene notion that feeding a single person's egotistic desire to be the richest in the world is a legitimate human right that all others must surrender their right to a decent life to.

Nothing will change until we acknowledge that there is NO right to unlimited wealth and power. Until we accept some sort of reasonable limit, we will see ever more calls for ever more austerity so that the very few can continue their competition for the title of richest psychopath in the world.

Cap wealth.

http://www.change.org/petitions/united-states-congress-pass-a-global-wealth-cap-of-1-billion-per-us-citizen
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rtx47
08:11 PM on 12/24/2012
There's NO "austerity" cuts. Its a reduction in growth of govt programs.
Both sides should stick to the deal they have already worked out.

I'm surprised some economists and business CEOs are fretting about "Going over Fiscal Cliff". Politicians to-date they've succeeded to hoodwink the public with massive borrowing; while kicking the can down the road. Despite much talk, our fiscal problems get worse - currently 40% annual deficit, 16 Trillion cumulative debt and a lot more in unfunded liabilities.

Many readers and bloggers may be surprised by the real facts!

"Going over the fiscal cliff" means end to Bush tax cuts; an important first step to reduce the federal deficit and eliminate the federal debt. Most Americans did well with Clinton tax rates and will do so once again.

Going over the cliff also means budget "cuts". This involves "equal cuts" in domestic and military spending. IN REALITY there are 'no cuts'! In keeping with Washington jargon it is 'reduction in growth' of federal spending. The reduction is 1.5% which should be easily manageable.

Republicans refuse to cut military; rather providing more than requested. Democrats, after claiming much is spent on military, are hesitant to cut for fear of effects in their own districts.

Military and related depts (Pentagon, CIA, VA, Homeland Security) account for 40% of the budget. They have to be part of the cuts for meaningful result. Pentagon top brass testified to Congress that federal debt is one of the biggest threats.
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cinmac
10:54 PM on 12/24/2012
And austerity has worked so well for Europe. SS has nothing to do with the budget deficit and should not even be on the table. There is no fiscal cliff. The problem was created by Congress and it could easily be fixed by Congress. This is a pretend crisis to make average Americans feel they need to take on the sacrifice...just like we were told we had to bailout the banks...the largest transfer of wealth to the top 1% in history. Wall St has been trying to get our SS security money to play with for years and they have been paying Congess handsomely to make that happen. I think they have managed to unravel the first thread and will probably .reach their goal in the next few decades.
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Hateahater
We need Billy Jack!!!
12:45 AM on 12/25/2012
What I liked about your post is that, though I don't suspect you to be a fellow liberal, I agree with most of what you said. It was Adult, it was factual, so thanks! The proof that a lot of what you said is true, is that the military quietly had its budget increased in the last couple of days by the same amount the military has at stake in the sequestration.
02:38 PM on 12/26/2012
However, the military protested the increased budget. The additional spending is for planes and other military items that the military adamantly DOES NOT WANT. Panetta testified that adding these unwanted items simply IMPEDES their military readiness. The additional spending was put in by members of Congress who otherwise would see their districts deprived of major industires.
Richard Britton
British Socialist Global Realist
07:54 PM on 12/24/2012
could the author write to George Osborne c/o the Treasury, Whitehall, London and explain to him that the reason we are in recession in the UK is because cut spending and raised taxes in a recession

thankyou
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radiojunkie
tune addict
03:27 AM on 12/25/2012
Conservatism has it's tentacles wrapped far and wide. Best wishes.
02:41 PM on 12/26/2012
So right. It's a shame, too, and so needless. The UK, unlike the rest of the EU, retained its own fiat currency, which would have enabled it to continue to deal with the recession, which they/you had grown out of prior to the imposition of austerity measures.

The thing is, whether in the EU or elsewhere in the world, these austerity measures have NOTHING to do with improving an country's economy. It's about ensuring that those at the top profit even further from the downturn that they helped cause, while never sacrificing a penny. Instead, the sacrifices are all to be made by the middle class and the most vulnerable.

These austerity measures have a history of causing the deaths of the most vulnerable in countries subject to severe austerity. And as far as those who are profiting from these measures are concerned, that's an additional bonus.
Richard Britton
British Socialist Global Realist
07:39 AM on 12/28/2012
I've just fanned you

how would you feel about writing to Mr Osborne at the Treasury?
07:20 PM on 12/24/2012
White House petition to end corporate welfare here: http://wh.gov/Qa6f