Ok, if we're really nowhere, its time to measure whether there's more media hype than real Armageddon in the rhetoric. I say let's embrace the cliff.
The holiday season is already upon us, but Congressional Republicans are not in a holiday mood. Because of their recalcitrance in the ongoing negotiations surrounding the pending fiscal crisis, they are on the verge of becoming the Grinch that stole America's economic recovery.
The fiscal cliff is looming in the distance, with lawmakers having just one month left to come up with a solution to avert the potential for a financi...
The Simpson-Bowles personal profit tour reveals that for them, for their creation -- the speciously labeled Campaign to Fix the Debt -- and for the CEOs, right-wing groups and Republicans rallying round them, the effort has nothing to do with deficits or fixing anything.
In his budget proposal, the president offered no cuts in Social Security, and only $400 billion over 10 years in Medicare and other savings, money that can be gotten by allowing Medicare to negotiate bulk discounts with drug companies and other administrative savings, without raising the eligibility age or otherwise cutting into benefits. The Republicans, meanwhile are revealed as the people who would push the economy off a cliff in order to fight for tax breaks for the richest 2 percent; the party that would rather cut benefits in Medicare and Social Security than have the wealthy pay even the relatively low tax rates of the Clinton years. It was Winston Churchill who said that you can always count on Americans to do the right thing, after they've tried everything else. Obama, belatedly, is doing the right thing.
What would you do if every time that you gave your child allowance, he or she spent it and then some? What if over a period of years, your child not ...
The safety net worked. While official poverty rates -- which exclude much of the value of the safety net -- increased from 12.5 percent to 15 percent, 2007-11, the alternative measure, though higher at a point in time (accurately measured, there are more poor people than the official measure reveals), was essentially unchanged. That's right -- the deepest recession since the Great Depression and poverty didn't go up, at least not when you measure it correctly. I'm not saying we don't have work to do when it comes to a functional, efficient government sector... there's a whole lot to improve. But folks really need to look at these issues with open eyes, minds, and non-jerking knees. You might be pleasantly surprised.
If Republicans want their political opponents to promise them something, the only promise we should make is this -- the Republican Party won't be rendered completely irrelevant until after the 2014 midterms. Deal?
One of the most troubling aspects of the current tax debate has been that policymakers have almost completely ignored the about-to-expire payroll tax cut. Not any more.
Promising the middle class -- and a good swath of the upper middle class -- that their taxes will never go up is politically cowardly, economically irresponsible, and a betrayal of the progressive belief in government.
I realize that all of the "wise men" of Washington are clamoring for a bi-partisan solution to fix the nation's deficit. But the plain fact is that the deficit is not a bi-partisan problem.
We should stop taking the flawed arguments of the rich seriously, and call it out for what it is. Greed.
Published in today's New York Times, the article by Binyamin Appelbaum and Robert Gebeloff establishes a powerful context for Democratic arguments that taxes on the wealthiest Americans must rise both for reasons of fairness and in order to sustain government.
Rarely has any tax cut in history shoveled more money to wealthy households than the 2003 tax cut for both dividends and capital gains.