Monday, August 29, 2011

The End of Loser Liberalism

A new book from Dean Baker.

1 Upward Redistribution of Income ....... 1
2 Where We Are and How We Got Here........ 12
3 The Great Redistribution ......... 27
4 The Bubble Economy ............ 35
5 The Fed and Interest Rates........ 49
6 Full Employment without the Fed ....... 61
7 The Treasury and the Dollar ........ 79
8 Trade in an Overvalued-Dollar World...... 87
9 Reining in Finance.......... 111
10 Government-Granted Monopolies ..... 129
11 Follow the Money:......... 141

The Right-Wing's Scapegoat/Savior Politics

Mark Neumann (in what seems a continual run for any vacant elected public office) kicked off his Wisconsin Senate campaign with a right-wing talking-point, "Wisconsin is at the forefront of a new breed of fiscal conservatism, with Republicans including Gov. Scott Walker, Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Ron Johnson leading the way. The Badger State is poised to show the rest of the nation that we know how to put a stop to the reckless spending that threatens to send our economy off the rails."

Where were all these fiscally conservative Republican deficit-hawks when George W. Bush was doubling the U.S. deficit? Reality seems to indicate Republicans couldn't control their own spending proclivity.

This is nothing more than the latest breed of shameless Republicans. Blathering on and on about evil Washington, deficits, and spending. Yet, they've been the ones spending like drunken sailors and increasing our deficit.

[Graphs courtesy of Dave Johnson]

Sunday, August 21, 2011


This is NOT democracy.

For Further Reading:

Wisconsin Spending

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities comments, "In Wisconsin, lawmakers enacted over $90 million in new tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. For example, corporations will be allowed to claim as a tax deduction a greater share of the losses they have incurred in past years and will tax less of their capital gains income. Together with other tax cuts enacted earlier this year, the total revenue loss to the state is about $200 million over the next two year budget cycle, requiring further budget cuts. Lawmakers filled $56 million of the budget shortfall by scaling back the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit for 152,000 low-income working families, at an average cost of $518 for families with 3 or more children and $154 for families with 2 children, annually."

Productivity & Wages

Benjamin Landy reports, "Productivity -– a measure of economic efficiency in terms of output per hour worked -– actually grew at the relatively fast rate of 2.8 percent between 1948 and 1973, when tax rates were far higher and regulations were more extensive in many industries, relative to 1973 to 2010, when average productivity growth slowed to 1.9%. In addition, during the period from 1948 until 1973, almost all Americans were seeing their average income rise as productivity climbed. Income inequality in the United States was at its lowest levels in history, with the rising economic tide lifting all boats. But beginning in the mid 1970s, the income of the bottom 90% –- all but the highest earners -– started to fall behind productivity increases. As the graph shows, though,the incomes of the top 10% and 1% continued to track productivity growth. As of 2008, the average American’s real wages were no higher than they were forty years ago. Since all workers are collectively enhancing the efficiency of the economy, there's little justification for perpetuating policies that have enabled only the wealthiest to benefit from those improvements."

No Retirement

I'm sure the Republicans (whom are kept awake at night worrying about debt and our children) just forgot to be outraged by the fact that retirement is becoming an antiquated notion.

Suq Madiq

Friday, August 19, 2011

"Rick Perry is an idiot."

Bruce Bartlett sums up Rick Perry very nicely:

We Must Save The Trust Fund Babies

We actually have empirical evidence that shows higher tax rates, than we currently have, result in increased revenues and a better quality of life for the majority of Americans.

We also have empirical evidence demonstrating that lowering taxes simply increases income inequality whilst simultaneously diminishing revenues for schools, infrastructure, and research - thus lowering our quality of life.

Yet, in the Republican fantasy world, when faced with the policy option of increasing taxes, they scream class warfare.

Destroying pensions, laying off teachers and police officers, allowing health care costs to be the largest cause of bankruptcy, decreasing Social Security and Medicare payments, increasing the retirement age, etc. Where are the Republicans screams of class warfare when this is going on?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Death of the English Language

KID: "Do you believe in Evolution?"

RICK PERRY: "It's a theory that's out there. It's got some gaps in it. In Texas we teach both creationism and evolution....You know, 'cos I figure you're smart enough to figure out which one's right." [WINK]

And, the death of Republican public servants interested in governing.

Fake Messiahs

Articles thoroughly debunking the effectiveness and honesty of Mitt Romney and Rick Perry:

Gridlock & Recessions - Or - Thanks, Republicans!

Typical hypocrisy and myth-making coming from the right-wingers.

Sean Hannity and the other FOX charlatans are complaining because President Obama took a vacation.

They're very upset.

Suddenly they're blathering on and on about the "real" unemployment rate.

Suddenly they're worried about workers and creating jobs.

They conveniently ignore George W. Bush's economic record (and the record of all Republican policies, in general).

When Republicans are in power, where is the outrage when:
  • our deficit is doubling (Reagan) and tripling (Bush)?
  • workers' wages are stagnating (as they did during the Bush administration)?
  • unemployment continues to grow (as it did during George W. Bush)?
Until the Republicans actually follow the rules on the inside of the box, this game can't be played, and we certainly can't have an adult conversion. How can we ever formulate responsible and fair public policy under such ludicrous circumstances?

It's arguing with people willing to cut off their own nose just to spite their face.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Too Little Too Late

Eight months into his first term as Wisconsin governor, Scott Walker finally decides it's time to be bipartisan and focus on jobs.

Does the fact that the Dems regained two State Senate seats have anything to do with that?

Now that Walker can't just push through anything he'd like, he's decided to be bipartisan.

And, let's be clear, the Democrats won the recall campaign. They gained two seats. The Republicans - zero.

Surely the Dem's gains are partially because of Walker's attack on collective bargaining and his policy priorities thus far - voter ID; concealed-carry; killing the train, broadband expansion, and wind farms; more corporate tax breaks; etc.

If only Scottie had been concerned with job creation and working on necessary policies for Wisconsinites, maybe the whole recall brouhaha wouldn't have materialized. Instead he pandered to cronies, focused on ideological dictates, and has ended up increasing unemployment in Wisconsin.

The stage is set for a Scott Walker recall in early 2012.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Two Americas

Here's a couple of telling graphs from an informative article by Jon Perr.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Spending Boogeyman

U.S. spending is slightly higher now than the late 70s, early 20s and 80s, and much less than the mid-to-late 40s - a period that coincided with the creation of the American middle-class and the greatest period of economic growth this country has ever seen.

Government spending increases (hopefully) during a recessionary period. This helps the economy recover. Economic suffering of citizens/business is minimized.

Based on historical evidence and the magnitude of our current recession, we should be investing (spending) more on our country and it's citizens.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Unhinged

Right-Wing Violence

Wisconsin Reading

Umemployment spikes under Walker

Victimization Double-Standard

Or...The absolutely f!@#ing insane, disingenuous, and warped worldview of Republicans.

We should just assume the Republicans are guilty of anything they are bitching about - and even more so when they are blaming "liberals".

Poor in America

The Republicans and the Heritage Foundation feel America's poor aren't really poor.

If you have a refrigerator, air conditioning, or a coffee maker, you're not poor.

"If you still have the strength to brush the flies off your eyeballs, you're not really poor."

I Love Seahorses