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Much has happened since I last posted. I have finished a 400 mile move, which will hopefully be my last for a very long time. I’m positively sick of moving every damn year. The Pats lost to the Bills in one of the strangest games I’ve ever been unable to watch. And the Red Sox were eliminated in a particularly humiliating and historically accurate way. I’ve had one of my teeth rebuilt. And I’ve finally gotten a job. With whom, you ask, hoping that I’m finally living up to my potential, as my 3rd grade teacher used to say, and fulfilling my dream as a policy advocate for the ACLU. But no Puffin. I must disappoint you. I’m working at an unnamed national chain bookstore. For minimum wage. With no benefits.
More later Puffin. I have to go to day 2 of indoctrination. And I have to go buy pants.
It seems I’ve found my way back to this side of the globe. You’ll be relieved to learn that my time was well spent. What did I find upon my return home? More talk of defecits! What I find particularly troubling is this stalemate over a “debt ceiling.” Whenever I run into such trouble, I simply apply for another AmEx Black under an ex-wife’s name. They’re usually so embarrassed by our failed nuptials that they don’t press charges before I’ve paid for my next vacation. However, I can imagine that the US is not so fortunate in its negotiations.
What I find particularly troubling is the fight over the Bush era tax cuts. While, you know my position is a strict return to the levels of Eisenhower, I acquiesce that those may not be the levels everyone finds appropriate. However, these recent cuts, which take our tax rates to the lowest in imagined history, are particularly offensive to me. Ms Maddow, on her lovely blog, has described the problem quite eloquently.
So, what do these colors represent? The dark blue at the bottom shows our deficit over the next 8 years which will come from our current spending level. The giant brown pile in the middle (ok, not terribly brown, but the visual is important) represent the monies spent to cover the tax breaks enacted under Bush. Those tax breaks were given not as a reward for being so successful in the modern economy but in order to stimulate job growth. It’s important to remember that much of the spending that was agreed to (medicare, social security, etc.) were not created in the time since those tax cuts were enacted. They were prior commitments that the government recognized would have to be paid for.
There are a myriad of charts and graphs showing exactly how few jobs were created in the meantime. Jobs that not merely should have made up for that revenue but were morally obliged to do so, but I like this one.
In the last 10 years we’ve lost 18% of the jobs which we went into the 2000s with. 18%. But what does this graph really show? Jobs are created not when taxes are low. If they did the 1950s and 2000s would be reversed. Thanks to Greg Smith for the picture.
Again, I’m sorry for my lax attitude in writing. But I hope this proves useful at your next dinner party.
As you know, Congresswoman Debbie Schultz and I are totally BFFs. We go shopping on Rodeo Drive and have pedicures and recreational abortions every couple of weeks. And this kind of thing is the reason I love her:
Debbie Wesserman Schultz, new chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, drew a battle line in Washington when she accused the Republicans of “waging war on women”. From here.
But the best part is the fucking hilarious response this provoked from Rep. Kristi Noem
“The Republican agenda is indeed pro-woman. It is pro-woman because it is pro-small business, pro-entrepreneur, pro-family and pro-economic growth.”
As far as I can tell, the logic here is “we are pro-women because we are pro-jobs, as you can see by our total failure to discuss jobs because we are too busy waging war on women, which proves that we are pro-women”. I’m sorry, you have just failed to convince me. She isn’t quite deserving of the Asshole of the Day hat, just some general scorn. I’ll let Miranda take care of it.
An alternative thought about the economy: “Suppose we enacted a modest fiscal stimulus program specifically designed for maximum job creation. My personal favorite is a tax credit for firms that add to their payrolls, but there are other options. And suppose we combined that with a serious plan for reducing future deficits—and enacted the whole package now. Then we could, in a sense, have our cake and eat it, too.
A package like that is not fantasy. I believe that a bipartisan group of economists, if given the authority, free of political interference, would design some version of it. But that’s not how budget decisions are, or should be, made. And as long as one political party clings to the idea that government spending kills jobs, it’s hard to see how we extricate ourselves from this mess,” - Alan Blinder, WSJ.
Anyway Puffin, I must fly. I have real-life meetings all day today.
I can’t really add a whole lot to this. I think Reich pretty much summed it all up. Gold star for being excellent and articulate and explanatory and stuff. Rock on Reich.
So basically, we’re fucked.
And now for some gratuitous space porn. I said I was awarding him a star and here
it is they are. Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka, otherwise known as Orion’s Belt. Go here to read more (seriously, do it, it’s really interesting. Nerd out)