Disaster Capitalism in the Budget Debate

budget-cut-wide

Adam Eran: Historic tax reductions on the wealthy, and the Wall-Street-Fraud recession, have reduced public revenues, and this reduction now makes otherwise too-popular-to-cut programs vulnerable. But are such cuts really necessary?

How Democrats Can Become Relevant Again

entertainment-wide

Robert Reich: Republicans offered Democrats two more weeks before the doomsday shut-down. Democrats countered with four. Republicans held their ground. Democrats agreed to two. This is what passes for compromise in our nation’s capital.

Fighting ‘Divide and Conquer’ in Wisconsin

shared sacrifices

Lydia Howell: Madison is ground zero for resistance to the dismantling of workers’ rights and cutting anything in government budgets that serves human needs while corporate “persons” get subsidies and tax cuts and are in effect made exempt from law supposedly governing such offenses as pollution and worker safety.

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Across-the-Board Cuts Needed to Avoid Fiscal Armageddon

boehner-budget

Ivan Eland: To keep with the bipartisan spirit after the Gabrielle Giffords’ assassination attempt and also to avoid partisan fighting over spending priorities, which will bog down and probably eventually kill any significant budget cuts, all government programs should be cut by 15 percent from last year’s budget level, including heretofore sacred defense and entitlement programs.

Why America’s Two Economies Continue to Drift Apart

unemployment

Robert Reich: Nothing is trickling down to the Average Worker economy. Job growth is still anemic. Unemployment won’t get down to pre-recession levels for 20 years. And almost half of October’s new jobs were in temporary help.

Who Is Behind the Deficit Crisis

tax breaks

Shamus Cooke: Unless labor and community groups massively mobilize working people in fighting for a pro-worker solution to the deficit crisis, austerity measures — like reducing Social Security and Medicare — will be forced upon us.

Discouraging News

Ron Wolff: So, will someone please explain to me how CEOs getting wealthy and average workers being cheated out of hard-earned wages is part of the American dream?

The Politics of Taxes

republican tax cuts

Tracy Emblem: Bush Tax cuts have conferred the most benefits, by far, on the highest-income households – those least in need of additional resources – at a time when income already is exceptionally concentrated at the top of the income spectrum.

Why No Amount of Fiscal or Monetary Stimulus Will Be Enough

recession

Robert Reich: The Fed’s decision Tuesday to keep short-term interest rates near zero is no surprise. What’s odd is its apparent decision not to boost the economy by buying hundreds of billions of bonds — despite its acknowledgment that ”the pace of recovery in output and employment has slowed in recent months,” and that prices are rising too slowly for comfort (i.e., we might be facing deflation).

The California Budget Mess Backstory

oil addiction

Adam Eran: So the origin of California’s tax reductions, and even its current budget deficit, is arguably oil price inflation. If we want a stable economy, and government without deficits, we need to stop kidding ourselves that spending is a the root our budget problems, and attend to our energy addiction.

Corporate America: Don’t Kill the Goose that Lays the Golden Egg

golden egg

Tracy Emblem: America has always been the land of opportunity which is why Corporate America must begin to renew its investment and partnership in our nation’s job force and keep America’s promise to keep the American Dream within reach.

Bell Officials Earned Thousands for One-Minute Meetings

bell meeting

Marian Wang: More revelations in the city of Bell overpaid officials controversy. On top of it all, the state has found that Bell illegally raised property taxes. Legislators are considering plans to refund some $2.9 million to residents.

Checks and Balances, Part II

fat cats

Ron Wolff: Here I reveal how a coalition of sub-populations cutting in an entirely different direction (connecting selected people with powerful segments of government) can become destabilizing — possibly even undemocratic (dare I say dictatorial?).

Watch “Deficit Hawks” Rush to Defend Pentagon Bloat

robert gates

Randy Shaw: The Republican Party and Democratic so-called “deficit hawks” attack any proposed defense cuts as “job killers.” Yet this alliance refused to save the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers, and have backed tax and spending policies that have cost the nation millions of jobs in recent years.

Bush Recession Comes Home to Roost

tax chart

Adam Eran: Tax cuts caused the current budget deficit, not crazy spending. Local government revenues fell 57% after Proposition 13. Even more egregious, the consume-atives™ (they do not conserve), now complain that State funding for local governments to fill that revenue hole meddles too much in local affairs.

Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Governement Spending

“Men…think in herds; …go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses…one by one.” — Charles MackayRepublican Assemblyman Roger Niello‘s recent editorial “Performance Based Budgeting Deserves a Look,” is his bid to appear as a man who has recovered his senses. In it, he reminds us that California’s state budget process is imperfect. The [...]

The $3 Trillion War

The Cost of War

What’s the true cost of the war in Iraq? The total, long-term cost of everything from tanks and jet fuel and the interest on the money Washington is borrowing to the cost of caring for a double amputee for 40 years? It’s probably a lot higher than you think, but try about $3 trillion. That’s [...]

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