Ellen Brown: Victoria Grant said that banks create money “out of thin air” and lend it to people and governments at interest. If governments borrowed from their own banks, they could keep the interest and save a lot of money for the taxpayers.
Robert Reich: Our representatives in the nation’s capital continue to obsess about future budget deficits and games of chicken over raising the debt ceiling — neither of which has anything at all to do with the stalled recovery and the carnage on the Street.
Steve Hochstadt: When the real estate boom turned out to be a house of cards, people’s debts came due much sooner than they had expected. Governments are much less to blame for the current foreclosure crisis than homebuyers, egged on by unscrupulous bankers.
Robert Reich: The first draft of the President’s deficit commission, written by its co-chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, is a pastiche of ideas – some good, some dumb, some intriguing, some wacky. The only unifying principle behind their effort seems to be to throw enough at the wall that something’s bound to stick.
Robert Reich: The real message from voters was “Fix this stinking economy.” But Republicans have no intention of doing so. With Republicans in control of the House, forget spending increases or tax cuts to stimulate the economy.
Robert Reich: The latest jobs bill coming out of Washington isn’t really a bill at all. It’s the Fed’s attempt to keep long-term interest rates low by pumping even more money into the economy (“quantiative easing” in Fed-speak).
Robert Reich: Restoring top earners’ marginal tax rates to what they were during the Clinton administration (36 and 39 percent) won’t inhibit their spending. That’s because they already save a large portion of what they earn, and already spend what they want to spend.
Robert Reich: The Great Recession has accelerated a structural shift in the economy that had been slowly building for years. Companies have used the downturn to aggressively trim payrolls, making cuts they’ve been reluctant to make before. Outsourcing abroad has increased dramatically. Companies have discovered that new software and computer technologies have made many workers in Asia and Latin America almost as productive as Americans, and that the Internet allows far more work to be efficiently moved to another country without loss of control.
The Dow is up despite the biggest consumer retreat from the market since the Great Depression because of the very thing so many executives are complaining about, which is government’s expansion.