Shamus Cooke: This two-party big lie is not an accident, but an expression of a deeper held belief: that the U.S. government must be directed to meet the needs of the super wealthy who own U.S. corporations.
Robert Reich: Truth doesn’t seem to matter. Republicans figure if their big lies are repeated often enough, people will start to believe them. Unless, that is, those big lies are repudiated – and big truths are told in their place.
Robert Reich: As long as Democrats refuse to talk about the almost unprecedented buildup of income, wealth, and power at the top – and the refusal of the super-rich to pay their fair share of the nation’s bills – Republicans will convince people it’s all about government and unions.
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.
Robert Reich: Republicans haven’t come up with a single new idea in almost 60 years. Herbert Hoover was the last Republican president to introduce a new Republican theme back in 1952 at the Republican National Convention. Since then they’ve repeated the message. Of course, Herbert Hoover, you may remember, didn’t have a sterling record when it came to the economy. As president, he presided over the Great Crash of 1929 and ushered in the Great Depression.
Robert Reich: Next week starts the new Congress, and with it the Tea Party conservatives. What are they going to do about government spending? Knowing they don’t stand a chance of getting a direct repeal of the healthcare mandate, they’ll try to strip the federal budget appropriation of money needed to put the healthcare mandate into effect. This could lead to a standoff with the White House over government funding in general, and a possible government shutdown.
Adam Eran: The bottom line here is that State spending disproportionately goes to lower-income people, while recent tax cuts have disproportionately favored the wealthiest taxpayers.
Robert Reich: In reality, the lousy economy is due to insufficient demand – the result of the nation’s almost unprecedented concentration of income at the top.
The vast majority of Americans never supported a “privatize-and-pillage” attack on Social Security. Yet many of the Republican candidates in 2010 are on record supporting all manner of schemes to dismember Social Security.
Steve Hochstadt: Those who want government to go away, or at least get a lot smaller, seem to have two ideas about how to shrink government: Cut out the “waste” and let private companies take over many of its functions. Their assumption is that the private sector can do these jobs better and cheaper. Is that true?
Robert Reich: If governments keep hacking away at their budgets while consumers almost everywhere are becoming more cautious about spending, global demand will shrink to the point where a worldwide dip is inevitable.
Robert Reich: It’s nonsense to think of the economy heading downward again into a double dip when most Americans never emerged from the first dip. We’re still in one long Big Dipper.
Steve Hochstadt: When conservative Republicans controlled Washington under George Bush, they spent government money on their pet projects with little regard for the long-term budgetary consequences. Now Republicans at the national level have made the deficit one of their major points of attack against the Democrats in preparation for the November elections.