Not Cheering – Not Zero

A new report released by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the stimulus bill that went into effect in February 2009 has created between 1 million and 2.9 million jobs. While this falls short (even at 2.9 million) of where job creation needs to be it also invalidates the right-wing narrative that the stimulus didn’t work. Just this past week Sean Hannity falsely stated we are losing 400,000 jobs a month.

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A Historic Opportunity

If you tune into the news networks – with emphasis on Fox News – you are eventually going to hear a talking head say that businesses and families need to control their spending and so that means government does too. What they seem to imply with those sentiments is that the United States government shouldn’t take on debt or at the very least shouldn’t take on the amount of debt that it has to date.

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We Need The Trickle To Stop

I’ve written before about the failed ideology of trickle-down economics. It amazes me that so many prominent Republicans can continue to support this lie despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary. If tax cuts create jobs then how do we explain the past 10 years of the Bush tax cuts? If increasing taxes kills jobs then how do we explain the 1990s? If higher tax rates mean that investors will flee then how do we explain the much higher tax rates in the many decades leading up to the 1980s? You probably heard that billionaire Warren Buffett famously said that his secretary pays a higher percentage in taxes then he does. Warren is again raising awareness to the failed ideology of trickle-down economics in a New York Times Op-Ed article. Below is an excerpt from that article.

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Obama Or The Market?

If you turn on the news it isn’t long before you will hear the standard Republican talking point that President Obama has not shown leadership in creating jobs and improving the economy. Wait a second, I thought it was ‘the market’ that created jobs? If Republicans and conservative Democrats resist the government initiatives — repairing our existing infrastructure and building new infrastructure to benefit this nation in the future — required to get the economy going then they share at least some, if not a majority, of the blame for the state of the economy right now. If ‘the market’ is our best hope then what leadership is Obama supposed to be showing? At a time when government should be spending money on projects that will be a catalyst for economic growth and that will benefit us for decades to come instead deficit hawks have won the messaging war. We may look back at this time in the future and wonder how we could have been so foolish.

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A Credible Downgrade?

On Friday Standard & Poor’s lowered the AAA credit rating of the United States. The new credit rating is now AA+ and it marks the first time in history that the U.S. has had its credit rating lowered. It probably doesn’t even need mention that this will serve as political ammunition for opponents to President Obama. It will be beside the point that the Republicans use of the debt ceiling for political advantage is the only reason the United States came precariously close to a first ever default on its financial obligations.

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Bad Ideas Die Hard

As the economy increasingly begins to resemble the scene pictured below from Live Free or Die Hard (2007) we still have persistent calls for incredibly stupid ideas on how to fix the economy. Republicans in congress led the charge with stupid ideas and many Democrats appear to be complicit in the madness.

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Infinite Growth Is Unsustainable

Capitalism, at least as we know it, requires infinite growth. For-profit companies have to continue to grow in size and increase their profits year after year or risk losing investment money. Many people have gotten very wealthy with this economic model and the rest of us, at least in industrialized countries, have benefited greatly as well. We have many modern conveniences and most of us are quite disconnected from the natural world in a way that would have been unimaginable to people only a few centuries ago. This is certainly good from the standpoint of making our lives easier but it’s not good when you look at the long term picture.

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