YOU must sacrifice for the greater good – but not rich people
That’s easy for him to say. CNNMoney:
Former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said Friday that a mild recession would be a “small price to pay” for getting the nation’s debt problems under control.
In an interview with CNN’s Ali Velshi, Greenspan said cutting spending on “so-called social benefits” would hurt the economy, but argued that it would cause less damage than raising taxes.
Brian Beutler at Talking Points Memo seems to have coined the term last spring. Paul Krugman thinks it’s a better way to talk about the coming budget crisis, as it asserts that too little spending—rather than too much—is the cause of the danger.
Is austerity what we want? Inter Press Service:
The austerity programmes being rolled out in virtually every member state of the European Union (EU) – particularly in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy – have failed to reach their stated objective of consolidating public finances in order to solve sovereign debt crises.
Instead, these programmes – which entail massive public spending cuts in sectors such as education, health and governance – are “leading to collective folly” and even to “a social breakdown” across the continent, according to numerous economic experts.
Far from solving the debt crisis, as promised, the current fiscal consolidation plans will result in higher debt-GDP ratios in the EU in 2013, according to recent research.
Millions of Europeans are protesting spending cuts and tax increases during a continent-wide general strike that comes days after a 53-year-old woman in Spain committed suicide as she was about to be evicted.
Washington elites have spent much of the last three decades getting hysterical about budget deficits; however they are outdoing themselves in the current budget standoff which they labeled as “the fiscal cliff.” Their story is that scheduled increases in taxes at the end of 2012, coupled with mandated cuts in spending, will send the economy tumbling into recession if Congress doesn’t take action before the end of the year.
The horror story associated with this January 1 deadline depends on fundamentally misrepresenting reality. There are projections from the Congressional Budget Office and other independent forecasters that show the combination of tax increases and spending cuts would chop more than 3.5 percentage points off GDP growth. This hit would mean a contracting economy and push the unemployment rate back over 10.0 percent.
However, the part is generally downplayed in this genuine horror story, or left out altogether, is that the projection of a recession is not based on missing the January 1 deadline. The projection assumes that the higher tax rates and lower spending levels are left in place throughout the year, a scenario that almost no one considers plausible.
No, we voted against austerity. Political Wire:
The Economist: “The Democrats won 50.6% of the votes for president, to 47.8% for the Republicans; 53.6% of the votes for the Senate, to 42.9% for the Republicans; and…49% of the votes for the House, to 48.2% for the Republicans (some ballots are still being counted). That’s not a vote for divided government. It’s a clean sweep.”