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by Eli

Crazy Talk

4:25 am in Uncategorized by Eli

Hey, here’s a thought: How about we eliminate the cap on income subject to payroll taxes, then revisit Social Security benefits?

And if that means we have to increase those benefits or lower the retirement age to make the numbers balance out, well, I’m willing to live with that.

(Cross-posted at Multi Medium)

by Eli

Thomas Sowell’s Analogy Fail

4:42 pm in Uncategorized by Eli

Thomas Sowell helpfully explains why it’s so terribly unfair to accuse the right’s Serious Budget Grownups of trying to destroy Medicare and Social Security:

When someone gives you a check and the bank informs you that there are insufficient funds, who do you get mad at? In your own life, you get mad at the guy who gave you a check that bounced, not at the bank. But in politics, you get mad at whoever tells you that there is no money.

Well, that certainly is some lovely and poetic imagery there, but perhaps a better analogy would be if the bank informs you that it has no money for withdrawals because it blew it all on freebies and giveaways for its most valued wealthy and corporate customers, expensive hunting trips overseas, and maybe losing big at Vegas.

Not only that, but that it intends to siphon off your savings and/or garnish your wages so that it can lavish even more money on rich people, gambling and bloodshed.

So yeah, I’m pretty sure I’d be mad at the bank.

(Cross-posted at Multi Medium)

by Eli

Austerity For Thee But Not For Me

4:08 pm in Uncategorized by Eli

There’s a great – and telling – juxtaposition in today’s PostPolitics. A story about corporations complaining that regulation and tax increases are hurting economic growth shares the page with a photo gallery of long-term "discouraged" unemployed people.

So on the one hand you’ve got the conservative talking point that you can’t raise taxes to reduce the deficit because it slows down the economy, and on the other hand you’ve got the unemployed people who conservatives don’t want to help because it would… increase the deficit.

Well, which is it? If the deficit is such an existential threat that it trumps any thought of stimulating our way out of a deep recession, then why can’t we raise taxes on the have-mores instead of cutting Social Security and other benefits for the "lesser people"? And if economic growth is more important than balancing the budget, then why can’t we extend unemployment benefits and spend more stimulus money where it will actually create jobs?

Don’t tell us that we have to sacrifice economic growth and Social Security to the balanced budget god, and that we can’t raise taxes because it would kill economic growth. Please just choose one ridiculous position and stick to it.

(Cross-posted at Multi Medium)