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AP disinfo hypes as fiscal slope yawns

4:55 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

AP: Voter disdain spreads as ‘fiscal cliff’ looms

No, voter disdain is not spreading. What we have here is a baldfaced lie to promote a sense of impending crisis and doom, and all for that grand goal, so the rich and the President get their cuts to Medicare.

The AP propagandist, Steve Peoples, echoes the headline with this:

Evidence of Congress’ plummeting popularity is everywhere.

Well, no, that sure ain’t apparent in the opinion polls. In fact Peoples is forced to contradict himself, when he finally feels obliged to give us the actual numbers:

A recent Associated Press-GfK poll found that 74 percent of Americans disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job; just 23 percent approve. The figures are virtually unchanged from June and slightly above Congress’ recent low point of 12 percent approval during the debt ceiling debate in August 2011.

How does “The figures are virtually unchanged from June …” equal “Evidence of Congress’ plummeting popularity is everywhere.”?? What the hey? And in fact the figures are virtually unchanged since August, 2011.

Well, at least he allows these reassuring words from the real world: “… most people say they’re not following the daily developments that consume Washington.”

And this was nice too (!):

John Baker, 65, a Denver psychologist, said … “It’s a typical Washington, ‘Let’s hit the panic button and keep people scared so they will let us do what we want to do,’” Baker said in a downtown Denver Starbucks. “Ultimately, it will be fixed but not until a lot of pockets are lined.”

Peoples somehow interprets the preceding as support for “let’s make a deal before the ‘deadline’.” Sounds more like cynicism about the real intentions of Congress, the President, and the fingers-all-over-the-panic-button corporate media. And anyone’s who’s been following this knows he’s exactly right:

If history is any guide, the ever-accommodating Obama could still portray an increase in the Medicare eligibility age as a quid pro quo–the unavoidable tradeoff–for the Republicans allowing taxes on the rich to increase…even though the Republicans can’t prevent increases in taxes on the rich if the Democrats don’t make a deal!

Goldman Sachs’ Blankfein issues Obama his orders

12:57 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

Lloyd Blankfein a few hours ago:

“Broadening the personal income-tax base by closing loopholes will generate substantial additional revenue while minimizing increases in marginal rates that could stifle risk-taking and robust growth.”

Republican Senator Boehner talked the loopholes scam a week ago and I assumed “his side’s” initial negotiating position would be President Obama’s final one, but now the money has spoken and said the same as Boehner.

So, we can be certain — markets, are you listening? — here’s how it will go down:

In the end Obama will enthusiastically extol ‘closing loopholes’ — which will take the rich and their tax attorneys five minutes to figure out how to get around — and that will be what ‘our side’ gets. No change in tax rates on the 1%. On the other hand, the 1% Democrats and Republicans will get definite and painful cuts in Medicaid and Medicare, and a perhaps smaller cut in Social Security that won’t be called a cut (it’ll be called ‘a change in the way cost of living adjustments are calculated’), but that will amount to a 3% slash after ten years, 6% after twenty, and so on.

If Romney were President I don’t think he would be able to get away with this … but he was worser evil-wise, apparently.

Wait, Obama is _leading_ the fiscal cliff scare campaign

5:34 am in Uncategorized by fairleft

Establishment writers, liberal and conservative, in careering or faith-based defiance of reality, continue to frame mainstream political processes as oppositional. The ‘huh?’ head scratching over Aditya Chakrabortty’s new Guardian article starts with the sub-head:

The economic abyss is a distortion peddled by the US right and Obama’s Democrats – just like Britain’s left – need to counter the myth

Wait … wh-at? You’re beseeching “Obama’s Democrats” to what? COUNTER the myth? But, aren’t they, I mean …

Obama demands fast action on fiscal cliff
Election behind him, Obama to talk “fiscal cliff”
Obama to Discuss ‘Fiscal Cliff’ with Labor Leaders

So can it be any more obvious who is leading the campaign to over-hype a fiscal slope into a cliff? Obama! Obama’s Democrats! I can’t believe you haven’t noticed this, so I ask why the perverse denial of reality? Are you just afraid of the career consequences of ditching the liberal/conservative oppositional frame? Have you looked at the main campaign contributors (Big Finance! Wall Street!) to Obama, the Obama Democrats, and to the Republicans, both this year and in 2008? Why hasn’t that blown up your oppositional fantasy world?

What agenda are you selling, Mr. Chakrabortty? The myth that we have two parties, one of which is ‘for us’ and the other ‘right wing’? Sorry, but a President-Obama-led ‘fiscal cliff’ scare campaign is not the place to push that. The evidence emphatically contradicts your thesis. (Helpful hint: peddle that stuff over abortion or gay marriage.)

If you want the details of what the Obama Democrats have planned regarding the slope, listen to former Senate Majority Leader and Obama Democrat Tom Daschle:

“I don’t think there’s any question that entitlement reform will be a part of whatever new agreement is reached,” former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) said at an event here Thursday sponsored by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. “I do think cost containment for Medicare and Medicaid will be a very important part of the discussion.”

And when it gets to the final minutes, Obama’s Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will be ready to clang the debt limit alarm bells:

“Geithner’s role is going to be to ride shotgun on the debt limit and make sure that everybody is sufficiently alarmed about that,” said Robert Bixby, director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan advocate for responsible fiscal policy. “And that would help bring a negotiation to a conclusion.”

Or, just read Glenn Greenwald.

Like you say, we’ve all been here before, this cliff b.s. is the same as the preceding — and wildly successful for big finance and the right — bipartisan/multipartisan scare campaigns, the ones we saw in fall 2008 in the U.S. and in the spring 2010 in Britain, when

Democratic debate was railroaded; the wrong economic policy was followed – and it was all done to avert a wildly inflated threat.

Though in all three cases, a “wrong” economic policy for almost all of society was and is right, great, from the perspective of the rich, Big Finance, big banks, and the neoliberal ideologues who control the major parties in both Britain and the U.S.

Finally, Aditya, another example, your incoherent conclusion:

I can only hope that America’s Democrats learn their lesson from the British experience. Because the right here owned the language and framed the debate.

Again, uh, the opposition between the Democrats and “the right.” What agenda are you serving with that lie?