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The Tea Party’s War on American Jobs

The Tea Party’s War on America - NYTimes.com
America’s real crisis is not a debt crisis. It’s an unemployment crisis. Yet this agreement not only doesn’t address unemployment, it’s guaranteed to make it worse. (Incredibly, the Democrats even abandoned their demand for extended unemployment benefits as part of the deal.) As Mohamed El-Erian, the chief executive of the bond investment firm Pimco, told me, fiscal policy includes both a numerator and a denominator. “The numerator is debt,” he said. “But the denominator is growth.” He added, “What we have done is accelerate forward, in a self-inflicted manner, the numerator. And, in the process, we have undermined the denominator.” Economic growth could have gone a long way toward shrinking the deficit, while helping put people to work. The spending cuts will shrink growth and raise the likelihood of pushing the country back into recession. Inflicting more pain on their countrymen doesn’t much bother the Tea Party Republicans, as they’ve repeatedly proved. What is astonishing is that both the president and House speaker are claiming that the deal will help the economy. Do they really expect us to buy that? We’ve all heard what happened in 1937 when Franklin Roosevelt, believing the Depression was over, tried to rein in federal spending. Cutting spending spiraled the country right back into the Great Depression, where it stayed until the arrival of the stimulus package known as World War II. That’s the path we’re now on. Our enemies could not have designed a better plan to weaken the American economy than this debt-ceiling deal. One thing Roosevelt did right during the Depression was legislate into being a social safety net to soften the blows that a free-market economy can mete out in tough times. During this recession, it’s as if the government is going out of its way to make sure the blows are even more severe than they have to be. The debt-ceiling debate reflects a harsher, less empathetic America. It’s sad to see.

Debt Ceiling Deal Will Cost 1.8 Million Jobs In 2012

REPORT: Debt Ceiling Deal Will Cost 1.8 Million Jobs In 2012 | ThinkProgress
The Economic Policy Institute, a top nonpartisan think tank, estimates that the deal struck this weekend to raise the nation’s debt limit will end up costing the economy 1.8 million jobs by 2012. Today the Senate is expected to approve the package passed yesterday by the House and send it to President Obama. But while the unemployment rate remains above 9 percent, the deal does nothing to address chronic joblessness. The agreement would reduce spending by at least $1 trillion over 10 years, but even the near-term cuts could shrink already sluggish GDP growth by 0.3% in 2012. According to EPI, the plan “not only erodes funding for public investments and safety-net spending, but also misses an important opportunity to address the lack of jobs.” In particular, the immediate spending cuts and the “failure to continue two key supports to the economy (the payroll tax holiday and emergency unemployment benefits for the long term unemployed) could lead to roughly 1.8 million fewer jobs in 2012.”

The Debt Ceiling Hostage Crisis Cost US Real Money

Debt ceiling cost: $1.7 billion for Treasury bills - Aug....

August 01, 2011

Penny Arcade on the problem of selling portable games for $40

Penny Arcade! - The Fire

July 30, 2011

Who will starve so that the wealthy will avoid taxes?

Programs at Risk vs. Tax Breaks for the Wealthy 286419_242182135804494_113544412001601_799194_1994335_o.jpg

July 28, 2011

The Republicans would rather shut down the Federal Aviation Administration than let workers unionize

And the airlines are still charging taxes to pay for an FAA that doesn't currently exist. Fun! This Is Called ‘Small’ Government - NYTimes.com
The F.A.A. has also had to furlough some 4,000 workers. Needed airport construction projects — to maintain runways, build new traffic control towers and upgrade other facilities — have been halted across the country. The only good news is that the air traffic control system is still working because traffic controllers are paid from the Aviation Trust Fund, which still has a positive balance. All of this happened after House Republicans inserted a new provision into a routine bill to temporarily extend the F.A.A.’s operational authority. The provision would end $16.5 million in federal subsidies to 13 airports in rural communities. The bill passed the House. But Senate Democrats balked, arguing that the right place for changing policy is in the regular F.A.A. reauthorization bill — noting that the temporary extension has passed 20 times since 2007 without any additional provisions. “If we can’t put an end to these extravagant subsidies, then we will never be able to rein in spending where really hard decisions are necessary,” said Tom Petri, the chairman of the House aviation subcommittee, upon submitting the bill. Talk about pound foolish. When the F.A.A. lost operational authority, it lost its ability to collect $200 million in taxes a week. These taxes would have paid for the airport subsidies in about 14 hours. There is more going on here. As we have seen in many Republican-led states, an attack on “excessive” government spending is also often a bid to break labor unions. . . .