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Category: Really, really bad calls

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

24 Responses to “Discuss: To Hell With the Fiscal Cliff . . .”

  1. RW says:

    First, in a straightforward graphic demonstration, an explanation for the deficit and national debt and why it will be largely self-correcting over time.

    Second, the current deficit and national debt focus is largely due to a manufactured panic serving political rather than economic purposes; it has no impetus otherwise.

    Third, the so-called fiscal cliff is a consequence of that manufactured panic as a temporary resolution of the Republican attempt to hold the debt ceiling and the full faith and credit of the USA hostage.

    Fourth, the losses in the election made it clear to the remaining Republicans capable of rational cognition that the political price for refusing to release the hostage will be too high so they will seek the best deal they can get, save as much face as they can and move their attack elsewhere.

    Shorter me: The fiscal cliff will be transformed into a nothing burger.

  2. rd says:

    Its two groups of diametrically opposed politicans playing chicken with each other and their bases simultaneously.

    At this point, we can only hope that past performance is not a predictor of future results.

  3. Iamthe50percent says:

    Great Video, RW! Unfortunately, the needs of the 1% will be served yet again. The Bush tax cuts will continue, Social Security, Medicare, student loans and probably health care will sacrificed so that people with more money than God can continue to pile up more meaningless wealth than they can ever spend. Perhaps their wastrel descendants will spend it.

  4. philipat says:


    Good luck with that thinking.

  5. Syd says:

    Yes, great video RW. It really shows how the Bush tax cuts blew a huge hole in the budget, and how that has helped to set the stage for the deficit hawks to beat the drum for entitlement cuts. Also shows that Social Security is not the problem. It’s the “starve the beast” strategy: tax cuts to create big deficits, then insist that the problem is entitlement spending.

    “Unfortunately, the needs of the 1% will be served yet again.” – Iam

    I get the feeling our politicians’ sense of urgency has more to do with fear about how the “markets” will react than anything else.

  6. louis says:

    Is that a recent Housing chart ?

  7. callotal says:

    dividend income and capital gains should be taxed at the same rate as ordinary income.

    and in part exchange, the contribution limits on IRAs should be increased to say $25k per year.

  8. NewBob88 says:

    Contrived nonsense.

  9. CharlesII says:

    “Fiscal cliff” may be a misnomer, but the fiscal drag imposed by austerity is for real and large.

    The GOP is determined to cut budget items with high multipliers and preserve items with low multipliers. This is precisely what they want to do with taxes. Defense vs. UE benefits is another example. Meanwhile, they oppose genuine reform, such as bringing medical insurance costs down through best practices.

    The budgeting process has become way too ideological. Government spending should be viewed purely through the cost-benefit lens. The US is very plainly not spending enough on things like education and infrastructure, which increase national productivity, and too much on things like weapons systems and subsidies to agribusiness, which might (or might not) be necessary but certainly do not improve national productivity.

    But because ideological decisions are not going away any time soon, expect the economy to suck, even though one has to say that the housing and UE numbers are looking better. The cliff would be laughable if reality-based people were running the Congress. They’re not, and so one cannot laugh off the cliff.

  10. Tulips says:

    You said “Fiscal Cliff”. How dare you!! You know it’s Black Friday coming this week…. all the sheeple care about is their holiday deals….everything else is irrelevant.

    Yeah, taxes and consequences will effect everyone but me. Let the “rich” pay what I deserve!

  11. Greg0658 says:

    ditto RW nice vid ..
    if I were to pick – it’d be on on our GDP and trade deficit – meaning we have inflated GDP by policy paperwork cleanup and MSmedia that the world doesn’t need to consume — & eats our own lunch via required commodities from abroad .. that required blackFriday consumer goods trade deficit is also our own – to affect the beat down of our wages here – be more global – draw in more consumers – eat more commodity

    next point in the mix is certain individuals desire “to win the game” – folks downstream of the beaver dam are not starved sufficiently to allow the dam break, providing manna to the critters .. land is a precious – & never let a crisis go to waste

    next point I agree on educate OUR youth and contain medical costs .. we need to find a fix to the jobs/population/retirement situation

    finally police’g the world for global commerce’s sake on our tab primarily – please fix that issue

  12. capitalistic says:

    A non-story manufactured by “very serious people” and the media. The potential for tax hikes and spending cuts has no bearing on the price of rent, clothing and fast food.

  13. Expat says:

    The Fiscal Cliff is a straw man. While there is an element of uncertainty linked to the brinkmanship, the fundamental underlying realities don’t change. If the edge (timing ) of the cliff is pushed back a year (or ten years) that changes nothing for the fiscal balances or the economy.

    Greece is the same. The markets rejoice (more or less) when the EU promises more money to Greece, but the money is simply fresh loans to cover the old loans. Greece is still DOA; the doctors are just waiting to sign the death certificate until their shift is over.

    If the media and both parties would stop using catchphrases and instead talk about the real issues, we could perhaps get past ideology and find real solutions. Personally, I am waiting for a series of fiscal cliff related scandals involving key political figures. Then we get to hear about the “Mother of All Fiscal Cliff-Gates”. That would certainly help us ignore reality.

  14. denim says:

    The cliff, as I understand it, is the simultaneous increase in tax load to the average family and some spending cuts by the government. The increased tax load to the average family is a big hit to them because at about $290 per month withholding a new car or equivalent will not be purchased… and they are 70% of the economy. The effect of the tax on the wealthy is nil because each one has the buying power of a whole small city of people or more. The effect of spending cuts is to strangle the cash flow going to people employed by government, government suppliers, and infrastructure as inconsequential appearing as a 7-11 store where the employees buy morning coffee and gas. This will cut jobs. However, as far as cash flow into the economy, it really doesn’t matter if the government runs a deficit by borrowing the money from the wealthy or taxing the money from the wealthy. Well, it matters to the wealthy crowd… they want periodic interest and principal payments made them or they will give our country the Greece treatment.


    BR: Can you cite where you got that number of $290 per month?

  15. ilsm says:

    The Clinton surpluses were blown up by nearly doubling military industry complex “take” of GDP while cutting taxes.

    Other “discretionary” grew as well.

    The cliff “free fall” to the war complex is at worst 14%. Average post expansion drawdowns since 1950 have been 30%.

    It matters whose crony capitalism is affected, military keynesianism!

  16. Moss says:

    The Bush tax cuts were implemented to expire. Now we see how this Trojen Horse policy is being used in hostage negotiations.

  17. techy says:

    I would let the taxes go up, borrow another trillion and spend on infrastructure, education etc..

    If wages go up any working guy will pay more in taxes (except for a republican who beleives in fairy tales, he thinks going to war pays for itself)

  18. howardoark says:

    the Democrats can let the Bush tax cuts expire on December 31st and then dare the Repu cutblicans to block a tax cut for the 98 percent. but both parties are on board with letting the payroll tax cuts expire. they both suck.

  19. carleric says:

    Look, most of the dreaded cuts in spending relate to the bloated, mostly unnecessary defense budget. If we just eliminate Homeland Security, the TSA and their assistants we won’t even notice it. Just what does all this military spending contribute…..oh thats right…nothing….people need to quit peeing in their pants every time the FBI and its assorted minion discover another terrorist plot….talk about justification for your existence….dear God. Just another disgusted veteran here.

  20. DeDude says:

    The 2% cut in social security taxes comes to $100/month for someone making 60K and $150/month for someone making 90K. That is real money for consumer class people. The Bush tax cuts were 70% to the rich so I am not sure how much the loss of them would affect the consumer class (and therefore the economy).

  21. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    This link http://jaredbernsteinblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/cb7.png
    shows where the economic problems in the federal budget began: 2001 with Bush era tax cuts, followed in 2003 with two ‘credit card’ wars (which Cheney had promised would be paid for by oil revenues from Iraq).

    Then in 2008, there was TARP.
    It was the downstream effect of several years of massive, institutionalized fraud throughout the securitization-mortgage sector. To clear up the roots of that systemic problem would require criminal prosecutions.

    The ‘fiscal cliff’ option is for drama queens, and for certain very expedient interests.

  22. ToNYC says:

    Clara Peller’s still asking “Where’s the Beef? “.
    Mother Peller did Rise Above, bless her soul.
    Wily Coyote analogies hijack debate, dissolving in fictitious narratives designed to confuse the jury.
    Planned sequestration was the plan, not a new conundrum ripe for a shock-doctrine.

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