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Monday, August 2, 2010

Even the Reaganites are gagging

The day of national reckoning has arrived. We will not have a conventional business recovery now, but rather a long hangover of debt liquidation and downsizing — as suggested by last week’s news that the national economy grew at an anemic annual rate of 2.4 percent in the second quarter. Under these circumstances, it’s a pity that the modern Republican Party offers the American people an irrelevant platform of recycled Keynesianism when the old approach — balanced budgets, sound money and financial discipline — is needed more than ever.
The whole thing is here.

Comments (17)

The honesty of David stockman is as refreshing as ever

"balanced budgets, sound money and financial discipline"

Pray tell - Where the heck are you going to find that in DC? They are totally disconnected from the average Joe's situation.

Funny, Stockman was Reagan's point man on tax cuts too.

I still like the idea of $3 budget cuts = $1 of tax increase.

David Stockman's resignation from the Reagan team could have marked the moment the GOP ceased caring about reality and started focusing on marketing.
That's the real legacy of Ronald Reagan - the new direction in politics where you calculate how much it will cost to sell your message to the nearest cent and then do anything you want.

Spin is now a science - and the ultimate lab experiment was the marketing of George W. Bush as "our Winston Churchill." Along the way we got the provably false myth that Ronald Reagan ended the Soviet Union, and that Ronald Reagan was one of the greatest presidents ever.

Yes, he was a good B-movie star. Yes, he could drop a line like the show-biz pro he was (I heard him speak in person and he walked right by me in a hallway downtown), and yes, he radiated a sort of other-worldly, detached decency. (And yes, the upper end taxes in the 1950s were ridiculously high.)

But please....As the God of the GOP he's given us a conservative movement that is a complete hoax and an economic philosophy that could mean the end of America. Not to mention turning the Republican party into a stampede of dummies.

You want a Republican president to admire? I like Ike.

What Stockman addressed, more or less indirectly, though he didn't mention it my name, was the failed experiment with the "starve the beast" approach to reducing the size of government. It presumes that by reducing revenues, you can create pressure to reduce spending levels by forcing hard budgetary choices. The problem is, of course, that the federal government has no obligation to balance its budget from year to year. Combine this with the propensity of both major parties to ignore declining revenues and engage in deficit spending, and you have a recipe for disaster.

While Stockman and William Niskanen, along with a few other Reagan advisers have admitted this approach was a failure and are now renewing interest in real budget-balancing, many politicians have ignored the warning and continue to play a game of fiscal chicken.

I keep waiting for someone to talk about how Clinton came in with a deficit and left with surpluses and how the Bushwhackers totally messed up.

Someone ought to hire Clinton's economic advisory team to clean up this mess again.... They were the only grown-ups in decades.... And I am not a big Clinton lover but I respect fiscal responsibility

"It presumes that by reducing revenues, you can create pressure to reduce spending levels by forcing hard budgetary choices."

So how do you slow down the spending? When every rep/sen has a vote that he is willing to swap if his project gets funded, I don't see any other way than raw cuts to income.

You're right about the deficit, they don't even realize/care what is going on. Of course, if it blows up it won't be on their shift. Right now, things look OK because there is more demand for money than hard assets, but the day will come . . .

"Ronald Reagan proved deficits don't matter." ---Vice President Dick Cheney.

"Aaargh...my heart....nah, just kidding!" --Vice President Dick Cheney

Someone ought to hire Clinton's economic advisory team to clean up this mess again.... They were the only grown-ups in decades.... And I am not a big Clinton lover but I respect fiscal responsibility

Summers, the Treasury secretary, was a key player on the Clinton economic team throughout the two terms, serving as deputy Treasury secretary for several years and secretary for two. The basic economic approach under Obama is no different than under Clinton. What's different are the circumstances and the maneuverability they enjoy.

Also: It's true that Clinton gave us surpluses, for which he deserves credit. But it's also true that:
(1) he benefited from an unsustainable bubble economy; and
(2) the looking-the-other-way on derivatives and other banking shenanigans that partly got us into the mess we are in now really took root under Clinton. I don't think the Clinton team willfully set us up for failure; they just didn't realize how avaricious Wall Street had become and how dangerous the newfangled investment schemes were. They trusted the bankers (and why wouldn't they; Rubin was one of them). Big mistake.

"(1) he benefited from an unsustainable bubble economy"

3) He also benefitted from gridlock which would probably help a lot right now instead of letting one party have all the power (R or D)

"... a long hangover of debt liquidation and downsizing ...."

Yeah, if you call 2 years a "long" time.

Have you seen what the Asst.Secr.of Treasury under Reagan is saying, co-founder of 'Reaganomics,' Paul Craig Roberts? What he's saying, that is, besides his insightful quotes accumulating on wikipedia.

The Year America Dissolved, By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS, CounterPunch, July 26, 2010

It was 2017. Clans were governing America.

The first clans organized around local police forces. The conservatives’ war on crime during the late 20th century and the Bush/Obama war on terror during the first decade of the 21st century had resulted in the police becoming militarized and unaccountable.

As society broke down, the police became warlords. The state police broke apart, and the officers were subsumed into the local forces of their communities. The newly formed tribes expanded to encompass the relatives and friends of the police.

The dollar had collapsed as world reserve currency in 2012 when the worsening economic depression made it clear to Washington’s creditors that the federal budget deficit was too large to be financed except by the printing of money.

With the dollar’s demise, import prices skyrocketed. As Americans were unable to afford foreign-made goods, the transnational corporations that were producing offshore for US markets were bankrupted, further eroding the government’s revenue base.

The government was forced to print money in order to ....

It astounds me, daily, to read voices still saying 'it's going to come back,' 'there's a way out of this,' 'if only politicians would see,' oh, on and on ad ridiculous.

America is NOT 'coming back.' The party's over. You missed it. Mass die-off dead ahead; (pardon the pun). Congresspeople is our enemy, Wall St. is our enemy, Obama /Bush /Clinton is our enemy. Corporations is our enemy. Revering the past, praying to God, Touch-the-TV voting is our enemy.

Read the linked article, again. The co-founder of Reaganomics, the Asst.Secr.of Treasury under Donald Regan, Stockman's sidekick, Mr. 'Inside-baseball' Inside the Treasury, who probably knows a bit more about things than any of us do, has turned 180-around sickened by what Bush did with impunity and the Judicial system now a totally inactive kangaroo court system -- Kroger was/is a part of that and now he's Atty.Gen. of Oregon! and a freakin' enemy of Justice fer kee rice sake -- and Mr. Roberts's considered opinion is: it's over. Too late. Can't prevent collapse in any way, by any means.

(Well, except if all 50 States, or 3/4 I suppose, peacefully seceded together and dissolved the Union and took responsibility for local (State) matters into local hands - quite like USSR in 1990 - then that would void all things with the word 'Federal' or 'National' in their name and authority -- f'r instance, the 'national' Dept. of Defense would cease to exist, overnight; the FBI, the IRS, Congress etc. poof, gone, done, no more Fed.Withholding taxation bleeding our pocketbooks, no more oppression. No IRS means Jack is out of a job teaching IRS code and statutes ... but, hey, something would come along, he'd 'bounce back.' Yeah, like that's gonna happen ....)

America is NOT 'coming back.' It's too late, the train has gone over the cliff and is in free fall. Every State for itself, with their best & brightest managing forward. Every State and every individual managing for 'recovery' but withOUT using dollar bills, 'Fed.Reserve Note' currency. It's no longer 'current,' it's past.

Right now we should be setting up Oregon's state bank. Designing Oregon dollar bills. Devising Oregon 'citizen' residency. Applying for a U.N. seat, (like Ukraine got).

Oh, yeah, and making our own jobs.


Tenska - Or we could steal a few pages from Ernest Callenbach (Ecotopia) and create our own small nation carved out of parts of the PNW and No Cal. And we could steal a few more pages from Ecotopia Revisited (Callenbach) on how to engineer the secession. Of course, if we had the guy who does all the gadgets from Burn Notice on our side, we could do a lot better than the crude stuff in the book.

Wow, Tensky.

That's a nice upbeat positive attitude you have there. Thanks for being such a ray of sunshine for us all.

Agreed. I don't think the 'Lower 48' is going to actually break up into 48 respective States / Nations.

I expect that we break into Regions, say 6 or 7 regional nations. All or most States seceding as a first step to dissolve the 'National' or 'Federal,' then in a second step re-combining in groups of 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 according to shared geography (climate, natural resources, cultural 'dialect'), and conducting friendly 'allied' trade and commerce among Regions as between US and Canada. Or something. Ecotopia being one of the Regions.

Region borders might best be drawn at watershed edges. Which is approximately the way socio-political borders worldwide, throughout History, have worked out and do work out, naturally.

Maybe even Canada and Mexico 're-configure' ('re-boot'?) similarly and in sympathy. Canada gets Maine, Michigan Wisconsin Ontario is a matched set, Washington gets British Columbia, Mexico gets 'back' New Mexico Arizona So.California, Texas stands alone and good riddance, the South obviously is ... the South.

The only ones I imagine opposing the 'naturalization' (or 'normalization') of North America is the group of the shiftless WashDC 'class' ('culture') of lardbutts living with their snouts sucking in the federal hog trough, the federales ... like Senator Wyden, say, but you could name another hundred Senators just like him ... gag us with spoonfed Democrat-Republicans. They'll say, (I imagine), "hey, you can't do that." The he!! we can't! Yes we can.

[btw, the Big planets -- Neptune, Uranus mainly; Saturn, Jupiter sorta -- which 'act' like the 182-yr 'hour hand' on the clock of Historic Time, (where Earth, (Mars, Venus, & misc. are the rapid-spinning 1-yr 'seconds hand;' Saturn, Jupiter being sorta in-between, paced like the 'minutes hand'), has all come around the cycle once, one 'hour,' and returned (1995-2015) for the first time to the arrayed pattern they held 1835-1855, say, closely approximating congruence as much as possible when every moment is in fact unique. For comparison, the 'hour' pattern before that (prior) one was, oh, 1660 +/- say, maybe call it The Enlightenment in a Euro-centric p.o.v., North America wasn't much -- the Spanish were into 'Church' missions up to San Francisco, New Amsterdam got renamed New York (1650), some Arcadians were around -- and then add further details (I'll skip) of world history in China, India, Africa, South America, (which pretty much covers it: the 'world'), and the temporal 'border,' a top-of-the-hour 'edge' of an Era can be seen. The Time before that (1660) was like 1492 +/-, when the Big planets were in the pattern as they are these days. And before that, 1300, Marco Polo went to, and so Europe 'discovered,' China, where they had gunpowder invented, and cannons, and paper, and public works administration yet you wouldn't want to call it 'government' ( Khubilai Khan & the Yuans giving way to the Mings). And before that ..., and before that ..., in 185-yr steps, +/- about a decade (one Jupiter-Saturn 'beat,' the tick-tock of the 'minutes hand'). And during all of the Times, and Eras, across Epochs and Ages and Empires and Dynasties, since writing and reading ('literacy') developed, in 'civilized' places, even going back a couple thousand years before the 'magi-cal' Arabs showed up in the right town (Bethlehem) at the right time (Christ-mas) without any announcement being in the newspapers and said, "where's the baby, we've been reading the stars" -- for 5000 years (+/-) people everywhere, in every culture of every ethnicity, i.e., humankind, has been reading the planets' pattern and 'knowing' what it said to do. ... and female fertility happened, happens, and goes on happening, generation after generation, every month when the Moon comes back around, but, of course, that can't be 'seen' and 'read' to mean there's any 'connection' between planets and people, no, certainly, of course not. So call me olde-fashioned superstitious or something. just sayin', btw.]

Time marches on. History happens. The Lower 48, good ol' 20th Century USofA, was a great gig while it lasted. But we've manifested all the destiny, trapped all the beavers, canned all the salmon, chopped all the trees, dammed all the rivers and peed in all the ponds and streams, mined all the gold silver and uranium and a lot of the coal, polluted all the air (go visit east of the Mississippi sometime, and try to breathe), toxified all the topsoil and we're working on poisoning the seas, drank all the petroleum and, wow, do we have a hangover headache.

Hey, Time marches on. Signified in humankind's 185-yr strides -- tromp, tromp, stomp, stomp, marching, marching, marching. East did meet West, and kept going, around, until now West is meeting West (and East is meeting East) and, in that, the enemy is met and we see he is us.

Let's go to the communications-relay uplink/downlink spy-satellite view. There are no 'political' borders to be seen, only watershed geographies. Forestations and de-forestations. Cultivations and desolations. Blue seas brown seas. Oh, and plus, (or minus), the polar ice caps are about gone. Get over it. Turn the page. Start reading the next chapter: The Information Age, 1993-2175.

[Leading to the Age of Aquarius/Leo -- Truth vs. Tale, 2350-4700. Following the Age of Pisces/Virgo -- Church vs. State, 0-2350. Which ensued from the Age of Aries/Libra -- War vs. Law, 2350 B.C. - 0. And so forth and so on ....]

... but I was trying sooooo hard to stay on topic:

GOP Rep.: "We're failing the country" with subservience to Beck, Limbaugh, by Oliver Willis, MediaMatters.org, August 03, 2010

Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) ... In an interview with Mother Jones' David Corn, he discusses the spread of misinformation from the conservative media and how he feels it has affected the Republican party. Discussing a meeting Inglis held with conservative donors:

"They were upset with me," Inglis recalls. "They are all Glenn Beck watchers." About 90 minutes into the meeting, as he remembers it, "They say, 'Bob, what don't you get? ...'" Inglis didn't know how to respond.

Ever since rattle-head Reagan the Nonsense-talking 2-D Cardboard Prop met cable television in its 'basic' bundle of channels you had to pay for (funding) all of to watch one of. Still do.

Interchangeably for 'Beck' substitute Limbaugh, Larson, FUX News, et al.

I been saying so for years, dammit Jack.


My take is that you have to slow down the spending by actually slowing down the spending. Spending cuts need to precede or proceed in concert with cuts in tax rates.

I do realize that is easier said than done. We in the US and our elected officials are not very good at saying "no" to anything. War in Iraq? Let's do it. Income tax cuts at the same time? sure. $700 billion for TARP? Why not. $800 billion in goodies for favored constituent groups? Yes, please. $50 billion bailout of bankrupt, unviable automakers? Yeah, it's "necessary".

It is especially hard to make cuts when those cuts affect benefits that people already receive, and twice as hard when they affect a politically effective group that votes (think AARP). There's always someone waiting to stage a press conference to protest the "mean-spiritedness.

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