Sunday, July 4, 2010

Transfusions, Not Leeches

Here's a good response to the next idiot who claims the federal budget is just like your checkbook and therefore we have to cut spending. From Digby:

Both Krugman and I have written that Keynesianism (deficit spending to cure recession) is counter-intuitive and hard to explain, but as Avedon Carol perspicaciously observed in this discussion, that's not really true. She said "when the patient is hemorrhaging you give it a blood transfusion and right now the doctors are prescribing leeches." It really is that simple.

But the plutocrats are doubling down on forcing the serfs to pay for a decade of enriching the already obscenely wealthy. And the worst part is that the Eleven-Dimensional-Chess Administration is going along with it - in defiance of political necessity.

Here's Digby again:

... if this is true, President Obama should fire his fucking political team:

While President Bill Clinton’s political advisers favored more spending and tax cuts coming out of the recession of the early 1990s and his economic team pushed to start reducing deficits, in President Obama’s circle the opposite is true. Political advisers are channeling the widespread public anger at deficits while the economic team argues that the government should further spur the economy to avert another recession.

In Mr. Clinton’s day, the economic team, asserting that a credible commitment to fiscal responsibility would reassure financial markets and lead to greater long-term growth, won the argument in favor of deficit reduction, helped by moderate Democrats in Congress. These days, the Obama political team has the edge, again in the cause of emphasizing deficit reduction and with an assist from Congressional Democrats nervous about the midterm elections.

Apparently reality-denial has infected the White House.

To hear the Villagers tell it, people who want a large jobs bill to get people back to work, who want fundamental changes in our energy policy, who want more regulation of offshore drilling are a handful of far-left crazies with no influence whatsoever.

Rejoice, all ye dirty fucking hippies: We're a majority! A HUGE majority!

Steve Benen has the numbers:

ECONOMY AND ENERGY (NOT DEFICITS).... We've been talking quite a bit lately about how Congress -- including some Democrats -- inexplicably chooses to prioritize the deficit over economic growth and job creation. As these hand-wringing lawmakers see it, what the "American people" really want is less spending and a lower deficit, which is why even some nervous Dems are afraid to vote for an important, job-saving bill.

With this in mind, note that a new New York Times/CBS News poll asked respondents, "What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?" The results (pdf) weren't close:

Economy/Jobs: 40%
Oil Spill in Gulf: 13%
Health Care: 5%
Budget Deficit/National Debt: 5%
War/Iraq/Afghanistan: 3%
Immigration: 3%
Moral Values/Family Values: 2%

Remember, as far as the Senate is concerned, members can't even vote on a bill related to the economy and jobs, because the minority is worried about the deficit. But when asked what matters most, the public -- you know, the folks who'll vote in November -- consider the economy and job creation eight times more important than the deficit.

It seems like the kind of detail nervous politicians would take seriously.

Read the whole thing.

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