Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Two Americas and Deficit Reduction

The Two Americas and How
They Look At Deficit Reduction

Lawrence O'Donnell did a wonderful job April 13th making it clear that much of the country, many of the American voters do not believe that we are all in this together. They do not believe that those who fall on bad luck and have nowhere to turn should get help.

They believe in individualism and think that we are all on our own. They are so delusional and it's hard to understand where they are coming from because not all Republicans could possibly have escaped hardships for sure. How can they think we are all on our own?

What would we do without our infrastructure? How would we survive without the help of our government to provide all the necessities that keep us safe and secure? How could we afford to get an education and educate our children? How would we travel if roads were not available? Who would we call if someone was threatening our wellbeing? Where would we go if we feel violently ill or have been injured? What if any one of us was to lose our income, how would we feed our children and keep a roof over their heads until we find another place where we can earn a living wage?

So many questions to which the people who call themselves Republicans or Libertarians have no answers to. How can they be so fooled? How can they be so misled? Please watch this amazing broadcast of The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell and hear him tell us what we already knew. That there really are two Americas and one is going to destroy the other by its sheer ignorance.

Lawrence O'Donnell breaks down Obama's speech today on the deficit reduction

PS:Excellent Essay by Paul Krugman

April 17, 2011

Let’s Not Be Civil


Last week, President Obama offered a spirited defense of his
party’s values — in effect, of the legacy of the New
Deal and the Great Society. Immediately thereafter, as always
happens when Democrats take a stand, the civility police came out
in force. The president, we were told, was being too partisan; he
needs to treat his opponents with respect; he should have lunch
with them, and work out a consensus.

That’s a bad idea. Equally important, it’s an undemocratic idea.

Let’s review the story so far.

Two weeks ago, House Republicans released their big budget
proposal, selling it to credulous pundits as a statement of
necessity, not ideology — a document telling America What
Must Be Done.

But it was, in fact, a deeply partisan document, which you might
have guessed from the opening sentence: “Where the president
has failed, House Republicans will lead.” It hyped the
danger of deficits, yet even on its own (not at all credible)
accounting, spending cuts were used mainly to pay for tax cuts
rather than deficit reduction. The transparent and obvious goal
was to use deficit fears to impose a vision of small government
and low taxes, especially on the wealthy.

So the House budget proposal revealed a yawning gap between the
two parties’ priorities. And it revealed a deep difference
in views about how the world works.

When the proposal was released, it was praised as a
“wonk-approved” plan that had been run by the experts.
But the “experts” in question, it turned out, were at
the Heritage Foundation, and few people outside the hard right
found their conclusions credible. In the words of the consulting
firm Macroeconomic Advisers — which makes its living telling
businesses what they need to know, not telling politicians what
they want to hear — the Heritage analysis was “both
flawed and contrived.” Basically, Heritage went all in on
the much-refuted claim that cutting taxes on the wealthy produces
miraculous economic results, including a surge in revenue that
actually reduces the deficit.

By the way, Heritage is always like this. Whenever there’s
something the G.O.P. doesn’t like — say, environmental
protection — Heritage can be counted on to produce a report,
based on no economic model anyone else recognizes, claiming that
this policy would cause huge job losses. Correspondingly,
whenever there’s something Republicans want, like tax cuts
for the wealthy or for corporations, Heritage can be counted on
to claim that this policy would yield immense economic benefits.

The point is that the two parties don’t just live in
different moral universes, they also live in different
intellectual universes, with Republicans in particular having a
stable of supposed experts who reliably endorse whatever they

So when pundits call on the parties to sit down together and
talk, the obvious question is, what are they supposed to talk
about? Where’s the common ground?

Eventually, of course, America must choose between these
differing visions. And we have a way of doing that. It’s
called democracy.

Now, Republicans claim that last year’s midterms gave them a
mandate for the vision embodied in their budget. But last year
the G.O.P. ran against what it called the “massive Medicare
cuts” contained in the health reform law. How, then, can the
election have provided a mandate for a plan that not only would
preserve all of those cuts, but would go on, over time, to
dismantle Medicare completely?

For what it’s worth, polls suggest that the public’s
priorities are nothing like those embodied in the Republican
budget. Large majorities support higher, not lower, taxes on the
wealthy. Large majorities — including a majority of
Republicans — also oppose major changes to Medicare. Of
course, the poll that matters is the one on Election Day. But
that’s all the more reason to make the 2012 election a clear
choice between visions.

Which brings me to those calls for a bipartisan solution. Sorry
to be cynical, but right now “bipartisan” is usually
code for assembling some conservative Democrats and
ultraconservative Republicans — all of them with close ties
to the wealthy, and many who are wealthy themselves — and
having them proclaim that low taxes on high incomes and drastic
cuts in social insurance are the only possible solution.

This would be a corrupt, undemocratic way to make decisions about
the shape of our society even if those involved really were wise
men with a deep grasp of the issues. It’s much worse when
many of those at the table are the sort of people who solicit and
believe the kind of policy analyses that the Heritage Foundation

So let’s not be civil. Instead, let’s have a frank
discussion of our differences. In particular, if Democrats
believe that Republicans are talking cruel nonsense, they should
say so — and take their case to the voters.

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