Can we bring about the end of austerity?

It looks like President Obama took a cue from Greece. This week, the White House unveiled their 2016 budget, which would put an end to austerity and make corporate tax dodgers pay for stashing billions overseas.

Although this budget will be dead on arrival thanks to Republicans, it illustrates how much we could accomplish if we reverse the massive cuts that took place because of sequestration. President Obama's $4 trillion dollar budget includes spending levels that are 7 percent higher than current caps, and sizable investments in our military, research, and infrastructure. And, this return to per-sequestration spending levels would be completely paid for by taxing the billions of dollars that corporations have stashed in overseas banks.

A senior official from the White House explained that this plan would “put the good of middle-class families and our economy front and center, while also continuing progress on restoring fiscal discipline.” They added, “You don't have to choose between those two things. You can, in fact, accomplish both.”

Although many would argue that we shouldn't be worried about such things, this budget would keep the deficit under three percent of our GDP, and our national debt would continue to decline.

Republicans in Congress claim that we can't afford to make these investments in our great nation, but we, and we must. They understand these facts, but they'll do anything to prevent a tax increase on their corporate buddies – even if that means our nation continues to suffer under sequestration.

Just like the people of Greece, Americans know that it's time to put an end to austerity, and they have no problem with making corporate tax dodgers pay their fair share. It's time for Republican lawmakers to stop protecting the billionaires, pass this budget, and do what's best for the American people.


mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 19 weeks ago

3rd-to-last paragraph: The national debt is not declining, the deficit is.

2nd-to-last paragraph: There's a weird edit leaving "but we, and we must." Was that supposed to be "but we can, and we must"?

mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 19 weeks ago

Good timing talking about intra-party politics. Next week I'll be going to a reorganization meeting at which I'll vote on county party chair, legislative-district officers, etc.

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 9 years 19 weeks ago

A bit off topic...but as it is anything-goes-Fri., and this was the subject of a caller toward the end of the show;

Gary Null Show – 02.04.15

A special hour presenting viewpoints and scientific information about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, with respect to their possible effects on health and quality of life, with Gary’s commentary and latest peer-reviewed information.


Progressive Commentary Hour – 01.20.15

Dr. Brian Hooker is an Associate Professor of Biology at Simpson University in California, and a senior consultant for ARES Corporation, specializing in environmental restoration design. As a bioengineer, Dr. Hooker spent 16 as a team leader for the Dept of Energy’s Genomes to Life Center for Molecular and Cellular Systems at its Pacific Northwest National Laboratory where he investigated gene-protein networks, cell signaling and cellular metabolic pathways. He is a prominent leader in the organization Focus Autism, which is investigating the scientific evidence for a vaccine-autism connection. Brian has a teenage son with autism and has been active in the autism community for almost a decade. Over the years he has filed many FOIAs with federal agencies and has received 1000s of pages of documents supporting the need to question the efficacy and safety of vaccination. He has been the point independent researcher in the recent whistleblower case with Dr. Thompson from the CDC regarding vaccine dangers. His website is

Dr. Toni Bark is a pediatric physician and a prestigious homeopathic doctor practicing in the Chicago area. She is currently the vice president of the American Institute of Homeopathy and has studied with many of the most famous international homeopathic doctors. In addition to her medical degree from Rush Medical College and pediatric internship at New York University, Dr Bark has degrees in psychology, a masters in Healthcare Emergency Management from Boston University Medical School, and was trained by Dr. Erica Fromm at the American Society for Clinical Hypnosis.

Dr. Bark is a regular guest speaker at the University of Chicago and contributed to Mary Holland’s and Louise Habakus’ important book “The Vaccine Epidemic”

Her website and blog is

Dr. Andrew Wakefield is a gastroenterologist and academician specializing in inflammatory bowel disease and the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine or MMR. He is a former Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and has published over 130 original scientific papers and book chapters. In 1998, he and his colleagues at the Royal Free Hospital in London reported a novel inflammatory bowel disease in children with developmental disorders such as autism. Dr. Wakefield resisted pressure to stop his investigations into a possible link between vaccinations, intestinal inflammation and autism. In 2001 he was awarded the fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists and he has been a board member of the American charity Medical Interventions for Autism.

Dr. Wakefield is the co-founder and director of the Autism Media Channel which airs on various TV stations – His book “Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines, The Truth Behind the Tragedy” recounts his research into autism, the MMR vaccine and GI illnesses and his legal struggles by government and medical health authorities to discredit him and his work.

RichardofJeffersonCity's picture
RichardofJeffer... 9 years 19 weeks ago

Tainted political red meat offered by the Obama amiseration - Oh, I mean administration. President Obama is completely aware of the chances of his budget making in through Congress, and that chance is just about zero and half. It is the most cynical of theatrics played out on the political stage for those still willing to practice in the art of self-deception.

RowlandS's picture
RowlandS 9 years 19 weeks ago

Inasmuch as bombing people isn't getting us anywhere, why the increase in the "defense" budget, what is called a miltary budget? There is so much that can be done to bolster the country's infrastructure (and gain thousands of jobs) if we were to built just a few less B-2 bombers.

douglas m 9 years 19 weeks ago

At least he is putting it out there for people to see how republicans work.

Truth is how do you get any politician to obey the will of the people?

When all they are willing to do is go with the flow so they are ok.

Is it possible even to get money out of politics before it implodes.

Its obvious Congress will not wake up in time.

chicagotim's picture
chicagotim 9 years 19 weeks ago

I agree that Infrastructure investment is a fundamental and necessary role of the government. Where we part company is on continued decades-long deficit spending that requires ever larger percentages of the GDP going to pay debts of years and years ago. Greece is facing just that reality. The government there simply does not have enough money to continue providing the level of services they've constructed. No one will give them more money. It's like a family that accumulates too many credit card bills and eventually they have to go bankrupt.... Tell me where I'm wrong?

stopgap's picture
stopgap 9 years 19 weeks ago

Conservatives think that ending austerity is code for castration.

kayaker's picture
kayaker 9 years 19 weeks ago

All we have to do is cut the obscene military budget (800+ military bases around the world, millions on every bomb, every jet!!!!) and we could fix our infrastructure, feed and house our people, and educate our children. The wealthy are paying a pittance of what they used to in taxes -- if they paid anywhere near their fair share there would be no deficits. Same thing for corporate taxes. It's totally disgusting.

Obama is nothing but a Wall Street shill and he's now attempting to pull his "legacy" out of the toilet. He knows perfectly well that all these "great new programs" he has will go absolutely nowhere. Does he really think we're all that stupid?

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 9 years 19 weeks ago

No, we can't. The US has -- with the support of the middle class -- been implementing the austerity agenda for years, piece by piece, from the bottom up. What we did in a nutshell: We looked at the policies and programs implemented from FDR to Reagan, which took the US to its height of wealth and productivity, and chose to do just the opposite. The inevitable happened. In similar eras in the past, when the richest few were able to take control, the poor and middle class, workers and the jobless, united to push back -- to everyone's benefit. That can't happen this time. This time, the poor have been welcomed to Stand in Solidarity for the middle class -- just don't expect a crumb to trickle down. With nothing to stop it, and in spite of occassiobnal bumps in the road, our corporate powers will bring the austerity agenda to fruition.

oneworldatpeace's picture
oneworldatpeace 9 years 19 weeks ago

Sorry but you are incorrect! Tax cuts are what killed Greece and what's killing us!

The Greek problem was that NOBODY PAID TAXES! Do you know why?

BECAUSE THE RICH WEREN'T PAYING! And everybody knew it so they stopped too.

When they went down to the harbors and followed the ownership trails of all the GIANT LUXURY BOATS and sent them tax bills. And siezed some boats! The regular folks also started paying!

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 9 years 19 weeks ago

The catch is that Americans do not want to aid our poor. We know that not everyone can work (health, etc.) and that there aren't jobs for all who need one. The US shipped out a huge share of our jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare aid in the 1990s. America looked at the policies and programs implemented from FDR to Reagan, which took the US to its height of wealth and productivity, and chose to reverse course, doing just the opposite. The inevitable happened.

Since Reagan, the US has lost several trillion dollars (with a "t") to ongoing, massive taxcuts and handouts to corporations/the rich. Corporations continue to use this money to build factories and offices outside the US. shutting them down here. The Dems in Congress are currently considering extreme cuts in disability aid, which will virtually end Social Security Disability, as a necessarty step toward ending Social Security in whole.

Times have changed. US corporations have gone international, and no longer need to rely on US consumers. We make products to be sold in the more successful nations. I think the goal is to finish turning the US itself into another third world labor force, paid poverty wages to produce those goods sold elsewhere, serving to maximize corporate profits.

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 9 years 19 weeks ago

Where America fails is that infrastructure is this generation's ONLY idea (with a half-hearted promise of "trickle down"). We have a poverty crisis. The overwhelming majority of those in poverty are women/children. Infrastructure jobs overwhelmingingly go to men. On the overall budget: Obama has reduced the debt to the lowest point seen since before Reagan. This ensures the credit of the US. We absolutely must invest in the people, and in rebuilding the economy. Because women are overwhelmingly co- or sole family supporters, we need to focus specifically on increasing opportunities and wages for women. Our leading expense is the key to handing the deficit. This is, by far, the military. Our own survival as a nation requires taking a break from wars, legitimately examining military budgets to end waste (note: It is known that a massive amount of taxpayer money put into military budgets ends up under the column of, "Unaccounted for.")

What we do need to do is stop essentially paying corporations to move our jobs out, and use the money we have to legitimately meet the needs of the nation, increasing consumer purchases to increase production. I would suggest reviewing what was done from FDR to Reagan, which took the US to its height of wealth and productivity. With Reagan, we began reversing the policies, ending the programs, that had made the US so successful, and have been on a downhill slide ever since.

Suze O's picture
Suze O 9 years 19 weeks ago

Just read in the NYT that the Republicans are feeling slighted that Obama isn't "reaching out to them" or "consulting" them on topics they are familiar with. They just don't feel "included". Interestingly, I did not see a way to comment on that article - I like to think the Times may not have felt up to the barrage of negative reaction if they had opened it for feedback.

I wish Obama had acted like this a long time ago.

RFord's picture
RFord 9 years 19 weeks ago

Politicians are going to do what the people who got them elected want them to do. I'm not talking about the voters. I'm talking about their campaign doners. The fact is they're supposed to be acting in the best intrest of the majority of the people they represent but sadly that's not the case nowdays. Congress is going to pass a budget that satisfies the largest campaign doners and the Washington lobbyist. The real problem is ignorance of of a large percentage of United States citizens when it comes to civics, how government works, and what their elected representives are doing that is not in their best intrest. Seems like I hear most people blaming the President for any and all problems that arise, not realizing the President can lead congress to do things to help or hurt the country but has little power to do anything without majority votes in both the senate and the house of representatives. So, when the President proposes things to help the country and it's not passed by congress and then the country gets no better, who gets the blame? The President. It's rediculous, but that's the way it is. I can imagine a political cartoon with President Obama dressed like a cowboy standing next to a pond marked with a sign that says " Average American Prosperity Lake" with one hand pulling down on the reigns of a saddled elephant with the GOP brand and pointing down at the water with the other hand as the elephant is pulling back. The caption would read "You can lead an elephant to water but you can't make it drink". On the other hand, if the President leads congress to do good and congress goes along with it, the President should get credit for it and if the President leads congress to do something that hurts the country, the President should get the blame for it. What the USA needs is a civics lesson on a massive scale and a website, easily accessed, that show how your representitives voted in the national and state legislatures simply by typing in your zip code.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 19 weeks ago

Reply to #1: Mathboy, I noticed that too, and for me the answer is pretty obvious: that it's a type-0 and the missing word is "can".

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 19 weeks ago

I find it amazing that when the President has the luxury of a no go Congress and the ability to pander to his base all he wants, he still can't come up with a budget with cuts to the military. What a sacred cow the Military Industrial Complex has become in this country? Just like Israel and Saudi Arabia, we can't shake our addiction to the very problems that are killing us. Sorry, Thom. There is nothing the President is going to do in the next two years that is going to make me jump and shout short of prosecuting Dick Cheney and the Bush crime family for war crimes. Everything else is off the table at this point. The President cannot affect change in the budget anymore than he can change the weather. The natural repercussions of his past inactions have caught up with him and he is effectually impotent. The only power he has left is the power to veto what the Republican Congress he created has to say. However, he still controls the executive branch. He still controls the Attorney General. He can still fulfill his campaign promise and prosecute Bush and Cheney for war crimes. Until that happens, please spare us displays of veneration over his feeble attempts at Kabuki theatre. Surely you can see by almost every post here that they are not going over very well.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 19 weeks ago

I think candidates for office in the senate, or anywhere in the higher echelons of government, should first undergo rigorous personality testing, maybe DNA testing as well, to make sure they are not psychopaths. I think psychopathy has played a large role in getting us into this mess, and it'll be a long haul gettin' back out. A little of this crap goes a long, long way...

Reading RFord’s post (#15) makes this all seem like such a game. A bunch of very rich, very petty, mostly old men, playing games with our lives and our futures like we're all just figurines on a goddam chess board. It's what psychopaths do. - AIW

SassyLass 9 years 19 weeks ago

Thom was mistaken. It wasn't the Concord Coalition; it was the Concord Project. Here is the web site:

Penny Rewis 9 years 19 weeks ago

#7, you should do some research on the history of Greece politically and economically for the past couple of decades before drawing conclusions on how they got there.

Penny Rewis 9 years 19 weeks ago

Aliceinwonderland, you can't DNA test for greed. It's all about the bottom line, $. People are expendable---everywhere. They are a replenishable resource for the plutarchies. Feudal society was unchallenged until the black plague wiped out large portions of the labor force. The plutoarchies prefer there are multiple persons needing every job created. It keeps labor costs down and ensures populations for a most profitable industry - war. If young people can't secure employment in the private sector they must turn to the military. It's simple economics.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 18 weeks ago

Penny, I'm not so sure about that. I've read and heard that to the contrary, psychopathy is genetic. If my sources are correct, I see no reason why it wouldn't show up in DNA profiles. Beyond that, I think we're on the same page about the larger picture. I'd just like to add that these guys are as hooked on power & control as they are on wealth. Psychopaths thrive on winning; that's all they care about, and I believe that's as big a factor as the money.

bobcox's picture
bobcox 9 years 18 weeks ago

I don't think we need some 450 or so military bases overseas. I would close 90 % of these. I believe that military spending, if not necessary, is not-productive to the economy.

I believe that you can have as meany ways to balance a budget as you have CPS's. Simplify the budget by making Congressman's incomes dependent upon positive income flow into the treasury. If they don't have more income to the treasury from whatever source, they can't spend funds for meetings, salaries, etc. I believe that all resolutions for appropriations of funds to be expended should have means to provide those funds. I believe that some procedures, such as taxes to support Social Security, military salaries and Veteran's benefits and infrastructures should be index to the inflation rate so it doesn't have to be considered every two years for continuing activity. This which are "flow through", do not have to appear on the budget. These are things like the transportation trust fund, the Social Security system trust fund, etc. The President should have a "line item veto ability on all appropriations bills so that if Congress wishes to add more things, the entire bill doesn't have to be vetoed, just the line item.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 18 weeks ago

mathboy -- With our GDP skyrocketing in the last quarter and our deficit decreasing surely our national debt is decreasing.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 18 weeks ago

Rich of Jeff --Pointing out to the masses what could be done if they were get off their asses and vote democratic doesn't sound cynical at all. It sounds like the thing you were asking for the other day.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 18 weeks ago

Chicagotim -- I would be glad to tell you where you are wrong. You have not differentiated the expenditures between spending and investing. The stupid congress we have had since raygun is still getting a 60% return on their expenditures. Those results indicate they are doing a lot more investing than spending.

If that family ran up those credit card debts to help put their children through school, they also might get a return on that investment, and would not have to declare bankruptcy.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 18 weeks ago

Criminality, homelessness, domestic abuse, suicide, depression, bigotry, rascism, unemployment, underemployment, poverty in all form and manner including the most cruel forms, childhood and elderly....these are all by-products ubiquitous to the violent austerity imposed behind the scenes by the Fascists who control the Teapublican Party. The Oligarchs get the tax breaks, deregulation, free/slave trade, and we the vast majority end up the victims of a covert violent revolution that has been going on for over three decades.

The billionaires aren't burning us alive for the world to see, they're too sly for that.... but the end result is just as violent.... often a slower and more painful death for many. This is one-sided economic guerrilla warfare being facilitated by arbitrary power against a population of citizens who have no idea who the enemy is. The culprits hide behind Fox News lies and the Teapublican party.

Economic inequality as a result of massive concentration of wealth is violent!

We always cringe when we think about the violence associated with the French Revolution, but how curious the absence of thought regarding the initial violence that prompted the Revolution. Oligarchy, Aristocracy, Fascism, call it what you may, the violence associated with these forms of government is real. Violent conditions such as starvation, and widespread poverty, prompted French citizens in 1789 to finally stand up and and commit unspeakable acts of violence against unspeakable acts of violence already being inflicted upon them.

Watching children go hungry was the same horror in 1789 as it is now. Close to 50% of the children in our our unregulated capitalist country currently live in poverty or are members of low income families. One in five live in food insecure households. A brainwashed Teabagger will ask....why can't these kids lift themselves up by their bread bag covered shoes and get a job at Walmart?... thank you monoploy capitalism and Reagan trickle/keep us down! This economic violence the richest country on the planet????

The Kochs are as numb to what they are doing as Louis and Marie were. Let's pray our inevitable revolution doesn't include the guillotine and can be achieved peacefully despite corpse media lies, and corpse ownership of voting machines.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 18 weeks ago

kayaker -- When raygun cut the top tax rate something like 78% to 35%, they paid 2 or 3 times as much in taxes. This process tanked the US economy. We want those rich folks to invest in America. We need tax incentives to encourage them to do that. Another word for tax incentives is loopholes. There are so many bad loopholes it is hard to find good ones. Nancy Pelosi's attempted law to provide tax credits for keeping jobs in America was one such good loophole.

Wall St, like you, thought Obama was there shill. Funny thing happened. Ms Warren and Barry passed the weak consumer protection act, Wall St quit giving money (at least a whole lot less) to Obama in 2012.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 9 years 18 weeks ago

Sorry! This is nothing more than a political BS play to legacy

Certainly not aimed at any kind of justice or postive result for his constituency

Obama just has no testicals

Eventhough he was voted in with overwhelming support

I guess he don't want to get assassinated like them who tried to wrest power from the banks and wealth owners

The past shows that those who confronted greed and power got killed

I wonder how and why?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 18 weeks ago

oneworldpeace -- Greece was doing reasonably well before joining the Euro zone. No one paid taxes than either. I have been to Greece for vacations 9 times since 1995. I noticed in 2011, they were paying a lot more in taxes (VAT on every restaurant bill). They had to pay off those banksters that had screwed them over. So, while paying more taxes and cutting government services, the country is going down in flames.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 18 weeks ago

SHFabian -- How in the world are you blaming dems for disability cuts? That is a totally a republican ploy to privatize social security. You must live in la-la land (AKA the other OEDC countries) where we have proportional representation.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 18 weeks ago

Penny R -- The straightforward solution is to vote democratic and pass card check.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 18 weeks ago

bobcox -- Only SCOTUS has the line item veto power. If you don't believe it, just ask them.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 18 weeks ago

Hepha -- How can you say Obama does not have testicles when looking at the results of the consumer protection act? I was worried he would get assassinated over that, in spite of the fact, it was kind of weak.

RichardofJeffersonCity's picture
RichardofJeffer... 9 years 18 weeks ago

chuckle8, Hmm. You must practice in the art-of-missing-the-point. I don't see where Obama's budget proposal, which Thom admits is dead on arrival, is going to inspire votes. Please explain how you come to this conclusion?

I don't believe I've written anything about people getting off their "asses and voting". I might be mistaken, but most of my rhetoric centers around people forming democratic institutions to put pressure on representative government. I do vote, but it has been a cynical practice of voting against instead of voting for a candidate.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 18 weeks ago

Rich of Jeff ... It seems to me that getting people off their asses and voting is a lot more likely than getting people off their asses to form democratic institutions to put pressure on representative government. I thought voting was putting pressure on representative government.

The Obama budget should inspire voting because it shows what can happen if you vote for dems.

Anyone, who looks at what Obama did in the 72 days in which he and the dems had control of the government, should know they were voting for someone not against someone. If you are not aware of how much was accomplished here is my list from Thom and others:


Chrysler saved


GM Saved


AHCA passed (AKA Obamacare); (because of blue dogs like Max Baucus it was not a single player plan; to get Sen Baucus to sign it, Max's county got single payer.)


Middle class tax cut


Went from losing 750,000 per month to 30 straight months of job gains (in spite of Republican governors cutting 4.5 million jobs)


Education spending increased


Laws against hate crimes strengthened


CHIPS expanded (Children’s Health Insurance Program)


Chrysler Saved


Forced through Child Labor Laws


consumer protection agency formed


Credit card reform


Predatory lending to soldiers restricted


Troops paid for stop loss time


Torture stopped


VA spending increased


Women allowed to serve on subs


Equal pay for women


Nuclear arms reduction proposal


BP cleanup fund


EPA strengthened


FDA powers broadened


Healthcare for 9-11 responders funded (during Bush Term it was ignored)


DADT was repealed


Within 24 hours of his inauguration in 2009, he ordered that the financial statistics of the top 400 families should be treated like everyone else's; that is, they should not be a classified government document.


When the congress was adding Part D to Medicare (the prescription drug assist; I think it was in 2004) the democrats tried to pass an amendment to help fund it by a 1% income tax on incomes over 1 million.


In 2009-10 when Obama lost his filibuster proof senate, the senate had a record number of filibusters (380 or so); during LBJ's 6 year reign as senate majority leader there was one.


The bills that were filibustered would have helped our economy for both the long and short term. My favorites were the card check bill, the Disclose Act, stopping waivers for the Buy American Act of 1936 and the credits for bringing jobs back (no credits for tearing down factories to send jobs overseas.


Republicans supported the Reinhart-Rogoff Study used to push austerity throughout the world; The study was a total scam supported by Pete Peterson who wants all the social security money invested on wall street. It was easy to suck in democrats and the general public because too much debt being a bad thing makes intuitive sense.

RichardofJeffersonCity's picture
RichardofJeffer... 9 years 18 weeks ago

chuckle8, you've never addressed anything I've said or anything I've asked of you, and you're still practicing in the art of missing the point. I will admit to voting for Obama with guarded expectations in 2008, but by 2012, my vote for Obama was purely a vote of rejection of Romney. The Obama administration's record extends to 7 years now, and I'm happy your mastery of self-deception has given you a warm and fuzzy view of the Obama presidency; however, I have a much different opinion, but your equally masterful ability to assume what somebody else thinks and does makes it difficult to penetrate the delusion cocoon you've woven around your head.

I will not bother making an argument that Obama has been a Huge disappointment because you're obviously an Obama apologist.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 18 weeks ago

Rich of Jeff -- I thought I used your exact words. I obviously am missing your point. I guess I need some concrete examples. When you say democratic institutions, would you include as an example? Would you say that labor unions are a democratic institution?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 18 weeks ago

Rich of Jeff -- I would think being an Obama apologist, I would be giving excuses for what he hasn't done. I would not think the apology part of my argument would be pointing out all the good things he has done.

The apology part of my argument would start with the meeting in the Caucus Room Restaurant.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 9 years 18 weeks ago

You're wrong, chicagotim, the family budget analogy is a complete fallacy. A family can't print its own money, among other things.

A budget deficit is not a problem, the U.S. has run much greater ones before and it led to prosperity. The problematic aspect of it was all Republican hype to steal our resources.

Greece's problem was EU membership and Golman-Sachs fraud. Don't you fall for their fraud too!

RichardofJeffersonCity's picture
RichardofJeffer... 9 years 18 weeks ago

chuckles8, I will try to be less condescending because it is rude. You've done nothing to warrant rudeness, but I was talking about political theater.

Obama's introduction of a budget bill that's DOA for the sole reason of political gaming is a farce. The budget acts a proxy straw man - The republican reject- the democrats pounce - this is what I was addressing. I have no idea what voting has to do with what I posted. Obama could've put a similar bill up during his first 72 days but he didn't. He waited until there was no chance it would pass either House. It merely act as a political poly to hopefully put republicans in a bad light, and give democrats some hope in 2016. Now that's cynical.

You suggested that I was advocating for people to get off there asses and vote - I did no such thing.

Then you did make a general comparison of what I said about people organizing into democratic institutions to counter representative government. You said - It seems to me that getting people off their asses and voting is a lot more likely than getting people off their asses to form democratic institutions to put pressure on representative government. I thought voting was putting pressure on representative government. Now, the only reason I mention anything about voting or democratic institutions was due to you misreading of what I was talking about in my initial post.

Then you went on to list a bunch of unrelated accomplishments from 7 years ago that had nothing to do with what I was talking about.

RLTOWNSLEY's picture
RLTOWNSLEY 9 years 18 weeks ago

A good story on Sixty Minutes last night about a man who hacked into the computers of various Swiss Banks and downloaded massive lists of tax dodgers from all over the world. It was not surprising that the Sixty Minutes Reporter, obviously a loyal member of the private Government/Banking/Corporate complex, attempted to paint him as a despicable criminal !

schaef's picture
schaef 9 years 18 weeks ago

Can’t the new Greek government tax the wealthy and the corporations to increase revenue?

mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 18 weeks ago

Chuckle8, how does a rising GDP mean that the government is spending less than it takes in?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 18 weeks ago

Mathboy -- I thought you would never ask. I was talking about debt. What you are talking about is deficit, I always say increase the deficit to lower the debt. The only debt economists talk about is the ratio of the debt you are describing (cumulative deficits) to the GDP. The economist's debt measure is the one we should worry about. It indicates how much of the expenditures are being appropriately invested in keeping the marketplace fair, balanced and competitive, in roads, in education and other infrastructure. I like describing it as building an economy that devours the debt.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 18 weeks ago

Rich of Jeff -- I don't mind rudeness. I think it indicates that you are feeling strongly about the topic.

Since Obama has no more elections to face and the dems tried to separate themselves from him, I do not see how you can call his 4 T budget political gaming.

I thought I was the one who said his budget would help voters get off their asses and vote. I said it because his budget revealed what would happen if they voted for dems in even larger numbers.

If Obama knew about the Caucus Room Restaurant meeting 7 years ago, I think he might have tried this 4 T budget back then. I think in his naivety he thought he would propose their ideas and they would vote for them; like the ACA was a Heritage Foundation plan. I listed the things from 7 years ago, to show what can be done if we have a super-majority of dems.

RichardofJeffersonCity's picture
RichardofJeffer... 9 years 18 weeks ago

chuckles8, then what was Obama's rationale for introducing a bill that he knew was going to be rejected without consideration? If not a political stratagem , then what was the purpose?

mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 18 weeks ago

chuckle8, if you use a term in a way that people don't expect, you need to define it at the beginning. It sounds like you're trying to use "debt" to mean the total of Bernie Sanders' list of "deficits" (or maybe a subset). All you've done is set things up so that we're all talking past each other and getting exasperated.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 18 weeks ago

mathboy -- No one has ever accused me of being clear. I will try again.

Most people, especially commentators, think of the debt as the number on the debt clock. This number on its own has no effect on the economy. I assume talking about a number that has no effect on the economy now or ever is worthless. I think another term for for such talk is babble.

However, when you use that number with GDP as a ratio, then it has serious meaning for our economy per economists.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 18 weeks ago

Among the many people who do not understand this or seem to forget it are Obama, Bernie and Thom.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Screwed:
"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom’s great work, it helps show us the way forward."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"In an age rife with media-inspired confusion and political cowardice, we yearn for a decent, caring, deeply human soul whose grasp of the problems confronting us provides a light by which we can make our way through the quagmire of lies, distortions, pandering, and hollow self-puffery that strips the American Dream of its promise. How lucky we are, then, to have access to the wit, wisdom, and willingness of Thom Hartmann, who shares with us here that very light, grown out of his own life experience."
Mike Farrell, actor, political activist, and author of Just Call Me Mike and Of Mule and Man
From Screwed:
"Hartmann speaks with the straight talking clarity and brilliance of a modern day Tom Paine as he exposes the intentional and systematic destruction of America’s middle class by an alliance of political con artists and outlines a program to restore it. This is Hartmann at his best. Essential reading for those interested in restoring the institution that made America the envy of the world."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning and When Corporations Rule the World