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Washington Post Lies About What Polls Say So It Can Push Pete Peterson’s Agenda

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 21, 2010

Bsom has the scoop:

A stunning front-page article in Saturday’s Washington Post moves the paper firmly into conservatives’ dream universe on deficit policy. “Stimulus plans run up against deficit fears” by Lori Montgomery serves up this whopper:

If Congress doesn’t provide additional stimulus spending, economists inside and outside the administration warn that the nation risks a prolonged period of high unemployment or, more frightening, a descent back into recession. But a competing threat — the exploding federal budget deficit — seems to be resonating more powerfully in Congress and among voters.

There you have it: the budget deficit is an issue that’s resonating more with voters than the issues of high unemployment or the possibility of further economic downturn generally. It’s a trendy right-wing meme of the last few months, but here it is in the news pages of the Washington Post.

But is this notion supported by what the polling actually says? No. Not even close.

Bsom then goes on to list several polls that show that the public’s biggest concern is not the deficit. Other issues, such as jobs, rate much higher.


3 Responses to “Washington Post Lies About What Polls Say So It Can Push Pete Peterson’s Agenda”

  1. I’m not right-wing by any stretch of the imagination but I can’t see any way around it. The US simply has to bite the bullet now. It’s currently picking the pockets of grandchildren and great-grandchildren who haven’t even been born yet to have a say (talk about taxation without representation!), in order for everyone today to live beyond their means. This is true generally in the Western world. It has to stop sometime.

    Taxes MUST to go up — especially on the wealthy. Revenue simply MUST meet and, in truth, EXCEED expenditure. Spending has to go down. The most obvious expenditure is military. Closing down bases overseas, bringing troops home, ending two expensive, pointless wars, and mothballing at least half a dozen supercarrier groups… it would all open up a lot of money for other things. It’s time for the feverish (and ruinous) delusion of micromanaging the universe to end, and a return to the sanity of simply securing the national frontiers of the United States.

    Stimulus spending needs to end. It’s simply going into the back pockets and Swiss bank accounts of the very people whose venality and stupidity set the West in the straits it’s currently in. In effect, it rewards the wealthy for holding a gun to the heads of working people. But the fact is that even better-targetted spending simply deepens the hole. At some point, the US has to stop living off tomorrow’s money (in the form of foreign savings their grandchildren will have to pay back) and stop running the presses 24/7 till the US dollar has the relative value of coupons you clip out of the paper, and start producing goods the rest of the world is willing to trade for again. Stimulus spending can’t wand such jobs into being; innovation and competitive ideas can. That was the hallmark of the US once, but it was allowed to slip away. So it can be done, and it MUST be done, but it has to be done NOW. The sooner the rough times are ridden out, the less disruptive they’ll be.

    But the US needs to go beyond just balancing the budget; it needs a surplus. I know it runs counter to everything everyone warns of vis-a-vis the Depression, but I think the US needs to start putting up some tariff walls and not obsessing about free trade. China’s been building its infrastructure almost entirely on the basis of the reluctance of Western countries to force it to play fair for access to our markets. Someone has to take this step. Their rise need not necessitate our utter destitution in two generations.

    • Charles II said

      LP, you’re not really at odds with what has been posted. Debt is a way to control governments: we’ve used it against Third World nations, and now it is being used against us. So, over the long run, balanced budgets or even small surpluses for a rainy day are desirable (large surpluses are at risk of being squandered).

      I’ve done an analysis of what causes the deficit and, while I can’t find it at the moment, you can get an important overview of the basic situation here. My analysis says, very approximately, that we can get ca. $300B from reducing the military to the size advocated by CDI, a think tank generally chaired by reform-minded senior military officials; about $300B from reforming the medical system, with huge additional savings to people and businesses through reduction in premiums, and perhaps $200B in additional taxes. So, as you suggest, taxes are only part of the solution.

      The problems are: (a) which taxes? and (b) when? Raising taxes in a recession would be disatrous… it probably triggered a second recession within the Great Depression in 1937. So, taxes need to be raised, but probably in 2012. And definitely raising Social Security and Medicare taxes (or cutting benefits) would be doubly disastrous.

      The point Phoenix Woman is making is that the Washington Post and the rest of the establishment press had no problem with deficits under Bush. They are trying to use fear of deficits to force cutbacks in Social Security, Medicare, unemployment benefits, food stamps, and other programs that benefit the middle class and poor. This is a trick which people should not fall for. Yes, deficits need to come down. No, they must not come down at the expense of turning America into a free market paradise like Haiti.

  2. jo6pac said

    the nation risks a prolonged period of high unemployment or, more frightening, a descent back into recession.

    I must have missed the email on all the hiring that has happened lately to to make this true. Yes and if people do believe this you’re right Charles, Baltic States here we come and then on to the Haiti model. Haiti and still nothing has been done to help it out after the earthquake, how sad.

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