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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Krugman’

Jonathan Chait Rewrites History, Assumes His Readers Are Idiots

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 4, 2011

Jonathan Chait crafted a carnival of utter wrongness for the New York Times today.

Here’s one steaming attempt to rewrite recent history:

At the time, Obama’s $800 billion stimulus was seen by Congress, pundits and business leaders — that is to say, just about everybody who mattered — as mind-bogglingly large. News reports invariably described it as “huge,” “massive” or other terms suggesting it was unrealistically large, even kind of pornographic. The favored cliché used to describe the reaction in Congress was “sticker shock.”

Here’s a small sampling of the corrective, courtesy of Blue Texan:

Aside from the fact that it wasn’t $800B, it was $787B — that’s just wrong. Unless you think Paul Krugman didn’t matter.

To close a gap of more than $2 trillion — possibly a lot more, if the budget office projections turn out to be too optimistic — Mr. Obama offers a $775 billion plan. And that’s not enough.

Or Dean Baker.

“You’re talking about a gap on the order of twelve-hundred-fifty billion dollars, and we’re trying to plug that with four-hundred-something, so we’ve got a long way to go,” Baker says.

Or Brad DeLong.

Nevertheless, I agree [with Krugman] that there [sic] best is almost surely not enough. […] So at the moment my preliminary judgment of the Obama fiscal boost is that it is a good first bid, but that the administration ought to be doing a lot more.

BT cites a few more economists, but you get the general picture. The only people who were saying that the stimulus was “mind-bogglingly large” were Republicans, their media enablers, or Obama’s defenders in the Veal Pen. Not many economists worthy of the name were saying this.

Not content with spewing nonsense about the stimulus, Chait proceeds to spew nonsense about Obama’s ability to pass legislation such as a meaningful stimulus or a health care bill with a public option:

“Yes, Bush passed his tax cuts — by using a method called reconciliation, which can avoid a filibuster but can be used only on budget issues.”

I took on that piece of bogusness here:

Um, Jonathan? Reconciliation can be used on many bills in which money is involved, not just budget bills. Do you know one reason why we know this? Because it was used to pass the health care bill, you moron. Really, do you think we all just fell off the turnip truck here? Or are you equipped with less than the memory God gave a tree squirrel?

Arrrgh.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

What “The People’s View” Would Rather You Didn’t See Right Now

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 29, 2011

As some of you may know, Ray Sandoval, the New Mexico OFA Director, saw fit in a recent OFA e-mail to quote an entire blog post from Spandan Chakrabarti, whose blog is called “The People’s View” and who also posts as “Deaniac83” at DailyKos, as a way to attack the progressive movement, especially those who publicly take issue with the doings (or not doings) of Obama and his coterie.

But Chakrabarti wasn’t always a My-Obama-Right-Or-Wrong kinda guy. In fact, back on October 30 of 2007, he stated that Obama had lost his vote for, in Chakrabarti’s words, Obama’s “decision to pander to some in the African American religious community in order to surrender his principled support for equal rights for all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity”. As Chakrabarti would go on to say:

Lest you think this is because I was personally offended as a gay man, you are right. But it wasn’t only because of that that I made this decision. I draw the line in the sand when politicians pander to any group and sacrifice their stated goals of equal dignity under law and associate themselves, willingly, with known bigots of any kind, be they racists, sexists or homophobes. This is such a line. Obama has crossed it. Good riddance, Barack Obama.

That really must have been a line drawn in the sand, because it didn’t last very long. Hint: Next time, draw such lines in freshly-poured concrete. Better yet, don’t make such claims if you aren’t willing to stand behind them.

Posted in 2008 | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Comments Off on What “The People’s View” Would Rather You Didn’t See Right Now

Putting “Balance” Over Truth: The Right-Wing Media Scam That Is Destroying America

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 27, 2011

The other day, Paul Krugman said this:

We have a crisis in which the right is making insane demands, while the president and Democrats in Congress are bending over backward to be accommodating — offering plans that are all spending cuts and no taxes, plans that are far to the right of public opinion.

So what do most news reports say? They portray it as a situation in which both sides are equally partisan, equally intransigent — because news reports always do that. And we have influential pundits calling out for a new centrist party, a new centrist president, to get us away from the evils of partisanship.

[…]

…The “both sides are at fault” people have to know better; if they refuse to say it, it’s out of some combination of fear and ego, of being unwilling to sacrifice their treasured pose of being above the fray.

Oh, it’s not that at all. It’s that the media members are millionaires working for billionaires — billionaires who love the tax breaks they got from Bush, as well as the gutting of anti-trust and environmental oversight under Bush — and to pretend both sides are equally at fault is to penalize the more virtuous side and go easier on the less virtuous (but far richer) side — and this rewards the less-virtuous side, in a vicious circle/feedback loop.

To make a long story short, it shoves the Overton Window farther to the right, eventually into fascism.

Posted in 'starving the beast' | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Krugman on Obama’s Planned Social Security Sellout

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 9, 2011

There have been a lot of comments about President Obama’s plan to sell out Americans and make drastic cuts to both Medicare and Social Security and make catfood the staple of most elderly persons. But I think I’ll settle for citing Paul Krugman’s:

But let’s be frank. It’s getting harder and harder to trust Mr. Obama’s motives in the budget fight, given the way his economic rhetoric has veered to the right. In fact, if all you did was listen to his speeches, you might conclude that he basically shares the G.O.P.’s diagnosis of what ails our economy and what should be done to fix it. And maybe that’s not a false impression; maybe it’s the simple truth.

One striking example of this rightward shift came in last weekend’s presidential address, in which Mr. Obama had this to say about the economics of the budget: “Government has to start living within its means, just like families do. We have to cut the spending we can’t afford so we can put the economy on sounder footing, and give our businesses the confidence they need to grow and create jobs.”

That’s three of the right’s favorite economic fallacies in just two sentences. No, the government shouldn’t budget the way families do; on the contrary, trying to balance the budget in times of economic distress is a recipe for deepening the slump. Spending cuts right now wouldn’t “put the economy on sounder footing.” They would reduce growth and raise unemployment. And last but not least, businesses aren’t holding back because they lack confidence in government policies; they’re holding back because they don’t have enough customers — a problem that would be made worse, not better, by short-term spending cuts.

[…]

Mr. Obama’s people will no doubt argue that their fellow party members should trust him, that whatever deal emerges was the best he could get. But it’s hard to see why a president who has gone out of his way to echo Republican rhetoric and endorse false conservative views deserves that kind of trust.

Exactly.

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

Posted in 'starving the beast', (Rich) Taxpayers League | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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