I have heard this off-key litany, this scratching of nails across a blackboard before from nazi a-holes like Peterson about the sources of our debt and most all of it is wrong and also exposes a wrong-headed approach to reducing that debt. Most all of the debt is due to excessive military expenditures, war expenditures and also to the US government supporting military dictatorships whose actions repressing communities also destroys local-regional economies as well, replacing them with something much less productive, regional-global corporate plantations that put much less into the hands of employees while killing them slowing with overwork and dangerous, poisonous workplaces; not a sustainable local-regional economy. Witness how our debt increased first under Ronald Reagan and GHW Bush; huge increases that were mostly devoted to the expansion of the military industrial complex, either military or corporate investment, but not to people outside of that group and certainly did nothing to rebuild main street.
We also have correlated the budget cutting of the republicans and the corporate repugnicrats as being the main factor intensifying recessional trends in the economy. It figures. Think about this. Obama’s stimulus payouts were continuously blocked by the republicans. This investment would’ve stimulated main street economies where most of the employment is created in the US. But no, the republicans blocked that now very necessary investment in deteriorating infrastructure that would’ve also created living, family wage jobs for tens of thousands of people, and then turned around and blamed Obama for what actually was their repeated policy failures.
I told them to spend the $4 bil. on upgrades to Seattle’s mass transportation infrastructure at at time when they were under pressure to cut it from the budget. This investment created those great jobs with a local-regional secondary economic multiplier effect in a slow market. It worked just like I thought it would along with the pump-primer Keynes. This also worked in the economy long term when we refused to cut subsidy and survival services programs that other states like Kansas have cut to the bone. Seattle’s economy did much better than the budget cutters’ red states did economically and socially. And notice how it is that the opiate overdose crisis is much worse in red states too, maybe because they didn’t take the medicare monies. . . . Noticed lately how the economy of Kansas is flopping around like a half dead fish out of water? The consequences of that round of massive budget cutting that time.
So now we are in a recession that is portrayed as a demand crisis, as in no one has any money to spend on non-essentials. Heck, some people are also not able to buy even the essentials with their limited income, whether wage or subsidy income. The secondary effect of this is slow market growth because again, no one has enough money to spend even on essentials, now over-priced. Now what would the impact of that lack of income be on taxes? No one has any money to spend so tax revenues would also be reduced by budget cutting because consumption is way, way down, once again cut to the bone, so to speak. Thus, the depth of the recession is very much tied to the scale of the budget/tax cutting that is done. And that is what we say happens when Newt Gingrich and Phil Gramm cut it down to the bone again that time, after Ronald Reagan became president, and also corresponded to every wave of budget cuts undertaken after that.
So Peterson and company thinking that cutting entitlements and survival services would improve the economy is found to be basically wrong-headed; their actions would worsen, deepen the recession. And further, it has been shown that tax breaks do not improve employment either. What these cuts do though is increase the billionaires’ income while reducing their tax burden (if they already haven’t done so using the ubiquitous tax havens out there). Now about healthcare. They de-regulated the economy, then banned medicare from negotiating drug prices allowing those prices to go through the roof as well. Then benefits are reduced while prices for seeing a doctor remain the same, so more income goes for essentials again, rather than for other things. The best way to reduce costs in healthcare is by seeing a doctor regularly for a check-up so that major illnesses get caught early on before a major investment is required to cure it or at least manage the illness. But if your benefit is cut and the price for the visit is the same, then you will not see the doctor because once again, your income is 3/5ths of what it should be for any kind of adequate quality of life, so no doctor until you are really sick and will need a huge amount of help in order to get better-the spendy emergency room shuffle. So people like Peterson say, OK just cut it off and kill them. And they do die before their time, betrayed by another criminal misleader.
What you have to remember is that in a de-regulated economy, prices go up but wages don’t. They fall precipitously, as much as the damn nazis can cut them, so the recession intensifies because of those malign factors. But that means that the franken-economy still is not going to rise up and walk again because again, no one has any money to spend. So the misleaders get desperate and start using various devices to try and gin things up, make things look better than they actually are. And then the system rewards hare-raising house of cards speculation rather than investing in business activity that would actually create employment, you know, jobs. I know, stock buybacks subsidized by the Fed is one thing; jacking up stock prices artificially higher than the actual value of the business (and by extension the markets too). And your now desperate irrational investor starts taking high flyers on bad information, losing even more because the fundamentals of the economy have not changed for the better. Prices are high, wages are low and getting lower as the one percenters take yours off the top structurally any way they can; tax breaks, union busting/wage cuts, business subsidies, price increases, etc.. This structural history is documented by Alan Nasser who wrote up great histories of US recession/depressions (www.alannasser.org). And lets not forget Mitt Romney looting the pension plans and the health benefits in the bankruptcy reorganizations that he did. The union rep for Oregon Steel got murdered for trying to intervene in and stop such institutional looting.
What are the solutions? Recovering tax revenues lost to the tax havens all these years (2% tax rate for Apple on the double irish instead of 37%; a loss of 35% of revenue stream for the public). Increasing the personal tax rate to 70% above $250,000/yr as recommended by Thom Hartmann instead of 37% . Remember that Eisenhower had a 90% tax rate on such wealthy individuals. Now get rid of the carried interest loophole too. Targeting our next major bank bailout to main street investments rather than wall street scammers; you get a much better long term return on investment and the money stays local (likewise for public banking-see public banking institute; does your county have a revolving loan fund separate from wall street with their bubbles, crashes, and extortionate bond deal fees-capital appreciation bonds being the next new scam on the block?). Pay a good living family wage instead of chump change for wages, maybe even a bonus if you have a good year.
Now let’s get tricky. The nazis at the Heritage Foundation want to try and say that subsidized housing, food stamps, and medical care has all been a big failure. This is the crap that they bleat whenever someone points out that actually the Great Society programs were very successful at growing up great lives and stabilizing families and communities while reducing crime and healthcare costs generally. The programs stabilized and assisted communities in growing up a diversified future. So I know, let’s pay off the military debt quickly while putting off paying off the survival services programs so that we can misportray social security and other programs as “failures”. Let’s see how the republicans created “failures” out of subsidized housing programs. First they cut the budget for food stamps, higher education, mass transportation, and medicare, then they raised the rent, then the Bush’s and the Clintons and their republican friends flooded the country with cocaine and heroin (still going on now). Then they did their hysteria-mongering media stunts demonizing the poor people on the street as some kind of subhuman animal for doing drugs on the street, their killing floor if you will when nothing else was substantially viable in the situation economically when actually the wall street war mongering plantation owners were the actual superpredators with their free trade zones, dangerous workplaces, and slave wages. The final nail in the mortgage coffin is the loss of the providers’ main job income and there goes the mortgage and the house off in left field in Florida in a holding company with the house doing a whole bunch of nothing much except falling apart unoccupied. This is how a “failure” is created out of what was very successful before. And also look at how the situations mentioned are never the republicans fault; they project defensively after the fact of their actions that they know full well created the situations in the first place. Now about fracking chemicals, drinking water aquifers, and earthquakes. . . and how about a trillion dollars for more nuclear weapons? No thanks. . . .
Love ya, Lyle Courtsal http://www.epi.org, http://www.cepr.net, http://www.3mpub.com, http://www.dopewardrugpeace.wordpress.com, http://www.realcostofprisons.org, http://www.orthomed.org, http://www.bastyr.edu, wwwnarconews.com, and three books: The Phoenix Program, by Douglas Valentine, In the Land of Hungry Ghosts, by Gabor Mate’ MD, and The Final Mission: Spooky 8, by Bob King.