New CBO numbers are out pegging 10 year debt projection at 3.5 Trillion down from earlier projections of 7 Trillion. As far as projections go, a 50% reduction is better than a 50% increase but it is still just a long term projection subject to unknown events yet to come.
How does a Powerline blogger react to this news? Like this:
News outlets, naturally, have spun the CBO report in their preferred directions. One of the least subtle is the New York Times:It comes as Mr. Obama and Democrats, like many economists, are calling for a mix of larger long-term deficit-reduction measures with immediate additional job-creation measures.
Got that? The Democrats’ position is supported by “many economists.” We know, however, that most economists favor the Republicans’ position that the budget should be brought into balance mostly or entirely through spending cuts, which the Democrats bitterly oppose.While the latter would add to deficits in the short term, proponents argue that they would prevent another recession and avoid the associated costs in lost revenues and safety-net spending. But Republicans oppose any stimulus measures or long-term increases in tax revenues.
The Times sets out the Democrats’ rationale for more “stimulus” as though it makes sense, but offers no explanation of why those obstructionist Republicans would oppose such measures–like the fact that the first stimulus was a complete failure, and more “stimulus” is synonymous with more debt and, many argue, fewer jobs. Note, too, that the Times misstates the Republicans’ position: “Republicans oppose any…long-term increases in tax revenues.” What Republicans oppose is increases in tax rates. Increases in tax revenues will come from economic growth, which the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats are vigorously suppressing. As Marco Rubio put it, we don’t need new taxes, we need new taxpayers.
But that sort of distortion is all in a days work for America’s worst newspaper.
A couple of things. Most folks in the know admit that the stimulus was successful at keeping the economy from collapsing. It accomplished at least half if not more of its objective and if the choice is between living in a carboard box while eating government issued soup, or a stimulus bill, I’ll take the stimulus. Categorizing the stimulus as a complete failure is just a falsehood or a rant made in ignorance.
Next, getting people off unemployment, off food stamps and on the tax rolls is a big part of the Deficit. Fellow Winger, Byron York has just admitted that much:
A lot of the higher spending has stemmed directly from the downturn. There is, for example, spending on what is called "income security" -- that is, for unemployment compensation, food stamps and related programs. In 2007, the government spent $365 billion on income security. In 2011, it's estimated to spend $622 billion. That's an increase of $257 billion.
Got it? Factor in the $681B in outlays from the economic downturn with the cost of War Funding along with the decreased revenue from the Bush Tax Cuts and the cost of the Medicare prescription drug benefit you are pretty close to balancing the budget. Getting folks back to work will cut the deficit and since Republicans are in favor of economic stimulus when a Republican is president (see Bush, George W.) there is no reasonable excuse to abandon it now during the worst economic downturn since the depression.
Lastly, the poll cited by the Powerline Blogger shows that the recent survey of economists found that just 12% favored the approach favored by the Tea Party and by extension the GOTP while 87% favored a mix of spending cuts and tax increases to address the deficit. The last I heard the GOTP nixed just that – a grand bargain of 5 to 1 spending cuts for increased tax revenue. But that’s not all they rejected. The President’s last offer to the Boehner and the GOTP included trading 4 Trillion Dollars in what GOTPers are calling tax rate increases coming in 2012 from the expiration of the Bush tax cuts in exchange for 800B in new tax revenue from flattening the code plus 4 trillion in spending cuts. The GOTP said no. I repeat the offer was $4 Trillion in Bush Tax Cuts plus 4 Trillion Spending Cuts or $8 Trillion in GOTP budgetary priorities for $0.8 Trillion in new revenue, and they said no. The GOTP presidential candidates just made this same vow at a debate not to accept 10 to 1 spending cuts for new taxes.
I posit that this is not rational behavior. But neither is eschewing the stimulus for the comforts of living in a cardboard box and an economic meltdown. That is not rational behavior either. Also not rational is declaring the Tea Party to be mainstream. Economists reject their position 87% to 12%.
This is what living in the right wing cocoon does to a fella'.