Sunday, July 31, 2011

A bad couple weeks - for all of us

And if I read the deal to raise the debt ceiling (to pay for bills already authorized, IOW) correctly, it'll be a bad couple of years until rational thinking takes the Congress back. Without some way to stimulate the many millions of us who are not millionaires or oil companies to purchase things again, no hope do I see. The idea of cutting spending to stimulate job growth is just stupid. This economy is built on demand. Without demand, business has no reason to add jobs, or to create its own upstream demand for material. The demand in this country is created not by the relatively few millionaires (buying gold to protect themselves) but by ordinary citizens. If they have money to spend. For these people, money to spend comes from jobs. You will have noticed the circular nature of this: to get money, people need jobs; to get jobs, business needs demand; to get demand, people need money. Government is the only entity that has no axe to grind except improving America. That's where stimulus spending comes into play. Unbudgeted dollars added to the economy through whatever means seem reasonable as long as the means create jobs.

Doing away with government creates Mogadishu. I admit it, I read Bob Cesca since Chez Pazienza pointed me that way, and this cartoon points out the end game of the Republican fantasy.

Unless something completely unexpected happens, we're set for two years of a dead economy - which may take decades to recover - as well as continued erosion of women's rights, regulatorily approved corporate abuse and at the end of the day, higher taxes because the Republicans wanted it all their way. Or Mogadishu.

Of course, there's the chance that in two years, all of us sheep - because of Faux News and the other mainstream media - will forget that the Republicans caused all this and vote them in again. And that will end the economy. Not only sick people will have to die to get help under Paul Ryan’s plan, so will the rest of us.

Write the President, your Senators and Representative. Tell them what you think, and then vote the way you think! I don't care if you agree with me or not - though I think you you should - but you should express your feelings. You can also express your feelings in the comments.

Everyone, be well.

Good as my word: I sent the following message to the White House today:

President Obama, I hope it’s a good day aside from the debt crisis.

I am so grievously disappointed in the 'deal' being bandied about - without having any good knowledge of it, to be sure - that I don't know where to turn.

It seems obvious to me that you may avert the Republican created debt crisis, and that's probably good, although I would have preferred by now a unilateral approach on your side. However, the deal, without the possibility of revenue increases or any hint of stimulus spending, dooms the American economy until such time as the voters wake up and elect members to repeal this mishmash (polite word) and enact a budget that recognizes that the driver of this economy is not millionaires (or even five-hundred thousandaires) putting money in their investment accounts, it's the other people, the little people if you will, driving demand. That's what business wants to see before adding jobs or creating the follow-on demand to produce new product.

If I thought you were less mature and adult than I expect you are, I’d demand that you now refuse any deal without a revenue component, and allow the corporate overlords to beat the Republicans into submission as interest rates go up and the economy tanks. As it is, I’ll only suggest it, because I think the damage will be done either way, and by signing the deal as I understand it, you reward the least worthy without a significant benefit.

Or you can take the tack that on the basis of the 14th amendment, the debt ceiling is specious and should never have been enacted, and just pay the bills. To me, that seems the best course. It would allow the budget process to continue without ruining the country’s reputation.

Thank you for listening no matter your choice.
And also today to my representative - Yup, used the Paul Ryan line again:

Dear Representative Lynch,
Thank you for inviting me to be part of the open town meeting Friday. I was pleased to hear your viewpoints in person.
I was unable to be part of the whole meeting, and I regret that. Also, I was unsure just how I would have gotten a question in the queue, as I didn’t do anything in that regard.

I will ask a question here: Given the likely content of the debt ceiling bill, how in Heaven’s name does the Congress, or the President, expect to get the economy going? Where will the revenue increases come from? How about stimulus spending? With the millionaires investing their tax breaks in investment accounts - or gold, more likely now - who will create the demand that business MUST see before adding jobs or creating their own demand for materials?

Does the economy have to tank for another two years to fix this? If so, what are the odds that the Republicans will be elected in on the basis of a lousy economy that Faux News and the other mainstream media will have forgotten they caused? And that will end the economy. Not only sick people will have to die to get help under Paul Ryan’s plan, so will the rest of us.

Thank you for listening. If you have answers, I’d be interested.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Open Letter Day

Open letters to my Senators and Representative. I hope you will take a minute and do the same for your Senators and Representative, whether you agree with my feelings or not.

To John Kerry, US Senator, Massachusetts
The current charade over the debt ceiling

I hope that you will do all you can to assure that any plan implemented to avoid default, or to reduce the deficit, includes revenue increases along with spending cuts. I will find it *very* difficult to support any candidate who cannot see his or her way clear to making sure that the 'pain' is shared.

thanks for your attention.

To Scott Brown, US Senator, Massachusetts.

Hello, Senator Brown. As an independent voter, I could not support your special election effort. However, your record since being elected has exceeded my expectations.

But to current affairs. I find the posturing in Washington - on both sides, but to me, far more obnoxious on the Republican side - has brought me to a tipping point. I will not be able to support the candidacy of any person who does not agree that revenue increases must accompany the necessary spending reductions in order to put our (the US) financial house in order. I cannot accept that this problem - brought on by years of neglect from both parties and both the Congress and the White House - must be solved in a relative instant and on the backs of only a fraction of the citizens.

I hope that this position makes sense to you, and that you are able to help the Congress and the government make positive progress in the days ahead.

Thanks for your attention.

To Stephen Lynch, Representative for the 9th District, Massachusetts

Rep. Lynch, I hope that you continue to support the notion that revenue increases must accompany the necessary spending cuts as you and your fellow representatives attempt to put the US financial house in order. The Bush era tax cuts for wealthy Americans must go; they should not have been continued the last time this came up.

Please let your fellow Representatives know that some citizens feel as strongly about this as the 'no tax ever' constituency does about raising taxes, and I think there are likely more of us, especially as the effects are understood.

Thanks for your attention.

So far, I have a robo-reply from Senator Kerry.
I also received a robo-reply from Representative Lynch. 

I'm happy to see any opinions expressed in the comments.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Don't Blink, President Obama!

Don't bail on revenue along with cuts.

The plan you've offered isn't great, but it's far better than anything the Republicans are willing to offer. It will be interesting to see how far Wall Street will let them go before pulling their reins.