Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs
Or rather, it’s full of sh*t. Probably another edition of Jim “Logic? What’s that?” Campanini drivel. It has his signature pull-it-out-of-my…well. You know.
In it, he blames Obama, Patrick, and the Democrats for the reslumping economy we are, it appears, going through now. Of course, Campanini (ahem, I mean “the editor who wrote this”) has a real, electoral reason for doing this - he wants Republicans to win, so he’s gotta paint this as a problem with the leadership of the Democrats. To do so, he has to ignore general consensus of real economists (the reality-based ones who don’t work for the Heritage Foundation). Particularly with Mass job increases at 20 year highs, he has to make you think that despite this progress, it’s not progress.
All the real economists (the ones that win Nobel Prizes) have rejected trickle down (hey even Bush Sr. called it “voodoo” after all), affirmed Keynesian economics, and basically have said for a couple YEARS now that the big problem with the economy is that we didn’t stimulate it enough - and 1/3 of that stimulus bill we did get was, actually, useless tax cuts, to boot. (I find it odd how this is never mentioned in the context of conservative rants about the stimulus package. Maybe because it would help prove they are full of crap?)
These smart economists are now saying that what we’re seeing has an awful lot in common with the slowdown and retrenching of the unemployment rate in the 1930s after FDR and Congress got all deficit-hawky. And they are right, there’s a ton in common. And this deficit worry is the prevailing idiocy here and around the world. End result? Since we haven’t yet dug ourselves out of the hole we were in, we’re sliding back in now that we put the brakes on powering our way up.
It’s sort of like worrying about how to fix the patient’s broken arm while he’s still on the surgeon’s table having a heart attack. Simple triage dictates you deal with the worst problems first, then move on once you’ve stabilized the patient. This is pretty conventional wisdom for those who don’t still believe in the tooth fairy and Reaganomics.
And I love, just adore the whole concept of ignoring why we’re in this mess of a economic pothole in the first place - the tender ministrations of one George W. “I went to business school!” Bush. Who. Cut. Taxes.
Here’s the other piece of logic stupidity this editorial commits - it fails to take into account that the ONLY reason Obama has not fixed the economy more substantially (besides just how bloody deep it was to begin with) is the Republicans (and the few conservaDems) watered down any attempt to actually do the real things that needed doing - like going all in on stimulus rather that doing what most economists tell us is dipping one’s toe in.
If anyone’s to blame for the failures of this economy, it’s Bush, first, and second, Republicans in the Senate who prevented Obama from enacting a decent agenda that had a shot at actually working. But I can tell you, far smarter people than Jim Campanini say that the only reason we’re treading water instead of drowning to our deaths is because of the stimulus that was put into place. Without it, we’d be far, far worse off.
Oh, hell, for fun, because I haven’t done this in a while, let’s pick apart the arguments in the editorial one at at time…
Both Obama and Patrick have tried to tax and spend their way out of the recession rather than rein in fiscal policies and promote business investment.
In a recession, (says all the smart people in the world), if unemployment is high and there are no buyers, businesses will not invest in anything. Why in the hell would they?? They won’t create widgets (or houses, or sell services) if people are not buying them. Businesses are not stupid. They know that a widget sitting on a shelve is lost revenue. Apparently, this editor thinks that businesses are dumb and will build widgets if they get tax cuts - regardless of whether or not they have buyers!
However, if more people are employed (those much-maligned teachers and fire fighters and public employees whose essential jobs were saved, to name a few), they buy things. They buy services. They, in effect, create, what’s that word…demand. But this writer here thinks the Demand Faerie brings that to businesses in the night, I guess…
Democrats who once hailed the Obama administration’s $787 billion economic stimulus plan are now making excuses for its failure to create jobs. They say the package wasn’t big enough. What gall.
Who has gall? This writer ignores the fact that fully one third of the stimulus was in tax cuts as a sop to the GOP to get them to stop filibustering it. Otherwise, it would have been 1/3 more effective than it was. It was, at the time, being lamented as too small - our economy is just too big for a few hundreds of billions to drag us out of a Bush-dug recession.
Reviving the economy should have been Obama’s No. 1 priority.
I agree. And it was. The Republicans however, prefer a shitty economy so they could run on it, and blocked all the effective stuff that would have been otherwise directed towards the economy. Note, however, that the stimulus bill was basically one of the first things Obama ever worked on - a fact conveniently not noted here.
Instead, he directed Democrats to push through a costly health-care law that, when it kicks in in 2014, will add more financial burdens on business and workers.
Again, that was after the stimulus-that-was-small-and-1/3-tax-cuts was passed, and it was evident that none more would be had with the Republican filibuster threat. Also, health care is a huge, just ginormous portion of our GDP - more than all the socialized countries who’ve taken health care off the books of their private sector. Addressing it was a necessary long-term help to our economy, though obviously not a short term solution. Our businesses are drowning in health care costs that are just insane.
The bulk of the money has gone to protect government jobs — union teachers, police, firefighters, etc. — while ignoring the private sector, which creates jobs.
Yeah, cuz we don’t need those stinkin’ police, firefighters, and teachers…or their spending money to stimulate the economy, either. And of course, the editor here ignores the 20-year-high rate of private sector job increases in MA in the last few months. Funny how that happens. How much better does he think the private sector job growth can get, without breaking all records??
With more one-time stimulus money on the way, Patrick will be spreading the wealth to municipal governments to protect even more union jobs. It’s an election year, after all. A responsible leader, however, would tuck that money away in the state’s rainy-day fund, leaving it for the challenges of fiscal 2012.
Shorter Jim Campanini: unions suck. I hate them! Damn the weekends they gave us, and damn them for serving the Commonwealth with crazy policing, firefighting, and teaching all over the place. They should paid $20K a year, or not at all!
And, in the middle of the worst recession in ages, we should be SAVING! Saving for a rainy day! The hell with the reason we have a rainy day fund in the first place!
God, can you get any sillier than pretty much this entire editorial?
Of course, if you’re Campanini (*ahem* this editorial writer), facts and the words of real smart economists don’t really influence your view of the universe. You have your narrative all picked out and then torturously try to twist everything fit it. Reality doesn’t really factor in to it.
Whereas I’d rather actually solve the real problems of our time. But hey, that’s just me.
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