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The Chutzpah Caucus

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Krugman, economy, austerity, stimulus, debt, fiscal crisis, , , unemployment, politics )

- 2261 days ago -
At this point the economic case for austerity -- for slashing government spending even in the face of a weak economy -- has collapsed. Claims that spending cuts would actually boost employment by promoting confidence have fallen apart.


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JL A (281)
Monday May 6, 2013, 9:26 pm
The whole article is so worth reading: thanks Lynn. I chose this quote to help others realize this article spells out the truths, even the lesser known or discussed ones: "austerity policies serve the interests of wealthy creditors........"

Debbie G (306)
Monday May 6, 2013, 9:27 pm
The politicians and other government entities have to come together and figure things out. Everything they've thought of so far that is supposed to increase employment has failed.

Lynn Squance (235)
Monday May 6, 2013, 9:47 pm
This article was mentioned by TC in his update but there was no additional info from him, so I thought I'd bring it to you.

Krugman, a Nobel Laureate in Economics, so he is eminently qualified to speak to the current economic situation, has repeatedly said, " you should run deficits in bad times, but that you should pay down debt in good times." which is pure Keynesian economics.

" America, at least, we have a pretty good record for behaving in a fiscally responsible fashion, with one exception — namely, the fiscal irresponsibility that prevails when, and only when, hard-line conservatives are in power."

And this goes to JL's quote above. Further, Krugman notes that

" find that of the 10 presidents who preceded Barack Obama, seven left office with a debt ratio lower than when they came in. Who were the three exceptions? Ronald Reagan and the two George Bushes. [hard-line conservatives]"

Imagine that. These hard-line conservatives that would reduce taxes on the wealthy are, in Krugman's words, "starving the beast", in other words, directing the economy to the toilet.

"The disastrous turn toward austerity has destroyed millions of jobs and ruined many lives. And it’s time for a U-turn."

This is one place where U turns are definitely allowed. In fact, they are most welcome.

Susanne R (236)
Monday May 6, 2013, 9:50 pm
What a refreshing dose of reality! Loved this assessment:

"And if you look at United States history since World War II, you find that of the 10 presidents who preceded Barack Obama, seven left office with a debt ratio lower than when they came in. Who were the three exceptions? Ronald Reagan and the two George Bushes. So debt increases that didn’t arise either from war or from extraordinary financial crisis are entirely associated with hard-line conservative governments.

And there’s a reason for that association: U.S. conservatives have long followed a strategy of “starving the beast,” slashing taxes so as to deprive the government of the revenue it needs to pay for popular programs.

The funny thing is that right now these same hard-line conservatives declare that we must not run deficits in times of economic crisis. Why? Because, they say, politicians won’t do the right thing and pay down the debt in good times. And who are these irresponsible politicians they’re talking about? Why, themselves.

To me, it sounds like a fiscal version of the classic definition of chutzpah — namely, killing your parents, then demanding sympathy because you’re an orphan. Here we have conservatives telling us that we must tighten our belts despite mass unemployment, because otherwise future conservatives will keep running deficits once times improve."

Oh, the irony! It would be nice if conservatives could somehow allow themselves to work in a bipartisan manner for the sake of the entire country, but that won't happen unless they somehow manage to see beyond their own noses.

Thanks for posting this, Lynn!

Lynn Squance (235)
Monday May 6, 2013, 10:07 pm
Suzanne, there's a reason they can't see beyond their own noses --- their heads are so far their asses that they are tickling their tonsits with their tongues!

Thanks ladies.

Esther Z (94)
Monday May 6, 2013, 10:57 pm
We don't even have to look at our own history to see how badly "austerity" programs perform during an economic crisis. Right now, just look at how poorly austerity programs are helping the European countries face their economic drought. From Greece, to Spain, to Italy, and France, these countries are falling like dominoes, with no relief in sight.

lee e (114)
Tuesday May 7, 2013, 10:43 am
Reagan was the instigator of this economic incontinence policy - and I'm afraid there's no chance of getting out of this mess while the conservatives are stalemating the country in a new type of treason I've never before witnessed in this country - mostly due, I believe to Citizen's United - we're governed by a plutocracy that is purely self motivated by greed - I don't see that it can continue this way for long without harming the nation irredeemably!

Patricia H. (440)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 4:36 am

Mike M (8)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 5:02 am
The corporation and elitists will rule your country and life and take what they want unless the people stop the thieves that control and run the governments

P A (117)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 6:52 am
Tried to give Susanne a star but the computer wouldn't let me - sorry - that was excellent!
"Predictions of fiscal crisis keep not coming true; predictions of disaster from harsh austerity policies have proved all too accurate. " We kept telling the SOBs!!

Anders Jonsson (0)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 10:48 am
Thank You!

Jason R (67)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 12:02 pm
No economy can survive and flourish without a sound consumer base with workers rights and good

Birgit W (160)
Wednesday May 8, 2013, 5:18 pm

Robert K (31)
Thursday May 9, 2013, 3:53 am
Conservative economics is an oxymoron, as in oxygen starved moronic thinking.

The one and only thing conservatives know about economics is how to steal.

. (0)
Thursday May 9, 2013, 7:27 am
Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Kathryn Niell (112)
Thursday May 9, 2013, 1:37 pm
Paul Krugman is a genius and well worth listening to. Too bad the 1% and politicians are NOT listening! If they did, we'd be well on the road to recovery instead of digging the 99% deeper and deeper into poverty and hopelessness.

Edwin M (346)
Thursday May 9, 2013, 4:47 pm
Thanks Lynn
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