07 February, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Thanks for all those job cuts, you fuckwits:

Republican "centrists" in the Senate, we now know, felt more comfortable with a smaller stimulus, and had the political clout to demand the changes (due to GOP obstructionism, a 58-member majority couldn't pass the bill without approving the "centrists'" cuts). Krugman has given the resulting package a look, and is obviously discouraged.

Now the centrists have shaved off $86 billion in spending -- much of it among the most effective and most needed parts of the plan. In particular, aid to state governments, which are in desperate straits, is both fast -- because it prevents spending cuts rather than having to start up new projects -- and effective, because it would in fact be spent; plus state and local governments are cutting back on essentials, so the social value of this spending would be high. But in the name of mighty centrism, $40 billion of that aid has been cut out.

My first cut says that the changes to the Senate bill will ensure that we have at least 600,000 fewer Americans employed over the next two years.

Dean Baker is thinking along the same lines: "We should talk about the spending cuts as job cuts. So cutting $100 billion from the stimulus means that they cut 500,000 jobs. (Working with the Romer-Bernstein numbers, $100 billion would increase GDP by $150 billion. This equals 1 percent, which they calculate translates into 1 million jobs. We divide by two [2-year savings] and get 500,000 jobs.) So the Collins-Nelson crew just cost 500,000 people their jobs. Isn't fiscal responsibility wonderful?"

Just fucking spiffy. We should start a "Fire a Senator" PAC so they all get the opportunity to join us in losing a job.

Fiscal conservatism only works when you have some fiscal to conserve. Thanks to the assclowns who've been running the country for the last eight years and continue their energetic attempts to destroy what little's left, we haven't got any fiscal. We've got an economy that will soon begin to resemble the third world.

The fucktards standing athwart economic rescue are the same ones who are too stupid to realize that babbling on Twitter isn't secure:
Rep. Pete Hoeksra (R-MI), the ranking member of the House intelligence committee, revealed classified intelligence information on Twitter when he reported on his “congressional trip to Iraq this weekend that was supposed to be a secret.” “Just landed in Baghdad,” messaged Hoekstra, who was part of a delegation led by John Boehner (R-OH). CQ reports, “Before the delegation left Washington, they were advised to keep the trip to themselves for security reasons. A few media outlets, including Congressional Quarterly, learned about it, but agreed not to disclose anything until the delegation had left Iraq.” Hoekstra not only revealed the existence of the trip, but included details about their itinerary.
What kind of idiot do you have to be in order to be so fucking oblivious? And why the fuck should people this egregiously stupid be allowed to govern? As Steve Benen says, "Remember, Hoekstra chaired the Intelligence Committee. He deals with classified information on a daily basis, and has received extensive instructions on how to keep national security secrets under wraps."

Well, it didn't have anything to do with tax cuts or bombing people, so those instructions probably didn't linger in his mind.

As for their new RNC chair, let's just say he's making tax troubles look tame in comparison:

Gee, imagine this:

Michael S. Steele, the newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee, arranged for his 2006 Senate campaign to pay a defunct company run by his sister for services that were never performed, his finance chairman from that campaign has told federal prosecutors.

Federal agents in recent days contacted Steele's sister, a spokesman for Steele said yesterday.


In one of his allegations, Fabian points to a February 2007 payment by Steele's Senate campaign of more than $37,000 to Brown Sugar Unlimited, the company run by Steele's sister, Monica Turner. Campaign finance records list the expense as having been for "catering/web services." Turner filed papers to dissolve the company 11 months before the payment was received.

My goodness me. I never would have imagined that a Con could be utterly fucking corrupt and too stupid to hide the evidence. What a shock. And I'm sure we'll hear Steele whining and moaning about Dem's not crossing their t's at some point, which will be just as entertaining as David "Diapers" Vitter railing against spending for STD prevention programs.

What's not so amusing is watching the group of fucktards who signed off on Bush's massive deficits try to claim they couldn't possibly authorize government spending now:
As President Obama finally starts to fight for his economic stimulus bill, roadblock Republicans in the Senate continue to decry the price tag. While John Thune (R-SD) described how many times $1 trillion worth of $100 bills would circle the earth, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) proclaimed "Americans can't afford a trillion-dollar mistake." Of course, back in 2001, the GOP had no qualms (along with some invertebrate Democrats) in passing George W. Bush's much larger $1.4 trillion tax cut package. And as today's unending sea of red ink and unprecedented upward redistribution of wealth attest, the Republican Party is simply calling for more of the same.

Unlike the 7.6% unemployment rate and $1.2 trillion deficit Barack Obama inherited, George W. Bush arrived at the White House with a federal budget surplus and joblessness at 4.2% - and no mandate. But as every sentient being outside of the mainstream media will recall, Bush promised to slash taxes for the wealthiest Americans, including an end to the estate tax (lovingly rebranded by GOP spinmeisters as the "death tax."). And despite his loss of the popular vote to Al Gore and facing a 50-50 Senate, President Bush and his team made clear there would be no search for common ground with Democrats in pursuit of the 10-year, $1.6 trillion package.


With only minor changes (the tax cuts were not permanent, the estate tax was lowered and not eliminated), the 2001 Bush tax cuts passed both houses of Congress with substantial numbers of Democrats voting in favor. While the House backed the original $1.6 trillion, the Senate (where Bush faced the opposition of John McCain and soon-be-ex Republican Jim Jeffords) initially voted for "only" a $1.2 trillion. Ultimately, the compromise conference bill came in $1.35 trillion and brought numerous Democrats along for the ride:

The bill passed the House by a vote of 240 to 154, with 28 Democrats and an independent joining all Republicans in voting yes. The Senate then passed it by a vote of 58 to 33.

Twelve Democrats joined 46 Republicans in support of the bill in the Senate. Two Republicans - John McCain of Arizona and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island - voted against it on a day when some members of Congress had already left town for the holiday weekend.

The rest, as they say, is history. Along with the second round of tax cuts passed in 2003, the Bush program as predicted eviscerated the Clinton-era budget surpluses as well as the $5.6 trillion surplus forecast by the CBO by the end of the decade. An analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) in 2006 estimated that the Bush tax cuts were responsible for 51% of the mushrooming federal deficit.
Notice how these dumbshits only become tightwads when Dems are in charge? Isn't it precious how they think people won't notice that we tried it their way for eight years, and their way failed miserably? Aren't they just special, pounding their little fists into the floor and demanding to get their way?

Well, they got their way. It's why we're in such a gargantuan mess now:
Matt Yglesias has raised this observation a few times in recent weeks, but it's a good point that bears repeating.

When you see conservative complaining that the stimulus bill is too expensive and won't be fast-acting enough, keep in mind that had they not blocked stimulus last year on the grounds that it was too slow and expensive, we probably wouldn't be in a position today where we need such a large fiscal expansion. The further down the spiral you go, the more aggressive you need to get to reverse the vicious cycle and the bigger the threat that eventual recovery will be accompanied by inflation.

Quite right. There are differences of opinion about the merit of President Obama giving Congress a "deadline" on the stimulus package, but the fact remains that policy makers already wasted several months by waiting so long to act.

Last year, as economic conditions were deteriorating, then-President Bush believed no action was necessary (that is, unless congressional Democrats were prepared to make his tax cuts permanent, because nothing leads to success like repeating failure). Democratic lawmakers raised the specter of a modest stimulus -- nowhere near the scope of the current proposal from the Obama administration -- and Republicans balked.

The more they balk, the more expensive it gets. I do believe it's time for them to start feeling the pain. Let's make 2010 an election year for them to remember. Third defeat's the charm....


Cujo359 said...

Ian Welsh was thinking we'd lost a million jobs, but he thought the cut was bigger.

Meanwhile, we're more than four million jobs behind from last year, and already two million behind for this.

Does anything work like it's supposed to in DC?

Anonymous said...

My numbers are basically the same as Krugman's, I didn't divide by two but took the losses all the way out. Of course, that was with Friday's numbers. Saturday's numbers show lower job losses (only 800k, or 400 if you /2)

Er, lower so to speak.