Win/Win?


I read a headline on Bloomberg news about how the tax cuts for the rich will “reduce pressure for fed debt purchases”  Even if it does, so what?  Qe2 is a reality, it cannot be called back, and Ben Bernanke wouldn’t call it back.  That $600,000,000,000 that will help big business stay afloat is a big nail in the American coffin, but the tax burden that the continuation of the tax cuts is an even bigger nail in that coffin.  $1,500,000,000,000 worth of debt on top of what we already have to deal with. Great.

Which brings up the subject of the President’s spending.  I’ve defended the President’s spending ad nauseum.  That spending was necessary.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Unemployment was at 8 percent 30 days after he took office, the measures he took kept it from jumping beyond 10%, saved millions of jobs, and created many others.  The seed money put forth with the stimulus will create jobs in future. Money well spent.

Oversimplified? Yes, but I have other things to say.  I want to speak about objectives, the objectives of the President’s “cave in”, and the effect the continuation of the tax cuts would have on job growth. 

The Presidents objectives here are multi-dimensional and complex.  First,  help the unemployed, save those benefits.  Second, help the rich, save them from the estate tax.  Third, this is a political ploy to show his ability to work with the right, and help the left.  Yes I said that, help the left.  How?

Light a fire under’em, show the republicans that people don’t want those tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.  Create on the left what the conservatives created on the right in 2009 during the health care debate, anger.  Anger is a gift, a useful thing to have on your side, and if the President can show just how united we are against this, he can maybe do something about it.  He has not done anything yet except talk. The deal, while spoken of, has yet to pass through congress.

Want to bet that it doesn’t make it through?  That the congress bats this tax cut that is so toxic for the future of America down?  The anger that the American people show here doesn’t matter a damn to Republicans, but it matters to Democrats, who are keen to show that they are on the side of the average worker, the average man and woman on the street.  If democrats can channel that anger by our President putting this deal on the table, they can draw a great deal of strength and popular momentum from it.

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Viddy of the day:  Sen. Sherrod Brown, talking to Rachel Maddow last night.

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Not in the clamour of the crowded street,
Not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng,
But in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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If I am wrong and the deal goes through, the President is seen as protecting the interests of the unemployed in a time of high unemployment, and also as working with the Republicans on their legislative agenda, something they say he never did, and highlights the unpopularity of that agenda.  Sucks that the billionaire tax cuts go through, but more work can get done because they deal is done.  Dream Act, the DADT repeal, and a few other things get done before end of business for the 111th congress.

Win.

If I am right and the deal doesn’t go through, he can say he did his best for everyone, and tried to push this through, but that congress, sensing a shift in the political wind, refused to work on an agenda that is clearly flawed and unpopular, and that he did his level best to work with everyone, and the work will begin anew next year, when we can create a NEW tax deal for America. Difficult with a new, more Republican congress, but if they want something done, they will learn to compromise, or find out that they will simply not get what they want.

Win/Win. 

No matter how you slice it, the President wins here.  And, one way or the other, he gets to show a more fiery side to those who challenge him, who question his judgment, something he needs to do until this gets done.

And the left gets fired up over this, which creates the biggest issue here.  Angering the base, but I think he thinks that when push comes to shove, they will know he is with them, and stand with him.  I for one hope he is right, we’ll see about that, only time will tell.

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We will still have major debt, which cannot be helped, but that is the case, and has been so for a great number of years.  We won’t fix this in a day, or a year, or even ten.

Austerity won’t work. 

The rich need to understand that for all that they pay a fair amount, they still aren’t shouldering the burden.  They have the money, and those that make the most pay the most becasue they have the most.  Until we pay the debt down, that is how that is going to have to be, unless you want more debt. 

Shrink government? Sure, if you can do it without firing people and making a bad employment situation worse. 

Cutting social security won’t do it. SocSec doesn’t add to the debt, it pays for itself, and is about as necessary a program as exists today. 

Cut military spending first, and even then, be careful.

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And a short aside here:  That whole argument that the rich are going to create jobs if only the tax cuts for them continue is ridiculous.  If that were true, would that job growth already have shown itself?  Where are the jobs?

Nowhere. 

Nowhere.  They aren’t here because the demand for the jobs simply at this point isn’t here.  If it was, the market would have opened up more than it has, and there would be more hiring, and the tax structure would make little difference to it.  If employers need people, they hire, if they don’t, they don’t.  Tax incentives can’t create jobs if there is no market for them.  People need them, market doesn’t, market wins. 

Done.

If this tax rate was going to have a positive effect on job growth, don’t you think it would have happened already? If they really are as stimulative as the right says it is, there would have been some effect already, and there has been none, because the millionaire tax rate makes no difference to job growth, or so little difference as to have no real effect.

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That’s it for the moment, America.  12 notes coming up this evening.

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