Deficit, schmeficit Archives

December 16, 2010

Deficit hawk with a heart

Behold the Jan with a plan!

I love the Janster, anyway(*) and any time, and gosh, here she is swingin' the double-headed budget broadaxe, and in the holy class cause of progress, goodness, light, and the little peoples' purses.

It's pdf, but I can't cut and paste it here, for some dang reason or other, so go read it yourselves, ya bastids, it's only 7 panels long.

Gistifying, for the kids and great-uncles: today and tomorrow, "TOUCH NOTHING!" But in fiscal budget 2015:

  • Add 150 billion to tax revenue -- yes tax increases, the merit-class glory hole;
  • Even better, close 130 billion in corporate and wealthy-guy tax loopholes;
  • And best of show, cut 110 billion out of the death star project! Yes indeed, slash an assorted set of gratuitous procurement gigs, both ongoing and pending -- carve out a few war freakouts and fanfares!
  • A few modest nibbles at the fringes of the social budget. Never fear, they're mostly mined from corporate and rich boy rent sumps (these are fun fantasy moves, aren't they, Ms Progress?)

  • Allah be praised: a cost-cutting pub-op for health insurance, and Uncle at the table in drug price negotiations!
Ummm, increases? Hey, what else? Hacks at a few of the Limited-Liability Man's immaculate exemptions, passover cults, and uncle-sanctioned legal frauds.

What's not to like, eh? The wish sandwich and wolf-ticket department has lots of fetching lefty market-oriented inventory moldering on the shelves, don't it?


(*) Just look at her! What a knockout! The eaglebeak nose... the short frosted hair... the wolverine eyes... Like man, it hurts so good... it hurts so good.

Oh noes!

We're still seeing lots of this pwoggie-boy blues:

"...Already passed by the Senate, the House probably votes today... on extending the tax cuts for the rich and permanently cutting the estate tax to a very, very low level.... It is hard to convey just how dispiriting this is to progressives who worked so hard to reach and persuade people and get them to the polls in 2008 to vote for "change." The "change" was not supposed to be about giving even more breaks to the wealthy and big corporations..."
Thought experiment: why not? Out of spite? Out of budget-gap superstitions?

I think behind it all is fear of "starve the beast" --- lots of keen uplifters and such now can't be afforded. To which I sez "who sez? And who cares?"

But it doesn't stop at crumbling schools and faulty train tracks -- let alone cuts to our sacred multiple endowments for the inanities. Nope, the threat to the transfer system now looms up at 'em through the proposed payroll tax holiday.

Imagine that. If there's to be any "left" attack on that proposal it oughta start with "it's too fucking small, brother."

I say cut out the employee side of the payroll tax completely, and until further notice.

So why are so many serious pwogs cackling about this dimension of the "double deal"?

The goddam fools figure the payroll tax holiday "won't be revoked"! Yup, they are afraid taxes on wage work might never get restored!

It's all amazing. We have paid, what, $2 trillion-plus out of payroll to fund the armada these past ten years or so? Was that prudent? The game here is so rigged its stupefying.

Why do the pwoggles fear this unintentional dribble of sane melioration? I think it's because they fear the "spirit of cutting" will spread to the benefit stream, and not tomorrow, but, you know, years from now.

Esau class first principles here: if it isn't cut today, or tomorrow morning at the latest, then who cares?

The Esaus are right: so long as Uncle has his limitless dollar mine, anything is nominally possible, and since this is all in nominal terms...

It's really simple, but somehow pwogs fail to understand the nature of transfer systems backed by the free source of all new dollars. You can only transfer real stuff produced today to a mouth or a warehouse. There is no other real saving or consuming. Anything else is paper chains that are as easily ripped apart as they are clapped on.

If I eat more today than yesterday, no one can go back in time and take it away tomorrow. And if they try to take it out of my next year -- I mean really take it out, that is, out of my real stream of goodies -- then the fight to stop it won't really be any the more difficult no matter what today's paperwork might say.

Rule one of corporate class exploitation: if they and their gubmint can take it away now, they will. There is no ease-off. You'll never hear 'em say "well, yeah, you cut your eats yesterday, so here's more today."

The Esau class needs to play by the same rules. Tomorrow's Esaus oughta consider it a point of honor to default on any inter-class agreements made today and yesterday.

They've got the right, based on the backside of the golden rule: it oughta be just as decent -- if not as easy -- as the corporate class default during these past 35 years on all of their post-WWII inter-class agreements.

We can always reverse any pact to cut future benefits -- and it will be even hard er to cut the the social security benefit stream than to restore the taxes that pretend to pay for 'em today.

The only part of Uncle's spending we job-class oriented lefties oughta fuss over is the transfer systems to regular folks and all the taxes on regular folks. And I mean, of course, today's taxes and benefits, and maybe next year's, but never ten years from now.

Uncle is not limited by the laws of prudent finance. Uncle is not a corporation, or even a California times ten.

Fellow avatars of Esau, take as much as you can from Uncle in cash right now and block as much of his taxation on you as you can -- right now. The rest is rabbit's-foot/black cat superstition.


PS: I saw a poll somewhere that showed barely a third of registered citizen rubberstamps "like" the payroll tax holiday.

Why might that be? The two-thirds agin' must include zillions of honest wage earning geefs. So why the nyet?

Given all the weird wonky chatter about the crisis looming in THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM and the bipartisan track record on this very system since the mid-80's -- maybe a lot of smart McShitski jobblers figure this is just a sly con move prior to another massive attack on their retirement system.

If so, I don't blame 'em. Given the idiotic pwog fiscal panic -- come the time to debate, the job class may find the same folks that beat back Bush in '05 won't have the stomach for it next time. Get ready, gang; with or without the holiday, the attack is coming, and the pretext provided by starve-the-beast tactics is no more dangerous than any other alibi lies of the Cyclops class.

August 3, 2011

La Momia, y David El Pastor

On reflection, it's really very unfair to these two distinguished entertainers to compare their imaginative and poetic performance with the recent "debt ceiling" palookafest, which didn't provide a moment's fun during its endless tedious run(*), or show the slightest sign of originality on the part of any of the hundreds of windy but stolid bores participating in it.

I'll leave it to the house economists here to tell us what effect, if any, we can expect from this big ball o' nuthin'. To my amateur eye, it appears that the mountains have travailed and didn't even give birth to a mouse -- or a stillborn gnat, for that matter.

There's a really hilarious graphic in the New York Times, showing the idiotically elaborate series of snares and pitfalls that the two "parties" have written into this "deal" for each other's amusement. The damn thing looks like nothing so much as one of those hopscotch games you used to see chalked on the sidewalk, back when kids were still allowed out of doors, and permitted to play without wearing a helmet. Of course, anything Congress enacts on a Monday it can repeal on Tuesday, so all this amounts to a lot less, even, than shadowboxing.

The liberals are taking it all very seriously -- natch:

Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green said: “This deal will kill our economy and is an attack on middle-class families. It asks nothing of the rich, will reduce middle-class jobs, and lines up Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid for cuts.
(How do you like the name of that organization, by the way? Doesn't that squeeze in every shibboleth in the book?)

How do you "kill" a dead "economy"? Of course the "deal" doesn't do anything to revive "the economy" -- whatever that might be. But who thought for a minute it would? It's like getting furious with a rhino because he's not a bunny. Has anybody at all, on either side of the Congressional open sewer -- er, aisle -- or in the Administration, seriously proposed any concrete steps that would actually put people back to work and raise the wage? Of course not. Nobody wants to do that -- except us poor wagelings, for whom that is the only tendril of "the economy" that matters, and rightly so. But none of the Momias in the congressional ring were working for us. And the fact that "deficit reduction" was the rubric under which it was unanimously agreed to file the issue shows that as clearly as anything could.

As for Social Security and Medicare -- it seems pretty clear that those are sacrosanct, at least for the foreseeable future. Yes, of course, everybody, Republicrat and Demolican alike, wants austerity; but the preference is to lay it on the shoulders of the young. Us geezers mostly vote -- with a few notable exceptions, like your humble correspondent here.

* * * * *

I have had occasion, for the last couple of weeks, to spend a fair number of my waking hours in a room where there is a TV continually tuned to CNN. It's quite horrible. Wolf Blitzburger, or whatever his name is, looks increasingly like some carven idol from a Polynesian island where the plastic arts have not been much cultivated. There are a half-dozen mesomorphic guys wearing boxy suits so tight that the overall effect is of something inflated with a bicycle pump. And then there are the sharp-chinned, kitten-faced, anorexic commentatrices.

They're all furiously pissed-off, all the time, and they went over -- and over! -- every meaningless twist and turn in this "debt ceiling" mock-epic with the obsessive fervor of trainspotters.

No wonder so many Americans seem both deeply confused and filled with obscure resentment. It seems clear that this curdled, acidic, ineluctable Muzak must be designed to produce exactly those two effects.

My CNN-soaked room was full of good-hearted liberals, who of course responded exactly as expected: Oh those terrible Republicans, those frightening Teabaggers, etc. Some of the bolder ones suggested that Obama and his fellow-jackasses were perhaps being a little "weak".

It got so tedious, even for the liberals, though, that I felt I was making some progress with my two daily observations:

1) None of this is news, and none of it is interesting.

2) If you want to hang on to whatever shreds of cognitive ability you have left, do not, at all costs, watch TV "news" programs. They exist to interest you in things that don't matter, and distract you from those that do.


(*) Like what Cats might have been if Tony Kushner had written the book.

About Deficit, schmeficit

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