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September 26, 2010 08:58 PM UTC

Stop Making Sense

  • by: harrydoby

( – promoted by DavidThi808)

Paul Krugman is at it again.  He’s a bit worried that the GOP’s “Pledge to America” might be utter nonsense.

Apparently, the key ingredient for success is: “And then a miracle occurs”.

In essence, what [the GOP] say is, “Deficits are a terrible thing. Let’s make them much bigger.”

The only way the “Pledge” will work is if Republicans can work this miracle:

…up is down, that you can sharply reduce revenue, protect all the programs voters like, and still balance the budget.

So what does make sense?

How about investing in areas that increase our global competitive edge?

Thomas L. Friedman offers an obvious solution that plays to our historic strengths that we have let slip in recent years:

The electric car industry is pivotal for three reasons, argues Shai Agassi, the C.E.O. of Better Place, a global electric car company that next year will begin operating national electric car networks in Israel and Denmark.

First, the auto industry was the foundation for America’s manufacturing middle class.

Second, the country that replaces gasoline-powered vehicles with electric-powered vehicles – in an age of steadily rising oil prices and steadily falling battery prices – will have a huge cost advantage and independence from imported oil.

Third, electric cars are full of power electronics and software. “Think of the applications industry that will be spun out from electric cars,” says Agassi. It will be the iPhone on steroids.

To grow the economy, you need to provide products and services that people, both domestically and especially globally, need and/or desire.

Some of the highest paying middle-class jobs are in the invention, design, production and servicing of our high technology products.  

Doesn’t it make sense that we’d want to create more of them?

That it also serves to wean us from our dependence on foreign oil, and all the associated security, environmental and trade deficit problems, makes it all the more important to refocus our national priorities on things that really can help.  

Then we’ll be making our own economic miracles once more.


47 thoughts on “Stop Making Sense

  1. of course they don’t make sense and they never intend to. As Krugman also points out in this column, Irving Kristol (grandpappy to the modern neo-con movement and father of insipid right-wing pundit William Kritol), posited that the only thing rhetoric and plans, etc are for is to gain power. Political speech has no other value than gaining and maintaining power.

    And it is funny the the thoroughly discredited Karl Rove is back in the media spot-light indicating how his “secret” strategy of enlisting business and social conservative interests is going to wrest control from the Democrats. I seem to recall Rove making outlandish predictions early in 2008 based on his “secret” polling data that the Rs were going to do great that year too!

  2. Probably ain’t happening once Scotty Tipton karate chops the government in half, though.

    Excuse me, I have to go defend Obama against the Republicans who think he’s a socialist and the lefties who think he’s a sellout. I’ll get back to you on this excellent idea.

  3. No one says that getting our house in order will be easy, but Republicans deserve the chance to apply our solutions to these massive problems. Democrats have tried and failed.

    1. Sure, Ken “I’ll say anything to get elected” Buck is ready to go with the GOP “solution”.

      Trust Buck? Then we really will need a miracle to survive!

      The GOP had their shot 10 years ago.  They blew it — by historic proportions.

    2. Jan 2001 Bush is sworn in with R majorities in House and Senate.

      Jan 2007  – congressional majoritiy flips.

      So during those six (6) years deficits were eliminated, the debt was declining and spending was being cut all over the federal gov’t.  

      Waitaminute!  We fell for this in 1980. ANd again in 1988.

      People can trust whom ever they want, but the party of Dick “deficits don’t matter” Cheney has zero credibility on federal deficit reduction.  

    3. We tried Republicans in power 4 years ago, and we tried racial segregation 50 years ago, and neither one really worked out all that well in the long run.

      I wonder if you wonder if your racist views make other Republicans look bad.

    4. Wars, deficits, smoke and mirrors accounting, tax cuts……

      All stink of your failed policies.

      And then Obama and the Democratic congress is against a solidified wall of “No!”  And you say that we should turn the reigns back to you fucking morons?

      I think not.  

    5. To deal with the defict you’d basically have to scale back Defense and entitlements. I haven’t seen very many Democrats say they’re willing to cut Medicare (Defense is sometimes a different story). I also haven’t seen many Republicans willing to reduce defense, and defund the two wars (entitlements are sometimes different).  

      1. Democrats have been the party of fiscal responsibility for more than a generation. Clinton implemented and actually got Pay-Go to work, to the point that we had surplusses as far as the eye could see until GWB got into power and decided to reward his wealthy cronies with the fruits of our fiscal discipline.

        In fact, you frequent canard about Medicare wilts under closer scrutiny as we see that it was a Democratic President with a Democratic Congress which passed health care reform against a solid wall of Republican opposition. It is the best shot we’ve had in a generation to get some control of our rising health care costs and possibly save Medicare in the end too.

        1. Blaming George Bush is getting cliche–I voted for President Obama, but it’s his problem now.

          The Democrats have scaled back the wars, but we still have forces in Iraq. The stimulus was on borrowed money. We still have bases all over the world.

          It’s hypocrisy for the Democrats to criticized the Republican plans on Medicare, when they too remain wary of touching it.

          What happened when former-Senator Alan Simpson pointed out the obvious about Social–the Demcrats seem to withdraw their support.  

          1. Without time to go look up facts, I think I can state with some confidence that Social Security isn’t broken. It can be put on a sound actuarial 75-year basis with some truly minor changes.

            If you have the time, just use the google. My guess is that it’ll take about 5 minutes to find a host of tweaks to mend SS.

            1. 1-raise retirement age to 68, as recommended by the original greenspan commission.  It now tops out at 67.  At that point, phase in 68 by extending age for full benefits by 2 months a year for 6 years.

              2-raise earnings limit by $10,000 a year above and beyond the already scheduled increases, which are mostly geared to inflation.

              3-change the formula upon which future benefits are calculated (not present benefits) so that they increase more slowly. by 1 percent annually.  (they now aggregate above the level of inflation because past earnings are adjusted, not for inflation, but for increases in median income levels.

               That would more than do it.  

                    1. which is that the right-wing ad at the bottom placed itself over the Post butt and I couldn’t post, and when I tried to move that, it ended up on website and had to work back here.

                        Time consuming.  But you’re still an asshat or something.  

          1. it’s his problem now.

            Yeah, Barack the Magic Negro.  

            Our current problems are OUR problems, but brought about 95% by Republican ideology.

            I’ll stop blaming Bush/Cheney and the neocons and tea party types when they stop blaming Clinton.

            And ex-senator Alan Simpson is an idiot and an ass hole!  He’s been part of the right-wing cabal trying to privatize SS for over 20 years.  

          2. when will you David? I think those who accuse you of being a closet Republican are spot on.

            So here’s how it works- a Democratic administration sets the stage for the longest term of prosperity in more than a generation with surplusses as far as the eye can see. A republican administration destroys all that and more with their incredible fecklessness, bringing the entire world economy to the brink of disaster. Then the next Democratic President gets 18 months to fix it all or he’s part of the problem.

            Great Republican talking points, but quite full of shit.

            1. What has Obama and the Democratic Congress attempted over the last 18 months to improve the economy? Not done, attempted. Since the stimulus – nothing.

              I agree Clinton did great. I agree Bush was a disaster. But the last 18 months, after the initial flurry of TARP and the stimulus – nada.

              I’m not a Republican, but I am someone who wants to see effective governance and not just hand wringing.

              1. had a bunch of stimulative projects, but it was filibustered. The small business tax credit (for whatever it’s worth) is the most recent project. Then there was this one which failed in the summer due to a filibuster.

            2. I’m unaffiliated.  Anybody can buy a data dump and find that out.  It’s a public record.  There’s no “admission” involved.

              I’m unaffiliated for a reason.  My local Democratic party leaves too many races uncontested and it pisses me off.  Because there are rarely Democratic choices, I want to be free to vote in whichever primary is more interesting.  That’s easier to do if you’re unaffiliated.

              Plus, I don’t always fit neatly into pigeonholes.  I write an article a day on my own blog and want to retain whatever credibility I have–I don’t want to be perceived as a partisan shill.  I lob grenades at each party when the grenades are deserved.  When I do choose to work for a candidate, I don’t write about them.

              I spent many years as a Democratic precinct committeeman but tired of the local party giving up walkovers or, at best, running vanity candidates.  I have no problem working hard for candidates that set a good example by working hard themselves, but they’re few and far between over here.  There’s only one such hard worker this year, and she’s running for State Senate.  I chose not to go to work for her because I regularly criticize her opponent (and have for years) and wanted to continue to do so without being accused of partisanship.

              So you can call it an admission, but I call it simply “what is.”

              1. I was out of line. I appreciate your explanation of your choices. I respect your decision and understand why you would make those.

                My other comments to David still stand though. It is bullshit to claim they haven’t done anything. Even HCR can be viewed as a net job creator as we remove a large and onerous burden from SMBs.

    1. I’ve been following him for years. Everything he has predicted has come to pass.  And importantly, for the reasons he has stated.  

      The reason he doesn’t bat 1000 is that he was wrong on the oil prices of, what, 2007? He said that it was the result of market forces, not manipulation.  We found out otherwise.

      So, abe, you know more about this economics stuff than the Nobel Prize winner, right?

    1. I was thinking of that image when I wrote this diary.

      Kinda puts the Pledge into the proper perspective.  Hopefully the media will press Boehner and gang for more details.

      Amazingly, even Chris Wallace today on Fox is skeptical:

      WALLACE: Forgive me, sir, isn’t the right time to have the adult conversation now before the election when you have this document? Why not make a single proposal to cut social security, medicare and medicaid?

      BOEHNER: Chris, this is what happens here in washington. When you start down that path, you just invite all kind of problems.

      See, first you have to hoodwink the American public, then you can pick their pockets to take care of your friends.  

      Wallace was trying to get Boehner to put the cart before the horse, and Boehner’s too, uh well, much of a politician to fall for that.

  4. Not one of the right wingers here is disagreeing with any of the points made. They know the deficit is going to go way up, but they don’t care. They simply do not care that they are abandoning their principles to get elected.

    No true fiscal can vote for these candidates and say with a straight face that they’re going to do anything except for increase the deficit. They outlined their plan for it.

    To all of the Tea Partiers who say that the Republicans are any different than they used to be under Bush, you are being lied to. You might not like the Democrats, but they are at least telling you that the deficit is going to increase. The Republicans are pissing on your shoes and telling you that it’s raining.

  5. increase federal deficit by 20%, increase the number of people employed by the federal government, and increase health insurance premiums.

    In my world, as a lawyer, a “pledge” is another word for a mortgage, which is apt because the “Pledge To America” is a plan to mortgage our children’s future by increasing the deficit over current levels by about $3.3 trillion dollars over ten years.

    Who knew that this is what Republicans wanted?


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