Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Morning Voodoo

A small examination of who talks about economics, what they say, and what makes them angry.

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2 comments:

patsbrother said...

Personally, I've always been astounded by Cheney's "deficits don't matter" hoo-ha. I don't understand the rationale one bit. I may have spit the first time I heard it.

On a related note, John McCain has not asked for a single earmark since Senate rules were amended to lift anonymity. And as for the period of time before that rule-change, factcheck.org reports that "there have been three times in the past, in 1992, 2003, 2006, when McCain may have requested, or been influential in securing, an earmark. No definitive evidence was ever found..."

A senator since the 1980s. Three. Maybe.

Here you can find a list of earmark requests made in 2006 and 2007 by Barack Obama, who had the decency to release it himself. At first, I thought I would count each request, but then I realized how long it was and stopped. Look for yourself.

On another note, Barack Obama acknowledges that the deficit is a problem yet says we should be giving $50 billion away to non-Americans each year, above and beyond what we give away now. According to a friend who is a college professor of political science and who studies certain UN agencies in particular, that organization is the most fiscally irresponsible one in the world, such that individuals are profiting off of their own trials for crimes against humanity. As for the particular initiative those extra $50 billion per year who go to fund, I have read again and again how these funds have traditionally found their way to the wealthy in poor nations rather than the, um, poor.

My thought: why would we give our own money away before we can pay our own bills?

On a related note, John McCain has proposed a one year freeze on "non-defense, non-veterans discretionary spending [and to] use those savings for deficit reduction." The one-year freeze would "allow for a comprehensive review of all spending programs," which would lead to "a plan to modernize, streamline, consolidate, reprioritize and, where needed, terminate individual programs."

Dante said...

From Cheney's vantage point, deficits don't matter. Not an obvious position to figure out but logically sound. Don't think a businessman like Cheney is going to be concerned too much that our federal government owes some money. Businesses borrow money all the time. It's ok for successful ones because what they do with the money gives them a greater return on investment than they're paying in interest.

Now you can't assume that government spending is going to yield more than the government pays servicing our national deficit. So then what? Inflation. In the context of inflation vs. taxation to cover the deficit, neither is particularly better than the other. The inflation becomes a sort of meta-taxation since it's driving down the buying power of what you already have in the same sense as raising taxes would. Plus, that inflation is seen more as an economic condition than a political one. In other words, Republicans won't get blamed for inflation nearly as much as they would for raising taxes.

So to Dick Cheney, as long as it's spending he approves of, deficits don't matter. You either come out ahead economically by making mroe tomorrow than it cost you to borrow today or people get taxed on it after the fact and don't blame the Republicans for the increased tax burden.