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prole

Another Messaging Failure

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Obama's blowing it again...

 

The Republican shakedown

By Robert Reich

 

You can't fight something with nothing. But as long as Democrats refuse to talk about the almost unprecedented buildup of income, wealth, and power at the top -- and the refusal of the super-rich to pay their fair share of the nation's bills -- Republicans will convince people it's all about government and unions.

 

Republicans claim to have a mandate from voters for the showdowns and shutdowns they're launching. Governors say they're not against unions but voters have told them to cut costs, and unions are in the way. House Republicans say they're not seeking a government shutdown but standing on principle. "Republicans' goal is to cut spending and reduce the size of government," says House leader John Boehner, "not to shut it down." But if a shutdown is necessary to achieve the goal, so be it.

 

The Republican message is bloated government is responsible for the lousy economy that most people continue to experience. Cut the bloat and jobs and wages will return.

 

Nothing could be further from the truth, but for some reason Obama and the Democrats aren't responding with the truth. Their response is: We agree but you're going too far. Government employees should give up some more wages and benefits but don't take away their bargaining rights. Private-sector unionized workers should make more concessions but don't bust the unions. Non-defense discretionary spending should be cut but don't cut so much.

 

In the face of showdowns and shutdowns, the "you're right but you're going too far" response doesn't hack it. If Republicans are correct on principle, they're more likely to be seen as taking a strong principled stand than as going "too far." If they're basically correct that the problem is too much government spending why not go as far as possible to cut the bloat?

 

The truth that Obama and Democrats must tell is government spending has absolutely nothing to do with high unemployment, declining wages, falling home prices, and all the other horribles that continue to haunt most Americans.

 

Indeed, too little spending will prolong the horribles for years more because there's not enough demand in the economy without it.

 

The truth is that while the proximate cause of America's economic plunge was Wall Street's excesses leading up to the crash of 2008, its underlying cause -- and the reason the economy continues to be lousy for most Americans -- is so much income and wealth have been going to the very top that the vast majority no longer has the purchasing power to lift the economy out of its doldrums. American's aren't buying cars (they bought 17 million new cars in 2005, just 12 million last year). They're not buying homes (7.5 million in 2005, 4.6 million last year). They're not going to the malls (high-end retailers are booming but Wal-Mart's sales are down).

 

Only the richest 5 percent of Americans are back in the stores because their stock portfolios have soared. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has doubled from its crisis low. Wall Street pay is up to record levels. Total compensation and benefits at the 25 major Wall St firms had been $130 billion in 2007, before the crash; now it's close to $140 billion.

 

But a strong recovery can't be built on the purchases of the richest 5 percent.

 

The truth is if the super-rich paid their fair share of taxes, government wouldn't be broke. If Governor Scott Walker hadn't handed out tax breaks to corporations and the well-off, Wisconsin wouldn't be in a budget crisis. If Washington hadn't extended the Bush tax cuts for the rich, eviscerated the estate tax, and created loopholes for private-equity and hedge-fund managers, the federal budget wouldn't look nearly as bad.

 

And if America had higher marginal tax rates and more tax brackets at the top -- for those raking in $1 million, $5 million, $15 million a year -- the budget would look even better. We wouldn't be firing teachers or slashing Medicaid or hurting the most vulnerable members of our society. We wouldn't be in a tizzy over Social Security. We'd slow the rise in healthcare costs but we wouldn't cut Medicare. We'd cut defense spending and lop off subsidies to giant agribusinesses but we wouldn't view the government as our national nemesis.

 

The final truth is as income and wealth have risen to the top, so has political power. The reason all of this is proving so difficult to get across is the super-rich, such as the Koch brothers, have been using their billions to corrupt politics, hoodwink the public, and enlarge and entrench their outsized fortunes. They're bankrolling Republicans who are mounting showdowns and threatening shutdowns, and who want the public to believe government spending is the problem.

 

They are behind the Republican shakedown.

 

These are the truths that Democrats must start telling, and soon. Otherwise the Republican shakedown may well succeed.

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:tup:

Same wolf different sheeps clothing.

It's all the same bullshit and true enough even NPR had a story today talking about the rebound of consumer confidince residing primarily in the upscale brands (read those who as stated in your quote are in the top 5% of earners).

Even my libtard peeps ( yes I am including myself) are ignoring this shit.

It is no wonder I become more and more occupied with my own private life and play ignorant to the the stuff going on around me.

Fucking hopeless feeling at times.

 

 

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What!!!????

The outrage man, the outrage!

I cannot believe the blog lies you people post on here.

What is wrong with all you bitches?

 

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Fucking hopeless feeling at times.

 

i'm sure folks felt right cheery during the crusades and the black plague ::skull::

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News from Austerityland...

 

UK economy contracted by 0.6% in last three months of 2010

Guardian 2/25/11

Britain's economy shrank by 0.6% in the final quarter of last year, a sharper fall than previously thought.

 

The surprise downward revision, from a 0.5% quarterly drop reported last month, was blamed on industry and service sector firms whose performance was worse than originally estimated. Consumer spending also slipped and the economy was kept afloat by higher government spending, which will see sharp cuts in coming months.

 

The Office for National Statistics stuck to its view that the harsh winter weather in December – the coldest December on record – contributed 0.5 percentage points to the decline, so without the snow GDP would still have shown a slight fall.

 

Meanwhile the US economy grew more slowly than initially estimated in the fourth quarter as government spending contracted at a sharper rate and consumer spending was less robust than first thought. US GDP rose at an annualised rate of 2.8%, revised down from 3.2%.

 

Output from the UK service industries fell by 0.7% between October and December from the previous quarter, rather than 0.5% – led by a 1.1% drop in finance and business services – while industrial production was also revised lower to show growth of 0.7% compared with the earlier estimate of 0.9%. Construction slumped by 2.5%.

 

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "The government's hope of an upwards revision of growth has been dashed. It's time to wake up and smell an economy in big trouble. We need a plan B that doesn't send it over the edge with deep rapid spending cuts."

 

The figures highlight the dilemma faced by the Bank of England, as inflation is running at double its target while the economy remains fragile. Household spending fell by 0.1% in the fourth quarter, the first drop in 18 months. This suggests households were tightening their belts even before the VAT increase and the government's spending squeeze kicked in. A bigger trade deficit and a 2.5% slump in business investment also contributed to the overall decline. Government spending grew by 0.7% but this would not last, economists warned.

 

"The detail shows that government spending was the only positive growth driver," said James Knightley at ING. "This is fairly worrying given we know about the wave of fiscal austerity that is now starting to hit the UK economy, meaning that we will soon be starting to see negative figures for this component."

 

The Treasury said the figures did not affect its determination to tackle the country's record budget deficit. "The chancellor said that the fourth-quarter growth figures were disappointing and today's revision doesn't change that fact," said a Treasury spokesman.

 

"It also doesn't change the need to deal with the nation's credit card – the country is borrowing more this year than is spent on the entire NHS." He also noted that surveys, which showed the economy bounced back at the start of the year, had "exceeded expectations".

 

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls hit out at the government's deficit-cutting plans. "2011 should be the year when the British economy grows strongly and the recovery is secured. Yet the early signs are that the Tory-led government's reckless decision to abandon Labour's plan to halve the deficit over four years has seen the economy take a turn for the worse," Balls said.

 

"We now face the worst of all worlds – unemployment and inflation both rising, growth stalled and consumer confidence collapsed. And this is before the government's extreme fiscal tightening really starts to bite."

 

There are sharp divisions on the Bank's monetary policy committee, with three members advocating higher interest rates at the February meeting while one member backed more quantitative easing to support the economy.

 

"The slight downward revision to UK GDP might give the more hawkishly inclined members of the MPC reason to pause for thought," said Vicky Redwood, senior UK economist at Capital Economics.

 

"Of course, we already know from the Cips surveys that the economy bounced back at the start of the year. But we can't tell how much of this was due to weather effects. Indeed, the other economic news of late has not been very reassuring – including the weak consumer confidence figures released overnight. We still think that the economic recovery will struggle this year and expect growth of just 1.5% or so."

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and, of course, the banksters and other "experts" blame the weather. Laughable! It's a mystery anyone still believes these crooks.

 

Among other British news: RBS bankers get £950m in bonuses despite £1.1bn loss. LOLZ

 

 

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News from Austerityland...

 

UK economy contracted by 0.6% in last three months of 2010

Guardian 2/25/11

Britain's economy shrank by 0.6% in the final quarter of last year, a sharper fall than previously thought.

 

The surprise downward revision, from a 0.5% quarterly drop reported last month, was blamed on industry and service sector firms whose performance was worse than originally estimated. Consumer spending also slipped and the economy was kept afloat by higher government spending, which will see sharp cuts in coming months.

 

The Office for National Statistics stuck to its view that the harsh winter weather in December the coldest December on record contributed 0.5 percentage points to the decline, so without the snow GDP would still have shown a slight fall.

 

Meanwhile the US economy grew more slowly than initially estimated in the fourth quarter as government spending contracted at a sharper rate and consumer spending was less robust than first thought. US GDP rose at an annualised rate of 2.8%, revised down from 3.2%.

 

Output from the UK service industries fell by 0.7% between October and December from the previous quarter, rather than 0.5% led by a 1.1% drop in finance and business services while industrial production was also revised lower to show growth of 0.7% compared with the earlier estimate of 0.9%. Construction slumped by 2.5%.

 

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "The government's hope of an upwards revision of growth has been dashed. It's time to wake up and smell an economy in big trouble. We need a plan B that doesn't send it over the edge with deep rapid spending cuts."

 

The figures highlight the dilemma faced by the Bank of England, as inflation is running at double its target while the economy remains fragile. Household spending fell by 0.1% in the fourth quarter, the first drop in 18 months. This suggests households were tightening their belts even before the VAT increase and the government's spending squeeze kicked in. A bigger trade deficit and a 2.5% slump in business investment also contributed to the overall decline. Government spending grew by 0.7% but this would not last, economists warned.

 

"The detail shows that government spending was the only positive growth driver," said James Knightley at ING. "This is fairly worrying given we know about the wave of fiscal austerity that is now starting to hit the UK economy, meaning that we will soon be starting to see negative figures for this component."

 

The Treasury said the figures did not affect its determination to tackle the country's record budget deficit. "The chancellor said that the fourth-quarter growth figures were disappointing and today's revision doesn't change that fact," said a Treasury spokesman.

 

"It also doesn't change the need to deal with the nation's credit card the country is borrowing more this year than is spent on the entire NHS." He also noted that surveys, which showed the economy bounced back at the start of the year, had "exceeded expectations".

 

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls hit out at the government's deficit-cutting plans. "2011 should be the year when the British economy grows strongly and the recovery is secured. Yet the early signs are that the Tory-led government's reckless decision to abandon Labour's plan to halve the deficit over four years has seen the economy take a turn for the worse," Balls said.

 

"We now face the worst of all worlds unemployment and inflation both rising, growth stalled and consumer confidence collapsed. And this is before the government's extreme fiscal tightening really starts to bite."

 

There are sharp divisions on the Bank's monetary policy committee, with three members advocating higher interest rates at the February meeting while one member backed more quantitative easing to support the economy.

 

"The slight downward revision to UK GDP might give the more hawkishly inclined members of the MPC reason to pause for thought," said Vicky Redwood, senior UK economist at Capital Economics.

 

"Of course, we already know from the Cips surveys that the economy bounced back at the start of the year. But we can't tell how much of this was due to weather effects. Indeed, the other economic news of late has not been very reassuring including the weak consumer confidence figures released overnight. We still think that the economic recovery will struggle this year and expect growth of just 1.5% or so."

"Shadow chancellor Ed Balls" :lmao: only in england?

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Hell yes they did Ivan!

Especially as they toiled under the fair laws of thier monarchs and overlords. If life was only that simple. :laf:

 

I would have to argue that with the amount of information available to us today it is hard to imagine that somewhere in the world things are better and have a dream that it could be so for us as well.

There is something to be said for not having to look at things globally and watch it ALL fall apart.

 

In all honesty you are probably right Ivan things were not all that cheery back in those days but really it is not a reasonable comparison to make considering the local versus worldview we are subject to now.

 

 

 

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