Getting to Crazy. Krugman Hits Nail on Head on the Insanity of the GOP on the Debt Limit

Faxed to: Todd Young, IN-09; Indiana Senators Dick Lugar and Daniel Coats; President Obama,
The White House; House Speaker John Boehner; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid;
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI; Eric Cantor, R-VA

The problem is not the debt. The problem is the irrational objection to returning revenues from the super rich and corporations back to reasonable levels. This nation is being gutted and looted by the wealthiest 5% of the population and the corrupt plutocratic corporate oligarchy that has usurped control of Congress, 261 members of which in 2010 were themselves millionaires, and thus profiting from their attacks on the middle class and the poor, and benefiting from the disastrous Bush era tax cuts.

The problem is the 400 richest Americans who have had their taxes cut by 50 % in the last 12 years.

The problem is the corporations that are not paying any taxes, literally, take GE for example, or are paying meaningless low taxes because of loopholes, corporate welfare schemes provided them by Congress, and taxpayer subsidies, such as oil and sugar industries.

The problem is there are 25 hedge fund managers making sometimes two million dollars an HOUR, but thanks to loopholes, they do not pay on their income as salary, like peons like you and me. Those 25 people, if taxed on salary at rates we are, would be paying over 4 BILLION DOLLARS MORE a year. Right now, they are just laughing all the way to the bank, because their SALARIES are being treated as capital gains on investments. Which they are not.

Not a single statistic or fact above was made up or exaggerated. These are facts. Truth. Objective reality.

We do not have a debt problem. We have a revenue problem. And America is being driven to the brink of economic chaos and another recession if not depression by the fools threatening not to extend the debt ceiling.

The Bush tax cuts for the super rich account for about 1/3 of the current deficit. Those tax cuts MUST be allowed to expire. My preference would be to end them immediately.

Plus, our troops should be brought home from Iraq and Afghanistan NOW, not some future date. We have been there longer than it took us to defeat the Nazis and Japan in WWII. This is ridiculous.

We shipped BILLIONS of dollars in cash over there, and it just disappeared into the corruption of the countries and the war profiteering private companies we sent over? Enough to cover about a 1/4 of the current deficit. Thrown away. Missing in action. Gone with the desert winds.

Just to make sure you do not miss it, here is Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman’s concluding sentence, after he has laid out the evidence with chilling precision, so you do not miss it, from his column today in the New York Times. Emphasis added.

Here’s the point: those within the G.O.P. who had misgivings about the embrace of tax-cut fanaticism might have made a stronger stand if there had been any indication that such fanaticism came with a price, if outsiders had been willing to condemn those who took irresponsible positions.

But there has been no such price. Mr. Bush squandered the surplus of the late Clinton years, yet prominent pundits pretend that the two parties share equal blame for our debt problems. Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, proposed a supposed deficit-reduction plan that included huge tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, then received an award for fiscal responsibility.

So there has been no pressure on the G.O.P. to show any kind of responsibility, or even rationality — and sure enough, it has gone off the deep end. If you’re surprised, that means that you were part of the problem.

Getting to Crazy. By PAUL KRUGMAN. Published: July 14, 2011

Here is the heart of his presentation. It is, to be honest, simply irrefutable.

There aren’t many positive aspects to the looming possibility of a U.S. debt default. But there has been, I have to admit, an element of comic relief — of the black-humor variety — in the spectacle of so many people who have been in denial suddenly waking up and smelling the crazy.

A number of commentators seem shocked at how unreasonable Republicans are being. “Has the G.O.P. gone insane?” they ask.

Why, yes, it has. But this isn’t something that just happened, it’s the culmination of a process that has been going on for decades. Anyone surprised by the extremism and irresponsibility now on display either hasn’t been paying attention, or has been deliberately turning a blind eye.

And may I say to those suddenly agonizing over the mental health of one of our two major parties: People like you bear some responsibility for that party’s current state.

Let’s talk for a minute about what Republican leaders are rejecting.

President Obama has made it clear that he’s willing to sign on to a deficit-reduction deal that consists overwhelmingly of spending cuts, and includes draconian cuts in key social programs, up to and including a rise in the age of Medicare eligibility. These are extraordinary concessions. As The Times’s Nate Silver points out, the president has offered deals that are far to the right of what the average American voter prefers — in fact, if anything, they’re a bit to the right of what the average Republican voter prefers!

Yet Republicans are saying no. Indeed, they’re threatening to force a U.S. default, and create an economic crisis, unless they get a completely one-sided deal. And this was entirely predictable.

First of all, the modern G.O.P. fundamentally does not accept the legitimacy of a Democratic presidency — any Democratic presidency. We saw that under Bill Clinton, and we saw it again as soon as Mr. Obama took office.

As a result, Republicans are automatically against anything the president wants, even if they have supported similar proposals in the past. Mitt Romney’s health care plan became a tyrannical assault on American freedom when put in place by that man in the White House. And the same logic applies to the proposed debt deals.

Put it this way: If a Republican president had managed to extract the kind of concessions on Medicare and Social Security that Mr. Obama is offering, it would have been considered a conservative triumph. But when those concessions come attached to minor increases in revenue, and more important, when they come from a Democratic president, the proposals become unacceptable plans to tax the life out of the U.S. economy.

Beyond that, voodoo economics has taken over the G.O.P.

So there has been no pressure on the G.O.P. to show any kind of responsibility, or even rationality — and sure enough, it has gone off the deep end. If you’re surprised, that means that you were part of the problem.

Getting to Crazy. By PAUL KRUGMAN. Published: July 14, 2011

To quote Congressman Dennis Kucinch on this:

Social Security Didn’t Create the DeficitSocial Security didn’t create the deficit, but America’s seniors are being presented with a fake Social Security crisis to try to trick them into accepting reduced benefits. Social Security will be able to pay 100% of its benefits through 2037 without any changes whatsoever.

So, why the panic today? If seniors accept cuts to Social Security benefits today, a surplus cash flow will build in the Social Security trust fund. According to the Congressional Research Service, “Social Security’s cash surpluses are borrowed by the U.S. Treasury and can be used for tax cuts, spending or repaying debt.”

Social Security benefit cuts are increasing taxes paid to Social Security or extending retirement age will give more money for tax cuts spending or repaying the debt. Except for one thing: Social Security money belongs to those who have paid into the fund, it’s not the government’s money to use it; it shouldn’t be the government’s money to play with.

Senior citizens should not have to accept a reduced standard of living to finance tax cuts for the rich. We must take a stand for senior citizens and protect Social Security and protect future generations from this raid on Social Security’s funds.

Social Security Didn’t Create the Deficit

There is one thing for certain. Any member of Congress, or President, who negotiates cuts in Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid to solve this crisis in accounting (that is all it is, the Constitution states baldly the US is good for its debts, we can’t default anyway, period), will never, ever receive a dime in contributions nor a vote from this household.


Author: Ron