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Economist’s View – “Springtime for Hypocrites”

December 18, 2010 Leave a comment

From the Economist’s View:

“Springtime for Hypocrites”

Paul Krugman:

Just two weeks ago, the deficit was the great evil, and all the VSPs insisted that we needed fiscal austerity now now now. Then, magically, a big tax cut — increasing federal debt by more than the original Obama stimulus, and substantially raising the probability of making unaffordable tax cuts permanent — was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Why, it’s almost as if all the concern about the deficit was a front for opposing anything progressives might want, to be dropped as soon as debt was being run up on behalf of conservative goals. But that can’t be true, can it?

Many Republicans are still playing starve the beast. The next step for the GOP is to use the deficit problems that are created by the tax cut legislation as evidence that government spending is out of control. The biggest target for cuts will be social insurance programs. I wonder how many people realize that the revenue loss from the tax cuts will be more than three times the shortfall in Social Security (the tax cuts to those making over $250,000 alone would eliminate the Social Security shortfall)?

Michael Hudson – Obama’s Sellout on Taxes

December 18, 2010 Leave a comment

From CounterPunch:

Patrick Cockburn – The Russians Did Better … So Why Did They Lose?

Chris Floyd – Truth in Chains: the Arrest of Julian Assange

Gareth Porter / Jim Lobe – Actual Wiki Cables Belie NYT’s Version of Saudi / Gulf States’ Stance on Iran

Dean Baker – Tales of Economic Apocalypse

Gregory Elich – Menacing North Korea: How S. Korea is Raising the Risk of War

Ralph Nader – GOP Wackopedia

M. Shahid Alam – Unvarnished Truths About the US and Israel

Dave Lindorff – Information Terrorists?

David Macaray – Detroit on Strike

Linda Ueki Absher – The Hipster Librarian

Manuel Garcia, Jr. – Purple Passion Pearl Harbor

Website of the Day – A New Low for Todd Gitlin

Michael Hudson – Deficit Commission Follies

Paul Craig Roberts – The US Government’s Frontal Assault on Freedom

Mike Whitney – How Ireland Can Strike a Blow Against the Imperial Bankers

Sasan Fayazmanesh – Iran and the Leaks of Wikileaks

Steve Breyman – The Return of Debtors’ Prisons

Davey D – The Copyright Police: First They Came for the Hip Hop Sites …

Obama’s Sellout on Taxes

By Michael Hudson

I almost feel naive for being so angry at President Obama’s betrayal of his campaign promises regarding taxes. I had never harbored much hope that he actually intended to enact the reforms that his supporters expected – not after he appointed the most right-wing of the Clintonomics gang, Larry Summers, then Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke and other Bush neoliberals.

But there is something so unfair and wrong that I could not prevent myself from waking up early Tuesday morning to think through the consequences of President  Obama’s sellout in the years to come. Contrary to his pretense of saving the economy, his action will intensify debt deflation and financial depression, paving the way for a long-term tax shift off wealth onto labor.

In achieving a giveaway that Democrats never would have let George Bush or other Republicans enact, Obama has laid himself open to the campaign slogan that brought down British Prime Minister Tony Blair: “You can’t believe a word he says.” He has lost support not only personally, but also – as the Republicans anticipate – for much of his party in 2012.

Yet Obama has only done what politicians do: He has delivered up his constituency to his campaign backers – the same Wall Street donors who back the Republicans. What’s the point of having a constituency, after all, if you can’t sell it?

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The Money Masters (Part 1 of 22 playlist)

December 18, 2010 Leave a comment
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Rachel Maddow – Gingrich returns to strip club for money

December 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Tom Ferguson: Obama-GOP bill a weak stimulus plan but a big give away to the super rich

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Democracy Now! 12/17/2010

December 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Democracy Now! Headlines for 12/17/2010

Study: Pharmaceutical Drug Companies Top Military Industry in Defrauding U.S. Gov’t

FDA Fails to Regulate Rapidly Growing Industry of Overseas Drug Testing

WikiLeaks Cables: Pfizer Targeted Nigerian Attorney General to Undermine Suit

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Robert Reich – The New Tax Deal: Reaganomics Redux

December 18, 2010 Leave a comment

From Truthout:

The New Tax Deal: Reaganomics Redux

Thursday 16 December 2010

by: Robert Reich  |  Robert Reich’s Blog | Op-Ed

More than thirty years ago, Ronald Reagan came to Washington intent on reducing taxes on the wealthy and shrinking every aspect of government except defense.

The new tax deal embodies the essence of Reaganomics.

It will not stimulate the economy.

A disproportionate share of the $858 billion deal will go to people in the top 1 percent who spend only a fraction of what they earn and save the rest. Their savings are sent around the world to wherever they will earn the highest return.

The only practical effect of adding $858 billion to the deficit will be to put more pressure on Democrats to reduce non-defense spending of all sorts, including Social Security and Medicare, as well as education and infrastructure.

It is nothing short of Ronald Reagan’s (and David Stockman’s) notorious “starve the beast” strategy.

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