The Greater Evil - Democrats and Republicans conspire together to wreck the New Deal: "First, senators would come to an agreement on a deficit reduction target - likely to be around $4 trillion over 10 years - to be reached through revenue raised by an overhaul of the tax code, savings from changes to social programs like Medicare and Social Security, and cuts to federal programs. Once the framework is approved, lawmakers would vote on expedited instructions to relevant Congressional committees to draft the details over six months to a year. " ("social programs like Medicare and Social Security." Leaving aside the fact that the only real savings from Medicare will come from finally telling the medical and insurance companies that they can't keep treating health care like a gravy train, we're not talking about savings at all, we're talking about theft, here.)
I guess Krugman is trying to sound reasonable, offering excuses for why Bowles-Simpson is such bad policy, but the fact is that the commission never needed to happen in the first place. Congress voted against having their own commission when Obama tried to push them into it, so he put together his own instead - with Pete Peterson. The commission couldn't even agree enough to put together a report. There was no "environment" in which this was necessary, it was just what Obama wanted to do.
Over at Naked Capitalism, Lambert posted a video of L. Randall Wray and Michael Hudson talking about Modern Money And Public Purpose: The Historical Evolution Of Money And Debt: "It's usually considered the start of Western civilization, but what people think is the start of Western Civilization was the falling apart of Near Eastern origins of civilization, of this economy that had been put together in a very well-organized economy, and all of a sudden instead of the public institutions, you had local chieftains occurring, and in Rome, very soon you had the aristocratic families overthrow the kings, and the functions that were in the public sector in the Near East all of a sudden were taken over by private families - let's call them the Mafia, because that's basically what the Roman oligarchy was."
"We're All In This Together," By A Republican Standing In Four Feet Of Floodwater [...] "I guess I'm just rethinking my whole philosophy about the relationship between the individual and society as a whole. We don't just create every opportunity for ourselves by hard work and sheer willpower. We exist as part of an interdependent network of people - real human beings whose basic needs should be our concern, if we want to be a part of a society. That's why I truly believe we have to move beyond the selfishness of pure capitalism, and why I think you all should let me on your raft so I don't die." (via)
I know I posted this chart for a few years ago, and it looks a bit different for the OECD in 2010, but one thing hasn't changed: Americans spend a lot more money on healthcare and get a lot less back.
Norman Spinrad tries his hand at saying what Lenny Bruce said about those forbidden words, only with some historical context.
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