December 7, 2010
From the Deficit Panic to the TARP Financial Collapse
By DEAN BAKER, Counterpunch
In short, the horror story collapses as soon as anyone gives it any serious thought. The Wall Street gang can hardly be faulted for trying cheap scare tactics for pushing its agenda; after all it worked so brilliantly with the TARP two years ago. At the time the plot line was that unless we immediately gave all our money to the Wall Street banks, with no questions asked, then the whole economy would collapse.
Dean Baker is the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). He is the author of Plunder and Blunder: The Rise and Fall of the Bubble Economy and False Profits: Recoverying From the Bubble Economy.
Joseph Stiglitz outlines a very sensible approach for placing the United States on a pathway toward correcting the problems paralyzing our political economy. Of course, his ideas will never be seriously considered by the let-them-eat-cake oligarchs now running Versailles on the Potomac, because to put this plan into action, someone must smash the Hall of Mirrors that is distorting what passes for reality in our collective OODA Loops. CS<
A five-part plan to cut the deficit, narrow inequality, and strengthen the economy—and why special interests would block it.
By Joseph E. Stiglitz, Slate, Monday, Dec. 6, 2010
Technically, reducing a deficit is a straightforward matter: One must either cut expenditures or raise taxes. It is already clear, however, that the deficit-reduction agenda, at least in the United States, goes further: It is an attempt to weaken social protections, reduce the progressivity of the tax system, and shrink the role and size of government— all while leaving established interests, like the military-industrial complex, as little-affected as possible.
Precis: history includes massive increase in defense expenditures, growth in inequality, underinvestment in public sector including infrastructure, and growth in corporate welfare. Remediation demands increased spending on high-return public investments, cut in military expenditures “not just funding for the fruitless wars, but also for the weapons that don’t work against enemies that don’t exist;” eliminate corporate welfare; create a fairer and more efficient tax system; 5% increase in taxes actually paod (focus on top 1%).
This article comes from Project Syndicate
Joseph E. Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate in economics, is University Professor at Columbia University. The paperback version of his latest book, Freefall: Free Markets and the Sinking of the Global Economy, with a new afterword, was published in October.
Phi Beta Iota: The Deficit Commission has not produced any supporting documentation. The public intelligence available, of which the above is a small sample, is overwhelming in suggesting that the deficit commission is a criminal fraud being perpetuated on the American public. Wall Street and the two-party tyranny appear to believe that the public is both stupid and permanently inert, and that they can get away with this. Time will tell. We condemn it–and note that Joseph Stiglitz was appointed Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the Virtual Cabinet at Huffington Post. We trust him.