Yapping deficit hounds nothing more than fiscal rascals
Posted in the Minneapolis Forum
Saint Paul, MN
#1 Nov 26, 2012
The New York Times Editorial Board calls for more action to Close Guantánamo Prison:
Thanks to outrageous limits Congress placed on the transfer of Guantánamo prisoners beginning in 2010, the prisoners are still being held, with no end to their incarceration in sight. In September, a member of this stranded group, a Yemeni citizen named Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, killed himself after a federal judges ruling ordering his release was unfairly overturned by an appellate court. It was the kind of price a nation pays when it creates prisons like Guantánamo, beyond the reach of law and decency, a tragic reminder of the stain on American justice.[...]
If Mr. Obama is serious about fulfilling his pledge and we trust he is he needs to become more engaged this time around and be willing to spend political capital.
Paul Krugman at The New York Times is so good at needling, as he proves once again in Fighting Fiscal Phantoms:
These are difficult times for the deficit scolds who have dominated policy discussion for almost three years. One could almost feel sorry for them, if it werent for their role in diverting attention from the ongoing problem of inadequate recovery, and thereby helping to perpetuate catastrophically high unemployment.
What has changed? For one thing, the crisis they predicted keeps not happening.
Robert Kuttner at the Huffington Post writes The Fiscal Myth:
Neither party wants significant budget cuts in the next year or two, when the recovery is too fragile to stand even a smaller fiscal contraction. So the Republicans, Obama and the Democratic budget hawks like Erskine Bowles and retiring Budget Committee chairman Senator Kent Conrad all want to "back-load" the spending cutshave them bite late in this decade.
It just happens that Social Security and Medicare cuts fill that bill perfectly. Cut social insurance several years from now, and you delay the political outcry until Obama has left office. You also delay the fiscal impact, and you leave room for a bit of other government spending.
But cutting Social Security and Medicare for the sake of an arbitrary and needless budgetary reduction of $4 trillion and as a "solution" to an entirely contrived fiscal crisis is bad policy. It is bad economic policy and worse social policy
Marc Thiessen at the Washington Post suggests that Democrats face a lot of problems if all the tax cuts expire in Lets go over the fiscal cliff:
Today, the only ones in Washington who advocate fiscal cliff-diving are liberal Democrats. Its time for conservatives to join them. Letting the Bush tax cuts expire will strengthen the GOPs hand in tax negotiations next year, and it may be the only way Republicans can force President Obama and Senate Democrats to agree to fundamental tax reform.
John Vidal at The Guardian writes in Time is running out: the Doha climate talks must put an end to excuses:
So what is the point of the massive UN climate talks which start on today in Doha, one of the most energy-profligate cities on Earth? Negotiators from 194 countries are meeting in an atmosphere of mutual mistrust. They are divided and frustrated, and know their political masters mostly seek only painfully slow progress. We already know rich countries will refuse to commit to any further cuts in emissions or to provide more money, just as we know the poor will try to cling to the few global climate agreements reached between nations years ago. There will be fights, tantrums, and righteous anger from the non-government observers and world media.
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