Brad Delong has caught on to an interesting game that the administration plays with the deficit. First predict numbers that are really awful. The when the real numbers only turn out to be only really bad, give yourself a pat on the back for the reality that you’ve invented.
Two things are going on: approximately $60 billion of real good news on the revenue side for the 2006 deficit, and an approximately $60 billion highballed overstatement by the White House last winter about what the deficit was likely to be. Yet Edmund Andrews treats all $120 billion as if it were genuine good news–generating a bunch of high fives in the White House press office.
While scanning the economic news/opinion I found this over at Angry Bear, Blaming Clinton for the Revolt of the Generals
In which I find it odd that several well known conservative pundits are saying that Bush lost Iraq, only not really because a couple generals that retired in 2000 ( one of them a conservative) have been critical of how Bush handled Iraq. Some people would call it nerve to use this bizarre rationale to blame President Clinton, but its not nerve it is a lack of humility combined with an arrogance that just can’t admit that they’re wrong and so was their leader. Still why isn’t the right attacking these conservatives as defeatniks or whatever the term is.
I’m not sure what is said when the elite Wall Street conservatives are in the same room with christianist conservatives about our economy, but there has to be a lot of denial going on by the christianists. As the right-wing christianist still want women to stay home and be the primary child care provider and give up any ideas about being part of the work force. Yet Wall Street would fall over from a heart attack tomorrow if we stopped being a two income nation. It turns out that not even two incomes can keep some families afloat, Why Middle Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke
“The Rise of Pseudo Fascism” PDF fille.
* Employment levels would increase. As a result of the elimination of disincentive to work we could reasonably expect unemployment levels to decrease. This would be further exacerbated by the fact that with increased investment and a decreased tax burden, companies would have more capital available with with to take on employees.
* Interest rates would be lower. With a higher percentage of peoples’ disposable income going into savings, banks would have a greatly increased capacity to lend money, resulting in lower effective interest rates. An important point is that these decreases in interest rates would not have an inflationary effect, since they come about as a direct result of people’s consumption abstinence.
* Economic growth would increase. As a result of massively increased investment and decreased growth disincentive, economic productivity (i.e. GDP) would increase.
Hoping for a a transition to a consumption based tax and moving away from an income based tax in my lifetime is about the same thing as speculating on when we’ll colonize mars. Some conservatives will at least publicly say they support it, but in private know that it would take away one our great national wedge issues. Democrats don’t have the political will to upset the cart of the status quo; there would be that transition period where mortgage companies, contractors, and manual laborers would take a hit and accountants of course.
He buried her in the wood, and returned to the house; and, as it happened, he had set his right foot in her blood, and his shoe was wet in it, and by some miraculous fate it left a track all along the wood-path, and into the house, and on the stone steps of the threshold, and up into his chamber. The servants saw it the next day, and wondered, and whispered, and missed the fair young girl, and looked askance at their lord’s right foot, and turned pale, all of them…
Next, the legend says, that Sir Forrester was struck with horror at what he had done … and fled from his old Hall, and was gone full many a day. But all the while he was gone there was the mark of a bloody footstep impressed upon the stone door-step of the Hall … The legend says that wherever Sir Forrester went, in his wanderings about the world, he left a bloody track behind him …
from The Bloody Footstep by Ernest Rhys