Suspension Bridge at Night wallpaper – Republican Opinions On Obama’s Cabinet Would Matter If Republicans Had American Values

Suspension Bridge at Night wallpaper

Suspension Bridge at Night wallpaper

 

In light of the fact that the powerful lobbying group for Israel, AIPAC and the Anti-Defamation league don’t have a problem with Chuck Hagel becoming SecDef. And even Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister approves of Hagel, conservative opposition is running out of pearls to clutch.  So long to gumming up the nest Obama administration nominee Jacob Lew, as Treasury Secretary. But Lew has some heavy baggage, he is linked to that Obama dude, Treasury Nominee Jack Lew Linked to Barack Obama

President Obama has formally decided to nominate Jack Lew, his chief of staff, for Treasury secretary. Republicans are already complaining about Lew, reports Politico’s Manu Raju. Lew’s disqualification, according to numerous Republicans quoted in the story, is that he doesn’t agree with Republicans on public policy issues. The quotes are sort of amazing:

Johanns said it’s also about policy, saying a Lew choice would be “controversial.”

“I just think there are economic policies in this administration that haven’t been well received, and Jack Lew is in the middle of that,” he said.

“We’ve got to have a person who has credibility with the leaders of the American and world economy, someone who has credibility with the Congress, and I would feel like Mr. Lew’s nomination would be a mistake,” Sessions said.

Obama can’t have a Treasury secretary who agrees with Obama’s policy agenda!

The sudden gang-up on Lew is doubly amazing since, until approximately today, he was a figure of high repute within Washington. Lew’s image was that of sobriety and willingness to bargain. That was the thrust of a 2011 Washington Post profile of Lew (Republican Dave Camp quote: “You feel like you’re reaching him when you talk to him. I think he gets the art of the possible”). It was also the thrust of this 2011 Politico profile (Eric Cantor — yes, Eric Cantor! — quote: “He was always very polite and respectful in his tone and someone who I can tell is very committed to his principles”).

There is another SHOCKING reason that conservatives would oppose Lew. He is actually a numbers wonk. He knows math and economics and stuff like that, unlike Mr. PowerPoint Paul Ryan (R-WI) who passes for a knowledgeable wonk among conservatives who went eight years without paying the bills. Trusted Aide to Obama Faces Test in Budget Showdown

But Mr. Lew’s last go-round with Republicans, the debt ceiling talks in the summer of 2011, ended uncharacteristically badly. Mr. Lew, still the budget director at the time, irked Speaker John A. Boehner and his staff, who viewed him as an uncompromising know-it-all. Mr. Lew’s defenders call it an aberration.

“I think it’s because Jack knows the numbers, and they couldn’t pull a fast one,” said David Plouffe, Mr. Obama’s chief political adviser.

As long as unemployment is over 4.5% we do not have a debt problem. Let’s say that we did, well Republicans built that. As to all the hand wringing over the debt ceiling and let’s teach those..cough..cough..undisciplined mad spending liberals a lesson; well no surprise it is more about the conservative agenda than genuine concerns about America’s fiscal well being. They raised the debt ceiling seven times from 2002 to 2008.

One of the strange things about opposition to Lew and Hagel is that while Lew is fairly progressive, both he and Hagel are to the Right of Sen. John Kerry. And there is very little opposition to Kerry as SecState.

Despite the concerted efforts by conservative media to convince the public other wise, Democrats and the White House have bought into austerity-lite and done more than Congressional Republicans or the last Republican President to reduce the deficit. This is from a very long new report from American Progress, The Deficit Reduction We Have Achieved So Far

So where does all this deficit reduction leave us? Since the start of fiscal year 2011, Congress and the president have cut about $1.5 trillion in programmatic spending, raised about $630 billion in new revenue, and generated about $300 billion in interest savings, for a combined total of more than $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction. The result is a substantial cut in how much publicly held debt the country is expected to hold 10 years from now. Instead of reaching nearly 93 percent of GDP, debt is now projected to total about 83 percent of GDP—fully 10 points lower. And while that won’t be enough to finally put the budget onto sustainable footing, it is a massive improvement. In fact, it’s about two-thirds of the way toward stabilizing the debt-to-GDP ratio.

It’s been a bumpy few fiscal years. But don’t let all the twists and turns obscure the simple fact that we actually have accomplished a significant amount of deficit reduction along the way. Three-quarters of that deficit reduction has been achieved through spending cuts totaling $1.8 trillion, with only one-quarter coming from revenue increases.

If Obama is building FEMA camps to imprison conservatives who don’t agree with him, he must be using his own money.

I KNOW A WAY TO GET (CERTAIN) GUNS BANNED

It’s generally assumed that the gun lobby and its many supporters in legislatures and the general public will never, ever support any restriction on the sale or possession of any gun under any circumstances. But I know how that could change. I realized what would bring about the change while reading this Victor Davis Hanson column — which isn’t about guns at all, and barely mentions them.

(Hanson)..Take former vice president Al Gore. He has made a fortune of nearly a billion dollars warning against global warming — supposedly shrinking glaciers, declining polar-bear populations, and the like — while simultaneously offering timely remedies from his own green corporations, all reminiscent of the methodology of Roman millionaire Marcus Licinius Crassus, who profited from fires and putting them out. Now Nobel laureate Gore has sold his interest in a failing cable-television station for about $100 million — and to the anti-American Al-Jazeera, which is owned by the fossil-fuel-rich royal family of Qatar. Gore rushed to close the deal before the first of the year to avoid the very capital-gains tax hikes that he has advocated for others less well off. That’s a liberal trifecta: enhancing a fossil-fuel consortium, attempting to beat tax hikes, and empowering an anti-American and anti-Semitic media conglomerate run by an authoritarian despot — all from a former vice president of the United States who crusades for ending our reliance on fossil fuels and for raising taxes on the wealthy….

Imagine if every fedora’d Brooklyn hipster packed heat. Imagine if this were also true of Hollywood celebrities. Imagine if the hip in Hollywood and elsewhere actually changed the gun market — demanding, and paying big bucks for, beautifully crafted, appallingly lethal “artisanal” guns. Imagine if these became the accoutrements no liberal wanted to be seen without — imagine if they showed up in every paparazzi photo ,and in every Vanity Fair portrait photo by Annie Leibovitz. Imagine if cheap knockoffs of those guns became all the rage among The Kids.

I’ll have to unpack this in pieces. Few liberals are advocating the complete ban of guns and those who might be will never get any traction. Sensible limits on the types of guns, magazine size etc. the gun fetishists always portray as the straw man liberal who wants to take away their guns, all of them. NMMNB is being a little facetious, but he might be on to something. Let’s have liberal gun giveaways – to the poor, those scary people of color and especially women. Let’s raise money to buy all liberals plenty of ammo, extended magazine clips, designer personal carry holsters and  free flak vest for the kids. Let’s make it mandatory that everyone under 18 to wear a flak vest when out in public. That is certainly no more an onerous burden than putting an armed law enforcement officer on every corner and in every school, and it would be cheaper.

Unpacking the rest. I wish Gore had sold to a domestic buyer. Sometimes appearances matter, even when they’re appearances obscured by the xenophobia of two-faced weirdos like Victor Davis Hanson. No one of the Right should be lecturing anyone in foreign media when a rabid far Right conservative named Rupert Murdoch has so much influence, direct influence through media and personal contact with elected officials – on U.S. politics. The accusations of elitism and what individuals do with their money? Davis must be off his meds again. He just supported a guy who kept huge bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman islands, and directly outsourced jobs to Asia. This is the way it works in the never-ending hypocrisy the Right shovels out about anyone to the left of Eva Braun. When conservatives are wealthy, they are industrious captains of commerce. When Democrats are wealthy they are elitist. When Democrats make modest incomes they are Marxists, when conservatives have modest incomes they are the salt of the earth. That is not simply jaw dropping hypocrisy, that is the thinking of dangerous zealots who have an agenda mired in jack boots and delusions, not fidelity to small r republican principles. Conservatism is one big apparatus for the growth of plutocracy, yet they churn out shallow knee jerk column after column bemoaning America’s cultural decline. Are their low income and middle-class voters who support them. Sure there are. In the same way the plutocrats of the early 20th century convinced some Americans to use brick bats and guns against laborers who wanted to unionize. There will probably always be Americans who work against and vote against their own rational self interests and the best interests of the country in favor of voting for the wage slave plantation.

Ben Franklin and gun control

Ben Franklin and gun control

The Big Yawn – US borrowing tops 100% of GDP

Conservatives like big numbers. Whether that provides yet more psychological insight in the fetid conservative psyche than we need to know is another matter. One of the reason they like big numbers is the shock value – millions were spent on this or billions on that. They do not generally like to show you what those numbers mean in terms of percents or the value that individual Americans might derive from those numbers – It shocking that Medicaid spent such and such dollars – plays much better than a few million children or seniors got life saving medical care. Such is the wing-nut celebration surrounding these numbers from the US Treasury – US borrowing tops 100% of GDP: Treasury. First, to state the obvious this was the inevitable, predictable or fairly boring result of siging off on the Republican plan to raise the debt ceiling. What did conservative pundits like  the americanthinker, Datechguy’s Blog, Conservatives4Palin, Pajamas Media, Weasel Zippers, Power Line, and The Lonely Conservative think was going to happen, gold bars were going to rain from the sky.

I knew you could do it, Barry. It was simply a matter of putting your mind to it and not listening to the naysayers who believed it couldn’t be done.

I must admit, it is a singular achievement — US national debt reaching 100% of our Gross Domestic Product. AmericanThinker  August 4, 2011

It’ll be some irony when the Greatest Generation’s kids have finally frittered away the nation that the Greatest fought so hard to defend. But that’s where we’re headed. Pajama’s Media August 3rd, 2011

This has to change. So much for hope and change. The Lonely Conservative August 3, 2011

One day after upping the debt ceiling and we’re already borrowing over 100% of GDP. Absolutely sickening. Weasel Zippers August 3, 2011

Cons4palin tried to equate the of the debt to GDP ratio to Obama’s coming bus tour, as in I just saw a report on the moon and thought of cream cheese. The numbers from this breathtaking news,

US debt shot up $238 billion to reach 100 percent of gross domestic project after the government’s debt ceiling was lifted, Treasury figures showed Wednesday.

Treasury borrowing jumped Tuesday, the data showed, immediately after President Barack Obama signed into law an increase in the debt ceiling as the country’s spending commitments reached a breaking point and it threatened to default on its debt.

The new borrowing took total public debt to $14.58 trillion, over end-2010 GDP of $14.53 trillion, and putting it in a league with highly indebted countries like Italy and Belgium.

Public debt subject to the official debt limit — a slightly tighter definition — was $14.53 trillion as of the end of Tuesday, rising from the previous official cap of $14.29 trillion a day earlier.

This is the kind of sly bias that conservatives let pass. It just says the deal President Obama signed off on, not that it was a Republican plan that by putting all the emphasis on spending cuts has very likely further hobbled the economy. Note the 14.58 trillion. Wow that is a lot of money. But in proportion to what historical numbers. It is noted that during WW II the debt to GDP ration was over 100%. It went down every year until a conservative named George W. Bush was president, US, examining a bailout, has boosted debt before(9-23-2008)

Details are still being worked out in Congress, but the proposal would lift the legal limit for government borrowing to $11.3 trillion, $700 billion higher than what it is now and twice what it was a decade ago.

Economists warn ballooning the federal debt could weaken the U.S. dollar, raise interest rates, weaken the already faltering economy and ultimately lead to higher taxes.

Still, compared with the existing $9.5 trillion debt, “another $700 billion is not enormous,” said William Cline, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, writing on the institute’s Web site.

Of this new and shocking debt, 77.5% was created during the Bush Dynasty. Since spending is not above the average of the last 12 years that means the recession, the loss of jobs and the loss of demand takes up some percentage of the increase. How could we reduce the percent of the debt in relation to GDP. We could end the Bush tax cuts. Some reasonable people warned about this earlier this year, Federal Debt on Unsustainable Path Under Current Policies

The latest projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirm what we already knew:  the federal budget is on an unsustainable path. [1]  If we continue current policies — including a further extension of the Bush tax cuts, which policymakers recently extended through 2012 — deficits will remain high throughout the decade and the debt will rise to 95 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2021.  If instead policymakers let the Bush tax cuts lapse after 2012, as economists such as Martin Feldstein and Peter Orszag have suggested — or pay for any elements of those tax cuts they want to continue — the debt would barely grow as a share of GDP over the rest of the decade. (Substantial additional steps would be needed to keep the budget from returning to an unsustainable path in the decades after that.)  The choice belongs to Congress.

Rise in debt could be stopped by ending Bush tax cuts

Conservatives have decided that keeping tax cuts that mostly benefit the wealthy are more important than deficit reduction or job creation. So the above conservatives seem to think you can cut taxes and create jobs while simultaneously lowering the debt. You can get away with some of that voodoo economic mumbo-jumbo during good economic times, but not now. Obama cut taxes for small business 17 times. A third of the stimulus was tax cuts. Obama gave conservatives an extension of the Bush tax cuts in what was another hostage situation – they would only extend unemployment benefits if the tax cuts were extended another two years. So where are the jobs created by tax cuts. The official unemployment rate is 9.2%, but the real figure, because of people who no longer qualify for unemployment befits are no longer reported as officially unemployed. From all the whining a visitor from another planet might get the impression that conservatives really care about the national debt. That given the opportunity they would in no way tolerate or vote for any plan that increase the debt as a percentage of GDP. Those visitors would definitely have the wrong impression. Failing to Avert the Rise in Debt

Using TPC’s new revenue estimates, we estimate that the budget deficit under the Ryan plan would reach about 7 percent of GDP and the debt would grow to 90 percent of GDP by 2020. TPC estimates that revenues under the Ryan plan would average 16.3 percent of GDP over the period from 2011 through 2020.

In contrast, following the specifications provided by Rep. Ryan’s staff, the CBO analysis assumed that revenues over the same period would average 18.4 percent of GDP. That difference amounts to a loss of almost $4 trillion in revenues over the next decade. As a result of these lower revenues, federal interest costs would also be much higher than those shown in the CBO analysis.

Extrapolating TPC’s revenue estimates beyond 2020 shows that the Ryan plan would fail to stem the rising tide of debt for years to come. [5] The debt would continue to grow in relation to the size of the economy for at least 40 more years reaching over 175 percent of GDP by 2050. (See Figure 1.) Even by 2080, the debt would still equal about 100 percent of GDP. [6]

Ryan plan: Debt would reach 175% of GDP

175% of GDP. That is outrageous. As outraged as conservatives are about the debt being 100% of GDP they would never ever support 175% of GDP, right? Because conservatives are knowledgeable about such matters, would never lie and are always sincere? Not really. The Republican controlled House voted in the affirmative, not once, but twice for the Ryan 175% of GDP plan.

Despite the hand cuffs that the debt ceiling deal placed on job creation, The Obama administration is still using what tolls it has left – Twenty Community Banks across the Country Receive $253 Million to Help Small Businesses Access Capital, Create New Jobs

Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that 20 community banks across the country received a total of $253 million as part of the next wave of funding provided through the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF). The SBLF, which was established as part of the Small Business Jobs Act that President Obama signed into law, encourages community banks to increase their lending to small businesses, helping those companies expand their operations and create new jobs.          

Including today’s announcement, 43 community banks have now received a total of $590 million in SBLF funding. Additional SBLF funding announcements will be made on a rolling basis in the weeks ahead.

“Access to capital is critical to ensuring small businesses can invest, expand, and hire in their local communities,” said Deputy Secretary Neal S. Wolin. “These funds will help unlock credit for Main Street entrepreneurs to support private sector growth and job creation.”

Small businesses play a critical role in the U.S. economy and are central to growth and job creation. Small businesses employ roughly one-half of all Americans and account for about 60 percent of gross job creation. But small business owners faced disproportionate challenges in the aftermath of the recession and credit crisis, including difficulty accessing capital.