Government Spending

Wait, We Tried Austerity? And It Failed?

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On Twitter, Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel offers what appears to be a response to this morning's net-new-jobs goose egg by posing the following question: "How many jobs need to be lost before it's crystal, crying out loud, starkly clear that austerity is discredited, failed"? 

No doubt this is largely a rhetorical question, akin to those age-old queries about how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop. 

Even still…austerity? Really? What sort of austerity would that be? The type that allowed for the creation of $4.9 trillion in new debt during the two Bush terms, and added another $4 trillion to the taxpayer tab in the two and a half years since President Obama moved into the White House? The sort of austerity that involved passing a $950 billion health care overhaul, an $800 billion stimulus package, and a debt deal that not only does not cut government spending over the next decade, but allows it to continue to rise? The austerity that has so-far included $1 trillion-plus in debt-financed, pay-for-it-later (with interest!) deficit spending each and every year that President Obama has been in office, and has the country hurtling towards a 100 percent debt-to-GDP ratio? That austerity?

Alternatively, one could ask: How many jobs need to be lost before it's crystal, crying out loud, starkly clear that the the case for endless, massive increases in debt-financed federal spending is discredited, failed?  

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  1. I remember the ration stamps, the gas lines, hoppin’ trains, and working the fields. When will the horror stop?

    1. plus folks werent fat, lived close to work, grew gardens & canned, plus hunted

      1. but that was before the plus became an endangered species.

        1. 😮

  2. How many jobs need to be lost before it’s crystal, crying out loud, starkly clear that the the arguments for endless, massive increases in debt-financed federal spending are discredited, failed?

    It’s only failed because there hasn’t been enough spending!

    Government spending is the only way to stimulate the economy.

    Never mind that every dollar the government spends must be first removed from the economy.
    Never mind the opportunity cost of investors buying bonds instead of investing in businesses.
    Never mind the opportunity cost of taxed dollars not being deposited into banks where they can be lent out to people.
    Never mind that the money government spends in the economy would have been spent by the person the money was taken from.
    Never mind that before the government spends any money it first pays its employees who contribute nothing of value to society.

    No, never mind all that.

    We need more government spending!

    1. Just saw a post at Boing Boing about Reich calling for more of that stimulating government spending. ‘Cause we’re not doing it, the government has to. The fact that we might be hiding under our desks until the government stops spending so much and scaring us from doing business at all never occurs to that statist mind.

      1. In a just world–which of course will never exist–these fucks would be in jail already.

        “Hey, buddy, you think more government spending will fix the economy? OK, we can try that, but if it fails, you go to jail. How’s that sound? Still want to spend other people’s money on your theory?”

        1. This again? I’m not your buddy, pal!

          1. unresponsive forfeit

            1. Heeeeeey!

              1. unresponsive forfeit
                unresponsive forfeit
                unresponsive forfeit
                unresponsive forfeit
                unresponsive forfeit

                1. (I started lulzing at about this point. Well played, SF.)

                2. Did I miss something today?

          2. Who are you calling pal friend?

            1. I’m not your friend, buddy!

              1. Can’t we all just get along, friend, buddy, pal, smooth soul brother!

        2. Jail, heads on pikes, same thing.

          1. unresponsive forfeit

        3. unresponsive forfeit

          1. It’s funny both times!

      2. we might be hiding under our desks

        Way to be a selfish anti-Patriot, ProL. I don’t know how you live with yourself.

        1. unresponsive forfeit

      3. Reich: “government has to be the spender of last resort.”

        Ach! How I despise that man.

        1. From reddit via Boing Boing:

          evasilev: What is the top priority policy change you would like to see outlined in Obama’s upcoming policy speech to Congress?

          Robert Reich: It will be a hard sell, but when consumers (whose spending is 70 percent of the economy) won’t spend, and businesses (who are facing lackluster sales) won’t hire, government has to be the spender of last resort. The President should ask for a trillion dollars to boost the economy. Not just on the WPA and CCC I mentioned, also infrastructure investment, also loans to cash-starved states and localities. With 25 million Americans looking for full-time work, and the cost of borrowing so incredibly low (T-bills at 2 percent), this is the only responsible thing to do.

          I know not everyone here understands economics, so I’ll translate the former Labor Secretary’s response: “Fuck you, that’s why.” Really, how much more of this crap do we have to hear? Yes, we are the economy, not the government. Maybe if this bloodsucking parasite weren’t on our collective necks, we could get back to business. The government, I mean, not Reich personally.

          1. “Third” Reich to you.

            1. You know it’s bad when their very names go Godwin.

        2. First resort, last resort, it’s pretty much every resort for these guys.

          1. I just had a brilliant idea! What if we tried to use government spending….to jumpstart the economy!

            *slow clap begins*

        3. Sounds like hatred of midgets to me.

    2. Never mind that every dollar the government spends must be first removed from the economy.

      Now hold on, that’s not perfectly true. Deficit spending allows the government to simply devalue currency instead of having to go through the tedious process of removing it via direct taxes.

      1. How about this then:

        Never mind that every dollar unit of value the government spends must be first removed from the economy.

        In printing more ‘dollars’ they make the unit of value that each dollar represents smaller, which is removing it from the economy.

        1. Debasing the coinage is a rich tradition, practiced by many governments before us.

  3. I remember reading vanden Heuvel’s name on this blog before. I don’t remember in what context. I do remember thinking that she was like retarded or something.

    1. She was on Spitzer’s show with Nick.

    2. “Like” retarded?!?

      I’m just surprised she doesn’t look more like Corky from Life Goes On, though I suppose Chris Burke is higher-functioning than she is, so that might explain it.

      1. “…some of these retards are extremely clever…”

        1. Jerri: Mr. Noblet wants me to snitch on a friend.

          Jellineck: Snitching doesn’t seem like you, Jerri.

          Jerri: Oh, it’s not what you think. It’s not like snitching on a real person. She’s–

          Jellineck: Gay?

          Jerri: Retarded.

          Jellineck: Yes, most of them are.

          Jerri: Most who are what?

          Jellineck: Most gay people are retarded.

          Jerri: Does that mean Kimberly Timbers is gay?

          Jellineck: I don’t know. Hey! Make a pass at her and find out. She’d have to be retarded to turn you down!

          1. Man, that is hilarious!

      2. I’d still do her. Just bein’ honest. I wouldn’t talk to her the next day or anything.

        1. HEY! It’s a well-established fact round these parts that van den Heuvel is MINE!

          Back off, or prepare to fight for her, Goj…

          1. So you wouldn’t be open to some sort of time-share system?

            Even if it was at the same time, I’ve been reliably informed that as long as they don’t touch at any point, it’s not homo.

            Sheesh, with comments like mine, it’s no wonder we don’t attract more womyn/gays/whatever.

            1. That tears it.

              Tuesday, I’m going down to my bank, and put my home up for a $1.4 trillion loan.

              Obviously, if we ALL did that, we’d be fartin’ through silk within minutes!

              Oh, wait… I can’t do that? Because I’m not a Congressman? Well, just fuck.

  4. Stooooooooooooooooooooooopid

    1. And I KNOW stupid!

      1. I could use another assistant… send me your resume and a blank check.

  5. katrina’s waay cuter than peter or the jacket

    1. Maybe 30 years ago…

    2. Reason now has Emily Ekins and Michelle Fields. ?BERPWND!

      1. Those two need to be filmed making out and then post the vids to YouTube.

        1. Hey, thanks for the afternoon wood!

        2. That would bring a whole new wave of libertarians to the movement.

          1. Libertarianism needs more horny adolescent males (and lesbians).

      2. The first site that comes up when you google Emily links to Dondero. EEEEEEEEEEKIIIIIIIIIIIIINS

    3. And she’s way richer, stOOpid.

      And yet, she *hasn’t* given away all her wealth, which would prove her fealty to her twisted religious beliefs.

  6. I miss the old days and their carcase meats.

  7. If only these people could inflict teh stupid on their own kind and leave the rest of us alone. Perhaps, just maybe we could secede or form our own confederacy or something . . . oh, shit, that’s right! That would only make Obama the New Lincoln.

  8. “On Twitter, Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel offers…”

    Do you really need to read any further?

  9. *sigh*

    Katrina vdH remains dreamy…my love for her unrequited…

    *siiiiiiiiiiiiigh*

    What were we talking about?

  10. Someone needs to let Katrina know that to be a left-wing intellectual she needs to have a brain…and use it. Oh wait…

    1. No, “intellectual” refers to the capacity to sound very smart to a large percentage of leftists, it shouldn’t confused with true intelligence.

    2. You’d think a brain would be needed, but having a functional brain disqualifies one from being “left wing”.

  11. This morning White House Spokesman Pfeiffer was on MSNBC talking about the stupid Debate scheduling issue and said that in regards to the difference between economic policies of Obama and the Repub candidates thus-

    “Every economic program that has been put forward by every Republican has been tried and failed.”

    He said this with a straight face. They aren’t even TRYING not to lie about this anymore, they come straight out and say “up is down, white is black, Brittney Spears is a Virgin” and think no one will notice.

    It’s just so farking contemptible.

    1. That kind of goes with what I was wondering – does KVH actually believe we have tried austerity? I know the White House spokesman is full of shit and knows full well that he’s lying. But do others earnestly believe we have tried “austerity” or anything even close to it?

  12. Character limit: 140
    Stupid limit: infinite

  13. I guess when the ideology on which you base all your economic, and subsequent political, beliefs on falls completely apart you might as well step through the looking glass and smoke some hookah with a giant cat.

    Or stupid people know how to tweet too.

  14. As I tried to point out earlier today, the loss of government jobs is a problem of government overspending. If government hadn’t hired all of these unnecessary people in the first place, they wouldn’t be losing their jobs today (and there is a small chance that they might have done something useful with their lives that might even give other people jobs).

  15. “How many jobs lives need to be lost before it’s crystal, crying out loud, starkly clear that austerity my ideology is discredited, failed”?

    All fixed for ya, Kat.

  16. Katrina Fuckenwoofer? Why should I give shit-one what that dried-out commie hag has to say, especially on economic matters? Sheesh.

  17. We don’t have any money because we aren’t spending enough! Aaargh! Think of the children!!!!!!11!

  18. uh, you’re surprised by these?

    there seems to be a meme amoung libtards and regressives that austerirty doesn’t, has never worked and has benn ”proven” to not work.

    regardless of any evidence to the contrary.

  19. It’s austerity because $4 trillion isn’t $8 trillion.

  20. Anyone remember this bit of lunacy?

    http://www.alternet.org/economy/62507/

    I’m surprised the maximum-wage concept hasn’t been touted by Obama and his minions.

  21. Yes, yes!!! Feed my ephemeral spectre!!! SPEND, my children!!!!!!

  22. Hey, friends… Professor Krugnuts here, and have I got a deal for you! Just give the IRS ninety cents on every dollar you “own”, and watch the Magic Multiplier Effect ™ as it scrubs your toilet, pays your mortgage, puts prime rib in your freezer, and fills your car up with gas!

    But wait… there’s more! Here’s my good friend, Robby Reich, to give us the unvarnished truth…

  23. It’s really not unbelievable. Lefties believe in Keynesian economics with all their heart.

    So when more spending doesn’t work, clearly the answer is they didn’t spend enough, and need to spend more.

    It’s not a phony belief, like Global Warming, where if they really really believed it, they would genuinely reduce their carbon footprints, as opposed to simply selling induldges

    1. More like they half believe in Keynesian economics with all their heart. They firmly believe in the government spending during an economic decline half but the raise taxes and reduce spending to pay off the accumulated debt during the good times part seems to completely escape them.

  24. “”How many jobs need to be lost before it’s crystal, crying out loud, starkly clear that austerity is discredited, failed”?”
    Nah, we never tried it long enough for the fucking idiots to starve to death.

  25. But you can’t explain how austerity creates jobs. Nobody can. The idea is nonsensical.

    You don’t really care about jobs. You care about your antigovernment agenda.

    1. In Tony’s world, every job that has ever existed is thanks to government subsidies.

      1. In Jordan’s world, we can regain full employment by letting coal factories pollute more.

        1. Just another excuse to spend, Tony.

    2. If you didn’t live in some fantasy land where government stimulus is spent responsibly and actually achieves it’s stated goals then you might understand how letting people and business keep their money to spend as they see fit instead of being siphoned off to political pet projects can create jobs.

  26. “No doubt this is largely a rhetorical question, akin to those age-old queries about how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop.”

    Let’s be clear that, in terms of being data-driven, the last several administrations would have emulated the “wise owl.” who crunched straight to the chocolatey center of the Tootsie Pop and declared that the number was “three.” Much like previous government predictions of program costs that undershot the actual number experienced. The number is whatever the government says it is, until it isn’t.

  27. I think that she is one of the biggest idiots ever to be given a “voice”. There is absolutely no time ever where I’ve heard what she had to say and it has made the least bit of sense, or was the least bit logical. Whenever she opens her mouth she reveals herself to be a far left-leaning liberal mouth-piece. Nothing more. There is no critical thinking or knowledge in that brain.

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