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‘Forgotten Millions’ – Paul Krugman

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Via: NYT

Let’s get one thing straight: America is NOT facing a fiscal crisis. It is, however, still very much experiencing a job crisis.

It’s easy to get confused about the fiscal thing, since everyone’s talking about the “fiscal cliff. (ignore photo)”  Indeed, one recent poll suggests that a large plurality of the public believes that the budget deficit will go up if we go off that cliff.

In fact, of course, it’s just the opposite: The danger is that the deficit will come down too much, too fast. And the reasons that might happen are purely political; we may be about to slash spending and raise taxes not because markets demand it, but because Republicans have been using blackmail as a bargaining strategy, and the president seems ready to call their bluff.

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Meanwhile, there is almost no organized pressure to deal with the terrible thing that is actually happening right now — namely, mass unemployment. Yes, we’ve made progress over the past year. But long-term unemployment remains at levels not seen since the Great Depression: as of October, 4.9 million Americans had been unemployed for more than six months, and 3.6 million had been out of work for more than a year.

When you see numbers like those, bear in mind that we’re looking at millions of human tragedies: at individuals and families whose lives are falling apart because they can’t find work, at savings consumed, homes lost and dreams destroyed. And the longer this goes on, the bigger the tragedy.

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Read more, HERE:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/07/opinion/krugman-the-forgotten-millions.html?_r=2&adxnnl=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1354885607-Jjys0AIQl5fI3FhblUtB5A&

“And the reasons that might happen are purely political”

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December 8, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Let’s NOT Make a Deal” – Krugman

Via: NYT

To say the obvious: Democrats won an amazing victory. Not only did they hold the White House despite a still-troubled economy, in a year when their Senate majority was supposed to be doomed, they actually added seats.

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But one goal eluded the victors. Even though preliminary estimates suggest that Democrats received somewhat more votes than Republicans in Congressional elections, the G.O.P. retains solid control of the House thanks to extreme gerrymandering by courts and Republican-controlled state governments. And Representative John Boehner, the speaker of the House, wasted no time in declaring that his party remains as intransigent as ever, utterly opposed to any rise in tax rates even as it whines about the size of the deficit.      

So President Obama has to make a decision, almost immediately, about how to deal with continuing Republican obstruction.

How far should he go in accommodating the G.O.P.’s demands?

My answer is, not far at all.

Mr. Obama should hang tough, declaring himself willing, if necessary, to hold his ground even at the cost of letting his opponents inflict damage on a still-shaky economy. And this is definitely no time to negotiate a “grand bargain” on the budget that snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.

In saying this, I don’t mean to minimize the very real economic dangers posed by the so-called fiscal cliff (see photo) that is looming at the end of this year if the two parties can’t reach a deal. Both the Bush-era tax cuts and the Obama administration’s payroll tax cut are set to expire, even as automatic spending cuts in defense and elsewhere kick in thanks to the deal struck after the 2011 confrontation over the debt ceiling.

And the looming combination of tax increases and spending cuts looks easily large enough to push America back into recession.

Nobody wants to see that happen. Yet it may happen all the same, and Mr. Obama has to be willing to let it happen if necessary.

Read more, HERE:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/09/opinion/krugman-lets-not-make-a-deal.html?_r=1&

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personal thought:

I know it won’t happen, but it still would be nice to see Paul Krugman as the new Treasury Secretary.

Common sense, AND back-bone, would be welcomed.

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November 10, 2012 Posted by | Boehner, deficit reduction, President Obama | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment