90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Battle Over The Economy

We’ll look at the battle over the U.S. economy that’s shaping up at the heart of the fall campaign.

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, campaigns at a pancake breakfast event in Milwaukee, Wis., Sunday, April 1, 2012. (AP)

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, campaigns at a pancake breakfast event in Milwaukee, Wis., Sunday, April 1, 2012. (AP)

It’s tipping point time for Mitt Romney in the GOP primary race. Clean sweep yesterday in DC, Maryland, Wisconsin, and it’s a tall – all but impossible – order now for anybody but Romney. And the first and towering issue as the contest for the White House clarifies: the American economy.

President Obama came out swinging yesterday. Painted Republicans as radicals for the rich who would sink the country. Romney blasts Obama as an out-of-touch Big Government bust.

This hour, On Point: the battle over the US economy shaping up at the heart of the fall campaign.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Reid Epstein, a reporter with Politico.

Robert Reich, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton.

Kevin Hasset, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, he was formerly a senior economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and an associate professor of economics and finance at the Graduate School of Business of Columbia University, as well as a policy consultant to the Treasury Department during the George H. W. Bush and Clinton administrations.

From Tom’s Reading List

CNN “The Obama re-election campaign has recently started drawing battle lines around what is likely to be the most talked about issue until Nov. 6: the economy.”

Politico “Take a look at members of Congress and their challengers, who are going all out to express concern about the plight of American motorists — often with personal stories of their own sticker shock.”

The New York Times “President Obama opened a full-frontal assault Tuesday on the budget adopted by House Republicans, condemning it as a “Trojan horse” and “thinly veiled social Darwinism” that would greatly deepen inequality in the country. “

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Michiganjf

    Your show title is missing a colon. Perhaps you meant

    “The Battle Over: The Economy.”

    … after all, the Battle IS over when it comes to Conservative vs. everyone else on the economy, and the conservative model of deregulation and “trickle all over everyone but the wealthy” economics has now been PROVEN a failure.

    There’s NO WAY America’s going back to the Republican stupidities that brought America to its knees, is there Tom?

    • Zero

      I don’t know dude.  These days, the rich are really poor and the poor are really rich…so if we should make the rich a little richer, we’ll have tons of high paying jobs.  That’s just commonsense.

      • Zero Plus Zero

        The poor are really rich? Then become poor and you will have it made. With your logic that’s all we have to do. Your post name reflects your logic.

        • Hidan

          tongue in cheek

        • Anonymous

          It’s a sarcastic remark.

    • William

      Clinton deregulated the banking industry. The Liberal “trickle up” economy is not working and our social safety net has become a hammock.

      • Lin

        Salary of:
        Retired POTUS–$450,000 FOR LIFE
        House/Senate members– $174,000 FOR LIFE
        Speaker–$223,500 FOR LIFE
        Majority/Minority Leaders–$194,400 FOR LIFE

        Average salary for a solder in Afghanistan–$38,000
        Average salary for a senior on SS — $12,000

        Some hammock.

        • Modavations

          Section 8,Food Stamps,Medicaid,free cable,freee phones,free,free,free.Average welfare family in N.East gets about 40,000.00 per annum in subsidies

          • denis

            and where did you get this piece of info… need a respectable source.

          • Anonymous

            In the state of Massachusetts a family of 4 can get up to $4512 per year in SNAP assistance.  You cannot have any finical assets over $2500 or you are not eligible for assistance. It’s a bit complicated, but the bottom line is you have be pretty poor. I’m not sure were this guy get’s his 40K a year figure, I guess if you add up housing, heat subsidies, and SNAP it gets up there. The free cable thing is BS.

          • MiddleClassMassGirl

            A couple of years ago between jobs, my car (which I still have – it’s a ’99) was worth just about the $2500; I could sell the car, have no way to get to a potential job to earn money, and receive food stamps, or keep the car to have a way to get to interviews (and the eventual job)! I chose the latter and found other help. There are lots of middle class people struggling to stay in their homes and feed their families – most unseen.

          • Hidan

            speak on Grand Moda-dragon

          • ana

            Prove your statement with facts and references, please.

        • Stillin

          and I won’t even post the average salary for a teacher in NYS which requires a master’s degree…sinful.

      • Victor Vito

        By “hammock” do you mean it is a comfy and safe place, and those residing within should be envied?

  • twenty-niner

    The Headline:

    Almost all the data agree — labor market’s on a tearThe Response:Huh?The Math:From the St. Louis Fed:The number joining the workforce since 2000: 33 millionThe number of part-time jobs added since 2000: 4 millionThe number of fulltime jobs added since 2000: 0The number of people mysteriously erased from the labor force because, after years of looking for a meaningful job, they are somehow discouraged: 20 millionCurrent civilian employment ratio: 58.5% down from the peak of 64.5% in 2000The number of people on food stamps: 46.5 million, with each passing month recording a new record high

  • twenty-niner

    The Headline:
    Almost all the data agree — labor market’s on a tear
    The Response:
    Huh?
    The Math:
    From the St. Louis Fed:
    The number joining the workforce since 2000: 33 million
    The number of part-time jobs added since 2000: 4 million
    The number of fulltime jobs added since 2000: 0
    The number of people mysteriously erased from the labor force because, after years of looking for a meaningful job, they are somehow discouraged: 20 million
    Current civilian employment ratio: 58.5% down from the peak of 64.5% in 2000
    The number of people on food stamps: 46.5 million, with each passing month recording a new record high
    The amount of federal debt added since 2000: Over $10 Trillion
    The Question: 
    So this is what we get from $10 Trillion in accumulated debt, massive easing by the Fed in the early 0′s and again a decade later, including 2 QEs and Operation Twist?
    The Verdict:
    Time to rethink our centrally-planned economy

  • twenty-niner

    The Headline:

    Almost all the data agree — labor market’s on a tear

    The Response:

    Huh?

    The Math:

    From the St. Louis Fed:

    The number joining the workforce since 2000: 33 million

    The number of part-time jobs added since 2000: 4 million

    The number of fulltime jobs added since 2000: 0

    The number of people mysteriously erased from the labor force because, after years of looking for a meaningful job, they are somehow discouraged: 20 million
    Current civilian employment ratio: 58.5% down from the peak of 64.5% in 2000

    The number of people on food stamps: 46.5 million, with each passing month recording a new record high

    The amount of federal debt added since 2000: Over $10 Trillion

    The Question: 

    So this is what we get from $10 Trillion in accumulated debt, massive easing by the Fed in the early 0′s and again a decade later, including 2 QEs and Operation Twist?

    The Verdict: 

    Time to rethink our centrally-planned economy

    • Hidan

      I’m sure sanctions on Iran will reduce gas prices and help the economy, also how can the Fed be wrong when Ben B. studied the great depression. According to onpoint’s previous show with Roger Lowenstein, QE1 and QE2 saved the world(really only wall street but isn’t  wall street the world?) (sarcasm of course)

      The best or funniest thing depending on how you look at it,was the line of Obama telling the world that “the world has enough oil to deal with more sanctions on Iran and wouldn’t effect the world economy”. Than went on to meet with people to talk about what to do about the rising oil prices.

      Hell the free market bankers don’t even need customers deposits anymore now they can literally borrow from the fed at quarter of 1% than buy T bills from the Fed at 3% plus. Or give bad debt to the fed in return even more printed cash.

      Also what very little be know are of aware of is that the fed backstopped trillion in future losses on derivatives(if they fail) which is more then 10 times the accumulated debt. 

      • Modavations

        Do you ever wake up in the morning and think of San Francisco,instead of Tehran?What was your opinion about Pres.Obamas shunning of the Iranian Spring?

        • Hidan

          Sure dirt digger, those Iranians told the U.S. not to get involved cause it would strengthen the government. Yet counter to the Moda bigot Troll beliefs  it did so covertly of course.

          Anyways troll on, I’m sure you can use this thread today to attack blacks.

          Sorry folks our troll is back to attack blacks.

          • Modavations

            What is a dirt digger?.I don’t buy your excsuse with Pres.Obama.He gave Egypt to the Brotherhood,afterall.

      • Hidan

        “Also what very few people know”

    • Anonymous

      Note that the job gains DURING the GWB administration vanished at the end of it due to the fiscal crisis; that 4 million job gain is mostly during the Obama administration.

  • Jasoturner

    America seems to increasingly consist of two classes of workers, the knowledge class, and the service class.  The traditional working class jobs, such as assembly and manufacturing, are going away or have very high barriers to entry.

    Unfortunately, service class workers deliver very little unique value, and they are consequently not well compensated.  As such, the traditional “middle class” is melting away, while the service class workers hold down a couple of jobs and struggle to pay their rent (forget about these guys buying houses, as the assembly workers of my youth were able to do.)  This is not a situation that is readily fixed through policy machinations.

    If one thinks globally, knowledge workers in America have more in common with their counterparts in Asia and Europe than they do with an American who works at, say, Home Depot.  And just so, our service workers are more like their foreign counterparts than they are to those dwelling in large houses in the leafy suburbs, though they would likely resent this comment.

    For this election, the charade that the economy can be “fixed” without facing up to the changes that have taken place in the relative value that most Americans  bring to the global economy will go on.  But a “come to Jesus” moment will eventually arrive when we have to face the fact that being “American” and unskilled or lightly skilled no longer entitles you to a special standard of living.

    You know, they say a rising tide raises all boats.  But when the tide rises on one side of the globe, it falls on the other.  This is often not mentioned.

    • Modavations

      I disagree that affluence in one part of the world results in poverty in another.A rising sea lifts all boats.What was Kennedy’s rational in lowering tax rates?.Modarationalist/Professional gemologist/

      • Anonymous

         The “rising tide” of affluence in the gated communities, penthouses and posh resorts of the US has done a lousy job of raising the boats of those of us living in the rest of the US

        • Modavations

          We live in a Golden Age.Quit listening to your Marxist Professors from the Mean Streets of Amherst.Do you guys know Amherst Ma……Aflluent,very affluent.Even the 6 blacks that live in the shadow of the Ivory Towers are affluent.Never listen to those who hide in College Towns.We call Amherst ,Happy Valley

          • Anonymous

             oooo.  Hey guys!  affluent Amherst bad.  Modavation’s home town good.  For the record, I am neither an academic nor affluent, and this town is more diverse economically and racially than a lot of places in the US, including the town in PA where I grew up, not that any of those facts has any bearing on these discussions.  When you can’t quite swing an argument with facts and logic, you seem more than willing to resort to personal taunts & insults.  These  are just the traits of a pathetic jackass of a bully.  I do not hide my current place of residence as I am quite proud of it.  (Sensible enough to vote Obama over McCain  11 to 1.)  Golden age?  As in Gilded Age, maybe.

          • Anonymous

            ooooo.  Hey guys, got it: Amherst bad, Modavation’s home town good.  Just for the record, I am neither affluent nor an academic, and Amherst is much more diverse in terms of both race and income than the small town suburb I grew up in in PA.  Your resorting to personal insults when facts & logic escape you is truly the trait of a bully jerk.  And: A “Golden Age”? ig you mean as in Gilded Age?  Ya, you might have that right……….. 

    • Hidan

       ”The traditional working class jobs, such as assembly and manufacturing, are going away or have very high barriers to entry.”

      This was claimed by Apple and the reason why it uses slave labor in china to produce it’s products to be sold here. But awhile back Apple announced it had a 100 Billion in extra cash. If america stated it wouldn’t accept products from countries that enagage in slave labor, no rights for workers and traded with other nation with safety policies those traditional jobs would return. Instead the chamber of commerce and the like with the goal of short term profits and short term thinking has outsourced jobs to increase upper level pay and squeeze out every dollar.

      We see the results of this thinking/policy now and the COC are now lobbying the U.S. government to reverse much of what it allowed cause there tech is being stolen and repacked at an cheaper cost and since the U.S. doesn’t hold slave labor and the likes as an barrier to entry it’s now hurting the Companies that relied on such work.

      • Anonymous

        It cost $1.50 to make an iPhone in China.
        They cost $200. I don’t know, I guess it’s just me but something does not seem right about this.
        They could raise the wages of the Chinese workers, a lot, and still make out like the tech bandits they are.

        • Still Here

          Please check your numbers at iSupply.com
          You look more foolish than usual today.

          • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

            Thanks Still here. Jefe has been anti-Apple for years now. Of course, he doesn’t realize that Apple does not pay those workers, Foxconn does and Foxconn just raised salaries and shortened work hours. The workers protested: they wanted the longer hours to make more money.

  • Markus

    I’m looking forward to again hearing the big hypothetical of if our government hadn’t spent additional trillions, we’d have gone into a depression. I suppose it’s possible but it’s like saying if Bush hadn’t gotten us into the war on terror, our cities would be in ruins from terrorist attacks. Easy to say.

    CEOs making gazillions at low tax rates and they’re untouchable because of replublicans. Millions of jobs going to illegals (and more every day) and they’re ontouchable because of democrats. We’re all good at whining about how bad it is and something must be done until it bumps into our ideology. 

    • Anonymous

      Oh, lets blame the illegal immigrants for our woes.
      While I agree this is a problem the new laws in states such as Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina have been devastating for agriculture. It’s all very well to go on about this but the reality is Americans will not spend hours in fields working anymore. They can’t do it.
      So get real on this. Don’t come back with some right wing talking points on how people should take those jobs, because they wont. And the ones who do, don’t last long.
      The millions of jobs you are talking about are for the most part very low wage jobs that most Americans will not do.

      What we need is a good immigrant work program, but that wont happen. The laws in the states I mention above have cost these states billions in revenue due to lost productivity. For the rest of us, it’s higher food prices.

      If you want to look at our economy through the lens of a simplicity you will only see what backs up your ideology.
      It’s much more complicated and nuanced than most of us think.

      Here’s an interesting fact, in Alabama you have farmers who are stanch members of the GOP who are now in telling the state legislators that this is a bad law. It’s killing them financially and it’s killing the state.

  • Modavations

    The Dems. are setting up a Putsch this summer.I’d hardly worry about the economy.Notice the President’s attempt at silencing,of intimidating the Supreme Court.He must have missed the classes on Seperation of Power,on “checks and balances”

    • Anonymous

      The Court missed that class too as they have no respect for laws passed by the Congress. 

      • Modavations

        The Court is the referee

      • Gregg

        Please don’t tell me you’re buying in to the Obama party line lie. The court MUST strike down any law that is unconstitutional. The notion Congress can legislate whatever it wants without regard to Constitutionality is insane. The fifth circuit took  Obama to the woodshed over that bit of sophistry yesterday.

        • Anonymous

          So I guess the fact the the Supreme Court just stepped all over the 4th Amendment does not bother you.

          I also suggest reading Justice Stevens Dissenting brief on the Citizens United case which has undone 100 years of jurisprudence.  

          • Gregg

            I have no idea what you are talking about regarding the 4th amendment. I see you are accepting another party line Obama lie about 100 years of jurisprudence. Obama has a penchant for slamming the SCOTUS. I side with Alito.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pB5uR3zgsA

        • Anonymous

          The Commerce Clause makes it constitutional.  This has been established law for decades.  The radical justices want to overturn decades of legal precedents to return to the gilded age. 

          • Gregg

            Did you listen to the arguments?

          • Anonymous

            Excerpts and read several news articles.  I followed most of it except I couldn’t find any contributions to the arguments from Justice Thomas.

          • Gregg

            Thomas keeps quiet but maybe he’ll write the majority opinion. It will be a brilliant masterpiece.

          • Anonymous

            Roberts or Kennedy will probably write it.

          • Gregg

            I’ve heard that theory. It’s funny.

          • Anonymous

            Yes, and the Scalia and Alito “arguments” simply showed a COMPLETE lack of understanding of healthcare economics, which are not in any way similar to “broccoli economics.” Justice Roberts was a bit more balanced but he waded into the murk of Republican false economics also. If you decide the case on false premises you make yourself a joke, which the Court will do if it overturns PPACA.

        • Anonymous

          Judicial review is desirable, but not based on IDEOLOGY. Scalia wrote a decision that supports similar actions as included in PPACA. If the Court overturns PPACA, it will be much like the Court’s Bush v. Gore decision, where that was specifically called out as NOT PRECEDENT SETTING!

          In other words, it will reek of politics (Republican ideology) rather than the UNBIASED “calling of balls and strikes.” It will indicate that the Robert’s Court is RADICAL, not judicial, and they don’t care what happens to their reputation.

          And it will give Democrats a battle cry that could ensure an Obama reelection.

  • Modavations

    If the govt.hadn’t intervened,hadn’t spent a penny on stimulus,the economy would have “righted itself”.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, like it did in the Great Depression. 

      • Modavations

        FDR prolonged the Depression.WW11 got us out

  • Anonymous

    The Secret To Germany’s Low Youth Unemployment

    http://www.wbur.org/npr/149927290/the-secret-to-germanys-low-youth-unemployment

    You have to wonder, why is that we can’t even come close to doing anything like this. Mind you, we out source so much manufacturing now I’m not sure this would work here.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       What is Greece’s secret to low unemployment since that is the path we are on?

      Oops!!!

      • Anonymous

        Do you have a comprehension problem?
        Read the article, it uses Span and Greece as examples of how there countries, which do not do this, have high unemployment.

        You need to have more substance than posting ill-informed nonsense.

        Are we in trouble, you bet. Are we doing a damn thing about. Does not seem like it. The Simpson/ Bowles budget seemed to be a step in the right direction, but it means letting the Bush tax cuts expire and raising taxes on the top 10% and making cuts. The problem with the right is they want tax cuts, and cuts to SS, Medicare and Medicaid without really dealing with the facts of whom is getting what. A majority of people on SS are elderly and a huge proportion if people on Medicaid are disabled and children. So while I know we need to cut we also need to do so with care.

        Of course, the draconian ideology of the GOP which seems to be into social Darwinism seems to be the order of the day. Judging from the comments here it seems to have a lot of support.  

      • Still Here

        Same as their secret to a balanced budget!

      • Anonymous

        The U.S. has never been Greece, but following Republican policies is a great way to put it on a path to Greece. Just look at the Ryan budget, which needs to close $700 billion of tax expenditures each year to be “revenue neutral,” without naming ONE!

    • Modavations

      Oui Vy.I see no difference between the lifestyles of a Berliner and a Bostonian.The glaring difference being tax rates.Over 50% in Germany on $100,000.00

      • Still Here

        We manufacture more now than we ever have and our manufacturing economy is bigger than Germany’s total economy.  He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

      • Patrik

        As in Finland.  You know why?  Because I can’t trust Joe the Plummber down the street to reinvest into society as a whole and not spend money on things that do nothing for society in the long term.  These countries have been around a while and know the human nature of greed and put a harness around it.  They seem pretty happy to me with top education and healthcare which is the critical foundation for the rest of a persons life.  We are our brothers and sisters keeper.

        • Modavations

          Finland just voted in the Republicans after 50 years of Leftist rule

          • Patrik

            Yes, and it’s worrisome.  The Finns Party, a radically racist anti-immigrant party who ran and stoked fears of national usurption from muslim and other groups with no studies to back it up.  They took advantage of the global situation and misguided fears, when the global situation sorts itself I see them being relegated back to the dark crevaces from whence they crawled from.

  • Doug W.

    It is really tiresome to hear the Keynesian vs. supply side discussion that really doesn’t have much to do with our current situation. So 20th century.  I bet they get through the whole hour without mentioning energy.  All these new sources of energy Bakken, Canadian tar sands have higher production costs that require higher prices which in turn choke off growth.  Nine out of the last ten recessions have been preceded by a spike in fossil fuel prices. The role and size of government has little to do with our current situation.  It’s about the resources, stupid.

    • Modavations

      It’s the Spending

      • Anonymous

        You’re absolutely right.  It’s the spending.

    • Anonymous

      We will not have energy price stability until most energy comes from non-fossil fuel sources. Spending to encourage renewable energy development will generate more jobs than spending on fossil fuels and will help develop a robust economy.

  • Victor Vito

    A cautionary tale for Paul Ryan austerity types:

    The social contract as I grew up understanding it said that if you worked hard your entire productive life, no matter how successful  you were or weren’t, you could count on a minimal retirement stipend and help with the inevitable medicines you’d need to keep your life livable.  This gave me comfort.  I’ve seen seniors my whole life live quite well with very little.

    I have spent the last 25 years holding up my end of the social contract.  I’ve spent more time working during my life than doing almost anything else.  I’ve been punctual, reliable, and productive.  I’m confident that I’ve made lots of money for other people.  By the way, I’ve never enjoyed working but understood it is my part of the bargain.  I figure I’ve got another 20-25 years before my body starts to break down.  The early signs are there already.  Aches and pains, a fading memory, etc.  I will soldier through and complete my part of the deal.

    I want to be very clear about the last part of this tale.  If I reach the point where I can no longer be productive and it is time for me to claim my “reward” and some pencil necked politician like Paul Ryan has stolen my retirement and medicine, SOMEONE WILL PAY.  I will not say who or what price.  If the social contract is torn up and blown in my face, then I’ll consider my part in it null and void as well.  I’d also be willing to bet there are MILLIONS of American workers who feel the way I do.

    Beware.

    • Modavations

      I’m 60 and was never shown this contract.Perhaps a start would be for the pencil necked, H.Reid to pass a budget.The last Obama budget went down 97 to 0.In the house it was 450ish nAYS

      • Anonymous

        That is because with Republican changes it was barely a caricature of an Obama budget.

      • T. Ferguson

        Well that explains your comments here.  You’re 60, you’re winding it down, yelling at the kids to stay off your lawn, and probably can’t cope with the changes that have occurred in the world since 1952.  I’m sure you’ll reject your SS and Medicare in a few years, right?  I mean those are evil commie socialist programs are they not?

        • Modavations

          Me and Ayn Rand paid for our social security and Medicare.It’s not a gift

          • Victor Vito

            And I didn’t?  I won’t continue to?

    • Gregg

      At this point Paul Ryan’s plan is your only hope, he’s not the enemy. Obama’s policies spell certain doom.

      • Stktst

        And in other news, right winger uses wild hyperbole because he doesn’t understand the issues very well.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      You didn’t know that the politicians of both parties have been giving false promises over the years?
      Caveat emptor!!!

      Where is the alternative solution?

      Under the current budget path, SS + Medicare + Medicaid + interest on the debt will consume the entire budget in 2025.  Nothing left for discretionary spending.

      Not very realistic.  It is amazing the Obama has offered no solutions and then criticizes the other side when they do.

      • Still Here

        Exactly, most politicians only look as far ahead as the next election; that’s the math they’re worried about.  Obama’s the worst!  Not the tidal wave of entitlement spending that’s coming.

        • C. Sandwich

          President Obama has offered solutions, and the GOP has done nothing but obstruct and mislead at every turn.

          “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, October 2010

    • Patrik

      *Like* I agree Vito.  Despite incremental economic improvement I sense unease among my peers who think ahead.

    • twenty-niner

      You are going to get repaid every dollar coming to you, but unfortunately they will be worth significantly less than when you paid them. Punk-o-nomics explains this well:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDFgtb0by4E 

      Geometrically increasing piles of debt to service geometrically increasing piles of debt is like turning your amplifier to 11 and placing the mic next to the giant concert speaker – you well get a feedback loop that is going to blow some vacuum tubes.

  • Anonymous

    This is the number that says the most:

    The population in the US in 1998 was 276 million and the labor participation rate was around 67 million people.

    Now the population is 310 million and only 64 million people are working.

    There are 34 million more people and 3 million less are working.

    More people in the cart and less people are pulling.

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Labor_Participation_Rate_1948-2011.svg

    • Still Here

      Do 99 weeks of unemployment benefits and exploding “disability” claims have anything to do with it?

    • Markus

      When 50% of workers pay zero income tax (and yes, they do pay other taxes) and millionaires acquire so much of the wealth (and yes, they pay by far a disproportionate amount of taxes), it seems unsustainable. That said, I don’t know if charging both more will make a dent in the debt that’s been created over the last 7 years. Not enough rich people on the one hand and not enough dollars on the other, but I’ve never seen the math done.

      To your point, when people can vote themselves the money, you may have to reach a Greece like situation before there can be a change. And in Greece’s case, it was the other EU countries that forced them to make cuts. If Greece could simply print money, like we can, I doubt they’d have taken austerity measures so soon.

  • Yar

    We borrow money from China to buy smart phones and Ipads.  We talk about the economics of bank bailouts, social safety nets, and healthcare.  We fund only 60 cents of every dollar spent by the federal government.    We desire to return to the good old days when our economic bubble was expanding and unemployment was low.   So much of our economy is false it is difficult to make sense of how it works at all. We are an obese, aging nation with a declining educational and industrial base.  Much of our modern information technology is simply entertainment.
    We don’t even have a concept of sustainability.  

    What we really want is slavery.  People to do our dirty work, second class citizens who don’t vote, who are not educated, and don’t have access to healthcare or retirement.
    If these are not your values then you must be a socialist! (Often said with a sneer.)
    We exist in different realities, how can we have a civil discussion on the economy?  
    The modern ‘conservative’ view, is defending economic slavery as freedom.  It looks like 1860 again.
    Only now there is no pride of ownership. Just pure exploitation!
    I think it is more than coincidence that our housing bubble popped once we cracked down on immigration. 
    Our wealth was and still is gained by the blood and sweat of others.

    “You can’t handle the truth.”  
    To quote Col. Jessep in few good men.
    “You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to. ”

    The real economy is our farm productivity, our energy exploitation, and the manufacturing we still do.  Everyone else is living off the production of this and our trade deficit with the rest of the world. 
    Sustainability is just another dirty word.

    • Modavations

      Our wealth is our intellectual prowess,a manifestation of Laissez Faire economics.

  • Patrik

    I’m cynical, what system once worked doesn’t work anymore for varying reasons. e.g.,  pop. growth, depleting resources.  As I stated in another show, there is no carrot at the end of the stick anymore, it’s a mirage to keep you running.  We as a country have failed to be flexible and quickly adapt to the changes.  The conservatives want to keep the old system that works for a few, which just doesn’t work anymore for everyone else.  If you are going to be conservative for the love of Harry Potter at least be a progressive conservative. 

  • Anonymous

    The day Obabma took office, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell stated their number one job was not to support the president to  get the economy back on track… nope, their number one objective was to make Obabma fail. Well, that was treasonous in my opinion. They have stood in the way of every economic initiative insisting on significant funding of the least efficient means of stimulating growth (tax cuts on the wealthy) and they now blame our lackadazicle recovery on the President. Playing chicken with default. Getting our ratings downgraded which cost the people billions in tax dollars for higher rates. They have only themselves to blame for becoming the Party of No and slowing our recovery.

    We’ve had 30 years of Reaganomics and the country’s manufacturing is eviscerated, thanks in part to tax cuts and loopholes that have accelerated the ousourcing of jobs. We went from a surplus under Clinton to record deficits under Bush that GOP windbags now love to blame Obama for.

    It’s not liberal businessmen behind cutting benefits for workers, reducing profit sharing, aggressively outsourcing American’s jobs, parking profits overseas and pushing even greater tax cuts for the wealthy that they’ll turn around and invest… overseas, while calling for sacrifice from everyone except themselves!!!

    Snap out of it!

    • Modavations

      Bull,bull,bull.They didn’t agree with his philosophy and are obligated to speed his demise.What the hell do you think they mean by “the opposition”.Hey Black Fang,bite daddies ankle.I’ll never forget Barney Frank lambasting the rich,then flying off to a fund raiser on Wall St..Nazism is based on Crony Capitaism(Obamanomics)

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      Brilliant.

    • Brandstad

      If the republicans did try to oppose Obama’s every move weather Obama’s plan was good or bad for the economy, and I am giving you the benefit of the doubt on that one, you will have to admit that they couldn’t do anything to stop him for 2 YEARS during which time the democrats had control of all three branches of government!  What was done to improve the economy during this period?  Why was this not enough time to pass all sorts of legislation to make US energy production a priority? 

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Obama’s speech yesterday vilifying Paul Ryan’s budget was full of lies, half-lies and distortions.  Frankly, it was beneath the office of the Presidency.

    What is stunning is President Obama has offered no solutions to the debt crisis and then he has the gall to criticize the other side for their solutions.

    We know he was famous in Illinois for voting ‘present’ on tough votes.  That is exactly what we are seeing so I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.
     

    • Anonymous

      The President’s general plan:  Increase revenue and reduce spending.
      Republicans general plan: Cut taxes (with the greatest reductions at the top of the scale) and reduce even more spending.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

         ’Cut taxes’

        No.  Their plan is explicitly revenue neutral without growth.  Once you add in the growth to the economy the revenues will grow.  Also, fewer people will require assistance so spending will go down.

        The President increases spending in his budget and the increase in taxes he proposes doesn’t come close to deficit gap.  It is simply  a gimmick used to campaign on.

        Obama was asked once to answer this hypothitical (I think it was asked by Charlie Rose): if you were guaranteed that raising capital gains tax rates would actually reduce revenues to the government would you still raise them.  He responded, yes because it is the ‘fair’ thing to do.  This response alone  should disqualify him from being President.

        • Anonymous

          Where is all the extra revenue and budget surpluses (even accounting for increased spending) from all previous tax cuts from Reagan onward?

          • Worried for the country(MA)

             You do know that revenues went UP after the Bush tax cuts and Reagan tax cuts?

          • Anonymous

            Largest increase in revenue was during the Clinton years, when the balanced budget deal was passed and marginal rates were increased.  Both parties worked under paygo.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            Don’t forget the internet bubble.  Capital gains tax revenue went through the roof.

        • Modavations

          That is the jist of it,but I don’t think Charlie Rose was involved.What the hell is fairness and what the hell is Social Justice,anyways?

      • Modavations

        Both Reagan and Bush were promised three and two dollar spending cuts,for each tax dollar raised.Of course the cuts never came.Reagan claims this to be his biggest failure.Dutch,never trust a communist!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Questions for the GOP: If slashing taxes and cutting regulations are the keys to economic growth, why did W’s term burn up our budget surplus, expand the debt and result in the deepest recession in 70 years?  Where were the cries for fiscal responsibility, let alone austerity, when Bush not only failed to figure the trillion dollar wars in Afghanistan and Iraq into the budget, but encouraged the public to go shopping and gave the wealthy tax cuts? 

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       GOP don’t want to slash taxes.  They want to simplify the tax code to unleash true economic growth.  That is our only hope of saving the safety net.

      Bush failed on deficit spending but we would all be happy to go back to $200B deficits now.  Personally, I was extremely upset when Cheney claimed deficits don’t matter.

      • Anonymous

        Simplify the tax code in a way that tremendously benefits the wealthy so they can pump up the economy with the purchase of more luxury goods and political ads?  Simplify the tax code in a way that will cut funds for key safety net programs and shift the tax burden to states and communities that rely on regressive tools like sales taxes to fund government? 

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           The wealthy benefit the most from the tax code complexity.  It benefits big business too since they can afford to hire loads of tax attorneys.  We all end up paying for this inefficiency.

          The truth is we don’t know if the rich will pay more or less.  It could go either way depending on how they eliminate deductions and credits.

          “simplify the tax code…cut funds for key safety net”

          How do you make this claim when they have defined the new tax code as revenue neutral?

    • Modavations

      It’s the spending stupid!!!Any surplus from Pres.Bill was a result of the Reps. dropping the Cap.Gains taxes.The Bush tax cuts went to the poor(30%)and middle class.The rich got 6%.The interest on the debt for this year alone,is 457 billion.I think the defense budget is 600billion.The Supreme Ct.voted 9 to 0 against the EPA,when they claimed a couple in Wisconsin(?)couldn’t build because of Wet Land provisions.The head of the GSA just resigned and two others fired.Three guesses what the GSA  does.

      • Anonymous

         as for the GSA red herring you dangle, note that the perps actually are out of work, unlike a lot of the contractors who defrauded the gov’t of billions working for the Bush administration in Iraq & Afghanistan so that the wars could be conducted without resorting to the draft.  I’d suggest a math check on the Bush era tax cuts & who reaped the benefits, though I know math, like science is not a GOP strong suit these days.  The SCOTUS ruling on the EPA was much more nuanced and narrow than you suggest, but again, facts and nuance rarely intrude on GOP reasoning.
          

        • Modavations

          Explain to the class the raison d’etre for the GSA.The Supreme Ct decided 9 to 0.Bush tax cuts went 33% to the poorest(15 to 10% With EIC 11% pay no tax).Rich boy taxes went from 39% t0 35% or 6%.The rest went to the Middle Class.By the way, EPA claims hay is a pollutant

          • Anonymous

             Cutting the tax rate of the poor by 33% does not equate to the poor getting 33% of the benefits of the Bush era cuts.  This is typical example of either the muddled thinking of many GOP partisans, or the sophistry the party uses to convince people of low or moderate incomes that voting GOP is in their best interest.  Do the vouchers for education the GOP champions cover remedial math?

          • Modavations

            The volunteers of the armed forces  keep the barbarians from the gates.Mercenaries fought the American Revolution.Minimum wage is for entry level high school kids.When I was a lad there was no need for the remedial course.The average Welfare family in Ma. gets 40,000 in subsidies.Why could Moms in the 50′s afford to stay home and raise the kids(1000.00 per month Blue Cross,50,000 per annum colleges).Spare me the immature tripe 

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Excellent interview of Paul Ryan exposing the fraud in  Obama’s talking point on Paul Ryan’s budget and how Obama’s plan actually causes the collapse in future programs due to the debt crisis.

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/1545922005001/paul-ryan-defends-budget-plan/?playlist_id=86858
     

    • Anonymous

       excellent except for the fact that it is on FOX news, which, being run by a former GOP strategist (Roger Ailes) and staffed by GOP political has-beens and wanna-be’s, is basically a GOP party organ, and thereby incapable of unbiased analysis….

      • Modavations

        Describe MSNBC.There are  many Libs on Fox.Alan Combs,The Fat guy,Juan Williams,….The evening lineup on MSNBC is nothing but leftwing hate speech.Read the NYT editorial page,then the WSJ,then decide

    • Raoul

      I’d have never guessed you’d cite Fox News for your talking points.

  • Lee

    The tax rate on the highest income bracket in the 1950s and 1960s was about 90%. Most people don’t believe you when you tell them this, including people who were alive during those years.

    I asked my retired Mom the other day if she knew what the richest American paid in taxes when she was young and she said she didn’t know but she thought it must be less than what they pay now.

    I have to give credit where credit is due. The right wing has successfully rewritten history.

    • Anonymous

      As witnessed by the comments on this forum from the right wingers.

      • Modavations

        oui vy.

    • Modavations

      Explain to the class JFK’s rational for dropping tax rates.Why was FDR against Public Unions.?

  • Worried for the country(MA)

     Obama is cheering the lowering of unemployment rate down to 8.3%.

    However, the unemployment + underemployment  is between 15% to 19% depending on whose numbers you believe.

    Wages are stagnant.

    Growth rate is an anemic 2%.

    Is this the economy we want or need?

    I don’t think so.

    • Anonymous

      Hourly wages have been stagnant for decades, even as the share of the economy enjoyed by those at the top has ballooned.  The economy narrowly averted a second depression.  Unemployment would have been much worse without the gov’t bail out of Detroit.  exactly how fast do you think the economy can turn around, especially given the simultaneous crises in Europe and Japan?  

      • Worried for the country(MA)

         This is the worst economic recovery, EVER.

        The bloat of government regulation makes it very difficult to start a business.  Have you tried?  It is very daunting, especially if it includes manufacturing.

        3+ years to approve a pipeline that almost everyone wants?  We defeated Germany and Japan in WWII in that time period.

        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303816504577311470997904292.html

        • TFRX

          The bloat of government regulation?

          Try “not enough demand” and “banks unwilling to lend money to businesses unless the businesses don’t need it”.

          • Modavations

            9 to 0 said the Supremes against EPA

        • Modavations

          What recovery.It’s about to get heavy.The Dems.are planning a Putsch.

        • Modavations

          Let’s not go nuts.It’s easy to open a business.

      • Modavations

        Are you psychic?.My Psychic ball says GM might have gone out,but the car companies that moved to “right to work”states,would have thrived

        • Anonymous

          GM is a success story.  Had GM been allowed to fail, it would have washed through the manufacturing sector like a tsunami, and would have collapsed the economy and kicked up the unemployment rate by several percentage points.  True if GM had failed, some vestige of it would have been reassembled from the wreckage, with no unions and lower wages for all.  Full employment and bonuses for venture capitalists, reduced incomes and increased insecurity for the workers.  A real GOP outcome if ever there was.

          • Modavations

            GM sells Vans and Pickups.The shareholders got stiffed.The Unions killed Eastern Airlines,they killed American,they killed GM,they killed the PostOffice,they killed the Public School

  • Still Here

    Obama seems to believe that the economy will do better if the government just gets bigger and bigger. Perhaps it’s his lack of experience in the private sector that leads him to this ignorance.  Who knows?  But our country is in decline because of it.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

     Obama actually blamed state and local government hiring  for the high unemployment rate yesterday.  Clearly he believes that the government is the only solution to unemployment.

    He just doesn’t get it.  He never will.

    • Still Here

      If only state and local governments could run deficits like Obama can, then everything would be great!

      • Lee

        you don’t need to run deficits if you raise taxes

        • Modavations

          You don’t have to raise taxes if you cut the waste and graft.By the way,no matter how much you give a hack,he’ll spend it and ask for more

      • Modavations

        Go see the movie Brazil.That’s what the Democrats call paradise

    • TFRX

      Actually Obama’s right. State and local austerity isn’t doing anything for the numbers.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        Government is at historic highs as a percentage of the economy.

        • Still Here

          But not high enough for some apparently, but don’t call him a Socialist!

        • TFRX

          Your numbers are suspect.

          At this point in the business cycle stimulus spending by the public sector is appropriate. The private sector is lopsided and the recovery is basically being felt by people for whom the great recession ended 2 years ago. That strata is not going to keep the economy going with their demand.

          • Modavations

            It’s 25% and should be 18%

    • Modavations

      Pres.Obama signed one contract during his life.It was with the Slum Lord,Rezco.Herr Rezco is in jail

  • Modavations

    Term Limits,School Vouchers,Gold Standard

    • Anonymous

       Thumbs up on term limits.  Vouchers = the demise of quality public education.  Gold standard? Wait, is William Jennings Bryan in the race?  Last time the US had the Gold standard, the economy cycled through depressions and recessions every 10 years.

      • Modavations

        We just registered the worst scores ever ,in all seven measured disciplines.You call that a success?You are aware that you can use a Pell Grant to go to Notre Dame.The NEA donates 100% to the Democrats.In exchange they a shielded from competition.

        • Modavations

          The gold standard still exists,has always existed and will always exist.It’s 1650.00 ish today.It was 450ish when Bush left office.Want to see how much you’ve run down your currency,check bullion.When Nixon-LBJ started printing phoney money to pay for Vietnam the French said take back your greenback and pay us in gold.Tell me when you get it

  • john in danvers

    Gotta pair each good guy with a troglodyte?

    • Still Here

      You’re being a bit hard on Robert aren’t you?

    • MiddleClassMassGirl

      There’s NO PLACE in this discussion for this kind of disrespect, whoever you’re referring to. Moderator?!

  • Modavations

    Let the Bush Tax cuts expire and pay down the debt.As soon as the unemployement rate hits 5% reinstate the tax cuts.President Willard Mitt Romney.Not as catchy as “Dutch”,but it’s got a nice ring   

  • Mary in New Haven

    Could you compare the  severe cost cutting in England with the stimulus in the US?  It seems that the latter has helped us to emerge from the travails better than the situation in England, but I may be wrong.

    • Still Here

      But it’s an artificial solution, the bill’s gonna have to be paid.

  • Anonymous

    How is Ryan essentially similar to Simpson Bowles?  I don’t remember that being larded with tax cuts for the rich.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I listened carefully to Obama’s speech yesterday to the ASNE, and especially his response to a question about what would he do if the Supreme Court ruled against Affordable Health Care.  He said the administration wasn’t really working on a plan B (not his phraseology) because they were convinced of the constitutionality of the legislation passed (and he has already said that he doesn’t expect a conservative Supreme Court to go in for nearly unprecedented judicial activism).
         So.  He said that Affordable Care is actually a Republican plan that enables care to be provided without cherry-picking by insurers, allows the for-profit system to continue without getting more selective.  So.  The alternative, Obama pointed out yesterday, is single payer.
        Is that simpler than the 2300-page thing currently in place?  Is it better for the economy?  Would the profit motive in health care become more altruistic if the government were more involved?  I’m sure there would always be gap insurance, but a basic policy for all Americans BEYOND emergency room care for all — that would be good.   I’m wondering, in that photo at White House dot gov of the president talking on Air Force One with Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, were they talking single payer?

    • Glenn Koenig

      Single Payer was pretty much what the Clintons tried over a decade ago.  Yes, some implementation of that might have derailed our current ‘fee for service’ system which is the true cause of rising costs in the medical services industry (I refuse to call it “Health” anything because it’s essentially a medical care of the sick business).
      But the overwhelming message in response to the Clintons’ efforts was “no!”  Sure, the medical industry tried its hardest to dupe the public.  And in the more recent round, the term “death panels” represented a similar effort.
      But by and large our country is much too fragmented, too divisive, too diverse, if you will, to support single payer.  We are unique in the world just based on our size (larger population) and large land mass.  No other democracy in the world operates on the scale that we do in the USA.
      We are going to have to find other, more decentralized ways to work on this and other economic problems. Fortunately, we already are.  It’s just that the current efforts are still very small, as they are just getting started.  According to the principles of disruptive innovation, the task is to find and identify and watch these early efforts at new ways and spread the word.

    • ana

      With their disdain for single payer, the prospect of that alone should motivate the SCOTUS to approve the mandate.

  • Anonymous

    Obama out of touch.  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XJMNTQ6EKSBKA6SHI3WZNRUKFI ChristyS

    Could you please point out to Mitt Romney and other Republicans that Gerge W. Bush inherited a surplus from President Clinton; President Obama inherited a huge deficit, a recession, and unemployment from President George W.  The Republicans are not giving Obama credit for doing something positive from the negatives he was given to work with.

    • Anonymous

      Credit is only due to Republicans.  All others need not apply.

  • TFRX

    “Is Romney-the-CEO the recipe for economic rebound?” asks out host.

    No. Running a corporation and running a government are two different things. MittRomneyOfBainCapital doesn’t need to worry about poor people.

    • Still Here

      Being a community organizer apparently equips one for nothing but disaster. 

      • TFRX

        “…equips one for nothing but sweeping up after elephants.”

        FTFY.

        • Still Here

          I doubt he’s qualified to work at a zoo or circus either.

        • Modavations

          I think the Pres.mentioned he was a failure as a community organizer.What exactly is a community organizer?

    • Modavations

      No they’re not and that is precisely the problem of the left.They’re social workers,not businessmen

  • Ellen Dibble

    Where in the budget is the payments for the war in Iraq?  They say we did not do that pay-as-you-go, so the home-front hasn’t yet really attacked the demon costs, our part of that.  I’m not even sure we “won,” whatever that means.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Excellent point.  What happened to the peace dividend?

      We are still running $1+ trillion deficits.  The answer is that other spending has massively increased.

      • Anonymous

        Bush gave us two wars and a tax cut.  Where did the surplus Clinton left us with go?

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          Deflection?

        • Modavations

          It was a book entry.To quote Pres.Bill,we envision 200 billion dollar deficits per annum,for as far as the eye can see.Bill Clinton made 32,000.00 per annum as governor of Arkansas.A dog catcher in Boston makes more then that.I did like Pres.Bill,however,nose like a vacuum and Bimbo Eruptions

  • TFRX

    I’m figuring this is the AEI guy:

    “The HC bill wasn’t a big fix of Medicare and Medicaid.”

    “We have the highest corporate tax rate.”

    What a load.

  • Muriel

    Tax rates for corporations may be higher in this country than in other countries but corporations are very good at evading them through accounting practices and in truth never pay the high rate.  In fact in many cases they barely pay any taxes.

    • Victor Vito

      Especially when the corporate home office is a mailbox in the Cayman Islands.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XJMNTQ6EKSBKA6SHI3WZNRUKFI ChristyS

    I agree with TFRX. Who is going to take care of the working poor of America? The Oil Companies still got their tax breaks; the Bush tax cuts are still in place–If those two items were removed, how much would those two items cut the deficit?

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       The tax breaks that the oil companies get are simply business deductions that other industries get too.  They would go away with tax reform.

      75% of the Bush tax cuts are for the middle and lower class.  Are you asking how much revenue would be created if they were completely restored? 

      $400B for all Bush tax cuts restored.
      $100B for  just the rich Bush tax cuts
      $4B for the oil company deductions.

      Current deficit: $1.2T

      This is why the GOP says we have a SPENDING problem.

    • ana

      If they can find jobs, the working poor’s children will be taking care of them.

  • David in Newton MA

    Romney promises: a 20% tax cut for everyone, no change to defense spending (over half of discretionary spending), and any cuts to medicare deferred to future years. How Republicans can claim their fiscal policy is more responsible is unsupported by basic math.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      His 20% tax cut is in rates but it is revenue neutral.  This means that he will be eliminating many deductions that benefit the rich.

      • Seamus Brendan

        If you believe that Romney and the repubs will do ANYTHING to reduce benefits to the rich (namely historically tiny tax rates) i have got some ocean front property in Arizona i’d like to sell you.  You seem just gullible enough that you should fall for it.  The right wing in this country worships wealth and it is time they are exposed for the elitist Randian wannabe aristocrats that they are.  They say that they care about the poor while simultaneously trying to slash the social safety net and FURTHER cutting taxes for the rich.  Face it: they worship wealth and will NEVER do anything that asks the rich to pay more in taxes . . . . including eliminating deductions for the rich.  WAKE UP!

        • Modavations

          In one sentence tell me what Randian Philosophy is?I can do it in a half sentence.By the way the business of America is business.The Nanny State is Mother Russia.Where would you prefer to live

    • Modavations

      Romneys with Buffet.We should all pay 18%

      • Anonymous

        Once again you are twisting the facts; Buffet is advocating the rich pay more. 

        • Modavations

          And were it not for your breathtaking niavete,you’d understand Satire.

  • miro

    Romney is an inveterate liar and the House Republicans are so easy to demonize because they are in fact evil reverse-Robinhoods whose economic agenda is clear to anyone with two eyes.

    And here on the program Hassett is a despicable mouthpiece for the plutocrats. Ryan is being rightly demonized because his budget would decimate everything but military spending — weaken Social Security, voucherize Medicare — if Ryan and cretins like Hassett prevail, as a country we will see the resurgence of widespread poverty among the elderly. They would be happy to see the country become a banana republic with a small ultra-rich ruling class, a large mass of working poor wage-slaves, and the few left in the middle too scared to rise up in opposition.

    Voodoo economics does not work, never has, never will. It is simply a mask for those who want to redistribute wealth upwards.

    • ana

      Yes.  Social Security and Medicare have freed up offspring from the need to  support  aging parents thus allowing greater upward mobility.  
      Before these social programs teenagers often quit school to help support the family, diminishing chances   for higher education.
      My father was forced to quit high school to earn money. His 4 children completed HS and some went to college.  13 of his 14 grandchildren have college degrees, some advanced  and one to PHD.  SS and Medicare contributed to that rise.

  • BHA in Vermont

    I want Mitt Romney to SPECIFY EXACTLY what he will do to fix EACH and EVERY problem he claims Obama created or made worse. He is a ALL MOUTH and no plan.

    The man REALLY better figure out that 2/3 of the voters ARE NOT REPUBLICANS.

    And if he wants to find a president who ran around in a bubble thinking he was wonderful, he better go talk to GWB.

  • Modavations

    Robert(3rd)Reich never worked a day in his life.He gives Marxist Professors a bad name

    • lodger

      Maybe you should read one of his books. Or take one of his courses.

      • Anonymous

        This guy is being offensive just to get a reaction.
        Look at how offensive he is in joining Dr. Reich’ name with the use of 3rd. As if this is funny.
        Then in the next sentence, if we can call it that, he calls him a Marxist. If you read enough of Moda’ comments you can see it’s all about him. He’s a narcissist in some ways.

        • Modavations

          Moth Man,I know you’re trying,but just can’t seem to help yourself.Stay away from Narcotics,you have no will power

      • Modavations

        Maybe he should come to Belmont and I’ll teach him laissez faire

    • Victor Vito

      Public service and academia don’t count as work?  He’d be a fairly inneffective ditch digger at his size.

      • Modavations

        He wanted to join my Club.I’ve met him.I’d say he’s 5’2″.He has to sit on phone books when on T.V..I think he could have gotten a gig with H.Stern(?)in one of his Midget tosses.I think Mr.Reich was one of Clintons geniuses who predicted 200 bill.per annum deficits,as far as the eye can see.”Those who can’t….teach”(Woody Allen).Those who can’t teach,teach gym

    • ana

      You seem obsessed with Nazi’s and Marxists.  Are you a right wing talk radio host?

      • Modavations

        Liberals,Progressives,Democrats,Communists,Socialists.Whatever the name du jour I’ll fight you and the Body Snatchers at every turn

  • Andrew from Cambridge, MA

    The Rich are a bunch of crybabies, period. I’m a freelancer who often makes less than $20k, and I ALWAYS pay taxes. And I don’t complain about it. The rich are only able to be rich because of this government, and the taxes the so-called middle class pay, which provide the infrastructure they rely on.

  • Aranphor

    With all due respect Kevin Hasset is FOS.

  • miro

    Hassett spouts untruths at every turn. Wisconsin has its hard core right wingers like Scott Walker. 

  • Anonymous

    Regardless of who’s right or wrong, Kevin Hassett should learn how to speak to people in a cordial and respectful manner. What an unpleasant, arrogant guy.

    • Anonymous

      True that. The Heritage Foundation is not the best guest for a program such as this. Which is why this program was awful. Go to Charlie Rose’ site and watch the interview with Senator Simpson and Bowles. Not a fan of either, but I agreed with a lot of what they said and how they parsed it. This was just tit for tat.

  • TFRX

    “You know why Wisconsin elected Republicans: Wisconsin was bankrupt!”

    Okay, time to start calling Hassett on his crap. Wisconsin was fine before Walker got there. His loaves-for-the-rich tax cuts created the crisis.

    What does the AEI have to do to get crossed off the media’s Rolodex?

    • Modavations

      Funny,I thought Wisconsin was a Union Thug,temper tantrum.,orchestrated from the White House.

      • TFRX

        “You think” a lot of things.

  • Dave Olnhausen

    Kevin Hasset claims that President Obama had the super
    majorities in Congress to do “whatever he wanted” on healthcare.  Makes me wonder if he was sleeping through
    the healthcare debate in 2009 and early 2010. 
    In reality, the President had to scratch and claw to get every deciding
    vote in both chambers.

    • Victor Vito

      Joe Lieberman.

    • Modavations

      Yeah,he had to pay Mary Landreau 400 billion to buy her vote.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not inequality among working Americans, it’s increasingly widening chasm of inequality among ALL Americans.

    • Modavations

      The inequality is the result of a terrible public school system.The highly educated are in great demand

  • Modavations

    Remember when the Pres.claimed his gang would be the most ethical in history.They held the “govt.openess” discussions behind closed doors

  • lodger

    Kevin Hasset’s critique of Obama is really a critique of a do-nothing Congress that is beholden to its campaign funders. And he knows it.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    The productive people in a democracy are the middle class.  That’s the group that needs promotion.  The rich can take care of themselves, and the poor must be moved into the middle class.  Policies that don’t do those things are misguided.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Exactly right.  Romney pointed out in his speech last night that new company starts are at a extremely low level. New company starts is a measure of opportunity for the middle class.

    • Modavations

      Public School Propaganda.Until the 1960′s the church and family sufficed as the Welfare State.

  • Anonymous

    The standard to do anything in the Senate shouldn’t be a super majority and didn’t used to be until Mitch McConnell set his number one priority to defeat Obama. 

    • Modavations

      It takes 51 votes to pass the budget.

  • Glenn Koenig

    My question for Robert Reich is this:  If the government fails to fund these programs of which you speak, such as education, job training, etc., then what?  What are the alternatives?  Yes, it’s a new flat world, in some ways, but asking the federal government to do all this keeps us back in the world of old hierarchical means, which I think are fading.
    To be specific, are we not charged with boosting non-government organizations to do these things on a more decentralized and diverse basis?
    Yes, I’m arguing that we’re not as much “one country” now as we used to be.  But that’s reality, in my view.

    • Anonymous

      OK so you have China and India, who are funding education and infrastructure through government.
      Germany is also doing a lot in this area.
      Old hierarchical means, what the hell does this mean?
      Lets get real here, OK. Stop playing semantic games based on your partisan world view.
      Only government can build large projects such a roads, bridges, and infrastructure. It should be a partnership with the private sector, but that’s pretty much how it works in most cases. But the bond issues needed for these kinds of investments needs the federal government.

      Oh by the way, when I hear people say the rich will move to countries with lower taxes I say go ahead, move.
      The question is where? Not Europe, not Canada. South America? Well be prepared to pay taxes there as well.
      If you are an American, who has done well in this country, is it not in your best interest to support the nation that helped you become so successful? How is it that it’s OK for the 1% to use threats? How does that work? Not one person who has been successful has done so by themselves. It does not happen. 

  • miro

    We don’t see why on Point can’t get someone on the right who will honestly deal with these issues without resorting to distorting truth and outright lying. The level of Hassett’s intellectual dishonesty is appalling.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Specifics please.

      • Anonymous

        Former Senator Simpson would have been a good choice. 

    • Modavations

      Stick to painting

  • Modavations

    Mr (3rd) Reich,this is hardly as bad as the 1929 Depression.I haven’t seen people in food lines,or selling apples on street corners.I see obeisity and sloth

  • Anonymous

    Republican LIE Number 1: They blame the deficit on Medicare and social programs but will not consider the most modest cuts to the useless wars, military spending and corporate welfare for Exxon!

    If the drug war taught us anything, it is that when there is enough money on the table there will be no deterring the CORRUPT from going after it.  The last thing we should do is give the corrupt rich tax breaks.  

    • Brandstad

      Please tell me what corporate welfare for Exxon was given?  did you know they pay a higher tax rate than GE? Apple? Walmart?

      • Anonymous

        Considering that GE pays almost nothing methinks they are a bad example.

        • Modavations

          Doesn’t Immelt work for the President?

      • Anonymous

        Yet another snarky snipe comment. Also it is completely besides the point of the comment.

        Yet one more in the countless reasons why the real enemy we need to hunt down with predator drones and hell fire missiles are Republicans.

        • Modavations

          Oil Cos. pay at a 48% income tax rate.Average S&P industrials pay 28%ish.From 2004-2008 oil-gas cos. paid about 450bill in taxes.Oil Cos. get no breaks that all other manafacturers get

          • Anonymous

            I really need to check the “Oil Cos. pay” part.  Please do no play me or anyone else on my side for a fool. The balance sheet of what actually gets paid and what gets handed back in subsidies is very complicated.  Wasn’t there a recent row in the congress when Obama proposed ending certain subsides?

            I love this latest meme from the conservatives about the US becoming Greece.  Do keep in mind Greece is amazingly corrupt. Those with any wealth or property do not pay taxes and the Greek citizenry want the comfy Northern European Social Democratic life style. That is called wanting to have your cake and eat it. 

            The LIE that we need tax cuts to spur economic growth needs to be seen for what it is.

             

          • Modavations

            Another Lefty with Violence issues.I don’t read anything over a paragraph

    • Modavations

      Your thoughts on Solyndra are???

      • Anonymous

        Good question. Yet another reason why I see no solution to this problem short of civil war. 

        Simple Answer: This is yet another fine example of the Republican Bait and Switch game.  China is eating our lunch in the Solar Industry market. Why? Look at the level at which the Chinese government is willing to subsidize their Solar Industry. This difference put Solyndra out of business.

        We need to make sure that we do not use up all of our bullets on Republicans.  There are many complicit Democrats when it comes to the Myths of Globalization.

        These Globalization Myths are accepted without question as articles of faith.  Globalization Mythology has led to 30 years of ruinous policies like NAFTA where the US opens all of its markets while everyone else, especially China, protect and subsidize at will.

        The US government both Republican and Democrat was ever so willing to give TRILLIONS to the Banks and Wall Street while feeding us the MYTH that fledgling industries like Solar Energy need compete in this Mythical fair and free market.

         

        • Modavations

          Nafta was a success.Why do you think the process is emulated by most govt.s.Do you think other countries don’t enter into these arrangements

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wes-Nickerson/100001436729213 Wes Nickerson

    Tax the rich! Unearned income, such as capital gains, should be taxed at a higher rate than income from labor. We should be encouraging productive labor, which adds value to the economy, by taxing labor income at a lower rate. Working people should be rewarded by adding actual productive value to the economy. Those who only earn money off of other’s labor are a burden on the economy and should be penalized. Why should Warren Buffet’s secretary be taxed at a higher rate than Warren Buffet? Warren Buffet should be taxed at a higher rate than his secretary, who does all of the work.

    Warren Buffet paid only 19% of his income in 2006 in federal income taxes, while his employees paid 33% while making much less money. “How can this be fair?” Buffett asked, regarding how little he pays in taxes compared to his employees. “How can this be right?” He also added: ”There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Buffett

    • Brandstad

      Dividend income has already been taxed once as labor income, so why should it be taxed a second time?

      • Anonymous

        How so? If you are making income of stocks, which is where dividend income comes from, how is that labor income? Yes, labor was involved.
        So lets take Apple stocks, which are doing very well. As an investor have you designed software for them? No. Have you been on the assembly line making them? No. If you are just an investor you are making income off of the shares, which is not labor but the dividend of labor.

        • Modavations

          You buy their stock and they invest.Ask Mr.Buffet.May I remind you that many an investment has gone awry.You pay lower cap.gains taxes cause you can lose your ass

      • Anonymous

        Snarky, stupid Republiscum Snipe 1
        Taxing twice is a conservative talking point canard.  Where does one find this rule that one only pays a tax once. Does this brain dead logic apply to bridge tolls??

    • Glenn Koenig

      Well, Warren Buffet does actually do some work.  But your point is well taken.
      Problem is, I don’t see the Federal Government ever actually doing this.  Congress has, over the last 40 years, become much too partisan.  Those most likely to forge compromise have walked away from it by now.
      So, I think we are left having to consider alternatives.  My take is that we’re on a new path where we are creating what I call a “low money” economy where more and more of us find ways to support ourselves and each other through direct exchange of goods & services through networking with each other, rather than looking to government as much.  Indeed, the less money flows, the less the “rich” as you call them, can get their hands on the fruits of your labor.  But also, the less government can tax us if taxes are based only on the flow of money.  I’m talking about all forms of mutual support, not just barter but also volunteer work, community projects, and so on.
      We can only beat the same old horse and expect new results for so long.  Eventually, we must look to new ways.

    • Glenn Koenig

      Oh, and fancy meeting you here!

  • Sarah

    It’s amazing the Republicans and folks like Kevin Hasset cannot seem to see the writing on the wall. How can a nation thrive with a crumbling infrastructure, with extreme cuts to education and job training? We spend a sliver of our budget on education vs. military spending–so how is gutting these programs even really addressing the deficit? The Republicans have moved so radically far to the right, and if they pull the rest of us along with them the country will soon be unrecognizable.

    • Brandstad

      It is amazing that so many people don’t realize that Obama didn’t invest in infrastructure when he had the chance to either!  If I recall correctly, only 10-15% of the stimulus money went to infrastructure!  Why wasn’t this 50% of the stimulus money?

      • Anonymous

        Your comment is somewhere between MINDLESSLY STUPID and outright LIE.  Reason number one why there is no appropriate response to Republican Scum.  Among the countless reasons why I hate Republicans so violently is that if the Stimulus package DID contain 50% infrastructure improvement, A) the Republican Minority would have blocked it. B) the current TeaBagger Republicans would be calling it Socialism.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Hey Sarah, if we stay the course like Obama is doing, the cost of Medicare + SS + Medicaid + interest on the debt will consume the ENTIRE federal budget in 2025.

      This means no money left for military or ANYTHING else. 

      Ryan and the GOP are trying to save the country and the safety net.  The democrats are just trying to win the next election and in the process they will kill the goose.

  • BHA in Vermont

    How can Romney pull out his wife’s medical issues on the campaign trail to show that  he understands the ‘everyman’ and  call for repeal of the Affordable Health Care act at the same time?  He is sitting on a pile of money so high he can’t even imagine how real people would have deal with the medical problems his wife has had and still has.

    For starters, REAL people with those preexisting conditions would not even be able to get insurance. Thus, they would be charged the full inflated price for all medical procedures. And they sure wouldn’t have the cash to pay for chemotherapy. Not a problem for a guy who made $21M last year without doing one second of work.

    • lodger

      When he was on Leno he proved your point. Jay (who clearly is a friend of his) was asking him about people with preexisting conditions, and Mitt told him they should be covered only if they’ve been in the system, ie they shouldn’t expect to be able to just ‘jump in’ without having been paying all along.

      The reason they haven’t been paying all along is because insurance companies won’t cover them.  He is shockingly clueless.

      • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

        Thank you for posting this. I’m amazed so few people caught that. Romney is as embarrassing as GW Bush and the scary part is, people came close to electing GW Bush the first time (he was anointed) and did elect him the second time. We live in scary times.

      • Ellen Dibble

        I happen to know what Romney was talking about, and it’s not so clueless but it may be ancient history.  The decade before Romneycare came about in Massachusetts, I was in Massachusetts, self-employed.  I had been insured for 20 years through regular employment, and then paid for COBRA, and then (right about when I had cancer, with surgery, chemo, and radiation) sought advice from an insurance specialist.  He told me the important thing, from the perspective of the law at the time, was never to have a lapse in coverage, to make sure I had documentation at all times to show that there had never been a lapse in coverage.  Why?  Because if there were to be a lapse At All, insurance companies could have legal grounds to refuse to insure me.  In those days, early 1990s, insurance was about $250 a month, and the cost certainly spiked, but it continued to spike after Romneycare went into effect, so apparently it spiked for those with previous conditions and those without, all of us.
            So that’s what he was talking about when he says you need to be “paying all along.”   You couldn’t really “lapse,” and then return, although the worst sicknesses make “lapsing” almost inevitable.

        • lodger

          Thanks for your explanation, and I hope you’re doing well.

          I was thinking of a friend who had Type I diabetes — which is pretty easy/cheap to treat — and could get coverage only for non-diabetes related issues. This was also in the early 90s. 

  • corb

    Romney wants to lower capital gains tax rate, in essence lowering his own tax bill and lowering the tax rate of day traders. Anyone working will pick up the slack. 

    • Brandstadisbad

      Anyone that has taken Econ101 knows that this is GOOD to attract investment in the US and also helps the 65%+ of Americans that have a retirement account!

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Evidence please.

      Romney hasn’t proposed a change in capital gains but Obama has.

  • Still Here

    Obama was ill-equipped to govern.  He didn’t have the skills necessary and has no vision.  His presidency has been a complete disaster by any measure.  He has divided this country and so many of us have lost our pride in being American.  His legacy is one of disgrace.  I only hope we can recover. 

    • Ray in VT

      I would have to agree with much of your statement, just so long as we are talking about Mr. Obama’s immediate predecessor.

    • TFRX

      You forgot the concern troll’s favorite line, “He had such promise!”

      Nice to know the WATB Republicans with their record number of filibusters and anonymous holds, and the pearl-clutching and couch-fainting of our mainstream press, have gotten through to you.

      • Still Here

        He didn’t have any promise.  Only fools thought he did.  He’s a complete light-weight.

        • TFRX

          Keep believing nobody on your side said that, and whatever you do, don’t read up what the GOP “intellectual” Paul Ryan said about Obama.

    • lodger

      I could not disagree more, and I can’t help but wonder if you’re a hired Rove-ian disinformationist (and these people do exist, it’s not paranoia).

      Fox news and the corporate media has divided this country.  My criticism of Obama is that he tries to hard to *not* seem divisive. He needs to kick into FDR mode after the election, unless he gets another Republican congress that stomps its feet and refuses to do anything. 

      • ana

        Agree about Fox news and Limbaugh ilk.  The demise of sane discussion started around 1980 with the Right wing lament of victimization by the “Liberal” media.  The flames have been fueled perhaps  beyond redemption.  Limbaugh would not be allowed on the air in most civilized countries.
        Yet, millions in USA  feed his pathology.

        • Modavations

          90% of journalists say they are Dems.

  • Scott B

    Did anyone else notice how Hasset’s voice is going up in register and speed the more he struggles to justify Ryan’s budget and the stance of the Republicans?  That’s a sign of desperation. I’m not hearing that from Reich.   

  • jim_thompson

    The biggest problem with the new GOP and the teaparty members, especially in the House and a couple in the Senate is that they really has no respect for the institutions of the House or the federal government.  The fact is that the President and the Speaker had a grand deal ready to go last year where all sides gave up some of the so called sacred cows.  Yet the teaparty GOP memebers wanted more.  They undercut the Speaker and the instiutuion of the House.  Then really nothing got done.  Given what he came into and the reality of the numbers in the House and senate after 2010 he has been very centrist.  Why even his healthcare bill was based on the GOP philosophy that has been touted for the past decade and a half.  The problem for the GOP is that Ayn Rand has become the L. Ron Hubbard of the current Republican rising stars…and hat Mitt Romney, well…he just isn’t “real” in any way, shape or fashion.  That’s not getting into the Swiss bank accounts, automobile elevators, and all his flip flops back and forth.

    Jim Thompson,
    Fort MIll,SC

    • Modavations

      Tell the class why half the world sides with Ayn Rand?What was her philosophy?.Hubbard gave rise to Scientology .Scientology is one of those fake religions of the Left.Like Caucasions being Buddhists

      • Ray in VT

        Half of the world being Randites.  There’s a horror story that someone should write.  So one has to be of a certain color to be a Buddhist.  Are you a professional, albeit not a very good, comedian?

  • Anonymous

    I’ve just tuned in and must say I think Kevin Hasset has gone so far overboard as to destroy his own argument. He’s also pretty rude.  Cancels himself out.

    Don’t know about you, but I was pathetically grateful to hear Obama (finally!) talk about social darwinism and false equivalence yesterday.  Oh, and seeing prosperity as something that “doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class.”  Language matters. Truth works best.

  • Markus

    Apologies for a comment that’s not on point, but Dr. Reich on the faculty at Berkeley reminded me of a recent article in WSJ on which party is represented on the Berkeley faculty.

    Sociology dept: 17 dems, 0 repubs.
    Poli science: 28 dems, 2 repubs
    English: 29 dems, 1 repubs
    History: 31 dems, 1 repub.

    Again, not the topic so sorry, but interesting how much of an echo chamber is there.

    BTW, the point of the article was how curriculum’s were being hollowed out in UC system because of ideology.

    • lodger

      This suggests that informed, educated people tend to be Democrats, and recognize most Republicans as hollow ideologues without any real solutions (other than to blame Obama).

      If only there were more Bill Welds and Olympia Snowes, but they’ve been driven out.

  • Still Here

    Robert Reich is a complete liar and completely intellectually dishonest.  You cannot trust a word this guy says.  He appears to be angling for a job in the administration or something.  Just when you think he can’t sink any lower, he does.

    • Anonymous

      He is not.  Obama disregarded his advice and listened to Larry Summers and Tim Geithner. 

      • Modavations

        What Party are those rich guys

  • Rabidferret

    The GOP perspective is simply “whatever Obama didn’t do is the biggest issue on earth”. You’re complaining about Medicare being this huge elephant that will crush our economy in the future…but so was Health care, which Obama made a HUGE push to get, and Republicans are trying to repeal it! If Obama had addressed Medicare it’s clear the GOP would attack and try to repeal that.

  • Anonymous

    Time to JUMP with both feet down Hasset’s throat! Wisconsin had a budget problem from the fiscal crisis downturn and made the crisis WORSE by passing a $2 billion tax cut bill for the rich which tripled the deficit. Then he made the case for huge spending cuts, most by cuts in public employees, to “cure it.”

    See research from the Roosevelt Institute:

    http://www.thenation.com/article/167050/states-went-red-2010-massive-public-sector-job-losses-came-next

    The states with Republican governors/legislatures have made the biggest contributions to unemployment and slowing the economic recovery!

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Reich lies.

    The Ryan budget passed the house.

    Obama’s budget went down 0-414 in the house.

    The Senate hasn’t passed a budget in over 1000 days.

    Obama’s budget is nothing like Simpson-Bowles. That claim is ludicrous.

  • AndyF

    All you need to do to understand where we’re headed is simply look at all the Republican Presidents since Dwight Eisenhower (the last true Republican).  Each has promised one thing, and delivered something completely different, usually to the Rich, and always at the expense of the poor and middle-class.

    But we dont ever pay attention to even our own history, and that is why time and time and time again we simply repeat it.  We are now running out of the ability for our country to withstand that kind of thing.

    Elect Mitt Romney and you can be sure of a few things – we will go to war with Iran, and it will be fought by the less-well-off, and while the rich will get richer, the middle class will disappear and in the end, The USA will become an unfixable basket case.

    …of course, Romney will be on a “What me?  Worry?” mode through the whole thing because he has NO conception of what real Americans live like and the hell they go through.

  • Fred

    Why are you discussing the failed Simpson-Bowles commission?  They failed to produce a plan, failed to produce a report. Partisan divisions within the commission made the whole exercise a complete failure.

  • Andrew from Cambridge, MA

    I’m tired of people talking about “hard work”. Some of us work extremely hard, and make little to no money. Many, many of The Rich really don’t know what hard work is. 

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      …the rich like Romney. The guy is as far out of touch as GW Bush, maybe further.

    • Ellen Dibble

      They say they’re the risk-takers, yet for many, even if a r really big gamble went bad, there is back-up insurance, and there is probably still a house in the country, and maybe friends who have been sponging off you for decades who will find a couch for you in the event of disaster.   Finding yourself decimated, if you’re rich, is a thing unto itself.  I hear Romney talking about finding out, as a minister in his church, that all these normal-looking people are actually carrying heavy burdens.  I’d like to hear more about that — a LOT more about that.

      • Modavations

        Romney gave his inheritence to charity

    • Modavations

      80% of American Millionaires are self made

  • Anonymous

    William, the caller who suggests “skin in the game” is exactly right.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Exactly!

      When Tom put this to Robert Reichhhhhh, the good Dr. was flummoxed.

      • Ellen Dibble

        I forget what Reich answered, but more Democrats have to understand that skin in the game bit.  There are a LOT of people who think Uncle Sam is infinitely rich, and the whole goal in life is to get as much of that “skin” as possible.  They don’t see themselves as “citizens” in the sense of enabling this, that, and the other.  It’s not a bill they see themselves paying and haggling over week by week.  And this is really too bad, because a lot of what Uncle Sam is trying to do involves that same lot of people, and that lot of people make the best watchdogs, by FAR, as to what works, what’s waste, what’s downright corrupt, all that.  Their input is vital.

        • Modavations

          Republicans even give more blood then Democrats

  • WW_ph15

    I agree with Pres. Obama. If you want a country to prosper, build the middle class up. I’m also tired of the unemployed being called “lazy”. That’s B.S.!!! People ARE trying to find jobs. At a local hospital I was told that they had over 20,000 job applications last year.

    • TFRX

      Even Ronald Reagan (likely dogwhistling all the way) had to mouth the words “hard working poor”, if he meant it or not.

      In this day and age, that’ll get one called a commie. Everybody knows that if one is poor today, it’s one’s own damn fault.

      • Modavations

        I don’t think Ronaldus came from money.In fact,he started as a Democrat

  • BHA in Vermont

    Who is going to fund the poor farms? That is where people went in times past before there were social safety nets. 

    • Modavations

      They went to  their church,or heaven forbid ,their families.You want to end financial shenanigans,reopen debtor prison

  • miro

    Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, and Hassett are all crypto-reverse robin hoods. Ask who benefits from their tax cuts and they try to change the subject as fast as they can.

    There is a flood of money from right wing plutocrats like the Koch brothers that is corrupting our democracy, what is left of it. They own the Supreme Court. They want to tilt the economic tables to favor the rich, and their core base are the upper 1%.

    Obama’s policies are centrist — they are essentially what conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans would have traditionally supported.

    The right wing money and its child the Tea Party has propelled the Republican Party to the hard right, with the radical union-busting, vote-suppressing, business subsidizing policies that we see wherever they have gotten control of state legislatures. It’s a coordinated national plan by the right to seize and retain power.

  • Chris

    Wow.

    Talk about not seeing what’s going on. Skin in the game is a straw dog.

    THE GAME IS RIGGED TO FAVOR ONLY THE RICH.

    THe middle class and poor can work hard all they want but the rich have bought and paid for the government to write the laws to FAVOR ONLY THEM.

  • Anonymous

    There are plenty of people who work hard, even working multiple jobs, all for minimum wage, while Mitt Romney and other rich people make millions of dollars off of capital gains for which they do absolutely no work.  So, recent caller, you’re simply wrong.  The people who earn little money aren’t necessarily lazy.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Robert Reich is confused.

    Actually, the Ryan plan limits medicare to the wealthy.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Now wait a minute, I thought Paul Ryan was 180 degrees wrong about every last little thing… :>D

  • Seamus Brendan

    I would call in to your show but Kevin Hasset has got my blood boiling!  These people who constantly praise and protect the rich, as if they deserve to be rewarded with tax-cuts for being rich while the poor deserve to be punished with slashing the safety net simply because they’re poor, they only cause my blood pressure to shoot up and make me wish that i could afford to move to Denmark or the Netherlands.  Tell Kevin Hasset and his ilk to STOP WORSHIPING WEALTH!!!

  • Phillip

    President Obama attempted to address the deficit through his healthcare reform effort and by allowing the Bush tax cuts to sunset, both of which would have drastically reduced our long term fiscal obligations. The Republicans fought both measures tooth and nail. Mr. Hasset’s claim that the President has ignored the deficit is therefore off-base. Republicans are also now reneging on the sequestration agreement cutting the Pentagon’s bloated budget.

    • Modavations

      What was the rational behind the Dems.continuing said tax breaks?Do taxes effect economics

  • okitaris

    how can there be any real change if the economy is totally dedicated to making rich men richer.    The difference between Ds & Rs  the Ds want to divert a little $ to the working class.  A slow starvation not a quick kill.
    A total redesign of the economy is necessary in order to save us from our selves from destroying our world by over industrialization.  An economy that meets our needs not our greed.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I’d like to know if Kevin Hassett knows what Romney (or Paul Ryan) has to offer in terms of global competitiveness.  It seems that we’re voting for a ultra-plutocracy because we think they can hold their own in an international economy.  I noticed Obama yesterday referring to Christine Lagarde of the IMF, as if she were in the room, “Christine” comparing the books of the USA versus other countries, and seeing we’re doing pretty well.  There is a huge difference between the economy at home and the global situation.  Obama was saying we can no longer spring-start global growth by borrowing money (from China and others) and importing goods from all over.  But we can set a standard where diversity and trying new things, new ways of seeing things, where that is the norm.  Various parts of being American that don’t involve debt.

  • John in Vermont

     You know the game “In Bed” when you add that phrase to something your friend says.  I’ve been playing the same game with Romney’s statements on the economy.  The difference is that I end each of his economic ills with “caused by Republicans.”  Try it the next time he talks about high unemployment, escalating deficits or bank bailouts – all caused by Republicans.

    • Modavations

      Senator Obama…Gas at $4.00 per gallon is an outrage
      Senator Obama….Raising the debt ceiling is traitorous
      Senator Obama…..I’ll accept only public finance
      Senator Obama….No friggin lobbyists allowed
      Senator Obama……We’ll have the most open,honest govt.ever.We’ll prove it in discussions to be held behind closed doors

      Shall I continue

  • independent

    I love to hear knowledgeable, open-minded people debate an issue, but Kevin Hasset just seems to be a politician repeating talking points.  It’s uninteresting and it’s off.

    • Modavations

      Funny,but I feel the same about Robert(3rd)Reich.Independent,what a hoot.The Democrats are the Dependency Party

  • BHA in Vermont

    The rich can move their money to the low tax areas because the rich make the rules so they can move their money to the low tax areas.

  • Chris

    Let the multi-nationals move their money overseas.

    Take away the citizenship of the treasonous CEOs

    Make them go live in China and Saudi Arabia.

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      And make them fight in the wars they vote for.

      • Modavations

        Wars 60billionish per annum,interest on the debt, 457billion per year

    • Modavations

      Like Corzine???All these fat cats you guys bemoan ,are Dems.Wall St.gives two to one Dems to Reps..Even Bain Capital donates more to Pres.Obama then Romney

      • Chris

        Get a clue.

        2 parties, 1 master, the criminal rich.

        • Brandstad

          Who exactly is the criminal rich so I know who they are next time I see one?

  • imjust Sayin

    We Christians instinctively understand the implications of Charles Darwin, and survival of the fittest.  When we abandon our neighbor, like Cain abandoned Abel, we behave like animals and betray our faith.

    Social Darwinism is a useful term.  It reminds us that the creation story of Genesis is not a scientific document, but a call for including our neighbor, even slaves (lev 25) into a social decency that includes a day off once a week.

    We union members are the only sector of the economy that is still defending the Sabbath Day.  But we are also the ones who are defending the moral strength of capitalism.  Union members and the companies we work for believe in a full days work for a full days pay.

    Our tax code is centralizing our economy around foreign corporations that use slave labor and dirty energy.  We need to decentralize our economy away from these bad things.  Tax credits for oil companies were originally meant to decentralize away from coal and wood burning, for example.

    But tax credits and deductions to reward foreign slave holders, hurt everybody.  Our tax code hurts all the people, even rich people, on the planet.

  • Muriel

    The American people are very hardworking.  They do not ask for handouts.  The big problem is that wages have been stagnating for decades and the minimum wage is not a living wage.  So many people cannot make ends meet even if they work two jobs because the cost of living (especially health insurance) is so high.

    • Modavations

      Open your own business

  • Ehdoss

    Where was Kevin Hasset nine years ago when there was a budget surplus? He was with the other neo’s figuring out how to move that wealth into the pockets of the rich and clammoring for a financed war.

  • WW_ph15

    The advocates for the wealthy all say, “make us richer and everyone will prosper”. Who will buy their goods and services if the vast majority are living pay check to pay check? If the middle class prospers they demand more goods and services and the wealthy can prosper even more.

    • Chris

      THe CEOs are looking to Asia.

      They have worked hard to decimated the middle class in America and are moving on.

    • imjust Sayin

       Conservatives, had a point in the 1970s.  We were watching people in Russia and China suffer from an economy centralized around the government.

      Centralizing around foreign government corporations is the current risk we run right now.

      Wal-mart for example, is significantly owned by the Communist party.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Let’s go back to when Eisenhower was president. Jack the tax rate on the rich to the same heights until the war debt is paid off. It worked in the 40′s/50′s/60′s so it should work now.

  • Still Here

    Robert Reich lives in some liberal echo chamber of myth and illusion.  He doesn’t have a single fact to fall on.  It’s painful listening to him.

    • Anonymous

      It’s painful reading your comments.

      • Still Here

        Then don’t read them.  I’ve ignored you for years since you have nothing to offer.

        • Anonymous

          Well then, why are you responding?
          I read a lot of comments here, well it is a forum. The ones you post are pretty hilarious and so informative. It’s the intellectual equivalent of pink slime.

          • Modavations

            Moth man,you’re here because this is the Lefts’ idea of an AA Meeting.Ants rubbing antennaes

      • Modavations

        oui vy

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      I feel your pain.

    • Victor Vito

      You don’t seem to be at your best today.  Lot’s of meaningless, jingoistic one-liners.

  • Ellen Dibble

    What I hear about the Paul Ryan budget sounds plenty vague, but very close to what you’d expect if legislators are basically paying off all the lobbyists and campaign contributors.  Don’t ever be specific until you can sneak it under the table.  
        It is interesting Obama said his budget compared to Bowles Simpson is more like what Republicans want, speaking of  compromise.  I think he  mentioned defense and tax increases, where he was more like the Republican version than Simpson Bowles.  It’s not clear why he didn’t run with that more.
        I think we have to elect some compromisers, ASAP.

  • Chris

    2/3rds of ALL U.S. CORPORATIONS PAY NO TAXES.

    GAO report (2007 I believe).

    • Brandstad

      I wonder if something special happened that year…. like a major economic crash that resulted in 2/3s of corporations loosing money!

    • Modavations

      Preposterous.

      • Chris

        Look it up. It’s true.

      • Chris

        http://money.cnn.com/2008/08/12/news/economy/corporate_taxes/
        Most firms pay no income taxes – Congress
        Study finds that the majority of domestic and foreign corporations in the United States avoid paying federal income taxes.

        By David Goldman, CNNMoney.com staff writer
        Last Updated: August 12, 2008: 4:38 PM EDT

        NEW
        YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Nearly two-thirds of U.S. companies and 68% of
        foreign corporations do not pay federal income taxes, according to a
        congressional report released Tuesday.

  • Sharopn

    The notion that those in the middle class who are doing less well is because they don’t work hard is misplaced. My husband and I hold multiple degrees, one of which is an ivy league Ph.d  (i.e. we worked hard in school) and we work hard (more than 40 hrs/week) in helping professions which do not pay high end salaries. Without inheriting a small sum to turn in to a down payment, we would never have been able to buy a modest house.  There is something wrong this country when hard working well-educated folks can’t buy a house.  How good is that for the economy?

  • Joe in Philly

    Thank God for Robert Reich. A consistent voice of reason in an insane world. Americans appreciate your example, your ideas and your passion. 
    Bob, stay healthy and keep fighting the good fight! 

  • anon

    Tax rates may be lower, but costs of education, housing and health care have all risen as a percentage of income dramatically over recent decades. Where does that come into the discussion? We can’t just keep raising taxes — we need to figure out what we need and what we don’t need.

  • Linda Kaboolian

    Hassett must believe listeners don’t know the facts, he’s insulting us with memes like “US corporate tax rates are the highest in the world” etc.  As long as he says things that aren’t true, Reich has to spend his time correcting the record – hence no real expose of the disaster that the Ryan plan will bring.  

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      He is telling the truth. It happened on April 1st when Japan lowered their corporate tax rate.  You would think this would make headlines but I guess it doesn’t fit the lame stream media’s narrative.

    • Anonymous

      You have to add your point to the fact that Republicans and the Republican Policies of tax cuts, deregulation and relentless propaganda against government caused ALL of these problems in the first place.

      The Republican plan is MORE OF THE SAME. This is more of the same RUIN.

      Unfortunately Republicans and their Corporate Bankster 1 percent criminal class have not been held accountable for their crimes.

      • Modavations

        Those Wall St.guys are Dems..What party was Corzine?

  • Anonymous

    If lower tax rates are the solution, then lets eliminate all taxes and revenue will go to infinity.

    • Victor Vito

      No conservative will touch your comment.  They have nothing to say to it.

  • Anonymous

    Hassett keeps repeating that the US has the “highest corporate tax rate” on Earth. WHAT? Is that true? Where is the data to back this up?

    • Chris

      They LOVE to say that.

      THE EFFECTIVE TAX RATE (what they actually pay) IS MUCH LOWER.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

         I love it.  The lefties whine about the marginal tax rates on the rich and now they are only concerned with the ‘effective’ tax rate on corporations.

        • TFRX

          You have as secure a grasp of tax rates as Joe the Plumber.

          (This is not a compliment.)

          • Worried for the country(MA)

             I see you are back to personal insults.

          • Modavations

            All Day every day

          • Modavations

            How’s the Tourettes.This is not a compliment

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       This happened April 1st when Japan lowered their corporate tax rate.  We were number 2 until April 1; now we are the biggest loser.

  • ianway

    Ah, the old trickle down.  Individuals born into poverty are lazy and responsible for their own pitiful life situations, but the rich who take their money abroad because their gazillions are going to be taxed are perfectly justified in doing so.  DISGUSTING!

    • Ellen Dibble

      Speaking of social Darwinism, E.O. Wilson, distinguished author and entomologist, was speaking with Charlie Rose last night about his new book, “The Social Conquest of Earth,” talking about how certain species get to a certain nesting point where collaboration becomes a trait and hugely favors the species, whether ants, termites, bees, people, and that there is also a point where the virtues of altruism make a species stronger than species still moving ahead by way of “greed and deceit.”  It seems we are about to vote on Altruism (collaboration) versus Greed and Deceit (rugged individualism).  And if you want further information on this pivot point, listen to the next interview, now already posted on the Charlie Rose site, with Steven Pinker, on his book, “The Better Angels of Our Nature,” about how apparently looking at human history, the Better Angels are really winning, at an accelerating rate of speed.  He studied this historically, the age of settling into agricultural communities, the age of evolving governments and law enforcement, the age of … I thought, Was Your Book Peer-Reviewed by scientists?  Scientific historians?  Really?  And then I got a whopping headache and stayed up all night.  Apparently we don’t have to vote for humanity to forge ahead.  It’s happening globally, almost in spite of us.  
      http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12276

    • Victor Vito

      Don’t trickle down on me and tell me it’s rain!  :)

  • Drew You Too

    If Kevin Hasset wants to know what is fundamentally wrong with this country he need only look in the mirror. This is not a personal attack against him, just an observation of what his commentary has demonstrated thus far.

  • Pete

    Tom,

    Please ask Rob Reich how he can be complaining about the tax rates on the rich as being too lenient when they already
    pay the bulk of the total of the tax burden (the top 10% pays over 70% of the total tax revenue and the bottom 50% of earners pay nothing). How can that possibly be fair?

    • Anonymous

      How is it fair that the economic gains all went to the top?

      • Anonymous

         And even more importantly, how can our economy and our country survive long-term if that trend continues and is not reversed immediately?

    • Anonymous

      They pay the most, because they have the most money. If the extremes of the income scale were closer together while the median income remained unchanged, then the percentages of total taxes payed by the top and bottom would be closer together.

    • TFRX

      the bottom 50% of earners pay nothing

      Those Lucky Duckies don’t make enough to pay Federal Income Tax. All other taxes affect them disproportionately.

      • Anonymous

        The bottom 50% that pay no taxes includes 63 million households with an average income of $25,000, and 17% of households with income greater than $50,000.  If all of these households were taxed at 15%, it would raise more than $300 million annually.  No one wants the truly destitute to be taxed, but as it is now the tax system is not fair.

    • Still Here

      It’s not about fairness, it’s about lazy liberals living off the efforts of others.  They won’t be satisfied until the top 10% pay everything and the rest sit back and enjoy the good life sucking at the goevernment’s teat.

      • TFRX

        You’ve gone past the reality event horizon.

        • Modavations

          How’s the Tourettes

      • Ray in VT

        Bull.  Sure there are freeloaders in the system, but they come in all stripes.  I see a lot of hardworking liberals and a lot of conservatives who are trying to figure out any way that they can to sit back and let others do the dirty work for them while reaping huge paydays.

      • Victor Vito

        The good life, you say?

      • Anonymous

        I can see the line of wealthy CEO’s demanding that they live the life of luxury of those you consider low-income freeloaders.  You must reside in a total echo chamber if you are unaware of how ridiculous your comments are.

    • John in Vermont

      No one is talking about raising taxes on the top 10% – it is the top 2% who make $300K and up each year – mostly from investment income and have an effective tax rate of 15% or less.  The next 8%, making $100K to $299K would not see their taxes rise (BTW they pay the bulk of that 70% of taxes you cite).

      Even the flat taxers would exempt the first $15K of income which would still mean that the bottom 50% would pay nothing or next to nothing – BECAUSE THEY HAVE NEXT TO NOTHING!

    • Victor Vito

      What percent of wealth and assetts do those same 10% control?  I’ve heard the top 5% have 75% of the assetts.

      As far as fairness, isn’t the conservative mantra “life isn’t fair”?

  • miro

    The dream of the extreme right for most of my lifetime has been to undo Medicare and Social Security, i.e. the lasting social safety nets of the New Deal and the Great Society.

    Although we hear these sentiments being voiced more and more openly as the extreme right captures more media outlets and political offices, ideologues like Hassett are still not being honest about their hidden agendas. This is what is so infuriating about people of his ilk — lying, deceitful, cynical demons!

  • John in Vermont

    Old Man wanna be rich – rich man wanna be king and a king ain’t satisfied until he owns everything. ~ Bruce Springsteen

    • Ellen Dibble

      Especially you want to own those peons so they can pay you taxes and fight your wars.  But if you aren’t taking care of them, or persuading them that you’re taking care of them, guess what?  They move elsewhere.

    • Modavations

      Bessie Smith.I been poor and I been rich.I like rich

  • TFRX

    Hassett says our deficit is “closing in on $100 trillion dollars.”

    Big scare numbers with no context is the last refuge of the indefensible.

    OnPoint’s search for a right-winger who isn’t a windup-Luntz-spewing doll continues.

    • Modavations

      How’s your Tourettes?

  • adunk

    why not cut taxes to zero?  by the logic of the repubs the result woudl be wealth for everyone.  

    • Anonymous

      why not raise taxes to 100%?  by the logic of the dems the result would be wealth for everyone.

  • Ehdoss

    I am tired of Republican lies that go unchallenged.  They believe that if you reat something enough it becomes true.

    Where was this deficit hawk under George Bush?

    • Modavations

      Turn around and look to the future.Finger pointing serves no one.The two worst Presidents in my opinion, are Bush and Obama.Obama,however is in a league of his own.Bush had to deal with the Dot Com. Bubble and 911.Deficits were going down during Bushs final years.Unemployement was 5-7% under Bush.Deficits under Bush were 200bill.ish and under Pres.Obama 1.2 trillion

  • Still Here

    Liberal Americans are so ignorant.  Even when presented with facts they choose to ignore them.  Look at what they’re doing to our country now.  We are doomed to financial ruin under Reich and Obama!

    • Anonymous

      OK Chicken Little, let me know when the sky is falling.

  • TomK in Boston

    The battle is quite clear. The TeaOP will continue its class warfare and BHO will continue to defend his “Rockefeller Republican” position. The TeaOP will continue their chicken little act about how the sky is falling and we’re on our way to being Greece unless we give up everything the middle class has won since 1929. Their solution to the financial crash will continue to be even more of what caused the crash..

    One question is how much etch-a-sketch will step away from the precipice on the far right. Will he start showing flashes of the liberal MA gov, or will he follow Ryan and double down on the policies that have devastated the middle class?The GoP budget is class warfare blitzkrieg disguised with Big Lies.Lie #1: We’re “serious” people who care about that horrible big bad deficit.Reality: No budget with massive tax cuts for the rich and corporations will reduce the deficit. Ryan will increase the deficit.Lie #2: We’re going to “save medicare for the kids”.Reality: Turning comprehensive medicare into a Groupon that won’t buy a full policy is not “saving” in any language but the Newspeak of “1984″.

  • Scott B

    Reagan had to raise taxes on the wealthy several times when he realized that his trickle-down idea wasn’t working.  Yet the Right won’t walk back from Crazytown (which well respected conservatives like David Frum, David Stockman, and Bruce Bartlett suggest) and keep doubling down with proposals for more and ever larger cuts to the social safety nets while trying to gain bigger and bigger tax breaks for those that can most afford to have their taxes raise whopping 4%. 

    • Modavations

      Revenues to the govt doubled because of the added economic activity.17-20million jobs were created.The Dems took the cold war dividend and bought votes from the Dependency crew

      • Scott B

        Revenues increased AFTER he raised rates, but the deficit still increased from things like “Star Wars” and more corporate welfare.

        • Modavations

          Just think how much more revenue would have been created if the Dems kept their word and gave him his 3.00 cut for each tax dollar raised.He said this was the big mistake

  • miro

    Hassett, what a bad choice for a rational discussion on economic policy. You can do better next time.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Why?  He was reasoned and reasonable.  He certainly wasn’t right wing nut.

      • Still Here

        In fact, he should’ve been more irrational if only to balance Reich’s offbase nuttiness. 

  • mmg from Omaha, NE

    Republicans and Paul Ryan suppression of  opportunity programs, like Education, unemployment, retraining,Health programs and programs for the survival and health of children, is a movement back to 50″s and earlier institutionalization of those Republicans do not want to acknowledge.
    With Republican and Paul Ryan’s out of sight, out of mind direction will then create wealth opportunities for the privatization of the institutionalized.
    The dramatic license of privatization and the prison laws is the shinning truth of direction. The future will return to the institutionalization of Children, poor and mentally unhealthy. All this will be supported and promoted by the Ryan Plan which cuts AFDC, Health,Education etc.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone should get food stamps, cable tv stamps, cell phone stamps, rent stamps, and lobstah stamps.

    Who needs money?

    • Victor Vito

      Foolish bluster, possibly?

      • Modavations

        Average Welfare family in Ma. gets 41,000.00 in subsidies

    • Steve

      and “chicks for free”

      • Ray in VT

        We gotta install microwave ovens.

  • Jameel

    Lazy, poor people who live off the system – what percentage of the economy do they effect?  Rich people who pay low taxes, influence policy, and make decisions – what percentage of the economy do they effect?

    C’MON people????

    • Robert Riversong

      The people who “live off the system”, however, are the wealthy. Their subsidies dwarf all welfare payments.

  • MaximF

    The Republican economic program fails the basic plausibility test. Listening to Kevin Hasset repeat long-debunked falsehoods (corporations are overtaxed; cutting taxes for the rich will create jobs) was painful.

    • Anonymous

       The problem is that their solution has worked in the past.  The difference is that when it was implemented, there were absurdly high taxes.

      Now, taxes are relatively low, so cutting income taxes will not have the same bump that it did in the past.

      One of the issues that is not being discussed is the misreporting of inflation by the federal government that is encouraging the Fed Reserve Bank to ignore the real rate of inflation and continue to debase the dollar.

      The good news is that all of this government spending is borrowed in dollars that will be paid with a debased currency in the future.

      The bad news is that China can buy lots of US assets with their dollars in reserve.

      But, as long as China has inflation problems of their own and needs the US as a market for their goods and China refuses to let the yuan float, the situation we are in will continue.

      The only bright spot is the improvement of the US export market.  By making cheap dollars, the US government might be able to improve our foreign currency reserves without an outright run on the dollar.

      • Modavations

        We export 10%ish.We’ve always exported 10%

  • Still Here

    Robert Reich just wasted an hour of our time.  Can’t imagine who’s time he’s going to waste now.

    • Markus

      Imagine what he tells students. Whether he’s right or wrong, is there any chance they’ll hear the other side of the argument?

      • Anonymous

        What’s the factual and intellectual basis of the “other side of the argument”?  

    • Victor Vito

      I don’t think you are authorized to speak for everyone.  May I please see your credential to do so?

    • Anonymous

      No, think you mean your time.
      You could of turned it off. But, alas you did not and then you have the nerve to complain and whine as if you did not have a choice.

    • Anonymous

      I am DELIGHTED that you feel that your time has been so wasted. 

      This does underline the fact that what other people might think or feel matters nothing at all. 

  • EK – NY

    Kevin Hasset is a waste of discussion time. Bring back someone who can make the case for the Republican position based on facts, not dogma and fairy tales. 

    • Drew You Too

      “Bring back someone who can make the case for the Republican position based on facts, not dogma and fairy tales.”

      The (currently popular) Republican Position IS based on Dogma and Fairy Tales, perhaps the Brother’s Grimm would better suit your needs. Can’t bring back what never existed my friend.

    • Anonymous

      Without ignorance and deceit, there is no play book.

  • Scott B

    Why is it the people calling to cut the social safety nets the same ones that have never, nor will ever, have a need for them?  What do these people seem to need? Bigger tax breaks so they can keep more money.  

    • Robert Riversong

      You’re not being fair. Perhaps you don’t know about the real-estate mogul David Siegel (74) and his ex-model trophy third wife Jacqueline (43), who were building a 90,000 square-foot palace situated on a 10-acre peninsula on Lake Butler FL, considered the largest private home in America.

      But when the market crashed in 2008, they had to give up their dreams and put the partially finished house on the market for $100 million (or $75 million as is), move back into their 26,000 square foot hovel, sell their private jet and fire some of their servants.

      When Jackie and her children flew commercial for the first time, the children were perplexed about what other people were doing on their plane, and Jackie didn’t understand that her rental car wouldn’t come with a driver. David got grumpy when their first downscaled Christmas party didn’t have staff to serve the food, and Jackie complained, “I really miss having a manager to do all this stuff for me.” 

      Life can be tough for the 1% too.

      • Anonymous

        I’m crying crocodile tears for them.
        Let them eat cake, without servants…

      • Scott B

        I’m crying a river for them. But I do smell the sarcasm! lol

        I had a co-worker who’s aunt would get a new Ferrari every year. One year the bubble burst on her world when she complained that she’d have to “make do” with the “old car” for another year. That car would probably buy my house about 5 times over.

  • WW_ph15

    One thing I know for sure; the problem with this country ISN’T that the rich don’t have enough. I’m tired of hearing the wealthy whine that they deserve/need more money. They have no clue what it means to make financial choices that mean having basic, food, shelter, and health care.

    • Modavations

      80% of American Millionaires are self made

      • Anonymous

        And yet they still needed infrastructure and police, fire departments, banking regulations and insurance. All sorts of things that government provides. You do not become a millionaire on your own. Also, if you are one through a busniess that depends on people buying your product you need a good successful middle class. If there is no one to buy anything you will go broke.

        • Modavations

          Moth man,don’t pick up narcotics.You’re lack of self discipline is pathetic.I explained to you where Govt.came from.Remember the Alpha Cave man.Govt.is the offspring of personal affluence.First came personal wealth then came Division of Labor(govt)

  • Still Here

    Robert Reich seems to believe that only the government knows how to spend your money.  Implicitly all Americans are too dumb to be trusted with the disposition of their earnings.  Just let the government take care of it.

    • WW_ph15

       And then you have the wealthy/right saying; “give us more money and we’ll create jobs!” Hopefully, Americans aren’t dumb enough to fall for that one again.

    • Victor Vito

      Hmmm.  A third Cadillac or meals for poor children?  Sometimes we need help deciding what we want vs what we need.  I believe your argument is plain silly.

    • Anonymous

      So we should continue the plan of gutting the government and its protections and trust in the honor and decency of corporations. Anyone who believes this is a stupid sucker.  I think we have allowed Republican Scum to play us for suckers long enough.

      While you make your snarky derisive and adolescent comments about Reich. The relentless lies from Kevin Hasset went unchallenged.

      This is why I will not donate another cent to NPR or WBur.

    • Anonymous

      How do you explain the clearly increasing disparity in income and assets that has precisely tracked the implementation of the policies you constantly advocate?

      The problem isn’t that Americans aren’t allowed to make their own decisions with their money.  That’s an infantile view of reality.  It’s that the money flowing to most Americans is decreasing while that flowing to a tiny minority is increasing at an unprecedented rate.

      • Modavations

        Public Schools

  • http://www.facebook.com/cecebar Cindy C Barnard

    There is absolutely no supporting evidence that raising taxes on the rich would take jobs off shore or would be a job cutting proposition. It is the weakest of arguments for raising taxes, but that doesn’t matter to conservatives, it sounds good.

    Even if this were the case, no one is irreplaceable. Many capable people are ready to take the place of expatriates and willing to do so at a reasonable rate – the better part of capitalism!

    Stats show that producers will still produce, they are not incentivized by tax rates — which are the lowest ever, and would still remain so after any proposed tax increase. People are incentivized by their own inventions, developing ideas into reality, and doing it here in the US is as easy as any other place on earth.

    Your guests are quick with the conservative rhetoric.

  • Still Here

    Reich and Obama want the government to be employer of first resort, or is it only?

    • Ray in VT

      That a load of garbage, and you should know it.  There isn’t anyone in the mainstream of American politics who is promoting some sort of centrally planned, government dominated economy.  Only those who think that raising the top marginal rate from 33% to 39% is socialism would argue that it is so.

    • Anonymous

      Your inability to process facts is apparent, and quite disturbing, as you presumably have the right to vote.

  • Inasrullah

    Obama needs to take the gloves off!  He needs to remind Americans that the party of “accountability” -Republicans:
    had the overt goal to block Obama at each and every step of his presidency; blocked initiatives of their own making merely because Obama adopted them (health reform, financial bailout), the stimulus package worked despite the fact Republicans watered it down so much it was set to fail, and that his foreign policy is actually more aggressive than Bush’s and delivered every one of his campaign goals (including the demise of UBL), and that after 3 years he did turn the economy around and it is gaining momentum!

    He must remind independents that Republicans dug a grave so deep that 3 years to full recovery is fantasy; that bailout of the auto industry saved jobs and turned around an industry. The financial bailout was a Republican initiative and he brought it to completion. 

    One wonders what would Romney have done if he let the car industry fail and ended up laying off tens of thousands auto workers in Wisconsin, Ohio, and elsewhere?  What job restoration plan did he have to laid off auto workers back to work?  Or did he even think that far? As is typical of Romney, he is only interested in making next quarters numbers and will change his story to get the right numbers.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       You are distorting Romney’s position.  Romney would have turned around the auto industry WITHOUT the billions in handout that both Bush and Obama handed over BEFORE the bankruptcy that Romney was calling for from the get go.

  • Still Here

    Obama’s strategy seems to be jack up the debt and deficits the first term and then start nationalizing industries the second.  Right out of Chavez’s playbook.  You were warned!

    • WW_ph15

       Classic hyperbole from the right. Always go to the extreme argument when you don’t have a good rational one that deals with reality. Just like right wing arguments against the health care bill when they can’t name one thing that has changed in their own health care. They still have private health care insurance and they cry that it’s now “government health care!”. Doesn’t stand the truth test.

    • Ray in VT

      Really?  Are you and the lookout for that left wing putsch that supposedly coming too?  I think that your position is close to ridiculous.

    • Anonymous

      Man I smell the brain cells cooking on this comment.
      I guess after President Obama nationalizes our industries you could stop complaining about gas prices.

    • Modavations

      Soros owns Chavez and Obama.They plan a Putsch this summer.You were warned

  • Victor Vito

    Start with increasing taxes on the wealthy and slashing the military.  After that the 99% will have no choice but consider further cuts.

    If the rich take a 5% hike, they could strongly argue that they are doing their part.  This not one cent more crap makes them look patrician, inflexible, unpatriotic, and out of touch. 

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       The top 10% already pay 70%.  I guess that is unpatriotic in your book.

      • Victor Vito

        They have much more than 70% of the wealth and assetts in this country, however.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           So you covet your neighbor’s stuff?

          Doesn’t this violate one of the 10 commandments?

          • Victor Vito

            To those that much has been given, much is excpected.  With great power comes great responsibility.

          • Modavations

            Let me teach you to fish

          • Brandstad

            I think we should teach him to WORK also!

          • Modavations

            Politboro types ministrate to us dolts.

      • Robert Riversong

        According to the Congressional Budget Office, for the 2007 share of the tax burden (the last year fully studied), the top 1% earned 19.4% of all income, paid 39.5% of income taxes and 28.1% of all federal taxes.

        It is the middle class, not the wealthy, who pay the lion’s share of total federal tax revenues. Those between $34,300 and  $141,900 income paid 50.5%.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           You laid out the facts.  However, I’m not sure of your point.

          What about the bottom 47% who don’t pay any income tax into the system?  How is that fair- should we all contribute something?

          • Victor Vito

            How much should the poor schlepp in the 3rd percentile pay?

          • Modavations

            10%

  • TFRX

    More brilliance from the GOP’s intellectual: Paul Ryan’s budget numbers are doable only if “all federal spending aside from Medicare,
    Medicaid and Social Security will fall from 12.5 percent of GDP in 2011
    to 3.75 percent of GDP in 2050″.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the-unrealistic-assumptions-behind-paul-ryans-budget-numbers/2011/08/25/gIQAEZrePS_blog.html

  • von

    TOPIC FOR FUTURE SHOW —
    Romney says Obama has a “secular agenda”; Republican candidates say we have to go back to the faith this country was founded on. Was it founded on faith? I thought not. “In God We Trust” and Pledge of Allegiance “under God” are recent. “Founding fathers” knew not to intermingle religion and governance. Secular nations tend to be the most tolerant of religions. 
    E Pluribus Unim to the pitfalls of intermingling the two.

    • Modavations

      No state sponsored Religion,ie Church of England

  • john w. rippetoe jr.

    @ Worried for the country; and is that because 70% of the declared taxable income in this country is in the hands of 10% of the population? (Can you have income without a job? I guess you can if you’re rich with assets from returns on your investments, huh?) I’d say that 10% of the population (CEOs etc.) is paying themselves pretty well while the other 9 out of 10 Americans is scratching just to get by on the remaining 30% of the nation’s income. No wonder the rich need the billion dollar tax break. Who’d want them to feel any pain after all they’ve done for the rest of us?

    • Still Here

      Yeah, those no good retired people living off of interest and dividends.  How dare they save their whole lives!  Don’t they know the government knows how to spend their money better than them anyway.  We’ll show ‘em, let’s tax their savings and retirement income too!!   In America, the lesson is spend it when you make it and then when you’re not making it, demand a handout!

      • john w. rippetoe jr.

        @I’m glad you’re still here, and, I’m glad you’re still here to straighten me out on this one. So who is it that’s attempting to privatize social security and therefore “secure” retired people’s savings? especially after privatization pretty much “secured” the great recession of 2008? Or wait, was Wall Street doing the government’s work? Who took home all the bonuses? I do suggest you missed the point in the Ryan Budget. The Ryan budget suggests that, in America, the lesson is to spend the bonuses you make while sacking the nation’s wealth, and then while you still have your wealth, and the middle class has lost theirs, demand a handout in the form of billion dollar tax cuts in order to secure your wealth ahead of any other Americans who might want to see their retirement. 

        • Modavations

          Ask the Brits and the Chileans.You confuse Crony Capitalism with Laissez faire.What do you mean privatiztion caused the recesssion.How bout,457 billion per annum in debt service,killed the economy

          • john w. rippetoe jr.

            I’m in over my head because I’m not sure what happened to the Brits or Chileans, and no fair (faire?) accusing me of being confused when I don’t understand either political term, but I am convinced the national debt is a red herring. It is a problem, I agree, but did not cripple the economy. (Look to who and how much is being spent in congressional elections and on the presidential election to find the nation’s residual billions in hidden wealth.) VISA let’s me have anything I want so long as I can make the minimum payment which I can always make so long as VISA plays fair with me. But when Dick Cheney and Steve Jobs each sent their company’s headquarters and their company’s jobs overseas and banked their company’s profits overseas, and dodged taxes levied here stateside where we live, I started having trouble finding minimum wage work to do and then trouble making my minimum monthly payment.

          • Modavations

            The P.Office went broke over 6 billion.Nasa went bust over 13 billion.The debt this year is 457 billion.Laissez Faire is Adam Smith’s economic model.I don’t say capitalism because I hang in Europe and the term has terrible press.Laissez Faire means Leave Alone

          • john w. rippetoe jr.

            I don’t mean to be dense, but that’s why I use my real name, otherwise no one would believe anyone could really be this stupid. Debt gets moved around, and more often than not, with some success. Chinese economic expansion has been fueled in part by Americans who have been willing to go into debt, yes? Government debt is real and finite, but it’s not like we set out to make a profit when building an interstate highway system that connects Atlantic to Pacific Coastal US. A 6 billion dollar shared debt among the citizenry for having most all of the mail for the last, what, 50 or 60 years, delivered successfully: not a bad deal. Space program and the resulting technologies, not a bad deal at 13 billion. But neither of those government programs set out to steal from the american citizenry and US investors in the way that Wall Street, Goldman Sacs, the Insurance Industry, Pharmaceuticals, and the Charge Card industry have; including financing the legislation by hiring the lawmakers who passed laws facilitating the sacking of the national treasure (Not Treasury.). The debt we will pay back. It’s on the books. We’ll never make back what was stolen. Never trust anyone who promises to make you money by using your money. (The classic conflict of interest.) The US Government has never set out to swindle me out of my hundreds. (Actually, my net worth is negative right now.)

          • Modavations

            You better call the NYT.They say Allende commited suicide

          • Anonymous

            Fantastic point Chile is the poster child for Neo Liberal Shock Doctrine Capitalism.  They have it after our CIA set up and executed a right wing coup ousting the democratically elected Socialist Allende Government.  Chile’s privatized retirement system is no different and is in many times worse than the scam where American workers were moved from real defined benefits pensions to 401k scams. 

            A couple facts from Chile. The military who imposed this private system on everyone else still gets to keep their old comprehensive government pensions system. Fair?

            50% or more of the Chilean population is employed in the “informal” sector and has no access to ANY retirement benefits what so ever.  So they get to stay in the sweat shops till they are disposed of or fall over dead.

            Privatization is a scam nothing more.  Time to define it for what it is and deal with these criminals accordingly.

          • Modavations

            30 countries have privatized S.Security.Eng,Australia,Denmark,Sweden,Mex.,Russia Chile,Argentina.There are more,but I’ve forgotten the lesser players

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      This year’s budget deficit is $1.2T.

      The Bush tax cuts break down as follows:
      $100B for those making above $250K
      $300B for everyone else.

      You need to look at the facts instead political demagogary.

      We have serious problems.

      And if you want to look at fairness, the top 1% pay 38% of the income taxes but only have 16% of the income.  The bottom 47% pay no income taxes. 

      Is this fair?  Shouldn’t we all be in this together?

      • Ray in VT

        We certainly do have some serious problems, and many of them have been a long time coming.  Where did you get your figures from?  I’d like to look at them, and I’m sure that others interested in some actual discussion would as well.

        We are all in this together, but it is also true that those who are not paying federal income taxes do have skin in the game.  They pay sales taxes, gas taxes, perhaps state income taxes, etc..  And how many of the households in that 47% are seniors living on fixed incomes.  You get my drift, right?  I don’t think that it is cut and dried.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           The tax and income information is from the IRS for FY2008.

          The Bush tax cut information came from the Simpson-Bowles debate.  I remember this because their solution also added up to $4T over 10 years but they did it with spending cuts and tax increases.  Theoretically, you could apply the Bush tax cuts and the Simpson-Bowles spending cuts and achieve faster deficit reduction.  However, I believe there are additional benefits to tax simplification.

          I agree with your point that many local taxes are regressive but why conflate local taxes and spending with Federal taxes and spending?

          Total government spending is now over 40% of GDP.  The only other time in the nations history that this happened was during WWII.

          • Ray in VT

            I brought up the state and local taxes because it often seems to me that some people use the 47% number to suggest that those people pay nothing into the system, often saying that they “pay no taxes” or “pay no income taxes”, when it is more accurate to say that they pay no federal income tax.

            I also think that we could do with some simplification to the tax code, as I said just above.

            I think that some of that 40% will come down as the economy recovers, at least in terms of unemployment and food stamps, but we are facing increasing numbers of retirees, which will draw more funds from the SSA. 

            I think that we could do better with our spending, maybe even with less, but I don’t think that the solution is to cut into things, like education or infrastructure, that have a long term benefit to the nation just for the sake of cutting.  We also shouldn’t spend just to spend.  It comes down to what do we as a nation expect for government to do and what are we willing to pay for it.  We have gotten into trouble because the populace generally wants spending, as long as it is for something that they want, but have been less than willing to pay for it.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

             I agree with everything you wrote here.

          • Ray in VT

            Proof, perhaps, that America and Americans are not as divided as some would have us think.

        • Anonymous

          The information is available on the IRS website.  The bottom 50% that pay no taxes includes 63 million households with an average income of $25,000, and 17% of households with income greater than $50,000. If all of these households were taxed at 15%, it would raise more than $300 billion annually.

          No one wants the truly destitute to be taxed, but as it is now the tax system is corrupt.  The politicians have been using the tax system to buy votes of both the rich and the poor for decades.

          • Ray in VT

            There are some amazing holes in the system, and I definitely agree with your last point.  I guess that we need to define who and what is destitute.  $25k for a family of four isn’t that much in modern America, especially in a place with high property values or rents.  I think that some of the deductions and exemptions really do need to be scaled back, limited or done away with, but I wouldn’t argue in favor of a flat tax system.  I believe in a graduate income tax system.

      • Modavations

        Let me give you a tip.Any answer you give this kid will go in one ear and out the other.He’s a bully boy and gets his kicks picking fights.

        • Anonymous

          and you don’t?

          • Modavations

            Correct

          • Ray in VT

            That’s a laugh.  What about all of those tourettes comments earlier?

          • Modavations

            Dude I turned my cheek 50 times,but the 51st time pissed me off.Go play on your Felon Site

      • lodger

        The squeezing of the middle has resulted in the Romneys at one side and the bottom 47% — who earn less than 17K/year. 

        The solution is to get us to a robust economy where a ‘rising tide lifts all boats’, to use JFK’s apt metaphor.  The republicans have offered nothing in the way of solutions; they just want to cut taxes even more, and boot out Obama.

        From my view an economy where all can prosper in the rising tide could start with:

        1. Bring back Glass-Steagall so wall street cowboys can’t blow up our economy and get rich doing it.

        2. Set up single-payer healthcare so workers are free to start their own businesses.

        3. End wars abroad and shrink the war profiteering business.

        4. Scale money back from politics so corporate interests don’t trump everything else.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           Not bad.

          1) I agree.

          2) Not so fast.  Single-payer has appeal but do we really trust the government to run 17% of the economy over the long term?

          I’ve heard some politicians say “Just make medicare available to all”.  I’d like to see how that would actually work.  Medicare is bloated with waste fraud and abuse.  It is also subsidized by the private market system since they reimburse below market rates.

          My biggest concern is this would dampen medical innovation and free market incentives for medical progress.

          3) Agree.  Most of our recent wars were precipitated by our failure at energy independence.  Solving energy independence will help us avoid wars.

          4) Spending cuts and tax reform is the best way to get money out of politics.  Simplifying the tax code is the best way to put lobbyists out of business.

          • lodger

            It’s misleading to suggest that single -payer would involve a takeover of 17% of the economy.

            Single payer is just a way to finance the system more efficiently. It would be good for the economy because people would not be so stressed about whether they’d lose access to medical care. 

          • Anonymous

            I really do not have a problem with the 17% of the economy figure.  There is so much real health CARE work that needs to be done. It is not being done because there is no serious money to be made. We have an aging population.  We have a disturbingly large number of autistic children.

            The conservatives are content to throw away disabled veterans like yesterday’s trash.

            I am content that no one doing this work will ever make a killing but as a government program I see no problem with  providing those willing to do this work with a stable and secure living.

          • TFRX

            Tangent: Often missing from the talking points is that the 17% figure some people like to throw around can have very little correlation with healthcare.

            Enough people don’t get, say, a flu shot or a checkup, and they end up spending hours in the ER with something major 2 mos later.

            Bad health outcomes can equal a larger healthcare sector and “economic growth”. How badly do we need that?

          • lodger

            Also: private insurance is riddled with waste, fraud and abuse. It is also subsidized by government, especially since the Romneycare innovation that forces us to purchase insurance from an industry riddled with waste, fraud, and abuse.

          • Modavations

            The average health care co. makes 1.5 to 2% profit

          • Modavations

            When Pres.Obama was asked if he’d enroll his family in Obamacare he said,not so fast

          • Anonymous

            I do not agree with you but you can’t just be dismissed by calling you brainwashed, mindless and stupid. This does not seem to be the case.

            As for the single payer system, there are countries, like Germany that have a universal not for profit health insurance system.  In general I would trust the government with 17 percent of the economy on the chance that they might have some fraud and abuse in a heart beat before I trust the Insurance and Pharmaceutical companies who I KNOW will cheat and abuse for every dollar they can steal.  The cheat, abuse and steal record of these companies is there for anyone with eyes to see. This canard about the government is pure conservative propaganda nothing more.

            This free market medical innovation and progress is pure PR propaganda as well. Here too, the record of criminal abuse by corporations is without end AND without consequences. Meanwhile, cure for cancer anyone?  Innovations like made up diseases to pedal more drugs with a litany of dire side effects is what we have.

            We have let the right go unchallenged here long enough.

            We agree on the wars. The War on Terror LIE is the main reason I think we should be keeping our predator drones and hell fire missiles here for the right wing corporate and theocrat traitors at home.
             

             

        • Modavations

          They had this adventure on Star Trek 30 years ago.The hippies had to be rescued by the Captain

      • john w. rippetoe jr.

        Obviously, I’m baffled and stupid, If I was smart, I’d be rich. So I’m dumbing it down to my level. (By the way, you and me are the only ones reading this exchange, so please reconsider the political demogogue charge as uncalled for: it assumes an audience.) If half (47%) of Americans pay no income tax, is it not because their declared income is less than the poverty line or less income than can actually be taxed while still expecting them to pay their way at the grocery store, book store, and gas station where sales taxes are applied — or not? And budget deficit is your obsession, legitimate or not, but no one in elected office is worrying about it. How can you continue to believe it’s even an issue when the Ryan Budget includes tax breaks for the people earning the most money. And I don’t see the growing income disparity in your calculations, which disparity was evidently financed by manufacturing boots without straps while still encouraging the (47%) to “just keeping pulling.”

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           ”How can you continue to believe it’s even an issue when the Ryan Budget
          includes tax breaks for the people earning the most money.”

          This statement is a falsehood.  The truth is we don’t know the breakdown by income because the details will be worked out in the “ways and means” tax committee.  What we do know is the tax simplification is revenue neutral.  Depending on what they work out with deductions, etc., the burden on the rich could be higher than today or it might be lower.

          The goal of any reform plan should be to promote economic growth while maintaining reasonable revenues.  Increasing quality the number of quality jobs will both increase revenues AND reduce the need for spending.

          There is really no other way to solve our problems in the long run.

          • john w. rippetoe jr.

            I agree with everything you’ve said except for defining the statement you quoted as falsehood. I listened to the broadcast a second time (I know, “get a life,” right?), and based on the hour long program presented, the one we’re both responding to, my statement and conclusion are not far off from what all the contributors were willing to agree upon. I’m going to study the Ryan Budget proposal in more detail, but the On Point broadcast I just heard suggests that the Ryan budget included 4.6 trillion in tax cuts aimed at benefiting the wealthiest Americans. Are you sure that’s not true?

          • Anonymous

            That is true, it will make the Bush tax cuts look minuscule in comparison. There is a divide, a huge one, between the right wing and people in the center and center left. It’s a chasm really. The tea party Republicans do not know the meaning of the word compromise. I heard ex-Senator Simpson call them, the tea party, something akin to unhealthy ideologue that are going to ruin our government. Seems to me they already are.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            Revenue neutral against today’s tax code.

            ” Broaden
            the
            tax
            base
            to
            maintain
            revenue
            growth
            at
            a
            level
            consistent
            with
            current
            tax
            policy
            and
            at
            a
            share
            of
            the
            economy
            consistent
            with
            historical
            norms
            of
            18
            to
            19
            percent
            in
            the
            following
            decades.”

            http://budget.house.gov/fy2013Prosperity//

            The statement about $4.6T in tax hikes is relative to the future budgets that include ALL the Bush tax cuts included AND all the future Obamacare tax hikes.

            Ryan’s plan is very straightforward.  No gimmicks. 

            We should have a national debate – do we want spending (and thus revenue) at about 18%?  Once we agree, then we can debate who should pay and then let’s make sure it is an efficient system that doesn’t distort the markets like our current tax code.

          • john w. rippetoe jr.

            Are you shouting at me with that vertical string of non committal equivocation? Like I would’t get it, if the rhetoric was linear rather than vertical? Well, you’ll have to shout louder than that to insult me! I’m deaf in one ear and can’t hear well out the other. And remind me to avoid your foxhole when the shooting starts. From what you’re saying, you’re looking for volunteers, and then you’ll explain the sacrifice involved later. I’ve tried to live within a budget for twenty years while the undisputed facts are that the wealthy continue to get wealthier and the income gap between rich and poor has grown to sadistically huge proportions. So “broaden the tax base” all you want, sheer as many sheep as you can,  just so long as it doesn’t include asking anything of the rich and for god’s sake don’t tax them anymore; and then, yes, why not, worry about who’s going to have to pay for it later. Is that after the rich have completely sacked the US economy “as consistent with the historical norms” of the last twenty years? I don’t see a syllable of clarity much less meaning in anything you just yelled at me except “keep the now historical squeeze on jobs and income focused keenly on the middle and lower classes, and leave it to the rich to pull us out of this.” Yeah, like they did in 2008. Any volunteers?

      • Anonymous

        Not true I’m in the bottom 50% and I paid federal income taxes for the lat tax year. This argument is so disingenuous. It really is. The top 1% are taking huge amounts of the wealth from the nation with little or no return. Are you in the top 1%? If not the chances of you ever getting there are very very slight. Income for about 90% of Americans when adjusted for inflation have remained stagnant for about 30 years.

        In 2010, a census study showed the top 20 percent of Americans earned 49.4% of the nation’s income, compared with the 3.4% earned by Americans living below the poverty line (roughly 15 percent of the population).
        This earnings ratio of 14.5 to 1 was an increase from the 13.6 to 1 ratio just two years earlier, and a significant rise from the historic low of 7.69 to 1 in 1968. The Census Bureau has shown lower levels of inequality but do not include data for the highest-income households where most of change in income distribution has occurred.

        Americans have the highest income inequality in the rich world and over the past 20–30 years Americans have also experienced the greatest increase in income inequality among rich nations.

        • Modavations

          You sound like Ultrax.Start here,invert the equation,square it and divide by two.

      • Anonymous

        I would define the expectation that we accept your “facts” uncritically as political demagoguery of the worst kind. Except for extremely stupid poor Republicans, who is saying the rich are paying an unfair level of taxation.

        A very dangerous line has been crossed by this class casually resorting to extortion.  Now we either give the rich and multinational corporation what they want or they crash the whole economy.

        Time see this scam for what it is.

  • Modavations

    To quote Jimmy Carville,it’s the spending stupid.Let the sequestrations begin

    • Ray in VT

      I believe that you mean to paraphrase.

      • Modavations

        Ray,I don’t answer to guys who waste my time.Please play with someone else.

        • Ray in VT

          Well, if I waste your time, then why did you answer me on this?

          • FAX68

            Time is wasted when someone looks at the time.

          • Ray in VT

            That’s why I’m glad that I’ve got a clock right on my computer screen.  It minimizes the loss.

          • Modavations

            Ray,I’m trying to be civil.We all know what you believe,we all know your here to pick a fight.I’m 60 you’re an immature 30.Grow a little,hang with the young lads.This I gaurantee….The older you get ,the more we’ll have in common

          • Ray in VT

            Being young doesn’t make one immature, which I’m not.  Just like how age doesn’t necessarily confer wisdom.

            I highly doubt that.  It appears that our experiences and upbringing have produced highly different worldviews.  My views certainly have changed somewhat over the years, but the likelihood that I will abandon the beliefs and ideals that I was raised with, and which have been supported by my experiences, for some sort of noodle-doodle Randist market worship is highly unlikely.

          • Modavations

            Listen Stalker,Read Mark Twains quip about his daddy.

    • Anonymous

      Your quotes are as accurate as your historical analysis.

      • Modavations

        You are aware that he said it’s the economy stupid!!!

  • john w. rippetoe jr.

    To William who called in to the show. Hire me! Right now! Can you make that part of your business strategy today? You sounded pretty righteous in all your frustration over what we lazy and unemployed are costing you, and how the problem with all us lazy people (the people you and your secretary were discussing while you were working for a living) is how unambitious we are and how we lack for having any skin in the game — Do I have any skin in the game when after working for 35 years and making monthly payments on a house for 20 years, that house is now teetering on the edge of foreclosure so the bank can then sell it at half cost while my dog and I live out of the bench seat of our truck? —  So you’ve survived this round of Social Darwinism…Good for you. No hard feelings. Just remember, when they’re finished feeding on me, they’ll come for you next. Let’s see how long you keep your secretary on the payroll when you can no longer afford him or her.

    • Anonymous

      Good point. This kind of mind set, “ I got mine, screw you” is not how to have a decent society.

  • Billrvt

    Tom, you reached new heights of biased journalism during your segment on the economy today. Perhaps you weren’t trying to be neutral. 

    • Modavations

      You do understand that this is NPR don’t you?

  • FAX68

    iOnePoint:
     
    Sometimes a journalist has to do something to get the truth out that’s including being bias.

  • Bob Wilkins

    Gentlemen,

    The budget, especially deficit reduction, is an important topic.  However,  our #1 objective as a country should be economic recovery.  Within that recovery umbrella, in my view the budget ranks a close third after 1) reforming Congress, and 2) driving reforms and fair regulations into the global financial industry.  If we don’t do the first 2 priorities we’ll see an even worse repeat of the 2008 recession.

    Bob Wilkins
    Ventura, CA

  • Exegete

    Im tired of the notion that Americans are poor because they are lazy. The secretary can work as “hard” as her boss yet the boss is highly unlikely to ever pay out the same salary as his/her own.

    • Brandstad

      a secretary doesn’t EARN the same salary as her boss no matter how hard she works!

      • Modavations

        Do you understand the term Lewinskies

    • Modavations

      Buffets secretary makes 250-500,000.00 per annum

  • FAX68

    Job is the answer for economic growth and political stability.

    • Brandstadisbad

      I wish Obama would have thought of this a few years ago instead of pushing for the Healthcare law that the majority of Americans didn’t want and still don’t like!

    • Modavations

      I’ll settle for economic growth.Kennedy knew the power of a healthy economy and the taxes generated.Read his economic speeches.He’d be drummed out of the Dem.Party of today ,for saying” a rising sea lifts all boats”

      • Ray in VT

        Kindof like how the right’s God, Ronald Reagan, would be shouted down today as some sort of Commie for raising taxes?

        • Modavations

          Listen Stalker go find his alias on your Felon Hotline and slander him.I’m sure you were all for lynching Zimmerman,sans trial.Reagan and Bush were promised 3 and 2.00 cuts for each dollar of tax increases.Never believe a communist.

  • Dee

    The Ryan Budget —A Recipe for a Revolt 

    Robert Reich’s should call Ryan’s Budget Plan what it is——”a recipe for a revolt” This is in keeping with Karl Marx’s  predictions to the response by the immoral capitalist class. 

    I recall Paul Krugman of the NYT wrote a column on this in response to Romney lack of concern for the poor. krugman 
    said this extended to the middle class too. See URL below.

    There is no stepping back in time as Obama mentioned also.

    We should all recall how deprived and impoverished the poor and the working class were in 19th century at the hands of the 
    capitalist class in Charles Dickinson’s 19th century England. 

    Plus, it is time we reined the capitalists and their cronies in 
    he GOP leadership before they short change us again….Dee

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/03/opinion/krugman-romney-isnt-concerned.html

    • Modavations

      Paul Krugman had one job.Appologist for Enron during the embroglio.Google Paul Krugman and read the NYT’s first ombudsman opinion.I’ll paraphrase by saying the NYT guy called him unhinged and hopelessly partisan.I did like his idea of an Alien Invasion to pull us out of the economic doldrums.

  • RChicago

    There are more people than jobs.

    Many jobs are done by computers and machines

    The labor force is globalized in a way it never was before.

    We still stick to the 40 hour work week and health insurance mostly comes with a full time job. This seems like an atiquated system that doesn’t work with the progress we have made in society.

    I would love to find someone running for president who addresses these issues.

  • FAX68

    We all know Romney will win the republican presidential bid but will not win the Presidential election against Obama.

    • Brandstad

      Does it really matter when both Romney and Obama are pro National Healthcare and Progressives!

      • Ray in VT

        I think that it is a bit of a stretch to call Romney a moderate.  I think that he’s middle of the road on some issues at best.

        • Brandstad

          Romney is to the left of Presadent Kennedy and Kennedy was a Democrat!

          • Modavations

            I’d say Kennedy and Romney have the same politics.Pres.Obama is to the left of Stalin

          • Ray in VT

            I’d peg Romney to the right of Kennedy, Obama probably about on par with Kennedy, maybe a bit to the left, and your asinine statements to be indicative of some failed public education.

          • notafeminista

            Really?  Did you get a look at Attackwatch.com?

          • Modavations

            Is the Obama Snitch line still up and running?

          • Modavations

            I couldn’t care less.Now please,quit stalking me

  • Pete Demers

    No one has a clue about what is needed to fix this economy. The answer stares us in the face every day yet no one is attacking it. The disparity of income continues to grow and its effect n the economy is that it has devastated the market for goods and services. Until the economy is re ivigorated, all the proposed solutions; tax cuts, deficit reductions, voodoo solutions to improve home construction, stimulus, etc will do nothing until the revenue that businesses received is not bled by high salaries paid to those who think they a worth all that money and aren’t adding anything in value to the economy. Those are the Pro athletes, CEOs, high paid TV personalities, you name all the million dollar salaried people and they are destroying the economy, weakening the strength of our country,etc.
    The economy is not controlled by the government, though the government does have influence. The private sector is destroying itself a slow death with its inefficiency by paying very high salaries to those who don’t really work, not paying those who do the work and who on the other hand is their market. They are killing the market for their goods and services. Essential businesses are so big that the principles of good capitalism is completely ignored. Good companies don’t spend money foolishly.
    It is not the Mitt Romney’s who obtain their incomes from investments and only pay 16% on their incomes, it is the Gindrich’s who collect $3 million for spewing lots of hot air and cries because he pays over 30 %.
    Wake up America!

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       I hear Solyndra was paying good salaries.  So good, that they had millions left over to contribute to Obama’s campaign.

    • TomK in Boston

      That’s right.

      The TeaOP agenda can be summarized as “Give up everything the middle class has gained since 1929 or the big bad debt will get you”. It’s crazy that anyone would swallow this class warfare but an oligarch, but sheep will be sheep.

      The losses for the middle class are to be redistributed to the top with truly amazing tax cuts. It’s important to remember that Ryan and Romney want big tax cuts starting from one of the lowest-tax environments since 1929! Taxes have been decreasing since 1980. If low taxes were the cure, we’d be in paradise.

      The TeaOP likes to talk about “hard choices” and “sacrifice”: “We know it’s hard, but if you don’t sacrifice medicare for a Groupon, the big bad debt will get you.” However, I have never heard them mention one hard choice or sacrifice for the Romney types. Did a TeaOpper every say “We know it’s hard, but you’re gonna have to treat your capital gains as ordinary income.”? I think not.

      The TeaOP claims to be deeply, deeply concerned about the debt. OK, remember we had a budget surplus in 2000? It was turned into deficit by the bush tax cuts, bush wars on the CC, and an economic crash caused by ideological deregulation. Why aren’t these “deficit hawks” calling for the obvious response of reversing what caused the deficit: raise taxes, end the wars, re-regulate the financial con artists like etch-a-sketch? The answer is that they don’t care about the debt. They want to use it to scare the sheep into giving up their middle class society. The real agenda is wealth distribution to the top. They are more dangerous to the USA than bin Laden ever was.

      • Anonymous

        This pretty much defines a TeaBagger and Republican: Someone who will stop at nothing to preserve their wealth and privilege by screwing everyone else out of theirs. 

        • notafeminista

          “Just because I have a pizza doesn’t mean you have to eat the box.”  ~ P.J. O’Rourke

  • notafeminista

    What about all those jobs Americans aren’t willing to do?  I hear (anecdotally of course) the unemployment rate among “undocumented workers” is less that 6%…can anyone verify this?

    • FAX68

      They are undocumented so getting unemployment stat is impossible.

    • Anonymous

      Try picking lettuce in 100 degree weather 10 hours a day.
      Most Americans will not do the hard farm work needed to bring in crops. Alabama is set to loose 100′s of millions in revenue because of the new draconian law the legislators put play in that state. It has farmers up in arms.

      • Modavations

        Set to,or has?

        • Anonymous

          They are already losing millions as crops lay rotting in the fields. This is no joke.
          The GOP legislation did not think of the out come here or they just did not care.
          It’s only going to get worse.

          • notafeminista

            You’d those poor, starving desperate Americans would jump at the chance for a job.

            Guess not.

          • notafeminista

            “You’d think….” etc.  Dratted editor.

      • Anonymous

        An anecdote from my personal experience:  Where I live, a politician on a radio talk show complained that because undocumented immigrants took so many jobs, it caused people to be unemployed.  My client, who had an immense farm, called in and said he would hire anyone who wanted a job.  The politician said his constituency didn’t have a way to get to the farm; the farmer said that he would send a bus to pick them up and take them home.  After much back and forth, the two agreed that in 2 weeks the farmer would send the bus to the designated location.  When the bus arrived, one person was waiting.  That one person worked a couple of hours, then left and didn’t return.

        The majority of the unemployed are not lazy; but 100% of them aren’t industrious either.

      • notafeminista

        Most Americans won’t do it?  What?  The same desperate,starving Americans dying in the street because they can’t get income fast enough?

        What…they’re too good to pick lettuce?

    • FAX68

      I am not worried about the illegal aliens because they don’t have access to unemployment checks or other federal benefits that American born are obviously trying to rip off or abuse the system.

      • Modavations

        Welfare to citizens about 600Bill……Welfare for illegals about 28 billion

    • FAX68

      the sin of Illegal aliens is just being undocumented not because they can get money from the Feds.

  • twenty-niner

    I don’t want to get into a whole Democrat vs. Republican  mental-masturbation session because the two parties are just two different sides of the same coin, and play off of each other like a Federer–Nadal match with hardly anyone being able to keep his eye on the ball. 
    Both parties, by their actions, fully endorsed, supported, and facilitated the financialization of the economy, from the repeal of Glass-Steagall to the Commodities and Futures Modernization Act, which unleashed the seven-headed derivatives Hydra, to over-stimulating housing, to MFN for China, to NAFTA, to Tarp, to the Fed appointments, the list goes on. All of these were bipartisan acts, many under Clinton, so why don’t we just remove our heads from the elephant and donkey asses in which they’ve been planted for the last 20 years and wake the F up.

    Lastly, the point is: under the Clinton-Bush-Obama administration, and yes, I count them as one, we have managed to produce not a single net new full-time job in over a decade. The 4 million net gain are only part-time jobs, which can be qualified as such with only two hours of work per week.

    • Anonymous

      Though I bristle a bit at the notion that Democrats are as bad as Republicans, I would go as far as saying the analogy is more like comparing cocaine to crack. 

      Unfortunately THE DISCUSSION and today’s discussion is oblivious to this elephant in the room. 

      I can’t get hard data on your seven headed derivatives hydra, though this aligns with my own calculations and extrapolation.  I get a lot of my data from ITulip and Jensen. Your references would be appreciated.

      Goldman Sachs and the other vampire squid, too big to fail banks are not golden egg laying geese except for the tiny 1 percent of 1 percent and the politicians they bought and paid for. For the rest of us this entire financial industry is malignant metastatic cancer.

      This actually does point towards a solution. As in any extortion racket we need to call these people and refuse their demands.  I am beginning to see not doing this back in 2008 as a mistake.

      • twenty-niner

        The stats in the charts come from the St. Louis Fed. Checkout ZeroHedge and Shadowstats; there’s good data there as well.

        I’m fairly apolitical. I try to look past the pandering and see what the crooks actually vote for. All of the most destructive financial legislation seems to be solidly bi-partisan. Wall Street makes sure both parties are bought and paid for.

        TARP, the way they did it, was a huge mistake. The GM shareholders all get wiped out, but the shareholders of the big banks keep their filthy lucre. Even that piece of crap Bear Stearns gets a $10/share bailout, but if you own a car company that actually produces a product, well you really don’t get anything do you.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    A study by the American Tax institute looked at what an average American family pays in taxes today vs. 1987, the last year we had a major tax overhaul.

    Guess what, we pay less today.

    The numbers are for a family of 4, making $80K:

    1987: tax owed: $4,297 *adjusted for inflation
    2011: tax owed  $3,690

    • Brandstad

      Is that really a surprise since 49% of Americans now don’t pay ANY Federal income taxes!

      • Ray in VT

        But who among those those who are not currently paying should start paying in?  The working poor or the elderly?  I know that that is a bit of an oversimplification, but they make up a good chunk of that number.

        Also, and this isn’t a response to you Brandstad, but those figures also fly in the face of what we are constantly told about how we as a people are so overtaxed, given the current relative low level of federal taxation as a percentage of GDP.

        • notafeminista

          Presumably all the people who aren’t paying in  are making the same use (if not more use) of the services provided to them by those taxes.  It is safe to assume they also use roads and highways, police/fire protection and expect clean drinking water.

          • Anonymous

            More disingenuous bunk. For the record, police/fire protection is under state and local municipalities taxes, not the federal. States do get taxes back from the federal government, Red states pay less get more, interesting little factoid that.
            Drinking water is also under state and local services. Most people are paying state income taxes, of course in some states they don’t have them.

            Let’s blame the poor and unfortunate for the nations woes, how brave of you. How Christian of you. How dare you.

          • Modavations

            You’re foaming.Call her a vile little woman 

          • notafeminista

            How gloriously intellectually dishonest of you.

          • DrInsula

             After reading dozens of comments here, I have yet to discern any valid reason for any of your annoying, shallow blurts here…

          • notafeminista

            So?

        • Brandstad

          The only reason federal taxation as a percentage of GDP is down is because of the recession.  Once unemployment is back to below 6% with typical participation rate and nothing else changed, taxation will be average to above average.

          Everyone should pay at least 1%  if you are a poor person, your 1% won’t amount to you paying much, but you will have an ownership society and you might even be upset when our federal government spends your money like a drunken sailor!

      • Modavations

        A tip.Pay this kid no mind.He’s looking for a fight.He’s 30 years old from Johnson Vt…Do you know Johnson Vt?….My point is he knows squat.He’ll comment on everything but knows squat.What do you say to a kid who thinks it sacreligious to read Ayn Rand.

    • TomK in Boston

      Yes, as everyone should know, we’ve been cutting taxes for a long time, and it’s poison for the middle class.  This chump change of about $600 is not a drop in the ocean compared to stagnant wages, continued ripoffs by the private health insurance corporations, soaring tuitions at State U due to tax cuts, etc. It sure won’t come close to paying the difference between a Ryan Groupon and the cost of health insurance from WellPoint et al.

      This is an important part of the Big Lie tactics. The Ryan/Romney gang touts that $600 while they pocket tens of millions from the same tax cuts, destroying our society and infrastructure in the process, driving up our debt, and eventually costing the citizen a lot more than $600.

  • Grifdog08

    Tom…
    You should have a show titled “the illusive truth” What we have now with the Economy and Health Care debates is a truth for each stakeholder. My Mom may have been an immigrant from across the pond but we were taught there is never more than “one truth” The American public is being “gamed” by politicians and special interests on both sides into thinking that there are truths for every grain of sand on the beach. What we end up with is government not doing anything that suits their needs best and the public repeating as fact every new lie that they are told. 

  • Kentchris

    The two choices going forward appear to be as follows.

    Republicans (conservatives):Multi-national corporations/Wall street will make the major decisions reguarding the economy, and the government (paid representatives of those Mnc/Ws) will codify their decisions into law. Mnc/Ws will pay minimal taxes, mostly going to support an ever expanding military. There will be a small token safety net. Corporations and their better off investors will come and go, in and out of the country. Everyone else will stay put, and be poor. You could call this the “magical mystery market” model.

    Democrats (everyone else):Citizens, (every individual) will be at the heart of a representative democracy. Mnc/Ws will be put back on a short leash and will be forced to decide which country their citizenship and there loalty lies. Corporations will be deemed to be artifical and will only have the rights that the citizens deem appropriate for them. The military will be returned to being a defense force instead of a blundering force of failed empire. The safty net will be robust, including a right to education, health care and employment. You could call this the “WE THE PEOPLE” model.

    • Brandstad

      How can your statement be true when the Democrats don’t think we are smart enough to make our own healthcare decisions and some unelected government panel will be deciding for us?

      • Anonymous

        Please cram your conservative talking point lies.  Some how the government is bad but the alternative of being denied coverage, denied treatment or billed into bankruptcy by these criminal companies is just fine.

        This is what I want.  I am willing to be as vicious and ruthless as you fascist right wingers have proven yourselves to be.

        Access to modern health care is a right.

        Every US citizen is entitled to the same quality health care. No one should be denied health care based on the ability to pay.  Taking care of an aging population who have not been attentive to a healthy life style is going to be VERY expensive. 

        Going forward those who thought they would make an endless killing of vast profits in for profit pharma, insurance and disease care will need to find some other way to steal.  We can not afford these industries in  their current form.

        • notafeminista

          Apparently the Left (still) doesn’t realize that if the PPACA isn’t thrown out in its entirety, the same people you claim drove the country into the ditch will now be in charge of your healthcare. 

          Real smart.

        • Brandstad

          Access health care is not a ‘right’ because no one has a “right” to someone else’s possessions or labor!

          • Anonymous

            Everyone has to have health care. Therefore everyone should pay into it. Yes it’s called a tax. I know that word is like profanity in America but that is an unhealthy view. Taxes pay to improve the country, benefit the public and raise the quality of life. Private health insurance has had its time to create a system worth keeping but it has failed miserably. Meanwhile Americans go without proper health care. That is not good for people and not good for business.

        • notafeminista

          How right you are.  Those who’ve attended medical school, worked through residency and work 60 hour weeks have no right to expect to be compensated for their efforts.  Pay them all in kittens I say.

          • bellavida

            MD salaries have gone up, way up, in the last 30 years relative to the rest of us.  I don’t have a problem with that per se, but I do have a problem with medical inflation costs in general and and a lot of that is tied to MD costs.  The AMA limits the number of spots at medical schools yet lets in of immigrant MD’s to fill resident spots and then they procure highly lucrative practices here.   Not blaming the immigrant MD’s, they flow to where the land of milk and honey.  

          • notafeminista

            Sounds like you have a problem with all of it.  In case you hadn’t noticed, college tuition has risen significantly also..this increases the cost to students, including med students immigrant or otherwise.  Maybe you should blame high health care costs on college tuition, those greedy bastards.

    • William

      Democrats(liberals) – keep spending on worthless programs that have failed in the past and will contine to fail but good intentions is all that matters.
      Republicans – Just spend.
      Conservatives – Try to stop both of the above.

      • Modavations

        Worthless programs.I’d call the problems harmful,criminal

        • Modavations

          programs

      • Kentchris

        Conservatives have spent and borrowed more than their share on national defense. How well has that program gone, (think Afganistan, Iraq)? It is a myth that conservatives don’t like to spend your money. They just don’t like to see it go to people they can’t or don’t want to identify with. They don’t want to be in the same pool! 

        • William

          I don’t mind spending on national defense when we are at war(s), but we have done as much as possible in Iraq and Afghanistan as we can every wish to complete.  I would love to see a major, major reduction in our overseas bases, including an immediate withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq.

        • Modavations

          I know and they breathe different air and swim in their own oceans.Dems. are tax and spend.Reps.run up the deficit and spend.No diff

  • mthota

    Very curious, if taxes were not cut or in fact raised, where would the feared “capital flight” go to?

    • Modavations

      bullion

    • Brandstad

       Lower tax countries!

  • Modavations

    Term Limits,Gold Standard,School Vouchers and the removal of “D” and “R” from a canidates name.The ACLU actually litigated against this in N.Carolina,or S.Carolina.In one of the most racist statements ever,the ACLU said this isn’t fair,we all know which way the Dependency Classes vote

    • Ray in VT

      Yawn.  You might have one good idea there (the first one).  Anything new, or did you just come today with the same old same old?

      • Modavations

        No nothing new,now go play with the teens.

  • Modavations

    This afternoon NBC blamed a computer for the shoddy coverage of the Zimmerman tape.Doesn’t NBC’s Pres.Immelt work for Pres.Obama.Isn’t Immelt responsible for MSNBC(hate speech T.V.)

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Are the going to fire the computer?

      • Modavations

        Is it Republican?

  • Modavations

    The Constitutional Lawyer in Chief must have been playing hookie when they taught Madison vs.Marbury.How much does Harvard and Columbia charge per year?.Get a refund Mr.Pres.

    • Ray in VT

      So the President can’t comment on a case when he thinks that the court got it wrong?

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        That isn’t what he did.  He question the legitimacy of the court because they were ‘unelected’ officials.  He must have realized he overstepped because he walked it back somewhat yesterday.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

         He also claimed the court should uphold the law because of all the good he believes it does.  He knows very well that the court doesn’t evaluate the benefits of the law but only the constitutionality.

        He also claimed they should uphold the law because it passed with a ‘strong’ majority.  11 votes in the house is not a strong majority. It clearly was bi-partisan which is unprecedented for a major entitlement reform.   He was certainly engaging in revisionist history.

    • Brandstad

      I know universities can give honorary degrees, but this raises the question of can universities take away a degree if a graduate demonstrates complete and utter ignorance of the course of study!

  • Brandstad

    Uncle Sam’s bills of almost $4tn per year relative to his income of just over $2tn means that he does what most American’s do – he borrows money – and it is this simple fact that underpins the reasoning that there is no painless way out of the mountain of debt that we have amassed over the last few decades. While none of this is new, the straightforward nature of this video’s message makes it hard to argue, from anything other than an ivory tower, that this supposed self-sustaining print-and/or-borrow-fest can go on forever. Paying off your mortgage with your credit card remains the clearest analogy of what is occurring and while the Mutually Assured Destruction case is made again and again for why the analogous credit-card-providers will never halt our limit, it seems increasingly clear that the fiat money fiasco has switched regimes to chaos rather than the apparent nominal calmness of the great moderation.

    • Anonymous

      There are no creative minds in Congress. What about spurring revenue?  That is never considered and debated. We should have a long-term energy policy but investors can’t invest with such short term thinking!   We’re still wrestling with the contraception issue and abortion!  We must come off as a country of morons. Our moneyed political system is not yielding the best minds and hearts. That is the root of the craziness, both sides. The Republicans play the bad cop and the Democrats play the good cop but in the end, the lobbyists get it their way.

    • Anonymous

      When will people understand that a government is not analogous to a household and its debt.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1335150115 Ben Boer

    I’m lucky I wasn’t drinking coffee when I heard Obama call Ryan’s budget a “Trojan horse” yesterday or I would have had a mess on my hands. I was shocked, disappointed, and confused by his decision to use such disingenuous rhetoric. Don’t get me wrong, I agree that the budget is, “antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who’s willing to work for it.” The problem with claiming the budget is, “thinly veiled social Darwinism” that Republicans have “disguised as deficit reduction” is that it simply is not true.

    For one, Paul Ryan and his conservative colleagues aren’t disguising this budget as deficit reduction, they actually believe it would reduce the deficit. More importantly, the veil is not thin, it is nonexistent. If Obama wants to associate Ryan’s budget with social Darwinism he should go all in because, well, then he would be telling the truth.

    The logic behind this budget is the same extremely conservative logic that has moved the Republican party so far to the right, one based on an unflinching devotion to trickle-down economics. They are not trying to make the rich richer at the expense of the poor and middle class, they truly believe making the rich richer will benefit the poor and middle class, that if the government got out of the way money from the highest income earners would rain down upon the masses.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1335150115 Ben Boer

      In short: Paul Ryan’s budget is not a trojan horse disguising radical policy as debt reduction. Paul Ryan’s budget is an unabashedly radical policy he believes will reduce the deficit and it is sitting in plain view.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        Ryan’s plan is very moderate.  It doesn’t balance the budget fast enough.  It is also loaded with bi-partisan ideas from Simpson-Bowles and Medicare reform ideas from Democrat Senator Ron Wyden.
         

        • Modavations

          Ryans plan is a crock.It comes into play 30 years from now.

          • Worried for the country(MA)

            It’s better than what we have now.

          • Modavations

            I want the cuts to start yesterday.

        • Anonymous

          This is like saying a gunshot isn’t too bad because it was from a pistol and not a rifle. Yes it includes some small bi-partisan looking concessions, but the sheer size of cuts unbalanced with any undertaking in new revenue (which is also something we lost over the years) is clearly very far to the right.

      • William

        What is so radical about it? Any government agencies eliminated or even drastically downsized?

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       The irony is Obama’s no budget in 3 years plan will have SS + medicare + Medicaid + interest on the debt consume the entire budget in 2025.  Nothing will be left for military or ANYTHING else.

      If that isn’t social darwinism, I don’t know what is.

      • TomK in Boston

        1. SS will contribute nothing to the debt in 2025
        2. You can’t project out 13 years. In 2000 Clinton’s surplus was supposed to go on forever. Show a little skepticism re scare tactics.3. Clinton’s surplus was turned into Bush’s deficit by tax cuts, wars, and a crash caused by deregulation of the financial con artists. Why not simply reverse those mistakes and see what happens to the doomsday projections?

        • Modavations

          two years ago Pres.Obama raided the S.S. trust fund to pay for the latest tax cuts.He promised it would be for one year only.The 2.5 trillion surplus is an unmarketable IOU.When you open the lockbox,moths fly out

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           The CBO has scored the current budget 10 years out like they do every year and it isn’t a stretch to draw a straight line three more years out because we are already over the debt cliff at that point.  Further, the CBO projections are overly generous on future interest rates on the debt.  If they are off one or two points we are screwed that much earlier.

          The point is we only have about two to three years to return to a path to solvency before we hit a tipping point.  The sooner we address these problems, the less painful the remedy will have to be.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1335150115 Ben Boer

        OMG!!! We’re all gonna dieeee!!!!!!!!!!!

    • TomK in Boston

      I don’t think they believe it will reduce the debt. They can’t be that stupid. I think their real agenda is redistribution of the wealth of the middle class to the top, ie class warfare, and posturing about the debt is a smokescreen.

      • Modavations

        The agenda is to kill Big Govt and reestablish the nuclear family

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1335150115 Ben Boer

        It’s not that they’re stupid, Grifdog08 explained it well when he talked about “the illusive truth.” What’s happened in that past 10-15 years is not just polarization, it’s been the opinionization of facts. Both sides of the aisle, particularly the left, have relegated themselves to saying, “I think I am correct and, while you very well may be correct, I do not believe what you are saying.” The difference is that the left is doing it in an attempt to keep moderate conservatives from falling in line with extremists and the conservatives have been doing it(successfully) in a way that delegitimizes truth in favor of opinionated “facts.”

        I say this because I am a 21 year old liberal who got into politics arguing with conservatives when I was 17. I argue these points because over the past four years I have come to realize that both liberals and conservatives deem the opposition devious liars because they are both blind to the fact that the other side of the isle is acting in good faith. I thoroughly believe the Republicans are DEAD WRONG, but I am absolutely positive that they are neither stupid nor deceitful… they’re just good people who are completely wrong.

        It concerns me that other liberals are so, so willing… almost determined to sink to the opposition’s level. The opposition’s level is one that delegitimizes the value of facts in favor of the idea that the “right” opinion is equivalent to fact. Conservative’s are more than willing to agree with liberals on the basic issues that exist in America: Poverty, corrupt politics, racism, etc. The difference is that neither side is willing to stand for the truth, and those who are willing to stand for the truth are written off as naive and idealistic… Well the truth is that “naive” and “idealistic” centrism is really pragmatic, intellectual realism.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1335150115 Ben Boer

          It’s such a shame that fellow liberals refuse to defeat the opposition by taking the moral high ground. Not willing to set their pretensions aside and recognize that their opponents, like them, are good people. Not willing to accept that conservatives, like them, are fighting for the middle class.

          What we need is not Occupy demonstrators sinking to the level of Tea Partiers, what we need is to passionately support Barack Obama’s original call for nonpartisan realism. What we need is to rise above the shameful immaturity of angry rhetoric and stand, unflinchingly, for political discussion based on facts and truth.

          • Modavations

            When the OWS crew leaves it looks like Joplin after the tornado.When the Teapartyers are through,the place is cleaner then when the event started.The Teapartyers pay for security,buy insurance,and get permits.

          • notafeminista

            They can’t.  The Left has no moral high ground.

        • Ayn Marx 666

          You are quite right: the assumption of malign intent or of bad faith is simple, effective, and usually wrong. It’s just that many people’s imaginations are so stunted, and their own understanding of the arguments for and against their positions so limited that they can’t understand why anyone else would think otherwise.

          Even Randroids often think we moochers and looters would generally better off in the world they want, and will say so once they’ve got the macho fladh of “let ‘em starve” out of their systems.

    • Modavations

      I’m afraid that the Pres.would have to google Darwin

  • Modavations

    No Mr.Pres.Madison vs. Marbury is not a candy bar.What do you call a Pres.who intimidates the Supreme Court.I’d call him a fascist.

    • Kentchris

      “GOVERNMENT IS NOT THE PROBLEM,
      CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS ARE THE PROBLEM”

      • Modavations

        Don’t pose that one to Ronaldus Magnus.There are two types in this world.Those who pray at the alter of big Govt. and those who trust the individual

        • Benedict Raskolnikev

          Bad ideas both.
          0.) One should worship nothing, ever…neither fictional deities nor technologies (physical, economic, and social) nor myths. Worship is the absence of continuous truth-testing.
          1.) One should especially not worship models of reality; human beings are limited, even collectively, and so any model will be inexact.
          2.) One should ‘trust’ any of the above, either.

          Government is a social/economic/violence technology that is one of the ways individuals (there are none other) try to do what they will. So is the Market (yes, it also involves violence, in particular the State’s threat of violence in support of property rights impossible in nature in character [e.g. intellectual property] and scope [Soros' thousandth million is as protected as your first and only such, and as much as a poor man's last dollar]). Each has a domain of usefulness and friendliness, and they are to some extent complementary (e.g., a Market game requires losers, human decency requires that they not be allowed to die in the midst of plenty.. .just ‘not being a loser’ is incentive enough).

          No gods. no masters. no perfect models.

          • Modavations

            I’ll stick with laissez faire.In America we promise a level playing ground,not level outcomes.Ask the Russians.The richest place I go to is H.Kong.15% tax rate(no vat,no nothing) and no inquiries as to the amount of currency you’re bringing in..It takes about one day to get the paperwork to open a business

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    Will your children and grand-children be better off than you under Obama’s policies?

    • Still Here

      Who can afford to have kids under this guy?

      • Modavations

        They beg you to have kids in Europe.Why won’t caucasions breed?Too friggin expensive

    • TomK in Boston

      My children will be totally screwed when they get older if they have Ryan Groupons instead of our wonderful medicare program, and even more screwed if etchasketch has privatized or cut (they say “reformed”) SS. They will be totally screwed if taxes on the rich are cut to the point that we can’t maintain a first world society. And they are not sheep, they know it dam well!

      My children already have less opportunity than I did, for one reason – we have been following voodoo economic policies since 1980. We already know what the policies you like do the the USA, let’s try something else, like what gave rise to the great prosperity of the 50s and 60s. That would be high taxes and strong gvt regulation.

      • Modavations

        The poor kids.Imagine their world outlook after dealing with daddies “Woe is me,I been wronged attitude.

        • Ayn Marx 666

          Sometimes a bad attitude is the only apprpriate one…beside that, if you were more sympathetic his attitude would be characterised not as ‘woe is me’ ‘whinging’ but rather as the eternally necessary constructive criticism of ‘we are bright enough and decent enough to do better’.

          • Modavations

            Show me a “hand wringer” that’s succeeded and I’ll show you a lucky man.Show me a person who spends his life seeing Crisis and I’ll show you a Social Worker

      • Anonymous

        Our children will be truly screwed with continued burning of fossil fuels. There’s a debt that keeps on keeping on.

      • Anonymous

        I tend to agree, but I think we have to be careful about the regulation and taxes we introduce, I am in favor of tax reform in terms of making the code simpler but having it still be progressive. 

        IMO, if we removed the difference between capital gains and regular income, lowered the corporate tax rate, lowered taxes for the poor and  increased the marginal tax rate for earnings above $1 million to about 40-45% we’d fix a lot of the budget issues.

        I also think its time to scale back on military spending gradually, and move that spending over to scientific underwriting and R&D like the 50s and 60s again. A lot of the technology that makes us prosperous today had it’s foundations developed by government scientists in the middle of the last century.

        • TomK in Boston

          I mostly agree. Our effective corporate tax rates are among the lowest in OECD already, but that is because the big corps get special deals not available to small biz, so we could, in this case, lower the rates and close the loopholes and it would be more fair.

          Yes, taxing cap gains as ordinary incomes and making the income tax code more progressive is the most important and easiest step we could take. The rate should not max out so low. Someone making $10 mil should pay a higher rate than someone making $1 mil, etc. However I think the top rate should be at least 50%, probably higher.

          The right loves the term “job killing”. If they manage to cut support for scientific research, they’ll see what job killing really means.

          It’s frustrating that there is so much ideological argument when the evidence is actually in. In 1980 we embarked on an experiment in trickle down, voodoo economics and the results are in: it was a disaster for the middle class. However the GoP cannot propose anything but more of the same. They are not interested in the fact that the golden age of the middle class was one of high taxes and regulation. The “job creators” worked like crazy and created lots of jobs during that period. The right doesn’t care that that disproves their pet theories.

          Re Worried’s question, again, in the times I grew up Obama wd be considered a moderate republican. There is nothing remarkable about his policies. While I’d prefer a liberal progressive, if the alternative is total class warfare with Ryan/Romney policies, there’s no doubt that the kids are better off with BHO.

          • Modavations

            Explain why Kennedy was the first of the Trickle Down Presidents.Either Fin. Times or the Economist say our effective rate is 31%.Canadas’ is 15%.Pres.Obama is to the Left of Stalin,JFK is a moderate Republican.If JFK were to tell you his “rising Seas lifts all boats”theory, you’d bash in his skull with a ball peen hammer.My opinion only.

          • TomK in Boston

            Can you really not see that cutting taxes when they are near all-time highs and cutting taxes when they are near all-time lows are two very different propositions?

  • Mrs. C

    Tom, I love your enthusiasm.  But can you and your guests please stop interrupting each other and talking over each other?  It’s really annoying.    Seriously, it feels too much like a Nancy Grace show…

  • Mfcarr

    Kevin Hasset is quite the spin merchant.  He clearly has his talking points in order.  But I guess that’s not surprising, given the fact that he’s a Senior Fellow with the American Enterprise Institute

    He conveniently forgets the tailspin the economy was in when Obama took office.  Eight years of Bush helped lay the groundwork for the economic crisis  of 2008, but he’d be the last to acknowledge the role that policies of the George W. Bush administration (along with 30 plus years of increased de-regulation of business, and tax policies overhwlmingly favoring the rich) had in creating the conditions that lead to the Great Recession.  

    Acknowledging these things would interfere with the narrative he wants to create via his talking points, and he can’t have that.  Better stick to carefully-considered, Frank Luntz-tested talking points and leave any complexity out of it

    • Modavations

      I may be mistaken,but I think Pres.Obama volunteered.I think Bush inherited(without complaint)the Dot.Com Bubble and then there’s that pesky 9/11.The deficits were heading down,I repeat,down under Pres.Buht to about 225bill a year.Mr Obama has had deficits of over 1 trillion per annum for the last three years

      • Mfcarr

        Bush did not inherit the dot.com bubble without complaint.  Between the time he was elected and the time he took office, he stressed that the economy was already in recession.  In effect, it was a pre-emptive “don’t blame me”.

        Besides, the dot.com bubble is a mere drop in the bucket compared with the Economic Collapse of 2008, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  This took place under Bush’s watch.  I don’t know if you’ve conveniently forgotten or not, but the economy was going down the toilet at supersonic speed in late 2008 early 2009.

        • Modavations

          After Pres Bill’s first two years the Dow had gone from 3200 to 4000ish.After the Reps. took over and dropped the cap.Gains the market went from 4000 to 10,000ish.Hardly a pimple,young man

      • Anonymous

        9/11 occurred under Bush’s watch as well. He still hasn’t apologized for that or for making the mistake of invading Iraq after no WMD were found.

  • Saighead

    “Can I just jump in?”  And how many times did you permit Mr Hasset “jump in” to lather on the Rethuglican nonsense?  Facts are never a hindrance for their blatherskite.

  • Mfcarr

    When Tom asks Kevin Hasset (at about 15:15 or so) about the tax cuts for the rich proposed under Paul Ryan’s plan and whether they in any way address the need to cut the deficit, Hasset dodges the question by switching the topic to corporate tax rates.

    Interesting that he has no real answer to that.

  • Mfcarr

    Excuse me, Tom asks Kevin Hasset the question about the tax cuts for the rich in Ryan’s plan  at about 14:55.  Hasset totally dodges the question

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      The Ryan plan doesn’t have tax cuts for the rich. The proposal is revenue neutral at 18-19% of GDP.

      Tax reform details are the responsibility of the way and means committee.  They could design the details to benefit the rich or increase the taxes on the rich so there is no way to honestly answer this question right now.

      • Mfcarr

        Forbes Magazine doesn’t agree with your assessment:

        “No surprise here, but the tax cuts in Paul Ryan’s 2013 budget plan would
        result in huge benefits for high-income people and very modest—or no—
        benefits for low income working households, according to a new analysis by the Tax Policy Center.”

        …” those making $1 million or more would enjoy an average tax cut of
        $265,000 and see their after-tax income increase by 12.5 percent. By
        contrast, half of those making between $20,000 and $30,000 would get no
        tax cut at all. On average, people in that income group would get a tax
        reduction of $129. Ryan would raise their after-tax income by 0.5
        percent.”

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/beltway/2012/03/23/paul-ryans-budget-plan-more-big-tax-cuts-for-the-rich

  • mikey

    The Republicans pretend to cut spending. The Democrats pretend to get tough on Wall Street crime. They are two different marketing departments inside the same company. Gas was high under Bush, it is high under Obama. Wall Street was unregulated under Bush, it is even less regulated under Obama. Unless someone like Ron Paul or Elizabeth Warren wins nothing is really going to change except the name on the oval office. I don’t want to bother with either sides talking points because they don’t really have any meaning except that the candidate wants to get elected and they are willing to say anything to make that happen. 

    BRING BACK GLASS STEAGALL!!!!

    • Modavations

      Elizabeths first large scale fund raiser was on Wall St.

      • mikey

        Really? The people that support Elizabeth on Wall Street are the same Wall Street crowd that support Occupy Wall Street. I love Wall Street investors but don’t consider the derivatives market or Synthetic Financial instruments investment. CDS contracts are a kick back scheme that is being dumped on the tax payer through FDIC backing. I think that you probably have very little understanding of modern finance if you think that J.P Morgan, Goldman Sachs or Citi is going to back a candidate that supports Glass Steagall. This is the same line that Wall Street used to attack the Consumer Financial Protection bureau. Bailed out banks dump huge amounts of money into Republicans and Democrats to kill regulation and then try to blame the agency that they worked so hard to destroy for not regulating them. When the Office of Thrift Supervision put 1000 bank executives in jail for the S & L crisis Wall Street killed its regulatory power. Then when Wall Street commits crimes they blame the agency that they spent so much money to stop for not regulating them. It is the same trick they play with the SEC. Kill the SEC, hand kickback jobs to regulators, spend millions lobbying for idiots like Chris Cox to run the agency and then blame it for not regulating Wall Street. 

        The notional value of derivatives has increased every year since Glass Steagall was killed. It will create catastrophic havoc if Wall Street can underwrite bonds, dip into segregated accounts, load the FDIC with hyperleveraged derivatives contracts and change accounting rules so that they never report a loss. Wake up. 

        • Modavations

          Dude I’m a punter so spare me the tripe.We have laws and regs up the Yin Yang.Let’s try enforcing a few.Cox married his daughter off to one of Maddoffs kids.Glass Steagall was rescinded by Pres.Clinton.The financial collapse is a result of Pres.Carters and Clintons Fannie and Freddie.Between Raines,Jamie Gorelick and Johnson they took 100 million in commissions.

          • mikey

            So your expertise is in the  algorithms that create the current horror show of derivatives contracts? I’m sure you’ve been up all night pulling apart CDS contracts to figure out how counter party risk will shake out or why the notional value of the derivatives contracts has ballooned to 1.6 Trillion. I just have one question for you then. Please tell me how the finance sector produced 41% of all corporate profits in 2009 and 2010. If everything you are saying is true where are these profits coming from? In the worst years of the recession, only a year after all of the major banks were bailed out, Wall Street produces stunning numbers. Every news story was about major banks not lending, the banks had record number of forclosures and short sales, no business lending. So what happened? Did I miss some new innovation in financial engineering? Did Jamie Dimon, Loyd Blankfein, and the rest of these self proclaimed genius entrepreneurs must have done something to produce those numbers??? What was it?

          • Modavations

            Wall St has  been around for ever.They provide investor money to entrepreneurs.Jesus had his Money Changers.There was Adam and Eve and their broker.I actually buy stocks.I learned the theories 40 years ago..I finally got even on that dog BAC

          • mikey

            Again, we are talking about apples and oranges. For the most part a regulated stock market has a long history of being beneficial. Stock is traded on an exchange. Citi, Goldman, J.P. Morgan are mostly buying and selling synthetic financial assets not stock. No exchange, no regulation, hyper-leverage, destruction of segregated accounts. I don’t think you have a clue as to what I’m talking about. 

          • mikey

            You could also tell me why the major banks are writing CDS contracts with FDIC backstops. I thought the FDIC was supposed to backstop my savings, not 40 to 1 leveraged CDS contacts on European sovereign debt. 

          • Modavations

            They do up to 200,000.00.In Europe they cover about 70,000.00

          • mikey

            We are talking about apples and oranges. I know what depository insurance is. My comment is about the investment divisions of banks like Bank of America using depository insurance to backstop CDS contracts. Hyper-leverage super junk is being dumped into the FDIC. I can’t bet on the Laker Game and tell the counter party that the FDIC will cover it. That is insane. 

        • Anonymous

          Don’t waste your time, this guy wont read more than a paragraph. Good post by the way. I have a friend who works for one of the large investment banks and he was going on about this stuff in 2006.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Elizabeth Warren is for raising the gas tax.

      • Anonymous

        So is Tom Friedman.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           I didn’t know he was running.

          Tom Friedman dreams of throwing out the constitution and installing a dictatorship — but only for about 5 years until he can implement his agenda.

        • Modavations

          Husband of the wife whose family is responsible for one of the largest bankruptcies ever

    • Tmajor7

      You are correct about both sides working toward the same exact goal!

      This is real simple:

      Because the U.S. gov’t is a monopoly of our currency and they regulate our free markets, they control our U.S. economy 100% not any of the above mentioned syndicates!

      The only solution is to replace the entire U.S. congress one by one. They create the laws that enable wall street, select financial institutions, and corporations to rape America!

    • twenty-niner

      Yes, Obama should have played “The Who” at his inauguration.

      “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss!”

      “YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!”

  • Modavations

    Hey Ray from Vt., I’ve asked you repeatedly to quit bothering me.You’re like one of those foot long,yappy dogs.The ones that jump up to your waist and yap,Moda,Moda,look at me,I’m relevant.

    • Ray in VT

      So you have a problem with free speech just so long as it isn’t yours?

  • Hidan

    So the rich will cheat on there taxes if they have to pay more so  Hasset plan is to lower taxes even more? Great thinking from the AEI

  • Modavations

    Canada has a corporate tax of 15%,let’s start there.Either the Economist or Financial times said the effective corporate rate in the U.S is 31%.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IACF35CSKL4WJNIUBEG6DHP5GA Tony

    I would have posted earlier but was driving home, I spend 2 hours every day caring for my 95 year old mother because she wants to spend what’s left of her life in her home.  You see “I am my brother’s keeper”, even in my work.

    While listening to the debate over the economy between Mr Reich and Mr Hasset I found myself infuriated over the depiction of the wealthy as “hard workers” and the rest of us as nearly “parasites” that I felt that I had to respond.
    I am 62 Years old, I have a Master’s Degree and work as a Clinical Social Worker for a local Hospital Group.
    I’ve been working since I was 8 years old, I’ve never taken a penny from the government, I save before I buy things and I’ll probably never be able to retire.
    I have worked at up to three jobs at once, gone full time to Graduate School in my mid 30s while working full time to pay child support for my dear children.  I have sweat, bled and collapsed in exhaustion to “do the right thing”. 
    Pay enough attention to notice that the majority of the Uberrich like Mitt Romney hasn’t worked up an honest sweat in their whole lives.
    I’m from Wisconsin and find Paul Ryan nausiating.  With Ayn Rand as a hero, I can’t believe anyone with an ounce of compassion would vote for this vulture or for that matter our little dictator of a governor.
    At this point I believe that most Democrats have no spine and most Republicans have sold their souls to the Devil.
    This is what we’re leaving our CHILDREN?

    • Benjamin Defrancesco

      Yes, it has been proven that lowering Corp taxes increases tax revenue in the long run as those that would normally make efforts to hide their money are more likely to pay a nominal tax.  Just read today in Journal that Canada will be debt neutral by 2016.  Tax reason is just one reason for this as all those commodity companies in Canada are now willing to pay more as a proportion of growing revenues relative to a lower corp tax.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, and I bet not spending billions on two wars is helping Canada with their debt, not to mention they also have a good banking regulations and health care.

    • Modavations

      Mini Dictator Walker has an approval rating over 50% and heading up

  • Sharon

    I ‘lost’ my job when the hedgefund president of our board and the wealthy heiress boardmember, hired a hatchet woman to gut the employee roster. It wasn’t to save money since they increased her salary by $100,000. from the previous director. They also purchased extremely expensive and inappropriate tech equipment which had to be replace. When the uber rich vacuum the salaries of the workers they’ve fired they can’t then turn around and say let’s cut their entitlements. Where is the sense of responsibility for having placed those people out of work to begin with?

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      I was in a traffic accident and the police investigated and refused to give the guilty party a ticket.  The police have no right to ask for a raise.

      • Jayscrivner

        In your comment about Sharon, you imply that she is making a straw man argument. Why do you think she asks, “Where is the sense of responsibility…?” 

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           There are many workplace grievances.  No one likes greedy business owners who use their employees.  In most cases, they won’t be in business for long.

          But why do we care  about their opinion on government run entitlements? It is a complete non sequitur.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    The President expended tremendous political capital vilifying the ‘evil’ Paul Ryan budget with a litany of falsehoods.

    The Ryan budget is a moderate plan that puts government spending on a level trajectory that slow moves toward a balanced budget. 

    The Ryan budget only cuts Federal discretionary spending 4% out of the $1.2T part of that budget.  Does anyone actually think there isn’t at least 4% waste in the federal budget?

    Given our debt crisis we should be cutting much faster yet the President condemns this plan as the end of the nation as we know it.

    • Jayscrivner

      If the Ryan budget only cuts discretionary spending by 4% and cut taxes as much as it does, how does it help us reach a balanced budget?

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        It doesn’t cut taxes from today.  It is revenue neutral.

        Some don’t believe that it achieves a balanced budget fast enough, just like Simpson-Bowles.

  • Modavations

    Over 30 countries have privatized S.Security.To name a few…..Chile,Russia,Eng,Mex,Denmark,Sweden….

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, but Denmark, Sweden, and Great Britain all have national health care systems. Sweden and Denmark have free college education. You seem to leave out the important details.
      I don’t know about Chile, but you’re holding Russia up as an example of a privatized SS system? You have to be kidding.

      • Modavations

        Duck and dodge,duck and Dodge.If I paid a tax rate of 50% plus a 20% Vat I’d expect a few handouts myself.Thanks for wiping the froth from your rabid lips

        • smiling guest

          All my family and freinds in Norway and Sweden pay a LOWER EFFECTIVE tax rate than my husband and I do here- and that isn’t even counting the cost of college education (state schools) for our 2 kids-

    • Hidan

       wow the self professed free marketer is holding Russia,Mexico and Chile as a example the U.S. should follow amazing.

      I leave out Denmark and Sweden cause you in the past stated they can do such cause there such a small society

      • Modavations

        Eng,Australia,Sweden,Denmark?????What’s the Tehran Report.So let me get this right.You were happy when Obama turned his back on the Freedom Fighters of Tehran.How many were killed?

    • JDL

      Mexico. Now that is an economic model we should want to emulate. Oh wait, with our rising income disparity we are.

      • Modavations

        When were you last in Mexico.It’s booming……A land of oppurtunity

        • JDL

          Yes, that is why they are all coming here to work.

    • Benedict Raskolnikev

      Chile has had to supplement their privatised scheme with a newer, public, scheme, as the private one left too many high and dry.

      • Modavations

        Eng,Sweden,Denmark,Australia??????

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1335150115 Ben Boer

    What disappoints me the most is how liberals abandoned Obama immediately after the election. In 2009 conservatives galvanized and energized, in 2009 liberals sat back as if Barack could do it all himself. Guess what? One man, no matter how powerful, can singlehandedly counter a passionate opposition movement… no matter how wrong that movement is.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Maybe Obama is a feckless leader.

      Why did he hand the stimulus over to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid when, as he stated at the time, it was the number one crisis at the time?

      • Anonymous

        Because that’s how our government works.
        Congress handles the purse strings.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

           He didn’t have to abdicate then sign a boner of a bill.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1335150115 Ben Boer

        I don’t know, maybe it was because he wanted to keep to his main campaign promise of keeping above the fray?

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          What fray?   He would have broad bi-partisan support; just like Bush did with TARP during the crisis.

          The stimulus became a crony handout instead of doing ‘real’ long term stimulus.

          Obama was even caught ‘joking’ that it was harder to find the ‘shovel ready’ jobs that he promised.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1335150115 Ben Boer

            No, he could not have gotten broad bi-partisan support, his own staff couldn’t even come to agreement on the size and scope of the stimulus package.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

       Mr. Ben Boer, you are a self admitted young liberal.  Great.  I admire young folks with passion.

      However, you do understand that SS and Medicare, as constructed now are generational theft that cannot be sustained for your generation?  Every minute that passes without proper reform will steal from your generation and your children’s generation.

      • Jayscrivner

        In your assessment which generation is stealing?

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          Is that a serious question?

      • Benedict Raskolnikev

        These are funded by taxes on wages below a cap. Our workers are one or two orders of magnitude more productive than we were a generation back; if our wages, as opposed to others’ capital gains, had kept pace (and the cap raised) I reckon they’d not be in trouble. It’s almost as if our erstwhile gains had been siphoned-off elsewhere.

        (‘Labour theory of value!’ you might pathically scream…well, Marx _did_ hold to it, but so did Smith and Ricardo….)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1335150115 Ben Boer

        Absolutely. When I think about their future I see SS and Medicare getting pseudo-reformed more than once during my future career then SS collapsing shortly before I get to retirement age, then I start thinking about something else because it’s so discouraging.

    • Modavations

      Likes Rats fleeing a sinking ship

  • Modavations

    Jack Lew,Summers,Rubin,Daley,Rahm,Orzag.What do these guys have in common?They’re all Fat Cats on Wall Street and they’re Democrats.Half these guys worked for Pres.Obama

  • Chris

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/08/12/news/economy/corporate_taxes/Most firms pay no income taxes – Congress Study finds that the majority of domestic and foreign corporations in the United States avoid paying federal income taxes.By David Goldman, CNNMoney.com staff writer
    Last Updated: August 12, 2008: 4:38 PM EDTNEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Nearly two-thirds of U.S. companies and 68% of foreign corporations do not pay federal income taxes, according to a congressional report released Tuesday.

  • Chris

    http://money.cnn.com/2008/08/12/news/economy/corporate_taxes/

    Most firms pay no income taxes – CongressStudy finds that the majority of domestic and foreign corporations in the United States avoid paying federal income taxes.

    By David Goldman, CNNMoney.com staff writerLast Updated: August 12, 2008: 4:38 PM EDTThe World Series of tax dodging

    NEW
    YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Nearly two-thirds of U.S. companies and 68% of
    foreign corporations do not pay federal income taxes, according to a
    congressional report released Tuesday.The Government
    Accountability Office (GAO) examined samples of corporate tax returns
    filed between 1998 and 2005. In that time period, an annual average of
    1.3 million U.S. companies and 39,000 foreign companies doing business
    in the United States paid no income taxes – despite having a combined
    $2.5 trillion in revenue.The study showed that 28% of foreign
    companies and 25% of U.S. corporations with more than $250 million in
    assets or $50 million in sales paid no federal income taxes in 2005.
    Those companies totaled a combined $372 billion in sales for the largest
    foreign companies and $1.1 trillion in revenue for the biggest U.S.
    companies.

    • notafeminista

      I thought corporations weren’t people.  How does something that isn’t human pay taxes?

  • Anonymous

    Yes Ryan has a plan – the Democrats have nothing put patchwork. Ryan’s plan is not good but Republicans will still praise it. Does it take much intelligence to come up with a lousy plan? The entire economy makes no sense, why is that so difficult for them to recognize? The incentives are all skewed in a convoluted way. Polluters get off by not paying for their destruction; taxpayers foot the bill; laws get lax for white rich folk, brutal for lesser folks; working hard is not rewarded, knowing people in the right places is; we can’t have socialized health insurance but we can prop up the banks when they mismanage and corporations are now people. Who can figure out what gets rewarded today? The incentives need to be aligned correctly. Then the economy will chugg along quite happily and people will have a reason to work hard. 

  • Erachelgillard

    Hi Tom, I love your show because you are a rare host who usually does NOT let blatant misinformation go unchallenged. However, I could not believe my ears when tonight, I heard Hassett make the ludicrous statement (at about 43 minutes into the program) that our “…deficit is approaching 100 TRILLION DOLLARS!” And you let this ridiculous figure go unchallenged! I listened to the podcast to make sure that I had actually heard that number given, and that is what he said. I strongly believe that the media has a duty to call out misinformation in real time, and was disappointed that you missed this one; even more oddly, Dr. Reich also failed to correct this gross misrepresentation. You really ought to issue an erratum on air to point out this error, lest listeners actually come away with such a falsehood.  This number is much larger than the entire national debt, and your guest is guilty of sloppy math as well as misleading the public. Conservatives are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own math!

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      ‘deficit’ isn’t the correct term but our unfunded liabilities for the 3 largest entitlement programs is about $118T.

      The unfunded liability is the measure of shortfall for current promises to future generation by using actuarial analysis.  The largest of these unfunded liabilities is Medicare, which is north of $80T. 

      You can check the running total at us debt clock .org .

  • Bryantucker52

    I heard Kevin Hasset say that Wisconsin Gov. Scott
    Walker had no choice but to try to rein in unions because Wisconsin was “broke,”
    the implication being that fatcat union deals had selfishly bankrupted the
    state.  The cry of “We’re broke” is an old Republican refrain,
    tirelessly trotted out in regard to any convenient target (e.g., Social
    Security), and it is simply not true.  For
    the facts, go to this website, which describes Wisconsin’s
    problem as a lack of revenue, not overspending, caused by the
    wealthiest citizens of that state not paying their fair share of the tax
    burden:

     

    http://www.instituteforonewisconsin.org/reports/IOWtaxReport-WINotBroke2011.pdf

     

     

    Hasset and House budget committee chairman Paul Ryan
    would like us to believe they are honest, hard-working budget watchdogs.  If so, then where were these presumed paragons
    of fiscal virtue when George W. Bush set about destroying the surplus handed to
    him by Bill Clinton?

     

    Republicans have zero credibility when it comes to
    the budget deficit.  Their transparently obvious
    game plan is first to explode the deficit whenever they take the reins
    of government (by various means such as instituting unfair tax breaks for the wealthy) and then use
    that as an excuse to push through ideologically-driven, Draconian cuts in social spending,
    all the while intoning that “there is no alternative.”  Such people think that by sheer force of
    assertion they can create their own truth. 
    For example, one of Ryan’s pet lines is that “Washington has
    a spending problem, not a revenue problem.” 
    He thinks he can simply make the statement and -presto!- that will be
    the end of the story, with no need to consider whether there is any evidence to
    support it.  This technique of repeating
    ad nauseam something without providing any justification for
    it has long been recognized as a cornerstone of propaganda. (Recall, for
    example, the notorious comments of Joseph Goebbels that, to be successful, a
    program of public indoctrination “must confine itself to a few points and
    repeat them over and over.”) 

     

    Ryan and the rest of the Republicans wringing their
    hands over the budget are contemptuously disingenuous.  They promote their austerity measures as highly
    principled benefits for the common good, but their real goal is to accomplish
    in an underhanded way what they cannot do openly:  roll back the entire 20th century, “de-fund
    the left,” and obliterate or privatize every vestige of the New Deal and Great
    Society.  Such disgraceful tactics, along
    with endless dependence upon long-discredited rationales like “trickle-down”
    economics or demonstrably false bromides like “tax cuts create jobs” prove that
    conservatism, whatever its political success, is nevertheless a morally and
    intellectually bankrupt movement.

    • Modavations

      Who says trickle down is dead.Please reread JFK’s economic speeches.He was the first of the “Trickle Downers”.

      • Bryantucker52

        What is your point?  Do you have anything to say about the record
        levels of wealth inequality in our country, not seen since the 1920’s?  Do you have a response to the cogent analyses
        of conservative tactics given by people like Naomi Klein in “The
        Shock Doctrine,” or Thomas Frank in “The Wrecking Crew”?   The
        cynicism at the heart of conservative efforts to keep extracting wealth from
        the majority of the population and send it up the economic ladder is to be acknowledged
        and condemned.  But apologists for this situation will find endless justifications for it in high-minded rhetoric that
        boils down to the notion that the rich deserve more and the poor deserve
        less.  (See, for example, Herman Cain’s
        sweeping dismissal of millions by saying that if you’re poor it’s your own
        fault.)

         

        Correction:  the remarks I quoted from Goebbels were
        actually from Hitler in “Mein Kampf.” 

        • Modavations

          i don’t read anything over a paragraph

  • Kevin

    Kevin Hasset said that the Ryan plan doesn’t touch Social Security… I guess he didn’t read the plan. Ryan’s roadmap brings back the Bush idea of Social Security privatization. 

  • Murph

    Please consider stop responding to Modavations. He or she will say anything and talk around in circles to squelch coherent discourse. 

    • Modavations

      Please explain the 1st amendment.Why is the right to bear arms the second amendment

    • Bryantucker52

      Couldn’t agree more.  I tried taking this person seriously and it was a complete waste of time (see my post below)

  • Me

    Republicans want to wipe out the poor and middle class! Period!

    • Modavations

      You’re partially correct.We want to eliminate the poor.We want to make them affluent enough to buy our  products(small businessmen).As for the Middle Class, that is the Republican Party.The left is the Dependency party,led by the Social Worker.Give me a vote and I’ll give you a welfare check.Just don’t get uppity

      • TomK in Boston

        You must be living off the gvt dole, since you sure couldn’t maintain a job and have so much free time to parrot righty talking points and scripts from 1980.

  • Still Here

    Democrats want everyone to be dependent on the government or “working” for it.

    • lodger

      So could you elaborate on what you think the legitimate function of government is?  Do you think it’s possible to have good government?

      • Modavations

        Keep the barbarians from the gates and act as a referee.The Greeks of Parthenon days had a direct vote called Ekklesia.All Citizens and Freed Slaves voted on everything.

               Personally the smaller the govt the better.Leave Welfare to the Churches.

        • ulTRAX

          The problem with your local apprach to “welfare” is those states already poor tend to stay poor. Those states that can’t afford a decent education or medical care for their kids will remain that way.

          Like it or not, admit it or not, one of government’s mandates to promote the general welfare requires a redistribution of some wealth to build up infrastructure or to provide services.

  • Gregg

    President Obama’s demagoguery of Paul Ryan’s plan is  breathtakingly and depressingly surreal. He has nothing to offer but hate. How does he have the nerve to say the things he does while his policies have failed so miserably? He can’t even make a serious budget, how does he justify such rudderless leadership? Our credit rating was downgraded with the House passed antidote (Cut, Cap and Balance) languishing in the Senate. How many jobs did Obama kill by not extending Bush’s tax cuts on day one instead of waiting 2 years? It was always going to happen. Who can say the green jobs initiative is anything but an embarrassing failure? Money down a rat hole. Oh, they found another $17T of unfunded government spendng in Obamacare. Cool.

    Job #1: Defeating Obama.

    • Modavations

      I had a few shots of Tequila for you while I was in Mexico abusing miners for their “blood minerals”.Ryans plan is a crock.It goes into effect in 30 years.The Dems are planning a Putsch for the summer.OWS,RACE RIOTS,uNION THUGGERY A la Madison and the port of Seattle.

      • Gregg

        Thanks, I was thinking there must have been a reason I was getting a hankering to fight a bull. It passed.

        As gentle as Ryan’s plan is (not a crock), Obama said it makes the Contract with America look like the New Deal. He called it “Social Darwinism”. Let me know what your gobelty gook book says that is.

        He’s dangerous.

  • Modavations

    Japan just dropped the Corporate rate.The U.S. is now the highest tax regime in the world.During the 50′s the Mums could stay home and raise the kids.Why do you think everyone has to work 3 jobs today,yet one bread winner sufficed during the Eisenhower years

    • lodger

      So you are advocating something similar to Eisenhower’s top marginal tax rates of 90% (at the time, in order to fund highway building)?  What about a war tax?  Whenever we go to war, taxpayers should pay, rather than keeping it off the balance sheet and burdening future generations, as Bush/Cheney preferred to do.

      I agree: Time to get richer people to pay more so the government can implement more that benefits all of us, and helps the overall economy, e.g. single payer health care. 

      Also fix the financial system to keep it as transparent and honest as possible.  Go stricter than the Volcker rule.  Finance companies who betray the public trust pay hefty fines and have their leaders imprisoned.  Make derivatives illegal, except for people who understand they are pure gambling plays, and have nothing to do with allocating productive capital.

      Make banking boring again, like it was in the Eishenhower years. 

      I hope you realize that Eisenhower would today be run out of town for being too ‘socialist’.

    • Anonymous

      Because corporations used to pay taxes and wages were higher.

      • Modavations

        Wrong,but keep trying,law of averages says you’re bound to get something right,sometime

    • DrInsula

      Probably has something to do with the fact that the highest marginal income tax rate was 90% during Eisenhower…err… 

      • Modavations

        wrong,wrong

        • lodger

          Look at this chart for top marginal rates, and where Obama’s stacks up

          http://www.flickr.com/photos/dirich111/3361071764/

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1335150115 Ben Boer

            Don’t bother with facts Lodger, statistical graphs are “opinions” nowadays.

        • ulTRAX

          The simple fact is that during the 50′s the top tax rate WAS about 90%. That didn’t mean the rich paid that. They just kept their money reinvested to AVOID that tax rate.   Gee… could THAT have been the reason? How about how we protected our jobs from cheap foreign competition?

          What’s the secret Moda?

  • Modavations

    To the lad who asked me what Govt.should do,answer me this.What is the purpose of the GSA and why the hub bub?When you understand this, you’ll understand why I say it should be responsible for as little as possible

    • lodger

      OK good, so you made clear you don’t think the taxpayers should fund the GSA because it’s redundant/pointless.

      I was asking what you *did* think government should do. What is a legitimate government function?

      ‘As little as possible’ is a cop-out answer.

      So many knee-jerk tea-party types have had their brains  get so muddled by rightwing pundits and their media mouthpieces that they lose sight of the important question, which is:

      What are the functions that are best addressed and paid for by We The People using our tax dollars?

      Willard ‘Mitt’ would have us believe that everything is best handled by the magic of the free market, but if that were the case, the financial markets never would have imploded, and we’d have no real estate crash. 
       

  • Modavations

    JFK was the founder of Trickle Down 

    • ulTRAX

      More of your lies and distortions? Getting rid of some loopholes hardly destroyed the strong progressive nature of our income tax… but if you think the top rate of 70% was “trickle down” then fine… bring those rates back and we’ll see what you think of them then.

  • another concerned American

    It is extremely concerning to me that we are still talking about a deficit reduction plan with tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Where is the reason and the math for this?

    The wealthy have already enjoyed a lower tax rate than the middle class for some time. It has not equated to more jobs or trickle down economic benefits. We already know this.

    Jobs have gone where it is cheapest and easiest to do business.

    We can not reduce the deficit by any meaningful amount by raising taxes on the middle class. The middle class today is  struggling to pay for the ever increasing education and health care costs. These continue to skyrocket as incomes have stagnated. The middle class keeps the economy a float with their purchasing power.

    Let’s look at the numbers. The wealthy need to pay their proportionate share of the taxes. Why do they get to keep more of their money?

    What are our choices? We are part of a global economy. How does this country remain competitive? Is it with education and training and providing health care to our citizens? Or is it tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations? I can understand the arguments for being “business friendly”. But do the wealthy need to pay less in taxes so they can amass more wealth for themselves?

    • TomK in Boston

      “It is extremely concerning to me that we are still talking about a deficit reduction plan with tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Where is the reason and the math for this?”

      There is no math for it. It would appear insane, but it is not, because the real GoP agenda is to transfer more wealth to the top, and the Ryan plan will do that very effectively. They don’t care about the deficit. Their approach is to invoke the deficit as a scare tactic to fool the voters.  

      • another concerned American

        Do we live in a democratic society or a kingdom?

    • Gregg

      The wealthy pay bookoos of money, far more than everybody else. Taking ALL of their money would not help squat.

      • TomK in Boston

        Geez, another talking point.

        The wealthy have more of the income now than at any time since 1929, so they should pay more than everyone else. If 100 Romneys got ALL the income, would you consider it unfair that they paid ALL the income taxes, LOL? The relevant thing is their tax RATE, which is almost the lowest since 1929. Anyone who talks about how much the wealthy pay without reference to how much of the income they are getting is either duped or trying to dupe the rest of us.

        It’s not just a talking point to say “taking all their money would not help squat”, it’s a plain lie. FYI the total income of the USA is about $13 trillion and the famous “1%” get between 15%-20% of that depending on the year and who you read. So we’re conservatively talking about $2 trillion, which, Gregg, is a far cry from “squat”.

        It’s also a righty debate tactic to talk about taking “all”. Nobody has ever proposed to take “all” of anyone’s income. President Obama has proposed very small tax hikes on the elite. I would favor a lot more. I’d raise their taxes 20%, for $400 billion. 

        Now, at that point you are programmed to say “$400 billion won’t balance the budget, so who cares.” That’s the party line on how to respond to proposed tax hikes, right? Funny how I never hear that same logic applied to all the class warfare budget cuts. 

        Fact is, a big part of what transformed clintons surplus into bush’s deficit is the horrible tax cuts, and raising taxes at the top, which is where the money is in our very unequal USA,  would go a long way to balancing the budget again.

        • Gregg

          So what happens the year after you take all the money? Who pays? It won’t fix squat. There is huge difference between the percentage of the wealth earned and the percentage of taxes paid. I don’t care how rich the rich get as long as the poor get richer too. I don’t care about no stinkin’ gap. You assume the rich get richer at the expense of the poor. You also assume one’s income is determined by someone else. Your income is your choice. Further you assume tax hikes work in a static way but they don’t. The economy is dynamic. The numbers work far better when more taxpayers pay less taxes than they do when fewer taxpayers pay more taxes.

          You’re last paragraph is bogus and cannot be logically substantiated in any way.

          • TomK in Boston

            For the second time, nobody said anything about “all the money”. BHO is proposing a tiny tax which would leave top rates still near post-1929 lows, and my 20% hike wd leave them right in the mainstream. What’s up with your obsession with “all”? Don’t feel bad, our oligarchs are so rich that they’ll be fine after a little “shared sacrifice” or “hard choices”.

            Nothing happens after we collect a little more from the privileged. They have so much now that they could do any “job creating” that they are going to do with a little less. OTOH, additional tax revenue so we can grow the economy with gvt spending and don’t have to screw the middle class will have a huge positive effect on the economy.

            My last para is the absolute truth. We did have a surplus in 2000, and it went away because of 3 primary reasons, one being te bush tax cuts.

            Y’know, if it sounds like common sense, it probably is. Tax cuts decrease tax revenue. Whoda thunk it, huh?

          • Gregg

            There is no way to logically say the tax cuts killed the surplus. They brought in record revenues, kept the unemployment rate down and helped us weather the Clinton recession and 9/11. It’s bogus.

  • rosebud

    economics (small “e”) can be studied and numbers can be analyzed using all kinds of complex formulas, etc. but ECONOMICS involves real flesh and blood human beings, not only their ability to obtain food, clothing, and shelter, but a state of psychological well-being (or the opposite state of panic and depression, possibly leading to severe mental illness which btw we see demonstrated every day by some “lunatic” with a gun releasing their pent-up frustrations on the front page of the newspaper).
    the survival and evolution of a just society which respects human dignity and protects the (truly) less fortunate is the greater goal and not simply weighing “the numbers”. i am very happy for rich folks, and now it is time for them to show their appreciation for the security and protection afforded to them by the sacrifices of the men and women in uniform in the U.S. of A. as well as police, fire, teachers, municipal employees repairing and rebuilding the country’s infrastructure, government sponsored research, national parks and preservation, clean air and water, healthy food and medications, and a thousand other things many of us take for granted, by paying their FAIR SHARE. and the “middle class” that has a reasonable level (at this point) of job security can afford to pay a bit more into the system as well. that will reduce the deficit as well as unacceptable human suffering. 
       the “tea party” does NOT have a lock on how to manage the government OR the economy. it’s only a front for special (extremely wealthy) special interests (oil, coal, hedge fund managers, GE, etc.)
     they can’t support their own arguments with facts, and the “main-stream media” needs to make that clear.
    don’t attack the people (sheep?) carrying the signs and making noises, attack their logic (they don’t know what that is anyway). eventually they will either go home and go back to their favorite TV shows, or read up and learn about our political system BEFORE they start yelling slogans someone else told them to repeat. if they truly want to join the 99% they will then know what they really need to do- practice citizenship instead of being a propaganda tool.

  • CD

    How do Kevin Hasset and his people convince themselves that more tax cuts for the rich and a retreat from public investment is a good thing?  And how do they convince the rest of us that more shameless pandering to the rich is sound economics or sound civics?  What is the psychology behind these claims? And how do they get away with it?

  • Caleb

    I listened to the podcast of this program with mounting frustration as Kevin Hasset repeatedly avoided answering questions regarding the Ryan budget’s tax breaks for the rich.  Mr. Hasset repeatedly claimed that the basic problem facing the U.S. economy is mounting deficit and debt, and repeatedly claimed that the Ryan budget is a real solution for these problems.  Yet the Ryan plan also gives astonishing tax cuts to the very rich.  He was asked about this several times, and each time, he evaded the question, falling back into familiar conservative ideology rather than answering the question.  Even after the caller Carol from Cambridge pointed this out and the question was posed again, he was *still* indulged in his evasions.  I expect politicians to obfuscate, but I also believe that it is the responsibility of the media–and especially an outlet like NPR–to call them on it when they do, and to press home the difficult questions that they so clearly do not want to answer.

    • seethingsclearly

      Dear
      Caleb:  You are not alone in feeling this
      frustration.  NPR and its hosts do not
      have the stomach to challenge the callousness, cynicism, and outright hypocrisy
      of right-wingers like Hassett.  Ever
      concerned with being labeled “left-leaning” by right-wing Republicans intent on
      eliminating their federal funding, NPR seems unable to avoid being overly deferential
      when robust criticism is instead urgently needed, criticism that will skewer
      the propaganda we hear 24/7 from the right wing, which dominates the talk radio
      universe.
      This
      unfortunate tendency to treat with kid gloves people who are engaged in a
      reactionary crusade against the working class is an old story, part of a much
      larger problem that has been perceptively analyzed by many media critics.  For example, Mark Hertzgaard’s “On Bended
      Knee” detailed the sycophancy of the mainstream media in regard to Ronald
      Reagan.  What Hertzgaard had to say back
      then applies in spades today, to the mainstream media as well as to NPR, which
      constantly finds itself vulnerable to criticism from the right and to funding
      cuts from irate conservatives who would like nothing better than to find any
      excuse to destroy it (for example, in the same way they did to ACORN).  As long as it depends upon tax money, NPR will
      remain vulnerable and thus have to mute its criticism to one degree or another.   Beyond
      that, hosts like Tom Ashbrook or Neal Conan appear constitutionally averse to countering
      right-wing propaganda in a forceful way, which may be why they were chosen to
      be hosts in the first place.

      Back
      in the 1980’s, Reagan and his spokespersons, whose extreme right-wing views
      were well known to be at odds with those of the general population, made innumerable
      false statements that ought to have been soundly criticized.  But instead they went unchallenged.  Hertzgaard explained that “reporters simply gave Reagan officials a platform for
      making such statements themselves and then did not bother to question or
      otherwise balance them.”  NPR does the same thing today:  gives a platform and thereby lends legitimacy
      to utterly inane right-wing viewpoints.  Such
      deference to the right is not limited to the media but unfortunately extends to
      the Democrats, a sorry excuse for an opposition party if there was one, and to our
      “Capitulator-in-Chief,” President Obama. 
      The president is unwilling and unable to defend the working class and
      the poor from the onslaughts of the right wing, whose agenda openly seeks to
      extract ever-increasing amounts of wealth from the majority while enriching
      those at the top of the income pyramid.

      Finally, I think NPR’s concern
      about being labeled “too liberal” by conservative critics, and its subsequent attempt
      to bend over backward to appear fair to such conservatives, is misplaced.  As Thomas Frank has noted in “The Wrecking
      Crew:  How Conservatives Rule,” the right
      wing’s holy crusade against liberalism (i.e., the notion that the state has a
      duty to correct the excesses of unbridled capitalism) is a fight to the death, and
      liberalism is ill-equipped to fight back. 
      As Frank puts it:

      “Mainstream American
      political commentary, with its own touching faith in fair play, customarily
      assumes that the two great political parties do whatever they do as precise
      mirror images of each other; that if one is guilty of some misstep, the other
      is also automatically and equally culpable….[T]o journalists this doctrine of
      symmetry is especially appealing:  It is
      a shortcut to fairness, an easy way to brush off the accusations of bias that
      plague them…

       

      “There is no symmetry.  Liberalism…arose out of a long-ago compromise
      between left-wing social movements and business interests.  It depends utterly on the efficient
      functioning of certain organs of the state, and it does not call for some kind
      of all-out war on private industry. 
      Conservatism, on the other hands, speaks not of compromise but of
      removing its adversaries from the field altogether…[C]onservatives freely and
      openly fantasize about doing away with those bits of “big government” that
      serve liberal ends.”

       

      Given the true, stupendously
      cynical goal of the right in making such a big issue out of the budget deficit (which is, again quoting
      Frank, “to smash a liberal state that voters could not be persuaded to part
      with otherwise”), it ought to be NPR’s duty to fight back and be tough about
      it.  Sadly, like our timid president,
      they cannot.

    • Philipdorsett

      We all heard him dodging the question, he was called on it and still didn’t answer. I think Tom handles this well by allowing guests to show they are unwilling to address certain subjects. I live in the uk where talk hosts are,by rule, very confrontational and this can be just as frustrating because whole interviews are tit for tat arguments without any substantive debate. Yes, people should be called out, but if they continue to dodge then I think the listener should take note.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ellery-Tuck/100000121509965 Ellery Tuck

        Perhaps a host should simply comment that the Guest has avoided answering the question put to him, rather than not commenting one way or the other,  and then simply move on to another topic.

        The Ryan budget is nothing but more of the same, tax cuts for the job creators, and deregulation to create a more “favorable busness environment” along with indescriminent Federal spending cuts, funded in part with cuts in entitlement, and increases in taxes on the middle and working classes.  The result, a guarenteed slowdown of the ecomomy.  Simply more of the same, more tranfers of wealth to the top 2%.   I guess Ryan is not happy with that favored group only owning 40% of our nations wealth.

      • seethingsclearly

        I beg to differ with you about the effects of being
        confrontational with a guest on a radio show.  You may be frustrated by what
        happens in the U.K. when the host seems to go too far in challenging the guest,
        but I don’t see how it’s any improvement to go to the other extreme and avoid
        confrontation altogether, which is what Tom Ashbrook and others like him do far
        too often.  Would that Ashbrook had a fraction of the
        spunk of your average BBC reporter.  I’ve heard many interviews on the BBC in which
        the reporter refuses to be deferential to someone who is clearly an apologist
        for injustice or who rationalizes violence.  It’s a breath of fresh air to
        hear the reporter refuse to back down and instead challenge the interviewee.  The type of question I have in mind, to take a
        hypothetical example, might be from interviewing a spokesman for a coup in an
        African country, where the interviewer might say:  “How is it possible,
        general, for you to maintain that few civilians were killed when we have
        reports from the following hospitals that prove otherwise?”

         

        My point is that people being
        interviewed who maintain notions at odds with observed facts deserve to be put
        on the spot and to have the facts put directly to them.  It seems to me that Tom Ashbrook rarely if ever
        does this with hard-nosed conservatives like Hassett on his shows.  My impression is that Tom bends over backward
        to accommodate conservatives because he is too afraid of otherwise being
        labeled as a dreaded “liberal,” a term of such opprobrium in the conservative political
        lexicon that it has replaced in vigor the word “communist” from a bygone era.

         

        Suppose Ashbrook had said the
        following to Hassett: “Sir, you are simply avoiding answering my question, and
        this is disrespectful to all of us, especially to our listeners.”  That seems to me to be an entirely appropriate
        rebuke.

         

        If you want to see how a
        questioner handles a politician who avoids answering a question, then look at
        the following link, detailing a meeting between a conservative Republican congresswoman
        and her constituents.  The questioner refuses to let the
        congresswoman get away with rambling on and being entirely off the point:

         

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAWvVTMz5o0

         

        In sum, I think it’s long past
        time to trumpet the fact that the emperor has no clothes.  Conservatives
        like Hassett and Ryan have gotten away with their propagandistic “talking
        points” for far too long.

  • StillHere

    The US national debt stands at just over $15.6 trillion as compared to the $15.1 trillion gross domestic product in 2011. This means that our national debt is now 103.3% of GDP, a feat which has not happened in the Post-WWII era. To put $15.6 trillion into perspective, this means that every man, woman and child in America owes just over $50,000 toward the national debt. If we use an estimated budget deficit of $1.1 trillion for 2012, the national debt will have grown by just over $5 trillion in the last four years. Thank you Barry!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ellery-Tuck/100000121509965 Ellery Tuck

      Actually, it is thank you GWB II, and GOP who gave him everything he asked for,  as Bush II added over 5 Trillion to the Deficit during his 8 year term.  He then managed to bring about the collapse of our economy through deregulation and hands off the mortgage and the financial sectors.   The result of this was that of the current deficts accumulated by the Obama Administration, only about of 1/4 of it was because of bailouts, and stimulus packages made necessary to avoid a Bush depression.  The balance of the deficits were simply from reduced tax revenues to the Federal Government  caused by massive failing businesses and loss of employment of workers, again, complements of GWB II and the GOP.

      Obviously, what many GOP voters think is that then Obama’s spending should have been cut, but in doing that, another Great Depression would have been the result.

      As it is, unlike Bush II, who took a positive balance in our revenues when he took office, immediately cut taxes, and managed somehow to turn it into 5 Trillion in deficits, Obama had to head off a depresson, and rebuild an economy, which he as done, abet a little slowly with no help from the GOP.   So, in all fairness, you need to move about 2.8 Trillion of the Obama deficits over to the Bush ledger,  as the Bush Administration,  and the GOP caused them, which would bring Bush II’s deficits up to only 7.8 Trillion of the total  15.5 trillion dollar National deficit, which certainly is a new record for any Administration, Democratic or GOP. 

  • Curtis Blankinship

    Any discussion of economics or taxes that does not mention the interest paid on war debt is taken out of context.
    If anyone gains from war its banks. They need to take the hit for the cost of war. Would it be so bad if it became difficult to finance war?
    Most of our tax dollars go to pay just the interest on war debt. Unfortunately, most of our pensions are invested in this debt.
    But all our pensions are down in value anyway so now is the time to refinance war debt to save the world economy.
    Industrialist at the close of WW1 did not want to pay for war debt either and put the tax burden on the middle class which caused WW2
    C

  • Jack

    I was disappointed to hear (yet again) several “Super Majority” statements by a guest go unchallenged.  If you recall, the Minnesota seat was contested and Al Franken did not join the house until December of 2009, while Scott Brown took over the Massachusetts seat in January of 2010.  The “Super Majority” was very short lived.

  • Tmajor7

    With all due respect stop looking at the surface and step back and evaluate the core of the problem(s) Few understand exactly how the economy operates under its facade. Most understand their is something seriously wrong happening to We The People. The overwhelming majority don’t come close to understanding exactly how our U.S. gov’t and monetary system actually operate. If they took the time they could work to repair country!

    Learn how to think and form opinions on your own. Stop REGURGITATING what you hear and are instructed to. Research exactly what it means to be a sovereign nation as well as how your gov’t and monetary system operates!  

  • http://www.abercrombieandfitchonsale.co.uk/ Dominick

    Great concepts on this webiste. It’s rare nowadays to get websites with data you’re seeking. I am thankful I came across this webpage.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 22, 2014
In this Dec. 17, 2012 file photo, then New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks a news conference in New York where he and dozens of shooting survivors and victims' relatives called on Congress and President Obama to tighten gun laws and enforcement. The former New York mayor, a billionaire and advocate of firearms regulation, plans to spend $50 million this year setting up a new group that will mix campaign contributions with field operations aimed at pulling gun-control supporters to the polls. (AP)

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s new $50 million dollar push for gun control. We’ll look at the plan to take on Washington and the gun lobby.

Apr 21, 2014
In this 2003 photo released by the Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, left, is seen in Monterrey, Mexico. Behind is Colombian journalist Jose Salgar. Garcia Marquez died on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at his home in Mexico City. (AP)

Gabriel García Márquez and his spell of magical realism. We’ll cast it again, in remembrance.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 18, 2014
This undated photo provided by NASA on April 2, 2014 shows Saturn's moon Enceladus. The "tiger stripes" are long fractures from which water vapor jets are emitted. Scientists have uncovered a vast ocean beneath the icy surface of the moon, they announced Thursday, April 3, 2014. Italian and American researchers made the discovery using Cassini, a NASA-European spacecraft still exploring Saturn and its rings 17 years after its launch from Cape Canaveral. (AP)

Oceans in Space. The new discovery on a moon of Saturn, and the possibility of life there.

 
Apr 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

Deadly clashes in Eastern Ukraine. A white supremacist rocks Kansas City. The Marathon bombing anniversary. And Bloomberg on guns. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

More »
Comment
 
Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

More »
Comment