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February 12, 2010


Bloomberg - President Barack Obama said he is "agnostic" about raising taxes on households making less than $250,000 as part of a broad effort to rein in the budget deficit.

Obama, in a Feb. 9 Oval Office interview, said that a presidential commission on the budget needs to consider all options for reducing the deficit, including tax increases and cuts in spending on entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

"The whole point of it is to make sure that all ideas are on the table," the president said in the interview with Bloomberg Business Week, which will appear on newsstands Friday. "So what I want to do is to be completely agnostic, in terms of solutions."

Obama repeatedly vowed during the 2008 presidential election campaign that he would not raise taxes on individuals making less than $200,000 and households earning less than $250,000 a year. When senior White House economic adviser Lawrence H. Summers and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner suggested in August that the administration might be open to going back on that pledge, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs quickly reiterated the president's promise.


Anonymous wellbasically said...

Somebody really needs to tell these people what the tax rates would be if they actually tried to tax their way out of the deficit.

We have too much extra debt which is not invested in something that will pay itself off.

We can't roll it over because there is no prospect for getting a lower interest rate in the future with rates artificially low now.

There are three ways to deal with the extra debt.

1. Grow out of it. This is the best way.
2. Inflate it away. Not such a good option.
3. Bankruptcy. Again not such a good option.

The best solution is #1 but it will never happen with politicians who are in favor of anti-growth policies.

February 12, 2010 11:13 PM  
Anonymous MonkeyMuffins said...

Number 1 is, of course, the worst policy: business as usual, the myth of infinite growth on a finite planet.

It's not going to work because it's literally impossible.

But we're sure as heck going to try.

Tragically, the cold, harsh, indifferent truth is that we're not going to grow, consume and indebt our way out of the problems of growth, consumption and debt.

Not because those who understand this want to "screw the poor" but because it's literally impossible to solve the problem of business-as-usual (impossible growth, unsustainable consumption and unpayable debt) by using business-as-usual (growth, consumption and debt).

It hasn't worked -- indeed business-as-usual got us into this mess.

But don't fret WellBasically because business-as-usual is all we know (the hallmark of any fundamentalist religion, in this case, neoclassical economics) and it's all we're trying to use to get us out of this mess, which only ensures more mess (like the proverbial definition of "insane": doing something monumentally stupid and ineffective over and over and over again, each time expecting a different result).


February 13, 2010 5:14 AM  
Anonymous wellbasically said...

Please give an example of a resource we have less access to now than we had 30 years ago.

February 15, 2010 2:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."
-- Edward Abbey

for more about the limits to exponential growth on a finite planet:
Net Energy Limits and the Fate of Industrial Society
by Richard Heinberg Foreword by Jerry Mander
A Joint Project of the International Forum on Globalization and the Post Carbon Institute. [ False Solution Series #4 ] September 2009
"Money As Debt"
47 min - Feb 12, 2007
"The Crash Course" on energy and money
3 hours, but in short chapters.
"Arithmetic, Population and Energy"
Albert Bartlett, professor emeritus of physics, University of Colorado
1 hour - probably the best introduction, but not fancy enough for the MTV generation (no stroboscopic psyops included)
Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy

an old growth forest is an example of a steady state ecosystem - the amount of growth is balanced by the amount of decay

February 15, 2010 5:32 AM  

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