Economist Dean Baker says now is not the time to worry about the deficit

Comments

So does economist Art Benavie

Everyone should read Art's book, Deficit Hysteria.

If you're a so-called deficit hawk and you haven't read it, whatever you think about the deficit is, how shall I say this, completely uninformed.

Great comments from Dean.

Debt is just in your mind? Don't worry about it?

whatever you think about the deficit is, how shall I say this, completely uninformed.* James

Tell that to American Express when you have max out your card in the current depression and been out of a job for a year and your house just hit the forcloser legal journal in your town along with 5000 thousand others..

There has never been any civilization on the face of this planet in ancient and modern history that has continue on as a State or Order with massive debt without Chaos.

Libertarian point of view

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
Thomas Jefferson

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes.
A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.
Thomas Jefferson

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
Thomas Jefferson

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.
Thomas Jefferson

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.
Thomas Jefferson

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas Jefferson

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
Thomas Jefferson

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:
'I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered...'

Monticello

I visited there a few weeks ago and learned more than I wanted to know about Jefferson. His lifelong practice of owning slaves casts an ugly shadow over his fancy words. Especially that tree of liberty business.

Monticello vs. Slavery Today

Jefferson wasn't a fan of slavery. He also knew it was irresponsible for slave owners to merely release their slaves into a foreign civilization and society without first preparing them for success and the ability to be self sufficient. He taught his slaves to read and write and equipped them with skills that they could support themselves with and allowed his slaves to keep a portion of the profits for goods and services they produced and/or provided, as well as freeing many when he felt they were able to be self sufficient. Of course, none of us are fans of that "peculiar institution", but it is also way too easy to judge as an arm chair quarterback a time in history none of us experienced or lived first hand. The only real question today is who had greater freedom and quality of life; slaves living on the Jefferson Plantation, or working class poor 14th Amendment citizens living on the federal plantation today? I've often wondered how so many folks today work minimum wage jobs, have the federal government withhold a large portion of the fruits of their labor each payday, make them wait an entire year before they can get that money back (without interest or a thank you letter), don't provide them housing, don't provide either them or their children an adequate education, etc. etc.. and we have the nerve to actually call them "free". Jefferson's slaves had food, housing, medical care, and a trade, and had all of this from cradle to grave. None were brutalized or mistreated and they didn't have to worry about being forced to live in bad neighborhoods with rampant drug abuse and gangs threatening their daily lives. The most ironic thing about it all, is that Thomas Jefferson did more for the black race than Abraham Lincoln ever dreamed of, especially considering his so-called Emancipation Proclamation didn't free a single slave and kept in bondage any slave under his (US) control. Maybe this is because Lincoln was a Republican and Jefferson was a Democrat? Gee, it doesn't seem like much has changed with regards to the political parties and race relations.

Myth Busters on Present Day Republican Slavely

Gee, it doesn't seem like much has changed with regards to the political parties and race relations* nc Fayetteville Slave Market Thinker

The Civil war is over! Deal with it and Uncle Tom Cabin was no myth, Or move to South Carolina to make your slavely dream come true...

Slavery Legal in SC?

Madame, slavery isn't morale, ethical, or practical, and is why it shouldn't be lawful today just because the federal government sanctions it and calls it by another name.

I think all of us are well aware that the War is over and has been now for well over 140+ years. I didn't mention the War and certainly wasn't aware that I was having issues "dealing" with it. The only folks that "dealt" with it were they that experienced it. Uncle Tom's Cabin was certainly a popular book, but it was written by an abolitionist for the intent of inciting hatred and ending the institution. It wasn't non fiction.

Slavery is not only legal in SC, but in every State of the Union via the 14th Amendment. One doesn't need to move anywhere. My only dream is that slavery, in every form, is abolished once and for all.

Couldn't care less Thinker what you try to think!

It's over Dude! Get use to it! You have no idea or a clue to what is taking place in front of your dark side neo-con corporate republican eyes..

Good-Bye...
Truth Has Fallen And Taken Liberty With It
By Paul Craig Roberts
3-25-10

There was a time when the pen was mightier than the sword. That was a time when people believed in truth and regarded truth as an independent power and not as an auxiliary for government, class, race, ideological, personal, or financial interest.

Today, Americans are ruled by propaganda. Americans have little regard for truth, little access to it, and little ability to recognize it.

Truth is an unwelcome entity. It is disturbing. It is off limits. Those who speak it run the risk of being branded "anti-American," "anti-semite" or "conspiracy theorist."

Truth is an inconvenience for government and for the interest groups whose campaign contributions control government.

Truth is an inconvenience for prosecutors who want convictions, not the discovery of innocence or guilt.

Truth is inconvenient for ideologues.

Today, many whose goal once was the discovery of truth are now paid handsomely to hide it. "Free market economists" are paid to sell offshoring to the American people. High-productivity, high value-added American jobs are denigrated as dirty, old industrial jobs. Relicts from long ago, we are best shed of them. Their place has been taken by "the New Economy," a mythical economy that allegedly consists of high-tech white collar jobs in which Americans innovate and finance activities that occur offshore. All Americans need in order to participate in this "new economy" are finance degrees from Ivy League universities, and then they will work on Wall Street at million dollar jobs.

Economists who were once respectable took money to contribute to this myth of "the New Economy."

And not only economists sell their souls for filthy lucre. Recently we have had reports of medical doctors who, for money, have published in peer-reviewed journals concocted "studies" that hype this or that new medicine produced by pharmaceutical companies that paid for the "studies."

The Council of Europe is investigating the drug companies' role in hyping a false swine flu pandemic in order to gain billions of dollars in sales of the vaccine.

The media helped the US military hype its recent Marja offensive in Afghanistan, describing Marja as a city of 80,000 under Taliban control. It turns out that Marja is not urban but a collection of village farms.

And there is the global warming scandal, in which NGOs. the UN, and the nuclear industry colluded in concocting a doomsday scenario in order to create profit in pollution.

Wherever one looks, truth has fallen to money.

Wherever money is insufficient to bury the truth, ignorance, propaganda, and short memories finish the job.

I remember when, following CIA director William Colby's testimony before the Church Committee in the mid-1970s, presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan issued executive orders preventing the CIA and U.S. black-op groups from assassinating foreign leaders. In 2010 the US Congress was told by Dennis Blair, head of national intelligence, that the US now assassinates its own citizens in addition to foreign leaders.

When Blair told the House Intelligence Committee that US citizens no longer needed to be arrested, charged, tried, and convicted of a capital crime, just murdered on suspicion alone of being a "threat," he wasn't impeached. No investigation pursued. Nothing happened. There was no Church Committee. In the mid-1970s the CIA got into trouble for plots to kill Castro. Today it is American citizens who are on the hit list. Whatever objections there might be don't carry any weight. No one in government is in any trouble over the assassination of U.S. citizens by the U.S. government.

As an economist, I am astonished that the American economics profession has no awareness whatsoever that the U.S. economy has been destroyed by the offshoring of U.S. GDP to overseas countries. U.S. corporations, in pursuit of absolute advantage or lowest labor costs and maximum CEO "performance bonuses," have moved the production of goods and services marketed to Americans to China, India, and elsewhere abroad. When I read economists describe offshoring as free trade based on comparative advantage, I realize that there is no intelligence or integrity in the American economics profession.

Intelligence and integrity have been purchased by money. The transnational or global U.S. corporations pay multi-million dollar compensation packages to top managers, who achieve these "performance awards" by replacing U.S. labor with foreign labor. While Washington worries about "the Muslim threat," Wall Street, U.S. corporations and "free market" shills destroy the U.S. economy and the prospects of tens of millions of Americans.

Americans, or most of them, have proved to be putty in the hands of the police state.

Americans have bought into the government's claim that security requires the suspension of civil liberties and accountable government. Astonishingly, Americans, or most of them, believe that civil liberties, such as habeas corpus and due process, protect "terrorists," and not themselves. Many also believe that the Constitution is a tired old document that prevents government from exercising the kind of police state powers necessary to keep Americans safe and free.

Most Americans are unlikely to hear from anyone who would tell them any different.

I was associate editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal. I was Business Week's first outside columnist, a position I held for 15 years. I was columnist for a decade for Scripps Howard News Service, carried in 300 newspapers. I was a columnist for the Washington Times and for newspapers in France and Italy and for a magazine in Germany. I was a contributor to the New York Times and a regular feature in the Los Angeles Times. Today I cannot publish in, or appear on, the American "mainstream media."

For the last six years I have been banned from the "mainstream media." My last column in the New York Times appeared in January, 2004, coauthored with Democratic U.S. Senator Charles Schumer representing New York. We addressed the offshoring of U.S. jobs. Our op-ed article produced a conference at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and live coverage by C-Span. A debate was launched. No such thing could happen today.

For years, I was a mainstay at the Washington Times, producing credibility for the Moony newspaper as a Business Week columnist, former Wall Street Journal editor, and former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. But when I began criticizing Bush's wars of aggression, the order came down to Mary Lou Forbes to cancel my column.

The American corporate media does not serve the truth. It serves the government and the interest groups that empower the government.

America's fate was sealed when the public and the anti-war movement bought the government's 9/11 conspiracy theory. The government's account of 9/11 is contradicted by much evidence. Nevertheless, this defining event of our time, which has launched the US on interminable wars of aggression and a domestic police state, is a taboo topic for investigation in the media. It is pointless to complain of war and a police state when one accepts the premise upon which they are based.

These trillion dollar wars have created financing problems for Washington's deficits and threaten the U.S. dollar's role as world reserve currency. The wars and the pressure that the budget deficits put on the dollar's value have put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block. Former Goldman Sachs chairman and U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is after these protections for the elderly. Fed chairman Bernanke is also after them. The Republicans are after them as well. These protections are called "entitlements" as if they are some sort of welfare that people have not paid for in payroll taxes all their working lives.

With over 21 per cent unemployment as measured by the methodology of 1980, with American jobs, GDP, and technology having been given to China and India, with war being Washington's greatest commitment, with the dollar over-burdened with debt, with civil liberty sacrificed to the "war on terror," the liberty and prosperity of the American people have been thrown into the trash bin of history.

The militarism of the U.S. and Israeli states, and Wall Street and corporate greed, will now run their course. As the pen is censored and its might extinguished, I am signing off.

Paul Craig Roberts was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts03242010.html

Market House Evil?

Madame, I don't want to read anything into your "Fayetteville Slave Market" reference, but my concern is that I hope it is not the only thing you think of when you view the structure. It is true that it was indeed a market house, but served many other functions as well. Slaves were sold there, but slaves were also sold in NY City and elsewhere. Is NY City known as the "Slave City"? Whether we like it or not, we all must recognize that the entire nation, north and south, was engaged in the slave trade. The US flag flew atop every ship involved in the transAtlantic slave trade. If you haven't read about "loose" vs. "tight" packing, I suggest it only to get a better understanding of the inhumane cruelty involved with regards to northern merchants and how they viewed their "goods" as nothing more than just another commodity. The Industrial Revolution ended slavery, not 600,000 American lives.

Alien Lizard History by Thinker?

The Industrial Revolution ended slavery, not 600,000 American lives.* thinker

If you think that, than you are one sick dude to believe that Corporate American ended slavery......So how long have you been the reverse idiot on American history at the John Locke Bigot foundation.......seek history therapy Dude before you start believing that the "Men in Black" Movie is about the Obama Health Care Act that ended slavery.

The Myth of Lincoln

Madame, I know this may be an emotional issue for you and others, but I can assure you that the 600,000, mostly white men living in the mid 19th century, did not give their lives, or endure the hardship of war, because of their heartfelt concern for black slaves. We simply teach that to elementary children because it is a simplified answer and the "real" reason for the war requires critical thinking skills, intellect, maturity, and hard study that children do not yet possess. Slavery was legal throughout the world in several countries and ended peacefully everywhere except in the US. The reason it ended was simply because there was no longer a need for it, and the institution cost more than readily available free white labor and machinery. The war between North and South was going on even before the ink dried on the newly adopted Constitution. The War was simply fought to settle once and for all the ideological differences between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists. The War was fought for the 14th Amendment. The 13th Amendment was adopted simply because Lincoln and the Federalists did not want slavery to compete with free white labor, which was much cheaper. Neither Lincoln nor his Party could care less about the plight of the blacks in the South and Lincoln desired to send them all back to Africa or dig the canal in Panama. Lincoln was an unapologetic self-avowed racist!

I know this may be the "red pill" for you, but do yourself a favor and don't believe anything I've written here. Instead, simply utilize your library card and study. There is nothing I've written that can't be confirmed in the writings of the time. You will have to dig through all the subsequent myth of Lincoln junk that has since been written in order to make him into a god-like person, but it is there and indisputable. Read the works from the people that actually knew Lincoln personally, such as Horace Greeley, Wendell Phillips, John Nicolay, William Herndon, et al. Lincoln didn't free a single slave and preferred they be transferred to federal control in order to either be removed from the country or work on federal projects. Had he not been assassinated, there is a good chance he would have been successful in his desire to have them all moved to Panama as canal-digging slaves of the federal government.

The vast majority of Republicans, excluding a very small number of radical abolitionists, didn't have any love for the plight of blacks in this country. They simply used race as a means to settle their long-standing issues with the Southern Anti-Federalists. Politics can be ugly, and quite often, the truth inconvenient, Madame.

The Jefferson revisionist society

Offered all the same arguments you did, and many more. I didn't buy it from them, and I won't buy it for you.

Jefferson chose personal prosperity over the freedom of other human beings. It was a clear and purposeful choice. The proof of the pudding is in the tasting. And this pudding tastes like white privilege and greed.

Jefferson and his fellows built a country on the broken backs and dead bodies of native Americans and blacks alike. They took and took and took and took and took, and now you and your Libertarian colleagues want to push "reset" and pretend like it never happened.

A nation cannot decimate one race and enslave another over the course of centuries and then wave a magic wand hoping the disastrous impacts of its actions will disappear like footprints in the tide. You and I are deeply complicit in the crushing poverty that exists among blacks and native Americans today. We have come nowhere near making restitution, nor will we in our lifetimes.

Not Interested in Revisionism

Jefferson wasn't perfect, I don't recall making that assertion.
I haven't met a perfect person, and certainly not a politician, in my lifetime and never will.
I've only attempted to highlight some facts regarding Jefferson.
One should always look at the entire record, not simply engage in cherry-picking those simplified issues merely for political expediency.

Agreed

n/t

Tom Jefferson is a Tea Bagger!

JBradley, this is crazy talk! Who is this Tom Jefferson guy, anyway? He sound like one of those right-wing, whacko, Tea Bagging, Sarah Palin loving extremist. Is this guy running for office in 2010? This speech is incendiary and he must be stopped! Where do I contribute to his opponent? He's got to be a Republican!

Just kidding:)
Thomas Jefferson is the undisputed greatest Democrat that ever served this country. Great post! We can all learn much from his writings.

Sara is not Tom! That is for sure!

Who is this Tom Jefferson guy, anyway? He sound like one of those right-wing, whacko, Tea Bagging, Sarah Palin loving extremist. Is this guy running for office in 2010?* nc Thinker

If Ole Tom was alive today and President. He would have Sara Palin arrested and tried for Treason for being stupid enough to belong to the Republican Neo-Con war mongering party and most likely had her hung from the Tree of Liberty as an example why her Gene Pool should be remove from the Planet.

Reminds me of Dick Cheney

...I'm sure y'all agreed with Darth Cheney when he said "Deficits don't matter".

Depends on what the deficits are for

Deficits for healthier Americans, well worth it.
Deficits for unnecessary war? Not so much.

Read the book, Deficit Hysteria, then come back and talk about it. Unless you think that flushing a cool trillion in Iraq was a smart move ... in which case, don't bother.

I'll take, "War...What Is It

I'll take, "War...What Is It Good For?" for a $1 trillion, Foxtrot.

Hold on, I think I know this one...
Let me guess...
Perhaps, government contractors?
Did I get it right?

Yes, yes, yes

Now you are talking, Thinker.

Nice to know we can agree on this. Thanks.

"Other Side" getting closer?

I'm sure there is plenty we agree upon, Fox.
(even though you once claimed I was from the "other side")
Have a great weekend:)

Thanks

The "other side" is not necessarily Rep vs. Dem. It is in a way of thinking on specific issues. I think we understand each other.

Have a good weekend yourself, my friend.

Thomas Jefferson

I would add that Jefferson had a rather liberal view of personal debt.

And, as someone who at least finished coursework and began a dissertation in 19th Century history, I would say that thinker has some valid points, but takes the interpretation of the Civil War too far.

The idea that liberal capitalism destroyed slavery was popularized in the Eric Williams book, appropriately titled, Capitalism & Slavery. But Williams is a bit simplistic in his reading of slavery's demise.

Republicans were an explictly anti-slavery party, although it concentrated on blocking the expansion of slavery and the motivations were clearly not all moral. But Frederick Douglas was a pretty influential Republican and argued forcefully against slavery as a moral issue.

And while the Civil War did not start explicitly to end slavery -- it would not have been fought without the existence of slavery. But during the War the abolitionists were able to change Lincoln's language, and probably his mindset, to see the War as an anti-slavery crusade. See, for example, his Second Inaugural where he adopts the language of abolitionists.

LOLz

I happen to think flushing $1 trillion is a bad idea regardless of what we spend it on.

I do get it though....thanks for helping me out.

Republicans on Republicans running huge deficits and adding to the debt - "Deficits don't matter"

Democrats on Democrats running huge deficits and adding to the debt - "Deficits don't matter"

Democrats on Republicans running huge deficits and adding to the debt - "Those evil Republicans being so fiscally irresponsible"

Republicans on Democrats running huge deficits and adding to the debt - "Those evil Democrats being so fiscally irresponsible"

Did I miss anything?