The Watering Hole, Monday, March 23, 2015: It’s Clearly Not A Budget

It’s supposed to be a budget, but clearly it’s not. Sure, it’s got some numbers in it, but it also has places where there are no numbers, just huge assumptions about money that even a high school student would find obviously wrong. For example, they want to repeal Obamacare (because, what, 57th time’s a charm?) but they make no provision for where the tax revenue the ACA generated will be raised. The other major problem with that thing with numbers is that it calls for cutting a trillion dollars in spending without specifying the programs being cut. The likely candidates are “food stamps, disability payments for veterans, the earned income tax credit, and Pell grants for college students,” but even cuts there won’t make up for the money Republicans claim they won’t be spending. In short, there is no way this Republican budget can have any connection to Reality.

That’s putting it more kindly than Paul Krugman. He called Republicans the “Trillion Dollar Fraudsters.”

One answer you sometimes hear is that what Republicans really believe is that tax cuts for the rich would generate a huge boom and a surge in revenue, but they’re afraid that the public won’t find such claims credible. So magic asterisks are really stand-ins for their belief in the magic of supply-side economics, a belief that remains intact even though proponents in that doctrine have been wrong about everything for decades.

And therein lies the problem: Republicans are governing this country based on a philosophy that has historically been proven wrong. Tax cuts for the rich do not create jobs. Consumer demand creates jobs, and so do public works programs. If you give more money to the super wealthy by cutting their taxes, they are not going to spend all that money, which is what is needed for the economy to function. The economy only works when money moves around. You buy something from your local merchant. He takes your money, and money from other customers, and he replenishes his stock of the things you all bought. He does this by going to his vendors and buying those products you bought from them. Those vendors, in turn, do the same thing and replenish their own inventory of goods. If a business owner is buying a service from another company, she gives that company her money for their services, and they use it to pay their employees, who go out to their local stores and buy the things they need. If everything is working the way it’s supposed to, the consumers have the money to buy the things they need, the vendors sell enough goods and services to pay their employees and vendors, the businesses involved make a little profit, and the shareholders of those companies get a little more money for themselves. The poor and many of the middle class often live paycheck to paycheck. They spend most, if not all, of what they bring in. Rich people don’t do that. If you give a worker an extra fifty dollars in his paycheck, there’s a good chance he’s going to spend most of that $50, thus stimulating the economy as described. You give that super rich person an extra $50 and he’s not even going to notice it (so he won’t notice when it’s not there), because it’s probably going to end up in some offshore bank account, free of taxation. Public works programs also stimulate the economy because in addition to providing jobs (so people have money to spend), they reduce traffic delays which result in lost productivity. The beneficial ripple effects of an infrastructure spending program are too numerous to detail, but they are one of the best ways to stimulate the economy, along with continuing to pay out unemployment insurance benefits. You can bet that money isn’t going out to offshore bank accounts.

But it starts with someone spending the money in the first place, otherwise there’s nothing to “prime the pump.” If people don’t have money to spend, or have billions of dollars but are not spending it, the economy doesn’t work. Goods and services aren’t sold and businesses are forced to layoff workers. (If they’re not bringing in money, they have no money to pay employees.) Unemployment rises, and so does government spending on benefits (which were earned, by the way, not just handed out to anyone who asks.) Assuming there’s money in the government budget to pay unemployment insurance benefits. Republicans love to cut UI benefits because their rich overlords equate social worth with financial worth. They believe that if you’re poor, it’s because you made bad choices in life, such as not being born into a wealthy family. They believe (with all their cold, black hearts) that because they’re rich and you’re not, that they are better than you. They falsely believe that they made it on their own (including the ones who inherited wealth), and that they never needed any help from the government. How wrong they were. Setting aside their own education (since the super wealthy often have private tutors and attend private schools where they make their private connections in life), there are many ways the super wealthy depend on government. For example, they require roads to earn their wealth. Even if they fly themselves to work in their own helicopters, the people who work for them, the people who deliver the supplies their businesses need, all depend on roads paid for by the public. Their places of work (and homes) are protected by police officers paid for by the public. They use water and electricity often supplied by a delivery system paid for by the public. And this doesn’t even go into the all the ways the government helps the people who help the super wealthy make more money. And if it’s paid for by the public, it’s done through the government. (Because We the People are the Government.) So it is simply not true that any super rich person made it “all on his own.” Their wealth was made possible by the liberal framework around which our society is built. You can’t have a nation of people who look out only for themselves. It just can’t work. Where’s the sense of Community if nobody helps each other out? That’s what our government is – people helping each other out, even if the people being helped out don’t understand that. Actor Craig T. Nelson once said to Fox News Channel (where ignorant, frightened people turn to find out what to fear), “I’ve been on food stamps and welfare. Anybody help me out? No.” Actually, Craig, Yes, somebody did help you out. Your fellow citizens. By having your government give you food stamps and welfare. You’re welcome.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Republican inhumanity, or anything else that interests you.


61 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, March 23, 2015: It’s Clearly Not A Budget

  1. If you’ve got the notion, please consider:

    Save the Bees! Call the White House on March 23!

    Please call the White House on Monday, March 23. Ask President Obama to protect bees from toxic pesticides immediately, in order to protect our food supply and the environment. Please join citizens across the country by calling 1-877-796-1948. –

    • I have five hives in my yard.
      The neighbors are actually delighted.
      Commercial beekeepers suffer the highest losses due to the fact that they are moving them constantly and they are also the only group sampled.
      Hobby beekeepers are growing in numbers and include some people you would never suspect of having an interest in such a thing.

      John Lydon A.K.A Johnny Rotten

      Steve Vai, a seriously ripping guitarist

      Some possible reasons for the disappearance of bees:

      Power Lines
      Michele Bachman
      Cell Phones
      Home schooling
      Solar Activity
      Earth’s magnetic field shifting
      The Rapture
      Herman Cain
      Ted Cruz
      Rand Paul
      James Inhofe
      Joel Osteen
      The Westboro Baptist Church

      No, not really, I made those up.

    • Is there a real point to this video? One minute in, not one person has said anything relevant to anything.

      • That’s the point.
        The budget that was submitted is total gibberish and bound to be rejected.

  2. Republicans would cut taxes on just the wealthy, if they could get away with it. Since they can’t, they cut everybody’s taxes, so the working class will allow the wealthy’s tax cuts. A funny thing happens to the money gained from a tax cut, depending on your income and whether you are an employer or an employee. If you’re an employer, or an investor, you get to keep more money. If you’re an employee, you get to keep more money just until your employer figures out how to siphon off the increase, either in the form of reduced raises, or by raising the employee contribution to health insurance, or some other way.
    Let’s say you have two workers. One lives in a high tax area, probably up north, and the other lives in a low tax area, like here in Alabama. Both workers clear about ten thousand dollars a year in disposable income, but the northern worker earns about ten thousand more in gross income. Which worker is better off? Short-sighted people might say it doesn’t matter because they both end up with the same amount of money at the end of the year. Over the course of a lifetime, the higher paid worker qualifies for a higher Social Security check in retirement. Over those years, the higher paid worker has contributed more to the Social Security system, keeping it more solvent. The win-win for Republicans is that by cutting taxes on workers, they lower overall compensation in the long run, making expenses lower for employers, while depriving Social Security and Medicare of additional funds.

    What Krugman says is true, he just doesn’t get as deep into the subject as he could have.

      • Yes but I have already accounted for ‘cost of living’ being covered, prior to the disposable income. That purchasing power would be limited to the discrepancy of the cost of items that aren’t essential. Does an I-Phone cost more up north than down here? Since many items are universally available over the internet, the cost isn’t going to vary much. Also, we have 9% sales tax here, including on food.
        Where you might see cheaper pricing is in entertainment. The cost of fun goes up when there is more money demanding it in a given area.

  3. Not a budget.
    More of a statement, that government is best drowned in a bathtub, along with the poor, the disabled, the needy.
    Abhorrent assholes.

    • Obviously, racing on frozen lakes is normal for the area and, since I’m from Florida, I have to discount any suggestion that the ice is thinner now due to atmospheric anomalies. 🙂

      • If you do that you’re breaking the law, right? Lose your job? Maybe have to see a head shrink to see what the hell’s wrong with your gray matter?

        When I was in HS, we all spent most of the winter driving on frozen lakes in S. Minn. Not sure if they still do that up that way, what with climate change . . . oops.

    • That’s good. The wingnut chitter chatter has become totally brainless — which makes it appeal to lots more people than it would if it had some substance.

  4. I know Liberty “University” made attendance mandatory for Cruz, but does anyone know if attendance was mandatory for Terry McCauliffe’s speech that got bumped because of this?

    • Heh! Not likely. It is, however, fitting that a lunatic like The Cruzer would make his big announcement at an institution that manufactures stupidity and insanity on an industrial scale.

      • The WaPo has an article on why Cruz picked Liberty “U” for the announcement. But here’s more choices. Is it:
        a.) To pander to mouth-breathing morons
        b.) Douchebags of a feather derp together.
        c.) The clown college had already booked Bozo
        d.) Because he’d get laughed and/or booed off the stage anywhere else
        e.) All of the above

    • A University in the State of Virginia bumped the Governor for this asshat? I guess I’m not surprised since it’s Liberty, but I’m still kind of shocked.

  5. Quote from Ted’s kick-off speech:
    “… I believe God isn’t done with Americans”

    Ted Cruz for President, because God is not done fucking with you.

    • Anne Frank…. yeah she terrorized Amsterdam shooting nignogs who looked shifty with their packets of Skittles and icetea.

    • I had a picture of Aussie crocs surfing somewhere….. who says animals do not experience joy….?

      • She is wonderful! Thanks for asking. She has matured immensely in the last 6 months. She is incredibly patient and loves a good pat, and food, any kind of food thank you very much.

    • And rushed to Israel to comfort Bibi with the reach-around he forgot to give him when he was in town…

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