Economics For 'Dummies'

Let me admit first of all that I’m one of the “dummies” because I have no degree in economics just like most of you.  However, I don’t believe you need one…just a hefty dose of common sense.  It’s time for us to stop swallowing these offensive mendacities and look at the facts.

Let’s start the discussion with Boehner and Ryan both admitting there is no budget crisis after these ridiculous showdowns we’ve had over the debt ceiling, threatening to shut the government down and every other bit of grandstanding we’ve seen the last five years over this “crisis” they now admit doesn’t exist.  When Boehner was asked point blank, he looked like he was giving birth to a ten pound baby when he said yes because it contradicts their excuse for the nuttiness we’re seeing in the House.

men·dac·i·ty  (mn-ds-t)n. pl. men·dac·i·ties

1. The condition of being mendacious; untruthfulness.

2. A lie; a falsehood.

 

When I think of that word I always remember Burl Ives as Big Daddy Pollitt in the movie “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” complaining about the mendacities within his family.  Let’s examine the mendacities we’ve been subjected to within our national family and how it has nearly destroyed us–and will if we don’t put a stop to it.

We’ve had 5 years now–more if you go back to when it started under Reagan–of leaders who have sold out to vulture capitalism telling us we’re in trouble financially and the only way to fix it is to get rid of all regulation and social justice.  Yet if you look back to the early 1900s, before we had any of those things, we essentially had a 3rd world country with an uneducated population where greed, racism, misogyny and big money ruled a permanent slave class that included everyone except the few holding the money bags.  Does anyone really believe returning to that is the answer to anything?

They have gotten by with it so long that Social Security, which has been the 3rd rail of politics ever since its inception, is now threatened.   Working people are standing in food lines with their teeth falling out because they can’t afford a dentist.  All of this horrific poverty and suffering is being ignored while Wall Street is making record profits.  They say we have to be willing to starve children and old people and let our sick die in the streets to fix this fictional “budget crisis” they now admit is a lie.   What is wrong with this picture?

I’m sure your first thought is that we owe almost $17 Trillion and that has to be a crisis.  A trillion dollars is beyond comprehension for the average person but when you’re talking about the potential of a country the size of ours it isn’t as much as it sounds.   The budget deficit is a relationship between GDP and debt.  It seems much worse because we got a double whammy by cutting wages, outsourcing jobs and spending money we didn’t have on wars and tax cuts we couldn’t afford.  We have to build our way out of it.  We have to bring back the jobs and make them pay a living wage with benefits to fix it because the working class has always been the backbone of this country.

Wall Street has never made anything but trouble-and a whole lot of money off of everybody else’s labor.  Add to their greed the fact that the Rumsfeld admitted the Pentagon “lost” over $3 Trillion in one year and their books are so shady they can’t even be audited and that’s a big chunk of the debt.  Where were the Tea Party and the “fiscal conservatives” when Rumsfeld admitted they lost $3 trillion and Bush was spending money like a drunken sailor?  Three trillion dollars, and probably a lot more, from the Pentagon’s crooked bookkeeping plus $3 trillion in unfunded wars takes us nearly back to the national debt we had when Clinton left office.  And we aren’t even talking about the financial sector having to be bailed out to prevent another Great Depression.  The working class and the poor didn’t get the money they’re trying to recover so they can’t give it back through cuts and austerity.  I’m sick of hearing about “shared sacrifice” because the 98% has been doing nothing but sacrificing for over forty years.  The working class no longer has a belt to tighten because they ate it last month.

You can stop the panic, really you can, because the U.S.  Deficit was already shrinking at the fastest rate since WWII before the Fiscal Cliff and has for over 3 years.  The budget deficit has already shrunk by approximately $300 Billion.  So the whole claim that this President is blowing money like a drunken sailor is just mendacity…a whopper of a lie.  And there is also no need for sequester.  We are dealing with the debt but you can’t fix forty years of foolishness, greed and bad policies in four years or even eight.

We also saw our first budget surplus in January to the tune of $3 Billion because we “went off the cliff.”  There was no “cliff”.  We simply returned to the Clinton era tax rates, which prove without a doubt where the deficit came from…tax cuts, mostly for the wealthy, that we couldn’t afford.   Yet we allowed Bush to run that deficit unchecked for 8 years and there was no “budget crisis” until they wanted to move more money from the bottom to the top.  To listen to the screaming you’d think this deficit and debt just appeared magically when this President took office.  To add insult to injury this Tea Party House is determined to keep running that tab for the sake of the wealthy and make the rest of us pay for it.  They always want to kill that chicken and hang it around the President’s neck and its past time for them to be called to account for it.

Of course, they immediately jumped in to make sure the wealthy were protected from “the cliff”, or paying their fair share, while the 98% got hit yet again.  They didn’t fight to keep the middle class/working class from losing their 2% tax break but you’d have thought the world was coming to an end if people making between $250,000 and $500,000 a year had to pay a little more.  They screamed like they were going to be standing in food lines when in reality they might just have had to forgo that new yacht or Ferrari for a month.  So they managed to fix it so the middle class/working class is still paying the taxes for them even though Wall Street is showing record profits while the middle class/working class is losing more every day.

And it’s still not enough for them.  The people just can’t give up enough or suffer enough for the greedy to feel like they have enough.  That’s why it’s called greed because they will never think they have enough.   Charts show us that the middle class/working class flat-lined and started going downhill under Reagan’s policies and then totally crashed under Bush.  What we have is the result of over forty years of Reaganomics/supply-side/trickle-down economics and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist, or an economist, to understand why and how it happened.  It also doesn’t take a genius to understand why we’re having trouble fixing it by staying with the same policies that got us here.  I believe it was Einstein who said to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results was the definition of insanity.  It’s time for therapy because we’re committing economic suicide and have been for forty years.

It wasn’t because people quit working; it was because they quit getting paid for it.  The people who are making the money refuse to pay taxes because they’re big greedy crybabies and the people who always paid the taxes have been pushed so far down they’re at or below the poverty line so they don’t owe any.  It really is simple mathematics.

But they’re still not satisfied.  Now we have this sequester mess.  It’s not an unavoidable thing that can’t be fixed.  They just need to repeal it and stop holding a gun to the country’s head when we’re still struggling to recover and we have already dealt with the deficit with horrendous cuts…all to people who couldn’t afford it.  We just need to work on the fair play issue so some of those big bucks start trickling down and the people who will pay taxes can.  Because of this sequester our economic recovery is threatened just so they can take even more from the middle class/working class.  That’s what it’s about, another shift of wealth to the top which is what got us here in the first place—more economic suicide.

The economy has recovered proven by the fact that Wall Street is showing record profits.  It simply isn’t trickling down and never will because of greed.  The sequester is going to exacerbate that problem.  It takes progressive policies to force fair play so everyone is rewarded for their contribution, not just the ones on Wall Street who have us in a choke hold through the politicians who have sold out to them…and we all know who they are because they scream their defense of the Wall Street crowd every day on Fox.

We have over 900,000 veterans coming back from their wars who are waiting up to 9 months for benefits they were promised and earned with their lifeblood.  Children of soldiers who died on the field of battle are being denied student aid.  Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are on the chopping block.  Education, the infrastructure and even our post offices are on the chopping block.  Anything and everything except fixing what got us here, outsourcing and unfair tax policies.

It’s time for the American people, we the people, to start screaming to high heaven and not only say NO but HELL NO and throw everyone out of office who insists we go even further down this road to the destruction of everything we hold dear…the destruction of the greatest nation and economy the world has ever seen with such a rising standard of living for everyone that everyone wanted to come here and be American.  If we’re going to go back in time I say let’s go back to the 70s, before Reaganomics, when even a waitress could afford to pay rent and eat.

We know how to build a nation.  We did it during and after WWII.   We did it from flat on our backs in the midst of the Great Depression.  We not only did it but we won a world war while doing it.  It took progressive policies that insured fair play.  We did it by educating or our people so that we were on the cutting edge of every technology for decades.  We did it by protecting the rights of workers and giving them a fair share for their labor.  We did it by building our infrastructure and raising the standard of living of every American.   You can’t push 98% of the people down without pushing the whole country down.  Is that such a difficult concept to grasp?

We can look at Europe and Greece, and ourselves, to see where this “austerity” road leads.  Prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor we had been grinding through over a decade of the Great Depression with very little growth using “austerity” measures.  When Pearl Harbor was bombed we had to gear up for war and the money we spent jerked us out of the Great Depression almost overnight.  I’d rather see us spend the necessary money on the infrastructure and education than war and it is possible to get the money back from the people who took it…and it wasn’t the poor or the working class.  You can’t cut your way out of a depression/recession and we proved it.  You have to build your way out of it by investing in the things that matter, not creating a system ever more out of balance in favor of a few at the expense of everything that made us the envy of the world.

I wish we could just once learn our lesson the first time…look at history and see what worked instead of following these fools and their voodoo economics.

References

Boehner Agrees With Obama: “We Do Not Have An Immediate Debt Crisis” | RealClearPolitics. (n.d.). RealClearPolitics – Opinion, News, Analysis, Videos and Polls. Retrieved March 21, 2013, from http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/03/17/boehner_agrees_with_obama_we_do_no

Category. (Nod). Why Do Government Budget Deficits Grow During Recessions? Economics at About.com. Retrieved March 21, 2013, from http://economics.about.com/od/recessions/a/budget_deficits.htm

CBO Budget And Economic Outlook – Business Insider. (n.d.). Business Insider. Retrieved March 21, 2013, from http://www.businessinsider.com/cbo-budget-and-economic-outlook-2013-2

Government – Debt to the Penny (Daily History Search Application). (n.d.). TreasuryDirect – Home. Retrieved March 21, 2013, from http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/mendacity

Sirota, D. (n.d.). GOP: We’ve been lying all along – Salon.com. Salon.com. Retrieved March 21, 2013, from http://www.salon.com/2013/03/18/boehners_debt_confession_reveals_gops

U.S. Deficit Shrinking At Fastest Pace Since WWII, Before Fiscal Cliff – Investors.com. (n.d.). Business News – Financial News, Stock Market & Investing News – IBD – Investors.com. Retrieved March 21, 2013, from http://news.investors.com/blogs-capital-hill/112012-634082-federal-deficit-falling-fastest-since-world-war-ii.htm

U.S. posts $3 billion budget surplus for January| Reuters. (n.d.). Business & Financial News, Breaking US & International News | Reuters.com. Retrieved March 21, 2013, from http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/12/us-budget-surplus-idUSBRE91B1E520130212

 

 

 

 

Author: Cheryl Creech

What say you, the people?