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June 30, 2010

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I'm going to look closely at the Dartmouth end of life study. I've been waiting more than a decade for a good view of that problem. I hope it is good.

Sounds like a good idea for a post.

I've got a couple of ideas to address long term spending cuts: pare down our insanely large military budget, disengage from wasteful and counterproductive foreign wars, create a smarter, less wasteful legal regimen for dealing with drug use and reassess our country's handling of exceedingly expensive end of life care

i'm working on a device to translate English to GOPeese. let's see how it works:

I've got a couple of ideas to address long term spending cuts: weaken the US, surrender to our enemies, encourage moral decay, and create death panels.

success!

Given this history, why would policy makers want to put on another fiscal hair shirt today?

Why am I just now finding this out?

"Longer term, though, it's still impossible to know which prediction will turn out to be true."

Well, Keynes said in the long term we're all dead.

"our country's handling of exceedingly expensive end of life care,"

Amended Keynes: In the long term, plus six months, we're all dead.

Maybe folks have been sticking around at exorbitant expense so they could read the Dartmouth Study, and now that it's published, they can check it out, and then check out.

By the way, let me be the first to call both Eric and Sebastian, in a rare instance of kidding bi-partisanship and to save Erick Erickson, Sarah Palin, and the Catholic Church their goat-breath, a couple of Nazi, Stalinist, granny-snuffing, Kervorkian death panelists.

Good luck being on that side of the debate in the rancid rhetorical atmosphere of 21st-century America.

If I make it alive through my coming unemployment and either lack of health insurance, or exorbitant health insurance with no income, I'm going to love the debate about whether I should be snuffed out by the public sector or the private sector.

that was funny.

actually, cleek and hsh get gold stars today.

OK, Thullen too.

God I'm such a liberal.

I've got a couple of ideas to address long term spending cuts: pare down our insanely large military budget, disengage from wasteful and counterproductive foreign wars, create a smarter, less wasteful legal regimen for dealing with drug use and reassess our country's handling of exceedingly expensive end of life care,

All of these things are goals that I agree with, and if these spending cuts are enacted they would certainly help reduce deficits. However, these measures still reduce total government spending in a time of recession. If you're going to argue for fiscal stimulus and against deficit reduction, then you have to argue for reallocating the money for these programs rather than simply cutting these programs. What would you like to spend it on instead? Or do you just want to cut these programs without reallocating?

T, baby, why such a stranger around these parts?

Otherwise, I would note that my prescription was for "long term spending cuts" - meaning, outside of the recession.

This, in response to the close of the article that read:

"In an ideal world, countries would pair more short-term spending and tax cuts with long-term spending cuts and tax increases."

So, short term we should increase spending, not cut it (though I'd be willing to reallocate starting now - infrastructure is rotting, ie) and cut taxes or leave them alone.

Long term, we need to cut more spending (AND allocate better) and get them taxes back up to a more realistic level given the services/quality of living Americans have come to expect (not to mention that our crumbling infrastructure will be a serious liability that can cause a nasty downward spiral as time goes by).

Yep. Things look bleak. Ask the Irish (see recent NYT article). Ask some Latvians. They have willingly swallowed the bitter pill of economic contraction and deflation, and stood by helplessly while prices plummet and people are thrown out of work. But the IMF is pleased as punch.

And STILL the bond markets are not happy. Spain is now in their sights.

Here in the US, banks and corporations are flush with cash and basically hoarding it (Krugman's 'lower bound').

We are about to repeat Japan's lost decade, I guess because we just can't bring ourselves to believe it can happen here.

Believe me, it can.

"Greece has no choice. It is out of money."

Greece is tied to the Euro, and therefore does not control its own currency. When the economic contraction sweeping the world hit them, their government spending went into deficit and they had to borrow from the bond markets. They have stepped up like good little children and adopted drastic austerity measures. This has only made things worse. Now the ECB is (reluctantly) trying to cover up the mess (go to Naked Capitalism for more).

Otherwise, I would note that my prescription was for "long term spending cuts" - meaning, outside of the recession.

You're an optimist, aren't you, Eric? I mean, we've learned to talk casually about the Long War; why not the Long Recession?

Can't raise taxes in a recession, you know. That would hurt The Economy. (Just like civil liberties would hurt The War.) "Long" is good, for some people.


--TP

"John Maynard Keynes was still a practicing economist in those days, and his central insight about depressions — that governments need to spend when the private sector isn’t — was not widely understood."

And the flip side of that insight, that governments need to refrain from spending when the private sector IS spending, is STILL widely rejected by governments, hence the current problems. Let's stop pretending that stimulus all the time is an application of Keynesian policy.

"Well, Keynes said in the long term we're all dead."

It's better in the original French: "Après moi, le deluge."

Brett, I don't think that here, on this site you'll get a lot of complaints, on the other recent thread, you had lots of folks bemoaning the fact that the gov't didn't raise taxes and lower spending in the good times to pay for the deficits raised in the bad times.

What DFS said.

Brett, if you note in this post, I actually list long term spending cuts and tax increases for the recovery years.

So, no pretend Keynesiansim. I mean, who exactly on this site are you accusing of pretending?

Fred Clark at The Slacktivist asks The Economist for national financial guidance, and receives a Village centrist answer.

nice one jh

"Brett, if you note in this post, I actually list long term spending cuts and tax increases for the recovery years.

So, no pretend Keynesiansim. I mean, who exactly on this site are you accusing of pretending?"

Last time I checked, Keynesianism didn't call for lots of 'stimulus' in good times, and even more in bad times. It called for stimulus in bad times, and paying the debt off in good times. (And let's not have that myth about Clinton's 'surplus' again, I already debunked it.)

So, pretend Keynesianism? Yup.

Check this out:

"http://thehill.com/homenews/house/106905-house-democrats-pass-budget-enforcement-resolution>It also sets a goal of cutting deficits to the point where revenues equal all spending except for interest payments on the debt."

IOW, the best goal they can imagine setting, (And they're not going to try, mind you, to achieve it, is perpetually expanding deficits. Where they'll pretend they've balanced the budget, by not counting interest payments as part of the budget.

Yeah, pretend Kenyesiansim is a complement for this sort of thing.

"It also sets a goal of cutting deficits to the point where revenues equal all spending except for interest payments on the debt." BY 2015.

Fixed that for you, Brett.

Yes, how remarkable that they can only manage to try to balance the structural deficit in 4 1/2 years, but not at the same time come up with a plan for dealing with George W. Bush's $hit bed in that time frame as well. How disappointing.

http://dshort.com/charts/federal-debt-to-gdp.html?federal-debt-to-gdp-politics-update

What "fixed"? They've set a pathetic goal which is totally meaningless. It's like a home owner saying, "By four years from now, I plan to have my budget balanced, except for my mortgage payments, which I will continue to finance with my credit cards." Only they're going to pretend that it's a meaningful goal.

Just like they're going to pretend that they're making efforts to achieve it. Hell, they wouldn't even pass a budget this year, because doing so would make it too obvious how badly the budget was out of balance! How lame is THAT?

Right, Brett, except you forgot the part where it was the home owner's irresponsible spending beforehand partying, giving away gifts to his favorite friends and putting it up his nose that put him in debt in the first place, and the part where he purposely depressed his own income as well.

Now, when the bill comes due, and there's finally some adult supervision, you want those adults to wave a magic wand and make it all OK in short time. Got it.

Seems to me that based on past history, all we have to do is not elect presidents named Reagan or Bush, and we'll be OK.

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Whatnot


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