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I haven't made a political post in a long, long time.

I'd make one now, except just thinking about it depresses me. I was not happy about the results of the midterm, needless to say... and I am even less happy, if possible, about this "compromise" that Obama has made with the GOP on taxes. From where I sit, it smells more like capitulation than compromise. Give a lot, get almost nothing.

Obama is the most intelligent president we've had since Jimmy Carter... and, sad to say, he is looking more and more like Jimmy every day. A good man, but not a good leader. At least not so far. He doesn't seem to have the stomach for a fight. We need another FDR, another JFK, another LBJ. NOT Jimmy II. (And, yes, I know, Obama has accomplished some important stuff. But so did Jimmy. Camp David accords, remember?)

Yeats was writing about his own time in "The Second Coming," I know, but sometimes I think he was prescient:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

And could that rough beast whose hour has come round at least be... Sarah Palin?

No, please. Tell me that's just a bad dream. Somebody wake me up.



Dec. 16th, 2010 09:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Actually
"Why do you bring up 2001? Bush cut taxes in 2003."


"If you really think government spends money more efficiently than private individuals and businesses, what about $10,000 for a toilet seat? What about spending 6 figures PER job for Obama's failed stimulus?"

If the goal is to maximize utility for those spending the money, then yes, private individuals do typically spend more efficiently than government. If your goal is to improve the personal well-being of people making $250K+ a year, then cutting their taxes is an excellent way to go about it.

If, however, your goal is to create jobs, then no, cutting taxes on the wealthy (and $250K a year is wealthy by any sane standard) is not as efficient as direct government spending, because the wealthy are likely to save that money rather than spend it to hire people. This is no criticism of them--it's the rational thing to do from their perspective. But it doesn't help the economy.

Right now, consumers are feeling the pinch and so have cut back on spending. Hence, businesses cannot sell as many goods. In such an environment, any company would be foolish to expand operations, so they sit on their cash, waiting for prospects to improve. This prolongs the pinch for consumers, perpetuating the situation.

Direct spending by the government can raise demand and break the cycle; and as long as the economy has a lot of slack capacity, government spending will take up that capacity rather than crowding out private spending. Only once the economy is back up to full employment does crowding-out become a concern.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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