Is Obama Still on the Austerity Train? Posted on March 4, 2012 by Yves Smith This Real News Network interview with William Crotty provides a useful overview of the current Obama stance on the Federal budget. Crotty does an adept job of delineating the gap between the President’s rhetoric and his policy stance. More at The Real News 000520 Post navigation ← Links 3/3/12 Animal Crackers → Subscribe to Post Comments 58 comments YankeeFrank March 4, 2012 at 3:15 am Fool me twice, shame on me. Yeah, its the American people who have been sucking the treasury dry with all our demands for… tax cuts for the rich, decades of war, trillions in bank bailouts. Hmm, I don’t recall us demanding any of that. psychohistorian March 4, 2012 at 4:01 am BINGO! So now what? René March 4, 2012 at 8:17 am Protest and prepare yourselves! votersway March 4, 2012 at 11:58 am Austerity is the only way to preserve “free trade” – the premier tool of corruption and evil. “Free trade” is a fancy name for free cheating. Educate as many people as possible about it and about the necessity for balanced trade. Next on the list: Fed secrecy, Glass-Steagall, caps on bank size. Eric L. Prentis March 4, 2012 at 3:52 pm BRAVO, my sentiments exactly! 1% of what is spent on tax cuts for the rich, the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and coming war in Iran? And bailing out the insolvent banksters, could have more than fixed social security. Johnny March 4, 2012 at 3:52 am Austerity is one of the worst economic concepts of the new century. It is completely against the common sense and even an illiterate person can recognize that this won´t work. We can read over and over the recommendations of professor Joseph Stiglitz, but our politicians just keep the stupidest path. So what can we expect? Can we really count with the change of the current system, that was well defined by Stiglitz as Privatizing Profits, Socializing Losses? The protection of banks and corporations, big bailouts, raising taxes etc. Where are you going America? TK421 March 4, 2012 at 10:57 am It’s a bad economic idea if you want to decrease unemployment and inequality and general misery. It’s a great idea if you want to make America more like a Third World country. seabos84 March 4, 2012 at 11:58 am thank you – the 0sterity crowd ain’t dumb – they’re evil sycophants working hard to make sure our government is something like a banana republic on the way to somalia. at least with the raygun fascists: 1. I KNEW they were lying to steal, 2. I EXPECTED them to lie to all of us so they could steal from all of us, 3. I did NOT vote for them! h0pe … whatever. rmm. Arjun Jayadev March 4, 2012 at 7:21 am Hi Yves, His name is James Crotty. And in my opinion he has had some of the most interesting things to say about this current period for a very long time now.http://people.umass.edu/crotty/papers.html Read in particular the paper from 2007 and the ones from the early 2000s. I was privileged to be his student. Arjun Norman March 4, 2012 at 8:13 am Goodness, what a choice, either bend over and spread your cheeks, or it’s pass the ammunition, man the barricades, sharpen the guillotine! jo6pac March 4, 2012 at 8:39 am Yep not much inbetween the cycle-o-paths are running and ruining Amerika. MountainHome March 4, 2012 at 10:57 am Thanks for the video. Crotty mentions Obama’s ‘tax cuts’, but the issue is not tax cuts, but cutting government spending. He’s right, Obama is ‘vague’ in what he is say. Need to read a book out about Americans who do take a stand against government tyranny (high taxes, big govt. & loss of privacy). It’s becoming so real and a real thriller. http://www.booksbyoliver.com The Buffet tax of 30% just isn’t right and Crotty sums up Obama by stating it’s ‘good for election year’. Great article. Lambert Strether March 4, 2012 at 2:25 pm Not “vague.” “Obfuscatory.” Fixed it for ya. Dan B March 4, 2012 at 8:38 am This is interesting for me because it points out how difficult it is for many progressives to understand the political/economic nuances and subtleties of reaching the limits to growth. To progressive ears, “limits to growth” can sound like another right wing subterfuge to make the least well-off suffer the most “austerity”. (I think this is a corollary of the common Marxist view that all scarcity is artificial and a reflection of structural inequality.) Of course, few right wingers will entertain the notion of limits to growth because the implicit morality of acknowledging this means their wealth -and it preservation and further accumulation- comes at the expense of those who are not wealthy. IOW: garnering a few crumbs from the table of growth has functioned as just enough empirical evidence for the restraining myth of the American Dream. F. Beard March 4, 2012 at 10:32 am Practically speaking, there are no limits to growth except perhaps living space and that is a distant concern. Why do people run diversions for the banks? Austerity isn’t based on legitimate shortages but misallocation of the cheapest thing on Earth, money. And how did that money get misallocated? Gee wiz, could a government backed usury for counterfeit money cartel have anything to do with that? pedex March 4, 2012 at 3:11 pm energy abundance and energy leverage disagrees with you about growth limits F. Beard March 4, 2012 at 4:17 pm energy abundance and energy leverage disagrees with you about growth limits pedex Nope. The facts are on my side even discounting fission and eventually fusion. F. Beard March 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm Or if you don’t like CO2 we could create a closed-loop liquid fuel program that would pull carbon out of the atmosphere using nuclear energy. pedex March 4, 2012 at 4:38 pm post some facts then care to explain the relentless drop in energy leverage and its economic effects? F. Beard March 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm The facts are old; there is approximately 2,500 years worth of coal. There are thousands of years of methane hydrate. There are at least several centuries worth of thorium. When fusion is practical we’ll have enough energy forever. Nope. There’s no escaping that our problems are ethical, not limited resources. skippy March 4, 2012 at 5:45 pm “post some facts then”… pedex Incoming circa 60’s Popular Mechanics short paragraph, used out of context from the main article it self. Skippy… beard, ever read Jefferson’s bible? pedex March 4, 2012 at 5:49 pm @ F Beard ok now you have firmly planted yourself into extremist techno cornucopian territory without even understanding the situation much less being able to explain it Your techno fantasy does not exist, furthermore the already known timelines with respect to our world energy situation preclude them from happening anytime before a rather massive collapse happens. As it stands right now even if the US and other energy profligate nations were to embark on a crash course to replace fossil fuels they’d some up short by decades not to mention the fact that the energy leverage afforded by nuke power is too low to run our current way of life on without massive reductions in energy usage per capita which in turn kills growth. You can do the math on a napkin it is so simple. But first one has to understand what money is and what it represents, how energy leverage works, and what the actual available energy resources we have at hand are and how long it takes to implement other options. We can start with actual energy reserves, anyone with any understanding knows your claim of 2500 years worth of coal is a complete joke. What cannot be extracted at a significant return on energy will never be extracted. Physics doesn’t bargain nor can it be sidestepped or its basic rules broken or violated. Fusion does not exist. Even banking on an industry with years of failures and public subsidies in a failing economic system is an enormous leap of faith much less expecting it to all of a sudden to leap ahead of current fossil energy decline rates much less even keep up with them is beyond an real rational argument. F. Beard March 4, 2012 at 6:02 pm @pedex, Maybe you’re right. Maybe previous energy policy stupidity has boxed us in for a while. It didn’t have to be that way though and longer term we can be confident about energy resources (once the present generation dies off?) F. Beard March 4, 2012 at 6:05 pm ever read Jefferson’s bible? skippy From what I understand, Jefferson cut out any references to miracles in the Bible but did not add anything. So yes, I have read Jefferson’s Bible or at least most of it. pedex March 4, 2012 at 6:20 pm US energy policy domestically has always been: “use more” foreign policy wise it has been: ” get more and control more” both are failing, both are short term doomed to fail policies from the word go boxed in is an understatement Appropriate infrastructure designed for independence has enormous costs especially in standard of living, we opted for the profligate short term who cares about the future route. It also goes against human nature and severely restricts power of the upper class pursuing any real long term legitimate policies that can work. We have already had some significant demand destruction here in the US which is ongoing. Vehicle miles traveled and gasoline usage is down. I’d expect after a brief leveling out period more of it is coming as our economics deteriorate further as this blog makes abundantly clear daily what has been going on. Consolidation, more law changes, more cannibalization of those at the bottom by those at the top is to be expected. When real earnings are unavailable it is too easy and already standard policy to tap govt to allow more theft. It helps to step back and try to look at each of the factors individually then put them together in the system to see how they work together or against each other. Finance is a big part of our energy situation and the two are profoundly intertwined. simple question I have rarely seen really answered: what is money? what does it ultimately represent, and what does it represent with regards to energy? this is big key to what is going on LucyLulu March 4, 2012 at 6:22 pm If we could get more funding for research and development, its very possible we could have the prototype commercial power plant hooked up to the grid, powered by fusion, within 10 years. Fusion energy is safe, its clean, and would have essentially an infinite supply of fuel. In addition, while thorium has its avid advocates, it’s practicality is contested by others (per people in industry I’ve talked with, who have no economic interest either way, the problems have been attempted to be solved since the first simulated reactor in the 70’s at Oak Ridge). However, we are very close to commercial use of similar fission technologies, ones that are far safer than those currently used, have auto self shut-down features, and because fuel is continuously recycled, has far less waste to be processed and then disposed, and doesn’t carry the proliferation risks that come with traditional technologies. The US, under Obama, has begun building one such reactor in S. Africa in cooperation with their government. Last I heard (under a year ago), it is projected to go online in 2020, a typical 10 yr. timeline for construction of any nuclear plant. Fission is also “green” technology, however it requires access to an abundant source of water, which is re-discharged in heated form. Also, there are real issues with uranium mining (ask the Aborigines, who much like US natives, were rounded up on govt land, and then pressured to lease to mining companies and robbed of royalties, forced into abject poverty and high rates of illness, then cast as Aussie version of our welfare queens, a story all in itself, eh, Skippy?), the traditional source of fuel used. F. Beard March 4, 2012 at 6:34 pm Appropriate infrastructure designed for independence has enormous costs especially in standard of living … pedex I don’t buy that. US energy usage per capita has probably peaked or soon will due to more efficient usage. And whose standard of living do you want to cut? Air-conditioners in the South? As for what money is, we should not attempt to define what it is EXCEPT for government money which is defined as that which government requires for taxes and fees. skippy March 4, 2012 at 7:22 pm Beard, No, he cut out the non rational bits, in his view. So until you read his editing, you have not, extrapolation with out firm knowledge is nothing more than gross assumption ( a constant on your part IMO ). Energy requires extraction, a process rife with unintended consequences. Go visit some old mining towns / sites, check out 3rd world mining, sea vents and ocean floor, etc. It slowly kills the population and all life, from the ground down to the water table. http://www.themine-thebook.com/history.htm How bad can it get? In January of 2000 in Eastern Europe, at an operation run by the Romanian-Australian firm Aurul, a mammoth spill of mining effluent poisoned the Szamos, Tisza, and Danube Rivers. The result was a major extermination of aquatic life in over 150 miles of river systems and the poisoning of water supplies for river communities in Romania, Hungary, Serbia, and Bulgaria. Hungary removed well over 300 tons of dead fish from its rivers and Hungarian officials declared it the worst disaster since Chernobyl. Over two million people were affected. While not an American disaster, this disaster is a clear warning.,[1 http://earthfirst.com/americas-top-10-worst-man-made-environmental-disasters/ America’s Top 10 Worst Man Made Environmental Disasters http://www.nwsteelheaders.org/ht/d/sp/i/106019/pid/106019 Bristol Bay, Alaska, is home to one of the earth’s most prolific fisheries, which has significant economic benefits to not only Alaska but also the Pacific Northwest. Many Northwest Steelheaders members travel to Bristol Bay to participate in this prolific wild fishery, and several Steelheaders business supporters make part of their livelihood from this fishery. Up to forty million sockeye salmon return to Bristol Bay each year, making it the world’s largest run. In addition to sockeye, there are stunning runs of king salmon and trophy rainbow trout. Large-scale mineral development like Pebble Mine that is proposed to be placed in the headwaters of Bristol Bay best wild salmon rivers, would change this place forever. Canadian mining corporation Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. and Anglo American PLC, the world’s second largest mining corporation, want to develop what would be the largest open pit gold-copper mine in North America in the headwaters of two of the most critical wild salmon producing drainages in the world, the Nushagak and Kvichak. The proposed Pebble Mine would develop a low-grade, sulfuric-acid generating, gold-copper-molybdenum sulfide deposit using open-pit and other methods. At the same time, the Bureau of Land Management wants to open a million adjacent acres to hard-rock mining in this pristine watershed, coursed by rivers, streams, creeks, rivulets, and lakes. The proposed Pebble Mine and Bristol Bay Mining District may pose the greatest single threat facing Alaska’s salmon-bearing rivers and the communities and fisheries that depend upon them. If built, Pebble Mine will: • Generate up to 10 billion tons of toxic mine waste that would be held behind massive earthen dams located in an unstable seismic zone prone to earthquakes. • Require development of a 100 mile road into wilderness, and construction of a major new fossil fuel power plant big enough to supply the city of Anchorage. • Require nearly 35 billion gallons of water a year, critically reducing flow to multiple salmon rivers. SDWF ( safe drinking water foundation ) http://www.safewater.org/PDFS/resourcesknowthefacts/Mining+and+Water+Pollution.pdf Although the major chemical accidents seem most threatening because they often kill people outright, it is the smaller, more routine accidents and spills that affect most people. Some of the most common spills involve tanker trucks and railroad tankers containing gasoline, chlorine, acid, or other industrial chemicals. Many spills occur during the transportation of hazardous materials; one study found that 18,000 hazardous materials spills occurred during 1976. In 1983, spills from 4,829 highway and 851 railroad accidents resulted in eight deaths, 191 injuries, and damages exceeding more than $110,000,000. The National Environmental Law Center reported that 34,500 accidents involving toxic chemicals were reported to the EPA’s Emergency Response and Notification System between 1988 and 1992, meaning that on average, a toxic chemical accident was reported nineteen times a day in the United States, or nearly once every hour. Read more: Disasters: Chemical Accidents and Spills – water, effects, environmental, United States, history, types, causes, EPA, soil, pesticide, chemicals, industrial, toxic, human, sources, use, life, health http://www.pollutionissues.com/Co-Ea/Disasters-Chemical-Accidents-and-Spills.html#ixzz1oCBnkAlJ http://www.pollutionissues.com/Co-Ea/Disasters-Chemical-Accidents-and-Spills.html Skippy…. I used to do this for a living beard and your expertise / knowledge is? This is just a drop in the bucket to what goes on every hour across the planet, think about it. The Promise and Perils of Seafloor Mining Can minerals be extracted from the seafloor without environmental impacts? http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/viewArticle.do?id=62986 Mining seafloor massive sulphides and biodiversity: what is at risk? http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/content/68/2/341.full http://scienceblogs.com/deepseanews/2007/05/gold_rush_to_the_deep_seafloor.php Deep-Sea Mining of Seafloor Massive Sulfides: A Reality for Science and Society in the 21st Century Deep-sea hydrothermal vent systems are attracting considerable interest from commercial mining companies. Vent systems precipitate seafloor massive sulfide (SMS) deposits that are rich in copper, gold, silver, and zinc. Although commercial firms are targeting inactive SMS deposits, these deposits are so little studied that it is unknown whether they harbor unique species or ecosystems. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HvaIkMD6zE A must watch, see: ABC (Aussie) Catalyst S12E16 Deep Sea Mining http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zjb533re6zs&feature=related OK beard where’s your evidence? Besides that which issues… only from your gob. votersway March 5, 2012 at 12:20 am F. Beard you are quite right. ENERGY IS A SOLVED PROBLEM, technologically speaking. There are only political problems that block the road to secure and abundant energy, from now until the sun burns out. Wrong regulations keep us burning fossils and wasting money on the “Green energy” fraud. Materials are replaceable – with enough energy at hand. Austerity is a cover for corrupt unbalanced trade, nothing more. pedex March 5, 2012 at 7:08 am @ skippy yes external costs are a part of the picture and self defeating to a large degree However my point with regards to standard of living besides the effects of polluting our own nest so to speak is the fact that energy and standard of living are linked and near impossible to separate. This is why I asked the rhetorical question as to what money represents, as is usual nobody has an answer. It is an economics gotcha type question that blows most other issues away and cuts right thru the nonsense. Money for all practical economic purposes is stored energy or work. Work is nothing more than energy expended over time. Yes it is pretty variable and distorted due to how our economy is set up to favor those with lots of control over energy while screwing those that do not. But, take this into account and then consider what a declining energy situation really means and also the decline of energy leverage itself which is also declining. Just like financial leverage energy is what provides us with real physical leverage in the real world. What we need to run our system here in the US energy leverage wise is in excess of somewhere in the 4:1 to 6:1 range just to cover overhead and inefficiency and still allow enough left over for practical use. This gap is closing with fossil fuels and the alternatives leave no room at all to work with. This brings all sorts of nasty consequences, one of which is a drop in standard of living, and it isn’t a small one. Low leverage also means complexity is also an enemy to be avoided. This is one of those multi-discipline systemic situations that requires lots of understanding in multiple areas just to even get a glimpse of what is going on much less grasping the whole big picture. There are no silver bullet magical single solutions here. Take the mentions above of nuke power, ok you can build maybe 2-3 nukes per year if you are really lucky with a decade of lead time as things stand, oil decline rate and world oil export decline rate is gonna be north of 5% per year !! This means sharply receding horizons. We have multiple exponential functions working against us as well a self inflicted economic mess already to contend with. To add to the problem using a declining primary energy base while attempting to switch to something else is a whole other can of worms. Financially it doesn’t pay to spend money now if it never pays off later yet what we are facing requires massive infrastructure changes and they need to be done very quickly. None of this even gets into the psychological aspects or political aspects which are indeed huge and just as problematic as the situation we have put ourselves in. A good example of any besides the futility of the environmental disasters laid out very well above by skippy is the tar sands of Canada. Its an example of about as far as you can reach energy leverage wise and still barely have a somewhat viable energy source and it certainly is too short on leverage to run an economy and system like ours on without massive declines in usage. Someone here is probably going to trot out the old adage that prices determine what is economically viable to extract except when it comes to energy. Again the relationship between money and energy comes into play. You don’t spend $10 to extract $8 worth of energy. Rising energy prices reduce leverage to levels that make the extraction worthless long before you get anywhere near the actual break even point financially. On small scales when subsidized by other fuels sure you can do it for awhile which is basically what the oil sands are. We are trading natural gas and water for syncrude at close to a systemic break even point both financially and net energy wise and at a small scale relative to the crude oil market as a whole. As the abundance of real crude oil with high leverage wanes it will literally force oil sands type operations into a real problematic situation. There won’t be enough leverage left over to allow it to be viable. This is just one example of what declining energy brings with it. F. Beard March 6, 2012 at 12:12 pm Money for all practical economic purposes is stored energy or work. pedex What about the skill and technology put into goods and services? So no, you can’t define money either. Nor should you try EXCEPT in the case of government money which is defined as that which is required for taxes and government fees. F. Beard March 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm @skippy, With sufficient energy we could pull carbon from the air, hydrogen from water and manufacturer our own hydrocarbons. And that is a worst case scenario. No wonder liberals are so unpopular. They are the ultimate pessimists. No pie when you die and none while you live either. Much worse then even the Puritans. And why should we even listen to people who according to their own beliefs will be non-existent in a few years? And why even worry about the Earth? Won’t life spring up where ever there is mud? But if the Earth is special then why is it special? Because it was created? Then why ignore the Creator when it comes to a command as simple as “Thou shalt not steal”? nonclassical March 4, 2012 at 10:46 am ideology does not substitute for fact=historical documentation; 2001, “financial sector” totaled 19% of U.S. economy-today, 41%. This is largely “paper debt” being traded. Kevin Phillips shows in his book, “American Dynasty” what has happened to Holland, Spain, Britain, when moving from manufacturing to banking-debt related economies. Michael Hudson-Yves posted it here, discussed “Debt Deflation in America”… pedex March 4, 2012 at 6:05 pm @ Dan B if you were running a multi-decade or multi-century ponzi scheme what would your propaganda goals be and methods involve? the end of growth kills the fractional reserve banking industry among others would it not be in your best interest to keep this basic and pretty obvious info obscured or obfuscated? take the term inflation for example, here in the US it has been turned into something benign and brilliantly done by the bankers when in fact it is an absolute killer to those that cannot stay ahead of it Yes psychologically it is far preferable to delude oneself rather than realize what the reality is, it’s a game of musical chairs and basic monopoly game rules are in effect. The strong destroy the weak etc etc etc. Still, there are many people easily deluded and sold a dog and pony show, always have been and always will be. Doesn’t make it right but it is what it is. hank hill March 4, 2012 at 9:03 am HE AINT ON IT HE DONE GOT RUN OVER BY IT! ambrit March 4, 2012 at 9:32 am Friends; My tech anti-saavy is showing again. All I get when I navigate to the Real News site is a fundraiser appeal. Curses. charles sereno March 4, 2012 at 11:28 am “All I get when I navigate to the Real News site is a fundraiser appeal.” Thanks for you self-revelatory comment. Enough said for anyone who has gone to the site. Like you, I guess I’m also “tech anti-saavy.” But are you then what “tech saavies” call a “troll?” Lambert Strether March 4, 2012 at 2:29 pm No, s/he isn’t. Ambrit is a long-time commenter. I’m getting more than a little irritated with commenters tossing the word “troll” around when what they really mean is “people whose comments I find to be jejune.” The recent truther/birther thread was especially egregious. ambrit March 4, 2012 at 5:16 pm Mr. Strether; I fall prey to the overuse of Troll myself. There was a link in the long ago to a site that had good definitions of internet-speak terms. Could the “Hidden Hands” of NC perhaps supply a link to said site, if it does exist, so we can all get ‘on the same page’ as it were? An “Elements of Style” like that of Strunk and White, for the electronic age. Your Humble and Obedient Servant, Ambrit charles sereno March 4, 2012 at 10:07 pm No, I meant exactly what I implied about ambrit’s inaccurate comment on the Real News. For the record, this was the first time I’ve ever used the term “troll” in its expanded meaning in a comment, although I’ve done so on previous occasions in the sense of the Norwegian tale of the Billy Goats Gruff which I encountered in my 1st grade reader in 1937. I won’t say I regard your reply “jejune” because of its several meanings. “Self-important” briefly came to mind before I banished the thought. If ambrit would give Real News another try and perhaps amend her/his comment, I’d be delighted to get on the same page. ambrit March 4, 2012 at 11:01 pm Mr. Sereno; I find myself perplexed at the vehemence of your response to my earlier post. My use of the term “tech anti-saavy” is a reference to my suboptimal computer skills. I did indeed link through to the Real News site, and encountered an appeal to contribute. Fair enough, the bills have to be paid. My problem was that, no matter what I tried, I could not get the video to start. Hence, my comment. Why did you feel the comment was an attack? As for self important versus jejune; I am not blind to my own shortcomings. Both terms apply to me from time to time. I happen to like Real News. This was the first time I encountered some sort of problem with linking through. Have you been encountering significant trollery associated with the site lately? If so, embrace it. You must be disturbing some of the ‘power players.’ For a news site, that’s commendable. Well, that’s my second Maoist Self Criticism Session in as many weeks. Hard work wherever you find it. ambrit March 4, 2012 at 11:23 pm Mr. Sereno; I owe you an apology. The talking head pitching contributions was on another site I accessed earlier. I conflated that with the Real News small banner contribution appeal on the site. I still cannot get to the video however. Does the site have a tutorial for the perplexed? ambrit March 4, 2012 at 11:27 pm Mr. Strether; Thank you for the support. I find myself in the embarrassing position of having been the cause of a needless unpleasantness. Please accept my apology. charles sereno March 5, 2012 at 12:03 am Dear ambrit, You’ve renewed my hope. I made a comment because I think Real News is really valuable (like NC) and I didn’t want anyone to be deterred from going there. My refs to “jejune” and “self-important” was NOT directed to you. (I was pissed at Strether for his reply which I thought pompous. He was probably overworked. He’s usually quite good). Your replies were more than gracious and I look forward to your future posts. If I hurt your feelings, I apologize. A real apology, not a Limbaugh one. Thank you for making some peace. Schofield March 4, 2012 at 10:06 am Look the two last things the parasites want you to know is that you don’t need private banks to create money just by keystroking a computer and they don’t want you to know that because you might start distributing wealth more equitably. So the parasites are gonna scream at you that stupid liberals have keystroked too much money into existence already and the country’s bankrupt, run out of money. Now isn’t that what Obama’s been telling you? So what does that make Obama? nonclassical March 4, 2012 at 10:51 am it makes him bushbama.. Stan Kerbappple March 4, 2012 at 10:10 am In a military dictatorship, the oppressors don’t care what happens to the people. The serverity and harshness are everywhere. Ofraud kindly reminded us that the detention provisions of the NDAA don’t apply to certain citizens within the oligarchy. Brilliant! Bomb Iran idiots! ohmyheck March 4, 2012 at 10:43 am But, but, but!!! Didn’t you hear? Obama Just Vetoed Indefinite Military Dentention! http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/03/03/1070450/–Obama-just-Vetoed-Indefinite-Military-Detention-in-NDAA?via=recent Except that he didn’t, he just said he wouldn’t use it. Oh boy! I’m so relieved! This is the kind of desparate grasping-at-straws one finds on the Recommend List at Democratic Party websites. Fortunately, this one got taken out by people with a clue, and facts to back them up. Darren Kenworthy March 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm You don’t need to worry about Obama being authoritarian because he ameliorates the deficiencies of authoritarian legislation with executive decrees… Schofield March 4, 2012 at 10:56 am Nope….bushbuma. Jill March 4, 2012 at 11:25 am I’ll start by stating Obama is at best middle management as a decision maker. Clearly, global elites has decided they don’t want just most of everything, they want all of it. Obama is a willing minion in this enterprise. His relevance lies in his ability to fool a great many people into supporting policies they would not support if he had an R behind his name. In the advertizing industry Obama is called a cult brand. That is a brand that in every way mirrors religious devotion. In my experience this seems very accurate. Interestingly, when a cult leader makes major pronouncements which are patently false, even something very specific like saying the earth will end Dec. 2, 1985, when the pronouncement does not happen, followers become more devoted to their leader than ever before. This seems like what is happening with Obama’s followers. Obama is resurrecting his campaign promises and rhetoric from 08. His actions in office have been completely the opposite. It’s obvious that he’s making noises to get votes. It should be equally obvious that once he gets those votes, he doesn’t need to suck up to his base, even a little bit. Yet, they do not recognize what he is doing. The ruling class was so smart to put this brand in place. It has been more effective than even they believed. Rotter March 4, 2012 at 2:05 pm Actually, in advertising thats called a “lifestyle” brand. A lifestyle brand appeals to nostalgia and the false notion that your still getting value and or doing good by buying it. Also they are usally 10 time more costly than other brands. Rotter March 4, 2012 at 2:16 pm That interview was nothing more than taking 10 minutes to say “fear the elephant”. you SHOULD fear the elephant, but fear the donkey no less. not even slightly less. The jackass party is every bit as much the party of “austerity” as the packaderm party. pws March 4, 2012 at 12:38 pm The best example is the Post Office. I think almost nobody wants to see the Post Office making big cuts in service (it’s only mainly Fedex, UPS and “drown government in the bathtub” types that do). Moreover, we’re in a recession and the Post Office has normally been a source of steady employment for people. So, what’s happening? The Post Office is going the way of the American Street Car system (RIP) because the people who are in charge of public policy on it are Fedex, UPS, and especially “let’s all drown government in the bathtub” folks. This is happening right now, in a busted economy with high unemployment. It’s madness. Lambert Strether March 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm What is “madness” for the 99% is sanity for the 1%. Clearly, that’s not sustainable. eric anderson March 4, 2012 at 5:36 pm The government is too big to fit in the bathtub. It has to be shrunk first. Then killed. Voted for Ron Paul as he is the only one who could be relied upon to shrink it. Also, remember that libertarians do not want to drown the government in the bathtub. But we want it to be in constant fear that we could drown it. It will behave much better under such conditions. Hey, we’ve tried the alternative way — making it bigger, and letting it spend more on literally everything under the sun. Creating a security state so that more people are afraid to express their displeasure. (Note the new law that will discourage protests near any government building or function.) How’s that workin’ out for ya? pws March 4, 2012 at 10:48 pm Hmm, you seem confused. I was talking about the Post Office. kris March 4, 2012 at 7:20 pm Mr. Crotty has no clue, absolutely no clue. I think he knows he’s talking crap but he’s got to maintain his job, I understand that. Any so called “discussion” of having more or less taxes and more or less deficit is beyond any point. A substantial read of Steve Keen will make anybody understand that the only solution is “DEBT FORGIVENESS” or more straightly put “QUANTITATIVE EASING FOR THE THE PEOPLE (BORROWER)”. Comments are closed. Tip Jar Please Donate or Subscribe!