Budget deficit

Choose the cliff

By now, you've seen and heard more than you want to know about the fiscal cliff that will confront America in seven weeks. You'll also be hearing voices on both sides calling for compromise in negotiations. Don't buy it.

Republicans wanting to lower taxes for the rich stall deficit talks

Maybe it's just me, but this seems the absolute height of insanity: NPR reported this morning that the Super Committee talks to come up with budget deficit solutions have come up with zilch because conservative lawmakers are insisting Democrats agree to tax code changes that would lower taxes on millionaires even more as part of any compromise. Given the Occupy movement and the growing discontent of Americans over this exact situation, I am speechless that they would be so stupid as to take a stand on this. Read more here:

http://www.progressnc.org/2011/11/have-they-lost-their-minds.html

Media Whistling Past The Graveyard

Just because the media is tiptoeing around mentioning this doesn't mean I have to. From S&P's explanation of the U.S. debt downgrade:

Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act.

And this:

Credit Where Credit Is Due

During the Iraq occupation in 2006, I observed that at the top of their game conservative spinmeisters are as skilled at misdirection as close-up magicians at the Magic Castle. One of their best sleight-of-hand tricks is “Heads, I win. Tails, you lose.” Steve Benen at Washington Monthly observed the same thing about the weak jobs numbers released last week and illustrates his point with simple graphics:

When the jobs reports were looking quite good in the early spring, Republican leaders were eager to take credit for the positive numbers they had nothing to do with. Needless to say, GOP officials are no longer claiming responsibility, and are in fact now eager to point fingers everywhere else. It’s a nice little scam Republicans have put together: when more jobs are being created, it’s proof they’re right; when fewer jobs are being created, it’s proof Obama’s wrong. Heads they win; tails Dems lose.

CBO issues dire warnings on deficit, provides simple solution

Let the Bush tax cuts expire. Problem solved.
Tax collections could keep pace with those costs if Congress permitted the George W. Bush tax cuts to expire on schedule in 2012 and allowed the alternative minimum tax to hit millions of additional households, the CBO said.

Nothing like a sharp razor to cut through the bullshit.

Amazing secret to deficit woes revealed!

Dr. Phil must be genetically incapable of recognizing the color orange.

Ice Berger and the USS North Carolina.

Berger swings and misses on deficit

If you can't properly assess causality, you won't know which tools to pull out of the box:

Senate President Phil Berger told reporters earlier today that the tax and spending policies enacted by Democrats in the past led to the current deficit.

Let's make the deficit as personal for Congress and the Feds as it is for us...

Tea-baggers, Republicans, and Blue-Dog Democrats in Congress use their convoluted “values” and the deficit as excuses to slash and burn social safety net programs ... witness Planned Parenthood. Social Security and Medicare appear to be next on the chopping bloc, never mind that “we the people” have actually paid for these “entitlements.” So, I suggest we actually test their resolve and commitment to reducing the deficit by demanding they implement a “Deficit Reduction Tax.” It goes something like this:

Voter ID laws carry hefty price tag for cash-strapped states

Cross-posted from a Facing South article by Chris Kromm.

In 2010, Republicans campaigned on the issues of jobs, taxes and the economy -- and with  states still reeling from scarce jobs and tight budgets, GOP leaders have pledged to keep that focus.

In North Carolina, incoming House Speaker Rep. Thom Tillis (R) opened the 2011 session this week by putting wrist-bands on the desks of every house member that said "Think Jobs" -- the same ones he gave to GOP candidates last fall, with instructions to snap them if they ever wandered off-message.

Deferred Responsibility: The Builders Win Again

I think I'll start this diary off with a little primer on the recession for the General Assembly, because it appears as if they don't quite grasp what happened: Lending institutions and homebuilders finally consummated their years of flirtatious infatuation with an orgy of poorly vetted, ticking time-bomb loans for overpriced houses and, when the inevitable foreclosures resulted, the money wizards who gambled our future on those loans sucked down tequila at Cabo san Lucas and tried to ignore the incessant chirping of their cell phones.

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