Archive for deficit reduction

GOP wrong again: Weekly jobless claims fall, budget deficit shrinks #BlameObama

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what you know, wrong

This is getting tedious, but a blog's gotta do what a blogs's gotta do. Republicans, you're wrong again. Wrongier than wrong. Wrong wrong wrong:

Via the Los Angeles Times:

The federal deficit continues to decline thanks to budget cuts and slower growth in Medicare costs, but lower than expected corporate tax revenues dimmed some of the improved outlook, according to a report Wednesday from the Congressional Budget Office.

And Benen piles on. More at the link:

This remains a basic budgetary truism that Republicans continue to resist. Indeed, last year, when top marginal rates increased on households making more than $400,000 a year, a variety of GOP lawmakers argued that this would likely cause the deficit to go up – as they saw it, higher taxes on the wealthy would slow growth, which would mean fewer jobs, which would mean fewer people paying income taxes, which would mean a larger deficit.

And we now know they were wrong – again – though this will probably do nothing to shake the Beltway perception of the GOP as the “fiscally responsible” party.

Let’s also note that the shrinking deficit – we’re seeing the fastest reduction since the end of World War II – is also one of the nation’s best-kept secrets. [...] [T]he reality is, we’re witnessing deficit reduction at a truly remarkable clip. Every conservative complaint about fiscal recklessness and irresponsibility in the Obama era is completely divorced from reality.

but wait there's more smaller

Per the most reliable news source in the whole wide world, Fox Biz, comes this upbeat news via a couple of email alerts:

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 298,000 from an upwardly revised 299,000 the week prior. Economists expected claims to rise to 300,000 from an initially reported 298,000.

The Commerce Department reports the economy expanded at an annualized pace of 4.2% in the second quarter, higher than an original estimate of 4%, also beating expectations of 3.9%.

the more you know msnbc bergdahl

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Weekly jobless claims fall, federal deficit narrows, retail sales better-than-expected #BlameObama

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jobless claims unemployment down

Jobless claims fell? What? Did anyone tell the Republicans? Why yes, yes someone did. Fox Business did! As you can see by this email alert that magically appeared in my inbox, Fox Biz is letting everyone know, even the GOP, that jobless claims fell just when Wall Street expected the opposite to happen. Damn you, Fox Biz! Just when we crazy lefties were having field day after field day mocking Fox in general, you have to go and ruin everything with some upbeat economic news!

but wait there's more smaller

But that's not all, nosireeBob! Defying the usual Debbie Downer expectations, retail sales went up! Up, I say! Or rather, Fox Biz say. Or rather, the Commerce Department say. What's a poor conservative to do? Other than wish for a lousier economy, that is, because if they don't have bad news to report, they can't-- say it with me now-- Blame Obama:

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits fell last week to 315,000 from an upwardly revised 324,000 the week prior. Wall Street was looking for claims to rise to 330,000 from an initially reported 323,000.

The Commerce Department reports retail sales rose 0.3% in February, slightly higher than the 0.2% pick-up economists expected. Excluding the auto segment, sales rose 0.3%, verses expectations of a 0.2% gain.

But wait! There's even more! And again, from Fox Biz, this just in! Literally:

BREAKING NEWS: February Budget Deficit Narrows

The U.S. federal government posted a budget deficit of $193.5 billion in February, down from $203.5 billion in the same month last year. For fiscal 2014, the deficit is running at $377.4 billion, also less than the $494 billion deficit from the same period in fiscal 2013.

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New Obamacare attacks debunked. This is getting tiresome, GOP.

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BlameObamacarew396h223

Once again, attacks on Obamacare-slash-The Affordable Care Act have been debunked. How many times must we go through this? We already know the answer to that: Until President Obama is out of office, and/or until the success of the ACA is well-publicized, and/or until the public finally tells the GOP to STFU. Or all of the above.

Meantime, Jonathan Gruber-- a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of the Scholars Strategy Network-- is debunking their most recent and pathetic little efforts in a Los Angeles Times op-ed.

He starts out by reminding us (read: informing Republicans) that there was a whole lot of good news in the report by the Congressional Budget Office: Premiums have dropped, the law will cost $9 billion less than they originally thought, and "the provision designed to buffer insurance companies from risk will actually raise revenue, not function as any sort of federal government bailout."

Got that, GOP? Read their lips: No bailout.

And about all those zillions of jobs that Obamacare will force people to leave. Wrong. Wrongier than wrong. Wrong ultra. Note to Republicans: There are times when Americans actually want or need to leave their jobs... voluntarily. And ironically, it's all about those "family values" that Republicans love to rub in America's face, the very same ones they often fail to adhere to:

[T]he CBO did not project lost jobs at all. Job leaving is not the same as job losing. Many Americans who may eventually leave jobs or reduce their work hours will do so by choice to make themselves and their families better off. Voluntary reductions are not a cost of the healthcare reform law, they are a benefit. [...]

The CBO projects that healthcare reform will reduce the federal budget deficit by $100 billion over the first decade and by more than $1 trillion over the second decade. Healthcare costs are also rising more slowly, in part because of provisions in the law. The economic gains from reducing the deficit and slowing healthcare spending likely outweigh any losses from slightly reduced labor compensation.

So much for those talking points.

With ways to ensure affordable health coverage no matter where they work, many Americans will be able to start small businesses or take new positions where they can be more productive.

Wait what? So this is not only better for small business start-ups (small businesses: another GOP talking point), but also for families (there go those pesky values intruding on them again) and *gasp!* the economy. Sucks to be so embarrassingly wrong, doesn't it anti-Obamacare blowhards?

If naysaying politicians really believe it is worth throwing 25 million Americans off the rolls of the insured to avoid a fraction of a percent of reduced labor market compensation, then they should stand up and say so. Otherwise, they are simply scare-mongering without presenting a constructive solution to our national health insurance crisis.

In other words, business as usual.
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U.S. Posts $53B Budget Surplus in December #BlameObama

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ray of sunshine

Sigh. Yes, once again, Fox Biz is forcing me to bring you positive economic news, this time about a budget surplus.

I'm so sorry. I know how you thrive on negativity, and there's plenty to go around, but every once in awhile, a ray of sunshine breaks through. Damn you, economic recovery, damn you!

And because I know how you insist on relying on Fox to bring us the most accurate news bulletins and stories evah, I feel obligated to share their email alerts whether you like them or not.

Of course, we all know that all of the upticks in the economy are due to Republican lawmakers and their insistence on austerity and cuts, cuts cuts, right? Just ask all the unemployed, the families living in poverty, and Big Corporate America.

Okay, time to end the snarkitude, because I'm making myself nauseous:

The federal government posted a budget surplus of $53 billion in December, compared to a $1 billion deficit in the same month in 2012. The fiscal year-to-date deficit is running at $174 billion, down by 41% from the same period the year prior.

blame obama Bush's fault smaller

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