Archive for deficit

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.

blame Obama 2

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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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Weekly jobless claims fall to 340K, midwest manufacturing spikes, deficit lowest in 5 years #BlameObama

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blame obama Bush's fault smaller

Fox Biz keeps sending me email alerts, and because I have so much faith in Fox's credibility, I share many of them with you. After all, who am I to question Fox or their sources?

First-time claims for unemployment benefits fell last week to 340,000 from 350,000 the week prior. Economists expected claims to fall to 339,000. The Labor Department said there were no backlog claims from a computer glitch in California that’s affected previous reports.

The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago’s gauge of manufacturing activity surged in October to 65.9 from 55.7 in September, while economists expected activity to fall to 55. The reading was the highest since March 2011. Readings above 50 indicate expansion, while those below point to contraction in activity.

But wait! There's more!

U.S. Budget Deficit Down to $680B, Lowest in 5 Years...

...down from $1.09 trillion in 2012. That’s the smallest imbalance since 2008, when the government ran a $458.6 billion deficit.

Guess what contributed to that number... Go ahead, guess.

If you guessed a better economy and higher tax rates, you'd be correct.

Unfortunately, the Republican government shutdown is adding to the unemployment numbers. #BlameGOP

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Bernie Sanders: You can't fix the economy simply by shredding the safety net

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GOP it's not about you

What oh what would we Progressives do without Bernie Sanders? In today's Los Angeles Times, he wrote an op-ed laying out in very clear detail how to make wise choices about how to fix the economy.

Sanders, thankfully, is a member of a budget panel composed of Democratic, Republican and independent Senate and House members doing what they can, supposedly, to avoid another GOP government shutdown.

Senator Sanders explains how to move forward (as opposed to the same old backward, destructive GOP ideas), and how we managed to go from healthy surpluses to (unnecessary) deficits.

He reminds us that by the end of President Clinton's presidency, we had a a $236-billion surplus, and that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted a 10-year budget surplus of $5.6 trillion, meaning we could have erased the national debt by 2011.

Too bad Republicans screwed that up.

And of course, they're blaming President Obama for the horrible outcomes of their horrible policies and horrible obstruction. Here's how it really went down:

  • GW Bush's Afghanistan and Iraq wars were not paid for.
  • Those wars cost us up to $6 trillion.
  • Those wars were put on our national credit card.
  • Bush signed Congress's costly prescription drug bill.
  • That costly prescription drug program was not paid for either.
  • Bush and Congress gave big fat tax breaks to the wealthy and big corporations.
  • As a result, revenue went down.
  • The 2008 recession, caused by the deregulation of Wall Street, also caused revenue to drop.
  • Big fat surpluses turned into big fat deficits.

tadaa3Now gather 'round kiddies, because it's Hypocrisy Time!

Yay

Interestingly, today's "deficit hawks" in Congress — Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and other conservative Republicans — voted for those measures that drove up deficits. Now that they're worried about deficits again, they want to dismantle virtually every social program designed to protect working families, the elderly, children, the sick and the poor.

In other words, it's OK to spend trillions on a war we should never have waged in Iraq and to provide huge tax breaks for billionaires and multinational corporations.

booo

Sanders goes on to say that austerity doesn't work, because it clearly hurts those who are already suffering.

Instead of talking about cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, we must end the absurdity of corporations not paying a nickel in federal income taxes. [...]

At a time when we now spend almost as much as the rest of the world combined on defense, we can make judicious cuts in our armed forces without compromising our military capability.

He also thinks it would be a swell idea if Congress members started, you know, listening to the American people, especially because so many polls show that we don't want cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

In fact, according to a recent National Journal poll, 81% do not want to cut Medicare at all, 76% do not want to cut Social Security at all, and 60% do not want to cut Medicaid at all. Other polls make it clear that Americans believe that the wealthiest among us and large corporations must pay their fair share in taxes.

So, Republicans (and even some Dems), how about paying more attention to us, the voters, instead of trying to grab it all for yourselves? It's not about you. It's about all of us. It's about We the People.

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Cartoons of the Day- Still The Shutdown

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stillshut2

Mike Luckovich

stillshut

Bruce Plante

stillshut1

Mike Smith

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Video- Fox's Doocy Botches Deficit Reduction Numbers

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I think "botches" is generous, I'm inclined to go with "lies". Via MM.

This is false. The Congressional Budget Office reported September 17 that the annual federal budget deficit had fallen this year to "its smallest size since 2008: roughly 4 percent of GDP [gross domestic product], compared with a peak of almost 10 percent in 2009":

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