‘Puter has a tough time figuring out whether the New York Times editorial board is comprised of fools or liars. Today’s editorial on the debt ceiling impasse does nothing to help ‘Puter come to an answer.
1. ” … Republican negotiators walked out last week, insisting that they won’t agree to raise the limit unless Democrats agree to trillions of dollars in deficit reduction — with no tax increases at all.”
The editorial board characterizes the impasse as caused by a Republican walkout. It’s equally true that the Democrats’ insistence on raising taxes caused the stalemate.
2. “Before the meeting, Mr. McConnell insisted that ‘it’s time for Washington to take the hit, not the taxpayers.'” and
“Talking about Washington taking the hit may play well on the hustings, for now. But the truth is that if the Republicans get their way, taxpayers will be the ones to take the hit, as basic services are cut drastically.”
The all-knowing editors start from a flawed premise. If we cut spending, it’s not taxpayers who are primarily going to be hit, it’s the non-taxpayers who receive government benefits. There are now more people not paying taxes than those who are paying taxes. In fact, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, in 2009 51% of “taxpayers” paid no taxes whatsoever. Astonishingly, 30% of “taxpayers” actually received “refunds” and “credits” in excess of what they paid. This doesn’t even factor in social program benefits received.
So no, NYT editors. If whatever you consider to be basic services are cut, it’s not the taxpayers who are going to be taking the primary hit, if any at all. It’s the folks who have been free riding for years who are going to feel the effects of less revenue.
3. “Nor will a spending-cuts-only approach fix the deficit.”
This is either an outright lie or really, really bad propaganda. If the United States spends less than it takes in, there is no deficit. That is by definition. The NYT seems to define deficit as “not spending as much money as we think the government should on stuff we like.” If that’s the NYT’s argument, state it. Quit lying.
4. “The Republicans’ fierce opposition is even more absurd when you consider the relatively modest tax increases proposed by Democrats.”
Garbage. Every one of the Democrats’ proposed tax increases are jabs at their favorite bogeymen.
“Ending unnecessary subsidies for oil companies” and “a tax accounting change that would also apply mainly to oil companies” is code for treating oil companies different from every other corporate entity under the tax code. ‘Puter believes the Democrats are talking about changing rules that permit companies to spread out tax liability on current year investment, thereby permitting future income from the investment to cover part of the tax. But only for oil companies.
The NYT’s plan is nothing more than a government command-and-control economy. The only countries left with those are the workers’ paradises of Cuba, North Korea, and increasingly Venezuela. Even China and Russia gave up on government run economies. Why? Because history proves that government controlled economies impoverish and enslave the populace, which eventually leads to massive discontent and revolution.
But, hey, NYT editors, let your freak flag fly! The ends of reelecting President Obama justify the means of sacrificing any remaining veneer of press objectivity, your dignity and America’s future.
4. “President Obama needs to do a better job of explaining the stakes to Americans. The Republicans need to put the country’s economic interests above their partisan ambitions”
President Obama does need to explain the stakes to Americans. Let’s start with how spending money we don’t have got us into this mess, and isn’t about to get us out of it. Further, the snide comment about Republicans being power-hungry amoral bastards seems like a bit of projection. It’s the Republicans who have been dead serious about this issue for the last two years, while President Obama and the Democrats have been busy not passing budgets.
5. “There is not a lot of time.”
This is the one thing the NYT editors get right. There isn’t a lot of time. If we continue to spend more than we take in and treat all future liabilities off balance sheet, we are looking at a Greek style meltdown, except worse. Why worse? Because America still has a lot of productive citizens with firearms who don’t cotton to ungrateful wards of the state tearing down everything they’ve struggled to build.
The debt ceiling is a serious issue. The United States must, and will, pay its debts. However, without meaningful spending cuts, an increase in the debt ceiling is worthless. Debt buyers know that America’s promises to pay its debts are becoming less and less believable with each new debt issue, coupled with no spending discipline. Eventually, if there are no serious austerity measures, debt buyers will stop buying our debt, and the cuts Republicans want now will seem like unicorn hugs and Hello Kitty kisses.
But that’s just ‘Puter’s two cents.