Three Steps Toward a Balanced Budget

Three Steps Toward a Balanced Budget:

“Our personal and national relationship to debt is indeed a moral issue. Leaving our children to pay the bills for excessive spending cannot be justified. But, if a budget really is a moral document, how we reduce the deficit is also a moral issue. Our budget should not be balanced on the backs of the poor. Cuts should not come from the services and programs that people rely on now more than ever. The reality is that we have a lot of wasteful spending in our federal budget, but most of it does not come from things that help the most vulnerable people in our society.”

(Via God’s Politics Blog.)

In short, he suggests cuts to:

  • Defense spending
  • Return to Clinton-era tax rates for the wealthy
  • Eliminate farm subsidies

We’d save billions upon billions and we’d have a more moral budget to boot.

Why Our Tax Code?

Why Our Tax Code?:

“But if you are the rich people in a democratic society where most people believe in reduced inequality, what kind of tax code do you want? You want to start with an overall progressive structure (so the people won’t revolt), and then you want a boatload of exceptions to that structure that (a) favor the rich and (b) can be individually defended on plausible (and sometimes even reasonable) grounds. Which is what we’ve got.”

(Via The Baseline Scenario.)

Best summary of our tax code I’ve ever heard or read.  Democracy is chess, not checkers.  If you aren’t playing, you get played.  Simple as that.

Competing Tax Plans: Two Perspectives – Freakonomics – Opinion – New York Times Blog

Competing Tax Plans: Two Perspectives – Freakonomics – Opinion – New York Times Blog:

Tax Graph

(Via Freakonomics – Opinion – New York Times Blog.)

I love freakonomics. Looking at the complete set of graphs breaks down each candidates’ tax plans. It clearly lays out the candidates’ priorities.

Sharing Prosperity: Obama’s Economic Plan for Small Business

Obama does have quite the plan. It is a mixed bag to be sure, as anything political would be, but it is both a sound and refreshingly moral plan to help this economy work for all Americans.

Presidential candidate Barack Obama once spoke to CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo about the economy. Bartiromo made the usual comments an ideologically minded supply-sider might make, and Obama true to form, struck his usual centrist tone:

The one thing you can be assured of is I’m not going to be making these [economic] decisions based on ideology. I’m not a dogmatist…I believe in the market. I believe in entrepreneurship. I believe in opportunity. I believe in capitalism. And I want to do what works, but what I want to make sure of is it works for all America and not just a small sliver of America.

Obama does have quite the plan. It is a mixed bag to be sure, as anything political would be, but it is both a sound and refreshingly moral plan to help this economy work for all Americans. Instead of government spending per se, it consists of government investment, a key distinction from leftist ideological choices. It provides for targeted tax relief to the engines of our economy: the consumer and the more importantly small business. As a progressive he includes union protection, but departs from political pandering and opts for sensible regulation. See a pattern? I’ve said to my progressive/liberal friends that if they don’t get a pro-business, pro-growth policy that expresses their ideals and values, they might was well pack it in to conservatives whose policies smack of trickle down, faith based “economics.” No government in a free economy creates jobs. Businesses do and they don’t do so out of charity or good will. They do so out of necessity or incentive. So there has to be a system of carrots and sticks, that forces them to, as Taylor put it, “share in the surplus.” So to create jobs, you have to be pro-business in some way, and refreshingly Obama does not disappoint. More on this later.

Continue reading “Sharing Prosperity: Obama’s Economic Plan for Small Business”

msnbc.com video: Obama on the economy

msnbc.com video: Obama on the economy:

(Via MSNBC.com.)

Wages and incomes for middle class America have been flat for far longer than Obama intimated. In real dollar terms, they’ve been stagnant for decades where the top earners’ incomes shares of national income have quintupled. So in terms of basic fairness and even sound long term economics, you’ve got to pay the piper. Rich folk: do you want to be pigs who get fat or hogs who get slaughtered?