Progressive Deficit Reduction

Monday, December 06, 2010

Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, Columbia University professor, and author of Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy  joins Robert Kuttner, co-editor of The American Prospect magazine, senior fellow at Demos, and author of A Presidency in Peril: The Inside Story of Obama's Promise, Wall Street's Power, and the Struggle to Control our Economic Future  to discuss the demise of the president's deficit commission's proposal.


Robert Kuttner and Joseph Stiglitz

Comments [27]

Quick ? : Avg. Income and Assets of Simpson-Bowles from Voting THEIR Wallets at OUR expense ?

Here is ONE KEY QUESTION that the
public has a RIGHT to know about EACH
of the members of the Simpson-Bowles
deficit reduction committee :

1) How much would EACH one of them
PERSONALLY GAIN if their proposal
became LAW ?

Most are probably wealthy and gain disproportionately from Tax cuts, Most
are successful and therefore don't
have any family members who are unemployed, are on Medicaid or otherwise
depend on goverment services.

THEIR WALLET therefore says :
Slash taxes, Slash government services.

wealthy, many work hard but nevertheless
are not secure in their jobs or healthcare
or homes or other vital needs.

OUR INTERESTS are probably not the
same as THEIRS.


How about the Republicans (and Democrats) about to extend the Bush
cuts to the wealthy ?

GAIN *PERSONALLY* (including
family members) IF THE CUTS GET

This question should be answered
tax cut bill.

Dec. 06 2010 08:46 PM
Ron from NYC-Manhattan

Cutting the tax rates for most of the people in this country is not raising the tax rates for anyone. It is merely allowing the Bushian rates to expire and replacing them with a lower tax for all income of $250,000per year and reverting to the pre-Bushian rates that we had before this.

Dec. 06 2010 04:05 PM

Hi mc! And hjs, too!
Hope you're well. Nice to see you both here!
To your point, mc, did you read the Times today on the Baltimore MD who billed Medicare for hundreds of unnecessary stents? $3.6 million (?) paid by Medicare on something like $6 mil in stent procedures.
Congress is investigating. The stents were from Abbott Labs. It is a helluva scam.

Dec. 06 2010 11:51 AM

hjs I stand corrected... i wonder if responsibility could be associated with the us attorney then? ( i already had already selected my outfit for aforementioned disgorging.)

Dec. 06 2010 11:39 AM
Chris from Amityville

These guys are wrong on their basic premise that higher tax rates generate more income.
Revenue is maximized at 18.5%. Above that, tax avoidance kicks in. Revenue is flat to 28%. Above 28%, revenue is lost.
Tax rates of 36% on income, 45% on corporations, and 55% on death, cost revenue. They make sense only if you are already rich, and don't want to compete in the market with those who are trying to get rich.

Dec. 06 2010 11:34 AM

preventive care starting at younger ages would safe a lot of money

Dec. 06 2010 10:52 AM
mc from Brooklyn

eva, long time no hear! We should also be asking why no one listened to Brooksley Born over a decade ago.

Dec. 06 2010 10:51 AM
jawbone from Parsippany

Well, that was a nice short interview. Emphasis on short.

No calls?

Maybe the public needs to hear from economists who aren't in the corporatists' pockets more often, Brian. Really.

And even if Obama, a conservative, and the rest of the Mainstream Corporate Media (MCM) take an issue off the table, why shouldn't it be discussed on a program dedicated to informing the public?

When Net Neutrality is neutered, how will poeple get to know about competing issues? Hear reports the Powers That Be don't want covered?

Hard times a comin'.

Dec. 06 2010 10:49 AM
mc from Brooklyn

I have to challenge the notion that Medicare expenses can only be reined in by cutting benefits. There are decades of research showing that the US system of fee-for-service has left us with redundant, overly expensive, intrusive and often awful care. Medicare can be saved by ensuring quality care without wasting money on unnecessary, unwanted care.

Dec. 06 2010 10:46 AM

the people want the spending they don't want to pay for any of these "federal gifts"

Dec. 06 2010 10:42 AM
jawbone from Parsippany

Earlier it was said that Obama is compromising with Republicans to try to woo independents. (However, if one thinks of him as a conservative, he's doing it because he's a conservative, eh?)

On several issues, Obama has taken actions which please Big Business, Big Insurance, big corporations and the very wealthy, absolutely ignoring the expressed desires of the majority of Americans.

For example, even on the eve of the vote to pass Obama's health insurance reform and profit protection act, just over 60% of Americans wanted a program like extended, improved Medicare for All. But Obama had taken single payer off the table early in his administration, and now it has been revealed that he had told Big Health Industry Players there would be no "public option." But Obama kept telling the voters that he was for a so-called, undefined "public option."!

Now, on the tax cuts for the wealthy, close to or well over 2/3rd's poll om favor of letting the Bush (now Obama) tax cuts for the Uberwealthy expire.

So, which independents is Obama seeking to please?

(Also, Mr. Presdent, it's not nice to con the voters. And it's extremely bad for your political longevity to do so and let the truth come out showing you to be a liar.)

Dec. 06 2010 10:42 AM
Henry from Katonah

I am tired of the economic arguments for a slight - - 3-4 % percent raise on high income earners.
Why can't Dems praise the "productivity" of high income earners and say to them, You have benefited SO much more than 90 % of the population from the US system that you should pay a higher proportion than that other part of the population.
Is that a moral argument? If so, it might work.

Dec. 06 2010 10:41 AM
April from Manhattan

I am a leftist who has always voted for the lesser of two evils who could win. My first vote was for Hubert Humphrey, missed some great political theory, though protested for civil right in the south along with other white southerners, the vietnam war and war a hippy. My ex was in the WH under Carter., the only prez with the balls to NOT invade a country that took hostages, solar panels on the roof, appointed the first black woman cabinet minister for the Education Dept, he created, along with the Energy dept, "Gave away" the Panama canal. Invaded and went to war w no nation. Wanted to give aid to the Sandanistas, who said no thanks we need you as the empire we can blame all our mistakes on. Teddy Kennedy running against him was treasonous. I hope Mayor Bloomberg, (who along w Schumer and Cuomo won't cut taxes on Wall St.) will support the president in 2012. The tax problem started after Carter lost. Reagan economists are all over TV w mea culpas.

Dec. 06 2010 10:40 AM
RJ from prospect heights

There's also some question about the brinksmanship on the tax cuts because if it's up in the air at the expiration moment the IRS can either delay the change or retroactively return funds depending on the final vote.

Dec. 06 2010 10:39 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Obama is like a Pelosi congressional have to vote him into office first....and then you'll find out about his leadership and presidential qualities.

Voters got what they empty suit with a teleprompter.

Dec. 06 2010 10:39 AM
mz from manhattan

why why why isn't the argument that tax cuts for the rich are NOT an efficient way to stimulate the economy being touted all the time? this has been proven true, it makes sense, it proves that if we extend the tax cuts for the wealthy we are not helping our country. and our country needs help.

oh, and also, great idea from the repubs to cut gov. jobs to help the deficit. yeah, let's cut more jobs. they can't decide whether it's jobs or the deficit... it's cutting jobs if the alternative is increasing taxes on the rich. but it's jobs if they're trying to lie about the rich creating jobs if they keep their tax cut.

Dec. 06 2010 10:39 AM
Bobby G from East Village

Kuttner is exactly right. The goal of Republican tax policy is to shrink the Federal Government to a point where it can "be drowned in a bathtub."

Dec. 06 2010 10:38 AM
RLewis from the Bowery

these "experts" have great ideas, but they are ignoring the fact that, right or wrong, the public voted against these ideas last month. more spending - that ship has sailed.

Dec. 06 2010 10:38 AM

I've emailed my rep & sens to vote against any compromise.

This "compromise" is just another instance of POTUS staying away from a controversy & caving, kowtowing to his sworn enemies.

Pres. Obama needs to get rid of the Clinton corporatists & talk to those that called it correctly, not those who have stopped real healthcare, Wall ST, economic reform.

Without a recovery, we remain in Jobs Depression. We need at least 8M jobs STAT. But he has refused to start his green programs, HS rail, ARC tunnel, smart grid, verifiable smart home metering, etc.

Dec. 06 2010 10:36 AM
jawbone from Parsippany

SOS --Save Our Scalps!

So many. from voters to pundits, are scratching their scalps about Obama's actions, on issue after issue, that the tops of the heads of Americans are in grave danger!

Just view his actions as those of a CONSERVATIVE, and, suddenly, no more need to scratch scalps over why is Obama doing that.

Why does Obama do what he's been doing? All together now, "Because he's a conservative!"

All becomes clear.

Dec. 06 2010 10:31 AM
jennifer from Manhattan

All of the press coverage focuses on the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts for high earner. However, according to the CBO the cost of extending the tax cuts to all earners is almost four times higher at 3.9 trillion over ten years. If we were really serious about reducing the deficit, shouldn't we let the tax cuts expire for everyone?

Dec. 06 2010 10:29 AM
Joseph from Brookyln

THE POINT that noone is mentioning and that the democrats should be using is this:
THE ECONOMY is horrible, and yet people are STILL drawing salaries or making OVER $250,000? IF they are able to earn that much even when the economy is BAD then the idea that they will be hurt by letting this tax cut expire is baseless.

I also agree with the person speaking right now- The Democrats need to get some SPINE and stand up to the Republicans. LET the tax cuts expire AND use all the Senate voting rules to overemphasize this- make a vote every day on it (or as often as allowed) to put it in the news that the Republicans are blocking any tax cuts. Then if they don't compromise more in the Democrats' favor, i.e. the $250,000 cut off, then the pressure will really be on since all taxes will have gone up.

Dec. 06 2010 10:24 AM
Lloyd from Manhattan

We now see, in a Times article today, that the extension of the millionaries' tax cut is unleashing a flood of multi-million dollar Wall Street bonuses. Now we know why the Republicans insist on it. Their Wall Street masters are holding them to it.

Dec. 06 2010 10:19 AM

Governor Christie was never AG, he was United States Attorney

Dec. 06 2010 09:51 AM

The state of NJ was found guilty by the SEC for securities fraud.

Shouldn't this underreported crisis be laid at the foot of NJ Governor Christie, since he was state's Attorney General during part this heist?

Can he (and its originator, Christy Whitman) be sued and forced to disgorge this lost cash (along w whatever else might be in there)?

I ask in part because NJ's misuse of pension fund cash undoubtedly served as a best practice by other states. It turned civil servants into enablers for the rest of *us.*

Dec. 06 2010 09:23 AM
j from bklyn

interesting post @ 1 of my fav blogs: and see specifically

quite the explanation of the slipperiness of proprietary trading and market making, and as always, goldmansachs...and enjoy this fellow's fine prose while you're at it. i do.

Dec. 06 2010 04:12 AM
eva from Just another state plucked clean by the banks

I have a dumb question (and please don't tell me there are no dumb questions.)
After watching 'Client 9', I'd like to know whether it is possible that the severity of the crash could have been significantly lessened or perhaps even largely prevented if the OCC and the SEC had allowed Spitzer to pursue all of his Wall Street prosecutions? I know they blocked him on several, as he was getting closer to the "weapons-grade" derivatives.
I'd always thought Spitzer didnt quite grasp just what was going on with the derivatives, but after watching 'Client 9' I've begun to wonder if his comprehensive prosecutory zealousness would nevertheless have been effective in reining the worst parts in. Or at least limiting it.
It's rather terrifying to realize that our own government agencies stopped the only Att. Gen. with courage enough to go after AIG?

Dec. 06 2010 02:32 AM

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