Post-Thanksgiving, Pre-Cliff Politics

Monday, November 26, 2012

John Heilemann, political reporter for New York Magazine, discusses the latest in the negotiations over the "fiscal cliff" and whether Republicans and Democrats can find enough common ground on tax deduction reform.


John Heilemann

Comments [9]


Good piece on WHY USING THE TERM "Fiscal Cliff" IS TAKING SIDES.

No, I'm not shouting; I just emphasizing.

OK, since there is no cliff or cliff-like thing involved, no sudden shut down of anything, why did some poll-tested guru (Luntz?) talk both Repubs and Dems and Obama to talk about a "fiscal cliff"? Because they want to scare the public, NOT INFORM PEOPLE.

It's so much easier to bamboozle and push through illogical and unnecessary legislation IF PEOPLE ARE SCARED.>

And NPR is contributing to this just as much as FOX News. Now, we can figure out that FOX has an agenda, that Repubs and Coporatist Dems and Obama have an agenda.

What is NPR's agenda for using this language? Staying in good graces withe the big boys in the MCM? Being perceived a hip to Insde the Beltway talk and ideas?

What? Why?

Not a good thing to do with your listeners, WNYC and NPR.

Nov. 26 2012 06:54 PM

While listening to the afternoon and evening news on NPR I was struck just how much air time is devoted to discussing the effect of higher taxes on the economy. Or uncertainty. Will people purchase more this year if the fiscal cliff outcome is uncertain?* There may be less consumer buying at Christmas next year if taxes go up on...the middle class. The markets may tank. Recession.

Lots of dire predictions.

What I didn't hear was anything about the over all effect on the economy of so very many unemployed and underemployed people in this nation. Gee, I wonder if any economist has put a dollar amount on that kind of loss?

If it has, it's not being discussed on, even, NPR. Amazing.

C'mon, WNYC, try to think outside the box imposed on the you by the MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media). Get some guests on more regularly who disagree with both the Repubs and Obama. Austerity will not aid the economy. But it might cause another recession, maybe even deeper. Definately it will not HELP the economy.

People without jobs do not have much nondiscretionary money with which to add to the economy. Get it? No work, no pay, no buying. Vicious cycle. Rinse, lather, and repeat. Then, we just might be like Greece, sovereign currency or not -- in deep recession possibly. Enough time spent imposing auterity will drive our economy further down, just as it has in Britain, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Greece. Want a depression? That's one of the recipes.

Reality doesn't much care about propaganda. Then it bites.

*Will people purchase more this year if their job future and economic security is uncertain? And if they have no money with which to buy things??

How about those questions???

Nov. 26 2012 06:23 PM

Kabuki. Propaganda for those who want to mess up SocSec/Medicare. With the vaunted "free press," our mastered, not masterful, MCMers (members of the Mainstream Corporate Media) acting as the Ministry of Information. Alas.

Your guest's job is following politics and political figures. SURELY he KNOWS that Obama has been talking about changing (aka, cutting) SocSec and Medicare since well before he ever annouced he would run for president, back in 2007. Indeed, it alarmed Paul Kurgman so much when he began voicing Republican talking points that he wrote a column warning Obama that he was going after the wrong side of the economic equation by saying SS, which is not a part of the budget, is part of the problem.

For whatever reason, maybe having been mentored as a young man by the very, very rich, Obama believes that the rich are different from you and me and deserve to make more and more money. And if Wall Street banksters want to make money off your retirement savings, Obama is only too willing to make sure you have to save as much as possible and place that money in their rapacious hands and subject to their tendencies to make outrageous bets with other people's money. Make everyone subject to the tender mercies of the Magic of the Market.

With the caveat, of course, that peole must realize they ought never NEED their money when the market is, well, in one of those downs it can take. Especially when the players are making it tank every so often to win on the short side...or build up bubbles to fatten their own wallets.

Obama is not the friend of the vast majority of people in this nation on economic matters. It was not a mistake that he kept in place the economic team that brought down the economy. Wall Street wanted those people kept in place, and Obama did it...FOR THEM.

Seriously, what did he do for the masses of us? No help on mortgages, often sold by lying to those taking them out. No punishments for terrible record keeping on mortgages. Robo signing has won out, you may note.

And cutting FICA withholding? The financing for the only programs which benefit everyone who works? Might help for a reelection argument, however.

Also, since, the "fiscal cliff" is a made up name for a politically created non-crisis, I am deeply disappointed that WNYC is adhering to the incorrect naming of what's going on. At worst, it's a fiscal slope, but more a fiscal curb. Note that Obama worked to set this deadline in place: He needs it to go after SS/Medicare. It is a politicians' created mess, but it is not a true crisis. The MCM repetition makes people think it is.

Nov. 26 2012 12:56 PM
aaron from harlem

cutting government spending on a large scale now is a very bad idea - it is in fact the best way for the US to emulate the Greek situation. Greece is in a bad way because a) it has no control over it's own currency and monetary policy, and b) years of austerity. the lack of government spending there during the recession has resulted in years of a shrinking economy. Greece is in a severe depression, far worse than anything we've experienced in the US, and yet politicians in this country are actually about to replicate what has been done there and reduce spending at a time of high unemployment and low growth. given the incredibly low cost of borrowing that is now available to the US government, this position is doubly confounding. the time to reduce the deficit is during good times - not during the middle of a crisis. Austerity has failed - let's hope the politicians realize this before making things worse....

Nov. 26 2012 10:39 AM
Jf from Bk

This man,is a corporate shill. if this is a cliff what was the 50% wealth taxes of the 1950s when working people could buy a house for 100000 and there was still such a thing as the american dream

Nov. 26 2012 10:35 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

Vienna, we have a problem.

Nov. 26 2012 10:33 AM
fuva from harlemworld

This focus on debt is myopic. What needs fixing is the ECONOMY and the aspects of it which produces such debt. That the media is promoting this debt myopia is yet more evidence of its cognitive capture by the rich. Pathetic.

Nov. 26 2012 10:28 AM

Obama campaigned on raising taxes on those above $250K. And we elected him on that basis. Now the Republicans are acting like they won the election by still saying no taxes. What's the point of an election if you don't get your way?

Nov. 26 2012 10:01 AM
Ed from Larchmont

Just a comment on the Catholic vote from a sermon of Fr. George Rutler in NYC:

When free people vote against their own freedoms, they knock down the columns of a free society on themselves, the way Samson brought down the temple on his own head. The first column to collapse will be the First Amendment right to freedom of religion. Naïfs who thought this could not happen will be startled when the Church has to close charities, hospitals and schools, and even parish churches if they are subject to tax intimidation. This will be far more disastrous to our civilization than the looming fiscal chaos and international instability. Although certain areas on November 6 reported massive voter fraud, the election results cannot be blamed just on corruption. Voters deliberately rejected warnings clearly made by moral and political leaders.

Catholics could have saved the best in America, and they can only blame themselves for what has fallen down: marriage breakdown, contempt for chastity, a record low birth rate, and destruction of infants.

Nov. 26 2012 05:48 AM

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