Washington Update: Cliff, Rice, China

Friday, December 14, 2012

Clive Crook, a senior editor of The Atlantic and a columnist for Bloomberg View, and who was on Brian's recent trip to China, talks about the latest in the Washington DC budget negotiations, Susan Rice withdrawing her name from consideration for Secretary of State, and their reflections on China.


Clive Crook

Comments [19]

@fuva from harlemworld

"Can the Dems afford for John Kerry to vacate his seat?"

Why? You don't think Deval Patrick will appoint a Democrat? The Democrats would have another 145-160 days before an election. That ought to be long enough to put up a campaign that hoists Mr. Brown's on his own petard. His campaign against Warren was an insult.

Can somebody explain to me what Susan Rice did wrong? Carrying what turns out to be a false message to the press and the American people that she was given by our intelligence agencies to deliver? Isn't this what Bush, Cheney, Rice, Powell, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith and Tenet did? When were they denied further office? The only difference I see is that the Bengazhi message wasn't what the the Republicans wanted the American people to hear. Excuse my French: Who the f*ck are they to question an intelligence assessment??!! Rank hypocrisy here, folks.

Dec. 16 2012 06:32 PM
Jessie Henshaw from Way Uptown

Brian, Clive Crook is a gem!! and true old fashioned common sense economist who obviously learned his trade from understanding economics as a study of **people**, not flights of fancy equations.

Still, some fundamentals DO get left out from even the best of human concentric views. They all but entirely leave out that economics must at the same time also be a study of natural forces, of growing global ecosystems in increasingly intense competition.

What comes of omitting that is for everyone's "plan" for prosperity inevitably boiling down to finding a way to consume ever more of everyone else's resources. Call it just the usual human myopia. Still, has lead all the national experts (relying on pleasing the public, media and politicians to be heard) to believe in that course for their societies, despite the evident danger of clinging to such a plan to the end...

Dec. 14 2012 10:43 AM
Jf from Ny

Lets stop pretending money exists.

Dec. 14 2012 10:41 AM
Guy from Brooklyn

re: China
Brian seems less fooled than Crook, who sounds as though he has bought into the CCP's perennial PR campaign as many Western experts have before him: "people in China feel free to criticize corruption, so things must be getting better. I feel like I met a broad array of different Chinese, so my sample must be unbiased."

I hope Brian and anyone else who is interested takes a look at James Mann's The China Fantasy for a more balanced account than we see in the media.

Dec. 14 2012 10:32 AM
Emmanuel from Ny

Mr. Lehrer, you are doing a good service censoring the real tragedy here by not mentioning JOBS !

Dec. 14 2012 10:30 AM

The way to solve Medicare and the deficit in general is to cut out for-profit insurance and go single-payer.

All other so-called solutions are Rube Goldberg devices created to preserve profits for insurance company donors while resolving neither cost nor coverage.

Dec. 14 2012 10:27 AM

Rather than go past the revenue maximizing peak tax rate of 18% (flat to 28%, above which revenue drops) for capital gains, let's lower the ordinary income tax on wages and ordinary income to the revenue maximizing 18% (including the 15% to Social Security, leaving 3% for the income tax).

We can save more than the entire present tax revenues by not giving welfare to super rich bankers:

Federal Reserve gave $16.1 Trillion since 2007 to:
Citigroup: $2.5 trillion ($2,500,000,000,000)

Morgan Stanley: $2.04 trillion ($2,040,000,000,000)

Merrill Lynch: $1.949 trillion ($1,949,000,000,000)

Bank of America: $1.344 trillion ($1,344,000,000,000)

Barclays PLC (United Kingdom): $868 billion* ($868,000,000,000)

Bear Sterns: $853 billion ($853,000,000,000)

Goldman Sachs: $814 billion ($814,000,000,000)

Royal Bank of Scotland (UK): $541 billion ($541,000,000,000)

JP Morgan Chase: $391 billion ($391,000,000,000)

Deutsche Bank (Germany): $354 billion ($354,000,000,000)

UBS (Switzerland): $287 billion ($287,000,000,000)

Credit Suisse (Switzerland): $262 billion ($262,000,000,000)

Lehman Brothers: $183 billion ($183,000,000,000)

Bank of Scotland (United Kingdom): $181 billion ($181,000,000,000)

BNP Paribas (France): $175 billion ($175,000,000,000)

Federal Reserve's nearly 100 year history was posted on Senator Sander's webpage.

Dec. 14 2012 10:27 AM

The Fiscal Cliff would be the best thing that could happen to Boehner. Leadership elections are not until next year, so he'd get to be re-elected before he is blamed for anything; and, it would get Rep's out from under the wheels of Grover Norquist, becuase they will not have voted to raise taxes, if they just expire, and they move on. It's gonna happen!

Dec. 14 2012 10:25 AM

Mr. Crook's initial comments would make far more sense in Parliament than in the US.

As with many of his posts, he has grabbed hold of the DC false equivalence arguments to his own detriment.

The broad base argument is quite sensible - as soon as we have unemployment under, say 5%. Until then there is no broad base that isn't vulnerable to future unemployment.

One deduction that should be discussed is simply removing deduction for any home that is not the permanent residence/voting residence. Vacation home(s) should not be deductible, nor should yachts, corporate jets.

No mention of war/DOD/Intel/Security spending???

The use of the "entitlements" tem for Social Safety Net Support Spending is not acceptable. Recipients pay for while working & while receiving benefits. And remember, payment for Medicare/Medicaid premiums, co-pays, etc. come out of Social Security benefits.

Dec. 14 2012 10:24 AM
Ted from New york city

What is this 250000 balony? Tax 50%_90% of billionairs. This 250000 thing is a simple bait and switch.

Dec. 14 2012 10:21 AM
Seth Peckinstiff

The Bush tax cuts were always meant to be Temporary -- it is time for them to expire for Everyone.

Dec. 14 2012 10:20 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Yes, increasing taxes on the rich to historically productive rates doesn't raise enough revenue.
But it
-- promotes a progressive social contract and
-- addresses the income inequality that significantly contributes to the deficit.
Once again, a captured press tricked into myopic economic discourse...

Dec. 14 2012 10:20 AM
tom pinch

The Dem's/Obama has put the taxes they are willing to increase on the table, so it's up to the Rep's/Boehner to put the cuts they want on the table. Why should Obama put cuts on the table - he's not the one who wants to cut things???

Dec. 14 2012 10:19 AM

how many times should the federal tax payer pay to rebuild the same communities?

Dec. 14 2012 10:17 AM

The Bush tax cuts make up the majority of the deficit, how is that being presented as relatively insignificant?

And Simpson Bowles is being presented as some sort of moderate position, when it's goal is to further reduce taxes on the wealthiest?

"Broadening the Base" and eliminating all deductions means making the middle class and poor pay for the historically low taxes of the wealthy.

Dec. 14 2012 10:16 AM
Emmanuel from Ny

If a deal isn't made, the president and the entire congress ought resign.

Dec. 14 2012 10:10 AM
Jeb from Williamsburg

Obama just can't stop losing.

Republicans blocked Rice, hand-picked the presumable replacement (Kerry) in statements by McCain and others, and will win the presumable replacement's seat in Congress by putting forth Scott Brown.

Dec. 14 2012 10:10 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Can the Dems afford for John Kerry to vacate his seat?

Dec. 14 2012 10:06 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan


1.) Jennifer Rubin (Washington Post)
"Obama decided to cut his political losses. A political flunky to the end, Rice dutifully limped away after crawling out from under the bus."
2.) Obama Gets a Solution to His Susan Rice Problem - Michael Hirsh (National Journal)
"The leading secretary of State candidate allows him to dump her without seeming to."


Dec. 14 2012 10:02 AM

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