Sorry. I really needed that break. I'm still sick, so I took a nap, made a quick jaunt to the store, and now I'm back, rested, and somewhat fed. Worst part about being sick: You're really hungry, because you haven't eaten anything, but you haven't eaten because NOTHING sounds the least bit appetizing! (Even junk-food has lost it's appeal at the moment, and that's saying something!)
So, in the last post I mentioned that there were a few things I wanted to share. The first one is intended for my cousin Justin, who I watched run full-smack into "the bubble" as he debated economic policy with my Dad. This was a few days before Congress decided to punt on "the fiscal cliff" (arguably the most over-dramatized and over-sold news stories of the year, I might add, and an overblown "crisis" fabricated whole-cloth, entirely by Congressional Republicans, I might add!) And Fox (of course) is lamenting (I guess?) the "lack of Presidential Leadership" on the issue of the fiscal cliff. This is VERY STRANGE for several reasons...
1) No matter how you read the tea leaves, the BUDGET is Congresses issue to fix. Given how gleefully Fox has pointed out every (imagined) time the President has exceeded his Constitutional Authority, it seems odd that they would want him to do so here. Especially when...
2) It would mean placing full blame for the entire problem firmly on the laps of the Republicans and then insisting that the shut the front door, and exclude them ENTIRELY from the process moving forward, and seeing that the ADULTS in the room (which at the moment all happen to be Democrats) fix the problem.
And all that is before you consider that the Republicans have done everything they could to sabotage the economy, the budget and the Government, since the very minute Obama was sworn in! And that not just me bitching here, that not hyperbole, that was MITCH McCONNELL'S STATED PLAN! He said it very clearly: His top priority was making sure Obama would be a one-term President. Well, he FAILED at that. But it certainly was for a lack of trying!
SO, quite frankly, the next time I here a Republican whining about how Obama "isn't working with them" or "lacks leadership," I sincerely hoped that get hit in the head with a brick, bearing the words "FUCK YOU, YOU TRAITOROUS SCUMBAG" etched into the side.
ANYWAY... Whatever Right-Wing Wind-Bag they were hosting that day (I was in the other room, so admittedly I don't now who it was, or who's program it was on - I don't watch that shit) was cheerleading the expiration of unemployment benefits. My father jumped on that bandwagon, crying out, "Yeah, get the lazy bastards an incentive to get off their asses and go find a job!" Now, I'm paraphrasing, but this was NOT meant as satire. This nugget of idiocy was said with the utmost enthusiasm and sincerity. You know... Because the existence of poor people and the unemployed is evidence of their own personal failures, rather than a failure of the American brand of Capitalism!
Now my cousin is a Democrat, a Liberal and well-educated. He's currently a grad-student and he's generally a pretty sharp guy. But he's young. It's not his fault, I know: we all were once. And I know from experience that he's likely to grow out of it. (Most of it, anyway. LOL) And he argues like a very young, very idealistic Liberal. He pointed out that there are simply more people than there are jobs, and that there's just not enough work right now to go around. Which,of course, if very true and very accurate. So my Father suggested putting them to work somehow, like FDR did. (Odd, coming from a Conservative, but that's what he said.) To which my cousin replied, "Doing what? There's NO WORK for these people!" To which my father replied (jokingly, I hope) "Well, put them in CAMPS them, like FDR did!"
(But Daaaaad... They're not
He then went on to explain, doing a fair impression of Rush Limbaugh, from the early days, how whenever Liberals try to help people, it always ends up doing more harm than good, and that helping poor people only forces them to remain dependant on the Government. He finished up by saying, "You can't be EMOTIONAL about these things!"
You know... Because we Liberals always think with our [bleeding] hearts, whilst Conservative always think with their heads.
Well, Justin, if you're reading this, I'm here to tell that it not a question of Hearts versus Heads. Liberals feel with our hearts, and think with our heads, and Conservatives mostly talk out of their asses. (Where, if you're brave enough to look, is where you'll typically find their heads!)
There is a basic, simple reason that we have unemployment benefits, food stamps, welfare and many other social safety nets, and believe it or not it has absolutely nothing to do with it being the humane thing to do when your economic system, even at the best of times, has a targeted unemployment rate that's higher than zero. The FACT is that we do these things because, even after taxes are paid, the economy is better off because of it. Here's a chart that you might find handy in the future. It was put together by Mark Zandi of Moody's, and it shows how much economic benefit we get per dollar spent (or not collected) by the Government:
So, for every dollar we would "save" by not paying out unemployment benefits, our economy would LOSE $1.64. This happens, because no jobs will be created by eliminating these benefits. In fact, so many people suddenly having less (no) income (at all) will have the exact same affect as them losing their jobs in the first place did: Depressed demand. Which will only lead to... duh-da-daaaa: FEWER Jobs. No business hires MORE people when the see their demand FALL. The only reason the Right keeps championing this nonsense is because (1) they're idiots who (2) live in a bubble that (3) encourages them to keep ignoring real-world evidence. Also, they're (4) short-sighted, (5) greedy, (6) petty little people who's political mantra can be summed up in eight words: I've got mine, screw the rest of you!
BTW... Those Bush tax cuts that have added TWO-TRILLION DOLLARS to that vaunted National Debt they keep yammering on about? Well, going forward, every dollar that these so-called "Job-creators" get to keep only brings about $0.29 of economic benefit. Why? Well, first, because people aren't hired out of a person's bank account, or even a company's profits. And second: because Rich People don't tend to spend all of their money. (Hence WHY THEY'RE RICH!) And that's FINE, but it's a lousy, inefficvent and very expensive way to stimulate an economy! Anyway, the next time a Conservative accuses these programs of resulting from nothing more than Liberal gullibility and over-sensitivity, you might consider pointing out an emotion that they can better relate to: SELF-INTEREST.
There's another thing I'd like to point out about this whole debt "crisis." When I say it's manufactured, I'm going WAY beyond the whole "Republicans pitched a bitch about the debt ceiling back in 2011" thing. They DID, and that's what created the current "crisis" (the absurdly named 'fiscal cliff'.) But there is another reason that this whole National Debt thing is a completely phony issue, and it comes, surprising, from Fox news, and there insistence on invoking GREECE'S fiscal and economic troubles when discussing our own. Well, MMFA had a great write-up last week contrasting the differences between the situations in the U.S. and Greece. Basically...
- Greece's current debt is currenlty at 142% of their GDP. Ours is projected to top out at around 74%. That's the TOTAL DEBT, mind you, not the deficit or the cost of the interest.
- Austerity in Greece, and other European countries had stifled economic growth. See the Moody's chart above to understand why that is, and consider that Republicans never say SHIT about the debt or deficit when they're in office. No... wrecking the economy is only something they actually TRY to do when a Democrat occupies 1600.
- Despite Spending Cuts, Greek Debt Has Increased. Well.... Their economy tanked. So go figure. Recessions can only tend to lower Government revenue while increasing the demand for Government services. What the hell did they expect to happen?!
- We have our own Central Bank. Greece doesn't. (Anymore.) So It's basically impossible for us to run out of money, even if things did go fantastically badly for us.
And the actual COST of all this debt? Well, you might hear some scary numbers being thrown around like "$46,000" per person or some bullshit like that. Well... it's not. In fact, the cost of financing this debt is currently LESS THAN ONE PERCENT of our overall budget.
That's it. That's what having a more robust economy (or allowing one, while a Democrat remains in office) amounts to: 1% of what we're spending anyway. It's a bullshit issue, and if you have any doubts, try to find any Conservative hand-wringing over the deficit when Bush was in office. Either one! Or Reagan for that matter! No, fear-mongering about the debt is a pastime they save for when Democrats are in office, in hopes that the can scapegoat them when the economy turns sour, and frighten people enough that they don't notice how much better we're doing with them in control.
OK, that's enough of that. See... This is what I'm talking about: To me this stuff is so self-evident that I get no satisfaction from writing about it. Most of my regular readers already know this stuff, and William won't accept (or actually address) any of it anyway. So... What's the point?
(Well, maybe my cousin and some of his other young, idealistic friends will come away better informed, and better armed. Who knows?)
Anyway, speaking of... he who should not have been named...
Jerome Corsi, of WorldNetDaily shame, recently penned an interestingly informative piece on how to recognize TROLLS. Now... he intended this ito be applied to LIBERAL trolls, but in yet another example of Right-Wing projecting leading to some unintentional honestly, I believe that with only a very few changes (for objectivity's sake) much of his piece might serve as a VERY handy guideline in identify trolls in general. Check it out:
You may observe that I've removed some details that Corsi included solely for the purpose of implying that only LIBERALS engage in this sort behavior. You'll also notice that I've added nothing of my own to make this list exclusively apply to Conservatives. This is, for all intents and purposes, a very useful test in identifying a TROLL. And it is with that in mind that I would invite anyone to apply this list to literally ANYTHING William has evey posted in the comments section on this blog.
ROTFLMAO! Thank you, Jerome Corsi!
Oh, and uh... thanks for the email's, Will, but I don't do one-on-one's. I replied to you once, and your next email just showed me that you have no intention of treating my in-bow any differently that you did my blog. If you want to waste your time and everyone else's writing meaningless drivel, I will gladly debate you on THIS forum, so that someone else might get some amusement out of it. (Or at least share in my frustration.) So if you want to talk about anything non-political, free free to e-mail me. I've got a pretty good record getting back to people. If you want to debate politics (or do whatever it is that one calls what you do) I will only do that HERE, on this blog. (And if you force my hand, I'll simply post your email, along with the address it came from. So I would appreciate if you would respect that request.) I realize that you've been posting here as well, even though I've been away, I just wanted to know why I'm responding to your emails.
Anyway, thanks again, welcome back and I hope that everyone has a healthy and prosperous new year!