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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Waist deep in the big muddy

Art appears to be mimicking life in Washington these days and it's a bad sign for anyone looking for an end to the nation's economic mess.

John Boehner and Eric Cantor needed Democratic votes to pass the massive spending cuts they insisted upon and which were agreed to with a proverbial gun to the nation's temple last weekend. Tea Party freshman, it seems, don't think they go far enough.

Yet on the other side of the Atlantic, the Tea Party's supposed spiritual soul mates, the British Conservative Party, is waking up to the damage caused by their own blind zeal to put deficit reduction ahead of economic recovery. It's not pretty:
Retail sales plunged 3.5 percent in March, the sharpest monthly downturn in Britain in 15 years. And a new report by the Center for Economic and Business Research, an independent research group based here, forecasts that real household income will fall by 2 percent this year. That would make Britain’s income squeeze the worst for two consecutive years since the 1930s.
The Tea Party Caucus remains full of itself in spite of evidence they are trying to push the nation off a cliff:
“I think my leadership needs to probably sit down and have a come-to-Jesus with themselves,” said Representative Allen B. West, a freshman Republican from Florida who derided the budget cuts as a “raindrop in an ocean.”
The saddest reality is that for all the damage British austerity has caused, the plan is far more moderate than the scheme concocted by Boehner and friends to continue feeding the ultimate beast, the anti-tax addiction of America's richest 1 percent.

The Brits have maintained a 50 percent tax rate on their wealthiest, something this nation has not had the courage to do for decades, helping to build the deficits Republicans only now bemoan.

Instead, the Times notes:
But in Britain, the big worry now is not tax rates. Instead, the fear is that ... [the] emphasis on cuts in social spending — which aim to achieve an approximate budget surplus by 2015 and are likely to result in the loss of more than 300,000 government jobs — might tip the economy back into recession.
But much like the Captain in the folk classic popularized by Pete Seeger, even though we are "waist deep in the big muddy, the big fool says to push on."

The potential damage to this nation stands to make Herbert Hoover look like a financial genius.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they have been taxing their rich at 50% they should have all the money they need. And you want to tax ours at 50%? What then, when you run into trouble (as they have) move it up to 75%?

April 15, 2011 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Google "Barstool Economics".

April 15, 2011 2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's the liberal explanation why things aren't working great in a country that taxes it's rich at 50%? The monarchy to blame?
Confiscating every dollar earned by every American making over 100,000 will only yield 1.5 trillion, less than the current years deficit.

April 17, 2011 4:25 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Taxing it's rich at 50 percent? Which country? Certainly not this one, where the top rate is 35 percent on adjusted gross income over $373,650. Except of course for hedge fund managers who pay only 15 percent on their millions.

Even the top corporate rate is only 35 percent and heaven knows GE doesn't pay that.

April 18, 2011 6:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Outraged,in your blog you said the Brits do it, and they're still in trouble.

April 19, 2011 5:04 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

Oops. I should read my own stuff :-) But the Brits are in trouble not because they tax at 40 percent but because they chose t cut the stimulus early and impose austerity that has brought them back to the edge of recession.

April 20, 2011 4:55 AM  

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