Letter: Multiple myths

December 20, 2012


To the editor:

Your 12/17  Walt Handelsman cartoon shows Obama and Boehner teetering on the brink, each asking the other to get out and push. This cartoon deserves awards for condensation: It references an amazing amount of false conventional wisdom in a single misleading image.

  1. The “fiscal cliff” myth. Failure to reach agreement on budget issues by a certain deadline will not have sudden, catastrophic impacts. Instead it will cause initially small but slowly increasing hardships. 

  2. The myth of Democratic-Republican equivalence. This crisis is wholly owned by Republicans in Congress who threaten to shut down government if they don’t get their way on hugely unpopular cuts in Social Security and Medicare that the electorate  rejected in November.

  3. The myth that Obama won’t bargain. Obama has proposed quite specific revenue enhancements and relatively specific health care cost cutting. Boehner has never specified exactly what budget  items he wants to cut or what tax loopholes he wants to close.

  4. The deficit crisis myth. You’d never know it from newspapers, but majority opinion among taxation and macro economists says the best way to reduce the deficit is to get the economy growing faster with more short-run stimulus. The worst possible way is to follow Europe into an austerity-induced double-dip recession.

  5. The myth of a coherent economic narrative. The conventional wisdom is self-contradictory: the “fiscal cliff” story claims that making expenditure cuts will cause a recession, while the “deficit crisis” story claims that not making expenditure cuts will cause a recession. 


Richard Heckler 5 years, 5 months ago

If guns were the answer the USA should be the safest place on earth. I say put people back to work at no less than $17.50 per hour instead.... and remove assault weapons from the retail market. Now the USA might be on to something.

The USA cannot afford massive unemployment.

Massive Unemployment is not the answer to crime fighting nor the economy.

Massive republican home loan scams create crime and violence by putting millions out work and homes = depression and more crime.

Real good jobs = less crime and violence.

20 million jobs to replace the 20 million lost by way of leveraged buyout artists should fix the economy.

Tax Corp USA $75,000 for every USA job sent abroad each year that job stays abroad. Tax every leveraged buyout scheme another $75,000 per job sent abroad. INSTEAD of providing the tax code that protects the profits as a result of those USA industries and jobs sent abroad.

No one can prepare for terrorism because no on knows if or when terrorism will strike. Look at all the tax dollars spent on crime fighting yet crime is still on the rise.

Of course if 20 million unemployed had good paying jobs again there would likely be less crime and violence.

Paul Wilson 5 years, 5 months ago

You've lost credibility. We're still waiting for you to prove your claim that "Mitt Romney has made zillions of dollars killing USA industry and jobs." You make 'novelesque' cut and paste claims with no evidence. We're waiting....

Paul R Getto 5 years, 5 months ago

Good letter. They will "solve" this in the end, but it will not be pretty. The SHEEPLE are the problem on both sides of the aisle. We want more than we are willing to pay for.

Pal 5 years, 5 months ago

That would be the Low Information Sheeple that voted !Obama!

Liberty275 5 years, 5 months ago

Four years later and the blamer in chief as well as his sycophants still don't know where the buck stops. One more election and the cult of personality ends and America can get back on track if we don't elect another pass-the-buck failure.

Liberty275 5 years, 5 months ago

Do you think that was the last election we will have? Tell me something, if you had to vote for president today and you couldn't vote for Obama, who would you vote for?

beatrice 5 years, 5 months ago

I think awards for condensation are all wet.

Mixolydian 5 years, 5 months ago

Ha! I caught that too. Probably should read condescension, something this letter deserves.

dwendel 5 years, 5 months ago

Please remind us again about Obama's place of birth. Wasn't it Kenya?

beatrice 5 years, 5 months ago

Say, you are a disappointed regressive, aren't you?

beatrice 5 years, 5 months ago

The Bush tax cuts Obama signed off on for an extra year in 2011 -- only after Republicans said they wouldn't support the continuation of unemployment benefits for people out of work if he didn't, that is. Yes, those Bush tax cuts.

And you say we should stop blaming the war on Bush? With that logic, firefighters who take a long time putting out a raging fire are really the ones to blame for the destruction, not the arsonist who actually started the fire.

I think there is plenty of blame to go around, but we shouldn't forget who actually started the wars.

akuna 5 years, 5 months ago

I'm tired of people assuming that it is the Democrats that spend recklessly. It is not. When the Dems spend, they find the money to pay for it either by diverting money or by raising taxes. This is fairly responsible spending. If you look at the record though, Republicans are terribly irresponsible spenders. About 11 trillion dollars of our current debt was caused by Republican Presidents. Republicans are the spend, spend, spenders. Not Democrats.

SnakeFist 5 years, 5 months ago

I completely agree! Democrats spend but increase revenue to cover at least some of their spending, but republicans spend while simultaneously cutting revenue and cover none of their spending.

voevoda 5 years, 5 months ago

When you make only $12,500 per year, LarryNative, someone earning $250,000 is 20 times richer. So I reserve my sympathy for the people making $12,500 per year, and I don't begrudge paying more in taxes so they don't have to.

chootspa 5 years, 5 months ago

Deficits don't matter... unless the other guy is in office.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 5 months ago

Both parties pander and spending never goes down, regardless of who is "in charge." When either side talks about a cut it is rarely a real one.

Armstrong 5 years, 5 months ago

Nice to see nothing has changed. 1300+ days no budget

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