Tuesday, January 01, 2013

The Moving Hack Writes, Ctd.

And, having writ, moves on.

Nor all thy Piety nor Wit,

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out
A Word of it.

The reader should be aware that nothing has been added by your humble scrivener except a little emphasis, which I have tapped in here and there like pepper on the Hoppin' John:

On December 31, 2012, David Brooks held boldly forth on what All Sensible People should agree on regarding deficits:
...except for a few rabid debt-deniers, almost everybody agrees we have to do something fundamental to preserve these programs (Medicare, Social Security, etc.) The problem is that politicians have never found a politically possible way to begin. Every time they tried to reduce debt, they ended up borrowing more and making everything worse.
On March 19, 2001, the same David Brooks held boldly forth on what All Sensible People should agree on regarding deficits:
...even if today's productivity improvements are only on the scale of, say, the improvements our economy saw after World War II, we may be in for a long and sunny ride. There is a rough historical pattern here. A new technology is invented. It takes a long time before people figure out how to use it. The electric motor was invented in the 1880s, but it didn't transform factories until the 1920s, economist Paul David has noted. Once the technology is fully deployed, however, there are decades of positive results. Daniel Sichel of the Federal Reserve points to previous technology-driven surges that lasted 10 and 25 years. That suggests we may still be near the beginning of this particular period of bounty.  
If we are, an occasional period of slower growth or even a recession may occur, but the U.S. economy is fundamentally strong, and both laymen and legislators have good reasons to believe it will remain strong for many years. Industrial productivity is surging. Americans are not only the hardest working people on earth (the average American works about 10 weeks a year more than the average European) but also the most productive workers -- by far. If you measure value added per hour worked, Americans do about 20 percent better than Germans and the French, and 40 percent better than the Japanese. 
In other words, if you wade through the economic literature, it's hard not to agree with the Cleveland Fed's Jerry Jordan: We are living at a once-in-a-generation moment of economic opportunity. As productivity grows, the economy will grow. As the economy grows, revenues will grow, maybe beyond what the CBO projects. The real question about the Bush tax cuts, then, is not, Can we afford them? The real question is, Why are they so small?
On December 31, 2012, David Brooks cursed the Greedy American Voter for getting us into this terrible, terrible deficit hole.
They could have shown the world that the two parties can work together to avert the eventual calamity. They could have produced a balanced program that would have combined spending cuts and targeted tax increases. They could have reduced Medicare spending on the rich to free up more money for young families.
But the proposal is not a balance of taxes and spending cuts. It doesn’t involve a single hard decision. It does little to control spending. It abandons all of the entitlement reform ideas that have been thrown around. It locks in low tax rates on families making less than around $450,000; it is simply impossible to avert catastrophe unless tax increases go below that line.
Whom should we blame for this? Again, we should not blame Obama and Boehner. In their different ways, they and a number of other people in the Congress are trying to find a politically palatable way to deal with these hard issues. They got what conditions allowed. 
Ultimately, we should blame the American voters.... Many voters have decided they like spending a lot on themselves and pushing costs onto their children and grandchildren. 
On September 10, 2001, the same David Brooks was incredulous that anyone in their right mind would even suggest that we were ever going to have deficits again:
Last week the Congressional Budget Office came out with a budget forecast. The report immediately got submerged in a chatterstorm about whether Congress or the White House would dip into something called the Social Security trust fund, but the essential facts are these: The CBO economists estimated that the federal government will run a surplus of about $150 billion in 2001. That’s a lower surplus than the CBO estimated a few months ago, before the economic slowdown, the Bush tax cut, and the recent congressional spending splurge. But even in these adverse circumstances, the surplus is still projected to grow to about $200 billion a year in 2004 and close to $300 billion a year by 2006.
On December 31, 2012, David Brooks predictably allocated the political blame  for getting us into this terrible, terrible deficit hole to Both Sides
A large number of reactionary Democrats reject any measure... 
A large number of impotent Republicans talk about reducing the debt, but are incapable of...
On September 10, 2001, the same David Brooks predictably allocated the political blame for Deficit Panic Peddling to Only One Side:  Those "Stupid" Democrats.
The New Stupid Party
LONG AGO, the Republican party was nicknamed the Stupid Party, and at times Republicans have done their best to live up to the label. But after the past week, it is perhaps time to acknowledge that when it comes to brainless, self-destructive behavior, the Democratic party has achieved a level of excellence that will be unsurpassed in our lifetime.
The Democratic party proceeded to work itself up into a collective aneurysm. Dick Gephardt—who, when given the chance to play the demagogue, never goes halfway—said that the United States now faces "an alarming fiscal crisis." Democratic national chairman Terry McAuliffe said on Face the Nation that it had taken Bill Clinton eight years to build up the surplus, but Bush was able to "blow it in eight months." Other Democrats rose up en masse to declare that the Bush administration was going to bankrupt Social Security/the federal government/ western civilization because the administration was going to have to "raid the Social Security trust fund.
For the record, it was the wingnut slop that Mr. Brooks used to trowel out at "The Weekly Standard" (and that history has now shown to have been unalloyed claptrap) that got him his job at the New York Times.

Also for the record, Mr. Brooks has been this flagrantly wrong about almost every important subject since he began putting pen to paper.  He continues to get away with it completely unmolested because his colleagues are, for the most part, just as economically dependent on perpetrating massive journalistic frauds on the American people as he is.  

A confederacy of thieves and traitors have stolen our free press.

And they are not going to give it back without a fight.


Retired Patriot said...

A confederacy of thieves and traitors have stolen our free press.

And they are not going to give it back without a fight.

Someday Drifty, the so-called Democratic "left" will understand this simple truth. Until them, they'll continue to have their lunch money stolen as "tax cuts." Or "fiscal cliffs."

Happy New Year!


Suzan said...

I'm just glad you ended with the words "without a fight" because I don't believe that a "fight" will have any effect on their "giv"ing "it back."

Only the equivalent of a full-scale war (getting rid of them all) could.

Love you guys!


Yastreblyansky said...

Mr. Brooks has been this flagrantly wrong about almost every important subject since he began putting pen to paper.

Amazing, isn't it? Wrong even when he takes both sides of an issue in quick succession! Even Mitt Romney couldn't do that consistently.

marindenver said...

You quoted part of this paragraph but the whole thing was just infuriating to me:

"Ultimately, we should blame the American voters. The average Medicare couple pays $109,000 into the program and gets $343,000 in benefits out, according to the Urban Institute. This is $234,000 in free money. Many voters have decided they like spending a lot on themselves and pushing costs onto their children and grandchildren. They have decided they like borrowing up to $1 trillion a year for tax credits, disability payments, defense contracts and the rest. They have found that the original Keynesian rationale for these deficits provides a perfect cover for permanent deficit-living. They have made it clear that they will destroy any politician who tries to stop them from cost-shifting in this way."

Yes, because average Americans have paid into the system the way they were supposed to and now expect to get out of it what they were supposed to, they are somehow freeloading moochers? And even more than that, greedy takers who want to deny the same benefits to their children and grandchildren?

Brooks is an abhorrent human being who arguably doesn't even deserve the title of human.

Anonymous said...

Those wonderful cheap and disappearing American workers...