The real story of the US debt deal is not the triumph of the Tea Party but the death of the Socialist Left

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    Aug 02, 2011 12:26 PM GMT
    An interesting perspective from the UK:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tobyyoung/100099357/the-real-story-of-the-us-debt-deal-is-not-the-triumph-of-the-tea-party-but-the-death-of-the-socialist-left/

    For British conservatives, the US debt deal is a thing of beauty. Under the terms of the deal, the federal government will cut spending by $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years and there won’t be any corresponding increase in taxation. That is to say, the American Government has agreed to tackle its deficit by spending cuts alone. The British Government, by contrast, is planning to cut its deficit through a combination of spending cuts and tax rises – and it’s cutting it by a smaller amount.

    Even if the Tory Party had won an overall majority at the last election, it’s hard to imagine it adopting such a bold fiscal policy. Yet the American Government is on the verge of adopting this plan in spite of the fact that the Democrats control the Senate and the White House. A year ago, American conservatives were showering David Cameron with praise for adopting such a radical approach to reducing Britain’s deficit and contrasting him unfavourably with their own spendthrift President. Now, our Prime Minister looks like a weak-kneed liberal in contrast to the hard-headed Obama. Whatever happened to the stimulus?

    Most pundits are crediting this U-turn to the political muscle of the Tea Party and it’s true that President Obama would never have agreed to this deal if the Tea Party Republicans in the House of Representatives hadn’t engaged in the brinkmanship of the past few weeks. But to focus on the Tea Party is to ignore the tectonic political shift that’s taken place, not just in America but across Europe. The majority of citizens in nearly all the world’s most developed countries simply aren’t prepared to tolerate the degree of borrowing required to sustain generous welfare programmes any longer.

    [...]

    For believers in redistributive taxation and egalitarian social programmes like David Miliband, Obama was the last great hope. Here was a centre left politician capable of building the kind of electoral coalition that underpinned the massive expansions of state power in Britain and America, from Attlee’s post-war Labour Government to Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. That is, a coalition of the white working class, minorities and middle class liberals. Yet in spite of sweeping to power in 2008 and ensuring the Democrats won in both the House and the Senate, Obama has proved unable to sustain that coalition. Last night’s debt deal represents the moment when he acknowledged that trying to maintain the levels of public spending required to fund ambitious welfare programmes is political suicide. Which is why the deal has been greated with cries of impotent rage by the British Left.

    In both Britain and America, the Left has been reduced to hoping that cutting public spending on this scale will snuff out economic growth and plunge our respective economies back into recession. Not only will the Coalition be turfed out as a consequence, but if Obama can somehow blame the Tea Party for the “double dip” he might be able to persuade the people to grant him four more years. What the Left hasn’t grasped – and what Obama has – is that for the foreseeable future no political candidate or party will be able to increase public spending and win re-election. Socialist welfare programmes have become politically toxic. A sea change has taken place within the West’s most developed countries and last night’s debt deal is a reflection of that.
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    Aug 02, 2011 12:37 PM GMT
    Yes. It's always good to hear from those who support austerity programs taht have crippled their own economy.

    Politics are cyclical. The Tea Party did manage to shift the conversation from growing the economy to lessening the deficit. Sadly, their ideological rigidity, ahistorical perspective and general lack of knowledge about the past 100 years of economic data, means that they have pushed through a deal that doesn't really tackle the debt in a meaningful way, but will harm millions of Americans through slower growth (1.5 - 2.0% according to JP Morgan), and increased unemployment.

    The good news is that, as in previous recessions and depressions, the American people will eventually wake up and demand a much more progressive agenda than we've seen thus far.

    The American people by and large love "socialist" programs and once they realize that, once again, the rich and corporations have gotten away with not contributing to fixing our economy, the rage will make the Tea Party look a tempest in a proverbial teapot. icon_lol.gif
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    Aug 02, 2011 12:43 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidYes. It's always good to hear from those who support austerity programs taht have crippled their own economy.

    Politics are cyclical. The Tea Party did manage to shift the conversation from growing the economy to lessening the deficit. Sadly, their ideological rigidity, ahistorical perspective and general lack of knowledge about the past 100 years of economic data, means that they have pushed through a deal that doesn't really tackle the debt in a meaningful way, but will harm millions of Americans through slower growth (1.5 - 2.0% according to JP Morgan), and increased unemployment.

    The good news is that, as in previous recessions and depressions, the American people will eventually wake up and demand a much more progressive agenda than we've seen thus far.

    The American people by and large love "socialist" programs and once they realize that, once again, the rich and corporations have gotten away with not contributing to fixing our economy, the rage will make the Tea Party look a tempest in a proverbial teapot. icon_lol.gif


    Sure they do Christian. The irony is that you do all the things you accuse the tea party movement of doing. What will truly harm Americans are the uncontrolled deficits still anticipated and the higher costs to finance debts for everyone starting with the US government.

    As far as history goes, the American people tend to demand less government intervention and greater economic liberty instead of adhering to the tired dead ideas you seem to cling to.
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    Aug 02, 2011 1:11 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 saidYes. It's always good to hear from those who support austerity programs taht have crippled their own economy.

    Politics are cyclical. The Tea Party did manage to shift the conversation from growing the economy to lessening the deficit. Sadly, their ideological rigidity, ahistorical perspective and general lack of knowledge about the past 100 years of economic data, means that they have pushed through a deal that doesn't really tackle the debt in a meaningful way, but will harm millions of Americans through slower growth (1.5 - 2.0% according to JP Morgan), and increased unemployment.

    The good news is that, as in previous recessions and depressions, the American people will eventually wake up and demand a much more progressive agenda than we've seen thus far.

    The American people by and large love "socialist" programs and once they realize that, once again, the rich and corporations have gotten away with not contributing to fixing our economy, the rage will make the Tea Party look a tempest in a proverbial teapot. icon_lol.gif


    Sure they do Christian. The irony is that you do all the things you accuse the tea party movement of doing. What will truly harm Americans are the uncontrolled deficits still anticipated and the higher costs to finance debts for everyone starting with the US government.

    As far as history goes, the American people tend to demand less government intervention and greater economic liberty instead of adhering to the tired dead ideas you seem to cling to.


    Incorrect. The long right-wing project of trying to rewrite economic history doesn't work on everyone.

    The country has run higher deficits and higher percentages of debt in the past and resolved them.

    And the American people overwhelmingly want liberal and progressive government policies like Medicare, Social Security, infrastructure, etc. More to the point, they do not want those programs lessened or eliminated to maintain or increase tax cuts for the rich and corporations.
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    Aug 02, 2011 1:14 PM GMT
    Riddler, where do you stand on the subject of "socialist programs" do you think SS, and Medicare are socialist programs and should be ended or privatized ?
  • Laurence

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    Aug 02, 2011 3:51 PM GMT
    Haha.

    The quoted article is from the right-wing newspaper the Telegraph.

    I'd take it with a pinch of salt if I was you.

    Lozx
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    Aug 02, 2011 4:53 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    realifedad said Riddler, where do you stand on the subject of "socialist programs" do you think SS, and Medicare are socialist programs and should be ended or privatized ?


    They're Ponzi schemes.



    Oh come on SB, Ponzi schemes aren't successfull as SS has been for around 7 decades. Everyone cannot have the opportunities and good luck that you and I have had so SS was and is a good idea for many of the masses. All that SS needs is to increase the upper limit for deductions from $98,0000 to $120,000, and a few tweeks on Medicare to get us through all the "Boomer" retirements and the programs will be fine.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Aug 02, 2011 4:58 PM GMT
    Laurence saidHaha.

    The quoted article is from the right-wing newspaper the Telegrah...



    which is the only type of newspaper that riddler would read and post quotes from...


    icon_idea.gif
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    Aug 02, 2011 5:18 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    Christian73 said

    And the American people overwhelmingly want liberal and progressive government policies like Medicare, Social Security, infrastructure, etc. More to the point, they do not want those programs lessened or eliminated to maintain or increase tax cuts for the rich and corporations.


    In short, the American people want more government, more free money and an equalization of wealth as "all men are created equal" and deserve equal wealth.


    No. They want effective government whatever its size, Medicare and SS are not "free money", they are social insurance policies into which every working American pays, and, while Americans want everyone to have equal opportunity, they also realize that the very rich and powerful have been rigging the system to their benefit and the expense of most American for 40 years.