Sunday, July 24, 2011

Zeno's Way -- Part 1

Ever since the Federalists and Anti-Federalists duked it out in 18th century newspapers, political interests have used the press to peddle partisan lies and half-truths to the American people.  Today, political interests on the extreme right continue to spread lies and half-truths in an attempt to influence the debate about the US government's budget deficit.   Right-wing ideologues in the service of elitist special interests have done the country a grave disservice in poisoning the debate with their lies about the budget deficit, lies which many so wrongly believe.  These servants of the radical special interests are, in fact, steering the nation in a direction will do nothing to solve the problems underlying our economic and budgetary problems.  Their proposals will instead bring hardship to millions of Americans.  Today's blog entry is the first of a series to restore a more balanced dialectic by contrasting those lies to the simple truth. 

LIE:  If we get the government's fiscal house back in order, everything will be hunky-dory with the economy in short order.
TRUTH:   Those expecting an immediate comeback in the economy are either totally deluded or vicious liars.  The spending reductions needed to balance the US budget are so large that they cannot fail to cause a severe reduction in the pace of economic growth.  Economic activity can only contract if the government reduces transfer payments to the elderly, the poor, and the disabled.  If the military budget is cut back, there will be immediate reductions in industrial activity and in consumer spending by military personnel, their families, and the civil servants who are let go.

MORE TRUTH:  The economy is not coming back in any recognizable way for years.  We are experiencing a period of debt deflation, not an ordinary inventory cycle.  Private citizens, the financial sector, local and state governments, and the US government are all buried under excessive debt loads.   Excessive debt cannot be worked off in weeks or months in the absence of confiscatory policies that would frighten our creditors and land the nation in an even worse mess. 

Strike Scene, Louis Lozowick, 1934.