September 19, 2012
State Bankruptcy Bad, National Bankruptcy No Big Problem
Our local monopoly newspaper, the Seattle Times, sometimes puzzles me, by
taking stands that seem inconsistent.
The newspaper has been, on the whole, responsible about our state's budget problems.
The editorial board has even, from time to time, blamed the elected Democrats who are mostly
responsible for state's problems.
But the same editorial board has been almost indifferent to our looming national
bankruptcy. I don't mean to imply that they have never done a perfunctory editorial or two
on the problem; they have.
But they don't do so very often, and they rarely blame those most responsible. Part of
the reason they don't may be ignorance; they don't seem to understand, for instance, Barney Franks'
role in the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac disaster, though Morgenson and Rosner explained it clearly
But they must know that our problems were worsened after the Democrats took over
Congress in 2006, and they must know that the Democratic leader of the Senate, Harry Reid,
has refused to even pass a budget for years.
Above all, they must know that our senior senator, Patty Murray, is part of the leadership in
the Senate, and thus partly responsible for the Democratic majority's failure. (Of course
our junior senator, Maria Cantwell, is also responsible, though less so than Murray.) If the
editorial board has ever criticized Murray for her fiscal recklessness, I missed it. They
certainly haven't done a series of editorials calling on Murray to mend her ways, as they should
Note to commenters: Let me ask all of you, but especially frequent commenters, to at
least try to address the subject of the post — in your first comment.
You can agree or disagree that the Times has been inconsistent; that's fine.
If you disagree, you might want to give evidence. If you agree, then you might want to
try to explain the inconsistency. (I have some tentative explanations, but none
that I want to publish, for now.)
(There is another puzzle at the Times, the thinking behind their Defeat Now! caucus.
On that I don't want any hints, because I find it such an interesting puzzle. I can't
say I've made much progress on the puzzle, but it's still fun working on it from time to time.)
Posted by Jim Miller at September 19, 2012
09:25 AM | Email This
This is sad.
Why does anyone take the Times seriously? The current editor by inheritance is the scion of a too wealthy family. Without that wealth he certainly could not earn his current job.
As for blaming the Democrats for the impasse, that makes no sense.
Every economist I have read comes to the same conclusions about the debt .. we need to make cuts and we need to increase tax income.
As long as the House is controlled by the Grover Norquist pledge, there is NO solution.
The saddest part for your side is that a REAL businessman, not a take over/makeover guy nlike Romney (whatever his other faults), would be able to present a proposal that makes sense .. likely something very much in the Bowles-Simpson mould.
The saddest thing on our side is that the President does not have the communications talent of a Reagan or Clinton to sell Simpson Bowels to the public. Obvioulsy Mitt lacks those skills as well.
Tom paraphrase Pogo, we have met the real victim and he is us.
CROSS POSRED to THE-Ave.US under tag "budget"
Obama tells David Letterman he doesn't remember what the national debt is:
4. I don't see it as an inconsistency so much as they clearly disagree that the national budget woes are the result of the Democrats alone. If Democrats had held the same kind of majority at the national level as they have in this state for as long as they have, I imagine what is viewed as an inconsistency on behalf of the Times would disappear.
I agree, if the Democrats held both houses, there would be no inconsistency.
The Democrats would have a debate between their right and their left. I assume this would mean cuts in the military, modest changes in Social Security and Medicare, and a return to Clinton are perhaps even Reagan era tax rates.
Sadly, the current set of extremists in the Republican Party would waste their efforts on the alternative universe where global warming is not real, social programs are not necessary for modern economy, tax cuts pay for themselves, and the United States follows the path of vainglory in the tradition of the last great following global empires... The Soviets and the British.
I find it hard to understand how anyone other than a member of the extremely rich class would take Ayn Rand as a serious model for modern economy. Even any likely Democratic majority, will have problems with the Ayn Rand extremists because all of the filibuster rules in the Senate. Sadly this means that for the present the best we can hope for is a short-term viewpoint dictated by efforts of the left to defer changes in social programs as long as possible and efforts by the right to do the same thing about a military designed to fight wars of the last century.
The Times has bashed the democrats for raping our budget... more or less consistently.
But watch as they endorse the vast majority of those who've been screwing us at BOTH the state and federal level... and then complain as they continue to do what they have been doing once the Times helps to get them back into office.
They truly have the government they deserve... and we're collateral damage in their process.
"Note to commenters: Let me ask all of you, but especially frequent commenters, to at least try to address the subject of the post -- in your first comment. You can agree or disagree that the Times has been inconsistent; that's fine. IF YOU DISAGREE, YOU MIGHT WANT TO GIVE EVIDENCE. IF YOU AGREE, THEN YOU MIGHT WANT TO TRY TO EXPLAIN THE INCONSISTENCY. (I have some tentative explanations, but none that I want to publish, for now.)"
Jim -- You haven't presented any evidence, just your overall impression. Why do those who disagree with you have to present evidence, but the ditto-heads don't.
8. Why does anyone even read that rag anymore? I stopped long ago.
9. I think that since the demise of the Post Intelligencer the Times has been trying to present itself as liberal enough to gain some of the old PI subscribers. It is painful to watch and to read. But most of us want the newspaper to survive, don't we? it's better to have a poor newspaper than no newspaper at all. What I find especially annoying is the publication of "letters to the editor" that are have easily verifiable factual mistakes and are frequently (there's not other word) stupid. The Letters Editor seems to want to show that the newspaper has opinionated readers on both the right and the left and that the least articulate should be heard.
As I've always said, "the morning newspaper is yesterday's news tomorrow".
And to the-Ave, notice you're for "cuts in the military" but "only modest changes" to social programs. Wonder which one the Constitution specifically mentions?
As for your "we need to make cuts and we need to increase tax income" remark, how many times have taxes gone up with the promised spending cuts never materializing?
Also, if you look at the numbers in the argument for the Buffett Rule it will have a ridiculously miniscule effect on the deficit. Even Wikipedia shows how ineffectual it would be -
"If enacted, the rule change would result in $36.7 billion per year in additional tax revenue, according to a January 2012 analysis by the Tax Foundation, a pro-market think tank. These figures assume that the 2001/2003/2010 tax cuts are not extended. If the 2001-2010 tax cuts do not expire as scheduled, estimated Buffett Rule revenues would total $162 billion over the decade. An alternative study released that same month by the Citizens for Tax Justice, a liberal think tank which favors the change, stated that the change would add $50 billion per year in tax revenue. The non-partisan United States Congress Joint Committee on Taxation released a letter in March 2012 estimating that the Buffett Rule would raise $46.7 billion over the next 10 years. The estimated $47 billion would reduce by 0.7 percent the $6.4 trillion increase in spending over the next 10 years estimated by the Congressional Budget Office, based on President Obama's 2013 budget plan."
And I guess you didn't get the memo. "Global warming" is out. Your marching orders are to call it "climate change" now. And some more inconvenient truth for Al Gore as Antarctic Sea Ice Sets Another Record.
1. Constitution and the Army: if you reas the Fed Papers you will find thatn the founders actually expected to have the state militias be the major military force, The founders we also very opposed to American military involvement outside of our hemisphere.
Of course the founders had no idea about jet airplanes and steam ships.
As for social services, I suspect they also saw these as largely state activities.
Times change and the intent of the constitution to secure equal opportunity for Aermicans needs to recognize a modern world.l
2. I never said anything about the Buffett rule. We can debate it, of course, ojnce Mitt lets us see his taxes.
3. As for tghe size of the miiitary, riddle me this ... which is a bigger security threat .. China's jump carrier or Foxconn?
4. Your question about tax cuts vs spending also has no relevance to my positions. I think we need to decrease government borrowing. There are only two ways to accomplish that .. cuts and taxes. Bowles Simpson lays out a reasonable model of what such a balance could look like.
I'm not sure there is realistically any room in this Congress right now to allow for any kind of tax increase even with matched or better reductions in spending.
Every bill passed should have some sort of sunset provision built-in where the benefits have to be weighed against the costs (in economic, social and defense terms) at some fixed point in the future. That alone would help clean up the budget and at least make for a first step towards making sure that the most egregious pork doesn't linger while still allowing for trying different options to see what works (nobody in office has a crystal ball, but all politicians are beholden to some limited interest group or another).
Regarding the Buffett rule, it may make for small change overall, but that doesn't mean it isn't sound. If we disregard everything that makes a dent, either on the revenue or cut side, while waiting for some kind of plan that singularly has a massive impact, we'll be waiting forever and likely still won't see the country unite behind such a plan that might make the floor.
I think it's a micro vs. macro in the Times' selective outrage at the debt issue. Since the dem's have for the most part had control of this state for the last 30 years, the Time's doesn't have an excuse when it comes to whom is responsible for fiscal deficits. Meanwhile, they're more than content to sit back and obfuscate when a Democrat is in charge during an increased national debt crisis and then play whack-a-mole when the opposing political party is sitting in the whitehouse. It's a game most all of the liberal media plays (as you can see play out again this election cycle) when they highlight perceived Romney's gaffe's when they really aren't.
The modern media are an embarrassment to the profession of journalism, they just don't do enough critical self-analysis to recognize their hypocrisy. Afterall, to them, politics IS their religion and they are hell bent on being the crusader's of truth.
14. But the same editorial board has been almost indifferent to our looming national bankruptcy. I don't mean to imply that they have never done a perfunctory editorial or two on the problem; they have.
Are you sure about that? Evidence?
Perhaps I've missed it, but I'd be surprised if the Times has run even a perfunctory editorial about "our looming national bankruptcy", for the same reason I'd be surprised to hear they had run an editorial about the looming invasion from Mars.
Maybe you tell me approximately when this national bankruptcy will occur For the sake of argument (and to keep it real), go ahead and assume Obama wins re-election. When will the federal govt miss its first debt payment?
..and since Obama claims he doesn't know what the national debt is, he's either so poorly informed he's not qualified to be president, or he's lying.
Which is worse?
I gave up on my Times subscription years ago because of their sloppy reporting. I do agree about the inconsistency. It is very much like the parents who don't want to believe their kid is the high school drug dealer or head gang banger. The evidence is there, but the truth is not aways what one wants to see. The Times doesn't regularly call Murray, Reid, and other libs on the carpet because it may force them to actually look at what these folks really stand for and it isn't the idealized image held in the minds of the editorial board. I haven't seen anything of substance about the Dodd-Frank disaster.
As for the fiscal problems on the state and federal level, these are the result of ignoring the first rule of setting a budget: don't spend more than you make. And that is not an idea advocated by the MSM, including the Times.
I would guess one of the Scion Family wants to "marry" his Butt-Buddy. He'll never get to do so with people running the state who support traditional marriage.
The Times has a Union Work-Force. Mostly toeing the Leftist Line keeps the Scion Family in good cheer with the the Unions.
Seattle is a Marxist Town. The City Citizens want Government Freebies and expect other People to pay for them.
Brian@12: " If we disregard everything that makes a dent, either on the revenue or cut side...
I guess this means you're all in favor of letting Obama tax cuts (you probably refer to them incorrectly as Bush tax cuts) to expire for all.
Also repealing Obamacare as it steals tax money that could otherwise be used to pay down the deficit and the debt.
19. Inconsistent? The Seattle Times is anything but inconsistent. They have pretty much lost the majority of conservatives in the area. Of course they are aware of the fact that the Democrat controlled senate has failed to pass a budget and that Franks and the boys brought on the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac disaster. The editorial board of the Seattle Times is made of of liberals...that's LIBERALS! They don't want to start losing the their remaining readership. You think things have changed? The Times was in the pocket of Magnuson and Murray's organization is simply Maggie operation reincarnated to look like the present, teenis shoe, low IQ, frumpy inhabitant of that office. Inconsistant. HA!