Tuesday Evening News Roundup

Tuesday Evening News Roundup

Maureen Dowd, from the New York Times, has written a fabulous column pointing out what we already know, that women rule. Women decided this election.

Somehow, I got drawn into a very long and tedious discussion on the deficit. This was a discussion with one of those deficit peacocks. (A deficit peacock is someone who hollers about the deficit, except – they really don’t want to raise taxes, which will bring down the deficit, or touch military spending, which adds to the deficit.) This particular peacock has decided that the federal budget can be cut by $1.6 trillion. I asked where he came up with this number. I got no answer. He then went into the typical deficit Peacock gobbledygook about how there’s just so much waste within the government and we could cut that amount of spending with no consequences. Currently, government spending equals 15-20% of GDP. Cutting government spending will slow the economy. Our current economy is faltering. It is trying to get on its feet. Any significant cuts to the federal budget will push us back into recession. It will lay off tens of thousands of Americans. Paul Krugman agrees. Now, I’m not saying that we never, ever need to get our spending under control. What I’m saying is that timing is critical. When the economy is back on its feet, when unemployment is under 5% and when median wages begin to rise, then we need to aggressively tackle our deficit.

The one thing that is clear from the growing personal scandal surrounding David Petraeus and his mistress is that infidelity happens. Soap operas, which have been on the air for more than 50 years, revolve around simple themes of sex and infidelity.

Austerity doesn’t work. The Mexican crisis of 1994, the Asian crisis of 1997 and the Argentinian crisis of 2002 were all made worse by budget cuts and austerity measures. The Great Depression was made much worse by President Roosevelt. (I won’t even get into the craziness that Herbert Hoover started by trying to balance the budget in 1930.) Listening to budget peacocks go on about cutting back on government spending in 1937.

Only 33% of Americans want to repeal ObamaCare.

Finally, there are rumors that President Obama is thinking about appointing Senator John Kerry to be Secretary of Defense. Fox News will have none of it. They are reviving the swiftboat garbage once again.

  • Linda

    Swiftboat or not, I think Kerry would make a lousy secdef and I wonder what Obama thinks he owes him.  Massachusetts?  That’s Elizabeth Warren.  Playing Romney in the debates?  Not so much.  The biggest thing Kerry has ever run is his own senate office; how is he going to take on the bureaucracy and scope of the Defense Department?  Jim Webb, who is retiring from the Senate from Virginia, would be a much smarter choice, and popular among the military.

  • I think your cynicism is showing again 🙂
     
    The problem John Kerry, in my opinion, is that he comes with so much baggage. It’s going to be tough to get him through the confirmation process.
     
    Jim Webb came on like gangbusters. I followed his campaign closely. His first two or three years in the Senate were outstanding. I think he confronted major issues brought up things that need be said. Then, something happened. He disappeared. I don’t know what happened. I agree with you, he would be a much stronger choice for secretary of defense. It could be, that President Obama already offered him the post that he rejected it.
     
    As usual, thank you for your comments.