Sunday Open Thread [1.6.13]

Filed in Open Thread by on January 6, 2013

Who knew there would be snow and ice this AM? The traffic reports were full of issues, so I stayed home instead of going to Philly today. This is what I’ve been reading:

Bruce Bartlett is not optimistic that the deficit will be fixed.

Historically, what has moved Congress to enact big deficit-reduction packages was the prospect of quick improvement in terms of inflation, growth and interest rates. Given that deficit reduction today is very unlikely to improve any of these in the near term, deficit hawks lack any real payoff from a grand bargain.

And it is why the GOP is waiting for Democrats to propose the tough stuff, while stupidly threatening not to pay the bills that Congress racked up.

How the party of so-called fiscal responsibility is talking itself into not raising the debt limit.

The goal is to present to both the public, and perhaps rank and file Republicans who don’t fully understand the nature of the debt limit threat, that the consequences would be fairly modest β€” to foster a climate in which raising the debt limit without legislative concessions from Democrats will be impossible.

But for two years now, experts β€” from academia to the Treasury Department to the Congressional Budget Office β€” have warned in plain terms that the actual consequences would be much worse: a recessionary drop in spending at best and a calamitous debt default at worse.

And we know how this goes, right? The media will get hooked into the drama and will never ask a single one of them why it is that they don’t just send their cuts/budget to the White House. It’s like everyone forgets that spending bills originate in the House just so that they can have their high stakes drama.

ProPublica reports on 5 of the dark money groups of the last campaign and how they reneged on their IRS-application pledges to stay out of politics. Surprise. The question that is left is why — exactly — the IRS still shows these groups’ applications as pending when they are CLEARLY in violation of the commitments of their applications.

This week marks the end of the Jim Baker era of Wilmington politics and Andrew Staub at the News Journal writes a fine assessment of Mayor Baker’s legacy in the city.

Shell’s botched attempt to move an oil rig from Alaska to Seattle was apparently incentivized by the idea of taking advantage of a tax loophole that would have saved them $7M in Alaska state taxes. FAIL.

What interests you today?

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"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas." -Shirley Chisholm

Comments (3)

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  1. puck says:

    Who knew there would be snow and ice this AM?

    Well… DD knew… πŸ™‚

    The deficit won’t even get close to being fixed until wages increase, jobs come back, and the middle class gets purchasing power and starts expanding again. Bill Clinton taught us that. We are currently throwing away with both hands the policies that might bring that about, with no elected officials interested in anything other than raiding the remaining assets of wage-earners via austerity. We know who took the money, we know where it is and how it got there, but we don’t have the willpower to take it back and shut off the funnels that still move it upward.

  2. John Young says:

    Corporations are people too! The lunacy of the debate: