Category Archives: Deficit
It’s a sad reality in the United State that political thought rarely gets accurately reported.
The reason is simple… the press long ago gave up being objective. Every news outlet peddles its own politics.
Every reporter fancies themselves an insightful news analyst who knows better what an opposing party thinks then the party themselves think.
Perverting a Political Party
“The GOP couldn’t be more wrong about cutting unemployment insurance“
– Heidi Moore, The Guardian, 1/7/2014
If a reporter or media outlet describes a political party’s thinking as “they believe” then you can be pretty sure the reporter sympathizes with another party and their report will be inaccurate. Such is the case with Heidi Moore and The Guardian newspaper.
Ms. Moore is the Guardian’s US finance and economics editor. Before that she was the New York Bureau Chief and Wall Street correspondent for Marketplace. She should know better but, like so many others, she has chosen sides at the expense of unbiased accuracy.
What Do Republican’s Really Think About Unemployment?
Most Republicans believe that another year of extended unemployment benefits for 1.3 million needy Americans is needed.
Why? This nation is in a jobs depression. Republicans, just like downtrodden Democrats, are among the victims of the bad economy. Republicans can’t find jobs either. They need a helping hand to.
Heidi Moore takes it upon herself to identify for her readers four myth’s that she says Republicans believe about unemployment. Then she goes on to explain why Republican’s are wrong on all four counts.
Moore doesn’t understand Republican thought. She is out in left field on three out of four so-called myths. The fourth isn’t a myth at all.
The three non-myths are rubbish. Ignore them.
That leaves this one:
GOP myth #3:
Unemployment benefits should be extended only after the government can cut other programs to “afford” it
Republicans believe things should be paid for. If you can’t afford something, especially if you are big government and spending hard-earned taxpayer dollars, then do without until you can. Don’t spend now and shaft your grand kids with the bill later.
Fortunately, this time, the federal government can afford to pay the $26 billion needed (CBO estimate) for a 5th consecutive year of extended UI benefits.
Moore, however, has a different view. She identifies 3 reasons we should just spend the $26 billion without budgeting for it:
- “Budget deficits have little or no influence on economic growth”
- “Government can already “afford” unemployment insurance”
- “Congress has not proven any competence at creating a budget”
Moore’s reason #1 suggests that adding to the budget deficit won’t hurt the economy so, according to her, its OK.
Heck, paying the bill now actually helps the economy! Not only does it avoid having to pay the $26B later, but it also avoids paying accumulated interest costs that would also have to be paid for by future generations.
According to Moore’s reason #2, UI benefits are already largely paid for by employers and that “the government tops it off”. She is right on all counts. Regardless, it doesn’t change anything. The price tag is still $26 billion! ‘Nuff said.
Moore’s 3rd reason is kinda silly, to say the least. She says that Congress is to incompetent to budget for UI benefits, so don’t even try. Really??
How to Pay for UI Benefits Now!
Fortunately, UI Benefits can easily be paid for out of the new bipartisan budget agreement. In fact, plenty of budgeting wiggle room was purposely left in it for just this kind of thing.
According to the CBO only $19.5 billion of the $26 billion for UI benefits will have to be paid for out of next year’s budget. The remaining $6.5B will come out of the 2015 budget.
A March 2010 ABC News report says Medicare fraud alone costs $60 billion/year. Its probably more now. Recover just 1/3rd of that for one year and it would fully pay for extending UI benefits without cutting a single penny from any program!
If that doesn’t roll your socks then consider this… the federal government budget for 2014 is about $3.5 trillion. $19.5 billion is just 0.56% of that total.
If Congress can’t scrape together a half a penny out of every dollar spent for something as important as UI benefits in an election year, then this country is in a lot worse shape than anyone ever imagined.
Republicans think they can do that without breaking a sweat.
When it comes out of your paycheck, most tax paying voters believe that unlimited federal spending is not good for the country.
Republicans strongly believe that extended UI benefits for 2014 should be approved. It is a tiny fraction of the current budget and can easily be paid for. It will help 1.3 million desperate Americans.
Since the beginning of the Great Recession in 2008 the Federal Reserve Bank has taken on $4 trillion in debt to boost the economy. At the same time, the national debt has grown by $8.1 trillion through deficit spending. In other words, U.S. taxpayers have taken on $12 trillion in new debt in just 6 years! The federal government only takes in about $2.6 trillion in revenues a year.
Republicans worry about that. They also worry about the $125 trillion or so in unfunded liabilities over and above the $12 trillion that will also have to be paid for.
Republicans also think the Administration and the Congress should get off their duffs and CREATE JOBS!
If you want to know what Democrats think, don’t ask a Republican. They don’t know.
If you want to know what Republicans think, don’t ask Heidi Moore at the Guardian. She’s clueless.