Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Monday Before The Midterms And WaPo Is At It Again

It is Robert J. Samuelson doing his usual schtick, albeit with some recognition of other issues, such as global warming and immigration.  But these are not what has his prime attention on the day before midterm elections in the US.  Moaning that "Everyone" will lose this election, his main focus is on the budget deficit, without a single mention of the Trump tax cuts.

We get, "Start with budget deficits. In fiscal 2018, the gap between federal spending and revenue was $782 billion, nearly 4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). That's up $116 billion from 2017. Based on current spending and taxes, the Congressional Budget Office expects large deficits forever.     
With a 3.7 percent unemployment rate, no one can attribute these deficits to a weak economy.  Put simply, Americans want more government benefits and services than they're willing to pay for in taxes.....

Our leaders are making proposals that would worsen deficits. Trump backs more tax cuts [ah ha, that he passed some is implicitly recognized]; Democrats advance expensive new health benefits and guaranteed jobs for all [well, at least he did not call for cutting Social Security, as he usually does]."

OK, this could be worse.  He could have actually called for cuts in "entitlements" as he so often does.  But clearly after not mentioning that the deficit has swelled due overwhelmingly because of Trump's tax cuts, he implicitly puts forward cutting "government benefits" as at least equal to raising taxes in terms of dealing with budget deficits.  There is no end to it.

Barkley Rosser

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

re: " a 3.7 percent unemployment rate, no one can attribute these deficits to a weak economy..."

High levels of employment is less and less a measure of a strong economy. Around 30% of jobs in America don't allow a single adult to make ends meet.
It's been reported that roughly a further third provide enough income to get by but without vacations, saving for retirement. And housing must be cheap.
See: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/10/30/jobs-62-percent-fall-short-middle-class-standard-us/1809629002/
Labour's share of GDP is on a sharp downward trend since the 1970s. Not surprisingly "in the absence of deficit spending, [US] GDP growth would have been less than zero for the past decade":
Brenda Rosser