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Deficit
  • Enjoy This Nice, Relaxing Fiscal Cliff Explainer

    nice calm lake

    Everyone sure is stressing out about this fiscal cliff situation, which is- well, what is it, exactly?

    Lucky for you, we've assembled this handy explainer that will also soothe your spirit and calm your mind. Om.

    Enjoy!


    Tags: Deficit
  • Alan Simpson Dances Gangnam Style [VIDEO]

    Former Senator Alan Simpson has a message for America's youth: help reduce the deficit or he's going to keep dancing Gangnam Style with his soda can sidekick…

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    Tags: Alan Simpson, Deficit, Fiscal Cliff, Internet
  • Non-Existent Things Doing Well in Polls

    unicornzReality, how does it work? According to Public Policy Polling, a mere 49% of Republicans believe the welfare-rights organization ACORN stole the presidential election for Barack Obama, a 3% decline from 2008. Of course, ACORN ceased to exist in 2010, but being dead only gave it an advantage in getting deceased voters to the polls, according to most Republicans.

    ACORN was not the only non-existent thing to poll well yesterday! Another poll from PPP found 39% of Americans with an opinion about the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan. That compared favorably to the 25% of Americans who had an opinion about the Panetta-Burns. Which does not exist. It's a made-up proposal created by PPP, sadly not named after Montgomery Burns, but after Leon Panetta and former GOP Senator Conrad Burns.

    It's surprising Panetta-Burns didn't poll even better. A real deficit reduction plan always calls for tax increases and spending cuts. A mythical deficit reduction plan cuts taxes, increases spending and also solves America's trade deficit by promoting the export of unicorn sweat. Who wouldn't favor that?

    Photo by Gail Shumway/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images


    Tags: ACORN, Deficit, Polls, Voter Fraud
  • Super Committee Fails at Everything

    They sat around in a semi-circle, ignoring calls to get themselves real jobs, and made loud noises while offering few concrete legislative proposals. They couldn't even agree on the specific purpose of their organization, and while many Americans supported their group's agenda in the abstract, the participants ultimately did nothing but tarnish their institution's brand and undermine confidence in the possibility of lasting political change.

    I speak, of course, of the 12 dirty hippies occupying…the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction

    Rather than making a final effort at compromise, members of the special deficit-reduction committee spent their final hours casting blame and pointing fingers, bracing for the reaction from financial markets that are already jittery over the European debt crisis. Half of the 12 lawmakers turned to the Sunday political news shows as their outlet, speaking of their effort in the past tense and accusing the other side of intransigence that they blamed for the failure to clinch a deal. There were no last-minute negotiations, no behind-closed-doors huddles, just a near-empty Capitol in which senior aides could not agree on how to formally shutter the panel by Monday night…

    Barring a last-second breakthrough, the law calls for a punitive set of $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts to kick in at the start of 2013, with half coming from national security budgets. [Senator Jon] Kyl and other lawmakers have embraced reconfiguring the automatic cuts to save the Pentagon from such steep cuts, but any movement that decreases the overall savings runs the risk of causing financial ratings agencies to downgrade the U.S. Treasury’s debt.

    The $1.2 trillion in automatic sequestration was designed to force members of the supercommittee to create a more nuanced plan for deficit reduction, but given the difficulty of compromise, some lawmakers would rather just defuse the "trigger." Which would seem to be a case of noncompliance with the Budget Control Act of 2011, the debt ceiling deal that created the panel. And we all know the appropriate response to "noncompliance," right?

    But even if members of the supercommittee aren't pepper-sprayed, there's a bright side to the panel's dismal performance. Failure to reach a deal preserves the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, which would create more deficit reduction than any deal likely to be concocted by the supercommittee. So perhaps we still have some time before financial markets and the international community forces us to give up on the democracy thing and bow down before our technocratic overlords.

    Photo by Brendan Hoffman /Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Debt, Deficit, House of Representatives, Jon Kyl, Money
  • Mitt Romney Kicks Rick Perry While He's Down in the Polls

    The GOP campaign for the nomination is getting ugly. Bachmann against Cain. Cain against Perry. Huntsman against Romney.

    And now Romney against Perry

    Rick Perry will face a new round of criticism Thursday from Mitt Romney, who will stress a simple economic message to the Texas governor that "deficits matter."

    SNAP! "Deficits matter" is the "Yo momma" of the political world. "Yo deficit is so fat, when Japanese Post-Keynesian economists see it, they run away yelling 'Godzillion (dollars in deficit)!'"

    Romney’s new line of attack comes days after Perry suggested he is less concerned about how his economic plan will affect the federal deficit in the short term and more focused on creating incentives for job creators to spur hiring in the country…

    Critics have called Perry’s economic proposal a "deficit buster" and one that will force the deficit "into the stratosphere…"

    Romney has directed the majority of his attacks this campaign cycle towards the Texas governor, despite Perry's drop in the polls and lack of solid debate performances.

    This must be payback for… what exactly? When Rick Perry clumsily attacked Mitt Romney making himself look incompetent and petty (influencing me to nickname him Rick Petty and The Heartbreakers) in the process?

    Does Mitt Romney know Herman Cain is currently the frontrunner? In a way, it's almost a compliment. Mitt Romney is treating Rick Perry like he still matters.

    Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Deficit, Mitt Romney, Republicans, Rick Perry