Articles about:

Debt

The Deficit That Will Eat the Budget
Will interest payments take up the entire federal budget? A Wall Street Journal column by Greg Ip (3/28/18) gave us another rendition of this old scare story. The argument is that the interest paid on US government debt will soon impose an enormous burden on the federal government, choking off spending on important government programs. The key part of this story is that interest rates will jump at some point in the not-too-distant future. While this is in fact what the Congressional Budget Office predicts, it is also what it has been predicting ever since the Great Recession, and...

Soundbites December 2017

Soundbites December 2017

NYT Stands By US’s False Claim to Have ‘Stood By’ During Indonesia Slaughter…Popping the Debt Balloon…WaPo Disguises Owner’s Press Releases as Journalism

David Stockman’s American Economic Horror Story
Former Reagan budget director David Stockman is outraged–outraged I tell you!–by the Federal Reserve increasing the money supply. In a lengthy op-ed on the front page of the New York Times Sunday Review (3/31/13), he condemns “the mad money printers at the Federal Reserve” with their “egregious flood of phony money” and “a radical, uncharted spree of money printing.” The Fed’s “panic-stricken melee of…money-printing,” he writes, is part of “the single most shameful chapter in American financial history.” For all this moral indignation, however, he never gets around to explaining what exactly is wrong about “printing money.” It’s certainly...

CNN.com had an odd piece of analysis of the Italian election results, arguing that austerity “is necessary by any calculation to actually start moving Italy out of the recession.” That’s not the calculation of Paul Krugman, who for what its worth is a Nobel Prize-winning economist.

George Will’s January 1 column in the Washington Post was a laundry list of familiar criticisms of progressives and Democrats–they worry too much about climate change, for instance. Another non-problem, in Will’s world, is student loan debt: Political logic suggests that this year Obama will try to rekindle the love of young voters with some forgiveness of student debts. But one-third of students do not borrow to pay college tuition. The average debt for those who do borrow to...
James Galbraith is a professor of economics at the University of Texas at Austin, author most recently of The Predator State and chair of Economists for Peace and Security. Speaking to FAIR’s radio show CounterSpin (7/15/11), Galbraith pointed out that there could be real effects from defaulting on our debt, which is why it’s unconstitutional. JG: The Constitution states very clearly that once the government makes an obligation that is a firm commitment, that cannot be challenged and should...
There are specific patterns in corporate media coverage of political debates: Progressive ideas are generally marginalized. “Compromise” between the major parties is encouraged. Democrats should “move to the center,” which in practical terms actually means moving to the right. All of these tendencies have driven the discussion over the federal debt and the debt ceiling. In the end, the political process has produced an agreement that can be cheered by pundits and analysts for adhering to media’s built-in bias...
The convention in mainstream journalism is that the new stories give you the facts, and the columnists give you their opinions (hopefully backed by facts). But in the coverage over the debt ceiling and budget debates sometimes you’re better off heading straight to the columns. Today offers a good example. In the Washington Post (7/15/11), Ezra Klein lays out the political dynamic that is rarely explained. As Klein writes, the White House has decided to offer Republicans a deal...
As you may have gathered by now, the deficit reduction plan offered by debt commission chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles is pretty unpopular, particularly on the left. But one place it was well-received: The Charlie Rose Show, a comfortable place for CEOs and insiders to pontificate. The fact that this show is a staple of public television stations around the country is part of the problem FAIR identified inour new report, “Taking the Public Out of Public TV.”...
Last week the Washington Post informed us that voters are “up in arms over the mounting federal debt”– and thus politicians were being forced to scale back a newbill that would, among other things, extend unemployment benefits and send money to state governments facing serious budget shortfalls. This made little sense, since polls do not show public urgency about the debt or deficit; in fact, dealing with jobs is considered a much higher priority. No matter. The Post has...
Posting on Canada’s Centre for Research on Globalization website (6/29/09), economic historian Michael Hudson notices that “Happy-face media reporting of economic news is providing the usual upbeat spin on Friday’s debt-deflation statistics. The Commerce Departmentâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA) for May show that U.S. ‘savings’ are now absorbing 6.9 percent of income”: I put the word “savings” in quotation marks because this 6.9 percent is not what most people think of as savings. It is not money...
The Washington Post editorial (5/14/09) on the Social Security and Medicare trustees’ report didn’t break much new ground, other than perhaps a uptick in the sarcasm quotient. (“Oh, please” is their retort to critics who point out the paper’s demonstrable hostility to the Social Security program.) But this line jumped out at me as noteworthy: Furthermore, the size of the Social Security surpluses has shrunk, posing a problem for the government since it relies on these funds to help...

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