When The Truth Matters

Earlier today, I wrote about Matt Yglesias' critique of a book he has not read. Yglesias urged that the truth matters. Earlier, Yglesias wrote "the truth is that whatever the failings of the White House’s approach to fiscal policy, they have been out there consistently pushing for somewhat more to be done." Well, it turns out that's not true - from The Hill:

"Some big, new stimulus plan is not in the offing," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.

How about a little truth telling about that?

Speaking for me only

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    Then a big, new retirement plan for Dems... (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by Dadler on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 04:09:43 PM EST
    ...better be. Although, the way our government works, I'm sure they'll all be well taken care of after they're voted out of office.

    ..one foot in the revolving door (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by jondee on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 08:01:33 PM EST
    A word Obama et al will never utter in success, as (5.00 / 6) (#8)
    by jawbone on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 05:50:43 PM EST
    in "Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs."

    That is not their objective.

    Cuts, to deficits, the debt, and, of course, SocSec -- that's more Obama's bag.

    Trillions for banksters; cuts for the less than wealthy.

    This is our modern Democratic Party on Corporatism.

    Well, the obvious retort is, (5.00 / 8) (#12)
    by Anne on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 07:48:31 PM EST
    they can't handle the truth - the truth, that is, of what needs to be done to get the economy moving.  And the Beltway bloggers can't apparently handle the truth that their guy - Obama - is still "thinking" about what to do, and mulling what Dems can concede to Republicans in the interest of a bipartisanship that won't include Republicans voting for anything.


    Or maybe it's a fox trot.

    Whatever it is, it's just ridiculous the amount of denial that's going on.

    Do they really, seriously, think they can just keep saying this stuff, and people will accept it?

    I guess they do.

    Any moment now: "no one is more focused on the economy than I am."

    To be followed by "as I have always said..." Uh, note to Obama: just sayin' it doesn't make it so...

    Jesus, these people give me a pain.

    A larger stimulus is not a matter of choice (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Sep 03, 2010 at 07:33:24 AM EST
    barring the unfolding of some great new technology like the Internet, the economy will remain depressed unless Government leads, in a big way, the return of consumer demand.  There is no other solution.

    Do we have to wait until 2016 for this to become policy?  A GOP Congress certainly won't do it.  OBama lacks the intestinal fortitude to tee up the issue for this November.  Assuming a GOP Congress, Obama's re-election or a GOP President in 2013, what is needed cannot be done until 2016 at the earliest.

    I guess a world war would do it, the GOP would not have a problem with that.

    Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by ruffian on Fri Sep 03, 2010 at 07:57:28 AM EST
    No one that is all hopped up to vote R in November is doing so because they want MORE stimulus, even though that is what we all think is needed.

    Of course once they take control and are once again in charge of the pork barrel, our heads may spin at how fast they will change.


    That's (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Sep 03, 2010 at 08:15:00 AM EST
    what I'm thinking. This is going to go on until 2016 and we can get a Dem with some spine in office. At the rate we are going, the GOP is going to have yet another crack and instating their stupid policies with both a President and a congress.

    The more Yglesias I read lately (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 03, 2010 at 08:11:54 AM EST
    the more he seems simply stuck on who can win, nothing about how they are winning or why they are winning.  It is only about the Democratic Party winning, and he either understands nothing about the party platform (while I'm acting as if one still remains) or in his world party platforms don't exist and it is only team R and team D and who wins an election.  Seemingly what happens after the election is over is not what it is all about.

    It (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Sep 03, 2010 at 08:16:45 AM EST
    seems as if that's all there is anymore: winning. It doesn't matter whether the policy is any good or not as long as you win. Meanwhile, us peons continue to suffer.

    And this is why spine really isn't the (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 03, 2010 at 04:51:05 PM EST
    problem; you gotta have it in order to "win," I think, because winning requires they stand up to someone or something, no?  So, the have it, but aren't choosing to use it for OUR benefit.

    What I think they need is (1) a refresher course in the fact that they are an independent branch of government, which means they not only have the right not to be errand-boys for the president, they have a responsibility not to take orders from their president when doing so means making bad law or bad policy, and (2) a reminder that we sent them to Congress, not the president.

    It would also help a great deal to neutralize the special interests by making elections 100% publicly funded; return the electoral process to the people, open it up to good people who don't have gazillions of dollars, and close the revolving door that exists between Congress and the special interests.

    It's too much like winning the lottery for it to happen anytime soon, but it would restore the balance of power and put the people back in charge of their government.


    Well, (none / 0) (#2)
    by bocajeff on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 04:21:28 PM EST
    a little spin is in order...

    Yglesias writes that the WH "have been out there consistently pushing for somewhat more to be done"

    Gibbs states: "Some big, new stimulus plan is not in the offing,"

    Now, it is entirely possible that the WH is pushing for something to be done, but that something isn't a big, new stimulus plan. The two aren't mutually exclusive...

    So what would (none / 0) (#3)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 04:27:47 PM EST
    that something be then?

    Jobs programs. n/t (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by jawbone on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 05:51:41 PM EST
    This possibly: (none / 0) (#4)
    by vicndabx on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 04:46:41 PM EST
    Among the options are a temporary payroll tax holiday and a permanent extension of the research and development tax credit, say people familiar with the talks who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to describe private deliberations.

    White House considering major tax breaks for businesses, sources say


    oooooooo goody (5.00 / 8) (#6)
    by cawaltz on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 05:06:40 PM EST
    tax breaks have done such a wonderful job thus far with our economy, I can hardly wait for these new ones.

    I'm sure it will be worth whatever Social Security cuts we're asked to make down the pike because "we can't afford to not balance our budget"(unless it comes to supplying tax breaks for the rich and business class).


    But of course, (none / 0) (#10)
    by bocajeff on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 06:11:47 PM EST
    Tax Breaks and the down economy have absolutely nothing to with each other in this instance (with the exception of the budget deficit.) It's how you use the tax cuts in relationship to what you do with government spending.

    The problem with the economy is jobs, jobs, jobs, credit, credit, credit. Next...


    Tax breaks for business (5.00 / 8) (#7)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 05:19:44 PM EST
    Very progressive. Too bad it won't work and won't impress potential Dem voters.

    It's always for business (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 11:28:06 PM EST
    not for us peons.  How about a payroll tax holiday for people instead of corporate entities?

    What I want to know is, if there's a payroll tax holiday for "business," does that mean I, as a self-employed person who has to pay both sides of the FICA, get the tax holiday?  They tell me that as my own employer, I have to pay the employer half, as well as the employee half, but I wouldn't put it past them to somehow legislate us out of the tax break.

    As far as stimulus is concerned, I can tell you for a fact that a payroll tax holiday that applied to me would absolutely, definitely, without question result in my spending that dough on stuff I need but cannot now afford.


    You're just prejudiced. Corporations (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by observed on Fri Sep 03, 2010 at 08:01:57 AM EST
    are people too.

    I'm in the same boat as you (none / 0) (#15)
    by nycstray on Fri Sep 03, 2010 at 01:06:12 AM EST
    will I get a tax holiday too? Not counting on it . . . .

    me neither (none / 0) (#18)
    by ruffian on Fri Sep 03, 2010 at 07:54:21 AM EST
    I've done my part for the economy though

    For those not on anyone's payroll (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Sep 03, 2010 at 07:39:49 AM EST
    & who have been off payroll for many months, a payroll tax holiday will be manna from Heaven I am sure.  I suppose those of us who are fortunate enough to have jobs will spend our payroll tax savings.

    But in a deflationary environment, won't it make more sense to hang on to cash?


    Deflation is not at all clear (none / 0) (#24)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Sep 03, 2010 at 09:33:02 AM EST
    yet, for one thing, at least nowhere near enough to make saving over spending particularly worthwhile.

    But more importantly, for people living from check to check, unemployment insurance or part-time work or greatly reduced salary/freelance income, there is no option to save.  You can only put off getting your car repaired or your stove fixed or your glasses upgraded for so long.

    That's the whole point of why tax breaks for the lowest income people are stimulatory and get less so the higher the income.


    The two aren't mutually exclusive... (none / 0) (#11)
    by BTAL on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 06:17:29 PM EST
    They are when all you have is a Stimulus Hammer, then everything looks like a nail.

    Mr. Yglesias himself has a problem with the truth (none / 0) (#5)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Sep 02, 2010 at 05:03:36 PM EST
    I think fighting dishonesty with dishonesty is sometimes the right thing for advocates to do, yes. That's an honest view.

    On high speed rail:

    Prop 1

    On the idea that ridership estimates are unrealistically optimistic, it seems to me that the sad reality of politics is that it would be irresponsible for advocates of any large-scale infrastructure project to do anything other than present unrealistically optimistic measures.