Two of the major Washington based stories are extension of the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthiest 2% on which the best policy from an economic standpoint is to let them all expire and replace them with Obama Tax Cuts for those consumers hardest hit by the Financial Depression and most likely to spend them so that as poor a tool as Tax Cuts are there is at least some increase in Aggregate Demand.
Simply extending any of the Bush Tax Cuts has ABSOLUTELY NO STIMULATIVE EFFECT WHATSOEVER, this is money people already have and have had for 10 years now. Continuing it will NOT make consumers more likely to spend it- they already are.
The fact that this is also the best political policy makes it unlikely that the Obama Administration and the Institutional Democratic Party will adopt it. Indeed the best “bi-partisan” compromise we can seem to hope for is tying it to extension of unemployment benefits (which are one of the most stimulative transfer payments, but not at all as economically productive as investment in infrastructure).
Another story out of Washington is the Catfood Commission meltdown. Clearly there aren’t 14 votes for the Chairmen’s Mark, and no progress has been made on compromise. Bowes-Simpson is essentially unchanged and all the initial objections still apply, the most fundamental of which is that it subsidizes Tax Cuts for Corporations and the Wealthy at the expense of neccessary Government Services (and one of those is Social Security which is not even part of the deficit).
Unfortunately Simpson is probably correct that Republicans will simply pull out the most pernicious, greedy, and hurtful ideas and push them.
Another Big Fail by Barack Hussein Obama and his confederacy of dunces and conservatives.
Anyway the best reporting I’ve seen so far (though I did sleep in) is at Firedog Lake and as a service I’ve collected some of their Front Page stories on the subject. The one I think gives the best overview is Scarecrow’s.
- Fiscal Commission Final Report
By: Jane Hamsher Wednesday December 1, 2010 4:55 am
- Bowles and Simpson Violate Commission Charter and the Washington Post Covers Up
By: Dean Baker Wednesday December 1, 2010 5:25 am
- Catfood Commission Report Unintentionally Shows Gridlock As Best Option
By: Jim White Wednesday December 1, 2010 6:29 am
- Can Simpson-Bowles Catfood Commission Report Even Get a Majority
By: David Dayen Wednesday December 1, 2010 8:01 am
- Catfood Commission: Simpson-Bowles Livestream
By: Jane Hamsher Wednesday December 1, 2010 8:20 am
- Catfood Delirium: US Pretends It’s Not Repeating Europe’s Mistakes
By: Scarecrow Wednesday December 1, 2010 9:22 am
dday has some pieces on the FDL News Desk that have not yet been Front Paged (though I’m sure they will be). One on the Catfood Commission-
- Conrad, Gregg Endorse Catfood Commission Proposal
By: David Dayen Wednesday December 1, 2010 8:13 am
And others on the Tax Cuts-
- Senate Republicans Vow to Filibuster Anything But Tax Cuts, Budget Votes in Lame Duck
By: David Dayen Wednesday December 1, 2010 7:08 am
- The Unpalatable Options on the Bush Tax Cuts
By: David Dayen Wednesday December 1, 2010 7:39 am
- As Tax Cut Capitulation Takes Shape, Letting Them Expire Clearly Best Scenario at This Point
By: David Dayen Wednesday December 1, 2010 10:07 am