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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

On this week's sequester showdown

"The Republicans’ austerity economics and trickle-down economics are dangerous, bald-faced lies.

Yes, the pending spending cuts will hurt. But even if some Americans begin to feel the pain when the cuts go into effect Friday, most won’t feel it for weeks or months, if ever.

 Moreover, the blame game can be played both ways, and Republicans are adept at slinging mud. When it comes to high-visibility consequences of the spending cuts — such as a sudden dearth of air-traffic controllers — Republicans will dodge blame by happily giving Obama authority to shift spending and find the cuts himself, thereby making the White House appear even more culpable. Besides, there’s no end to this. After Friday’s sequester comes the showdown over continuing funding of the government beyond March 27. Then another fight over the debt ceiling.

The White House must directly rebut the two big lies that fuel the Republican assault – and have fueled it since the showdown over the debt ceiling in the summer of 2011.

 The first is austerity economics – the claim that the budget deficit is the nation’s biggest economic problem now, responsible for the anemic recovery. The second is trickle-down economics – the claim that we get more jobs and growth if corporations and the rich have more money because they’re the job creators, and job growth would be hurt if their taxes were hiked.

Unless these two lies are rebutted clearly and forcefully, the nation will continue to careen from crisis to crisis, showdown to showdown. And we will have almost no chance of reversing the larger challenge of widening inequality. The President has the bully pulpit. Americans trust him more than they do congressional Republicans. But he is letting micro-tactics get in the way of the larger truth. And he’s blurring his message with other messages – about gun control, immigration, and the environment. All are important, to be sure. But none has half a chance unless Americans understand how they’re being duped on the really big story." 

--Robert Reich, political economist, professor, author, and political commentator

Links:  Robert Reich

 Robert Reich - Wikipedia

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