Kinda, Sorta Real Time Thoughts on Meet the Press (July 17, 2011)

This is a week late. And I know that most of what was discussed is now null and void-they are all narrative sentences.  So I’ll write as if I don’t know the present discussions now swirling around Capitol Hill. The talk around the table was all about the debt-ceiling talks, and things have been coming to a head-for a while. White House budget advisor Jack Lew was here, as were a host of people who you probably won’t know anything about, but well, what the hell! But be careful of that Jim DeMint fella…

Okay, Rebekah Brooks, former CEO of News International has been arrested. And we know what happened afterwards.

Lew stated that the president is ready to make hard sacrifices to get a deal on the debt ceiling.

Will the president accept a deal that’s all about spending cuts without revenue (tax) increases?  Lew didn’t have a good answer for this. (This is still the $1 trillion question; even if before Obama was pushing for a $4 trillion package to buy up independents for 2012.)

But Gregory has pointed out that a majority of Americans don’t think the default is a real issue.   The Michelle Bachmann’s of the world are pushing this narrative and its working.

And there it is: the administration has to explain its work on the economy; this is the worst of populism: we know that the economy would have collapsed without  Bush’s TARP and Obama’s interventions. Obama might not have gotten ahead of the narrative of the economy, but its not his FAILURE of leadership that’s responsible for the slow economic recovery.

Senators Dick Durbin and Jim DeMint are here.  This should be fun.

Right out of the gate, DeMint is talking about  the balanced budget amendment deal-which has always been a non-starter. So, really, what is the GOP plan to pass the debt ceiling increase?  (And David Gregory just let DeMint slip into Bachmannia. What the hell?)

Unsurprisingly Durbin supported a call for the FBI to investigate News Corp under  Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; DeMint just shrugged that one off.

Ohio Governor John Kasich, Former Mayor Mark Moriale, Honeywell CEO David Cote, and two newbies economist Diane Swonk and David Faber will be talking about the economy.

Diane Swonk just related an anecdote to the audience, Europeans are wondering: “Why’s the U.S just deliberately giving away our credit rating with these games”; when in fact the Europeans have a real sovereign debt crisis on their hands.

Marc Morial is surely right that we should decouple the deficit crisis from the debt ceiling talks, and instead focus on jobs; but tell that to Capitol Hill?!

Diane Swonk intimated that its likely that we won’t hit the labor pre-Great Recession labor participation numbers, for twenty years, maybe more. The economy is changing fundamentally and human capital isn’t changing accordingly.

Gregory finally made the point that look there is only so much the federal government can do to spur on job growth.

David Faber also made the right point contra John Kasich and David Cote, that however you cut it, the economic recovery is being held up by anemic demand. That’s Morial’s point and so far no one in government or in business seems to want to push up demand. Business seems happy to talk about over-taxation and over-regulation.

But not everything is terrible. Consider: the manufacturing renaissance in the U.S. and that there’re a whole lot of IPO’s out there now. There’s also tech; Groupon, etc Things are starting to rustle free, even if quite slowly.

Marc Morial is standing up for it, but even he knows that everyone else in D.C. is ready to tackle the deficit on the backs of the most vulnerable Americans. What about Bush’s unpaid for prescription drug benefit (talk about pandering) and the two wars we’ve been fightings. Its not all about domestic spending.

And the argument that there’s shared sacrifice here, falls flat in the face of facts that there are corporations that aren’t paying taxes at all. So given this, why lower corporate taxes.

David Cote is saying, fine close down all the loopholes, all the exclusions but lower the tax base for all.  (I’m not sure if that works, but yeah, whatever!)

The housing market is screwed. ‘Nuff said!

~ by Faheem Haider on July 24, 2011.

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