Ed Schultz talked to former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich about the potential impasse we're looking at now and whether our government might be shut down if we can't get both sides to come to some agreement on our budget. Reich laid out pretty plainly just how dangerous it is to be talking about cuts at all while our economy is still so fragile.
I'm glad to see someone like Reich out there attempting to change the political dialog on these budget cuts and Ed Schultz having him on because for the most part our media is just accepting the Villager common wisdom that the poor and working class must suffer because our country "is broke" and we can't ever in a million years ask the ones holding more wealth in our country that has not been seen since the Gilded Age to ever have to suffer the horrible fate of paying more in taxes.
The fact that political games are being played in order to demand more from the working class while we have the largest income disparity since the Gilded Age is just disgusting, but it's not surprising given the fact that our political class for the most part has been bought and sold by their campaign contributors.
Ed did a nice job of laying out pretty plainly just how many people it’s going to do harm to if the government is shut down. You want a passport, forget about it. Want to take a vacation at a national monument, they’ll be closed. You’re a veteran who relies on the VA for assistance, don’t count on it. You work for a government contractor or one of their suppliers, your orders might not be coming in any time soon. You were expecting your Social Security or Medicare checks, well maybe not. Want to be warned by the National Institute of Health on disease control, never mind that.
Reich went on to explain how cutting the deficit right now is just insane and rightfully slammed President Obama for not leading on this issue and calling out Republicans for just how harmful their demands are going to be to our economy. I agree with Reich and instead of using the bully pulpit when he’s the one person in this country who’s got it, he’s instead giving them credibility that somehow slashing spending is going to cure our economic woes and our budget battles have turned into an argument over who’s going to cut more instead of whether cutting at all instead of raising taxes is what we ought to be doing.
Here's more from Reich on where we're headed and it's not a pretty picture. Until our politicians decide that the American voters they're supposed to represent matter more than their campaign donors, we're in a world of hurt and it's not going to change until more of us start demanding that they start representing their constituents instead of those donors. It would be nice to see campaign finance reform as a theme at more of these protests around the country since that really is the heart of the problem with the corruption in our politics. It's not just greed. It's that greed being allowed to buy off our politicians to perpetuate it at the expense of the rest of us.
Why aren’t Americans being told the truth about the economy? We’re heading in the direction of a double dip – but you’d never know it if you listened to the upbeat messages coming out of Wall Street and Washington.
Consumers are 70 percent of the American economy, and consumer confidence is plummeting. It’s weaker today on average than at the lowest point of the Great Recession.
The Reuters/University of Michigan survey shows a 10 point decline in March – the tenth largest drop on record. Part of that drop is attributable to rising fuel and food prices. A separate Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence, just released, shows consumer confidence at a five-month low — and a large part is due to expectations of fewer jobs and lower wages in the months ahead.
Pessimistic consumers buy less. And fewer sales spells economic trouble ahead.
What about the 192,000 jobs added in February? (We’ll know more Friday about how many jobs were added in March.) It’s peanuts compared to what’s needed. Remember, 125,000 new jobs are necessary just to keep up with a growing number of Americans eligible for employment. And the nation has lost so many jobs over the last three years that even at a rate of 200,000 a month we wouldn’t get back to 6 percent unemployment until 2016. Read on...