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Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 12/20/2010

Imbalance of payments

By Tom Toles

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Supply chains

If you took conservatives at their word, they would be calling for more taxes on the wealthy now, which is only one of the reasons we don't take conservatives at their word.

Think back to the whole premise behind the tax cut religion. The supply-side of the economy was out of balance! Too much money was being driven into consumption and there was not enough capital left over to invest! Whether or not this ever made sense is beside the point; it was their explanation, and let's see where things stand today. The rich have so much money to invest that they can't figure out what to do with it all. Bubbles would be nice! Let's have some bubbles, because we can make even MORE money riding them up, and the government catches us on the way down! Corporations are sitting on MOUNTAINS of unused cash. Their emperor-sized mattresses can't HOLD anymore! But they hesitate to invest it because....CONSUMERS HAVE NO MONEY TO SPEND!

And so? And so? And so? And so the supply-side is out of balance again, but the other way around! But conservatives aren't SAYING THAT! Maybe their supply-side theory was JUST MADE UP to get more money to the rich! You think maybe? --Tom Toles

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By Tom Toles  | December 20, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Economy and jobs  
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Comments

As to the surprises at the end of the session, the Tea Party influence seems to have helped a little.

The difference between today's government officials and our Founding Fathers: one group cared about doing what was actually best for the people and the nation.

Posted by: StephenWV | December 22, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Businesses face financial problems. by cutting waste and inefficiencies. Paying off debt. Saving for the time when they see an environment that is consistent, they see what the rules are, that allows them to trust the stability of the future, and anticipate when the consumer will be able to spend again, so they can start to spend.

People face financial difficulties by cutting back on extras. Paying off their bills, saving and waiting until they have the confidence that things are not going to be made worse by those they have trusted, who really messed up, so they can spend again.

The Congress faces financial difficulties by spending more, extravagantly growing government and running up debt.

What solution is best for the people and the nation?

Posted by: StephenWV | December 22, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

insightinc

There is some truth in your observations. Conservatives though, point their finger at government and say it is the problem.

I was raised to be a good democrat and believed that 'Government Experts' would improve all our citizens lives. After 21 years of managing lower and low income housing I am convinced that governments tendency to give a handout instead of a hand up has caused terrible harm to the poor, specifically by implementing policy that removes the father from the home. The experts in fact are quite often not expert and there is no feedback loop to stop bad policy from continuing.

Creating labels and accenting differences is a progressive theme. It is part of the soft racism \ classism of low expectations. The opposite side of the coin is the constant cry that the rich do not pay their fair share and have no compassion for the poor.

Posted by: dalyplanet | December 20, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Lots of people vote Republican because they have deep religious beliefs and they view poor people as being lazy and undeserving. They see poor people as avoiding responsibility for their own lives, so they are undeserving. They view wealthy people as having worked hard to get their wealth, so they are deserving.

Personally, I'm a Democrat and I also hold deep religious beliefs, but I see poor people more as stuck than lazy. Sure, there are many poor who are lacking in morals and happy to live off the government, but there are many wealthy people who are the same.

I'd love to see a spirit of appreciation among the wealthy and a willingness to give to their community. "The more you have, the more that will be expected of you." Instead, it seems they are always looking for another tax break and arguing for it with whatever twisted logic will support it.

I'd also like to see the poor work hard in school, go to college, and be responsible in parenting. In as much as they can help themselves, they should be doing so. Too often, respect and responsibility are not taught at home.

So, bottom line--it is the vast majority in the middle who either point fingers at the poor, saying they're the problem (Republicans), or point fingers at the rich saying the same thing (Democrats). Both are right.

Posted by: insightinc | December 20, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the rant, Shrimper, where you made a bunch of assertions in language designed to insult your political opponents and inflame those that agree with you already after which you then said you wouldn't explain what you mean by any of them!

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | December 20, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

It is truly disheartening to realize the depth and breadth of the economic stupidity that pervades an apparently increasing segment of the population. You all seem to think that only our benevolent government can fix this? Well government action and policy has CAUSED IT, you morons!!!
Tommy boy, this latest 'toon, is the classic depiction, right in line with the marxist/socialist model spouted by the lib propaganda machine (big media and the Democrat party). Class envy and class warfare. Great policy!!!.... Yeah,right.
To even try to explain this any further in rational terms appears pretty much to be a waste of my time. You all will just have to find out the hard way.

Posted by: Shrimper | December 20, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

The moral of the story is don't spend more than you earn, buy snow shovels in summer, washing dishes is better than buying paper plates and never listen to anyone who tells you to sell you're stock.
Posted by: jornolibist

My Reply,
Sounds like the Republican Rendition of conservative; it is also a good way to prevent improving people's lives.

Maybe it would be better to try the Democratic Rendition of progressive; It will provide people with sufficient income so that they can keep their house, pay their bills, buy a dish washer, buy a snow blower and invest in the corporations that support a quality society. That way, the People in China can feed their starving children and the people here will be able to have more time to spend with their children.

If it was up to the Republicans, we would be living in caves and fighting off wild animals.

Economics without a heart is deadly.
"Just saying".
Dave


Posted by: OckamsRazor | December 20, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Two truths

The present legislation is being produced by a Democrat controlled House, Senate, and White House. No one to blame but Dems.

Obama so far, fiscally and otherwise, is following Bush exactly only with slightly more deficit spending

Posted by: dalyplanet | December 20, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

A picture speaks a thousand words.

What I don't understand is, why the people who put these policies in place are so offended when the results finally manifest themselves... as if that wasn't the plan all along. As in, "Gosh! We had NO IDEA that reducing top-tier tax rates over 50 years by HALF would result in huge deficits and a crumbling infrastructure with no way to fix it that doesn't involve either huge amounts of pain or huge tax increases on somebody... preferably tax increases on those who can't afford lobbyists to protect them from huge tax increases. How could we EVER had foreseen something like that happening?"

When will the "we against thee" end? Too bad that's not on video, 'cause I can just imagine the self-righteous hand-wringing that goes along with it. It's so unfair to be accurately drawn and quartered.

Posted by: jonroesler | December 20, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

A viable economy needs a dynamic balancing act between supply, demand and regulation. Clearly there is no balance at present. All of us need to push for demand side economics and sensible regulation. Repeat it ad naseum like the conservatives have for the (finally debunked) supplyside economics.

Posted by: WhiskeyJack | December 20, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Surely if we give the rich more money it will eventually trickle down to us.

Posted by: queraro1 | December 20, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

As usual Toles takes a totally one sided view of the current reluctance of some businesses to hire and instead are stockpiling money. The present administration has made the future for business so insecure because of the legislation they have passed and some that are waiting to be passed. When many companies can not make a 5 or more year plan because they can not be sure of their tax rates, the amount they will have to pay for government mandated insurance, or if they will be able to afford a new employee after training them.
It is the progressive way to blame the evil corporations but it is the present government that is stifling growth and job creation.
Sorry, but that's the way it is.

Posted by: conservativetexan | December 20, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

GeneTouchet

It couldn't last

Posted by: dalyplanet | December 20, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

It's very sad that ordinary, hard-working folks buy into the conservative narrative. They are indeed, voting against their own best interests. As I've said before, the Republican party has become very good at marketing (i.e. bending the truth to get you to buy their product). They continue to work the small town and rural folks into thinking that Democrats are going to take away your guns, your rights, usurp the constitution, take over health care, etc. etc. Pick the primal fear present in ordinary folks, and the Republicans have found ways to exploit it to the extreme.

The recent poll showing that Fox News watchers are generally more misinformed than others, is just one indication of this. Keep telling lies, and eventually enough people believe them. A favorite tactic is to take something incredibly outrageous that some wacko conservative said, and keep repeating it. The "$250 million per day" trip to India is an example. Someone somewhere used an unsubstantiated claim in a foreign newspaper about how much Obama's trip to India was going to cost, and the Republican noise machine kept repeating it, even after it was proven false. Get it out there, let it reverberate, and never mind any sort of correction or apology. If someone calls you on it, just say, "Well, I'm only repeating what I heard." Nice cop out.

It's nice to think people would be smart and motivated enough to investigate such things for themselves (in essence, seek the truth). But we like our infotainment spoon fed to us.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | December 20, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

pararanger22 answers, in the 2nd paragraph of his post (December 19, 2010 6:29 PM), his own question in the third paragraph of his post.

Tom: The destruction of the U.S. economy started under Reagan. Since WWII, under only three presidents has the ratio National Debt/GDP gone up: Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43. Under ALL other presidents since WWII, that ratio went down...this is what you would want. Tax cuts are fine, but you need to pay this country's bills...or maybe not. Deficits and debt seem to be a political weapon that the GOP uses to bash opponents with, and the GOP never takes responsibility for those that they create. That said, the GOP is responsible for most of the debt we now have, are now accumulating, and will accumulate in the future. They say one thing, do another.

Posted by: ptgrunner | December 20, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

pararanger22 answers, in the 2nd paragraph of his post (December 19, 2010 6:29 PM), his own question in the third paragraph of his post.

Tom: The destruction of the U.S. economy started under Reagan. Since WWII, under only three presidents has the ratio National Debt/GDP gone up: Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43. Under ALL other presidents since WWII, that ratio went down...this is what you would want. Tax cuts are fine, but you need to pay this country's bills...or maybe not. Deficits and debt seem to be a political weapon that the GOP uses to bash opponents with, and the GOP never takes responsibility for those that they create. That said, the GOP is responsible for most of the debt we now have, are now accumulating, and will accumulate in the future. They say one thing, do another.

Posted by: ptgrunner | December 20, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Cries of "socialism" from Conservatives is just smoke and mirrors obscuring a new feudalism they would foist upon us. The only reason I can think of why a person who works for a living would vote Republican is they hope to be created Knight or Baron in the new, old order.

Posted by: Capn0ok | December 20, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Whoa! 8 comments and not one cavil.
Gotta be a record!

Posted by: GeneTouchet | December 20, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

The fear was that conservative commentators were just shills to apologize for the wealthy. But they do get something in return - like a fine house in Georgetown. They do not have to convince us that they are right - just confuse us. That is good enough.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | December 20, 2010 6:50 AM | Report abuse

There has to be a point where this 'we against thee' needs to end.

Posted by: dalyplanet | December 19, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

The moral of the story is don't spend more than you earn, buy snow shovels in summer, washing dishes is better than buying paper plates and never listen to anyone who tells you to sell you're stock.

Posted by: jornolibist | December 19, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

To Tom Toles,
Proper job telling it like it is.

The demand side of economics has to have on going cash flow like a job that provides sufficient pay to pay the bills plus a savings for a rainy day.

Economics is a dynamic system not a static system. There must be a continual flow of capital to provide for the continual lives of the people.

It is essential that the exchange of goods and services is an enabler economic system that provides for both the present and the future on an on going basis.

Just as the heart must continually provide a continual flow of blood through people's veins; it is necessary that economics provide a continual flow of funds to provide for quality lives in a quality nation.
Dave


Posted by: OckamsRazor | December 19, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Big business will never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the american public. Just look at what's on your tv programs.

Posted by: unoiamrite | December 19, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I don't know, pararanger. How did conservatives get stomped in '06 and '08?

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | December 19, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

pararanger22 asks how conservatives get people to vote against their own financial interests. There could be many reasons. I think many people hope that when Big Business gets everything it wants--further weakening of wage and hour laws here, continuing financial rewards for sending jobs overseas, etc.--that maybe BB will throw a few jobs our way, here within U.S. borders. I think many other people think they are just one winning lottery ticket away from being millionaires themselves, and so are convinced that they are protecting their own future financial interests. I call this the tax on people who didn't do well in probability and statistics, or never even took it.

Conservatives build castles in the air and then convince the working class to move into them. It's quite a racket, and a profitable one, but as always, reality does have a way of intruding in the end.

Posted by: fostersm1 | December 19, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Conservatives are really awful. We keep all the money in a big pile, just like in your cartoon depiction.

Conservatives are just pathetic, out of touch, silly, stupid, disappointing.

Wonder how they stomped the Liberals into the ground in the last election?

Posted by: pararanger22 | December 19, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

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