Monday, July 11, 2011

Give Peas a Chance.

At his news conference this morning, while urging Congressional leaders to seize the opportunity to make a grand bargain on taxes and spending that would reduce the federal deficit for years to come, President Obama told Americans that now is the time to eat our peas. Americans do not want to hear that. Americans do not like peas. We don't like broccoli much either. The last president who told us to eat our peas was Jimmy Carter, and look what happened to him. Americans would rather hear our leaders tell us that now is the time to have our cake and eat it too. We like cake. With a nice super-size Coke. OK, maybe we'll settle for a diet Coke to wash down our cake. But peas? Forget it.

One of the reporters reminded the president that the vast majority of Americans believe we should not raise the debt ceiling. That's right, Americans do not want to raise the debt ceiling. We believe we already have enough debt, and the government should live within its means. But we should not cut Medicare. That would be bad. And we should not cut defense spending either. We support our troops! We should cut waste, that's what we should cut. And fraud and abuse also. We are strongly in favor of cutting fraud and abuse. And maybe foreign aid.

We also want the government to cut taxes. And gas prices. We want lower gas prices. And we want the government to do something about high unemployment. But they have to do it without spending any money, because we don't want the government to spend money. So what should they do? We don't know, but they should do something. Maybe cut taxes some more. But don't add to the deficit, remember. We don't like the deficit.

Truly, Americans cannot understand what is so hard about getting a deficit deal done. Why do these Congressional leaders have to keep traipsing over to the White House for all these meetings? What is wrong with these Congressmen? Americans really don't like Congress. We don't like John Boehner and we don't like Nancy Pelosi much either. Why can't they just follow our clear instructions and get the job done? Cut some more taxes. And cut spending. But don't cut any programs that Americans like. And don't add to the deficit. And while you're at it, create more jobs. And stop all this talk about eating our peas. What do peas have to do with any of this?


  1. If we look at previous examples of lowered taxes and a pledge not to mess with the markets I bet we'll find unemployment decreased.

  2. I love peas and broccoli. Time to remind readers, hunger is a good sauce. As well, colors; it is all about the colors in your diet!

    On a separate note, I agree with Krugman on one issue: there is an emotional fairy. He should ask himself, is he helping or hurting her cause.

  3. Harrison:

    You'll "bet"? You don't need to bet, you need to listen to people who know what they are talking about, like real economists, who overwhelmingly say we need to reduce spending AND raise taxes. So ... eat your peas!

  4. Anonymous, your opinion is obviously so valid you used your real name.

    We only need history as our guide. Three major tax cuts = economic expansion, increased revenues, AND lower unemployment:

    Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan.

    You should eat your peas, but read history as well (you might learn something).

  5. Interesting that you did not mention the G.W. Bush tax cuts. You also left out the Reagan tax increase, and the Clinton tax increase, both of which were followed by economic expansion. If you do a more complete analysis of tax rates as compared to economic growth you will not see the correlation you are looking for.

  6. Bush tax cuts:

    Here’s what else happened after the 2003 tax cuts lowered the rates on income, capital gains and dividend taxes:

    GDP grew at an annual rate of just 1.7% in the six quarters before the 2003 tax cuts. In the six quarters following the tax cuts, the growth rate was 4.1%.
    The S&P 500 dropped 18% in the six quarters before the 2003 tax cuts but increased by 32% over the next six quarters.
    The economy lost 267,000 jobs in the six quarters before the 2003 tax cuts. In the next six quarters, it added 307,000 jobs, followed by 5 million jobs in the next seven quarters.

    Clinton tax increase? Windows 95 and the dot com boom offset the damage of them.

    Reagan cut income taxes and the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, government interference in the economy was slashed.