The heat wasn’t the only thing that bothered me last week. Add these two to the list:
• Last Thursday, parody news site The Onion posted, “Obama Turns 50 Despite Republican Objections.” It was good for a quick chuckle, while not so subtly pointing out two inherent problems President Obama has — Republicans’ inclination to oppose everything Obama supports, and Obama’s willingness to negotiate with himself in his relentless pursuit of Bipartisan Compromise Unicorn.
I thought that was the end of that. But then Fox Nation, an online component of Fox News, decided Friday to headline coverage of Obama’s birthday party with, “Obama’s Hip Hop BBQ Didn’t Create Jobs.” Guests included Hillary Clinton, Chris Rock, Charles Barkley, Tom Hanks and former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs … and the lone rapper, Jay-Z. Because nothing says hip hop like Tom Hanks and Hillary Clinton.
I’ve reached two possible conclusions. One, the fake news is too real. Two, the real news is too fake.
• On news of Standard and Poor’s downgrade of the country’s credit rating, everybody’s got a theory on what exactly happened.
I think the prime reason is the debt ceiling became a bargaining chip by Congress, despite warnings. Another reason is that tax rates are at historic lows, leaving the debt burden on an underemployed middle class.
And I reached this conclusion … because that’s what S&P said.
After it released its downgrade, S&P sent out an explanation via press release, which said, “The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy.”
In the same release, S&P said, “Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act.”
This is not some attempt to say cutting spending is unnecessary. It is, and that includes the military industrial complex that outspends the next 15 countries combined.
We have to recognize the economy has multi-faceted problems, and requires multi-faceted solutions. If you pretend loose nails are the only problem with your house, then everybody will just bring a hammer and you can’t fix the light switch.