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Clearly, the truth about the jobs situation in the U.S. has taken a backseat to the Washington, D.C. kabuki. But, per the person whom I consider to be the conscience of U.S. journalism (for those in the MSM that still maintain any semblance of a conscience, at least) it’s “…a discussion that’s become as rare as it is necessary…”

Preview: Fiscal Cliffs and Fiscal Realities
BillMoyers.com
December 12, 2012

When it comes to America’s economic health, all anyone seems to talk about is the “fiscal cliff,” and the perils of our inevitable plunge. But media’s favorite metaphor is distracting us from actual and crucial fiscal realities. On the next Moyers & Company, independent political and economic analysts Bruce Bartlett and Yves Smith join Bill in a discussion that’s become as rare as it is necessary — why are Washington insiders talking about the deficit crisis and not the jobs crisis?

Bartlett, former advisor to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, got into hot water with fellow conservatives when he aired concerns about the direction of their ideology and wrote critically of the second George Bush. His most recent book is The Benefit and The Burden: Tax Reform — Why We Need It, and What It Will Take. Yves Smith, who spent more than 25 years in the financial services industry, is the founder and editor of the popular blog Naked Capitalism, and runs a successful management consulting firm.

Following the conversation, Bill shares his perspective on one of the most corrupt D.C. fixtures — the revolving door between Washington leadership and lobbying. That lucrative pathway ensures that “when push comes to shove, corporate interests will have the upper hand in the close calls that determine public policy… no matter which party is in power…”

(Bold type is diarist’s emphasis.)

I’ve got plans for the evening, but I’m going to DVR this, since I’m sure it’ll be chock-full of poignant commentary. And, when it comes to discussion concerning D.C.’s revolving door, there are few people more knowledgeable on the subject than Yves.

For tv stations, schedules/times where/when you may view Moyers & Company in your community, click on THIS LINK.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (20+ / 0-)

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:10:31 AM PST

  •  Thanks my DVR is primed! N/T (4+ / 0-)

    Practice tolerance, kindness and charity.

    by LWelsch on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:16:41 AM PST

  •  thanks for the tip, bobswern! (5+ / 0-)

    i'm looking forward to checking this out.

    i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

    by joe shikspack on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:26:15 AM PST

  •  what? no Tyler Durden? (0+ / 0-)

    i can answer the question though.

    Republicans.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 08:57:50 AM PST

  •  The audio podcast is a great way of ensuring... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias, WheninRome

    that you always get Bill's latest. This episode has already arrived in the feed.

    "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

    by 2020adam on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 11:55:14 AM PST

  •   today's Democracy Now! has Dean Baker on the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern, Wolf10, WheninRome

    so-called fiscal cliff.
    Dean Baker: The Biggest Myth in Obama-GOP Spending Showdown is the "Fiscal Cliff" Itself
    http://www.democracynow.org/...

    Dean, welcome to Democracy Now! Talk about the myths around the fiscal cliff.
    DEAN BAKER: Well, there’s an endless number of myths, but the first and foremost is that we face any sort of cliff. You know, you’ve had this effort, certainly in Washington, to hype this December 31st deadline. Basically, if we miss that deadline, nothing happens. You know, you come to January 1st, we’ll be subject to higher tax withholding rates. Not a lot of us are going to get paid January 1st. If there’s a deal worked out somewhere in the first, second week of January, we’ll probably never see anything extra deducted from our paycheck, and even if we do, we’ll get it back in the second paycheck. I mean, no one wants to see money deducted out of their paycheck, but, you know, if you’re going to get it back in the second check—I mean, I know that will be a hardship for some people, but the impact on the economy will be pretty much minimal.
    And on the spending side, President Obama controls—has enormous control over the pace of spending. And if there’s a deal outlined that—you know, outline of a deal that he sees with Congress, he’ll just keep spending in accordance with that deal. So this idea that, somehow, if we don’t get a deal by the end of the year, you know, we’re going to see the economy collapse, go into a recession, really that’s just totally dishonest. And I’ve seen that said I don’t know how many times. And it’s based—the basis for this is that we don’t have a deal all year. And the fact that you don’t have a deal December 31st does not mean you don’t get a deal by December 31st, 2013. And I think everyone knows that
    And this...
    AMY GOODMAN: Dean Baker, why don’t Republicans consider the huge military expenditures for the military, big government? Salon — according to Salon, the Pentagon runs a staggering 234 golf courses around the world at a cost that’s undisclosed. The Washington Post says the Pentagon also spends half-a-billion dollars annually on marching bands. What about the Pentagon?
    DEAN BAKER: Well, you know, I think this whole debate over big government has always been silly, because it’s not about big government. It’s about who your friends are. And in this case, you know, the friends of the Republicans are defense military contractors, so they don’t want to see them cut. I mean, you know, this whole notion of big government, small government—one side’s for one, one side’s for the other—it’s literally nonsense.
    I’ll just give you, you know, one very simple example. We spend somewhere close to $300 billion a year on prescription drugs, because the government gives drug companies patent monopolies. I’d get arrested, you know, if I tried to produce, you know, Pfizer’s drugs. They have a patent monopoly. They get to charge whatever they want. If you didn’t have those monopolies, we’d spend about a 10th as much, somewhere around $30 billion. So that difference is close to $250 billion a year. That’s not entered on the budget, but the government is requiring us to spend extra money for drugs. That’s really big government, but the Republicans never, ever talk about that, because the pharmaceutical industry are big contributors. So we aren’t arguing about big government or small government; we’re arguing about who gets the money.

    without the ants the rainforest dies

    by aliasalias on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 12:26:54 PM PST

  •  Moyers delivers again... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern, WheninRome
    BRUCE BARTLETT: That's right. If you go back to 2011 and look at the deal Obama put on the table, he was willing to make vast, vast cuts in entitlement programs. And the Republicans walked away from it, which only goes to prove that they don't have the courage of their own convictions. But Yves point is exactly correct. Obama really is maybe to the right of Dwight Eisenhower and fiscally. And it's really at the root of so many of our economy's problems, because he didn't ask for a big enough stimulus. Has let the housing sector, basically, fester for four years without doing anything about it. He's really, you know, focused more on cutting the deficit than people imagine.
    http://billmoyers.com/...

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