Unemployment would be above 14 percent in Pennsylvania and approaching 16 percent nationally if not for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and other federal action taken in the wake of the recession, according to a new report released by the Keystone Research Center Thursday.
From the report itself:
First, the last 12 months of data on the Pennsylvania and U.S. economies make clear that the extraordinary interventions in the economy by the Federal Reserve, the Bush and Obama administrations, and Congress were effective in forestalling the free fall of the U.S. economy. For Pennsylvania, the simplest indicator of this is the monthly average change in jobs each month. Before the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Pennsylvania was losing nearly 30,000 jobs per month and this number was growing rapidly. This year, Pennsylvania is gaining jobs each month, on average.
As in the early 1930s, many voices, including within Congress, urged policy makers to do nothing in the face of the collapsing economy. Had this point-of-view prevailed, current unemployment in the United States would be about 15% or 16%.
Remember that the next time one of the Republican dunderheads goes on the TV to tell you that the stimulus did nothing/made things worse/whatever bullshit wins elections. They're either lying or have no idea what they're talking about. Either option should disqualify them from power.
More from the report:
The jobs and wage deficits are far more immediate problems for Pennsylvania families than the accumulated debt or annual federal deficit of the U.S. government. Especially in an election year, voters should ask lawmakers at the federal and state level, âWhat are you going to do about the jobs deficit?â and âWhat are you going to do about the wage deficit?â
In the immediate future, the federal government needs to:
- Extend the federal program which provides resources to Pennsylvania's state-subsidized work programs, the "Way to Work" program. This recently implemented program will expire September 30 without Congressional action;
- Continue to extend unemployment insurance benefits as long as unemployment remains so high that it is impossible for many jobless workers to find jobs;
- Provide access to capital for small businesses so that they do not become victims of the recession and the credit crunch.
By the first part of next year, the federal government should allow the Bush tax breaks for the rich to expire and repurpose those funds to activities that have a bigger "bang for the buck" when it comes to creating jobs. Near the top of the list of alternative uses of money saved by not extending the Bush tax cuts for the rich should be:
- Additional revenue sharing with states and localities in the next 12-24 months; and
- A jobs bill that includes investment in infrastructure, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and clean manufacturing.
Longer term, policies also need to more directly address the "wage deficit" by lifting the wages and incomes of middle-class families.
Of course, none of this will have if the Republicans retake Congress this November. Food for thought.
The best lack all conviction/ while the worst are full of passionate intensity.
You see this in the vociferous demonstrations against that Islamic community center in lower Manhattan; in the inchoate and often incoherent rage of the Tea Party groups and Glenn Beck acolytes; in the denunciations of âsocialismâ and dire warnings of some fascist government takeover during last year's health care reform debate the right, and particularly, its fringe, reactionary, conspiracist and stunningly vacuous, uninformed and anti-intellectual base, has been whipped up into a frenzy these last 18 months and is poised to make big gains in November. The 112th Congress, if the polls bear out and this current crop of Republican extremists takes control Rand Paul, Joe Miller, John Boehner, Jim DeMint, Darrell Issa, and, yes, Pat Toomey, among too many others to name we're almost certain to see two years dominated by hyperventilating ideologues, government shutdowns and the sort of endless bullshit "investigations" into nonexistent improprieties that marked the Gingrich "revolution" of the 1990s. Probably worse, because unlike that class of Republicans, these fools have no absolutely no appetite for actual governance, nor any type of discernable agenda beyond cutting taxes for billionaires and bulldozing the small, but important, progress we've made on health care. (On that note, check this out: Were Republicans still in charge, we'd have higher deficits and unemployment than we do now.)
The problem is, while the worst of us the Glenn Becks and Sarah Palins and so forth are frothing over with âpassionate intensity,â as Yeats would say, âThe best lack all conviction.â And that brings us to today's Must Read, from Slate's Jacob Weisberg:
Barack Obama's redecoration of the Oval Office includes a nice personal touch: a carpet ringed with favorite quotations from Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, both Presidents Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King Jr. The King quote, in particular, has become a kind of emblem for him: "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." For all the carping about his every move, the only big problem with the Obama Presidency is the gap between what's written on his rug, and what's buried under itthe distance between the President's veneration of moral leadership past and his failure, so far, to exhibit much of it himself.
Obama has had numerous occasions to assert leadership on values issues this summer: Arizona's crude anti-immigrant law, the battle over Prop 8 and gay marriage, and the backlash against what Fox News persists in calling the "Ground Zero mosque." These battles raise fundamental questions of national identity, liberty, and individual rights. When Lindsey Graham argues for rewriting the Constitution to eliminate the birthright citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment, or Newt Gingrich proposes a Saudi standard for the free exercise of religion, they're taking positions at odds with America's basic ideals. But Obama's instinctive caution has steered him away from casting these questions as moral or civil rights issues. On none of them has he shown anything resembling courage.
The whole piece is worth a read, but one particular passage struck me:
With the Proposition 8 fight, Obama has fallen short in a different way, by his reluctance to join an emerging social consensus. Obama had previously criticized California's Proposition 8, the ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage, as "divisive." But his official positionwhich no one believes he actually holdsis that he is against legalizing gay marriage. Americans are changing their views on this issue with inspiring rapidity. Judge Vaughn Walker's moving opinion provided an occasion for Obama to move to embrace the extension of equal rights to gay people. Instead, he slunk mumbling in the other direction. How dismal that America's first black president will be remembered as shirking the last great civil rights struggle (emphasis added).
The best lack conviction. As I noted last year (at my previous employ), prominent Democrats too often take the right positions when they don't matter. In power, they're cowed by the worst's âpassionate intensity.â And though it shouldn't really matter, there is a political aspect to this: Passionate intensity gets voters to the polls, especially in midterm elections (see âthe enthusiasm gapâ). The president's unwillingness to channel his inner MLK or Truman or LBJ who passed through the Civil Rights Act famously knowing that it would cost Democrats the South for generations, and it did and do the goddamned right thing because it's the goddamned right thing will be part of the reason the Dems will take a lashing in November.
Eugene Robinson can read my mind.
In the punditry business, it's considered bad form to question the essential wisdom of the American people. But at this point, it's impossible to ignore the obvious: The American people are acting like a bunch of spoiled brats.
The nation demands the impossible: quick, painless solutions to long-term, structural problems. While they're running for office, politicians of both parties encourage this kind of magical thinking. When they get into office, they're forced to try to explain that things aren't quite so simple -- that restructuring our economy, renewing the nation's increasingly rickety infrastructure, reforming an unsustainable system of entitlements, redefining America's position in the world and all the other massive challenges that face the country are going to require years of effort. But the American people don't want to hear any of this. They want somebody to make it all better. Now.
President Obama can point to any number of occasions on which he has told Americans that getting our nation back on track is a long-range project. But his campaign stump speech ended with the exhortation, "Let's go change the world" -- not, "Let's go change the world slowly and incrementally, waiting years before we see the fruits of our labor."
And one thing he really hasn't done is frame the hard work that lies ahead as a national crusade that will require a degree of sacrifice from every one of us. It's obvious, for example, that the solution to our economic woes is not just to reinflate the housing bubble. New foundations have to be laid for a 21st-century economy, starting with weaning the nation off of its dependence on fossil fuels, which means there will have to be an increase in the price of oil. I don't want to pay more to fill my gas tank, but I know that it would be good for the nation if I did.
The richest Americans need to pay higher taxes -- not because they're bad people who deserve to be punished but because they earn a much bigger share of the nation's income, and hold a bigger share of its overall wealth. If they don't pay more, there won't be enough revenue to maintain, much less improve, the kind of infrastructure that fosters economic growth. Think of what the interstate highway system has meant to this country. Now imagine trying to build it today.
Today's must-read comes from The Economist, which believes it owes Barack Obama an apology.
Once a symbol of American prosperity, GM collapsed into the government's arms last summer. Years of poor management and grabby unions had left it in wretched shape. Efforts to reform came too late. When the recession hit, demand for cars plummeted. GM was on the verge of running out of cash when Uncle Sam intervened, throwing the firm a lifeline of $50 billion in exchange for 61% of its shares.
Many people thought this bail-out (and a smaller one involving Chrysler, an even sicker firm) unwise. Governments have historically been lousy stewards of industry. Lovers of free markets (including The Economist) feared that Mr Obama might use GM as a political tool: perhaps favouring the unions who donate to Democrats or forcing the firm to build smaller, greener cars than consumers want to buy. The label âGovernment Motorsâ quickly stuck, evoking images of clunky committee-built cars that burned banknotes instead of petrolall run by what Sarah Palin might call the socialist-in-chief.
Yet the doomsayers were wrong.
That does not mean, however, that bail-outs are always or often justified. Straightforward bankruptcy is usually the most efficient way to allow floundering firms to restructure or fail. The state should step in only when a firm's collapse poses a systemic risk. Propping up the financial system in 2008 clearly qualified. Saving GM was a harder call, but, with the benefit of hindsight, the right one. The lesson for governments is that for a bail-out to work, it must be brutal and temporary. The lesson for American voters is that their president, for all his flaws, has no desire to own the commanding heights of industry. A gambler, yes. An interventionist, yes. A socialist, no.
Oh, and the Congressional Budget Office would like you to know, once again, that the stimulus saved us from the Great Depression Part 2. So, you know, shut up John Boehner.
So, our favorite frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter was on Fox News last night because, seriously, no one else gives a shit what he thinks to weigh in on this not-mosque at not-Ground Zero nontroversy we and everyone else have been following for a little while. And, as always seems to happen with Santorum, a guy delusional enough to think he might be president in a couple years, he opened his mouth and stupid popped out.
SANTORUM: My thinking was all along if he made the statements that he made, he probably had a lot more that are going to be found out. This man [Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the lead organizer of the planned Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan] is not a moderate Muslim. This is someone who believes the United States has blood on their hands, that the United States is responsible for this. He is a jihadist, he's just not a violent jihadist. That does not make him a moderate.
Thanks, Rick, for making that distinction. Of course, it's a little muddled, since jihad means "holy war" though it's most common use confers a religious struggle rather than actual military war but I'm pretty sure Rick meant it in the Al Qaida kind of way, in which case he means Rauf is a nonviolent warrior, which means, I suppose, that he has a differing view of American foreign policy, which is, I guess, bad. Anyway.
The fact of the matter is, it's pretty hard to argue with Rauf's point: Sure, Muslim radicals killed 3,000 of our people on 9/11 a horrific tragedy, it goes without saying and Muslim insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan killed thousands of our soldiers. Again, tragic and sad.
But. The Iraqi sanctions killed millions of Muslim civilians in the 1990s, including 500,000 children; the Iraq War led to thousands more civilian deaths. And that's not even mentioning the various dictators we've propped up over the years. Rauf is, by any factual definition, correct. Undeniably so.
In fact, someone please try to explain to me how this isn't a factually accurate statement. Oh, never mind: Never let inconvenient realities get in the way of cheap political points, eh Rick?
Also, right-wingers have plainly taking to making shit up about this guy and slandering him as a terrorist, even though, as Media Matters and others have ably illustrated, Glenn Beck and the Bush administration were all too happy to embrace him just a few years ago. Yes, Rick, he is a moderate. You moron. In fact, he's the vice chair of the Interfaith Center of New York. One of his primary funders, as The Daily Show hilariously pointed out last night, is Fox News' second-biggest financier. Oh yeah, and Rupert Murdoch published his freaking book.
About that book:
Actually, let's just watch TDS, because it lays bare the hypocrisy of the frothing right-wing mouthpieces better than anything I've seen to date.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|The Parent Company Trap|
He posted the following in the Clog comments, but I think they warrant their own post. I'll try to get in touch with him tomorrow, and with the Sestak camp for comments as to his Packer's factual representations, and update as warranted:
Jeffrey, great article. â¦ It's true, I had to withdraw. Faced with the knowledge that we only had about 1000 extra signatures above the minimum and the most basic human errors alone would probably would be about 10%, it would have been worthless and possibly break me financially if they sued for legal costs. Heck, I might have had to apply for a job with the City Paper!!
It's amazing how much Sestak spent (but don't worry, we probably paid for it). They even handed over copies of 710 petitions to hand-writing experts!! Give me a break, Joe, this isn't CSI!
Seriously, once again, democracy is denied to the voters of PA, thwarted by corporate cash funneled through corporate candidates. Take heart in the fact that elections are just one small part of the struggle to build the movement for peace and justice and in that, I believe we made some progress. My campaign was an uncompromising stand for an end to a system that has failed the people of this nation, continues wars without end, and continues to increase human suffering both here and abroad. We remain a nation run by thieves, a corrupt government in which our legislators are simply hired guns for those who presently run the world and continue to exploit it for their own gains. We found thousands who agree and there are thousands more who will continue to stay home rather than vote for corruption. Good for them. The lesser of two evils is STILL evil and must be opposed every day in every way. Remember, we'll all do better when we ALL do better. It's that simple.
Mel Packer, former PA Green Party candidate for US Senate
MUST READ: Gene Healy/Will Wilkinson on the Not-Ground Zero Not-Mosque: Is the GOP playing the Tea Partiers for saps, or do they believe their own horseshit?
Yes, this goddamn mosque faux-controversy is still making headlines. But let's move beyond the "issue" itself, because the "issue" is verifiably idiotic. Rather, let's talk motives.
A guy from the Washington Examiner, Gene Healy, argues that the right-wing rabble is being played by the Republican establishment. It's an interesting argument:
All this posturing is getting tiresome. The "mosque" controversy isn't about property rights or religious freedom. It's a bogus issue seized by the GOP establishment to distract the rank-and-file from the party's reluctance to shrink government.
From all the caterwauling, you'd think the Park51 group planned to fashion a mock Kaaba out of trade center ashes and mount it atop the wreckage. But you can't see Ground Zero from the Park51 site -- it's separated by two canyonlike city blocks, occupying the former site of a Burlington Coat Factory. "Hallowed ground," indeed.
You don't need to buy amateur theologian George W. Bush's line that Islam is "a religion of peace" to recognize that the Park51 controversy is a red herring. With Muslims making up 0.8 percent of the U.S. population, dhimmitude seems a more remote threat than national bankruptcy.
In a recent (pre-campaign?) appearance in Des Moines, Iowa, Newt Gingrich denounced Obama's "secular socialist machine," but, when asked, he declined to specify federal programs he would cut.
You see, cutting government is hard, and often unpopular. No surprise, then, that Boehner would rather play urban planner than embrace Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's "road map" for shrinking middle-class entitlements.
Faced with difficult choices, the alleged party of small government always retreats to the lazy politics of Kulturkampf. Hey, that guy's a "card-carrying member" of the ACLU! Ask me about my flag-burning amendment!
John Cornyn, R-Texas, head of GOP efforts to take back the Senate this fall, plans to make the Park51 "mosque" a major campaign issue. It's all too typical: Feed the rubes conservative identity politics, and, with luck, they'll be too distracted to notice you've grafted a Republican "K Street Project" atop the same old edifice of Big Government.
The establishment Right wants to play the Tea Party movement for suckers. It remains to be seen whether they'll play along.
Which brings us to Will Wilkinson, a fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute,who counters thusly:
I don't find this believable. This idiotic foofaraw could be a distraction only if the GOP rank-and-file actually cared more about the size of government than the cultural politics of American identity. But they don't. It's not even close. American conservatism is a movement consumed by protecting and asserting a certain fabricated conception of the traditional American way of life against imaginary enemies.
I approve of what Gene's trying to do here rhetorically, but the fact is that complaining about Muslims and keeping holy the memory of 9/11 and Ground Zero the legitimizing altar of aggressive American imperialism is a direct manifestation of contemporary conservatism's essence. If it's not the twitchily bellicose identity politics of self-righteous middle-class white Americans, it's a distraction. Gene graciously lets the rank-and-file off the hook by blaming all this tiresome dim-witted chest-thumping on âthe GOP establishment.â But I'm afraid in this case the establishment is just nervously along for the ride.
I lean toward Wilkinson's interpretation, based on the political and cognitive science research I've seen. Namely, modern conservatism, especially movement conservatism, is predominantly oriented with authoritarian values and the preservation of the existing social order, which is, let's face it, largely favorable to relatively well-to-do white folks (hence the undercurrent of racism in the Tea Party), who figure that since they made it, seemingly without government help, so can everybody else, and if they can't, that's too bad. The antipathy toward "big government" is, as Wilkinson alludes to, really just a manifestation of this broader perspective. So and to boil several books on the subject down to a sentence the movement conservatives' obsession with Park51 is part and parcel of their supposed opposition to small government. It all comes from the same cognitive source (really, read Lakoff's books; he explains it much better than I can).
But Healy is right, too, at least to some degree: For the hapless, anti-intellectual GOP establishment, which is attempting to grab power despite the vacuity of its ideas, the scary Muslims certainly presents a good rallying cry two months before the elections, and plays on the fear of and loathing toward Barack Obama that many conservatives possess, as well as the sense that âtheirâ country is changing, and not to their benefit, which is why they want it back.
In both cases, I think there's an overestimation of the difference between the conservative elite and the rabble the assumption being that the elites know better, but they're either using this issue to gain power (Healy) or being dragged along with the current (Wilkinson). Certainly, in the case of charlatans like Gingrich and opportunists like Pawlenty, they're right. My sense, though, is that the establishment has been so co-opted by the rabble, either because they're dependent on them to energize campaigns (Cornyn, Boehner), or because they've been thrust into the spotlight by these groups (Palin, DeMint, Rand Paul, Sharron Angle, etc.) and really believe this shit.
So maybe it's not an either/or. Maybe it's both.
MUST READ: When ignorance and demagoguery meet: The not-mosque at not-Ground Zero (updated with TDS goodness)
|Courtesy of the Village Voice|
For a country (ostensibly) built upon religious tolerance and freedom, the hullabaloo surrounding the construction of a community center with an Islamic prayer space in a long-vacant building that once housed a Burlington Coat Factory several blocks from where the World Trade Center towers stood which, in lower Manhattan, is basically is a world away one of those things that makes you want to just throw your hands in the air and say as my late, wonderfully curmudgeonly grandfather would âPeople are no damn good.â
Goddammit, aren't we better than this? Don't we understand that the politicians championing this non-issue are, in fact, preying on our fears, ignorances and bigotries?
That this thing has gained currency, that race-baiting (yet supposedly mainstream) politicians like Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin have been allowed to beat their chest and rile up the reasonless passions of their bases with lies and fact-less insinuations, that a president's intonation that the First Amendment is a cherished American tradition became a political liability (at least among the pundit class), that the fact that the blatant religious bigotry plays right into our enemy's hands and undermines what the values that make us better than them has been all but ignored I'm beginning to wonder, is this the sacking of our Rome?
Probably not. In all likelihood, this thing will get built and the rabble will refocus its attention on American Idol or whatever until the next Fox News trumpeted faux-scandal emerges. But still: aren't we better than this?
Anyway. I would like to direct your attention to The Village Voice's post on why, really, you shouldn't give a shit about the so-called Cordoba House.
What's more offensive: Having a....
- "Ground Zero Burger King."
- Memorial that's never happened because of hyper-capitalist conflicts.
- Bunch of tacky souvenir tables.
- Bunch of tacky souvenir tables that profit off of cheap, China-made 9-11 memorabilia.
- Bunch of tacky souvenir tables that profit off of cheap, China-made 9-11 memorabilia when they're not selling fake Rolexes to the same Americans coming to New York, buying from them, going home, and telling New Yorkers where to put our Mosques.
or an Islamic Cultural Center with a 9/11 Memorial (more than what's actually been put to paper for an official 9/11 Memorial) two and a half blocks away?
Maybe we'll care what you have to say when you stop bothering us for directions in the subway on how to get to Ground Zero so you can go there and buy some dumb, tacky knickknack you can take home and give to friends to let them know that you spent money on a shake-a-snow where a few thousand people died. Maybe then. But probably not. Shut up, go away, and also, stop lying, or at least tell your politicians to stop lying. It might help you recognize the truth, which is that you're wrong, and you're attacking vital American freedoms by going against this Mosque. The truth is that you're terrorists in you're own right. You are striking against America by going against this mosque. You are, in effect, almost as bad as the ones who killed people on 9/11. Okay, not quite, not really, but kind of, because you're fighting against what 9/11 victims died for: religious freedom, which terrorists don't have and don't want anyone else to have.
But now you have a map to see how wrong you are, okay? Now: Fuck you. Fuck you and shut up, you assholes. Shut up and leave New York alone.
Also, this clip is worth 12 minutes of your life. (For the record, I'm not the biggest fan of Olbermann or cable news in general I don't have cable, actually but it's worth a viewing because, well, he's right.)
It's not sad to watch right-wingers try to score points off this thing: that's what they do, it's expected. It's sad that hate and fear have become so ingrained our our politics.
Aren't we better than this?
UPDATED: Daily Show goodness:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
On Monday, the Washington Post ran a glowing, page one profile of US Rep Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who has offered what he terms a "roadmap" to financial sustainability. It paints him as one of the few serious GOP voices on budget issues (since, let's face it, legitimate policy formulation is not exactly their forte of late).
Ryan is running a campaign of a different sort, one his party has so far refused to adopt: He is determined to persuade colleagues to get serious about eliminating the national debt, even if it means openly broaching overhauls of Medicare and Social Security.
His ideas are provocative, to say the least. They include putting Medicare and Medicaid recipients in private insurance plans that could cost the government less but potentially offer fewer benefits; gradually raising the retirement age to 70; and reducing future Social Security benefits for wealthy retirees.
Ryan has not helped to make it easy for his leaders. He is a loyal Republican, but he is also perhaps the GOP's leading intellectual in Congress and occasionally seems to forget that he is a politician himself.
Wow. So the WaPo has drunk the Ryan Kool-Aid, huh? And hey, on the one hand, can you blame them? It's not like the modern GOP you know, the one currently debating the 14th Amendment and responding in Pavlovian form to whatever pops up on Glenn Beck's Chalkboard of Doom is packed with particularly bright lights these days. And the Congressional Budget Office has made the press's job easy: After all, Ryan's roadmap would, supposedly, cut the deficit in half in 10 years. That's something we can all get behind, no?
Sure. If you read the top lines. If, however, you're a Nobel Laureate economist, say, Paul Krugman, you're a bit more likely to poke around the fine print.
One thing that has been overwhelmingly obvious in the discussion of Paul Ryan's roadmap is that lots of people who should know better including, alas, reporters at the Washington Post don't know how to read a CBO report. They think you can just skim it and get the gist; and people like Mr. Ryan have taken advantage of that misconception.
As it turns out, those CBO numbers, like all CBO numbers, are based on the assumptions of the House representative who is requesting the CBO's analysis. So, the CBO, for all of the worthwhile stuff it does, can sometimes be a garbage-in-garbage-out kind of place, especially when the rep seeking data feeds in spectacularly misleading data. Ahem, Mr. Ryan.
Well, the Ryan plan as described is a combination of tax cuts and cuts in entitlement spending. So where does this show in the CBO estimate? On the tax side, we immediately see that the CBO finds no effect revenue with the Ryan plan is the same as without it.
In other words, Ryan plans a massive overhaul of US tax policy, with steep, across the board decreases in income tax rates, but wants CBO to assume that this would have, you know, absolutely no impact on incoming government revenues. The CBO obliged, because that's its job, although it did note, in its own way, the unlikelihood of Ryan's pipe dream coming true:
The proposal would make significant changes to the tax system. However, as specified by your staff, for this analysis total federal tax revenues are assumed to equal those under CBO's alternative fiscal scenario (which is one interpretation of what it would mean to continue current fiscal policy) until they reach 19 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2030, and to remain at that share of GDP thereafter.
Even under those assumptions, which, you know, are either willfully ignorant or intentionally deceptive, the Ryan plan doesn't work unless there is an absolute freeze of non-defense discretionary spending at 2009 levels for at least the next decade. And, of course, this sounds nice and all, except it's insane. As Krugman points out:
OK, that's an old, familiar scam it was used to inflate surplus projections back in 2001 to justify the Bush tax cuts. Keeping nominal spending constant means deep cuts in real per capita terms about 25 percent over a decade. That's not going to happen: nondefense discretionary spending is already at a low point as a share of GDP, and unless someone can detail how such massive further cuts are possible, they're just blowing smoke.
If this is the GOP's âleading intellectual,â as the Post declares, then the opposition party may be more FUBAR than we could possibly imagine.
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