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Monday, February 2, 2009

FT front page roundup

The FT is hyping their exclusive interview with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao, who says a bunch of things you could have read in the People's Daily.

Republicans are planning to make Barack Obama's stimulus package sit at the back of the bus, and drink from separate water fountains.

Republicans argue that most of the tax portion of the stimulus will be distributed in the form of $500 (€385, £350) credits to middle-class Americans that are likely either to be saved or used to pay down debt.

Mitch McConnell, Republican leader in the Senate, said that with Democrats as well as Republicans in the Senate concerned at the House of Representatives' version of the bill, changes would have to be made. "We ought to go right at the housing problem and right at tax relief to put money in the hands of consumers who can spend it now," he told CBS.

Look, I wouldn't really care if Republican objections to the stimulus were actually coherent. But they're not. Its just knee-jerk ideological flailing. Suit-wearing penis Mitch McConnell already knows a housing plan is already being drawn up as part of the second tranche of TARP funds. So, ha, fail on point one.

Secondly, McConnell acknowledges above that tax cuts are likely to be saved or used to pay down debt. So the logic goes something like, 1) the stimulus bill is not stimulating enough, because 2) it has lots of tax cuts which we know aren't cost-effective or stimulative, so 3) we should have MORE of those non-stimulative, non-cost-effective things, and oh yea 4) make them permanent. How can you even argue with this? Let's recall we're facing $1 trillion in deficits without even factoring in a stimulus bill, precisely because of huge, permanent tax cuts, that have severely hindered our ability to run counter-cyclical fiscal policy. And they want more. This is their principle objection, for fuck's sake. Gah! [hot flashes]

I suppose its to be expected since former President Bush abolished the Department of Sense-Making in one of his first acts of office.


Lehman Brother's creditors are allowing it commit hara kiri. And to be paid in worthless stock. Sweet, dude.

And India is planning to create a $20 laptop to help its poors. And you thought subsistence farming was least productive drudgery known to man. Wait til they find teh pron.

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