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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

American Idiot of the day - Liz Cheney

A bonus twofer. She manages to make to be an idiot twice in one day. Quite an achievement.

On Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace she claimed that America is bailing out Greece (false) and that we should adopt a Greek style austerity plan.

Firstly, America is not bailing out Greece. The EU and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) are. The U.S. — along with many other countries– is a contributor to the International Monetary Fund, which serves as a lender of last resort to countries in crisis in order to prevent these crises from spreading worldwide. By Cheney’s standard every Administration in the last 60 years since the IMF was created, including the Nixon, Reagan, and Bush administrations, have “bailed out” countries.

Secondly Greece is currently unable to service it's debt which caa lead to Greece defaulting. This has the potential to roil stock markets worldwide. Their economy is also contracting at a rapid rate so there is no possibility that economic growth will help mitigate the debt situation. By contrast, the American economy is currently quite capable of servicing it's debt and the economy has shown reasonable growth over the past few quarters so, despite many economic problems, the U.S. is heading in the right direction.

An 'Austerity Plan' would put the brakes on economic growth in a New York Minute and the economy would inevitably slide back into a deep recession at best. As it is, one of the biggest current drags on the economy are the severe budget cuts by state and local governments, partly from huge layoffs, and partly from wage freezes and unpaid furloughs.

Cheney and Republicans have a 'one size fits all' economic policy that regards tax cuts and cutting government spending as the cure for any economic ailment. It reminds me of medicine in the 17th and 18th centuries when 'bleeding' the patient was considered the cure of last resort no matter what the ailment. The result was that a patient that was going to die anyway died sooner and if the patient was going to survive, the 'bleeding' slowed the recovery.

Liz Chaney has been far too visible on cable news since the election of Obama considering her dual purpose of trying to protect her father's legacy and attack Obama. If she actually knew what she was talking about and didn't live in a fact free world she might have some credibility.

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