Austerity fever is sweeping the world, at least among the power elite. But in classic doublethink fashion, the goals purported by proponents of this appoach cannot be achieved through austerity. In fact, the exact opposite is true.

You might think this represents cognitive dissonance, but it actually represents shrewd calculation.

The economic royalists, as Roosevelt called them, seek to completely disenfranchise everyone who is not in their small, elitist club, and one of the best ways to do that is by removing whatever economic well-being the average person has.

This is incredibly effective in the short to middle term at redistributing wealth from the hands of many into the hands of few. However, it’s incredibly short sighted as in the end, even if they continue to get their way (which the global Occupy Together movement calls into question), these economic royalists will pay a dear price for their own policies.

How the Austerity Class Rules Washington

by Ari Berman

In September the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), a bipartisan deficit-hawk group based at the New America Foundation, held a high-profile symposium urging the Congressional “supercommittee” to “go big” and approve a $4 trillion deficit reduction plan over the next decade, which is well beyond its $1.2 trillion mandate. The hearing began with an alarming video of top policy-makers describing the national debt as “the most serious threat that this country has ever had” (Alan Simpson) and “a threat to the whole idea of self-government” (Mitch Daniels). If the debt continues to rise, predicted former New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici, there would be “strikes, riots, who knows what?” A looming fiscal crisis was portrayed as being just around the corner.

The event spotlighted a central paradox in American politics over the past two years: how, in the midst of a massive unemployment crisis—when it’s painfully obvious that not enough jobs are being created and the public overwhelmingly wants policy-makers to focus on creating them—did the deficit emerge as the most pressing issue in the country? And why, when the global evidence clearly indicates that austerity measures will raise unemployment and hinder, not accelerate, growth, do advocates of austerity retain such distinction today?

An explanation can be found in the prominence of an influential and aggressive austerity class—an allegedly centrist coalition of politicians, wonks and pundits who are considered indisputably wise custodians of US economic policy. These “very serious people,” as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wryly dubs them, have achieved what University of California, Berkeley, economist Brad DeLong calls “intellectual hegemony over the course of the debate in Washington, from 2009 until today.”

Its members include Wall Street titans like Pete Peterson and Robert Rubin; deficit-hawk groups like the CRFB, the Concord Coalition, the Hamilton Project, the Committee for Economic Development, Third Way and the Bipartisan Policy Center; budget wonks like Peter Orszag, Alice Rivlin, David Walker and Douglas Holtz-Eakin; red state Democrats in Congress like Mark Warner and Kent Conrad, the bipartisan “Gang of Six” and what’s left of the Blue Dog Coalition; influential pundits like Tom Friedman and David Brooks of the New York Times, Niall Ferguson and the Washington Post editorial page; and a parade of blue ribbon commissions, most notably Bowles-Simpson, whose members formed the all-star team of the austerity class.

The austerity class testifies frequently before Congress, is quoted constantly in the media by sympathetic journalists and influences policy-makers and elites at the highest levels of power. They manufacture a center-right consensus by determining the parameters of acceptable debate and policy priorities, deciding who is and is not considered a respectable voice on fiscal matters. The “balanced” solutions they advocate are often wildly out of step with public opinion and reputable economic policy, yet their influence endures, thanks to an abundance of money, the ear of the media, the anti-Keynesian bias of supply-side economics and a political system consistently skewed to favor Wall Street over Main Street.

Taken together, the various strands of the austerity class form a reinforcing web that is difficult to break. Its think tanks and wonks produce a relentless stream of disturbing statistics warning of skyrocketing debt and looming bankruptcy, which in turn is trumpeted by politicians and the press and internalized by the public. Thus forms what Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent calls a Beltway Deficit Feedback Loop, wherein the hypothetical possibility of a US debt crisis somewhere in the future takes precedence over the very real jobs crisis now.

Even President Obama’s new jobs plan—a long overdue break with austerity-class orthodoxy—has been pitched in the context of deficit reduction. Every debate over measures to improve the economy begins with the question “How much will it cost, and can we afford it?” rather than “How many jobs will it create, and how will it help the country?” Far from possessing the solution to our economic crisis, the austerity class represents a major impediment to finding one.

Groups like the CRFB and the Concord Coalition, founded by former Congress members in the 1980s and ’90s, have long presented themselves as nonpartisan, penny-pinching critics of wasteful government spending, when really they are anti-government, pro-corporate ideologues whose boards are filled with K Street lobbyists and financial executives. The goal of much of the austerity class is to see government funds redirected to the private sector. (Their ideology, which accepts the accumulation of private debt but opposes government debt, explains why the austerity class ignored the massive housing and credit bubble, which more than any single factor contributed to an explosion of debt worldwide.)

The austerity class’s reach has expanded in the Obama era, boosted by leaders of both parties and an influx of new funding. After consistently approving massive deficit spending under the Bush administration, Republicans suddenly found true religion under Obama (ironically, at a time when precisely the opposite of austerity was most needed). And within the Democratic Party, what Nobel laureate economist Joe Stiglitz calls “deficit fetishism” is viewed as the gold standard for responsible economics. Democrats revered Bill Clinton’s balancing of the budget as good policy and good politics, not to mention a shrewd way to tap Wall Street’s endless fundraising stream.

Obama and his main economic advisers (Tim Geithner, Orszag, Larry Summers) were devotees of former Clinton Treasury Secretary and Goldman Sachs/Citigroup alum Rubin, who co-founded the pro–Wall Street Hamilton Project think tank at the Brookings Institution in 2006. The Hamiltonians had warned of “the adverse consequences of sustained large budget deficits” during the Bush administration and advocated “painful adjustments,” namely cuts to social insurance programs like Social Security and Medicare in exchange for more liberal policies like tax increases and healthcare reform. Obama entered office with the Hamilton plan in his back pocket.

At the beginning of Obama’s presidency, Richard Nixon’s famous line “We are all Keynesians now” seemed more relevant than ever. But though Obama initially advanced a Keynesian-lite stimulus plan, which economists on the left and right agreed was imperative, the deficit was never far from the president’s mind.

In February 2009, just weeks after the stimulus passed, Obama pivoted to the deficit, holding a Fiscal Responsibility Summit at the White House and assuring Blue Dog Democrats he supported a special deficit-reduction commission. “We feel like we’ve found a partner in the White House,” said Blue Dog co-chair Charlie Melancon. The austerity class swiftly co-opted the new administration. The CRFB, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts launched a special commission in 2009 calling for mandatory spending caps and debt limits to put the United States in an “automatic, fiscal straitjacket.” Its recommendations formed the basis for last year’s Bowles-Simpson commission.

The austerity class’s deep pockets can be traced back to Peterson, a GOP billionaire who served as Nixon’s commerce secretary and founded the private equity Blackstone Group. Since 2008 his foundation has doled out $383 million of his promised $1 billion pledge to a seemingly endless number of think tanks, media organizations, advocacy groups and educational institutions to advance his debt obsession [see William Greider, “The Man Who Wants to Loot Social Security,” March 2, 2009]. This includes six- and seven-figure donations to groups like the CRFB, the Concord Coalition, the Committee for Economic Development and the Peterson Institute for International Economics. It’s largely because of Peterson that programs like Social Security and Medicare, favored by nearly 90 percent of the public, are savaged as bloated “entitlements” and are consistently on the chopping block.

Among the Petersonites, there was stiff opposition to a larger stimulus or additional recovery measures. “If we think about massive deficit spending as medicine for a sick economy, we also need to recognize that too much medicine can ultimately kill the patient,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the CRFB (which received $656,000 from Peterson’s foundation last year), in January 2009. MacGuineas, a former stock analyst at Paine Webber and self-described “bond vigilante,” did stints at the Brookings Institution, the Concord Coalition and the 2000 McCain campaign before moving to the CRFB in 2003. She’s now one of the central organizers behind the austerity class.

Her minimalist take on the recession, though completely at odds with the views of top economists, quickly became conventional wisdom in elite Washington policy circles. “Concerns about the deficit limited the size of the stimulus act in 2009 and are a main reason that Congress has refused to take additional measures to cut our painfully high rate of unemployment,” wrote Christina Romer, former chair of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.

In his State of the Union address in 2010, the president announced a three-year freeze on nondefense discretionary spending (a position he’d criticized in all three presidential debates with John McCain as an “example of unfair burden sharing” and “using a hatchet when you need a scalpel”), along with the creation of Bowles-Simpson. “Families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions,” Obama said. “The federal government should do the same.”

This line proved to be one of the most repeated talking points of the austerity class. “That’s a very intuitive argument, but it’s totally backward,” says Jared Bernstein, former chief economist to Vice President Biden. “When families are tightening their belt in a recession, the government has to loosen its belt.” The constant drumbeat against “excessive” government spending from the austerity class and opportunistic Republicans caused the administration to “pivot too soon,” says Bernstein.

“Having gotten a stimulus that he knew was too small, Obama should have said, This is a good first step, but we’re likely going to need more,” says Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. “And gone on the offensive. Instead he turned to balancing the budget. That set the stage for the Tea Party and the Peterson crowd, because ‘deficits’ were all anyone heard.” Indeed, conservatives were emboldened by Obama’s speech. “If the arguments in the coming years are between spending freezes and spending cuts, then we’ve already won,” wrote Jim Geraghty of National Review in January 2010.

By June 2010, austerity had gripped the globe, as the G-20 nations agreed to cut their deficits in half by 2013 and pursue “growth friendly” fiscal consolidation. In the midst of the recession, the notion of “expansionary austerity” became a kind of magical elixir for the deficit hawks, much as the Laffer Curve did for Reaganomics. Harvard economist Alberto Alesina pioneered the theory, arguing in 2009 that “spending cuts adopted to reduce deficits have been associated with economic expansions rather than recessions.” The CRFB, David Brooks, the American Enterprise Institute and the House Republican leadership quickly amplified his view. “Alesina has provided the theoretical ammunition fiscal conservatives want,” wrote Bloomberg Businessweek. It seemingly made no difference that his findings had been thoroughly debunked by the likes of The Economist, the IMF and the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), which found that in only nine of the 107 cases surveyed by Alesina had austerity measures led to increased growth. Yet to this day, leaders like Texas Representative Jeb Hensarling (co-chair of the supercommittee) insist that “deficit reduction will be a jobs plan.”

The austerity-class chorus grew louder following the release of the Bowles-Simpson report shortly after the 2010 midterm elections and framed the debate for 2011. (It was led by a conservative Democrat and a conservative Republican, evidently the definition of “balance” in Washington. Few in the media noted that Peterson-backed groups had staffed the commission and organized town hall events on its behalf, ostensibly underwriting what was purported to be an independent government entity.)

“Bowles-Simpson was not a deficit-reduction package,” says Stiglitz, “but a downsizing-government package.” Instead of rolling back the Bush administration policies that had turned Clinton’s surplus into a deficit—such as the Bush tax cuts, Medicare Part D plan and costly wars in Afghanistan and Iraq—the commission took aim at the social safety net and promoted pet conservative causes, like cutting the federal workforce by 10 percent, cutting funds for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and capping medical malpractice lawsuits. It called for “serious belt tightening” beginning in 2012, when few economists believed the economy would have recovered from the recession.

In his budget for 2012, Obama proposed cutting discretionary spending to its lowest share of GDP since the Eisenhower administration. The debate in Washington was thus the administration’s “cut and invest” strategy versus the GOP’s “cut and grow” plan, noted Post blogger Sargent. Both proved illusory, as the country saw neither investments nor growth, only more cuts. The deal to avert a government shutdown included billions in cuts. By the time of the summer debt ceiling showdown, the parties were trying to out-cut each other, with the president increasingly espousing conservative talking points (such as the discredited ideas that government budgets are like family budgets, that spending cuts will create jobs and that slashing the deficit will return “confidence” to the market). Even Nancy Pelosi, the country’s highest-ranking progressive Democrat, declared in July, “It is clear we must enter an era of austerity.”

The triumph of the austerity class set the stage for Obama’s “grand bargain” offer to House Speaker John Boehner, which included $3 trillion in spending cuts in exchange for $800 billion in new revenue (roughly the equivalent of letting the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire). Times columnist Brooks called it “an astonishing concession” by the White House and “the deal of the century” for the GOP. Yet Boehner balked when Obama asked for $400 billion in additional revenue to help balance the lopsided plan. The parties agreed instead to $917 billion in cuts over the next decade, with the supercommittee tasked with finding $1.2 trillion in additional savings. The austerity debate is guaranteed to last until Christmas, at the very least.

The unholy alliance between the austerity class and supply-side conservatives, who talk a good game about deficits but in fact care principally about cutting taxes and government spending, has shifted the debate over the economy and the deficit far to the right since Obama took office. By promoting an age of austerity, the deficit hawks have enhanced the power of “starve the beast” conservatives like Grover Norquist, whose goal for years has been to shred the New Deal. The austerity class’s infatuation with Representative Paul Ryan is a prime example of this addled love affair.

In 2008, when Ryan introduced his radical budget road map—which called for turning Medicare into a voucher system, privatizing Social Security and redistributing income upward by drastically cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans and largest corporations—MacGuineas praised his “tremendous courage and leadership.” When Ryan reintroduced his plan in 2010, the CRFB lauded his “thoughtfulness and courage.” The CRFB failed to mention that Ryan’s plan would increase the deficit, from a debt-to-GDP ratio of 60 percent in 2010 to 175 percent by 2050. “Paul Ryan added a huge amount to the deficit,” says John Irons, policy director at the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). “To call that even remotely fiscally responsible was not a correct analysis. It’s almost as if they said, We don’t care what your plan does—as long as you talk tough on deficits we’re going to support you.”

Indeed, in January the CRFB, the Concord Coalition and the Comeback America Initiative (all funded by the Peterson Foundation) gave Ryan a cherished fiscal responsibility award, despite his deficit-exploding budget, hostility to tax increases and votes in favor of the Bush administration’s deficit spending. Bob Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, introduced Ryan by quoting Time magazine: “The irony of Ryan’s rise is that he has vaulted to popularity by embracing historically unpopular ideas.” Said Bixby, “And I thought to myself, now there is a deficit hawk…. If we limit ourselves to popular ideas, we’re never going to solve the problem.”

MacGuineas said the award honored Ryan for being the first politician to put forth a budget plan in 2011, which she called “the most fiscally responsible of any of the plans.” Technically, that’s true. Ryan’s budget, a modified version of his road map, achieves a modest $155 billion in savings over ten years by proposing what the CBPP calls “the most severe and wrenching budget cuts in US history—two-thirds of which would come from programs for people of low or moderate incomes” (i.e., Medicaid, Pell grants, food stamps and low-income housing).

The award to Ryan illustrates just how dangerously obtuse the austerity class’s definition of fiscal responsibility is. The deficit hawks succeed by making the debate over the deficit a pure accounting game, with no acknowledgment of the adverse impact a plan like Ryan’s would have on the broader economy and on so many Americans if it became law. “If [you’re] willing to slash spending so that long-run deficits are brought under control, then it’s fiscally responsible,” Jim Horney, vice president for federal fiscal policy at CBPP, says of the Ryan plan. “But if by fiscally responsible you mean putting the budget on a sustainable path but making sure that government is able to meet the needs of the people of the United States, then I think it’s a terribly irresponsible plan.”

The deficit hawks once again sided with Ryan and his GOP colleagues during the debt ceiling standoff. “Failing to use this debt ceiling ‘hammer’ to force serious fiscal reforms would be a dangerous lost opportunity,” the CRFB wrote in July. That demand became the official position of Congressional Republicans, turning what should have been a routine debt ceiling increase into a months-long hostage situation, which spooked financial markets, damaged a weak economy and further polarized the political system. “One of the biggest strategic mistakes these deficit groups made is to allow themselves to be captured by the right wing of the Republican Party and to allow themselves to validate those claims,” says Stan Collender, a longtime budget expert at Qorvis Communications. “They just fed into the frenzy.”

When Standard & Poor’s downgraded the US credit rating in August, MacGuineas called it a “heck of a wake-up call” and once again urged Congress to enact “at least a $4 trillion deficit reduction plan—probably more” without acknowledging her group’s role in perpetuating the manufactured crisis or the utter unfeasibility of achieving the sort of grand bargain that Republicans had just rejected. As economists increasingly called for more, not less, stimulus to boost the sluggish economy, the CRFB refused to budge from its hard line. Just a month later, the group backed the House Republican leadership by demanding that emergency disaster relief spending in the wake of Hurricane Irene be offset by spending cuts, which almost forced yet another government shutdown.

“I am about as frustrated with the CRFB as you can get,” says Collender, who has consulted for the group in the past. “They’ve become zealots and fanatics, as opposed to realists and pragmatists. It’s one thing to be a counterbalance to those who always want to spend more and tax less. It’s another thing to be pushing deficit reduction no matter what the economic situation is and whether it makes sense or not.”

It was only after Boehner rejected Obama’s grand bargain and the economy slowed to a halt that the president finally bowed to reality and introduced a new jobs plan. It may well be too little, too late, but Obama’s energetic campaign in support of the legislation has begun to redirect the debate over the economy away from austerity and back toward jobs.

Much of the mainstream media, however, remain enthusiastic cheerleaders for austerity. A recent story in the Washington Post, Experts Dubious of Obama Deficit Plan, featured criticism from MacGuineas, Bixby, an unnamed GOP aide and a corporate tax lobbyist as its lone sources. “That’s fair and balanced budget reporting at the Washington Post,” joked Dean Baker.

Austerity-class pundits have also advanced the myth that both parties are equally responsible for, and equally unwilling to fix, the deficit problem. Columnists like Brooks and Friedman at the Times and Fred Hiatt at the Post have gone to extraordinary lengths to make this argument, seemingly forgetting that not so long ago Obama offered Boehner exactly the kind of grand bargain they’re now advocating. “I keep thinking he’s a few weeks away from proposing serious tax reform and entitlement reform,” Brooks wrote of Obama. “But each time he gets close, he rips the football away.”

One wonders why it’s so difficult for the Brookses of the world to acknowledge reality. “There is no equivalency,” says the CBPP’s Horney. “It is absolutely the Republicans’ refusal to consider meaningful changes in revenues that is blocking real deficit reduction at this point.” A clear illustration: Obama proposed a plan that was weighted three-to-one on a ratio of spending cuts to tax increases, but at a recent GOP presidential debate, all the candidates said they would oppose a plan that was even ten-to-one.

Indeed, the austerity class has done such a good job of sidelining dissident voices—with the exception of the Times’s Krugman and a few other high-profile Keynesian economists—that the Washington debate seems permanently skewed to the right. “On one side you have deficit obsession to the point where Republicans use this as an excuse to threaten to shut the government down over a couple billion dollars,” says Bernstein. “On the other side you pretty much have people talking balance. You have no one on the other extreme saying, Our main worry about the deficit, with unemployment at 9 percent, should be: Is it large enough to provide the boost that the private sector is not capable of providing right now?”

It’s doubtful that Obama’s belated pivot back to jobs will break the power of the austerity class. The administration’s schizophrenic approach to the economic crisis has left voters perplexed about where it stands on the biggest issue of the day. “When you ask people, ‘What is Obama’s economic policy?’ they have no idea,” says Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg. “They think maybe it’s healthcare reform.” Obama’s latest position—more spending to boost the economy, followed by deficit reduction once the economy recovers—may be too nuanced for the public to grasp (some in the austerity class, in an attempt to retain credibility at a time of economic peril, now echo Obama’s view). “The Republicans’ message, ‘Government spending is a problem,’ is much easier to penetrate,” says the EPI’s Irons. “The administration is missing a simple point, which is that you need jobs to reduce the deficit.” That’s why the EPI advocates a moratorium on austerity measures until the unemployment rate is back down to 6 percent.

“Right now, front-loaded deficit reduction would be a disaster,” says Stiglitz. “But a commitment to future deficit reduction, if it’s out of tune with the economic recovery, as Bowles-Simpson was, would also be a disaster. Even if it happens in the future, it could have an adverse effect today. People will say, If I’m going to be poorer in the future, I’m going to have to put more money away today.” Trading unemployment insurance now for Social Security cuts later, for example, is not exactly going to reassure an anxious public. “I’ll feel progress when this notion that short-term spending has to be offset by cuts to Social Security and Medicare gets the boot,” says University of Texas economist James Galbraith.

The austerity class has done such a good job of demonizing deficits that it’s difficult to make the case for their necessity, even in the short term. “The damn thing has such a bad rap, it’s almost unimaginable for a policy-maker to argue that we need a bigger deficit,” says Bernstein. “But there are times when that argument is absolutely correct.” Now is one of those times.

Original post on the Nation

42 Responses to “Austerity Fetishism”

  1. kaprojarri says:

    As talks continue to try to find a resolution to the euro zone crisis, has found a group of people who are cutting through the political rhetoric and telling it how it really is – Greek hip hop “Soul…

  2. The occupiers were complaining the other day that the homeless are free loading off the food they cook for the movement. They apparently dont like their hard work being used to benefit those not associated with their cause. Self Awareness?

  3. “Barack Obama owns the Occupy Wall Street movement, it would not have happened but for his class warfare” Giuliani –

  4. ROME/ATHENS (Reuters) – Italy’s parliament began rushing through austerity measures demanded by the European Union to a euro zone meltdown, after U.S. President Barack Obama ratcheted up pressure for more dramatic action from the currency bloc.

  5. A group of more than 30 Occupy Wall Street protesters marched toward Philadelphia on their walk from New … – –

  6. Can the raid the Nassau Coliseum ’cause that place is like the occupy wall street camp of the NHL. –

  7. Anyone who loves us Ahlul Bayt must be ready to face a life of austerity..Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib (as)

  8. ash schryster says:

    We should have sent the tanks in like the chinese did, i doubt any of these scum will have to balls to throw bricks then

  9. manzias autmar says:

    Check this video out — Peter Joseph: Message to Occupy Wall Street & The World | The Zeitgeist … via

  10. dembroches nibalsa says:

    Who thinks the “Occupy Wall Street” movement is a giant conspriracy concocted by the big Camping Supply Corperations to sell more tents?

  11. TX GOP in a jam. As it argues for split prim to save June conv means local taxpayers cover extra costs. Hard arg for fiscal austerity.

  12. Occupy Wall Street: The Lego Set: After months of demonstrations by the Occupy Wall Street movement, Slate V ima… –

  13. I know of Girls at University who are now giving “Hand Jobs” & Sex in order to, pay their bills! Oh well, I suppose it beats the hell out of working in a bar! Keep up the good work.

  14. kwai vanstillis says:

    CONSERVATISM & AUSTERITY are about the same thing: maintaining the STATUS QUO. Both are meant to protect the “haves” over the “have less”.

  15. hold hanson says:

    essa mulher é uma vergonha para o brasil inteiro
    ela tem que comprar uma calsinha GG extra grande!!
    mas ela tá usando uma P que até esgarço e sumiu no rabo dela!

  16. Middle Class Greeks Losing Hope Amid Austerity: 7:00 pm ET A number of Greeks are struggling to get by as the co…

  17. I know exactly what talking about! I just taught myself to juggle in the last few months! I totally understand! And right, it is quite fun. Plus, with all that karaoke you guys did… I just have to say. YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!!! Awesome! How awesome? So Awesome!

  18. You should do a tutorial on how to do this? You go to school for media I assume right.

  19. Well prof is having class outside of president and vp’s office today… feel like im being forced to occupy wall street

  20. laver boster says:

    In a surprise cameo at the Awards, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg accepted an award from Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley–and gave a shout-out to the city’s tech sector. [youtube CUE9YLXeUpI] New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg loves media At the 2012 Awards for Twitter and social media, Mayor Bloomberg stopped by… to accept the Foursquare Mayor of the Year Award from company cofounder Dennis Crowley. The cameo is of a to woo New York’s tech sector that also included a collaboration with SXSW and a public embrace of Codecademy. The Awards were cohosted by The Daily Show power couple Samantha Bee and Jason Jones. Other guests included White Collar’s Tiffani Thiessen, Improv Everywhere’s Charlie Todd, and Tumblr’s David Karp. All in all, the awards ceremony was a neat summation of New York’s social media and community circa 2012: After the pro-Occupy Wall Street We Are The 99% won the Microblog of the Year on Tumblr…

  21. kohne westengale says:

    388 Atlantic Ave, 7pm tonight: WBAI board or directors plan to shut down Occupy Wall Street Radio. Be there! Take a stand!

  22. keato sik says:

    Austerity tip for ICR. Try finding out which show’s DJs stole that microphone, the styluses and the headphones from the studio. –

  23. cordelman says:

    Crisis to Suicide: How Many Have to Die Before We Kill the False Religion of Austerity? | Economy | AlterNet –

  24. arriedrask marishuhm says:

    ENOUGH W/ AUSTERITY, IT DOESN’T WORK: Why Austerity Is Destroying Europe – This may be boring but it will make/break us

  25. Talking to my older bro about Occupy Wall Street and its possible positive and negatives outcomes. Yep, my older bro respects me

  26. only massive qe, sharp fall in euro, large fiscal stimulus in core, less front-loaded austerity in periphery can resolve ez crisis- –

  27. mann hisaakimah says:

    DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives suffered a crushing defeat on Sunday in an election in Germany’s most populous state, a result which could embolden the left opposition to step up attacks on her European austerity policies.

  28. baachels says:

    let the politicians take over the movement, Wall Fix the initiative process, bring it to all 50 states & federally.

  29. BRUSSELS/MADRID (Reuters) – Euro zone finance ministers agreed on Saturday to lend Spain up to 100 billion euros (80.7 billion pounds) to shore up its teetering banks and Madrid said it would specify precisely how much it needs once independent audits in just over a week.
    Related Stories
    Insight – toughs it out as austerity bitesBritain’s bank regulator to be beefed up – paperAnalysis – EU’s Spain bank rescue may bring only brief respiteFrance’s Hollande in strong parliament positionInsight – toughs it out as austerity bites

  30. mirak bah says:

    i think my Brother in law is a Occupy wall street guy. Why do you ask? Well he smells, doesn’t have a job, and has no money. –

  31. cavaillipp says:

    New Austerity Spreads Around the Pain – Senator Michael B. Enzi of Wyoming could not protect a fund he …

  32. byruskop son says:

    NYC DNA found at Occupy Wall Street protest linked to unsolved murder | The Lookout – Yahoo! News via –

  33. aknippinsk says:

    AA unemployment rate will continue to go up as long as public sector jobs are slashed. We must stop GOP-led austerity!

  34. BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten has taken personal responsibility for keeping costs as low as possible for Mark Thompson’s, pictured, send-off this week.

  35. reitzenbos pame says:

    Spain’s deputy prime minister says government will resist any attempt at unilateral referendum on independence As Spain’s government announced fresh austerity for next year yesterday the country was launched headlong into confrontation between central government and a Catalan parliament that pledged to hold a referendum on moves towards independence. Spain’s deputy prime minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaría warned that the government would stop any attempt at a unilateral referendum, effectively challenging the Catalans to either desist or break the law and face the consequences. “There are legal instruments to stop this,” she said, pointing out that the government could simply apply to the constitutional to ban it before it was held. “And there is a government that is prepared to use them.” That clashed directly with the Catalan parliamentary motion, which called on the regional government that emerges from 25 November elections to hold a referendum – with, or without, central…

  36. But they both will create jobs? Im sure they said that-and mentioned um no .. no .. no .. no … a …

  37. via Occupy Seattle
    “On November 15, 2011, Occupy Wall Street protesters were forced out of Zuccotti Park by the… – http://twitter.com/HotLibe

  38. exactly!! I was trying not to laugh but so annoyed at the same time, hard times austerity hits Xmas shoppers too ha

  39. Why did the billionaire cross the road? “Because there was a homeless family who needed a lecture on the …

  40. Did austerity renew our focus on learning transfer or did we just shrug? Answer at the UK Learning Transfer Survey20 …

  41. The Biggest Myth About Taxes: This has nothing to do with the Occupy Wall Street Movement (the 99% versus the 1%…

  42. gumble pavonne says:

    Globe and Mail Redford promises ‘responsible’ decisions in austerity budget Globe and Mail Alison Redford plans to overhaul her province’s finances in her imminent budget by slowing spending growth, pouring money into infrastructure and a savings plan – all while backing away from election promises and sending her province back into … Flat tax not an advantage for all advocacy group saysEdmonton Journal Tax federation, workers union to attend budget lockupCBC.ca Klein & Harris are still in styleToronto Sun CTV News -Calgary Herald -Vancouver Sun all 73 news » Continue reading → Similar Notes: aePiot Notes – Canadian snowbirds slain in Florida asphyxiated, police say – Calgary National Post Canadian snowbirds slain in Florida asphyxiated, police sayCalgary HeraldTwo retired Canadian snowbirds slain in their south Florida townhouse earlier this year were asphyxiated by … ——- aePiot Notes – Calgary border guards…

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