Here are eight of the biggest myths that are out there:
1) President Obama tripled the deficit.
Reality: Bush's last budget had a $1.416 trillion deficit. Obama's first budget reduced that to $1.29 trillion.
2) President Obama raised taxes, which hurt the economy.
Reality: Obama cut taxes. 40% of the "stimulus" was wasted on tax cuts which only create debt, which is why it was so much less effective than it could have been.
3) President Obama bailed out the banks.
Reality: While many people conflate the "stimulus" with the bank bailouts, the bank bailouts were requested by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson (Paulson also wanted the bailouts to be "non-reviewable by any court or any agency"). The bailouts passed and began before the 2008 election of President Obama.
4) The stimulus didn't work.
Reality: The stimulus worked, but was not enough. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs.
5) Businesses will hire if they get tax cuts.
Reality: A business hires the right number of employees to meet demand. Having extra cash does not cause a business to hire, but a business that has a demand for what it does will find the money to hire. Businesses want customers, not tax cuts.
6) Health care reform costs $1 trillion.
Reality: The health care reform reduces government deficits by $138 billion.
7) Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, is "going broke," people live longer, fewer workers per retiree, etc.
Reality: Social Security has run a surplus since it began, has a trust fund in the trillions, is completely sound for at least 25 more years and cannot legally borrow so cannot contribute to the deficit (compare that to the military budget!) Life expectancy is only longer because fewer babies die; people who reach 65 live about the same number of years as they used to.
8) Government spending takes money out of the economy.
Reality: Government is We, the People and the money it spends is on We, the People. Many people do not know that it is government that builds the roads, airports, ports, courts, schools and other things that are the soil in which business thrives. Many people think that all government spending is on "welfare" and "foreign aid" when that is only a small part of the government's budget.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Metric at Variety Playhouse, Thursday, October 28:
Friday, October 29, 2010
D.C.'s Thievery Corporation mixes elements of hip hop, dub, jazz, reggae, classical Indian, Middle Eastern, and Brazilian music into an abstract, instrumental, mid-tempo dance music whose classification falls somewhere between trip-hop and acid jazz.
The sets tonight at the Fox were superb. Thievery Corporation were the polar opposite of minimalists, having at times as many as two drummers, two d.j.'s, two horn players, a sitar, a bass, a guitar, and multiple singers and rappers all simultaneously on stage. Massive Attack featured the most elaborate stage lighting and effects that I've seen since Muse, and they also brought along several singers, including veteran reggae singer Hoarace Andy for many of their songs. They closed with their song Karmakoma and a quote by Howard Zinn displayed behind them ("Terrorism has replaced Communism as the rationale for the militarization of the country, for military adventures abroad, and for the suppression of civil liberties at home. It serves the same purpose, serving to create hysteria.") Eclectic and exciting performances all around.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
The Tabernacle is a former Baptist Church in downtown Atlanta that's been converted to a 2600-seat concert hall. It was first built in 1911 and temporarily converted to a House of Blues during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. The venue is noted for its twin balconies and high ceiling.
Metric has long been a favorite band of mine. Singer and bandleader Emily Haines is the daughter of the jazz poet and restless spiritual seeker Paul Haines, lyricist for Carla Bley's remarkable Elevator Over the Hill. Born in New Delhi, India, she was raised in Canada in a house rich with music and experimental art. Her father would often make cassettes of rare and eclectic music for his daughter to listen to and her early influences included Carla Bley, Robert Wyatt, and later, PJ Harvey.
Here they are back in 2003:
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Tenant: Yes, we received a note from the Council saying that if we ceased to believe in this building it would fall down.Voice Over: You don't mind living in a figment of another man's imagination?Tenant: No, it's much better than where we used to live.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Saturday, October 09, 2010
The band also includes Liza Reitz, above left, on keyboards and strings and Toussaint Perrault, below right, on horns and guitar.
Toussaint Perrault of Tu Fawning came on stage with a trombone during Suckers' set, giving the band a bona fide horn section for a few numbers.
Sunday, October 03, 2010
The lyrics to their song also advise "Live through this and you won't look back," but a suicidal college student isn't likely to pick up on that nuance. Stars cancelled an appearance at Wesleyan scheduled for a few nights later and donated the cancellation fee to charity. They played the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta last Friday night - despite good intentions otherwise, I didn't go. Not because of the tragedy, which I hadn't heard about until after the Friday-night show, but because I had to work through the weekend.