Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Obama's Election Budget

By Steve Hynd

There's a nice run-down on the main talking points of Obama's planned election budget over at the Beeb.

The proposal includes $1.5 trillion (�950bn) in new taxes, much from allowing Bush-era tax cuts to expire.

...His plan to allow George W Bush-era tax cuts to expire would affect families making $250,000 or more per year.

The president would also put in place a rule named after billionaire Warren Buffett to tax households making more than $1m annually at a rate of at least 30%.

In a populist touch, over the next decade, the plan would levy a new $61bn tax on financial institutions, in an effort to recover the costs of the financial bailout.

And it would raise a further $41bn by cutting tax breaks for oil, gas and coal companies.

...It means the president would not fulfil his 2009 promise to half the federal deficit by the end of his first term.

I say "talking points" because this is clearly a budget plan that will never be realized and isn't intended to be. As the BBC's Adam Brookes notes in a sidebar:

President Obama is seeking to ignite passion and commitment in his supporters as his re-election effort gets underway. And that is what his budget speech was all about.

Mr Obama sought to lay down the economic vision that will define his re-election campaign. His plan does hack away at government spending. But Mr Obama's senior advisers have said bluntly that this is not an austerity budget.

Austerity, they say, will only slow down recovery. Little wonder his Republican opponents in Congress, for whom tax increases are a diabolical heresy, are raging at the plan. They are swearing to dismember it, which they can and will.

But Mr Obama's aim now is not really to persuade a furious gridlocked Congress of anything. It's to persuade frightened American voters that he can lead them back to prosperity.

It's a savvy move, I'll admit. Obama intends painting the GOP as the party "of the rich, for the rich" and his own party as being all for the little guy, just for long enough to get re-elected. Then he and the Dems can quietly go back to being the other party of the rich, for the rich, with impunity.

Update AP has an agency-by-agency guide to the winners and losers under Obama's proposed budget. the biggest losers in percentage terms compared to the 2012 budget are Education (-52%), Labor (-35.7%), Transportation (-39.4%), Housing and Urban Development (-21.3%). The biggest winners are Energy (+41%), Commerce (+15.6%), State (+13.8%). No comment from me required, there.

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