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They could balance their budget by raising taxes: corporate, income and perhaps on real estate, to prevent a new bubble.

In the first place, that is not what is being pushed for under the banner of AusterityTM. If you believe that forcing Ireland to honour its debts will result in rollbacks of their neoliberal policies, then you are living in a fantasy world. Pressuring Ireland to honour their debts will provide an excuse for neoliberals - in Berlin, in Bruxelles and in Dublin - to push for wage suppression, dismantling of the pension system, destruction of unemployment protection and collective bargaining and all the other bullshit "reforms" that always get pushed whenever there is a "debt crisis" and "budgets need to be balanced."

Arguing that Ireland should pay its debts by raising taxes on the rich is, in terms of realpolitik, as delusional as asking that the Irish turn down Lisbon in order to permit a grassroots drafting process for the next treaty. It's not gonna happen, and by pushing for it you are aiding and abetting the neoliberals, for whom insisting on debt repayment is a precondition for engaging in "structural adjustment programmes."

In the second place, no Ireland cannot balance their budget by taxing the rich, because Ireland is in the middle of a serious industrial depression, in case you didn't notice. Which means that they can't balance their budget, full stop. They can't balance their budget by taxing the rich. They can't balance their budget by taxing the poor. They can't balance their budget by cutting benefits. They can't balance their budget by taxing corporations. Because they can't balance their budget. Demanding that they balance their budget is buying into the neoliberal idea that governments need to run balanced budgets. They don't. In fact, they shouldn't. Not in recessions, and not cycle-averaged.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Feb 6th, 2011 at 07:36:03 PM EST
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