cassat’s girl in a blue armchair, deficit hawks put on quite a play, 1938 femme assise 1938

  Little Girl in a Blue Armchair by  Mary Cassatt

  Little Girl in a Blue Armchair by  Mary Cassatt. 1878. Oil on canvas. The colors are so rich they are almost too beautiful. It may be difficult to imagine that someone whose talent was so obvious was unappreciated during her lifetime. Cassat, was very determined, especially when she first started in attendance at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. After she quit, she made the than nearly scandalous move to Paris – women simply did not make a living at art. Her Paris stay went somewhat well in terms of learning experience. Though she was  discouraged when she returned home in 1870. She had a couple of paintings in galleries, but no buyers. Her father was only somewhat helpful, helping her with basic living expenses, but would not spend money on her art supplies. She wrote in a letter of July, 1871, “I have given up my studio & torn up my father’s portrait, & have not touched a brush for six weeks nor ever will again until I see some prospect of getting back to Europe. I am very anxious to go out west next fall & get some employment, but I have not yet decided where.”

The Deficit Chart That Should Embarrass Budget Hawks

Here’s a pretty important fact that virtually everyone in Washington seems oblivious to: The federal deficit has never fallen as fast as it’s falling now without a coincident recession.

To be specific, CBO expects the deficit to shrink from 8.7% of GDP in fiscal 2011 to 5.3% in fiscal 2013 if the sequester takes effect and to 5.5% if it doesn’t. Either way, the two-year deficit reduction — equal to 3.4% of the economy if automatic budget cuts are triggered and 3.2% if not — would stand far above any other fiscal tightening since World War II.

Until the aftermath of the Great Recession, there were only three such periods in which the deficit shrank by a cumulative 2% of GDP or more. The 1960-61 and 1969-70 episodes both helped bring about a recession.

That  Nobel winning economists Paul Krugman and Joseph E. Stiglitz, among others have been saying for years that we have more a revenue problem than a spending problem. Yet the public mostly hears that spending is out of control. The liars are so invested in this spending charade they even work up a nice kabuki act of false outrage when their narrative is challenged, Three Charts That Show America Doesn’t Have A Spending Problem

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) claim this weekend that the government doesn’t have a spending problem has been met with typical outrage from Republican politicians (and several members of the Washington media) who have spent the greater part of the last three years arguing that reining in America’s supposed out-of-control government spending would put the country on a more stable economic footing. There is, however, no basis to those claims, as actual evidence points in the opposite direction.

Femme assise (Dora Maar) 1938 by Pablo Picasso

Femme assise (Dora Maar) 1938 by Pablo Picasso. There were several ‘seated woman’ paintings in this series of his then lover, Dora Mar. This version is the most architectural. This one is in a more sensual style.