“What do you both think the public needs to know about this economic debate going on right now?” Bill Moyers asked Naked Capitalism editor Yves Smith and Reagan and Bush economic adviser Bruce Bartlett.

Smith answered “that what they’re being told is necessary and good for them is, in most cases, 180 degrees opposite of what needs to happen. We need as you suggested, we need more spending to promote jobs. We’ve got plenty of targets. We’ve got crumbling infrastructure.”

Bartlett echoed Smith in confirming that contrary to being a defender of entitlements or public welfare programs, as many liberals suppose he is, President Obama is “willing to make vast, vast cuts in entitlement programs.” And the fact that Republicans “walked away” from Obama’s offer to do just that in 2011 “only goes to prove that [the Republicans] don’t have the courage of their own convictions,” suggesting that many of the offers Republicans make during negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff are bluffs intended to confuse and delay, and thus should not be treated by the public as sincere.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Moyers & Company:

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.