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Old 07-26-2011, 01:31 PM   #161 (permalink)
 
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and now, a momentary break from the usual bickering....

ace----all the usual nonsense here aside, it'd be fun to see. human beings are different from sentences in a message board. in reality, i'm pretty zen. roachboy is more volatile. he's made of sentences.

but i'm pretty sure that i'd demolish you in chess. cold-blooded about the game.

you'd just end up having to buy a bunch of rounds.


and now, back to regularly scheduled bickering...
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:22 PM   #162 (permalink)
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Debt talk damage has already been done - Business - Eye on the Economy - msnbc.com

Ace, the "nothing will happen" talking point is utterly false
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Old 07-26-2011, 03:45 PM   #163 (permalink)
 
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a slight aside. if we assume good faith on the part of conservatives about their economic theory, much of the opposition to redistribution of wealth sits on an assumption that more cash in the hands of the wealthy will result in economic expansion to the benefit of all. of course, this is conceptually absurd because it brackets the actual motor of the american economy--consumer demand---and so ignores the consequences of transferring immense amounts of money away from most people. it is also demonstrably, empirically false. some data is here:

Why the Wealthiest Americans Are the Real 'Job-Killers' | Economy | AlterNet

this data is more interesting than the article itself, which has a single point to make and does it several times. the main point is: a significant--if not the primary--explanation for the jobless recovery--if you want to call it a recovery---is the effects of neo-liberal economic policy implemented, which has resulted in a massive transfer of wealth into the hands of the top ten percent in terms of wealth---who have, in the main, not acted as conservative fantasy would have you believe, but who have held onto it. the results are not rocket science to figure out.

so even the utilitarian justification for the right's bogus economic thinking is out the window.

if that goes, then there's really nothing left---it takes out such ethical justification as conservative tend to adduce. that leaves them having to address the empirical consequences of their policies---which, as ace shows, they cannot and will not do.

it seems to me past time to go after a significant aspect of the right's power base--dismantle the national security state, repeal those stuid tax cuts, clamp down on the ability of transnational corporations to avoid paying taxes. there also has to be some kind of social-democratic style orientation toward making capital available for new businesses to start up--maybe something on the order of the jaanese model of funneling resources into areas of economic activity that are understood as beneficial socially and/or politically. there should also be some kind of instrument--perhaps a tax on maritime fuel---that would force a reconsideration of the kind of economies of scale that enable outcomes like the walmart model. a re-regionalization of production, a significant incentive to reduce distances between production and end users. a basic rethinking of the capitalist division of intellectual labor would be good as well--one can think big. for anything like this to work over the longer term, something has to be done about the shabby state of the american education system. decoupling school funding from local property taxes would be a start---make funding flat across states---eliminate the effects of class on the future horizons of kids. and increase the quality of teachers. pay them better. all this is entirely possible simply from the dismantling of the machinery of empire. and it does not in any way follow anything like a ron paul back-to-the-20s isolationism. the united state is imbricated with the wider world. but that imbrication does not require an american empire to happen. it's not that hard to think of concrete steps that could happen.

what's clear, however, is that the days of neo-liberalism have to end. and that will likely require breaking the back of the right as it is currently configured. the prospect is pleasing. they have nothing to say, nothing to offer and have backed themselves into a sociopathic politics based entirely on short-term expedients with the idea of getting back into power.
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Old 07-26-2011, 04:33 PM   #164 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceventura3 View Post
You say #1 as if I don't live in the "real world", which is somewhat insulting.
Read it again. You aren't the subject of point #1; you aren't even the object.

Quote:
On #2, and I know the problem with the lack of precision in the definition of certain words, like "understanding" - but a person may understand how a bumble bee can fly, but not really understand it.
So you understand my view but don't understand how it works? It just works?

Quote:
I understand your words, I understand your intent but I do not understand why you think the way you do by making what is simple more complicated than it needs to be. From my point of view you never break an issue down to its most simple common denominator.
That may be because the world doesn't work all in common denominators, and metaphors demonstrating this only cloud the issue. How about talking more about the issue? Point out some of my points that you get caught up on and I will try breaking them down further. I'm more than willing to do this. I even insist on it.

Quote:
Perhaps you mean this to be condescending, I am not sure. Or, perhaps this means that you can not see the broader points in my examples, I am not sure. I normally with you assume the latter.
No, I merely suggest that your broader points miss the mark and I'm willing to demonstrate how you can simplify something and still make sense, rather than tell a tenuously allegorical story.

Quote:
My wife has choice. My buy-in has consequence, but in her decision making process those consequence may or may not be important enough to sway her decision. It is my hope that she has concerns for my buy-in, but because she is a free independent person she makes her own decisions. The same is true for me with her. So, to say I am inflexible is not accurate. Again, I don't compromise on us having a cat - I support "us" having a cat. The cat is 100% part of our household. After going through our give and take, I am 100% on-board with the cat in our house. But, to add to you confusion, because I doubt you understand, I am not a cat person - I will never be a cat person.
So what's wrong with the Republicans? Why are they so unwilling to have a cat around?

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If the left took time to understand the issue - the difference is in the level of trust. I simply do not believe the people in Washington today are serious about spending cuts. I believe that if they raise taxes, spending with still go up. That is my primary concern on the tax question in this debate - it boils down to the simple issue of trust - or as Roach would say it is a "religious" type issue - 100% emotion based. I tell you that, I have told you that, yet it is ignored. If I knew your issue with me was trust, the first think I do is address that. Real world stuff. Pretty simple stuff. It is how stuff gets done. Put issues on the table and work through them! Obama failed.
Are you suggesting that the Republicans will only trust their own plan? Or that Obama needs to simply talk at them more until they have some comfort in his words?
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Old 07-26-2011, 06:46 PM   #165 (permalink)
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Right. I clearly stated what I thought about Obama's false 8/2 deadline and why. That as a given, to me it is obvious that the response to me would be to present information to change my view.
I'm not so much concerned with convincing you of anything. You're pretty steadfast. My aim is more to convince anyone who may be reading the things you write and finding themselves persuaded by your logic that you are wrong.

Here's what might happen on 8/2:

No raised debt ceiling + no long term debt management plan = likely ratings downgrade for the US, plus likely default.

A ratings downgrade tarnishes US treasury bonds as an investment instrument by putting very serious question to the notion that they are risk free (whether they are or not doesn't matter, as far as the market is concerned, they are). This risk-free assumption is important, because it gives investors a datum, a point of comparison. Say you want to know how much to pay for an annuity that pays x for y years. You get to your price by figuring out the present value of a set of treasuries that pay out at the same time as your annuity then you fine tune for risk. The idea is to ask yourself this question "How much would I pay for a set of treasuries that paid out like this annuity?" Since this annuity is at the very least as risky as a treasury (but very likely more risky), if I pay more than the present value of this hypothetical set of treasuries, I'm paying more for more risk, which is generally a bad idea.

If treasuries are no longer free of credit risk then there will likely be a fair amount of volatility while the market figures out how to price things. You yourself have lamented the effects of market uncertainty (mainly as a cover for the obvious monumental failures of supply side economics) so I know that you know that uncertainty is no good.

If the treasury defaults, well, then the shit has really hit the fan. Treasuries are nice because of their superior liquidity. This liquidity will likely be substantially reduced if the US defaults. Another likely consequence will be seen in 401ks. The ones which are heavily invested in treasuries and agencies lose even more value than they would for just a ratings downgrade. This will eventually put more strain on the social safety net as people's retirement funds rapidly lose value, which will end up costing us either more money or quality of life down the road.

Raised debt ceiling + no long term debt management plan = word on the street is that the US credit rating will get a downgrade even if the debt ceiling is raised if there isn't a long term debt management strategy included in the plan.

Raised debt ceiling + long term debt management plan = probably the best scenario (unless you're Ron Paul). Probably no one gets what they want, but we can avert some pretty large problems in doing so.

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Old 07-27-2011, 04:30 AM   #166 (permalink)
 
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Across the globe, there is growing astonishment that the world's biggest economy is on the brink of a technical default because its elected leaders cannot hammer out a deal. Nouriel Roubini, the leading economics professor, said there was disbelief in China. "Biggest concern in meetings in Hong Kong: will the US default on its debt? Folks here are shocked by the dysfunctional US political system," he tweeted from Shanghai.


Debt crisis: Republicans scramble to rewrite plan following figures bungle | Business | guardian.co.uk

what i think eludes the sociopaths on the right above all is the profound damage done to the american empire by the bush administration, from the iraq war fiasco to the exploding of the housing bubble/derivatives trade (which blossomed under the aegis of american neo-liberal philosophy & it's pollyanna assumptions about markets and self-interests). what eludes the sociopaths on the right is the damage this theater of dysfunction is doing at a point of teetering weakness. but they don't care. all that matters is getting back into power. it's remarkable.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:37 AM   #167 (permalink)
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A US default would be so catastrophic as to suggest a new depression looming.

The US can keep the spending and taxes the way it currently does simply because treasury bonds are considered a very safe investment, so in a flight to safety the US receives a good chunk of financing to keep things going.

With a default, the US is not the safe haven for investments anymore.
This would mean tax hikes and benefit cuts right now. As is, people currently retired getting their income cut by half or more, and people's taxes going up by some 10% at least. Not to mention, of course, the mounting uncertainty. Which is why this whole thing is so ridiculous. Supply side economics are all about economic stability fostering certainty and therefore investment. That is the most basic tenet of it. So in the name of supply side economics, Republicans decided to introduce that which is normally only applicable to poor 3rd world nations: political risk.

If only American media had the balls to:
- point out how catastrophic this would be
- point out that the ceiling increase is in order to pay for the budget that the Republicans already passed

things might be different.
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Old 07-27-2011, 01:17 PM   #168 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dippin View Post
If only American media had the balls to:
- point out how catastrophic this would be
- point out that the ceiling increase is in order to pay for the budget that the Republicans already passed

things might be different.
CNN just had some Tea B guy on. They asked him a bunch of questions none of which dealt with the fact that this is money the US already spent going to war and handing out tax cuts. The reporter tried to point out that tax rates are lower then they've been in 50 years or so and he avoided answering that point and went off on another "We spend more then we bring in" rant. Yeah, tell me something I don't know. He said spending more money then you bring in is just crazy. Which it is.. so is the idea that part of the solution shouldn't be to bring in more money. In 1980 the top tax rate for people earning over 250K was 70%. Today it's 35%. Cutting taxes and spending at the same time has been a big part of this problem. Shouting "Taxed Enough!" over and over after having been in favor of going to war(s) is just another form of the rights BS.
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Old 07-27-2011, 02:12 PM   #169 (permalink)
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Anyone, the Tea Partiers included, who advocates maintaining the Bush tax cuts while suggesting that spending should be drastically reduced to balance the budget should fall under one or more of the following categories:

1) They want to end operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in addition to reducing the military budget and "discretionary spending" in proportion to the Bush tax cuts.

2) They're comfortable with fundamentally and likely disruptively changing America both socially and economically to the point of it being unrecognizable from a historical standpoint.

3) They failed at or struggled with math.

4) They're libertarians and misanthropes.

5) They are independently wealthy.


Who are these people who understand what's really going on and who say "no new revenues/taxes" and "cut spending to eliminate the deficit"?
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Old 07-27-2011, 03:00 PM   #170 (permalink)
 
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What Were They Thinking? by Elizabeth Drew | The New York Review of Books

this is a good, detailed summary of the adventures of this confederacy of dunces leading up to this entirely unnecessary dive onto a sword.

the tea party is unhinged.
the republicans are weak organizationally.
the obama administration has continuously capitulated to the right, allowing it to frame issues with disastrous outcomes.

the idiocy of all this is mind-boggling.
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:55 PM   #171 (permalink)
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What Were They Thinking? by Elizabeth Drew | The New York Review of Books

this is a good, detailed summary of the adventures of this confederacy of dunces leading up to this entirely unnecessary dive onto a sword.

the tea party is unhinged.
the republicans are weak organizationally.
the obama administration has continuously capitulated to the right, allowing it to frame issues with disastrous outcomes.

the idiocy of all this is mind-boggling.

It is completely mind boggling. I have a friend who still lives in Oregon he's retired from the local paper mill (if you've bought Costco TP 10 yrs ago chances are he had a hand in making it) Anyway he retired a few years back and began listening to Rush, Hannity and Beck daily. Last time I went to check on my rental I stopped in to see him and he had a yard full of Tea B crap in front of his house. I just let it go in one ear and out the other and changed the subject to fishing, hunting or the local HS basketball team. Well about a week ago I ended up on the phone with his adult son (happens to live next door to dad) and he said "Dad's out tearing all the TEA B signs out of his yard." "Why what happened?" "He said the Tea B'ers wanted to cut his SS and medicare." What the hell did he think was going to happen? Did he not understand the term "entitlement programs?"

Ya gotta hand it to the Koch brother et el. They managed to get a bunch of folks to shout and scream they wanted their benefits cut. I mean the GOP has been doing that for years but the Koch brothers et el have really raised the bar on getting people to vote against their own interests.
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:05 PM   #172 (permalink)
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I think, as well, that a lot of people have been convinced that it's liberals who are destroying America.
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:10 PM   #173 (permalink)
 
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conservative identity politics is built around projections like that.
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:14 PM   #174 (permalink)
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Modern day robber barons with a fully functioning propaganda machine=death of US the middle class.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:23 PM   #175 (permalink)
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Tully had the right idea going south of the border. And I'm not talking about Taco Bell.

/brb, going to Taco Bell.
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Old 07-28-2011, 03:35 AM   #176 (permalink)
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Giving more crack to a crack addict won't solve the addiction. Taxes aren't the solution to the debt problem until the spending problem is solved.
Interesting analogy, but it doesn't address the reality that forcing a crack addict to stop cold-turkey can, and often does, kill the person. If that's the analogy you want to draw I think you should consider the full ramifications of the position you're advocating.
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:03 AM   #177 (permalink)
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Bottom line here is many US voters had no problem spending and spending under Bush Jr, happy to see that $3-600 check, completely on board with going to war and welcomed the tax cuts. Now that the bill has come due they want the money they spent to come from anywhere but their own pocket. But what many are finding out is it will come out of their pocket. That's going to happen by reduced benefits for some, increased fees and tolls, increased interest rates on their loans, the devaluation of the dollar. None of this will affect the truly wealthy in the US, hell the increase interest rates will benefit them greatly.

Many average Joe's, yep even "Joe the plumber," has once again been conned into advocating against his own interest. This can easily be tracked. Historically the middle class loses ground every time the GOP has the WH or a significant amount of power in the the congress.

To think we could spend trillions on wars and tax cuts and then after 10 years make up the difference by solely cutting spending (mainly in social programs) rather raising any revenue is just mathematically false.

I went to HS in the late 70's, yep I'm old I know. Back then if I wanted to play football or any sport it was free. My brother's kid is a senior this coming year and to play football it's going to cost him $500 at the very same HS. He can add track, baseball and basketball and max out at playing 1K for all sports. I remember camping a lot when I was younger. The cost of camping at a state park back then was nada. The last time I spent a day, not over night, at a state park the fee was $15. I think an overnight spot was $30, $45 if you wanted RV hook-ups. These are just a couple examples of things that tax dollars use to pay for but are now "user fee" funded. Fees such as these have little to no effect on wealthy families but place a heavy burden on those just getting by and living pay check to pay check.

Since Reagan started with the huge tax breaks for the wealthy the middle class has taken one hit after another and now many average Joe's have been convinced we should no only continue down this path but double down and squeeze more money out of their own pocket. P.T. Barnum was right- there's one born every minute.
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:14 AM   #178 (permalink)
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McCain erupts: Conservatives are deceiving America



McCain erupts: Conservatives are lying to America - The Plum Line - The Washington Post

---------- Post added at 08:14 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:06 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tully Mars View Post
Bottom line here is many US voters had no problem spending and spending under Bush Jr, happy to see that $3-600 check, completely on board with going to war and welcomed the tax cuts. Now that the bill has come due they want the money they spent to come from anywhere but their own pocket. But what many are finding out is it will come out of their pocket. That's going to happen by reduced benefits for some, increased fees and tolls, increased interest rates on their loans, the devaluation of the dollar. None of this will affect the truly wealthy in the US, hell the increase interest rates will benefit them greatly.
I was thinking about this yesterday. It's as though Bush Jr. decided it was good policy to boost spending and reduce revenues. So when you couple that with the practically unmitigated disaster of the financial system, Obama's spending decisions shouldn't come as much of a surprise. More specifically, the federal spending shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

I think even Reagan would have done something similar.*

Oh, wait, he actually did. How soon we forget the Reagan bailouts and tax increases. All we think about are his deregulation and tax cut policies. Though he did mark the beginning of the Republican standard model of governance: tax cut and spend.

*Didn't Reagan add more to the debt in one year than Carter did his entire presidency?
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:24 AM   #179 (permalink)
 
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what made this middle class what it was during the fordist period (1945-sometimes in the 1970s)? the manufacturing base. relatively high wages won through collective bargaining arrangements that altered the political situation that shaped wages. this enabled a rational extension of consumer credit, a vast expansion of home ownership.

what has happened since the 1970s? the internationalization of stock trade, the internationalization of manufacturing by way of the net and supply-pool management technologies, the breakdown of the political framework that enabled relatively high-wage jobs for many people, the atomization of the manufacturing base geographically---and of ownership (a major reason why nation-states are finished)...a radical transfer of power to the holders of capital---what amounts to an ideological offensive waged over many years to conceal the fact of this transfer of power---a happy-face simple-minded economic ideology that has NEVER delivered on what people promised by referring to it for most people---a culture of debt---endless war as a way to prop up the economy---and so on.

the problem with jobs goes beyond unemployment. the problem is the entire geography of production that was developed while people were waiting to be trickled down on from above. you know, the good serfs waiting for the lords to do their thing.

this is a major reason why it is obvious to almost everyone (outside the dissociative spaces of the american right) that (a) the present crisis is of neo-liberalism itself and (b) it cannot and will not be addressed using neo-liberal tools, neo-liberal thinking, or neo-liberal policies.

doing that now will accelerate the decline of the american empire considerably.
but it seems characteristic of declining empires that people cannot face the fact of decline.
there seems a vicious circle at the center of it.
i wouldn't have known that but for living through the decline of an empire.
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:37 AM   #180 (permalink)
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I can't think of any other net effect of neoliberalism besides the evisceration of federal power and the trickling up of the majority of wealth to the top 10%, if not the top 1%.

Since Reagan, America has been conducting a significant experiments from a neoliberal perspective. Now that the net effect is kicking into high gear and is essentially embedded in the nation, there is little now that can be done to maintain what Americans have come to expect to be an American way of life.

It might help explain such American problems regarding crime and education. It might also help explain why much of America is beginning to look like Latin America if it doesn't already.
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:03 AM   #181 (permalink)
 
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you'd think that people would be able to look around, see something of what's going on even without Magickal and Secret Information, and say---ok we tried that, it's not worked out, now we have to do something else. if there's anything to this bullshit that has accompanied the fog of neo-liberalism about "american pragmatism" and all that, you'd expect most people to be already thinking in one or another version of this direction. but seemingly they aren't. seemingly, the sales job has convinced many people that the problem cannot be captialism itself, cannot be its geography or that power (and wealth) are now distributed in entirely dysfunctional ways, and that the problem has to be the state.

this flies in the face of over 100 years of the history of actually existing capitalism.

the sales job presupposes a profound ignorance of the history of the existing order.

marx was right about the nature of ideology--statements generated in the interest of the dominant faction of the dominant class that tends to erase the history of that dominant faction and in so doing erases conflict in order to present the statements made in the interest of the dominant faction of the dominant class as if they reflected the state of the world, and as if the world has always been that way.
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:08 PM   #182 (permalink)
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drudge is reporting the speaker still doesn't have the votes for the budget bill due to the tea party members holding their ground. so he's still waiting to bring it to a vote...
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Old 07-29-2011, 06:05 AM   #183 (permalink)
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Krugman here illuminates succinctly what exactly is happening on a macro level—namely, the extortion tactics of the Republicans, the capitulation of the Democrats, the failure of centrism, and the myth of the American left (emphases mine):
Quote:
July 28, 2011
The Centrist Cop-Out
By PAUL KRUGMAN

The facts of the crisis over the debt ceiling aren’t complicated. Republicans have, in effect, taken America hostage, threatening to undermine the economy and disrupt the essential business of government unless they get policy concessions they would never have been able to enact through legislation. And Democrats — who would have been justified in rejecting this extortion altogether — have, in fact, gone a long way toward meeting those Republican demands.

As I said, it’s not complicated. Yet many people in the news media apparently can’t bring themselves to acknowledge this simple reality. News reports portray the parties as equally intransigent; pundits fantasize about some kind of “centrist” uprising, as if the problem was too much partisanship on both sides.

Some of us have long complained about the cult of “balance,” the insistence on portraying both parties as equally wrong and equally at fault on any issue, never mind the facts. I joked long ago that if one party declared that the earth was flat, the headlines would read “Views Differ on Shape of Planet.” But would that cult still rule in a situation as stark as the one we now face, in which one party is clearly engaged in blackmail and the other is dickering over the size of the ransom?

The answer, it turns out, is yes. And this is no laughing matter: The cult of balance has played an important role in bringing us to the edge of disaster. For when reporting on political disputes always implies that both sides are to blame, there is no penalty for extremism. Voters won’t punish you for outrageous behavior if all they ever hear is that both sides are at fault.

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. As you may know, President Obama initially tried to strike a “Grand Bargain” with Republicans over taxes and spending. To do so, he not only chose not to make an issue of G.O.P. extortion, he offered extraordinary concessions on Democratic priorities: an increase in the age of Medicare eligibility, sharp spending cuts and only small revenue increases. As The Times’s Nate Silver pointed out, Mr. Obama effectively staked out a position that was not only far to the right of the average voter’s preferences, it was if anything a bit to the right of the average Republican voter’s preferences.

But Republicans rejected the deal. So what was the headline on an Associated Press analysis of that breakdown in negotiations? “Obama, Republicans Trapped by Inflexible Rhetoric.” A Democratic president who bends over backward to accommodate the other side — or, if you prefer, who leans so far to the right that he’s in danger of falling over — is treated as being just the same as his utterly intransigent opponents. Balance!

Which brings me to those “centrist” fantasies.

Many pundits view taking a position in the middle of the political spectrum as a virtue in itself. I don’t. Wisdom doesn’t necessarily reside in the middle of the road, and I want leaders who do the right thing, not the centrist thing.

But for those who insist that the center is always the place to be, I have an important piece of information: We already have a centrist president. Indeed, Bruce Bartlett, who served as a policy analyst in the Reagan administration, argues that Mr. Obama is in practice a moderate conservative.

Mr. Bartlett has a point. The president, as we’ve seen, was willing, even eager, to strike a budget deal that strongly favored conservative priorities. His health reform was very similar to the reform Mitt Romney installed in Massachusetts. Romneycare, in turn, closely followed the outlines of a plan originally proposed by the right-wing Heritage Foundation. And returning tax rates on high-income Americans to their level during the Roaring Nineties is hardly a socialist proposal.

True, Republicans insist that Mr. Obama is a leftist seeking a government takeover of the economy, but they would, wouldn’t they? The facts, should anyone choose to report them, say otherwise.

So what’s with the buzz about a centrist uprising? As I see it, it’s coming from people who recognize the dysfunctional nature of modern American politics, but refuse, for whatever reason, to acknowledge the one-sided role of Republican extremists in making our system dysfunctional. And it’s not hard to guess at their motivation. After all, pointing out the obvious truth gets you labeled as a shrill partisan, not just from the right, but from the ranks of self-proclaimed centrists.

But making nebulous calls for centrism, like writing news reports that always place equal blame on both parties, is a big cop-out — a cop-out that only encourages more bad behavior. The problem with American politics right now is Republican extremism, and if you’re not willing to say that, you’re helping make that problem worse.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/29/op...R_HP_LO_MST_FB
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:45 AM   #184 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derwood View Post
Debt talk damage has already been done - Business - Eye on the Economy - msnbc.com

Ace, the "nothing will happen" talking point is utterly false
This is the first sentence from the article you cite:

Quote:
As Washington dithers over raising the nation's debt ceiling, investor confidence is flowing away.
There are many different types of investors. Most serious investors simply factor in certain assumptions regarding what governments may or may not do. Then they allocate capital accordingly. They do that with "confidence".

First sentence from the 11th paragraph:

Quote:
The likelihood of an outright U.S. default Aug. 2 remains fairly remote.
Investors still look at US debt as the virtual risk free investment that it is. The rates and demand for US debt has not changed as a result of this alleged crisis.

Additionally, people are generally misusing the term "default". At this point when ever two or more people use the term, odds are they are thinking of different possible outcomes. The President has suggested that there is a possibility that the US won't pay interest on debt, that the US government won't pay Social Security - both things will not happen. There is no reason not to pay US obligations, and I believe the President has no choice. Shutting down some government services is not "default" in my book. This "crisis" is manageable, even given the worse case scenario.

---------- Post added at 04:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:22 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
So what's wrong with the Republicans? Why are they so unwilling to have a cat around?
Republicans and specifically the Tea Party faction of the Party has been trying to articulate what there concerns and issues are, the President, Democrats, and some Republicans are not responding to these issues. If I say Mr. President I don't trust you - I don't think you are serious about spending cuts and the response is something like - you don't care about people in need...no progress is made.

But the Tea Party faction in the House is only about 90 people. An alternative to getting Tea Party buy in is to propose a plan that will get moderate Democrat and moderate Republican support. Pelosi and Obama have yet to seriously try this option. They have not presented a plan for a vote that would force moderates to say "yes". Boehner is a moderate who is treated like he is in the Tea Party, he has no where to go other than to the far right because moderate Democrats are not willing to stand and fight with him. Obama is obsessed with fighting all Republicans. It is Obama who has set this tone.

Quote:
Are you suggesting that the Republicans will only trust their own plan? Or that Obama needs to simply talk at them more until they have some comfort in his words?
No. In order to earn trust from people like me, it takes action. Words have no meaning from a person like Obama. I stated many times that I think he is the equivalent of a snake oil salesman. In context, I would need a two step process. One, cut spending. Two, look at the revenue side. Obama wants to combine steps one and two - if I don't believe Obama is serious about step one, I would be a fool to agree to a combination of the two steps.

"We" have been saying the above since the inception of the Tea Party movement. No-one is listening.

---------- Post added at 04:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:41 PM ----------

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Originally Posted by roachboy View Post
but i'm pretty sure that i'd demolish you in chess. cold-blooded about the game.

and now, back to regularly scheduled bickering...
I bet you are cold-blooded with the 6 year-old crowd.

Couldn't resist that one, I did try.
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:19 AM   #185 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by aceventura3 View Post
Republicans and specifically the Tea Party faction of the Party has been trying to articulate what there concerns and issues are, the President, Democrats, and some Republicans are not responding to these issues. If I say Mr. President I don't trust you - I don't think you are serious about spending cuts and the response is something like - you don't care about people in need...no progress is made.
What are the Tea Party's concerns and issues? Let me guess: no debt ceiling raise, no revenue increase, further tax cuts, extensive spending cuts.

Are they merely not responding, or are they not taking them seriously?

Quote:
But the Tea Party faction in the House is only about 90 people. An alternative to getting Tea Party buy in is to propose a plan that will get moderate Democrat and moderate Republican support. Pelosi and Obama have yet to seriously try this option.
Are you sure about that? It's not what I've been reading...from multiple sources.

Quote:
They have not presented a plan for a vote that would force moderates to say "yes". Boehner is a moderate who is treated like he is in the Tea Party, he has no where to go other than to the far right because moderate Democrats are not willing to stand and fight with him. Obama is obsessed with fighting all Republicans. It is Obama who has set this tone.
Obama has done little recently but work towards giving Republicans what they want without alienating his entire party. He's already aliented much of it as it is.

Quote:
No. In order to earn trust from people like me, it takes action. Words have no meaning from a person like Obama. I stated many times that I think he is the equivalent of a snake oil salesman. In context, I would need a two step process. One, cut spending. Two, look at the revenue side. Obama wants to combine steps one and two - if I don't believe Obama is serious about step one, I would be a fool to agree to a combination of the two steps.

"We" have been saying the above since the inception of the Tea Party movement. No-one is listening.
Why don't you believe Obama is serious about cutting spending? He's been addressing the deficit issue since 2009. However, reducing deficits while creating jobs is a tough thing to do simultaneously during a deep recession.

You don't think Obama wants to reduce deficits? Why?
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:49 AM   #186 (permalink)
 
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the tea party, present company included, is not advancing an agenda that makes any sense outside a particular, pathological framework.

the tea party, present company included, refuses to participate in political discussion.

their premises, which are eminently falsifiable in the world that exists outside the shared imaginary construction that makes tea party people what they are. but they proceed as if this were not the case, and hedge their lunatic discourse round with rhetorical moves that are designed to prevent critique from registering. they are in these ways **profoundly** anti-democratic.



in a democratic context, it is not only possible but desirable---necessary---for incoherent/obsolete/pathological claims to be demolished and their partisans to be marginalized from discussion.

if this was a democratic context, there would be no space for the sociopaths of the tea party to talk from. that their positions exist as a vaguely legitimate option is a demonstration in and of itself of the soft-authoritarian situation under which we all operate.
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:05 AM   #187 (permalink)
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Well, clearly the Tea Party knows that America isn't a democracy; it's a republic.[؟]
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:10 AM   #188 (permalink)
 
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the idea of a republic retained the features of democratic deliberation within a wider political context that protected social class. because some animals are more equal than others, of course. but that changes nothing about the centrality of information in deliberation, nor does it change anything about the problems that are posed for democratic deliberation by pathological arguments. it's why plato used to get all snippy about the sophists, for example. but i digress.
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:14 AM   #189 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post

Why don't you believe Obama is serious about cutting spending? He's been addressing the deficit issue since 2009. However, reducing deficits while creating jobs is a tough thing to do simultaneously during a deep recession.

You don't think Obama wants to reduce deficits? Why?
Three trillion dollars added to the federal debt and evidently no concern about getting the annual deficit under $1 trillion let alone back to the levels it was in 2007 speaks for itself.
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:21 AM   #190 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by roachboy View Post
the idea of a republic retained the features of democratic deliberation within a wider political context that protected social class. because some animals are more equal than others, of course. but that changes nothing about the centrality of information in deliberation, nor does it change anything about the problems that are posed for democratic deliberation by pathological arguments. it's why plato used to get all snippy about the sophists, for example. but i digress.
Yes, let us return to those modern-day Sophists: the Tea Party.

---------- Post added at 02:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:15 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogzilla View Post
Three trillion dollars added to the federal debt and evidently no concern about getting the annual deficit under $1 trillion let alone back to the levels it was in 2007 speaks for itself.
I don't think it does. It doesn't say anything about taxes. It doesn't say anything about the recession.

It has no context. The only thing it speaks for is political myopia and the absence of context and history.

Obama has expressed more than once moving away from George W. Bush's ideas of "reducing the deficit." That Republicans are addicted to tax cuts is a huge part of the problem. That Obama is acting less and less like a Democrat and more like a Republican is another huge part of the problem.

For example, what part of "tax cuts expiring" doesn't help reduce the deficit?

Again, I ask why people don't think he wants to reduce deficits. Don't people read or watch the news anymore?

These plan proposals have included spending cuts. From what I've read, the Republicans should be fine with the proposed cuts. The problem is the Republicans' tax aversion. God forbid taxes go any higher. They've never been higher, right? America has never prospered with a higher tax rate. Ever. Right?
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:25 AM   #191 (permalink)
 
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dogzilla...such things only "speak for themselves" in bullshitland.

The Chart That Should Accompany All Discussions of the Debt Ceiling - James Fallows - Politics - The Atlantic
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:33 AM   #192 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by roachboy View Post
Oh, yes. Pertinent facts.

No one wants to talk about those.

They're pesky things at the best of times.

* * *

Obama: I'm fixing the problems created mainly by you Republicans.

Republicans: Wait, no! Don't fix the problems! You'll make it worse! Let them sort themselves out. Just step out of the way; it'll be fine!

Obama: Isn't that the fundamental cause of what's gone wrong?

Republicans: (mumbled) ...no....

Obama: (cups a hand to his ear) Hm...?

Republicans: It'll be fine...!
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Old 07-29-2011, 12:02 PM   #193 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
What are the Tea Party's concerns and issues? Let me guess: no debt ceiling raise, no revenue increase, further tax cuts, extensive spending cuts.
The simplest way to put it is:

Government spending.

Quote:
Obama has done little recently but work towards giving Republicans what they want without alienating his entire party. He's already aliented much of it as it is.
Obama has not had legislation or a budget presented in either the House or the Senate that appeals to moderate Republicans or Democrats. He may have talked about it in generalities behind the scenes, I simply suggest that his most simple and direct way of handling this problem would be to appeal directly to moderates and force moderates on both sides of the aisle to formally vote on moderate legislation. I am not a moderate and probably should not be advising moderates, but they actually still control Washington. I argue that Obama has created a divide that has actually forced moderates to the more extreme wings of either party. If Obama can't work with Boehner I doubt there is any Republican he could work with.

McConnell in the Senate offered a plan that shifted the authority and the whole issue away from the Tea Party and put it directly in Obama's control. Obama hasn't supported that either.

Quote:
Why don't you believe Obama is serious about cutting spending? He's been addressing the deficit issue since 2009. However, reducing deficits while creating jobs is a tough thing to do simultaneously during a deep recession.

You don't think Obama wants to reduce deficits? Why?
Because of, one, the history of spending in Washington before Obama. Two, the accelerated spending that has occurred since Obama. Three, Obama's obsession with increasing taxes. Four, his words having no value.

Example regarding point four. Today, Obama says a rating down grade will lead to higher interest rates (true), and that it will be like a tax (kinda true) affecting every American in a negative manner (paraphrasing his words but not true at all). True, some US debt is held by foreigners - but for every dollar one person, corporation or government pays in higher interest, another person, corporation government receives in interest income - theoretically the net is zero. Or, in simple terms borrowers (specifically new borrower or those with variable rates) pay more and lenders earn more. And guess what, most of that interest is taxable income.

Obama knows better or at least those Phd. economists on his team know better - he either lies, tells half truths, etc. to support his political messaging. I don't like it and I will never take his word on anything. If you and others trust him without question, that is up to you, but understand that I have closely listen to his words over the past several years and there are definite patterns in what he does that supports my distrust of his words.

---------- Post added at 08:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:51 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy View Post
dogzilla...such things only "speak for themselves" in bullshitland.
Taxes collected by government or "revenues" went up under Bush. Those "revenues" have gone down under Obama. Today they announced Q2 GDP growth, 1.3% and adjusted Q1 GDP growth 0.4%.

Turning back the clock I remember people tripping over themselves trying to say the US was in a recession long before GDP growth rates went negative under Bush. Today, not a word - yet alone the persistent and under stated unemployment rates.
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Old 07-29-2011, 01:04 PM   #194 (permalink)
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ace, I understand, as do most, that spending is a problem. It really is a matter of degrees in terms of how people want the problem addressed. What the moderates are "negotiating" over is a balanced approach to the issue. This is a long-term issue that deserves a long-term solution, as it's a problem a long time coming.

The Tea Party's ideas are extremist ideas. If a Tea Party–approved plan went forth, it would likely come down hard on more Americans than even they realize. More specifically, it will come down hard on those who can't really take the burden.

Below is another opinion piece that I think helps shed light on what's going on:

Quote:
Why Americans Are So Angry
Bernie Sanders
WSJ.com
JULY 29, 2011

The rich are getting richer. Their effective tax rate, in recent years, has been reduced to the lowest in modern history. Nurses, teachers and firemen actually pay a higher tax rate than some billionaires. It's no wonder the American people are angry.

Many corporations, including General Electric and Exxon-Mobil, have made billions in profits while using loopholes to avoid paying any federal income taxes. We lose $100 billion every year in federal revenue from companies and individuals who stash their wealth in tax havens off-shore like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. The sum of all the revenue collected by the Treasury today totals just 14.8% of our gross domestic product, the lowest in about 50 years.

In the midst of this, Republicans in Congress have been fanatically determined to protect the interests of the wealthy and large multinational corporations so that they do not contribute a single penny toward deficit reduction.

If the Republicans have their way, the entire burden of deficit reduction will be placed on the elderly, the sick, children and working families. In the midst of a horrendous recession that is already causing severe pain for average Americans, this approach is morally grotesque. It's also bad economic policy.

President Obama and the Democrats have been extremely weak in opposing these right-wing extremist proposals. Although the United States now has the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major industrialized country, Democrats have not succeeded in getting any new revenue from those at the top of the economic ladder to reduce the deficit.

Instead, they've handed the wealthy even more tax breaks. In December, the House and the Senate extended President George W. Bush's tax cuts for the rich and lowered estate tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. In April, to avoid the Republican effort to shut down the government, they allowed $38.5 billion in cuts to vitally important programs for working-class and middle-class Americans.

Now, with the U.S. facing the possibility of the first default in our nation's history, the American people find themselves forced to choose between two congressional deficit-reduction plans. The plan by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, which calls for $2.4 trillion in cuts over a 10-year period, includes $900 billion in cuts in areas such as education, health care, nutrition, affordable housing, child care and many other programs desperately needed by working families and the most vulnerable.

The Senate plan appropriately calls for meaningful cuts in military spending and ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But it does not ask the wealthiest people in this country and the largest corporations to make any sacrifice.

The Reid plan is bad. The constantly shifting plan by House Speaker John Boehner is much worse. His $1.2 trillion plan calls for no cuts in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and it requires a congressional committee to come up with another $1.8 trillion in cuts within six months of passage.

Those cuts would mean drastic reductions in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. What's more, Mr. Boehner's plan would reopen the debate over the debt ceiling, which is now paralyzing Congress, just six months from now.

While all of this is going on in Washington, the American people have consistently stated, in poll after poll, that they want wealthy individuals and large corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. They also want bedrock social programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to be protected. For example, a July 14-17 Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 72% of Americans believe that Americans earning more than $250,000 a year should pay more in taxes.

In other words, Congress is now on a path to do exactly what the American people don't want. Americans want shared sacrifice in deficit reduction. Congress is on track to give them the exact opposite: major cuts in the most important programs that the middle class needs and wants, and no sacrifice from the wealthy and the powerful.
Bernie Sanders: Why Americans Are So Angry - WSJ.com
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Old 07-29-2011, 02:04 PM   #195 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by roachboy View Post

Simple question with a simple answer. Did the federal debt increase or decrease in the past couple years?

With the federal debt in the range of 100% of annual GDP it's time to start cutting, not raising the debt ceiling.

And yes, that includes military as well as entitlement programs.
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Old 07-29-2011, 02:05 PM   #196 (permalink)
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There are many different types of investors. Most serious investors simply factor in certain assumptions regarding what governments may or may not do. Then they allocate capital accordingly. They do that with "confidence".
And right now, there is decreasing confidence that the US is going to come out of this without at the very least suffering a hit to its credit rating.

Quote:
Investors still look at US debt as the virtual risk free investment that it is. The rates and demand for US debt has not changed as a result of this alleged crisis.
Bullshit. Investors are already skittish about T-bills. If anything, the market shows that investors have faith in the solvency of the US ten years from now. Next month, not so much.

Quote:
Additionally, people are generally misusing the term "default". At this point when ever two or more people use the term, odds are they are thinking of different possible outcomes. The President has suggested that there is a possibility that the US won't pay interest on debt, that the US government won't pay Social Security - both things will not happen. There is no reason not to pay US obligations, and I believe the President has no choice. Shutting down some government services is not "default" in my book.
Wait, so people are misusing the term "default", because they aren't using it with respect to your personal definition? Seriously, that's dumb. I'm not saying that you're dumb, just that your propensity to define words that are already in wide use in ways that diverge from the commonly accepted definition and then call people out for not using your definition is dumb. It makes discussion impossible. It also allows you a convenient means of backing out of the flawed arguments you present by deflecting with some form of "well that's not what I meant because I was using a different definition of that word". It's like some Bill Clinton "well, that depends on what you're definition of 'is' is" bullshit.

Quote:
This "crisis" is manageable, even given the worse case.
The "crisis" that would result from letting the Bush tax cuts expire would be magnitudes more manageable than the one that will result from failing to raise the debt ceiling or failing to take a balanced approach to controlling the national debt in the long term.

Why is it what the tea party solution always favors the wealthy and always asks the common person to sacrifice? Here's the answer: implicit in the tea party philosophy is the idea that the common man is scum, not fit to lick the boots of the average wealthy entrepreneur. Anyone who hasn't made their mark on the world by earning millions is a sap, a sucker, a leech, selfishly suckling at the resources provided by the put-upon class of wealthy economic elites.

That's the funny thing about the anti-elitism endemic to certain right-ward folks: their fundamental philosophy is wholly focused on the deification of elites at the expense of the common person. Rich people are better than poor people. Us leeches from the poor and the middle classes should just shut the fuck up and be happy for the fact that the wealthy elites who make everything possible are willing to let us live off more than just their refuse. How dare we expect them to contribute to society via taxes proportionally to the amount of benefit they've derived from society? Don't we understand that without them we'd be nothing?

There's a pretty fundamental disconnect between this way of looking at the world and how it actually works. Though I could see how it might be psychologically beneficial if one is exorbitantly wealthy (or if one sympathizes more with the exorbitantly wealthy than with one's peers) to convince oneself that wealth is created in a vacuum. It can help stave off those pesky pangs of conscience that arise when one accidentally bumps into evidence of the widespread inequity produced by an economic system such as ours.
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:38 PM   #197 (permalink)
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Simple question with a simple answer. Did the federal debt increase or decrease in the past couple years?

With the federal debt in the range of 100% of annual GDP it's time to start cutting, not raising the debt ceiling.

And yes, that includes military as well as entitlement programs.
The federal debt increased mostly due to a shortfall in revenues and an increase in safety net spending.

Cutting spending in the mid of a recession will only deepen that recession. There are no two ways about it. In the real world, balancing the budget right now would lead to higher unemployment and lower GDP.

The apparently too complex point being that it is possible to have a plan that doesn't cut spending in the short run but balances the budget in the long run. And the long run is all that matters, because republican gamesmanship aside, the US is nowhere near a default.
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:40 PM   #198 (permalink)
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I guess I paid a few thousand in new 'taxes' in the past week because the stock market went down and I lost money that I had on paper two weeks ago. Now the government will let me pay less in taxes on my return... I would have rather sold for higher than I bought the stocks at and paid the government a higher percentage in taxes...

That wouldn't of happened had the Teapublicans compromised a little on tax loopholes for their friends...

Get you Stop Loss orders in for next week...
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Old 07-29-2011, 07:11 PM   #199 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASU2003 View Post
I guess I paid a few thousand in new 'taxes' in the past week because the stock market went down and I lost money that I had on paper two weeks ago. Now the government will let me pay less in taxes on my return... I would have rather sold for higher than I bought the stocks at and paid the government a higher percentage in taxes...

That wouldn't of happened had the Teapublicans compromised a little on tax loopholes for their friends...

Get you Stop Loss orders in for next week...

I've been completely out for weeks. Totally liquid at the moment.
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Old 07-29-2011, 11:47 PM   #200 (permalink)
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The debt ceiling battle has several individuals worried about how much the United States has to pay. Several wonder if the common pick for who owns The United States - China - will leave the U.S. in its wake. Yet as an enlightening report by Business Insider points out, conventional wisdom concerning the country that owns America is wrong.
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