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Shodan
01-07-2004, 03:59 PM
In this thread, (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=233445) Avalonian and some others are taking great umbrage that conservatives don't want to talk about the issues with Dean. AFAICT, "refusing to talk about the issues" means anything other than accusing Bush of the usual malfeasances, ranging from lying about Iraq to being ahead in the polls.

With dauntless optimism, I am assuming that they will be able to discuss "the issues" without immediately and determinedly reverting to the usual "Bush lied!" that seems to sum up that side of the campaign so far on the SDMB.

(Cites are from www.deanforamerica.com unless otherwise linked.)

The Bush tax cuts amount to about $48 billion a year for the next ten years. (http://www.ctj.org/html/gwb0602.htm)

Dean has promised to eliminate the cuts. Assuming that all the tax increase will go to reducing the deficit, we now have a deficit of roughly $450 billion per year.

He has also promised
Governor Dean will begin his work to improve the economy by proposing a two- year, $100 billion Fund to Restore America..."

So the deficit will go back to $500 billion per year (according to his website).

Dean will also increase spending on Homeland Security. The Governor will also make a long- term commitment to increase funding by at least $5 billion a year over currently proposed Bush administration levels.
So the deficit goes to $505B.

Dean seems to want two things at once, in that he says
I will work to eliminate tax policies that provide incentives for American firms to move manufacturing jobs offshore. As well as
Unfair tax subsidies, shelters and loopholes abound. Corporations use foreign tax havens solely to avoid paying US income taxes. Tax cheats escape detection and prosecution. Abusive tax shelters are commonplace.

Governor Dean will make fundamental reform of the tax system one of his first priorities. He will crack down on tax shelter promoters and their clients He will pursue actions to impose hefty fines and bar further practice before government agencies by lawyers and accountants who certify abusive tax shelters. So apparently he wants to attract and keep more businesses in America by increasing their taxes. Go figure.

I will assume for the moment that going in two directions like this will not achieve anything, and that any increase in corporate taxes will be offset by lost businesses. And vice versa, any change in business retention will be offset by tax shelters and so forth. So this won't affect the deficit, at least in theory.

He also wants to increase spending on Medicare drug benefits, which he says don't cover enough people.
Dean on the Medicare bill - "When this bill actually starts working in 2006, tens of millions of Americans will be worse off than they are today.
Millions of middle-class seniors will pay stiff premiums but get no drugs for months at a time. Seven million seniors will pay higher premiums unless they give up their doctor and join untested, unreliable Medicare HMOs. Almost three million retirees will lose their existing coverage. Six million low-income seniors
will pay more--not less--for their drugs. '

http://iowa.deanforamerica.com/node/view/1295

So we aren't going to save any money there. A rough but
conservative guess would be, what, a further $10 billion per year? $20 billion? Let's be safe and guess $10 billion. Now the deficit is $515 billion per year.

Make the same guess about Social Security, about which he says, Assure that Social Security and Medicare are adequately funded to meet the needs of the next generation of retirees. He won't raise the retirement age, either -

There is no need to raise the retirement age.
- so this is going to cost more. Make another guess - $40 billion.
Now the deficit is $555 billion a year.

Add to that the rest of his spending proposals - so far - such as I will increase federal funding for quality preschool and child care for middle- and lower-income families. No figures on how much he will increase it, so I won't make a guess.

He is going to set up another branch of the Small Business
Administration to lend more money - he says that small business in America needs $140 billion dollars in loans. But he only wants to cover a billion of that. No figures again, so let's ignore that as irrelevant, neither helping nor hurting the deficit.

Governor Dean will pledge to the American people that a Dean administration in Washington will do what the Dean administration did in Vermont: we will balance the budget."


From 1994 to 2001, the rule known as “Pay as you go” was in effect in the U.S. Senate. The rule required that there must be a 60% “super majority” of Senators to approve legislation that would increase the federal deficit over a 10-year period. In other words, new programs or increased funding had to be paid for with revenues or savings, not more borrowing. .. It is a guiding principle of his fiscal philosophy that the government must learn to live within its means.

This after increasing the deficit by $55B per year, and raising taxes.

So the issue I would like to discuss is, is it that Dean can't count, or that he is hoping that I can't count? Even based on what he is willing to admit to, there is no chance that he can do anything good for the economy.

Regards,
Shodan

elucidator
01-07-2004, 04:14 PM
I see. Well, you make a pretty interesting primae facia case, if everything you say is true. There are much more talented cite-ferrets than I, so I won't go there. (OK,OK, they're just not as lazy! Happy now?!....)

But given your clear contempt for Mr. Deans policy, perhaps you could take just a moment to explain why a policy of cutting your revenue stream at the same moment as you squander a gazillion bucks in a meaningless military adventure makes economic sense?

About which he lied, lest we forget.

stolichnaya
01-07-2004, 04:44 PM
I take it there are no revenue-building or money-saving programs described on Dean's site at all, besides raising taxes?

Shodan
01-07-2004, 05:08 PM
I take it there are no revenue-building or money-saving programs described on Dean's site at all, besides raising taxes?
I didn't see any references to cuts of anything.

His main push is to create jobs, allegedly, but it seems to be mostly the same thing I objected to - growing the economy by taxing the hell out of businesses. His Small Business Administration thing is just loans, but very small change, as mentioned.

I suspect he wants to pull out of Iraq, but he gives no idea of how much he would save by doing so and how soon we can expect to spend that too. He speaks against HMOs, so I am not sure how he expects to save money on health care spending either. He says a couple of times he thinks prescription drugs should be cheaper as well - I imagine he is going to pass laws on how much drug companies will charge or something. No specifics again.

I found most of the hard figures I could dig out, and the rest is rather vague boilerplate about putting America first or some such. He expects that everyone will save a lot with government providing health care to everyone, but doesn't give any specifics.

Regards,
Shodan

absoul
01-07-2004, 05:09 PM
So... right now we have a deficit of 450 billion dollars a year. How exactly are you going to say that Deans plan could possibly be worse? Am I missing something here?

Shodan
01-07-2004, 05:36 PM
Because adding together his figures makes it look very much like Dean is going to make the deficit worse. And that his economic thinking is fuzzy and contradictory at best, and that he is an outright liar at worst.

Regards,
Shodan

jshore
01-07-2004, 05:47 PM
Originally posted by Shodan
The Bush tax cuts amount to about $48 billion a year for the next ten years. (http://www.ctj.org/html/gwb0602.htm)

And, Shodan seems to have a little issue of reading comprehension. What the link says is that the tax cuts on the top 1% amount to $477 billion over 10 years. The total amount of all the tax cuts is more than that. Not all of the tax cuts go to the top 1%...even if a very large share do. Also, note that the tax cuts phase in and such so that you can't just take the cost over 10 years and divide by 10.

So, first, you might try to find a figure showing the full extent of the tax cuts per year once they are all phased in. My guess is the number will be in the range of $200-$250 billion a year but that it is only a rough guess.


Dean has promised to eliminate the cuts. Assuming that all the tax increase will go to reducing the deficit, we now have a deficit of roughly $450 billion per year.

Well, the deficit is due to a lot of things. Some of it is due to the slowdown in the economy for example. Noone has claimed that the full $450 billion is due to the tax cuts. (Or, if they did, they were wrong.)

Anyway...that's enough for now. I don't really have the time or energy to deconstruct your full post.

Carry on.

Ravenman
01-07-2004, 05:50 PM
Originally posted by Shodan
The Bush tax cuts amount to about $48 billion a year for the next ten years. Wait, where do you get $48 billion a year? That big-ass chart on the page you linked shows tax cuts of $109 billion in 2005, $149 billion in 2006, and so on, totaling $891 billion in 2006 to 2010.

I'm not saying repealing the tax cuts are a great idea, but I don't think your math adds up.

jshore
01-07-2004, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by jshore
Also, note that the tax cuts phase in and such so that you can't just take the cost over 10 years and divide by 10.

I also believe that CTJ link proceeds the latest round of tax cuts in which some of the cuts were moved up to phase in quicker and more cuts were introduced.

My $200-250 billion guess for the cuts once fully implemented may actually be a bit low if the cuts that currently sunset are made permanent, as Bush desires. At any rate, it is just a guess. I'm sure you can find more accurate estimates.

Jackmannii
01-07-2004, 06:13 PM
It is the end of a very long day at work and I am bushed (ha!), but I suspect that even if I was not, Shodan's math looks easily as fishy as Dean's (notably re the impact of GWB's tax cuts).

I don't figure any Democratic President to do much about balancing the budget, but (and this is a marvel of modern times) I don't see them making any bigger of a deficit mess than the Republicans.

GWB & Co. have wiped out the issue of fiscal responsibility, once a reasonably consistent GOP theme. I'm thinking about other issues (energy security, jobs, the environment, MidEast policy etc.).

Based on those issues I definitely won't vote for Bush and might very well vote for a Democrat.

Now home to collapse into a hot bowl of pasta.

John Mace
01-07-2004, 06:34 PM
During the debate on Sunday, Dean said he expected to balance the budget by 2011 (in the 6th year of his time as prez).

Diogenes the Cynic
01-07-2004, 06:46 PM
Discussing Bush's economic policies at this point is like complaining about a burglar who farts in your house. It's an aggravating factor and it's offensive, to be sure, but the overriding priority is to get the criminal out of your house.

Bush's tax cuts, while irresponsible, are secondary to the fact that he is a liar and a war criminal. Let's get the criminals out of the White House and then we can have a discussion of economic policies. If conservatives want to put up a Republican alternative to Bush, that's fine too and let the policy debates begin but Bush's actions in Iraq have rendered his economic policies irrelevant, IMO.

SnoopyFan
01-07-2004, 06:59 PM
Shodan, you basically have their answer: fingers in their ears, lalala, they can't hear you ;)

Tars Tarkas
01-07-2004, 08:01 PM
as he hasn't mentioned invading a random nation due to lies, lies, and more lies, he sounds better than the current embarassment sliming his way through the White House. Of course, a bucket of slime would be better than what we got now.

elucidator
01-07-2004, 08:21 PM
How big is the bucket? We talking primo slime, or business class?

Sam Stone
01-07-2004, 08:35 PM
Isn't it cool how you can be accused of not wanting to talk about Dean's plans, but when you start a thread where you try to talk about Dean's plans it immediately devolves into another Bush-bashing thread?

Could I make a suggestion? In the interest of having an interesting debate about HOWARD DEAN, could the Bush-bashers please give it a rest? There are plenty of other I-hate-Bush threads, don't you think?

Back to Dean:

The most frightening and idiotic thing in his whole platform is this notion that he wants to 're-regulate' business. He wants Federal oversight of every business that offers stock options. He wants to re-regulate telecom, the media, airlines, you name it.

Bill Clinton declared, "The era of Big Government is over." Howard Dean says, "I will usher in the era of big government."

Aren't there ANY moderate Democrats on this board who get a little queasy with all this talk of raising taxes on businesses and re-regulating them? What's next, managed industrial policy? We left behind this crap in the 70's, and the next two decades brought massive increases in the standard of living. Why in hell would you want to go back to a heavily regulated economy?

elucidator
01-07-2004, 08:47 PM
That's rich, Sam! First you scold all those nasty little "Bush-bashers" for preventing an "interesting debate" (presumably civil and high-tone) then you dive in: "idiotic" "frightening"! Yeah, guy, way to lift the level of the discourse!

Do I want business regulated? Well, no, not forever, just till such a time as I can trust business to regard my capacity to breathe as being as important as thier next stock option. That would be nice.

John Mace
01-07-2004, 08:48 PM
So, the only input we have so far is "he's not Bush". That ain't nuthin' to win no election on.

Jesus, folks, are you going to force me to go to his web site and figure it out myself? Isn't there some Dean geek out there who's just dying to outline Dean's fundamental policies. This is the internet, after all-- Dean's preferred geography. If we asked this about Kucinich, we'd get BrainGlutton to pop in and post 20 paragraphs about that guy's position, plus a link to 10 artilces and 2 books by Michael Lind.

Perhaps we should phrase the question differently to bait the trap better: If Dean were a character in The Lord of the Rings, what would his policies be?

minty green
01-07-2004, 08:50 PM
Aragorn had policies?

minty green
01-07-2004, 08:53 PM
Actually, now that I think about it, he did have one clear policy: Kicking Sauron's ass.

John Mace
01-07-2004, 08:57 PM
Originally posted by minty green
Aragorn had policies?
He was staunchly against evil-doers.
And he was pro-Elf. Some of his best friends were Elves.
He was the only Man to speak of Man/Elf issues in front of both races.

elucidator
01-07-2004, 08:57 PM
Postus Interuptus

All this genteel talk of fiscal policy and the various philosophies about the proper regulation of business pointedly ignore the mountainous gray peanut farting elephant sitting around the living room! Which is: Shall we tolerate that a man who has led us into war under false pretenses be permitted the hightest office of the most consequence in the nation?

Presumably you wish we would all take a cup of tea and murmur polite disagreements over precise percentages of GDP, pinkies akimbo, and without all this unseemly discussion of Fearless Misleader's abysmal failings as a President.

Forget it. This election, by necessity, has to be more about GeeDubya than his opponent. Dean is not my first choice, but damn near anyone who hasn't misled us to war will do! And we did not make it so because we did not lead us here! HE did!

Diogenes the Cynic
01-07-2004, 08:58 PM
Dean is pro-gun and pro-gay.
He's a fiscal moderate who favors a balanced budget.
He was against the invasion of Iraq and is still against it.
He's pro choice.
He's not Bush.

What elese do you want to know.

Sam Stone
01-07-2004, 09:08 PM
All this genteel talk of fiscal policy and the various philosophies about the proper regulation of business pointedly ignore the mountainous gray peanut farting elephant sitting around the living room! Which is: Shall we tolerate that a man who has led us into war under false pretenses be permitted the hightest office of the most consequence in the nation?


Hey, not bad. We made it a whole five messages before the Bush-bashing started again.

God, this is going to be a tedious election year.

John Mace
01-07-2004, 09:08 PM
Originally posted by elucidator
Postus Interuptus

All this genteel talk of fiscal policy and the various philosophies about the proper regulation of business pointedly ignore the mountainous gray peanut farting elephant sitting around the living room! Which is: Shall we tolerate that a man who has led us into war under false pretenses be permitted the hightest office of the most consequence in the nation?

Presumably you wish we would all take a cup of tea and murmur polite disagreements over precise percentages of GDP, pinkies akimbo, and without all this unseemly discussion of Fearless Misleader's abysmal failings as a President.

Forget it. This election, by necessity, has to be more about GeeDubya than his opponent. Dean is not my first choice, but damn near anyone who hasn't misled us to war will do! And we did not make it so because we did not lead us here! HE did!
Wow, a new tactic.:rolleyes: Hijack every thread about politics and turn it into a discussion about "Bush lied about WMDs".

OK. UNCLE! Bush lied. He lied, lied, lied, lied, LIED.
He's the biggest lier who ever lived. He wrote the book on lying. (Oh yeah, Karl Rove was actually the ghost-writer).

Now that we have that behind us, can we talk about Dean?

pervert
01-07-2004, 09:18 PM
There are a couple other thing I would like to know.
Originally posted by Diogenes the Cynic
Dean is pro-gun and pro-gay.
What does this mean in terms of supported legislation or policies?
He's a fiscal moderate who favors a balanced budget.As others have intimated, how?
He was against the invasion of Iraq and is still against it.And what would he do about it now if he wins? (The election that is)He's pro choice.What does this mean for legislation or policies he might support?

pantom
01-07-2004, 09:19 PM
Well, I certainly have the patience to tackle this sucker, but unfortunately my time for this is very limited during the week.
But I'll start with this whack: the Alternative Minimum Tax. Yours truly figured out a few months ago, when doing some tax planning, that I'll be falling under the AMT on my next return. It won't amount to much in terms of a practical effect, raising my taxes by only a couple hundred from what I could figure out. But it also means that any further tax cuts down the line are entirely irrelevant to me.
So, if Dean or any other Democrat wants to eliminate all of the cuts subsequent to this one, I don't care at all. If they want to pare down those already announced, I'd have some calculations to do before I would be able to see whether they would raise my taxes at all.
Lots of upper-middle income folks fall into my situation. The Democrats should pay attention to this, because my income bracket and higher is the meat and potatoes of the Republican constituency. If you have an upper-income person who's already uneasy with Iraq or some other Bush policy, pointing out that the tax cuts from here on in are probably going to be irrelevant or even counterproductive from here sounds to me like a productive avenue to follow.
As for the impatience with Bush bashing: well, if you're talking Presidential politics, he's the incumbent. By necessity, his supporters are therefore going to be obliged to play defense. On the economy and taxes, though, which is what this thread started out being about, pointing out his incompetence is a bit complex. Not terribly difficult for me, anyway, since I've done so much thinking about it for a few years, partly as you can see from the above by necessity, so believe me, once I'm warmed up I fully intend to flay his butt from here to hell and back. Might take 'til the weekend to get all my ducks lined up in a row, though.
Anyway, off I go to read up on the Dean site. More to come...

Diogenes the Cynic
01-07-2004, 09:22 PM
You know, conservative whining about Bush-bashing might have a little more resonance if they hadn't spent eight years perfecting the art of political demonization.

pantom
01-07-2004, 09:27 PM
First thing I see on his site is that Bill Bradley endorsed him.
For those who may not know this, the 1986 Tax Reform act was partly Bradley's brainchild. IMO, it's the most beautiful tax bill ever devised by the hand of man, a near-perfect compromise between the left and right, which of course is why it's been thoroughly, completely and totally trashed.
Just needed to get that in.

elucidator
01-07-2004, 09:33 PM
Oh, OK. Howzabout educational policies? By the way, did you see that 60 Minutes tonight, about Gee Dubya's education plan for Texas and how he.....embellished the truth?...as to its results?

We got all kinds of ammo. We just use the big stuff, 'cause, well, it is the big stuff. War, death, national disgrace, that sort of thing.

But you've got a point. We should set that aside and get down to the nitty gritty of how Dean's election might affect the County Metropolitan Park and Recreation System.

John Mace
01-07-2004, 09:33 PM
pantom:
I feel your pain. I got hit, big time, by AMT a few years ago. It's one of the most disgusting pieces of legislation one will ever encounter. I assume your issue, like mine, had to do with Stock Options. It amounts to saying: "Well, we think you are going to make some money sometime in the future, so we're going to tax you now just in case. And we're going to make it really hard for you to get any of that advanced payment back if we make a mistake in figuring out your future income."

Good luck. I might consider voting for any candidate, too, who would agree to get rid of this legislation. Projections I've seen is that something like 10% of all tax payers will (soon) be affected by AMT. I don't think it'll resonate with voters until it actually does hit them, though.

pantom
01-07-2004, 09:54 PM
luc: not just the recreation system. The thing the right never acknowledges is:

1 - War, not peace and peacetime expenditures, are responsible for most of the truly huge increases in the public debt.
2 - Cutting taxes without paying attention to whether it will need to be paid for through increased debt:
a) could have the effect of making interest rates higher than they otherwise would be,
b) only raise taxes in later years to pay for the debt, with interest, accumulated through prior profligacy, and
c) Most importantly by far, increasing the debt in the context of my Pet Peeve, the current account deficit, is extraordinarily dangerous, since by definition it means the debt must be sold to foreigners, increasing the future current account deficit by increasing unnecessarily the amount of income sent abroad to cover interest and principal payments on that debt. Taken far enough, that road leads to Buenos Aires.

As for the AMT, John, the one thing I find most baffling about the Bush tax strategy is that they left this provision in place. It hits the most numerous piece of their constituency the hardest, and it makes the code far more complex, and therefore more costly to comply with, for that piece of their constituency.
In the context of Republican politics, I have an impossible time figuring out why they would have left that in except for dishonesty: leaving it in place allowed them to appear to lower rates for the middle while in actuality either net having no effect or actually raising it in some cases, while still lowering rates for the truly rich for whom the 26% flat rate is not an issue. The more I think about it, the more I think it's the only logical explanation.
If true, it's a truly amazing piece of economic extremism really, since for instance repealing the estate tax has an effect on only a very small part of the populace, coincidentally though, the same part of the populace that would find the AMT irrelevant. Rather interesting, now that I think of it.

John Mace
01-07-2004, 10:11 PM
pantom:
AMT was originally devised so that large corporations and extremely rich individuals would have to pay some tax, regarless of how many loopholes and deductions they could take advantage of. But like many gov't policies, there were unintended consequences. Some are simply the result of not indexing the trip points to inflation. Some result from increasing use of Stock Options for compensation in the last 2 decades.

AMT still affects primarily the wealthy, so getting rid of it would be one more reason for the Democrats to cry "Tax cuts for the rich". Technically, that would be true. AMT is so comlex that even tax experts hate to deal with it. Trying to explain AMT to the American electorate would be daunting, at best.

If you really want to vote for someone who'll eliminate AMT, you might want to consider the Libertarian candidate. But considering the positions you have taken in other debates I've had with you, I doubt that is a possibility.:)

pantom
01-07-2004, 10:12 PM
First bit of partisan bickering over all this, though somehow I'm certain it won't be the last:

Shodan left this juicy bit out of the last quote in his OP:


The rule was an important tool in the successful Clinton-Gore efforts to balance the budget, but an effort to extend the rule was opposed by the Bush administration and lost by one vote.


This refers to the "pay as you go rule", which required that anything which would increase the deficit over a period of 10 years needed to be offset with cuts or tax increases to cover it, which according to the above quote was quashed by the Bush Administration.
I did a little searching around, and I can't find a story that confirms that the extension lost by one vote, but I do find the following, written during the controversy over this:


The existing PAYGO rule is scheduled to expire on April 15. As part of the budget plan it designed in mid-March, the Senate Budget Committee included a five-year extension of the existing rule but also included a special proviso making the extended rule largely toothless. The Senate, by voice vote on an amendment offered by Senators Russell Feingold and Lincoln Chafee, restored most of the teeth to the rule.
Under the Committee version, the PAYGO rule would apply only after all of the tax cuts and spending increases reflected in the budget have become law — and deficits consequently have been increased by close to $2 trillion through 2013.
Under the Feingold-Chafee amendment, by contrast, all tax cuts and entitlement increases, except for the $350 billion that the Senate provide allows for a fast-track tax-cut bill, would have to be “paid for.”
The question now is whether the meaningful version or the toothless version will emerge from conference.


from: .WILL THE SENATE'S "PAY-AS-YOU-GO RULE" MAKE BUDGET PLANS LESS COSTLY? (http://www.cbpp.org/4-3-03bud2.htm)

I have a feeling the "toothless" version passed and that's what the Dean quote is referring to, but if there are any political Dopers out there who could confirm this, I'd be obliged

pantom
01-07-2004, 10:21 PM
John Mace: if the Bush Administration was truly and honestly interested in cutting taxes for those not in the top 1% of the income distribution, they would have either raised the exemption for the AMT, or indexed that exemption to inflation, or both.
I'm reasonably certain that doing so would have forced them to give up on something like repealing the estate tax though, and I think the fact that they did the latter rather than the former is a "smoking gun" as far as where their priorities really lay.
As for libertarianism, well, we all have our ideals. We also all realize that in a democratic context those ideals are going to have to be compromised. So you get as much as you can within the democratic context. On taxes, as I've pointed out before, the '86 plan was actually an excellent building block, but I'll be damned if I can find a single libertarian anywhere who recognized it as such and was willing to build on it to make the tax code simpler and easier to comply with, which from a libertarian POV would I think be a priority, as that goal by definition decreases government interference in the economy.

Ravenman
01-07-2004, 10:35 PM
Ok, so we seem to have come to a rough consensus that Shodan's math on the tax cuts is errant. I'll take a very rough stab at running Dean's bduget numbers through the mill:

CBO projects that the deficit in 2007 will be $203 billion. That's after another three rounds of phasing in Bush's 2001 tax cuts (we're not even considering the other rounds yet!). According to the site the OP linked, just the first round of tax cuts will cost $109 billion in 2005, $149 billion in 2006, and $154 billion in 2007. Cancel just those first rounds of tax cuts and you've got a surplus of $209 billion, assuming that the tax cuts are not spent in the interveining years.

If one considers ALL the Bush tax cuts, the same site (pdf) (http://www.ctj.org/pdf/gwbdata.pdf) forecasts costs of $209 billion in 2005, $226 billion in 2006, and $243 in 2007. Cancel all those tax cuts and the surplus would be in the neighborhood of $475 billion.

Add up the additional spending in the OP (exlcuing the Social Security "spending" by not raising the retirement age, which is a totally bogus "spending increase," because nothing's changing from current policies), and that's about $100 billion, assuming recurring spending. So, the surplus in 2007 would be in the range of $109 billion to $440 billion.

And yes, raising taxes will have an economic effect, so lets say that restrained growth will limit the increase in wealth and affect tax revenues to some extent that only real economists could guess at -- but for crying out loud, does anyone expect that the decrease in revnues would cost between $302 billion and $640 billion in 2007 (those being the deltas between Dean's increased taxes and increased spending and the projected deficit under Bush's tax cuts)?

And is restoring the tax structure that got us through the 1990s, one of the greatest economic expansions in US history, really that terrible? I mean, did the supposedly "high" taxes in the 90's really stop a hell of a lot of people from becoming much more wealthy? Of course not!

Sam Stone
01-07-2004, 10:49 PM
Look: Let's stipulate that Bush is the devil, the most evil man who walked the earth, and Dick Cheney is his minion. Left in office, the rivers will run red with the blood of the poor. Okay?

Now, the question before you is WHY DEAN? Why would you pick Dean to carry the battle to Bush, rather than, say, Wesley Clark, Dick Gephardt, John Edwards, or John Kerrey?

So leave the Bush bashing out of it, okay? Besides being tedious, IT'S A HIJACK. That's supposed to be frowned on around here.

Now, one possible answer you could offer is simply that you think Dean has the best chance of beating Bush. If you think so, then at least that's something we can debate.

For example, we could look at the latest CNN/USA Today Gallup Poll (http://www.usatoday.com/news/polls/tables/live/2004-01-06-poll.htm), which has some pretty scary numbers for you Dean supporters. For example:


4. We'd like to get your overall opinion of some people in the news. Please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of these people.

Favorable Unfavorable No Opinon/Never Heard of
George W. Bush 65 35 0
Howard Dean 28 39 33
Wesley Clark 37 26 38
John Kerry 31 32 37




Notice that Howard Dean's unfavorable rating is 10 points higher than his favorable rating - the only candidate who's really 'upside down' in that regard.

Of course, among registered Democrats, he's 45 favorable/22 unfavorable. To me that says one thing - that outside of the partisan crowd that votes in primaries, no one much likes Howard Dean.

The Poll also asks this question:


Thinking about the presidential election in November, in general, are you more likely to vote for George W. Bush or for the Democratic Party's candidate for president?

Bush: 55%
Dem: 38%


Not looking good for the Dems so far. But how about if Howard Dean is nominated?


If former Vermont Governor Howard Dean were the Democratic Party's candidate and George W. Bush were the Republican Party's candidate, who would you be more likely to vote for?

Bush: 59
Dean: 37


Dean doesn't do any better than the average.

And here's a scary statistic for Dean supporters: When asked how many voters were certain who they would vote for already, assuming Dean is the nominee, only 20% said they were certain they would vote for Dean, while 47% said that they were already certain they would vote for Bush. That means Bush's votes are going to be very hard to shake from him, while a full 17% of the people who say they'd support Dean today could be persuaded to vote for Bush.

Diogenes the Cynic
01-07-2004, 11:07 PM
Most people have still never heard of Dean and don't know anything about him. The polls are somewhat skewed by the fact that Bush gets nothing but fawning, dick-sucking media coverage while Dean is just portrayed as bomb thrower.

Wait until the election actually gets under way and Dean is able to get though to a mass audience. Wait until Bush has to explain his warmongering and lying in a debate. Wait until the Plame investigation digs up the felon who blew her cover (probably Rove).

Polls mean nothing at this point. It's only about name recognition right now. It will change dramatically once the election begins in earnest. People hate Bush. He will not have an easy time....aand let's not forget he lost the last time. All those people who voted against him then are even less likely to vote for him now.

John Mace
01-07-2004, 11:15 PM
DtC wrote:
All those people who voted against him then are even less likely to vote for him now.
Then why is that not reflected in the polls when asked to rate Bush against a generic Dem?

Diogenes the Cynic
01-07-2004, 11:34 PM
Because polls right now are just about name recognition. It's also probable that a lot of those being polled are not likely voters.

the numbers will tighten up significantly after the primaries. They always do.

Sam Stone
01-07-2004, 11:38 PM
Most people have still never heard of Dean and don't know anything about him. The polls are somewhat skewed by the fact that Bush gets nothing but fawning, dick-sucking media coverage while Dean is just portrayed as bomb thrower.


Might want to read my post again. Only 17% of likely voters had not heard of Howard Dean. Of the 87% that have heard of him, only 16% had no opinion. Most of the population knows who Dean is, and have an opinion of him. Of all likely voters, 39% dislike Howard Dean, and only 28% like him. That's not good news for Dean supporters.

John Mace
01-07-2004, 11:48 PM
Originally posted by Diogenes the Cynic
Because polls right now are just about name recognition. It's also probable that a lot of those being polled are not likely voters.

the numbers will tighten up significantly after the primaries. They always do.
While I do agree with you that the polls are not predictive at this point, I just can't let you get away with statements like the one I quoted previously. If that were true, those people would already be certain of not voting for Bush and would not be telling pollsters that they will vote for him. Pollsters are well aware of screening for likely and nonlikely voters and that's also part of what makes up the margin of error.

And name recoginition goes both ways. People are just as likely to turn negative towards Dean as they are to turn positive. And given Dean's chronic foot-in-mouth disease, one might expect more of the former than the latter. Bush is a know quantity, and won't face the issue of people suddenly learning something about him they don't already know.

stolichnaya
01-07-2004, 11:55 PM
Let's drag some more unfounded anecdotal hearsay into this. I told a room full of people tonight that the name "Howard Dean" should be subbed for "Martha Stewart" in a joke. Out of six, including me, only one had ever heard the name "Howard Dean". These people probably skew Democratic. I'm not sure that this helps Dean out at all, but it sure doesn't support the assertion that the general public knows who Dean is but doesn't like him.

I'd like to see the poll data on how many people will admit to a pollster that they don't know who someone is. I think all polls of this type (have you heard of x) should include a fictional person so that we can analyze this data completely.

Finally, polls are quoted with these absurd accuracies as if they represent something significant, which at this point, they clearly do not. Polls will become significant when the presidential race has begun and the mainstream press, especially local news, care about it.

The question as to whether Dean has a consistent and defensible economic policy is a good one, and an answerable one, and I'd hate to see it obfuscated with partisan bickering. I'd like to see arguments from both sides.

Hey, maybe that's a good tactic. I'm undecided (I am). I am a moderate who has voted for GHWB, Clinton, and GWB. Convince me that Dean's economic plan holds water.

rjung
01-08-2004, 02:19 AM
Originally posted by Sam Stone
Look: Let's stipulate that Bush is the devil, the most evil man who walked the earth, and Dick Cheney is his minion. Left in office, the rivers will run red with the blood of the poor. Okay?

Now, the question before you is WHY DEAN?
Because when the choice is between Dean and Bush-the-devil-the-most-evil-man-who-walked-the-earth, the choice rather obvious.

Why would you pick Dean to carry the battle to Bush, rather than, say, Wesley Clark, Dick Gephardt, John Edwards, or John Kerrey?
Don't look at me, I haven't settled on a nominee yet. The only thing I really know about Dean at this point is that it seems he's not afraid to say that the emperor has no clothes, with more enthusiasm and determination than his peers, which gets a thumbs up in my book. But who knows? I've seen some interesting things from Clark as well, and Kerry's got some intriguing ideas.

But hey, whoever gets the nominee can't do a worse job than Bush-the-devil-the-most-evil-man-who-walked-the-earth, so debating Dean vs. Kerry is splitting hairs... ;)

Sterra
01-08-2004, 03:16 AM
Originally posted by Sam Stone
Might want to read my post again. Only 17% of likely voters had not heard of Howard Dean. Of the 87% that have heard of him, only 16% had no opinion. Most of the population knows who Dean is, and have an opinion of him. Of all likely voters, 39% dislike Howard Dean, and only 28% like him. That's not good news for Dean supporters.
If, however, most people still don't know much about Dean that would show that the poll is messed up rather than the other way around. And it isn't exactly a hard thing to claim considering that CNN also took another poll the day before it in which Dean was 5 points behind Bush and had the best favorables of all the candidates.

Shodan
01-08-2004, 04:43 AM
Anyone have anything to add about how Dean is going to eliminate the deficit without cutting anything, or is it really impossible to talk about the issues with Dean supporters?

Regards,
Shodan

pervert
01-08-2004, 05:14 AM
Um, I'm not a dean suppoeter, exactly, but I thought a couple guys addressed this. They suggested that you had misread some of the tax cut figures. And that repealing the tax cuts by itself would balance the budget in a couple years. Did they misread your misread?

Shodan
01-08-2004, 07:34 AM
Originally posted by pervert
Um, I'm not a dean suppoeter, exactly, but I thought a couple guys addressed this. They suggested that you had misread some of the tax cut figures. And that repealing the tax cuts by itself would balance the budget in a couple years. Did they misread your misread? I think they misread my misread.

The Citizens for Tax Justice website to which I originally linked was complaining that most of the Bush tax cuts went to the wealthy. Posters who pointed out that I missed much of the tax cuts were apparently correct. Based on this statement from the website -
Over the ten-year period, the richest Americans—the best-off one percent—are slated to receive tax cuts totaling almost half a trillion dollars. The $477 billion in tax breaks the Bush administration has targeted to this elite group will average $342,000 each over the decade.
By 2010, when (and if) the Bush tax reductions are fully in place, an astonishing 52 percent of the total tax cuts will go to the richest one percent. So the tax cuts total a bit less than a trillion over ten years (if $477 billion is 52% of the total, then the total is $917 billion). I stand corrected.

But it doesn't help all that much. $917 billion is an average of $92 billion a year. The deficit, according to Dean's website is $500 billion per year - I know it is really less now that the economy is growing, but I would like to use this figure because

a) it is a round figure, and
b) I assume Dean used this in his economic projections elsewhere on his website.

So Dean rescinds the tax cuts. Assuming that this will have no effect on the economic recovery currently underway( :rolleyes: ), the deficit is reduced from $500B to $408B. But Dean immediately wants to spend $100 billion over two years. So the deficit jumps back to $458 billion per year. Add to that another $50 billion per year for Medicare drug benefits (on which he would like to spend more) and Social Security (remember, he said he would not raise the retirement age). So the deficit goes back up to $508 billion per year. He is very specific that he would continue and increase spending on homeland security, so whatever portion of the deficit is due to increased spending there is going to persist and increase under a Dean administration.

So even taking his figure of a deficit of $500B per year (too high, but that is what he claims), he is not going to eliminate the deficit, but rather increase it.

And, as I said, I find no references to any specific spending cuts he is going to make anywhere on his website. Lots of references to increased taxes - raising taxes on corporations, closing loopholes, spending more on the IRS, setting up loan programs in the SBA, and so forth - but no spending cuts.

And yet he promises to balance the budget. He is very clear that he is going to raise taxes on corporations (while expecting this to keep them in America), and pretty much everyone else, and increase spending in some very specific and a lot of very general ways, but he promises to balance the budget.

How can he do it?

Ravenman says:
Cancel just those first rounds of tax cuts and you've got a surplus of $209 billion, assuming that the tax cuts are not spent in the interveining years.
The last part of the sentence is what we can't assume. Dean is right up front that he will spend every penny of the tax cuts, and more.

Regards,
Shodan

Shodan
01-08-2004, 08:00 AM
I said I had "issues" with Dean, not "issue", so to kick something else out for discussion -

Dean has made opposition to the conquest of Iraq the centerpoint of his campaign. Has he committed to any sort of time table to pull out? And does he want to spend any money on rebuilding the country? Or is it cancel the contract with Halliburton, toss the whole thing in the UN's lap, and wash his hands of the whole deal? In particular, I am wondering if he is counting on any sort of "peace dividend" from the pull out.

Regards,
Shodan

Ravenman
01-08-2004, 08:38 AM
Originally posted by Shodan
So the tax cuts total a bit less than a trillion over ten years (if $477 billion is 52% of the total, then the total is $917 billion). I stand corrected. You are still grossly underestimating the size of the tax cuts. It is a mistake to extrapolate the amount of the tax cuts from one number that you kind of made up and multiplied by ten because the real size of the tax cut is EASILY available.

The Bush tax cuts reduce revenues by $2.29 TRILLION from 2001 to 2010. Cite. (http://www.ctj.org/pdf/gwbdata.pdf) (Same PDF as before)

That figure is assuming that a number of the tax cuts will expire and revert to the pre-2001 levels (such as the taxes on the estates of millionaires). If Congress undoes the sunset on the tax cuts, the cuts will reduce revenues by $3.2 trillion over that same period, not the $922 billion figure you seemingly made up.

Further, you are flatly wrong when you say that the deficit will be $450 billion or so for the foreseeable future. The Congressional Budget Office projects deficits of $480 billion in 2004, $341 billion in 2005, $225 billion in 2006, $203 billion in 2007, $197 billion in 2008, and gradually decreasing to a $9 billion 2011. Whoa, then a lot of the tax cuts expire, and there's a $161 billion surplus in 2012! Cite. (http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=1944&sequence=0)

The last part of the sentence is what we can't assume. Dean is right up front that he will spend every penny of the tax cuts, and more. For all your handwaving, you have only shown that Dean would increase spending by, at most, $65 billion more for the first two years of his Administration. That is far, far, FAR less than the revenue that would be generated if we went back to the pre-2001 tax code.

Again, from the site that you keep quoting, the tax cuts reduce revenue by $209 billion in 2005, $226 billion in 2006, $243 billion in 2007, and so on. In case it needs to be spelled out for you, $65 billion is less than $200-odd billion.

If you continue to insist that Dean would spend every penny of the repealed tax cuts, please explain how he plans to spend an additional $140-plus billion OVER AND ABOVE his proposed increased spending on education, homeland security, and the like that have already been presented.

elucidator
01-08-2004, 08:43 AM
I think you kind of miss the point, friend Shodan. I am not so concerned with the best plan to clean up this godawful mishigoss as I am to be sure GeeDubya hasn't the opportunity to do something like this again.

Of secondary importance, but still very important, is to show the world what democracy means: here, when our leaders screw the pooch, we have the option of chucking the bugger out. That is a major selling point for "our way of life". Most folks don't have that option.

Of course, if he gets away with it.....that sends a message as well: that the most powerful nation in the history of the world is populated by sheep and led by jackals. You cannot trust the Americans to behave in a sensible and reasonable fashion, with regard for internationally accepted codes of conduct. Codes of conduct, I remind you, that we established in the first place,when we executed foreign leaders for crimes against humanity, which we defined as making aggressive war.

Sooner or later, we will find ourselves trying to defuse a potentially dangerous situation. We will ask to be trusted, we will ask to be believed when we say we are not unreasonable, not inclined to shoot first and think later.

If you were Maximum Leader of Shodanistan, would you believe us? Or would you regard it as more prudent to arm yourself to the teeth?

Diogenes the Cynic
01-08-2004, 08:48 AM
Why would you pick Dean to carry the battle to Bush, rather than, say, Wesley Clark, Dick Gephardt, John Edwards, or John Kerrey?
It makes no difference to me who does it. Dean has been aggressively anti-Bush, which is good, but I'd have no problem with Clark or Kerry either. We're talking about Dean because he seems to have the nomination sewn up but I'd vote for pretty much anybody over Bush.

Diogenes the Cynic
01-08-2004, 08:57 AM
Or is it cancel the contract with Halliburton, toss the whole thing in the UN's lap, and wash his hands of the whole deal?
Sounds perfect to me. Of course the US should have to pay some reparations for the damge done by an illegal invasion, but they should have no say whatsoever in the future of Iraq and Dick Cheney should not be able to profit from it.

Ravenman
01-08-2004, 09:00 AM
Originally posted by Shodan
[B]Dean has made opposition to the conquest of Iraq the centerpoint of his campaign. Has he committed to any sort of time table to pull out? He has said that he wants to withdraw the National Guard and Reserve from Iraq, because folks who have careers in the private sector should not be pulled away from their homes for a year at a time for a nation building mission. He foresees the continued involvement of US troops for years to come, because we've created a mess there and we have an obligation to try to fix it. So far as I can tell, only Kucinich advocates a complete pull-out.

And does he want to spend any money on rebuilding the country? Or is it cancel the contract with Halliburton, toss the whole thing in the UN's lap, and wash his hands of the whole deal? In particular, I am wondering if he is counting on any sort of "peace dividend" from the pull out. He said that he would support the $87 billion if the tax cuts were repealed. Cite. (http://www.issues2000.org/2004/Howard_Dean_War_+_Peace.htm) He has also said that more troops should be sought from UN, NATO, and Muslim countries, and that Bush is incapable of making the deals that are necessary for this to happen. If more foreign troops were to arrive, I suppose one could say that there'd be some kind of peace dividend, as we are currently spending something like $56 billion to support 135,000 troops in the region, and many of those US troops would be replaced by foreign peacekeepers.

Sounds sensible to me.

Sam Stone
01-08-2004, 09:07 AM
Dean has made opposition to the conquest of Iraq the centerpoint of his campaign. Has he committed to any sort of time table to pull out? And does he want to spend any money on rebuilding the country? Or is it cancel the contract with Halliburton, toss the whole thing in the UN's lap, and wash his hands of the whole deal? In particular, I am wondering if he is counting on any sort of "peace dividend" from the pull out.


Dean has said that he wants to bring all Americans home, and replace them with 'muslim troops'. He also wants to turn the whole thing over to the U.N.

This is not just stupid, it's unrealistic. You might as well say you're going to let the Martians solve the problem. The U.N. cut and ran after it lost some people, and Kofi Annan has said that they're not interested in taking over. Just where are you going to find 100,000 Muslim troops? Gonna bring in the Turks? Uh uh. The Iraqis won't let them in. Here's a good idea - let's go home and let the Wahhabists in Saudi Arabia take over! Or maybe Iranians. Let the Mullahs in there. I'm sure that will turn out well for Iraq. Who's left? Syria? Jordan? It's an idiotic notion.

Diogenes the Cynic
01-08-2004, 09:15 AM
What's wrong with Muslims?

ElvisL1ves
01-08-2004, 09:43 AM
Ah, good old Sammy, trying his best to fill the much-needed gap left by december. A guy complaining about Bush-bashing who still feels free to use "stupid", "idiotic", "frightening", and "unrealistic" without any apparent sense of irony. Better be more careful about those excluded middles, too.

I do admire, in a way, the simple gall in a sensibility which can comfortably accept Bush's "fuzzy math" that got us back into record debt in record time, while denouncing non-fuzzy details in anybody else's plan to get us out of that hole instead of deeper into it. Must be more of that "moral relativism" we heard so much about from that sector during the blowjob years.

"If we don't turn around right now, we just might get where we're going." - Indian saying

Sam Stone
01-08-2004, 09:44 AM
Nothing at all wrong with Muslims, other than that you aren't going to find 100,000 of them, other than from countries that do not have Iraq's best interests at heart.

Please, if you agree with the notion of bringing in 100,000 muslim troops, tell me where you're going to bring them from? List all the countries in the region that could provide troops in anywhere near those kinds of numbers. We have Syria - oh yeah, let's put the Baathists back in charge. Swell idea. We have Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey. The Iraqis won't allow the Turks in, and while the Shiites would probably accept Iranian soldiers in some limited extent, the Sunnis and Kurds would go nuts. About the only country that might be acceptable to Iraqis is Jordan, and they sure as hell can't field 100,000 troops.

So, where are they coming from?

pantom
01-08-2004, 09:59 AM
You're neglecting Pakistan and Bangladesh.
It should be noted that both have been good citizens of the UN, willing to provide peacekeepers when asked.
There's also Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country on the planet.
Lots of countries to choose from.
Ravenman, good work. I can tell it was good work 'cause the subject's been changed. Can't imagine why.

Sam Stone
01-08-2004, 10:22 AM
Ah, good old Sammy, trying his best to fill the much-needed gap left by december. A guy complaining about Bush-bashing who still feels free to use "stupid", "idiotic", "frightening", and "unrealistic" without any apparent sense of irony. Better be more careful about those excluded middles, too.


Oh, come on. I'm not complaining about Bush bashing - I'm complaining about Bush bashing in threads that have nothing to do with Bush. Next time I drop into an "I hate Bush" thread and start ranting about how stupid Howard Dean is, you feel free to go right ahead and criticize me. Until then, why don't you give your constant hijacks a rest?

Sam Stone
01-08-2004, 10:36 AM
Pantom: You're right - Pakistan and Indonesia could provide some troops. Indonesia not many, given that it's entire army is only 220,000 men, and it's quite busy already. Pakistan has 520,000 soldiers, but many of them are tied up already. Is there any evidence whatsoever that these countries are willing to put up any significant numbers of troops? The U.S. has already called for international help, and received very little. The U.S. has also asked the U.N. to take a significant role, and the U.N. has refused.

Frankly, I think the notion of getting all Americans out of there and replacing them with Muslim troops is just a crafty way for Dean to placate the 'bring the boys home' wing of the Democratic party while attempting to keep at least a shred of credibility in foreign affairs. It's a have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too policy. If he gets elected, he can also say that that's what he wanted, but Muslim countries have turned him down, so the Americans have to stay. Easy out.

Debaser
01-08-2004, 10:43 AM
They can't stop the hijacks, Sam. What you are asking is like demanding that a crackhead just stop smoking rock. It's at the same time perfectly reasonable for you to suggest this course of action, but impossible for the addict to simply stop as you suggest.

The lefties on the SDMB seem to be unable to even carry on a political discussion without rabidly attacking Bush.

Diogenes at least admits it. He'd vote for anybody who isn't Bush.

Dean's positions on issues don't matter. His character doesn't matter. He's just not Bush. It's an even bigger plus that he's anti-Bush.

Bush is all that matters to these people.

John Mace
01-08-2004, 10:55 AM
Here's Dean's plan for Iraq. (http://beta.deanforamerica.com/site/cg/index.html?type=page&pagename=policy_policy_foreign_iraq_7pointplan) I think someone challenged him to see how many times he could use "UN" on one web page.

<snip>
A democratic transition will take between 18 to 24 months, although troops should expect to be in Iraq for a longer period.
Luci':
If you're not interested in debating the various Dem candidates, why don't you bug off and let the rest of us debate them? Since you have nothing to add to this debate, the only reason for you to continue your diatribe is if you wish to prevent this debate from taking place. Is that your intent?

Left Hand of Dorkness
01-08-2004, 11:00 AM
Sam, the US has gone to the UN (and to the rest of the world) and said, in effect, "Um, guys, we invaded this country under false pretenses, after the rest of the world told us not to. We've found out that a lot of people really hate Americans and resent our army for invading, and our army is acting as a magnet for Islamic terrorists from across the region. Any chance we can get you guys to come in under American control and let us order you around?"

That's not what Dean's calling for, if I read him correctly.

He's saying, "Um, guys, my predecessor invaded this country, and sure, he got rid of an evil tyrant, but he went about it in a really stupid and deceitful fashion, and now we're in a real mess. I'm wanting to make amends with the rest of the world. To do so, I'd like to give the UN a major decisionmaking role in the region; if I do that, would you be willing to come in and help The United Nations set things aright?"

Major difference. Folks who aren't willing to go in under American command might be very willing to go in under UN command. Folks who are perfectly happy attacking United States soldiers might not be so happy attacking Pakistani soldiers working under UN command.

Of course some folks will still attack the UN (as we saw previously), and of course some folks won't go in even under the UN. But it'd be a damn sight better than what we have now.

Daniel

jshore
01-08-2004, 11:23 AM
Originally posted by Shodan
The Citizens for Tax Justice website to which I originally linked was complaining that most of the Bush tax cuts went to the wealthy. Posters who pointed out that I missed much of the tax cuts were apparently correct. Based on this statement from the website -
So the tax cuts total a bit less than a trillion over ten years (if $477 billion is 52% of the total, then the total is $917 billion). I stand corrected.

Well, as Ravenman has pointed out, you are still wrong. For one thing, the $477 billion is a cumulative amount over several years whereas the 52% figure is for that one year. So, you can't just divide $477 by 0.52. In fact, you would have to divide by the average percentage going to the rich over many years which is probably more like 0.35 or so. That, when divided by 10, would then get you an average cost of the tax cut over 10 years but would still not give you the cost when fully phased in. (Also, some or all of this is relying on old numbers that were valid before Bush sped up the phase in of the tax cuts. For heaven's sake, if you want to try to make careful financial arguments against Dean, you could start by using at least a little care in getting your figures. You seem almost purposely resistant to doing that.)

elucidator
01-08-2004, 11:27 AM
Originally posted by John Mace
If you're not interested in debating the various Dem candidates, why don't you bug off and let the rest of us debate them? Since you have nothing to add to this debate, the only reason for you to continue your diatribe is if you wish to prevent this debate from taking place. Is that your intent?

Yeah, right, like I could do that. My awesome power, and stuff.

But, ok, fair enough. My last word on this: GeeDubya has surrendered any right he may have had to be considered as a reasonable candidate, with debateable premises. What possible difference can it make what he promises you, when he has already looked you right in the eye and lied through his teeth?

You're about to sit on Santa's lap, and want to engage in a sober, clear-eyed debate over whether to wish for a pony or an assault rifle. I point out to you that he's really just a wino pulled in off the street, and his breath reeks of Thunderbird. Oh, and he just wet himself.

You still wanna sit? Sit, then. You want to focus our attention on how nicely he can polish the coffee table? Hokily dokily. The elephant is still in the living room. Maybe you can wish it into the corn field. Good luck.

ElvisL1ves
01-08-2004, 12:02 PM
C'mon, Sam, this isn't about Dean, it's about the election. It's downright silly to pretend to be discussing only one candidate when the topic is about how that candidate compares to others. One's pronouncements about one guy are necessarily assessed in relation to one's pronouncements about other guys, or they really don't mean anything at all. Look up "hypocrisy" sometime, right after you're done finally learning about "excluded middle."

Naturally, though, if you (and John and Debaser) would rather not discuss Bush's fuzzy-math fiscal policies, and your loyalty to them, at all, that is completely understandable. But what you say about Dean's policies is credible only in relation to that, ya know? Intellectual integrity and all that.

jshore
01-08-2004, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by Ravenman
Further, you are flatly wrong when you say that the deficit will be $450 billion or so for the foreseeable future. The Congressional Budget Office projects deficits of $480 billion in 2004, $341 billion in 2005, $225 billion in 2006, $203 billion in 2007, $197 billion in 2008, and gradually decreasing to a $9 billion 2011. Whoa, then a lot of the tax cuts expire, and there's a $161 billion surplus in 2012! Cite. (http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=1944&sequence=0)

In the interest of keeping this debate as honest and accurate on the facts as possible, I do feel compelled to note that if this is the CBO projection I think it is, it does incorporate some pretty optimistic assumptions (besides that the tax cuts will be allowed to sunset). These include:

(1) Severe constraints on spending growth.
(2) The assumption that nothing will be done to prevent the AMT from continuing to hit more and more people in the middle class.

The fact is that it is almost impossible to estimate budget surplusses or deficits far into the future. It might not be too hard to do it under certain assumptions regarding policy (although, even with that, you have assumptions about economic growth and such) but one has to keep in mind what those assumptions are.

Originally posted by SnoopyFan
Shodan, you basically have their answer: fingers in their ears, lalala, they can't hear you


Thank you, SnoopyFan, for that brilliant summary of our arguments. All because Shodan can put up a few bogus figures and snow you doesn't mean he can do so for the rest of us.

John Mace
01-08-2004, 12:37 PM
'luci wrote:
But, ok, fair enough. My last word on this
Muchas gracias, amigo.

Elvis:
I personally have no problem debating Bush topics. It's just that there are umpteen other threads devoted specifically to that. If someone opens one thread to discuss the Dems, is it too much to ask that we actually discuss the Dems?

And that's my last word on this subject.

Jackmannii
01-08-2004, 12:45 PM
This thread has strayed somewhat away from economics, but I still don't see an answer to one key question: Given that the GOP has markedly increased the deficit and shown willingness to institute major new entitlement spending and fund large chunks of pork, is fiscal responsibility an issue that the party can effectively use to hammer Democrats in the upcoming election?

In my opinion it is not.

pantom
01-08-2004, 12:54 PM
Jackmanii: no way, especially given that they squelched the "pay as you go" restriction left over from the Clinton Admin, as noted above.

Left Hand of Dorkness
01-08-2004, 12:59 PM
I hate to be siding with the Evil Republicans ;), but they're right this time. Even if Dean were running against Karl Rove directly, even if Karl Rove were promising to nuke one country a day until the survivors surrendered unconditionally to US hegemony, even if God Himself came down and ordered us to get a Democrat in office, it would still be a good idea for us to figure out which Democrat would be best in office. That means it would STILL be a good idea for Democrats to debate the policies put forth by various candidates.

I'm not convinced that Dean is the best candidate, but I'm leaning in that direction. Shodan's economic figures appear to be pretty inaccurate. Dean's stance on Iraq and what should happen now sounds very close to my own. I'm astonished that, after Enron, anyone is still arguing about whether businesses need stricter regulation.

Daniel

John Mace
01-08-2004, 01:23 PM
LHoD:
I stayed away from investing in the Telecom/Internet bubble. It
didn't take a genius to see what a trainwreck that was going to be. Most of the people who lost money in those markets were either stupid or greedy or both. Markets are self correcting about things like this. To the extent that the gov't actively enables some companies to fleece investors or gain a competative advantege, yes, lets change the rules. Otherwise, we need to allow comanies to fail. If there is no risk, the situation only becomes worse as good money follows bad.

Debaser
01-08-2004, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by Left Hand of Dorkness
I hate to be siding with the Evil Republicans ;), but they're right this time. Even if Dean were running against Karl Rove directly, even if Karl Rove were promising to nuke one country a day until the survivors surrendered unconditionally to US hegemony, even if God Himself came down and ordered us to get a Democrat in office, it would still be a good idea for us to figure out which Democrat would be best in office. That means it would STILL be a good idea for Democrats to debate the policies put forth by various candidates.


It's funny that bush haters assign varying levels of evil to the different republicans. Rove is usually considered more evil than Bush. I suppose this is because he acts in the background and is the one who is basically responsible for getting Bush elected. I guess this makes him more evil than Bush.


Dean's stance on Iraq and what should happen now sounds very close to my own.


And close to Bush's as well. We are already transitioning power over the the Iraqi's and many of our forces will be leaving Iraq.


Dean's web page says:


A democratic transition will take between 18 to 24 months, although troops should expect to be in Iraq for a longer period.


So, Dean will have US troops in Iraq for over 2 years and then even longer. He doesn't say how long.

The only difference between Dean's plan for Iraq and what we are doing now seems to be the world "multilateral" on the top of the page of his web site where he discusses it.

He wants the UN and NATO more involved. So what? We are still going to have US troops over there under Dean or Bush as commander in Chief. The rest is all details. It's not like more or less troops are going to be in danger because of the flag on the uniform of the general in charge of the occupation army.


I'm astonished that, after Enron, anyone is still arguing about whether businesses need stricter regulation.


I'm astonished that anyone would use one bad apple company (and a few others) out of the thousands of successful US companies to try and interfere with the system of capitalism that has worked so well for so long.

Plus, why do we need more regulation when what the Enron execs did was already illegal? If a bank is robbed, do you demand more laws against armed robbery?

I mean, I can understand wanting more or better enforcement of existing laws. But making new regulations to stop action that is already illegal doesn't make sense.

Debaser
01-08-2004, 01:38 PM
Originally posted by Jackmannii
This thread has strayed somewhat away from economics, but I still don't see an answer to one key question: Given that the GOP has markedly increased the deficit and shown willingness to institute major new entitlement spending and fund large chunks of pork, is fiscal responsibility an issue that the party can effectively use to hammer Democrats in the upcoming election?

In my opinion it is not.

I think it is.

Sure, the republicans have lost some credibility with the lack of control of spending. But, with them in charge taxes have been lowered. Also, spending has increased, but by less amounts than it would have with Democrats in charge of all branches of government.

As long as Bush is increasing the size of programs by only half as much as they are asking for the Democrats continue to say he's cutting them. For the same reason, Bush can argue that he is more fiscally responisble than a liberal would be in office.

Plus, just MHO, but I think Bush will take some huge wacks out of social programs if he is given a second term. Without worrying about re-election and with the larger portions of the tax cut kicking in, it might actually happen. This would make me happy, and I don't think it would hurt the party as much as they are afraid it will.

Ravenman
01-08-2004, 01:49 PM
Originally posted by Debaser
And close to Bush's as well. We are already transitioning power over the the Iraqi's and many of our forces will be leaving Iraq. You're right: 130,000 US troops will leave Iraq in the next three or four months.

But you're forgetting that there are roughly another 110,000 US troops that will be going to Iraq in the next three or four months for one year tours of duty. In fact, members of the National Guard and the Reserves -- who make up about 40 percent of that number -- are being told that they could be deployed for up to TWO years.

He wants the UN and NATO more involved. So what? We are still going to have US troops over there under Dean or Bush as commander in Chief. Yes, there will still be troops there, but the difference is that under Bush, there's going to be 110,000 troops there for the foreseeable future. Under Dean, he's saying that he wants most of those troops replaced with foreign peacekeepers. In my view, it is much more preferable to have 20,000 or 30,000 US troops in Iraq than it is to have 110,000.

Plus, why do we need more regulation when what the Enron execs did was already illegal? If a bank is robbed, do you demand more laws against armed robbery? Perhaps a reasonable response to bank robberies is to require banks to put up more security cameras and hire more security guards so that folks won't try to rob banks and steal people's money.

Same thing with corporations. Reform is needed to require more transparancy to deter the greedy corporate robber-barons from even thinking about stealing the pensions of working class Americans.

Left Hand of Dorkness
01-08-2004, 01:53 PM
The word "multilateral" isn't a nitpick; it's the very word that's going to get other countries to join in, and it's a word that's going to deflate some of the anger against the US that's fueling terrorism.

We'll still have troops over there -- but if we cede control to the United Nations, we'll find that other countries are far more willing to send troops.

Most of the people who lost money to Enron were neither stupid nor greedy: they were simply people with retirement funds who believed the funds were being managed properly. Retirement funds account for the stockholdings of the majority of Americans (I believe -- if anyone can cite this one way or the other, I'd appreciate it, because I can't remember where I read it). Those who trusted their fund managers weren't stupid, any more than those people who trust their doctors or their mechanics are stupid.

And Enron wasn't one bad apple amongst thousands of corporations; have you not been following the news lately? Though the majority of companies may behave ethically, there were plenty of big companies who didn't -- and it was precisely their unethical behavior that allowed them to rise to the tops of their fields. And it was the lack of regulatory oversight that allowed them to get away with it.

I'm all about the reregulation.
Daniel

Sam Stone
01-08-2004, 01:54 PM
I think the Republicans have lost a lot of credibility on spending restraint. But they can hammer Dean on his goofy 're-regulation' plan, and especially his reversal of support for NAFTA and free trade in general. That's going to cost him a lot, because free trade is an issue that enjoys wide bipartisan support, and is going to cost Dean a lot of independent votes.

John Mace
01-08-2004, 01:56 PM
Dean wants a big UN presence in Iraq. I don't know if he can actually get it or not, but he says he wants it. That's a big difference between him and Bush, although I don't know how big a difference it is from the other Dems. There are many Americans who would like to see more "internationalization" of the Iraq reconstruction. Dean will appeal that segment. It's really not complicated.

ElvisL1ves
01-08-2004, 01:57 PM
John, if you really think a candidate can be meaningfully discussed in isolation, you're welcome to. But only by avoiding comparisons can you maintain your dudgeon.

Originally posted by Debaser
[B]It's funny that bush haters assign varying levels of evil to the different republicans. Rove is usually considered more evil than Bush. I suppose this is because he acts in the background and is the one who is basically responsible for getting Bush elected. I guess this makes him more evil than Bush. If you had been actually paying any attention, you'd know better. The hand inside the puppet is in control, not the puppet. Bush is essentially passive, but Rove is active.

We are already transitioning power over the the Iraqi's and many of our forces will be leaving Iraq. Only window-dressing, if that. It is also not at all clear that US force levels can be or will be significantly less in the near future - even Bush calls that a "trick question". You know better because?

So, Dean will have US troops in Iraq for over 2 years and then even longer. He doesn't say how long.It's more definite, and therefore honest, than what Bush is saying, though.

He wants the UN and NATO more involved. So what? We are still going to have US troops over there under Dean or Bush as commander in Chief. The rest is all details. It's not like more or less troops are going to be in danger because of the flag on the uniform of the general in charge of the occupation army.You're assuming that putting a UN badge on it won't make a difference in Iraqis' belief that it's an army of imperialism rather than police. That's silly. It's their attitudes that will make any effort there succeed or fail, not ours or anyone else's.

I'm astonished that anyone would use one bad apple company (and a few others) out of the thousands of successful US companies to try and interfere with the system of capitalism that has worked so well for so long.Straw man. There is no good reason to think the problem stops with them, just hopeful thinking. Excluded middle too, btw - we haven't had laissez-faire in many generations, yet somehow we've survived.

Plus, why do we need more regulation when what the Enron execs did was already illegal? If a bank is robbed, do you demand more laws against armed robbery?Another misrepresentation. The "more regulation" you complain of is simply enforcement - something these guys refuse to do.

Please, if you can't state other views honestly, you can't debunk them honestly, or convince any thinking person of your own. Try to make an effort, okay?

As for the Bush budgets, he has increased the budget by a higher percentage rate per year than any other postwar president. You've spun yourself into knots explaining that away.

Left Hand of Dorkness
01-08-2004, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by Debaser
Plus, why do we need more regulation when what the Enron execs did was already illegal? If a bank is robbed, do you demand more laws against armed robbery?

Seriously? Did you oppose the formation of the Department of Homeland Security (and increased security at airports) as well, given that flying planes into buildings was already illegal? Given the currently existing rules against Iraq having a nuclear program, did you oppose the idea of increasing the inspection regimen?

Regulation is how you catch people doing illegal things.

Daniel

pantom
01-08-2004, 02:18 PM
Postwar Record of Debt Growth


1946 258682187409.93
1953 266071061638.57 2.86% D
1961 290216815241.68 9.07% R
1969 358028625002.91 23.37% D
1977 653544000000.00 82.54% R
1981 930210000000.00 42.33% D
1993 4411488883139.38 374.25% R
2001 5807463412200.06 31.64% D


(Tried to get rid of that flying R, but couldn't do it.)
Anyway, as can be seen, the only triple digit increase in the debt occurred under Reagan/Bush.
The only reductions in the rate of increase in the debt occurred during the last two Democratic Administrations, those of Carter and Clinton. Indeed, the rate of increase under Clinton was the lowest since LBJ.
As I've posted elsewhere, this message has not been lost on the markets. Gold stocks bottomed in Nov 2000, shortly after the election. If you need the reason why explained to you, you're just not paying attention.

Data from: http://www.economagic.com/em-cgi/data.exe/treas/pubdebt

John Mace
01-08-2004, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by Left Hand of Dorkness
Seriously? Did you oppose the formation of the Department of Homeland Security (and increased security at airports) as well, given that flying planes into buildings was already illegal? Given the currently existing rules against Iraq having a nuclear program, did you oppose the idea of increasing the inspection regimen?

Regulation is how you catch people doing illegal things.

Daniel
The point of the Homeland Security Dept was to improve enpforcement of existing laws. The "Patriot Act" was an attempt to modify existing laws, but the H.S.D. would have been created independently of that Act. But even the P.A. did not create any new laws (AFAICT).

Your analogy is off.

John Mace
01-08-2004, 02:25 PM
Elvis wrote:
John, if you really think a candidate can be meaningfully discussed in isolation, you're welcome to. But only by avoiding comparisons can you maintain your dudgeon.
I never said that. I went off because at least one poster declared that there was no need to debate the various Dem candidates because all that mattered was defeating Bush. Do you agree that there is no need to compare Dean to the other Dems?

Left Hand of Dorkness
01-08-2004, 02:38 PM
The analogy is not off, not for the most part. A lot of what deregulation does is removes oversight from corporations, removes requirements that they do their activities above-board where law enforcement can see it. Those are the regulations we need to put back in place first, the ones that make it difficult to do the sort of thing Enron did.

And if we find out that there are loopholes in regulatory oversight, then we need to create regulations that close those loopholes. When someone finds a new way of cheating on account books, we need to regulate that new way out of existence -- or at least out of convenience.

Daniel

RickJay
01-08-2004, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by elucidator
Of secondary importance, but still very important, is to show the world what democracy means: here, when our leaders screw the pooch, we have the option of chucking the bugger out. That is a major selling point for "our way of life". Most folks don't have that option.
I haven't added it up, but I am fairly certain that at least half the world's population lives in democracies. India, Japan, Brazil, Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Spain, Australia, South Africa, every other little country in Europe, even Russia more or less. Lots of African and South American countries are democracies now.

The rest of the world isn't impressed with you every time the U.S. holds an election. Us bumpkins out here are familiar with the concept of democracy and even practice it every now and then. So, to be honest, it's not "very important" at all.

ElvisL1ves
01-08-2004, 03:11 PM
Originally posted by John Mace
I never said that. I went off because at least one poster declared that there was no need to debate the various Dem candidates because all that mattered was defeating Bush. Do you agree that there is no need to compare Dean to the other Dems? Of course not, Dean not yet being the nominee. If you think that's already decided, then there's no need to discuss the losers, though. Do you plan to talk about any other candidate's views in comparison any time soon, or just stick with the Dean-bashing?

Left Hand of Dorkness
01-08-2004, 03:14 PM
Aww, c'mon, Rickjay, you can't tell me that you didn't get tears of joy from watching our 2000 presidential election.

There might be other democracies in the world, but surely the US is in a class by itself when it comes to demonstrating what a major election can look like.

Those were tears of joy, right?
Daniel

Mehitabel
01-08-2004, 03:19 PM
Soooo, Rickjay, how many of you voted for Paul Martin, your shiny new leader? ;)

The people in his riding must be so proud. New airports and bridges fer everybody!

jshore
01-08-2004, 03:21 PM
Originally posted by Debaser

Sure, the republicans have lost some credibility with the lack of control of spending. But, with them in charge taxes have been lowered. Also, spending has increased, but by less amounts than it would have with Democrats in charge of all branches of government.

As long as Bush is increasing the size of programs by only half as much as they are asking for the Democrats continue to say he's cutting them. For the same reason, Bush can argue that he is more fiscally responisble than a liberal would be in office.

We've looked at the numbers before (but I have that at home) and I believe the facts show that the sort of rise we have had in discretionary spending in the past couple of years is simply unprecedented. Now, you can argue that these were unprecedented circumstances but the fact is that these spending rises have occurred and they have occurred at the same time that more tax cuts...benefitting largely the well-to-do were passed. No Democrat to my knowledge has ever engaged in this sort of fiscal train wreck.


Plus, just MHO, but I think Bush will take some huge wacks out of social programs if he is given a second term. Without worrying about re-election and with the larger portions of the tax cut kicking in, it might actually happen.

Well, it is comforting to know that when the going gets tough, Bush will get tough and will work toward balancing the budget on the backs of those who are most in need. And, that he will do this in large part to preserve the tax cut rewards he has given the top 1% of income earners...who were hurting after all, since their tax burden has been so high that their after-tax incomes have barely increased by 150% over the 1980-1997 period (in real terms). The poor and middle class, on the other hand, who have seen quite little (in the case of the middle class...about 10% at the median) to no or almost no (in the case of the poor) increase in their aftertax incomes during that time can certainly afford to give a little more for their country! :rolleyes:

Whether you can quibble with Howard Dean's numbers or not, the truth is that he is approaching things with a lot more honesty. I heard quotes from the debate the other night where Lieberman and others were hammering him about wanting to repeal the whole tax cut including the parts that do go to the lower and middle class. He explained how tough choice had to be made and he thought the benefits of what he was proposing to do with the money outweighed the losses for these people. That's a far cry from the deceptive, "You can have it all" politics eminating from this White House. Unfortunately, history suggests that a vast number of the American public prefers to be lied to and told a good story rather than to be told hard truths. More power to him for trying anyway.

Shodan
01-08-2004, 03:30 PM
Originally posted by Ravenman
You are still grossly underestimating the size of the tax cuts.

What do you interpret this as meaning?
Over the ten-year period, the richest Americans—the best-off one percent—are slated to receive tax cuts totaling almost half a trillion dollars. The $477 billion in tax breaks the Bush administration has targeted to this elite group will average $342,000 each over the decade.
By 2010, when (and if) the Bush tax reductions are fully in place, an astonishing 52 percent of the total tax cuts will go to the richest one percent. I read it as saying that the richest one percent of Americans will receive a total of $477 billion "over the decade", and that "an astonishing 52% of the total tax cuts will go to the richest one percent". So I read that as meaning that $477 billion was 52% of the total, which makes the total $917 billion.

Somebody must be comparing apples to oranges, because $477 billion is not 52% of 2.29 trillion.

So either their statement that almost half the tax cut is going to the top one percent is wrong, or the total amount is not $477B, or the total amount is not 2.29 trillion over ten years. Or something.
Originally posted by Ravenman
The Bush tax cuts reduce revenues by $2.29 TRILLION from 2001 to 2010. Cite. (http://www.ctj.org/pdf/gwbdata.pdf) (Same PDF as before)

Further, you are flatly wrong when you say that the deficit will be $450 billion or so for the foreseeable future.I don't think I said that. As your cite shows, the deficit is projected to disappear even if Dean does not rescind the tax cuts.

Originally posted by Ravenman
For all your handwaving, you have only shown that Dean would increase spending by, at most, $65 billion more for the first two years of his Administration.
No, he states explicitly that he will increase spending by $100B over the first two years, plus another $5 billion on homeland security, plus unspecified but probably larger amounts on Medicare, Social Security, and others.

I have to do some actual work. I will try later to run some numbers assuming that the 2.29 T total is correct, and see what that means.

Regards,
Shodan

John Mace
01-08-2004, 03:40 PM
Originally posted by ElvisL1ves
Do you plan to talk about any other candidate's views in comparison any time soon, or just stick with the Dean-bashing?
Believe it or not, I actually said some good things about Dean in the other thread ("Conservatives are afraid of Dean", or whatever it's called). I probably should have repeated some of them here. I'll try better to live up to your high standards in the future.:)

kidchameleon
01-08-2004, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by Ravenman
The Congressional Budget Office projects deficits of $480 billion in 2004, $341 billion in 2005, $225 billion in 2006, $203 billion in 2007, $197 billion in 2008, and gradually decreasing to a $9 billion 2011. Whoa, then a lot of the tax cuts expire, and there's a $161 billion surplus in 2012! Cite. (http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=1944&sequence=0)



So uhh, Dean's promised to balance the budget by 2011, eh? Wow, looks like its going to go that way anyway. What a miracle worker he will be. Maybe next we can talk about how he'll make sure that Saddam will face justice for his crimes. I really don't see a good reason to choose him over any of the other canidates.

Debaser
01-08-2004, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by Ravenman
Yes, there will still be troops there, but the difference is that under Bush, there's going to be 110,000 troops there for the foreseeable future. Under Dean, he's saying that he wants most of those troops replaced with foreign peacekeepers. In my view, it is much more preferable to have 20,000 or 30,000 US troops in Iraq than it is to have 110,000.


Sounds great, except that you simply made up the 20-30,000 numbers. Dean never says this amount from any cite I have seen. What Dean does say on his web site is that he will continue to have US troops there for 2 years and beyond.

Look, I'm in favor of the war in Iraq. I support it. But, it's just odd to me that the same folks fuming mad with Bush for keeping our troops there don't seem to mind that Dean plans on keeping our troops there.

John Mace
01-08-2004, 03:58 PM
I think Dean has it made it clear why he thinks voters should vote for him over the other (serious) Dem candidates:

1. He is and was against the Iraq war, specifically inasmuch as it was a distraction from capturing ObL.
2. He would raise taxes by repealing all of the Bush tax cuts

I'm not sure if Clark can claim #1 or not, but this is what Dean is expecting to get him the Dem nomination. It seems like that is what he will also use as his selling points in the general election (if he get's the Dem nomimnation), although it is possible he may try to emphasize something else if events force him to.

Debaser
01-08-2004, 04:08 PM
Originally posted by Left Hand of Dorkness
The word "multilateral" isn't a nitpick; it's the very word that's going to get other countries to join in, and it's a word that's going to deflate some of the anger against the US that's fueling terrorism.


So, all Bush has to do is start using the wold "multilateral" and all these problems will be solved?

The word unilateral has no meaning, except possibly "something the democrats don't like". Bush could double the size of the coalition and his opponents would continue to call his efforts unilateral. "Multilateral" is equally meaningless.


We'll still have troops over there -- but if we cede control to the United Nations, we'll find that other countries are far more willing to send troops.


And you know this how?


Most of the people who lost money to Enron were neither stupid nor greedy: they were simply people with retirement funds who believed the funds were being managed properly. Retirement funds account for the stockholdings of the majority of Americans (I believe -- if anyone can cite this one way or the other, I'd appreciate it, because I can't remember where I read it). Those who trusted their fund managers weren't stupid, any more than those people who trust their doctors or their mechanics are stupid.


This whole thing is arguing against a strawman. Nobody said that people who lost money in Enron were stupid or greedy.

I would argue that it's financially stupid if you invest solely in one company as some did with Enron, though. If you diversify, then you can't get hurt that bad, even if some of your investments liquidate as Enron did.



And Enron wasn't one bad apple amongst thousands of corporations; have you not been following the news lately? Though the majority of companies may behave ethically, there were plenty of big companies who didn't -- and it was precisely their unethical behavior that allowed them to rise to the tops of their fields. And it was the lack of regulatory oversight that allowed them to get away with it.

I'm all about the reregulation.


This is a very typical liberal attitude. Take a system that works better than anything the word has ever seen (Capitalism in America the way it is today) and regulate it into mediocrity just so that there is no risk in any of it.

Debaser
01-08-2004, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by ElvisL1ves
If you had been actually paying any attention, you'd know better. The hand inside the puppet is in control, not the puppet. Bush is essentially passive, but Rove is active.


That's right, I keep forgetting. Those 60% of us who think Bush is doing a good job aren't paying attention. We are all being brainwashed by Carl Rove. :rolleyes:

You see what I mean? If you could actually step outside yourself and watch this sillyness you would see the humor in it. The anti-Bush crowd, on the SDMB and elsewhere, is so far gone it's just comical at this point.

The way you describe Bush and his advisors and staff reminds me of characters from the Cobra organization from the old GI Joe cartoon.


Only window-dressing, if that. It is also not at all clear that US force levels can be or will be significantly less in the near future - even Bush calls that a "trick question". You know better because?

It's more definite, and therefore honest, than what Bush is saying, though.


How is it more definite what Dean is saying.

Here is his "definite" statement from his web site: (http://beta.deanforamerica.com/site/cg/index.html?type=page&pagename=policy_policy_foreign_iraq_7pointplan)


A democratic transition will take between 18 to 24 months, although troops should expect to be in Iraq for a longer period.


What about this do you find definite?


You're assuming that putting a UN badge on it won't make a difference in Iraqis' belief that it's an army of imperialism rather than police. That's silly. It's their attitudes that will make any effort there succeed or fail, not ours or anyone else's.


No. It's silly to think that it will matter in the minds of the attackers if there is a UN badge on the uniform of the troops they are fighting. UN facilities and personal have already been attacked in Iraq. Red Cross personel have been attacked. Iraqi government personal have been attacked.

What reason do you have to believe that anyones attitudes will change with UN involvement? There is absolutely no reason to think this.

Left Hand of Dorkness
01-08-2004, 04:34 PM
Originally posted by John Mace
LHoDMost of the people who lost money in those markets were either stupid or greedy or both.

I'm quoting this for Debaser's edification. The rest of his post is a set of straw men and non sequiturs not worthy of responding to.

Daniel

Debaser
01-08-2004, 04:39 PM
Originally posted by Debaser
I'm astonished that anyone would use one bad apple company (and a few others) out of the thousands of successful US companies to try and interfere with the system of capitalism that has worked so well for so long.


Originally posted by ElvisL1ves
Straw man. There is no good reason to think the problem stops with them, just hopeful thinking. Excluded middle too, btw - we haven't had laissez-faire in many generations, yet somehow we've survived.


You're going to have to spell out how I am making a straw man argument because I don't see one.

I also don't know what you are talking about with laissez-faire economics. I didn't say anything about our system being laissez-faire. What are you talking about?

Originally posted by Debaser
Plus, why do we need more regulation when what the Enron execs did was already illegal? If a bank is robbed, do you demand more laws against armed robbery?


Originally posted by ElvisL1ves
Another misrepresentation. The "more regulation" you complain of is simply enforcement - something these guys refuse to do.


Huh? So, when Dean talks about regulating entire industries he just means he plans on enforcing existing laws and policies? Not making any new ones? Bullshit.


Please, if you can't state other views honestly, you can't debunk them honestly, or convince any thinking person of your own. Try to make an effort, okay?


Thanks, I was running low on smug condescension.


As for the Bush budgets, he has increased the budget by a higher percentage rate per year than any other postwar president. You've spun yourself into knots explaining that away.


I do think Bush should cut the budget instead of raising it. I already said he is loosing some credibility by not doing more cuts on spending.

I don't have to "spin myself into nots" by simply stating the obvious, though. If liberals were in charge, then spending would be going up even faster.

Debaser
01-08-2004, 04:43 PM
Originally posted by Left Hand of Dorkness
Seriously? Did you oppose the formation of the Department of Homeland Security (and increased security at airports) as well, given that flying planes into buildings was already illegal? Given the currently existing rules against Iraq having a nuclear program, did you oppose the idea of increasing the inspection regimen?

Regulation is how you catch people doing illegal things.


You are forgetting about scope.

The impace of 9/11 was way more important than an energy company that was poorly run going out of business.

9/11 was a new thread that America had never faced in such a meaninful way before - Terrorism. There wasn't any structure in place to deal with this threat. A new one had to be built.

The Enron scandal was something we have seen before. The S&L scandals, black monday, even the great depression have resulted in massive amounts of laws and protections so that bad things won't happen to the markets. There is already an intire industry and structure that is in place.

You know what? For the most part, it worked. Enron is out of business. That's the solution with capitalism.

KoalaBear
01-08-2004, 04:46 PM
Sam Stone wrote:
Aren't there ANY moderate Democrats on this board who get a little queasy with all this talk of raising taxes on businesses and re-regulating them? Every example I can think of from the Savings and Loan debacle (http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/regv15n3/reg15n3-england.html) of the 80s to the California energy crisis (http://www.mpirg.org/energy/deregulation/california.html) of the 90s to the Enron collapse (http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/release.cfm?ID=983) of 2000 (abetted by a dangerously conflicted (http://www.commoncause.org/publications/may02/051002.htm) and still insufficiently regulated (http://finance.pro2net.com/x32627.xml) accounting industry) illustrates the tendency of deregulation to cause vastly more economic harm than it cures. We left behind this crap in the 70's, and the next two decades brought massive increases in the standard of living. Why in hell would you want to go back to a heavily regulated economy?'Massive increases in the standard of living' for whom? The decades of the 80s and 90s brought massive increases in hunger (http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/FoodSecurity/), homelessness and poverty (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4305.htm) along with spectacular income advancement (http://www.cbpp.org/9-23-03tax-pr.htm) for the rich. To the extent the 1970s was the last decade in which the average family could get by on the average workingman's paycheck, the standard of living for the majority of Americans has actually significantly decreased.

What's lit the fire under the liberal's collective asses and propelled Dean to the forefront of the Democratic primary is the collective recognition that we're descending into a society whose government is dominated by corporations (http://free.freespeech.org/americanstateterrorism/plutocracy/CorporateDomination.html) (aka a burgeoning fascism (http://www.couplescompany.com/Features/Politics/Structure3.htm)).

The invasion of Iraq for the purpose of seizing its assets and dividing its economy among the "coalition of the bellicose" (even the President has abandoned the excuse that weapons of mass destruction had anything to do with it) was an unmistakable symptom of despotism (http://se1.com/ush/fd/franklin_on_constitution.htm), raising the stakes of this election beyond partisan bickering to a referendum on the future of the nation itself.

Debaser
01-08-2004, 04:47 PM
Originally posted by Left Hand of Dorkness
I'm quoting this for Debaser's edification. The rest of his post is a set of straw men and non sequiturs not worthy of responding to.


Here is the full quote, which you have taken out of context:


I stayed away from investing in the Telecom/Internet bubble. It
didn't take a genius to see what a trainwreck that was going to be. Most of the people who lost money in those markets were either stupid or greedy or both.


John Mace was talking about the Telcom/Internet bubble, not Enron.

Debaser
01-08-2004, 04:49 PM
Oh, I should add that the quote above from John Mace, didn't have the bolding. I added it.

jshore
01-08-2004, 04:57 PM
Originally posted by Shodan
What do you interpret this as meaning?
I read it as saying that the richest one percent of Americans will receive a total of $477 billion "over the decade", and that "an astonishing 52% of the total tax cuts will go to the richest one percent". So I read that as meaning that $477 billion was 52% of the total, which makes the total $917 billion.

Somebody must be comparing apples to oranges, because $477 billion is not 52% of 2.29 trillion.

So either their statement that almost half the tax cut is going to the top one percent is wrong, or the total amount is not $477B, or the total amount is not 2.29 trillion over ten years. Or something.

Look, CTJ says:


By 2010, when (and if) the Bush tax reductions are fully in place, an astonishing 52 percent of the total tax cuts will go to the richest one percent.

One way to read this (the way you are) is to say that they are claiming that 52% of the cumulative tax cuts up through 2010 will go to the richest 1%. I must admit that their use of the word "total" could lead you to assume this.

However, I would argue that a more logical way to interpret this, in light of the first clause, is that the 52% figure is a statement about the tax cuts in that year and that "total" simply refers to all of Bush's tax cuts...and does not imply we are taking a cumulative total of all years up to 2010. If you look at some other info from CTJ, I think that you will find that this intepretation is indeed the correct one.

I'll admit that their wording was not completely clear on this point but hopefully now that we have it settled, you will no longer make the claim that the tax cuts cost $97 billion per year. And, that you will also understand the difference between averaging over a phase-in period and looking at the tax cuts once totally in place (especially given that the newly passed 2003 cuts, not included in this analysis, make the phase-ins faster in addition to adding more tax cuts such as the cut in the dividends tax rate).

jshore
01-08-2004, 05:11 PM
Geez, now I realize that we could have avoided all this argument about the cost of the tax cuts if you just linked to the most recent CTJ analysis (http://www.ctj.org/pdf/gwbdata.pdf) of the Bush cuts. This link gives the cost of the tax cuts in each calendar year, either counting or not counting interest on the debt. What could possibly be simpler!?! [The only question I have is if this is in 2003 dollars or, if not, what sort of inflation rate they are assuming.]

Note that my estimate of $200-250 billion a year on full implementation was considerably south of the mark if sunsets don't kick in. In 2010, the tax cuts cost $234 billion in that year with sunsets and $449 billion without the sunsets! If you add in the interest you have to pay in the additional debt, this rises to $328 billion and $580 billion, respectively.

[My apologies for vastly underestimating the sort of fiscal train wreck the tax cuts set us up for if we actually do as Bush wants and get rid of the sunset provisions!]

John Mace
01-08-2004, 05:38 PM
Originally posted by Left Hand of Dorkness
I'm quoting this for Debaser's edification. The rest of his post is a set of straw men and non sequiturs not worthy of responding to.

Daniel

My bad on the WorldCom/Enron mix-up. But I think my ponit is still valid. You didn't give a reason for why "Enron" was proof that businesses needed more regulation. I assumed you meant it was because of the investors who last their money. Was that incorrect? If it was, what was your reason for stating that more regulation is needed?

litost
01-08-2004, 06:20 PM
Originally posted by RickJay
I haven't added it up, but I am fairly certain that at least half the world's population lives in democracies. India, Japan, Brazil, Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Spain, Australia, South Africa, every other little country in Europe, even Russia more or less. Lots of African and South American countries are democracies now.

The rest of the world isn't impressed with you every time the U.S. holds an election. Us bumpkins out here are familiar with the concept of democracy and even practice it every now and then. So, to be honest, it's not "very important" at all.

A BIG "Thank you".

Now, I can strike that off my list and start composing a new pit thread on "This is America, man... its a free country"

and its sequel: "freedom doesn't mean freedom from consequences" or its intellectual cousin: "The first amendment only restricts the acts of Congress"

Tars Tarkas
01-08-2004, 06:22 PM
Originally posted by Debaser

The Enron scandal was something we have seen before. The S&L scandals, black monday, even the great depression have resulted in massive amounts of laws and protections so that bad things won't happen to the markets. There is already an intire industry and structure that is in place.

You know what? For the most part, it worked. Enron is out of business. That's the solution with capitalism.


So i take it when America gets attacked again and planes fly into the Sears tower, you will be all "Ho-hum, seen it before, the Dept of Homeland Security will deal with it. That's the solution with capitalism."

jshore
01-08-2004, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by jshore
In the interest of keeping this debate as honest and accurate on the facts as possible, I do feel compelled to note that if this is the CBO projection I think it is, it does incorporate some pretty optimistic assumptions (besides that the tax cuts will be allowed to sunset). These include:

(1) Severe constraints on spending growth.
(2) The assumption that nothing will be done to prevent the AMT from continuing to hit more and more people in the middle class.

Here (http://www.ctj.org/pdf/binge03.pdf) is CTJ's take on how the CBO's deficit projections get altered once you consider this sort of stuff. Note that the baseline deficit figures that CTJ starts with as a baseline are different than what Ravenman quoted because they look at what CBO (http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=1944&sequence=0) calls the "on-budget" deficit rather than the on-budget + off-budget deficit. Does anybody recall the difference? I think it might have to do with the surplus being run by social security...I think the total deficit counts in that surplus (thus reducing the deficit number) while the "on-budget" part considers the deficit that is being run in the rest of the government besides S.S. I.e., at the moment, the government is essentially borrowing from the social security trust fund and the question is how to count that.

pantom
01-08-2004, 07:39 PM
The "off-budget" is any of the trust funds: SS, Medicare, the highway trust fund, etc. There's probably other stuff in there too. Once you include these, the apparent size of the deficit decreases, as all of these are running surpluses.
Anyway, two points:

1 - For Sam Stone to think that opposition to regulation is a "moderate" position is weird. In this country, anyway, it was a Republican named Teddy Roosevelt who's name comes up as the first President to be concerned with two things: regulation of business and conservation of the environment. Opposition to these things is the mark of a far right agenda, in my world. Nothing moderate about it at all.
2 - Dean represents the maximalist position of the left, on both Iraq and the tax cuts, which is why he is garnering so much support. Realistically, should he get elected, he will be dealing, unless the math changes radically, with a solidly Republican House and Senate. So even for moderate Democrats supporting Dean right through to the election will be more likely to get them their moderate agenda than anything the left is looking for, just because of what the realities of DC will be next year regardless.
Should Bush be re-elected with a Republican House and Senate, we'd be facing four years of unrestricted Republican rule. If the Senate winds up filibuster-proof as well, I'm buying gold with both hands and all four of my dog's feet, because I'm firmly convinced they'll bankrupt this country twice over.

Ravenman
01-08-2004, 07:53 PM
Originally posted by Shodan
What do you interpret this as meaning?... ($477 billion, 1%, etc) Alright, I see what they did. It was very tricky - they confused the issue of when the tax cuts go into effect with the total benefit of the tax cuts.

Over ten years, the top 1% will pay a total of $477 billion less in taxes. That is roughly 40% of the total, ten year tax cut of $1.3 trillion.

But remember that the tax cuts are phased in. In the year 2010 alone, Americans will pay $234 billion less in taxes than the year before. In that year, the top 1% will pay $121 billion less in taxes -- that is, in 2010, the richest will reap 52% of all that tax cuts in that year, which is the year in which the phase-in of all taxes will be complete.

So, this group that wrote that little summary was mixing apples and oranges in not clearly distinguishing the figures $477 billion and 52%.

But if you look at the tables toward the top of the page, the overall numbers are the most accurate in terms of who benefits from the 2001 tax cuts.

I don't think I said that. As your cite shows, the deficit is projected to disappear even if Dean does not rescind the tax cuts. You're basing your counting of Dean's tax policy based on the deficit of 2003. The first year that a Dean presidency would have any effect on the deficit would be 2006 (he submits a budget in February 2005, enacted by the fall of 2005, and goes into effect in 2006). The 2003 deficit of $450-odd billion will be history by then, so it's pointless to use that number.

No, he states explicitly that he will increase spending by $100B over the first two yearsMy bad - I should have said that you only showed that he'd increase spending by +-$65 billion in each of the first two years of his Administration. In other words, by roughly $130 billion over two years.

Ravenman
01-08-2004, 08:02 PM
Originally posted by Debaser
Sounds great, except that you simply made up the 20-30,000 numbers. Dean never says this amount from any cite I have seen. What Dean does say on his web site is that he will continue to have US troops there for 2 years and beyond. Yeah, that was my guess at how many Americans would remain if 100,000 foreign troops went to Iraq.

But I'll give you this: if Dean was successful in bringing 100,000 foreign troops to Iraq, and still maintained 110,000 US troops at the same time, I'd be pissed off at him.

jshore
01-08-2004, 08:33 PM
Originally posted by Ravenman
But remember that the tax cuts are phased in. In the year 2010 alone, Americans will pay $234 billion less in taxes than the year before.

As I noted, this number is true with the new 2003 cuts in place only if all the sunsets in the tax cuts are allowed to happen. (For example, the whole cut in dividend tax rates now goes away after a few years.) If these tax cuts are extended, as Bush has expressed the desire they should be, then this number increases to $449 billion. And, that doesn't count interest on the additional debt produced by the tax cuts.

As they say, a hundred billion dollars here, a hundred billion dollars there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money! ;)

Ravenman
01-08-2004, 09:32 PM
[b]jshore/[b] - good call again, as you have made several times previous in this thread.

And, just to respond with my own point of trivia, when Everett Dirksen made that "pretty soon you're talking real money" comment, he was actually talking about millions of dollars. How things have changed...

pantom
01-08-2004, 10:29 PM
Does that include possible AMT relief?
I thought about this some more, and figured out that after I did my tax planning last year, I delayed taking some options until this year, figuring that by the time I file next year, if the Republicans are still in power, they'll pass some form of cut to this. The Center on Budget Policies and Priorities more or less assumes they will.
So it emerges that their failure to do much of anything about this provision is actually, BTW, a bit of a Machiavellian twist to get a cut in later, when more people are affected. To which I added my own little bit of delaying, both because I figured the options would be worth more this year and because I figured I'd wind up being taxed less on them.
I've got to believe that any realistic cut on this one is going to swell the deficit by quite a bit.
And then there's military spending. I have to apologize that I don't have a cite handy for the below, but I have it saved as a spreadsheet I downloaded from a government site on the budget, and that site did an amazingly good job of hiding the military budget line. I had to search really hard for it, and from what I remember had to total up some lines to get the total figure, because they didn't do it for you.
Anyway, keeping in mind that the 2004 figure is a projection:

1999: 261,380,000.00
2004: 370,707,000.00

This spreadsheet shows the figure continuing to increase beyond that. Just the difference here is worth more than 100 billion dollars.
To emphasize again, terrorism is NOT a military problem, for the most part. It was made into one, but any realistic plan to combat it involves intelligence and police work for the most part, NOT the military. So spare me justifications for the above based on terrorism.

jshore
01-08-2004, 10:52 PM
Originally posted by pantom
Does that include possible AMT relief?


The numbers I have quoted do not assume any AMT relief, as far as I understand...They are only the Bush tax cut provisions actually enacted. The one cite I gave above (here (http://www.ctj.org/pdf/binge03.pdf) it is again) to a CTJ analysis of future deficits did look at what they considered to be a more realistic CBO deficit scenario than the baseline scenario. And, that scenario did include AMT relief in it. Under this scenario, the on-budget deficits in the 2010-2013 years were, roughly speaking, around $1 trillion a year. The surplusses in the social security trust fund will be running ~$300 billion at this point which means (assuming this makes up most of the off-budget stuff) that the total (on-budget + off-budget) deficit will be in the neighborhood of $700 billion a year. [Unfortunately, they don't separate out AMT relief from extending the Bush tax cuts...i.e., getting rid of the sunsets...but these two items together account for $216 billion of the deficit in 2010 rising to $433 billion in 2013. And this does not include the increase in interest payments due to the additional debt incurred by these adjustments.]

John Mace
01-08-2004, 10:54 PM
pantom:
Are your options ISOs? If not, AMT is not an issue. Also, assuming AMT doesn't change (and I don't think it will), you tax differential is worse the lower the tax brackets are in the regular code.

Are you aware of any plans to increase the "deduction" you take when you figure AMT? Last I checked it was something like $33k.

No offense meant if you've already figured all this out.:)

Sam Stone
01-08-2004, 11:24 PM
To emphasize again, terrorism is NOT a military problem, for the most part. It was made into one, but any realistic plan to combat it involves intelligence and police work for the most part, NOT the military. So spare me justifications for the above based on terrorism.


Of course it's a military problem. As long as terrorists have the support of other states, the military must be involved. You can not send FBI agents into Pakistan to break up a cell that is protected by the government.

Trying to solve the problem of terrorism with police is like moving next to a hive of bees and 'solving' the problem by trying to swat bees before they sting you. At some point, I suggest looking for the hive. And when you do, it helps to be armored.

John Mace
01-08-2004, 11:41 PM
Sam:

pantom said "for the most part". I think he's right on that. We had to go into Afghanistan as a military action, but much of the rest of the "war on terror" is police (intelligence and spy) work. We're dealing with a widely dispersed network of cells. The military can go against training camps, but getting the guys who are the going to commit the next act of terrorism is police work.

Shodan
01-09-2004, 07:42 AM
I appreciate the clarifications from all who have analysed the figures.

I have not forgotten this thread, but unfortunately my employers want me to waste time working instead of arguing on the Internet. I hope to return here eventually.

To add to the mix, I understand that Dean promised to balance the budget "in the sixth or seventh year of his administration", which apparently got a big laugh from his audience, and that he is currently considering some kind of "middle class tax relief". I would like to include these assumptions in further analysis of Dean's economics.

Regards,
Shodan

Left Hand of Dorkness
01-09-2004, 07:49 AM
Originally posted by John Mace
My bad on the WorldCom/Enron mix-up. But I think my ponit is still valid. You didn't give a reason for why "Enron" was proof that businesses needed more regulation. I assumed you meant it was because of the investors who last their money. Was that incorrect? If it was, what was your reason for stating that more regulation is needed?

If by regulation, you mean oversight, then here's my chain of thought:

-Businesses without regulatory oversight can pull illegal acts like Enron's and stand a chance of getting away with it.
-These crimes have victims.
-Our government ought to help protect us from such crimes.
-One way to do that is to have better regulatory oversight.

Of course, there's another way to do it: aggressively prosecute such crimes and send the lot of them to prison. These crimes may be difficult to prosecute -- look at how long it's taking to get Fastow behind bars -- but if prosecution is so ineffective, then that's all the more reason to not rely on it as a preventative measure. Much as I'd love to fill our prisons with corporate criminals, until we figure out an effective means of doing so, I think we have to rely on regulatory oversight to prevent the crimes from happening in the first place.

Daniel

ElvisL1ves
01-09-2004, 08:26 AM
debaser, do you really not understand the difference between uni- and multilateralism, or does it simply cause too much cognitive dissonance for you? Of course there's a difference, and even the hardest-line isolationists/neocons defend it instead of denying it. That also helps explain why you can't see how anyone could see a difference, either, much less the Iraqis who inexplicably aren't showering the 82nd's path with flowers. Hint: If there's something about the world you don't understand, it isn't the world's fault.

It's Karl Rove, with a K. You might not know that from getting all your "information" about the world from talk radio, though. You did challenge, using "smug condescension" (your term, and an ironic one), why Rove gets more blame than Bush. Now you know.

You're asking what's more definite than dismissing a question as a trick? You're actually defending, or even excusing, that crap? What plan does Bush offer in return, and how closely based on reality is it? You know the answer to that as well as I.

Your straw man is the suggestion that anyone who wants regulations to be enforced is entirely opposed to the entrepreneurial spirit entirely. That's closely related to the excluded middle approach you're also using, but is no more honest, unfortunately.

Good thing you're admitting that Bush's actions are the opposite of what you believe in. Why are you still supporting him then?

Debaser
01-09-2004, 09:30 AM
Originally posted by ElvisL1ves
debaser, do you really not understand the difference between uni- and multilateralism, or does it simply cause too much cognitive dissonance for you? Of course there's a difference, and even the hardest-line isolationists/neocons defend it instead of denying it. That also helps explain why you can't see how anyone could see a difference, either, much less the Iraqis who inexplicably aren't showering the 82nd's path with flowers. Hint: If there's something about the world you don't understand, it isn't the world's fault.


If it's so easy to define, why don't you define it then?

The coalition of the willing in Iraq had, what, 60 members IIRC. How many would be required for it to be "multilateral"? 61? 120? Every nation on the planet?

It's a meaningless buzz word that is used to attack anything that Bush does.

I would still love to hear you explain how the troops will start being showered with flowers once they have UN armbands on. They wouldn't.


You're asking what's more definite than dismissing a question as a trick? You're actually defending, or even excusing, that crap? What plan does Bush offer in return, and how closely based on reality is it? You know the answer to that as well as I.


So, Bush's plan is to have our troops in Iraq for an indeterminate amount of time. The amount of troops are going to be decreasing though, because in the near future 130,000 are leaving and only 110,000 are replacing them.

Because of this you hate Bush. Ok, got it. Your against the war. This makes sense.

Now, the other candidate is Dean. His plan is just as vague about how long troops will be in Iraq. He admits to needing them there for 2 more years and indefinitely longer.

Because of this you support Dean. Sense this does not make.

Like I said, I'm for the war in Iraq. I have problems with certain elements of things that have happened but overall I think we are doing good work and it's worth the price to be there right now.

If your against the war and want us to leave, that's great. Everybody is entitled to an opinion. But, it's hypocritical for you to bash Bush for not having a definitive plan of when we are leaving Iraq when Dean clearly doesn't have one either. If you don't like Bush keeping troops in harms way indefinitely, then why don't you have a problem with Dean, who plans on doing the same thing?


Your straw man is the suggestion that anyone who wants regulations to be enforced is entirely opposed to the entrepreneurial spirit entirely. That's closely related to the excluded middle approach you're also using, but is no more honest, unfortunately.


It remains a fantasy of yours that Dean's plan to entirely re-regulate entire industries is just "enforcement" of existing regulations.


Good thing you're admitting that Bush's actions are the opposite of what you believe in. Why are you still supporting him then?

I have made no such admission. In fact, I have pointed out several times that the opposite is true.

Mehitabel
01-09-2004, 09:37 AM
WHOOOP! WHOOOP! Damage Control, stat!!

This is the sort of headline you DON'T want ten days before the caucases. (http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3908334/)

“If you look at the caucuses system, they are dominated by the special interests in both parties,” he said. “[And] the special interests don't represent the centrist tendencies of the American people. They represent the extremes. And then you get a president who is beholden to either one extreme or the other, and where the average person is in the middle.”

I think this is something that is recoverable from, it's not the most stupid thing anybody's said this election, and it did happen in 2000 on an obscure talk show (blame Canada! blame Canada!) but ouch, people. Ouch.

xenophon41
01-09-2004, 09:53 AM
Mehitabel, I'm not sure what's damaging to Dean about that quote. In fact, the story itself seems quite helpful to Dean, disputing most of the charges leveled against him in this thread. The story paints Gov. Dean as not angry, not "too liberal", not inconsistent in his positions, and quite well informed as to foreign policy and international affairs. It also shows him as assertive, confident and diplomatically skilled; all characteristics Americans see as favorable in a presidential candidate.

Mehitabel
01-09-2004, 10:07 AM
Oh, I agree mostly, xenophon41, but for the parts about the Iowa caucuses. I happen to think he was right in many ways about the extremists dominating those things, but the question is will the Iowans in question think he's being a jerk by saying it that way, especially the ones who are not extremists. Check CNN's politics section for various articles about the reaction and spin. I don't think this is fatal but you know that most people are only going to hear that "he insulted the folks who vote in the caucuses" which will not be good for him, no matter what he said about Israel or Colombia. If you'd counter that those folks are ill-informed and should read the whole thing, fine, but that won't make them do it.

ElvisL1ves
01-09-2004, 10:07 AM
Originally posted by Debaser
If it's so easy to define, why don't you define it then?Look in a fuckin' dictionary first. It would save you time.

The coalition of the willing in Iraq had, what, 60 members IIRC.Snort. Try 2. Looks like Bush found someone to be fooled.

It's a meaningless buzz word that is used to attack anything that Bush does.You don't know what it means, but you know what people who use it mean by it?

]I would still love to hear you explain how the troops will start being showered with flowers once they have UN armbands on. They wouldn't.Nobody said they would, and you do know better than to keep throwing up straw men. It has already been made sufficiently clear to you that the image that Iraqis may have that this was an imperialist venture would be largely dispelled by that. Do you disagree, or is anything that conflicts with your worldview get dismissed as meaningless?

So, Bush's plan is to have our troops in Iraq for an indeterminate amount of time. The amount of troops are going to be decreasing though, because in the near future 130,000 are leaving and only 110,000 are replacing them. Who says that? Not Bush. Yet Dean is the undetailed candidate?

Because of this you hate Bush. Ok, got it. Your against the war. This makes sense.Your point, if any?

But, it's hypocritical for you to bash Bush for not having a definitive plan of when we are leaving Iraq when Dean clearly doesn't have one either.That is clearly the opposite of the facts.

If you don't like Bush keeping troops in harms way indefinitely, then why don't you have a problem with Dean, who plans on doing the same thing?Not the same thing. There is no reason to believe Bush understands the situation at all, much less how to keep more good people from being killed. Dean accepts, as we all must, that the situation is what it is and the problem is how to get out of it with minimal damage.

It remains a fantasy of yours that Dean's plan to entirely re-regulate entire industries is just "enforcement" of existing regulations. It is a lie of yours to say that's what I, or anybody else, has said.

I have made no such admission. In fact, I have pointed out several times that the opposite is true. You can't even represent your own statements accurately. Scroll up:I do think Bush should cut the budget instead of raising it. I already said he is loosing some credibility by not doing more cuts on spending. That is the statement I gave you credit for. Prematurely, as it turns out.

You'll never convince anyone of your positions who has a basic respect for fact, ya know. That, unfortunately, is most of us here.

xenophon41
01-09-2004, 10:33 AM
originally posted by Mehitabel:

Check CNN's politics section for various articles about the reaction and spin.
I just did, and I take your point that the comment can be interpreted (and is being spun) as insulting to Iowans, or at least to caucus voters. How badly this hurts him remains to be seen. I think opposition to [undefined] "special interests" still plays pretty well for politicians of any stripe. However, any out of context 5-second soundbite from a pol who speaks substantively about the issues is bound to be more damaging than a comparable soundbite from a politician who speaks only in platitudes. So Dean has a definite disadvantage there, I suppose. ;)

Debaser
01-09-2004, 10:38 AM
Originally posted by ElvisL1ves
It's Karl Rove, with a K. You might not know that from getting all your "information" about the world from talk radio, though. You did challenge, using "smug condescension" (your term, and an ironic one), why Rove gets more blame than Bush. Now you know.



"...and knowing is half the battle!"


:D

Debaser
01-09-2004, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by ElvisL1ves
Look in a fuckin' dictionary first. It would save you time.

Snort. Try 2. Looks like Bush found someone to be fooled.


OK, it looks like we are in disgareement about the size of the coalition. No big surprise there.

We are just counting different things. I am including everyone on the roster who supported the war. You are only counting (I assume) only Britian and Australia who initially sent troops.

There are actually more countries which have troops in Iraq now, that you have chosen to ignore. I don't know why this is.

Since the US has a military that is by far the most powerful in the world, and didn't really need any help gathering forces to invade Iraq, I contend that my number makes more sense to use than yours.

Regardless, we can just leave this point alone, because you are wrong in either case.

You refer to the dictionary definition of the word "multilateral".

From dictionary.com:


mul·ti·lat·er·al ( P ) Pronunciation Key (mlt-ltr-l)
adj.
1. Having many sides.
2. Involving more than two nations or parties: multilateral trade agreements.


Since we are talking about nations, #2 is the applicable definition. More than two.

Well, in your post above you admit that we did have two allies. Them two plus the US = three. So, even if as you insist, the coalition of the willing was only three nations, then it was still a multilateral effort.


Nobody said they would, and you do know better than to keep throwing up straw men.


I was actually throwing a straw man back in your face by using this phrase. You were the first to mention Iraqi's tossing flowers at our troops. I just shot it back at you. Now you accuse me of making straw men?


It has already been made sufficiently clear to you that the image that Iraqis may have that this was an imperialist venture would be largely dispelled by that. Do you disagree, or is anything that conflicts with your worldview get dismissed as meaningless?


By "made sufficiently clear" do you mean you keep chanting it over and over? Because that's all that is happening.

I will point out again (third time or so?) that there is absolutely no proof that the Iraqi's who are attacking troops will behave any differenty if the UN is in charge.

These people have attacked Red Cross workers. What makes you think they will have respect for the UN? The onus is on you to prove this. You are the one insisting it.


Who says that? Not Bush. Yet Dean is the undetailed candidate?


Someone in this thread said it. No one challenged it, so I believed it.

Debaser:--------------------------------------------------
But, it's hypocritical for you to bash Bush for not having a definitive plan of when we are leaving Iraq when Dean clearly doesn't have one either.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


That is clearly the opposite of the facts.


Me saying that Dean doesn't have a definitive plan of when we are leaving Iraq is a fact. I have given supporting documentation right from Dean's own web page.

You can put your fingers in your ears and deny it all you like, but it just further points out the hypocricy.



Not the same thing. There is no reason to believe Bush understands the situation at all, much less how to keep more good people from being killed. Dean accepts, as we all must, that the situation is what it is and the problem is how to get out of it with minimal damage.


Yes, yes. Bush evil, Dean good. I got it.

Left Hand of Dorkness
01-09-2004, 11:00 AM
I wonder whether the "special interests" quote is exactly what Dean needs, come general election time. If he can make it past Iowa, I can only see it helping him in the long run. But it does present a short-term risk for him.

Daniel

Debaser
01-09-2004, 11:04 AM
by Debaser--------------------------------------------------
It remains a fantasy of yours that Dean's plan to entirely re-regulate entire industries is just "enforcement" of existing regulations.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by ElvisL1ves
It is a lie of yours to say that's what I, or anybody else, has said.


You know, Elvis, just because it's on another page of the thread doesn't mean I can't go back and quote it.


Another misrepresentation. The "more regulation" you complain of is simply enforcement - something these guys refuse to do.


You call me a liar for saying something that is provably true, using your own direct words. What does that make you?

Diogenes the Cynic
01-09-2004, 12:47 PM
The invasion was a unilateral decision, Debaser. That coalition list is a joke. Some of those countries didn't even know that the Bushies were including them on the list and were quite surprised and upset to find out about it. Other country were bribed or coerced into passively going along with it.

In any case, Bush had already stated that the US was going to invade Iraq with or without any help. There was nothing any country could have done to stop it. It was a decision the US made all by itself without any regard for the opinions of other countries.

France and Germany are to be commended for not caving in to Bush's arrogant bullying. Tony Blair should resign in shame.

ElvisL1ves
01-09-2004, 12:55 PM
Your lie was that Dean's plan is "to entirely re-regulate entire industries".

If you really want to discuss issues and policies, then fine, please do so. You really ought to consider just who you're trying to convince here, and of what exactly. We do care about facts and reasoning here, passionately, and those who try to ignore them just get the treatment you're getting. Remember december.

Mehitabel
01-09-2004, 01:02 PM
Shocked, shocked! This has turned into another Bush-bashing thread!

Anyway, read the (printed) NY Times over lunch and two pertinent articles:

Tide of Second Thoughts Rises Among Democrats (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/09/politics/campaigns/09VOTE.html)

"I think Dean has turned a lot of people off by being cocky."

Ruh roh.

And the story I mentioned before; it's fun to see Dean call Bush a moderate, although he convincingly says now he's changed his mind:

Tape Shows Dean Maligning Iowa Caucuses (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/09/politics/campaigns/09DEAN.html)

xenophon41
01-09-2004, 01:15 PM
To be fair, many of us who now regard Bush as an extremist thought he was a moderate prior to Jan 2001. Fool me once... (well, you know the rest).

Debaser
01-09-2004, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by Diogenes the Cynic
In any case, Bush had already stated that the US was going to invade Iraq with or without any help. There was nothing any country could have done to stop it. It was a decision the US made all by itself without any regard for the opinions of other countries.


This is actually a valid and sensible argument. The US did make the decision to go to war mostly on it's own. Then, after that decision was made, Bush tried to find allies to back us up before going.

That's exactly the way things should be done, IMO.

Now, if you want to say that the decision to go to war was made 'unilaterally' I guess I won't argue with that. How else could it have been made? Even if the UN approved of it, it would still have been the idea of the US to do it in the first place.

However, the fact is that there was participation from other countries in the actual doing of it. The war effort itself was not unilateral. The fact that so many on the left continue to chant that it is has robbed the word of any meaningful use.

ElvisL1ves
01-09-2004, 01:51 PM
I wouldn't worry about it that much, Mehitabel. The Democrats, and alienated Republicans, will go for the Democratic candidate in November anyway, whoever that plausibly is. Unless he implodes spectacularly, any shortcomings will be overlooked or forgiven by voters looking for the lesser evil. How each candidate reacts to and recovers from things like this, and how quickly they learn from them, are the best predictors of later political success, not their existence.

Mehitabel
01-09-2004, 02:07 PM
Thanks, ElvisL1ves, you're right. The only hazard to Dean I see is that people might decide he's now got a little too much baggage for their liking and go for a Dem other than him on Jan. 19, like Kerry or Clark.

Dean's reaction so far is well-tempered IMO, and he's lucky the story broke on a Friday, because there's not much analysis on Fri and Sat in the cycle. It'll be the buzz of the Sunday talk show circuit but I think anybody interested enough to watch those will be savvy enough to weigh the nuances of the incident. We'll see.

Debaser
01-09-2004, 02:21 PM
Originally posted by ElvisL1ves
Your lie was that Dean's plan is "to entirely re-regulate entire industries".


Oops. Drop that first 'entirely'. I really should proof read.

That typo aside, I was merely saying the same thing that Sam Stone posted on the first page of the thread.

originally posted by Sam Stone
The most frightening and idiotic thing in his whole platform is this notion that he wants to 're-regulate' business. He wants Federal oversight of every business that offers stock options. He wants to re-regulate telecom, the media, airlines, you name it.


Is Sam a big fat liar also? Or just me?

Originally posted by ElvisL1ves
If you really want to discuss issues and policies, then fine, please do so. You really ought to consider just who you're trying to convince here, and of what exactly. We do care about facts and reasoning here, passionately, and those who try to ignore them just get the treatment you're getting. Remember december.

Well, isn't this kind of you. :rolleyes:

It seems to me that you are being more insulting in tone than I. Even now, you imply that I don't care about facts and reasoning. You threaten me by mentioning another conservative who was banned. You accuse me of lying when I am clearly not.

If someone needs to consider their actions here, I think that it's you.

John Mace
01-09-2004, 02:28 PM
I've got a sneaking suspicion that Clark is going to give Dean a run for his money. Although he's done his share of waffling, his stance on the major issues is pretty damn close to Dean's, and he may emerge, among the primary voters, as the Dem best able to beat Bush. I hadn't noticed until recently that Clark also wants to repeal the entire Bush tax cut. I'm sure that, come elevetion time, if either of these guys get the nomination they'll have their "middle class tax cut" plan out there so as not to piss off too many people.

It's interesting how the insiders (Kerry, Gephardt) aren't doing very well. Perhaps it's just a reflection of my distaste for career Washington politicians, but I would much prefer either Clark or Dean to run against Bush.

DtC:
I, too, would agree with your statement about the unilateral decision by the US. However, while I would commend Canada (and maybe Gernmany) for standing up to Bush, there is little to commend the French for, other than their sorry-ass desire to maintain the fiction that they are a Great Power.

Knorf
01-09-2004, 03:12 PM
Originally posted by Debaser
You know what? For the most part, it worked. Enron is out of business. That's the solution with capitalism.
You're leaving out the extensive collateral damage done to (for example) thousands of its former employees and their pensions, and to the severe energy crisis that hit the western U.S., California in particular, which coincidentally (or not) was largely ignored by Bush.

Those states didn't vote for Bush in 2000, so he has little interest in helping them.

Enron's collapse corruption didn't just hurt the stockholders. The damage was quite extensive. The free market has done nothing to make up for any of that.

John Mace
01-09-2004, 03:37 PM
Originally posted by Knorf
You're leaving out the extensive collateral damage done to (for example) thousands of its former employees and their pensions, and to the severe energy crisis that hit the western U.S., California in particular, which coincidentally (or not) was largely ignored by Bush.
Investing your pension solely (or even mostly) in your company's stock is foolish. It's unfortunate that so many people have to learn that the hard way. Capitalism is not designed to reward laziness (of thinking or action). If you want an economic system that does, then you definitely don't want capitalism. CA's energy problems had more to do with stupid decisions made by politicians here than by anything a private company did.

jshore
01-09-2004, 04:16 PM
Originally posted by John Mace
Investing your pension solely (or even mostly) in your company's stock is foolish. It's unfortunate that so many people have to learn that the hard way.

Well, I believe in some cases they were forced to keep at least part of it in company stock.

Also, while this may seem foolish, it is significantly more foolish if you are being lied to and not being let in on the facts. Some of us believe that perhaps these offenses are more worthy of disdain and punishment than a certain amount of foolishness is.


Capitalism is not designed to reward laziness (of thinking or action). If you want an economic system that does, then you definitely don't want capitalism.

No, indeed. The kind of economic system that seems to be endorsed or at least tolerated by this Administration and many of its friends seems to be one that rewards cronyism, connections, and insider information.


CA's energy problems had more to do with stupid decisions made by politicians here than by anything a private company did.

While there was indeed some stupidity involved on the part of politicians, that stupidity was such that it allowed private companies to "game" the system.

John Mace
01-09-2004, 05:29 PM
Originally posted by jshore
Well, I believe in some cases they were forced to keep at least part of it in company stock.
If they were (and you'll have to document that), I'd bet you 10 bucks it was only money in their retirement acc'ts that Enron put there-- either as part of a bonus, or as matching funds. In which case I say B.F.D.

Also, while this may seem foolish, it is significantly more foolish if you are being lied to and not being let in on the facts. Some of us believe that perhaps these offenses are more worthy of disdain and punishment than a certain amount of foolishness is.
It's called: diversify. Every investment advisor and/or investment book of any credibiliy tells you to do this. In many respects, the real looser here is Arthur Anderson & Co. Had they done their jobs correctly, that mess could've been avoided. Now they no longer exist.

No, indeed. The kind of economic system that seems to be endorsed or at least tolerated by this Administration and many of its friends seems to be one that rewards cronyism, connections, and insider information.
Strawman.

While there was indeed some stupidity involved on the part of politicians, that stupidity was such that it allowed private companies to "game" the system.
Which is one of the main reasons we got rid of Davis. So, Enron, Anderson and Davis all got taken care of by the free enterprise/democratic process. The "innoccents" that got hurt are the ones who didn't do their homework about what company they a) worked for and/or b) invested in.

jshore
01-09-2004, 05:55 PM
Originally posted by John Mace
If they were (and you'll have to document that), I'd bet you 10 bucks it was only money in their retirement acc'ts that Enron put there-- either as part of a bonus, or as matching funds. In which case I say B.F.D.

Oh, okay, great John. Have I got a deal for you. It's a job that won't require more than 60 hours per week and I'll pay you a million bucks, all bonus.

[I assume that if I pay you in counterfeit money (and then perhaps even get away without going to jail), you won't mind...After all, B.F.D.]



It's called: diversify. Every investment advisor and/or investment book of any credibiliy tells you to do this.

Hmmm...the next time we talk about crime and some horrendous case like the Central Park Jogger, will you have the same sort of "blame the victim" and just sort of ignore the perpetrator attitude. After all, any woman should know that it is stupid to go running in Central Park alone. It's her own stupid fault, n'est pas?


Which is one of the main reasons we got rid of Davis. So, Enron, Anderson and Davis all got taken care of by the free enterprise/democratic process. The "innoccents" that got hurt are the ones who didn't do their homework about what company they a) worked for and/or b) invested in.

Well, hey, we've pretty much got a tautology here if we define the process as working as long as the company fails in the end and the politician is kicked out and what-not...and that we just blame those who got screwed for not "do[ing] their homework". And, don't particularly worry if some of the criminals get away with millions of dollars. Wow, what a wonderful system! (And, was Davis the one who devised the faulty deregulation scheme anyway? I wasn't aware that he was but maybe I'm wrong.)

By the way, there is a good op-ed (http://query.nytimes.com/mem/tnt.html?tntget=2004/01/09/opinion/09KRUG.html&tntemail0) today by Paul Krugman on the Enron debacle and the fact that we still haven't cleaned up the system.

John Mace
01-09-2004, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by jshore
Oh, okay, great John. Have I got a deal for you. It's a job that won't require more than 60 hours per week and I'll pay you a million bucks, all bonus.

[I assume that if I pay you in counterfeit money (and then perhaps even get away without going to jail), you won't mind...After all, B.F.D.]
Strawman.

Hmmm...the next time we talk about crime and some horrendous case like the Central Park Jogger, will you have the same sort of "blame the victim" and just sort of ignore the perpetrator attitude. After all, any woman should know that it is stupid to go running in Central Park alone. It's her own stupid fault, n'est pas?
Got any more straw for that man? What is this, Wizard of Oz day at the SDMB?

Well, hey, we've pretty much got a tautology here if we define the process as working as long as the company fails in the end and the politician is kicked out and what-not...and that we just blame those who got screwed for not "do[ing] their homework". And, don't particularly worry if some of the criminals get away with millions of dollars. Wow, what a wonderful system! (And, was Davis the one who devised the faulty deregulation scheme anyway? I wasn't aware that he was but maybe I'm wrong.)
If you're arguing for better enforcement of existing laws, that's something we can talk about. It's unclear to me that we need new laws. Correct me if that's not what you're proposing.

By the way, there is a good op-ed (http://query.nytimes.com/mem/tnt.html?tntget=2004/01/09/opinion/09KRUG.html&tntemail0) today by Paul Krugman on the Enron debacle and the fact that we still haven't cleaned up the system.

Good...Krugman. Oxymoron? Hey, I figured since you were so fast and loose with the strawmen, you'd let one tiny ad hominem pass.:)

ElvisL1ves
01-09-2004, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by John Mace
Capitalism is not designed to reward laziness (of thinking or action).Nor is it "designed" (who did that, anyway?) to make investment decisions essentially rolls of the dice as to which investments are legitimate and which fraudulent and to what degree, or which of the fraudulent ones will blow up when. There are rules to the game, enforced by government because only government can do it, that are intended to protect investors, too.

But you're apparently blaming real people's real losses on their own individual failures to go into the CFO's office and do their own personal due-diligence audits. That is a hard-line libertarian's wet dream. In reality, we all have to depend on others to make sure the rules are followed. "Kenny Boy" and pals weren't in any real fear of having their shell games stopped by any outside agency, and even the internal auditors had no real authority. But that's the brand of "capitalism" you're defending so dismissively?

CA's energy problems had more to do with stupid decisions made by politicians here than by anything a private company did. Certainly there has been a lot of contribution to the problem by politicians making decisions based on what the people of that good state said they wanted and voted for in binding referenda - in this case, cheap power with no pollution sources in-state and so forth, and with a system that invited fraudulent manipulation. You got the system you demanded. Don't blame your hired employees for its failure.

pantom
01-09-2004, 08:00 PM
I need to get in the middle of all this flak for a second:

John Mace: thanks for the clarification to Sam. And on the options: I thought they were, but I exercised today and they took full taxes out. So I guess not. Or maybe the law changed somewhere along the way. I dunno.

Obligatory Bush Bash on Economics: 1000 jobs net gain today. And the previous months were revised down. Woo-hoo! That'll win the election in November, eh?
Anyway, returning you now to your regularly scheduled 10 rounder with my liberal fellow-traveller...

John Mace
01-09-2004, 08:07 PM
Elvis wrote:
Nor is it "designed" (who did that, anyway?) to make investment decisions essentially rolls of the dice as to which investments are legitimate and which fraudulent and to what degree, or which of the fraudulent ones will blow up when. There are rules to the game, enforced by government because only government can do it, that are intended to protect investors, too.

But you're apparently blaming real people's real losses on their own individual failures to go into the CFO's office and do their own personal due-diligence audits.
Nope. It's just another reason you diversify. Even with the best due diligence, you probably will muck it up from time to time. And actually, rolling the dice for stock picks is not a bad strategy when compared to how many people invest.

So what was it that brought down Enron if the "boys" had "no real fear of their shell games stopped..."?

adaher
01-10-2004, 06:23 AM
Every example I can think of from the Savings and Loan debacle of the 80s to the California energy crisis of the 90s to the Enron collapse of 2000 (abetted by a dangerously conflicted and still insufficiently regulated accounting industry) illustrates the tendency of deregulation to cause vastly more economic harm than it cures.

Explain why the same does not apply to civil rights. Since we have criminals, why not have more regulation of personal activity? Doesn't that mean the Patriot Act is a good thing? Shouldn't we rush to expand it and pass Patriot II?

It is always so easy to call for the limitation of the rights of others.

You also ignore the successful deregulation of telecom and the airlines. Further, you leave out the fact that the more excessive the regulation, the more impossible it is for small businesses to participate in the industry in question. A heavily regulated industry means that only mega-corporations can do business. You can never have another Tucker producing cars in the current regulatory environment in the auto industry. A person can't just say, "I think I want to sell electricity!" You can't, because most states mandate a monopoly and competition is outlawed. In a free country, no legal business should be outlawed just because the government decides that monopolies are more efficient. Let the consumers decide.

jshore
01-10-2004, 03:12 PM
Originally posted by John Mace
Strawman.

Got any more straw for that man? What is this, Wizard of Oz day at the SDMB?

Well, I don't think they are strawmen...Rather they are analogies. Admittedly, no analogy is perfect and I know this one isn't. But, you haven't bothered to explain exactly what you find wrong with it and why you believe it is okay to blame the victim in this case so much more than in those other cases.


If you're arguing for better enforcement of existing laws, that's something we can talk about. It's unclear to me that we need new laws. Correct me if that's not what you're proposing.

Well, to be honest, I don't understand this issue well enough to have a very well-formulated position on precisely what is needed. However, what I do think is that it is ridiculous to make the claim that the sytem is basically fine as is...i.e., that there are no major problems with the laws, the enforcement, the political influence, or something. It seems particularly agregious when people try to claim that this showed that capitalism works because in the end the company went down. It ignores the point that some innocent people (even if you do think they were poor investors) got fleeced and that some criminals made out extremely well.


Good...Krugman. Oxymoron?

Well, try it. You may find you like it. I don't think he even mentions Bush...or barely. He has more negative to say about Lieberman.

KoalaBear
01-10-2004, 06:28 PM
Adaher wrote:Every example I can think of ... illustrates the tendency of deregulation to cause vastly more economic harm than it cures.Explain why the same does not apply to civil rights.In fact it does: the first 10 amendments (http://memory.loc.gov/const/bor.html) to the Constitution impose strict regulations to prevent the government from abusing its power.It is always so easy to call for the limitation of the rights of others.Corporations are organizations, not individuals. It's absurd to suggest that a regulation prohibiting corporations from fixing commodity prices (http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/investing/20001221c.asp?prodtype=grn), for example, is tantamount to an infringement of a civil liberty.You also ignore the successful deregulation of telecom and the airlinesAirlines were regulated in the first place because it was feared that if carriers were allowed to race to the bottom with respect to ticket prices they'd sacrifice safety to achieve economy (http://www.cnn.com/US/valujet.592/), and it would be difficult to prove that hasn't happened. Consumers may pay less per passenger mile today than they did in 1977, but they may also be flying in an airliner that is dangerously obsolete (http://www.aviationtoday.com/reports/aswspecial.htm).

As for the telecommunications industry, if 'unmitigated disaster (http://www.msg.com/ssit-boston/meltdown/020926-web.htm)' is what you meant by the word 'success' I would have to agree with you -- radio as a popular media is dead (http://www.clearchannelsucks.org/), and let's not forget Global Crossing (http://www.globaldoublecrossing.com/) and MCI WorldCom (http://news.com.com/2100-1033-939478.html) as shining examples of the new, happy life the Telecommunications Act of 1996 has ushered us into.Further, you leave out the fact that the more excessive the regulation, the more impossible it is for small businesses to participate in the industry in question. A heavily regulated industry means that only mega-corporations can do business ... A person can't just say, "I think I want to sell electricity!"That's not a fact, it's an inference. But it sounds to me like you're arguing that pesky government regulations -- reaction control, monitoring, containment, disposal and so forth -- are the only thing keeping Mom & Pop out of the nuclear power industry. There's an old joke that the definition of insanity is to repeat a mistake while expecting a different outcome, and by that measure deregulation of the power industry (http://www.tpj.org/Lobby_Watch/dereg.html) is the epitome of lunacy itself.In a free country, no legal business should be outlawed just because the government decides that monopolies are more efficient.On the contrary, it's businesses themselves that prefer monopoly over competition, and despite attempts to do so the government is sometimes unable to break a monopoly (http://www.naag.org/issues/microsoft/index.php) once it's entrenched.

Ravenman
01-10-2004, 06:58 PM
Originally posted by KoalaBear
Consumers may pay less per passenger mile today than they did in 1977, but they may also be flying in an airliner that is dangerously obsolete (http://www.aviationtoday.com/reports/aswspecial.htm). I count two deadly aircraft accidents by major carriers in the US during 2003, with a total of 23 deaths. Link (http://aviation-safety.net/database/2003/2003-loss.html)


I can't find any fatalities for major US airlines in 2002.
Link (http://aviation-safety.net/database/2002/2002-loss.html)

Is this really a problem? More importantly to this thread, does Howard Dean view it to be a problem?

Sam Stone
01-10-2004, 07:08 PM
Airlines were regulated in the first place because it was feared that if carriers were allowed to race to the bottom with respect to ticket prices they'd sacrifice safety to achieve economy, and it would be difficult to prove that hasn't happened. Consumers may pay less per passenger mile today than they did in 1977, but they may also be flying in an airliner that is dangerously obsolete.


In fact, airline safety has improved dramatically since deregulation, at about the same rate it was improving before deregulation. Not only has airline safety improved dramatically, but ticket prices have plummeted and there is far more air travel now than there was before deregulation. This means freedom of mobility has increased. And since airline travel is by far the safest way to move long distances, opening access to it has no doubt saved many thousands of lives.

Telecom deregulation has slashed prices for long distance service. Maybe you're too young to remember what it used to be like before deregulation - I don't know. But I can remember when calling Grandma just a few hundred miles away was a major expense. Now we have cell phones, flat rate calling, and a whole raft of services we never used to have.

adaher
01-11-2004, 06:33 AM
Corporations are organizations, not individuals. It's absurd to suggest that a regulation prohibiting corporations from fixing commodity prices, for example, is tantamount to an infringement of a civil liberty.

Any law that applies to corporations also applies to the small business owner, who is most definitely an individual who has a right to make a living. The example of anti-price fixing legislation is a poor one that I'd like to make a couple of comments on:

1) It is legislation, it originated in Congress, as per Congresses duties. I object to the executive branch issuing regulations, which have the same force as any law passed by Congress, effectively making the executive branch an legislative branch.
2) Price fixing laws are sensible and CONTRIBUTE to competition by preventing monopolistic activity. What I object to is laws that outlaw competition in the interest of maintaining monopolies, such as in the electricity industry.

Airlines were regulated in the first place because it was feared that if carriers were allowed to race to the bottom with respect to ticket prices they'd sacrifice safety to achieve economy, and it would be difficult to prove that hasn't happened. Consumers may pay less per passenger mile today than they did in 1977, but they may also be flying in an airliner that is dangerously obsolete.


As long as safety regulations are enforced, this should not be a worry.

As for the telecommunications industry, if 'unmitigated disaster' is what you meant by the word 'success' I would have to agree with you -- radio as a popular media is dead, and let's not forget Global Crossing and MCI WorldCom as shining examples of the new, happy life the Telecommunications Act of 1996 has ushered us into.

Any time more companies are able to participate there will be examples of problems, just as allowing more people into a public park means there will be more crime in that park. Radio is dead because it's obsolete. Which is another problem with heavy regulation. It stifles innovation. When the government finally recognizes reality and deregulates, the dislocations are extreme because they waited to long.

That's not a fact, it's an inference. But it sounds to me like you're arguing that pesky government regulations -- reaction control, monitoring, containment, disposal and so forth -- are the only thing keeping Mom & Pop out of the nuclear power industry. There's an old joke that the definition of insanity is to repeat a mistake while expecting a different outcome, and by that measure deregulation of the power industry is the epitome of lunacy itself.

I already said that safety regulations make sense. However, regulations in some industries go way beyond insuring safety.

On the contrary, it's businesses themselves that prefer monopoly over competition, and despite attempts to do so the government is sometimes unable to break a monopoly once it's entrenched

Sure, they love it. Government loves it too, especially since they can regulate a monopoly so much that it essentially becomes an arm of the government. It's socialism without actual government ownership.