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Qin Shi Huangdi
07-20-2011, 07:56 PM
What should be done about raising the debt ceiling and more broadly what should be done to start lowering the US' massive debts and deficits?

My plans in order of preference:
1) The Gang of Six Plan-Provided there are no new taxes and it just involves elimination of tax breaks and loopholes (and thus simplify the tax cut) and the majority of savings are spending cuts I will support it (yes I am a fairly moderate Scott Brown-style Republican on most issu3es except abortion).
2) Cut, Cap, and Balance Plan-The vast majority of the Republicans in the House have approved it and I don't think a BBA is unreasonable considering 49 states already have such a law.
3) McConnell Plan-Only a temporizing solution but at least it might raise the debt ceiling
4) Bachmann Plan-Opposition to raising the debt ceiling shows great principle considering President Obama himself claimed raising the debt ceiling during the Bush years was a "failure of leadership" yet the Republicans have overwhelmingly put country before party and have given up a magnificent opportunity to expose the hypocrasy of the President on the debt ceiling issue to save the country from economic crisis.

Fear Itself
07-20-2011, 08:19 PM
My plans in order of preference:
1) The Gang of Six Plan-Provided there are no new taxes and it just involves elimination of tax breaks and loopholes (and thus simplify the tax cut) and the majority of savings are spending cuts I will support it (yes I am a fairly moderate Scott Brown-style Republican on most issu3es except abortion).nm

Lord Feldon
07-20-2011, 08:23 PM
As for the debt ceiling, there should be a clean raise of the debt ceiling and the House should immediately reinstate the Gephardt Rule. The time to think about deficit reduction is during the budget debate. Once we've already decided to spend money, it's nonsensical to have a separate vote on whether or not the money should even be raised. It makes little more sense than having a separate tax collection ceiling and a manufactured crisis about that every time April 15th comes around.

China Guy
07-20-2011, 11:51 PM
Moody's is suggesting that the US just eliminate the debt ceiling for much the reasons that Lord Feldon listed.

It's not the Gang of Six plan if there is a no new taxes requirement. Then it is the gang of republicans that signed the no new taxes pledge. I mean I am all for the Gang of Six plan that cuts out loopholes and raises taxes on the rich, but that's not the plan on the table. I don't think you're a moderate Republican if you believe in no new taxes ever for any reason, as you seem to imply.

SenorBeef
07-20-2011, 11:53 PM
4) Bachmann Plan-Opposition to raising the debt ceiling shows great principle considering President Obama himself claimed raising the debt ceiling during the Bush years was a "failure of leadership" yet the Republicans have overwhelmingly put country before party and have given up a magnificent opportunity to expose the hypocrasy of the President on the debt ceiling issue to save the country from economic crisis.

Did Obama say something to the extent of "we shouldn't be racking up more debt when the economy is reasonably good and things are functioning pretty normally just because you want to run some wars and entitlement without paying for it" or "we should never raise the debt limit no matter what"? Because his position is not inherently hypocritical unless it's similar to the latter.

I do like you trying to raise this issue as if the Republicans are being generous by picking country over partisanship when the entire fucking issue we're talking about here is a routine legislative process that's only a debate because the Republicans have decided to hold the country hostage over it.

You say they refrain from exposing his hypocrisy "to save the country from economic crisis", but that makes no sense. Just pointing out that Obama refused to vote for a debt ceiling raise doesn't cause the country to go into economic crisis. What will is defaulting on our debt. That will create real, lasting, huge amounts of damage, and the Republicans are willing to risk it over some political gamesmanship. How you manage to twist this in your head into them being the country-first responsible adults is so absurd that if cognitive dissonance was a real physical force your head would explode.

TriPolar
07-21-2011, 12:01 AM
We should stop pretending that the debt ceiling wasn't raised when the money was borrowed. If we must go through the formality, then every member of congress should vote to approve it and Obama should sign it. It should not include any other provisions other than an increase that will cover the debt already acquired. The debt ceiling has absolutely nothing to do with lowering the US debt and deficit.

China Guy
07-21-2011, 12:16 AM
2) Cut, Cap, and Balance Plan-The vast majority of the Republicans in the House have approved it and I don't think a BBA is unreasonable considering 49 states already have such a law.You have a cite for this? I'm curious how States can have a BBA yet issue massive amount of debt.

Lord Feldon
07-21-2011, 02:48 AM
"Balanced budget" has widely varying meanings (http://www.ncsl.org/documents/fiscal/StateBalancedBudgetProvisions2010.pdf) (PDF). New York, for example, has a balanced budget provision in its constitution, but it merely requires the governor to submit a balanced budget to the legislature. The final budget as passed by the legislature need not be balanced.

tim-n-va
07-21-2011, 05:03 AM
Moody's is suggesting that the US just eliminate the debt ceiling for much the reasons that Lord Feldon listed.

It's not the Gang of Six plan if there is a no new taxes requirement. Then it is the gang of republicans that signed the no new taxes pledge. I mean I am all for the Gang of Six plan that cuts out loopholes and raises taxes on the rich, but that's not the plan on the table. I don't think you're a moderate Republican if you believe in no new taxes ever for any reason, as you seem to imply.

On a recent TV appearance, Alan Greenspan made the same suggestion.

Ludovic
07-21-2011, 07:10 AM
I too struggle to see why we need a separate vote on the debt limit. It's nonsensical to have a vote authorizing the expenditures of certain moneys but then another vote to actually authorizing gathering those moneys.

I can't think of a valid scenario where a separate vote would be useful, except in situations where we'd be too far gone for the vote to stop anything anyway (for instance, a runaway Fed and President collaborating to borrow money to ---- help me out here?)

Ravenman
07-21-2011, 07:36 AM
I too struggle to see why we need a separate vote on the debt limit. It's nonsensical to have a vote authorizing the expenditures of certain moneys but then another vote to actually authorizing gathering those moneys.

I can't think of a valid scenario where a separate vote would be useful, except in situations where we'd be too far gone for the vote to stop anything anyway (for instance, a runaway Fed and President collaborating to borrow money to ---- help me out here?)The issue of borrowing is a separate constitutional power than the power to expend, or the power to raise taxes, for that matter. That's why those issues are largely dealt with in separate processes.

And, I speak as someone who supports bringing down the deficit in a responsible manner that prioritizes the economic recovery, along with a mixed package of spending cuts and tax increases: it is GOOD that we are having a national debate over the long-term fiscal picture. I certainly won't agree with everything that will be in a final package, however that turns out -- but this debate on the long-term fiscal health of the government wouldn't be happening if there wasn't a debt limit.

One of the first lessons I was told when I came to Washington is that nothing happens until it absolutely can't be put off any longer. The more time I spend here, the more true that adage seems. Despite the risks -- or really, because of them -- the debt limit has served its purpose in focusing people's attention on whether the government is spending too much on "nice to haves" and whether some people are paying less than their fair share of taxes.

Smitty
07-21-2011, 08:01 AM
We should stop pretending that the debt ceiling wasn't raised when the money was borrowed. If we must go through the formality, then every member of congress should vote to approve it and Obama should sign it. It should not include any other provisions other than an increase that will cover the debt already acquired. The debt ceiling has absolutely nothing to do with lowering the US debt and deficit.

Not quite. Appropriations were made, but the money was not borrowed. The debt is not acquired until the money is actually borrowed.

Really Not All That Bright
07-21-2011, 08:57 AM
1) The Gang of Six Plan-Provided there are no new taxes and it just involves elimination of tax breaks and loopholes (and thus simplify the tax cut) and the majority of savings are spending cuts I will support it (yes I am a fairly moderate Scott Brown-style Republican on most issu3es except abortion).
There is no functional difference between "eliminating tax breaks and loopholes" and "new taxes".
2) Cut, Cap, and Balance Plan-The vast majority of the Republicans in the House have approved it and I don't think a BBA is unreasonable considering 49 states already have such a law.
49 states don't actually balance their budgets, and Congress doesn't have the power to enact an amendment anyway.
4) Bachmann Plan-Opposition to raising the debt ceiling shows great principle considering President Obama himself claimed raising the debt ceiling during the Bush years was a "failure of leadership" yet the Republicans have overwhelmingly put country before party and have given up a magnificent opportunity to expose the hypocrasy of the President on the debt ceiling issue to save the country from economic crisis.
I don't understand what you're trying to say here. Bachmann is showing "great principle" by raising the same anti-spending talking points she would anyway?

Qin Shi Huangdi
07-21-2011, 08:59 AM
You have a cite for this? I'm curious how States can have a BBA yet issue massive amount of debt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balanced_Budget_Amendment

U.S. states

Every US state other than Vermont has some form of balanced budget amendment; the precise form varies.[3] An unusual variant is the Oregon kicker, which bans surpluses of more than 2% of revenue by refunding the money to the taxpayers.

Really Not All That Bright
07-21-2011, 09:26 AM
"Some form of balanced budget amendment" covers rather a broad area. For example, Florida's constitution requires that anticipated appropriations cannot exceed anticipated revenues by more than 3%, which isn't quite what I'd call "balanced". Oh, and the legislature can exceed the 3% cap by a three-fifths vote.

furt
07-21-2011, 09:43 AM
There is no functional difference between "eliminating tax breaks and loopholes" and "new taxes."Of course there is. Even when there is no strict budgetary difference between 1) eliminating breaks and loopholes worth X amount of dollars, 2) enacting new taxes we hope will bring in X amount of dollars, and 3) simply raising rates in hopes of bringing in X amount of dollars, there are nonetheless major distinctions to be made.

For one, they're more politically palatable. Eliminating loopholes hurts a minority. Raising rates hurts a larger group.

Two, and this also speaks to politics, it is generally regarded as fairer. The byzantine tax code with its multitudes of exemptions and credits encourages ordinary folks to think that others -- the savvy and/or politically connected -- are getting out of paying their fair share by gaming the system. And the ordinary folks are entirely right.

Three, and this is a purely practical consideration which I offer without backing evidence, I suspect that the revenue projections for eliminating or reducing tax breaks will be more accurate than the revenue projections for enacting new or increased taxes. In the former case we have a baseline (we know what people were doing before the credit). In the latter, we don't know how the economy will respond to new taxes.

Four, and most importantly, the endless system of tax credits and exemptions and loopholes all distorts the normal functioning of the market and impairs overall economic growth. Some of those may serve arguably legitimate functions (e.g. tax credits for electric cars), but many of them are done to benefit political constituencies who are seeking government protection from the free market (e.g. agriculture subsidies).

Now, I understand that hard-line GOP nimrods are going to blur the distinction, but there's no reason we have to believe them.

tim-n-va
07-21-2011, 09:55 AM
Yes the borrowing is in a different part of the constitution and the debt isn't actually incurred (in one sense of the word debt) yet. In another more realistic sense, the debt was incurred when the net effect of the government made an obligation. In another sense, we created debt in the more strict definition when the interest on debts issued continues to accrue.

To pretend there is no real debt in excess of the current limit because we haven't actually issued some sort of bond or note is a little pedantic.

Also, the point being raised is not what the current rules are, it's whether the current rules make sense - you can make an obligation to pay for something and then later decide whether to borrow money to pay for it when it was clear from the start that borrowing would be required.

TriPolar
07-21-2011, 10:21 AM
Not quite. Appropriations were made, but the money was not borrowed. The debt is not acquired until the money is actually borrowed.

I stand corrected. Appropriated then.

DirkGntly
07-21-2011, 10:30 AM
On a recent TV appearance, Alan Greenspan made the same suggestion.
I'm always leery of these types of suggestions from heads of, or former heads of, the Federal Reserve Board. Remember that the Fed is a privately held corporation, independent of the Federal government, and earns interest on money they PRINT. (Man, I want that deal: Here, I've printed you $1 billion - it only cost me the ink and materials - and your interest rate on this money I've manufactured is only 4%!) Removing the debt ceiling entirely is a nice benefit for the Federal Reserve Board.

LonghornDave
07-21-2011, 10:40 AM
Of course there is. Even when there is no strict budgetary difference between 1) eliminating breaks and loopholes worth X amount of dollars, 2) enacting new taxes we hope will bring in X amount of dollars, and 3) simply raising rates in hopes of bringing in X amount of dollars, there are nonetheless major distinctions to be made.

For one, they're more politically palatable. Eliminating loopholes hurts a minority. Raising rates hurts a larger group.

Two, and this also speaks to politics, it is generally regarded as fairer. The byzantine tax code with its multitudes of exemptions and credits encourages ordinary folks to think that others -- the savvy and/or politically connected -- are getting out of paying their fair share by gaming the system. And the ordinary folks are entirely right.

Three, and this is a purely practical consideration which I offer without backing evidence, I suspect that the revenue projections for eliminating or reducing tax breaks will be more accurate than the revenue projections for enacting new or increased taxes. In the former case we have a baseline (we know what people were doing before the credit). In the latter, we don't know how the economy will respond to new taxes.

Four, and most importantly, the endless system of tax credits and exemptions and loopholes all distorts the normal functioning of the market and impairs overall economic growth. Some of those may serve arguably legitimate functions (e.g. tax credits for electric cars), but many of them are done to benefit political constituencies who are seeking government protection from the free market (e.g. agriculture subsidies).

Now, I understand that hard-line GOP nimrods are going to blur the distinction, but there's no reason we have to believe them.

The simple fact is that many of these so-called loopholes are normal deductions that make sense when compared to the entirety of the tax code. Further, the statement that they are eliminating the loopholes is in reality the obfuscating event.

For example, take Obama's proposal to end tax breaks for corporate jet owners. (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/06/29/press-conference-president)

"The tax cuts I’m proposing we get rid of are tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires; tax breaks for oil companies and hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners."

"And if we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, if we choose to keep a tax break for corporate jet owners, if we choose to keep tax breaks for oil and gas companies that are making hundreds of billions of dollars, then that means we’ve got to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship."

"I think it’s only fair to ask an oil company or a corporate jet owner that has done so well to give up a tax break that no other business enjoys."

" So the question is, if everybody else is willing to take on their sacred cows and do tough things in order to achieve the goal of real deficit reduction, then I think it would be hard for the Republicans to stand there and say that the tax break for corporate jets is sufficiently important that we’re not willing to come to the table and get a deal done."

"You’ll still be able to ride on your corporate jet; you’re just going to have to pay a little more."

"And I’ve said to some of the Republican leaders, you go talk to your constituents, the Republican constituents, and ask them are they willing to compromise their kids’ safety so that some corporate jet owner continues to get a tax break."

All statements taken from a single speach by Obama where he sort of makes it sound like there is some sort of loophole he is proposing to be eliminated. The reality though is that he wants to change the depreciation schedule for corporate jets from 5 years to 7 years. Modifying this schedule would either: 1) reduce the sales of corporate jets which ultimately reduces tax revenue; or 2) corporate jet sales stay basically the same and tax revenue is identical in dollars but the timing of receipt is sped up a little.

Ravenman
07-21-2011, 10:44 AM
Yes the borrowing is in a different part of the constitution and the debt isn't actually incurred (in one sense of the word debt) yet. In another more realistic sense, the debt was incurred when the net effect of the government made an obligation. In another sense, we created debt in the more strict definition when the interest on debts issued continues to accrue.

To pretend there is no real debt in excess of the current limit because we haven't actually issued some sort of bond or note is a little pedantic.

Also, the point being raised is not what the current rules are, it's whether the current rules make sense - you can make an obligation to pay for something and then later decide whether to borrow money to pay for it when it was clear from the start that borrowing would be required.I'm afraid you don't seem to understand the most basic precept of government operations: without funding in hand, there is no obligation on the part of the government.

All those future budget projections about spending and debt or whatnot are not binding upon the United States, with the exception of guaranteeing the debt that is authorized by law. Other than the validity of that debt, everything can be changed because it is the prerogative of the government to do so.

Something does not become an obligation of the government until the funding is in hand to turn a commitment (which is an idea that the government would like to do something) into an obligation (which is the legal requirement to do it).

septimus
07-21-2011, 10:49 AM
4) Bachmann Plan-Opposition to raising the debt ceiling shows great principle ... the Republicans have overwhelmingly put country before party and have given up a magnificent opportunity to expose the hypocrasy of the President on the debt ceiling issue to save the country from economic crisis.

Right. Today's Republicans with their compassionate policies are the true patriots, especially insightful bring-us-together intellectuals like Bachmann. It's the dastardly Democrats who are bringing the country to its knees with tax-and-spend, foolish wars, Wall St. bailouts and obstinance in Congress. When will voters come to their senses?

Remember that the Fed is a privately held corporation, independent of the Federal government, and earns interest on money they PRINT.... Removing the debt ceiling entirely is a nice benefit for the Federal Reserve Board.

:confused: :confused:

From Wikipedia: The U.S. Government receives all of the [Fed Res] system's annual profits, after a statutory dividend of 6% on member banks' capital investment is paid, and an account surplus is maintained. In 2010, the Federal Reserve made a profit of $82 billion and transferred $79 billion to the U.S. Treasury.

tim-n-va
07-21-2011, 11:04 AM
Words can and do have multiple meanings depending on the context. The US government has obligations in the sense that promises have been made. It is correct there is not an "obligation of funds". If those promises don't mean anything, why is anyone talking about the debt ceiling. The issue is what happens if the US government is seen to not be trustworthy regarding promises (obligations) despite there not being an actual issuance of debt.

US veterans see an obligation to get their pensions, SS recipients see an obligation to get their checks, current holders of US debt see an obligation to be repaid with interest, etc.

I fully understand the difference between legal debt obligations and obligations of promise but I also fully understand that there will dire consequences for defaulting on either.

Whack-a-Mole
07-21-2011, 11:16 AM
The simple fact is that many of these so-called loopholes are normal deductions that make sense when compared to the entirety of the tax code.

Depends on the "loophole" being discussed.

The "carried interest (http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2010/03/15/100315ta_talk_surowiecki)" loophole is a biggie and a loophole any way you slice it.

For corporations you have them do "transfer pricing (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-23/tax-shenanigans-turn-u-s-sales-to-foreign-income-with-billions-offshore.html)" to move profits overseas so they pay no taxes on that money at all. Then you lobby Congress for a "tax holiday (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/holiday-in-scambodia-20110720)" to repatriate that money at substantially lower tax rates (e.g. at 5%).

Those would be loopholes. I am betting there are more.

Point is, you are not raising the tax rate. You are merely asking people and corporations to pay the taxes they are supposed to pay. Taxes you and I (or at least I do) pay as a matter of course.

Really Not All That Bright
07-21-2011, 11:23 AM
That is a new tax. It's an additional tax on monies which were not previously taxed. Any way you slice it, closing loopholes or introducing new taxes are functionally indistinguishable.

LonghornDave
07-21-2011, 11:40 AM
Depends on the "loophole" being discussed.

Sure, but Obama has focused on corporate jets, oil company subsidies, and hedge funds. The depreciation schedule for corporate jets is not a loophole. Oil companies do not receive subsidies. Hedge funds I agree with.

The "carried interest (http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2010/03/15/100315ta_talk_surowiecki)" loophole is a biggie and a loophole any way you slice it..

Agreed.

For corporations you have them do "transfer pricing (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-23/tax-shenanigans-turn-u-s-sales-to-foreign-income-with-billions-offshore.html)" to move profits overseas so they pay no taxes on that money at all. Then you lobby Congress for a "tax holiday (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/holiday-in-scambodia-20110720)" to repatriate that money at substantially lower tax rates (e.g. at 5%).

I have not studied up on this enough to speak on it in a detailed way. I will say that in general, if a multinational company legitimately earns profits overseas and pays taxes on those dollars according to that foreign country's laws, I do not see any legitimate reason why they should also pay taxes to the U.S. government. The fact is that when a foreign company, say Kia for example, makes products here in the U.S. and sells them here in the U.S., we expect them to pay U.S. taxes. It runs both ways. As long as companies are handling things on an arm's length basis with their foreign subsidiaries then I am okay with it. If they are not handled on an arm's length basis then that seems like a job for the IRS enforcement agents to me.

Point is, you are not raising the tax rate. You are merely asking people and corporations to pay the taxes they are supposed to pay. Taxes you and I (or at least I do) pay as a matter of course.

Here is a hypothetical. Every single company in the country gets to deduct overhead expenses in determining their taxable income. Congress writes a law saying that everyone can do it except Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon. They then come out and say that they are ending subsidies for Big Internet. Big Internet makes enough money, and they should be paying their fair share. They talk about how they are closing loopholes that Big Internet has enjoyed for years.

What do we call that? Is it ending a subsidy or closing a loophole like congress has said?

Duckster
07-21-2011, 12:29 PM
Remember that the Fed is a privately held corporation, independent of the Federal government, and earns interest on money they PRINT.

Really?

Strange that the Fed's federal government web site (http://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/default.htm) makes no mention they are a non-government entity. Also, a .gov TLD web site is restricted to agencies and entities of the US Government. A private entity cannot hold a .gov web address.

Hmmm. Let's look some more.

Even the Fed's overview document (http://www.federalreserve.gov/pf/pdf/pf_1.pdf) (large PDF warning) says they are a government entitity.


In the current system, private banks are for-profit businesses but government regulation places restrictions on what they can do. The Federal Reserve System is a part of government that regulates the private banks. The balance between privatization and government involvement is also seen in the structure of the system. Private banks elect members of the board of directors at their regional Federal Reserve Bank while the members of the Board of Governors are selected by the President of the United States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/President_of_the_United_States) and confirmed by the Senate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate). The private banks give input to the government officials about their economic situation and these government officials use this input in Federal Reserve policy decisions. In the end, private banking businesses are able to run a profitable business while the U.S. government, through the Federal Reserve System, oversees and regulates the activities of the private banks. (Bolding mine.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Reserve_System#Balance_between_private_banks_and_responsibility_of_governments

Dick Dastardly
07-21-2011, 12:46 PM
What should be done about raising the debt ceiling and more broadly what should be done to start lowering the US' massive debts and deficits?

My plans in order of preference:
1) The Gang of Six Plan-Provided there are no new taxes and it just involves elimination of tax breaks and loopholes (and thus simplify the tax cut) and the majority of savings are spending cuts I will support it (yes I am a fairly moderate Scott Brown-style Republican on most issu3es except abortion).
2) Cut, Cap, and Balance Plan-The vast majority of the Republicans in the House have approved it and I don't think a BBA is unreasonable considering 49 states already have such a law.
3) McConnell Plan-Only a temporizing solution but at least it might raise the debt ceiling
4) Bachmann Plan-Opposition to raising the debt ceiling shows great principle considering President Obama himself claimed raising the debt ceiling during the Bush years was a "failure of leadership" yet the Republicans have overwhelmingly put country before party and have given up a magnificent opportunity to expose the hypocrasy of the President on the debt ceiling issue to save the country from economic crisis.


We need to maintain current spending levels, increase deficit spending while we can borrow so cheaply and grow our way out of deficits. Do what worked before when we had higher dwebt levels.

gonzomax
07-21-2011, 12:48 PM
Grover Nordquist say letting the Bush tax cuts end would not be a tax raise. Perhaps he sees the damage his philosophy has brought and knows what the correct fix is.

ladyfoxfyre
07-21-2011, 12:51 PM
4) Bachmann Plan-Opposition to raising the debt ceiling shows great principle considering President Obama himself claimed raising the debt ceiling during the Bush years was a "failure of leadership" yet the Republicans have overwhelmingly put country before party and have given up a magnificent opportunity to expose the hypocrasy of the President on the debt ceiling issue to save the country from economic crisis.

HAHAHAHahahahaha! You mean like when Mitch McConnell went on TV and told everybody that if the GOP caved on tax increases they were handing Obama a victory in 2012? That is them "putting country before party"?

Please.

Ravenman
07-21-2011, 12:55 PM
Grover Nordquist say letting the Bush tax cuts end would not be a tax raise. And this, my friends, is the craziest f'ing thing I've ever heard. I assume that Mr. Norquist had one of those worms from Star Trek II attached to his brain when he said that.

Whack-a-Mole
07-21-2011, 01:08 PM
Really?

Strange that the Fed's federal government web site (http://www.federalreserve.gov/aboutthefed/default.htm) makes no mention they are a non-government entity.

It neither public nor private (or perhaps you could say it is both).

From one perspective, the Fed looks like a public institution: Congress created it in 1913 to maintain the stability of the financial system; the president appoints, and the Senate confirms, the members of its Board of Governors; and it's not out to make a profit—after taking care of expenses, the Fed hands off its earnings to the Treasury. Furthermore, the details of its responsibilities are subject to congressional oversight. Still, the Fed is rightly classified as an independent central bank. Neither the executive branch nor the legislature gets a direct say in its decision-making, and it pays for its own operations (primarily by acquiring U.S. government securities on the open market). In short, the Fed is an independent entity within the government.

SOURCE: http://www.slate.com/id/2200411/

Jas09
07-21-2011, 01:16 PM
Grover Nordquist say letting the Bush tax cuts end would not be a tax raise. Perhaps he sees the damage his philosophy has brought and knows what the correct fix is.

And this, my friends, is the craziest f'ing thing I've ever heard. I assume that Mr. Norquist had one of those worms from Star Trek II attached to his brain when he said that.He's already taken it back, claiming the Post misinterpreted him.

Susanann
07-21-2011, 01:49 PM
What should be done about raising the debt ceiling and more broadly what should be done to start lowering the US' massive debts and deficits?

My plans in order of preference:
1) The Gang of Six Plan-Provided there are no new taxes and it just involves elimination of tax breaks and loopholes (and thus simplify the tax cut) and the majority of savings are spending cuts I will support it (yes I am a fairly moderate Scott Brown-style Republican on most issu3es except abortion).
2) Cut, Cap, and Balance Plan-The vast majority of the Republicans in the House have approved it and I don't think a BBA is unreasonable considering 49 states already have such a law.
3) McConnell Plan-Only a temporizing solution but at least it might raise the debt ceiling
4) Bachmann Plan-Opposition to raising the debt ceiling shows great principle considering President Obama himself claimed raising the debt ceiling during the Bush years was a "failure of leadership" yet the Republicans have overwhelmingly put country before party and have given up a magnificent opportunity to expose the hypocrasy of the President on the debt ceiling issue to save the country from economic crisis.

My plan is a lot easier and less complicated: Reduce spending.

Wasn't that easy?

ladyfoxfyre
07-21-2011, 01:50 PM
Your plans are usually "less" a lot of things.

Lobohan
07-21-2011, 01:53 PM
My plan is a lot easier and less complicated: Reduce spending.

Wasn't that easy?If we reduce spending so that the debt ceiling isn't crossed it would destroy the economy and put millions of people out of work.

Your plan is less complicated, but it's also very, very bad. Sometimes complex problems require solutions that are complicated.

I'm assuming you care if the economy is destroyed, do you think it's okay to turn the recession up to 11?

gonzomax
07-21-2011, 02:20 PM
My plan is a lot easier and less complicated: Reduce spending.

Wasn't that easy?

Sure, now show what you would cut, and how much it would add up to. Then perhaps you can see how easy it isn't.

ladyfoxfyre
07-21-2011, 02:22 PM
You know, all the wasteful stuff! That's got its own column on all the accounting sheet. See, it's SS, defense, blah blah, then wasteful spending. Just cut that one right out. See how easy that was?

Fear Itself
07-21-2011, 02:23 PM
Sure, now show what you would cut, and how much it would add up to. Then perhaps you can see how easy it isn't.Don't do that. They just lop off entire cabinet departments, like Education, Labor, Energy. See, it's easy!

ladyfoxfyre
07-21-2011, 02:27 PM
From what I hear from Bachmann, the EPA is actually the "job-killing organization". Yeah. So there's that.

Telemark
07-21-2011, 02:29 PM
My plan is a lot easier and less complicated: Reduce spending.


"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

- H. L. Mencken

Whack-a-Mole
07-21-2011, 02:51 PM
Don't do that. They just lop off entire cabinet departments, like Education, Labor, Energy. See, it's easy!

Yep...simple. Just cut EVERY discretionary spending item we have and we can start paying down the deficit.

2010 Deficit: $1.342 trillion (http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2010/08/19/budget-deficit-trillion-source/)
2010 Discretionary spending (everything except Social Security, Unemployment/welfare, Medicare, Medicaid and interest payments on debt): $1.378 trillion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_federal_budget#Total_spending)

So, if we shut everything down, INCLUDING the entire military (all of it), we'll have $36 billion left over to pay down the debt. That is currently $14.521 trillion (http://www.usdebtclock.org/) so if we take all that leftover money and reduce the debt we'll be done in four hundred years.

Easy peasy...

septimus
07-21-2011, 03:16 PM
So, if we shut everything down, INCLUDING the entire military (all of it), we'll have $36 billion left over to pay down the debt. That is currently $14.521 trillion (http://www.usdebtclock.org/) so if we take all that leftover money and reduce the debt we'll be done in four hundred years.

I hate to rain on your parade, but this optimistic assessment is flawed. For one thing, it assumes that present tax revenue continues despite no Federal spending on energy, education, science, transportation, etc. You must have been smoking Republican weed if you think the economy will not collapse in your scenario.

(I have some easy-peasy solutions of my own to offer, but the details are fit only for BBQ Pit.)

Ravenman
07-21-2011, 03:21 PM
I hate to rain on your parade, but this optimistic assessment is flawed. For one thing, it assumes that present tax revenue continues despite no Federal spending on energy, education, science, transportation, etc. You must have been smoking Republican weed if you think the economy will not collapse in your scenario.I think if you read his post a little more carefully, you will understand that the comments about completely shutting down government operations (except for Social Security and Medicare) and the resulting retirement of the debt 400 years later, is in fact a clever critique of the view that "all we have to do is stop spending so much."

Whack-a-Mole
07-21-2011, 03:34 PM
I think if you read his post a little more carefully, you will understand that the comments about completely shutting down government operations (except for Social Security and Medicare) and the resulting retirement of the debt 400 years later, is in fact a clever critique of the view that "all we have to do is stop spending so much."

Thanks.

You are correct that my post was meant to be sarcastic. I certainly do not advocate a complete shut down of government.

septimus
07-21-2011, 04:16 PM
I think if you read his post a little more carefully, you will understand that the comments about completely shutting down government operations (except for Social Security and Medicare) and the resulting retirement of the debt 400 years later, is in fact a clever critique of the view that "all we have to do is stop spending so much."

Anybody who thought my post was anything other than satire directed at satire has been smoking some sort of weed, Republican or otherwise.

Whack-a-Mole
07-21-2011, 04:26 PM
I have not studied up on this enough to speak on it in a detailed way.

Read the link I provided (not a very long piece). It'll explain it in broad outlines that should suffice for now.

Ravenman
07-21-2011, 04:51 PM
Anybody who thought my post was anything other than satire directed at satire has been smoking some sort of weed, Republican or otherwise.The only kind of Republican weed I have ever heard of are the unwanted dandelions that the hired help meticulously pull from the fairways and greens at the country club... and I don't think anyone smokes that stuff.

I indeed misunderstood your sarcasm, leading me to conclude that you are far more clever than I am.

LonghornDave
07-21-2011, 04:56 PM
Read the link I provided (not a very long piece). It'll explain it in broad outlines that should suffice for now.

I read it, thanks. My own quirk is that I don't consider any article by any news source to be a reliable method of learning about any topic. They are enough to get me interested in subjects. I just simply don't trust journalists to get their facts straight. It's not a bias issue; it's more of a "I don't believe they understand what they are writing about" issue. I will likely read the Ways & Means Committee report, which is 134 pages. Again, thanks for the information.

Susanann
07-21-2011, 05:19 PM
Originally Posted by Susanann
My plan is a lot easier and less complicated: Reduce spending.
"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." - H. L. Mencken
Who cares about Mencken, the best solution when a country, or even a family, is spending more than their income, is to reduce spending. Since when ever was mencken a credit counselor? What does mencken know about bankruptcy?

Anyway, it does not matter how much debt you have, you cant borrow your way out.

I dont care how much the Democrats want to keep spending more and more, I dont care how much the husband or wife complains that they want to continue to charge more and more on their credit cards, or any other fancy talk. If you are in debt and spending more than your income, and if you already maxed out all of your credit cards and if you already have taken out a second and a third mortgage on your home, the simple, obvious, best, solution out of your problem is to reduce spending.

YOu can pretend to play games, you can plead that it is "necessary" to buy a new wardrobe each spring or say it is necessary to start another war, or you can try to bargain by promising to cut spending 8 years from now if only everyone will raise your card limit, but it wont work. The only solution that works is to cut spending.

SenorBeef
07-21-2011, 05:28 PM
To reduce spending down to the point where the debt limit was irrelevant, we would have to cut the current outlays below the current revenue for the immediate term - we're not talking about gradually phasing out programs or privitizing things, we're talking about shutting down vast swaths of the government dead cold, possibly stopping sending out social security checks, etc.

"Cut spending" is a fine suggestion to a long term debt problem. It's an utterly catastrophic suggestion as to how to avoid the current debt "crisis", a crisis which was completely manufactured by the Republican party who decided to hold the country hostage over a procedural matter.

Grey
07-21-2011, 05:56 PM
Of course in the family scenario the arriving income is completely independent of their spending. A nation's economy is not. Take away 20% of the US GDP (government spending) and you wind up with a complete crash that will make that sick feeling in your stomach back in 2008/2009 feel like a tingle of joy.

Qin Shi Huangdi
07-21-2011, 06:09 PM
Right. Today's Republicans with their compassionate policies are the true patriots, especially insightful bring-us-together intellectuals like Bachmann. It's the dastardly Democrats who are bringing the country to its knees with tax-and-spend, foolish wars, Wall St. bailouts and obstinance in Congress. When will voters come to their senses?




Democrats supported by good majorities both wars and Wall Street bailouts.


We need to maintain current spending levels, increase deficit spending while we can borrow so cheaply and grow our way out of deficits. Do what worked before when we had higher dwebt levels.

Yes because Keynesianism worked so well.

Also we should stop regarding Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid as something untouchable. We can as I've said raise the retirement age for jobs that do not involve physical labour.

septimus
07-21-2011, 06:15 PM
I indeed misunderstood your sarcasm, leading me to conclude that you are far more clever than I am.

Just the opposite. If I were clever I'd have known to include a smiley-face to avoid confusion. And I'm sure you'd have interpreted my post as intended if there was a mouseover-popup called "Summary of septimus' posts and rationality." Although I've debated here off-and-on for many months now, there are only a dozen or so Dopers whose alignment is clear in my memory. Sometimes I think I should make a crib sheet to keep track of you guys. :D

Fear Itself
07-21-2011, 06:19 PM
We can as I've said raise the retirement age for jobs that do not involve physical labour.Oh, nothing could go wrong with that idea.

septimus
07-21-2011, 06:22 PM
Democrats supported by good majorities both wars and Wall Street bailouts.

Yes because Keynesianism worked so well.

Also we should stop regarding Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid as something untouchable. We can as I've said raise the retirement age for jobs that do not involve physical labour.

Your views on the Iraq War and Keynesianism are both incorrect, as has been explained to you in previous threads. You ignore the ignorance-fighting done for your benefit, wait a few weeks silently, and then repeat the same misconceptions.

And what's with this conflation between Social Security and the present debt-ceiling "crisis." Surely you know SocSec has a present surplus of about $3,000,000,000,000.00 To conflate the coming demographic bust with today's political crisis is to show immense confusion.

Richard Parker
07-21-2011, 06:46 PM
Here's what I would do:

(1) House GOP passes approx. 1.5 trillion or so in spending cuts that 5-10 Senate Dems and the President can support. GOP Senators and a few Dems in the Senate pass concurrent resolution. Bill goes to Obama.

(2) House Dems + the GOP members who were willing to raise the debt limit if there was 1.5 trill in spending cuts pass a bill to raise debt limit however much is necessary to get to 2013. Senate concurs.

(3) Obama signs both bills.

(4) House Dems introduce bill to extend only the middle class tax cuts of the Bush cuts and that cuts some loopholes and generally does the revenue-raising Obama is proposing now.

(5) GOP do whatever they want, but Obama lets the tax cuts on the rich expire.

The 60 or so members of the GOP kamikaze caucus get their spending cuts without taking a toxic vote to increase the debt limit. Vulnerable House Dems get to raise the debt limit without voting for the spending cuts. Obama gets to be at the center. And Republicans get their spending cuts and can fight the tax changes, knowing that they can both score political points for opposing the expiration but not actually own the deficit consequences.

I think the GOP would go for it, and I think the Dems would go for it, and I think it's a better deal than anything that is plausibly on the table.

Bosstone
07-21-2011, 06:50 PM
I think the GOP would go for it, and I think the Dems would go for it, and I think it's a better deal than anything that is plausibly on the table.It would mean cooperation with Obama.

So, no.

Richard Parker
07-21-2011, 07:04 PM
It would mean cooperation with Obama.

So, no.

It minimizes it though. The only vote the craziest GOP loonies have to take is to cut a bunch of spending. You're telling me they don't take that vote? If so, the plan is still a win for the Dems.

Lord Feldon
07-21-2011, 08:38 PM
The issue of borrowing is a separate constitutional power than the power to expend, or the power to raise taxes, for that matter. That's why those issues are largely dealt with in separate processes.

They aren't largely dealt with in separate processes, though. The debt ceiling is almost always raised as a matter of course whenever an appropriations bill requires it. In fact, the House usually has a rule that automatically approves an increase whenever the House approves an appropriation requiring it. The House decided not to enact that rule again this year, though, so that they could have a bonus chance to cause a crisis.

Qin Shi Huangdi
07-21-2011, 08:41 PM
Your views on the Iraq War and Keynesianism are both incorrect, as has been explained to you in previous threads. You ignore the ignorance-fighting done for your benefit, wait a few weeks silently, and then repeat the same misconceptions.

Which thread exactly? As far as the facts go the majority of Democratic senators voted for the Iraq War./

And what's with this conflation between Social Security and the present debt-ceiling "crisis." Surely you know SocSec has a present surplus of about $3,000,000,000,000.00 To conflate the coming demographic bust with today's political crisis is to show immense confusion.
[/QUOTE]

I was merely giving it as an example of a "sacred cow (along with Medicaid for Dems and military spending for the Republicans).

Qin Shi Huangdi
07-21-2011, 08:45 PM
The President and the Speaker are closing in on a deal:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/22/us/politics/22fiscal.html?_r=1&hp

It is substantially of course the Gang of Six plan.

Duckster
07-21-2011, 08:50 PM
The President and the Speaker are closing in on a deal:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/22/us/politics/22fiscal.html?_r=1&hp

It is substantially of course the Gang of Six plan.

The deal will be real when the vote is taken the debt ceiling is raised. I expect this "deal" to fall through by the weekend.

SenorBeef
07-21-2011, 09:00 PM
I don't know, I'm kind of bored of this and want to move on to the next crisis.

I'm thinking one of the one of the republicans on one of the armed services committee can use their clearances to get access to a nuclear bomb, and threaten to blow up Washington DC. Then we'll get some "bipartisan compromises" which look suspiciously close to the republican agenda to avert the crisis that, well, let's be honest, will somehow be all be Obama's fault.






This post is only slightly hyperbolic.

Qin Shi Huangdi
07-21-2011, 09:02 PM
The deal will be real when the vote is taken the debt ceiling is raised. I expect this "deal" to fall through by the weekend.

This has as much Republican support as say the Banking reform bill last year which gained about half a dozen Republican votes.

Fear Itself
07-21-2011, 09:30 PM
As far as the facts go the majority of Democratic senators voted for the Iraq War.Based on fabricated intelligence from the Bush Administration. Let it drop, son.

Qin Shi Huangdi
07-21-2011, 09:34 PM
Never mind

Leaper
07-21-2011, 09:40 PM
The President and the Speaker are closing in on a deal:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/22/us/politics/22fiscal.html?_r=1&hp

It is substantially of course the Gang of Six plan.

I've read that both parties have denied this.

LouisB
07-21-2011, 09:56 PM
Posted by Susann:
If you are in debt and spending more than your income, and if you already maxed out all of your credit cards and if you already have taken out a second and a third mortgage on your home, the simple, obvious, best, solution out of your problem is to reduce spending. Bankruptcy comes to mind; legal, quicker, and much more simple. You should have not trouble understanding that.

Qin Shi Huangdi
07-21-2011, 09:56 PM
I've read that both parties have denied this.

It says as much in the article itself.

Ravenman
07-21-2011, 09:58 PM
They aren't largely dealt with in separate processes, though. The debt ceiling is almost always raised as a matter of course whenever an appropriations bill requires it. Unfortunately, you are mistaken. Debt limit increases are not undertaken in appropriations bills -- they are separate pieces of legislation. I'm happy to provide you with citations for recent debt limit increases, and I can assure you that they were not in appropriations bills.

In fact, the House usually has a rule that automatically approves an increase whenever the House approves an appropriation requiring it. The House decided not to enact that rule again this year, though, so that they could have a bonus chance to cause a crisis.Again, you are mistaken as to your first sentence. I think the problem may be that you do not appreciate the difference between the budget, a budget resolution, an appropriations bill, and other legislation.

The budget is merely a proposal from the President. It is not law. A budget resolution is a blueprint of spending and revenue passed by Congress, but it is not law -- but it can be used to initiate new legislation to increase the debt limit, but just because a budget resolution isn't balanced does NOT generate an increase in the debt limit. Finally, an appropriations bill is law, but it only provides for expenditures, not for tax changes or issuance of debt.

But let me say one thing clearly: the absence of the Gephardt Rule makes no difference whatsoever this year, as I explained in post 67. (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=614984&page=2)

humanafterall
07-21-2011, 10:20 PM
Well at the end of the day, my vote will ultimately go to this guy (http://trollpolitics.com/). You only need to click on the link and you'll see his face.

Leaper
07-21-2011, 11:28 PM
It says as much in the article itself.

... Then why say they're "closing in on a deal" when they both say they aren't?

China Guy
07-22-2011, 02:50 AM
Which thread exactly? As far as the facts go the majority of Democratic senators voted for the Iraq War.Jesus H Christ. The vote was to authorize the President to have the option to go to war so the President would have a credible threat. It was not a clear cut resolution to go to war nor a declaration of war. I would really appreciate it if you wouldn't keep throwing this meme out, thank you very much in advance.

septimus
07-22-2011, 05:53 AM
Jesus H Christ. The vote was to authorize the President to have the option to go to war so the President would have a credible threat. It was not a clear cut resolution to go to war nor a declaration of war. I would really appreciate it if you wouldn't keep throwing this meme out, thank you very much in advance.

It's often said "You're entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts."
But this isn't really true. Senators really did vote; that's a fact. Curtis would be happy to apply his intelligence to refute disagreeable facts; in this case he doesn't need to think -- he's got a "fact" on his side. :D

The themes of 1984 (War is Peace; Ignorance is Strength; etc.) have come true in today's America. In the 2004 election "facts" made the war hero into a shirker and the shirker into the man who did his duty. (I wonder about Curtis' views on that.)

RickJay
07-22-2011, 09:32 AM
I'm always leery of these types of suggestions from heads of, or former heads of, the Federal Reserve Board. Remember that the Fed is a privately held corporation, independent of the Federal government...
This is a pretty dramatic misstatement.

While the Federal Reserve Ssystem (not Federal Reserve Board; the FRS is the organization, the FRB is the board that governs it) is technically a private corporation, the people who run it are, by law, appointees of the government, its authority comes from U.S. federal law, and the government pockets all the profit. So to call it "independent of the Federal Government" is, frankly, simplification to the point of just being wrong.

Susanann
07-22-2011, 10:04 AM
Posted by Susann:
If you are in debt and spending more than your income, and if you already maxed out all of your credit cards and if you already have taken out a second and a third mortgage on your home, the simple, obvious, best, solution out of your problem is to reduce spending.
Bankruptcy comes to mind; legal, quicker, and much more simple. You should have not trouble understanding that.
Nope. In fact, bankruptcy inevitably leads to reduced spending. And I am talking about real cutting, reductions way more bigger than anyone is currently dreaming of.

Bankruptcy is not an alternative to cutting spending. Bankruptcy necessitates reduced spending. What bankruptcy does is FORCE a family, or a country, to cut spending, because nobody will lend to you anymore, because the banks and everyone else will stop lending to you. Going bankrupt changes makes the situation worse by reducing your choices, bankruptcy effectually requires spending to be cut no matter what else you would like to do. Once a country goes bankrupt it no longer has a choice, it therefore MUST spend less because it simply cant borrow as much.

Spending too much, going into excessive debt, knowingly borrowing more than you can ever pay back, can not go on forever. Sooner or later you run out of people willing to lend to you, and once people stop lending to you it will become impossible to do anything except cut spending.

Thus reducing spending is not only the simplist, most obvious, best solution, but in fact, sooner or later reducing spending is inevitably the ONLY option in the long term.

Nothing else (besides reducing spending) being talked about even matters. Everything else being discussed besides cutting spending is entirely worthless and will not avoid world-wide economic catastrophe, the Greatest World Economic Depression in world history, and it is coming sooner than most people expect.

When the United States goes bankrupt, when the United States runs out of lenders, when the United States debt is more than what the rest of the world even has, then Reduced Spending, MASSIVELY!!!! reduced spending, WILL! happen. It is unavoidable.

You should have no trouble understanding how bankruptcy affects credit.

Ravenman
07-22-2011, 10:13 AM
The idea of the United States being on the verge of bankruptcy is the 2011 version of the 1953 fear that the Reds were going to invade our cities and brainwash us through Hollywood movies written and directed by non-WASP kind of people.

Pure hysterical paranoid nonsense.

ladyfoxfyre
07-22-2011, 10:22 AM
Posted by Susann:
What bankruptcy does is FORCE a family, or a country, to cut spending, because nobody will lend to you anymore, because the banks and everyone else will stop lending to you. Going bankrupt changes makes the situation worse by reducing your choices, bankruptcy effectually requires spending to be cut no matter what else you would like to do. Once a country goes bankrupt it no longer has a choice, it therefore MUST spend less because it simply cant borrow as much.

I know I'll get modded for this, but you are such an utter moron in every thread you participate in it borders on criminal.

Susanann
07-22-2011, 10:47 AM
The idea of the United States being on the verge of bankruptcy is the 2011 version of the 1953 fear that the Reds were going to invade our cities and brainwash us through Hollywood movies written and directed by non-WASP kind of people. Pure hysterical paranoid nonsense.
Your point of comparing the "Hollywood" "1953 red scare" with a very real United States debt problem, is not comparable. Not at all.

I am sorry to inform you, the massively huge and worsening debt of the United States IS!!! real. It may already be unfixable. The debt even at current levels is beyond what the United states can pay. The danger of the United States defaulting on its debt is already almost a certainty.

Really Not All That Bright
07-22-2011, 10:55 AM
Your point of comparing the "Hollywood" "1953 red scare" with a very real United States debt problem, is not comparable. Not at all.

I am sorry to inform you, the massively huge and worsening debt of the United States IS!!! real.
Everything in this quote is true.
The debt even at current levels is beyond what the United states can pay. It may already be unfixable.
Arguable.
The danger of the United States defaulting on its debt is already almost a certainty.
And here you just stepped off the ledge.

septimus
07-22-2011, 11:06 AM
I am sorry to inform you, the massively huge and worsening debt of the United States IS!!! real. It may already be unfixable. The debt even at current levels is beyond what the United states can pay. The danger of the United States defaulting on its debt is already almost a certainty.

Debt as a percentage of GDP was actually higher (slightly) during WW II than it is now. (Much higher, in fact, if one excludes debt owed by the government to its own agencies, e.g. SocSec. Right-wing idiots claim that debt paper is meaningless, so to be consistent should exclude it.)

The U.S. did recover from that high WW II debt. Details are debatable but some might attribute recovery in part to the high taxes on the rich during the Eisenhower boom years.

High debt ... high taxes ... economic boom ... debt goes away. Good idea? Nah, Been there done that. Let's try lowering taxes this time, spice things up, maybe it's the "same difference."

Susanann
07-22-2011, 11:11 AM
And here you just stepped off the ledge.
There is more than 1 way to default. Defaulting by printing so many dollars that the dollar becomes worthless is also a default. Essentially, if a loan is paid back in worthless paper, then it defaults.



Bill Gross Warns Dollar Default By Inflation
April 6, 2011 by Fortune
Richard Russell -
http://alshamy70.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/bill-gross-warns-dollar-default-by-inflation/


Marc Faber: The US Will Default By Inflation
Thursday, July 14th, 2011
http://www.wealthwire.com/news/economy/1451

cosmosdan
07-22-2011, 11:11 AM
Watching this all unfold and hearing the back and forth distortions something occurred to me. Why doesn't our president and the Democrat leaders separate a vote of raising te debt ceiling from all negotiations and force the GOP to vote yay or nay on that one issue.

The public on both sides and the independents are sick of attached riders and stalled negotiations over deals as one issue is held hostage for the sake of another. Why not take a stand and say,

"We tried to negotiate. We can't agree. Now it's time to vote on raising the debt ceiling with zero attached to it. Vote yes or no on that one issue so we can get it done and move on. We won't listen to any more bargaining or attaching other issues to this vote."

Wouldn't the general public appreciate that kind of directness and see it as real leadership? I would. And wouldn't the GOP be forced to accept it or look incredibly bad? I think the Dems have an opportunity to lead, simplify, and subsequently gain a political advantage for doing so.

The Other Waldo Pepper
07-22-2011, 11:14 AM
"We tried to negotiate. We can't agree. Now it's time to vote on raising the debt ceiling with zero attached to it. Vote yes or no on that one issue so we can get it done and move on. We won't listen to any more bargaining or attaching other issues to this vote."

Wouldn't the general public appreciate that kind of directness and see it as real leadership? I would. And wouldn't the GOP be forced to accept it or look incredibly bad? I think the Dems have an opportunity to lead, simplify, and subsequently gain a political advantage for doing so.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_1...92-503544.html 46% say raise the debt ceiling, 49% say don't.

septimus
07-22-2011, 11:17 AM
Why doesn't our president and the Democrat leaders separate a vote of raising te debt ceiling from all negotiations and force the GOP to vote yay or nay on that one issue.

I'm not sure, but I think the Majority in the House of Representatives can control whether a proposal is even brought up for vote.

However, they can and should do this in the Senate, I think. But Democrats seem to lack gumption. Many of us who despise Republicans are (checks forum ... no, this isn't BBQ Pit) "dismayed" by Democrat behavior as well.

Fear Itself
07-22-2011, 11:26 AM
However, they can and should do this in the Senate, I think. No, any bill that concerns revenue (including the management of the public debt) must originate in the House of Representatives (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_One_of_the_United_States_Constitution#Clause_1:_Bills_of_revenue).

Susanann
07-22-2011, 11:33 AM
Debt as a percentage of GDP was actually higher (slightly) during WW II than it is now. (Much higher, in fact, if one excludes debt owed by the government to its own agencies, e.g. SocSec. Right-wing idiots claim that debt paper is meaningless, so to be consistent should exclude it.)

The U.S. did recover from that high WW II debt. Details are debatable but some might attribute recovery in part to the high taxes on the rich during the Eisenhower boom years.High debt ... high taxes ... economic boom ... debt goes away. Good idea? Nah, Been there done that. Let's try lowering taxes this time, spice things up, maybe it's the "same difference."
The American economy in 1945 is entirely different than today. In 1945 America was a manufacturing economy that actually made things. We had industry and we made things that other people wanted. Today, our economy is almost entirely "spending". "Spending" is not an economy. Spending does not create wealth.

If spending created wealth, then instead of spending 5 trillion, why not spend $50 trillion? If "Spending" was any good at all then we would have Haiti start spending ten times what it does now in order to become a rich island.

If American families have unemployed family members and they are having a hard time getting by, why not just give them government checks so they could spend $200,000 a year?

I agree with you that we had huge deficits in the 1930's and 1940's. What I dont see is that you dont understand what you yourself posted.

We had huge deficits in the 1930's and the early 1940's during which time Americans became poorer and Americans were not able to buy the things that they wanted. Americans were worse off while we were having huge federal deficits.

It was the ENDING of the huge deficits of World War 2 that gave us our wealth, it was the END of the huge deficits of the 1930's and early 1940's that gave us prosperity in the late 1940's, 1950's, and 1960's. Prosperity did not come to America until AFTER the war ended.

I think we can all agree that Americans did not become wealthy until after the huge deficits of the early 1940's ended.


U.S. consumer spending accounts for around 70 percent of U.S. gross domestic product.
http://money.cnn.com/2003/10/02/markets/consumerbubble/


Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of U.S. economy
by Annie Baxter, Minnesota Public Radio
October 30, 2008
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2008/10/29/gdp_numbers_consumer_spending/

Ravenman
07-22-2011, 11:41 AM
Your point of comparing the "Hollywood" "1953 red scare" with a very real United States debt problem, is not comparable. Not at all.

I am sorry to inform you, the massively huge and worsening debt of the United States IS!!! real. It may already be unfixable. The debt even at current levels is beyond what the United states can pay. The danger of the United States defaulting on its debt is already almost a certainty.
Complete nonsense. Even though we have to do something about deficits, we are not close to the point of which debt is an existential crisis for the United States. The amount we spend to pay interest on the debt is about one third of what we pay for the Department of Defense.

In 1953, we were spending about 8 times more to defend ourselves against the commie threat than we are spending on interest on the debt today.

Again, your effort to make debt out to be an existential crisis for the United States is pure hysteria. It's a problem that can be fixed, it is not the end of the world.

Ravenman
07-22-2011, 11:44 AM
Bill Gross Warns Dollar Default By Inflation
April 6, 2011 by Fortune
Richard Russell -
http://alshamy70.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/bill-gross-warns-dollar-default-by-inflation/

I love cites that come from "King wolrd news blog" (sic). Every reputable thinker I know runs blogs replete with spelling errors.

Jas09
07-22-2011, 11:49 AM
Watching this all unfold and hearing the back and forth distortions something occurred to me. Why doesn't our president and the Democrat leaders separate a vote of raising te debt ceiling from all negotiations and force the GOP to vote yay or nay on that one issue.

I'm not sure, but I think the Majority in the House of Representatives can control whether a proposal is even brought up for vote.Way back when this debate started they did exactly that - a "clean" debt ceiling increase in the House. Both parties voted it down, althought 97 Dems did vote for it.

The political problem is that "raising the debt limit" by itself is unpopular. Of course, so is cutting Medicare or Social Security. And raising taxes. Hence the McConnell fall-back plan.

Democrats want cuts, they just don't want the massive entitlement cuts and they want them coupled with increased revenues through closing tax loopholes.

septimus
07-22-2011, 11:58 AM
In 1945 America was a manufacturing economy that actually made things. ... Today, our economy is almost entirely "spending".

It was the ENDING of the huge deficits of World War 2 that gave us our wealth, it was the END of the huge deficits of the 1930's and early 1940's that gave us prosperity in the late 1940's, 1950's, and 1960's. Prosperity did not come to America until AFTER the war ended.

Your comments about manufacturing vs "spending", however inarticulate, are not completely wrong. For example, I'd be delighted with public policy to increase taxes (since consumers just "spend" the money) and use the funds to manufacture improved infrastructure. How about you?

Your comments about the 30's and 40's are way off-base. That the economy improved while FDR ran deficits, then faltered when he stopped deficit spending is very well known, indeed cited over and over and over again in these threads.

And that American standard of living improved when moneys spent on bullets where spent instead on butter is so obvious, one wonders whether you're some troll or self-parody.

LouisB
07-22-2011, 12:25 PM
Susann

For your information and possibly to improve your level of understanding, I want you to understand something:
I have personally filed bankruptcy in the past and I will tell you that it had virtually no impact whatever on my ability to buy anything I wanted nor did it have an impact on my ability to borrow money or acquire credit cards. In fact, I was able to finance a new car within six months of my filing and at a market rate of interest. Your jeremiads are just that and your pronouncements are basically nothing more than hot air. I sometimes think that you and Michelle Bachmann must be conjoined sisters.

elucidator
07-22-2011, 12:46 PM
The primary reason our economy boomed after WWII is that we won, and everybody else lost.

Dick Dastardly
07-22-2011, 12:51 PM
Democrats supported by good majorities both wars and Wall Street bailouts.




Yes because Keynesianism worked so well.

Also we should stop regarding Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid as something untouchable. We can as I've said raise the retirement age for jobs that do not involve physical labour.

Yes, exactly, Keynesianism worked so well with the previous Depression, that's why we now need to try it again.

furt
07-22-2011, 12:54 PM
For your information and possibly to improve your level of understanding, I want you to understand something:
I have personally filed bankruptcy in the past and I will tell you that it had virtually no impact whatever on my ability to buy anything I wanted nor did it have an impact on my ability to borrow money or acquire credit cards. In fact, I was able to finance a new car within six months of my filing and at a market rate of interest.Leaving aside the merits of Susanann's take on the national debt, this is emphatically not the typical consumer bankruptcy experience.

elucidator
07-22-2011, 01:08 PM
As you are all clamoring for my view on this, I have decided to relent....

1. Debt ceiling must be raised. Period. Full stop. Even if the dreadful predictions of consequences are exaggerated, we simply cannot take that chance. Obama knows this, and it would be irresponsible and reckless not to do whatever has to be done. At this point, that entails letting some crazy ass melonfarmers believe they have won. Or even worse, letting them actually win. Clearly, the illusion is much to be preferred.

2. If the Bush tax cuts expire on schedule, this could solve a lot of our problem. Therefore, promising "tax reform" later and spending cuts now can be effectively the compromise he needs. If he does nothing at all, those tax cuts will expire. Not soon enough, perhaps, but it is what it is, and he doesn't have the power to make those cuts expire now as part of a deal, the rabid right won't buy it, they will let the ship sink first.

He has to let them think they've won, which is only a little more distasteful than actually letting them win. Because he has to. (See item #1)

3. Pencils have erasers. Cuts to entitlements may be part of the package, but can they be put in to effect before the next elections, when those entitlement cuts are likely to be the single most important issue? Having the veto pen and the Senate, can he slow them down? Sure.

So, basically, he is trading drama for reality, he is trading the appearance of total Republican victory while setting a big ol' bear trap that they will step in.

So, if it works, he looks like a total tool, but he can stall and deal until the next elections, when he can fairly count on Dems retaking power in the House, when the erasers can come out. And he can also rely that the Dems who win will not be of the blue dead dog stripe. Good riddance!

Does this severely threaten his chances at a second term? Oh, hell, yeah, but it depends on which gibbering baboon the Pubbies pick, and how totally pissed off his base is. But even if the base won't turn out to re-elect him, they will turn out to stop the gutting of SS and Medicare. He may lose and the country still win.

It would appear that something very remarkable has happened, we have elected a man who cares more about his country than his presidency. Ecce homo.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus
07-22-2011, 02:02 PM
I know I'll get modded for this, but [poster name is] such an utter moron in every thread you participate in it borders on criminal.

ladyfoxfyre, you've been here long enough to know that calling anyone an utter moron isn't allowed on the SDMB, except in the Pit. Please desist from doing so.

LouisB
07-22-2011, 03:38 PM
Leaving aside the merits of Susanann's take on the national debt, this is emphatically not the typical consumer bankruptcy experience.Neither is the experience she posted.

furt
07-22-2011, 04:05 PM
Neither is the experience she posted.I generally find unpersuasive the argument that one should fight hyperbole with hyperbole. It's one step away from stupid v. stupid.

YMMV.

Bri2k
07-22-2011, 04:19 PM
Your point of comparing the "Hollywood" "1953 red scare" with a very real United States debt problem, is not comparable. Not at all.

I am sorry to inform you, the massively huge and worsening debt of the United States IS!!! real. It may already be unfixable. The debt even at current levels is beyond what the United states can pay. The danger of the United States defaulting on its debt is already almost a certainty.

You may be making the mistake of giving the debt-to-GDP ratio too much credence. This article from Slate.com (http://www.slate.com/id/2299718/) seems to explain the fallicy of this thinking quite clearly.

Bri2k

cosmosdan
07-22-2011, 04:29 PM
Way back when this debate started they did exactly that - a "clean" debt ceiling increase in the House. Both parties voted it down, althought 97 Dems did vote for it.

The political problem is that "raising the debt limit" by itself is unpopular. Of course, so is cutting Medicare or Social Security. And raising taxes. Hence the McConnell fall-back plan.

Democrats want cuts, they just don't want the massive entitlement cuts and they want them coupled with increased revenues through closing tax loopholes.

That's fine for back then , but we're hearing deadline deadline crisis crisis.

That's why I'm saying the time to take a leadership role and vote on it as a single issue is NOW! Not only would it solve a looming crisis but I think it would show some guts and leadership which might come in handy next year. If someone from the GOP does it it will help them.

cosmosdan
07-22-2011, 04:33 PM
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_1...92-503544.html 46% say raise the debt ceiling, 49% say don't.

Can't get to the info from your link.

If that's the American public that's fine. A leadership role means you don't always vote by the polls and you do what you feel is necessary. The other factor is I'm betting the GOP would be scared not to vote yes if it was approached as a separate issue. Any financial fallout from a no vote would fall on them.

cosmosdan
07-22-2011, 04:37 PM
I'm not sure, but I think the Majority in the House of Representatives can control whether a proposal is even brought up for vote.

However, they can and should do this in the Senate, I think. But Democrats seem to lack gumption. Many of us who despise Republicans are (checks forum ... no, this isn't BBQ Pit) "dismayed" by Democrat behavior as well.

I know I am "dismayed"

If they made it public , very public, the GOP in the house would be held directly responsible for NOT bringing it up for a vote. Again, a plus on leadership for the Dems. My guess is other than a few ideologues they wouldn't dare to refuse. But time is running short to really take advantage of this option.

potatoequeen
07-22-2011, 04:40 PM
I always think like this, what would be our chances, when we would be a company.... but may be we are already one...

The Other Waldo Pepper
07-22-2011, 04:50 PM
Can't get to the info from your link.

Huh. How about that? (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20080492-503544.html)

If that's the American public that's fine. A leadership role means you don't always vote by the polls and you do what you feel is necessary.

Well, yeah, but your idea was to present the following pitch: "We tried to negotiate. We can't agree. Now it's time to vote on raising the debt ceiling with zero attached to it. Vote yes or no on that one issue so we can get it done and move on. We won't listen to any more bargaining or attaching other issues to this vote." Wouldn't the general public appreciate that kind of directness and see it as real leadership? I would. And wouldn't the GOP be forced to accept it or look incredibly bad? Given the poll, I don't figure that would sell -- which is why I think the GOP can negotiate from a fairly strong position.

Ca3799
07-22-2011, 06:30 PM
Boehner won't return the Presidents calls and the latest round of debt talks have collapsed. I don't think I'll be able to cast a vote for a Republican fir a very long time.

Susanann
07-22-2011, 10:43 PM
Boehner won't return the Presidents calls and the latest round of debt talks have collapsed. I don't think I'll be able to cast a vote for a Republican fir a very long time. I am not really following this current legislation, but Ive seen a lot of budget bills go thru Congress over the past 60 years.
As I understand it, the House has ALREADY!!! passed a bill. They did what they had to do. The House is done. The Republicans are done. Now it is the Senate's turn.

It is now up to the Senate and obama, and they are Democrats.

I believe the usual standard procedure is for the Senate to now pass their version of the bill, after which then the House bill and the Senate bill go to conference to work out the differences between what the House passed, and what the Senate passed, if there are any differences. It is at that conference that Boehner would then negotiate. After the Senate and house come up with a final joint bill, then it goes to obama.

Until the Senate passes their version of the bill, there is not much Boehner can do. There is really no need for Boehner to talk to anyone at this point. The Senate is controlled by Democrats, so there also isnt anything for the Republicans to do right now. Boehner cant really negotiate with himself.

humanafterall
07-22-2011, 10:46 PM
When's the soonest that I can expect shit to get real serious? I was talking earlier to some friends about Cut, Cap, and Balance, which was failed in the Senate, as we all knew it would be. With that deadline drawing ever closer, when will the shit get real (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUH3JQjcweM)?

Susanann
07-22-2011, 11:04 PM
With that deadline drawing ever closer, when will the shit get real?
It is up to the Senate. The Senate has the ball.

SenorBeef
07-22-2011, 11:10 PM
I am not really following this current legislation, but Ive seen a lot of budget bills go thru Congress over the past 60 years.
As I understand it, the House has ALREADY!!! passed a bill. They did what they had to do. The House is done. The Republicans are done. Now it is the Senate's turn.

It is now up to the Senate and obama, and they are Democrats.


When did the house pass a bill to extend the debt limit? Why wouldn't the democrats go ahead and pass it in the senate if that were the case? Why is the holdup with Boehner and the house republicans?

humanafterall
07-22-2011, 11:15 PM
Well, if Senate does nothing, and these talks go nowhere, it's gonna hit the fan BIG TIME. Have your survival gear ready, if any of you Survivalist whack-jobs are reading this.

humanafterall
07-22-2011, 11:17 PM
When did the house pass a bill to extend the debt limit? Why wouldn't the democrats go ahead and pass it in the senate if that were the case? Why is the holdup with Boehner and the house republicans?


Cut, Cap, and Balance is what passed in the house. It would raise the debt ceiling, Cut from social programs, Cap our spending, and Balance our budget. There's a lot of hyper-partisanship in this. GOP wants to cut social programs deeply, Dems don't wan to cut at all, and they are both at eachother's throats.

Susanann
07-22-2011, 11:29 PM
When did the house pass a bill to extend the debt limit? Why wouldn't the democrats go ahead and pass it in the senate if that were the case? Why is the holdup with Boehner and the house republicans?

The process is that the president proposes a budget. Then the House originates and passes the spending and revenue bill, and it did. The House is done.

The next step is for the Senate to pass the House bill, or to pass its own version of the House bill. This is where we are now!! We are waiting for the Senate to approve the House bill, or else for the Senate to modify the House bill and pass the Senate modified House bill.

There is no "holdup with Boehner and the house republicans" - THEY ARE DONE!!! unless the Senate passes a bill that is different than the House bill.
==============================================================

The Federal Budget Process
http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/federalbudgetprocess/a/budget_process.htm

A spending bill must be created, debated and passed to fund the programs and operations of each Cabinet-level agency. Per the Constitution, each spending bill must originate in the House. Since the House and Senate versions of each spending bill must be identical, this always become the most time-consuming step in the budget process.

SenorBeef
07-22-2011, 11:33 PM
This isn't a budget issue. The budget and appropriate were passed long ago. The issue here is that we have to actually sign for the bill for all the stuff we ordered, and we're refusing to do that. Congress already approved this spending - that ship has sailed - they're just now petulantly refusing to pay the bill to keep the lights on at this point. This has nothing to do with the budget or the original appropriations. The debt ceiling is a procedural thing that needs to be raised seperately from the appropriations that necesitate its raising.

If this isn't about Bohner and the house republicans, how is it that Boehner no longer negotiating with the president? If he's not even involved in this whole deal, and his part is done. And why isn't the democrat majority in the senate passing the debt ceiling laws? If it was up to them, they'd pass it in a second.

I understand that you're misinformed of the factual issues almost constantly. But generally people who decide to ignore the factual issues at least create a working model of what's going on in their head that makes superficial logically sense, even if it's incorrect. How is it that in your world the senate democrats are somehow holding up the show despite everything said about the issue being in regards to the house republican's deliberate holdup here?

LouisB
07-23-2011, 02:08 AM
I generally find unpersuasive the argument that one should fight hyperbole with hyperbole. It's one step away from stupid v. stupid.

YMMV.Duh, I ain't shtupud although I will say that I shouldn't have posted what I did. It's just that the person to whom I replied irritates the living hell out of me. My experience took place in a very small town where I was pretty well known and my reputation was solid; local people made exceptions for me. My credit rating, though, was ruined even though my life was not.

Susanann
07-23-2011, 07:51 AM
Originally Posted by The Other Waldo Pepper
46% say raise the debt ceiling, 49% say don't..

Way back when this debate started they did exactly that - a "clean" debt ceiling increase in the House. Both parties voted it down, althought 97 Dems did vote for it.
.
Then WHAT? the heck is the problem?

It was voted down. Get over it. Accept it, move on and cut the spending.

If you want to bring up discussion again,then make it an issue in 2012. The people can be given a choice in 2012 to vote Democrat if they want more government spending, or vote Republican if they do not want the ceiling raised. It can be made a pretty clear choice in 2012.

Ravenman
07-23-2011, 08:08 AM
The process is that the president proposes a budget. Then the House originates and passes the spending and revenue bill, and it did. The House is done.

The next step is for the Senate to pass the House bill, or to pass its own version of the House bill. This is where we are now!! We are waiting for the Senate to approve the House bill, or else for the Senate to modify the House bill and pass the Senate modified House bill.

There is no "holdup with Boehner and the house republicans" - THEY ARE DONE!!! unless the Senate passes a bill that is different than the House bill. That bill is dead. The Senate voted it down. That means the House must start the process over.

The House is back to square one. They must initiate new legislation, and it's childish to think that whatever solution is just going to spring forth from Zeus' head without talks between the White House and congressional leaders.

Is this really your version of leadership? A refusal to negotiate every time Boehner gets scared that the Tea Party is going to stick a knife in his back?

Fear Itself
07-23-2011, 08:16 AM
That bill is dead. The Senate voted it down. That means the House must start the process over.

The House is back to square one. They must initiate new legislation, and it's childish to think that whatever solution is just going to spring forth from Zeus' head without talks between the White House and congressional leaders.

Is this really your version of leadership? A refusal to negotiate every time Boehner gets scared that the Tea Party is going to stick a knife in his back?Forget it, Jake; it's Susanann.

Susanann
07-23-2011, 08:34 AM
That bill is dead. The Senate voted it down. That means the House must start the process over.

The House is back to square one. They must initiate new legislation,
No. It is not dead. We do not need to start over. That is stupid. That is not how it works. We dont need to start over just because one house does not like some of the things in a piece of legislation. Nothing would ever get passed, never!!!, if that is what is done.

What is supposed to happen is that if the Senate does not like the HOuse version of the bill, then the Senate needs to pass THEIR OWN version of that House bill, and then after the Senate has a version, then both houses go into joint House-Senate conference committee to work out their differences in the 2 different versions that passed each house.

Right now, it is up to the Senate to pass their version of the House bill before a final joint bill can be sent to be signed into law. The Senate has the ball.


(I am not saying that the House could negotiate not with itself and pass lots of different bills all by itself, but that would be very stupid, pointless, and could take forever with thousands of different versions before accidentally finding a bill that the Senate would pass with no joint committee )

Mr Smashy
07-23-2011, 08:34 AM
Back to Slate again (http://www.slate.com/id/2299941/). Although this is a lefty writer in a lefty mag, it's not a bad summary of the situation.

Here's the bumper sticker:

Both sides said default was not an option. If this is really true then the anti-tax forces should feel encouraged. Their side is likely to win. With a fragile economy, the president can't risk not getting a deal. He would get the greater share of the blame if there was a failure. He'll either have to agree to a short-term deal, which he has said he would not agree to, or he'll agree to a lot of spending cuts with no tax increases, which will irritate if not infuriate his party.

wmfellows
07-23-2011, 08:35 AM
Then WHAT? the heck is the problem?

It was voted down. Get over it. Accept it, move on and cut the spending.

I would suggest that the problem is, for those who can do simple maths, that there is no way to "cut the spending" in such a fashion. At least that much is clear to rational observers including conservative ones who are rational. (http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/07/getting-specific-on-spending/242240/) I find it extraordinary that for an inane slogan a so-called conservative party is ready to ruin the credit of its nation and raise the costs of millions of borrowers, over a bloody simple minded slogan. This is insane radicalism, and given the size of your economy, dangerous to the entire world. I dearly hope there remains rational conservatives in the USA who are making phone calls to the ignoramus radicals who are behind this.

Susanann
07-23-2011, 08:45 AM
I find it extraordinary that for an inane slogan a so-called conservative party is ready to ruin the credit of its nation and raise the costs of millions of borrowers, .
The credit of the nation is ruined by too much debt from trillion dollar deficits.

The credit problem is caused by too much spending and too much borrowing.

There would be no "credit problem" if we were running budget surpluses.

I think everyone can agree that those who want to spend and borrow are the ones to blame for ruin.

wmfellows
07-23-2011, 09:04 AM
The credit of the nation is ruined by too much debt from trillion dollar deficits.

No, it is not. I know you have a most tenuous relationship with facts, but in fact to date the USA enjoys a sterling credit rating and reputation (as evidenced by actual credit ratings and the price USA pays on its debt), something your found Fathers worked very hard to construct from the earliest days of the Republic. Those are actual facts.

There would be no "credit problem" if we were running budget surpluses.

You're not running surpluses and as the linked article shows, only by raising taxes could you hope to - unless you are quite willing to strand your troops overseas of course.

That's what doing the maths tells you. Bit harder than sloganeering.

I think everyone can agree that those who want to spend and borrow are the ones to blame for ruin.
No rational observers see one party ranting via simple-minded slogans and irrational ideology, trumping old-fashioned hard headed, pragmatic fiscal conservatism. Apparently irrational sloganeering finds audiences.

Fear Itself
07-23-2011, 09:06 AM
The credit problem is caused by too much spending and too much borrowing. These are budget issues. They should be debated as a part of a budget bill. There is no reason they should be linked to raising the debt ceiling. This is extortion by the Tea Party, pure and simple.

nate
07-23-2011, 09:09 AM
The credit of the nation is ruined by too much debt from trillion dollar deficits.

The credit problem is caused by too much spending and too much borrowing.

There would be no "credit problem" if we were running budget surpluses.

I think everyone can agree that those who want to spend and borrow are the ones to blame for ruin.

Yes, they are the ones to blame for the problem. But cutting our budget by 1/3 in a single year is just not a good solution for this problem. In fact, it's probably the worst solution. You see, gov't spending has such a large effect on the overall economy that any drastic reduction in spending would make the economic collapse of 2008 look good in comparison. A better way to get the budget in line is to slowly decrease spending while slowly increasing revenue as not to disturb this fragile economic recovery.

cosmosdan
07-23-2011, 09:11 AM
Given the poll, I don't figure that would sell -- which is why I think the GOP can negotiate from a fairly strong position.

OKay the link worked. yeah, perception is everything. As the public is convinced that NOT raising it would only make things worse we see a shift. It seems to me from GOP language that they are concerned about a possible serious negative impact that will reflect badly on them. That shift in perception coupled with the GOP language is exactly why I think it would work. First let's prevent things from getting worse, and then we'll work to make things better and deal with deficit spending and the debt.

I also think that a general perception of riders and combining issues as a negative would help as well. I think the public would see "Let's deal with this issue, and then we'll move on to the next", as a positive step and real leadership. Obama spoke to it less directly yesterday when he said he was up for McConnell's plan. "If you don't want to do it, get out of the way and I'll do it and take the responsibility" IMO, that's the kind of leadership people have seen as lacking.

Susanann
07-23-2011, 09:14 AM
That bill is dead. The Senate voted it down. That means the House must start the process over.
The House is back to square one. They must initiate new legislation,?

You are getting mixed up. You are confusing the Senate with the Presidency.

The Senate is obligated to do more than give a pass/fail grade to legislation written in the House. The Senate is not the branch that has the Veto function. YOu are thinking of the Presidency, which only gives pass/fail (sign it or veto it) grades.

The Senate has the responsibility to either pass the House legislation, or else pass a modified version of the House bill, and then the Senate has to meet in a joint session to work out any differences between the House bill and the Senate modified version, if there are any differences.

We are stuck right now with a passed House bill, but we are waiting on the Senate to pass or modify the House bill. We will never get this passed if the Senate continues to refuse to pass their own version. There is nothing the House can do if the Senate refuses to work on this legislation. The House can not do it by itself.

cosmosdan
07-23-2011, 09:14 AM
Yes, they are the ones to blame for the problem. But cutting our budget by 1/3 in a single year is just not a good solution for this problem. In fact, it's probably the worst solution. You see, gov't spending has such a large effect on the overall economy that any drastic reduction in spending would make the economic collapse of 2008 look good in comparison. A better way to get the budget in line is to slowly decrease spending while slowly increasing revenue as not to disturb this fragile economic recovery.

Ding ding ding That's how I perceive it as well. The slash and burn and screw who it hurts attitude doesn't sit well.

There's a presentation of "Oh we know if we don't take drastic measures now it won't get done" which IMO, is smoke and mirrors.

The Other Waldo Pepper
07-23-2011, 09:22 AM
OKay the link worked. yeah, perception is everything. As the public is convinced that NOT raising it would only make things worse we see a shift. It seems to me from GOP language that they are concerned about a possible serious negative impact that will reflect badly on them. That shift in perception coupled with the GOP language is exactly why I think it would work. First let's prevent things from getting worse, and then we'll work to make things better and deal with deficit spending and the debt.

I also think that a general perception of riders and combining issues as a negative would help as well. I think the public would see "Let's deal with this issue, and then we'll move on to the next", as a positive step and real leadership.

Again, how does that help the Democrats? Offer it up as a single-issue vote; the GOP votes "no", the Dems vote "yes"; more folks (49% over 46%) think the GOP got it right and the Dems got it wrong; and then Congress moves on to a different vote for Stage Two -- except the Democrats just finished voting for something less popular and the GOP just voted for something more popular.

So why do that? Isn't it more in the Democrats' interest to skip straight to Stage Two instead of going through a punishing Stage One first?

cosmosdan
07-23-2011, 09:22 AM
It is up to the Senate. The Senate has the ball.

Which was the false perception the GOP was attempting to create. We passed a bill. not it's now out responsibility. They passed a bill they knew would be rejected. It's still their responsibility. Playing games of political posturing rather than actually doing the work doesn't free them of responsibility.

They're not worried about solving the problem as much as how the credit for doing it is perceived by the public. That's what people are so sick of.

Susanann
07-23-2011, 09:23 AM
A better way to get the budget in line is to slowly decrease spending while slowly increasing revenue as not to disturb this fragile economic recovery.
That way has not worked. Those shenanigans are what is causing the collapse of the country. I am tired of hearing years and years and years of your same old argument.

The economic problems that would come from balancing the budget now are far far less than the problems that will come with the entire collapse of the US dollar and the world wide depression caused by the complete collapse of the United States.

The only 2 choices we currently have is:

1. to actually fix it now and suffer some temporary economic re-locations, or else

2. continue to run deficits and inevitably go into the biggest world wide economic depression in history.

Ravenman
07-23-2011, 09:24 AM
Forget it, Jake; it's Susanann.This is my version of fun. This, and golf. This, golf, and having a nice adult beverage. All I need to be happy are drinks, skiing, golf, and debates with people who do not understand the issues. And a million dollars, that would make me happy, too. Especially if the government steals the money from the wealthy and gives it to me.

No. It is not dead. We do not need to start over. That is stupid. That is not how it works. We dont need to start over just because one house does not like some of the things in a piece of legislation. Nothing would ever get passed, never!!!, if that is what is done. Read the Constitution. The Senate is entitled to vote down bad legislation. It is a pretty fundamental aspect of the separation of powers. And now that has been done, the ball is back into the House's court -- that's what the Constitution says.

What the Senate did in voting down the laughable House bill is say, "The House leadership is acting like a little child. We all know that whatever is going to pass has to come from negotiation and compromise from all parties. Cramming partisan bills through the House that will never be made into law is not a constructive use of time. Let's get back to the negotiating table and find a compromise that can then be put into a bill and passed by Congress and signed by the White House."

It's a much more adult approach to controversial issues, rather than Republicans' current strategy of cramming party line votes down people's throats and then running and hiding, like cowards, from real negotiations that might fix the issues at hand.

I swear, fiscal conservatives in Washington are running scared. They are more scared of Grover Norquist, the Tea Party, and their re-election chances, than they are of the economic chaos that would happen if there were a default. It's just so telling that Republican leaders are less afraid of ruining the economy and our fiscal situation than they are of crossing people like Susanann -- the type of people who are so extreme in their opinions that they are actually rooting for a default.

cosmosdan
07-23-2011, 09:25 AM
Again, how does that help the Democrats? Offer it up as a single-issue vote; the GOP votes "no", the Dems vote "yes"; more folks (49% over 46%) think the GOP got it right and the Dems got it wrong; and then Congress moves on to a different vote for Stage Two -- except the Democrats just finished voting for something less popular and the GOP just voted for something more popular.

So why do that? Isn't it more in the Democrats' interest to skip straight to Stage Two instead of going through a punishing Stage One first?

Because I think the GOP has admitted that they are also concerned about not raising it will hurt more. Having done that they would be very unlikely to vote No if boxed in and pushed to do so.

If there were serious negative impact those that voted not to raise it would have that on their shoulders going in to an election.

Ravenman
07-23-2011, 09:30 AM
You are getting mixed up. You are confusing the Senate with the Presidency.

The Senate is obligated to do more than give a pass/fail grade to legislation written in the House. The Senate is not the branch that has the Veto function. YOu are thinking of the Presidency, which only gives pass/fail (sign it or veto it) grades.

The Senate has the responsibility to either pass the House legislation, or else pass a modified version of the House bill, and then the Senate has to meet in a joint session to work out any differences between the House bill and the Senate modified version, if there are any differences.

We are stuck right now with a passed House bill, but we are waiting on the Senate to pass or modify the House bill. We will never get this passed if the Senate continues to refuse to pass their own version. There is nothing the House can do if the Senate refuses to work on this legislation. The House can not do it by itself.

In your own words, "It was voted down. Get over it." The Constitution doesn't say the Senate has to pass anything. The bill is dead. Get used to it. The process starts over.

wmfellows
07-23-2011, 10:06 AM
That way has not worked. Those shenanigans are what is causing the collapse of the country. I am tired of hearing years and years and years of your same old argument.

The only thing that may cause the collapse of your country is the childish antics of what was once a genuine conservative party, that has since become the captive of a bunch of lunatic ideologues.

The economic problems that would come from balancing the budget now are far far less than the problems that will come with the entire collapse of the US dollar and the world wide depression caused by the complete collapse of the United States.

Precisely why the current idiocy and antics must be avoided - one does not magically balance a budget, one does it by actual proper planning and a mixture of tax increases and spending decrease. Not a young child's immature and idiotic tantrums.

None of this supports the antics.

UltraVires
07-23-2011, 10:09 AM
I think that the Senate Dems need to put a proposal on the table. The GOP already put forth the Cut, Cap, and Balance. That was obviously a no-go from the start, but it's a negotiating position. Now it's time to counter. You can't expect the GOP to keep putting forward proposals and negotiate against themselves.

The problem is that Obama and the Dems will not agree to anything like the cuts to social programs that they are hinting about.

For the first time, I'm starting to think that the this game of chicken might continue until the car crash.

Fear Itself
07-23-2011, 10:12 AM
I think that the Senate Dems need to put a proposal on the table. The GOP already put forth the Cut, Cap, and Balance. That was obviously a no-go from the start, but it's a negotiating position. Now it's time to counter. You can't expect the GOP to keep putting forward proposals and negotiate against themselves.According the the Constitution, all revenue legislation must originate in the House of Representatives. So, yeah, I do expect the House to keep passing legislation until they get one that can pass the Senate. It's their job.

Richard Parker
07-23-2011, 10:15 AM
The problem is that Obama and the Dems will not agree to anything like the cuts to social programs that they are hinting about.

This is so deeply absurd. Republicans decide to hold the debt limit hostage to negotiation over deficits. Then, when the Democratic President agrees to massive spending cuts and to persuade his party to go along, the GOP backs out because they speculate that the Dems won't make the cuts.

It's like taking a hostage in a bank robbery, and when the police offer you the helicopter to Cuba, you shoot the hostage because you don't believe their offer. What the fuck kind of strategy is that?

UltraVires
07-23-2011, 10:37 AM
According the the Constitution, all revenue legislation must originate in the House of Representatives. So, yeah, I do expect the House to keep passing legislation until they get one that can pass the Senate. It's their job.

So let the House Dems propose a bill then. I want to see something in writing that they will agree to. I haven't seen anything yet. Just vague promises of cuts sometime in the future.

This is so deeply absurd. Republicans decide to hold the debt limit hostage to negotiation over deficits. Then, when the Democratic President agrees to massive spending cuts and to persuade his party to go along, the GOP backs out because they speculate that the Dems won't make the cuts.


They have said that they will NOT make the cuts without tax increases. So what is the proposal? Let's see it.

Fear Itself
07-23-2011, 10:44 AM
So let the House Dems propose a bill then. I want to see something in writing that they will agree to. I haven't seen anything yet. Just vague promises of cuts sometime in the future.



They have said that they will NOT make the cuts without tax increases. So what is the proposal? Let's see it.Why should Democrats propose anything? Republicans control the House, and have demonstrated they will oppose anything that might reflect positively on the Democrats. Democrats might as well propose a clean debt ceiling increase, for all the good it will do.

Richard Parker
07-23-2011, 10:55 AM
They have said that they will NOT make the cuts without tax increases. So what is the proposal? Let's see it.

Your objection that there's no specific written proposal from the Dems represents a misunderstanding of how serious negotiation proceeds. "Negotiation" through the media releases, or by legislation, is political grandstanding. Actual negotiation happens behind closed doors for a reason: so both sides can negotiate in good faith without their politically difficult offers being used against them if the other side backs out.

The GOP, of course, is also not so stupid as to put forth a specific plan without prior agreement. That's why they passed vague legislation that doesn't actually announce the details of any politically difficult cuts. They did that to score political points, not to actually solve any problems.

What we do have is the uncontradicted representation (http://www.nationaljournal.com/whitehouse/transcript-of-president-obama-s-friday-press-conference-20110715)that both sides could agree to cut somewhere in the 1 trillion range without substantial revenue changes, but that bigger cuts in the range of 2.5 trillion would also require the GOP to give something up.

tim-n-va
07-23-2011, 11:01 AM
For years the popular thing was for republicans to use the "tax and spend" label fog democrats. It's ironic that that label as a mode of action would have avoided the current crisis. The republicans since 2000 especially have been operating on the "borrow and spend" mode. At least the democrats want to pay, even if it is with their constituents money.

septimus
07-23-2011, 12:13 PM
Offer it up as a single-issue vote; the GOP votes "no", the Dems vote "yes"; more folks (49% over 46%) think the GOP got it right and the Dems got it wrong; and then Congress moves on to a different vote for Stage Two -- except the Democrats just finished voting for something less popular and the GOP just voted for something more popular.

I don't see any smiley-faces here, so I'll explain the obvious.

The 49:46 ratio is taken over all Americans; the ratio is quite different if we only consider Americans who use newspapers for something other than ran-out-of-tissue bathroom emergencies.

The 49% who think U.S. bankruptcy is a good idea don't even watch TV news (except maybe Fox); for them the idiot box is for viewing porn. If you asked them who John Boehner is, you'd just hear laughs about the name.

Qin Shi Huangdi
07-23-2011, 12:15 PM
I don't see any smiley-faces here, so I'll explain the obvious.

The 49:46 ratio is taken over all Americans; the ratio is quite different if we only consider Americans who use newspapers for something other than ran-out-of-tissue bathroom emergencies.

The 49% who think U.S. bankruptcy is a good idea don't even watch TV news (except maybe Fox); for them the idiot box is for viewing porn. If you asked them who John Boehner is, you'd just hear laughs about the name.

Not that many Americans are ignorant idiots not to mention many (if not most of them) are on the Democratic side considering that Republicans have the support of more college graduates while Democrats have more support of high-school dropouts.

Lobohan
07-23-2011, 12:24 PM
Not that many Americans are ignorant idiots not to mention many (if not most of them) are on the Democratic side considering that Republicans have the support of more college graduates while Democrats have more support of high-school dropouts.I have a rainy day project for you. Look up how many on the right vs. left believe in evolution. There are ignorant people on the left, no doubt. But the ignorant people on the right are the ones setting policy.

elucidator
07-23-2011, 12:27 PM
...Republicans have the support of more college graduates while Democrats have more support of high-school dropouts.
Generally, when such extaordinory assertions are made, it is considered wise and appropriate to offer some citation. You are accordingly invited.

septimus
07-23-2011, 12:51 PM
Generally, when such extaordinory assertions are made, it is considered wise and appropriate to offer some citation. You are accordingly invited.

I know you gave the young student a homework problem, but I don't see how this spoiler can hurt. It's the first Google hit, which will take less time than turning his laptop upside-down to view the link.

xdsɐ˙uoıʇɔǝlǝ-lɐɹǝuǝƃ-spuǝʇxǝ-dɐƃ-uoıʇɐɔnpǝ-ɐɯɐqo/⇂8ᄐ90⇂/llod/ɯoɔ˙dnllɐƃ˙ʍʍʍ//:dʇʇɥ

Among "High School or less" voters (IIRC, this includes Curtis) voters selected McCain over Obama 46-40. The biggest variation was "Postgraduate Education"; Obama prevailed among these voters 52-42.

But does this really prove smart people tend to be Democrat? Those postgrads are the ones who brought us the Global Warming Hoax, and in today's liberal America it's mostly high-school dropouts who are still smart enough to know humans are unrelated to those stupid monkeys.

elucidator
07-23-2011, 12:53 PM
OK, I'll bite. How'd you do that?

The Other Waldo Pepper
07-23-2011, 12:58 PM
Going back four (http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/states/US/P/00/epolls.0.html) more years, Bush lost to Kerry with "no high school" types, won with "high school graduate" and "some college" and "college graduate" -- and lost again with "postgrad study" types. Not sure what that means.

Lobohan
07-23-2011, 12:58 PM
OK, I'll bite. How'd you do that?¡buıɥɔʇɐɔ s,ʇı 'ʇıɥs ɥo
















http://www.fliptext.org/

septimus
07-23-2011, 12:59 PM
OK, I'll bite. How'd you do that?

Google's my friend. "upside down writing" (or even just "upside" with Google's think-ahead) took me to http://www.sherv.net/flip.html

... and there are several similar webpages.

SenorBeef
07-23-2011, 02:02 PM
The credit of the nation is ruined by too much debt from trillion dollar deficits.

The credit problem is caused by too much spending and too much borrowing.

There would be no "credit problem" if we were running budget surpluses.

I think everyone can agree that those who want to spend and borrow are the ones to blame for ruin.

Your continued ability to learn absolutely nothing and be in complete contradiction of not only the facts, but what is simply logical is amazing.

Do you think creditors think less of
1) People who borrow frequently and always repay their debts in a timely manner
2) People who borrow money and then default on it and refuse to pay it back?

You're saying our credit is being ruined by 1.

Which makes no sense. Our creditors love us, that's why whenever US debt goes on the market there's a race to snatch it up. The US has always been responsible about paying its debt, and now investing in US debt is considered to be basically the default investment - the safest investment in the world. There is absolutely no crisis in our credit rating due to the amounts we borrow. Our credit rating could not be better.

But the Republicans have decided to ruin what those centuries of good credit have bought us. We get loans extremely cheaply in terms of interest rates. Our currency is used as the world reserve currency which gives us a slew of various benefits. Much of the economic prosperity of the US is built on the trust the rest of the world has in our credit.

And you want to deliberately ruin that, just to be a petulant child.

Deciding whether or not to pay the debts that we already accrued is not the time to make some stand about government spending. We already decided to spend it. We've already spent it. Now the time has come to act like adults and pay what we're obligated to pay. If you want to make a protest about future spending, it should be done at the budgeting phase (which, I remind myself, you think the current "crisis" is an issue about the budget, I realize. I'm not actually talking to you, I suppose, since you are so far gone as to be completely unresponsive to facts. I'm talking to the people who might learn from this.)

We could have perfect credit for another century running deficits, because that's what we've already been doing this past century. We are nowhere near the limit to being able to pay for our debts - we could raise taxes to historical average levels and be running a surplus instantly. The only time our credit rating comes into question is if we are unable or unwilling to pay back our debt, and that isn't even remotely an issue.

That way has not worked. Those shenanigans are what is causing the collapse of the country. I am tired of hearing years and years and years of your same old argument.

The economic problems that would come from balancing the budget now are far far less than the problems that will come with the entire collapse of the US dollar and the world wide depression caused by the complete collapse of the United States.

The only 2 choices we currently have is:

1. to actually fix it now and suffer some temporary economic re-locations, or else

2. continue to run deficits and inevitably go into the biggest world wide economic depression in history.

You have no idea what's actually at stake here. We're not talking about making gradual, crontrolled cuts to the government budget - we're talking about suddenly being unable to pay for government services, even the necesary ones. We're talking about not sending out SS checks so that old people can be kicked out on the street. We'd have trouble funding the day to day operations of our troops in Afghanistan. Large portions of the government would shut down - even the stuff that's necesary to run the country on a day to day basis.

The US would still have trillions of dollars in debt, but it would no longer get the favorable interest rates that our great credit history has earned us. Instead we'd have to pay much more on the interest rates, effectively increasing our debt massively in one fell swoop, and most likely forcing us to devalue our currency in the process. You say "continue to run deficits and inevitably go into the biggest worldwide economic depression in history" but more likely defaulting on our debt has a real chance of causing that depression. You want to deliberately cause it to make a point about....... not potentially causing it way down the road. Good work.

The US has carried a debt pretty much constantly for its entire existance. It has always grown its way out of it. It's out of control now primarily because of the massive economic collapse of 2007-2008. It's not as though we doubled or tripled government spending in those years - the deficit is huge in large part because the economy collapsed which killed revenues. Defaulting on our debt will create an even greater economic collapse which we may never be able to get ourselves out of, because our currency will completely be destroyed and the world will refuse to lend our way out of it this time around.

UltraVires
07-23-2011, 02:32 PM
What we do have is the uncontradicted representation (http://www.nationaljournal.com/whitehouse/transcript-of-president-obama-s-friday-press-conference-20110715)that both sides could agree to cut somewhere in the 1 trillion range without substantial revenue changes, but that bigger cuts in the range of 2.5 trillion would also require the GOP to give something up.

I stand corrected. What are these "[in]substantial revenue changes" that are part of the trillion dollar deal?

In any event, those numbers are ridiculous because we are borrowing that much over the next two years. Who has a proposal for balancing the budget in 5? 10? 25? 50? years?

wmfellows
07-23-2011, 02:37 PM
Your continued ability to learn absolutely nothing and be in complete contradiction of not only the facts, but what is simply logical is amazing.

Do you think creditors think less of
1) People who borrow frequently and always repay their debts in a timely manner
2) People who borrow money and then default on it and refuse to pay it back?

You're saying our credit is being ruined by 1.

Which makes no sense. Our creditors love us, that's why whenever US debt goes on the market there's a race to snatch it up. The US has always been responsible about paying its debt, and now investing in US debt is considered to be basically the default investment - the safest investment in the world. There is absolutely no crisis in our credit rating due to the amounts we borrow. Our credit rating could not be better.

But the Republicans have decided to ruin what those centuries of good credit have bought us. We get loans extremely cheaply in terms of interest rates. Our currency is used as the world reserve currency which gives us a slew of various benefits. Much of the economic prosperity of the US is built on the trust the rest of the world has in our credit.

And you want to deliberately ruin that, just to be a petulant child.

Deciding whether or not to pay the debts that we already accrued is not the time to make some stand about government spending. We already decided to spend it. We've already spent it. Now the time has come to act like adults and pay what we're obligated to pay. If you want to make a protest about future spending, it should be done at the budgeting phase (which, I remind myself, you think the current "crisis" is an issue about the budget, I realize. I'm not actually talking to you, I suppose, since you are so far gone as to be completely unresponsive to facts. I'm talking to the people who might learn from this.)

We could have perfect credit for another century running deficits, because that's what we've already been doing this past century. We are nowhere near the limit to being able to pay for our debts - we could raise taxes to historical average levels and be running a surplus instantly. The only time our credit rating comes into question is if we are unable or unwilling to pay back our debt, and that isn't even remotely an issue.



You have no idea what's actually at stake here. We're not talking about making gradual, crontrolled cuts to the government budget - we're talking about suddenly being unable to pay for government services, even the necesary ones. We're talking about not sending out SS checks so that old people can be kicked out on the street. We'd have trouble funding the day to day operations of our troops in Afghanistan. Large portions of the government would shut down - even the stuff that's necesary to run the country on a day to day basis.

The US would still have trillions of dollars in debt, but it would no longer get the favorable interest rates that our great credit history has earned us. Instead we'd have to pay much more on the interest rates, effectively increasing our debt massively in one fell swoop, and most likely forcing us to devalue our currency in the process. You say "continue to run deficits and inevitably go into the biggest worldwide economic depression in history" but more likely defaulting on our debt has a real chance of causing that depression. You want to deliberately cause it to make a point about....... not potentially causing it way down the road. Good work.

The US has carried a debt pretty much constantly for its entire existance. It has always grown its way out of it. It's out of control now primarily because of the massive economic collapse of 2007-2008. It's not as though we doubled or tripled government spending in those years - the deficit is huge in large part because the economy collapsed which killed revenues. Defaulting on our debt will create an even greater economic collapse which we may never be able to get ourselves out of, because our currency will completely be destroyed and the world will refuse to lend our way out of it this time around.

Bravo, mate, bravo. Really bravo.

This is a true fiscal conservative talking there. I just wonder what the bloody hell happened over there.

True fiscal conservatives should be screaming bloody murder at this wild-eyed lunacy that is effecting the US conservative party. You are trodding the path right now to become an Argentina. I saw an OpEd, I think the Financial Times (or by a columnist that appears in FT, can't recall if it was there) that basically accused the US of being on the way of shedding its first world status to become a banana republic.

I think it is in fact that serious. And a huge part of the interest for us outside is... if the US does this we go into Great Depression Part II, and shouldn't think wilfully throwing the world into a crisis like this is either rational or conservative.

Richard Parker
07-23-2011, 03:12 PM
I stand corrected. What are these "[in]substantial revenue changes" that are part of the trillion dollar deal?

As I said before, discussions of the negotiations are kept deliberately vague. But from the tone of the characterization of them as different from the substantial changes needed to get the Dems to cut Social Security, etc., they appear to have been revenue increases that Boehner was initially (and apparently mistakenly) comfortable trying to sell to his caucus.


In any event, those numbers are ridiculous because we are borrowing that much over the next two years. Who has a proposal for balancing the budget in 5? 10? 25? 50? years?

No one has a plan to balance the budget over a term that is short enough to be meaningful. Among the biggest variables in the projections is estimated growth, which we cannot meaningfully estimate over 5 years, much less 50.

What is apparently on the table is a plan to get us on much more stable footing in a politically feasible way. Even if you entirely buy the GOP rhetoric about this whole thing, they're still both letting the perfect be the enemy of the good AND causing the US further economic harm in the process.

Mr Smashy
07-23-2011, 03:41 PM
This year's deficit is something like $1.4 Trillion. A $1T cut isn't even going to get us started.

My understanding, from what I could glean (which, from objective sources, hasn't been much) is that the Dem proposals generally have focused on cuts in the out-years, without much specificity. And given that one congress can't constitutionally bind future ones (excepting the balanced budget amendment, from which Dems run), I don't put much credence in those promises.

Will summed it up (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/sustaining-the-unsustainable/2011/07/21/gIQAI6mtRI_story.html) in Thursday's WaPo

One of those is to strike a splashy bargain involving big — but hypothetical and nonbinding — numbers. This would enable President Obama to run away from his record and run as a debt-reducing centrist. Another Obama objective is tax increases that shatter Republican unity and dampen the Tea Party’s election-turning intensity. Because he probably can achieve neither, he might want market chaos in coming days so Republicans henceforth can be cast as complicit in the wretched recovery that is his administration’s ugly signature.

The conservative view of the current shenanigans can probably be summed up thusly

Thanks largely to the Tea Party, today, more than at any time since Reagan’s arrival 30 years ago, Washington debate is conducted in conservatism’s vocabulary of government retrenchment. The debt-ceiling vote, an action-forcing mechanism of limited utility, has at least demonstrated that Obama is, strictly speaking, unbelievable.

I won't quote further on, you can read it yourself if you like, but suffice to say, Obama budgets have increased, not decreased, America's debt (Obamacare hasn't helped, to say the least). Seeing as how the Dems called all the shots since 2007-2011, it seems hard to understand how someone can blame the GOP for getting us into this mess in the first place (unless you're a rabid partisan who feels all conservatives kill puppies, rape nuns, etc).

Richard Parker
07-23-2011, 04:08 PM
I won't quote further on, you can read it yourself if you like, but suffice to say, Obama budgets have increased, not decreased, America's debt (Obamacare hasn't helped, to say the least). Seeing as how the Dems called all the shots since 2007-2011, it seems hard to understand how someone can blame the GOP for getting us into this mess in the first place (unless you're a rabid partisan who feels all conservatives kill puppies, rape nuns, etc).

You're objectively wrong. Partisanship has nothing to do with it.

Objective facts:

(1) About a quarter of the projected deficit over the next decade is because of the downturn in the economy that started in 2008.

(2) Another quarter to a third of that deficit is a consequence of the extension of the Bush tax cuts. The Dems voted to temporarily extend only about half of these cuts (because we're in a recession), and this was blocked by the GOP. The GOP wants to make them permanent.

(3) The third major portion of the deficit is Iraq, which Bush opted not to attempt to pay for by raising revenue.

(4) Because the lion's share of Obama's spending was temporary (i.e., TARP, Stimulus), even a worst-case scenario projection has that spending contributing to only a small fraction of the overall debt. A best-case scenario has it actually saving the government money by avoiding financial collapse.

(5) No one knows whether Obamacare will be a net gain or loss for the federal government over the long term. What we do know is that federal medical spending before Obamacare was a huge portion of the long-term projected deficit, and serious people on both sides of the political spectrum think some of the Medicare cost containment efforts have a shot at saving us money.

(6) Our long-term fiscal future has a lot to do with how we deal with Medicare (and VA care), defense spending, and the success of our economy. It has very little to do with what we did in 2009 or 2010.

(7) Our current "crisis" is entirely of GOP creation. The Democrats want to raise the debt limit. The GOP does not.

Fear Itself
07-23-2011, 04:22 PM
I won't quote further on, you can read it yourself if you like, but suffice to say, Obama budgets have increased, not decreased, America's debt ...That is how you get out of recessions. The only mistake was not spending enough, specifically on direct job creation. That is why a balanced budget amendment is insanity. Deficit spending is not always evil, and is frequently exactly what is needed deal with economic calamity.

Sam Stone
07-23-2011, 05:08 PM
That's just a load of nonsense. It's becoming very clear that the additional debt created by 'stimulus' spending is having a more contractionary effect on the economy than is any injection of stimulus money into the economy - especially when it's injected so poorly and politically by a bunch of hacks in Congress.

Lost in this worry about the debt ceiling is that the threats to downgrade America's credit rating and the obvious flight from the American dollar happened before the debt ceiling negotiations even started.

Democrats are now acting like ANY debt ceiling deal will instantly calm markets. I think it's the opposite, and so do a lot of bond traders and businesspeople I've been reading. Basically, what they're doing is sitting on the sidelines waiting to see if this deal will include any real fiscal sanity. If the government passes a debt ceiling deal that amounts to a trillion dollars in tax increases on the rich in return for a vague promise to cut some form of spending in the future, and doesn't include some serious entitlement reform, I think there will be holy hell to pay. The attitude is that if the U.S. can't get its fiscal act together under this kind of clearly desperate emergency situation, then all hope is lost and the U.S. is headed for default.

What no one seems to be talking about is what happens if the debt deal Obama wants is passed - all that does is kick the can down the road until 2013, after the next election. It's a political deal, and nothing more. So in two years, this 'crisis' will start again, only by then taxes will be higher due to this year's deal, and there will be 3 trillion more dollars of debt. In addition, the huge bubble of the baby boom will be two years closer to retirement, which will make Social Security and Medicare reform even harder.

Investors aren't stupid, and two years isn't a long timeline to them. If they see a sham deal this time that allows the government to keep growing the way it has, I think you're going to see the economy get even worse as more and more money sits on the sidelines or moves elsewhere.

Lobohan
07-23-2011, 05:15 PM
That's just a load of nonsense. It's becoming very clear that the additional debt created by 'stimulus' spending is having a more contractionary effect on the economy than is any injection of stimulus money into the economy - especially when it's injected so poorly and politically by a bunch of hacks in Congress.

Lost in this worry about the debt ceiling is that the threats to downgrade America's credit rating and the obvious flight from the American dollar happened before the debt ceiling negotiations even started.

Democrats are now acting like ANY debt ceiling deal will instantly calm markets. I think it's the opposite, and so do a lot of bond traders and businesspeople I've been reading. Basically, what they're doing is sitting on the sidelines waiting to see if this deal will include any real fiscal sanity. If the government passes a debt ceiling deal that amounts to a trillion dollars in tax increases on the rich in return for a vague promise to cut some form of spending in the future, and doesn't include some serious entitlement reform, I think there will be holy hell to pay. The attitude is that if the U.S. can't get its fiscal act together under this kind of clearly desperate emergency situation, then all hope is lost and the U.S. is headed for default.

What no one seems to be talking about is what happens if the debt deal Obama wants is passed - all that does is kick the can down the road until 2013, after the next election. It's a political deal, and nothing more. So in two years, this 'crisis' will start again, only by then taxes will be higher due to this year's deal, and there will be 3 trillion more dollars of debt. In addition, the huge bubble of the baby boom will be two years closer to retirement, which will make Social Security and Medicare reform even harder.

Investors aren't stupid, and two years isn't a long timeline to them. If they see a sham deal this time that allows the government to keep growing the way it has, I think you're going to see the economy get even worse as more and more money sits on the sidelines or moves elsewhere.Before anyone takes what Sam has said to heart, you should know he is a devotee of a fringe view of economics that while it makes him happy, doesn't have wide acceptance.

The stimulus kept us out of an economic collapse. I know that fact pisses you off, but that doesn't make it not true.

Mr Smashy
07-23-2011, 05:21 PM
You're objectively wrong. Partisanship has nothing to do with it.

Objective facts:

(1) About a quarter of the projected deficit over the next decade is because of the downturn in the economy that started in 2008.

(2) Another quarter to a third of that deficit is a consequence of the extension of the Bush tax cuts. The Dems voted to temporarily extend only about half of these cuts (because we're in a recession), and this was blocked by the GOP. The GOP wants to make them permanent.

(3) The third major portion of the deficit is Iraq, which Bush opted not to attempt to pay for by raising revenue.

(4) Because the lion's share of Obama's spending was temporary (i.e., TARP, Stimulus), even a worst-case scenario projection has that spending contributing to only a small fraction of the overall debt. A best-case scenario has it actually saving the government money by avoiding financial collapse.

(5) No one knows whether Obamacare will be a net gain or loss for the federal government over the long term. What we do know is that federal medical spending before Obamacare was a huge portion of the long-term projected deficit, and serious people on both sides of the political spectrum think some of the Medicare cost containment efforts have a shot at saving us money.

(6) Our long-term fiscal future has a lot to do with how we deal with Medicare (and VA care), defense spending, and the success of our economy. It has very little to do with what we did in 2009 or 2010.

(7) Our current "crisis" is entirely of GOP creation. The Democrats want to raise the debt limit. The GOP does not.

I still don't get your point. Your party was in complete control for the 4 years, and Bush was certainly complicit in the spending overdose voted in by Dems in the previous 2 (unless you care to cite the bills he vetoed that would have helped ameliorate this mess?).

The downturn in the economy has happened under Dem rule of Congress, and continued under their absolute rule. How can you deny a simple fact?

When you say extension of the Bush tax cuts - are you talking about the ones Obama supposedly wants to eliminate (the cuts for those making over $250k... which amounts to a rounding error, $33b a year or something). Or all of them (which your boy hasn't had the cajones to propose repealing; some leader :rolleyes:).

Iraq was a bipartisan effort - do we really need to rehash the vote? And if paying for it is an issue, why didn't the Dems pass the spending cuts or dedicated taxes when they were in charge? Or Obama pull us out sooner?

So, nice try, swing and a miss. Feel free to try again.

Your next response would be more helpful if you could explain why the Dems, when they had absolute power, didn't either reduce spending or increase taxes to avoid our current situation. And while blaming Bush is about the only answer we ever hear, it's run its course (as I suspect the electorate will conclude, should the Dems try to trot out that bullshit in Nov).

Mr Smashy
07-23-2011, 05:25 PM
That is how you get out of recessions. The only mistake was not spending enough, specifically on direct job creation. That is why a balanced budget amendment is insanity. Deficit spending is not always evil, and is frequently exactly what is needed deal with economic calamity.

I didn't say it is (deficit spending being evil), but there's a limit. Or is Greece the preferred model?

gonzomax
07-23-2011, 05:42 PM
I didn't say it is (deficit spending being evil), but there's a limit. Or is Greece the preferred model?

Then you are disagreeing on how much. That is good news.
If the Repubs kill the raised ceiling, the market will drop like a rock. Investors are pretty stupid and stampede easily.

Richard Parker
07-23-2011, 05:53 PM
Your next response would be more helpful if you could explain why the Dems, when they had absolute power, didn't either reduce spending or increase taxes to avoid our current situation. And while blaming Bush is about the only answer we ever hear, it's run its course (as I suspect the electorate will conclude, should the Dems try to trot out that bullshit in Nov).

You've made a valiant effort to muddy things up, but you're unable to dispute any of those facts. Want another try?

Fear Itself
07-23-2011, 05:57 PM
I didn't say it is (deficit spending being evil), but there's a limit. Or is Greece the preferred model?Exclude the middle much?

Sam Stone
07-23-2011, 06:08 PM
Before anyone takes what Sam has said to heart, you should know he is a devotee of a fringe view of economics that while it makes him happy, doesn't have wide acceptance.

Really? An ad-hominem attack is the best you can do? It's not a 'fringe belief' to think that the stimulus did not work - it's rapidly becoming the consensus. And I have quoted numerous peer-reviewed papers on this board calling into question the premise and results of the stimulus, and no one has ever refuted one of them. These are not 'fringe' papers - they're papers by respected economists at Harvard, Stanford, and elsewhere.

When come back, bring a real argument.

The stimulus kept us out of an economic collapse. I know that fact pisses you off, but that doesn't make it not true.

This is nothing more than a talking point of the left, to be repeated loudly and often to mask the fact that the stimulus did not live up to a single one of the promises its adherents said it would achieve.

The fact is, the economy was already out of recession before the stimulus money even made its way into the economy, and if you look at GDP or job creation or any other economic metric, there is very little correlation between the spending of stimulus money and economic output. Certainly there's nowhere NEAR the effect its proponents promised.

If it were true that the stimulus avoided a depression or other calamity, you should see a decline that is slowed and halted as stimulus funds make their way into the economy. But in fact what you see is a sharp decline right after the financial crisis, then a modest turn upwards in 2009 to the point where there was positive but anemic growth before the stimulus money showed up. it's pretty hard to argue that the stimulus prevented a depression when the economy was already out of recession before the stimulus arrived, don't you think?

We also have the evidence of two previous stimulus attempts, one in 2001 and one in 2008, which had no measurable effect on economic output. In fact, the only major government program that appears to have done some good was TARP, and that was primarily because it addressed a very specific failing and was applied rapidly and in directed fashion.

The stimulus, on the other hand, was a mishmash of pork and state funding that took a long time to make it into the economy, was directed more at districts that had powerful representation rather than those that were the most in trouble, and which had the effect of increasing the permanent structural size of the government - thus failing all three of Larry Summers' requirements for a stimulus - that it be targeted, timely, and temporary.

The money that went to the state governments was largely used to displace their own spending, resulting in no fiscal infusion into the economy at all, but rather a transfer of debt from state budgets to the federal budget. Half the stimulus was temporary tax cuts, which we already knew were unlikely to work. The measly part aimed at actual infrastructure development was largely snarled in red tape due to union demands and other problems.

This is not fringe economics - this is an empirical look at what actually happened, backed up by peer-reviewed research. The stimulus failed. And now the U.S. gets to carry almost a trillion dollars of extra debt, which will cost at least $30 billion dollars a year in interest, forever. Since the stimulus money is mostly spent now, the only effect left is a perpetual drag on the economy, year after year, because of the money that has to be extracted from it to pay the interest on the gamble.

Mr Smashy
07-23-2011, 06:08 PM
Then you are disagreeing on how much. That is good news.
If the Repubs kill the raised ceiling, the market will drop like a rock. Investors are pretty stupid and stampede easily.

I'm not sure what point you think you're making. Of course some debt is OK. But when the debt service starts to crush the budget (ie, soon for us, now for Greece) and rates go up and China stops buying the debt etc etc, then it's all over.

If there's no agreement, it's as much of the Dems putting us in this place in the first place, as GOP intransigence on how to get us out.

Richard Parker
07-23-2011, 06:20 PM
The money that went to the state governments was largely used to displace their own spending, resulting in no fiscal infusion into the economy at all, but rather a transfer of debt from state budgets to the federal budget.

The states did not have the political or functional ability to take on the debt to pay for the things the stimulus helped them pay for. So it didn't transfer debt from the states, it created debt in order that the states could continue to do things like cover paychecks for public employees. Absent the stimulus, we would have had government shutdowns in Minnesota, Wisconsin, California, etc., when the economy was even more vulnerable, as we eventually saw when the federal money to pay teachers and cops ran out.

Just like the rest of the stimulus, such spending may or may not be more advantageous than the cost of the debt -- which is a perfectly reasonable if far from settled debate -- but your argument that it was merely a transference of debt is simply incorrect.

Fear Itself
07-23-2011, 06:20 PM
Really? An ad-hominem attack is the best you can do? It's not a 'fringe belief' to think that the stimulus did not work - it's rapidly becoming the consensus. You honed in on the ad hominem fallacy pretty quickly; ad populum, not so much.

Mr Smashy
07-23-2011, 06:24 PM
You've made a valiant effort to muddy things up, but you're unable to dispute any of those facts. Want another try?

(sigh)

Ok, I guess i need to lay them out for you, point by point. After which you'll thank me, donate to Bachmann's candidacy, etc. Please try to follow along, I will take them 'objective fact' by 'objective fact'

(1) About a quarter of the projected deficit over the next decade is because of the downturn in the economy that started in 2008.

Reply: Who was in charge since 2007 of Congress? What did they do to avoid the crisis? If they passed a bill and it was vetoed by that evil W, then please cite the bill.

(2) Another quarter to a third of that deficit is a consequence of the extension of the Bush tax cuts. The Dems voted to temporarily extend only about half of these cuts (because we're in a recession), and this was blocked by the GOP. The GOP wants to make them permanent.

Your boy, showing immense leadership, refused to fight to let them expire. He caved (when the Dems controlled both congress and the white house!)

(3) The third major portion of the deficit is Iraq, which Bush opted not to attempt to pay for by raising revenue.

a) the Dems voted for Iraq and Afghanistan, b) please cite the tax increases passed by the the Dem congress in 2007 that were vetoed, that could have paid for those conflicts, and c) if the war is so bad, why hasn't mr Hopey McChange gotten us out yet? I thought he got the nomination from Hillary after uniting both the Cut and Run wings of the Democratic Party, after all

(4) Because the lion's share of Obama's spending was temporary (i.e., TARP, Stimulus), even a worst-case scenario projection has that spending contributing to only a small fraction of the overall debt. A best-case scenario has it actually saving the government money by avoiding financial collapse.

Under your guy's budgets (http://www.hyscience.com/archives/2011/06/cbo_us_budget_o.php), it's all a nightmare moving forward. The CBO (http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/270229/cbo-report-us-budget-outlook-daunting-andrew-stiles) says that deficits go on for as far as one can see, public debt gets to 100% of GDP in less than 10 years, and Medicare becomes unsustainable. It's not just temporary spending.

(5) No one knows whether Obamacare will be a net gain or loss for the federal government over the long term. What we do know is that federal medical spending before Obamacare was a huge portion of the long-term projected deficit, and serious people on both sides of the political spectrum think some of the Medicare cost containment efforts have a shot at saving us money.

10 years of taxes rigged to pay for 6 years of benefits. It will get worse, and if you are honest, you know this.

(6) Our long-term fiscal future has a lot to do with how we deal with Medicare (and VA care), defense spending, and the success of our economy. It has very little to do with what we did in 2009 or 2010.

Agreed, sort of; Medicare absolutely. SS, yes. Defense.... per capita (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States) and as % of GDP defense spending haven't done much over the last 40 years, and are both down since Bubba was in. Nobody in DOD thinks the numbers are doing anything but going to drop further. Read Washington Technology or Government Computer News, to get smarter on this topic.

(7) Our current "crisis" is entirely of GOP creation. The Democrats want to raise the debt limit. The GOP does not.

You have a cite for this, or is it just partisan bullshit? The GOP would raise it tomorrow, if the Dems acted as they want (stopping the madness, from their POV, and living within our means).

So, before you spout off again, please answer this simple question: how is this crisis ENTIRELY a GOP creation when THE DEMS HAD ABSOLUTE POWER from January 2009 to January 2011, and W played along from January 2007 until January 2009 (with TARP, especially). I notice you have ignored that point so far.

Honestly - you really, truly, don't blame the Democrats at all for this? They are the completely innocent victims? Are you James Carville incognito?

Richard Parker
07-23-2011, 06:31 PM
You're assuming, incorrectly, that I was trying to lay blame. Instead, I was refuting your contention that Democrats are to blame.

Lobohan
07-23-2011, 07:03 PM
Really? An ad-hominem attack is the best you can do? It's not a 'fringe belief' to think that the stimulus did not work - it's rapidly becoming the consensus. And I have quoted numerous peer-reviewed papers on this board calling into question the premise and results of the stimulus, and no one has ever refuted one of them. These are not 'fringe' papers - they're papers by respected economists at Harvard, Stanford, and elsewhere. I wasn't trying for an attack. You stated those things like they were established fact. When in actuality, they are a fringe belief that you like because you prefer the Libertarian religion.

When come back, bring a real argument.When come back, bring real facts.

This is nothing more than a talking point of the left, to be repeated loudly and often to mask the fact that the stimulus did not live up to a single one of the promises its adherents said it would achieve.It averted a melt-down. That would be a single one of its promises. Would you please retract your incorrect statement now?

The fact is, the economy was already out of recession before the stimulus money even made its way into the economy, and if you look at GDP or job creation or any other economic metric, there is very little correlation between the spending of stimulus money and economic output. Certainly there's nowhere NEAR the effect its proponents promised. This is the result of you believing misinformation promoted by Libertarian true-believers. You are no doubt talking about the 8% unemployment prediction (not promise) made before the Stimulus. If you deal with the universe we actually live in, you might feel that the prediction was made before we knew how bad the economy actually was. We only had preliminary data that painted a rosier picture than was actually happening.

Never mind the fact that the Republicans (the folks you root for) threatened to destroy the economy (now becoming their forte) if they didn't get most of the stimulus converted to less stimulative tax cuts.

I don't know how you have the nerve to assert such nonsense.

If it were true that the stimulus avoided a depression or other calamity, you should see a decline that is slowed and halted as stimulus funds make their way into the economy. But in fact what you see is a sharp decline right after the financial crisis, then a modest turn upwards in 2009 to the point where there was positive but anemic growth before the stimulus money showed up. it's pretty hard to argue that the stimulus prevented a depression when the economy was already out of recession before the stimulus arrived, don't you think?No. I imagine that the fact that a dozen states didn't default had something to do with it.

We also have the evidence of two previous stimulus attempts, one in 2001 and one in 2008, which had no measurable effect on economic output. In fact, the only major government program that appears to have done some good was TARP, and that was primarily because it addressed a very specific failing and was applied rapidly and in directed fashion. You don't understand the situation. In your opinion was 2001 as large a drop in the economy as 2008? Was the Bush "stimulus" as large as the Obama one? You are flailing at phantoms to justify your Libertarian beliefs.

The stimulus, on the other hand, was a mishmash of pork and state funding that took a long time to make it into the economy, was directed more at districts that had powerful representation rather than those that were the most in trouble, and which had the effect of increasing the permanent structural size of the government - thus failing all three of Larry Summers' requirements for a stimulus - that it be targeted, timely, and temporary.I trust you would support a superior stimulus then, and not have it mucked up by congressional Republicans, right?

The money that went to the state governments was largely used to displace their own spending, resulting in no fiscal infusion into the economy at all, but rather a transfer of debt from state budgets to the federal budget. Half the stimulus was temporary tax cuts, which we already knew were unlikely to work. The measly part aimed at actual infrastructure development was largely snarled in red tape due to union demands and other problems. Nonsense. We had a huge deficit of demand in our economy. Laying off state workers by the millions would have made it much worse.

This is not fringe economics - this is an empirical look at what actually happened, backed up by peer-reviewed research. The stimulus failed. And now the U.S. gets to carry almost a trillion dollars of extra debt, which will cost at least $30 billion dollars a year in interest, forever. Since the stimulus money is mostly spent now, the only effect left is a perpetual drag on the economy, year after year, because of the money that has to be extracted from it to pay the interest on the gamble.The stimulus failing is an opinion, a minority opinion. As it happens it is largely held by Libertarian ideologues who walk lockstep with you.

Mr Smashy
07-23-2011, 07:09 PM
You're assuming, incorrectly, that I was trying to lay blame. Instead, I was refuting your contention that Democrats are to blame.

I say that because they've been in charge in the immediate preceeding years leading up to this nightmare. They STILL control 2 of the 3 branches of politically elected government. Seems to me a child could figure out who ran the train off the tracks.

You really don't see that, do you?

PS Go back and look at your list of things that got us into this mess. You tell me if those supposed 'objective facts' were actions taken by Dems or the GOP. Then tell me if a reasonable person would assume you're placing blame.

Lobohan
07-23-2011, 07:21 PM
I say that because they've been in charge in the immediate preceeding years leading up to this nightmare. They STILL control 2 of the 3 branches of politically elected government. Seems to me a child could figure out who ran the train off the tracks.

You really don't see that, do you?

PS Go back and look at your list of things that got us into this mess. You tell me if those supposed 'objective facts' were actions taken by Dems or the GOP. Then tell me if a reasonable person would assume you're placing blame.Are you aware that the Democrats didn't have a filibuster-proof majority in the senate? And when Bush was president didn't have a veto-proof majority?

Are you further aware, that the children in charge of the Republican Party nowadays have been filibustering at a much higher rate than ever before in the existence of our country?

Given those two facts, how can you assert that the Dems had control? When the minority party can throw a tantrum and stop everything, they have a lot of control.

Thought Experiment: President and Democrats get a bill to fix the country. It will work. All the evidence shows that this is the best, moderate plan to go with.

Democratic Congress: We have this plan.
Democratic President: Yay! Plan!
Republican Party: Wahhhhh!!!! Tyranny!!! Fucking Usurper!!! Wah!!!
Democratic Congress: Okay, wasn't expecting that. How about we shift it a little to the right?
Republican Party: Wahhhhh!!!! Death Panels!!! Boo-Fucking-Hoooo!!!1
Democratic Congress: Okay, how about we make this exactly the plan you guys had two years ago?
Republican Party: Secede!!! Aaaaargh!!!!

Fear Itself
07-23-2011, 07:27 PM
Seems to me a child could figure out who ran the train off the tracks.Children are easily misled. The adults in the room are not so gullible.

Damuri Ajashi
07-23-2011, 09:53 PM
What should be done about raising the debt ceiling and more broadly what should be done to start lowering the US' massive debts and deficits?

My plans in order of preference:
1) The Gang of Six Plan-Provided there are no new taxes and it just involves elimination of tax breaks and loopholes (and thus simplify the tax cut) and the majority of savings are spending cuts I will support it (yes I am a fairly moderate Scott Brown-style Republican on most issu3es except abortion).

Then its not the gang of 6 plan now is it? I might as well say that I fully support Michelle Bachman's plan except I want to raise the debt ceiling, eliminate the Bush tax cuts and negotiate new tax reduction legislation that isn't as retarded as the bush tax cuts while reducing spending on a dollar for dollar basis. See I support the Bachman plan.

2) Cut, Cap, and Balance Plan-The vast majority of the Republicans in the House have approved it and I don't think a BBA is unreasonable considering 49 states already have such a law.

The devil is in the details. The Republican BBA basically says that you can only cut spending to balance budgets unless you can get 67% votes in the house and the senate to approve a tax increase. Its a stupid plan especially when taxes are at historic lows.

3) McConnell Plan-Only a temporizing solution but at least it might raise the debt ceiling
4) Bachmann Plan-Opposition to raising the debt ceiling shows great principle considering President Obama himself claimed raising the debt ceiling during the Bush years was a "failure of leadership" yet the Republicans have overwhelmingly put country before party and have given up a magnificent opportunity to expose the hypocrasy of the President on the debt ceiling issue to save the country from economic crisis.

Republicans haven't put country before party since they lost the white house.

Damuri Ajashi
07-23-2011, 09:59 PM
The simple fact is that many of these so-called loopholes are normal deductions that make sense when compared to the entirety of the tax code.

And many of them are not.

Further, the statement that they are eliminating the loopholes is in reality the obfuscating event.

For example, take Obama's proposal to end tax breaks for corporate jet owners. (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/06/29/press-conference-president)

All statements taken from a single speach by Obama where he sort of makes it sound like there is some sort of loophole he is proposing to be eliminated. The reality though is that he wants to change the depreciation schedule for corporate jets from 5 years to 7 years. Modifying this schedule would either: 1) reduce the sales of corporate jets which ultimately reduces tax revenue; or 2) corporate jet sales stay basically the same and tax revenue is identical in dollars but the timing of receipt is sped up a little.

Back when they first created the depreciation schedules, they got a bunch of engineers to estimate how long stuff lasts and tax useful life tracked economic useful life, more or less. Then they started with accelerated depreciation in an effort to get people to buy more depreciable property. Our depreciations tables are much faster than economic depreciation at this time so that you almost always have recapture when a corporation sells an airplane or automobile.

As for your dismissal of timing issues, the tax code is largely about timing. Half the tax lawyers in NYC are dealing with timing and character issues and not issues of absolute income. The entire leasing industry is based on timing, and depreciation for that matter.

Damuri Ajashi
07-23-2011, 10:10 PM
Sure, but Obama has focused on corporate jets, oil company subsidies, and hedge funds. The depreciation schedule for corporate jets is not a loophole. Oil companies do not receive subsidies. Hedge funds I agree with.

You do realize the hedge fund taxation started with oil exploration partnerships right? Some wildcatter would raise capital and put in nothing and if he struck oil, he would get 20% (taxed at capital gains rates) as carried interest if not then he was out his time and effort while everyone else was out their investment. It was supposed to promote oil exploration.

Oil and mineral companies use an accounting method called depletion, it is very favorable and while it is not unique to the oil industry, it is certainly a preferred tax system.

Right now ALL depreciation schedules are tax preferences, depreciation is not only accelerated within the same useful life, the depreciation periods have been shortened over time.

I have not studied up on this enough to speak on it in a detailed way. I will say that in general, if a multinational company legitimately earns profits overseas and pays taxes on those dollars according to that foreign country's laws, I do not see any legitimate reason why they should also pay taxes to the U.S. government. The fact is that when a foreign company, say Kia for example, makes products here in the U.S. and sells them here in the U.S., we expect them to pay U.S. taxes. It runs both ways. As long as companies are handling things on an arm's length basis with their foreign subsidiaries then I am okay with it. If they are not handled on an arm's length basis then that seems like a job for the IRS enforcement agents to me.

Well, worldwide taxation of income is a sticking point in tax policy. So we have made a few accomodations. You only pay the difference, your first $92,900 is excluded (if you are an individual) and you do not have to pay taxes on that income until you repatriate it (if you are a corporation). Still I think it makes sense to rewrite the tax code without the assumption that we are taxing worldwide income. Too much slips through the cracks based on those faulty assumptions.

Damuri Ajashi
07-23-2011, 10:14 PM
Don't do that. They just lop off entire cabinet departments, like Education, Labor, Energy. See, it's easy!

And if you combined ALL those departments, you would be about 5% of the towards a balanced budget unless you also want to eliminate college student financial aid, unemployment benefits, and our federal nuclear capacity (submarines, warheads, etc.).

Damuri Ajashi
07-23-2011, 10:16 PM
Originally Posted by Susanann
My plan is a lot easier and less complicated: Reduce spending.

Who cares about Mencken, the best solution when a country, or even a family, is spending more than their income, is to reduce spending. Since when ever was mencken a credit counselor? What does mencken know about bankruptcy?

Anyway, it does not matter how much debt you have, you cant borrow your way out.

I dont care how much the Democrats want to keep spending more and more, I dont care how much the husband or wife complains that they want to continue to charge more and more on their credit cards, or any other fancy talk. If you are in debt and spending more than your income, and if you already maxed out all of your credit cards and if you already have taken out a second and a third mortgage on your home, the simple, obvious, best, solution out of your problem is to reduce spending.

YOu can pretend to play games, you can plead that it is "necessary" to buy a new wardrobe each spring or say it is necessary to start another war, or you can try to bargain by promising to cut spending 8 years from now if only everyone will raise your card limit, but it wont work. The only solution that works is to cut spending.

OR you could get a frikking job so you can pay your bills.

Damuri Ajashi
07-23-2011, 10:19 PM
Your point of comparing the "Hollywood" "1953 red scare" with a very real United States debt problem, is not comparable. Not at all.

I am sorry to inform you, the massively huge and worsening debt of the United States IS!!! real. It may already be unfixable. The debt even at current levels is beyond what the United states can pay. The danger of the United States defaulting on its debt is already almost a certainty.

You do realize we have had much higher debt levels, right?

Damuri Ajashi
07-23-2011, 10:25 PM
It would appear that something very remarkable has happened, we have elected a man who cares more about his country than his presidency. Ecce homo.

I'll believe it when I see it. Right now, I half expect him to throw his hat into the Republicans primary.

Damuri Ajashi
07-23-2011, 10:27 PM
Boehner cant really negotiate with himself.

Why not, Obama's been doing it for the last two years.

Damuri Ajashi
07-23-2011, 10:32 PM
...There would be no "credit problem" if we were running budget surpluses.

You mean like what we had under Clinton?

I think everyone can agree that those who want to spend and borrow are the ones to blame for ruin.

Democrats have always been tax and spend, it was the Republicans starting with Reagan that were the folks that wanted to borrow and spend. If you have problems with borrow and spend during tough economic times you must really be pissed off at Reagan, and W for borrowing and spending during prosperous economic times.

Damuri Ajashi
07-23-2011, 10:37 PM
I think it is in fact that serious. And a huge part of the interest for us outside is... if the US does this we go into Great Depression Part II, and shouldn't think wilfully throwing the world into a crisis like this is either rational or conservative.

BOLDING MINE

I don't know where you are from but here those terms tend to be mutually exclusive

Damuri Ajashi
07-23-2011, 10:43 PM
The attitude is that if the U.S. can't get its fiscal act together under this kind of clearly desperate emergency situation, then all hope is lost and the U.S. is headed for default.

You mean "manufactured" desperate emergency situation don't you?

If there is a crisis, it is in medicare and that crisis has been there for years and the Republicans stopped being the grownups in the room on that subject when they pilloried Obama for trying to reach for the lowest hanging fruit in medicare (the 15% Medicare part C overpayment).

gonzomax
07-23-2011, 10:54 PM
I'm not sure what point you think you're making. Of course some debt is OK. But when the debt service starts to crush the budget (ie, soon for us, now for Greece) and rates go up and China stops buying the debt etc etc, then it's all over.

If there's no agreement, it's as much of the Dems putting us in this place in the first place, as GOP intransigence on how to get us out.

Did you snap out of a coma lately? Bush came in with a surplus. He started 2 wars without paying for them, cut taxes primarily for the wealthy, and started a huge and expensive drug giveaway. I am sure you Any part of it? Then Bush, not Obama, started TARP.

humanafterall
07-23-2011, 11:16 PM
IF we default, how fucked will we be? I understand that interest rates would climb, the recession would be double-dip, and the US will turn brown from the massive shit that will hit the massive fan, but how much worse is it than that?

China Guy
07-24-2011, 12:14 AM
Really? An ad-hominem attack is the best you can do? It's not a 'fringe belief' to think that the stimulus did not work - it's rapidly becoming the consensus. And I have quoted numerous peer-reviewed papers on this board calling into question the premise and results of the stimulus, and no one has ever refuted one of them. These are not 'fringe' papers - they're papers by respected economists at Harvard, Stanford, and elsewhere. Sam, you have a long history of posting cites that you obviously haven't read, and drawing conclusions that the authors don't make. Here's one (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showpost.php?p=13987367&postcount=22)from this month that I refuted but then you never answered. I also called you out the pit (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=576443&highlight=hate+america) that went 5 pages a year ago.

China Guy
07-24-2011, 12:28 AM
We also have the evidence of two previous stimulus attempts, one in 2001 and one in 2008, which had no measurable effect on economic output. In fact, the only major government program that appears to have done some good was TARP, and that was primarily because it addressed a very specific failing and was applied rapidly and in directed fashion. Let me get this straight, are you saying that the Bush tax rebates of 2001 and 2008 didn't have a stimulus effect? Correct me if I'm wrong, but were not both of these stimulus attempts along with Obama's classic supply side levers?

At least we agree that TARP was okay in that it kept the international banking system working and prevented runs on all the major US banks that would have happened within a matter of days.

Sam Stone
07-24-2011, 01:09 AM
I wasn't trying for an attack. You stated those things like they were established fact. When in actuality, they are a fringe belief that you like because you prefer the Libertarian religion.

It is NOT a fringe belief. This has nothing to do with Austrian theory. Hell, even Paul Krugman admits the stimulus didn't work - he just doesn't think it was big enough. But the fact is, all the empirical evidence that's shown up to date (as opposed to the rehashed CBO model projections the left keeps touting) fails to find an impact from the stimulus anywhere near what was promised. If you have evidence to the contrary, present it.

When come back, bring real facts.

You've been active in the threads where I posted links and quotes from a number of peer-reviewed papers.

It averted a melt-down. That would be a single one of its promises. Would you please retract your incorrect statement now?

What, because you said so? Provide a cite, please. And I'm not talking about another Keynesian model projection. Some hard facts would be nice. There's plenty of evidence to gather now. You can look at states that received more stimulus than others, and see if their economic stats improved commensurately. You can look at specific stimulus programs and see how they fared. You can look at other attempts to stimulate the economy on the same principles, such as 'Cash For Clunkers' or the mortgage rebate program, and see if they had the effects their proponents promised.

Come back with evidence, not just a rehash of the same talking point that the stimulus averted a 'melt-down'. As I already pointed out, the economy was out of recession before the stimulus money even made it into the economy. That's not a 'melt-down'.

This is the result of you believing misinformation promoted by Libertarian true-believers.

No, this was me reading a whole lot of material from actual economists in major institutions.

You are no doubt talking about the 8% unemployment prediction (not promise) made before the Stimulus. If you deal with the universe we actually live in, you might feel that the prediction was made before we knew how bad the economy actually was. We only had preliminary data that painted a rosier picture than was actually happening.

First, I never mentioned that prediction. But since you did, I'll point out that the only 'refutation' of the fact that the actual employment numbers never came close to what was promised is simply a statement that 'things were worse than was thought', and the justification for that statement is... that unemployment wound up being higher than predicted with the stimulus. That's circular reasoning.

Also, I'm trying to find a paper that I read last year, and when I do I'll post it - the paper took a look at exactly that notion, and concluded that yes, the unemployment situation was somewhat worse than was originally predicted, but even when taking that into account the stimulus did not create nearly as many jobs as was promised.

Never mind the fact that the Republicans (the folks you root for) threatened to destroy the economy (now becoming their forte) if they didn't get most of the stimulus converted to less stimulative tax cuts.

So you admit the stimulus didn't do what the Democrats claimed it would do when passed?

No. I imagine that the fact that a dozen states didn't default had something to do with it.

Default? All they had to do was hold the line on their own growth and perhaps claw back public sector salaries by a few points in most cases. And even if they had to lay off people, it's not at all clear that that would have resulted in more net job losses than the losses that occurred in the private sector due to stimulus borrowing and crowding out.

You don't understand the situation. In your opinion was 2001 as large a drop in the economy as 2008? Was the Bush "stimulus" as large as the Obama one? You are flailing at phantoms to justify your Libertarian beliefs.

It doesn't matter how large the drop was - if you think there is low aggregate demand due to a recession, then a Keynesian analysis would tell you that if you pump money into the economy, it will stimulate demand and the economy will improve. How much it improves would then depend on how much of it can be applied to truly idle resources and how big the stimulus is relative to the size of the drop in demand. But you should see an effect regardless.

I trust you would support a superior stimulus then, and not have it mucked up by congressional Republicans, right?

No, I think it would have been far better to let the economy sort itself out, and to recognize that the root problem that led to the recession was a burst asset bubble leading to public and private balance sheets that were out of whack, and that nothing was going to fix the economy overnight. I would have focused on getting the government's balance sheets corrected given the new reality of lower revenue, and I would have promoted stabilization policies such as a freeze on expensive regulations.

Nonsense. We had a huge deficit of demand in our economy. Laying off state workers by the millions would have made it much worse.

That wasn't going to happen. The stimulus wasn't that large, and a good chunk of it was actually used to increase the salaries of public workers - a truly perverse result.

The stimulus failing is an opinion, a minority opinion. As it happens it is largely held by Libertarian ideologues who walk lockstep with you.

So you keep saying. Perhaps you can link to some papers that use actual empirical evidence to show that the stimulus succeeded? I'm not talking about papers that regurgitate the same Keynesian models, but ones that actually studied the results.

I'm not saying the stimulus failed to create any jobs. I think the jury is still out on whether there was actual net job creation due to ARRA. If you pump a trillion dollars into the economy you're bound to create a job or two. But for the stimulus to 'succeed', it had to A) prevent a much bigger problem, or B) have the kind of Keynesian multipliers that would make it close to being GDP neutral after all shakes out in the wash.

Don't forget that before the stimulus even passed the CBO admitted that at the 10-year mark it would cost the economy about .9% in GDP due to interest carrying costs eventually overwhelming the gains from jobs saved during the recession. And that was with the assumption that the stimulus would do what its proponents said it would do.

If the stimulus had only half the positive effect, or the multipliers were less than one, then in the long run the stimulus will wreak significant damage on the U.S. economy. And I think that's exactly what has happened.

elucidator
07-24-2011, 01:33 AM
Penicillin is obviously no good. We used it to treat a raging infection. We used half the recommended dose, but the infection came back, which is not what we were promised. Clearly, the medicine is no good and the doctor is a liar.

Mr Smashy
07-24-2011, 09:01 AM
Did you snap out of a coma lately? Bush came in with a surplus. He started 2 wars without paying for them, cut taxes primarily for the wealthy, and started a huge and expensive drug giveaway. I am sure you Any part of it? Then Bush, not Obama, started TARP.

He did, fueled by a NASDAQ bubble that soon collapsed.

Tax cuts? They benefited everyone who pays taxes; obviously, if you make more, you pay more, so you'd benefit more. But keep that class warfare drum a beatin'.

(If the Bush Tax Cuts are SOOOO BAD, then why hasn't your boy proposed repealing them for everyone - so far, it's just been for those making over $250k, which will add next to nothing to tax receipts - something like $33b according to another thread on these lefty boards.

Or did you just snap out of a coma lately? ;) )

Fear Itself
07-24-2011, 09:20 AM
Tax cuts? They benefited everyone who pays taxes; obviously, if you make more, you pay more, so you'd benefit more.As conservatives love to point out, half the households in the nation pay no income tax. So tell us again who benefits from tax cuts?

The Other Waldo Pepper
07-24-2011, 09:24 AM
As conservatives love to point out, half the households in the nation pay no income tax. So tell us again who benefits from tax cuts?

Productive members of society?

Fear Itself
07-24-2011, 09:41 AM
Productive members of society?So if someone pays no income tax, they are not a productive member of society?

Now who is waging class warfare?

Mr Smashy
07-24-2011, 10:01 AM
So if someone pays no income tax, they are not a productive member of society?

Now who is waging class warfare?

gonzo

It was a great line, though

Mr Smashy
07-24-2011, 10:05 AM
So if someone pays no income tax, they are not a productive member of society?

Now who is waging class warfare?

In all seriousness, this is what you get when half of the country kicks in nothing in the form of income tax, they skate by and free-ride on those who take risks and work hard. The class dichotomy is great for the Dems, since they get well by dividing and pitting interest group against interest group (as well as creating a dependency class, everyone from welfare to government loans to unions). But not to digress too much...

If the Dems had ever proposed repealing all of the tax cuts, when they had absolute power, then maybe you'd have a point. But they haven't even done that. So your problem is with the Democratic Party, and their complete lack of balls. Your messiah caved on the Bush tax cuts, he caves on Gitmo, he caves on pretty much everything except Obamacare.

Not that 90% of this board won't vote for him again... to do otherwise would be racist.

Fear Itself
07-24-2011, 11:08 AM
In all seriousness, this is what you get when half of the country kicks in nothing in the form of income tax, they skate by and free-ride on those who take risks and work hard. So a single mom with two kids, working two minimum wage jobs is skating by, taking no risks and not working hard? She pays no income tax, only payroll taxes, yet her 60 hour weeks don't meet your standard of hard work?

elucidator
07-24-2011, 12:08 PM
...and their complete lack of balls. Your messiah caved on the Bush tax cuts, he caves on Gitmo, he caves on pretty much everything except Obamacare....

I see. So, when confronted by a raving maniac, who's brains are boiled in batshit, and who is threatening to destroy our economy and pretty much everybody else's....the correct procedure is to be ballsy, to spit in their eye and say "Go ahead, you haven't got the guts to pull the trigger!"

I find that proposition dubious.

gonzomax
07-24-2011, 12:32 PM
The poor work much harder for their money.

humanafterall
07-24-2011, 01:12 PM
I see. So, when confronted by a raving maniac, who's brains are boiled in batshit, and who is threatening to destroy our economy and pretty much everybody else's....the correct procedure is to be ballsy, to spit in their eye and say "Go ahead, you haven't got the guts to pull the trigger!"

I find that proposition dubious.

What's the odds that the raving maniac is bluffing? 5 to 1? Place your bets here!My money's on Obama to be bluffing, while the GOP actually goes through with their plans.

gonzomax
07-24-2011, 01:25 PM
Boehner withdrew because he did not have the votes. He does not control the party . The tea baggers will not suddenly become reasonable. Any compromise will meet huge internal Republican resistance. The baggers may be forcing Boehner into rejecting any deal.

Fear Itself
07-24-2011, 01:31 PM
What's the odds that the raving maniac is bluffing? 5 to 1? Place your bets here!My money's on Obama to be bluffing, while the GOP actually goes through with their plans.Republicans have much more to lose. Their constituents have a lot more in the stock market, and their donors are more likely to be large corporate donors, whereas Obama has far more small individual donors. If Obama was going to fold, he would have done it by now. He knows the Republicans are holding a weak hand, and the Republicans know he knows it. Their corporate handlers will jerk the chain hard if the markets start to tank this week.

I predict a full retreat by the GOP leadership, resulting in a clean, long term debt ceiling bill with no spending cuts. Pubs will roll over and pee like scared puppies when their trust accounts start to evaporate. Of course, the Tea Party will go apeshit and bolt the party, nominating their own candidates in 2012. We will see the beginning of the end of the Republican Party in the first weeks of August, 2011.

Good riddance.

scr4
07-24-2011, 01:45 PM
Republicans have much more to lose. Their constituents have a lot more in the stock market, and their donors are more likely to be large corporate donors, whereas Obama has far more small individual donors.

The "small individual donors" have just as much to lose. They can't afford to have their retirement savings plummet in value yet again.

So I think it boils down to which side gets blamed by the public if we default.

Mr Smashy
07-24-2011, 02:16 PM
I see. So, when confronted by a raving maniac, who's brains are boiled in batshit, and who is threatening to destroy our economy and pretty much everybody else's....the correct procedure is to be ballsy, to spit in their eye and say "Go ahead, you haven't got the guts to pull the trigger!"

I find that proposition dubious.

Which raving maniac was that? From your POV, of course.

Mr Smashy
07-24-2011, 02:18 PM
So a single mom with two kids, working two minimum wage jobs is skating by, taking no risks and not working hard? She pays no income tax, only payroll taxes, yet her 60 hour weeks don't meet your standard of hard work?

Perhaps if there were more negative consequences for having kids one can't afford, she'd be less inclined to have them?

An extreme statement to demonstrate a point: the more you ameliorate the consequences of bad decisions, the more of that behavior you're going to get. Which is unhealthy for the country's finances, for society, for strong families, etc.

Mr Smashy
07-24-2011, 02:27 PM
and their donors are more likely to be large corporate donors, whereas Obama has far more small individual donors.


And we have a cite for this? No? Just asking.

You are working off of the old liberal paradigm. In the old days, you'd be right.

Last time around, presidentially speaking of course, 50-50 (http://www.seattlepi.com/local/opinion/article/A-surge-in-corporate-donations-for-Democrats-1285620.php), it appears.

By late July, the political action committees of American companies had contributed almost $214 million to the Democrats and Republicans. For the first time in over two decades, the cash was evenly divided: Each party received roughly $107 million.

Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/opinion/article/A-surge-in-corporate-donations-for-Democrats-1285620.php#ixzz1T3IjvPG8

And of course, Dems outspend the GOP the last time around (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/27/us/politics/27money.html).

Democratic candidates have outraised their opponents over all by more than 30 percent in the 109 House races The New York Times has identified as in play. And Democratic candidates have significantly outspent their Republican counterparts over the last few months in those contests, $119 million to $79 million.

For the record, I actually don't have much of an issue with any one side raising more than the other - it's free speech, and Americans should be able to give to who they want to give. And despite 2010-cycle's huge Dem money advantage, they got their asses kicked, which shows that it's not all about the money.

But next time, please check your facts before you spout off bad ones, thanks.

ElvisL1ves
07-24-2011, 02:28 PM
So if someone pays no income tax, they are not a productive member of society?

Now who is waging class warfare?Please - the proper term for the poorest of the working poor is "Lucky Duckies". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucky_duckies)

Fear Itself
07-24-2011, 02:40 PM
The "small individual donors" have just as much to lose. They can't afford to have their retirement savings plummet in value yet again.No, they don't have as much to lose, because they control much less of the equity market. Simply put, the very wealthy (the top 20%) own nearly 90% of the equities in the US (http://www.stateofworkingamerica.org/charts/view/210). They are the ones with the most to lose, and they will be the ones bring the most pressure to bear on who they perceive to be the roadblock in negotiations. Who do you think most of the top 20% support, the Democrats, or the Republicans? Who will suffer the most if that support is withdrawn?

The Other Waldo Pepper
07-24-2011, 02:48 PM
Please - the proper term for the poorest of the working poor is "Lucky Duckies". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucky_duckies)

Heh. No, I agree that we need a different term for the working poor -- to set them apart from those who aren't, y'know, "working". So how about "the working poor", for a start?

elucidator
07-24-2011, 02:52 PM
Which raving maniac was that? From your POV, of course.

Oh, dear, my analogy was too obscure? Have you any potted plants about, you could put one in front of the screen, perhaps a philodendron could break it down into terms you could grasp.

Mr Smashy
07-24-2011, 02:54 PM
Oh, dear, my analogy was too obscure? Have you any potted plants about, you could put one in front of the screen, perhaps a philodendron could break it down into terms you could grasp.

Your value-added reply is all that I've come to expect from the American left.

Thanks.

PS Bush lied, people died, no blood for oil, etc.

Fear Itself
07-24-2011, 03:20 PM
PS Bush lied, people died, no blood for oil, etc.Tax cuts, job creators, skin in the game, etc.

humanafterall
07-24-2011, 04:19 PM
Whose horse should I bet on in this race, though? Boehner's horse looks pretty good, but I think they beefed it up with too much talk and Tea Party money. Obama's horse looks like it's about to collapse under the weight of its rider, and it seems rather sickly, probably because the owner can't afford it decent healthcare. To hell with it, I'll shoot 'em both and turn them into glue.

RickJay
07-24-2011, 09:27 PM
Ha ha. Okay, there IS going to be a deal, right? The GOP isn't really going to start a worldwide depression just to try to hurt Barack Obama. Fun's over, guys!

gonzomax
07-24-2011, 09:31 PM
Boehners horse is a pinto. The front part is different from the back part that pushes the animal forward. All the brown skin is way in the back where the horses head can not see it.. The horse's rear is crapping out tea bags. In its oat bag are communion wafers taken from pat Robertson's church. The Koch brothers are paying the horse's entry fees and collecting all the winnings.

ElvisL1ves
07-24-2011, 10:31 PM
Ha ha. Okay, there IS going to be a deal, right? The GOP isn't really going to start a worldwide depression just to try to hurt Barack Obama. Fun's over, guys!Think of them as Sheriff Bart holding a gun to his own head.

humanafterall
07-25-2011, 08:15 AM
Think of them as Sheriff Bart holding a gun to his own head.

Nobody move or I'll blow this [REDACTED]'s head clean off!

Mr Smashy
07-25-2011, 09:29 AM
As per the lib wonk (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/wonkbook-republicans-have-won-but-can-they-stop-there/2011/07/25/gIQAFHVIYI_blog.html?hpid=z1) at the WaPo, the GOP has won this battle. (but he implies they may lose the war)

That brings us to where we are now. John Boehner is proposing a deal with about $1 trillion in spending cuts and a short-term increase in the debt ceiling and a bipartisan congressional committee charged with developing a large deficit reduction package that would be immune to amendments and filibusters and would be the price of the next increase in the debt ceiling. Harry Reid is developing a package of spending cuts that Democrats could accept and would reach Boehner's $2.4 trillion mark.

If you take the Republicans' goals as avoiding a deal in which they have to vote for tax increases and denying Obama a political victory, it looks like they have succeeded. That success has come with costs -- they've done themselves political damage, are risking a crisis that could do the economy tremendous harm, and have left the Bush tax cuts unresolved, which means they might end up watching taxes rise much higher than if they'd taken Obama's offer -- but it's still been a success.

Jas09
07-25-2011, 09:54 AM
They haven't won anything yet.

I think Boehner's complete inability to deliver the House in any sort of compromise could be their undoing. Let's say Reid and Obama go along with a two-tiered, no-revenue deal. Sounds like the GOP's wet dream, right? I bet there are still 100 Republicans in the House that won't vote for it. And plenty of Democrats as well. If that happens (a cuts-only deal fails in the House), then I only see the McConnell fallback as an option (mainly supported by Dems in the House).

The odds of default look higher today than they have at any point. I always believed McConnell and Boehner when they said default wasn't an option - but I never realized how little control they have over their caucus.

I still can't believe that a 3-to-1 cuts to revenue increase with a decrease in the marginal income tax rates wasn't good enough. But there you have it. In the end the Bush tax cuts will just get sunsetted instead.

I did have one other random thought this morning. The GOP is pushing for a two-tiered approach so that they can hammer Obama on this again in 2012 (during election season). But how does that help their candidate? Polls show the public wants a balanced plan, but the current GOP candidates can stay completely quiet on the issue for now. That won't be the case in 2012, when they'll have to answer specific questions about exactly what they would do.

Duckster
07-25-2011, 01:28 PM
No, they don't have as much to lose, because they control much less of the equity market. Simply put, the very wealthy (the top 20%) own nearly 90% of the equities in the US (http://www.stateofworkingamerica.org/charts/view/210). They are the ones with the most to lose, and they will be the ones bring the most pressure to bear on who they perceive to be the roadblock in negotiations. Who do you think most of the top 20% support, the Democrats, or the Republicans? Who will suffer the most if that support is withdrawn?

In dollars, yes. In what they can buy, no.

The wealthy will always have enough money to pay for normal life things and a decent retirement. All the rest of us will not.

user_hostile
07-25-2011, 02:12 PM
But how does that help their candidate? Polls show the public wants a balanced plan, but the current GOP candidates can stay completely quiet on the issue for now. That won't be the case in 2012, when they'll have to answer specific questions about exactly what they would do.

Because Americans have an institutional memory of about six months. Some other distraction will be on the front pages. "Obama wrecked the economy" or "Obama got us into Stumblebumbia". That's just the way our American society works...for good or bad.

Evil Economist
07-25-2011, 03:37 PM
ETA: Deleted

Jas09
07-25-2011, 03:47 PM
Because Americans have an institutional memory of about six months. Some other distraction will be on the front pages. "Obama wrecked the economy" or "Obama got us into Stumblebumbia". That's just the way our American society works...for good or bad.That's sort of my point, actually. The debt ceiling business is bad all around. It's bad for Obama, bad for Boehner, bad for House members, bad for Senators. It's just a shitty vote - you either have to vote to raise the debt limit, cut benefits, or increase taxes. Why would you want to vote for that crap twice, once within that 6-month window you refer to, when you could just vote for the shit sandwich once now and assume that the voters will have forgotten about it by next year.

The only calculation that makes sense is that they think it's worse for Obama than it is for them, which I'm not convinced is true - most polls show the public prefer his handling on this than Congress's. And it has the other downside of getting their presidential nominee involved next time around... just odd politics, IMO.

RickJay
07-25-2011, 04:06 PM
Think of them as Sheriff Bart holding a gun to his own head.
When national politics starts to resemble a Mel Brooks movie, stock up on ammunition and canned food.

The Other Waldo Pepper
07-25-2011, 04:09 PM
When national politics starts to resemble a Mel Brooks movie, stock up on ammunition and canned food.

You'd do it for Randolph Scott.

elucidator
07-25-2011, 04:33 PM
The shit is flying fast and furious! Today, at approx 2pm batshit savings time Boehner unveiled his "bipartisan" proposal, a landscape of smoke, mirrors and fog on the horizon. His bipartisanship best demonstrated by the number of Dems at the photo op, which is to say, zero.

By four pm,

A coalition of Tea Party chapters and conservative lawmakers on Monday rejected the debt proposal put forward by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), despite his efforts to sweeten the deal with provisions favored by his conservative base.

The Cut, Cap, Balance Coalition, which boasts hundreds of Tea Party groups and more than 100 GOP lawmakers in its membership....

Like two fucking hours!

Gangster Octopus
07-25-2011, 04:48 PM
Well it has taken 235 years but it seems the American style Democracy experiment is failing.

The Other Waldo Pepper
07-25-2011, 04:51 PM
Well it has taken 235 years but it seems the American style Democracy experiment is failing.

No, there's still time for Obama to compromise.

Jas09
07-25-2011, 04:56 PM
No, there's still time for Obama to compromise.Compromise (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compromise)
a : settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions
b : something intermediate between or blending qualities of two different things

Did I miss the compromise being offered?

The Other Waldo Pepper
07-25-2011, 04:58 PM
Compromise (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/compromise)
a : settlement of differences by arbitration or by consent reached by mutual concessions
b : something intermediate between or blending qualities of two different things

Did I miss the compromise being offered?

Not yet. It's coming.

elucidator
07-25-2011, 04:58 PM
Well it has taken 235 years but it seems the American style Democracy experiment is failing.

Podnuh, it hasn't done anything but falter for 235 years, some days worse than others. Yet, the hopeful monster stumbles on....

Gangster Octopus
07-25-2011, 04:58 PM
I think Obama is trying to wrap his mind around all the myriad of compromises the House Republicans have offerd...such as...agreeing not to lower taxes on the rich again.

elucidator
07-25-2011, 05:02 PM
I think, reading the blogs, that Harry Reid came out with another compromise proposal sandwiched between Boehner's "bipartisan" proposal and the time the Tea Party.....no, wait, the Cut, Cap, Balance Coalition...told Boehner to stick it. Dizzying.

Ravenman
07-25-2011, 05:04 PM
Not yet. It's coming.

Some negotiation:

Tea Party: We want HUGE REDUCTIONS to the deficit NOW!

Obama: How about $4 trillion?

Tea Party: Nononononono! We want a SMALLER deficit reduction package! [runs out the door]

Jas09
07-25-2011, 05:08 PM
Some negotiation:

Tea Party: We want HUGE REDUCTIONS to the deficit NOW!

Obama: How about $4 trillion?

Tea Party: Nononononono! We want a SMALLER deficit reduction package! [runs out the door]You forgot the next stage:

Reid: OK! $2.5 trillion with no increased revenue.

Tea Party!: No! Smaller still! And in two parts, with a BBA, and a "Super Congress".

Mr Smashy
07-25-2011, 05:09 PM
Because Americans have an institutional memory of about six months. Some other distraction will be on the front pages. "Obama wrecked the economy" or "Obama got us into Stumblebumbia". That's just the way our American society works...for good or bad.

6 months? I think you are being generous. Honestly.

Mr Smashy
07-25-2011, 05:11 PM
As for who is unwilling to compromise, I would find it interesting if any of the Obamamaniacs here view his unwillingless to accept a short term deal (6 months? 12?) in order to save the economy qualifies as such unwillingness. Obama clearly doesn't want to have to run against this issue in 2012, which is understandable, but it seems as though one side is willing to avert crisis, and the other isn't.

Edit to add: has anyone seen the details of Reid's plan? Word was that his so-called $2.7 T in spending cuts were due to some very optimistic estimates of reduced DOD spending due to winding down the 'wars' in Afghanistan and Iraq.

elucidator
07-25-2011, 05:14 PM
...Tea Party!: No! Smaller still! And in two parts, with a BBA, and a "Super Congress".

My understanding is that the TP love BBA, but hate the idea of a "Super Congress".


Maybe nitpicking batshit isn't a good idea. Mental hygiene, and all....

Ravenman
07-25-2011, 05:16 PM
...but it seems as though one side is willing to avert crisis, and the other isn't.

I guess.... Republicans are willing to avert a crisis, but they are deferring to the Republicans who are very much looking forward to the forthcoming crisis. It's like how Republicans want to reduce the deficit, but Republicans don't want to reduce the deficit. Or how Republicans understand that defense spending ought to be cut, and Republicans want to increase defense spending. And how Republicans voted to end Medicare, but Republicans want to save Medicare.

Who needs an opposition party to the Republicans at this point?

Gangster Octopus
07-25-2011, 05:17 PM
As for who is unwilling to compromise, I would find it interesting if any of the Obamamaniacs here view his unwillingless to accept a short term deal (6 months? 12?) in order to save the economy qualifies as such unwillingness. Obama clearly doesn't want to have to run against this issue in 2012, which is understandable, but it seems as though one side is willing to avert crisis, and the other isn't.

Edit to add: has anyone seen the details of Reid's plan? Word was that his so-called $2.7 T in spending cuts were due to some very optimistic estimates of reduced DOD spending due to winding down the 'wars' in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Republicans are the ones who have set conditions on raising the debt ceiling, not the Democrats. The crisis is a completely Republican created crisis.

elucidator
07-25-2011, 05:20 PM
As for who is unwilling to compromise, I would find it interesting if any of the Obamamaniacs here view his unwillingless to accept a short term deal (6 months? 12?) in order to save the economy qualifies as such unwillingness. Obama clearly doesn't want to have to run against this issue in 2012, which is understandable, but it seems as though one side is willing to avert crisis, and the other isn't.....

You paying attention? On the one side, you got the Dems, grumbling but mostly in line. On the other side, you got John of Orange, supposedly the leader of the Republican House. He opens his mouth, and about half his own party shuts him down in like two fucking hours! Who the hell is Reid supposed to compromise with?

tim-n-va
07-25-2011, 05:25 PM
Has either side really offered a true compromise?

That is, has anyone representing committed supporting votes put anything on the table that they didn't like but represented a middle position? Obama offered to cut Medicare in exchange for some tax increases but it isn't clear that he had the votes plus the spending cuts were deferred. No one on the Republican side can offer anything with a tax increase unless they can assemble support from Tea Party immune members.

I have little tolerance for either side trying to blame the other side. The situation is the combined effect of the actions of members of both parties.

Gangster Octopus
07-25-2011, 05:31 PM
Has either side really offered a true compromise?

That is, has anyone representing committed supporting votes put anything on the table that they didn't like but represented a middle position? Obama offered to cut Medicare in exchange for some tax increases but it isn't clear that he had the votes plus the spending cuts were deferred. No one on the Republican side can offer anything with a tax increase unless they can assemble support from Tea Party immune members.

I have little tolerance for either side trying to blame the other side. The situation is the combined effect of the actions of members of both parties.

What you should have little tolerance for is the Republicans holding the specter of default over the heads of America to get budget concessions.

Richard Parker
07-25-2011, 05:34 PM
I have little tolerance for either side trying to blame the other side. The situation is the combined effect of the actions of members of both parties.

Only if by "the situation" you refer to our large national debt. Because if by "the situation" you mean the default crisis, then you are just incorrect. One side, the Democrats, want to raise the debt ceiling. The other side, the Republicans, won't raise it unless they get what they want. So, the situation is entirely of Republican creation.

Ravenman
07-25-2011, 05:35 PM
Has either side really offered a true compromise?
The whole Gang of Six package of spending cuts and tax increases has bipartisan support in the Senate... and is DOA in the House, it appears.

If the Tea Party wants to reject something that has the support of fiscal liberals like Senator Durbin and the spending hawks like Senator Coburn, then what, pray tell, can true compromise really be?

Jas09
07-25-2011, 05:42 PM
The whole Gang of Six package of spending cuts and tax increases has bipartisan support in the Senate... and is DOA in the House, it appears.

If the Tea Party wants to reject something that has the support of fiscal liberals like Senator Durbin and the spending hawks like Senator Coburn, then what, pray tell, can true compromise really be?Yup. To me that's the closest we came to compromise (it actually got me optimistic for one bright, sunny afternoon).

And of course it was DOA for plenty of reasons (DailyKos hated it almost as much as the Tea Party).

In the end a clean bill (maybe with ~$1 trillion in real cuts) to get us through the election is what we need right now. Have the elections, have a debate on what really needs to happen (tax reform, entitlement structure, everything) and then go into it with either a firm Tea Party mandate (both houses and President) or something more like the status quo but with a President that doesn't need to get re-elected, and perhaps a chastened Tea Party (or, at the very least, a Speaker that actually speaks for his party).

Mr Smashy
07-25-2011, 06:37 PM
The Republicans are the ones who have set conditions on raising the debt ceiling, not the Democrats. The crisis is a completely Republican created crisis.

Sorry, I don't buy that. If the objective is to avert disaster in the financial markets, Boehner has put forward a plan that he can get through his party. If you've read it (and I have), it's not all that unreasonable; buy time now, and figure it out later with a bipartisan commission that is immune to amendments and such. Frankly, it reminds me of BRAC (a subject near and dear to a defense contractor exec's heart).

How is the speaker's deal any different than Reid's, wrt setting conditions? Seems to me they are both unwilling to compromise so far, and to blame one side just displays partisanship and an unability to think critically.