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Old 08-15-2019, 08:44 AM
mhendo is online now
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 25,417
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
As you mention, the last time the budget was balanced was when a Democrat was in the White House and the GOP controlled Congress.
And yet, in all of your bothsidesism, you appear congenitally unable even to acknowledge that the party of fiscal responsibility has, even when it held BOTH houses of Congress AND the White House, shown basically no interest in adhering to one of its own central principles, as articulated with mind-numbing frequency by party leaders.

This is a key issue here. It's not simply that both sides spend money like crazy. They do. It's that one side spends money like crazy while constantly harping about NOT spending money, and about the need for balanced budgets and reduced deficits. And it also does this while bribing its own voters with irresponsible tax cuts that actually make things even worse.

Originally Posted by Eonwe View Post
Framing it as "well, I guess all the parties just do it the same, those crazy politicians" is the last refuge of people who are unwilling to take a hard stand against the obvious Republican lie.
I think that's true, but as a lefty I do wish that people on my side of the political fence were at least a little more willing to take seriously the question of spending, deficits, debt, and the long-term consequences. It's one thing to engage in deficit spending to alleviate hardship and keep things going during an economic downturn. It's something else altogether to simply continue to spend more and more and more without taking into account the long-term consequences. Every dollar spent servicing our massive debt is a dollar that can't be spent on useful things.

Some of my favorite Democrats are guilty of this sort of thing. When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was asked how she would pay for some of the her policies like the Green New Deal, her answer was basically, "You just pay for it!" I want a little more nuance than that from my politicians when it comes to economic policy.

Elizabeth Warren has promised a wealth tax that would, by some calculations, raise almost $3 trillion dollars over ten years. Even if that amount is correct (and some economists are dubious), she then puts forward a range of spending plans that, she says, would benefit from the wealth tax. But if you add up all of her spending plans, it's clear that she's double and triple and quadruple dipping into the same pool of money.

If I give you $100, you can't then go out and use it to buy a $100 hard drive, AND a $100 dinner, AND a $100 dress. That's not how economics works, but that seems to be how it works for some candidates. "I'm speaking to an audience of college grads today, so I'll talk about how my wealth tax will pay for student loan forgiveness. Tomorrow, I'm speaking about health care, so I'll use my wealth tax to help pay for increased coverage. Then, next week, it will help me promise a new child-care plan"

Of course, the problem for Democrats is that, if they now start to get brutally honest about the economics of some of these things, they will lose some voters, and the Republicans will take advantage double down on their own hypocrisy by once again becoming the party of rhetorical fiscal responsibility, for just as long as it takes to win another election.

Last edited by mhendo; 08-15-2019 at 08:45 AM.