I Think We Have Lost

Hopefully it is this factor that will ultimately wake some of these people up. The current Republican party will not accept any disagreement, on any matter.

Tucker Carlson just declared Brett Kavanaugh “a cringing little liberal” because Kavanaugh actually decided against the GOP position on one minor matter. If Brett Kavanaugh, who not that long ago was the best person they could find to put on the Supreme Court, who they went over and above to defend, can be tossed under the bus over such a minor thing, none of them are safe. If Trump says it’s Thursday when it’s actually Wednesday, don’t you dare go saying it’s Wednesday, you cringing little liberal!

That’s a strange reading of what Dinsdale said.

As I say, in my case not only have I voted Conservative, I even once represented the Conservatives in a local election. I’d vote for them again if they bring the right policies.

It is not tribalism that makes me say the current GOP are a bunch of fucking cons and clowns and should be nowhere near the levers of power.

It seems the most rational thing would be for the Dems to pose with their children holding AR-15s.
That would assuage any fears.

Right, but it is equally the fault of both sides?

Seems one side has tried to maintain rational and reasonable governance, even if they make mistakes, and the other has gone batshit crazy.

They are the ones telling you that you must choose a side, that you are not welcome unless you toe the line.

At some point, you do have to choose whether you want to continue this experiment in self governance, or if you want to go ahead and end it in exchange for authoritarian rule. Both sides are not equal here.

Variants on the theme have failed:


Same here. Now I say I’m “Socially liberal, fiscally responsible.” This past two years, being “responsible” means paying what we have to to avoid a complete meltdown of our entire society. As I often say, “What was the point of us becoming the richest society in all history, if we can’t support our population during an unprecedented economic disaster that isn’t actually the fault of anyone being affected by it?”

I think that’s the part that galls me the most about the current right-wing parties. Even in the middle of COVID, where literally millions of people were out of work due to factors entirely out of their control, they were still spinning the old lines about “welfare making people lazy” and “entitlements”.

And this highlights one of the big reasons why the Republicans of today find it easier to win elections - it’s easy to win if you’re willing to just lie your ass off. If you actually want to get elected on your merits, you have to have real answers to questions, and you have to be willing to stick to those answers, even if it means you piss off some voters.

But if you’re willing to just lie your ass off? Well, Trump won, didn’t he? “We all hate Obamacare! It’s the worst! We’ll have a healthcare plan that is cheaper and better!” Complete bullshit, of course, but it shuts up the people asking about healthcare. Say X today, and not-X tomorrow, whatever you have to do to get a vote.

Fighting the urge to go into some lengthy exposition …

Neither side is particularly “small government” anymore, and that seems to be – axiomatically – because Americans generally like a great deal of what the federal government provides.

Which leaves us with two parties: the Democrats (who tend to tax and spend) and the Republicans (who tend to dramatically cut taxes (for the wealthy) and spend at least as much).

It really shouldn’t be that hard a choice – at least on that one issue (which doesn’t seem to be a trifle) – for fiscal conservatives.

“Deficits don’t matter ?” Wow. That’s the poster child for cynicism right there.

Even Republicans like what the govt provides for them. They just don’t like what it provides to other people.

Yeah. But the problem as I see it is that NO ONE in positions of authority are fiscally responsible. In terms of both spending and taxes. Instead, it seems as tho every politician advocates spraying a firehose or $ at the causes THEY favor, while saying “We can’t afford” what others favor.

It just boggles my mind that the Repubs are able to crow that they are the fiscally responsible advocates of small government…

Even the freaking Libertarians seem to love spending on the things they personally benefit from.

Where are the fiscally responsible persons interested in actually governing and providing necessary services?

Spending is not irresponsible as long as you have the revenue to do so. Those who propose raising taxes in order to pay for spending are being responsible. Those who cut taxes, while not decreasing spending are not.

The War on Guns is more made up conservative bullshit. That war won’t start in reality until mid-century.

This. Trump knew that his voters had the memory and attention span of a goldfish. Promise them anything “in two weeks”, and 14 days later, they have no recollection of it whatsoever.

And of course pushing anti-vax while at the same time “refusing to say” if they had been vaccinated (if they hadn’t been vaccinated there would be no reason not to say).

I mean, we can list lots of barefaced lies, but this kind of thing I don’t know how they sleep at night. How they live with themselves.

Yeah, this. I’ve started to define “fiscal responsibility” as asking the question, “How are we going to pay for that?”, but asking it as an honest question, not as a rhetorical device to suggest that we can’t pay for it.

If you want to spend a billion dollars on a thing, have an idea of where that billion will come from, and admit that. Will we cut spending somewhere else? Will we borrow it? Will we raise taxes? What spending will get cut, which taxes will be raised? Give us some actual answers, and then we can decide if supporting this thing is worth the cost.

Sometimes the answer will be yes, sometimes no, but at least we can have a discussion based on facts, and not just soundbites.

Also, part of fiscal responsibility is following through to see if the plans you ultimately chose actually worked out. “Trickle down” theory has been proven not to work over the last 40 years, so anyone still touting that is fundamentally not responsible, by definition.

I understand what you are saying, but IMO, few on the left are willing to really make significant cuts to ANYTHING. I’m all for a GENEROUS safety net. But the throwing of $ at well-off seniors (for example) is just an attempt to buy votes. Most of the cost projections impress me as unrealistically rosy. And many/most welfare/social programs seem to be self-perpetuating, with no clear end/goal in sight.

The $ has to be spent in a targeted manner - instead of just spewing it at every social cause.

That’s because people have no clear end goal. If you’re paying to support people, there will always be more of them, even if some die off, we’re making new people every day.

Social spending isn’t like building a bridge, where you can say, “There, it’s built, sign the check and be done with it!” Social spending is more like paying your gas bill. A new one comes every month, unless you want to freeze to death.

The real question is if you want to support people or not.

Personally I do have some problems with how “my side” handles how to pay for welfare programs, but the giving money to rich people isn’t really a problem for me. The net pay-in/pay-out is what matters - if some rich person gets the same social security benefit when they get old, but they’re taxed at a rate much higher than the benefit while they make money its basically just a simpler way of doing means testing.

I do think that planning to run welfare programs (or really any program that is intended to exist forever) at a significant deficit is a dangerous game. We seem to live in an era where there isn’t immediate fallout for running a deficit, but we don’t know if that will be the case in 2075.

Also, part of the reason for the welfare state is to be perpetual. If it’s implemented correctly, it’s supposed to help both working and non-working people by keeping the workforce participation rate at a number that allows for enough labor without forcing too many workers to compete with each other for the same jobs, while providing for the people who get taken out of that competition.

In the “before times” spending was linked to a bond. If congress wanted to borrow money to spend on something, they had to issue a bond that went to pay for that. Then people actually had to buy that bond.

I don’t know that that would be better than the omnibus spending and borrowing that we do now, but it would make everyone more aware of what we are spending and how.

We just haven’t trickled down enough. Maybe we should try just issuing the wealthy blank checks drawn on the treasury department, then I’m sure that they will provide the stimulus for a growing economy and full employment.

There certainly can be disagreements on what and where to spend, and those are generally reasonable discussions to be had. It’s when we get to how we are going to pay the bill for the spending that we have already done and committed to that the irresponsible try to shirk it, and the responsible try to raise revenue to cover it.

Most are willing to see the military and defense budgets get a bit of a haircut.

I’m not sure that makes a good example. Are you talking about paying them the social security that they paid into, and we committed to paying back when they did so?

They are going to be. If the goal is to have an educated populace, then you have to spend money on education every year. You don’t get to a point where everyone is now educated, job done, shut down the department of education.

Things like combating poverty or other types of privation are things that we haven’t committed to enough. We can spend money every year on soup kitchens and homeless shelters, or we can invest in the citizens, give them the tools and opportunities to get out of poverty. The latter is going to cost more, and is a harder sell, so we do the former, even though, by definition, there will never be an end to it, as we are not solving the fundamental problems that cause it.

Money spent in the country is money that goes into the economy. I actually think that less targeted spending is better overall. I’m for a UBI, allowing people to use the money in the best way they see fit, rather than having the government distort markets by targeting spending.

It’s not too unlike building a bridge, in that you are not done when you cut the ribbon. By building that bridge, you have committed to decades of spending for maintenance, spending that will add up to more than you paid to build it in the first place.