Democrats & Liberals Archives

We're Not Bankrupt Yet...

…but Ironically, the Republicans might just put us into it in their misguided attempt to force fiscal discipline. The real question you need to ask yourself here is not whether refusing to raise the debt ceiling will stop us from accumulating more debt. The question is how.

The credit card analogy has its limits, but it's good enough for our purposes here. If you cut up the national credit card, that doesn't do away with the debt we already have, nor the payments we have to make on that debt, nor the costs of the legal obligations that Congress has imposed, anymore than cutting up your credit card will get your creditors to forgive your debts or resolve your income or spending problems.

What it will do is instantly put a gigantic hole in our government's finances, a hole that no Congress in America's history, not the heavily endebted Congresses that began our nation's history, not the heavily endebted Congress during the Depression or post WWII, nor the post Civil War Congresses have ever created for our country, and with good reason.

If we don't raise the borrowingly limit, it will require one form or another of financial chicanery to stop things. Either we will have to raise taxes enormously, cut spending to a very unrecommendable degree in the midst of an economic downturn, or default on our nation's debt for the first time in it's centuries and decades worth of history, thus undermining our currency and the value of trillions of dollars worth of Treasury Bond investments.

What kind of stupid country would self-inflict such a disastrous outcome on itself? I don't want to have to answer ours, but apparently, some Republicans are so damn ignorant about how our nation's finances work, hell, how finance works in general, that they think this tough love approach will actually do the nation some good.

The way to deal with this is through the repair of our economy, and long term, perhaps painful economic and fiscal discipline thereafter. We don't need to place false hopes in foolish, short-term stunts like this.

And you know what? The Republicans do not need to be extorting public policy victories they don't otherwise have the ability to earn by putting our nation's economic and fiscal future in danger. This was the kind of irresponsible behavior by the Republicans that inspired me to blog about this in the first place. The last time the Republicans tried this sort of tough love, fiscally speaking, was with the bailouts. The first vote went sideways because of the Republicans trying to politically posture for the 2008 Elections. Unfortunately for them, Congress's refusal of the first bailout took an already bad panic, and accelerated it.

And of course, the Republicans lost 2008 even worse than they lost 2006.

Americans don't want liberalism or conservatism out of their government, they want responsbility. They want people to deal with this nation's affairs carefully and prudently. They want somebody to solve more problems than they create.

If the Republicans keep this up, they lose 2012 easily. The question is, having failed to learn the lessons of 2006 and 2008 in terms of their responsibilities, is their any political will left in the Republican party to face up to the fact that the legacy of their mistakes in policy won't be solved easily, or painlessly?

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2011 8:23 AM
Comments
Comment #321430

One thing you didn’t address Stephen is the reckless spending by both sides. If we curb the spending we won’t have to borrow to stay afloat. Stephen if you did what the feds are doing you would be in debters prison.

Posted by: KAP at April 11, 2011 9:44 AM
Comment #321431

The saddest thing of all this is how much attention the debt is getting as opposed to growing the economy and making jobs. The debt/deficit is bad because we busted the economy and fixing the deficit has little to do with fixing the economy.

The Republicans are “winning” (not just winning but creaming the democratic position) the debate by the very fact that they’ve made it front and center. Yet NO ONE can tell you how cutting spending will logically increase wages, jobs, or productivity… oh yeah… “decreased economic regime uncertainty”. Yeah… they are winning with stuff like that and ongoing beliefs in trickle down hoccus-poccus economics. We are in big trouble. And it’s not because of Social Security or Medicare. It’s because we have an ignorant electorate willing to hand most of the generated wealth of this country to the Lords and Kings in the upper 2% of income and wealth.

WOW.. the horrible draining deficit making pensions of the public worker. What the largest… CalPers has some $350 billion dollars for 1.5 million people while the top wealthiest 400 people own $1600 BILLION in wealth.

Posted by: muirgeo at April 11, 2011 9:48 AM
Comment #321433

“The saddest thing of all this is how much attention the debt is getting as opposed to growing the economy and making jobs.”

Bingo! There is little discussion from conservatives about why government debt has exploded in recent years. Its as though the collapse of the private sector economy didn’t occur. Its as though the last decade of miserable job growth and GDP growth (lowest cyclical expansion since WWII) didn’t happen. Conservatives are treating the symptoms and not the cause. Its the economy, stupid, not the debt that is the real issue.

Posted by: Rich at April 11, 2011 10:25 AM
Comment #321436

KAP-
First of all, both sides? Aside from emergency spending, which this crisis required (and which, I’ll concede, could have been done better), what lack of discipline of the Democrats are we seeing here?

What you would portray as their irresponsible spending falls generally into four categories:

1) Emergency measures - Fiscal matters wouldn’t be better if we had a depression on our backs, reducing revenues sharply.

2) Magic Asterisk Removal - Many things, like the AMT fix, the Doc Fix, the Supplemental costs for military campaigns were left off the budget, making the Bush Budget look trimmer, but effectively spending much more. Obama’s budgeting is more honest, so he admits to more spending than Bush did, and takes the political hit for the number that results.

3) The Economy - A great deal of our fiscal hole comes from the fact that there are fewer businesses and individuals paying income taxes, among other things.

4) Spending or Tax Cuts that Republicans started, that Obama can’t do away with, for political or economic reasons.

Obama surely can’t yank prescription drugs for seniors now, so that money will be spent, as will the Medicare money for Seniors qualified now to get it. The Republicans don’t even dare, even with their overreach now, to yank healthcare dollars for Seniors who need them. Better to hid that damage in the future.

Obama can’t yank our forces from Iraq or Afghanistan too quickly, if he doesn’t want to leave the people out there to their own devices.

Obama has rejected raising taxes for the middle class in a time where they can ill afford it, where the response from the economy could be terrible. He would have let the unnecessary, unhelpful tax cuts for the rich pass, but the Republicans insisted on them, so they can’t complain to anybody about the hundreds of billions that will cost to continue.

Billions that effectively undo any Fiscal improvement, if that indeed would be the result, that would come from the spending cuts. It’s pennywise and pound foolish.

The Republicans have themselves convinced that they know best how to balance a budget. They have yet to do it, without a Democrat or a tax increase to help them. Their theories, given plenty of chance to vindicate themselves, have simply failed.

The question is, when the voters who vote Republican are going to finally punish them for their failure, rather than excuse it, or accept more excuses on the matter.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2011 10:49 AM
Comment #321439

Two reasons why we are on the verge of bankruptcy:

http://www.usdebtclock.org/


http://abcnews.go.com/Business/MarketTalk/Story?id=3629796&page=2

Are you willing to take the chance that America will not go bankrupt, or that the US dollar will lose it’s status as a world currency. And I might add, all for the purpose of continuing to spend billions for social programs?

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/george-soros-the-united-states-must-stop-resisting-the-orderly-decline-of-the-dollar-the-coming-global-currency-and-the-new-world-order

Posted by: 1776 at April 11, 2011 11:09 AM
Comment #321441

Stephen, If we raise the debt limit and continue spending the way it has been we will be doomed. People aren’t spending because, Why? Have you looked at the price of gas? Have you been to the grocery store yet? Prices are going up because of the price of fuel. What I bought in the way of groceries for $12.00 is now $15.00 and that is just one item. Stephen, What would happen to YOU if YOU ran YOUR finances the way the feds are? Now don’t go into a long BS story just give me a simple answer.

Posted by: KAP at April 11, 2011 11:30 AM
Comment #321442

Stephen wrote:

“If the Republicans keep this up, they lose 2012 easily.”

Want to place a wager on that? With the exception of the presidency, I contend, that if republicans keep this up they make another giant leap in the balance of congress.

Simple wager…If I am correct, you state that you have no idea what the general American public wants. You don’t understand them, and never will because your entire life is devoted to written word. In essence, you can not relate to real life struggles and tribulations without creating inadequate comparisons to what you saw in college and/or read about.

If you are interested, feel free to offer my consequences if I am wrong…

Posted by: adam at April 11, 2011 12:16 PM
Comment #321443

SD

This is a re-run of previous columns you wrote. You just shifted the lines around.

You used the word stupid in a description of the country. Well, anybody who advocates spending while deep in debt, in order to get out of debt is stupid or ignorant or both.

You keep blaiming the republicans and yet refuse to go back over the previous 50 years, just for starters, to see how democrats spent and spent and spent and it always exceeded the income.

Both parties are to blame for the mess and both parties need to fix it.

Nothing you said is going to fix it.

Waiting for the next time for the re-run

Posted by: tom humes at April 11, 2011 12:17 PM
Comment #321444

KAP,

“Prices are going up because of the price of fuel. What I bought in the way of groceries for $12.00 is now $15.00 and that is just one item.”

Is it possible that we are facing the same fuel price speculation we faced in 2008?

The price of fuel in America is inextricably linked to the price of everything else in this country, and as a result, when commodities speculators come out to play they put the entire country at risk. Especially now when we are just trying to recover from the last time they hosed us.

At the risk of being berated for harboring anti-capitalist thoughts, I would think it’s high time to put a cap on just what damage fuel speculation can do to the American economy.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at April 11, 2011 12:28 PM
Comment #321445

Rocky, EXACTLY!!!!

Posted by: KAP at April 11, 2011 12:40 PM
Comment #321446

KAP-
Do I have to digest everything I think down to Happy-Meal Sized soundbites?

Refusing to raise the debt limit means scrambling to take the trillions of dollars out of our economy that we would need to legally pay off those bills from somewhere else in the economy. It would mean either:

1) The near instant collapse of Government spending
2) The spiking of our tax rates
3) The default on Congressionally mandated spending obligations, or on our obligations to our creditors.

or some toxic mix of those three.

One way or another, we would have to pay, and our economy would take it in the hindquarters whichever way it went.

In essence, you would be taking the crisis you fear at some distant point in the future, and forcing it right now.

Is that simple enough for you?

The civilian equivalent would be some idiot cutting up his credit cards, after having built his finances around them for years, and making up for that lost spending power by either

1)Demanding an instant raise from his boss
2)Asking his neighbors, his friends and family to feed his kids
3) Or him walking away from his Mortgage, his Car Note, or whatever else.

Tell me, dear KAP, do you think this fellow’s going to be in good financial shape, or especially beloved of anybody else for that matter?

It’s not a solution, it’s a self-righteous stunt that will take the eventual crisis and frontload it, rather than avoid it. The man who ran his finances like the person you described would end up in bankruptcy sooner rather than later.

Our debt problem will not have an easy or simple solution. It will take decades for us to pay our way out of this mess, just like it took decades to get over the fiscal mess Reagan left us in.

tom humes-
Democrats PAID DOWN the debt they ran up, and didn’t spike the deficit or the national debt the way the Republicans did. They raised the revenues they needed, rather than sending for the money by the Magic Market Pony Express.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2011 12:56 PM
Comment #321449

Let’s suppose I own a business and have a business loan with a bank. My business has slowed, and even after cutting back I am having trouble meeting my business loan payments.

I consult with the bank and offer…

1) I promise the bank that if they loan me some more money I will spend it to continue what I have been doing and if they don’t loan me more money I will simply file bankruptcy and we will both lose…or

2) I provide evidence to the bank that I have cut back on non-essential employees and expenses and can continue in business and be somewhat profitable if they will work with me and reduce my loan payment to them temporarily.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 11, 2011 1:39 PM
Comment #321450

Stephen, Where did I say NOT to raise the debt limit? I in fact said to curb spending if in fact congress does raise the debt limit or we will be doomed. YOU didn’t answer the question about running your finances the way the fed does?

Posted by: KAP at April 11, 2011 1:46 PM
Comment #321451

SD

You are delusional. Go and read history over the last 50-60 years. We did not just jump to this trillion level. It was done over a large span of time and the same theory was used. The theory of Ponzi. The government is the largest user of the Ponzi scheme ever. The operators of the scheme prey on the buyers and give them false hopes. You can say want you want about the government putting money into circulation. That money is either printed without backing, or borrowed from foreign sources. If I go to an auction and they are selling a rare item worth many dollars and I am a bidder and the bidding is about to close. In walks a person and gives a lot of money to those bidders who dropped out, they are now back in the bidding and the price has sky rocketed. That is only one way of painting the pix. Putting more cash into the auction only raised the bidding to new levels, it did not establish anything else. When govenment does this they do it in grand style. They hire hundres of people and pey them wages that are excessive and give them bennies that are excessive. The money put into circulation is excessive and will do nothing to fix the problem. Witness the bailout last year. Jobs should not be the purview of the government. That is a private sector area. The govenment in dealing with money is to balance the books. Cooking the books is not balancing the books. Here is the key. I did not mention, until now, republican or democrat, it is the congress as a body and particularly the house, that must step forward and forget the next election and all those distracting ideas and purchasers of power in their offices and do the right thing—STOP SPENDING MONEY THAT IS NOT THERE!!!!!!!!

Posted by: tom humes at April 11, 2011 1:47 PM
Comment #321452

R.F. Comment 321449 Makes sence. Maybe the congress and the Pres should use that approach, but alas 2/3 of our government is in control of Democrats which can’t grasp that kind of simple approach.

Posted by: KAP at April 11, 2011 1:51 PM
Comment #321453

Royal Flush-
Only in this case, we’re not merely dealing with the full faith and credit of a person or a business, we’re dealing with that of a nation and its currency, both of whom are essential for it’s nation’s continued ability to do business.

You left out something in your analysis: Telling them that you were going to slash prices below that which is required for profit, rather than maintain them at the levels necessary to keep revenues up with costs.

Any benefit from the cuts that the bank might see would be counterbalanced by the budget cuts.

So too would things be counterbalanced if they saw that the economic consequences of your actions would be dire.

Democrats don’t have an interest in continuing your wars, nor continuing your tax cuts. We do have an interest in maintaining the Medicare Drug benefit, but have ideas on how to make that a better deal for taxpayers, unlike the Republicans, who explicitly ruled out bargaining and other cost-saving methods.

The main causes of our deficit would be Democrats doing business just like Republicans want them to. Most mainstream Democrats want something different, even as their President compromises to make your people happy.

If Republicans took all the tax breaks and subsidies they gave to the oil companies and the Rich, and did away with them, not only would that do more fiscal good than all their cuts, but it would truly reflect the meaning of the phrase “shared sacrifice,” which all too often means sacrifice by the Lower and Middle Classes by themselves.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2011 1:54 PM
Comment #321454

Paul Krugman is a regular Op-Ed columnist for the NY Times. I read his column on a regular basis as it gives me the latest and best take on where the dems and libs stand on many political issues.

Only libs and dems here on WatchBlog with strong stomachs should read his posting in the Times today.

He begins by writing…What have they done with President Obama? What happened to the inspirational figure his supporters thought they elected? Who is this bland, timid guy who doesn’t seem to stand for anything in particular?

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/11/opinion/11krugman.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha212

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 11, 2011 2:06 PM
Comment #321455

SD writes; “If Republicans took all the tax breaks and subsidies they gave to the oil companies and the Rich, and did away with them, not only would that do more fiscal good than all their cuts, but it would truly reflect the meaning of the phrase “shared sacrifice,” which all too often means sacrifice by the Lower and Middle Classes by themselves.”

Why does government give subsidies to any company, industry or special interest group? To encourage them to do even more of what they are doing…right? Do we want more oil? The existing subsidies would indicate that the answer is yes.

Do we want more ethanol? The existing and increasing subsidies would indicate that the answer is yes, despite the fact that ethanol is a poor substitute for oil.

Do we want more poverty? The existing and, democrat hoped for, increases in subsidies would indicate that the answer is yes.

Do we want education to continue to fail with US students falling farther behind many other countries every year. The existing and increasing subsidies would indicate that the answer is yes.

Some single out for reduction or elimination those subsidies with which they disagree and promote sustaining or increasing those they desire.

Subsidies not only promote the companies and industries aimed at, but keep lobbyists employed and politicians in office.

Should a bill be introduce in congress that eliminates ALL subsidies, FOR EVERYONE, I would encourage my elected representatives to vote in favor of it. It will not happen.

Thus, we are left to argue over whose subsidy is worthy and whose is not.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 11, 2011 2:28 PM
Comment #321456

KAP-
Look, if the figures say that even the marginal cuts Republicans are putting out there will result in about 700,000 lost jobs, what do you think increasing it will do?

I know you want a direct answer, but the problem is, you’re analogizing between personal finance and the finance of a sovereign nation with a currency to uphold.

A person could file for bankruptcy, costing his or her creditors some money, but doing little permanent harm to the economy. Even the bad credit he or she incurs would mainly be an economic problem for them.

A nation goes into default, or tries to settle it’s debt, and there are worldwide ripple effects and a very disastrous effect on the domestic economy.

There can be no direct comparison that does not do injustice to the reality of the situation. When your neighbor loses his wealth and prosperity, tightens his belt on his budgeting, or goes bankrupt, the effect on you is very indirect. When your nation tightens its belt, loses wealth and prosperity, or goes bankrupt, the effect is very much direct.

Unless you understand that, you cannot understand why I give you the answers I give you. I am not going to adopt improper scope of comparison, and generalize in such a fallacious way, just to please you on the answer you would want from me.

tom humes-
The next time you call me delusional, the comment’s getting junked. Have you forgotten the rules of the site? I’m sure you’re a nice person in person, but your arguments, in my opinion, are wrong. Do I have to call you a bastard or a lunatic to disprove your argument?

Trick question. Calling you a bastard or a lunatic wouldn’t mean crap if your logic was in line and you had your facts straight.

I don’t like the current fiscal situation. I also think the solution of brickwalling that borrowing against a debt limit is a ridiculous way to do it, thanks to all the collateral damage that would do to our economy.

As for why it’s a good idea to borrow to finance government aid to our economy?

Were people making more money, Uncle Sam would make more money, too. It would be paying out less in benefits that employed, prosperous people don’t need, and making more in revenues that those people and businesses generate, while they work rather than sit idle. The key, of course, is to catalyze a self-perpetuating economic upturn, rather than create a dependence upon the government.

As a liberal, I don’t mind if we use our money more smartly. The government can do a lot more good if it can help a small business start, get back the money, and then do some more good, than if it just throws more good money after bad in a perpetual corporate welfare scheme.

You’d find more allies in getting what you want, a more responsible government, if your side wasn’t so convinced that fiscal responsibility could only be achieved through tax cuts and blind spending cuts.

I don’t buy into this big/small government controversy, nor any dichotomy between intrusive government and libertarian laissez faire approaches. I am willing to entertain ideas that have no proper label or placement in a philosophy if they work towards my general philosophy of having the government be an asset to the general public and the average American.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2011 2:36 PM
Comment #321457

Royal Flush-
I don’t quite feel the need to agree with everything Krugman says. He’s right about somethings, but sometimes he takes himself too seriously, a condition that is common to many folks who get to be opinion leaders.

Obama’s more indirect, less showy, but he gets things done and resolved that others don’t.

By the way, if you agree with that, do you agree with his assessment that the stimulus should have been a two trillion dollar program, with little if any tax cuts as part of it?

On your next comment after that:
People generalize policy for the sake of rhetoric. Trouble comes when people take the rhetoric, and try to organize policy accordingly.

The oil companies are making money hand over fist. They don’t need a subsidy. What Americans save on gas, they pay in taxes, including the taxes they pay for debt servicing.

You should apply subsidies to what which you can phase out the subsidies on later.

You should invest where you can see return, and where returns aren’t to be seen, you should wind down the subsidy as responsibly as you can.

We should manage our economic policy based on what works in the real world, not on policies meant to bring about the unicorns of our political fantasy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2011 2:54 PM
Comment #321458

Stephen, If the government shut down 800,000 Non Essential people would have been given a pink slip. To me non essential means they are NOT needed for the smooth operation of the government. If these are the some of the 700,000 you talk about fine, we need to downsize government anyway. To put it to you simply Stephen if congress would act the way they do with our tax dollars the way they handle their own finances MAYBE just MAYBE this country wouldn’t be in the mess we are in now. I don’t think you would spend like the Feds do by maxing out one credit card then turning to the other. To me that’s STUPID ecconomics. There are plenty of non essential spending that can be cut starting with the Military and Federal government. Especially all the NON ESSENTIAL personnel.

Posted by: KAP at April 11, 2011 3:02 PM
Comment #321459

“At the risk of being berated for harboring anti-capitalist thoughts, I would think it’s high time to put a cap on just what damage fuel speculation can do to the American economy.”
Rocky
Posted by: Rocky Marks at April 11, 2011 12:28 PM

Are you proposing capping the price of fuel or capping the speculation of fuel? The first one was tried by Carter and resulted in fuel shortages and long lines at the gas pump. If you are talking about capping the speculation for fuel, then you are harboring anti-capitalist thoughts. I posted before and liberals ignored the fact that Bush opened drilling up and immediately the speculation price dropped. It is a psychological thing; the market operates though speculation. But, I can’t wait to hear SD write a book in response to this.

SD said in his infinite wisdom:

“Our debt problem will not have an easy or simple solution. It will take decades for us to pay our way out of this mess, just like it took decades to get over the fiscal mess Reagan left us in.”

First, you make a false premise that the fiscal mess we are in is the result of Reagan. What’s the matter Stephen; is the left’s blaming of Bush not getting any traction, do we now have to go back 30 years and blame Reagan. By the way, any serious student of government knows that it is congress control the purse strings. In other words, even if you were correct, you give Reagan way too much credit. Whatever Reagan did, it was first passed by the democrat congress.

Secondly, you are correct about the debt and a solution; the problem is, the democrats have no solution, no plan, no will, and no desire to cut the debt or deficit. You are oblivious to our debt problem and absolutely no desire to fix it.

SD says,

“Democrats don’t have an interest in continuing your wars, nor continuing your tax cuts.”

Well big boy, all three wars belong to your messiah now and have done for 2 ½ years. His promise was to pull out, but I guess he lied to his supporters. Re/ tax cuts: you boys in congress voted to extend the Bush tax cuts and your messiah signed it into law. Again, he lied to you.

“If Republicans took all the tax breaks and subsidies they gave to the oil companies and the Rich”

If these talking points were removed from your vocabulary, I would venture to say the left would have nothing to say. SD, you say the same old crap over and over. The same talking points. If we go to the huffpost and kos, we can read the same things. No original thought from your side.

Great post RF and worth repeating:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/11/opinion/11krugman.html?bl

The left on WB does not represent the left. What we have on WB are a bunch of liberals stuck on 20 year old liberal talking points.

SD’s response:

“Royal Flush-
I don’t quite feel the need to agree with everything Krugman says. He’s right about somethings, but sometimes he takes himself too seriously, a condition that is common to many folks who get to be opinion leaders.”

Has anyone ever noticed, SD never agrees with any poll or even a liberal reporter, unless they agre with him? I bet, if Krugman was supporting Obama, then SD would believe he was telling the truth.

Posted by: 1776 at April 11, 2011 3:11 PM
Comment #321460

SD writes; “The oil companies are making money hand over fist. They don’t need a subsidy.”

Interesting comment. I contend that subsidies are authorized as a way to get more of what we, as a nation, want. At least, they are instituted and sold on that basis whether true or not.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 11, 2011 3:19 PM
Comment #321461

This is a classic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiGg8D4hFLc

Posted by: Conservativethinker at April 11, 2011 3:32 PM
Comment #321462

SD

Sometimes the truth hurts. You are being thin skinned.

“I don’t buy into this big/small government controversy, nor any dichotomy between intrusive government and libertarian laissez faire approaches. I am willing to entertain ideas that have no proper label or placement in a philosophy if they work towards my general philosophy of having the government be an asset to the general public and the average American.”

That sounds like just wandering around until something sounds right or feels right. Kinda lika a mosquito hunt.

Now what facts that I stated are wrong. Not just opinion. Where am I wrong. And be explicit not around the mountain. This is crucial more for you than I. My facts are correct. You have put your credability on the line.

Threats like you make are mini-threats. Your threats occur because someone somewhere put a nail in the coffin. I’m working to put some more nails in the coffin.

Posted by: tom humes at April 11, 2011 3:37 PM
Comment #321463

KAP-

Stephen, If the government shut down 800,000 Non Essential people would have been given a pink slip. To me non essential means they are NOT needed for the smooth operation of the government.

First, let me start by saying that the government and you most likely don’t share your standard, so it’d be a poor means to judge it.

Second, many of those jobs lost are in the private sector, as a consequence of the jobs lost in the public sector.

Third, Do we really need to be shedding jobs in such a weak economy of any kind?

1776-

I posted before and liberals ignored the fact that Bush opened drilling up and immediately the speculation price dropped. It is a psychological thing; the market operates though speculation. But, I can’t wait to hear SD write a book in response to this.

I don’t need to write a book. If the effect is psychological, then the cause can be psychological as well, no? Not to mention the fact that if this psychological effect is so quick to come about, it follows that it can go just as quickly, vanish in the volatile vapor of speculative churning.

Or, as they say “Easy come, easy go.” If you want to rely on evanescent effects, be my guest. I’m going to look for long term solutions to our energy problems.

First, you make a false premise that the fiscal mess we are in is the result of Reagan.

The national debt tripled during his time in office, as he made what were then record tax cuts, and made huge increases in government spending at the same time.

You’re damn right Reagan’s at fault. His policies didn’t work as planned.

Well big boy, all three wars belong to your messiah now and have done for 2 ½ years. His promise was to pull out, but I guess he lied to his supporters.

My messiah? Still bitter about his public acclaim?

Look, I didn’t expect a quick end to those wars. I’d love a quicker one, but I’d prefer to keep it a responsible one.

I don’t need the real world to match campaign promises. I want the best results overall, not the most consistent results with a laundry list.

If these talking points were removed from your vocabulary, I would venture to say the left would have nothing to say. SD, you say the same old crap over and over. The same talking points. If we go to the huffpost and kos, we can read the same things. No original thought from your side.

This is your response to my assertion that their tax cuts tax breaks and subsidies basically have swallowed up any of the cuts they have made.

Well, are you just falling back into that ad hominem complaint about talking points for your health? You pull that change of subject anytime you don’t have a clear, objective answer to a clear, objective fact.

It’s simple math: Republicans have preserved corporate welfare and Tax cuts, at great harm to the nation’s fiscal condition, but will throw much smaller spending cuts out to keep up their image, undeserved as it is.

As for Krugman? He doesn’t automatically get my agreement because he’s a liberal. I have my differences of opinion with him, not just my deferences, so to speak.

So, if RF Plans to just stick that pundit up there and expect me to go, “Oh, I must agree!”, then I’m sorry. I don’t rely on Paul Krugman to spoondfeed me my opinion.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2011 3:39 PM
Comment #321464

I wonder if SD will share with us what part of the post by Mr. Krugman he disagrees with?

SD and some others on WB continue to argue for more government spending and debt. In March alone, the U.S. government spent eight times more than its monthly revenue. During March, according to the Treasury, the federal government grossed $194 billion in tax revenue and paid out $65.898 billion in tax refunds netting $128.179 billion in tax revenue for March. At the same, the Treasury paid out a total of $1.1187 trillion. The lion’s share of this federal spending went to redeem Treasury securities that had matured during the month.

Does SD know that 2011 is the first year in which Social Security payments to beneficiaries will exceed the “contributions” from taxpayers by over $45 billion. With over 7,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, without changes, you will never again see a year in which SS Fund income exceeds benefit payments.

Spending more money by printing it or going deeper into debt is not a plan…it is suicide. Planning requires taking into account the future consequences of today’s actions.

I read this morning that even if all of congressman Ryan’s plan was put into effect, the country would not eliminate its debt until the year 2080.

My insurance business slogan is…”Today’s decisions are tomorrow’s reality”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 11, 2011 4:04 PM
Comment #321465

A great French economist, Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) wrote what has become known as the “Broken Window Fallacy”.

I find this useful in discounting the argument that SD and others use to justify more government spending to keep more dollars flowing through our economy.

“A shopkeeper’s window is broken by a vandal. A crowd formed sympathizing with the man. After a while, someone in the crowd suggested that the boy wasn’t guilty of vandalism; instead, he was a public benefactor, creating economic benefits for everyone in town. After all, fixing the broken window creates employment for the glazier, who will then buy bread and benefit the baker, who will then buy shoes and benefit the cobbler, and so forth.

Those are the seen effects of repairing the broken window. What’s unseen is what the shopkeeper would have done with the money had the vandal not broken his window. He might have employed the tailor by purchasing a suit. The vandal’s breaking his window produced at least two unseen effects. First, it shifted unemployment from the glazier who now has a job to the tailor who doesn’t. Second, it reduced the shopkeeper’s wealth. Had it not been for the vandalism, the shopkeeper would have had a window and a suit; now he has just a window.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 11, 2011 4:40 PM
Comment #321467

Royal Flush-
Well, first part is that the Republican’s opening bid was Boehner’s opening bid. The Tea Partisans ran on 100 Billion. Plenty are ticked off that Boehner gave in for less than half that.

They’re probably not too pleased that they didn’t get to hold the country hostage for the sake of destroying NPR and PBS, either, as I hear a lot of the riders got deep sixed for the sake of the deal.

He says it’s important to have a President who makes a stand. I’d say it’s also important to have a President who gets things done. And guess what? The polling shows that Obama and the Democrats came out the winners on the deal, while the Republicans were less fortunate, politically.

I keep on saying that I’m not as far left as some, that I’m something of a centrist. If you took me at my word, my positions, and my disagreements might make some more sense.

There, I’ve share my disagreements.

As for the debt? First we must consider that America’s economy is outputting much less than it’s capable of producing, by a margin of almost a trillion dollars. Over time, that will produce more debt than an economy that is working at full speed. The number of years that we spend below our potential will be the multiple for the billions of dollars each year we will borrow instead of pay for with revenue.

Let me remind you that it was only under good economic conditions and a higher tax rate that we succeeded in paying down our debt. Now until the economy recovers, we really can’t do either. So think of it as churning the engine of the economy strongly enough to have the excess money to take care of the debt through austerity measures.

As for the broken window fallacy? Well, ****, I’m not sympathizing with the vandal. I want him caught, and if I can, I want to get restitution from him. In the meantime, I want to get that window fixed because however much money the baker has for the suit, it’s not going to do him much good if his window is broken and his business is driven away by the disrepair of his shop.

In short, sometimes we take care of the problems we have to take care of in order to run things as normal. That, rather than accept a degraded, decayed state of affairs.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2011 5:01 PM
Comment #321469

WOW…I can’t believe that the “Broken Window Fallacy” sailed right over SD’s head. Or, perhaps, he did get it and simply doesn’t have any reasonable answer for the truth it holds.

He writes; “The polling shows that Obama and the Democrats came out the winners on the (budget) deal…”

Care to share that polling data source? Krugman and other influential Democrat pundits certainly don’t think that’s the case.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 11, 2011 5:48 PM
Comment #321470

RF,

The broken window parable is only a fallacy if you assume the shopkeeper would have spent the money on a suit. There are historical cases where we have experienced what Keynes termed a “liquidity trap”, whereby the owners of liquid assets were unwilling to invest. In the last 100 years, the two biggest examples of liquidity traps were the early 1930s as well as the 2008-2010 period. Obviously, there are better ways to end a liquidity trap than breaking windows, but that doesn’t make the parable a fallacy.

He writes; “The polling shows that Obama and the Democrats came out the winners on the (budget) deal…”

Care to share that polling data source? Krugman and other influential Democrat pundits certainly don’t think that’s the case.

I think SD is referring to this. Krugman and the others are wrong because the incorrectly assume Democrats want to maximize government spending, but that is not the case. Democrats are only interested in maintaining the right amount of spending, not too much, not too little. Posted by: Warped Reality at April 11, 2011 6:16 PM
Comment #321471

Royal Flush-
I understood the concept of opportunity cost perfectly well.

I was just thinking that the kid represented a destructive economic agent such as, say, a bunch of speculators who destroy wealth in a market. You could use this parable as an answer to the notion of Creative Destruction, to your party’s policies of putting people out of work, if they happen to be government workers, because you find big government so loathsome.

But, you end up throwing rocks through a lot of people’s windows. Are you going to tell that government worker that at least his or her money’s going to somebody more worthy, even as he or she’s forced to buy less and rely more on government aid?

The beauty in vague stories is you can interpret and misinterpret them as you like.

Fact is, I think you fail to consider that if the window is already broken, or the money is alreay diverted (as it is in dealing with today’s debts), there’s no point in trying to save that money back for the suit. You’ll only get in greater debt, or greater economic trouble as your bills come due.

There’s no use in complaining that paying to help recover the economy’s going to be expensive. Like the Baker, you need the economy back in order, as he does his window back in decent shape. Who’s going to buy bread that’s behind broken glass?

What should have happened is that the GOP should have avoided the debt financing, that it should have asked people to weight the opportunity cost by raising taxes to pay for it, rather than give it to them more or less free in the near term, but with a debt obligation in the future.

So, even if I didn’t understand exactly what you meant, I consider the situation in the parable perhaps more deeply than you did. It didn’t go over my head, I just came up with an interpretation your imagination didn’t permit you.

The poll results are from CNN

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2011 6:18 PM
Comment #321474

“There are historical cases where we have experienced what Keynes termed a “liquidity trap”, whereby the owners of liquid assets were unwilling to invest. In the last 100 years, the two biggest examples of liquidity traps were the early 1930s as well as the 2008-2010 period.”

In the 1930’s some folks didn’t trust the banks and kept their cash at home. Not true in 2008-2010.

“You could use this parable as an answer to the notion of Creative Destruction, to your party’s policies of putting people out of work, if they happen to be government workers, because you find big government so loathsome.”

It is called cutting loose “non-essential” workers. Many states have already done what the feds are loath to do. After all, government workers, by a huge majority, vote for dems and libs. The pols fear they won’t get the big union money if they practice fiscal sanity regarding government employment.

“Are you going to tell that government worker that at least his or her money’s going to somebody more worthy…”

Nope, I am going to tell the government worker the same thing that the private employer told those he laid off. It is necessary. We do what we must to stay in business.

“What should have happened is that the GOP should have avoided the debt financing…”

Hmmm…the GOP did their share and the dems just added fuel to the fire. OK, now we have the blame properly placed. Let’s fix the problem by ending debt financing.

“I just came up with an interpretation your imagination didn’t permit you…”

LOL…change the facts of the story and you have a different story. How silly.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 11, 2011 6:52 PM
Comment #321475

Stephen D,

I agree 100% with the statement you made about subsidies being made with an eye on winding them down. I think subsidies are great when they are used to give business a leg up, or for start-up incentives, and they should expire and be up for re-application upon review of performance. Subsidies used in the right way can be a boon for our economy, but to have ongoing subsidies for corporations that have had record profits year over year, is extortion.

I have to tell you a little story: I used to manage a restaurant in Folsom, CA. I hired many women who were married to convicts at Folsom prison. Most of them were the sweetest people with good intentions, but their egos had been destroyed by abusive husbands, and to my surprise, they let their husbands who were locked up behind bars control their every move and thought. In treating them like valuable people and being sympathetic to their plight, giving them extra responsibility, and sometimes take the lead, there came a time where their confidence grew to such a point that they were vying for my job. At that point I had to put on the brakes and cover my butt. Ultimately, they discovered we could work together, not them working for me. We ended up having ultimate respect for each other and it was a sad day when either they or I left the job.

This little story reminds me of the Tea Partiers who are behind the extreme Republican decision-making at the moment. When they first started up, I said to myself, “I can’t blame them for being mad at the way things are going, they have endured a lot of financial burdens, but I don’t agree with their extreme reactions.” Ultimately, the Tea Partiers were listened to, formed an ultra-right movement, and politicians being politicians saw an opportunity to cash in on new constituents. The mainstream GOP has bought into the fringe knee-jerk extremism.

It is all about power right now, not reform. I believe the Tea Partiers are losing steam now and people are seeing that their extreme ideology is actually really bad for the country as they vie for the leadership in this country. If mainstream Republicans and Democrats can come together and say “enough” to the TPs, I think they will be silenced. It might take a couple of years, but ultimately we can go back to legitimate politics instead of this circus. I can’t wait!

Good post!

Posted by: CC at April 11, 2011 7:20 PM
Comment #321478

“It is all about power right now, not reform. I believe the Tea Partiers are losing steam now…”

Sorry, but the facts contained in the budget deal refute your belief about power. And, since the Tea Party can take credit for the success in cutting current spending, and obama’s proposed new spending, it looks to all who can reason, that they are gaining steam.

obama is just an empty suit as libs and dems are finding out and the only thing he cares about, or will work to ensure is…his reelection.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 11, 2011 7:59 PM
Comment #321483

I respectfully disagree. :-)

Posted by: CC at April 11, 2011 8:22 PM
Comment #321484

Stephen

Maybe polls show that Democrats were winners. A couple more victories like this for the Democrats and we will have a nice small government with cuts down to an acceptable level.

So maybe you will have to change your own ideas. If Democrats are now for smaller government and fewer social programs, you need to change.

There is a precedent for these Democratic “victories”. In ancient times there was a king called Pyrrhus of Epirus. He defeated Roman armies three times. Maybe Democrats can win twice more.

Posted by: C&J at April 11, 2011 8:47 PM
Comment #321490

Again, I notice Mr. Daugherty accuses Reagan, but fails t deal with a Democrat congress who had their figers on the puse strings.

CC, fails to realise that almost 50% of the American voters support TP ideals. The fact is, the left is terrified of the TP. Th left failed to understand what happened last November. They live in a fantacy world.

Gas prices are fast approaching $5 a gallon, inflation is going up, unemployment is 9% and in reality 17% of Americans are unemployed, we are involved in 3 wars, obama has refused to open drilling, obama and the dems are oblivious to the deficit and national debt, and all these things are on the minds of American votrs. What do you think is going to happen in the 2012 elections?

Posted by: 1776 at April 11, 2011 10:37 PM
Comment #321491

CC, reading your last comments made me curious so I have to ask….. what restaurant in Folsom? That’s part of the area I grew up an lived in for many years. Graduated from San Juan.

Posted by: jane doe at April 11, 2011 11:24 PM
Comment #321492

tom humes-
Sometimes people confuse the reaction to their provocative language with a person’s reaction to an uncomfortable truth.

“I don’t buy into this big/small government controversy, nor any dichotomy between intrusive government and libertarian laissez faire approaches. I am willing to entertain ideas that have no proper label or placement in a philosophy if they work towards my general philosophy of having the government be an asset to the general public and the average American.” That sounds like just wandering around until something sounds right or feels right. Kinda lika a mosquito hunt.

Sometimes the truth doesn’t play nice and behave according to our theories on how it should behave. You can ignore what doesn’t coincide with your beliefs, or you can examine it, and think for yourself about what you’re presented with.

Now what facts that I stated are wrong. Not just opinion. Where am I wrong. And be explicit not around the mountain. This is crucial more for you than I. My facts are correct. You have put your credability on the line.

Well, according to your statements the debt just rose and rose and rose, and that the Democrats had a large amount to do with it.

That’s debateable. You want us to start at 1960, but lets start 1950 instead. From that year to 1970, the debt increased by no more than 113 billion. This despite having to deal with the Korean War, the Cold War build up, the entitlements, the Vietnam War, the Interstate Highway System, the Space Program, and the classical big government. Why? Because people paid their taxes for what they got.

From 1970 to 1990, with Republicans dominating the presidency all but four years, they succeeded in raising the debt from 371 Billion to 3.233 trillion.

Compare increases: 1950 to 1970, an addition of 44%. 1970 to 1990, an addition of 771%.

Then let’s look at the next twenty years after that:

1990 to 2010 takes us from 3.233 trillion to 13.561 trillion, an addition of 319% over what had previously been there.

Who’s to blame, the liberal or the conservative? Under the liberal, the increase was from 3.233 to 5.674 trillion, an addition of 76% of the previous debt total. The next ten years go from 5.674 to 13.561 an increase of almost 140% over the previous level.

That’s with most of that decade dominated by a Republican President and a Republican Congress.

So if we look at things by who’s in charge, the Republicans hardly look that good. The biggest time for public spending, public works, and big government was also a rather sedate time, budgetwise.

I won’t say the Democrats are spotless, but the record of classical liberalism is pretty good, probably because classical liberalism involved actually paying for what you got and what you fought. We really got into trouble, debt-wise, fighting Vietnam the way Bush fought Iraq, largely without asking for the money to cover it.

So, the real question here is whether you’re operating facts or assumptions. Assumptions are what you know, facts are what you know and can prove.

Let’s not take as fact the assumption that Republicans are better than Democrats at getting control of spending.

Evidently, when you increase military spending and make tax cuts and domestic spending cuts in the midst of a recession, it doesn’t go well. The key is to manage finances so that debts and deficits are reduced, even while you strive to avoid the unfortunate secondary effects of austerity.

Royal Flush-
Oh, they trust the banks nowadays. That’s basically because the Federal government insures their deposits. Which is good, because a whole load of small banks went under in the Economic Crisis. If those deposits hadn’t been insured, you would have seen a run on the banks compounding the other bank problems.

It is called cutting loose “non-essential” workers. Many states have already done what the feds are loath to do. After all, government workers, by a huge majority, vote for dems and libs. The pols fear they won’t get the big union money if they practice fiscal sanity regarding government employment.

Non-essential? We’ll see. Many states have done what the Federal government hasn’t really sought to do. Has that improved the economy?

No.

Wells Fargo economist Mark Vitner expects state and local governments to cut about 200,000 workers this year if Medicaid benefits aren’t extended. That’s largely why Wells Fargo cut forecasts for third-quarter economic growth to 1.5% from 1.9%.

Whether your politics will let you imagine it or not, whatever you think of government workers, they are contributors to the economy, just like us. They pay for Groceries, Gas, consumer goods, etc.

And the economy does miss it when somebody can’t pay, or can’t pay so much for such things. Your conservative biases aside, cutting workers, cutting programs, etc, has its economic effect.

Why, in these times, are Republican policies focused on doing things that will reduce growth and increase unemployment?

You say it’s necessary, just the way some guy in that story might say that broken windows keeps the glazier in business. You expect to kick workers out, to become burdens on the state, local, and federal governments, to buy less and pay less at local businesses, and gain economic growth from this?

Where from? People are asking Republicans now, and will be asking them later, where are the damn jobs?

Hmmm…the GOP did their share and the dems just added fuel to the fire. OK, now we have the blame properly placed. Let’s fix the problem by ending debt financing.

Let me end my comment here by having a magic pony jump from the end of the period at the end of this sentence and dance around.

Neigh? It’s not there? Well, realistically, America’s always done something in the way of debt financing in emergencies, and our national debt has been with us from the beginning.

The key is keeping it sustainable and small as possible. I’d say most families in the US carry some sort of debt. The real question is their ability to pay it back. If they can make the payments, service the debt, and bleed it down over time, they’ll be okay. If it just goes out of control, though, they’re screwed.

America is in a position where it cannot afford to just declare itself bankrupt, or default on its treasury bonds. I’m sure even getting close to a default would have bad economic effects.

No, the key is not to stop debt financing, but to get the numbers right and the numbers tamed.

As for the Tea Partiers: Sometimes you can win the battle and lose the war. Republicans might have gotten their way on the spending cuts, to a certain degree, but now they own it. They forced Tax Cuts to the rich, and own that. They forced spending cuts for the poor, and they will own that, two.

If their theories are off, if magic mushrooms and flowers don’t spring from the footsteps of Arthur Laffer once again, there will be some hell to pay. It’s one thing to promise jobs and get a disappointing amount. You will end up destroying many jobs, and I’m not sure what you’ll have to show for them.

How long will people have the patience to put up with the pain before they demand results?

As for my interpretations?

Well, sir, I have a mind of my own. I see the angles I have to see. You merely had to ask the question, what if the deed was already done, what were the man’s options? He could leave the broken window, and not pay the Glazier, but that would have its consequences. He could, instead, pay the glazier, and get back to work.

The real thing to keep in mind is whether it’s worth more to be idled by bad circumstance and recover without having to pay extra for it, or recover early, and enjoy the profits of not being sidelined by your problems.

C&J-
Well, if you look at that, and other poll results, the Republican victories are more pyrrhic than ours, especially the Tea Party’s. They are as unpopular as Obama is popular.

Sooner or later, if you push things too hard, things will push back. Discretion is the better part of valor, sometimes.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 11, 2011 11:30 PM
Comment #321493

Jane Doe,

That was a long time ago. In the 1980s. It was an A&W right behind the high school owned by Dennis Inks.

Small world eh?

Posted by: CC at April 11, 2011 11:53 PM
Comment #321494

Stephen,

“How long will people have the patience to put up with the pain before they demand results?”

Well, if the uprisings in Egypt, Libya, and the surrounding countries are any indication, not long. The people got fed up with the money grubbing dictatorships who got fat while the masses starved. It isn’t much different than here. People are getting really upset at getting shafted. I believe the masses are not thrilled with the tax cuts for the rich/corporations nor are they thrilled with the outsourcing of jobs.

With the increasing efficiency of world communications these days, we have an excellent opportunity to learn from others around the world. Dissatisfaction with oppressive conditions tends to be global in nature. All we have to do is open our eyes and see what is coming. Granted, media is politically slanted, but if one watches/reads a cross-section of political news outlets, and doesn’t just listen to or read their political preference, they can get a fairly well rounded idea.

Posted by: CC at April 12, 2011 12:08 AM
Comment #321495

CC, was a lot longer ago for me….Greenback and Madison were both gravel back then ( ‘64 )…SanJuan was 50 years old and I was only 16….and I spent more than just a few nights around that A&W.

Posted by: jane doe at April 12, 2011 12:22 AM
Comment #321496

1776-
A little history lesson: From 1980 to 1986, the Republicans had control of the Senate. In 1980, they also gained 34 seats on the Democrats in the House.

You had yourself a bit of a wave election there, So Reagan tooks his popularity out for a little spin. The consequences of that are plan in the fact that in the midterm election, he lost 24 seats back in the house to the Democrats.

See, again, the difference between an assumption and a fact becomes apparent. One way of understanding the loss in the house for the Republicans is that in November 1982, the BLS statistics show U3 unemployment at 10.8%.

Put another way, the midterm Reagan economy was a full percentage point worse than Obama’s, and about seven tenths of a point worse than it ever got uner Obama.

Two points higher than it is now.

As for your majority? I remember the wording of that poll. It said something like “Whose values are yours closer to, the average Tea Party member or the average congress member?”

But if you look at another poll, they tell a different story: 32% favorable to 47% unfavorable. Other parties have similar unfavorable ratings, but they also got much deeper support from elsewhere.

The Tea Party is not the spread of Republican appeal, it’s the decline of it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 12, 2011 12:59 AM
Comment #321498

Progression of the discussion:

SD said:

“Our debt problem will not have an easy or simple solution. It will take decades for us to pay our way out of this mess, just like it took decades to get over the fiscal mess Reagan left us in.”

I said:

“First, you make a false premise that the fiscal mess we are in is the result of Reagan. What’s the matter Stephen; is the left’s blaming of Bush not getting any traction, do we now have to go back 30 years and blame Reagan. By the way, any serious student of government knows that it is congress control the purse strings. In other words, even if you were correct, you give Reagan way too much credit. Whatever Reagan did, it was first passed by the democrat congress.”


SD said”

“1776-
A little history lesson: From 1980 to 1986, the Republicans had control of the Senate. In 1980, they also gained 34 seats on the Democrats in the House.”

Now, I say: Mr. Daugherty; you sir, are a liar, or you’re ignorant, or you are being disingenuous. I told you the Congress controls the purse strings and the democrats controlled the purse strings during Reagan’s presidency. I told the truth and you lied. Now I expect you to come back and tell us of the democrats who were blue dogs; I know how you think and I know you can’t stand to be proven wrong, so you will do or say anything to win. But the fact does not change; the democrats controlled the House, in fact they controlled the House for about 40 years, until they lost under Clinton.

“The U.S. House election, 1980 was an election for the United States House of Representatives in 1980 which coincided with the election of Ronald Reagan as President. Reagan’s victory also allowed many Republican House candidates to secure election, and the Republicans gained a net of 35 seats from the Democratic Party. The Democrats nonetheless retained a significant majority,”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_House_of_Representatives_elections,_1980

Again, Mr. Daugherty is being disingenuous with this statement:

“See, again, the difference between an assumption and a fact becomes apparent. One way of understanding the loss in the house for the Republicans is that in November 1982, the BLS statistics show U3 unemployment at 10.8%.

Put another way, the midterm Reagan economy was a full percentage point worse than Obama’s, and about seven tenths of a point worse than it ever got uner Obama.”

“Ronald Wilson Reagan /ˈrɑnəld ˈwɪlsən ˈreɪgən/ (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989)… but won both the nomination and election, defeating incumbent Jimmy Carter in 1980.”

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

You have the gall to post on WB that the economy in 1982 was the fault of President Reagan and the Republicans, just one year after his election and beating the idiot Jimmy Carter. Well I will tell you something Mr. Daugherty, you were probably sucking on a baby bottle in 1982 and shitting yellow in your diapers, but Carter just about ruined this country. Interest rates were 20+%, there were lines at the gas stations, unemployment was sky high, and inflation was runaway. Reagan inherited a terrible situation from Carter, not to mention Carter did absolutly nothing about Americans being held hostage in Iran. Obama has been in office for 2 ½ years and you are still blaming Bush and yet you have the gall to blame the economy on Reagan a year after he was elected. You’re a real jewel…

Concerning unemployment let me quote from the liberal Huffpost:

“America’s unemployment statistics have their own Paul Harvey — but his name is Leo Hindery.

Every month, media business executive and former Obama for President finance committee member Leo Hindery puts out a very detailed memo breaking out the national unemployment data — showing what is real and what is not regarding the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly release of jobs data.

One of the chief data abuses that Hindery has focused an enormous, hot, raging spotlight on is the giant gap between official unemployment (now pegged at 8.8% of the population) and “real unemployment” which Hindery documents at 17.7% of the population.

Hindery points out that the US economy is 20.2 million jobs short of what it needs for full employment.”

If you want to read Hindery’s report, you can read it at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-clemons/real-unemployment-shows-u_b_843783.html

Hindrey is one of Obama’s boys; you ganna call him a liar?

Re/ support for Tea Party: you only wish support for the Tea Party was dropping. The truth is, the TP scares the left to death.

Posted by: 1776 at April 12, 2011 10:13 AM
Comment #321499

SD

“Well, according to your statements the debt just rose and rose and rose, and that the Democrats had a large amount to do with it.”

And that is fact. Just go back and look how the debt has risen. In fact it is a no-brainer.

And did I mention republican, democrat or congress. If you are going to cite what I write do it correctly. Save you the time of re-reading. It was congress. It was presidents and congress. You are once again trying to blame republicans for wrong and democrats for right. You can have fun with the numbers all you want and build your sand castle. But, those in authority are to blame for this rise and again, let me repeat, again it is no party more at fault than another. You continually are dishonest by trying that tactic. You do not look at the picture painted, you look at the picture that you want to be painted. I don’t know who you are trying to insluence, but with your approach, you fail. Your fan club will clap and cheer, but who else.

Posted by: tom humes at April 12, 2011 10:25 AM
Comment #321500

SD wrote; “Non-essential? We’ll see. Many states have done what the Federal government hasn’t really sought to do. Has that improved the economy?”

Yes, many states have shed “non-essential” employees. These employees were not hired to “improve” the national economy and weren’t let go to “improve” the national economy. It was done to help balance budgets and prevent bankruptcy. The feds should follow suit.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 12, 2011 12:20 PM
Comment #321501

SD writes; “Why, in these times, are Republican policies focused on doing things that will reduce growth and increase unemployment?

You say it’s necessary, just the way some guy in that story might say that broken windows keeps the glazier in business.”

Once again SD displays his inability to understand the meaning of the story…”Broken Window Fallacy”.

The glazier has work because of the broken window at the expense of the tailor. The vandal in the story is the causation of who gets work, glazier or tailor, and is a substitute for government.

What SD fails to understand is that it is the broken window shopkeeper (taxpayer) who has accumulated the wealth to spend the money and the choice of where and how it is spent should be his voluntary decision, not governments.

With the vandal (government) the glazier gets work, shopkeeper gets new window and no new suit. Without the vandal, shopkeeper still has a window, and, either a new suit or the money to purchase something else he desires, or to save it for something later or perhaps…Gasp…invest it and let it grow. Hell, he might even use the money to hire another employee. And, that new employee might have a broken window at home that he uses his wages to hire the glazier to repair.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 12, 2011 12:36 PM
Comment #321502

1776-
Mister, do I have to warn you just like I warned tom? I really don’t like to be a hardass about this, because it distracts from the conversation and makes me seem more heavy handed than I like to be.

I am not a liar. Republicans did take the Senate majority, and held it until 1986. I did say that Republicans gained additional seats in, but never said they gained the majority there. I would have explicitly said so, were that the case. My point, well backed by historical accounts and the simple numbers, is that Reagan had a great deal of power behind him when he pushed his supply side agenda.

The tax cuts were passed at the best possible time for the GOP under Reagan, when they had one chamber, and an increased presence in the House. Reagan had just won a landslide. To say he wasn’t setting the agenda to a large extent would be disingenuous.

As for accusing Reagan of being fully responsible for the economy in 1982? No. But did that mean that in those days (when I was a toddler) that everybody loved him?

No. It was his lowest point of popularity, around that time, scoring 35% in Jan. 1983 His economy didn’t rebound all that quickly, with unemployment remaining over ten points for almost a year.

But history records that it did rebound.

History also records, to throw a monkey wrench in your theory, that Carter never saw unemployment on his watch higher than 7.7, in August 1980.

Reagan, by contrast, saw unemployment rates at that level or higher continuously for 32 of the 48 months of his first term, and his recession was much gentler than that faced by Obama. He might have inherited a bad situation (arguably, Carter inherited one, too, while we’re blaming predecessors) but he seems to have let it become much worse for much longer than Obama did. From Sept. of ‘82 to June of 83, the unemployment rate remained higher than 10%. Reagan dealt with a 2.7% drop in GDP, overall, and Obama dealt with a 4.1%

So, much as you might cling to the myth that your approach worked better, Obama rescue the nation from a deeper recession more quickly than Reagan. About the only thing holding him back are Republicans trying to maintain your supply side approaches.

As for U6?You might want to be careful about waving that measurement at me, because again, Reagan did worse with a shallower recession. His U6 measure went way above where Obama’s is now.

And really, we are a little more than two and a half years into Obama’s first term. Are you saying one standard should be applied to Reagan, and another to Obama? Hmm.

Dubya’s employment numbers don’t look so hot, either, the difference between his u3 and u6 numbers much more profound than Clintons. In Jan 2001, the difference was about 3.1%. By 2005, it’s about 4%, and by the end of his tenure, the disparity is about 6.2%.

What’s going on? Aren’t Republican Policies supposed to be good for the economy?

I don’t doubt that the employment situation remains bad. But tell me something: who’s doing something about it?

As for support for the Tea Party? I can give you the poll numbers to show you it’s dropping. But really, dropping or not, do you want 32%/47% approval/disapproval numbers? Do you consider that good popularity?

The difference between facts and assumptions seems to be profound here. You assume your people are more popular, and more consistently popular than they actually are. While that may help elevate confidence, it also elevates a certain level of blind cluelessness, which can be hazardous to the health of a political movement. Your folks are out of touch, and sooner or later, the American people are going to figure out that the reason their government isn’t as responsive as it should be.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 12, 2011 1:02 PM
Comment #321503

tom hume-
Republicans have two large, expensive blind spots: the military, and tax cuts. Two of the biggest expenses for this government, now and going forward, is maintaining the armed forces at their current levels with two wars going on, and servicing our debt, paying back our creditors.

Just look at the budget, and you’ll see it’s true.

It’s not just coincidence that costs go higher under Republicans, these days. When two huge budget items go out of control, especially those, it’s very difficult to cut down and carve back.

Face it: Republicans are not fiscally disciplined. They coast on their party’s reputation, but recent events have proven that reputation largely unearned.

Royal Flush-
It could have been prevented, with additional aid to the states. Now we’ll have to fight that headwind as well to recover the economy. The question of what it benefits is crucial, because if it doesn’t benefit the economy, you’re only making the economy worse, and that makes the situation for the states and local goverments work.

As for unessential, unessential by whose definition? More importantly, by what definition?

That’s not an idle question. First, if its just you saying they’re unessential, that’s not very satisfying or credible. We need the state’s definition of unessential. We also need to see where that definition differs from our idea of what we need from our government.

As for the Broken Window Parable? I understand the parable, but why don’t we step back from the self-contained world of the ideologue’s fable, and look at the reality?

The vandal is not the cause of the work, the baker is. The vandal’s action might change the situation, but it’s the baker who calculates the relative advantage of repairing the window or not. All the Vandal does is make the choice necessary.

Why would it be necessary for the Baker? The need to attract customers. The need to advertise his wares.

Okay, so I make my comparison between the window breakers and the the Republicans cutting jobs.

Question: by cutting federal jobs, are we saving people money out of pocket?

Answer: No. The difference is swallowed up in the Budget deficit, which Republicans aren’t charging anyone anything more for, as of yet.

So, although you’re breaking the window of that job, the money doesn’t go to fill anybody’s pocket. There is no greater opportunity for the average person.

Especially not job seekers with a mind to get the jobs that people will now be competing for.

Or the stores and establishments they’ll no longer be paying as much good money to, in a time where those folks direly need customers.

Neither interest rates nor inflation are being very effected by the high deficits, in no small part because of the way this economic crisis is working. With so much slack in the economy, you’re not getting the overheating of businesses, finance, and currency availability necessary to cause those problems.

It will be a problem sooner or later, and must be dealt with then. It’s not a problem now. The problem now is an economy that keeps everything working in slow motion, that idles workers, and restrains circulation of money and finance through the economy.

And that’s a Problem movement conservatives are too ideologically rigid-minded to confront. But they will have to confront it, if they don’t want another taste of defeat in the elections. With such thirst for power, the GOP will put itself in charge just soon enough to place itself in the path of that resentment.

With deficit spending, really, nobody’s breaking as many windows as you would claim. The costs are deferred, along with the opportunity costs. So, the reality is, you’re not freeing any capital up, merely withdrawing it from the economy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 12, 2011 1:29 PM
Comment #321505

SD asks…”As for unessential (state government employees), unessential by whose definition?”

Simple answer. By the governors and state legislatures who employ them.

He writes; “We need the state’s definition of unessential. We also need to see where that definition differs from our idea of what we need from our government.

Whoa…just a minute now. You’re treading on your own cherished views that government knows best. States elect governors and legislatures to govern. These elected leaders must balance their budgets. The people who voted for them do not wish to increase taxes. They identify state employees that can be eliminated and still maintain essential functions of government.

Just who is the royal “we” you speak of if it’s not the electorate?

The comments you wrote, expounding further on the “Broken Window Fallacy”, made no sense to me even after reading it a couple of times. Perhaps I am just having a bad comprehension day. Care to elaborate?

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 12, 2011 1:58 PM
Comment #321506

SD, I have noticed you have a habit of threatening to remove the posts of those who disagree with you.

“I am not a liar. Republicans did take the Senate majority, and held it until 1986. I did say that Republicans gained additional seats in, but never said they gained the majority there. I would have explicitly said so, were that the case. My point, well backed by historical accounts and the simple numbers, is that Reagan had a great deal of power behind him when he pushed his supply side agenda.”

You are being disingenuous again and trying to cover your statement. I said the Congress controls the purse strings. Congress, meaning the House of Representatives, meaning Congressmen, and you know exactly what I mean. The control of the Senate means nothing, if a democrat controlled House don’t approve it; it don’t get through to the President’s desk.

“The tax cuts were passed at the best possible time for the GOP under Reagan, when they had one chamber, and an increased presence in the House. Reagan had just won a landslide. To say he wasn’t setting the agenda to a large extent would be disingenuous.”

Yes, and to say it wasn’t a Democratic controlled House that passed these tax cuts would be disingenuous.

You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about when it comes to the Carter Presidency. Again, let me remind you of your 2 ½ year continuous blaming of Bush for the present situation. No matter what Obama has done for the past 2 ½ years, you have defended him as being the recipient of the Bush policies. Well big boy, that mentality goes two ways; Reagan inherited the 4 year policies of Carter and it took years to straighten things out. I was there, I worked and tried to provide for my family at that time, and to my shame, I was one who voted for Carter. He just about destroyed us. You can spout all the percentages and numbers you want, it’s all smoke and mirrors. You say Carter had 7.7% unemployment in Aug. 1980, and you don’t think his policies were still influencing the economy 3 months later when he was sent back to the peanut farm? You don’t think his policies were still affecting the economy a year later or two years later. You constantly defend obama and say it takes time to correct economic problems, but you say Reagan should have had everything under control a month after he was inaugurated?

“Carter inherited one, too, while we’re blaming predecessors”

What an ignorant statement; I’ll tell you what Mr. Daugherty, why don’t we just take the blame all the way back to President George Washington? Then we can protect every liberal socialist that has ever held the office of president. How does that sound?

You know what Mr. Daugherty, you can spin obama’s unemployment numbers all you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that over 17% of American’s are out of work. So spin away.

Re/ the Tea Party; the left is crying that the Tea Party is the group influencing the Congress when it comes to the budget negotiations. Do we need to rehash the statements said by the democratic leaders in the House and Senate? The accusations of the TP putting pressure on the Republicans; which were even made by you. And do we have to take a look at the influence of the TP on the election, just 5 months ago. And now we are expected to accept yours and the liberal media’s predictions that the TP has lost its influence? If that’s the case, then why was the TP such and influence a week ago. I must tell you, your side is full of it. And I will tell you Mr. Daugherty, it’s time for you to wake up and smell the roses. Stop defending the indefensible. Every argument you make is in defense of obama, and it’s beginning to sound ridiculous…

Posted by: 1776 at April 12, 2011 2:10 PM
Comment #321507

By the way Mr. Daugherty; since you were a toddler when Carter was President and since you brought up the fact Carter had inherited a bad economy, I will tell you he inherited policies that had come out of a democratic controlled House and Senate. Who had been in control for some 35 years. So, again, your proof of a bad economy falls at the feet of the democratic party.

Posted by: 1776 at April 12, 2011 2:18 PM
Comment #321509

Careful conservatives, If you prove SD to be a liar, He will probably ban you. Of course that’s just my opinion.

Posted by: tdobson at April 12, 2011 5:20 PM
Comment #321511

Royal Flush-
At the levels they’re cutting at, it may not be a question of essential vs. unessential. They may have decided that in order to function under a certain budget, they must function… well, a little more inefficiently, if at all.

By your argument, nobody’s going to miss these folks. So, I gather, we will not be reading news stories about overcrowded classrooms, excessive wait time in state bureaucracies, decay in roads and bridges, or anything like that, right?

Your argument seems to me to be a circular one: if the State Governments fired them, they must have been unessential, because who would lay off employees who are useful?

I’ll tell you who: ideologues like yourself, who measure the utility of these workers by an academic theory, rather than actual performance.

Whoa…just a minute now. You’re treading on your own cherished views that government knows best.

See, this is the problem with talking with you sometimes. There’s this imaginary Steve you’re arguing with, who foams at the mouth at the idea of oversized government. The bastard!

But the real Steve here believes in balance and moderation between the government and its people, between those who have much power and many resources, and those who don’t.

The real me was just fine with paygo, just fine with a nice, gentle balance between taxes and spending.

What I’m not fine with is watching disasters with frustratingly predictable causes showing up. What I’m not fine with is folks who spent years of prosperity causing a problem, turning around and trying to rebuild their crediblity by nutcutting the government on spending just when we’re going through an economic crisis, and don’t need the financial costs of austerity.

I’m not fine with people making political statements, like that failed bailout vote, or the deliberate failure to prevent Lehman Brothers’ collapse, that cause such hideous collateral damage that we end up in the worst recession since the Great Depression.

My main beef with modern Republican politics is that they seem willing to break the government, break the economy, and break society in order to get things the way they want them to. I find that appalling. That they would even think to threaten Americans with economic armageddon to get what they want tells me that they couldn’t get what they wanted under normal circumstance, and that they neither care enough about the good fortunes of this country, or the opinions of the average American to deserve what they get.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 12, 2011 5:50 PM
Comment #321512

Progressive Group To Supporters: Withhold Donations To Obama If He Cuts Medicare, Medicaid

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/12/progressive-group-withold-donations-obama_n_848139.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl1%7Csec3_lnk2%7C55643

I find it breathtaking that the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) has to issue a warning to their formerly darling liberal president.

However, like many presidents of the past discovered, reality is a hard taskmaster. Obama came to office on the backs, and from the pocketbooks, of just such groups as PCCC as he promised big spending Interest Group Liberalism.

Liberals and many dems care little about deficits and debt. They want spending on their cherished special interest groups without regard to how the nation will pay for it.

Obama, as president, and wanting to remain so for a second term, has had his “backbone of steel” sorely tested by the new congress which is flowering in popular opinion and the Tea Party which is holding its feet to the fire.

Will Obama cave in his upcoming national address and reveal his dire need for the support of organizations like PCCC or, will he move even further to the center and hope to garner the support of the critical independent voters?

This should be very interesting. Will this president do what is right for the nation, or will he pander to those who got him elected.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 12, 2011 5:59 PM
Comment #321513

Mr. Daugherty says:

“My main beef with modern Republican politics is that they seem willing to break the government, break the economy, and break society in order to get things the way they want them to. I find that appalling. That they would even think to threaten Americans with economic armageddon”

Obama says:

““WASHINGTON (AFP) – The White House warned Republicans on Monday that failing to raise the $14.29 trillion US debt limit would spark “Armageddon-like” consequences for the slowly recovering US economy.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110411/pl_afp/useconomypoliticsdebtobama

Who says SD uses democrat talking points?

Posted by: 1776 at April 12, 2011 6:09 PM
Comment #321514

SD writes; “By your argument, nobody’s going to miss these folks. So, I gather, we will not be reading news stories about overcrowded classrooms, excessive wait time in state bureaucracies, decay in roads and bridges, or anything like that, right?”

My argument in response to your question was that the governor and legislatures of the state involved in laying off non-essential workers deemed it necessary to keep their states solvent. Where in the world did you come up with that hyperbolic comment that “nobody’s going to miss these folks.”

Good grief SD, what the hell would you do if you ran a state? Increasing taxes won’t be supported and you must balance your budget. And, you can’t print money. Belching, burping and farting magic fairy dust just doesn’t work in the real world.

SD writes; “That they (Republicans) would even think to threaten Americans with economic armageddon to get what they want…”

Is that what happens when non-essential government workers are laid off? Or, are you talking about budget debates?

Our own government, including the president’s people and members of congress who you admire aren’t’ using such scare-mongering language as “economic Armageddon”. From what nutcase did that idea emanate?

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 12, 2011 6:14 PM
Comment #321515

tdobson-
Do yourself a favor and read the Rules for participation. Name calling of any kind is uncalled for. Democrats as well as Republicans have been kicked off the site for it.

1776-
Budgets may origiinate in the house, but they have to go through the Senate. If that weren’t the case, Democrats would have written the budget for this part of the year.

Your people had to block it in the Senate to prevent its passage.

In Reagan’s case, he had three things on his side: The Presidency, Additional Republicans in the House, and a Senate in Republican hands. There was no way Democrats were going to pass their own budget unaltered, any more than the Republicans, this year, were going to pass their original budget through the Senate and to the President’s desk.

Read your Constitution again. That’s how it works.

Even if Reagan was simply handed a bad deal (and to some extent he was) Reagan had plenty of time to improve things, and like Obama, he signed his signature economic stimulus bill, his tax cuts, early in the term.

So, he should have been able to do some good, at this point. Instead, at a point equivalent to where Obama is now, Reagan had U3 unemployment at 10.2%. Obama’s unemployment right now is 8.8%.

You say Reagan inherited a bad economy, well, Obama inherited an economy where the market had contracted by over six points the quarter before, and where the job losses on the ground, before he headed into office, were at more than several hundred thousand jobs a month. Reagan, by contrast, entered the job with six months of job growth before he got into office, and an unemployment rate that didn’t start growing in earnest until after August of 1981.

Which is not to blame Reagan, but to say he had luxuries of time, a shallower recession, a big head start on his financial and fiscal problems, and still Obama’s doing better than Reagan was at this point.

As for the Americans out of work? let me simply tell you that you should tell your party to get to work changing that for the better, instead of juggling the financial grenades of holding off on the debt ceiling vote. People will hold you to your promises, and if you chose the wrong promises to make, that’s your problem, not ours.

As for the Tea Party?

Well, the beauty and the nature of Democracy is that while the folks we elect are sometimes more extreme, more bold and self-assured in their policies, The system is built so we can correct our mistakes, and correct our corrections, if the need is there.

I think people are beginning to realize that your folks had ulterior motives they weren’t entirely clear on, and actually creating jobs is your party’s last concern.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 12, 2011 6:18 PM
Comment #321516

Royal, you must be wrong about the Tea Party holding Republicans feet to the fire. SD says the TP is loosing support, of course he was just quoting the talking points of liberals socialist politicians who are higher on the food chain than he is.

“The Tea Party will disappear when the economy gets better and the economy’s getting better all the time,” Reid said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” that aired Sunday.”

Posted by: 1776 at April 12, 2011 6:20 PM
Comment #321517

After reading 1776’s link I understand from where the term “economic Armageddon” comes.

SD should be aware that I am referring to budgets, not debt ceilings. I mention this as I am quite certain that if I had not, he would use it as a “gotcha moment”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 12, 2011 6:21 PM
Comment #321519

In the words of one of America’s greatest Presidents, “Well, there you go again” Stephen; here you are pasting you figures and percentages. Nobody believes this crap, and honestly, you are fast losing all credibility on WB. You live in your own little liberal world. When we quote liberal activists who blast Obama, you call them liars. When we show polls, from pollsters that you also use, if they disagree with your vision of obama, you discredit them. I believe you are alone on an island, all by yourself, supporting this joke you call a president. How does it make you feel to see liberals on WB who are upset at obama and voice their opinion? Kind of all by yourself.

Posted by: 1776 at April 12, 2011 6:31 PM
Comment #321520

Royal, I have said before, keep track of SD’s comments and then google them; he never uses an original thought, it is always a democrat talking point. Watch and see…

Posted by: 1776 at April 12, 2011 6:37 PM
Comment #321521

SD

“Read your Constitution again. That’s how it works.”

That is a clear case of talking down to people. That is also just as bad as calling someone a name. When you talk down to people you are assuming they are ignorant or stupid.

Stephen, man up if it is in you. Your fairy tale world is crumbling abround you and you can’t see the forest for the trees. Your references to the TP are ignorant. Let me define ignorant. Ignorant=lack of knowledge. That was to cover my butt in case your thin skin got out of control. You have been threatening people on this site just long enough. I have the gonads to make it a little more difficult for you to do that. So you need to back off and quit trying to be the pope.

Posted by: tom humes at April 12, 2011 6:51 PM
Comment #321522

Stephen D.

I think your writing is superb and you logic is very sound.

Lately, I have begun to think that this blog is becoming (or maybe always has been) antagonistic.

The conservative antagonists come to the Democrats & Liberals blog merely to wreak havoc. I have been suckered into responding to it in kind. I have realized that I am not going to give into it and just ignore the worst offenders. I suggest liberal writers here do the same.

There is no reason for the conservative antagonists to come here day after day if they hate Democrats and Liberals so much when there are 2 other blogs on this site that are full of like minded people for them, unless they are here merely to disrupt. They are just trying to preclude meaningful discussion. I think you have a lot of really good stuff to say and it would be good to see you expand on your ideas without the antagonists lobbing bombs every time you write something.

My approach to it? Don’t acknowledge their presence unless they can be civil. Hard to believe this is possible.

Posted by: CC at April 12, 2011 7:35 PM
Comment #321523

In the Rules For Participation:

“Critique the Message, Not the Messenger. This means you may critique any points made in another person’s writing or comments. But, you may not criticize the person themself, nor their right to comment at WatchBlog. This also means you may not criticize categories of people who visit and participate at WatchBlog (e.g. All Democrats are commies or, All Republicans are idiots). To be in compliance, critique of what other WatchBlog participants say, must be aimed at the points being made in their content.

Trolling and flame baiting are NOT acceptable. This means comments whose primary effect is to provoke hostility or anger in other participants at WatchBlog are not tolerated.

Comments are expected to remain on the topic of the published article.”

Posted by: CC at April 12, 2011 7:41 PM
Comment #321524

tom humes, 17, Flush,et al, if this is my last post on here, then so be it. I’m sick of you and your little bantam rooster buddies running around with big mouths and little brains poking sharp sticks at everyone else. You don’t have what it takes individually to make and back up comments, so you defer to your normal “m.o.” and pack up. You have such animosity for those who are above walking in lockstep with you, that the hate virtually drips from your comments. Too bad you’re too narrow-minded and short-sighted to know anything beyond the bullshit ideas and ideals you’ve been brainwashed with.
Stephen and the rest of you, I hate seeing all these years on here end with all the old-timers being subjected to such crap, but at the same time, have to credit you with having the patience to deal with closed minds and nasty attitudes for all this time.

Posted by: jane doe at April 12, 2011 7:45 PM
Comment #321525

Jane Doe,

Please stick around, if you don’t you are giving them what they want. Just ignore them. :-)

Posted by: CC at April 12, 2011 7:51 PM
Comment #321526

Thanks ladies for the backup.

SD’s problems are of his own making. He thinks he is posting socialist liberal talking points on the kos, where no one but liberals read. When he posts these things on WB, he has to realize there are conservatives who are not going to take these talking points as gospel.

Posted by: 1776 at April 12, 2011 8:02 PM
Comment #321528


” …he has to realize there are conservatives who are not going to take these talking points as gospel.”

But we are supposed to assume that the conservative talking points are?

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at April 12, 2011 8:14 PM
Comment #321529

You have the right to prove them wrong.

Posted by: 1776 at April 12, 2011 8:24 PM
Comment #321530

SD

Are some reprimands coming for those on the left who can say what they want and it don’t count.

CC

You don’t understand hate. You have accused those who oppose you as being hateful. Show me where the hate is or go to another topic. I know that 1776, Royal Flush and myself are not hateful. You call us hateful because he hold a position that does not fit with your world view. And anything against your world view is hateful. That is the way I interpret what you write.

jane doe
I will help you out the door.

Posted by: tom humes at April 12, 2011 8:38 PM
Comment #321531

I have read the rules and regularly see liberals and democrat supporters use name calling, but seldom see them threatened with the “ban”. Whenever I see a consertive challange your facts, I expect it. I’s sure I can pull up examples if you wish, but it’s bed time for me now and it will have to wait till morning.

Posted by: tdobson at April 12, 2011 9:07 PM
Comment #321532

jane doe-
Don’t go. That’s what some folks try to do: make the political debate so hair-raisingly awful that you give up just to have peace of mind.

Here’s what I do: Every claim they make, I go, and I find out the truth for myself about it. Like I told that other guy, there are facts, and there are assumptions. Sometimes Liberals and Democrats like us get caught up in the assumptions, too. Sometimes theirs, sometimes our own.

But if you want to break free, if you want to feel free, step back, do some research, and come back with firm evidence.

You’ll know you’re succeeding if their arguments depend on ad hominem attacks, or dismissing your opinion on partisan grounds. Me, I’d be searching the records myself. Many of my economic arguments are based on primary source information.

tom humes-
You know, in your response to CC’s post, your words flail around, saying you don’t hate, you don’t hate…

…and then you go and tell jane doe “I will help you out the door.”

Really, if I were trying to prove I wasn’t hateful, I would be saying something like “I know I can be a little rough sometimes, but I didn’t mean anything personal by it.”

But, “I will help you out the door?” Your posts drip with contempt so much of the time, yet you seem not to understand why people are offended by what you and others say. You’re so used to being negative towards people like us, it seems, that you seem to have lost any awareness of how harsh your rhetoric is to the ears of your targets.

As for talking down to people?

I made my point, emphasized it in rational terms, before I gave him that gentle love tap of a criticism. I could have called him ignorant rather than give him the out of just needing a little refresher.

But really, what prompted what I said? Let me remind you, he called me a liar! He didn’t suggest dishonesty, he called me a liar to my digital face! But where’s your mention of that?

I could have blown up at him. Instead, I asserted there were limits to what was acceptable behavior here, (which there are) And then argued how my point was true on basic premises, making a comparison between the mixed Congress of today, and that of Reagan’s first term.

On the subject of a fairy-tale world? I think that best describes a world in which we hand anybody money, then expect them to give it away, spend it, create jobs out of the goodness of their hearts, no strings attached.

I think that describes trying to use willpower to win a war where manpower would probably do better.

I think that describes tax policy that expects an explosion of new revenues when one cuts taxes sharply, reducing revenues right off the bat.

I think that describes the thinking of those who believe they can pass a spending bill that only cuts sixty, much less thirty-eight billion, and then rejecting the raising of the debt ceiling actually necessary to pay for that spending bill.

I think that describes the attitude of those who, having been shown an official document noting the President’s birthplace, still think he was born in Kenya.

People wrap themselves in all these stories, all these subjective opinions, and unmoor themselves from any outside information sourced that could afford them a check on their imagination.

As for threatening? If somebody directly insults me, I will remind them of this site’s policy, warning them, rather than deleting the post outright. I will carry out that threat if they test me, but otherwise, I have no desire to censor them.

I don’t censor people because they have opinions I don’t like, I respond, and at length. Haven’t you noticed that? I just have no desire for this place to become the kind of insult-filled battleground a lot of forums become. I’ve had my fill of pointless flamewars.

So, don’t start any. I’m not clubbing you across the head and pushing you down a hillside, saying “Now what we have he-ah, is a failure to communicate.” I just don’t want to have to wear asbestos and aluminum foil when I sit down to write on Watchblog.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 12, 2011 9:47 PM
Comment #321533

tdobson-
Really, fellow, read what all these nice Red Column folks are saying, and on a thread I have near total power over. Any one of those responses is a checkmark away from staying on there.

But I did not threaten anybody with a deletion, much less losing their commenting privileges until they started calling me and others names.

Fact is, I like debating people. I don’t mind debating hardliners. I might not convince them, but they’ll give me plenty of opportunities to convince others, plenty of excuses to give out my opinion.

If you have examples, pull them up. Shoot Luke, or give up the gun, like my old Aunt Mimi said when she was playing checkers.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 12, 2011 9:52 PM
Comment #321534

Royal Flush-
It’s an economic freefall if we don’t raise the debt limit.

Look, you know what’s happening right now?

Your party and mine are getting together to agree on a spending bill. We are essentially promising to pay everybody we pay with tax dollars that amount of money. In fact, we’re making it the law that we will.

Ah, but how are we going to pay for it?

I think I’ll self plagiarize here, and quote the line I used on Daily Kos: If failing to raise the debt ceiling is like knocking your head against a brick wall, doing so after you just okayed a spending bill for the rest of the year is like getting a running start first.

And that is what your party is just about to do.

You might want to go down there and stop them. Tell them to either raise taxes for the money, or tell them to drop spending by more than a trillion.

Otherwise, they’ve obligated us to go over the edge.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 12, 2011 10:12 PM
Comment #321535

The question is, can opposing factions keep the discussion non-personal. Disagreeing is ok, and trying to win the debate is ok, but when it gets down to make personally insulting remarks, that is where the line should be drawn. It starts to devolve once that happens.

Posted by: CC at April 12, 2011 10:20 PM
Comment #321536

Mr. Daugherty used the personal pronoun “I” 32 times in comment number 321532. Does this mean anything, not sure, what do you think?

Posted by: 1776 at April 12, 2011 10:48 PM
Comment #321538

1776-
Lawyers are trained never to ask people that question: What do you think? I’m about to show you why.

What I think is that you’re not even trying to disprove my points, just taking a potshot at my reputation trying to win that way.

Otherwise, you’d be asking questions about the actual premises of my argument.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 12, 2011 11:04 PM
Comment #321543

The premises of your arguments are liberal talking points. You have no desire to seriously discuss any point simply because your goal is to defend obama to the death. When well known liberals in the media begin to question obama’s goals (whether too conservative or to liberal) and you simply dismiss their points in order to defend obama, then I can’t possibly take you seriously.

The question, “what do you think?” was rhetorical; the reason you use the word “I” so many times is, because it’s all about you. I don’t care a wing ding about your reputation, you see Mr. Daugherty, it’s not about you; it’s about the direction our nation is going or, the direction liberal socialist want to take our nation.

Here’s what it is about; the below polls were taken within the past week and every one of these polls give obama between 46-49% approval rating. Disapproval runs between 45-54%. RPC shows an average of 47.5% approval and 47.8% disapproval.

Gallup

Rasmussen Reports

CNN/Opinion Research

FOX News

NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl

Pew Research

Point being, you are alone in your defense of him. It is only the liberal socialist bloggers who continue to support obama. Have you paid any attention to the millions it is costing us in Libya and one commentator said he would be going to the Congress for a supplemental to pay for Libya. We have no leadership in Libya, or budget, or anyplace else.


Obama is losing independents and he is losing democrat support, but you continue to sound ignorant in your support of him.

Posted by: 1776 at April 13, 2011 9:21 AM
Comment #321544

1776, can you re-write your comment without making personal insults against Stephen?

“You have no desire to seriously discuss any point simply because your goal is to defend obama to the death.”

“the reason you use the word “I” so many times is, because it’s all about you.”

“Point being, you are alone in your defense of him. It is only the liberal socialist bloggers who continue to support obama.”

“but you continue to sound ignorant in your support of him.”

If you want to comment on the topic, then comment on the topic, take the insults out, unless that is your main objective here. This has to stop.

Posted by: CC at April 13, 2011 9:29 AM
Comment #321547

Thank you CC for copying and pasting my remarks; you got them right. Not one of these points violate WB rules. Would you like me to go back though your recent posts and see what you have said about conservatives?

Posted by: 1776 at April 13, 2011 9:54 AM
Comment #321548

“Would you like me to go back though your recent posts and see what you have said about conservatives?”

1776, your comments are not about liberals in a general sense, they are personal.

“You have no desire…”

“it’s all about you.”

“you are alone in your defense of him.”

“you continue to sound ignorant”

These are all PERSONAL attacks. Stick to the topic and don’t make it personal.

You are not talking about the topic, you are using the topic to frame your personal attacks against SD.

From Rules & Regulations: Critique the Message, Not the Messenger. This means you may critique any points made in another person’s writing or comments. But, you may not criticize the person themself, nor their right to comment at WatchBlog.

Posted by: CC at April 13, 2011 10:09 AM
Comment #321549

1776,

You seem to be confused. On the one hand, you complain that Mr. Daugherty’s arguments are always just “liberal talking points.” On the other hand, you then proceed to say Mr. Daugherty defends Obama even when he departs from those “liberal talking points” and is being criticized by liberals. Perhaps, what you are missing is that there is an alternative position which is neither extreme left or right. I realize that it is hard for some to believe that the President or commentators such as Mr. Daugherty might seek a center left position. But, IMHO that is what I perceive Obama doing.

Posted by: Rich at April 13, 2011 10:27 AM
Comment #321550

“you have no desire” is not a personal attack, it’s a comment.

“it’s all about you” is not a personal attack,it’s a comment

“you are alone in your defense of him” is not a personal attack, it’s a comment

“you continue to sound ignorant”, hummm, you got me there, I should have said, “you’re statements continue to sound ignorant”, is that better? Of course, it was given, that is what I meant…

This last statement was a favorite of David Remer, so I set my standard by that of one of the most famous liberals to ever write on WB. He loved to tell conservatives how ignorant their comments were. But I did’nt go as far as DR would have by saying, “If you can’t stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen”.

Tell me CC, why is it ok for liberals to attack conservatives (and I have heard you same pretty harsh things) and yet it is not ok for conservatives to respond in the same manner? Case in point, and I told you this before: because many conservatives also hold to Evangelical Christian beliefs, the left wastes no time telling conservatives how they should act as Christians, even though they themselves are mainly self-proclaimed athiest. So, when liberals get the same responses they meet out; all of a sudden we all “just need to get along”. Don’t think so lady, I’m getting kind of sick and tired of listening to the left’s crap and then being told I can’t say the same thing. WB rules also say no profanity, but guess who (who claims to be a Christian) is one of the worst at using it when he gets upset.

Posted by: 1776 at April 13, 2011 10:30 AM
Comment #321551

The rules say you can comment on liberals (plural) and conservatives (plural), meaning as a group. You were not doing that, you were making personal criticizems against SD.

Again, this is straight from the rules:

Critique the Message, Not the Messenger. This means you may critique any points made in another person’s writing or comments. But, you may not criticize the person themself, nor their right to comment at WatchBlog.

Posted by: CC at April 13, 2011 10:39 AM
Comment #321553

“you’re statements continue to sound ignorant”

Just saying someone’s statement is ignorant is insufficient, in my opinion. It needs to be justified by some facts that demonstrate the ignorance of the statement. That is what is frequently missing in these debates. Dismissing comments as “liberal talking points” is not a true argument. The same for “conservative talking points.” If they are wrong, it is incumbent upon the debater to demonstrate how they are wrong, misleading, fabricated, etc.

Posted by: Rich at April 13, 2011 10:42 AM
Comment #321555

Calling someone ignorant is different than asking them to back up their assertion. It is personal criticism.

Posted by: CC at April 13, 2011 11:02 AM
Comment #321556

“If they are wrong, it is incumbent upon the debater to demonstrate how they are wrong, misleading, fabricated, etc. “

I agree, but don’t criticize the messenger, just the message.

Posted by: CC at April 13, 2011 11:05 AM
Comment #321558

But when talking points are what the substance is, what do we call them other than what they are?

This is a classic case of what the libs can say and do and what the cons can say and do and they do not match.

If I debate opinion with opinion I am told that I am all wet because you disagree with me. If I show you fact based on historical events I am told I am wrong even when I have shown the facts to be true without blemish. That is the libs world. I stopped using historical facts because I was told they were wrong and without any source to prove the facts wrong. Just wrong. That is saying history is wrong. It is not just my writings; it is the conservative writers here that get treated that way. The libs can give opinion and give it the title of fact. They don’t need backup, of course they will cite a huffpo columns or Klugman, or a few other opinions, but rarely facts. And when they do use numbers it is a delite on their part to manipulate those numbers as has happened above. When opinions are used to debate facts it seldom goes anywhere. We all have opinions and I really don’t mind someone giving their opinion, whatever it is, if they only say it is their opinion and not ASDF their words and call it fact. Then tell me without fact to back themselves up that I am wrong. The integrity of those people hold no bill with me and their are more than a few here. There are some libs here who could never stoop so low as to admit they are in error. God forbid, that would mean they were wrong. What is this world coming to, a liberal was wrong. That attitude is what I had up to about 30 years of age. I made some changes in my attitude and thinking and listened more often to anybody that was opposing me. I always listened to find the buzz word that would cause me to rethink my own position. I do that today. My wife will testify to that. That is called reasoning. That was given to me by my Creator, and that is a fact. The ability of discernment and reasoning are used to determine how to handle a discussion. On WB there are very few debates. There are more discussions with various inputs and outputs. I have to use these attributes daily in dealing with people in my business. Practice makes perfect. I am still practicing and aiming toward perfection, also knowing that I will never make absolute perfection here on earth. I enjoy my life because I am in a position to help people. I try to help people see the light and hear the truth here also. It is a much more difficult task when the blind refuse to see. It is much more difficult task when the deaf refuse to hear. And yes, I get ascerbic. I choose to do that to make a point.

Now to the point of this column, we are not bankrupt, yet. That sounds like one believes that we will be soon. Catch up to the time. One does not have to be out of money to be bankrupt. When an individual or business files for bankruptcy they don’t have enough money to pay the debts. Our federal government is there right now. They just go rob from the taxpayer, by printing more dollars or taking from the taxpayer thru taxing them more. We have spent ourselves poor and broke. We are morally bankrupt as a leader in the world. In my opinion we are at a point of no return. The congress has no will to correct this problem. There are some in congress that feel the NWO is the direction to go and all they do is to get us there. That means destroying our financial base as well as forcing the citizens to be subservient to a large government; a world government. We are bankrupt for other reasons, but it is my opinion that these are the two key reasons.

Posted by: tom humes at April 13, 2011 11:37 AM
Comment #321559

tom humes,

There is nothing wrong with criticizing groups of people. You can criticize libs till the cows come home, no problem.

Whether people use facts or not is not the focus of this forum. It is up to individuals to use facts if they want to or not. If you are sure they are wrong because you have the facts, then that should be good enough for you. Sometimes, and I have seen this myself, the personal criticisms here are so derogatory and designed to anger the opposing party that I don’t even bother to respond.

It’s silly really, there are people here on both sides that WILL NOT change their minds. Why do we keep trying to beat that dead horse?

Posted by: CC at April 13, 2011 11:53 AM
Comment #321561

CC, WHATEVER!! The dead horse is the one you keep beating.

Why don’t you go back a few years in the archives and see how often David Remer called ones statements as ignorant. Conservatives just learned from the best.

“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”

Tom Humes:

I quoted and gave a link to Klugman a few days ago, and SD rejected it because Klugman wrote an article blasting Obama. SD only uses quotes and polls when they compliment obama. It doesn’t matter that the left is becoming more disillusioned with obama, Stephen still lifts him up as the messiah. The liberals on WB are like Chris Matthews who gets a thrill running up his name at the very mention of obama’s name.

Let me add the quote and the link. I wouldn’t want to be accused of false statements.

“I have to tell you, you know, it’s part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama’s speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often.”

And where did I get this link? Why at the Huff Post, where else?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/02/13/chris-matthews-i-felt-thi_n_86449.html

Is it just me, or is there something sick about obama worshippers?

Posted by: 1776 at April 13, 2011 1:50 PM
Comment #321562

I wonder how many libs have lost that “Thrill”? Sounds like Klugman did.

Posted by: 1776 at April 13, 2011 1:53 PM
Comment #321563

For me, WatchBlog is a very valuable resource for learning and for sharpening my knowledge on a variety of subjects. I plead guilty to have written some stinging and uncomplimentary remarks about others. My heart and brain know better than that, but sometimes in heated discussions, emotions overrule my humanity and common sense.

The issues we discuss and debate are of utmost importance whether political, social, or religious. And, as such, should be debated intellectually rather than emotionally.

I don’t expect any conversions to take place here because of what anyone writes. If however, some comment or idea sparks an interest for looking at a subject in a slightly different way, or from a different viewpoint, it is valuable.

I am now attempting, and will continue, to try and clean up my writing to reflect my Christian heritage and respect for my fellow human beings.

Reading many of the posts above really got my attention as to how damaging and demeaning hateful words can be. I am going to stop doing that and hope all of you will as well.

I wish WatchBlog to continue as a place where all can come to discuss and debate ideas and philosophies without fear of being ridiculed or chastised.

I ask all who read my posts to remind me should I have a relapse and be found guilty of personal attack.

Please understand, I will ferociously attack ideas and philosophies with which I vehemently disagree. But, it will not be on a personal level.

I can not learn when I am screaming at someone or they at me. Good teachers find a way to present information in a way that the student will be receptive. Good students will listen and read carefully and ask questions about that which they don’t understand.

Please join with me in helping to make WatchBlog the place to visit to share significant ideas.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 13, 2011 1:57 PM
Comment #321565

1776,

“”Why don’t you go back a few years in the archives and see how often David Remer called ones statements as ignorant.”

So what’s your point?

Would you accept the “everybody else is doing it” excuse from your children?

I join Royal Flush in his call for some civility here.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at April 13, 2011 2:45 PM
Comment #321566

Thank you, Royal Flush. I appreciate your comment very much. I love a good debate if it is kept to just that.

Again, thank you.

Posted by: CC at April 13, 2011 2:59 PM
Comment #321567

I agree with Royal and will do my best to keep my posts as civil as possible. But I must say, I will not take liberal talking points as proof. And if the statements posted on here can be found in the AM list of democrat talking points, I will declare it.

Posted by: 1776 at April 13, 2011 3:23 PM
Comment #321573

1776-
Well, let me illuminate my previous point about the question “What do you think” Rhetorical or not, there’s little you can object to, as a lawyer, when you’ve just asked somebody their opinion. A Civil Action illustrates this beautifully when John Travolta’s character makes the mistake of asking Dan Hedaya’s plant owner this question, and the plant owner goes on a long rant that makes the Jury more sympathetic to him.

A good lawyer, and to a lesser extent, a good debater is careful about their questions and their answers.

Now you call my arguments liberal talking points, and dismiss them on that account. This is a debate, though, and each one of us prepares points we’d like to make, uses arguments that have circulated around their side of the debate. If everybody’s using them, if everybody’s got prepared points, it’s not much of a cut.

Also, it’s irrelevant. The value of a talking point doesn’t depend on whether it’s liberal or conservative, it depends on whether it’s right. Bad information is bad information.

Which leads me to this:

Here’s what it is about; the below polls were taken within the past week and every one of these polls give obama between 46-49% approval rating. Disapproval runs between 45-54%. RPC shows an average of 47.5% approval and 47.8% disapproval.

Obama’s been bouncing around fifty percent for some time now. Now you say this to follow up, and for me, it doesn’t make sense:

Point being, you are alone in your defense of him. It is only the liberal socialist bloggers who continue to support obama. Have you paid any attention to the millions it is costing us in Libya and one commentator said he would be going to the Congress for a supplemental to pay for Libya. We have no leadership in Libya, or budget, or anyplace else.

You just got done telling me that nearly half the country approves of his performance. That’s both sloppy rhetoric, and sloppy argumentation.

Now I’ve presented you with evidence that says less than a third of the country approves of the Tea Party’s actions. It’s not anywhere close to evenly divided, as the numbers on Obama are.

As for independents? Obama may have lost some, but the Republicans are the ones really losing independent support, which will be a problem for them in 2012.

On the subject of David Remer, you may notice he’s no longer around, so I’d be careful about what generalizations you make about acceptable behavior. Personally, I found him to somtimes be needlessly abrasive in the later years of his tenure here, and I really don’t think there’s much value in that. Plus, I think he himself would point out that he was an Independent/Green, and not a big fan of the Democratic Party.

I think it’s a waste of time to critique a person’s argument that way. If you could just declare people wrong, of course, the debates wouldn’t last long. Nothing about me saying, “You’re wrong, poopyhead” will actually convince much of anybody who isn’t already on my side.

On the subject of cursing? The concern is not so much the virgin ears of the folks around here, but rather avoiding running afoul of filtering software, and to a lesser extent, maintaining a level of civility. I may use four letter words from time to time, but every letter is a “*”, and I don’t use them as insults.

I’m not going to insult anybody’s intelligence by saying I don’t get emotionally involved, or butt heads with people with my words, but If I’m going to be sharp with people, I’m going to be sharp like a samurai sword, and wield my words likewise. I think of combative arguments in terms of martial arts. You can try and dazzle people with a lot of flashy manuevers, but when it comes down to it, moving with weight and substance behind you, and proper technique yields more power.

As for Krugman (he’s not the actor) I’m dubious of the whole empty suit argument. Obama’s leadership is more subtle, more behind the scenes, but he gets more things done, and often gets the better of his political opponents despite that. I don’t lift Obama up as a messiah, and I don’t get where you figure that to be my position. Again, I just think that some Republicans are just bitter that Obama was able to summon up a mass movement, so they treat it as some sort of irrational religious devotion.

I could try your same sort of argument, lambasting you for always being negative, but I find those kinds of arguments cheap myself, and ridiculously transparent in their dependence on the debater’s political bias. Oh, you just hate the tea party, don’t you! Oh, you just don’t understand Obama, don’t you?

Ridiculous. I would say that, despite all the setbacks and disappointments, despite failure on several fronts to fulfill campaign promises, this President got passed more liberal agenda items, including Healthcare Reform, than other Liberal Presidents of recent history. He’s maintained better numbers in terms of popularity than Clinton did. This despite having even stronger ideological opposition. He’s not without his detractors on either side, but he’s a strong politician, and it doesn’t pay to underestimate him.

And, as they say, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. I don’t see stronger, more popular liberal politicians out there, nor do I see any Republican I have any desire to vote for. So, I have strong reasons to support him, and even stronger reasons not to support anybody else.

tom humes-
There’s complaining about how people don’t appreciate your facts, and then there’s actually bringing back what you wrote, and defending your original assertions.

You are welcome to bring your own arguments back, and parse out your proofs as you wish. But don’t expect people

1) to take your arguments without discussion at face value

or

2) share your assumptions and treat them just like the facts you consider them to be sometimes.

God may give man reasoning, but it is up to man to sharpen those wits. It is also up to people to realize (as I did, often painfully) that people don’t necessarily reason or think as you do, know what you know, or understand what you understand.

As for the point of my column?

Being heavily endebted doesn’t mean broke or bankrupt. As long as you are able to pay, and still take care of your needs, you aren’t bankrupt.

Yes, heavy debt like we got is bad. But refusing to raise the debt ceiling is even worse.

Truth is, once we pass the spending bill, we’ve legally obligated ourselves to pay what’s in it. Deciding then to take debt finance off the table leaves you with two questions: one, where are you going to get the money, and two, can you get that much money that fast. We’re talking about hundreds of billions, even trillions of dollars that you’re either going to have to cut, or which you’re going to have to pay direct out of the American people’s pockets.

A sudden tax increase worth over a trillion dollars would be a disaster for the economy.

Royal Flush-
Do your best to keep that commitment. One thing that draws me to Christianity is its demand on us that we step out of our typical adversarial mindsets. The truth can be on neither side of of an argument, nor in the middle, but elsewhere, and to free themselves from these bad ideas and bad theories, people need to tap their ability to investigate ideas for themselves.

I can’t always say that I succeed, but very often, I find that figuring out the truth for myself allows me to take a better position than if I just repeated what somebody else said.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 13, 2011 3:51 PM
Comment #321575

Well Stephen, before I made the commitment to try to be civil, my answer to you would have been, blah, blah, blah, but since I have turned over a new leaf I will say, “Ok, Stephen, whatever you say”.

Posted by: 1776 at April 13, 2011 4:05 PM
Comment #321582

Come on guys, you seriously need to knock it off. Personal attacks are not warranted nor are they welcome here.

WatchBlog only works when everyone cooperates and follows the rules. If you are having trouble having a civil debate about politics without resorting to personal attacks, then please consider yourself banned.

CC has done a good job above of explaining the infractions. I will not rehash them here. If you’re still confused, please read the WatchBlog Rules for Participation.

Posted by: WatchBlog Publisher at April 13, 2011 5:49 PM
Comment #321584

Here is an interesting comment…..
http://www.vanityfair.com/society/features/2011/05/top-one-percent-201105?printable=true#ixzz1Iz80IswX

Posted by: jane doe at April 13, 2011 5:58 PM
Comment #321596

Great post jane; this guy is the whose who of liberal socialists. Everyone needs to read his bio. He’s had his hand in every everything: from the World Bank, IMF, to the UN. He has been a professor in every liberal university in the country. This guy makes Cass Sunstein look like a Sunday School teacher. I wonder if he is in the top 1%?

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_academies/acdscien/own/documents/stiglitz.html

Posted by: 1776 at April 13, 2011 9:26 PM
Comment #321613

Thanks Jane Doe,

Very interesting and enlightening article.

Posted by: CC at April 14, 2011 11:46 AM
Comment #321616

1776,

“He’s had his hand in every everything: from the World Bank, IMF, to the UN. He has been a professor in every liberal university in the country. This guy makes Cass Sunstein look like a Sunday School teacher. I wonder if he is in the top 1%?”

This is the type of quote that makes it hard to take the poster seriously. It makes no logical sense.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at April 14, 2011 12:02 PM
Comment #321618

Why was my last post deleted?

Posted by: tom humes at April 14, 2011 12:14 PM
Comment #321619

We were experiencing some database issues this morning. I repaired the db tables. Please email me if you continue to have issues.

Posted by: WatchBlog Publisher at April 14, 2011 12:18 PM
Comment #321622

Let me post this, see if it works.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 14, 2011 1:24 PM
Comment #321624

“Everyone needs to read his bio.”

Yes we do 17, it seems the man has quite an impressive record when you look at his bio. Despite your biased comment on his education and teaching background he has taught at some top of the line universities. You make it sound like a crime but lets face it an advanced degree from MIT is an accomplishment that most of us would agree is deserving of some respect.

“He is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979). He is also the former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank. He is known for his critical view of the management of globalization, free-market economists (whom he calls “free market fundamentalists”) and some international institutions like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.”

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

Posted by: j2t2 at April 14, 2011 2:40 PM
Comment #321656

He’s a socialist and undoubtedly supports keynesian economics.

Posted by: 1776 at April 15, 2011 4:18 PM
Comment #321662

1776,
Keynesian economics and socialism are two completely different things.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 15, 2011 5:40 PM
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