Democrats & Liberals Archives

True Belief In A False Theory of Economic Growth Is Dangerous

I’m not just flapping my gums about the deficit drivers.

It's really a matter of who has put politics beyond practicality. I think Americans want a certain level of government, and need certain core services. Taxes are how we pay for that. Or were.

We instead went for a magic pony approach, which expected that the rich, by definition the people who already aren't spending everything they take in, would spend more if they were allowed a tax cut.

That approach did not work. Job creation in the 2000's was the worst it's been since they kept count.

Republican fiscal policy failed to acheive it's promised goal miserably. By what standards can you say it didn't. We didn't have a whole decades worth of recession, and though much of the economic growth was a mirage, it still should have created more jobs than it did.

Republicans want another try, and this time on steroids. How much more of this do we have to put up with?

House Speaker John Boehner’s new budget proposal would require deep cuts in the years immediately ahead in Social Security and Medicare benefits for current retirees, the repeal of health reform’s coverage expansions, or wholesale evisceration of basic assistance programs for vulnerable Americans.

The plan is, thus, tantamount to a form of “class warfare.” If enacted, it could well produce the greatest increase in poverty and hardship produced by any law in modern U.S. history.

This may sound hyperbolic, but it is not. The mathematics are inexorable.

My opinion? The Republicans are in a political panic, and don't have their heads on straight. They're doing the insanely stupid approach of trying, in the midst of an economy with 9.2 percent unemployment, millions dependent on government aid to stay afloat, with productivity slack, and more of the nation in poverty than it has been for quite some time, to fix the budget deficit, and all at once.

The sticking point here is that in the real world, a government tightens its belt either by raising taxes, or by cutting spending. Cutting spending means

1) Cutting jobs. With 9.2% unemployment, how is that wise?

2) Cutting benefits. With Unemployment Benefits and Foodstamps providing much better than even stimulus value for their cost, how is that wise, much less cost effective?

3) Cutting Entitlements. With millions of baby boomers set to retire, set to need medical services that insurers won't be likely to cover, how the hell is this going to help the economy?

4) Cutting Government investments. With America falling behind in many industries, and lacking a manufacturing base that might help lift people out of their economic bad fortunes, how is this going to help America's economy? Are we simply going to rely on a private sector that continues to hoard cash for want of customers to build businesses for?

5) Cuttting Government enforcement and regulatory power. How many trillions of dollars in deficit spending could we have saved if the market had not crashed? If we had nipped the predatory lending and the derivatives chicanery in the bud? How many people would be better off, and the economy with them, if trillions of dollars in American investments hadn't vanished with the gigantic, deceptive financial schemes that finally hoist Wall Street on its own petard?

How much do we save by cutting food inspection, when folks have to go to the hospital, and/or pay for funeral services for those infected by contaminated food?

How much do we save by underfunding the FAA, and other safety-oriented regulators?

What do we gain by failing to fund the SEC, failing to give them the money and the power necessary to prevent brokers from betraying the interests of their clients, or endangering our economy with their dishonest practices?

The Republicans do cost/benefit analysis by ignoring the cost of not having good government in place, and refusing to acknowledge that benefits can come of government intervention. That is not to say that I hold a diametrically opposite position. I only argue that some laws and regulations are good, that a certain level of taxation is good for the country.

We don't need to be stabbing our economy in the back once again, by continuing the foolishness that marked governance in the last few decades. We don't need more people dying because of drugs people didn't bother to test well enough. We don't need more defenses of letting Wall Street police itself, when Wall Street self-inflicted its own near destruction, to the point that we had to bail them out.

We certainly don't need to punish poor, elderly, and disadvantaged American for Wall Street's and the Republican's irresponsibility.

We certainly don't need to reward the Republicans for their further irresponsibility in threatening the default of this country.

American needs to stop the madness, take care of its own, hold the crooks (whereever they may be) accountable, and start doing things that actually improve our economic condition, rather than tearing apart our economic foundations for the sake of empty political promises that never should have been made.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at July 26, 2011 1:42 PM
Comments
Comment #326498

Housing remains the weakest part of the American economy. High unemployment, larger down payment requirements and tougher lending standards are preventing many people from buying homes!

Posted by: Chad at July 26, 2011 2:32 PM
Comment #326501

The only thing that matters to the House Republicans is they get the best of Obama. It’s instinctive competition. Now they are revolting against the Boehner plan which has absolutely zero compromise. They are to the right of Cantor on this which is pretty scary. The people have created a monster (i.e. the tea party).

Posted by: Schwamp at July 26, 2011 2:48 PM
Comment #326504

Chad-
Look, if you let people who can’t afford the homes get them again, we’re right back where we started. We need stable homeowners and stable home prices, not another bubble.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 26, 2011 4:11 PM
Comment #326509

Why is it Stephen when my liberal Democratic congressman, Dennis Kuchnich says the Obama plans to push back the retirement age and cut SS benefits, medicare and medicaid. Why is a liberal like him going against Obama?

Posted by: KAP at July 26, 2011 4:41 PM
Comment #326510

Washington D.C.[July 26,2011] Congressman Dennis Kucinich[D.Oh.] today released the following statement.
“Last Friday the President told the nation the he offered a plan that would cut $650B. from Medicare, Medicaid, and S.S. Last night in his address to the nation, the President didn’t want to “BORE” Americans with the details of his plan. But threatened that congress must accept a deal on the debt ceiling or seniors face the possibility that S.S. checks won’t go out. Curiously, the President didn’t explain in his prime time address to the nation that the deal he has been adevocating CUTS S.S benefits, and pushes back the retirement age. These changes arec unwarrented and indefencible. S.S. is 100% wholly funded up to the year 2036 without any changes whatsoever. It has NO PLACE in the debt ceiling debate at all. FURTHERMORE, IT IS NOT the governments money, but the money of the workers who paid into the program their entire lives.
Threatening the withholding of S.S. checks to advance an agenda that includes cutting S.S. benefits is NOT befitting of the Democratic party. It ios not fair to the american people and it represents a sellout of the interests of seniors.
I want to be supportive of the President. It would be easier to be supportive if the Presidents candor matched the level of his eloquence.”
At least one Liberal may have his head screwed on right.

Posted by: KAP at July 26, 2011 5:39 PM
Comment #326511

I was just watching a new show on Fox News called “The Five”, Dana Perino brought up the subject of the “Fast and Furious” hearings; of which we are not hearing much about, but does have the potential to become a major issue. Eric Holder said he didn’t hear anything about the program until a few weeks ago; of which he appears to have lied because he discussed it in a speech in 2009. When Bob Beckel was asked about the subject, his answer was to go into an uncontolled rant about Darrel Issa, who is conducting the committee investigations.

My point behind bringing this up is this: every time a subject is brought up that shows Obama in the true light, the messenger is attacked by the left rather than deal with the message. I have noticed this over and over on WB.

Posted by: Mike at July 26, 2011 5:52 PM
Comment #326512


Kap, since he is your representative, you should know that ‘Kucinich’ is considered a progressive rather than a liberal. He is the leader of the progressive caucus. Contrary to popular belief, there are difference between the two and the gap between liberals and progressives is widening, thus the criticism aimed at Obama from the left.

Liberals voted to deregulate the financial markets, leading to the housing collapse, progressives didn’t.

Liberals voted for the Bush tax cuts, progressives didn’t.

Obama says he will agree to $2.7 trillion in cuts without any revenue increases. Why Republicans didn’t jump on that offer is a mystery to me, unless there were cuts for the military industrial complex included in the deal.

IMO, the progressives hold the high ground in the argument. Liberals have compromised the progressives time after time on behalf of wealth.

Stagnant wages, finalization of the economy, massive government debt, an ever widening gap between the wealthier members of our society and the rest of us, large numbers of workers loosing their jobs with the spectre of long term unemployment staring them in the face; these are some of the results of the wealth/conservative/liberal agenda.

It is the right wing conservatives that are threatening to derail the agenda, not the liberals. The right wingers are to draconian in their approach. Liberals need the space and time to whittle away at the progressive legislation so they can maintain their semblance of representing the workers and the poor.

Posted by: jlw at July 26, 2011 5:53 PM
Comment #326513

I have also noticed liberals use all sorts of polls to try to prove their point; but when a conservative uses the same polls that show Obama in a bad light, the left attacks the pollster instead of dealing with the facts.

In fact the left on WB quote editorials from liberal web sites like kos, media matters, and the left MSM; but when a conservative quotes from any article (left or right)the liberals on WB attack he source and not the subject.

To my conservative brothers, keep your eyes open and bring this to their attention.

Posted by: Mike at July 26, 2011 6:01 PM
Comment #326514

Mike,
The “Fast and Furious” story doesn’t receive any attention because there is no story there. It is a figment of the imagination, a fevered right-wing fantasy in which Obama and Holder and the ATF are closely tied to Mexican Drug Cartels. As you know, Fox is the propaganda arm of the Republican Party. The so-called ‘scandal’ involves a sting operation that was a bad idea. Get a grip.

Enjoying Fox News coverage of the Rupert Murdoch hacking scandal? Probably not. FOX will barely touch the story. Stuff like that makes it tough to pretend to be a ‘news’ organization.

Posted by: phx8 at July 26, 2011 6:06 PM
Comment #326515

KAP-
You’re assuming Kucinich is one of those liberals that works and plays well with the other liberals. Kucinich, in turn, is assuming that the President’s going to actually sign certain deals.

That assumption would depend on the Republicans actually agreeing to any kind of deal of thats sort. Republicans won’t. Don’t get your hopes up about Boehner’s deal. Everybody from the Club for Growth to the bond-rating agencies hates it, the former because it compromises too much on their preferred policy, and the latter because it puts us right back where we started within a year.

Also, Obama isn’t holding the Social Security checks hostage, he’s merely saying that if worst comes to worst, the treasury might not have the funds to mail them out. Hell, from what I hear, they’re not even certain they can take the automated system they have, and make it stop those payments.

What a mess.

Mike-
When you’re clearer on what exactly he said he didn’t know about, program-wise we can talk.

For now, tell me what you think of the likelihood that any downgrade of the rating for our debt Would cost a hundred billion dollars a year, cancelling out any saving from debt reduction plans.

Tell me: why are Republican mistakes always so damn costly?

While I’m at it, Republicans have already ditched The Pledge to America they made, in favor of carrying out the Tea Party’s agenda.

American needs folks who are up-front about their loyalties, and whose loyalty isn’t to the promotion of their party, but the good fortune of their nation.

The truth is, Republicans can’t cut enough from the deficit to balance out the costs of allowing a lowering of our debt rating.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 26, 2011 6:23 PM
Comment #326516

Thank you phx8 for proving my point; and you did it in such a timely manner.

You quote liberal talking points (no scandal, even though an American lost his life), and then you proceed immediatly to trash Fox News.

I must say, I thought you guys on the left would try to not violate the accusation so quickly. I guess it is the inherent nature of the beast.

Posted by: Mike at July 26, 2011 6:28 PM
Comment #326518

Stephen, I can answer your questions very simply; as a TP supporter I am in complete agreement with what conservative Republicans are doing. I’m in favor of Cut, Cap, and Balance. I believe Obama and the liberal Democrats are lying and trying to scare Americans and the left (including those on WB) are more than willing to repeat the liberal talking points. I have to agree with someone else who wrote that a failure to reach an agreement by the moveable deadline, might just bring some of our politicians to the reality of cutting spending. I believe, if we default as a nation (not paying necessary bills) it will be because Obama wants us to default. Now you know how I feel.

Posted by: Mike at July 26, 2011 6:38 PM
Comment #326519

“You quote liberal talking points (no scandal, even though an American lost his life),..”

Mike,

phx8 simply stated the facts, not liberal talking points. It was a law enforcement sting operation that went bad.

Let me add an additional point, it was begun and expanded by the Bush administration long before Obama even ran for office.

If it rises to the level of a national scandal involving the Justice Department and the office of the President, then the principal culpability rests with the Bush administration for conceiving, implementing and expanding the flawed operation. The Obama administration would share culpability for continuing the operation. It would be a non-partisan scandal.


Posted by: Rich at July 26, 2011 6:46 PM
Comment #326520

Here’s a good one. For the past few weeks, some on WB have been arguing that Obama had a plan. Well just a few hours ago, after some unusually tough questions by the press, Carney finally admitted that obama does not and did not have any plan at all. He simply was using talking points as a campaign speech. I watched obama’s speech last night and I never saw such whining and crying, boo-hoo it’s not fair, what sissified piece of crap; he is an embarrassment to America.

“Carney Gets Hit for Ten Minutes on The Obama Plan


July 26, 2011 2:34 P.M.
By Daniel Foster

Or the lack thereof. After bobbing-and-weaving for nine minutes, Carney finally says what everybody knows: the president won’t put his plan on paper because he doesn’t want it to become “politically charged” before a compromise can be reached. In other words, you’ve got to pass it to find out what’s in it:”


http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/272768/carney-gets-hit-ten-minutes-obama-plan-daniel-foster

Mike, it will be hard for liberal socialists to attack this source; it’s straight out of Carney’s mouth, even though he beat around the bush before admmitting it.

Posted by: Conservativethinker at July 26, 2011 6:47 PM
Comment #326523

Rich, you are completely missing the point. The point is that when ever accusations are made against Obama or his admin; the messenger is attacked, rather than the message.

Now, another thing we find about the left is when the accusations are made and cannot be refuted; then the left says, “Bush was doing it too”. Of course we all know Fast and Furious was started in 2009 and it as well as the death of an American agent belongs to Obama.

So Rich, you haven’t failed me either. Attack the messenger and ignore the message.

Posted by: Mike at July 26, 2011 7:09 PM
Comment #326524

CT,
Don’t be so naive. You are seeing a negotiation. Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to.

If you have never studied or taken a class in negotiation, I would strongly encourage you and others to consider it. It’s valuable knowledge, not only in learning how to deal with others in that situation, but more importantly, how you yourself deal with it. Most of us have a kind of default setting that reflects our personality, and we instinctively resort to it in a negotiation.

You’ll see a lot of posturing, symbolic votes, accusations, posing, hand-wringing, wailing, gnashing of teeth, and increasing strident talk as the deadline nears. Grin and bear it. The debt ceiling will be raised.

Posted by: phx8 at July 26, 2011 7:15 PM
Comment #326525

Mike,
I am unfamiliar with any liberal talking points concerning the “Fast and Furious” issue, and I am not quoting anyone.

Posted by: phx8 at July 26, 2011 7:19 PM
Comment #326526


It’s the conservative socialists that are turning against the tea party!

And conservatives that are saying that Obama better not mess with Social Security checks, pay for the troops, and military industrial contracts become totally silent when the press hounds them on what they would cut instead.

If Obama uses scare tactics, so what. Are scare tactics the exclusive domain of the Republicans? One would think so considering the fact that Republicans have come up with one scare tactic after another. A constant barrage of scare tactics since the day he was elected. Not an American, a Muslim, a Jihadist, a socialist, hates America, hates white people, determined to destroy America, socialist, socialist, socialist, the list goes on and on and on.

No conservative is going to take a back seat to a liberal when it comes to scare tactics.

You conservatives need to tone it down, the American people are starting to figure out what you are talking about when you scream socialist and what your alternative will mean for them. It is not just kids, but older more conservative people are starting to scrutinizing you more closely.

Posted by: jlw at July 26, 2011 7:30 PM
Comment #326528

phx8, this is your comment:

“The “Fast and Furious” story doesn’t receive any attention because there is no story there. It is a figment of the imagination, a fevered right-wing fantasy in which Obama and Holder and the ATF are closely tied to Mexican Drug Cartels. As you know, Fox is the propaganda arm of the Republican Party. The so-called ‘scandal’ involves a sting operation that was a bad idea. Get a grip.”

These are liberal talking points.

1. No story here

2. Fevered right wing fantasy

3. Fox is the propaganda arm of Fox News.

But nothing about Bob Beckel’s attack on Issa, rather than discussing the charges on Holder and the ATF.

Posted by: Mike at July 26, 2011 7:37 PM
Comment #326531

“as a TP supporter I am in complete agreement with what conservative Republicans are doing. I’m in favor of Cut, Cap, and Balance.”

Mike,

Please think this through. If Reagan had been faced with a cut, cap and balance mandate during his terms, what would have happened? Certainly no tax cuts. Certainly no defense expansion. In fact, defense spending would have had to been cut dramatically. Reagan ran historically high deficits during his administration due to the tax cuts and defense expansions. He never once presented to Congress a balanced budget.

The bottom line is that Saint Reagan would have been remembered as the President who lost the cold war and plunged the US into a depression.

I just wish conservatives would look at what the most esteemed conservative president in modern times actually did and not simply his rhetoric.

He did dramatically cut taxes during a severe recession but he also did not cut expenditures. In fact, he expanded government expenditures. That was a stimulus to the economy. When the economy began to recover, he dramatically increased taxes and enhanced tax revenues by closing tax loopholes and unfair tax credits for both individuals and businesses as well as raising government fees for services. He cleaned up the tax system to improve revenue and economic performance but he did not destroy it.

While he was personally philosophically opposed to SS and Medicare, he recognized that they were important to the majority of Americans. He didn’t attempt to destroy them. In fact, he endorsed the Greenspan Commission’s long term fix for them which principally entailed raising payroll taxes to provide for a surplus needed for the baby boomers retirement and to provide for Medicare’s continued solvency well into the baby boomer retirement years.

Reagan and his administration were far more pragmatic less ideologically pure than is generally conceded by either the right or the left. From the economy to nuclear disarmament and terrorism, the rhetoric never quite matched the actual behavior. Some of that was certainly the result of political push back from the left. But even conceding that point, it only shows that he was willing to compromise with liberals to get something done.

Today, I fear that conservative ideological purity in the form of the Tea Party has swallowed the pragmatic art of compromise. It is an arrogant “my way or the highway” approach to governance.

Posted by: Rich at July 26, 2011 7:53 PM
Comment #326533

If the treasury dosen’t have the money to send out S.S benefits, then what did they do with the money that people have been paying into it for all these years? As Kucinich said that money has nothing to do with the debt talks, it is seperate. Obama should have keept his lieing mouth shut. Stephen, IMO you democrats need to look for someone to challenge Obama or else you will fall short come Nov. 2012.

Posted by: KAP at July 26, 2011 8:04 PM
Comment #326534

“Of course we all know Fast and Furious was started in 2009 and it as well as the death of an American agent belongs to Obama.”

Mike,

Fast and Furious was a spin off of Operation Gunrunner which began in 2006 and which was steadily expanded during the course of the Bush administration. It was part of the larger Gunrunner operation. Same tactics, same border, same sting operation, same government law enforcement agency (ATF).

I bring this to your attention, not to dismiss the culpability of the Obama administration in sanctioning this operation but to simply point out that it was not some fantastic plot by the Obama administration to either aid Mexican drug cartels or to provide some excuse to increase gun controls or regulation in the US, as some have contended. Like I said, it was a non-partisan screw up by the federal law enforcement agency that brought you Waco.

Posted by: Rich at July 26, 2011 8:08 PM
Comment #326535

Mike,
Sorry. You’re beating a dead horse. There’s nothing there, other than the obvious- a sting went wrong, and it was a bad idea, at least in its execution.

I’m not familiar with Bob Beckel. Issa, the richest member of Congress, has always wanted to bury the administration in subpoenas. He’s a pretty sleazy guy, and most people won’t give him the time of day.

Posted by: phx8 at July 26, 2011 8:18 PM
Comment #326542


3) Fox News is the propaganda arm of an Australian named Murdoch.

Posted by: jlw at July 26, 2011 9:02 PM
Comment #326548

KAP: “If the treasury dosen’t have the money to send out S.S benefits, then what did they do with the money that people have been paying into it for all these years? As Kucinich said that money has nothing to do with the debt talks, it is seperate. Obama should have keept his lieing mouth shut. Stephen, IMO you democrats need to look for someone to challenge Obama or else you will fall short come Nov. 2012.”

The payroll taxes we pay into SS are not just sitting around doing nothing. In fact, they are INVESTED, as any prudent retirement plan would do with its money. As a matter of fact, the SS system is the #1 holder of US treasury bonds. So in order to pull that money out to pay SS recipients, they would have to cash in those bonds, and Treasury would have to pay from that, making the deficit even greater. But wait… the Treasury would not be able to do that, because stupid Republicans won’t raise the debt ceiling.

Posted by: Hotshot at July 26, 2011 10:20 PM
Comment #326549

Mike-
4000 Americans lost their lives in the Iraq war, an unnecessary war whose justifications were proved false, a war that has cost us in the trillions, but I think you would fight calling that a scandal tooth and nail.

Republicans are just about to tank the American economy and fiscal picture in an unprecedented failure to honor America’s debts. But you’d resist calling that a scandal.

The trouble for Republicans in their scandalmongering is that their failures are overshadowing any negatives they can bring up on others

You can talk as if liberals defend what happened with “Fast and Furious.” I don’t defend it, though, and not many liberals I know of do.

That doesn’t prevent Republicans from building up a narrative that says we’re just covering for the government here. I guess that’s what helps you sell the scandalousness of it, along with vague unfounded conjectures that it goes all the way up to the top.

Me, if I were taking that on, I’d be arguing things by the facts.

So, let me go back and answer your answer to me.

It’s funny that should insist on this massive program of cuts and Constitutional changes, or anything else of comparable strength, based on what you consider a weak threat.

If it wasn’t scary, you wouldn’t be able to panic anybody. I mean, really, why would Obama panick people, panic everybody, just to force unpopular legislation on himself?

No, the Republicans think this is a threat that carries weight, and the people who are telling its not are lying to you so you remain in a haze about just what a radical, dangerous, and stupid move this is.

If we default as a nation, it will be because your Tea Partiers got greedy about power.

Conservativethinker-
Why should the President oblige the folks who dragged him into this worthless, dangerous debacle with an actual plan of his own, when they’re doing just fine alienating most Americans by pushing their own bull**** plans and threatening the financial future of the country?

Just look at Boehner’s plan. It’s considered far to the right of what most Americans want, yet still the Far Right leaders of the GOP and its special interests aren’t satisfied. Worse yet, the bond-rating companies say that if it’s short-term debt ceiling increase is passed, they’ll downgrade us anyways, because such political tomfoolery will make it likely that we have this same destructive controversy again.

I have to wonder. Will Republicans not be satisfied until America lies completely disgraced before the world, a nation that self-destructed itself into a third-world nation because some idiots didn’t feel they had enough money or power?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 26, 2011 10:20 PM
Comment #326551

HOTSHOT, Republicans will raise the debt ceiling if IDIOT Democrats will quit the reckless spending and put that in writing.

Posted by: KAP at July 26, 2011 10:53 PM
Comment #326554

KAP,
You’re missing the point. A large faction of the House GOP claims they will not raise the debt ceiling under any circumstances. Any suggestions this will cause problems are dismissed as “scare tactics.”

The sad thing is, many in the GOP believe Obama must fail, and they will do anything- anything- to destroy the Obama administration… as long as they can escape the blame. Remember the Clinton impeachment? These are the same people who want Obama to fail. Back then, they engaged in a multi-year fishing expedition aimed at Clinton, and finally put a sitting President of the United States on a witness stand, under oath, and proceeded to ask about his sex life.

They are ignorant yet aggressive, and very self-righteous.

Oh yeah. Those guys.

Posted by: phx8 at July 27, 2011 12:16 AM
Comment #326555


Now Republicans are saying that if the country defaults they can impeach Obama. Even our old buddy J.D. Longstreet is getting in on the act.

Posted by: jlw at July 27, 2011 12:31 AM
Comment #326557

jlw, good comments.

Has everyone heard about this?:

GOP lawmaker admits he’s extorting Congress to rewrite Constitution

Quote:

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Monday that he is giving Congress ten days to pass a constitutional amendment that would make raising taxes nearly impossible. And if he doesn’t get what he wants, he will do everything in his power to force the U.S. to default on its debts.

“Okay, in ten days you want to change the United States Constitution by two-thirds vote in both houses?” Matthews asked. “That’s what you’re demanding.”

“Yes,” Lee admitted. “If possible we can’t change the Constitution just in Congress but we can submit it to the states. Let the states fight it out.”

Posted by: Adrienne at July 27, 2011 3:25 AM
Comment #326559

requiring a super majority to raise taxes hmmmm….. sounds good to me. hasn’t worked all that well in calif., democrats just call taxes fees and raise them anyway. hey while we’re at it let’s require the same to increase spending. i like that idea even better.

Posted by: dbs at July 27, 2011 5:39 AM
Comment #326561

phx8, I realize there are factions on both sides of the isle that need to get their collective a$$’ together and get this thing done.

Posted by: KAP at July 27, 2011 10:17 AM
Comment #326563

dbs; you mean like Obamacare was a fee and then a tax, and then a fee, and then a tax; depending on which court they are defending it in…

Posted by: Mike at July 27, 2011 10:32 AM
Comment #326564

@ Stephen Daugherty - Genius. The title of your article says it all.

Posted by: Stephen Hines at July 27, 2011 11:18 AM
Comment #326566

dbs-
If you make it easier to raise spending than raise taxes, just what do you think the result of that is?

Vote for people who pay for new spending. That’s how you avoid deficits.

jlw-
He has an immediate defense: it’s Congress’s role to pass the debt ceiling increase, and he already pushed a clean debt ceiling bill, which they refused to pass.

He can’t be blamed for their failure to do their job.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 27, 2011 12:35 PM
Comment #326569

KAP,
Yes, both sides need to get their act together. Of course, it depends on what they want to do. If all they want to do is raise the debt ceiling, that is very simple. If they want to strike a grand compromise, and deal with all the unpleasant legislation in one awful bill, well, compromise away. Really, though, if they want to fight it out over spending and revenue, they should address this in the upcoming budget bill this fall, rather than using the debt ceiling deadline.

It was the wrong field of battle right from the start.

Posted by: phx8 at July 27, 2011 1:13 PM
Comment #326572

phx8, What you say is all well and good with the exception that congress once it gets it’s grubby paws on a few bucks forgets about the spending problem we have here and will never address it as long as the funds keep comming in. That is why some in congress both Democrat and Republican want to tie it to the debt bill. You also said budget bill this fall, what ever happened to the budget bill last fall and the fall before that?

Posted by: KAP at July 27, 2011 1:32 PM
Comment #326577

phx8

”..the richest member of Congress,..”

Let me clarify that statement. Issa is the richest republican in congress. John Kerry is the richest in congress. The top ten have 7 democrats and 3 republicans.

So who is being sleazy here with the facts?

Posted by: tom humes at July 27, 2011 1:49 PM
Comment #326579

KAP-
The Democrats cut plenty from the deficit. The healthcare reform package cut the deficit by billions.

We don’t need panicked hostage situations, where we barely even stop to consider the economic ramifications of pushing through the policies in question.

We need compromise. We need Republicans to finally admit that the attempt to starve the beast has been a collosal failure, and that trying to starve the beast through a sovereign default is even more moronic.

We need to admit that if we don’t deal with the economy, if we don’t deal with our revenue problem when making our plans, we won’t get the economical or the fiscal parts of the equation right.

Maybe the reason why Republicans have so little faith that they can square things normally, is that they keep trying to do things the wrong way.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 27, 2011 2:22 PM
Comment #326580

Stephen, When your party had total control of the government, where was the compromise then. Now all of a sudden you come up with the BS republicans need to compromise. Like some said when it comes to democrats compromise means it’s their way or nothing.

Posted by: KAP at July 27, 2011 2:28 PM
Comment #326581

SD

The so called health care reform legislation did not reduce the deficit. Pure garbage. You are reaching into the black hole and coming out with crap.

Posted by: tom humes at July 27, 2011 2:40 PM
Comment #326583

Tom,
Check that. Issa is the richest member of Congress- even richer than Kerry. Could you have been using an outdated source?

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph

Posted by: phx8 at July 27, 2011 2:46 PM
Comment #326584

After reviewing several sites, I found most listed Issa as the richest. Two listed Kerry as slightly richer than Issa-FOX and one other.

Posted by: phx8 at July 27, 2011 2:55 PM
Comment #326585

“Matthew Yglesias goes back to our founding fathers to show us what happens when a government can neither borrow nor tax enough to cover it’s bills”

I wonder if/when he goes back to our founding fathers to show us what they believed government bills should consist of?

Posted by: kctim at July 27, 2011 2:56 PM
Comment #326587

KAP-
Where was the Compromise?

Where is the Public Option? Why isn’t Wall Street Reform stronger? Why are we still accelerating drilling? Why did we vote in a two year extension to the Bush Tax cuts for the Rich?

We compromised. We’re still compromising. It’s Republicans who think they know everything, despite decades of failure in their policies that aren’t compromising. You think compromise is the rest of us voting for what you want.

Think again.

tom humes-
My argument has the Congressional Budget Office behind it, so your argument has no basis in fact.

kctim-
So, the point that having a government unable to pay its bills is a mighty dysfunctional state of affairs just breezes past you.

He says:

It is worth dwelling on the fact that the founders of the country were acutely aware of what it was like to inhabit a country with a lot of wealth (in their case, land) but a depressed trade due to a dysfunctional financial system due to a lack of state capacity to make and meet credible financial commitments. The constitutional system was intended to remedy precisely this problem. But now it’s failing, and failing rather badly.

Republicans and Right Wingers have to put aside this arrogance that they’re the only true prophets of constitutionalism. The constitution wasn’t meant to reinforce one factions views, and force them on everybody else, it was meant to mediate between disparate views and interests.

The Republican House has only passed 23 bills so far, in their first 7 months. Democrats passed 123 bills their first year, and that was with your people filibustering every thing in sight.

If Republicans wanted real influence, they’d be a lot more active, and there’d be a lot more work getting done. But what Republicans want is absolute single party control, the Democrats utterly shut out of the process.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 27, 2011 4:06 PM
Comment #326588

stephen

“dbs-
If you make it easier to raise spending than raise taxes, just what do you think the result of that is?”

logic would dictate that you don’t spend what you don’t have. if you can’t get the votes to raise taxes for new spending guess what you do. don’t increase spending. wow…….. that was a tough one.

“Vote for people who pay for new spending. That’s how you avoid deficits.”

wrong answer stephen. the correct answer is, you vote for people who will live within thier means. that’s why we need cut, cap, and balance, because no one in congress seems to understand that concept.

Posted by: dbs at July 27, 2011 4:16 PM
Comment #326589

stephen

“Democrats passed 123 bills their first year, and that was with your people filibustering every thing in sight.”


really…..stephen. if we had had the OPPORTUNITY to filibuster everything in sight the steaming pile called obamacare would not exist. there are taxes in that bill, and taxes have to originate in the house. the house passed the bill which originared in the senate, so there’s a chance the piece of s#!t isn’t even legal. but hey once the the supreme court rules the mandate null and void, and congress refuses to fund the rest of it, it’s history.

Posted by: dbs at July 27, 2011 4:26 PM
Comment #326590

phx8

Roll Call September, 2010 had it this way.

Kerry-$188.6 million
Issa-$160.1 million
Harman—$152.3 million
Rockefeller—$83.7
McCaul—$73.8 million

It is a moot point really, and I think you agree with me on that. When the poorest in the top ten is only #46.1 million ya just gotta get a tissue out. Won’t advise what to do with the tissue.

It appears that the different groups use a different methodology to determine the stats.

According to your list from Center for Responsible Politics, I believe, there were several in debt over $20 million. And they are still in congress? People in their districts or states should know that they have not managed their own resources very well.

I do question how CRP gets their numbers. Pelosi has a min value of -$7+million. Bennett has a min value of -$22+million. Waters has a min value of -$3+million. And Blunt has min value of -$3+million.

I tallied up the ones that had a negative low min value. There were 91. One in the Administration. One Independent. 44 Democrats. 45 Republicans.

In my opinion none of those 90 should be in congress making decisions on how our money should be spent.

Thanks for letting me steer off course for a moment.

Posted by: tom humes at July 27, 2011 4:27 PM
Comment #326591

Stephen Your version of democrat compromise has a lot to be desired.

Posted by: KAP at July 27, 2011 4:32 PM
Comment #326594

SD
I read the opinion, understood it and nothing breezed right past me, Stephen.

Most people agree that our government should pay its bills and I agree. I’m just curious what the founders would think of government constantly being given a blank check so that it may keep creating more and more debt without restraint. What they would think of a government that just raises an imaginary ceiling and creating even more debt everytime it hits its limit?
Would also be interesting to hear what they had to say about what government should go into debt for.

One does not need to be prophetic to ask such questions or to know why the dude didn’t bring those subjects up.

“The constitution wasn’t meant to reinforce one factions views, and force them on everybody else,”

Except for taxes, right Stephen?

“it was meant to mediate between disparate views and interests”

I would say it was meant to protect us from disparate views and interests. When we were foolish enough to start using it to ‘mediate,’ we started the decline.

Posted by: kctim at July 27, 2011 5:55 PM
Comment #326596

dbs-
So, I say, “vote for people who will pay for new spending (that is, raise revenues or offset some other spending to pay for new programs), and you say “you vote for people who will live within thier means. that’s why we need cut, cap, and balance, because no one in congress seems to understand that concept.”

I’d rather vote in people who are responsible and intelligent about their decisions in the first place, and not put potentially disastrous limits on America’s ability to fight wars and weather recessions.

You seem to forget that the means of the United States government is the taxpayer dollar, and you forget this every time you folks push for tax cuts.

If you really wanted to balance things off, why not make it to where tax cuts require two thirds majorities, too. See, if we do that, then some morons won’t be able to gut our ability to live within our means by giving away those means when we have a surplus.

That, too, would make it more difficult to run a deficit.

Of course, having both measures is idiotic, because we can’t predict the way the economy or the revenues will go. All it does is get in the way of things, and make the debates more contentious and fruitless.

As for filibusters, you folks did filibuster that. We just got the votes in December of 2009 to overrule you. Then, in 2010, in March, we had Congress pass a modified version of that bill under reconciliation rules, which bypassed your promised filibuster.

As for it’s Constitutionality, you fail civics forever. It WAS originated in the House. See, the House and Senate don’t always agree on bills, so you end up seeing them batted back and forth in conference, as the two sides negotiate a bill they can agree on. Once they do that, and each side passes the bill, it’s passed from Congress, and will head to the President’s desk.

So, what happened with the ACA bill was this: it was passed in its original form about September. Then the Senate took it, and modified it, and passed in December 2009 and having done that, the House and the Senate consulted on the bill, and the House finally passed a version that everybody could agree on.

If you’re going to offer an argument, don’t pull the constitutional card unless you know all the facts.

KAP-
Since when does an actual, robust compromise not leave something to be desired for each side? Seriously, it’s not really bipartisanship if your side gets everything it wants.

Y’all are too greedy, too unwilling to loosen your deathgrip on power. You’re fast approaching the time when not compromising will mean getting nothing, will mean people taking their chances just passing it over your objections.

The folks on the Right just don’t get that when you don’t compromise, it encourages the other side to take a harder line as well. There’s no benefit to negotiating with people like you if all it yields is another “no.”

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 27, 2011 6:06 PM
Comment #326598

So now they are writing a bill that only saves - 1 BILLION in its first yr…….. in a trillion dollar budget…. you can ONLY find 1 billion dollar…. STUPID government officals….

Posted by: mistrgekko at July 27, 2011 6:40 PM
Comment #326599

From what I have read, it doesn’t appear that just raising the debt limit will fend off a lowering of our credit rating. What is required is spending cuts of around $4 trillion (to be accomplished in less than 10 years) and the increase in the debt limit.

It doesn’t appear that the credit rating agencies care about which party or president gets the credit, only that it happens.

It is pathetic, in our constitutional republic, that a handful of political leaders, meeting with the president, get to decide the financial future of this country. On this big issue, as in the past, our elected representatives have time for screwing around with minor crap while refusing to address the big issues. This results in last minute junk legislation, put together by three or four people, and presented to congress as a last minute deal. The entire body of elected representatives then must hurriedly give an up or down vote without even time to read and understand or debate the crap.

I am tired of this game and in all honesty, will not be surprised or too dismayed if the debt limit is not increased by August 2nd. I believe this is a fictitious date manufactured to scare the shit out of everyone so we’ll accept whatever the power-brokers decide.

I want the full congress to take their time and pass legislation that is fully discussed and measured. If that means a default, or checks not going out on time or that hundreds in congress get their asses kicked in the next election…so be it.

It is way past time for congress to take their sworn duties seriously. I could care less what obama thinks or wants. The last budget he presented to congress was defeated in the senate by 97 to zero. Who gives a shit what this loser wants.

I want our elected congressional members, of both parties, to iron this out no matter how long it takes. Let them earn their salaries and perks for a change.

The cheerleader for the gloomer and doomers, Mr. Daugherty, can type all the scare tactics he wants as it is meaningless. Let’s settle this issue of deficit spending and raising taxes now. Merely extending the debt limit will solve nothing and only be discussed again and again if we don’t fix the core problems today.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 27, 2011 6:53 PM
Comment #326600

This whole issue is complete madness. Attempting to pass legislation effecting the entire future of our national economy, retirement and health benefits, national defense, etc., under a manufactured crisis deadline is truly bizarre.

Nobody truly knows what is being proposed in any detail. The number of proposals and counter proposals are too numerous to even keep track of, let alone knowing what each really entails. The Republicans propose, Obama presents a counter proposal. The President and leadership have closed door meetings. Boehner bolts and drafts a new proposal for Congress. Boehner needs to revise new proposal due to CBO scoring. Vote on Thursday. Well, maybe sometime next week. Meanwhile Reid has another proposal for the Senate to consider.

Conservatives complained that the Democrats were trying to ram a health care bill through Congress without adequate time to review the bill and debate its merits. That was after months of debating draft bills and endless committee meetings to hammer out and vote on details. Now, they are perfectly happy with a midnight deal impacting much more than health care.

Obama faced with a Hobson’s choice has chosen to cut the problem off at the pass and agree to most of the austerity demands with only minor revenue enhancements. Better to get it over with now then to go into a campaign year with the issue on front page for the entire year. Better to put the consequences of debt default on the Republicans. Perhaps, good politics, but in my opinion poor governance.

This is no way to run a railroad.

Posted by: Rich at July 27, 2011 6:57 PM
Comment #326601

It should be obvious to all that national credit ratings can rise as well as fall. When congress, and each member, have the opportunity to propose, discuss, and have scored, legislation that will solve our financial problems over the long haul, should our credit rating drop temporarily now, it can also rise just a quickly on sensible legislation.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 27, 2011 7:02 PM
Comment #326602

Thank you Rich…we agree on this.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 27, 2011 7:05 PM
Comment #326603

Stephen, Your side has presented NOTHING but raise taxes. Loosen the death grip on power, Who the F. had all the power for the last 2 yrs? Your party could have done wonders for this country but instead you chose to pass a HCR bill that no one wanted. You could have focused on jobs and the economy, but instead you grew government. Added almost as much to the debt in 2 1/2 years as Bush did in 8 years. Compromise is NOT in the democrats vocabulary, the only thing you know is your way is the best way and screw everyone elses ideas.

Posted by: KAP at July 27, 2011 7:07 PM
Comment #326604

RF,
I care a great deal about what happens because, financially speaking, my unusual situation makes me vulnerable to a downturn in the stock market. I remain optimistic that the ‘crisis’ will be averted, that Democrats and Republicans will do their job, and that a compromise will be attained. It’s a safe bet no one will be happy about the result, but maintaining the full faith and credit in our debt is critical. Critical. The American dollar has always been the go-to world currency, the currency of last resort. That is worth maintaining.

If the two parties cannot find a compromise, I suspect Obama will invoke the 14th amendment, which will buy some time until the Supreme Court reviews it. I’m also optimistic that the credit agencies will wait until the next budget negotiations this fall before downgrading US debt. They know as well as anyone just how bad that could be for the US as well as the world.

The law of unintended consequences seems about to go into effect. I wouldn’t be surprised if Boehner loses his leadership position. Also, this looks like the end of the Tea Party. Regardless of what happens, no one with money will ever allow that bunch to gain power. They are economic denialists.

Posted by: phx8 at July 27, 2011 7:12 PM
Comment #326605

KAP, as a conservative I would like cut, cap and balance to prevail. But, as an American, I will settle for whatever the entire body of elected members of congress decide. The decision must be made after much debate and an honest scoring by the CBO. I want the debate and voting to be out in the open and televised.

If increased taxes and spending cuts are what is necessary…so be it. If we don’t have an increase in the debt limit until after the next election…so be it. Americans want, and deserve, a permanent fix to our fiscal problems whatever that may entail.

Then, and only then, can our country get back to work.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 27, 2011 7:19 PM
Comment #326606

“…the only thing you know is your way is the best way and screw everyone elses ideas.”

KAP,

It would be helpful if your side actually presented some new ideas. You apparently don’t even like your old ideas. You do remember that the Bush tax cuts had a sunset in 2010. Now, you don’t like that idea even though you thought in 2001-2003 that it would be required to maintain fiscal discipline. That was before two wars, a Medicare Big Pharma giveaway and a deep recession.

What’s the conservative plan for increasing job creation and stimulating the economy? I haven’t heard any except that Obama is creating uncertainty. So, it reduces to just say not to Obama.

What’s the conservative plan for addressing the major driver of long term debt, excessive health cost inflation? Thus far, it is just say no to Obamacare (except for the Medicare cuts) and cut off future Medicare payments for seniors. Good plan! It costs too much so we can’t have it.


Posted by: Rich at July 27, 2011 7:26 PM
Comment #326607

phx8 writes; “I care a great deal about what happens because, financially speaking, my unusual situation makes me vulnerable to a downturn in the stock market.”

I understand. There will be pain regardless of what happens and it will be shared by all…now, or in the near future.

The DOW dropped nearly 200 points today which tells me that it is already beginning to factor in a possible default.

As for your investment in the market, you knew the risk going in. You are not the only one that will suffer…all Americans will endure the pain along with you.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 27, 2011 7:30 PM
Comment #326608

“The law of unintended consequences seems about to go into effect.”

This is the danger of major decisions being made in haste, under duress and driven by political considerations. There is insufficient time to adequately review the options and fully project the consequences of such decisions.

How could it be that decisions of such enormous consequence are being hammered out in closed door sessions and rammed through Congress without full public debate?

I agree with Royal Flush when he said: “I want the debate and voting to be out in the open and televised.”

Posted by: Rich at July 27, 2011 7:49 PM
Comment #326609

Amen Rich

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 27, 2011 7:50 PM
Comment #326610

I absolutely despise how our country is being run right now. We have the president and a few congressional leaders huddled together in a room deciding our future. By God, this is our country and we are entitled to see and hear what they say. The secrecy means one thing to me.

WE ARE BEING SOLD OUT AND OUR FREEDOM ALONG WITH IT.

These jackass cowards can’t even perform their sworn duties in public. If what they are discussing was good for the nation they would have open meetings, not this closed-door bullshit.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 27, 2011 7:56 PM
Comment #326611

Royal Flush-
Getting nervous? Starting to realize that this was a bad idea?

It’s not a fictitious date. It’s reall significance is that it’s the date that the Treasury no longer has the capability to pay all of its bills.

If you wanted full debate, if you wanted things to be thought out, not just quickly put together in backrooms without much public comment, well then, your side chose the wrong tactic. The next Budget was coming along in the fall, you could have threatened another government shutdown. Besides, that budget would have had more to do with actual spending than the debt limit, which is only about paying for what you’ve already okayed in spending.

It is way past time for congress to take their sworn duties seriously. I could care less what obama thinks or wants. The last budget he presented to congress was defeated in the senate by 97 to zero. Who gives a **** what this loser wants.

That loser is the President of the United States, and like the rest of the politicians there, he is accountable for what he does. If he okays your plan, his goose is cooked. Plus, your plan doesn’t even avoid the debt rating downgrade. You want to know the main reason why?

Because it doesn’t take the debt limit far enough out of the hands of this Congress. They’ve recognized that your Congressional leaders are a special kind of stupid and reckless, and they think that if this happens again, the risk inherent in American debt will rise.

That is the depth of the stupidity your party has brought to the table.

I’m not a cheerleader for doom and gloom, I’m an advocate for not ****ing around with the good fortunes of this country. You guys may be against borrowing money it seems, but you’re not against borrowing trouble, and at great cost, and that is what lead me to be so persistent and unyielding on the topic.

Stop ****ing around with my Country’s future. I’m not trying to scare you from a cynical standpoint, I’m trying to scare you because this crap is genuinely scary, and I cannot fathom why your party is so oblivious to the threat this stunt poses. It’s like, how can people who claim to love their country stab it in the back like this? This is fiscal and financial treason. This is taking an economy already at risk, and provoking one of the worst possible outcomes just to satisfy your political fringe.

Let my Country go! Let it live and thrive again!

I mean, hell, this is the sort of unbelieveable stuff you read of in a science fiction novel set in the far future, where the author’s taking things far out. Only the Republicans are actually inflicting this on us!

Why is it our fate here that truth should be stranger than fiction, that America should see itself undermined from within by the very party that ironically claims to be preventing the country from being undermined from within?

Has the Republican Party just been a secret fifth column all along, infiltrated by the kinds of sleeper agents they’ve accused us of being?

I’m not really serious about saying those things, but it seems more and more these days that the Republicans tend to do the very harm to the system that they tell others they’re doing.

It’s time the Republicans start realizing how badly they’re screwing up, before they bring us all down.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 27, 2011 9:02 PM
Comment #326612

R.F. I agree with you. What ticks me off is Senate Democrats not willing to debate or amend any bill the House sends them and Obama saying he will veto them. A party that has had total control of the government for 2 years and haven’t come up with a budget and the Budget that Obama sent them was shot down 97-0 in the Senate. Both sides need to get their heads out of their A&&’ and get to work or fire all that are up for re election come 2012.

Posted by: KAP at July 27, 2011 9:12 PM
Comment #326613

KAP-
My side offset our big medical spending initiative. We cut spending in places, particularly in Medicare, in order to afford it.

As for the debt? Look, you realize just what times you live in? These are the days of the aftermath of the Great Recession. Business hasn’t recovered yet, nor has personal income. Nor has employment. These are the sources of revenue, and the cause of much of the emergency spending which Republicans, oblivious to the times they’re living in, seem to think are unjustified.

You’re blaming Obama for an economic crisis he did not create, and a deficit I observed quites some time ago that was 90% your spending to begin with.

Of course, you’re going to drag out the composition of Congress.

Okay then. Let’s see, we want to get rid of the deficit, let’s first start by destroying the Bush Tax Cuts! That’ll solve a lot of it. Only thing is, you start out trying to raise taxes on the middle class and poor who are trying to recover from a recession

So that isn’t done.

Okay then, let’s cold turkey the two wars. Well, sorry, but that’s not doable during the Buah Administration, and it sure as hell isn’t a good idea to bring a precipitous stop to two wars at once.

Then there’s the Medicare drug benefit.

Yeah. That would work, yanking millions of seniors off of their need prescriptions. Good thinking.

So, we have the tax cuts, which your people would resist anyways, and which could backfire economically in tight times, you have two wars, which no sane military commander would stop all at once, and you have Medicare drug benefit, which is actually helpful to many seniors, and would impose huge costs on them just as things are gettin crappier in the economy.

And that’s most of the deficit. The rest of those trillions of dollars are rescue plans made necessary by laissez faire regulation of capitalism, which let the Banks pretend they had lots of money, the Mortgage companies pretend that they could make trillions in bad loans and not go kaput, and the Derivatives traders who created a system so complex that they couldn’t figure out how much their assets were worth, much less keep their business afloat without billions in taxpayer dollars.

We’re running deficits because you people didn’t know how to run a government right. Those changes in policies they made were persistent and hard to undo, especially where they fought undoing them themselves. The irony is, one of the ways we funded the Affordable Care act was to take some of the money you were wasting on Prescription drug companies and insurance companies, and offset it to paying for our new system. But instead of being rewarded for finding a way to do our policies without costing taxpayers that much in increased taxes, your side assaulted us with the charge that we were going to cut benefits to old people.

Ah, do you see now? You think this deficit problem is just Democrats running loose with the credit card. But you know something? Not counting the Stimulus, which is intentionally deficit spending, Democrats didn’t raise spending that much. The major components of the deficit have been programs and wars the Republicans dove into headfirst and didn’t properly count the cost of.

But, but, but, Stephen, Democrats are reckless spenders!

Yeah, you keep telling yourself that. And when this country is paying more for its debt because Republicans had to prove their supply side bonafides by refusing the raise the debt ceiling (it may pay more anyways, regardless of the outcome) you can just go on convincing yourself of what the numbers don’t actually say.

The Republicans are the party putting the greatest burdens on this country.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 27, 2011 9:21 PM
Comment #326614

KAP-
The bill that the Republicans are debating will not prevent a downgrade on our debt rating, and that will cost us more in the long run in new deficit spending than the bill’s spending cuts are worth.

A lowered Debt rating will cost us about 100 billion dollars a year. Boehner’s plan won’t even cover that, according to the CBO.

The Reid Plan, though, both preserves the credit rating, and greatly improves on things with the defict reduction.

Do the math before you do the politics.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 27, 2011 9:29 PM
Comment #326615

Stephen, Reid’s plan is the first for Democrats. Republicans have put one up already that wasn’t even discussed or amended. Enough with the BS Stephen your party had 2 years to do something about it but did NOTHING but say we have to spend our way to prosperity. I’m not blameing Obama for creating the mess, I’m blameing him for adding to it. By the way Stephen IMO neither party knows how to run a government.

Posted by: KAP at July 27, 2011 9:38 PM
Comment #326620

KAP-
The Cut Cap and Balance was no attempt at bipartisan legislation. It was an attempt to shove tea party politics down our throat. What’s more, it’s even worse than the Ryan Plan in terms of it’s effect, and it involved a permanent change to the constitution that’s so ridiculously transparent that’s it’s not funny.

Republicans are not taking the voter’s determination of divided government seriously. They’re working off the theory that voters wanted an all Conservative, all hardline, all fringe government, and that Obama’s election and the survival of the Democratic Senate are just flukes.

Sorry, what Americans want is moderation. Republicans forgot that the rhetorical angle of their campaigns, which worked I’m sad to admit, was that the Democrats were too extreme, that the economy was being hurt by that, and that what Washington needed was moderation.

Except, it turns out that Republicans are not only extreme, but recklessly so. The irony is, they’ve done a better job of displaying that constant extremism than we could ever do of pointing it out to people.

Academically, you could argue that every budget is the responsibility of the Congress that passes it.

The truth is, though, the Govenment is a major force in the economy, a huge employer, and a huge sponsor of economic activity. Anything it does on a major scale will have massive economic implications. The Republicans and folks on the right think that they can just halt tens of billions of dollars of spending, but not have any ill-effects. In fact, they think it will be positive.

Unfortunately, their model is disjointed. The taxpayer doesn’t get their funds raised on account of the decrease in spending because it wasn’t being taken out of their wallet in the first place. The effects of the savings are far in the future, and may very well be overwhelmed by the chronic deficits caused by having too little revenue coming in. Hell, if our credit rating goes down because of this stunt, that’s about a trillion dollars added to the deficit every decade, wiping out most, if not all of what Boehner offers.

Rather than sit down and figure it out, the Republicans are going around in a confused fashion hacking and slashing at the budget to look good. Unfortunately, as the budget cuts take their effect, these ill-advised cuts are going to get noticed for all the wrong reasons, and the failure to truly game out the fiscal and economic effects is going to defeat the purpose of much of what they were trying to do.

It would be funny, if the country and the world didn’t have to live with the consequences.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 28, 2011 8:51 AM
Comment #326621

Stephen: “They’re working off the theory that voters wanted an all Conservative, all hardline, all fringe government, and that Obama’s election and the survival of the Democratic Senate are just flukes.”

The GOP controls the House, the Democrats the Senate and White House. Can’t you do math? The GOP has a 1/3rd majority vote in this process. How dare the Democrats obstruct them from moving forward.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at July 28, 2011 9:30 AM
Comment #326622

Stephen, At least the Republicans were doing something while your fabulous democrats sat on their fat A$$’ criticizeing everything the Republicans put out. I don’t really give a rats behind which party puts a bill through as long as it does what a majority of people want, not what just Democrats or Republicans want, what everyone wants. It’s time politicians started working for the good of this country as a whole and quit worrying about the next election. As far as Obama, He is one usless President.

Posted by: KAP at July 28, 2011 9:41 AM
Comment #326623

KAP,
The Republicans have not been doing anything. That is a large part of the problem. To date, the GOP controlled House has passed a grand total of 12 pieces of legislation. At this rate, that would come out to 48 for the two-year term. To put this into perspective, the Democratic controlled House undr Pelosi passed @ 300 pieces of legislation in the 110th Congress, and over 250 in the 111th.

The fact is, the GOP is not very good at the business of governing.

It doesn’t help their case that the GOP has manufactured this political crisis over the debt ceiling by… wait for it… not doing anything to raise it. They are actually using the threat of not doing anything to force the government to… wait for it… do even less for the American people.

This is what happens when a party runs around denouncing government. This is what happens when a party claims the problem is “spending” on “entitlements.”

The Bush tax cuts put about a $3 trillion hole in the budget. The Iraq/Afghanistan wars added over another trillion. Most of the rest of the deficit came from risinig health care costs driven by private health insurers and Big Pharma.

One would think that the obvious answer is to reverse the causes of the deficit: end the Bush tax cuts, end the wars, and establish universal health care. (Medicare has lower administrative costs than any private health insurer). Yet this is not even a subject of discussion.

Posted by: phx8 at July 28, 2011 10:59 AM
Comment #326624

phx8, I just googled how many bills are in congress and I’m sure that those bills, and there are quite a few, that are pending before congress would have been voted on except for the fact that this debt crisis hadn’t taken up so much of their time. If Democrats would have put together a budget in 2009, 2010, maybe we wouldn’t have this crisis. I know Bush had a lot to do with the condition of the country, but Obama and Co. didn’t have to add to the mess. Granted Bush added $5T to the debt in 8 years but on the same count Obama has added $3-4T in 2 1/2 years, at that rate if Obama has a second term he would have almost tripled what Bush did. By the way I would rather have 48 pieses of good legislation that was debated on and amended then 300 pieces of crappy legislation that was rammed through by a 1 sided congress and President.

Posted by: KAP at July 28, 2011 12:12 PM
Comment #326625

And I might add stuck to those budgets. phx8

Posted by: KAP at July 28, 2011 12:13 PM
Comment #326626

KAP-
Boehner’s bill won’t do what the majority of people want, which is take an approach that balances the cuts they’re expected to take with higher taxes and removed tax breaks for those who can afford it.

Obama told your folks a long time ago to pass a clean debt bill, and your people refused. While the policy itself, which had not been adequately explained to people, wasn’t that popular, as it turns out, the possibilities it entails if it isn’t raised aren’t too popular either.

You say you don’t care what the bill does as long as it does what the people want. Me, I think the way I would put it is, I care most about the outcome. In the end, political fortunes depend on outcomes more than abstract political stances.

If Democrats would have put together a budget in 2009, 2010, maybe we wouldn’t have this crisis. I know Bush had a lot to do with the condition of the country, but Obama and Co. didn’t have to add to the mess. Granted Bush added $5T to the debt in 8 years but on the same count Obama has added $3-4T in 2 1/2 years, at that rate if Obama has a second term he would have almost tripled what Bush did.

What frustrates me about your position is how little you factor in things like, say, your own side’s policies, combined with the revenue drops that come with a huge economic disaster like this. Obama didn’t create either problem, so how he gets the blame for the debt is beyond me.

You say, “But Stephen, weren’t you beating up on Bush for his deficit while he was in power?”

The answer to that is, KAP, that Bush inherited a higher tax rate he made lower, took this country into two wars that were not ongoing when he got into office, and then started a new benefit for Medicare, which he refused to pay for with taxes or offsets. Republicans deliberately chucked paygo when they got into office.

It’s harder to undo a deficit than it is to create one, especially when you inherit a country whose economy is going to hell in a handbasket. It took Clinton his entire tenure in office to get the budget deficit reduced, and the surplus started, and he had an economic tailwind helping him.

It’s not a matter of conjecture that austerity hurts an economy. Just ask Reagan, ask anybody on Wall Street. Right now, we’re deciding to put an economic headwind on this country, in the hopes that this will resolved the debt problem.

The Debt problem, though, won’t be solved until the economic problem is solved, because much of it, most of it, is being caused by people being too unemployed to pay taxes, and too poor to do business with others.

The Democrats have consistently put together budgets. It’s Republicans who prevented the Omnibus Spending Bill from passing in December. Republicans can’t obstruct, then blame people for the results of that obstruction. They are setting policy by what they do, and often far to the right of what people want.

Have Republicans considered that in the final analysis, Americans might not like the Democrats as much as they might, because they don’t see a big enough differences?

As for output? Well, it goes without saying that what you consider bad, I might not. However, plenty of the output that people like you praised and defending against our criticisms is the same output you criticize now, having conflated those policies with us. In effect, you’re turning on your policies, against your own principles, because you want to make a political opponent look bad.

Well, you’re succeeding, but this is not the kind of success that benefits you.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 28, 2011 1:55 PM
Comment #326627

Stephen, Get this through your thick head, I HAVE NO PARTY AFFILIATION, I AM A CONCERVATIVE, that would vote in a Democrat, Republican, Independent or any other affiliation that has policies in tune with me. Obama promissed change and that is what most people voted him in for, but the change they got they don’t like. I am NOT blameing Obama for getting us in this mess but I do blame him for getting it in worse shape then what it was when he started. Democrats HAVE NOT consistently put together budgets, the only budget that Obama sent to the senate got shot down 97-0. Your party has NOT presented a budget for over 800 days. What Obama wants is a bill that gives him a blank check with no strings. Guess what Stephen that aint going to happen. Stephen, as long as I have been commenting on WB I have yet to see you criticize any democrat. My wife is a staunch Democrat but she even thinks Reid, Pelosi, and Obama were a mistake.

Posted by: KAP at July 28, 2011 2:22 PM
Comment #326630

“They are setting policy by what they do, and often far to the right of what people want”

Yep, so far to the right of people want that they hold more seats in the House.

Posted by: kctim at July 28, 2011 2:56 PM
Comment #326631

As I have written before, national credit ratings can fall as well as rise. The best info I can find from those who should know is that a default on our debt may increase our cost of borrowing by 30 to 50 basis points. On a current debt of $14.5 trillion that is significant but not catastrophic. A few tens of billion in additional interest payments for a couple of months is chump change according to many in congress.

A couple of months of real debate in congress, open to all members and the public, could produce a bipartisan plan to deal with our debt long-term. While that is going on, there will be pain enough for everyone that may just rivet their attention on the process.

Running around with our hair on fire and placing blame here and there is simply an exercise in futility…it solves nothing.

There many reasons to believe that shared pain can accomplish much good. Everyone should come to realize that what congress does is important in their lives and in the lives of future generations.

If this issue can’t be resolved by congress until we elect a new congress in 2012, so be it. It will then be the voters turn to have their direct say in what should be done by the new congress they elect.

Frankly, I believe this could actually be good for our country. We need to have a real national debate on spending and taxation that results in a consensus expressed directly by the voters. We have gone the route where just a few leaders make all the important decisions. It’s time for that to change.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 28, 2011 3:28 PM
Comment #326633

RF,
I’ve said before & I’ll say again, I don’t think a default is in the cards. A deal will be done. Failure to come to terms would certainly result in a minimum of a 50 basis point increase. That would be for starters. That, in turn, would ripple through the economy in the form of higher interest rates for mortgages, cars, business loans, and so on. Meanwhile, the administration would have to choose who to pay and who to stiff. If the administration chose to pay Social Security, veterans, and so, while shutting down over 40% of the government, that would instantaneously result in a loss of about 10% of GDP; in other words, a deep and instantaneous depression. Furthermore, the results would be worldwide. The dollar is the currency of last resort. It would plunge. No one knows for sure what will happen, and hopefully we’ll never, ever find out.

What is absolutely appalling is the statements by the Tea Party, Bachmann, Pawlenty, and others that not raising the debt ceiling would not be bad. To say they are grossly irresponsible would be to put it kindly.

Posted by: phx8 at July 28, 2011 4:17 PM
Comment #326634

phx8, what you write may be true. It will be painful if we take action now, or even more painful if we wait more years. Do you honestly believe anything will change if we merely increase our debt limit? And, from what I read this morning, S&P says that failure to cut spending by $4 trillion, even with a debt limit increase, will probably trigger a rating decrease.

We have bailed out the banks and auto companies and has this been rewarded by better conduct? Sorry, I refuse to live in a dream world that suggests that sometime in the future we will curtail spending.

Politicians must learn that their actions have consequences. If not, why would they change?

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 28, 2011 4:32 PM
Comment #326636

RF,
I don’t think the ratings agencies would downgrade the debt right now, even if the resolution took the form of Obama using the ‘Constitutional Option’ and invoking the 14th amendment. It was the threat of default in the first place, followed by the spectacle of dysfunctional House of Representatives majority, that spooked the agencies. The budget will be put together this fall. At that point, it would make sense to do a big deal. At that point, failure to establish a “downward trajectory” on debt and deficits would probably result in a downgrade.

I’m sure the major ratings agencies, Moody’s and S&P, are in no rush to downgrade US debt. They know perfectly well how bad that would be for… well, everyone. This go-round is a warning shot across the bow. Pardon the mixed meetaphors, but I’m guesing they would welcome any fig leaf whatsoever if it gave them enough cover to continue merely reviewing the debt and issuing ominous warnings.

Posted by: phx8 at July 28, 2011 4:49 PM
Comment #326637

phx8


“even if the resolution took the form of Obama using the ‘Constitutional Option’ and invoking the 14th amendment.”


this is a myth. the 14th does not give the president unilatteral power to raise the debt ceiling. if he should attempt it, he will find that out. read section 5. it vests congress with the power to enforce it. no where does it give the pres. unilatteral power.

Posted by: dbs at July 28, 2011 5:06 PM
Comment #326639

Obama our non-leader. He has vowed to do what the left above say the republicans want to do. Shows you how screwed up the left is.

He has ignored federal court rulings (the drilling ban). His lawyers argue that our Constitution requires us to buy what he wants us to buy (the insurance mandate). He and his attorney general have “decided” that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional — a call only the Supreme Court can make.

He routinely uses raw class warfare in an attempt to divide our country. He has alienated our allies while apologizing to our enemies. He has accumulated more debt in less time than any president before him, and he demands more spending now. While jobs evaporate, he demands higher taxes on job creators. The list goes on.

Conservatives do not run Washington, D.C. Obama does. The media carry his water, and countless bureaucrats rush to work every day excited to impose his regulations on our economy and our families. As each day passes, there are more federal judges willing to do his bidding because he appointed them.

And the left stands behind him. He is a horses ass. So when you stand behind him he will do to you what he loves to do and that is put the crap on everybody.

Posted by: tom humes at July 28, 2011 5:28 PM
Comment #326641

KAP, rwe,

The 2009 fiscal year is on Bush. It began well before Obama took office. Attributing the steep deficit of the 2008-2009 year to Obama is simply wrong. The libertarian CATO Institute, no friend of Obama, has tried to clarify the misunderstanding frequently circulated among conservatives. Obama inherited the largest deficit in modern times. He didn’t create it with his spending. It was a product of the most serious recession since the Great Depression. http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/dont-blame-obama-for-bushs-2009-deficit/

Posted by: Rich at July 28, 2011 5:59 PM
Comment #326643

KAP-
Thank you for bringing that Budget up, because I want to show you just how beholden you are to Republican’s rhetoric, your protests aside:

Democratic aides said ahead of the vote that the Democratic caucus would not support the plan because it has been supplanted by the deficit-reduction plan Obama outlined at a speech at George Washington University in April.

Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) demanded a vote on Obama’s budget to show that Democrats don’t support any detailed budget blueprint.

Got that? It wasn’t like “OMGWTFBBQ! It’s too much even for us”. It was like, “President’s moved on from that proposal, so let’s not vote for it.” And McConnell Saying “Let’s vote on it to make a political point.”

Which is what bugs me about your professed independence, and that of other people. My skull isn’t thick, I just don’t get swayed by what people say, when I hear the same exact thing coming from Republicans as well.

Again, let me state that we presented the Omnibus spending bill, the budget for the rest of the year, which Republicans filibustered. Like all other laws, it has to pass both houses, and thanks to Republican obstructionist policy, it has to pass a senate that was forced to scrounge up sixty votes for everything, which included Republicans who were forced to vote no on most such cloture votes.

In other words, the lack of a budget it is the deliberate policy of your party, who wanted to create crises like our current one, and the government shutdown threat earlier in the year.

This wasn’t spontaneous action, KAP, this was a persistent policy on the part of Republicans to obstruct EVERYTHING they could. Only because they were stupid enough to force Specter to change parties did we end up having the votes to theoretically, and sometimes really overturn those filibusters.

This is what infuriates me. Your political movement, and the party it’s enabled for forty years is all ready to kneecap and hamstring the government, but give it a chance to govern and everything goes to hell. When do Americans get a decent break from your policy? When do they get an alternative to being on the brink of ruin?

You protest your independence, like I said before. But you never really explore the possibilities of that independence. Instead, you just support the political philosophy which happens to be the philosophy of almost three quarters of all Republicans.

Tell me, how do you get a better alternative to conservatism doing things that way? Have you considered that perhapse you got everything you wanted out of the Republican Party and the Conservative movement, and it just wasn’t what it was cracked up to be?

I don’t tend to criticize Democrats, do I? Part of it is that I already see people like you, Royal Flush, and Conservativethinker jumping on people like me all the time. I know enough about human nature to know that when you join folks who are so strident in such a chorus, they’re not going to join you in accentuating the positive later on, when you feel it’s merited. They are, however, going to use what you say against those you think are better at their job, and have a better line on things.

I don’t think the Democrats are perfect, I just think that if I have limited attention and time, I do this country better good by jumping on your asses, than helping you jump on my own party’s.

I don’t think it’s my job to argue your case for you. I accept my political alignment, and belief that not acting as a Democrat, not operating within the Party structure would merely mean that others, with sensibilities I don’t share, would make up a greater concentration of my party. Rather than expect my party to come crawling back to me after I’ve abandoned them, I’m going to park my ass in the party and make my voice part of the system.

Maybe you should park your ass in the Republican Party, and make it your own, the same way I’m trying to do with my party. So far, all that it seems the great independent movement has been good for is resolving the cognitive dissonance between what the average person wants, and what the parties in Washington push, without changing what the parties push for the better. If we decided to make the parties in question ours again, perhaps we could get a more honest, more accountable government out of it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 28, 2011 6:09 PM
Comment #326644

dbs,
I think a lot of people, including Obama, agree that using the 14th to raise the debt ceiling is a stretch. As you mention, at first blush section 5 specifically gives Congress the power to enforce the amendment. Here is the relevant text from the amendment:

Section 4.
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

I can see a way of interpreting it that would allow Obama to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling. No such thing as a debt ceiling existed until 1917, so there’s not much precedent for the case should it ever make its way before the Supreme Court. Furthermore, if all else fails, I would fully expect Obama to use the ‘Constitutional Option.’ At worst, it would buy some time until the SCOTUS shot it down. And there is a chance that the Court would refuse to interfere in a squabble between the Executive and Legislative branches. That is how the Court usually approached such disagreements between the branches in the past, by simply staying out of it. In the meantime, Obama has a powerful moral obligation to protect the country’s economy.

rwe,
Bringing the crazy, eh?

Obama is not our “non-leader.” He is the duly elected, democratically elected President of the United States. Deal with it.

He ignored federal court rulings with the drilling ban? Really. I see. Well, prove it. See if you can find a credible site from a non-partisan source that supports your contention. Good luck with that! (Hint: Breitbart is not a credible source, and neither is the Heritage Foundation).

Courts- not Obama’s lawyers- have already ruled in favor of the insurance mandate.

The President of the United States has an obligation to uphold the Constitution. It is his primary job. He does not have to wait for the Supreme Court to tell him what to do.

US foreign relations are strong. With the sole exception of Israel, no ally is alienated, and virtually every relationship with allies has been strengthened. Israel needs to behave like an ally worth having in the first place.

I’m not sure what country is supposed to be American’s “enemy.” There’s no love lost between us and several I can name, but that hardly qualifies them as an “enemy.” And no, just because Israel is hostile to its neighbors and suffer chilly relations with virtually every country in the world does not mean the United States should view the world the same way.

Nearly every sentence you write is wrong. Sometimes it is factually wrong, sometimes grossly inaccurate. It’s pretty disturbed stuff.

Posted by: phx8 at July 28, 2011 6:10 PM
Comment #326645

kctim-
They got those seats in marginal districts on the promise that they would yield more jobs.

Since then, conservatives, especially tea party conservatives have failed to follow through, and now they will likely have to explain how the party of “jobs, jobs, jobs,” failed to do much about jobs.

More to the point, they got more of those seats based on that promise, but that was their popularity back then, back when nobody really had a strong idea of what their politics really were.

I think the Republicans have done just about everything you could do to demonstrate to people why they chose Democrats in the 2008 election, and why they ditched the GOP in 2006. Most Americans are not so picky about the politics as we are. They’re basic concern is, are you making their lives easier or more difficult, and if more difficult, will it be worth it in the end?

It’s easy enough to get elected when people are mad at the other party (especially when you’ve done the best to kindle, stoke, and fan the flames of that fury.) Then, though, you’re in the position of being held accountable.

So far, Republicans have done a good job of showing people that if this country defaults, it was their failure to act in good faith that made it happen.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 28, 2011 6:15 PM
Comment #326646

This woman is a complete fruitcake, but typical of the left. And to think, she was once 3rd in line to the presidency:

“Nancy Pelosi on today’s vote: “What we’re trying to do is save the world from the Republican budget. We’re trying to save life on this planet as we know it today.”

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/pelosis-reactionary-liberalism_577709.html

She lives in the fantasy world of the mind numb left.

Posted by: Mike at July 28, 2011 6:27 PM
Comment #326647

Royal Flush-
“Significant, but not catastrophic.”
Okay, let’s start with the fact that it’s going to raise the interest rates on the debt. Or, put in simpler language, make more debt over time.

You want that? The figures I’ve heard say $100 billion a year. That’s a trillion more dollars on the deficit every decade. And it won’t go away, because the GOP’s dumbasses have made it an issue, and having forced one default, well, isn’t their a chance they could force another? (Why this is brilliant politics, you’ll have to tell me, because this sounds like a good reason not to re-elect Republicans.)

So, we’re talking ongoing pain, which will aggravate fiscal matters for decades to come. Pain that wasn’t necessary at all.

Running around with our hair on fire and placing blame here and there is simply an exercise in futility…it solves nothing.

I don’t need to run around with my hair on fire. From where I’m standing, your party forced the confrontation, with traditionally uncontroversial procedure. Your people were crowing that this was what you were going to do back during the election. Of course, nobody thought that the Republicans would be this stupid. Me, I remembered 2008, so I knew what was coming.

We don’t need more pain. We need policies that don’t cause our country pain, that keep our finances nice and manageable, that help us mitigate disasters and setbacks, which help us sustain future growth. We need intelligent governance which isn’t just a panicked, unthinking response to whatever the latest neglected issue that just blew up in our faces. We don’t need more political posturing and bull****. We need responsible governance, policy based on fact more than opinion.

rwe-
He didn’t ignore it, he restructured it to fit within the restricturions. The constitution gives congress the ability to regulate inactivity in the draft, so I don’t think that’s a valid point of law.

And for heaven’s sake, he didn’t declare DOMA unconstitutional, he said he wouldn’t fight court decisions on the matter.

As for Raw Class warfare, pardon me, but what was your response to the notion that the Rich should have to pay more in taxes. OH! That’s right, the poor, the old, and the young get to sacrifice, but God help us if we ask anything of the Rich. We want balance. You want the interests of the rich and powerful to conquer ours. You are the class warriors, and you’re fighting for the people who need the least defense.

Obama has not alienated our allies, he has brought them back into our fold after Bush alienated them. He didn’t apologize to Osama Bin Laden, he had the Seals Put two in him, and then put him into the drink.

As for accumulating debt, it’s the policies of those you slavishly defended that weigh on our budget now. The jobs aren’t merely evaporating, conservatives like yourself are actively destroying them through premature austerity.

As for those job creators, they were given one of the largest tax breaks in American History in the last decade. And that Decade happens to have been the worst decade for job creation since they started keeping records. So don’t give me any bull**** about job creators. They got their money, again and again, and were not shy about asking the government for help, after spending years bashing the poor for doing the same thing. These people create jobs overseas and kill them here, because that’s to their advantage. The system that serves their interests doesn’t serve ours.

It’s time for a better system, a capitalist system that lets more than just the top one percent buy into it, and which doesn’t rely on us as economic cannon-fodder for their enrichment.

Conservatives run one half of Congress, and if they really wanted to, they could make the deals that would express their influence in the laws. Instead, they’re only focused on the next election.

You have no room to criticize Obama. You haven’t done one real thing to solve any of these problems since your people took the house.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 28, 2011 6:37 PM
Comment #326649

SD writes…”You want that? The figures I’ve heard say $100 billion a year. That’s a trillion more dollars on the deficit every decade.”

Yup, your hair is on fire. Less than $10 billion a month is chump change for politicians. Hell, in a couple of years that will hardly pay for an obama vacation.

Then, pouring gasoline on the fire in your hair, you presume our lowered credit rating will continue for a decade.

Some believe, that unlike our debt, credit ratings only decline, never rise.

SD writes; “We don’t need more pain. We need policies that don’t cause our country pain, that keep our finances nice and manageable, that help us mitigate disasters and setbacks, which help us sustain future growth.”

Anyone besides me see the magic in SD’s comment? What policies does SD believe would keep our “finances nice and manageable”?

Let me take a crack at it first. 1) Increase Taxes, 2) Increase spending, 3) Increase regulations, 4) Increase taxes some more, 5) eliminate the debt limit requirement entirely as it just gets in the way of liberal policy.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 28, 2011 7:33 PM
Comment #326650

phx8

i think calling it a stretch is putting it mildly. i see no where in either sec 4 or 5 that would indicate that the debt ceiling can be raised without congressional approval. i also think this is one instance where the supreme court might intervene in a big hurry.

Posted by: dbs at July 28, 2011 8:07 PM
Comment #326651

dbs,
The Supreme Court might intervene. I’m not a lawyer, but I think Obama could argue that he is sworn to uphold the Constitution, and that the 14th says ‘the validity of the debt shall not be questioned;’ and that specifically giving Congress the power does not mean Obama has no power to enforce in a case where Congress abdicates, especially given his duty to uphold the Constitution and the “validity” of the debt. President Clinton said he would do it in a heartbeat in order to protect the country, and then force the Supreme Court to overrule him. If Congress let a default to happen, then I would expect Obama to intervene. He’s already expressed his reluctance to go that route, but at that point, there would be no other good choice.

Posted by: phx8 at July 28, 2011 8:24 PM
Comment #326652

“One would think that the obvious answer is to reverse the causes of the deficit: end the Bush tax cuts, end the wars, and establish universal health care. (Medicare has lower administrative costs than any private health insurer). Yet this is not even a subject of discussion.”

phx8,

Your correct. It is madness. The “plain as the nose on your face” explanations and solutions are somehow dismissed as though they didn’t exist. Its George Orwell’s doublethink.

The deficit is the result of liberal, socialist spending even though Obama has actually added very little to federal spending and the deficit was inherited from Bush. It doesn’t have anything to do with an economy that collapsed in 2008 resulting in a plunge in tax revenues and an increase in the automatic stabilizer spending and financial bailouts. So, lets not worry too much about the economy and jobs. Its liberal government spending that is to blame. It wasn’t the private sector that took on excessive debt and collapsed. It was the public sector that is to blame even though public sector debt was not excessive before the collapse.

Medicare has future troubles because liberals have been too generous in providing benefits despite the fact that Medicare had been fully funded and paid for by beneficiary taxes. It has nothing to do with a private sector health industry that has increased costs way above general inflation. The fact that Medicare has a better track record in controlling costs despite having the largest high risk population is irrelevant. The fact that it is more efficient in administering the program is irrelevant. We all know that a government programs must be inferior and more wasteful than the private sector. So, forget about universal, single payer health insurance or a national health service. It would definitely be inferior even though all other comparable standard of living countries have equal or better health care outcomes costing half as much.

The list goes on and on.


Posted by: Rich at July 28, 2011 8:31 PM
Comment #326653

phx8

all those who serve in public office swear to uphold and defend the const. however section 5 specificly gives congress the power to enforce the validity of US public debt. if obama were to unilatteraly try and increase the debt limit you would see an idealogical fight in this country like hasn’t been seen in a long time. IMO it would be the ultimate power grab and have dyer consequences on many levels.

Posted by: dbs at July 28, 2011 8:47 PM
Comment #326655

Rich,
I believe ending the Iraq & Afghanistan Wars within the next ten years is counted as part of the spending cuts, a trillion or so. Talk about a day late and a dollar short.

Obama made a mistake when he traded DADT legislation & extending unemployment benefits, renewing a refundable child-care tax credit, earned-income tax credit, and tuition tax credits, as well as cutting payroll tax, in exchange for extending the Bush tax cuts and cutting estate taxes. It looked like a bad decision then, and it looks like an even worse one now.

dbs,
Well, it would controversial, that’s for sure. It’s a last resort, but for all the trouble it would cause, it would still be better than crashing the economy.

Posted by: phx8 at July 28, 2011 9:19 PM
Comment #326656

dbs,

Obama has said that he will not go the Constitutional route. However, even if he did, it probably wouldn’t be by unilaterally raising the debt limit. It would probably be by going to the Supreme Court and requesting a mandamus ordering the Congress to fulfill its constitutional obligations to enforce the provision of the 14th Amendment which states that the “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, … shall not be questioned.”

Posted by: Rich at July 28, 2011 9:51 PM
Comment #326657

That’s interesting, Rich. I have never heard of that. It’s hard to imagine the Supreme Court ordering Congress to pay the bills, but after all, it would be such an extraordinary situation…

Posted by: phx8 at July 28, 2011 10:11 PM
Comment #326659

Royal Flush-
The irony of your position is that you’ve already succeeded in panicking people over spending, so this slippery slope argument is therefore falsified by your own political success.

People can be made to reject spending, and I think that’s especially true if they’re paying for it out of pocket.

Of course, it works the other way, too: if people feel the loss of enough spending, if the cuts destroy enough muscle, or if it touches something they’d be entitled to themselves, folks will be willing to pay for it, and might punish those who cut it.

So, whose hair is on fire now, with your claim that it would be a neverending escalation of spending? Are you just panicking people into doing something that on calm reflection they might not otherwise do?

Ah, but you say, we need to do that! Well, you might believe that, they might not, when they sit down and actually figure out what you’re stampeding them towards. Then it might not merely be them getting stubborn about supporting it, they might actually get angry with you because you took such a manipulative direction with them.

The truth on the Debt Ceiling problem is that this country hasn’t had a debt rating below AAA since it first got its debt rated, I think back in the teens. Even in the worst days of the Seventies and eighties, even at the depths of the last recession, we maintained that rating. Weakened though our economy may be, it’s still stronger than that of many other nation’s combined

But that low debt rating is part of it. You talk of the pain in this very anesthetized, curious tone, not quite realizing just how far reaching the problem could be. You see, the credit rating of the Treasure bond out there is the essential definition for many financial institutions as to what constitutes a safe investment. Low yield, high security. Even now, 68% of our debt is in our own hands.

And you would willingly make it a trillion dollars more expensive over the next decade.

You know, I hear about your people holding up that FAA bill, in order to save fifteen million dollars, even though every day, the taxes that the FAA can’t collect cost the government twice that.

Every day.

Do we really really need to get Republicans into a remedial math class? How do we expect your people to resolve the deficit if you cannot even balance your figures correctly? If you sniff your nose at a trillion dollar addition to the budget deficit over the next decade?

I mean, good heavens, your people got bent out of shape with us doing a trillion dollars in new spending over that same period, even though we more than offset that cost win our budgeting!

So, after all that drama about how much Obamacare would cost Americans, it turns out that trillion doesn’t sound like real money to the Republicans after all!

It would be funny if yours wasn’t the party in charge of budgeting.

My process, by the way, is more like this:

Look at the actual numbers for what we’re taking in, and what we’re shelling out. This is important, because real world numbers are much more functional for these purposes than ass-pulled ones.

Figure out what the economy will bear, and whether resolving debt issues is the first priority. This is important because if you cause slowing or retraction of growth with new taxes or spending cuts, that works against revenues, which depend on our economic fortunes.

Having done that, if it’s justified, look to those who can afford the new burden. Tax them first, or cut spending going to them first. Help where help is needed and/or useful to the public good. cut where it’s not.

Whereever you get, where people don’t respond well to further cuts, you address their concerns, and then see how much in the way of revenues will be needed to maintain it. impose that much taxes. If people balk at the taxes, reduce spending. Spending, raise taxes. So on and so forth. It’s what they call a negative feedback cycle. Excesses in either direction are counteracted, creating a relatively stable balance.

As far as eliminating the debt ceiling goes, by the way…well, Moodies, one of the ratings agencies, is saying we should do away with it altogether. Why?

Uncertainty. See, you’ve convinced them that you’re actually willing to endanger the nation’s ability to pay back its investors. What a proud achievement, that people actually think the Republicans are that nuts.

dbs-
personally, I think there’s no point to making the issuing of debt a second process. We should simply write into law that whatever the debt is necessary to pay for the Bills Congress has drawn up, the Treasury should have the power to raise. Then, if the Treasure sells bonds to investors, they’ll know that they can bank on the full faith and credit of the United States.

It’s effectively the system we thought we had in the first place, what most people believed was the case anyways. Congress should not be able to have it both ways. If it spends, it must pay for the spending or pay for the financing. Americans deserve something else than uncertainty in their markets.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 28, 2011 11:03 PM
Comment #326661

rich

the validity of the debt is not being questioned, and there is adequate funds to pay the service on that debt. the worst case scenario is they have to make across the board cuts in funding to gov’t agencies, and the money we give to foriegn countries. humanitary aid and such. both parties are to blame for the mess we are in, and it’s time to cut up the credit cards. as painful as it may be. playing the class warfare card, and claiming the upper 2% need to pay more is ridiculous, and won’t solve tne problem. it’s time for these gov’t whores to admit to the people they’ve made promises they can’t keep.

Posted by: dbs at July 29, 2011 6:43 AM
Comment #326662

dbs,

The principal reason for the current deficit problem is the economy. It crashed with a resulting plunge in federal tax revenues. Consider that even with the Bush tax cuts, the federal deficit was not out of control in 2007. It wasn’t government spending that caused the crash. In the absence of continued public deficit spending, the drop in GDP would have been catastrophic.

It seems to me that our concentration should be on addressing the primary cause of our current deficit problems: the tepid recovery of the general economy and job creation. This debt ceiling and deficit circus is a convenient excuse to ignore that fundamental issue.

Posted by: Rich at July 29, 2011 8:11 AM
Comment #326663

rich

“It seems to me that our concentration should be on addressing the primary cause of our current deficit problems: the tepid recovery of the general economy and job creation.”


i agree 100%. unfortunately the debt service issue only compounds that problem.


“This debt ceiling and deficit circus is a convenient excuse to ignore that fundamental issue.”


we can’t go on borrowing. this happens every year, and the answer is always to borrow to help service the debt caused by previous borrowing. what happens to people like you and i when we run our finances in this fashion? at some point we can borrow no more, and then it all comes crashing down. this standoff while having possible negative consequences is long overdue.


Posted by: dbs at July 29, 2011 8:30 AM
Comment #326666

Stephen

How many Tea Party rallys did you attend? Taxed Enough Already! Their main beef is with our high taxes and unsustainable debt. Sure they go on about jobs some, but even with that they are talking about taxes.
That is why they got those seats and the reps should represent those views for them. It is no different than when far-leftists represent their constituents. And, with them being the minority of the Party, you cannot say they failed to follow through anymore than you can blame the far-leftists for not forcing universal healthcare on all of us.

I agree with you on why people may ditch a party in favor of the other, but you seem to forget that the people remembered why they vote Republican and they ditched the Democrats in 2010, despite all the propaganda, misinformation and fear mongering.

I couldn’t agree more that we must hold them accountable. Our difference is that I hold both parties, not just one I favor, accountable.

Yes, yes. It is only the Republicans who are acting in bad faith and it is all their fault if the country defaults. I am sure Y2K and the extinction of the dinosaurs was also all their fault in someway or another to you guys. Still, none of that justifies trying to scare people into voting how you want.

Posted by: kctim at July 29, 2011 10:13 AM
Comment #326667

kctim-
I think people are going to realize that our warnings had substance, especially if we see our debt downgraded.

The truth is, Republicans started this fight. They say it’s the terrible budget deficit that did this, but even that is largely due to their tax cuts and spending increases. And really, only they had the stupidity to make the debt ceiling a controversial issue, rather than a bit of housekeeping to keep America’s bills paid.

We don’t have to scare people into voting against Republican. Republicans are going to do a top job of doing that themselves. What we’ll do is remind them that there is one party that remains sane and responsible enough not to borrow trouble, and self-inflict needless wounds on the economy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 29, 2011 10:55 AM
Comment #326668

Stephen, IMO people a fed up with congress in general and we will see a lot of new faces in government come the 2012 election both Democrat and Republican. This includes the President and as I stated in another comment I think Democrats need to look for someone to challenge Obama.

Posted by: KAP at July 29, 2011 11:49 AM
Comment #326669

Stephen
Let’s be honest here. The freshman Tea Party type reps are the ones who started this fight. They are not the ones who are responsible for the neverending spending increases that have led to our crushing debt. At least not yet. But they are responsible to do what their constituents elected them to do: cut taxes and cut spending. Now you may believe that listening to your voters is ‘stupidity,’ but most do not.

I have seen how the far-leftists ‘remind’ the people that they are their saviors and it is all based on fear. Catfood dinners, throwing the elderly off the cliff, wild west shootouts and the poverty stricken dead lying in the streets.
I can’t wait to see how piling trillions more onto our childrens debt wasn’t a self inflicted needless wound.

Posted by: kctim at July 29, 2011 11:57 AM
Comment #326670

SD writes; “We should simply write into law that whatever the debt is necessary to pay for the Bills Congress has drawn up, the Treasury should have the power to raise. Then, if the Treasure sells bonds to investors, they’ll know that they can bank on the full faith and credit of the United States.”

WOW…what a statement. Using this theory, we would never run out of credit, and it would follow, that we could spend as much as we wish as long as we wish with no adverse consequences. Hmmm…wonder if SD has ever heard of that working anywhere in the world.

Perhaps SD hasn’t heard that the rating agencies wish to see $4 trillion in spending cuts. They apparently know more about credit and the credit worthiness than SD can wrap his liberal mind around.

It is quite simple SD. An individual, corporation or government doesn’t obtain, and maintain, a high credit rating without a review of their debt to income. Our income can’t support our debt. That’s obvious as if it were not true, we wouldn’t need an increase in our borrowing.

My personal credit score is in the low 800’s. It is at that level not only because I pay my bills on time, but that I have the proven ability to continue doing so. Additionally, I have a reservoir of unused credit that well exceeds what I owe.

The US lacks two of the parameters above. It doesn’t have the ability to continue paying all its bills and has no reservoir of unused credit. If that were not true, there would be no crisis.

The credit rating agencies are warning the US to cut spending to match revenue. We could also increase revenue (taxes) to match spending. There is no political will to do that. In fact, that very position is what brought the TEA party to prominence.

SD writes; “And really, only they (Republicans) had the stupidity to make the debt ceiling a controversial issue, rather than a bit of housekeeping to keep America’s bills
paid.”

Adding nearly $3 trillion to our debt for SD is “a bit of housekeeping”? Perhaps SD and his liberal big-spending friends need to move to a smaller house.

Perhaps SD could convince obama to use that phrase in his stump speech when he starts campaigning. $3 trillion is just housekeeping money. obama could also promise to eliminate any debt ceiling obstruction so that the spending could really take off and make our country ever greater. He could take a vow of big spending which will prosper everyone.


Posted by: Royal Flush at July 29, 2011 12:31 PM
Comment #326672

Thanks RF for the last post.

SD, housekeeping is a talent they don’t teach at Baylor. So you got to get of your duff and learn what housekeeping really is. At the age of 31 you of course are a far cry from that. Tying housekeeping to the economy in the way you did is either lazy or intentionally irrational.

Let me ask you a personal question. Do you go borrow money to meet your obligations and when the obligations exceed your income do you go borrow more money? At what point are you going to consider that it is a never ending road unless you sacrifice something to pay off that debt. If you use a credit card regularly your statement will show that if you make the minimum payment it will take you many years to repay the present balance. And as you use the card more it will take longer. Your card has double digit interest rate no doubt. That means a minimum of 10 cents of every dollar spent is added to your purchase. In many cases the amount is much higher.

Now apply your personal experience to the federal government. Are you going to saddle your future generations with huge amounts of repayments to satisfy your own present day greed? The fact is that the spending is not slowing down and must be sharply reduced. If it hurts so what? If we don’t it is going to hurt a whole lot more.

Posted by: tom humes at July 29, 2011 12:53 PM
Comment #326673

KAP-
I think this little fracas has doomed the Republicans more than the Democrat. Democrats won’t have to defend taking the economy hostage, Republicans will.

I’m fine with Obama. I think people will find that he was the voice of sanity, that no matter what the outcome, he had the Country’s best interest at heart, whiel the GOP was simply catering to the Tea Party. The polls support me on this. People are coming to the conclusion that your Right Wing cannot govern.

And Obama can. Obama, they’ve seen, has been willing to concede, even on things important to him and his party. Meanwhile, the Republicans concede on nothing. Good political theatre to the base, but to everybody else, it reflects an unwillingness to compromise.

kctim-
Besides Medicare and the wars, there haven’t been real increases in spending on government. That’s just a myth you keep on telling yourselves, as you legislate tax cuts that create chronic shortfalls in revenue.

Which you call responsible. Look, your theory was that tax cuts would create more jobs, a better economy, and increase personal wealth. Instead, the opposite occured.

You, in your partisan zeal, can label us however you want to, but it doesn’t change the fact that your policies are crap.

You’re willing to take an action that will shake the confidence of the world in the American financial system, once again. Why? Why are you not paying attention to the warnings that folks from all across the political spectrum, and up and down the income scale are giving you?

You and your political movement have effectly decided to only keep your own council, and as such, you are prepared to force politically what it would have taken decades of irresponsble behavior to arrive at naturally. If they downgrade our debt, the reason they will downgrade it will not be because America is unable to pay its debts, it will be because a small political faction will have decided that they don’t want to be bound by any normal rules or opinion.

But such a refusal to believe there will be bad consequences is not immunity from them, by any means. People just like you decided in Sept. 2008 that they would defy normal convention on how to deal with failing banks or other industries, that they would refuse the bailout.

They scoffed at the people like me who said there would be consequences. In the end, they took the hit politically, and the rest of us took the hit economically.

Republicans have not had a very good track record in terms of trying to vindicate themselves through political stunts like this. It may satisfy the base, but most other people see cause for concern, cause for fear. They see failures by stubborn individuals who simply will not let the system change to suit the problems that must be faced.

And really, what your politics are going to do, and this is the sad part, is do much of the work for the Democrats of convincing people that the Republicans have no business being allowed to govern.

Royal Flush-

WOW…what a statement. Using this theory, we would never run out of credit, and it would follow, that we could spend as much as we wish as long as we wish with no adverse consequences. Hmmm…wonder if SD has ever heard of that working anywhere in the world.

Actually, yes, that’s the way most nations do it.

But, you have it, as usual, completely wrong. We can run out of credit under this model. It’s called people refusing to buy our debt. There are natural limitations that serious policy advisors would invoke. The Debt Limit’s never been a concern, because nobody’s had the stupidity to seriously mess with the full faith and credit of this country.

Until now.

You say America’s unable to pay it’s bills, you look at our economy, and people disagree with you. I mean, if folks really were concerned, we would see rises in yields for Treasury bonds, which we haven’t. Nobody’s underestimating the economic power of this country, except perhaps the Republicans.

Folks don’t figure the credit of a sovereign nation the same way they figure your credit. What they want to know is can this nation’s economy function to keep the bills paid. Well, despite our high debt, we still have a strong economy, and when it recovers, it will be even stronger. They have no doubt that America will be able to come up with the revenue and the financing necessary to pay off our debts.

Until, of course, our heros in the Tea Party came to save us from reliability and functionality!

See, that’s the thing: there is nothing else keeping us from paying our obligations on time except for the morons running the House of Representatives. NOTHING. Our financing system was working, the rates were low, our investments are seen as safe, our currency is seen as a basic economic unit the world over…

Your people are the only thing in the way of the system working the way it is supposed to. You’re the only ones who have seen fit to screw it up. And you will do this, to teach us a lesson about Responsibility?

What lesson is that, don’t act like a Republican? Are you that eager to have your party become a cautionary tale in international finance of the political hazards of letting the right wing govern?

Your budgets were going to add all those trillions of dollars in debt anyways. You don’t have a plan that can actually change that. The debt limit was about authorization to pay for spending that already has been budgeted, not to create additional spending all at once.

I am sick of right-wingers who are either too ignorant or too partisan to govern responsibly.

This is not about less or more spending. This is about keeping our payments going out to the people we owe the money to on time. If this is how you think of running your credit, then I am surprised that your credit is as good as it is. I mean, when you need a little money, do you say to yourself, “I’m just not going to pay my house note or my car note?” That’s what you’re asking the federal government to do right now.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 29, 2011 1:28 PM
Comment #326674

tom humes-
I went to school on loans, and have purchased a car on them as well. My family purchased our home on a mortgage, their car on a car loan, and so on and so forth.

I actually don’t have a credit card. I pay cash for most of my purchases.

There are things its worth leveraging yourself for, and things it’s not worth it, things better taken care of out of cash. The car was a good investment, and it’s gotten considerable use. The education is slowly but surely paying off, and over my lifetime, it’s probably going to make a big difference in what I earn.

Not all debt is evil, or avoidable for that matter. Sometimes it’s a matter of choosing to see disasters, like health emergencies, overwhelm you, other times, it’s a matter of needing to rebuild.

America is good for its payments, and when it recovers, it will be good for paying down its debt. Unfortunately, folks on your end of the political spectrum feel a fierce sense of political urgency, probably based on the misguided intent to wash away the sins of a drunken sailor decade for the GOP, to confront the debt problem right now, with a weak economy absorbing the punishment austerity brings.

In your haste, your people have decided to take a routine authorization for the US’s debt, and turn it into a hostage drama, so you can rush in all these austerity measures, and force a defeat on the Democrats. Ironically, though, the GOP’s actions have done more to scare people about the US’s ability to pay for its debts than anything real about our economy or the amount of debt we’re carrying.

This stunt has the potential to diminish us in a way nobody has ever considered would actually happen.

I don’t think that when people elected Republicans, this was what they had in mind. America doesn’t need additional economic burdens, and the GOP is set to give us any number of new problems.

Your people are the ones prepared to saddle Americans with trillions of dollars in additional debts they never would have had to pay off otherwise.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 29, 2011 1:43 PM
Comment #326675

I’m not surprised that SD doesn’t address the requirement by the rating agencies that the US reduce its debt by $4 trillion dollars. It just doesn’t fit his weak and clumsy response to me.

SD writes; “The debt limit was about authorization to pay for spending that already has been budgeted, not to create additional spending all at once.”

Congress has the authority to legislate spending and does not have to account for where the money will come from to pay for it. This is what creates debt. If congress never authorized spending without the means to pay for it we would have no debt. Our books would always balance. Spending and revenue would cancel each other out.

Simply because a past congress authorized spending does not mean that the current congress can not defund it, and thus, negate the authorization to spend what was previously authorized.

We find congress defunding legislation quite frequently. Calls for ending subsidies are in reality calls for ending the funding of them. Congress can defund anything it wishes any time it has the will and votes to do so. A recent example of that is defunding the enforcement of the new light bulb requirements. There was legislation proposed to defund the health care bill. There are calls to defund the wars. I recall the defunding of the Superconducting Super Collider in Waxahacie, Texas in 1993. In 1987, congress was told the project would cost $4.4 billion. By 1993, the cost projection exceeded $12 billion.

Congress can call for spending, but if there is no money to pay for it nothing happens. If a child has an allowance of $10 per week, and wants to spend $12 per week, from where does the child get the extra $2? Well, the obvious answer is that he borrows the $2 from the parent as a loan against his future allowances.

At some point, a reasonable parent might suggest to the child that since he owes $50 against his weekly $10 allowance that no additional borrowing will be permitted until the debt is paid off. The child is told that he must reduce his spending to $8 per week with $2 of his allowance being used to pay off his debt.

Under SD’s line of thinking, the parent will just continue to give the child $12 per week and let the deficit continue to grow forever…or until, the parent gives the child a raise in allowance. But, the parent can’t raise the allowance until he is earning more. The child doesn’t understand why his parent is so selfish. SD suggests that the parent do with less so the child can have more.

Liberals are just children and must be parented correctly.


Posted by: Royal Flush at July 29, 2011 2:23 PM
Comment #326676

SD wrote; “I don’t think that when people elected Republicans, this was what they had in mind.”

What part of Taxed Enough Already do you suppose the “people” didn’t understand?

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 29, 2011 2:30 PM
Comment #326681

Stephen, It’s the republican freshmen that are not budgeing, they were elected because people were tired of the DC business as usual BS and getting DC under control. As far as Obama, he has showed NO LEADERSHIP in this crisis. Most other presidents were on top of things telling congress they want such and such done and been right their in the negotiations. I think Obama should have taken a page out of Clinton’s play book from the 1995 shutdown. As I said Stephen, Democrats need to find a challenger against Obama.

Posted by: KAP at July 29, 2011 3:26 PM
Comment #326683

KAP wrote; “As I said Stephen, Democrats need to find a challenger against Obama.”

I agree and nominate John McCain to run for the democrat nomination for president.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 29, 2011 3:46 PM
Comment #326687

I don’t think the Democrats are that desperate R.F. But right now he probably would beat Obama.

Posted by: KAP at July 29, 2011 5:16 PM
Comment #326688

SD

Most of your last two rants must have been to yourself. The Bush tax cuts ran out. Obama renewed them. They are now Obama’s tax cuts.

”..there haven’t been real increases in spending on government.”

You of course are not a student of history. That statement alone will vouch for that. Your whole love story on Obama is fit for a dime novel. He has done NOTHING, that is NOTHING to reduce the financial burden of the country. He has done as your advised and tried to spend more which he greatly succeeded at accomplishing.

Last item. Stop saying “your people”. Until you stop doing that, I am going to call you and your friends “you and your fellow comrades”, as in Marxism.

Others have said on this blog that they are neither republican nor democrat. But when referring to whoever you oppose as “your people” is talking down to them, it is treating them not as an equal that you so proudly claim to do.

Posted by: tom humes at July 29, 2011 5:22 PM
Comment #326691

Tom writes; “The Bush tax cuts ran out. Obama renewed them. They are now Obama’s tax cuts.”

Excellent point Tom…thanks for writing it. obama can lay claim to trillions in additional debt as well as job killing regulations.

When a great man falls there is thunder. When obama falls…will anyone even notice? After his demise I suspect there will be calls in congress to honor him with a few public toilets named after him.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 29, 2011 5:39 PM
Comment #326698

Royal Flush-

I’m not surprised that SD doesn’t address the requirement by the rating agencies that the US reduce its debt by $4 trillion dollars.

I’m surprised you don’t know what only one ratings agency has said that.

I’m also surprised you’re not noting that all the ratings agencies said tha if the Debt Ceiling was raised, there wouldn’t be any trouble at all.

Congress has the authority to legislate spending and does not have to account for where the money will come from to pay for it.

Constitutional Fail. To quote the constitution: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”

This is what creates debt.

Debt is what we issue to cover spending that is not covered by revenues. Republicans deliberately reduced revenues, creating more deficit spending. Republicans deliberately raised more spending without offsetting it, which added even more debt.

If Republicans had not been so eager to cut taxes, or to spend without raising new revenues from somewhere, whether that be internally through offsets or outside through taxes, the debt would have been far less. That’s not merely opinion, that is numerical fact.

So is the fact that avoiding the crash in our economy might have been helpful in that regard, too. But never mind, Republicans want to run fiscal matters like a one-legged man trying to participate in an ass-kicking contest. You’re projecting your intense zeal for no taxes on our notion of matching taxes to spending.

If congress never authorized spending without the means to pay for it we would have no debt. Our books would always balance. Spending and revenue would cancel each other out.

Where was this wisdom, when you guys where running Congress all to yourselves? That’s not what you did! Besides, your people repeatedly okayed debt limit extensions. You wouldn’t want to have a national credit crisis while you were trying to fight a war, right?

Especially when you’re choosing to fight it on the credit cards. Deliberately. Only the Republicans of today were foolish enough to not only do that, but pass a tax cut as well at the same time.

Simply because a past congress authorized spending does not mean that the current congress can not defund it, and thus, negate the authorization to spend what was previously authorized.

Fiscal FAIL. What we’re talking about funding here is current expenditures. Which means, current budgetary requirements. You know, the budget your party agreed to?

If you wanted to defund it, you had the last budget talk in the spring, and the upcoming one in the fall. But what your House of Representatives already okayed in spending is what we’re talking about right now, and what we’re trying to pay for, right now. You can philosophize all you want to now about the perfect budget, but you don’t have enough revenues coming in to pay for it all. So, you have four alternatives. Raise revenue rates, Stiff the people we promised money to, or, finally, take out debt.

You can’t negate enough spending to make up the difference. It just wouldn’t work economically, it would be disaster in and of itself, a drop in GDP of about ten percent.

Your line of thinking treats the budget as if it’s a numbers game. You don’t realize, it seems, that the transfer of this much wealth, in all the different direction, and the failures of that transfer have profound consequences. You think of it in terms of family budgets and allowances to kids. But when the parents drop the allowance to their kid, it doesn’t dropkick the whole economy into the toilet. The Scale of the government, the scale of investments in this nation’s currency and treasury bonds is not to be underestimate. Nor is the complexity and sensivity of trying to recover fiscally from as strong an economic recession as we had, as well as the other causative forces that wrecked our economy.

You say: “Liberals are just children and must be parented correctly. “

I’m sorry, but Republicans have been the ones standing in the corner refusing to face reality. They look at an oil spill, and they go “I want to protect my friends”. Instead of “This is a horrible and costly mistake that must not be allowed to happen again.”

They look at the financial crash and go “I want to protect my friends!” Instead of saying “This kind of economic collapse is not the kind we can afford a repeat of. We must put constraints on the elements that went out of control.”

They look at the Debt Ceiling and instead of saying “That’s our country’s full faith and credit, let’s not mess with that and risk saddling the economy with higher interest rates and instability from the downgrade of our debt” They say “I don’t like this deficit ride I got on, I want off!”

If you want to act like you’re the adults in the room, you’re going to get nothing but laughter out of me. The adults in the room wouldn’t have had a fiscal temper tantrume that could become this counterproductive in the long run.

Tom Humes-
Obama renewed the tax cuts for the wealthy so he could in turn get the START treaty and the Middle Class Tax cuts passed.

And Tom? They’re your people. You are a conservative or a libertarian, and whichever one, you’re not exactly distinguishing yourself from your colleagues with flying colors. I don’t get how conservative independents can call themselves such when their talking points are identical, when their opinions don’t seem to vary a whit in any important sense from the Republicans.

I mean, really, can you show me the Republican on this thread that’s said, “Damn it, this debt ceiling thing is really ****ing stupid. Just make the compromise already.”

Or something to that effect? ;-) Seriously, though, what’s the point of getting offended at being identified as a Republican, or one of their people, if you’re just going to turn around, and act pretty much just like one anyways?

If all you do is listen to the same people, take up the GOP leader’s policies, voted for the same people, then all you’re really doing is celebrating how free your mind is, while putting the shackles on yourself one by one.

Republicans are in the position they are now, about to deliver a stillborn bill to the Senate to be declared dead, this on the eve of a major fiscal crisis, simply because no conservative has enough independent thought or courage on the hill necessary to call this effort for the stupid thing it is.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 29, 2011 6:54 PM
Comment #326700

Mr Daugherty

You are preaching to the choir. For you to sit there and type the one sided tripe that you do is really laughable. You have continually committed errors in fact. Your theory is faulty. Your conclusions are in the toilet. And I am ready to flush to whole thing down to where it belongs, in the sewer. And no I am not going to point out your errors. You have every so often pointed out that you are 31 and can make up your own mind about anything you want. Go for it. I am over twice your age and have gone thru much more and am wiser for it. Some day you may be able to say the same thing, but right now you have not been promoted from the rookie league yet.

I will give you one point you like to hammer on. The rich not paying enough taxes. They pay so much more taxes than you can imagine. But let us put forth some numbers that will show how foolish your theory is.

The top 25% of income earners in this country pay 86% of total taxes.
Now if we increased those 25% wage earners to a tax rate of 100% (that means the government takes all of what they earn) the government would collect only $365 billion. That takes care of the government for about 5-6 weeks. So how do we take care of things for the other 46 weeks? Your theory just plainly does not cut it. And after those 6 weeks we still have the same problem that your theory tried to fix, but make the problem larger, by the continued status quo your theory will not face up to.

“True Belief In A False Theory of Economic Growth Is Dangerous”

You have proved that title, but with the answer that you have just refused to address.

Posted by: tom humes at July 29, 2011 7:12 PM
Comment #326701

SD wrote many inaccurate comments, but this was the most asinine. “I’m also surprised you’re not noting that all the ratings agencies said tha if the Debt Ceiling was raised, there wouldn’t be any trouble at all.”

Perhaps SD should read something besides comic books and Dailycuss. You can discover what they really said easily if you’re not too fact-adverse to do so.

I pointed out numerous examples of congress defunding legislation that Mr. fact-challenged simply ignores which merely proves that liberal children can’t handle reason and truth. They have tantrums and cry and pound their tiny fists expecting to get their way.

We’re having an EOTWAKI (end of the world as we know it) party this weekend and SD and Mr. Remer are invited. By the way, it’s a BYOM (bring your OWN MONEY) party if you’re a liberal. My special interest group gets in free.

Speaking of Mr. Remer, I visited his one-man website…”Discuss America” and it has become a barren wasteland. I think he is arguing with himself now.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 29, 2011 7:30 PM
Comment #326704

SD

“I don’t get how conservative independents can call themselves such when their talking points are identical, when their opinions don’t seem to vary a whit in any important sense from the Republicans.”

That is a general statement and holds no validity. But to address what you said it it your statements coincide with Marxist-Socialist thoughts, so hence forth those of us that have consistently referred to you as a socialist and which you just admitted to can straightforwardly refer to Stephen Daugherty as a self proclaimed socialist.

Thank you for clarifying that point at last, Stephen

Posted by: tom humes at July 29, 2011 7:35 PM
Comment #326709

rwe-
Look, if you refuse to get into the details, even for one comment, then you’re really not offering any kind of real counterpoint to my argument. You’re just declaring me in error, and hoping that others simply take you at your word.

See, I look at that, and I see weak argumentation. Nothing about that pushes me into a factual corner.

Take the third paragraph point. Just how do you establish how much money the government would collect from your theoretical confiscation? Are you taking the average wage, and multiplying by the fraction of the population that represents? I’d really like to know.

And is that income from just wages and salaries? Are we excluding corporate taxes, capital gains taxes? Last part’s pretty important, since many folks are making the bulk of their money on the Stock market.

You think to pin me on this, but it doesn’t seem you’ve got your ducks in a row just yet.

Royal Flush-
Ah, more framing of the messenger.

The debt ceiling increase was offered long ago. Now you talk about defundings and whatever, but do you realize that this would be the greatest defunding in American history, and that it would represent an instant ten point drop in GDP? By way of comparison, a 6.1% drop got us where we are right now.

You can call me a child, but this child seems to remember his GDP figures better than you. America doesn’t need a second great depression, of any size or shape.

Now whatever differences you might have with David Remer, he does not deserve such disrespect. Respect seems to be something in short supply in the Republican Party these days.

It won’t be the end of the world, it’ll just be America pushed into a crappier position once again because somebody had to prove what a great conservative they were.

But you know what? I’d just as soon we avoid this crap. I’d just as soon my country recover, rather than lapse into an even worse position.

tom humes-
Holds no validity, does it? Well, I’d say that any argument that relies on telepathy (knowing my personal thoughts) for its validty is the one that needs to be reconsidered.

The fact is, I believe in a form of capitalism that recognizes that economic activity should be brought in under the rule of law, just like everything else.

I believe in fairness, equality, and justice. I don’t believe that success should be mandated by the state, but I do believe that the state should have an interest in investing to further the strength of the nation’s commerce.

Unfortunately, some have basically set Dickens-Era Capitalism as the ideal model for how to run things. Problem is, your model of Capitalism keeps on running it into the ground, with the result being that Capitalism loses its prestige, and ends up just looking like a bunch of criminal rackets.

But capitalism, as we have seen in the decades between now, and the Great Depression, doesn’t have to work that way. It can be more generous. It can create a stable middle class, who drive a stable consumer economy.

We don’t have to make your mistakes over and over again, in order to call the economic system we use capitalism. In fact, In my view, capitalism isn’t the natural result of an economic left to itself. Aristocracy is. Capitalism only really works when you have enough consumers and enough wealth in the hands of the lower sectors of the economy for it to circulate, and reward those who do business well.

When it becomes centered around monopolies and cartels, around strangling innovation that threatens vested interests, then it just becomes a stagnant variation on having a noble class.

America needs an economy that works, that rewards work, and that rewards good business practices, rather than just the most expedient, the most ruthless trickery and deceit.

If you want clarification, it helps to listen to what I actually say and mean, rather than just make up what you want to hear when I say something.

How are you going to encourage people to be better capitalists when the only capitalists you recognize are those who take your extreme views of it?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 29, 2011 9:43 PM
Comment #326710

Royal Flush-
Oh, I noticed you never touched upon my treatment of your point about Congress not having to keep account of its spending and whatever. I guess you don’t want to admit that the budget process is that very constitutionally mandated process.

Your people had the opportunity to deal with this problem long ago, when there was room to manuever. Waiting until this point to do anything about it is irresponsible, and the manner in which they’re doing endangers the very fiscal future they profess to want to save.

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t call for accountability, and not change your ways to reflect the lessons you should have learned. “No new taxes” is not the right lesson.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 29, 2011 9:50 PM
Comment #326712

the house has now passed and sent two bills to the senate. dingy harry has rejected the second one. so far obama and senate democrats have passed nothing. obama and his minions are now officialy irrelevant. it will be a pleasure to watch them go down in flames in 2012.

Posted by: dbs at July 29, 2011 10:13 PM
Comment #326713

stephen

“You can’t have it both ways. You can’t call for accountability, and not change your ways to reflect the lessons you should have learned. “No new taxes” is not the right lesson.”


no stephen…..it’s the only lesson. it’s sad you haven’t figured that out yet.

Posted by: dbs at July 29, 2011 10:21 PM
Comment #326714

RF

“it’s a BYOM (bring your OWN MONEY) party if you’re a liberal. My special interest group gets in free.”

i wish i could be there, but it’s a long drive from west central ohio. throw back a cold one for me, and i’ll do the same for y’all here. CHEERS !!

Posted by: dbs at July 29, 2011 10:26 PM
Comment #326716

Stephen

“Problem is, your model of Capitalism..”

So what is my model of Capitalism? You don’t have a fat chance of knowing. You have a better chance of winning the lottery than explaining what my model of Capitalism. You are reaching at straws. And you say you are winning an argument when you do that. That is typical of you.

“Well, I’d say that any argument that relies on telepathy (knowing my personal thoughts) for its validty is the one that needs to be reconsidered.”

Try it out sometime. You might amaze yourself.

“America needs an economy that works, that rewards work, and that rewards good business practices, rather than just the most expedient, the most ruthless trickery and deceit.”

I am glad to see that the democrats (and your comrades) have taught you something.

But that is not capitalism. And your explanation of capitalism above is so far away from the facts.

Well Mr. Marxist keep on trying maybe you will make something of yourself someday.

Posted by: tom humes at July 29, 2011 11:23 PM
Comment #326718

dbs-
What makes you think that accepting those deals would keep us from going down in flames? The thing was practically an Agatha Christie case, there were so many poison pills in there.

No, your real problem is that your people have rejected every deal that was negotiated. The real problem is that you’re so intent on getting your way fiscally, that you’re willing to crash the system. The Republican house is the only body that can keep a debt ceiling increase from going forward, and really HAS been the only one.

As for your lesson? Your answer is evidence of why the Conservative movement and Republican party have come to this. There’s no flexibility, no responsibility to come to a decent result, only ideological dogma that results in policy that is impossibly one-sided.

You ask too much, and then are puzzled as to why people say no.

tom humes-
Yeah, yeah, yeah. You spend more time telling me how wrong I am than actually arguing a point in rebuttal.

I’m guessing you love free market economics, and letting the crowds decide things in the market, without government interefering in anything, for the most part.

I mean, it’s not such a big secret what folks like you believe. If you have individual points that you disagree on, speak your peace instead of simply telling me I’m wrong.

You angrily confront me and tell me that I know nothing of your opinions. But then you turn around and call me a socialist and a marxist.

You know what? You’re accusing a man of being a Marxist who has not really read Marx at all, who has never been in a Socialist party. In college, the most radical transition I made was from an agnostic to a Christian! I’ve never had much affection for the Soviet System, not even for China’s system. I’m not one to go after such people with a pitchfork and torch, but the truth is, I’m a capitalist.

What I am is a capitalist who believes capitalism without rules merely becomes a house of games, where the greediest, most deceptive people win, and produce little of value.

See, the truth is, if you abstract merely making money down to it’s core, then if you could just forget all moral compunctions, the most profitable thing to sell people, if you can get away with, is a lie. It costs nothing to make nothing, nothing to employ no-one, nothing to be unproductive, and little to just flap your gums.

Human beings, I believe, are intricately clever and cunning, capable of stringing people along, making false promises, and then taking the money and running.

One of the first laws ever written, literally speaking, was a law that would punish homebuilders for creating a faulty house which collapsed and killed its owner.

Which is to say that even since the dawn of civilization, people have slacked on the job, and given others less than their best. I think if you look, you’ll understand that no civilization has been free of the problem of those who try to get money they haven’t really earned.

My concern as a capitalist is that value maps to something real in the world, or close to that, so that financial operations don’t become byzantine misrepresentations of real world business. My concern is that in the real world, you cannot forever surpress people’s interests, especially in the labor market, and not feel some kind of backlash.

My concern as a capitalist is that people have enough of their own money, being well paid, that they generate the economic activity that fuels businesses. As in, I think business works best when there are more customers, not fewer, more people who can afford something beyond desperate subsistence, not fewer.

Today’s market is in tatters. It seems to be made for the sake of further enriching the already lucky and wealthy few, and otherwise to teach the rest of us lessons about our place, and why we deserve to be poor or Middle Class.

Our nations needs the healthy circulation of wealth. That is what will make it easier for people to find work. That is what will make it easier for folks to spend money at the local stores and businesses. You say people shouldn’t spend money they don’t have, but so long as so many don’t have money, that means resigning yourself to years of bad economic effect.

I think that’s a stupid policy for a Capitalist economy to take. I think our trade policy is creating an imbalance that isn’t to our competitive advantage. I think labor policy in this country encourages too little wage growth, and that discourages economic activity.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 30, 2011 1:03 AM
Comment #326719

Want to see what uncertainty costs? The markets have lost 700 billion in capitalization in the last week.

There’s simply no point to being rescued by the GOP from our debt problem, if the rescue ends up costing taxpayers more than it gives back, and if the loss of economic strength in the markets through uncertainty and instant loss of economic activity kills the economy.

Results matter, not just intentions. When America voted for Republicans to deal with the jobs problem, they didn’t mean to make it worse.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 30, 2011 1:10 AM
Comment #326721

Debt risk appalling, but solution is simple

Posted by: womanmarine at July 30, 2011 7:11 AM
Comment #326722

In the House vote, Speaker John Boehner’s bill was approved 218-210. No Democrats supported the measure, and 22 of the 240 Republicans also opposed it.

Posted by: womanmarine at July 30, 2011 7:26 AM
Comment #326723

stephen

the democrats have passed nothing in the senate. there is no deal until a bill is negotiated between the house and the senate. in talks with obama, boehner offered up 800 bil in revenue increases. what did obama do? said he wanted 400 bil more. that’s when boehner walked away.


obama and the dems are not going to get a bill that will take them beyond the election this time. they will get a bill that gives them enough time to come up with serious bill that reforms the reckless way in which washington spends the peoples money, and that needs to include balanced budget amend. to the const. this BS where appropriated budgets increase every year regardless of revenue has to stop.


“Human beings, I believe, are intricately clever and cunning, capable of stringing people along, making false promises, and then taking the money and running.”

this is exactly the problem with washington, and why a verbal deal to cut later down the road is unacceptable. it is also why we need the const, to force them to make tough decisions each and every year. we cannot afford to let democrats to keep growing the gov’t each and every year, it is unsustainable.

Posted by: dbs at July 30, 2011 8:33 AM
Comment #326725

dbs-
It’s very difficult, you must understand, to argue with somebody who apparently knows little about the process he’s talking about, or the economic consequences of various actions, besides what politicans and pundits on the right say.

If we don’t get a bill that carries beyond the next election, they’ll downgrade us, and with good reason: the people in the House of Representatives, who by constitutional law get first crack on this, have, in the opinion of the Ratings agencies, gone out of their minds.

You think it’s some neat trick to use all this to get budget reform. You know what? It’s a bad idea, because the very consequences your side has risked in this debate, is our ability to borrow cheaply at the federal level. You might think this is a bad thing, since you’re so panicked about how much debt we have, but in truth, our deficits will continue, and our need to borrow with it. Running into the debt ceiling is a terrible idea, then, because it forces a debt rating drop, which means that people will charge us more to lend to us. That means, in real numbers and real dollars, our credit costs and debt will rise, in fact, more than Boehner’s plan was capable of saving us.

Boehner’s plan would cost more in deficit increases than it would actually decrease it. Democrats have the Reid Plan and the McConnell Plan ready as possibilities, and those would satisfy the ratings agencies.

The real problem in Washington is that there are far too many people, Republican and Democrat, who have a conflict of interest with improving things- Democrat because they’ve been corrupted by the laissez faire system, Republican because of that, and a political ideology that raises hatred of government and revenue collection to an artform.

Function used to mean more than formality. Unfortunately, Republicans are failing to put real world consequences ahead of this political morass.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 30, 2011 11:53 AM
Comment #326726

stephen


“It’s very difficult, you must understand, to argue with somebody who apparently knows little about the process he’s talking about,”


listen up…..i’ve been on this planet a bit longer than you have sonny boy. the fact your beloved democrats no longer call all the shots may pi$$ you off, but it does not make you right….not by a longshot. save your condescending bulls#!t for someone else.


“If we don’t get a bill that carries beyond the next election, they’ll downgrade us,”


then i guess your pals in the senate had better concede this one because they’re not going to get what they want from the GOP controlled house. they can either prepare to deal with the fallout, or support a balanced budget amendment. otherwise all they are going to get is enough of a raise in the limit to allow for time to actually come up with a budget, one that is actually on paper which can be rated by the CBO, and can be viewed by the american public.

“It’s a bad idea, because the very consequences your side has risked in this debate, is our ability to borrow cheaply at the federal level.”


EARTH TO STEPHEN…….we need to stop borrowing. what part of we need to stop borrowing don’t you understand.


“Democrats have the Reid Plan and the McConnell Plan ready as possibilities, and those would satisfy the ratings agencies.”


there is more to this than satifying the rating agencies chicken little. we are at a point where we must stop doing business as usual in washington. keep in mind the rating agencies are not just looking at long term rate increase they are also looking at a serious plan to cut spending and reduce the deficit, so that our debt service as a ratio of or GDP is significantly reduced. gov’t cannot continue to be all things to all people. period.

“Function used to mean more than formality. Unfortunately, Republicans are failing to put real world consequences ahead of this political morass.”


no stephen what they are doing is what they were elected to do. reverse the reckless fiscal policies of the democrat majority of the last 2 years. get over it.

Posted by: dbs at July 30, 2011 1:18 PM
Comment #326727

dbs

Don’t get too frustrated with Stephen. His manure business is failing.

It has been a long time since I have heard so much crap like you put out Stephen. It is lunacy. Spend ourselves rich. Never heard of that working. I don’t know where you learned such nonsense.

What is worse is you take no responsibility for you and your comrades causing the same thing you accuse others of doing. Your integrity sucks. All you do is write these nonsense dissertations with large word count and that is supposed to make you sound like you have vast wisdom and knowledge.

I am not debating your points because you cannot debate a negative. And you are presenting negative points.

Reid’s plan sucks just like Boehners does. Neither one is going to get the job done. Which ever one passes will provide buddy hugs from them both and they will take credit for doing something to save the country. They are worse than you Stephen because they are the ones with the hanging rope.

In one hour I can come up with almost 10 billion dollars worth of cuts that would be meaningful. You and your comrades would be pulling their hair out trying to justify cutting 50 cents out of the budget.

Posted by: tom humes at July 30, 2011 1:38 PM
Comment #326728

SD writes; “Want to see what uncertainty costs? The markets have lost 700 billion in capitalization in the last week.”

The link correctly associates uncertainty with market declines. I and others have for years been telling libs and dems about uncertainty and how corrosive it can be. We had the uncertainty of continuing the Bush tax cuts. We have the uncertainty of how much the new health care legislation will cost and how harmful it will be for our health care delivery. We still have the uncertainty of thousands of new regulations winding their way thru the regulatory bodies.

Suddenly, SD has discovered that “uncertainty” is bad for our people, businesses and economy. Welcome aboard. It is refreshing to read that SD can change his mind about some things.

womanmarine posts an interesting link in which the author suggests that ending our two wars and eliminating the “Bush” tax cuts would greatly improve our fiscal situation.

I happen to agree with the first proposal…end the wars now and bring our troops home. Since obama and congress approved keeping our current tax rates…they can no longer be called the “Bush” tax cuts. They are correctly now called…the “obama” tax cuts since he signed the legislation continuing them.

As for increasing taxes, the author in the link stands nearly alone among recognized economists and most politicians.

dbs writes; “i wish i could be there, but it’s a long drive from west central Ohio. throw back a cold one for me, and i’ll do the same for y’all here. CHEERS”

Sure wish you could be here for our “End Of The World As We Know It party.” We will toast you in Ohio and all the conservatives across the country. Huge slabs of barbecue beef will be consumed along with some great Texas beans.

I don’t believe SD will show up as no doubt he will be squinting and sweating in his poorly illuminated and sweltering hot room (his effort to reduce MMGW) writing long screeds about how the dems really mean it this time about cutting spending in return for a debt limit and tax increase. Never mind that those promises were broken two times in the recent past…once with Reagan and once with Bush I.

A constitutional balanced budget amendment is worse than a crucifix, garlic, and wooden stake for the vampire libs. They feed off the blood of the working folks in the country and wish to insure their blood supply for generations to come.

Their bite kills ambition and individual initiative. They leave in their wake the animated dead, those incapable of surviving without the constant supply of blood of the free and industrious. Their victims are rendered incapable of thinking or doing for themselves and are totally dependent upon the cult for their survival.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 30, 2011 1:39 PM
Comment #326729

RF, TH


you know i think i have the solution to our current debt situation. it’s so simple that for the life of me i don’t know why we haven’t done this already. this is brilliant if i do say so myself. we’ll just print the money we need to pay our bills. see…..i told you it was simple. and you know what while we’re at we can print enough to send every man woman, and child one million dollars, just for s#!ts and giggles. so what do you think?

oh and you know what let’s also print enough to pay off ALL of our publicly held debt. i for one don’t mind paying 10,000 dollars for a loaf of bread. man am i on roll here or what? i should run for president.

Posted by: dbs at July 30, 2011 2:18 PM
Comment #326730

dbs-
The Reid Plan already was rated by the CBO, and cuts much more from the deficit.

listen up…..i’ve been on this planet a bit longer than you have sonny boy.

Well, my Grandfather’s been on Earth longer than you, and he thinks the whole thing is idiocy. Changing your mind anytime soon? Well, neither am I.

If they conceded the Boehner bill, we still get a downgrade, which swallows all the savings from the Boehner bill, and still leaves the threat of a default, holding the country for ransom unless three quarters of the states approve a balanced budget amendment with a two thirds requirement for raising taxes. This in a time where we’re hurting financially in a way we haven’t since my Grandfather was a young man.

I mean, is it just that you see this crisis, and people in fear, and you think, oh, this is my chance?

That seems to be the thinking on your side, and it’s reprehensible.

What’s really bad, though, is that you are willing to use this potential disaster to force economic pain and suffering on the country that, given a fair opportunity to consider, they would not agree to.

This is not how Democracies work, this is tyranny. Tyranny by way of technicality, but still tyranny. This government was set up by the framers so that a small group of people could not destroy the ability of the majority to govern, and ever since your side lost, you have done just about everything you can to show contempt for that.

there is more to this than satifying the rating agencies chicken little. we are at a point where we must stop doing business as usual in washington.

The chicken littles are you folks. You’re getting everybody in a panic about deficits that very manageable over the long term, whose interest costs are about half of what Reagans and Clinton’s debt were. Unfortunately, ironically, your people are the ones just about to bring down economic disaster on us.

Your fiscal policies were the reckless ones, cutting revenues, increasing spending all at once, and taking a surplus and turning it into a deficit. When the economic crash hit, it made everything worse.

But instead, you’re blaming somebody else instead of mending your own ways, and this stupid two-thirds majority requirement on taxes is blindingly obvious evidence of this. You’re not only unwiling to admit your mistake, you’re willing threaten default for this country if we don’t carve your mistake in stone and put it on a pedestal!

What’s important here is paying for more of what we spend with tax revenues that don’t carry interest. However, that is not our most pressing problem. Our economy is. And the irony is, getting our economy back to normal, though expensive in the short term, would be one of the best things we could do to reduce our deficits over the next few decades. Leaving this country with chronic unemployment, especially among the young, would be a ongoing, indefinite fiscal problem for years to come.

Our policies weren’t reckless. Besides the stimulus, we haven’t really increased spending over what your people put in place. The main drivers of the deficit are your policies.

But nothing in terms of that deficit is so pressing that it justifies failing to deal with the jobs situation. America cannot recover if it it’s growth continues to slip, and your policies would guarantee slippage for years to come.

tom humes-

Spend ourselves rich. Never heard of that working.

That’s your problem, not mine. We enjoyed significant economic growth during the FDR years doing just that. In fact, it’s what ended the depression.

What is worse is you take no responsibility for you and your comrades causing the same thing you accuse others of doing. Your integrity sucks. All you do is write these nonsense dissertations with large word count and that is supposed to make you sound like you have vast wisdom and knowledge.

I’m still waiting for an actual point here.

I am not debating your points because you cannot debate a negative. And you are presenting negative points.

You’re not going to make any real points here, are you? Just call me a moral degenerate for not agreeing with your poorly argued position.

Reid’s plan sucks just like Boehners does. Neither one is going to get the job done.

Reid’s plan doesn’t have Democrats doing backflips, but if it gets the debt ceiling raised, and we avoid a trillion dollars a decade in extra debt, and the monstrous effects of our debt being downgraded, then we can undo the damage later.

In one hour I can come up with almost 10 billion dollars worth of cuts that would be meaningful.

Hell, a Democrat can come up with hundreds of billions of dollars in a few second: end the wars. Make cuts at the Pentagon. Raise taxes for the rich.

Okay now, get a majority in Congress to pass it, and the President to sign it.

We can talk out our asses all we care to, but at the end of the day, it’s what can pass that matters, and the Republicans are doing their best not to pass anything.

Royal Flush-
There’s uncertainty, then there’s uncertainty. There’s mom and dad at the kitchen table uncertainty, and then there’s man in the kitchen with a gun to mom’s head uncertainty.

Regulations are going to come, sooner or later. What Wall Street did, and has done, was too destructive to our nation’s well-being to be left unaddressed. In fact, it is its own much more real, much more corrosive form of uncertainty.

So’s this debt ceiling fiasco of yours, and it tends much more towards the second kind of uncertainty, because of all the far reaching consequences it would have.

Healthcare reform reflects much less uncertainty. Companies might have to refigure their bottom line, but it won’t be like with this Debt Ceiling, or with the Crash of 2008 where the uncertainty was in whether your business would even continue to exist, whether capitalism would survive.

The tax cuts by contrast? Well, there was a date certain that they were going to end, and most people have the cash to absorb the change.

See, you’re more or less, in economic terms, guarding your toothbrushes like diamonds, and it seems like you’re going to lose us a lot of diamonds in the process, creating economic instability on a historic scale, simply because people didn’t kowtow to your demands.

That’s the trouble here. Republicans are holding up thirty million dollars per day in FAA taxing authority, in order to save 15 milion once. They’re pushing a sub-trillion dollar deficit reduction package whose short-term debt ceiling increase earns it a debt rating reduction that will cost a trillion dollars in the same period of time.

And, your big threat to the economy is debt servicing costs that run about a percentage and a half of GDP. This is your idea of drowning in debt. And to deal with that catastrophe, you’re willing to make those costs higher by about fifty basis points, and undermine the full faith and credit of your country in the process, if people don’t agree to spending cuts and a balanced budget amendment whose effect would be to kill millions of jobs, and render many people destitute into old age.

For all your boasts, your people don’t know how to run a budget, and they sure as hell don’t know how to run an economy, at least not anymore.

I happen to agree with the first proposal…end the wars now and bring our troops home. Since obama and congress approved keeping our current tax rates…they can no longer be called the “Bush” tax cuts. They are correctly now called…the “obama” tax cuts since he signed the legislation continuing them.

Republicans fought hard for those tax cuts, and particularly for the rich. They own them. Most people understand that Obama maintained those cuts in order to get several other items through, including continued benefits for those that the economy has left unemployed, and the ratification of the START Treaty.

You still own those cuts. You passed and voted for those cuts before.

But more to the point, people have seen your Congresscritters fighting tooth and nail to prevent any kind of shared sacrifice on the part of the rich, by way of the end of these tax cuts. You own it. No point in pointing your finger at us, because all your efforts to continue them point all the other fingers back at you.

As for increasing taxes, the author in the link stands nearly alone among recognized economists and most politicians.

Really?

Sure about that ‘standing alone’ thing?

Look, I’ve taken the position that austerity in the near term is dumb. Unfortunately, your party’s succeeded in forcing that stupidity on everybody else, so what I would say is that taxing from excess would help us reduce the deficits, and wouldn’t hurt the economy as much as more cuts from the lower and middle classes.

I don’t believe SD will show up as no doubt he will be squinting and sweating in his poorly illuminated and sweltering hot room (his effort to reduce MMGW) writing long screeds about how the dems really mean it this time about cutting spending in return for a debt limit and tax increase. Never mind that those promises were broken two times in the recent past…once with Reagan and once with Bush I.

My room is well lit with CFL Bulbs and sunlight from outside, and I have a fan running so the air conditioner can be run at a higher temperatures with comfort.

I don’t think you really understand me at all. You have this screwed up notion of what a Liberal really is, and really thinks, and really does, and instead of checking those supposed facts against the real thing, you just go back and ask more partisan Republicans what we’re like.

You need to realize that most of us want the same creature comforts, but are willing to welcome new technologies and new ways of doing things to achieve those things in a more ecologically friendly way. We’re not looking to sacrifice our standard of living any more than you are. In fact, half the point of all this is to avoid the kinds of consequences that would most definitely put a crimp in our economic and social lifestyles.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 30, 2011 3:18 PM
Comment #326734

stephen

“I mean, is it just that you see this crisis, and people in fear, and you think, oh, this is my chance?”


never let a good crisis go to waste…….right? if you mean a chance to put an end to this overbloated, irresponsable, and nanny state gov’t we currently have ……then yes. unlike you i value freedom more than safety, and am willing to take my chances alone, for better or worse. i also think people have come to rely on gov’t for things we used to do on our own out of duty to our community, and fellow citizens. apparently liberals believe that responsability should be shouldered by the gov’t. seems just plain lazy to me.

Posted by: dbs at July 30, 2011 4:18 PM
Comment #326737

SD writes; “The Reid Plan already was rated by the CBO, and cuts much more from the deficit.”

Well said government man. The CBO can only score promises made and has no way of knowing if they will be kept for 10 years. Only a child would believe that promises made by a congress today will be honored for any longer than it takes the ink to dry on the paper. This is exactly why conservatives want concrete cuts beginning now…not in some distant hazy future.

SD writes; “This is not how Democracies work, this is tyranny.”

False, this is exactly how our founders set up our democratic republic. We have three branches of government to prevent any one of them from exercising tyranny. And, there is a definitive reason that all spending bills must originate in the house, the most directly representative branch. The liberal children are crying because those damn principled conservatives in the house want to take their toys from them. What we are witnessing is exactly what our founders had in mind. Big issues must be settled by principled elected representatives who don’t cave under pressure from the other two branches or the media elite. If libs want their crappy policies enacted…win some elections. Until then, prepare to be ignored.

SD writes: “You still own those (Bush tax) cuts. You passed and voted for those cuts before.”

Silly childish answer.

I do thank you for the Bloomberg link on taxes. It provides arguments on both sides of the issue. I found it interesting that it points out the difference between tax rates and tax revenue. Conservatives can agree on some aspects of increasing tax revenue by reducing subsidies of all kinds. Increasing tax rates, on the other hand, are simply not in the cards.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 30, 2011 4:55 PM
Comment #326741

dbs-
You create a crisis where none existed. My party deals with a crisis that was already there. Your party tries to force the Defense Department to use dirtier fuels. Mine creates incentives for people to trade in their inefficient cars for new ones. Mine creates jobs directly. Your destroys jobs direction. Yours uses its political opportunities to reduce worker’s ability to fight for their interests, and ours increases that.

You see a pattern emerging? Your people exploit a crisis you created in order to force things that are unpopular. Mine? My people make use of the opportunity a crisis presents to break the logjam in Washington and get some of the things people want done.

Royal Flush-

SD writes; “The Reid Plan already was rated by the CBO, and cuts much more from the deficit.”

Well said government man. The CBO can only score promises made and has no way of knowing if they will be kept for 10 years.

Yes, it’s a projection. We also have no way of knowing that any of your policies will behave as predicted.

Oh, look, is that a boat we’re sitting in? We’re in the same boat! So, let’s put it this way: my projections work better than your projections. Now,you can argue that perhaps in the future, your plan will work better, but all that really amounts to, is an argument from everybody’s ignorance of the future.

This is exactly why conservatives want concrete cuts beginning now…not in some distant hazy future.

We’re in the middle of an economic downturn. We haven’t recovered from the recession that ended two years ago. Your timing stinks. Most sensible economist tell us that you need to wait for the economy to recover. Why? Well, the economy fuels the fiscal system. If you send the economy into a tailspin, if you put even more people out of work, then guess what? Revenues go down, and some, if not all of the benefit of your savings from spending cuts go with it.

Until the economy is strong enough to replace the public dollars that go away with private, you’re not really helping things. Until the growth in the economy is strong enough to take the hit that austerity makes on the economy, it’s dumb to do it.

You favor a policy that is inappropriate given the strength of the economy, the interest rates, the level of growth. But you have such blind faith in it, that you won’t consider alternatives.

I find it interesting that the only thing you see in those bloomberg articles is the people who agree with you. How about the folks who didn’t agree with you, who invalidate your claim that I’m just standing by myself?

You’re not making yourself invulnerable to refutation by ignoring the facts I present. You’re only boxing yourself in further as far as anybody reading things here is concerned.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 30, 2011 6:22 PM
Comment #326752

SD writes; “I find it interesting that the only thing you see in those bloomberg articles is the people who agree with you.”

HUH? Please reread what I wrote, not what you think I wrote.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 31, 2011 12:07 PM
Comment #326758

What the hell makes any of you think that calling folks who disagree with you children (and other labeling) strengthens your argument? It’s downright disgusting and says more about you than anything. Sonny boy? Please. Some of you are losing it.

Posted by: womanmarine at July 31, 2011 2:00 PM
Comment #326766

wm, it’s not about strengthening an argument, but rather identifying the simplistic, adolescent beliefs of some folks. When someone writes and reasons as a child it is very appropriate to identify them as such.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 31, 2011 2:54 PM
Comment #326784

Bull, and you well know it.

Posted by: womanmarine at July 31, 2011 5:40 PM
Comment #326794

Sorry womanmarine…I call it as I see it.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 31, 2011 7:07 PM
Comment #326810

Right RF, it’s called belittling, and is used to portray someone as smaller or lesser than yourself. It’s a defense mechanism used by folks with poor self esteem or poor argument.

Posted by: womanmarine at July 31, 2011 9:45 PM
Comment #326969

The top 1% of earners pay 38% of the tax, the top 5% pay 58%. The bottom 50% pay 2.7%.

However, using my best Paul Harvey imitation, now for the rest of the story:

Using that same data, the average income of the top 1% is just over $1.2 million, their average tax is just over $280,000, leaving them on average ONLY $924,000 to live on.

The average income for the top 10% is $275,539, their average tax is about $51,553, leaving them ONLY just under $224,000 to live on.

The top 25% have an average income of $162,279, their average tax is $25,453, leaving them with ONLY $136,826 to live on.

The bottom 50% pay only 2.7% of taxes. Their average income is just over $15,300, their average tax is about $400, leaving them just under $15,000 to live on.

You tell me who can afford a tax increase.

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Comment #330885

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