Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Republicans Borrowed Trouble On America's Credit

You know, if I were advising somebody on how to get out of debt, the last thing I would tell them is to go and ruin their credit. Unfortunately, that is the idea many Republicans had, their cute notions for how to put a halt to our record deficits. Well, thanks almost purely to Republican intransigence, America’s lost it’s AAA credit rating from Standard and Poors. Whatever the implications that come from this, this wasn’t the brightest thing to bring about on a country still struggling to get out from under both its debts and its economic woes.

If there's one set of people who deserve to lose the full faith and credit of the United States, it's the Republican Party. Not the Democrats. Democrats lead with the notion that it was critical to avoid this kind of BS. Republicans insisted, I don't know, creating a fiscal trainwreck would be good for our credit.

You know, more than anything, what turned me so emphatically against the Republican Party is the fact that it's so wrapped up in its ideology that it can't seem to work policy right. Everything's a game, everything's exploitable, and if things screw up? Blame the Democrats, blame liberalism, do anything but admit error.

It isn't as if America's done something to bring shame on itself, and the Republicans are just paternally standing over us lecturing us. No! Republicans, pushing bad fiscal policy, brought us to this point where our debt is about at the level of our GDP. They've put America's finances and America's credit at risk to force Democrats, force old people, force the sick and the poor and the young to absorb the costs of cleaning up their mess, and long before most economists thing its appropriate.

This debt downgrade would not have occured under a Democratic House of Representatives. We understood that passing debt ceiling increases was part of the important work of fulfilling Congress's obligations and duties under the constitution. Republicans didn't see it that way. They saw it as an opportunity to get legislation passed they otherwise couldn't sell to people. So they forced a confrontation that now has put this nation's economy and it's finances at risk.

If America wants to survive the Twenty-First Century intact, it had better stop handing the Republicans of today power, because this is what happens because of what they do with it.

We warned you, and once again, your people ignored the warnings. With a track record like this, the Republicans ought to stop insisting on keeping their own counsel alone.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at August 5, 2011 8:31 PM
Comments
Comment #327120
The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy.

That’s Standard and Poors talking.

Who made those bargaining chips? Who decided that this was a smart idea, a good way to change fiscal policy?

The debt limit should be ****ing off limits! It shouldn’t be a debate whether this country pays its bills!

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 5, 2011 9:07 PM
Comment #327123

Stephen,
I was going to write an article about this as soon as I saw it, but you beat me to it. The S&P commentary is absolutely damning for the Republican Party.

And Obama- when the Republican Party threatens the well-being of the country, INTENTIONALLY threatens the country’s economy, then you have to stand up. The Republicans wanted to harm the country because they thought you would be blamed come next election. That is unacceptable behavior by them, and you have to stand up. That means facing a crisis. That means extraordinary action, such as invoking the 14th amendment, or refusing to negotiate in the first place.

At least S&P had the good grace to do this on a Friday afternoon, after the markets closed. That should prevent a panic Monday morning. People will have enough time to assimilate the information.

Read the S&P commentary. And if you are a Republican-

You should be ashamed.

Posted by: phx8 at August 5, 2011 9:54 PM
Comment #327124

Obama continued to run up the debt. It is our high debt to GDP ratio that is causing the trouble.

Re brinksmanship - Republicans passed a budget, something Democrats were unable or unwilling to do. Democrats rejected it. This is the problem.

The first downgrade of U.S. debt happened when Obama was president and had been president for a couple of years. Republicans pushed hard to bring the president’s excessive spending in line. Had Democrats agreed to that sensible thing sooner, there would have been no need for brinksmanship.

“This debt downgrade would not have occurred under a Democratic House of Representatives.” This is just silly. Democrats would have continued to borrow and spend. They would have indeed raised the ceiling w/o making any cuts in spending. It would just get work.

Remember that the Democrats did NOT pass a budget for this year, as was their duty. This is why the whole thing got out of hand in the first place. So it WOULD have happened under Dems. It DID happen under the budget they left.

Posted by: C&J at August 5, 2011 10:42 PM
Comment #327126

The S&P wanted a $4 trillion cut in the debt, and they know a 2.1 trillion over 10 years is nothing more than a joke. It means future congresses will not cut anything. So the whole thing was a scam. As for blaming it on the Republicans; here are the results:

Fox News Poll 60% against raising debt ceiling; The Hill Poll 62% against raising the debt ceiling; Gallup Poll 47% against 19% for raising debt ceiling; and in a Florida poll, Obama is losing the votes because he pushed to raise the debt ceiling.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/aug/04/poll-debt-ceiling-fight-hurts-obama-in-florida/

What this all means, is that the congress is going to have to get serious about cuts; of course Obama will not do this because he wants the US to fail. So this is just part of his play book.

Posted by: TomT at August 5, 2011 10:55 PM
Comment #327127

C&J
Your analysis is wrong. No need for opinions. Here are quotes from S&P:

“The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy … It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options.”

“Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act.”

Posted by: phx8 at August 5, 2011 10:57 PM
Comment #327128

This will be blamed on Bush or the TP before it’s over. Oh, sorry, the TP has already been blamed. By the way, how do you libs like JohnKerry’s call to ban the First Amendment rights of the TP today?

Posted by: Mike at August 5, 2011 10:59 PM
Comment #327129

That’s right phx8, so the only thing left is to actually make cuts…duh

Posted by: TomT at August 5, 2011 11:02 PM
Comment #327130

TomT,

Do you support raising taxes cause every economist says its impossible to lower the deficit without raising taxes.

Posted by: Aldous at August 5, 2011 11:06 PM
Comment #327131

C&J,

“Obama continued to run up the debt. It is our high debt to GDP ratio that is causing the trouble. “

WARS have a way of doing that. WARS that aren’t paid for for 8 YEARS will run up debt pretty fast.

You should have thought about that before you cheerlead Bush’s WARS!

Posted by: Aldous at August 5, 2011 11:09 PM
Comment #327132

C&J-
This downgrade only happened because one party decided to play stupid partisan games with the Debt Ceiling, and then make comments like your dear Senate Leaders, telling the world that we’d all go through this BS again come 2013.

And this on debt that is mostly the result of your two wars, your tax cuts, and your entitlement additions, unpaid for with taxes.

You could have avoided this on every single level conceivable, from raising the debt levels through deliberate deficit spending, to provoking this standoff in the first place.

Yes, Democrats would have continued to borrow and spend, just like the Republicans continued to borrow and spend, but we would never have let the debt ceiling be anything but a housekeeping vote. We would not have given people cause to worry that this government would default.

The Difference is that the Republicans chose to extort concessions from the Democrats, then chose to tell the world they’d extort such concessions from the other parts of their elected government.

We could have passed the omnibus spending bill, if your party hadn’t filibustered it. We could have taken care of business if you’d let us, but the politics are so toxic on your side that people are coming to doubt the very ability of my nation’s government’s ability to function.

And I find that highly offensive.

Mike-
Of course it will be blamed on the Tea Party. That tends to happen when you run around saying that forcing a default is a good idea, when your people help lead a hostage taking of the debt ceiling, and when your people reject deal and tell the world that you’ll hold our debt ceiling hostage again.

Why shouldn’t you be blamed? Your people made deliberate decisions, without which this debacle never would have occured.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 5, 2011 11:27 PM
Comment #327133

phx8

The Democratically controlled Senate, House and President left the tax cuts in place. Whether you like them or not, they are now Obama cuts.

Re brinksmanship - it takes both sides. It was indeed a poor show, but Democrats also played.

Stephen

Do you have a credit card? Imagine you have pushed your card to its limit. You owe more than you make in a year. Now you want to get a higher credit limit. Is the problem your having a hard time raising your credit limit or is it the fact that you are still spending way too much? One is the symptom of the other, but not the cause.

The “concessions” Republicans wanted were the same sorts of things your credit card company would wisely ask you to do to fix your spendthrift ways.

Posted by: C&J at August 5, 2011 11:58 PM
Comment #327134

“We could have passed the omnibus spending bill” There was no possible filibuster in the House. Nancy Pelosi never came up with a budget for a vote. This was a Democratic failure. Don’t blame it on a imagined threat.

Posted by: C&J at August 6, 2011 12:02 AM
Comment #327135

C&J-
Look, the very nature of the Republican’s demands, and their hostage-taking tactics made it next to impossible for Democrats to give you the concessions you wanted.

As for the credit card comparison?

What the Republicans did was like writing a letter to your credit card company telling them that you were considering not paying them.

This recent result is pretty much like what the result of such a letter would be. The Republican Party has signaled its intent to America’s creditors that it’s going to play games with our ability and willingness to pay.

And it’s idiocy forced by no other party than your own. That’s the irony of all this: you’ve unnecessarily front loaded a crisis that didn’t have to happen at this, the worst of all points to have such uncertainty.

The concessions the Republicans want are ill-timed, and contain no concession to the very issue that they themselves were warned about by S&P over: revenues.

I think the Republicans are asking for a ridiculous amount of cuts, and it’d be politically more palatable if shared sacrifice really meant something.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 6, 2011 12:19 AM
Comment #327136

Republicans forced the short term fix.

Last Spring’s fight was unnecessary. Democrats shouldn’t have waited that late, sure enough, but Republicans didn’t have to take the actions they did when they took advantage of those openings

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 6, 2011 12:24 AM
Comment #327138

Stephen, spot on.

Re: Shared sacrifice — that’s the problem. Republicans no longer believe in that concept, and that is exactly the reason that the S&P decided to downgrade.
I was just reading this article:
Is the U.S. Credit Rating a Victim of GOP Sabotage?

In it, Gross points out something very interesting:

France, which has a far higher debt per capita ratio than the U.S., still enjoys a AAA rating.

The reason France isn’t where we are right now is because their government hasn’t become as completely dysfunctional as ours has on the right side of the aisle. It seems very clear that the TeaOP intends to no longer allow for ANY kind of compromise. None. At all.

The article sums up all the aspects of this TeaOP dysfunction this way:

For this calamity was entirely man-made — even intentional. The contemporary Republican Party is fixated on taxes. It possesses an iron-clad belief that the existing tax rates should never go up, that loopholes shouldn’t be closed unless they’re offset by other tax reductions, that the fact that hedge fund managers pay lower tax rates than school teachers makes complete sense, that a reversion to the tax rates of the prosperous 1990’s or 1980’s would be unacceptable.

In the past two years, this attitude has combined with a general hostility to playing ball with Democrats on large legislative issues, a near-blanket refusal to conduct business with President Obama, and, since the arrival of the raucous Tea Party freshman, a cavalier attitude toward the nation’s obligations. It was common to hear duly elected legislators argue that it wouldn’t be a big deal if the government were to pierce the debt ceiling and default on its debts.

In other words, because we’ve been forced to deal with spoiled intractable children they made sure the entire nation will get a hard spanking.
It’s disgusting.
We needed strong leadership in the face of these endless TeaOP tantrums, but Obama didn’t step up.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 6, 2011 2:18 AM
Comment #327139

This is the path you take when you create a nation of people dependent on government. Many European nations are learning that lesson right now and yet, our leftists wish to become just like them.

Funny thing though, our leftists are learning that Americans still have the sense of individualism passed down from our founders and enshrined in our Constitution. They are learning that no matter how much they promise freebies and the ‘easy European life’ in exchange for votes, Americans don’t want the oppressive taxes and loss of rights to get them.

It is going to get a lot worse. Others will probably change their ratings. Interest rates will climb. Prices will keep going up.

Things are going to be tough, and I don’t believe the American people are going to keep accepting all of the excuses. “Its all their fault for wanting it their way and not letting us having it all our way” ain’t going to cut it anymore.

Posted by: kctim at August 6, 2011 2:41 AM
Comment #327140

kctim,

“They are learning that no matter how much they promise freebies and the ‘easy European life’ in exchange for votes,”

Nice to see you admit that the destruction of Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare are the GOP’s real objectives.

Posted by: Aldous at August 6, 2011 5:39 AM
Comment #327141

S&P downgrades US debt. Is that the same credit agency that performed so well in the run up to the credit crisis of 2008?

“Whether you like them or not, they are now Obama cuts.”

C&J,

The cuts that you are referring to our commonly referred to as the “Bush tax cuts.” The public is not that confused.

Posted by: Rich at August 6, 2011 5:57 AM
Comment #327143

Kctim,

Lets not forget the origin of the US/Europe public sector deficit problem: collapse of the private sector financial markets and the need for governments to socialize that debt and protect the holders of those private debt instruments. The US government and Fed committed almost $13 trillion dollars to prop up the banks and protecting investors in the financial collapse and still holds the bag for much of that garbage. Ireland ran a public sector surplus before the collapse and is now a basket case from trying to guarantee all that private banking debt.

Posted by: Rich at August 6, 2011 6:18 AM
Comment #327144

Rich

Confucius said that if you recognize a mistake and do not correct it, you are making your own mistake.

The “Bush” cuts were set to expire. Obama and the Democrats had the opportunity to let it happen. They did not. They took affirmative action to renew them. At that time, they became the Obama cuts. I personally think that it would have been a bad idea to raise taxes at that time. Obama and Democrats evidently agreed. But THEY have the responsibility.

Stephen

You do enjoy the hate speech. “hostage-taking tactics”. Change the words on that and call it democrats and you guys would be all over it.

I always enjoy the way you can shift blame. No matter how much Democrats are involved or how much power they have, it is always Republicans you blame. You must think that Republicans are way smarter than Democrats, since a few of them can lead many Democrats around by the nose.

I would also point out that you guys take great pride in pointing to splits among conservatives and sometime in the same paragraph attribute Republican power to preternatural unity of purpose.

Just apply a little logic and consistency and you will notice that you cannot have all those arguments at the same time.

Either Democrats are unable to govern, no matter what their power or they are not victims.

Posted by: C&J at August 6, 2011 7:51 AM
Comment #327145

stephen

“You know, if I were advising somebody on how to get out of debt, the last thing I would tell them is to go and ruin their credit.”

and the first thing i would tell them is to STOP BORROWING.


“What the Republicans did was like writing a letter to your credit card company telling them that you were considering not paying them.”


oh bull$hit. who was it that kept saying we would default on our debt obligations without the debt ceiling being raised. which was total BS BTW. we would have had to make some tough choices, but the funds to pay our debt obligations were there. what was truely at stake was the dems big spending agenda.

Posted by: dbs at August 6, 2011 8:03 AM
Comment #327147

kctim


“Funny thing though, our leftists are learning that Americans still have the sense of individualism passed down from our founders and enshrined in our Constitution.”

that may be our only saving grace, and will hopefully stop the march of socialism being pushed by our friends on the left. the problem is even if we start tomorrow this monster gov’t that has been created will fight back viciously to keep from being brought under control. when gov’t becomes as large as ours has, it can no longer be responsive to the people, and exists only to perpetuate its own interests.


Posted by: dbs at August 6, 2011 8:26 AM
Comment #327149

“From Sen. Obama’s Floor Speech, March 20, 2006:

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

i bet barry didn’t know just how prophetic the statement would be.

Posted by: dbs at August 6, 2011 8:40 AM
Comment #327150

warped

congress would make that decision, and the first check written should be to cover the interest on our debt. after that they would have to prioritize obligations. we may choose to spend money on other things, or programs, but discontinuing them intil we have the funds will not hurt our credit rating.

Posted by: dbs at August 6, 2011 8:50 AM
Comment #327151
congress would make that decision

Congress already made their decision when they passed the budget back in April. After that budget passed, we became legally obligated to pay everyone as prescribed by the budget. In order for anything different to happen, Congress would need to repeal the budget and pass a new one with 44% less spending, 44% more taxes, or some combination of the two.

Posted by: Warped Reality at August 6, 2011 9:02 AM
Comment #327152

“Congress already made their decision when they passed the budget back in April. After that budget passed, we became legally obligated to pay everyone as prescribed by the budget.”

a budget can be amended any time with consent of congress, and the presidents signature. the only thing that will affect our credit rating is non payment of legal debt.

Posted by: dbs at August 6, 2011 9:15 AM
Comment #327153

kctim-
The Debt and deficits we were running here were mostly run under policies your people pushed: tax cuts, which had us running on debt rather than on revenue, and the expansion of military spending, with two unending wars. Even if you blame the Democrats some, it’s those two items which do the most damage.

You blame it on people wanting freebies, but here’s the plain fact: if people didn’t want some government, government at this level, the Republicans would have made cuts far earlier. But as they learned in Reagan’s time, with similar results, it’s a lot harder to cut than their rhetoric would imply.

There’s a difference between appealing to the glamour of rugged individualism, and actually pulling it off and making it work. The Reality of what Republicans have done is that their brinksmanship didn’t relieve us of any obligations, nor will it make paying off our debts any easier. It will only cause more unnecessary pain and chaos.

But your people are so dedicated to showing the rest of us the error of our liberal ways that you haven’t stopped for five seconds to actually learn about the system you’re screwing around with, much less to do things that bode well for that system. At the same time you push your Marlboro Man mystique, your people have encouraged and looked the other way on a hell of a lot of questionable speculation, the kind of speculation that even in early America could cause major economic ripple effects.

And the fact is, most people don’t, and really couldn’t work on farms anymore, be as self-sufficient as you fantasize. America, like much of the industrialized world, has urbanized. Yet you want our culture to retain the same sort of laissez faire attitude that prevailed in more rural times.

There are a lot of painful branches to hit on our way down this particular ugly tree, before America would once again have your desired character. But you don’t care. You have this nostalgic vision of a world that no longer exists, and which you probably weren’t alive to experience for yourself.

The European’s problem was that they bought into our financial system, the Southern European countries more than most. The countries that faired best were the ones who put sensible restraints on that kind of commerce, which had social safety nets that prevented the ripple effects from unemployment from becoming too severe.

C&J-

Confucius said that if you recognize a mistake and do not correct it, you are making your own mistake.

If ever there was a piece of advice you and your people should take, that was it.

You want to blame the tax cuts on Obama. But what were you doing? Holding up START, holding up Unemployment benefits for the long term unemployed, holding up a host of legislation.

And most importantly here, holding up tax cuts for the middle class which economists would tell you needed to be continued because austerity was premature.

And lest we forget, who were the people who fought like hell to make sure those top tax rates were extended? You and yours. Why it is that you can not only push for these things but force them, and then blame the rest of us for negotiation with you to end the standoff, is beyond me.

As for “hate speech?”

“I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting,” he said. “Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming. And it focuses the Congress on something that must be done.”

I’d be all over it because for the past five years, your party has done nothing but take the other side’s agenda, this government, and this economy hostage, to force a more rightward agenda than people actually wanted.

It’s not hate speech, It’s a difficult truth you’re unwilling to face about your party: that it’s lost all semblance of being in touch with our nation’s fiscal and economic reality.

It’s not preternatural, your unity. It’s the hard-won result of years of party discipline. And yes, it’s beginning to fray rather badly. But not enough for your people to have bolted far earlier, and preserved our credit rating.

Democrats are able to govern, but this nation is governed by a Constitution that demands that Congress be unified on passing what legislation it does. If your people can’t govern, then nobody can govern, no matter how responsible they are.

dbs-
We’re a sovereign nation with a multi-trillion dollar economy. To stop borrowing, we would have to inflict on ourselves a ten percent drop in GDP.

Ten Percent. By contrast, the drop that put us in this current economy downturn was about 6.1% of GDP.

Ah, but that’s just an inconvenient little detail we can safely ignore, right?

As is the consideration that this might not be what people want or need at this time. I know you have a strong opinion on this matter, but it’s not one shared by everybody, and in this country the majority is supposed to have a great deal of say in how policy goes.

Through political machination, people with very similar politics to yours have managed to get their agenda passed through Congress and signed by the President. But in doing so, they have gravely harmed the interests of the American people on multiple levels. But they are either too ignorant to understand what they’re doing, or they’re too willing to inflict pain on this country for years to come, to see their political ideal made manifest.

I’m a moderate in many ways, and by nature something of a centrist. However, I’m also a functionalist as well, which means that I believe in policy that works, short and long term. I’m only comfortable with patches and imperfect solutions as short term fixes, and that if they do good for the country.

When’s the last time your people sat down and actually considered whether the consequences of what you were doing would actually be good for the country, not just the ultimate goals of your policy? I think it is the mark of the radical and the extremists that the steps between first action, and final result are not so well thought out, that people are expected to behave in a way that contributes to that final result, even if the reality is, they’d resist it every step of the way.

Your people failed to consider the wisdom of their actions, and now, I believe the American people are going to reconsider the wisdom of having brought the Republicana snd the right back into power. Your people have probably done more to convince people that Republicans make poor governing officials than Democrats could do in ten years.

As for that speech? Obama has since admitted it was a mistake. It would be nice if others could as well, but then, you’re too busy trying to demonstrate everybody is mistaken, rather than undo and correct your own mistakes.

Physician, heal thyself.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 6, 2011 9:16 AM
Comment #327154

stephen


ok mr knowitall, is it safe to say we will be talking about raising the debt ceiling again in @ 18 months? at that time what should we do? raise it again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again. see where this is going? at some point the grownups will have to put a stop to it, or we will reach our credit limit, and be forced to make the tough decisions we should be making now. the only thing that is going to raise revenue to the gov’t is for the private sector to grow, and prosper. raising the tax rates on anyone will not solve the problem.


“You want to blame the tax cuts on Obama.”


it’s actually the only thing he’s done in the last three years that has made any sense. he could have refused to extend any or all of the rates, but didn’t. so now for better or worse they belong to him.


“But what were you doing? Holding up START, holding up Unemployment benefits for the long term unemployed, holding up a host of legislation.”


the federal extended unemployment benefits HAVE TO STOP. we cannot afford them. and contrary to liberal theology they do not stimulate the economy, any more than that money in the hands of those who earned it stimulates the economy. BTW stephen reducing our strategic arms in the current world climate is about the dumbest thing we could possibly do, i mean other than re electing dear leader.

Posted by: dbs at August 6, 2011 9:47 AM
Comment #327155

“Mike-
Of course it will be blamed on the Tea Party. That tends to happen when you run around saying that forcing a default is a good idea, when your people help lead a hostage taking of the debt ceiling, and when your people reject deal and tell the world that you’ll hold our debt ceiling hostage again.

Why shouldn’t you be blamed? Your people made deliberate decisions, without which this debacle never would have occured.”

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 5, 2011 11:27 PM

Stephen, TomT posted the results of several polls showing most Americans were against raising the debt level. I know how much the left hates free thinking conservatives who are part of the TP, but that is the reality of life in today’s politics. I also know the MSM and some politicians are predicting the demise of the TP, but it’s not happening. The TP has found their voice and we know, from watching liberals for many decades, “the squeaky wheel gets the oil”. We are here to stay and we are here to hold democrat’s and republican’s feet to the fire. You accuse us of “hostage taking” simply because that term is the latest talking point of liberal politicians and of Obama. You show your ignorance by repeating this claim. Was it “Hostage Taking” when democrats blocked or used legal maneuvers in order to get Bills passed in the House and Senate? No, it was not, and you and other liberals would defend Democrats (when they were in the minority) legal right to use any legal maneuvers in order to get their agenda through.

The downgrade has nothing to do with the debt ceiling vote; it has to do with the debt. Until Congress is willing to tackle the spending binge, America will continue to go down the flusher.

Raising taxes hurts America, and is nothing more than a talking point bandaid on the festering sore that inflicts America’s economy.

Posted by: Mike at August 6, 2011 10:06 AM
Comment #327156
ok mr knowitall, is it safe to say we will be talking about raising the debt ceiling again in @ 18 months? at that time what should we do? raise it again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again. see where this is going?

It’s perfectly OK for our debt to rise in nominal terms without bound as long as the debt-to-GDP ratio remains low. Most economist believe that a debt-to-GDP ration the only thing that will affect our credit rating is non payment of legal debt.
I believe when you say “legal debt” you are referring to the interest and principal of treasury bonds. This is wrong; our credit worthyness is related to prompt payment of all of our obligations. If I were to stop paying my rent or stop paying utility bills/phone bills then my credit rating would surely suffer. It’s similar for the government.

a budget can be amended any time with consent of congress, and the presidents signature. the only thing that will affect our credit rating is non payment of legal debt.
Except for the fact that Uncle Sam has already signed written contracts promising payment to all sorts of people for the services or materials they have rendered.
the federal extended unemployment benefits HAVE TO STOP. we cannot afford them. and contrary to liberal theology they do not stimulate the economy, any more than that money in the hands of those who earned it stimulates the economy.
You have no idea what you are talking about.

More sources.

Posted by: Warped Reality at August 6, 2011 10:18 AM
Comment #327158

“If I were to stop paying my rent or stop paying utility bills/phone bills then my credit rating would surely suffer.”

that is also legal debt. savings would have to come from future outlays. i cant cut what i have already spent, or borrowed.


“Except for the fact that Uncle Sam has already signed written contracts promising payment to all sorts of people for the services or materials they have rendered.”

services already rendered are legal debts, and can affect credit worthiness. reducing funds yet to be spent does not.


federal unemployment benefits are a form of federal spending, and need tax revenue to fund them. we currently do not have that revenue, so we are using what is essentially borrowed money. in order to give that money to someone you have to take it from someone else, and in doing so take away some of thier spending ability, not to mention the long term interest on that debt. it is not like state unemployment ins which is payed in by employers, and used to help the unemployed. if you want to argue there should be a federal unemployment ins program the mirrors the state programs that is another story.

Posted by: dbs at August 6, 2011 10:49 AM
Comment #327159

“With the economy weakening, some analysts have argued for increasing unemployment insurance (UI) benefits from 26 weeks to 39 weeks to stimulate economic growth. Few studies support the idea that extending unemployment benefits significantly stimulates the economy. In addition, extending UI benefits would do the following:”

“Encourage unemployed workers to stay out of work longer to collect benefits;
Encourage employers to wait longer to rehire laid-off workers; and
Do relatively little to increase consumption.”


http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2008/01/Unemployment-Insurance-Does-Not-Stimulate-the-Economy

Posted by: dbs at August 6, 2011 10:57 AM
Comment #327160

Mr. Daugherty

You sound perfectly content that the debt ceiling in 2024 will be 24 trillion dollars. That also shows your head is not screwed on straight.

We should have as a primary objective to be debt free. All your comments above are Marxian. You claim that we must have debt. Why do we need debt? The money spent irresponsibly over the last several decades have brought us to this thing you call “brinkmanship”.

The party that you fully endorse as saintly, because they are not to blame for anything wrong, has more blood on their hands than you care to acknowledge.

Mr. Daughertiy, your opinions are yours, whether they be logical or not. But when you state something as fact when it is not a fact, is called lying, being dishonest, having a lack of integrity, all of which you have accomplished in skillful manner.

Your democrats have shown the same skills just mentioned. They even go further and do nothing (where have we heard that recently) when they could exhibit some leadership, but showed the lack of leadership normally accompanying politicians who put themselves first and everything else after that. Just for the record some republicans do the same.

The bottom line on your comments are they are insane if implemented to fact.

Posted by: tom humes at August 6, 2011 11:04 AM
Comment #327161

Heritage cites a few studies from the ’70s that showed that UI extensions back then did not stimulate the economy. This is because the problem with the 1970s economy was stagflation, which means aggregate demand is not lacking. Today, we have a liquidity trap, deflation and a drop off in aggregate demand, which is why I believe the sources I cited to be a little more appropriate. The reason UI extensions are useful stimulus today is because they boost aggregate demand.

services already rendered are legal debts, and can affect credit worthiness.
I’m glad you now acknowledge that a failure to raise the debt ceiling would have resulted in a severe drop in our credit worthiness. If we instantly cut spending by 40% overnight then we would have to default on our debts.


in order to give that money to someone you have to take it from someone else, and in doing so take away some of thier spending ability,
This is not true if that money is destined to go under a mattress. Because of the liquidity trap, a huge chunk of money shifted from private investment into buying public debt, which is pretty damn close to putting it under the mattress, especially considering the fact that the yields are so low that recently some of them have been negative in real terms.

Posted by: Warped Reality at August 6, 2011 11:35 AM
Comment #327162

tom humes,

You sound perfectly content that the debt ceiling in 2024 will be 24 trillion dollars. That also shows your head is not screwed on straight.

It depends what GDP will be in 2024. If GDP is greater than 40 trillion then it won’t be a problem. If GDP is less than that, then it probably is a problem. I don’t think it’s likely that GDP will nearly triple in 13 years, so it’s pretty much certain that 24 trillion dollars of debt is a problem. This means that after we get our economy on track, we need to get our fiscal house in order. That means cutting spending across the board (including entitlements & defense, these two should probably bear the lion’s share of the cuts). It also means increasing revenues by reducing tax expenditures. We should also consider whether increasing income tax rates or implementing a carbon tax might be helpful.

We should have as a primary objective to be debt free.
In all 235+ years that our nation has existed, our debt has never been zero. The same has been true for almost every other country over the last 235 years as well. There is a difference between nations and people, which means it’s sustainable for a nation to continuously be in debt as long as the debt-to-gdp ration remains below 60% of GDP.
All your comments above are Marxian.
I must’ve missed this. Where did SD advocate for abolition of our market economy? Did he advocate State ownership of our industries and means of production? Posted by: Warped Reality at August 6, 2011 11:55 AM
Comment #327163
Stephen Daugherty wrote: If there’s one set of people who deserve to lose the full faith and credit of the United States, it’s the Republican Party. Not the Democrats. Democrats lead with the notion that it was critical to avoid this kind of BS. Republicans insisted, I don’t know, creating a fiscal trainwreck would be good for our credit.
Nothin’ like wallowin’ in the usual delusional, blind, petty, partisan warfare, while the ship is sinking, eh?

It’s really funny how some people can play the partisan blame-game, while ignoring the real problem: M A S S I V E _ D E B T of nightmare proportions !!!

With a $14.5 Trillion national federal debt, and $1.4 Trillion in annual deficits, cutting spending on average by $200 Billion per year for 10 years means that the nation federal debt will still grow by $1.2 Trillion (or more) per year!

The truth is, most (if not all) in the White House and Congress, and from previous administrations too, for many decades, are about equally culpable, as are the voters too who repeatedly reward FOR-SALE, corrupt, greedy, and incompetent incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election.

What is happening today in the U.S. was not hard to predict.

This is what happens when the majority of politicians and voters continually crap in their own nest.

It is not rocket science. We are simply seeing the natural consequences of decades of fiscal and moral bankruptcy, and it will get worse before it gets better.

At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 6, 2011 11:55 AM
Comment #327164


This from the S&P news release about the deficit deal and the downgrade: TPM:

“Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes the the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act.”

I assume that Republican wing nuts will now declare that the S in S&P stands for Socialist.

Posted by: jlw at August 6, 2011 11:58 AM
Comment #327165


While it is easy for Democrats to point out the gross fiscal irresponsibility of the Republicans, there is no better word to describe Democratic opposition than enabling.

In addition, the Democrats, like the Republicans, have given little indication that they have reformed themselves and are now committed to fiscal responsibility.

“and Do relatively little to increase consumption.”

A society that is obsessed by a desire to constantly increase consumption with little regard for sustainability is a dying society. I guess we will leave that problem for some future generation to deal with.

Posted by: jlw at August 6, 2011 12:42 PM
Comment #327166
tom humes wrote: Mr. Daughertiy, your opinions are yours, whether they be logical or not. But when you state something as fact when it is not a fact, is called lying, being dishonest, having a lack of integrity, all of which you have accomplished in skillful manner.
HHHMMMMmmmmmm …

It might not be lying.

It could be a case of self-delusion.

Also, sometimes, there is an underlying medical condition that can explain a lot.

Some people actually believe their own rhetoric, despite the volumes of evidence to the contrary.
Logic does not work for everyone.
Especially when it does not fit into there warped ideologies.

The fact is, this nation’s problems run deep through-and-through all levels of the U.S. society.

The problem is quite simply too many manifestations of selfishness:

  • laziness, apathy, complacency, negligence, ignorance;
  • pride, hubris, arrogance, deception, self-delusion, misplaced loyalties, misplaced compassions, misplaced priorities (e.g. fueling and wallowing in the blind, circular partisan-warfare);
  • envy and jealousy, sometimes disguised as demands for equality;
  • greed, gluttony (the U.S. is one of the most over-weight nations in the world), lust for power and control, and exploitation of others and things (e.g. lawlessness, legal plunder, abuse of wealth, usury, wars, unfair taxation, etc.);
  • hatred, anger, irrational fear, fear mongering, intolerance, bigotry, prejudice of others and things (e.g. religion, race, gender, color, ethnicity, etc.);
At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, repeatedly rewarding the duopoly, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress for these abuses with re-election finally becomes too painful.

  • Posted by: d.a.n at August 6, 2011 1:17 PM
    Comment #327168

    SD wrote; “This debt downgrade would not have occured under a Democratic House of Representatives. We understood that passing debt ceiling increases was part of the important work of fulfilling Congress’s obligations and duties under the constitution.”

    Really…hallucinations could be the symptom of a serious disorder. S&P clearly stated that simply increasing the debt ceiling would not meet their requirements to keep the credit rating of the US at AAA level. They wanted a minimum of $4 trillion in spending cuts.

    Contrary to what SD wrote, the debt ceiling was increased…and, the credit rating was downgraded.

    SD also writes, “…people are coming to doubt the very ability of my nation’s government’s ability to function.

    And I find that highly offensive.”

    Well, so do I find it offensive. Ask obama to resign. It is obvious he is in way over his head. He can’t lead, he can’t follow, he needs to just get out.

    WR writes; “This is wrong; our credit worthyness is related to prompt payment of all of our obligations.”

    Wrong. That is not how national credit rating services work. Debt is different from obligations and obligations are different from promises and promises are different from intentions.

    A debt is only incurred by borrowing. There must be an exchange of something of value. A contract for goods or services can be cancelled. There may be a penalty for cancellation but no court would hold that the entire contract be paid as the goods were not delivered or the services were not performed.

    SD and others argue that our national credit card is not similar to our own personal credit cards in one sentence and then say they are the same in the next sentence. This is clear evidence of a muddled mind.


    Posted by: Royal Flush at August 6, 2011 1:44 PM
    Comment #327169

    ““From Sen. Obama’s Floor Speech, March 20, 2006:”

    dbs , Ah yes the good old days when the economy was still booming and house prices were rising faster than a speeding bullet. When jobs were available and most were working. When the responsible thing to do was to pay as we went. But unfortunately the same group of people that are up in arms today were cheer leading Bush and the repubs on to bigger debt and lower taxes while at war.

    To go back and use Obama’s words then as applicable to the remains of the repub orgy of the Bush years we face today, when the economy is not recovered, when millions are out of work or underemployed, and when cutting jobs from the public sector is the favorite pastime of repub governors reeks of talk radio conservatism at it’s worse.

    Posted by: j2t2 at August 6, 2011 3:35 PM
    Comment #327170

    WR has no problem with the US going into debt for trillions and borrowing money from our enemies, as long as he can juggle GDP vs. Debt. Do you know how silly that sounds; debts are for sure and they have to be paid, GDP fluctuates and certainly cannot be counted on as for sure. WR talks about “stagflation” like he was personally involved in it, but the only thing he knows about “stagflation” is what he has been taught.

    WR, there is such a thing as intelligence and logic; but you know what, I don’t give a shit. It is your generation left holding this bag on this one, not mine. I will be dead and gone and you will be around to see America become nothing more than a third world nation. Do you know why; because you are like SD, you will defend a liberal democrat to your last breath. It doesn’t matter what he stands for, if he is a democrat and a liberal, then everything he says or does must be right. Europe has been playing this same socialist game since I was a kid, and look at them today. As Europe goes, so goes America. Who is Europe blaming their problems on; Bush, the TP, or is it because of debt? When you have three fourths of a nation working for the government or drawing government welfare checks, shit happens. Why should anyone work; what incentive is there to be successful, if your hard earned money is taken to finance someone else. This is wealth redistribution, and it is Obama’s goal and has always been his goal. Why do you think Obama wants to create so many government jobs? Looks like h is going down the same path, and the best you guys can do is blame the TP, and conservatives.

    So, just bury your head in the sand (or up some socialist’s rear end) and hope for the best, while continuing to defend socialism, the world you are inheriting is not the one I grew up in.

    Posted by: TomT at August 6, 2011 3:47 PM
    Comment #327171

    You’re right Tom. And if they weren’t still afraid to come out of the closet…many libs would admit that they are, in fact, socialists.

    obama is one for certain as proven by his words and actions. Socialists hate the Tea Party even more than they hate Republicans, and with good reason. We stand as complete opposites regarding our democratic republic. They see it as being built by government…not the constitution, not individual freedom, not hard work, but government.

    Socialism can not exist without big, all intrusive, government. And, socialism can not exist for long without other peoples money. That’s a fact. There are plenty of failed examples of socialism.

    Not too long ago some on Watchblog would have been offended with the liberal label. Soon, they will come out in the open and not be offended by being called socialists. The next step…another, but worse “ism”.

    Posted by: Royal Flush at August 6, 2011 4:12 PM
    Comment #327173

    dbs-
    I can only hope that in 18 months, we’ll have a majority in Congress which is sane enough to just pass the thing.

    If you want to get hysterical about our debt, go ahead. Truth is, we were only paying about 1.6% of GDP to deal with our debt. It wasn’t overwhelming us even by the Standards of the Reagan administration, which was paying twice that. The only real shock that could make the burden worse would be a sudden big financial disaster.

    Like, say, the failure to raise the debt ceiling. That’s the irony of all this. You think you’re pulling the emergency brakes, but really, you’re disengaging them. It won’t stop us from running deficits, though it would make it more difficult to pay for them, more expensive to service the debt.

    Your view of the economic of all this just appalls me on the grounds of your evident ignorance alone. You simply do not understand how our finances work. You don’t seem to realize just how big of an economic shock you’re prepared to inflict. It’s all abstract to you, and you’ve convinced yourself that it’s analogous to a family getting control of its expenses. But it’s not. For one thing, millions of families don’t depend on the economic decisions of just one family. For another thing, most families don’t print their own money, don’t sell their debt as safe investments that millions of jobs and thousands of companies depend upon. Most families also don’t have interconnected relationships with the rest of the world which mean that default on our part could cause ripple effects which make their way back home.

    As for the rest? Is it just me, or is the quickest way to turn you against something is to have liberals agree with it?

    As far as unemployment benefits go, what you’re paying for is for people to keep on looking for work. It’s not folk’s fault that there are so few jobs for so many applicants. Meanwhile, these people have the same kids to support, the same obligations, often enough, to meet, and most likely debts up to their eyeballs. Your ingenious economic plan, because you say we can’t afford it, is to throw all these people into more dire econmic peril. This, of course, according to you, will free up… what? I mean, if it’s deficit spending, we’re not paying for it for years to come. By that time, the economy might have recovered. In the mean time, their spending means that more money got into the econmy, and yes, they do spend it.

    And by spending it, they keep other people employed.

    As for this:

    Encourage unemployed workers to stay out of work longer to collect benefits;
    Encourage employers to wait longer to rehire laid-off workers; and
    Do relatively little to increase consumption.”

    Bull. Folks taking unemployment generally have taken a hit in their income to do so. It’s not something you typically want to do, contrary to right-wing propaganda. And employers, faced with new demand, aren’t going to wait around on unemployment benefits to run out to start hiring. That’s absurd. As for consumption, well, let’s see what happens: without those payments, they’re destitute, spending little if anything, probably on whatever other assistance there might be. They’re likely a burden on somebody else. With those payments, their creditors are more likely to get paid, the folks they get their groceries from get paid, and all other sorts of people get paid by them

    So, something as opposed to nothing. You do the math: what’s better, running the world’s money through our economy in order to increase activity, or cutting everything short?

    Mike-
    First, polls can only tell you what people think is the right thing, it doesn’t mean it is the right thing. As people grew more aware of just what the debt ceiling was, and what it did, the numbers went more to our side. The fact that nobody ever saw America default probably contributes to it.

    I don’t hate free thinking conservativism. Like Ghandi said about Western Civilization, I think it’s a very good idea. Trouble is, many of y’all aren’t free thinking. I mean, if I were to offer my theory, the Tea Party is the core of the Republican’s conservative base that simply does not want to admit the failures of conservative policy or government, and instead sets itself to insist on all the old Republican hobby-horses of the last thirty years. They’re essentially the people who want all of the things that Republican leaders were actually too realistic to give them. They’re the people who want to belive Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are real, that cutting taxes improves the economy and job creation, that going it alone against the world is is good foreign policy, that what America’s economy needs is more cutting of Government jobs, government, and government spending.

    You are hostage takers. You lacked the votes in the Senate to get even an approximation of your plan how you wanted it, so you took our debt limit, and made that a tool for leverage against liberals and moderates, to force them to make major concessions in budget battles. Never mind the effects, it was do things your way, or else. Or, worse, some of your members want a default to happen. This isn’t some wild-eyed accusation. I’m practically quoting off of your own people. Hell, the Senate Majority leader talked about what you were doing as shooting or ransoming a hostage. Quite BSing the rest of us. It was your way or the highway.

    As for the Downgrade not being about the debt ceiling vote? You know, you don’t want to make an argument like that, not when people can dig up the statement S&P made, and explicitly contradict it, showing it to be the first, most prominent reason for the downgrade. With your people wielding the influence you do right now, Standard and Poors doesn’t trust the government to be dependable about paying back its debts and meeting its obligations.

    It’s not hostage taking just to employ parliamentary manuevers. Democrats might be able to take or leave a particular bill, the government might be able to function without a particular appointee, but the debt ceiling was something nobody could afford to forsake, literally.

    As for raising taxes, again, you don’t want to make that argument, not with Standard and Poors saying that the unlikelihood of getting Republicans to concede on the need for new revenues was part of their decision to downgrade.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 6, 2011 5:09 PM
    Comment #327174

    Stephen

    I am not “blaming” them for the cut, just saying that it is now part of the Democratic legacy too.

    Re mistakes - we are trying to make up for the mistakes of the past. Bush grew government too much. Obama made it even much bigger. The solution to the double mistake of growing government is probably not more of the same.

    Posted by: C&J at August 6, 2011 5:23 PM
    Comment #327176

    TT,

    the US going into debt for trillions and borrowing money from our enemies, as long as he can juggle GDP vs. Debt.

    Here’s an extreme example: if it costs a trillion dollars to buy a loaf of bread then being 14 trillion dollars in debt is a piece of cake or should I say bread ;). Of course this would require an absurd amount of inflation, but I’m just making the point that it isn’t helpful to describe the debt purely nominal terms; the debt-to-gdp ration is a much better barometer. You say GDP fluctuates, and you are correct. Perhaps we need to build in a buffer in our GDP ratio in order to prepare for the unexpected. A 60% ratio is a minimum, but I see little reason why we should not aim even lower; perhaps 40 to 50 percent, but I think it’s necessary to bring debt to zero. In 235 years of our nation’s history, no one has ever sought to bring our debt to zero (except for Andrew Jackson who had a flawed understanding of economics). The reason we’ve been able to survive for so long is due to the fact that national debt and person debt are different beasts. When a nation is in debt it is in a much different situation than when an individual is in debt. A nation is immortal (more or less) and it has the legal power to tax its citizens. This means lenders are extremely comfortable to give stable countries like ours a loan at relatively low interest rates. In fact, at the height of the recent financial crisis, lenders were willing to buy government debt even though it yielded a negative interest rate in real terms. In other words, lenders were clamoring for the opportunity to lose money because they believed they would lose even more money if they invested it elsewhere.

    Regarding the generation thing; the 20th century was the bloodiest century in human history. My generation is not eager to follow in your generation’s footsteps, which will mean that our approach to governance will be a bit different than yours. Your generation (assuming you are a baby boomer) really sucked the vitality out of our nation. My grandparents’ generation worked extremely hard to build this country up into the superpower that it is today and all your generation does is scream about tax cuts. I’m optimistic that my generation will be able to figure things out, but I worry that there might not be enough time for us to get our fiscal house in order among other things after the baby boomers are marginalized.

    I understand SD is a bit partisan, which is why he’ll always rush to defend the Democratic Party. I’ll admit that when he posts an article I disagree with, I often just refuse to comment rather than try debating him. I try to be a bit more fair in my evaluations; if you feel that I haven’t lived up to this then thanks for letting me know. I will say that I really don’t like the attitude of the Progressive caucus towards entitlement spending, which is their sacred cow. We definitely need to cut spending on those programs including Medicare & Social Security. I’ve stated on WatchBlog repeatedly that I favor increasing the retirement age on those programs quite a bit; perhaps to 80 years of age. This will mean that half of seniors may never benefit from those programs, but I think it’s much fairer to restrict the programs to the extremely elderly.

    RF,

    A contract for goods or services can be cancelled. There may be a penalty for cancellation but no court would hold that the entire contract be paid as the goods were not delivered or the services were not performed.

    In many cases the goods have already been delivered or the services already performed. Also, it’s unwise to cancel these things and incur those penalties. If you guys think these goods and service are unwise expenditures then you should fight your battle when its time to create the FY2012 budget, not when the debt ceiling needed to be raised.

    Posted by: Warped Reality at August 6, 2011 5:55 PM
    Comment #327177

    tom humes-

    You sound perfectly content that the debt ceiling in 2024 will be 24 trillion dollars. That also shows your head is not screwed on straight.

    Wow, you read my mind- wait… sorry, that was Ann Coulter Book you read.

    No, my hope is that by the middle of this decade, we might be able to get out of this economic downturn, and start taking the austerity measures necessary in order to slow, even reverse the growth of that debt.

    Our primary objective should not be to bet debt free. If we are faced with a war, we need to pay what we need to pay in order to win it. If we are faced with an economic downturn, we should do what we have to do to get ourselves out of the hole. If our nation needs its infrastructure to be upgraded, replaced, and extended, well, then, we should do that.

    Secondly, of course, we should keep that debt manageable.

    The money spent irresponsibly over the last several decades have brought us to this thing you call “brinkmanship”.

    No, you brought us brinksmanship. First you racked up the debt, then you blamed us for , and then you decided that you would not raise the debt ceiling, except if we did what you wanted. Given that this needed to happen to avoid American defaulting, that was your people taking us to the brink.

    Brinksmanship.

    The party that you fully endorse as saintly, because they are not to blame for anything wrong, has more blood on their hands than you care to acknowledge.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! The horror of the knowledge is too much!

    Seriously, I know they’re not saintly. If I didn’t have to worry about the alternative, I might say give your people a chance for an election cycle or two. I can tolerate mediocrity in easy times, but it gets harder to tolerate it in times like these. But worse than that, Republicans seem to have a passion these days for screwing things up. So, you present me people who are going to actively screw things up, as oppose to somebody who gets things wrong from time to time, and having covered themselves in glory, I pick the person who’s less of a threat to my nation’s wellbeing, and work from there.

    Mr. Daughertiy, your opinions are yours, whether they be logical or not. But when you state something as fact when it is not a fact, is called lying, being dishonest, having a lack of integrity, all of which you have accomplished in skillful manner.

    Well, bless your heart, too! Seriously, though, Some opinions are personal, and some aren’t, and the ones that aren’t are sometimes testable. I like voicing opinions that are well-informed, logical, and apply well to reality. I’m not predisposed to want to lie to people, and I offer my opinions sincerely. That’s not lying, you’re just defining it far too broadly.

    Lying is when you tell people that the Stimulus has done nothing, even after you’ve been shown the numbers that say it’s done something, and you don’t have any more of an argument than just “those numbers don’t mean anything.” Lying is when you tell people that cutting taxes increases revenue, even though time after time, the revenues fall short.

    Lying is telling people we only have a spending problem, even after you’ve dropped revenues for the last ten years.

    Lying is telling people that tax cuts create jobs, and get spent, even after surveys have shown that the money gets socked away into savings, and job creation numbers tank worse than they have for decades, even by Jimmy Carter’s standards.

    Lying is telling people that killing jobs is the way to increase employment, that American needs less economic activity in order to experience it more.

    You? You’re just guilty of relying on weak arguments rooted in fallacies of ad hominem argumentation. You simply try to discredit your opponent.

    Meanwhile, you fail to even grasp the basic necessity of keeping that Debt Ceiling above our current debt level. To you, the debt limit is about putting a stop to deficit spending. But that’s not its function. It’s a delegation of the power congress has to issue debt. It essentially says, “You’re okay to sell this much debt to our bond investors. Then come back, and we’ll authorize more.”

    That’s how its worked since 1917.

    My head’s on straight. Nobody screwed with it until now, and with good reason. Now that your people screwed with it, look what happened for the first time! A Downgrade!

    Odd coincidence, isn’t it? This didn’t even happen during WWII, and we were above 100% of GDP on that. Why? Because folks knew the government wasn’t going to screw around on things.

    Royal Flush-
    The first thing they cited as a reason for it was the willingness of folks in government to use it as a bargaining chip. Without the rest of that… well, we would have likely been faced with no chance of a downgrade anytime soon.

    Just read the press release. It’s right there, right in front. Another part is the refusal to entertain revenues seriously, which, as I recall it was a priority of your party.

    Sometimes people repeat platitudes about both Parties being at fault as a way to avoid the expected hissy-fits of those who might attack the credibility of an institution based on a perceived political bias.

    As for Obama resigning? No. The problem isn’t that he can’t govern. He does it quite a bit better than Bush did, he just has a party there dedicated to making the country ungovernable if they can’t govern things their way. If somebody wants to abuse power in that fashion, the only folks who can really help things are the voters, who I hope reward the Republicans for their failure to govern with a ticket out of town.

    National credit rating? We’re not a consumer, we’re not a mere business, we are the United States of America, an entity capable of borrowing on its own credit, capable of printing its own money, and also capable of taxing the people and compelling payment in order to pay back debts.

    Capable, that is, when there’s the political will to do so. Funny how S&P mentioned the failure to get revenues into the package.

    Additionally, there’s another issue: there are times when reduction of services, contract work, and increases of taxes can be done without causing much harm to the economy, and there are times when the economy is too weak not to feel the negative effect from that austerity. This is one of those times, but Republicans want to act like this is the Early Eighties or Seventies, and apply the solution to the economic problems of those times.

    Unfortunately, these times are far different. Interest rates and inflation aren’t out of control. Interest rates are zero, treasuries are pushing fairly low yields, and inflation as measured by Core CPI is low.

    As for your arguments about the nation credit card, and my “muddled mind”?

    Well, there are ways the two are alike, and then ways they’re not. A muddled mind might get confused on that count, a clear mind can hold the analogies and disanalogies without such distress.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 6, 2011 5:58 PM
    Comment #327178

    C&J-
    We were prepared to keep the taxes cut just for the Middle Class. Your party filibustered that.

    Your party insisted on keeping the cuts for the rich. You forced the point. I don’t see how we own it all that well. Your party imposed a full ten years, and with the S&P downgrade citing it as a cause, it probably seems like it’ll only be around for another year or so.

    Maybe you can get somebody else to buy that it’s somehow tied to us now, but we can always say that we promised to keep taxes low for the Middle class, and your people made that impossible without keeping them low for the rich as well.

    The Republicans still own it. Nobody’s forgotten who pushed for it in the first place, who fought its end, who went out of their way in the debt ceiling fiasco to defend it, even as you asked millions of taxpayers to absorb hits on Medicare and Social Security benefits.

    Admit that, and you might perceive the position your party is in about those cuts, and how unpopular they are.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 6, 2011 6:18 PM
    Comment #327179

    SD writes; “My head’s on straight. Nobody screwed with it until now, and with good reason. Now that your people screwed with it, look what happened for the first time! A Downgrade.”

    Wow…best joke I’ve heard all week. The dems control the White House and the Senate and this person blames the House.

    Dems can’t lead and can barely follow. We have resources in this country that are not being used because of liberal nonsense. Utilizing our vast mineral resources would add trillions to the government, both federal and state, coffers, create millions of real jobs, and be heralded as prudent and wise.

    Instead, we hear the liberal socialists yearning for other peoples money. Brain dead and morally corrupt. The next level for them is extinction.

    Posted by: Royal Flush at August 6, 2011 6:27 PM
    Comment #327180

    “I will say that I really don’t like the attitude of the Progressive caucus towards entitlement spending, which is their sacred cow. We definitely need to cut spending on those programs including Medicare & Social Security.”

    Warped,

    This is one of the most nonsensical positions that anyone could possibly take. The idea that we cannot afford a national pension, disability and health care care retirement system is absurd.

    Social Security is not an insurmountable fiscal problem. Not only is it solvent for the next 26 years, but as Robert Reich, a former trustee of the SS Trusts, has pointed out, simply adjusting the cap on payroll taxes in accordance with a basic assumption of the 1983 Reagan Greenspan Commission would resolve much, if not all, of the future fiscal problems. http://robertreich.org/post/3331762717

    Medicare on the other hand is not such an easily resolved problem. It is the primary driver of the long term deficit problem. But, why? It is not due to baby boomers. It is, without dispute, due to extraordinary inflation in health care costs projected going forward. http://www.cepr.net/calculators/hc/hc-calculator.html

    But that health care cost inflation threatens not only Medicare but also employer group and individual insurance for all age groups going forward. Cutting Medicare for the sake of adjusting future federal projected deficits obfuscates and deflects from the real issue. It is the nation that will not be able to afford health care in the future! It has nothing to do with “entitlements” per se. Nobody will be able to afford health care.

    But, there are solutions to the health care issue. No other industrialized nation is facing this problem with this magnitude. I encourage to use the interactive options on the above provided link to see what the future deficit problem would be like if we adopted the health care financing systems of any other nation. It doesn’t have to be this way.


    Posted by: Rich at August 6, 2011 6:46 PM
    Comment #327182

    SD’s comment to dbs:

    “Your view of the economic of all this just appalls me on the grounds of your evident ignorance alone. You simply do not understand how our finances work. You don’t seem to realize just how big of an economic shock you’re prepared to inflict.”

    Typical socialist bullshit: attack the messenger and not the message.

    SD’s comment to me, and I don’t even know where to begin because your ignorance is appalling:

    “Mike-
    First, polls can only tell you what people think is the right thing, it doesn’t mean it is the right thing. As people grew more aware of just what the debt ceiling was, and what it did, the numbers went more to our side. The fact that nobody ever saw America default probably contributes to it.”

    Once again SD, you believe the elite few socialists should be able to decide for the many. Polls are like election, the one with the most wins. Remember the poll taken last November; you lost. Just wait until the poll next year. The American people understand exactly what is going on with the debt and that is why there is still a majority who were against raising the debt. Just as there is a steady 50-60% against obamacare. What give you the right, in your arrogant mind, to decide you know what is best, based on the fact that most Americans are stupid and it takes an intelligent liberal to figure out what is best for all of us?

    “I don’t hate free thinking conservativism.”

    This is a lie, we stand for everything you are against.

    “I mean, if I were to offer my theory, the Tea Party is the core of the Republican’s conservative base that simply does not want to admit the failures of conservative policy or government, and instead sets itself to insist on all the old Republican hobby-horses of the last thirty years.”

    This is coming from someone who has NEVER admonished anything socialist liberals have done.

    “They’re essentially the people who want all of the things that Republican leaders were actually too realistic to give them. They’re the people who want to belive Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are real, that cutting taxes improves the economy and job creation, that going it alone against the world is is good foreign policy, that what America’s economy needs is more cutting of Government jobs, government, and government spending.”

    No Stephen, we are people who are fed up with republican RINO’s caving to socialist, just so they can be part of the blue bloods of DC. We are fed up with voting for people who become cowards once they get in the trenches. And we have a movement in America that is going to send the likes of McCain into retirement. We are going to put more conservatives in office and we are going to demand that they listen to us. You guys on the left are the believers in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny; you are the ones who believe it is your destiny in life to bring in a socialist utopia, and in order to do that you need more and more taxes from those who work.

    “You are hostage takers. You lacked the votes in the Senate to get even an approximation of your plan how you wanted it, so you took our debt limit, and made that a tool for leverage against liberals and moderates, to force them to make major concessions in budget battles. Never mind the effects, it was do things your way, or else. Or, worse, some of your members want a default to happen. This isn’t some wild-eyed accusation. I’m practically quoting off of your own people. Hell, the Senate Majority leader talked about what you were doing as shooting or ransoming a hostage. Quite BSing the rest of us. It was your way or the highway.”

    Hostage takers is liberal talking points and you are eager to repeat them aren’t you Stephen. Because that is all you do; repeat those liberal socialist talking points. The Republicans have not done anything different than socialist Democrats. There are rules in the Congress and your side has certainly used them. Off the top of my head I can think of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, who by their lonesome’s were able to block banking rules which led to the down fall of the housing industry and the bailing out of Freddie and Fannie. So you want to lay blame, lay it there.

    I don’t give a shit what the Senate Majority leader said about anything; he’s a political hack who is an embarrassment to Nevada. So get use to the highway, you socialist are a dying breed.

    “As for the Downgrade not being about the debt ceiling vote? You know, you don’t want to make an argument like that, not when people can dig up the statement S&P made, and explicitly contradict it, showing it to be the first, most prominent reason for the downgrade. With your people wielding the influence you do right now, Standard and Poors doesn’t trust the government to be dependable about paying back its debts and meeting its obligations.”

    It’s not about the debt ceiling vote, it’s about the debt, and until politicians are willing to tackle the debt, the American people will continue to be the losers. You pick and choose what you want to quote from the S&P, which is typlical of a liberal.
    “It’s not hostage taking just to employ parliamentary manuevers. Democrats might be able to take or leave a particular bill, the government might be able to function without a particular appointee, but the debt ceiling was something nobody could afford to forsake, literally.”

    So Stephen, are you telling us that this debt crisis happened all of a sudden; or perhaps our economy has been headed this direction for years. The left are such idiots; 15 years ago they were against drilling for oil on our own land, because it would take at least 10 years to get the wells up and running. Guess what, we would be energy independent if it weren’t for socialists. You continue to lie to the American people about the solvency of Medicare and SS, and you will, until there is a crisis and no money to pay for it. With the left its always kick the can down the road, until it becomes a crisis. But hell, your own mantra is “never waste a crisis”. So I guess Obama is getting his way, for now.

    And last but not least, the real reason liberal socialist are mad; the absence of taxes:

    “As for raising taxes, again, you don’t want to make that argument, not with Standard and Poors saying that the unlikelihood of getting Republicans to concede on the need for new revenues was part of their decision to downgrade.”
    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 6, 2011 05:09 PM

    Yes Stephen and they also wanted $4 trillion in cuts, and not the hocus-pocus cuts that will never materialize. You failed to quote everything, didn’t you?

    Posted by: Mike at August 6, 2011 6:51 PM
    Comment #327183

    Since I read this latest ignorant statement, SD said to C&J:

    “C&J-
    We were prepared to keep the taxes cut just for the Middle Class. Your party filibustered that.

    Your party insisted on keeping the cuts for the rich.”

    You see Stephen, we of the right side know that taxes do not stop at the rich. When a Socialist Democrat says tax the rich, it is code for “tax everyone”. Your leadership on the left are liars. They never keep their word.


    Posted by: Mike at August 6, 2011 7:03 PM
    Comment #327184

    WR, be careful, statements like this will put you on the dodo list:

    “I will say that I really don’t like the attitude of the Progressive caucus towards entitlement spending, which is their sacred cow. We definitely need to cut spending on those programs including Medicare & Social Security.”

    But you seem to have no problem continuing to support them?

    Perhaps you could list me a couple of Democrats willing to deal with this?

    Posted by: TomT at August 6, 2011 7:09 PM
    Comment #327186

    Mr. Daugherty

    I have just finished looking over the last several articles posted by you. Not one original thought. There was a lot of picking up the pieces of your manure bag which called the tea party “terrorists” and “hostage taking” when these phrases were started somewhere else, certainly not here.

    I have never seen so many words typed out to show a persons ignorance on issues as you have put on this blog site. You repeat yourself many, many, times. You say one thing then you rebut what you say. The word that comes to mind is inconsistency. You make claims that are negative claims. Negative claims cannot be argued. There is nothing to argue about. It is just rhetoric and hyperbole. How does one prove you wrong when your statement does the proving for itself? You say you are not a socialist, but the party you so ambitiously support is my majority a socialist party. Even to the point that in some states socialist is included in the democratic part name. Progressives are socialists and you support them to the hilt. Nah, you’re not a socialist, just a deranged democrat. I am probably wrong about that last sentence.

    My opinion is that you are a coward to admit you depth of belief on socialism. You cannot stand on your argument on issues.

    The reason we have a debt is because we spent too much money. And we spent in on the wrong things. So how do we correct the situation. Stop spending money on the things we should not be spending it on. If a state university wants to do research on anything, the money should come from private funds or the state the university is located in. It is not the hundreds of billions of dollars in a lump sum that got us here. It is the $10 million, the $35 million, the $80 million, the $100 million and so on that got us here. It was mentioned earlier that in 2024 the debt will be $24 trillion. Where does it end? It cannot continue. If the government were to reduce spending by $8 trillion dollars annually and continue that “austerity” (that word you love to use) there would be some pain. The pain would not be near what the pain we are about to inflict upon ourselves.

    There have been several writers on this blog site that have tried to let you know the folly of your ways.

    Well here is a saying that may apply to you.

    Never give advice.
    Because a foolish man will not take it
    and a wise man does not need it.

    I know where you fall in this. Just wake up and see where you are now and where you are heading.

    Posted by: tom humes at August 6, 2011 7:35 PM
    Comment #327187


    Royal, they did not down grade because the government failed to cut $4 trillion.

    Their three main concerns where that the deal did not go far enough to curb future costs in entitlements, because it did nothing on the revenue side of the equation and because partisan differences made it unlikely that progress in the above two areas would occur anytime soon. Their expectations are that things may change after 2012.

    Republicans are likely to continue running on slash and burn in 2012, so the question is, do the Democrats have the gonads to run on curbing the cost of entitlements and tax increases, especially for those who have benefited the most from the Bush tax cuts?

    Entitlements alone did not get this country in the mess it is in. The Bush tax cuts contributed greatly and the military is eating up tremendous amounts of our wealth.

    Example, that humongous embassy in Iraq and the private army we are creating to protect it have got to go.

    Example, the plane loads of U.S. cash being flown into Kabul, where much of it is reloaded on other planes and flown to banks in Dubai, where many wealthy Afghans now reside, has got to stop.

    The State Department is a significant source of defence spending.

    Both the State Department and the Defence Department are major sources of graft that cost the American tax payers billions annually.

    Posted by: jlw at August 6, 2011 7:47 PM
    Comment #327188

    TT,

    But you seem to have no problem continuing to support them?

    I’m not a single issue voter. I’m also willing to vote for a Republican if the proper circumstances emerge. Right now I’m prepared to vote for Scott Brown in 2012; none of the current Democratic challengers impress me a whole lot. I’ve never voted for my Democratic incumbent (Nikki Tsongas) in my local House of Representatives elections. However, Tsongas has made a better impression on me the last few months so I’m considering voting for her for the very first time in 2012.

    Perhaps you could list me a couple of Democrats willing to deal with this?

    Barack Obama offered to raise the eligibility age in his talks with Boehner, but Boehner walked away because he was afraid to even talk about raising taxes.

    Rich,

    The idea that we cannot afford a national pension, disability and health care care retirement system is absurd.

    It is clear that we need to cut spending somewhere. Entitlements and defense make up the biggest chunks of the budget and should take the brunt of the cuts. Payroll taxes end up in the general fund; the Social Security administration receives the equivalent of treasury bonds in exchange, but when it’s time to redeem those securities they will have to paid out of the general fund (or printed on the printing press which would cause massive inflation). Thus, the program as currently established is unsustainable due to the demographic problem posed by the boomers. I’d rather disconnect payroll taxes from SS and Medicare entirely; just have them go into the general fund and pay out benefits from the general fund without any chicanery about a “SS trust fund”. In order to reduce the burden of these retirement program, I would reserve benefits for the truly old. This would mean raising the eligibility age significantly, perhaps to 80 years of age. I’m aware this would mean half of all Seniors would never receive any benefits, and I’m OK with that. Most people aged 65-80 still have some capacity to work if need be, but more importantly; everyone should be saving enough for at least 15 years of retirement. If one isn’t willing to save one’s own money then I don’t see why one is entitled to benefits that come out of my pocket.

    Here’s another way to think about it: Because our current debt level is unsustainable, we’ll need to cut something else if we don’t reduce expenditures on social security and medicare. Raising taxes, eliminating tax expenditures, cutting military spending are all part of the process of reducing our deficit, but they cannot get us all the way there. If we aren’t going to touch the quantity of SS or medicare benefits, then we’ll have to cut non-defense discretionary spending instead. This is Congress’ favoritte whipping boy when they need to cut something from the budget but are unwilling to touch defense or entitlements. Non-defense discretionary spending covers programs far more valuable than social security or medicare. There’s NOAA, the FDA, OSHA, grants for scientific research, and many more. Personally, I’d rather have my tax dollars spent investing in the future instead of investing in the past.

    Posted by: Warped Reality at August 6, 2011 7:56 PM
    Comment #327189


    That’s right Stephen, if the government where to reduce spending by $8 trillion annually, there would be some pain, for a short time.

    IMO, the number of cowards that won’t admit they are socialists is on par with the number of cowards that won’t admit they are fascists.

    Posted by: jlw at August 6, 2011 8:02 PM
    Comment #327190

    tom humes,

    The future dire federal deficit is principally due to skyrocketing private sector health care delivery costs. It is not the cost of Medicare or Medicaid, per se, it is the cost of the product Medicare/Medicaid purchases. If health care inflation was equivalent to general inflation, there would not be a huge problem. But it isn’t. It is two to three times general inflation. Nobody disputes that fact.

    Do you agree that this isn’t simply a government problem with Medicare and Medicaid? Isn’t it really a national problem affecting all age groups whether covered by Medicare, Medicaid, group employer insurance, individual insuarance, etc.?

    The Medicare debate is nothing more than a proxy for the entire health care system and our national economy. It isn’t about out of control federal spending. It is about out of control spending in the private health care delivery system. If government can’t afford it, how the he.. do you think companies and individuals are going to afford it?

    Now, we can take the approach of cutting the current system to accommodate the inflation or we can seriously address the inflation problem. There are options.


    Posted by: Rich at August 6, 2011 8:11 PM
    Comment #327191

    “Non-defense discretionary spending covers programs far more valuable than social security or medicare. There’s NOAA, the FDA, OSHA, grants for scientific research, and many more.”

    Warped,

    You have a truly warped set of priorities. Food, shelter and health care for a large segment of the population are secondary to space exploration?

    Why is there a perceived need to cut the entitlements? It is because of health care inflation. Ryan understands that. Obama understands that. It is really quite that simple. Do you understand that?

    Do you not understand that the problems of health care inflation will impact our general economy, not simply the federal budget (Medicare). Sure, we can cut Medicare and Medicaid to balance the federal budget, but what is the private sector going to do? Isn’t it going to have to also cut group employer insurance in an even more drastic manner (Medicare is a more efficient provider of insurance)? So, we are not really talking about a federal deficit problem, we are talking about a national health financing problem if not solved will destroy the economy of the United States.

    Posted by: Rich at August 6, 2011 8:30 PM
    Comment #327192

    tom humes,

    Progressives are socialists and you support them to the hilt.

    Where has SD stated support for state ownership of our industries and means of production. Or for that matter, where has any prominent progressive advocated this?

    If a state university wants to do research on anything, the money should come from private funds or the state the university is located in. It is not the hundreds of billions of dollars in a lump sum that got us here. It is the $10 million, the $35 million, the $80 million, the $100 million and so on that got us here.

    That’s a bad example of wasteful spending. Public financing of research is vital to the long term sustainability of our economy. Almost all modern technologies owe at least some debt to government sponsored research. For example, research conducted at my university led to the development of Magnetic Resonant Imaging. MRIs have proven themselves to be extremely valuables tools in the medical community and our used to diagnose a wide range of ailments. In other cases, the benefits of scientific research are externalized too much to yield a profit for a firm, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t fund such research.

    Caveat: I am currently employed by my university to help conduct research in atmospheric chemistry, namely the interactions between hydroxyl radicals and aerosols produced in forest fires (and other biomass burning events). This research has profound implications for public health, as well as for our future climate. If every thing goes as planned, the results of this research will be included in the climate models that will be included in the next IPCC report.

    Rich,
    What’s wrong with expecting people to save for their first 15 years of retirement? I’d even support increasing the quantity of benefits for the 80+ crowd. Perhaps I’d increase it so that it would be easy for the benefit to be one’s only source of income. Remember, this is supposed to be an insurance program. It’s not insurance if nearly everyone receives benefits. And I must disagree with you; I think it’s extremely proper to value space exploration over providing money to people who didn’t save enough for retirement. As I said, I’d rather have my tax dollars spent investing in the future instead of investing in the past. Call my priorities warped, but they are what they are.

    As far as health care inflation, we’ll see how the PPACA deals with that. I was sold the idea that the PPACA would reduce that problem significantly. Any further progress in fighting health care inflation would have to come with the implementation of single payer health care, which is not something the nation can stomach right now.

    Posted by: Warped Reality at August 6, 2011 8:49 PM
    Comment #327193


    WR, I guess a low wage worker, with a family, in this economy, could, in 45+ years of working, save enough to live on for 15 years or just keep working until they are eligible to draw SS at 80. I suppose the fact of stagnant wages and a growing wealth gap will have little effect.

    Or, are you one of those who think low wage jobs are just stepping stones for the vast majority of us.

    Then again, I imagine the odds of a low wage worker reaching the age of 80 is significantly less than that of a managerial type. There are things we can do to increase those odds in favor of managerial types.

    We can fix SS without being that draconian, and there are quite a number of examples we can look at to lower health care costs.

    We could turn our military into a mega corporation and sell it off to the market. Let the investors determine how it will police the world. The savings would be tremendous.

    Many of the non-defence discretionary spending programs are already on the Republican chopping block, there is no trade deal to be made there. They are especially interested in doing away with non-defence scientific research.

    OSHA: Unneeded and unwanted in a free market. If workers want injury insurance, let them buy it.

    FDA: Caveat emptor baby, caveat emptor!

    NOAA: Used for source material by those who are promoting the global warming lies. You can get weather forecasts by paying for them don’t you know? Who needs to fly through a hurricane to know it is a hurricane?

    EPA: Pure evil! Totally anti-free market.

    Posted by: jlw at August 6, 2011 9:05 PM
    Comment #327194

    Warped,

    My apology for substituting NASA for NOAA. But same conclusion.


    Posted by: Rich at August 6, 2011 9:11 PM
    Comment #327195

    WR,

    “Barack Obama offered to raise the eligibility age in his talks with Boehner, but Boehner walked away because he was afraid to even talk about raising taxes.”

    It was Obama that said he would have the most transparent administration, and yet he is probably one of the worst. So he lied. You say he offered to deal with SS; there is no proof other than what he read off the teleprompter, and since he is a liar, I have great doubt that this was ever said.

    WR, you say you fail to argue with SD at times even though you disagree with him, and yet you defend him:

    “Where has SD stated support for state ownership of our industries and means of production. Or for that matter, where has any prominent progressive advocated this?”

    Grow some nads and defend what you believe when SD pushes his socialist agenda of entitlements:)

    Posted by: TomT at August 6, 2011 9:27 PM
    Comment #327196

    “I was sold the idea that the PPACA would reduce that problem significantly.”

    Jeez, Warped are you that naive? If you really believe that, then why are you so gung ho for cutting Medicare? Its main problem is health cost inflation.

    What is truly strange is that you recognize that a universal single payer system would be a significant step in alleviating the cost inflation, yet dismiss it as politically unacceptable in favor of cutting health care for seniors. For an otherwise intelligent person to argue this way is maddening. It is not just seniors. It is just that their long term health care financing is being analyzed and discussed. It is the canary in the coal mine. What applies to Medicare, applies to the whole system. It is not just the federal budget, it is the national economy.


    Posted by: Rich at August 6, 2011 9:31 PM
    Comment #327197
    Not one original thought.
    tom humes, having read your posts it seems you must think your calling Stephen a socialist is “original thought” or you are a hypocrite that has never had an original thought yourself. Take a guess which one I think it is.
    There was a lot of picking up the pieces of your manure bag which called the tea party “terrorists” and “hostage taking” when these phrases were started somewhere else, certainly not here.

    Yet you spout the nonsensical conservative dribble as if it was your original thought that you started here, get a grip. You’re repeating Tom, Mike and others almost verbatim. Probably because you heard it from Rush and put no thought into it, original or otherwise.

    Perhaps that is why on WB you are suppose to critique the message not the messenger. Which of course you have not been able to do with any success.

    Posted by: j2t2 at August 6, 2011 9:59 PM
    Comment #327200

    TT,

    yet you defend him

    I defend him when I think he is right. I don’t defend him when I think he is wrong.

    socialist agenda of entitlements

    Entitlements aren’t socialism. As I said before, Socialism is state ownership of industry or the means of production, which is not evident in the case of entitlements. We do have socialism in this country however; the state does own the defense industry as well as the justice industry, but no one is arguing that we do without these socialist enterprises.

    It was Obama that said he would have the most transparent administration, and yet he is probably one of the worst. So he lied. You say he offered to deal with SS; there is no proof other than what he read off the teleprompter, and since he is a liar, I have great doubt that this was ever said.
    There are so many problems with this argument, I do not know where to begin. Firstly, I think it’s fair to describe the Obama administration as the most transparent. Implementation of www.data.gov, unprecedented access to the details of NSF grants (www.nsf.gov/open) as well as a whole host of other conduits of releasing information is nothing to sneeze at. Obama’s efforts to make government transparent have been recognized by the League of Women Votersand sunlight foundation. Obama’s record isn’t perfect, he still has plenty more to do, but I think you’ll be hard pressed to find any recent President with a more transparent administration.

    Secondly, you commit another fallacy. Just because you feel that Obama is a “liar” (an unproven assertion), doesn’t mean Obama always lies and never tells the truth. I think it’s pretty well established that Obama put entitlement cuts on the table during the negotiations and the GOP balked.

    Posted by: Warped Reality at August 6, 2011 10:51 PM
    Comment #327201

    Rich, I’ll respond to you tomorrow.

    Posted by: Warped Reality at August 6, 2011 11:17 PM
    Comment #327202


    The relationship that American companies have with the Communist Party of China is more socialist by far than anything in the U.S.

    Shall we compare our entitlement programs with those that the Chinese workers enjoy?

    How about we compare them to those that workers enjoyed in the former Soviet Union?

    Surely they are identical or very nearly identical.

    Perhaps we can compare them to those in socialist Germany, socialist England and socialist Canada?

    I haven’t seen any socialists on American TV, but I have seen one guy that seemed to be having trouble making up his mind on whether to be a Nazi of a communist, waving one flag in one hand and another flag in the other. Of course, I switched the channel real quick. I’m paranoid of the government and I am not about to let them catch me watching any fascist Nazi’s or communists.

    It is extremely difficult to debate socialism with people who are ignorant on the subject and refuse to educate themselves. Who needs education when they have conservative talk radio and Faux News.


    Posted by: jlw at August 7, 2011 12:34 AM
    Comment #327205

    We all misuse words like Socialism, communism and fascism because their meaning as concepts has gone way beyond their dictionary meaning. We should not get too stuck on the definitions, since they are meaningless to most people. Language doesn’t sit still and a scholastic debate about meaning is not useful. BTW - look up that word scholastic and most of you will find the way I used the word it does not mean what you just thought. My point, exactly.

    In our modern world, we can look to the degree of government involvement, interference and management to differentiate. There is certainly no purity in politics, but generally conservatives (in the U.S. sense) believe in less government control and liberals in more.

    But we have the problem of what kind of government. This is where the real split took place. Conservatives have often welcomed government action to stabilize currency, create infrastructure, provide for security and enforce laws and contracts. There is no free market without government providing these basic services.

    What conservatives dislike (and believe liberals support) is actual government management of the economy, generally with the goal of redistributing income or creating “just” wages. If you look at the big fights, this is where you find them. It spills off into other things. Think of the “prevailing wage” concept. We are usually talking about building infrastructure (which conservatives like) but it has been made also about redistributing income. The “prevailing wage” is rarely the wage that you actually would have to pay to get the job done. If it was, there would be no reason to have a rule about prevailing wages.

    We don’t like to make the distinctions like I did above, because it reveals too much about our motives. Politicians like to be for everything at the same time. But in the real world you often have to set priorities among good goals. You have to trade equal opportunity for equality, for example. Often you have to trade liberty for justice, as most people define these things. In these debate, conservatives usually go for liberty, while liberals prefer justice. Both good things, but not attainable in their complete forms at the same time.

    It is a lot easier to call something socialist or fascists, both of whom supported greater government intervention in the economy than we currently have in the U.S., BTW.

    Posted by: C&J at August 7, 2011 8:44 AM
    Comment #327206

    jlw I have often asked what is the difference between conservatism as practiced and fascism yet have not received an answer from the conservatives.

    I have noticed that when conservatives accuse others of some sort of nefarious activity or conspiracy it is because they themselves are actively engaged in the activity. As they shout “socialism” “socialism” without a clue or redefining socialism to fit their misguided definition they are doing so in order to redirect attention away from their wholehearted support and admiration of an authoritarian dictatorship. Doing China’s bidding in the house and the Senate, the conservatives have furthered the goals of the dictatorship once again. Go figure.


    “China has said that the United States is placing the world economy at risk through its “addiction” to debt, and has called on the country to cut defence and welfare costs.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/08/06/china-leads-rising-calls-_n_920102.html?ir=Business

    Posted by: j2t2 at August 7, 2011 9:01 AM
    Comment #327207

    stephen


    “I can only hope that in 18 months, we’ll have a majority in Congress which is sane enough to just pass the thing.”

    and i can only hope we have one sane enough to put an end to the wastefull gov’t spending, and endless borrowing to spend even more.


    “That’s the irony of all this. You think you’re pulling the emergency brakes, but really, you’re disengaging them. It won’t stop us from running deficits, though it would make it more difficult to pay for them, more expensive to service the debt.”


    the only thing that will stop us from running deficits is to STOP SPENDING MORE THAN WE TAKE IN. this will also, except in a time of emergency negate the need for raising the debt ceiling every f#ck!ng year.

    “Your view of the economic of all this just appalls me on the grounds of your evident ignorance alone.”


    what ever you say professor.

    “You simply do not understand how our finances work.”


    oh…i know how they work. we continue to increase spending while there aren’t the funds to continue even at current levels.



    “You don’t seem to realize just how big of an economic shock you’re prepared to inflict.”


    and you apparently have no clue as to the economic damage your unwillingness to deal with our finances in a responsible way will inflict. in your little world the gov’t can make all our economic boo boos go away just by increasing spending, borrowing more, and getting even with all those evil rich people.

    “It’s all abstract to you, and you’ve convinced yourself that it’s analogous to a family getting control of its expenses.”


    it really isn’t much different, only much larger in scale. it is you who feel the need to overcomplicate everything, and then tell all us inferior beings just how stupid we are.
    you think it’s ok to continue to extend fed unemployment benefits even though we have to borrow to do it. you also fail to see that the miniscule amount of economic activity it MIGHT create, is overshadowed by the interest we will pay for years on that borrowed money. kind of like using a second mortgage to pay off an auto loan, as opposed to just cutting your spending habits and applying it to the loan in order to pay it off quicker.


    you then prattle on about how we are paying people to continue to look for work. really….. if we quit giving them money they won’t look for work? you know stephen from personal experience i would have to say hunger is a pretty strong motivator. if it doesn’t motivate you, you probably wouldn’t make the effort when someone is giving you a free check every week.

    Posted by: dbs at August 7, 2011 9:31 AM
    Comment #327208

    j2t2


    “As they shout “socialism” “socialism” without a clue or redefining socialism to fit their misguided definition they are doing so in order to redirect attention away from their wholehearted support and admiration of an authoritarian dictatorship.”

    talk about conspiracy theories. you left out the part about stomping puppies and kittens to death. LOL!!!

    Posted by: dbs at August 7, 2011 9:47 AM
    Comment #327209

    stephen

    i love this one.

    “what’s better, running the world’s money through our economy in order to increase activity, or cutting everything short?”


    oh……..we’ll be running it through our economy alright, and through our grand kids, great grandkids, and great great grandkids………. tell me o wise one, should we have a plan to pay off this debt? or just make minimum payments for say the next 300 or 400 years, as we continue to borrow?

    Posted by: dbs at August 7, 2011 9:57 AM
    Comment #327210

    Note that the user known as “Freeman” is actually tom humes. I have edited all of his comments as well as any responses to reflect this truth.

    tom humes, please stop changing your identity in order to extend the debate that you represent as “tom humes”. It’s disingenuous and will not work. If you would like to continue participating at WatchBlog, please use only one identity.

    Posted by: WatchBlog Publisher at August 7, 2011 10:48 AM
    Comment #327211

    Royal Flush-
    That’s no joke. Fiscal bills have to start in the House of Representatives. That was the body that had to get the ball rolling on a debt ceiling increase. Regardless, of that, though, the refusal of the House to pass the bill would plant the blame squarely on their heads anyways.

    The Constitution, which your side makes such a habit of thumping on the podium like a secular bible, requires passage through both houses of any law. By the plain language of the Constitution, the power you say we have just doesn’t exist.

    Utilizing our vast mineral resources would add trillions to the government, both federal and state, coffers, create millions of real jobs, and be heralded as prudent and wise.

    It would be heralded as prudent and wise.

    I’ve heard folks like you make this argument for decades. You never mention the health hazards that come from tailings, or the leaching of toxic chemicals through the abandon mines. Contrary to overheated rhetoric some use, I’m all for the wise, prudent exploitation of our resources. Unfortunately, some can only see that through the lens of somebody’s bottom line, rather than considering the externalities.

    There are costs to doing things your way that you fail to acknowledge or account for. You present it is a magic panacea to economic problems, but don’t acknowledge that what you’re really doing is just repeating uncritically the lines of corporations that may not behave in the ideal way you speak of.

    Things like concentration of the desired material in the ore veins might end up getting corporations to send mining and jobs overseas, as they did with Rare Earths. Your party’s free trade policies sometimes even encourage this, but the result is a strategic problem, both economically and militarily: so many items depend on those materials, and yet your people are willing to give them away because your loyalty is to a free market, rather than the interests of this country.

    Besides, mining is a sort of a one-off affair, as is oil drilling and natural gas extraction. Once out of the ground, it’s not a renewable resource. So pinning our fiscal hopes on it isn’t prudent or wise. Just as the oil states will one day have to deal with not having oil to support their social services, so too would we have to deal with the consequences of not having the mining business anymore.

    And, we would have to deal with the quite real impacts of the mining on the environment, and the closing of the mines on the employment situation there.

    Mike-
    I was critiquing the message. The message seemed so devoid of even a basic understanding of the system. The Debt Limit doesn’t affect Congress’s ability to write up laws telling the treasury to pay something out. It authorizes the treasury to take out up to its limit in debt financing.

    So, if you set the debt limit right were it was before August 2nd, Congress would still be in the position of stiffing a bunch of people it said it would pay. The rating companies would put us in the category of Selective Default. Which means to bondholders: watch out, their finances are so ****ed, you might be the folks they decide not to pay next.

    If we had crossed that line, then I’m certain every bond rating agency would have both dropped us a grade and put us on notice. The problem there, and the problem we might still have to a degree is that up until this point, Treasury Bonds were one of the safest investments in existence, a baseline for risk elsewhere.

    These are the things I know, and which evidently your sources haven’t told you. They relate fairy tales to you of this reducing deficit spending, saving the kids from our debts, maybe undoing big government, and so on and so forth. But what they don’t tell you, perhaps because they don’t know themselves, is that all this, even if true, would come at the cost of an extreme drop off in our GDP (government business is still business in the eyes of the economy), and an undermining of the safety of investments across the board.

    You complain about the uncertainties that come from regulations. But those uncertainties are little different from the standard uncertainties of life. These, though, are of an entirely different kind. These are uncertainties that get in the way of the normal doing of business, that create so much of a freeze in credit markets, in sovereign debt markets, in the bottom line of companies here in the US, that it would likely send us into another Depression.

    I don’t hate free thinking conservatism, I’ve just yet to see much of it these days. In its place, I see a whole bunch of doctrinaire, constricted dogma. Your people refuse to consider revenues, refuse to consider the fortunes of the American people in the debt deal you forced on us.

    I think your people need to quit just keeping your own counsel. You’re not the only smart people around, nor always the right people.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 7, 2011 11:52 AM
    Comment #327212
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you want to get hysterical about our debt, go ahead. Truth is, we were only paying about 1.6% of GDP to deal with our debt. It wasn’t overwhelming us …
    False.

    The interest on the $14.5 Trillion federal national debt is more than 1.6% of GDP that you stated above.
    It is 2.77% of GDP.
    GDP is currently reported to be about $15.1 Trillion.
    The interest on the $14.5 Trillion federal national debt is about $415 Billion per year, which is 2.74% of GDP (58% more than what you claimed).

    Consider the following:

    • The U.S. population is about 312 Million.
    • $413 Billion for interest alone on the $14.5 Trillion federal national debt is $1,323 per person (or $5,295 for a family of four) per year.
    • $413 Billion for interest alone is $1.131 Billion per day.
    • $413 Billion for interest alone is 19.1% of the $2.174 Trillion in total federal revenues for year 2011 (excluding the $1.65 Trillion deficit for 2011; i.e. extra borrowing).
    • $14.5 Trillion for the total federal national debt is $46,474 per person (or $186,897 for a family of four).
    • The federal National Debt per-capita of $46,474, is over 2.1 times larger than the previous record-high after World War II, which was $22,099 in year 1945 in today’s 2011 dollars.
    • The federal National Debt per-capita of $45,474, is over 8.2 times larger than the it was near the end of the Great Depression, which was $5,674 in year 1941 in today’s 2011 dollars.
    • The total nation-wide debt of $57+ Trillion ($182,692 per person, or $730,769 for a family of four) is crushing the nation, and has been for decades.
    • Foreclosures (3,825,637 foreclosure filings on 2.87 Million properties in year 2010) are at record-high levels (up 23% from 2008).
    • Bankruptcies (both business and non-business) are at record-high levels (1.57 Million) for the 12 months from March-2010 to March-2011.
    • A 2001 U.S. Dollar is now only worth 78 cents (or less).
    • A 1990 U.S. Dollar is now only worth 58 cents.
    • A 1970 U.S. Dollar is now only worth 17 cents.
    • A 1950 U.S. Dollar is now only worth 11 cents.
    • A 1913 U.S. Dollar is now only worth 04 cents.
    • To stop the $14.5 Trillion of federal debt from growing larger, with the average rate of 2.85% interest ($413 Billion per year) on the total $14.5 Trillion federal debt, the federal government would have to stop borrowing $1.65 Trillion per year ($4.52 Billion per day) over the $2.174 Trillion in annual federal revenues, and pay $420 Billion per year ($1.15 Billion per day). That is, the federal government would have to cut spending by $2.07 Trillion per year ($5.65 Billion per day)!!! Only to keep the debt from growing larger!!!
    Yet
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you want to get hysterical about our debt, go ahead. Truth is, we were only paying about 1.6% of GDP to deal with our debt. It wasn’t overwhelming us

    90% of all money in the U.S. already exists as debt, because money is created as debt at a frational banking ratio of 9-to-1.

    QUESTION: So, where is the money going to come from to merely pay the interest on the $57 Trillion nation-wide debt, when it does not yet exist?
    Just create some more money out of thin air?
    Have you ever played the game of Monopoly?
    Imagine one player who can create all the money they want out of thin air.
    Before too long, that person owns everything, and everyone else is broke or deep in debt.
    The best way to win is quite simply not to play.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The debt limit should be ****ing off limits! It shouldn’t be a debate whether this country pays its bills!
    Really?

    Despite the fact that the federal government, to stop the $14.5 Trillion of federal debt from growing larger, with an average rate of 2.85% interest ($413 Billion per year) on the total $14.5 Trillion federal debt, would have to stop borrowing $1.65 Trillion per year ($4.52 Billion per day) over the $2.174 Trillion in annual federal revenues, and pay $420 Billion per year ($1.15 Billion per day)!?!. That is, the federal government would have to cut spending by $2.07 Trillion per year ($5.65 Billion per day), to simply stop the total federal debt from growing ever larger!!! And now that the debt ceiling has already been raised again by another few Trillion dollar$.

    To make matters worse, it is quite likely that the economic statistics being reported are being skewed to make things appear rosier than they actually are:

    • Inflation may actually be 11.2% instead of 3.8% .
    • Unemployment may actually be 22.5% instead of 9.1% .
    • GDP growth may actually be negative 2.7% and negative since 2006, instead of a positive 1.7% .
    • Unemployment may actually be 22.5% instead of 9.1% .

    A society can only consume more than it produces for so long.

    The U.S. currency is being steadily devalued, along with most international currencies, which are as bad, or worse.
    The money system is quite simply a pyramid scheme, where too much money is created out of thin air; as debt at a fractional banking ratio of 9-to-1 of debt-to-reserves.
    Again, where is the money going to come from to merely pay the interest on the $57 Trillion nation-wide debt, when it does not yet exist?
    Creating more debt and more money out of thin air will simply debauch the currency.

    Any way, I am glad I bought some gold, land, home, and eliminated all debt years ago.
    Others would be wise to do the same.
    Downsize your home if necessary; stop wasting money on iPhones, lattes, and giant TVs; and in general, stop consuming more than you produce.
    Yes, that may not help a 75% consumer-driven economy, but like all pyramid schemes, they can not last forever.
    The best way to win the game of Monopoly, in which one player can create all the money they want out of thin air, is not to play at all.

    But that is unlikely, because too many people in the U.S. are too addicted to spending and consuming more than they produce.
    And the painful consequences are now culminating.

    China, and other nations would be wise to consider their chances of ever being paid back the money they have loaned to the U.S.
    Especially since the federal government would have to stop borrowing $1.65 Trillion per year ($4.52 Billion per day) over the $2.174 Trillion in annual federal revenues, and pay $420 Billion per year ($1.15 Billion per day). That is, the federal government would have to cut spending by $2.07 Trillion per year ($5.65 Billion per day) to merely stop the $14.5 Trillion of federal debt from growing larger (with an average rate of 2.85% interest ($413 Billion per year) on the total $14.5 Trillion federal debt).

    At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at August 7, 2011 12:32 PM
    Comment #327213

    CORRECTION: And the painful consequences are now culminating.

    Posted by: d.a.n at August 7, 2011 12:35 PM
    Comment #327214
    talk about conspiracy theories. you left out the part about stomping puppies and kittens to death. LOL!!!

    dbs read the link it seems the tea party is furthering the goals of the dictatorship that is China.

    Say dbs is it just a coincidence that you mention stomping puppies and kittens to death when discussing the connection between the tea party and China, a country that uses both as a food source?

    Posted by: j2t2 at August 7, 2011 3:26 PM
    Comment #327215


    If some of the new people where wondering who Dan is, now you know. The man with the reality check statistics.

    It can be depressing. I may have to buy something with debt to make me feel better.

    Posted by: jlw at August 7, 2011 3:34 PM
    Comment #327216

    j2t2

    there has been rumblings of a global reserve currency to replace the dollar for some time. partly because of the devaluation of the dollar. hate to burst your bubble but it has nothing to do with the tea party. it has a lot more to do with QE 1, and QE 2. both which reduced the value of our dollar. if you want to point to something, point to geithner, and his boss. that’s where the blame belongs.

    Posted by: dbs at August 7, 2011 3:41 PM
    Comment #327217

    jlw,
    Interest on the federal debt consumes about 9% of the federal budget. GDP is a relatively useless number in a discussion about debt and deficits. In other words, we’re not even close to real trouble with debt, especially considering no effort has been made to increase revenues. The real problem with paying that interest is that is takes money away from other more useful functions.

    The truth is, virtually everyone who knows nothing about economics is caught in this negative GOP frame, a profoundly negative, destructive outlook. US bonds remain the largest, most liquid market in the world, and interest rates reflect a continued acceptance of the US currency and debt as the financial instrument of last resort. These markets represent investors from other governments. These are the people who print money and determine monetary policy. They are the biggest, most conservative investors in the world. They seek safety and preservation of capital, and when they need that, they put their money in US debt; in fact, they turn to it in such numbers, in such enormous sums, that US interest rates remain extraordinarily low.

    No one questions US ability to pay its debt. However, conservatives from the Republican party have seriously indicated they want to default. Shocking, but true. So it is not a question of ability, but willingness to pay the debt. In addition, this party will not consider raising revenues, and states they have every intention of continuing the same destructive behavior in the future.

    When confronted, these people either deny reality, or suggest the US could pay the interest, but shut down 44% of the American government. Since the federal government consists of about 20% of GDP, this would effectively close down 9% of the economy in an instant, resulting in an instanteneous US recession, and most likely a worldwide downturn.

    The problems faced by the US economy are real, but entirely manageable. The downgrade by S&P reflects, more than anything, a commentary on the induced economic downturn forced by the GOP. Don’t pay attention to the silly spins. Read the S&P comment. It is very specific. The problem is chiefly a political problem. Although it is political, it is a very real problem, because a failure of willingness can be just as devastating as an actual ability to service debt. This morning a Senator called the economic downturn by its appropriate name: The Tea Party Downgrade.

    Posted by: phx8 at August 7, 2011 4:03 PM
    Comment #327218

    An interesting but little reported fact about the S&P downgrade is that the rating agency made a $2Trillion dollar error in its calculations supporting its downgrade. Despite that error, S&P went ahead with its downgrade although its announcement was delayed. http://www.businessinsider.com/downgrade-treasury-spells-out-sps-2-trillion-mistake-2011-8

    Yea, we should really listen to this agency. It made enormous errors in its ratings of mortgage backed securities prior to the 2008 collapse and makes a $2 trillion dollar error in its calculations supporting a downgrade.

    This is what Warren Buffet had to say about the downgrade: The U.S., which was cut Aug. 5 to AA+ from AAA at S&P, merits a “quadruple A” rating, Buffett, 80, said yesterday in an interview with Betty Liu at Bloomberg Television.http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-06/buffett-says-s-p-s-downgrade-mistaken-still-doesn-t-see-another-recession.html

    Posted by: Rich at August 7, 2011 5:34 PM
    Comment #327219

    dbs-
    If there are any rumblings about a change in the reserve currency, it’s only owing to the fact that the conservatives no longer wish to maintain a working economy or budget. They want to fulfill their economic and fiscal fantasies. Trouble is, even in the attempt, they will fail. But worse yet, they’ll continue to claim it’s somebody else’s fault.

    Some folks want to make it a bipartisan problem, but the reality is, it’s the Republicans who resist living within our means, and not in terms of our poverty, but in terms of our wealth. We can afford to pay for much of what we’re paying for, and still have plenty of money to enjoy over that.

    The real problem is, some folks have taken one part of fiscal policy, and tied it in knots. They’ve taken the stupid, unrealistic promises of George H.W. Bush, and treated his failure to come through on it as an ultimate political sin, and over time, it’s become a cancer on conservative fiscal policy, especially after 2001.

    Your problem isn’t necessarily that we spend too much, it’s that we pay too little and expect the same services. Avoiding deficits means squaring the accounts, and there are multiple ways to do that.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 7, 2011 5:38 PM
    Comment #327220
    phx8 wrote: Interest on the federal debt consumes about 9% of the federal budget.
    What budget?

    The interest of $413 Billion on the $14.5 Trillion national debt is about 9% of the $3.824 Trillion of spending for fiscal 2011 (including the $1.65 Trillion borrowed for deficit spending for 2011).

    But it is 19% of the $2.174 Trillion in total federal revenues for year 2011.

    phx8 wrote: GDP is a relatively useless number in a discussion about debt and deficits.
    Sort of perhaps. But the debt per person should also be considered.
    • The federal National Debt per-person of $46,474, is over 2.1 times larger than the previous record-high after World War II, which was $22,099 in year 1945 in today’s 2011 dollars.
    • The federal National Debt per-person of $45,474, is over 8.2 times larger than the it was near the end of the Great Depression, which was $5,674 in year 1941 in today’s 2011 dollars.
    phx8 wrote: In other words, we’re not even close to real trouble with debt, …
    I totally disagree with that, due to the following 16 reasons:
    • (01) $413 Billion for interest alone on the $14.5 Trillion federal national debt is $1,323 per person (or $5,295 for a family of four) per year.
    • (02)$413 Billion for interest alone is 19% of the $2.174 Trillion in total federal revenues for year 2011 (excluding the $1.65 Trillion deficit for 2011; i.e. extra borrowing).
    • (03)$14.5 Trillion for the total federal national debt is $46,474 per person (or $186,897 for a family of four).
    • (04)The federal National Debt per-person of $46,474, is over 2.1 times larger than the previous record-high after World War II, which was $22,099 in year 1945 in today’s 2011 dollars.
    • (05)The federal National Debt per-person of $45,474, is over 8.2 times larger than the it was near the end of the Great Depression, which was $5,674 in year 1941 in today’s 2011 dollars.
    • (06)The total nation-wide debt of $57+ Trillion ($182,692 per person, or $730,769 for a family of four) is crushing the nation, and has been for decades.
    • (07)10,483 foreclosure filings per day; 3,825,637 foreclosure filings on 2.87 Million properties in year 2010 are at record-high levels (up 23% from 2008).
    • (08)4,301 bankruptcy filings per day (both business and non-business) are at record-high levels (1.57 Million) for the 12 months from March-2010 to March-2011.
    • (09)To stop the $14.5 Trillion of federal debt from growing larger, with the average interest rate of 2.85% ($413 Billion per year) on the total $14.5 Trillion federal debt, the federal government would have to stop borrowing $1.65 Trillion per year ($4.52 Billion per day) over the $2.174 Trillion in annual federal revenues, and pay down $420 Billion per year ($1.15 Billion per day) on the debt. That is, the federal government would have to cut spending by $2.07 Trillion per year ($5.65 Billion per day)!!! Only to keep the debt from growing larger!!!
    • (10)and do not under-estimate the federal government’s incompetence, corruption, greed, and arrogance, and inability to make tough decisions before it is too late;
    • (11)do not under-estimate the devaluation of the U.S. dollar with more creation of new money out of thin air; fueled by massive debt of nightmare proportions, and pressures to keep spending far beyond revenues;
    • (12)this massive debt problem is not going to go away for a very long time.
    • (13)and lastly, the money to merely pay the interest on the %14.5 Trillion of total federal debt, much less the total nation-wide debt of $57 Trillion, does not yet exist.
    • (14)The U.S. is the largest debtor nation on the planet, with only 4.7% of the total world population.
    • (15)The total $57 Trillion nation-wide debt is 3.8 times the $15.1 Trillion GDP, and the $14.5 Trillion of total federal debt is 96% of GDP.
    • (16)So, where is all of that money going to come from, when 90% of all money in existence in the U.S. already exists as debt, since money is created as debt at a fractional banking ratio of 9-to-1 of debt-to-reserves ???
    phx8 wrote: In other words, we’re not even close to real trouble with debt, especially considering no effort has been made to increase revenues. The real problem with paying that interest is that is takes money away from other more useful functions.
    True. Numerous opportunities and potential are lost and will continue to be lost for many years or decades.
    phx8 wrote: The truth is, virtually everyone who knows nothing about economics is caught in this negative GOP frame, a profoundly negative, destructive outlook.
    Concern about debt of nightmare proportions is not only a concern of the GOP and/or Republicans. The dismal numbers above should be disturbing to anyone who is truly able to grasp them.

    Again, where is all of the money going to come from to merely pay the interest on the debt, when 90% of all money in existence in the U.S. already exists as debt, since money is created as debt at a fractional banking ratio of 9-to-1 of debt-to-reserves ?

    phx8 wrote: US bonds remain the largest, most liquid market in the world, and interest rates reflect a continued acceptance of the US currency and debt as the financial instrument of last resort. These markets represent investors from other governments. These are the people who print money and determine monetary policy. They are the biggest, most conservative investors in the world. They seek safety and preservation of capital, and when they need that, they put their money in US debt; in fact, they turn to it in such numbers, in such enormous sums, that US interest rates remain extraordinarily low.
    That is ONLY becasue MOST other nations are WORSE than the U.S. in many ways.
    phx8 wrote: No one questions US ability to pay its debt.
    No one?

    Again, where is all of the money going to come from to merely pay the interest on the debt, when 90% of all money in existence in the U.S. already exists as debt, since money is created as debt at a fractional banking ratio of 9-to-1 of debt-to-reserves ?

    phx8 wrote: However, conservatives from the Republican party have seriously indicated they want to default. Shocking, but true.
    That is questionable.

    Spending cuts and redirection of spending and revenues could avoid any defaults.
    However, expecting the federal government to do their job, and to stop rampant borrowing and spending is probably too much to expect.
    Anyway, someone needs to raise serious concerns about spending, before it is too late.
    Otherwise, something much worse than some defaults is inevitable.
    If the U.S. currency is debauched, and a panic occurs due to high inflation (higher than many other international currencies), then things will get much worse.
    It is not at all far fetched.

    phx8 wrote: So it is not a question of ability, but willingness to pay the debt.
    Not exactly.

    The ability to pay is ONLY possible with MORE borrowing of Trillion$ of more dollars, and more debt that is already beyond nightmare proportions.

    phx8 wrote: In addition, this party will not consider raising revenues, and states they have every intention of continuing the same destructive behavior in the future.
    True.

    The tax system needs serious reforms.
    The current tax system is regressive.
    There should be NO more tax increases on the middle class, except possibly the elimination of the home mortgage tax deduction, along with the elimination of ALL tax loopholes.
    A simplification of the tax system (like this) could save hundreds of billions per year in tax preparation, compliance, and enforcement.

    phx8 wrote: When confronted, these people either deny reality, or suggest the US could pay the interest, but shut down 44% of the American government. Since the federal government consists of about 20% of GDP, this would effectively close down 9% of the economy in an instant, resulting in an instanteneous US recession, and most likely a worldwide downturn.
    Hmmmmmmm … a federal government that is 44% smaller sounds like a good thing.

    All that means is that the federal government would stop borrowing $1.65 Trillion beyond the $2.174 Trillion in total revenues (i.e. total annual spending of $3.824 Trillion).
    That sounds like a good thing.
    While raising the debt ceiling was necessary, due to time and waiting until the last minute (again), the size of the federal government needs to be scaled back significantly.
    There is $60 Billion in annual Medicare fraud that could be dealt with.
    There is a LOT of waste and bloat in the federal government.

      Spending of about $3.2 Trillion for year 2008 (approximate):
    • $660 Billion - Social Security
    • $432 Billion - Medicare
    • $209 Billion - Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
    • $324 Billion - Unemployment/Welfare/Other mandatory spending
    • $430 Billion - Interest on National Debt
    • $481 Billion - Department of Defense
    • $145 Billion - Global War on Terror
    • $69.3 Billion - Department of Health and Human Services
    • $56.0 Billion - Department of Education
    • $39.4 Billion - Department of Veterans Affairs
    • $35.2 Billion - Department of Housing and Urban Development
    • $35.0 Billion - Department of State and Other International Programs
    • $34.3 Billion - Department of Homeland Security
    • $24.3 Billion - Department of Energy
    • $20.2 Billion - Department of Justice
    • $20.2 Billion - Department of Agriculture
    • $17.3 Billion - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    • $12.1 Billion - Department of Transportation
    • $12.1 Billion - Department of the Treasury
    • $10.6 Billion - Department of the Interior
    • $10.6 Billion - Department of Labor
    • $51.8 Billion - Other On-budget Discretionary Spending
    • $39.0 Billion - Other Off-budget Discretionary Spending
    Spending for fiscal year 2011 is about $624 Billion more than year 2008.

    Surely, some cuts across the board are possible?
    More borrowing, debt, and printing more money out of thin air is not the solution.

    A balanced budget amendment sounds like a good thing, since the federal government has thoroughly proven that it can not control spending, waste, bloat, fraud, and corruption.
    More than 34 states have already submitted Article V applications to request an Article V Convention, but Congress has ignored it.

    phx8 wrote: The problems faced by the US economy are real, but entirely manageable.
    Whether it is manageable, or not, remains to be seen.

    Considering human nature, the levels of corruption within government, the massive debt, and the continuation of these 10 major abuses, the outlook for the next decade does not look promising. There is a lot of unavoidable pain an misery in the pipeline, and things are more likely to get much worse, before they get better.

    phx8 wrote: The downgrade by S&P reflects, more than anything, a commentary on the induced economic downturn forced by the GOP.
    It is NOT all the fault of the GOP.

    The circular partisan warfare is a supreme waste of time.
    BOTH parties are to blame, and so are the majority of voters who repeatedly reward them with perpetual re-election.

    phx8 wrote: Don’t pay attention to the silly spins. Read the S&P comment. It is very specific. The problem is chiefly a political problem. Although it is political, it is a very real problem, because a failure of willingness can be just as devastating as an actual ability to service debt. This morning a Senator called the economic downturn by its appropriate name: The Tea Party Downgrade.
    That, ironically, is exactly what could be characterized as “silly spins”, because it attempts to shift/place blame, ignores the real problems, and the seriousness of the U.S. debt problem, the 16 reasons above, and the abuses that continue to fuel the nation’s decline.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The real problem is, some folks have taken one part of fiscal policy, and tied it in knots. They’ve taken the stupid, unrealistic promises of George H.W. Bush, and treated his failure to come through on it as an ultimate political sin, and over time, it’s become a cancer on conservative fiscal policy, especially after 2001.
    The real problem IS indeed excessive spending, bloat, waste, corruption, irresponsible government, and too many voters who reward THEIR incumbent politicains and THEIR political party with perpetual re-election.

    $3.824 Trillion in federal spending is already 22.4% of the $15.1 Trillion GDP.

    Of course, you and others want to mostly blame, or place ALL of the blame on the OTHER party.

    The left extreme blames the Republicans for not wanting more taxes.
    The right extreme blames the Democrats for wanting more taxes and not wanting spending cuts.

    The majority of Americans also probably believe that 22.4% in federal spending, with $1.65 Trillion of it in more borrowing, is a spending problem.
    The majority of Americans also probably believe that a $14.5 Trillion national debt which is 96% of the $15.1 Trillion GDP is too high.

    Yet

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Your problem isn’t necessarily that we spend too much, it’s that we pay too little and expect the same services.

    Such circular logic is no surprise.

    However, there are some of us that see BOTH equally destructive extremes as the problem, and are saddened and disturbed by too many people prefer to wallow in the blind, circular partisan warfare.

    There is really no big difference between Democrat and Republican Incumbent Politicians.
    Unfortunately, the only major difference between the IN-PARTY and OUT-PARTY are the two equally destructive extremes that each go to:

    • Extreme #1: One extreme wants regressive taxation, unfettered capitalism, little (if any) government regulations, and freedom to explore and wallow in almost every manifestation of unchecked greed.
    • Extreme #2: The other extreme wants a nanny-state with citizens increasingly dependent on the government; with massive cradle-to-grave government programs (which are usually severely mismanaged) that nurture a sense of entitlement and dependency on government; tries to disguise envy and jealousy as demands for equality; wants to grow government ever larger (despite the already current nightmare proportions); rewards failure and laziness; and perpetuates the myth that we can somehow all live at the expense of everyone
    At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful. Posted by: d.a.n at August 7, 2011 6:08 PM
    Comment #327222

    Yada, yada, yada about the public sector debt. Not a word about the private financial sector debt that caused this collapse, that has hamstrung our economy and put tremendous stress on the public sector.

    Wall Street is now going to judge the public sector after it was bailed out by the taxpayer and after the government and the Fed absorbed its toxic debt. Its incredible. Its Alice in Wonderland thinking. The perp is the victim. The victim the perp.

    The near term federal deficit is primarily a result of historically low tax revenue due to the deep recession and Bush tax cuts. Its that simple.

    The only logical response to this situation is to address the actual problems in the economy and long term consequences of continued low historical tax rates. But, that would entail addressing the lack of aggregate demand resulting from the household private sector debt and balance sheet problems. That would in turn require us to face the decades of declining wages and dependence upon debt for consumer demand. That, in turn, would require us to face the consequences of globalization and the loss of our manufacturing base. That would also require us to face the rentier nature of our financial system and the lack of adequate capital flowing into productive enterprises.

    Oh, what the hell, its a lot simpler to blame our problems on profligate spending by government. Its a lot easier to protect the bond holders and squeeze the middle class to make good on all those bad bets. They have the money to support political campaigns and, after all, without their benediction, we might not have any jobs.

    Posted by: Rich at August 7, 2011 6:53 PM
    Comment #327223

    Rich
    No government in the history of the world has spend as much as we do now. If you taxed the American people at a high enough rate to support this level, it would still be the highest amount ever spent.

    You trust the government to spend your money wisely than you can and want them to take more of it. I am not so sure the same guys who run the the DMV, IRS and are in charge of public schools should have even greater influence over our lives.

    Consider this. Obama is president now, but he was not before and will not be forever. That means that sooner or later those people you oppose will be in charge. Did you want to give more power and influence to George Bush? If your answer is no, you better be careful before growing government. Obama won’t be in charge for much longer.

    When liberals call for bigger government, they assume that it will be people like them running it. This is not the case. So even if you like the big government run by liberals (which is a mess) you also need to like it run by conservatives.

    As Stephen points out all the time, liberals are incapable of governing when any conservatives are present and they are always present. So do you still want to grow government and pay those high taxes?

    Posted by: C&J at August 7, 2011 9:17 PM
    Comment #327227

    d.a.n.,
    Not only is GDP a fairly useless number in this discussion, but your reply to that particular point shifts to another fairly useless number, the average debt per person. If the debt were actually distributed like that, in the form of a flat assessment, a one-time flat tax, most Americans would not be able to pay it. However, the wealthiest 400 Americans have as much as the lower 150 million Americans combined; not only that, but virtually all of the economic growth of the previous decade has gone to the richest of the rich. I would like to see the debt distributed according to wealth. Those who benefited the most now pay the most.

    In general, I will repeat my original point. Although the numbers surrounding the debt and deficits are enormous, what counts is the ability of the federal government to pay (and at 9% of the budget, that’s not a problem) and the willingness to pay.

    It is a long-term problem and it is not one that should be approached with a short-term fix. The best solution is growth, especially in the form of job creation. It has worked before in similar circumstances during the Clinton administration, and it will work again. The worst solution is the one the GOP has forced upon us: a job-killing, deficit-swelling blow to the economy, a recession-inducing shot to the jaw in the form of an economic contractionary policy. Fiscal policy works. Misapplying fiscal policy will do exactly what one would expect.

    Posted by: phx8 at August 7, 2011 10:50 PM
    Comment #327229

    SD, Rich, j2t2, et al

    Wild thinking and theories will not produce anything but stress. I have not heard anything from the left saying what program they would employ to produce jobs. Futhermore, the program must be at state level and private sector. The federal government and its programs always cost more and are totally inefficient. And government cannot produce private sector jobs, period. The most productive program from the federal government in the jobs picture is BUTT OUT!!

    Posted by: tom humes at August 7, 2011 11:29 PM
    Comment #327230

    Ran into this tonight:

    Asian Stock Markets Sink after US Credit Downgrade

    Oh joy.

    Posted by: Spinny Liberal at August 8, 2011 1:33 AM
    Comment #327231

    Spinny,
    Don’t let it throw you. Tomorrow may be a down day in the markets, but I think the weekend gave everyone enough time to consider, and to come to the conclusion that US debt is secure.

    S&P has taken a beating over their downgrade. They probably shouldn’t have done it in the first place. Like a lot of people, the negotiation process shook them. It went down to the last minute, but that was to be expected. It’s the nature of that kind of negotiation. What wasn’t expected by anyone was the degree to which Obama and the Democrats compromised… that is, caved. Boehner crowed that he was very happy because he obtained 98% of what he wanted.

    Ironically, that is going to cost him and it is going to cost the GOP, because this Tea Party Downgrade and any ensuing economic downturn will be hung around the necks of the GOP- deservedly so. They threatened the US with default, then demanded a damaging deal, and now they certainly deserve the blame. Jerks.

    Posted by: phx8 at August 8, 2011 2:08 AM
    Comment #327239

    Oh watchful watchblog editor and spam editor. Sorry i got carried away a little.

    Posted by: tom humes at August 8, 2011 4:38 AM
    Comment #327241

    Phx8

    You know - because you invest - that the downgrade was NOT because of the negotiations themselves or about the Republican wishes to cut but because spending was not cut enough. This is an Obama/Spending downgrade.

    I agree with you that the downgrade itself is more embarrassing than real; the real problem remains excessive spending.

    Posted by: C&J at August 8, 2011 5:47 AM
    Comment #327242

    Re the tea party

    The tea party is just an ad hoc coalition. I don’t think it ever had much of a future. Its contribution to America was that it stopped the Obama/liberal juggernaut and helped bring back reality. You remember the heady days of 2009 with fondness. They scared me. I though the whole country had lost touch with reality and was grateful that the tea party brought Obama back to earth. Now that task is done the tea party is losing its purpose and will probably atrophy.


    I, for example, was a tea party supporter. I still like the idea that they frighten liberals and I am grateful that they can absorb so much liberal hate that otherwise would be directed elsewhere. But I don’t think tea party candidates are necessarily the best.

    The strength and weakness of the tea party is that there is no real organization. It is a spontaneous expression of the American people, the kind of thing liberals claim they love (remember when dissent was patriotic?) But organizations w/o real leadership don’t last.

    Posted by: C&J at August 8, 2011 5:54 AM
    Comment #327243
    phx8 wrote: d.a.n., Not only is GDP a fairly useless number in this discussion, but your reply to that particular point shifts to another fairly useless number, the average debt per person.
    Well, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, regardless of how useless it is too.
    phx8 wrote: If the debt were actually distributed like that, in the form of a flat assessment, a one-time flat tax, most Americans would not be able to pay it.
    Whoever said it was distributed that way?

    However, did you not also see above the total nation-wide debt (including private debt), which is part of the massive $57 Trillion of nation-wide debt is crushing the nation?

    And massive debt is not only a problem in the U.S.
    It is a global problem, and it has been getting worse since the early 1930s, when most (or all) nations converted to fiat money, and started creating too much new money (as debt) out of thin air.
    The U.S. has a supposed fractional banking ratio of 9-to-1 of debt-to-reserves for creating new money out of thin air.
    Some other nations have ratios as high as 21-to-1 (or greater).

    phx8 wrote: However, the wealthiest 400 Americans have as much as the lower 150 million Americans combined; not only that, but virtually all of the economic growth of the previous decade has gone to the richest of the rich.
    It is true that the wealthiest 1% in the U.S. own over 40% of all wealth.
    • Over 40% of all weatlh in U.S. is owned by a tiny 1% of wealthiest of 305 Million U.S. Population:
    • 045.0% +—————————————-
    • 042.5% +—o————————————
    • 040.0% +-o-o—————————-o-o- (over 40% owned by 1% of wealthiest)
    • 037.5% +o—-o————————o——-
    • 035.0% +——-o———————o———
    • 032.5% +———o——o—o——-o———
    • 030.0% +———-o—o——o—-o———-
    • 027.5% +————o———o—-o———-
    • 025.0% +————————o—o———-
    • 022.5% +————————o-o————
    • 020.0% +————————-o————-
    • 017.5% +—————————————-
    • 015.0% +—————————————-
    • ————1—1—1—1—1—1—1—1—2—2
    • ————9—9—9—9—9—9—9—9—0—0
    • ————2—3—4—5—6—7—8—9—0—1
    • ————0—0—0—0—0—0—0—0—0—0 YEAR

    The wealthiest 1% in the U.S., who owned 20% of all wealth in the U.S. in 1967, now own over 40% of all wealth in the U.S. today.
    And I have stated that many times.
    And the regressive and unfair tax system contributes to that problem.
    I am paying 25%-to-30% in total federal taxes, while Warren Buffet paid 17.7% in total federal taxes on $46 Million.

    phx8 wrote: I would like to see the debt distributed according to wealth. Those who benefited the most now pay the most.
    Really?

    That is interesting.

    Do you want to tax wealth, or income, or both?

    How about a flat percentage on all types of income above the poverty level, and the elimination of all tax loop holes?
    A percentage is actually a progressive system, since the amount of tax increases with the amount of income.
    Why is that not fair?
    Why should I pay 25%-to-30% in total federal taxes, while Warren Buffet paid 17.7% in total federal taxes on $46 Million?

    phx8 wrote: However, the wealthiest 400 Americans have as much as the lower 150 million Americans combined; not only that, but virtually all of the economic growth of the previous decade has gone to the richest of the rich.
    And how do you think it got that way?

    Remember the analogy of the Monopoly game above, where one player can create all the money they want out of thin air?
    Now, consider banks getting money from the federal reserve at very low rates (about 1%) and lending it out at rates as high as 35%.
    Now, consider that happening world-wide since the 1930s.
    Before too long, the persons who can create money out of thin air, own most of the wealth, while most of the population is deep in debt or bankrupt.

    Now perhaps you can see that the problem?
    The money system is quite simply a debt pyramid, and it will eventually collapse when few (if anyone) can afford any more debt.
    Now consider that and the following evidence to support it (in inflation adjusted 2011 dollars):

    • $60.0T |——————————————
    • $57.5T |—————————————-D (Debt=$57 Trillion
    • $55.0T |—————————————D- in 2011 dollars)
    • $52.5T |—————————————D-
    • $50.0T |—————————————D-
    • $47.5T |—————————————D-
    • $45.0T |—————————————D-
    • $42.5T |—————————————D-
    • $40.0T |————————————-D—
    • $37.5T |————————————D—-
    • $35.0T |———————————-D——
    • $32.5T |———————————-D——
    • $30.0T |———————————D——-
    • $27.5T |——————————-D———
    • $25.0T |——————————D———-
    • $22.5T |—————————-D————
    • $20.0T |—————————D————-
    • $17.5T |————————-D—————
    • $15.0T |————————D—————G (GDP=$15.1 Trillion
    • $12.5T |———————D—————G— in 2011 dollars)
    • $10.0T |—————-D—————G——-
    • $07.5T |———-D————G—————-
    • $05.0T |-D——-G——————————
    • $02.5T |-G—————————————
    • $00.0T |——————————————
    • _______(1956)__________________(2011)YEAR

    Notice that the total nation-wide debt has jumped from double GDP in 1956 to almost 3.8 times GDP today!!!
    The U.S. population in 1956 was 170 Million, and it is 312 Million today in year 2011.
    The total nation-wide debt per person (in 2011 inflation adjusted dollars) has increased from about $29,400 per person in year 1956 to $182,700 per person today (6.2 times higher)!
    How did that happen?
    And it is not only happening in the U.S.

    phx8 wrote: In general, I will repeat my original point. Although the numbers surrounding the debt and deficits are enormous, what counts is the ability of the federal government to pay (and at 9% of the budget, that’s not a problem) and the willingness to pay.

    And again, the interest of 9% is for the $3.824 Trillion spending which included 1.65 Trillion in borrowing; not 9% of all federal revenues, which are $2.174 Trillion.

    The interest on the $14.5 Trillion in total federal debt is 19% of the total $2.174 in total federal revenues.

    That is almost one fifth of total federal revenues going to interest alone.
    That is a serious problem.
    For example, just imagine that you have a huge debt on several credit cards, all costing you 19% of your total income in interest alone.

    To stop the $14.5 Trillion of federal debt from growing larger, with the average interest rate of 2.85% ($413 Billion per year) on the total $14.5 Trillion federal debt, the federal government would have to stop borrowing $1.65 Trillion per year ($4.52 Billion per day) over the $2.174 Trillion in annual federal revenues received, and pay down $420 Billion per year ($1.15 Billion per day) on the debt. That is, the federal government would have to cut spending by $2.07 Trillion per year ($5.65 Billion per day)!!! Only to keep the debt from growing larger!!!
    And even then, it would still take 104 years to pay down only one third of the total $14.5 Trillion of federal debt!!!
    And that isn’t a serious problem?
    Frankly, I am suprised that the U.S. doesn’t have lower than an AA+ credit rating.
    The problem is that massive debt has come to be acceptable, and globally acceptable too.

    The average interest rate on the $14.5 Trillion federal debt is actually about 2.85%.
    However, since the $14.5 Trillion debt is so huge, the interest on that debt consumes 19% of all federal revenues.
    And that isn’t a serious problem?

    More rampant debt and creating money out of thin air is not the solution, never has been, and never will be.
    Fiscal irresponsibility has never been a good thing.

    phx8 wrote: It is a long-term problem and it is not one that should be approached with a short-term fix.
    True, because it is a huge problem; so huge that it will not be solved without a lot of pain and misery.

    Even if the federal government stopped the $14.5 Trillion of federal debt from growing larger, with the average interest rate of 2.85% ($413 Billion per year) on the total $14.5 Trillion federal debt, stopped borrowing $1.65 Trillion per year ($4.52 Billion per day) over the $2.174 Trillion in annual federal revenues received, and started paying down the debt by $420 Billion per year ($1.15 Billion per day) on the debt, it would still take 104 years to pay down only one third of the total $14.5 Trillion of federal debt!!!

    phx8 wrote: The best solution is growth, especially in the form of job creation.
    What about sustainability, less (or no) borrowing, and reducing (or ending) these 10 major abuses that are causing the decline of the U.S. ?

    And what sort of growth? 20, 50, or 100 Million more people?
    The world population is already growing by over 211,000 per day (over 77 Million per year), which includes all births minus all deaths.

    phx8 wrote: It has worked before in similar circumstances during the Clinton administration, and it will work again.
    That was a bubble, and it collapsed, as did the bubble before it, and the bubble after it.
    phx8 wrote: The worst solution is the one the GOP has forced upon us: a job-killing, deficit-swelling blow to the economy, a recession-inducing shot to the jaw in the form of an economic contractionary policy. Fiscal policy works. Misapplying fiscal policy will do exactly what one would expect.
    And more rampant spending, more debt beyond already nightmare proportions, and creating more new money out of thin air is the solution?

    No, that is a recipe for disaster.
    And bubble after bubble is also not the solution.
    There are solutions, such as reducing (or eliminating) the 10 major abuses.
    Unfortunately, that does not seem likely to happen any time soon … at least, not until refusing to do so finally becomes too painful.

    And again, where is the money going to come from to merely pay the interest on the $57 Trillion nation-wide debt, when it does not yet exist?

    At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at August 8, 2011 5:54 AM
    Comment #327244

    d.a.n.,

    Thank you for bringing to attention the insidious nature of our debt based, monetary system with its usury requirement. As you point out, it is not just the federal government that has a debt problem due to the accumulating interest on money creation (debt), but it is our entire economy. It requires continued inflation to meet the debt repayment requirements.

    We, the people, gave the privilege of money creation to the private banking system in 1913 under the management of the hybrid Federal Reserve System. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Thomas Edison and Henry Ford recognized the absurdity of the consequences of that approach in an article in the NYTs in 1921. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9C04E0D7103EEE3ABC4E53DFB467838A639EDE

    The whole issue of monetary reform, unfortunately, makes the eyes glaze over. It is a difficult and counter-intuitive issue. Only a few outlier politicians even make the effort to address the problem (Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinch from polar opposite ideologies).

    Posted by: Rich at August 8, 2011 7:45 AM
    Comment #327247

    C&J-
    No, it’s the Republicans who are incapable of governing. I can only hope that the S&P downgrade doesn’t create a continuous effect, but it’s their unwillingness to work and play well with others, their contempt for the system itself that’s brought us to this. Unfortunately, under the constitution, if the people who control one Chamber of Congress won’t govern, especially on budget matters, there’s not much we can do.

    Your party cares more about winning political battles than it does about winning America’s future.

    Even if the Tea Party did a positive thing in your view by halting the advance of Obama Liberalism, can you step back for a second, and realize that in the process of letting them do so, you may have just provoked the greatest crisis of faith in America’s debts that the world has ever seen?

    And for what? If they do this again, like they promise, thing may get even worse!

    Is defeating liberalism going to do more damage than letting it play itself out?

    Can you admit when your party has gone too far, when it’s created bad results, or can you only see the potential problems (in your mind) of letting the liberals win?

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 8, 2011 9:03 AM
    Comment #327249

    Rich
    The origin of the public sector deficit problem was when the first nanny state legislation was passed.
    Over expansion of the nanny state was expected. Abuse of it was expected. Its failure was expected.

    Posted by: kctim at August 8, 2011 9:54 AM
    Comment #327250

    SD,

    You talk all the time about conservatives not compromising or admitting they are wrong. I claim the liberals pushed too hard to keep their policies intact. I’ll offer a compromise for you if you are willing.

    I will admit that the Tea Party and conservatives pushed too hard to get rid of liberalism if you will admit that liberals pushed too hard to retain it.

    Somehow, I don’t think you will accept this compromise.

    Posted by: tdobson at August 8, 2011 9:54 AM
    Comment #327252

    SD
    Of course tax cuts attribute to the debt when you don’t cut spending, and yes, I blame the previous administration just as much as I blame the current one.
    What I find most interesting in your rhetoric lately is that you blame EVERYTHING on “us people,” while intentionally ignoring the spending “your people” are responsible for. If the tax cuts and war funding were such terrible things, then why didn’t “your people” address them and cut spending when you had the majority to do so?

    Half the people want their government freebies and have placed themselves in the position where they are dependent on them. Politicians have placed themselves in the position where it is political suicide to make needed cuts.

    We are at the point where pulling off personal responsibility and making it work will require personal sacrifice. I know such hardship and the fear of losing votes if people are no longer dependent, scares the leftists to death, but we have placed ourselves in this position and getting out of it will not be easy.

    “My people” do not need to show anybody anything. Liberal policy on its own has shown that it is impossible for a government to provide cradle to grave and respect personal freedoms at the same time.
    The bloated monstrosity we are “screwing around with” must be shrunk and you do not do that by making it larger.

    People refusing to be personally responsible is based on fear, not fantasy. It is no fantasy that people no longer have any incentive to be less of a burden on government, in fact, being a burden is encouraged. It is no fantasy that the less people being a burden on government, the more aide for those who are a burden. It is no fantasy that people like myself are able to endure these “hard times” a lot better because we are not dependent on government.

    Of course the world you envision I believe no longer exists, but I’m not promoting such a thing and you know that. It is just easier for you to convince others to dismiss such a notion if you equate the two.
    Personal responsibility should be promoted, not feared.

    Of course the Europeans problems were caused by us and I am sure Bush was the major factor will be the next talking point thrown against the wall to see what sticks.

    The real question is WHY did those European governments invest in our financial system?
    Was it to buy more of those beautiful statues they no longer know how to make? Or was it to provide more for the populace that are dependent on them?

    The more you spend, the more in debt you become. The more debt, the less you are able to manage debt. Unmanageable debt is toxic and as history shows, it destroys.

    Posted by: kctim at August 8, 2011 11:18 AM
    Comment #327254

    Social Security and Medicare are dying as y’all speak. Cheney/Bush assured that when he gave the treasury away to Big Pharma. He knew that would be the death knell of so-called ‘entitlement’ programs.

    When they are gone, and medical care is available only to the oligarch’s, what then? We will begin seeing more families having to move in together, into more and more crowded environs, less immunity to contagious diseases, more deaths by fire and mold inhalation, etc.

    Less than half Americans are paying taxes now, and as more government workers are laid off or fired the nation loses more income. Those who worry about the wealthy paying too much of our taxes now will have to know that to keep up any semblance of infrastructure, they will have to be the ones doing it, or it won’t get done.

    For a bunch of people who harped on unemployment rates and fussed that our President wasn’t doing enough about the job situation…you can quit with the hyperbole, as the bottom is coming soon. Sweatshops, child labor and loss of all benefits will soon be commonplace.

    Thank you TeaPublicans, me and mine appreciate you very much. You have finally had your day…you have turned America into an Oligarchy…to the victor belong the spoils.

    Posted by: Marysdude at August 8, 2011 11:52 AM
    Comment #327255

    tdobson-
    Everything depends on your definition of what’s too liberal, so it’s a fool’s compromise. Republicans considered raising the debt ceiling, in and of itself, as a compromise.

    I don’t want to hear it any longer. This is the result of your kind of compromise.

    We didn’t have to go through this crap. We didn’t have to see this threat looming over this economy at the worst time. Your compromise was to force us into this God-awful position.

    kctim-

    What I find most interesting in your rhetoric lately is that you blame EVERYTHING on “us people,”

    Because, it seems, while everybody claims to be an independent, rather than a Republican, y’all still call yourselves conservatives, still stick up for the same policies that caused the problems in the first place, and still back the political plays of the people in charge of the GOP.

    The differentiation seems to me to be more a political trick, than a real acknowledgment that the policy that started allt his was screwed up. I’m just simply holding you folks accountable for the people you likely voted into office.

    while intentionally ignoring the spending “your people” are responsible for. If the tax cuts and war funding were such terrible things, then why didn’t “your people” address them and cut spending when you had the majority to do so?

    The Problem is, your people got the bright idea of treating the spending we did to help save the economy from further devastation as unnecessary, an excess instead of a necessity. Trouble is, you don’t just cut two wars short, and you don’t make major increases in tax rates in the middle of a devastating recession.

    Essentially, the question you should be asking, is why did Democrats not engage in irresponsible foreign and fiscal policy in order to deal with a deficit that really wasn’t our first and most important concern.

    We’re going to bring those wars to a close. We’re already in the process. We’re going to make some defense cuts, that was part of the deal we made with your people in Congress. We’re probably going to push for revenues, and for the Bush Tax cuts for the Rich to be allowed to fade out.

    You talk of personal responsibility, but the bitter irony is that what all this BS about government is, at its base, is a failure for people like you to admit that the Government, it’s shape, and the results it gains are not the fault of some elites, but a matter very much shaped by how we as voters conduct our business at the polls.

    Folks on the Right voted for the kinds of policies that lead us to where we are now. Democrat’s shifted us onto a more responsible footing with taxes, and “big government” obsessed Republicans decided instead that it was in the national interest to starve the beast.

    If we had followed the Democrat’s plan, if we had added revenues to balance our spending on the Wars and the drug benefit, instead of cutting taxes, we might have ended this decade closer to actually having America’s debt resolved.

    Wouldn’t that have been nice? We had the right idea, and our results were showing it. Your side had the wrong idea, and your results show it.

    Don’t lecture me about personal responsbility and personal sacrifice, not with your antipathy to paying taxes. We never advertised the entitlements as free of charge. They’ve always been paid for by taxes, and we’ve never made any secret of it.

    “My people” do not need to show anybody anything. Liberal policy on its own has shown that it is impossible for a government to provide cradle to grave and respect personal freedoms at the same time.

    I’m sorry, liberal policy? The overextended Afghanistan War? The misbegotten Iraq war, which your people pushed, and which you bashed liberals over resisting during the 2002 election. The Tax cuts that focused mainly on the rich, and that were maintained even as the deficits went sky-high? The Drug benefit which your people deliberately wrote without the kinds of bargaining agreements that would have saved hundreds of billions of dollars, and which you arranged not one penny in offsetting or revenue raising money for?

    Don’t you dare lecture me about Liberal policy being discredited here. Liberal policy was to maintain PayGo, keep the surpluses coming and paying off our debts. Conservative policy was to run up huge debts and not pay for new spending, much less all of the spending we were paying for during the Clinton years. You can’t run up behind somebody, hamstring them, and then say that what just happened proves they couldn’t have run the race.

    The more you spend, the more in debt you become. The more debt, the less you are able to manage debt. Unmanageable debt is toxic and as history shows, it destroys.

    The more you spend, without asking for the revenues to pay for it, the more in debt you become is the correct formulation. We don’t get government for free. You’re just not willing to admit the one main alternative to it, because you’ve boxed yourself in on that side.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 8, 2011 11:53 AM
    Comment #327256

    Marysdude-
    As bad as what they’ve done is, I’m not going to give them the satisfaction of the false belief that they’ve won this. I’d say there’s a great enough store of people out there realizing that the Tea Party was nothing but the last gasp of a political movement that never had the real world economic or fiscal competence to actually make their system work.

    We can say “This is the end.” which kind of seems frustrating to the young thirty-one year old that I am, since I have sixty more years to go through if I live as long as my Grandfather.

    Or we can say “This should be the end of a movement that has so bent America’s affairs out of order. Democracy should hold them accountable, and the people should take back their country from the special interests whose spoiled brat insistence on having things done their way has almost been the ruin of us all.”

    The world continues to turn, and that which we thought was final is only the beginning of something else. What that is, in part, is our choice. I will not let it, for my part, be a bad choice.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 8, 2011 11:58 AM
    Comment #327257

    SD,

    So much for compromise. I didn’t think you would go for it. It would require that you admit that liberals were wrong as well as conservatives and you steadfastly refuse to do that.

    Posted by: tdobson at August 8, 2011 12:07 PM
    Comment #327259

    tdobson-
    I am a centrist and a moderate. I’m perfectly willing to entertain ideas that are not perfectly liberal, much more willing than some of my fellow Kossacks to endure bargains that do some things for the Republicans.

    But I am a functionalist, first and foremost. My politics are based on an acknowledgment of the overwhelming primacy of real world effects. If I believe it’s possible to get what I want on a straight vote of my party, I’d tell them go for it. If I think they’ll have to compromise some aspects of the bill to get it passed, even if it’s something forced on us as a ransom, like the debt ceiling deal, I’d say, yes, do the deal, so we don’t default.

    I never seriously entertained claims that the President could use the 14th Amendment to unilaterally order the treasury to pay our obligations, nor did I ever give the notion of minting three platinum coins for the Federal reserve to give us the money to do that much of a chance.

    But you know something else? I think the debt deal was a Sugarcoated Satan Sandwich, and I would like my people to mitigate the results of it as much as possible.

    I think the whole situation was ****ed up, and what the Tea Party did was wrong on the merits. I think whatever mistakes the Democrats made, they were never intentionally going to force a debt ceiling standoff which would have such perilous effects.

    At this point, the Dow is down 336 points, almost three percent off of what it was. This is what comes of forcing that kind of compromise. We could have had this done in May or before. Now we have an event unique in world history, much less American history, and not for positive reasons.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 8, 2011 12:43 PM
    Comment #327260

    Ypu can make all the excuses you want, but you refused my offer to compromise Stephen, therefore I have nothing else to say to you. Get back to me when you are willing to admit thhat liberals were just as wrong as conservitives. IT TAKES TWO TO COMPROMISE.

    Posted by: tdobson at August 8, 2011 12:53 PM
    Comment #327261
    I will admit that the Tea Party and conservatives pushed too hard to get rid of liberalism if you will admit that liberals pushed too hard to retain it.

    It would require that you admit that liberals were wrong as well as conservatives and you steadfastly refuse to do that.

    Get back to me when you are willing to admit thhat liberals were just as wrong as conservitives. IT TAKES TWO TO COMPROMISE.

    tdobson you are not asking for compromise you are asking for capitulation. This sure does explain a lot though.

    First of all provide something that will prove your assertion that liberals pushed to hard to retain liberalism. The debt ceiling is about paying the debt of the country not any of the ‘ism’s.

    Second of all after 70+ debates and the raising of the debt ceiling an equal amount of times through out the history of the nation this time the conservatives held the debt ceiling as hostage by including budget issues and ideological demands in the debt ceiling, which was a first. The choice was to accept these add-on’s or default on the debt, the choice was determined by the conservatives. Why does compromise mean agreeing to such tactics? That would be appeasement or capitulation, wouldn’t it?

    Third, why would you think that a complete capitulation by Stephen is necessary for a compromise. Perhaps a compromise would be more along the lines of “The liberals were wrong for this or that but the conservatives were really wrong for holding the nations credit hostage”? You never really stated anything the “liberals” did that was wrong yet you expect Stephen to “compromise” on this vague generality.

    Why must blame for the results of this mess be split 50-50 when the causes were not split 50-50 in order to have a compromise?

    com·pro·mise (kmpr-mz)
    n.
    1.
    a. A settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions.
    b. The result of such a settlement.

    ca·pit·u·la·tion (k-pch-lshn)
    n.
    1. The act of surrendering or giving up. See Synonyms at surrender.

    ap·pease (-pz)
    tr.v. ap·peased, ap·peas·ing, ap·peas·es
    1. To bring peace, quiet, or calm to; soothe.
    2. To satisfy or relieve: appease one’s thirst.
    3. To pacify or attempt to pacify (an enemy) by granting concessions, often at the expense of principle. See Synonyms at pacify.

    all defintions from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/

    Posted by: j2t2 at August 8, 2011 1:32 PM
    Comment #327262


    C&J, your latest comment does not reflect what the S&P said.

    When the Treasury pointed out a $2trillion mistake in the S&P calculations, the S&P said it was still going to downgrade because of political intransigence.

    Not enough was done to address future entitlement costs and nothing on the revenue side. That is the basic conclusion of the report.

    The conservative philosophy: Hungry people will work very hard for their daily bread. This philosophy works best when those that are working for their daily bread have to step over hungry people that don’t have a job that provides them with their daily bread.

    Much of the taxation devoted to social spending may have to be diverted into law enforcement. A new and powerful government agency?

    So, conservatives have chosen to ally themselves with the international bankers and the Communist Party to destroy America’s entitlement programs?

    Posted by: jlw at August 8, 2011 1:36 PM
    Comment #327263

    I am declaring a national day of laughter to celebrate the foolish rhetoric I am reading here from the left. You guys are just out of touch with reality.

    The truth is you are afraid that 2012 could be a big blow to you.

    All I hear from the left is the fear tactics and gloom and doom.

    I am not here to order you to change, but it is hilarious to watch the left slobber all over themselves while changing their hankies daubing those tears.

    Tolerance. Hate speech. Both employed by the left with a free wheeling attitude.

    Failure to acknowledge the root of the problem while accusing others that had very little to do with the problem.

    Ho, hum. The more things change the more they stay the same.

    Posted by: tom humes at August 8, 2011 1:54 PM
    Comment #327264


    Any attempt at compromise, no matter how tiny, got Boehner slapped around hard by the real conservatives. Even Norquist has gone from tea party hero to questionable loyalty. And, Rino’s have been placed on the tea party socialist enemies of America list.

    When is G.H.W. Bush’s illegitimate son going to announce his presidential campaign? The Democrats should demand a genetics test.

    Posted by: jlw at August 8, 2011 2:08 PM
    Comment #327265

    Just number crunching here.

    From the 82nd congress to the 112th, here is a breakdown about control.

    Presidents
    13 democratic
    18 republican

    Senate
    22 democratic
    9 republican

    House
    24 democratic
    7 republican

    Both chambers of congress
    20 democratic
    4 republican

    My point for the left is that you keep saying that it is always the other guys, but the democrats had control of congress for a far greater period than the republicans.

    Here is another bit of data
    Date of Recession Control of House/Senate
    1957-1958 Dem/Dem
    1960-1961 Dem/Dem
    1973-1975 Dem/Dem
    1980-1982 Dem/Dem
    1990-1991 Dem/Dem
    2001-2003 Dem/Rep

    These numbers came from a collection of 5 sources.


    Posted by: tom humes at August 8, 2011 2:30 PM
    Comment #327266

    tom humes-
    You might want to delay that day of laughter. S&P just downgraded just about everything government related, and said that it’s reviewing municipal and state bonds.

    That, and the Dow is down 500 points.

    We warned you, and still you’re acting like this had nothing to do with you. You’re still obsessing over what’s wrong with the rest of us, while pointedly ignoring the consequences of an entirely unwise political decision, to make this nation’s ability to pay its bills dependent on last minute compromises that could fall through, rather than have that simply be a matter of course, regardless of what people decided.

    If S&P had downgraded us after a failure to reach a deficit reducing deal (which they didn’t) The Tea Party people here might have a point. What really put America’s credit on notice was the stupidity of politicizing what should have been a simple matter of paying our bills to the point where we almost ceased to pay for them.

    As for your argument regarding the number of times Democrats were elected to the majority and the Presidency, I would ask you to look at the numbers of what happened with our economy under Democratic Congresses, and what happened with our debt and deficits. I believe you’ll find that when the Republicans get into the game, they have a tendency to run up bills and run down the economy.

    They are performing true to form here.

    Tdobson-
    If you were willing to discuss what I might and might not agree with on a more granular level, perhaps you could get compromise, but you want me to write you a blank check of agreement.

    Compromise is not mindless concession.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 8, 2011 2:45 PM
    Comment #327267

    Pretty ironic day in the markets. Stocks plummet but US Treasuries surge.

    Posted by: Rich at August 8, 2011 2:52 PM
    Comment #327268

    Bernie Sanders on the S&P downgrade:

    “I find it interesting to see S&P so vigilant now in downgrading the U.S. credit rating. Where were they four years ago when they, and other credit rating agencies, helped cause this horrendous recession by providing AAA ratings to worthless sub-prime mortgage securities on behalf of Wall Street investment firms? Where were they last December when Congress and the White House drove up the national debt by $700 billion by extending Bush’s tax breaks for the rich?”

    As usual, Senator Sanders makes a very salient point.

    However, I have to say that I’m sick to death of the BS word framing that’s been going on. I’m especially sick of the word ‘ENTITLEMENTS’ being used whenever it comes to tax dollars being used in relation the health, well-being and education of the teeming masses of average Americans, yet whenever tax dollars are given to businesses and corporations they’re termed ‘SUBSIDIES’, and whenever used in relation to the rich it’s called ‘TAX BREAKS.’

    So let’s get real here on these terms. The Social Security Trust Fund has long been this nation’s largest creditor, and since politicians on behalf of themselves and other wealthy Americans ROBBED from that fund, THEY OWE US. These people are NOT ENTITLED to try to STIFF US on what THEY OWE TO US from that fund.

    Indeed, it is time for Average American’s to stop SUBSIDIZING Millionaire Politicians and the Wealthy who have so mismanaged OUR tax dollars. Time for these people to pay up. Time for businesses and corporations to pay back all the tax dollar ENTITLEMENTS they thought they should get for free. Time for an AUSTERITY PLAN for the top 5% of wealthy people, not an austerity plan for the rest of us. And, since for many, many years current and former members of Congress thought they could act like thieves, stealing the old age, health care, and disability benefits which we’ve already paid for, it’s time that they had an austerity plan enacted for them as well. Let’s suspend their salaries, take away their free healthcare and cushy pensions, and all the other special perks and advantages they’ve always felt ENTITLED to enjoy — even when they do (or did) a piss poor job of running the country.
    They can get those things back just as soon as they’ve PAID US BACK what THEY OWE to all of US.

    Posted by: Adrienne at August 8, 2011 3:01 PM
    Comment #327269

    Stephen,

    I see a compromise as both sides giving up something so they can come to a solution agreeable to both.

    I offered you a compromise. I would agree that my side ****ed up in return for you admitting that your side ****ed up. You are unwilling to compromise. END OF STORY.

    Posted by: tdobson at August 8, 2011 3:14 PM
    Comment #327270

    Adrienne, Very well said, this is about the first time that I can agree with a person who has liberal leanings.

    Posted by: KAP at August 8, 2011 3:17 PM
    Comment #327271

    tdobson, trying to get Stephen to admit his party screwed up just like the other party is useless. If Obama or one of his other Democrats committed murder he would say a Republican caused it.

    Posted by: KAP at August 8, 2011 3:21 PM
    Comment #327272

    SD said:

    “We warned you, and still you’re acting like this had nothing to do with you.”

    Who’s we? You got a horse turd in your pocket?

    In answer to tdobson’s question:

    Stephen is not a centrist or a moderate; Stephen is a full blown socialist liberal democrat. Don’t ever expect Stephen to compromise on anything. He is what was called a yellow dog democrat: he would vote for an old yeller dog if the dog was running on the democratic ticket. There are no centrist or moderate democrats; the whole party has become socialist and this is the reason independent registration is up and registered democrats are down. But, back to Stephen; he has never, mind you, NEVER, admitted that Obama or any other liberal democrat was wrong about anything. His posts are nothing more than the daily liberal talking points and this weekend’s talking point, straight from the situation room of Obama, is that the Tea Party caused the downgrade. One after another of Obama’s stooges came out Sunday saying the exact same thing, and now we have the parrot Stephen doing the same thing.

    Posted by: Conservativethinker at August 8, 2011 3:40 PM
    Comment #327273

    What the tea party republicans in the House have done is nothing short of treason. They have intentionally prevented any action that could stabilize the economy for their own sinister purposes. You can bet every last one of them is fully invested in gold.

    Posted by: Schwamp at August 8, 2011 3:51 PM
    Comment #327274

    KAP,

    C’mon! Democrats can admit that they have screwed up on other issues, but for them to have to say they screwed up on this particular issue is ridiculous.

    Question: Are a hostage taker and the person they take as a hostage both equally responsible for the situation they find themselves in?

    To say that anything other than this occurred in the debt ceiling debate is fantasy.

    BTW-I have no problem with old school republicans even though I disagree with them. But man,to say the republican party has not become an extreme fringe group lately is a hard sell.

    Posted by: Tbone at August 8, 2011 3:56 PM
    Comment #327275

    I know how Stephen thinks. I just like to bring it out every once in a while to refresh everyone’s memory. I knew when I offered the compromise that he wouldn’t take it. I was hoping to get at least 2 pages out of him though

    Posted by: tdobson at August 8, 2011 4:06 PM
    Comment #327277

    tom humes

    i don’t know about you, but all this righteous indignation coming from the left is getting very tiresome.

    Posted by: dbs at August 8, 2011 4:16 PM
    Comment #327279

    You are the one who keeps on accusing the other side. Don’t you read your own writing?

    “As for your argument regarding the number of times Democrats were elected to the majority and the Presidency, I would ask you to look at the numbers of what happened with our economy under Democratic Congresses, and what happened with our debt and deficits.”

    I have, you haven’t. I showed you evidence above but you are too busy in denial. How many time in that period of time I showed did the republicans stop a recession? Look and see. You don’t even have to link. I did the work for you.

    Posted by: tom humes at August 8, 2011 4:25 PM
    Comment #327280

    Off topic, but another reason why the new republican party and George W. Bush are really just bad people:

    From the Chicago Tribune:

    Chicago’s first round of testing for a toxic metal called hexavalent chromium found that levels in local drinking water are more than 11 times higher than a health standard California adopted last month.

    But it could take years before anything is done about chromium contamination in Chicago and scores of other cities, in part because industrial polluters and municipal water utilities are lobbying to block or delay the Obama administration’s move toward national regulations.


    The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, sharply criticized the EPA last month for failing to add new pollutants to the list during the administration of President George W. Bush. The GAO concluded that the agency had done little to monitor unregulated contaminants in drinking water, and that the lack of data hamstrings the EPA’s ability to determine which substances pose the greatest health threats.


    Isn’t this great! My whole family have been drinking the water for years. Glad to know that during the Bush administration he assigned people to positions in the EPA to make sure the general public were not aware of the risk created by his own donors.

    Seriously should consider legal action against the former president if anyone in my family gets diagnosed with stomach cancer at an early age. Another reason to label his presidency the worst in history. I mean you shipwrecked the economy and committed countless errors in judgment, but on top of it my family may have to suffer physical ailments and possible early death due to cancer because you did not want to regulate your wealthy buddies. Real nice.

    Posted by: Tbone at August 8, 2011 4:26 PM
    Comment #327282

    I see that Robert Reich agrees with Senator Sanders. From Reich’s column: Why S&P Has No Business Downgrading the U.S.

    Quote:

    Pardon me for asking, but who gave Standard & Poor’s the authority to tell America how much debt it has to shed, and how?

    If we pay our bills, we’re a good credit risk. If we don’t, or aren’t likely to, we’re a bad credit risk. When, how, and by how much we bring down the long term debt — or, more accurately, the ratio of debt to GDP — is none of S&P’s business.

    S&P’s intrusion into American politics is also ironic because, as I pointed out recently, much of our current debt is directly or indirectly due to S&P’s failures (along with the failures of the two other major credit-rating agencies — Fitch and Moody’s) to do their jobs before the financial meltdown. Until the eve of the collapse S&P gave triple-A ratings to some of the Street’s riskiest packages of mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations.


    Posted by: Adrienne at August 8, 2011 4:32 PM
    Comment #327283

    Krugman also agrees: Credibility, Chutzpah and Debt

    Let’s start with S.& P.’s lack of credibility. If there’s a single word that best describes the rating agency’s decision to downgrade America, it’s chutzpah — traditionally defined by the example of the young man who kills his parents, then pleads for mercy because he’s an orphan.

    America’s large budget deficit is, after all, primarily the result of the economic slump that followed the 2008 financial crisis. And S.& P., along with its sister rating agencies, played a major role in causing that crisis, by giving AAA ratings to mortgage-backed assets that have since turned into toxic waste.

    Posted by: Adrienne at August 8, 2011 4:45 PM
    Comment #327284

    “What the tea party republicans in the House have done is nothing short of treason.”

    Posted by: Schwamp at August 8, 2011 03:51 PM

    Another asinine statement by the left; Obama runs the DOJ, charge someone with treason.


    “I see that Robert Reich agrees with Senator Sanders. From Reich’s column: Why S&P Has No Business Downgrading the U.S.”

    Posted by: Adrienne at August 8, 2011 04:32 PM

    Would someone please help me understand something? When the Congress was debating the debt ceiling Bill; wasn’t Obama, Biden, and every other socialist who holds a Senate or House seat warning the American voter of a downgrade if we did not do something about our debt? And when they passed a Bill that did nothing, and the S&P downgraded our economic standing; they are now mad at the S&P for doing it. I guess the moral is; be careful what you wish for (or predict).

    Posted by: Conservativethinker at August 8, 2011 4:52 PM
    Comment #327285

    Conservativethinker writes:

    And when they passed a Bill that did nothing,

    And why did the bill do nothing? Hmmm maybe a few more cuts along with, oh god dare I say it, “Tax increases”, may have made it a better bill. I wonder who was not willing to even consider the possibility of raising revenue on the wealthy to ease some of the debt burden. Oh wait, it was conservatives.

    Posted by: Tbone at August 8, 2011 5:01 PM
    Comment #327286
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You talk of personal responsibility, but the bitter irony is that what all this BS about government is, at its base, is a failure for people like you to admit that the Government, it’s shape, and the results it gains are not the fault of some elites, but a matter very much shaped by how we as voters conduct our business at the polls.
    Right. It is the majority of voters who are also to blame.

    What do the majority of voters expect when they repeatedly reward failure, and FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, lying, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election?!?

    Of course, you apparently think it is mostly a Republican problem, which is nonsense, since the irresponsibility, incompetence, corruption, arrogance of incumbent politicians, and the misplaced loyalties of their blind loyalists/voters, would fill volumes.

    As a result, the IN-PARTY always becomes the OUT-PARTY, and vice-versa, and the nation’s pressing problems continue to grow in number and severity.

    Yet, you are constantly blaming the Republicans mostly, despite the fact that both political parties and the majority of voters are about equally to blame.
    Most (if not all) in Congress have been too fiscally irresponsible, corrupt, FOR-SALE, and incompetent for too many decades.

    Yet, you are also blaming the Tea Party for the Standard & Poor’s Credit down-grade from AAA to AA+ , despite the fact that the total federal debt is dangerously large.
    So large in fact, that to stop the $14.5 Trillion of total federal debt from growing ever larger, with the average interest rate of 2.85% ($413 Billion per year) on the total $14.5 Trillion federal debt, the federal government would have to stop borrowing $1.65 Trillion per year ($4.52 Billion per day) over the $2.174 Trillion in annual federal revenues received, and pay down $420 Billion per year ($1.15 Billion per day) on the debt.

    That is, the federal government would have to cut annual spending from the current $3.824 Trillion of total revenues and annual borrowing, by $2.07 Trillion per year ($5.67 Billion per day)!!!
    Or, another way to look at it, is that the federal government would have to stop all borrowing (currently $1.65 Trillion per year), and pay down $420 Billion per year ($1.15 Billion per day) on $14.5 Trillion national debt, from the current $2.174 Trillion in annual revenues!!!
    Merely to keep the debt from growing larger!!!

    And even then, it would still take 104 years, at only a 2.85% interest rate, to pay down only one third of the total $14.5 Trillion of federal debt!!!
    Yet

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If you want to get hysterical about our debt, go ahead. Truth is, we were only paying about 1.6% of GDP to deal with our debt. It wasn’t overwhelming us …

    There are many common-sense solutions for our problems, but it is too late to avoid considerable pain and misery for one (or more) decades.

    Unfortunately, I doubt that those solutions will be given much attention any time soon; at least, not until the painful consequences of ignoring them becomes too painful.
    At least, until enough people prefer to work on solutions, instead of cheer-leading for THEIR incumbent politicians, and repeatedly rewarding them with perpetual re-election.

    One of these days, perhaps enough voters will understand the clever system that the incumbent politicians have created, in which

    • (a) neither of the two main parties will run a challenger to run against the incumbent;
    • (b) the incumbents know their blind loyalists will never vote for anyone in the OTHER party;
    • (c) and as a result, FOR-SALE, incompetent, corrupt, and arrogant incumbent politicians are repeatedly rewarded with perpetual re-eletion;

    KAP wrote: tdobson, trying to get Stephen [Daugherty] to admit his party screwed up just like the other party is useless. If Obama or one of his other Democrats committed murder he would say a Republican caused it.
    So true!!!

    At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at August 8, 2011 5:02 PM
    Comment #327287

    SD
    I absolutely acknowledge that the policy that started all this was screwed up. In fact, I have stated numerous times how our spending policy is very screwed up and I hold accountable the folks who promote continuing down that road to ruin.
    The only political trick is by those who hold Republicans accountable because they dare not agree with what you want them to.

    Yes, many people do believe piling more debt onto more debt over and over unnecessary and very dangerous. You will get no argument over that from me.
    Interesting that you seem to have an excuse for EVERYTHING the leftists don’t do.

    I understand that you believe huge deficits are fine, just as long as the money is given to who you believe it should be given to, but it seems you totally tuned out the recent elections where the ever increasing deficit was a major factor in people turning out.

    I have no doubt that the military is going to bring the war to a close. I have no doubt whatsoever that you all will cut the crap out of defense, again. And I am fine with that.
    I also have no doubt you will keep up the class warfare and punish the “rich” so that they pay what YOU believe is their fair share. I also have no doubt that my own taxes will go up significantly so as to support your view of what our country should be like.

    Tell me, IF you really believe government is “a matter very much shaped by how we as voters conduct our business at the polls,” then why do you have such a problem with the Tea Party reps voting how their constituents want?

    It is debateable that “Democrat’s shifted us onto a more responsible footing with taxes,” because without their feel-good spending policies, the tax burden would not be on every Americans mind.
    You can brag all day about how Democrats wanted to do the “right thing” and pay our obligations, but that is all pointless if you absolutely refuse to acknowledge the cause or just blame it all on the Republicans.

    If we had followed the Democrat’s plan and IF we added revenues as you say, congress would have done what it ALWAYS does: it would have created more programs to spend those revenues on and totally ignored the debt hanging over our heads in order to do so.

    “Don’t lecture me about personal responsbility and personal sacrifice, not with your antipathy to paying taxes.”

    I have no objection to paying taxes, my objection comes from paying taxes to support what YOU dictate I support. I accept the personal responsibility to pay my taxes, I do not accept the personal sacrifice you place upon me by forcing me to pay taxes that make you feel better.

    “We never advertised the entitlements as free of charge. They’ve always been paid for by taxes, and we’ve never made any secret of it.”

    Hogwash. You have successfully turned social security into a retirement program that people believe they are entitled to. Even when they do not pay taxes to support the system.

    “The more you spend, without asking for the revenues to pay for it, the more in debt you become is the correct formulation.”

    Who must you ask for the revenues to pay for it, Stephen? The tax payers? Funny, the tax payers were asked in 2010 and they said enough, so now you want to give them a big f-you and raise the ceiling so you can just print what you need.

    I am not boxed in, not in the very least. If I was, I would be stammering for excuses to defend my belief that spending less is how one fights debt.

    Posted by: kctim at August 8, 2011 5:12 PM
    Comment #327288

    “And why did the bill do nothing? Hmmm maybe a few more cuts along with, oh god dare I say it, “Tax increases”, may have made it a better bill. I wonder who was not willing to even consider the possibility of raising revenue on the wealthy to ease some of the debt burden. Oh wait, it was conservatives.”

    Posted by: Tbone at August 8, 2011 05:01 PM

    Tsquare; a tax increase of any kind is not a debt cut. A tax increase on any american is simply more money for democrat out of control spending. A socialist democrat is never satisfied; if taxes were raised on everyone, it still wouldn’t be enough. The debt cuts promised by this Bill were a sham and would never come about. It would require congresses 10 years down the road to implement them and that will never happen.

    Posted by: Conservativethinker at August 8, 2011 5:12 PM
    Comment #327289

    Tbone, Democrats as well as republicans screwed up on this issue, both spent like there was no tomorrow. I will not place blame on one when both are to blame. As far as Stephen, to him Democrats DO NO WRONG.

    Posted by: KAP at August 8, 2011 5:15 PM
    Comment #327290

    Stephen,

    Youth will out. If you think the situation is not as dire as the picture I’ve drawn…good luck with that. Reagan shot our ship of state to full steam ahead, going aft-baftward, and it has been accelerating ever since. I was not as fatalistic about the situation until this bunch of slow witted tea suckers came along, but by now the realization has set in…even if we started turning her this very minute it would take a century to bring her about.

    We are a nation of uneducated, and unwilling to BE educated fools. We are hell bent to let the oligarchy take over, and too obtuse to realize, even at this late date that politics has no meaning when the nation is owned outright by a few powerful men. These folks on WB who insist that the war of wills was won by ‘their’ side, are too blind to see that the war was taken out of their reach long ago.

    I used to harp a lot about how conservative thinkers could not fathom that there are consequences to ‘winning’, and that the ramifications might not be a pleasant as they conjured. When they find how powerless they really are, in comparison to the all-powerful oligarch’s, the oligarch’s they have handed America to, they may finally see what I was taking about.

    It is too late. Our government was not built to be parlamentary…we cannot replace one ineffectual gang with one better suited to the chores facing us. We are tied to this Democratic Republic, and our hands are tied by the slowness of our Constitutional processes.

    SCOTUS lined us up and blindfolded us with Citizen’s United, and the TeaPublicans have set the firing squad. The powerful group of oligarch’s that rides in on the white stallion to rescue us, have that power because Congress just handed it to them because the weakness showed in dealing with the hostage takers lunatic right.

    I’m afraid my President set the tone for capitulation when he thought he could actually negotiate with them. The feeding frenzy has begun with the recent actions of S&P lowering our credit rating even though there was no monitary justification for the lowering.

    Soon enough there will appear a CABAL of like minded trough-feeders with the where-with-all to take over. Our so-called government is hog tied and will not be able to stave it off.

    Posted by: Marysdude at August 8, 2011 5:26 PM
    Comment #327291

    Conservativethinker:

    Would someone please help me understand something? When the Congress was debating the debt ceiling Bill; wasn’t Obama, Biden, and every other socialist who holds a Senate or House seat warning the American voter of a downgrade if we did not do something about our debt? And when they passed a Bill that did nothing, and the S&P downgraded our economic standing; they are now mad at the S&P for doing it. I guess the moral is; be careful what you wish for (or predict).

    First off, let me tell you that all of you rightwingers sound stupid as sh*t every time you use the word “socialist.” Either you have no idea what the word actually means, or you’re just using it to be as obnoxious as you can — exactly the way flamebaiting trolls would.

    But to answer this question, I’ll just quote Reich:

    But the government won’t come to the rescue by spending more and cutting most peoples’ taxes because it’s obsessed by a so-called “debt crisis” based on budget projections over the next ten years. That obsession — which serves the ideological purposes of right-wing Republicans who really want to shrink government — has even spread to the eat-your-spinach media, deficit hawks in the Democratic Party, and a major (and thoroughly irresponsible) credit-rating agency that’s neither standard nor poor.

    And:

    But there’s no question that the United States has enough money to pay what it owes. We’re the richest nation in the world and we print the money the world relies on. The only question on this side of the pond is whether tea-party Republicans will allow America to pay its bills when the debt-ceiling fight resumes at the end of 2012.

    Here is what the S&P said when they downgraded the nation’s credit rating:

    “We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act,”

    Or in other words, a “debt deal” that didn’t bring in any revenue is something the S&P considers worthless, and they no longer believe the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans will expire in 2012.
    On the other hand, as Sanders, Reich and Krugman point out, the S&P themselves don’t deserve any credibility — because they’re the ones who helped cause the financial crisis in the first place.

    Posted by: Adrienne at August 8, 2011 5:29 PM
    Comment #327292

    Tom Humes,

    It is clear from a number of studies that in modern times, using a host of measures and providing for lag time, that the economy has performed better under Democratic presidents than under Republican.

    But, you raise the issue of Congress. The following link assesses that influence. Basically same result. http://www.asymptosis.com/congress-presidents-spending-taxes-debt-gdp.html

    Posted by: Rich at August 8, 2011 6:18 PM
    Comment #327294

    That’s part of what they said Adrienne. What about the rest of what they said. Maybe the part about not reducing spending. Here is another quote from teir statement.

    “Republicans and
    Democrats have only been able to agree to relatively modest savings on
    discretionary spending while delegating to the Select Committee decisions on
    more comprehensive measures. It appears that for now, new revenues have
    dropped down on the menu of policy options. In addition, the plan envisions
    only minor policy changes on Medicare and little change in other entitlements,
    the containment of which we and most other independent observers regard as key
    to long-term fiscal sustainability.”

    See, I can cherry pick too.

    Posted by: tdobson at August 8, 2011 6:23 PM
    Comment #327295

    JLw

    “Not enough was done to address future entitlement costs and nothing on the revenue side. That is the basic conclusion of the report”

    Yes. It was not the political fights, but rather the results or lack of action to address the problem.

    Republicans did not want to address the tax issue. They should. Democrats didn’t plan to address the problem at all until forced to do so.

    I think we should look at taxing the truly rich (more than 1 million in income) and close some loopholes. I would be willing to return taxes to the 2000 level if we could return spending to that level too.

    Posted by: C&J at August 8, 2011 6:24 PM
    Comment #327296

    tdobson-
    If you want a vague agreement that mistakes were made on all sides, you have it. But that’s meaningless, and it’s main use, my instincts tell me, will be to claim equivalence between the two sides mistakes.

    As I said, compromise is not brainless concession. If you were willing to admit that Conservative’s mistakes dominate with recent fiscal issues, that their deliberate decisions on taxes and spending widened the gap between what we paid and what we tax people for… well, then we have some room for further agreement.

    I can be naive, can be gullible if I’m caught unprepared, but this is not one of those cases.

    KAP-
    It will always depend on what you’re trying to get me to admit. Vague statements that are likely meant to promote a notion of equal culpability will not set the hook in me, so don’t bother fishing with them.

    Conservativethinker-

    Who’s we? You got a horse turd in your pocket?

    Interesting choice of friend. I was talking about liberals, who I find to be much more agreeable company than you suggest. Your mileage may vary.

    Stephen is not a centrist or a moderate; Stephen is a…

    I am what I say I am. I was originally a Clinton Liberal, and before that I was a Republican.

    The rest? Gosh, mister, you seem to have a prolific imagination! You flood the zone with statements of pure opinion, and then expect everybody else to believe that.

    This is probably due to the fact that this is how you learned to argue. I’m more interested in defining things than people, and arguing from those nice, objective facts, rather than spin fantasies out of thin air.

    The warnings about the Debt Ceiling warned that it wasn’t enough that the debt ceiling be raised, but that it be raised in good time. The President tried to get that done, but folks on your side of the aisle refused to cooperate. Their political intransigence is the main source of the downgrade.

    You know, from what I’ve heard, they were prepared to make your argument that it didn’t do enough, but then the Administration confronted them with their math. They were off two trillion dollars because they made a basic mistake in assuming that discretionary spending, which is being capped and reduced, was going to be higher than what it was.

    So, what is their rationale now? Congress shows too many signs that future debt ceiling increases will not be free of partisan hostage taking tactics which might delay or even prevent them.

    And Congress isn’t showing signs that it will bring revenues in.

    Reading between the lines of the lukewarm rhetoric saying that democrats wouldn’t cut entitlements so much, this is mainly a shot across the Republican’s bow. Democrats didn’t provoke this hostage crisis by threatening to withhold the debt ceiling increase’s passage. Democrats have not been universally resistant to raising taxes, or even just raising revenues.

    As for this:

    A tax increase on any american is simply more money for democrat out of control spending. A socialist democrat is never satisfied; if taxes were raised on everyone, it still wouldn’t be enough.

    And Republicans avoided out of control spending by cutting taxes?

    Your party’s intense obsession with deficit-creating tax cuts and it’s massive blind spots for certain politically convenient items like the Medicare drug benefit and their two wars have been what really jacked our finances out of sync.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 8, 2011 6:29 PM
    Comment #327297

    “If we had followed the Democrat’s plan and IF we added revenues as you say, congress would have done what it ALWAYS does: it would have created more programs to spend those revenues on and totally ignored the debt hanging over our heads in order to do so.”

    Kctim,

    When was the last time that the federal government reduced its expenditures and actually reduced the federal government and the deficit? When was the last time it raised taxes? It was under the Clinton administration in 1993 with the Deficit Reduction Act passed without one Republican vote. It cut expenditures over a five year period and raised taxes, principally on higher income groups. What was the result? A budget surplus and a booming economy.

    I, for one, am sick and tired of conservatives failing to accept simple facts for which there is no serious dispute. The allegation in your post is simply not true. The Republican meme of fiscal responsibility is nothing but a fairy tale. Simply plot the data on deficits. It points to Republicans beginning with Reagan through Bush only interrupted by a period of fiscal sanity during the Clinton administration. The last Bush budget (2008-2009) was the largest deficit in modern history, with the exception of WWII.

    Posted by: Rich at August 8, 2011 6:41 PM
    Comment #327298


    Cantor says they are near winning the war, they just have to hold firm on no additional tax revenue.

    It is true that S&P was in on the scam, but the FED, SEC, THE BIG BANKS and their mortgage seller affiliates, the Clinton and Bush Treasury Departments, and various Members of the Finance Committees of both Houses.

    Greed can cause a good person to jump for joy and run out and spend that new fortune in home equity. Trapped! Who do I blame?

    Fanny and Freddy got the toxic debt and a big scapegoating. All the others seem to be doing rather well in this economic downturn.

    I think the oligarchy has planned quite well.

    Control of the Court, working control of the Congress and the Executive. Trade deals going right along with constant reminders of all the great jobs they would create in America. Tax incentives to move factories and or jobs to other countries? They had to have that, otherwise WalMart won’t sell their products anymore.

    Conservative talk Radio with the true believers spreading the gospel in the churches and work places.

    All that is left is to give the younger generations a good dose of free market economic reality in the land of equal opportunity.

    Yes, we will all have choices in the next election, the financial sector candidates, oil, gas and coal, health insurers candidates, G.E. candidates, Bank of America, Viacom and News Corp. candidates. God Party candidates or Socialist candidates, make your choice.

    Posted by: jlw at August 8, 2011 6:59 PM
    Comment #327299
    “Republicans and Democrats have only been able to agree to relatively modest savings on discretionary spending while delegating to the Select Committee decisions on more comprehensive measures. It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options. In addition, the plan envisions only minor policy changes on Medicare and little change in other entitlements, the containment of which we and most other independent observers regard as key to long-term fiscal sustainability.”

    See, I can cherry pick too.

    Did you have a point to make here?
    The “debt deal” didn’t bring in any tax revenues, and they’re demanding policy changes to Medicare and “other entitlements”. (Maybe they’re referring to the Medicare Part D program here? The expenditures for which has been projected from 2009 through 2018 to be $727.3 billion? What other “entitlements” Hard to say, since they weren’t specific.)

    Anyway, the question remains: who are the S&P to make criticisms or demands on anything? Especially when they themselves have no credibility whatsoever following our previous economic meltdown.
    Additionally, American taxpayers have been the largest creditors to our government. We’ve paid all our working lives into Social Security and Medicare, and if the government (under either party) actually tries to stiff us by doing away with the social safety net because of their greed and mismanagement, I guess We the People are going to have to demand they give us back the entire amount of funds we’ve all paid into those programs, right? I mean, the American people didn’t pay in thinking it would be fine for all that money to simply be stolen and confiscated by our inept “leaders” did we? Let’s see either political party try to pay We the People back all they’ll be owing to us without having to run up debt, or without having to completely gut the military then.
    Perhaps some large tax increases on the Wall Streeters and Hedge Funder million/billionaires wouldn’t seem like such a big damn deal then, eh?

    Posted by: Adrienne at August 8, 2011 7:34 PM
    Comment #327300

    spot on, jlw.

    Posted by: Adrienne at August 8, 2011 7:37 PM
    Comment #327301

    dbs

    The liberal, left, socialist, progressives don’t have a clue.

    Quoting and relying on Frank Reich is like quoting the bug that just hit my windshield. He has a track record of being unreliable.

    The cooked books that the government uses would not pass an honest audit. That is why you never hear of an audit.

    Stephen, there are liberals in the republican party. Just saying you were once a republican does make you a conservative any more than a whole host of republicans that say they are conservative, but live by the liberal, left SOP. Just who are you trying to influence or kid or BS.

    Posted by: tom humes at August 8, 2011 7:42 PM
    Comment #327302

    The point is Stephen you’d blame a republican even if there was proof positive the a Democrat did the dirty deed.

    Posted by: KAP at August 8, 2011 7:49 PM
    Comment #327303

    tom humes, it’s just like water off a duck. That’s because everything you write in this blog reveals you to be a POS flamebaiting troll.

    Posted by: Adrienne at August 8, 2011 8:10 PM
    Comment #327305

    “Quoting and relying on Frank Reich..”

    Tom,

    Its Robert Reich.

    Posted by: Rich at August 8, 2011 8:17 PM
    Comment #327307


    Does anyone remember that austerity program imposed on the people of Great Britain by the conservative government? Call out the riot squads.

    Posted by: jlw at August 8, 2011 8:34 PM
    Comment #327308

    Why S&P is wrong. http://pragcap.com/richard-koo-discusses-the-balance-sheet-recession

    Posted by: Rich at August 8, 2011 8:47 PM
    Comment #327311

    Rich

    Thanks for the correction. Was experimenting with walking and chewing gum and reading and writing. Can’t do that anymore with any consistency.

    Posted by: tom humes at August 8, 2011 9:44 PM
    Comment #327315

    First off, let me tell you that all of you rightwingers sound stupid as sh*t every time you use the word “socialist.” Either you have no idea what the word actually means, or you’re just using it to be as obnoxious as you can — exactly the way flamebaiting trolls would.”

    Posted by: Adrienne at August 8, 2011 05:29 PM

    Yes Adrienne, I understand exactly what you are saying, and I am sure you are more than willing to condemn these flame baiting comments made about the American people who support the Tea Party:

    Tea Party are “Terrorists by Joe Biden”, “Politico Calls Tea Party “Full-Blown Terrorists”, “Vice President Joseph R. Biden believes Tea Party Republicans are right-wing jihadists”, “a New York Times op-ed columnist stated that the Tea Party is ‘waging jihad on the American people”, “MARGARET CARLSON, BLOOMBERG NEWS COLUMNIST: They have strapped explosives to the Capitol and they think they are immune from it”, “Tina Brown, editor in chief of Newsweek, said they were suicide bombers. Tom Friedman, New York Times, compared them to Hezbollah. Peter Goodman of The Huffington Post said they are acting like terrorists. William Yeomans on Politico, he teaches law, said the Tea Party faction in the House has now become full- blown terrorists. Fareed Zakaria, you played this in the beginning, said they want to blow up the country. Paul Krugman, they want to blow up the economy. Even David Brooks, the only kind of conservative they’re happy with at The New York Times, said they have no sense of moral decency.”

    Posted by: Conservativethinker at August 8, 2011 10:13 PM
    Comment #327316

    By the way Adrienne, until you are willing to condemn these comments, and not use them yourself; the left will continue to be known as liberal socialists in my book.

    Posted by: Conservativethinker at August 8, 2011 10:16 PM
    Comment #327320
    Adrienne,

    You would not know a troll if it bit you anywhere or showed its face or wrote a poem. On second thought there was a mention above of a troll trolling.

    Yeah, I know exactly what a troll is. And yes there was mention of trolling above. Only a troll stoops to this:

    Note that the user known as “Freeman” is actually tom humes. I have edited all of his comments as well as any responses to reflect this truth.

    tom humes, please stop changing your identity in order to extend the debate that you represent as “tom humes”. It’s disingenuous and will not work. If you would like to continue participating at WatchBlog, please use only one identity.
    Posted by: WatchBlog Publisher at August 7, 2011 10:48 AM

    Conservativethinker,

    Let me get this straight… You’ve actually been comfortable using the word “Socialist” even though you knew all along that it didn’t apply? Knowing full well that you’ve been stripping it of any true or correct meaning?
    By that same token, why do you now feel you have any right to be offended when words such as “Terrorist” or “Jihadist” are incorrectly used?
    Seems like sauce for the goose…

    Posted by: Adrienne at August 8, 2011 11:24 PM
    Comment #327321

    Poll: 62 percent say debt ceiling deal benefits the rich and hurts the poor

    Posted by: Adrienne at August 8, 2011 11:42 PM
    Comment #327322

    Poated by Adrienne:

    “Conservativethinker,

    Let me get this straight… You’ve actually been comfortable using the word “Socialist” even though you knew all along that it didn’t apply? Knowing full well that you’ve been stripping it of any true or correct meaning?”

    Is that what I said Adrienne, or are you reading this through the eyes of a liberal socialist? Oh yes, I believe it applies!!!

    I didn’t catch your condemnation of the comments about the Tea Party. You must have read over that part.

    By the way, this is from your linked poll claiming 62% against the debt bill:

    “The two-stage agreement, which was criticized by both tea party lawmakers and progressive Democrats, passed by a vote of 269 to 161 in the House and a vote of 74 to 26 in the Senate.”

    You must have missed the part about the TP lawmakers as well as progressives criticized the bill. I wonder what part of your 62% who were unhappy with the bill, were actually TP people. I know for one, I certainly don’t like the bill.

    In fact, if you actually go to the poll, you will find the 62% is an average of all groups of voters. In fact, conservatives have a 48% disaproval of the bill because it benefits the rich more, 70% of moderates, 62% of independents, 40% of republicans, and 75 percent of democrats compared to only 70% of liberals. So your link to the liberal “The Raw Story” is nothing more than and attempt at sensationalism.

    http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/08/08/poll.aug8.pdf

    Posted by: Conservativethinker at August 9, 2011 12:13 AM
    Comment #327323

    tom humes-
    You say he’s unreliable. How is he wrong, though? Either Frank Rich, or Robert Reich? Badmouthing him’s no substitute for disproving him on the merits.

    As for being a Republican? You know having actual moderates and liberals in your party might have helped you these past few years. Republicans wouldn’t be stuck with just the ideas the Tea Party and those like them might have, and they might have been able to make deals with the Democrats to spread conservatism in a more credible way.

    Instead, they’re forcing it one them.

    You assume so bloody much that’s wrong, but of course, since it’s me telling you this, you don’t believe me.

    Pity.

    KAP-
    So you say. But when confronted about what different Democrats have done, like Murtha, like Jefferson, like Rangel, what do I say? No, it couldn’t be, it must all be a Republican conspiracy?

    Nah. I’ve got no interested in defending those who have screwed themselves. What I don’t want to do is concede, thoughtlessly, every accusation Republicans make. All Too often, I might start saying “****’em, like I usually do, only to find an article which reveals the whole thing to be bull.

    So, repeat that bull however you want. You just won’t get my real attitudes right.

    Conservativethinker-
    It describes what they’re doing perfectly: placing the nation’s economy in peril so they can extort the political changes their numbers and electoral fortunes have not earned them. This is what terrorists and radicals do: They take hostages and make attacks on the things we value and the people we love in order to force us to do what they want.

    The shoe fits, but you know whoever wears it has by necessity crossed a line that won’t make them all that popular, so you’re afraid to wear it.

    You might as well wear it. Mitch McConnell admitted that what you folks were doing was taking hostages, the only difference between standard Republicans and Tea Party Republicans being that the Republicans were holding them for ransom, while The Tea Party really wanted to shoot the hostages.

    Worse yet, and this may have played a factor in the downgrade, your people were saying we would play out this drama the next time as well.

    Those who think this is a valid way to run a country have subscribed to the belief that what a party needs to do is not mount a campaign to convince people of things peacefully and harmlessly, but put them and their elected leaders in a position where the alternative to the deal is a financial meltdown, one which we might not have fully avoided, due to the sheer intransigence of your tactics.

    It’s not America’s economy that’s convinced them of it, wounded, but still strong and worth trillions of dollars. It’s not our inability to pay debts back, since servicing them only costs 1.6% of GDP.

    What convinced people that there might be a threat of default in America’s future is the unwillingness of the Republicans and the Tea Party to make deals, even when the fate of the country and the fate of investor’s money is on the line. What your party did is not unlike some bank executive who doesn’t like a policy decision going out on national television and saying the bank’s finances are shot to ****.

    Republicans have once again brought shame and darker times to our country, and not from bad intentions, but from the sheer inability to see things any other way than their own, to see things done in the name of the party and movement’s cause as anything other than right, even when the results and the tactics stray from the good.

    Let my country go.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 9, 2011 12:14 AM
    Comment #327324

    Conservativethinker:

    Oh yes, I believe it applies!!!

    I see. Then you are obviously totally ignorant of what socialism actually is — yet also obviously proud of your ignorance for some bizarre reason. This reminds me much of Glenn Beck, a man who seriously suffers from that sort of cretinous affliction.

    I didn’t catch your condemnation of the comments about the Tea Party.
    No, you didn’t. And I can’t condemn them because you didn’t provide the full quotes of whatever was said. I will however, repeat what I’ve previously said in this blog: That the tea party Republicans are acting like economic terrorists. That term definitely applies in my view. Indeed, I was just talking to my neighbor who lives a few houses down from me today. She’s a very nice 83 year old woman (who has always considered herself conservative, but who may now be undergoing a political change of heart). She told me she is absolutely terrified of losing her Medicare and Social Security and she can’t understand why the GOP refuses to even think about raising taxes on people who are a far wealthier than she and her friends are. Only economic terrorists would think nothing of scaring the sh*t out of old people this way, or even entertain the idea of yanking this nation’s social safety net out from under anyone who needs it, on behalf of the rich, who have everything they need and lack for nothing.
    I wonder what part of your 62% who were unhappy with the bill, were actually TP people.

    I have absolutely no idea — they didn’t ask that question. What I do know is the results of what that poll did ask. Namely:

    “Do you think the bill treats all Americans fairly or do you think it benefits the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class?”

    62% said the debt ceiling bill benefits the rich.
    27% said that the debt ceiling bill deal treats all classes fairly.
    11% had no opinion.

    Posted by: Adrienne at August 9, 2011 2:12 AM
    Comment #327327

    We can continue to argue about who gets a share of a shrinking pie or we can put our energies toward growing the pie and reducing our dependence upon some aspects of the pie.

    Its about time that we confronted the actual causes of our economic malaise rather than just trying to deal with its symptoms.

    Posted by: Rich at August 9, 2011 7:17 AM
    Comment #327328

    I agree Rich, but all we get from the left is attacks on conservitives.

    Posted by: tdobson at August 9, 2011 7:25 AM
    Comment #327329

    Very simply, what has happened in America is that a minority in control of only the house has (by virtue of asymmetrical warfare) rendered compromise and good will useless. Surprised? You shouldn’t be; this is what they said they would do, their number one objective. Gum up the works, not let the Democrats have any success. Consider the stunning cynicism of the following by Michelle Bachmann: “It’s the Obama downgrade!” First she made it known that she preferred default to voting to raise the debt limit. Then, it’s someone else’s fault when there are consequences to that brilliant strategy.

    The country is much weaker now then it was when the Great Recession started coming on in ‘07. I think there’s less psychological resilience. I personally have a very bleak outlook on the economic future ahead. And, once I get over my disbelief of the people who did this, even after the other side capitulated, gave them virtually everything they asked for…….I think I’m gonna be angry for a long, long time.

    I’m a Democrat, not a Socialist. I love how those who support a fascist style of government (yes, consult your dictionary: Fascism is big business and government running the show together. Does that somehow not describe well enough for you where we are right now?) try to accuse those who are horrified at that of being “socialists”. I like a free market just fine, no socialism here. But there should be a government looking out for the little guy. Our country wasn’t supposed to be about redistributing income to the top 1 per cent. It’s counter intuitive to me how such a tiny minority who controls such a great amount of wealth can manipulate the dialogue from behind the scenes, make sure that nothing threatens their supremacy. Even more counter intuitive is how many of the people who are being hurt by this are parroting the talking points of the corpocracy/oligarchy: “We have a spending problem, not an income problem!”. Great insight into the phenomenon of ideology altering beliefs, and even reality. And if it wasn’t being propagated by the very people whose heel is under the boot of the corpocracy??? Well….we just might have a chance of getting out of the situation we’re in.

    So. WAKE UP!!!!!! Ain’t no big corporations hiring anyone with their billions in profits. It’s not happening. It hasn’t happened. It is not going to happen. You’ve been duped. Sorry. All them tax breaks just allowed them to get richer, stronger. Now they pretty much own our asses…….laughing every time they cash in another subsidy or tax break. And oh, that Pell grant so your kid doesn’t have to take out a college loan that’ll choke a f@*&!ng horse (At eight percent)? Sorry buddy, we had to cut spending now, didn’t we? Sign here, please.

    And what’s that you say? You want to retire cause you’ve busted your ass for 35 years, paying into social security all along? Well, we’ve had to make a few changes there too, friend.

    But we’re gonna fight to the death to protect them asinine Bush tax cuts, see. Because the rich getting richer provides jobs and reinvestment. That benefits all of us. Just look around and see how great it’s worked out………………

    Posted by: steve miller at August 9, 2011 8:03 AM
    Comment #327332
    I agree Rich, but all we get from the left is attacks on conservitives.

    Poor poor tdobson. The 20% are picking on the 80% and making them want to do bad things to the country because they are being picked on.

    T, do you realize how silly that sounds, makes me want to cry as sad as it is but perhaps instead this is more in order.

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

    Posted by: j2t2 at August 9, 2011 9:32 AM
    Comment #327333

    Adrienne said:

    “No, you didn’t. And I can’t condemn them because you didn’t provide the full quotes of whatever was said.”

    This is a copout, you know perfectly well they were all said and it would be very easy for you to Google them. You are just unwilling to admit what was said was wrong, but you have no problem attacking my comments. This is called hypocrisy.

    “I have absolutely no idea — they didn’t ask that question. What I do know is the results of what that poll did ask. Namely:
    “Do you think the bill treats all Americans fairly or do you think it benefits the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class?”
    62% said the debt ceiling bill benefits the rich.
    27% said that the debt ceiling bill deal treats all classes fairly.
    11% had no opinion.”
    Posted by: Adrienne at August 9, 2011 02:12 AM

    If you would read the original Poll, instead of relying on a liberal political hack site, you would know what the results were. I posted the link to the original poll site and added the percentages; evidently you don’t have enough intelligence to understand anything other than liberal socialist talking points. Here, let me post it again, try to read it carefully and you will find a breakdown of the % and not just the averages that “The Raw Story” quotes:

    “In fact, if you actually go to the poll, you will find the 62% is an average of all groups of voters. In fact, conservatives have a 48% disapproval of the bill because it benefits the rich more, 70% of moderates, 62% of independents, 40% of republicans, and 75 percent of democrats compared to only 70% of liberals.”

    http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/08/08/poll.aug8.pdf

    I know you want to give the impression that only liberals disagreed with the debt bill and that conservatives were all in favor of it; but that is false. Almost 50% of conservatives and 40% of republicans also believed the bill benefited the rich. So your claim is completely false.

    Posted by: Conservativethinker at August 9, 2011 10:27 AM
    Comment #327334

    This thread almost perfectly exemplifies the extremism causing the problems growing in number and severity the the U.S. for several decades.

    Too many people seem to love THEIR party more than their country, or their own well-being, … , at least, until it possibly becomes too painful?

    It is rooted in excessive pride and stubborn hatred, which leads to self-delusion, misplaced loyalties, and wallowing in the circular, destructive partisan-warfare.

    There are a lot of good ideas and solutions for the problems growing in number and severity in the U.S.
    It once seemed that Congress is where good ideas and solutions go to die.
    But Congress is merely a reflection of the people who repeatedly reward them with re-election, and the U.S. is therefore where good ideas and solutions go to die.

    There are a few moderates in this thread who make good sense.
    But there are way, way too many extremists who do not want anyone trying to confuse them with the reality, facts, common-sense, or how their goals violate the rights of others.

    There is really no big difference between Democrat and Republican Incumbent Politicians, except the equally destructive extremes each adhere to.

    • Extreme #1: One extreme wants regressive taxation, unfettered capitalism, little (if any) government regulations, and freedom to explore and wallow in almost every manifestation of unchecked greed.
    • Extreme #2: The other extreme wants a nanny-state with citizens increasingly dependent on the government; with massive cradle-to-grave government programs (which are usually severely mismanaged) that nurture a sense of entitlement and dependency on government; tries to disguise envy and jealousy as demands for equality; wants to grow government ever larger (despite the already current nightmare proportions); rewards failure and laziness; and perpetuates the myth that we can somehow all live at the expense of everyone else.

    The politicians love to lure blind loyalists wallow in the blind, circular partisan-warfare, while they exploit the voters’ ignorance of their clever system, in which:

    • (a) neither of the two main parties will run a challenger to run against the incumbent;
    • (b) the incumbents know their blind loyalists will rarely vote for anyone in the OTHER party;
    • (c) and 99.7% of all of the 200 million eligible voters are vastly out-spent by a very tiny 0.3% of the wealthiest voters who make a whopping 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more! Cha Ching!
    • (d) and as a result, FOR-SALE, incompetent, corrupt, and arrogant incumbent politicians are repeatedly rewarded with perpetual re-eletion;
    So, how much pain and misery are the majority of voters willing to endure before they figure this out?

    By the way, re-election rates are falling, but far too slowly to make a sufficient positive difference.

    • Start-End _ Congress# _ Re-Election
    • Year-Year _______________ Rate
    • 1933-1935 ___ 073rd ___ 61.2% (206 of 531 incumbents ousted!)
    • … … … … … … … . .
    • 1989-1991 ___ 101st ___ 90.1%
    • 1991-1993 ___ 102dn ___ 87.7%
    • 1993-1995 ___ 103rd ___ 73.5%
    • … … … … …
    • 1999-2001 ___ 106th ___ 89.2%
    • 2001-2003 ___ 107th ___ 89.2%
    • 2003-2005 ___ 108th ___ 87.9%
    • 2005-2007 ___ 109th ___ 88.6%
    • 2007-2009 ___ 110th ___ 84.9%
    • 2009-2011 ___ 111th ___ 86.9%
    • 2011-2013 ___ 112th ___ 77.0%
    It is up to the majority of voters, but is repeatedly rewarding failure with perpetual re-eleciton working?

    Based on the re-election rates above, it appears that there are a growing number of voters who are falling out of love with THEIR party.
    Of course, there are some voters who are so rabidly blind and stubborn that they will NEVER consider THEIR party as being equally culpable.

    Perhaps the majority of voters would be wise to hold Congress accountable, as a whole, instead blindly pulling the party-lever ?
    Again, it is the voters’ choice, but in a voting nation, education is paramount, and the majority of voters will get their education, one way or another.
    One good thing about this system of government, provided voters can vote, and can obtain an accurate vote-count, the voters are also culpable, and will also reap what they sow; as it should be.
    That is, voters can wallow in the blind, circular partisan warfare all they want, … , at least, until such illogical behavior finally becomes too painful?

    It does not matter what I think would work, or what I wish the majority of voters would do, because the majority of voters will most likely, eventually (if ever) do what leads to the least pain and misery, and that most likely means ending the perpetual re-election and rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election.

    Of course, the future is not set in stone, and the majority of voters could possibly wait too long.
    The majority of voters have already, almost certainly waited too long already to avoid considerable pain and misery for the next decade (or longer), by allowing these 10 major abuses to exist for far too long.

    At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at August 9, 2011 11:13 AM
    Comment #327337

    SD

    You claim it is a pity I don’t believe or rely on you. What elitism!! So where I to change my mind and follow you, do I call you Apostle, Professor, Saint, Pope, God, or do you have another name for the cult I would then be following.

    Adrienne

    I am guilty of using another name to make my point. The WB editor took care of that. Why is it necessary to bring that up? Under your implied definition of a troll, you practiced being a troll in that writing.

    Geesh, when does the left acquire a mustard grain size of wisdom and knowledge. As dbs said, you totalitarianists are getting boring, boorish, and to use a word from your wrinting, stupid. You make no sense whatsoever in your writings. You follow the leftist word for the day as a cult member would. I will charge that you all are democrat cult members. If Mao, Joe, Adolph, or Idi were to be the nominee for any office, you all would vote for him. That is how much of a cult behavior you all have. Our present non-leader in the WH has done things, signed things, and pushed for things that has had or will have a devastating effect by affecting their pursuit. Yet you all claim that he is doing it for the country. Ya, I remember in his run for the WH he was going to “transform America”. And over 50 million people bought it hook, line and sinker. Weak minds all.

    To quote SD, “pity”.

    Posted by: tom humes at August 9, 2011 12:02 PM
    Comment #327339

    Con, the Tea Party did every bit as good of a job on destroying the economy as Osama Bin Laden did with the 9/11 attacks. The first week of active trading after 9/11 saw the DJIA drop 1369 points. The Tea Party attack on the economy saw a drop of 1872 points off the DJIA during the run up to the debt ceiling debacle and immediately afterwards. The efforts of the repubs that led to the financial crisis of 2008 saw the DJIA drop 1874 points. The difference between the 3 events is the repubs probably didn’t tank the economy intentionally whereas Bin Laden and the Tea Party had the goal of doing such, albeit for different reasons.

    http://www.examiner.com/political-buzz-in-national/sen-mcconnell-r-ky-admits-to-hostage-taking-debt-fight-will-do-it-again

    Why should Adrienne be forced by you to apologize for comments by others? Especially when the comments, while exaggerated, reflect the intentions of the Tea Party members? When the intended outcomes on the markets are so similar despite the different means to achieve them? After all, Many people for many years have said the US would be destroyed from within, not from it’s foreign enemies. Who better to prove this true than the self described “young guns” in Congress? The caucus named after an attack on a ship in Boston Harbor.

    If I recall correctly you were recently offended when I used the term Teabaggers as a means of describing tea party followers. Yet you use terms like socialist incorrectly to describe anyone to the left of the McVeigh. Perhaps the use of “socialist” incorrectly should be tied to the Teabagger agreement.

    Perhaps this is what D.A.N is referring to when he states “It is rooted in excessive pride and stubborn hatred, which leads to self-delusion, misplaced loyalties, and wallowing in the circular, destructive partisan-warfare.”

    Posted by: j2t2 at August 9, 2011 12:12 PM
    Comment #327340

    Rich
    So you are saying that there were no new government programs created that used money from the supposed ‘surplus?’
    That we are to forget how the federal debt increased as it always does, and only speak of public debt?

    How can I “accept simple facts for which there is no serious dispute” if we do not use all of the facts?

    Posted by: kctim at August 9, 2011 12:25 PM
    Comment #327341

    tom humes-
    What’s a pity is that you don’t believe the truth about me.

    The problem with not believing that folks who don’t share your zealotry have genuinely good intentions, is that you waste the opportunity to expand your audience beyond your own circle of true believers.

    It’s the main reason why I tend to approach things on the basis of more objective facts, rather than tossing around a word Salad of partisan labels instead. Facts translate better than political opinions. You can call me a socialist, but I’m never going to accept that label because I actually believe in what could be best termed a more structured and accountable version of Capitalism. I don’t think it’s actually a good idea for the government to run every industry.

    But, in the effort to pigeonhole me, folks like Conservativethinker and Royal Flush call me a socialist, because their argumentation is based on convincing their fellow Republicans not to listen to anybody else.

    I’d say the Republicans would be in better shape if they would listen. They’d be better liked, probably do better at running things. When you only listen to a tight group of people, their mistakes become your mistakes. You need to mix things up. It’s part of the reason I went to Baylor, a fairly conservative University, despite the fact that I was fairly liberal and fairly agnostic.

    I’m more complicated than your flattened Cariacture, and that’s the real pity I was talking about.

    Your contempt doesn’t merely offend others, it boxes you in in terms of your options for policies, and in terms of actually working well and cooperating with others. You want people to join up with you, but you won’t accept them unless they give up on everything they hold dear and become clones of you and yours.

    kctim-
    If some program comes up and takes that money, it’s not part of the surplus anymore, now is it?

    If it’s surplus, then by definition, it wasn’t spent in that budget, at least on the items on the budget.

    The budget at the end of the last century had a good chance of resolving much of the national debt in the next couple of decades afterwards. Republican fiscal policy changed that.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 9, 2011 12:57 PM
    Comment #327345

    Con:

    you know perfectly well they were all said and it would be very easy for you to Google them. You are just unwilling to admit what was said was wrong,

    First of all, I’m not searching for anything just because you’re too lazy to look up comments you attempted to make a point with. In fact, because you didn’t bother to give full quotes, I’d be willing to bet that you simply lifted your outrage from some rightwing website.

    Secondly, I guess I would have to say that I’m in partial agreement with the terrorist analogies those people were (likely) making — because the GOP is economically terrorizing the vast majority of people in this country. It has become crystal clear that their scorched-earth politically extreme ideologies mean far more to them than the health and well being of average Americans. Including the health and well being of people like my conservative 83 year old neighbor who has always voted Republican — although maybe not in the next election.

    And that’s what so amazing about what is happening in Washington — because what the TeaOP is doing is clearly political suicide, yet they’ve obviously become far too nutty to even grasp this fact. They’re insisting that the social safety net that every American has already paid for is no longer ours to have, that the money we’ve all paid in isn’t actually ours, nor owed to us — due to government ineptitude and mismanagement. But the TeaOP is WRONG on all counts — and the rapidly declining poll numbers of people wanting to label themselves ‘tea party Republican’ is a reflection of just how wrong they are.

    but you have no problem attacking my comments. This is called hypocrisy.

    I attack the erroneous use of the word socialism as it is being applied to liberals and progressives, yes. Because it can be compared to Orwellian 1984 Newspeak — a bogus attempt to call one thing by completely different term, yet insist it is somehow correct and accurate.

    To quote Orwell:

    By 2050—earlier, probably—all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron—they’ll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually contradictory of what they used to be. Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like “freedom is slavery” when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

    This is what Rightwingers, especially the tea partiers, are attempting to do with the word Socialism. You throw this word around constantly, insist upon it’s correctness while applying it incorrectly to liberals and progressives, and clearly without any understanding of what socialism actually is. This is called stupidity — and since I consider it a very dangerous brand of stupidity, I think it’s wise to call it out.

    If you would read the original Poll, instead of relying on a liberal political hack site, you would know what the results were.

    Duh! I looked at the pdf link to the original poll that was right on that page and directly quoted the question and gave the results.

    I posted the link to the original poll site and added the percentages; evidently you don’t have enough intelligence to understand anything other than liberal socialist talking points.

    I’m not a liberal. I’m a progressive — that means I’m intelligent enough to reject all talking points — including the idiotic talking points that flow like lava down a mountain of BS from the right.
    Why do the percentages of political affiliations within that poll matter so much to you anyway? I personally don’t care at all about that, instead I think it’s much more interesting simply to see just how few people who took that poll have been fooled by the way that rich politicians are trying to screw over the poor and middle class with this utterly worthless “debt bill.”

    I know you want to give the impression that only liberals disagreed with the debt bill and that conservatives were all in favor of it; but that is false. Almost 50% of conservatives and 40% of republicans also believed the bill benefited the rich. So your claim is completely false.

    Pathetic yet hilarious! I made no claims of any kind. You’re the one who is obviously worried about that. I merely put up a link that said: “Poll: 62 percent say debt ceiling deal benefits the rich and hurts the poor” and you immediately twisted yourself into a pretzel of ridiculous partisan indignation!

    Posted by: Adrienne at August 9, 2011 1:43 PM
    Comment #327348

    Steve Miller, excellent post. Very well said.

    I don’t know about you, but I’m personally I’m beginning to view what is happening in Washington and the failure of our economy not as a Democrat vs. Republican thing (despite all the political theater), but as nothing but blatant Class Warfare.
    We the People needed this president and the Democrats to stand up and represent the interests of the bottom 85% of our citizens, yet they have refused to do so. And that tells me that it’s not just the Republicans, but that both major political parties really are completely out of touch, and no longer of any real use to average Americans.

    The past few days I’ve been following what is happening in London, and I’m beginning to think that something very similar will eventually start happening here in America. And all Washington needs to do to ensure that it will is just keep pushing…

    Posted by: Adrienne at August 9, 2011 2:31 PM
    Comment #327349

    The tax system is unfair, if you think a flat percentage on ALL types of income above the poverty level is fair.

    BOTH parties had chance to make tax reforms.

    BOTH parties are culpable for the current regressive tax sysetm.

    The wealthy ARE getting wealthier, while the middle class is shrinking, and they are doing via several abuses.

    The federal government is FOR-SALE.

    That is possibly one of the most serious problems, in which 99.7% of all of the 200 million eligible voters are vastly out-spent by a very tiny 0.3% of the wealthiest voters who make a whopping 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more!

    Yet, Congress still enjoys high re-election rates, despite BOTH parties being FOR-SALE. Whose fault is that?

    ALL of these abuses have grown worse over the past 30+ years.

    But it is not only the fault of most (if not all) of the Republican or Democrat politicians.
    It is the fault of BOTH, and the majority of voters who enabled them.

    At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at August 9, 2011 2:46 PM
    Comment #327350

    Amazing terminology. Those “right-wingers” and yet since they differ so much from those “right-wingers”, those on the side they speak of using the terms that describe those on the left are “nuts”, “crazy”, “stupid”, “terrorists”, hostage takers”, “conspiracy theorists”, and so on. Those described as such are supposed to take what those comrades say as the gospel truth. Sanity on the left must be questioned. I could not care less if other people thought the way I do. This is a hobby and responsibility on my part to participate here on WB. There are far too many on the left that write here that are elists, arrogant, and ill-informed on history. They choke on their own joke.

    SD

    You do not have to explain to me what makes your bobber sink. I know what your are fishing for. Your keyboard produces the ghastly exercise you want it to do. You repeat often enough your pasted references. All of it from the powers that rule the left. I deal with people who have a habit in their lifetime of conning people. I see through them. I call them out. I and others here on WB have done the same to you and your fellow travelers. When we do the hate from the left is shot like a flame thrower.

    Posted by: tom humes at August 9, 2011 3:15 PM
    Comment #327355

    tom humes

    “I am guilty of using another name to make my point. The WB editor took care of that.”


    don’t sweat it tom. adrienne did the same thing several years ago. she started posting under the name veritus something or other. it translated to truth warrior, i don’t remember exactly what it was. there is another who does the same thing. sandra davidson who pops in occasionally some time ago started posting under another name. you’d know her as jane doe. i guess no one ever told adrienne that people living in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    Posted by: dbs at August 9, 2011 4:26 PM
    Comment #327357

    SD wrote; “…I actually believe in what could be best termed a more structured and accountable version of Capitalism. I don’t think it’s actually a good idea for the government to run every industry.”

    I wonder if SD really meant his comment about government not running “every” industry. Did he mean to say it’s OK for government to run 50%, or 75% of every industry, or something else?

    To be a true socialist must one advocate that government run 100% of every industry, or can one still be a true socialist with some other percentage of government ownership of industry?

    I don’t consider the military, police, firefighters and such to be an industry so I would hope SD doesn’t fall back on that tired and old example of socialism.

    Posted by: Royal Flush at August 9, 2011 4:38 PM
    Comment #327358

    dbs, I was banned from this blog, and only came back as veritas vincit (truth prevails) because I couldn’t post under my own name. I have never and would never use two identities at the same time to try to bolster my arguments the way that troll tried to do.

    Posted by: Adrienne at August 9, 2011 4:39 PM
    Comment #327360

    The two faces of obama have become apparent. The first one, candidate obama, promised change in his campaign. He promised to end our wars, bring back good jobs, balance our budget, and work to regain American respect in the world.

    The second one, president obama, has failed to fulfill any of his “change” promises. What groups of people, or special interest groups, have prospered under his leadership? How has the country in general improved under his guiding hand?

    Are we more prosperous, more secure in our borders, healthier, more confident, more patriotic, or more united?

    What inspiration does anyone draw from our leader? Can a president, who daily lays blame on others, truly say that the buck stops with him? What lessons do we learn from such a leader? Who will follow such a person?

    Posted by: Royal Flush at August 9, 2011 5:03 PM
    Comment #327362

    By the way, just so there is no confusion about what an internet troll is, here’s the Wiki definition:

    someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion

    Here is how trolling was first outlined back in 1999 (within Usenet newsgroups) in a paper by Judith Donath:

    Trolling is a game about identity deception, albeit one that is played without the consent of most of the players. The troll attempts to pass as a legitimate participant, sharing the group’s common interests and concerns; the newsgroups members, if they are cognizant of trolls and other identity deceptions, attempt to both distinguish real from trolling postings, and upon judging a poster a troll, make the offending poster leave the group. Their success at the former depends on how well they — and the troll — understand identity cues; their success at the latter depends on whether the troll’s enjoyment is sufficiently diminished or outweighed by the costs imposed by the group.

    Trolls can be costly in several ways. A troll can disrupt the discussion on a newsgroup, disseminate bad advice, and damage the feeling of trust in the newsgroup community.

    Because a people who are trolls cannot be trusted, and because all they try to do is to make people angry and/or disrupt meaningful discussions, it is generally thought best not to “feed them” by responding to their destructive behaviors.

    Posted by: Adrienne at August 9, 2011 5:14 PM
    Comment #327364

    So this has devolved into what and who a troll is?

    No wonder things are so screwed up.

    Hell, Watchblog, in its early days around about 2005, had fake posters. David R. Remer told me so himself that he posed as other writers in various columns.

    At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.


    Posted by: d.a.n at August 9, 2011 5:44 PM
    Comment #327365

    OHhhhhh … and this is funny! When I challenged David R. Remer and Cameron about posting articles and comments under ficticious names, they called me a “Troll”.

    At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at August 9, 2011 5:47 PM
    Comment #327366

    Of course, my feelings were so hurt.
    I was so devastated.

    At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at August 9, 2011 5:48 PM
    Comment #327367

    dan

    do you remember rhinehold and david getting into it over david going back and editing his earlier posts in an exchange they had. i asked if it were true, and was told to contact him via e-mail. he wouldn’t give me a yes or no answer.

    Posted by: dbs at August 9, 2011 5:54 PM
    Comment #327368

    Speaking of Remer…he is reduced to arguing with himself, for the most part, on his “discuss america” blog.

    Posted by: Royal Flush at August 9, 2011 6:35 PM
    Comment #327370
    OHhhhhh … and this is funny! When I challenged David R. Remer and Cameron about posting articles and comments under ficticious names, they called me a “Troll”.

    That’s funny in the Bizarro World kind of way D.a.n.! You were in reality being Anti-Troll! :^D

    Posted by: Adrienne at August 9, 2011 7:07 PM
    Comment #327372

    Tom Humes said to SD:

    “You make no sense whatsoever in your writings.”

    Tom, that is because liberals are girly-men and view everything through the eyes of emotion. When you apply logic, they become confounded.

    I might also add to your response to Adrienne; they are probably more than one poster logging on under multiple names. Both liberal and conservative, I personally don’t care what people do.

    J2t2 said:

    “Con, the Tea Party did every bit as good of a job on destroying the economy as Osama Bin Laden did with the 9/11 attacks. The first week of active trading after 9/11 saw the DJIA drop 1369 points. The Tea Party attack on the economy saw a drop of 1872 points off the DJIA during the run up to the debt ceiling debacle and immediately afterwards. The efforts of the repubs that led to the financial crisis of 2008 saw the DJIA drop 1874 points. The difference between the 3 events is the repubs probably didn’t tank the economy intentionally whereas Bin Laden and the Tea Party had the goal of doing such, albeit for different reasons.”

    And then you add this link to which proves McConnell is a RINO:
    http://www.examiner.com/political-buzz-in-national/sen-mcconnell-r-ky-admits-to-hostage-taking-debt-fight-will-do-it-again

    First off jtt2, I don’t give a rat’s ass what McConnell says; if he were my Senator I would actively work to get him replaced. Why is it you liberals always want that “gotcha” moment when you find a RINO who says something stupid? His opinion doesn’t mean crap to me.

    Instead of using liberal talking points, why don’t you prove to me that a non-organized group of people, with no political leaders, who call themselves tea party, which are no party, actually had an effect on the drop of our credit rating? The S&P warned Obama of a credit rating drop back in April (5 months ago) if he and the congress did not get spending and deficit under control. In fact the S&P wanted a $4 trillion cut in the debt, but neither Obama nor the congress could provide any cuts. You do realize Obama has spent $4 ½ trillion dollars in less than 3 years.
    Concerning Adrienne’s apology; I don’t give a crap is he/she apologizes or not. As for the definition of a socialist; what we see happening in London and spreading all over Europe is the result of socialism. The difference is; liberals in Europe have no problem calling themselves socialists and this is the same direction liberals in America want to take the country. The left in America are most certainly socialists and you fight for socialist ideals, but you hate the label. Go figure…

    Adrienne said;

    “I’m not a liberal. I’m a progressive — that means I’m intelligent enough to reject all talking points”

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahhahahahahhahahahahahha

    Royal Flush said:

    “The two faces of obama have become apparent. The first one, candidate obama, promised change in his campaign. He promised to end our wars, bring back good jobs, balance our budget, and work to regain American respect in the world.
    The second one, president obama, has failed to fulfill any of his “change” promises. What groups of people, or special interest groups, have prospered under his leadership? How has the country in general improved under his guiding hand?”

    I believe Obama is pathetic; he is either campaigning, or he is blaming someone else. He has the gall to quote “the buck stops here” and then opens his mouth to blame everyone; it’s Bush’s fault, it’s Reagan’s fault, it’s the earthquake and tsunami in Japan’s fault, it’s the fault of the BPS spill in the Gulf, it’s the Arab Spring’s fault, it’s the Tea Party’s fault, it’s the Congress fault, and on and on.

    Today’s latest Gallup poll shows 51% of voters don’t believe Obama deserves a second term. I look for Hillary to run against him is the primary.

    So Adrienne gave us the definition of a Troll and we find out she was one. And Remer edited his comments after posting, great,but not surprising since rules are for everyone except liberal socialist.

    Concerning David Remer; good riddance to him, he was an errogant elitist who is not missed by me.

    Posted by: Conservativethinker at August 9, 2011 7:44 PM
    Comment #327374

    Trolling is done by the left consistently. In the fishing sense, when you troll you through your line in the water and move forward slowly. The left throws their line in the crowd and hastily reels it in to see what they have caught. They usually find something to spend the taxpayers money on, never their own money. They use their own money to finance groups, organizations, clubs, etc. to carry out their agenda.

    Posted by: tom humes at August 9, 2011 7:56 PM
    Comment #327376

    As far as the editor making it public about my use of another name is just proof of his integrity. He made absolutely no attempt to contact me at my email address. He just jumped in and let everybody know publicly to make an example out of me. I may get banned for this public response. And if I am it will show the true left intention of non-tolerance to the opposition.

    That is all I am going to say about the issue. And if Adrienne wants to continue, then there other ways of dealing with that.

    Posted by: tom humes at August 9, 2011 8:04 PM
    Comment #327379
    So Adrienne gave us the definition of a Troll and we find out she was one.

    Nope, I’m strictly anti-troll. I come here to talk about issues, not merely to attack people and toss out flamebait. As you can see, I choose to ignore that kind of infantile horsesh*t.

    Posted by: Adrienne at August 9, 2011 9:04 PM
    Comment #327380

    tom humes-
    You talked about me living on a penthouse for crying out loud. I’m sorry, but that’s nowhere near true. I don’t talk about middle class difficulties out of some liberal guilt about making money, I talk from some rather difficult recent history.

    I try to explain to you why I think the way I do, but you seem more interested in applying the usual cliched junk instead.

    You feel it necessary to question that, but oddly enough, what you come up with isn’t some nuanced fingerprint of my actual beliefs. Instead, you could have carbon copied what you said about me from a standard list of claims made about liberals in general.

    You say you’re calling us out, that it’s the truth, the truth hurts, and that’s why you’re getting the napalm treatment from us. Has it ever occured to you, though, that people get ticked off when you lie about what they really think and believe? Hell, I call any of you Republican these days, and you curse me a blue streak.

    You see through nothing. What you see is a reflection of your prejudices.

    As for using a different name?

    Tell me, why did you do it? Don’t tell me about Adrienne, tell me about yourself. Why did you feel that you, by yourself, couldn’t argue your views well enough?

    I chose to post under my real name because I believed in my politics enough to express them without the protection of my anonymity, and I’ve never posted under anything but my real name here. I’ve never sockpuppeted, never felt it necessary to mislead people about my level of support.

    As for the terminology?

    Ask Mitch McConnell what they were doing. He called what he was doing hostage taking, said that were getting a ransom for the hostage, rather than shooting them.

    That’s what he said.

    Tea Party folks said that running the country into a default would be a good thing. Nuts and stupid describes this. It’s based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what the response to that would be. We were lucky just one rating agency lowered our rating, that we didn’t in fact cross that terrible line.

    Finally about pasted references? It’s a holdover from my days as a college student, where I was taught that you cited your sources, and quoted them in a manner consistent with fair use and copyright law. I prefer sources that base their judgments on relatively non-political grounds, because there’s plenty of conventional wisdom in political circles that is not reflected in the facts elsewhere.

    You need to quit impugning the honesty and good intentions of others, and start offering arguments that engage the debate based on the merits.

    Royal Flush-
    Looking for loopholes? I’d advise you not to get too creative. I meant exactly what I said. What did I start out with? A more structured and accountable version of capitalism.

    Which means that businesses are almost all in private hands. Now, that doesn’t mean I buy into the privatize everything argument. But it does mean I have to problem on the economy relying on private enterprise.

    As for the two faces of Obama?

    There’s only one face, and it’s the face your people have thrown rock and mud at from the start.

    You say, oh, Obama hasn’t fulfilled his change promises,

    You don’t say, don’t tell our readers about a record breaking track record of bills dying in the Senate over filibusters, or point to Republicans sitting on the House of Representatives, standing in the way of getting anything done.

    You don’t get to both fight him ever inch of the way, and then complain about him not making better progress. You’ve gotten much of what you wanted in slowing him down, so have the guts to admit that this was your goal all along.

    Well, maybe you shouldn’t, because then you’d effectively be telling everybody that much of the hold up on jobs bills and everything else is due to your relentless campaign of obstruction, your unwillingness to compromise on any level, your willingness to make lockstep votes that impede the progress of any reasonable compromise short of caving in.

    As for David R. Remer? I’m sorry about the way things went, the way things ended. I’m sorry you feel the need to be so spiteful about him. Me and David had our differences at the end, not the least of which was my decision to stay here, rather than follow him. But I think your comments on him are crass and undignified.

    Why so many commenters on the right seem to think this is the way to push their political agenda is beyond me. You know what this callous, aggressive style politics has finally earned the Republicans? Thirty point approvals, over fifty point disapprovals.

    Congratulations, you’ve succeeded in alienating most Americans, and the person you’ve sought to destroy beats generic Republicans, and named ones even, without much in the way of campaigning.

    Conservativethinker-

    Tom, that is because liberals are girly-men and view everything through the eyes of emotion. When you apply logic, they become confounded.

    Guest commenter for today? Ann Coulter!

    Maybe if I were a Shaolin Monk, I would be capable of just standing legs apart and letting you kick me in the crotch over and over again, but really! You seem to be interested in playing the masculinity card.

    Well, this Illogical Democrat probably has forgotten more about logic than you know, played football as a defensive lineman. As for seeing everything through the eyes of emotion, I could tell you as a person who took a special interest in Neuroscience that everybody sees things through the eyes of emotion, that reasoning and emotion are interwoven in the fabric of the brain. Rationality is the control of emotion, rather than its absence. Emotion makes things matter, and having things matter aids in the quality of our decision making.

    Republicans were callous about the effects of the debt ceiling not being increased. Mitch McConnell was callous about the debate. Ironically enough, you want him replaced, even though his iron-fisted discipline in the Senate was what allowed your people to keep together on so many risky cloture votes, forcing disappoinments and failures on the Democrats.

    Boehner and McConnell just work their little hearts out, obstructing and refusing to compromise, and what gratitude do they get? You want the world, and you’re ticked off they won’t go all the way.

    You exercise fearsome power, but are so focused on getting more than you don’t even realize how easily you could destroy Obama and the others by just forcing one lopsided compromise after another in order to pass legislation.

    Today’s latest Gallup poll shows 51% of voters don’t believe Obama deserves a second term. I look for Hillary to run against him is the primary.

    Today’s? No, today’s is 50-47% against. What you should be concerned about, in your gloating mood, is that despite everything that’s happened his, relection sentiment is at that, and Congress is at 21% to 70% against.

    I don’t think Hillary is measuring the drapes. I don’t think there’s going to be a real primary. I think she remembers what the last one was like.

    I think your movement has been so focused on destroying Obama that you’ve failed to see how much you’ve destroyed yourselves in the process.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 9, 2011 9:08 PM
    Comment #327381

    RF,

    I don’t consider the military, police, firefighters and such to be an industry.

    This is so absurd, it just flies in the face of reality. If our political government were to stop providing those services, private enterprise would surely step up to fill in the gap, no matter what the cost to individual liberty. No matter what you say, these services are industries; like any other industry they can be managed by either the private or public sector. If you believe these services should not be managed by the private sector then you are advocating for socialism in our society. Obviously, socialism does not have a dominant role in our economy, but it’s there. This is why we tend to call our economy a “mixed economy”. The more important question perhaps is whether there are any industries leftists want controlled by our political government that you would prefer to be left in the private sector. The only examples I can think of are health care & education, but correct me if I’m wrong.

    Rich,

    If you really believe that, then why are you so gung ho for cutting Medicare?
    . In the absence of a universal single-payer system, the next best thing is not a single payer system for a select demographic of old people. In any case, the economic reasons for universal health care simply fall apart when applied to most retired people. I’m willing to pay for a universal single-payer health care system because I know that the benefits will be externalized greatly and will probably help me out in the long run, even if I don’t use the services. This is because working-age & younger Americans will be able to be much more productive without the specter of debilitating health care costs hovering over their heads. Retired folks, on the other hand, aren’t terribly productive in our economy. I fail to see the reason why I should pay for their health care when there is little likelihood of externalized benefits. If this means that people of lower income levels tend to die more often during those 15 years from age 65 to age 80 then so be it. If a person truly wants to live until old age, then it’s their responsibility to save the money to do it or to acquire a skill that allows one to be employed well after they turn 65 or raise a competent caring child to take care of their senile parent.

    In any case, I think raising the eligibility age to 80 would help bolster the case for single-payer health care for the rest of us. One of the largest groups opposing HC reform is retired seniors, simply because they already have universal health-care. Remember “keep government’s hands off my medicare”? These people have the luxury to oppose single-payer health care because they already have their health care paid for. Maybe if they were treated like the rest of us, their opinions would be different.

    Maybe I’m biased because I’m on the young side; so be it.

    Posted by: Warped Reality at August 9, 2011 9:33 PM
    Comment #327382
    First off jtt2, I don’t give a rat’s ass what McConnell says; if he were my Senator I would actively work to get him replaced. Why is it you liberals always want that “gotcha” moment when you find a RINO who says something stupid? His opinion doesn’t mean crap to me.

    Of course you don’t Con that would mean accepting the truth about the teabaggers and their plan to force their ideology on the American people. I suppose Cantor the leader of the “young guns” is also a RINO whose opinion,which of course as we both know, is not an opinion but a plan that he and others has executed to the dismay of the American people.

    “In exchange for raising the debt limit — long a routine move allowing the Treasury Department to borrow more money — House Republicans will demand further concessions to shrink the government, Cantor said.

    “There comes at times leverage moments, a time when the president will capitulate to what the American people want right now,” he said. “They don’t want to raise taxes, they don’t want borrowing to continue out of control.”“

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/10/eric-cantor-debt-ceiling_n_847149.html

    Instead of using liberal talking points,…
    To you Con everything is a liberal talking point. It gives you an excuse to not deal with the truth behind the comment. Why don’t you answer the question instead of using the girly man approach and running from it?

    why don’t you prove to me that a non-organized group of people, with no political leaders, who call themselves tea party, which are no party, actually had an effect on the drop of our credit rating?

    Why don’t you get over this delusion you have about the tea party and realize your backing comes from well organized extremist such as the Koch Bros and others. Your leaders are former Congressman that were part of the huge debt run up. Get over yourself Con, you guys are foolish for believing such nonsense.

    The S&P warned Obama of a credit rating drop back in April (5 months ago) if he and the congress did not get spending and deficit under control.

    The same S&P whose negligence helped to cause the ‘08 meltdown, jeez really guys what next Bozo the Clown demanding we cut all entitlements to zero immediately? Just for grins Con look at the date of Cantor announcing his plans to hold the debt ceiling hostage above and the date S&P issued the warning and tell me what you see.

    In fact the S&P wanted a $4 trillion cut in the debt, but neither Obama nor the congress could provide any cuts.
    In fact that was but one of several things such as raising revenue as well that S&P demanded. So what, as you say, I don’t give a crap about S&P they are wrong.


    You do realize Obama has spent $4 ½ trillion dollars in less than 3 years.

    Sure he did Con all by his self, right. Despite having no budget his first year, 2010, and still has a ways to go for 2011. 2009 was a GWB budget Con, lest we forget. Look to Congress for your fall guys on this one Con.

    The financial collapse we are still dealing with was all his fault as well. Not to mention putting the cost of the wars hidden during the Bush era on the books or the medicare reform that the repubs passed but didn’t include funds for. Your boys left the place a mess and until the unemployment level is down to 5% or less the government should continue to spend.

    Concerning Adrienne’s apology; I don’t give a crap is he/she apologizes or not.

    I don’t either Con. The question was why should she apologize for remarks made by others as you asked her to do. You didn’t answer the question, surprise surprise.


    The left in America are most certainly socialists and you fight for socialist ideals, but you hate the label. Go figure…

    That is where you are wrong Con. That is why teabaggers deserve such little respect, they don’t know their definitions. You can take the wishy washy approach of redefining the terms if you will but that still makes you wrong IMHO.

    Posted by: j2t2 at August 9, 2011 9:51 PM
    Comment #327384
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: As for David R. Remer? I’m sorry about the way things went, the way things ended. I’m sorry you feel the need to be so spiteful about him. Me and David had our differences at the end, not the least of which was my decision to stay here, rather than follow him. But I think your comments on him are crass and undignified.
    It’s not spite.

    It’s simply a fact, and I don’t apoligize for it one bit.

    To hell with such scum and similar hypocritical, lying, dishonest ilk.

    As for being crass, undignified, and hypocritical, perhaps some people should examine their own comments such as this, and this, eh?

    At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at August 9, 2011 10:44 PM
    Comment #327385

    Warped Reality-
    From my perspective there are certain things government should do, and should be exclusively doing, and not for economic reasons, but because those function are best left in the hands of those who are accountable to voters rather than stockholders.

    Take the Police. Privatize them, and you’ve put a stockholder between the voters and those enforcing the law. Privatize prisons, and you do the same thing. When our rights and our rule of law are at risk, there shouldn’t be conflict of interests on profits getting in the way of policy being shaped towards the public good.

    While I wouldn’t say the government should go out of its way to do it, a government should be willing, when it intervenes, to ruin somebody’s bottom line if that’s what’s necessary to do what’s best for the public.

    If we don’t demand that level of accountability from business, they’ll have no incentive to observe the rule of law. If corporations are supposed to be persons, they should, like all persons, be subject to the constraints of justice we must all be subject to.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 9, 2011 11:10 PM
    Comment #327386

    One of the usual scapegoats is the Koch brothers.

    Well for the 2009-2010 time frame over 120 leftist foundations have spent 8.9 billion dollars in grants to leftist causes. In the same time frame just over 75 conservative foundations spent 750 million for causes dear to them. Your scapegoating the Koch brothers is just pap. But for the record the Koch brothers gave in grants $15 million. Over 37 of the wealthy leftist spent more than that. Oh, that doesn’t count, is what you will say. And why. Those monies go to causes that are from just plain rotten to anti-human. Nearly all that 8.9 billion goes to causes that conservatives are naturally opposed. So what makes it wrong for the Koch brothers to spend their wealth on causes dear to them. Yet it is ok for say, the Ford Foundation to give grants in the amount of $470 million to leftist causes. That is over 30 time more than the Koch brothers. Even the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Foundations got into the act for $13 million. All of this for leftist causes. The DeVos, Walton and Bradley family fortunes all gave considerably more than Koch brothers. So I am going to conclude that it is hate on the lefts part against the Koch brothers for how they handle their own wealth.

    SD

    You do not document what you write. Sometimes you will throw a ringer in but most of the time you do not document what you write. You say you do. but it is not there. You can chime in anytime with your anti-tom humes attitude. I am an elderly old man I have seen your kind come and go. The same will happen again. Wish Yogi were here to say it in person—deja vu all over again. Very seldom has anybody offered a factual rebuttal to what I write. I get a lot of ink of opinion, so what. If I print that Obama is a member of a gay bath house in Chicago. I can give you the citation or I can ignore it.

    Sometimes I think you people have David Axlerod’s direct line. You sound just like he speaks.

    Hear is a quote from the WSJ:

    “…as recently as 2008 spending was still only 20.7%, and debt held by the public was only 40.3%, of GDP. In the name of saving the economy from panic, the WH and the Pelosi Congress then blew out the American government balance sheet. …They boosted federal spending to 25% of GDP in 2009, 23.8% in 2010…and back nearly to 25% this fiscal year. Meanwhile, debt to GDP climbed to 53.5% in 2009, 62.2% in 2010, and is estimated to hit 72% this year… These are all figures from Mr. Obama’s own budget office. Rather than change direction this year, Mr. Obama’s main political focus has been to preserve those spending levels by raising taxes.”

    Their from your own horse’s mouth. Yet the left here is accusing the Tea Party of all of this. First of all the Tea Party has only been in office 8 months. These figures are from well before the took their oath of office. These figures cover when your comrades had the House, the Senate and the WH. And all you can do is blame others for standing in the way.

    Last week HufPo published Gov. Rick Perry’s college transcripts. He has not even announced he is a candidate for anything. Why can’t they publish Mr. Obama’s transcripts? Why can’t they be honest?

    See that is the left in motion. And when it is brought up be someone who opposes it, when get the flame thrower treatment.

    Pelosi’s famous, “let’s vote on it then see what is in it” statement has a new revelation. Richard Burkhauser, who is an economist at Cornell researched the Obama Care and found that the OC is likely to cost $50 billion more per year. Dr. Burkhauser said, “The CBO has never done a cost-estimate of this becausse they were expressly told to do their modeling on single person coverage.” And we were told it was not going to hurt the American family financially. Just one more lie on the left.

    The left is the Joker. And the Joker is wild.

    These revelations just keep on coming. That is why OC needs to be repealed totally.

    Posted by: tom humes at August 9, 2011 11:20 PM
    Comment #327388

    d.a.n.,

    “As for being crass, undignified, and hypocritical, perhaps some people should examine their own comments … such as this, and this, eh?”

    You know, I seem to remember that there were two sides to the conversation shown in your links. It’s curious how you only show us the parts that make Stephen look bad eh?.

    Also wasn’t this a part of the conversation where you and I both got kicked off the site for breaking the criticize the message not the messenger rule?

    Did you save my parts too?

    Rocky

    Posted by: Rocky Marks at August 9, 2011 11:49 PM
    Comment #327391

    tom humes-
    Look, I may not always document every instance of my use of a fact, but, the likelihood is I’ve got it documented somewhere. Challenge me, and you’ll see. I only get a limited number of links to post, so I use them sparingly.

    On the subject of the supposed raising of spending as percentage of GDP, he’s making his own math errors after recounting S&P’s 2 trillion dollar overestimate of discretionary spending.

    See, the thing about using that percentage of GDP as a measurement of how much somebody’s spending is that if you have a substantial drop in GDP, government spending could rise not a dime, yet still increase as a percentage, simply because the economy’s decreasing in value, while your spending is not.

    It’s simple grade-school math. 2 is 20% of 10, but 25% of 8. But then, we have to also figure in one time spending items that the Federal government pushed in those first two years. But notice the decrease in 2010. Given the fact that the Stimulus hit its stride about that time, we can see how a growing economy, combined with the absense of certain one-time charges, can change that percentage, too.

    But of course, the numbers sound impressive, so that is what the WSJ editorial page, not known for its liberal bias, would go for. Here’s a number for you: 1.6%. That’s the share of GDP actually devoted to servicing debt.

    You’re also leaving out, as always the fact that nearly every driver of the deficit results from a Republican Policy and an economic slowdown as well. We would certainly have smaller deficits if the economy were improved. People would be paying taxes instead of being paid tax dollars, to put the case simply. Your solution is to kick them off, but that still leaves you with the shortfall in revenue.

    As for Rick Perry’s transcripts, vs. Obama’s?

    Projection.

    Put simply, this is just one more place where the Republicans and Conservatives foolishly try to force parallels, whether by conspiracy theory or by legislative sabotage, or by a never-ending rain of propaganda. Why? Because they have to live down Bush. They figure it’s easier if they essentially hamstring and blast Obama on every level.

    Why else challenge the man’s academics, make teleprompter jokes?

    Only problem is, if Governor Goodhair becomes your candidate, people aren’t going to be measuring things by a mercifully absent individual from public view, they’re going to measure him by Obama, and unfortunately, Rick Perry makes Bush look like the smart one.

    As for your economist, Is this the man you’re referring to? Interesting that you forget to mention that he’s a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, or that his idea for how to increase employment is to sink wages. Apparently, the people we’re supposed to allow to get richer will suddenly become uncharacteristically altruistic and will hire more people instead of pocketing the difference in wages.

    Truth is, being a customer and being employed go hand in hand, and having consumers, and creating businesses to serve those consumer go hand in hand, too.

    At the center of Republican economics is an assumption that is basically naive if taken at face value, absurd when regarded as a cynical gesture: that you can run an economy based mostly on the goodwill of the rich to pay the poor and middle class. This, we’re supposed to believe despite a decade of layoffs and talk of who moved the cheese, of the worst job creation numbers in some time.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 10, 2011 12:49 AM
    Comment #327392

    “…as recently as 2008 spending was still only 20.7%, and debt held by the public was only 40.3%, of GDP. In the name of saving the economy from panic, the WH and the Pelosi Congress then blew out the American government balance sheet. …They boosted federal spending to 25% of GDP in 2009, 23.8% in 2010…”

    Tom,

    The above comment is simply not true. The FY 2008-2009 budget was the last Bush budget which was authorized in early 2008 and began October 1, 2008 and ended September 30, 2009. It produced the largest deficit in modern history with the exception of WWII. Even before Obama took office, the CBO projected a massive deficit due to the accelerating recession in the second half of 2008. If you don’t believe me, then how about the libertarian CATO Institute: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=11094

    Posted by: Rich at August 10, 2011 7:06 AM
    Comment #327393
    Rocky Marks wrote: Did you save my parts too?
    Yes. Would you like to see them too?
    • Rocky wrote: d.a.n, What part of critique the “MESSAGE”, not the “MESSENGER” don’t you understand?
    • Rocky wrote: Look, you can bitch all you want …
    • Rocky wrote: d.a.n, I wasn’t born yesterday, and you’re just going to have to do a lot better …
    • Rocky wrote: d.a.n, I could give a rat’s ass …
    • Rocky wrote: d.a.n, don’t try to shove opinion on me as facts.
    • Rocky wrote: d.a.n … Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but holy crap dude.
    • Rocky wrote: d.a.n, You just don’t get it.
    • Rocky wrote: d.a.n, Since you’re so adept at this spread sheet thing, why don’t you put together one of your ultra verbose posts on exactly how much this is all going to cost? And please, do one that shows exactly where the money is going to come from, and how much further it will push the National Debt into the stratosphere.
    • Rocky wrote: Your case against [John] Edwards seems to be mostly based around the fact he is successful, and as a result, is high profile. He is eloquent, and he uses emotion as a tool to win cases. Is that a bad thing?
    • Rocky wrote: He [John Edwards] is a high profile lawyer, that wins high profile cases, and his fees are immaterial.
    • Rocky wrote: d.a.n … Again you miss the point entirely.
    • Rocky wrote: Oh, and BTW, you haven’t proven anything.

    Want to see more?

    At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least, possibly, until repeatedly rewarding failure, and repeatedly rewarding FOR-SALE, incompetent, arrogant, greedy, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election rates finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at August 10, 2011 9:25 AM
    Comment #327395

    Rich I agree, the ‘08 and ‘09 budgets from Bush, coupled with the off budget TARP (Bush’s), were the beginings of the massive increases in spending. But go to the GPO budget site and look up the FY2010 and FY2011 budgets and you’ll see the problem I have with this administration. That’s because those budgets aren’t there. At a time when the private sector was in contraction and people were losing their jobs, the government sector was put on auto-pilot under a series of CR’s. Well not maybe not cruise control; the administration stomped on the pedal with stimulus, the auto bailouts, and a new war just to name a few.

    I blamed Republicans in ‘06 and ‘08 by voting for more Democrats than I had done so in years. George Bush grew discretionary spending more so than any other President and that will be his legacy. But will you join me in criticizing the Obama administration for ignoring the problem while they were using all of their political capital on whatever you want to call that healthcare mush?

    Posted by: George at August 10, 2011 11:13 AM
    Comment #327398

    tom humes,

    You need to stop the personal attacks on Stephen. If you cannot debate politics on WatchBlog without resorting to personal attacks and name-calling, then you will be asked to leave.

    Consider this a warning. Thanks.

    Posted by: WatchBlog Publisher at August 10, 2011 12:26 PM
    Comment #327399
    Your scapegoating the Koch brothers is just pap. But for the record the Koch brothers gave in grants $15 million….

    Of course Tom the poor mistreated Koch bros are just picked on by the left. Using the argument that it is alright to do it because others do it is emotional not logical Tom. I thought only liberals did that. But whatever. I notice you also focus on grants as a means of comparison. Well what about lobbying activities? Political contributions? Tell you what Tom here is a link to a more unbiased source of info for you to be able to get a glimpse of the big picture.

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Koch_Industries

    So I am going to conclude that it is hate on the lefts part against the Koch brothers for how they handle their own wealth.

    Since you provided no source for your defense of the Koch Bros Tom I can only assume it to be misinformation, half truth or outright lie fed to us by the conservative propaganda machine.


    http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2010/09/opensecrets-battle—-koch-brothers.html

    As you know Tom my original statement was “Why don’t you get over this delusion you have about the tea party and realize your backing comes from well organized extremist such as the Koch Bros and others.”
    Of course you turned that into scapegoating the Koch Bros which is a bit extreme don’t you think? I mean what scapegoating was done?

    As for your point that they can do what they want with their money, I agree but the point I was making had nothing to do about that. I was simply rebutting the delusional comment of Con’s regarding Tea Party mythology.

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Tea_Party_movement_funding

    Posted by: j2t2 at August 10, 2011 12:30 PM
    Comment #327401

    Rocky Marks-
    Don’t continue this argument. If he wants to get himself kicked off for what I think is the second time, let him. Don’t follow him over the edge.

    That I’ve made it a policy not to respond to him should indicate to you something. Last time, he failed to follow guidelines on keeping the arguments from getting too personal, and when confronted, he was unwilling to change his behavior.

    He should do so, or I’ll have no choice but to act to preserve the civility of the website. And before anybody points out that I’ve been lax on the red and blue column here, let me say this: I’m going to start enforcing the personal comments policy more strictly now. I think debaters on this site have come too much to rely on the emotional charge of insulting comments to confront their opponents in the debate, and while there are plenty of sites for that, that wasn’t the point of this site.

    Let me repeat: this goes for all sides. The current state of affairs is pulling this site towards being a tennis court for partisan insults. As entertaining it may be to some to watch the player bat insults back and forth, I find it to be a tedious enterprise. I’m not blaming everybody equally, mind you, but I figure if things stayed this way for long enough, it would be difficult for most individuals to resist the pull towards picking up a tennis racket and swatting a few balls their opponent’s way.

    I know some on the right will protest this, and will ascribe it to liberal bias, which it’d be hard to argue I don’t possess. Unfortunately, such an argument involves pushing the notion that I haven’t been extraordinarily patient with them.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 10, 2011 1:20 PM
    Comment #327402

    SD wrote; “But I think your comments on him (Remer) are crass and undignified.”

    Really, I don’t believe you understand the meaning of the words “crass” and “undignified”.

    What I wrote was true, and can be verified by going to “Discuss America”. There is nothing “crass” in saying that Remer is almost reduced to arguing with himself. Humorous, perhaps, crass…certainly not.

    WR wrote; “These people (seniors) have the luxury to oppose single-payer health care because they already have their health care paid for. Maybe if they were treated like the rest of us, their opinions would be different.”

    I am a senior. I worked all my life and paid into Medicare and Social Security with every paycheck and tax return. While doing that, I maintained my own private insurance until I qualified for Medicare. I am still working as a self-employed person and continue to pay both the employer and employee part of Social Security.

    Step down from your high horse WR and clear your head. You have not walked the walk and are not entitled to disparage those who have. That you belong to the “something for nothing” special interest group is obvious.

    You are being asked to haul your ass out of the wagon and to begin pulling it with the rest of us.

    Posted by: Royal Flush at August 10, 2011 1:38 PM
    Comment #327403

    Tom H wrote;

    “These revelations just keep on coming. That is why OC needs to be repealed totally.

    Posted by: tom humes at August 9, 2011

    Thank you Tom for your well researched and logical comments.

    SD wrote;

    “Apparently, the people we’re supposed to allow to get richer will suddenly become uncharacteristically altruistic and will hire more people instead of pocketing the difference in wages.”

    SD’s comment was prompted by the link to Richard Burkhauser. Here is what Burkhauser wrote…does anyone read into this quote a desire to make the rich…richer?

    “In their rush to help out-of-work Americans, our legislators missed an important piece of the employment puzzle: entry-level employees won’t be hired unless employers can pay them entry-level wages. I don’t pretend to have a panacea. But I do know that policies based on the assumption that businesses can be forced to pay workers more than their skills are worth turn out to hurt those that they claim will most benefit from them.”

    Richard Burkhauser is an adjunct scholar at AEI”

    Posted by: Royal Flush at August 10, 2011 2:08 PM
    Comment #327404
    OHhhhhh … and this is funny! When I challenged David R. Remer and Cameron about posting articles and comments under ficticious names, they called me a “Troll”.

    This may have been Remer’s take on it. I barely paid attention to WatchBlog back when he was managing it. He’s no longer involved with WatchBlog and doesn’t have access to the site.

    If you see a comment being edited or one that disappears, then you can be assured it is me (Cameron) who has done it. I am the only person who has that ability.

    That said, I *do* occasionally edit comments for spelling when I spot the mistakes. I also unpublish or junk any comments that are clearly hate speech or are personal attacks on another person here at WatchBlog. I’m sure I don’t catch them all, so if you see a comment that needs attention, please don’t hesitate to email editor@watchblog.com and I’ll take a look at it. Remember to include the comment ID number.

    WatchBlog is what you guys make it. If you want it to be a cesspool of hate speech and personal attacks, then I can’t stop you. But I can assure you that if that’s what you guys want, then everyone here who contributes thoughtful responses and engages in friendly debate will soon leave.

    Posted by: WatchBlog Publisher at August 10, 2011 2:10 PM
    Comment #327406

    One of the best quotes I have read in weeks comes from Maureen Dowd writing in the NY Times.

    “He (obama) doesn’t like the bully pulpit, just the professor’s lectern.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/10/opinion/withholder-in-chief.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha212

    Posted by: Royal Flush at August 10, 2011 2:28 PM
    Comment #327407

    Cameron

    I will take you at your word. So the next time I am called a label that is negative because of where I stand, then I should address this with you. Is that correct?

    Posted by: tom humes at August 10, 2011 2:42 PM
    Comment #327408
    I will take you at your word. So the next time I am called a label that is negative because of where I stand, then I should address this with you.

    Tom, if you feel that another person here at WatchBlog is engaging in name-calling and you take offense, then please email me and we’ll discuss it — after I review the conversation thread.

    Note that labels can be widely interpreted. Sometimes, it’s a very fine line between labeling a political viewpoint and name-calling.

    Unlike a certain former Managing Editor of WatchBlog, I do not like to take sides (though I do have my own political viewpoints) and treat everyone here as an equal. I have banned trolls and deleted comments from people of all political perspectives. I strive very hard to remain objective and do not let my own views interfere with a lively and civil debate.

    Posted by: WatchBlog Publisher at August 10, 2011 2:54 PM
    Comment #327409

    SD,

    “Don’t continue this argument. If he wants to get himself kicked off for what I think is the second time, let him. Don’t follow him over the edge.”

    I have no intention to continue the argument. My purpose was to show there only seemed to be one side to the links he posted, and to let that be a warning to others.

    Stephen, in other words, I saw that movie when it was still in black & white.

    Rocky

    Posted by: Rocky Marks at August 10, 2011 2:56 PM
    Comment #327410

    Today’s liberal imperatives violate both practicality and ethics when they make it harder to get rich, and easier to stay poor.

    The constant drumbeat by liberals calling for tax increases on the wealthy centers on tax increases on those earning more than a couple hundred of thousands per year. This is an “earnings” tax, not a wealth tax. It won’t affect those who have amassed great wealth, which number many dems as well as reps. And, does anyone really believe it will not make it easier to stay poor by giving incentives to remain that way?

    Posted by: Royal Flush at August 10, 2011 4:22 PM
    Comment #327411

    RF,

    “And, does anyone really believe it will not make it easier to stay poor by giving incentives to remain that way?”


    Do you truly believe that anyone actually wants to live in poverty just to avoid paying taxes?

    Maybe I’m naive, but that makes no sense at all.

    Rocky


    Posted by: Rocky Marks at August 10, 2011 5:44 PM
    Comment #327412

    George,

    I was just listening to an interview with Bill Gross of PIMCO on my way home. On the one hand, he talked about the urgent need for government to provide some leadership in promoting investments, i.e., green energy, infrastructure, etc. in order to promote economic growth and jobs. He felt that the private sector is paralyzed by uncertainty and unwilling to invest. On the other hand, he talked about the governments recent failure to reach reasonable agreement on the debt ceiling issue. It was hard to tell what he was really advocating, more stimulus investment or deficit reduction. I think that he and most people are caught between two competing interests: economic stimulus or deficit reduction. That is our current dilemma.

    Posted by: Rich at August 10, 2011 5:52 PM
    Comment #327413

    “Today’s liberal imperatives violate both practicality and ethics when they make it harder to get rich, and easier to stay poor.

    The constant drumbeat by liberals calling for tax increases on the wealthy centers on tax increases on those earning more than a couple hundred of thousands per year. This is an “earnings” tax, not a wealth tax. It won’t affect those who have amassed great wealth, which number many dems as well as reps. And, does anyone really believe it will not make it easier to stay poor by giving incentives to remain that way?”

    Posted by: Royal Flush at August 10, 2011 04:22 PM

    Royal you are correct; but there is another liberal drumbeat against conservatives and those who support the Tea Party. Sometimes I become, for the lack of a better word, nauseated at the constant personal attacks on anyone who is a conservative or a supporter of TP ethics. After all the name calling, and the millions spent by unions to attack and discredit the messenger rather than dealing with the message, there are glimmers of light that appear on the horizon. After the unions and liberal groups spent millions in WI and tried their best to smear conservative politicians who supported Governor Walker, they lost. The conservatives have maintained control of the WI Congress and Governorship; with the possibility of picking up to more democratic seats in another week. Walker has been able to turn things around in WI and in a state that has always voted democrat, the people understand what is going on and have supported Walker. Had this election given control back to the Democrats, we would already be seeing posts written by the likes of SD or AD, telling us of the great liberal change coming to America. Perhaps we are seeing a precursor to what is going to happen in 2012?

    Posted by: Mike at August 10, 2011 6:16 PM
    Comment #327414
    The constant drumbeat by liberals calling for tax increases on the wealthy centers on tax increases on those earning more than a couple hundred of thousands per year.

    Royal the call for additional taxes on the top 5% of earners in this country is a tax on the same people that had the benefit of paying much less for the years of the Bush tax cuts. It was during that time frame that much of the debt was run up. The tax cuts was one of the main reasons for the run up of debt.

    I’m sure you don’t want to kick the debt ball down the road to the next generation to pay the fiddler when it was this generation that did the dancing. Because of the huge debt ran up during the past 10 years, based upon failed ideology, it is time to rectify the failed tax cuts the wars the medicare fiasco by getting rid of that which got us there.

    To think that only spending cuts is the answer is so completely foolish it is almost an embarrassment to hear people say it. It tells us they are not serious about getting our fiscal house in order.


    Posted by: j2t2 at August 10, 2011 6:18 PM
    Comment #327416

    j2t2;

    “I’m sure you don’t want to kick the debt ball down the road to the next generation to pay the fiddler when it was this generation that did the dancing. Because of the huge debt ran up during the past 10 years, based upon failed ideology, it is time to rectify the failed tax cuts the wars the medicare fiasco by getting rid of that which got us there.”

    j2t2, are you kidding; politicians have been creating this mess ever since FDR and the great society. This result of massive debt was inevitable.

    Posted by: TomT at August 10, 2011 6:31 PM
    Comment #327418

    Rocky asks; “Do you truly believe that anyone actually wants to live in poverty just to avoid paying taxes?”

    Nope. However, we incentivize poverty and make it very comfortable to remain poor and/or unemployed.

    j2t2 writes; “To think that only spending cuts is the answer is so completely foolish it is almost an embarrassment to hear people say it.”

    I can’t speak for other conservatives j2t2, but I am on record here in previous posts that I am in favor of ending subsidies of all description for both individuals and business. I am also in favor of seriously lowing our defence costs. Entitlements must be addressed now, not in a decade. What is the dem plan for slowing the steep upward climb in the cost of those programs. And no, I will not accept obamacare as a plan that will reduce the cost of Medicare.

    obama continues to call for more infrastructure investment. However, he fails to tell the public that those jobs go only to unions. Are non-union workers not entitled to a piece of that pie? It seems to me that obama’s intention regarding jobs is to only help those he favors and to hell with the rest.

    Many folks confuse tax rates with tax revenue. Tax revenue can be increased in many ways, not only by increasing tax rates.

    Posted by: Royal Flush at August 10, 2011 6:36 PM
    Comment #327419

    We have been trapped by ideological zealots into a discussion of federal debt and deficits while the real problem of economic recovery boils over.

    This is an insane set of priorities. There can be no solution to federal deficits or debt until the economy rights itself. The economy needs time and support to work itself out of enormous private sector debt that resides on both bank, government, Federal Reserve and household balance sheets. This will take time. During that time, the federal government must continue to support GDP while the private sector pays down its debt and de-leverages to a sustainable level and is willing to borrow and spend again.

    In my opinion, the principal question is not whether government should spend, but rather on what. Its time for government to lead in investing in our future. Whether its hybrid public/private infrastructure banks or some other alternative, its time for politicians to advance and advocate constructive solutions for our economy and jobs.

    Posted by: Rich at August 10, 2011 6:47 PM
    Comment #327420

    If they hate spending so much tell ‘em to quit printing money.

    Posted by: Stephen Hines at August 10, 2011 6:53 PM
    Comment #327422

    RF,

    “Nope. However, we incentivize poverty and make it very comfortable to remain poor and/or unemployed.”

    Unemployed? You’re joking right?

    Have you ever received unemployment? I have, and all it incentivized me to do was to take any work I could find on, or off the books.

    Have you been to a job fair recently? Hundreds, sometimes thousands of people to fill dozens of jobs. How comfortable would you feel?

    There are just so many minimum wage jobs to be had, and BTW, unemployment is hardly “comfortable”.

    I am pretty sure that if there were jobs out there, they would be filled up quickly.

    Rocky

    Posted by: Rocky Marks at August 10, 2011 7:49 PM
    Comment #327423

    Thanks for your comments Rocky. I can tell just as many anecdotes about jobless folks who won’t consider taking just any job or accept minimum wages for whatever reason.

    Posted by: Royal Flush at August 10, 2011 8:01 PM
    Comment #327424

    RF,

    “I can tell just as many anecdotes about jobless folks who won’t consider taking just any job or accept minimum wages for whatever reason.”

    So what you’re saying is that you have never been poor or unemployed.

    Rocky

    Posted by: Rocky Marks at August 10, 2011 8:18 PM
    Comment #327425

    The absolute b.s. of this article is almost beyond belief. How anyone that has taken a single economics class say this with a straight face is laughable. After 70 years of Democrat Collectivism and out of control redistributist taxation and spending and you have the audacity to blame this budget mess on the Republicans. Dude get a clue. The tea party Republicans attempted to make a real change with cap cut and balance and they were derided by you commies as crazy. Too bad the only crazy people here are the nut jobs liberals believe that owing twice what you earn then merely decreasing the rate at which you keep piling on to that debt is going to solve the problem.

    Posted by: Darkitec at August 10, 2011 8:50 PM
    Comment #327427

    Darkitec,

    You need to take a deep breath, go to any reliable source and simply find out which administrations have increased the debt the most over the past 70 years. Unfortunately, for you, it may be a real shock. It ain’t who you think it was. While your at it, you might also look up economic performance by administration. Your going to be in for another shock.

    Posted by: Rich at August 10, 2011 9:06 PM
    Comment #327429
    “Thanks for your comments Rocky. I can tell just as many anecdotes about jobless folks who won’t consider taking just any job or accept minimum wages for whatever reason.”

    Royal Flush,

    A gratuitous slap in the face of virtually anybody who has ever been unemployed.

    Posted by: Rich at August 10, 2011 9:10 PM
    Comment #327430

    Royal Flush-
    What you’re doing is badmouthing somebody who isn’t here to defend themselves over their decision to have his own site for discussion, rather than Watchblog. I think he gave up a certain amount of readership to do that, but I guess he wanted to run things his way, and I respect that.

    Respect that, rather than belittle him for that.

    As for what you said to WR? Bang-up job trying to convince him of anything. He’s not on a high horse, and I doubt he wants something for nothing, and to disparage Social Security and Medicare, both programs supported by taxes on working people that go to those same working people, as “something for nothing” is inaccurate.

    As for what a worker’s skills are worth? Burkhauser probably thinks the valuation through from the Supply side, which means he’s talkin about how much the businesses think they should pay for labor.

    Tricky question, though. Recently Georgia passed a law sharply restricting illegal immigration. You probably like that, but following that, Georgia had real problems harvesting its crops. Why? Because illegal immigrant labor basically encouraged farmers, for the longest time, to go cheap on their labor, and permit harsh conditions in the workplace.

    Ah, but without the cheap labor, these folks, who had for years adapted to harvesting crops at cut rate were caught off guard.

    People adapt to do what they can get away with. If you find you can undercut the competition by employing illegal aliens and paying them less than good wages, and if others find the same, soon you get a rush to the bottom at the expense of those who are citizens, and who really cannot afford to ask for so little from their employer.

    The funny thing about so many free market people nowadays is that they conveniently forget that Adam Smith spoke of pressures on wages not only going down, forcing people to ask less, but also going up, forcing them to ask for more.

    It’s one aspect of the naivete of conservative economics: the notion that people can absorb rate hikes, dumped externalities from corporations, benefit cuts, and wage cuts endlessly without eventually pushing back. Or the notion that people are engaging in class warfare when they come back and ask for more.

    So, when the free marketers who had come to depend on ultra-cheap labor found that they no longer had a labor force that could accept such wages and working conditions, well, they found their crops rotting in the fields.

    If Republicans had enforced the laws on the books, and discouraged illegal immigration, if they had stamped out this market of below-market wages, businesses might have factored in the cost, and grown their businesses approrpriately. Instead, by letting the standards remain low in the name of those farmers making more money, they created an intolerable situation, and an unsustainable one as well.

    Wealth circulates in an economy robustly, when it’s working right. You pay somebody a decent wage, they turn around and they buy things. You give them disposable income, and they go out and they spend it. And as often happens, the wealth concentrates upwards. But passing through a few more hands, it generates real business in the process. If people aren’t just working Wal-Mart Jobs, they’ll be able to afford better than Wal-Mart prices.

    Exploitative economics is typically good for just draining people dry and leaving behind rich people who are richer than they might otherwise have been, but a crashed economy in the meantime. All the debt you scorn people over was their way of keeping up with the commercial demands of a system that asked higher prices and greater expenses out of people, but didn’t give them the wages or benefits to handle the new costgs. It’s the compromise that was struck between Post WWII prosperity and Pre-Depression Gilded Age economics.

    But we can’t pretend any longer that debt can keep an economy like ours afloat long term.

    That’s all I’m going to do for the night here, I’ll comment some more in the morning.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 10, 2011 9:33 PM
    Comment #327436
    j2t2, are you kidding; politicians have been creating this mess ever since FDR and the great society. This result of massive debt was inevitable.

    No it wasn’t Tom T. This massive debt is the result of intentional strategy by conservatives.

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

    Name a president other than GWB that started a war while lowering taxes. Name a president other than GWB that signed “medicare reform” laws without the funds to pay for the reforms.

    Here is a bit of information that may help you to realize the repubs/conservatives are not who they claim to be.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_by_U.S._presidential_terms

    Posted by: j2t2 at August 11, 2011 1:31 AM
    Comment #327437
    However, he fails to tell the public that those jobs go only to unions.

    Royal do you have a reliable source to back this up?

    Posted by: j2t2 at August 11, 2011 1:36 AM
    Comment #327449
    I can tell just as many anecdotes about jobless folks who won’t consider taking just any job or accept minimum wages for whatever reason.

    Just one more comment to add to my ever growing list of conservative mythology,IMHO. Royal.

    For many on unemployment the choice to take just any job is not theirs to make. Many times those doing the hiring don’t want more experienced people doing menial jobs, as they won’t stay should another opportunity come along. For many the discrimination that comes with being unemployed stops them from gaining employment.


    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/11/unemployment-discrimination-slideshow_n_917641.html#s321678&title=Frankel_Staffing_Entry

    Posted by: j2t2 at August 11, 2011 11:02 AM
    Comment #327455

    I wrote; “…we incentivize poverty and make it very comfortable to remain poor and/or unemployed.”

    I find it very interesting that my liberal friends responded to the “unemployed” part of my comment but not the “incentivize poverty” part. I wonder why that is.

    “However, he fails to tell the public that those jobs go only to unions.
    Royal do you have a reliable source to back this up?”

    Posted by: j2t2 at August 11, 2011 01:36

    A simple google search by me revealed 210,000 listings under the heading…”project labor agreements for federal construction projects.” Following, is just one of many…

    “Federal Government-Mandated Project Labor Agreements: President Obama’s Executive Order 13502 Encourages PLAs on Federal Construction Projects Costing More Than $25 million

    On February 6, 2009, President Barack Obama issued Executive Order 13502, which repeals Executive Order 13202 and encourages federal agencies to require PLAs on federal and federally funded construction projects in excess of $25 million. Executive Order 13202 had prohibited federal agencies and recipients of federal financial assistance from requiring wasteful and discriminatory union-only PLAs on federal and federally funded construction projects. Construction contracts subject to union-only PLAs are usually awarded to unionized contractors and their all-union workforces.


    On March 13, 2010, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Council released the final rule to implement President Obama’s Executive Order 13502. The release of this final rule represents the culmination of a process that began in July 2009 with the FAR Council’s release of a proposed rule to implement the content of Executive Order 13502 into federal procurement regulations.

    Even before the release of the final rule to implement Executive Order 13502, the Obama Administration signaled its desire for federal agencies to begin mandating PLAs. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on July 10 issued a policy memorandum encouraging federal agencies to consider utilizing PLAs on a project-by-project basis and require PLAs in “appropriate circumstances.” This memorandum came in advance of the FAR Council’s proposed rule implementing Executive Order 13502.

    Between 2001 and 2008, Executive Order 13202 ensured that at least $147.1 billion worth of federal construction projects was bid without discriminatory and wasteful government-mandated PLAs. The actual value of construction projects protected by Executive Order 13202 is exponentially larger, as the above figure does not include local construction spending that received federal funding or assistance protected by the executive order. Free and open competition saved American taxpayers an estimated 10 percent to 20 percent on federal construction spending and provided women, minorities and other qualified craft professionals the opportunity to work in their communities.”

    http://www.abc.org/Government_Affairs/Issues/ABC_Priority_Issues/Project_Labor_Agreements.aspx

    Here’s a quote from obama’s executive order regarding “project labor agreements”.

    “(e) The term “project labor agreement” as used in this order means a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement with one or more labor organizations that establishes the terms and conditions of employment for a specific construction project and is an agreement described in 29 U.S.C. 158(f).”

    and…

    “(b) If an executive agency determines under subsection (a) that the use of a project labor agreement will satisfy the criteria in clauses (i) and (ii) of that subsection, the agency may, if appropriate, require that every contractor or subcontractor on the project agree, for that project, to negotiate or become a party to a project labor agreement with one or more appropriate labor organizations.”

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/ExecutiveOrderUseofProjectLaborAgreementsforFederalConstructionProjects/

    The White House goes to great lengths to portray this as somehow beneficial to the nation for safety reasons and speedy results. This is nonsense of course as most people know that non-union workers are just as competent as union workers. Many in the construction trades are required to meet licensing requirements in their state. Does a union member with a license necessarily have greater skills and job dedication than a non-union license holder?

    The president, thru this executive order, clearly shows his radical agenda of providing jobs only for those who contribute to his reelection by union votes and union money.

    In addition, PLA’s which require union affiliation increases the cost of federal projects. An additional cost of 10% to 20% translates into fewer jobs for all. If one can employ 100 people at $30 per hour, one could also employ 150 people at $20 per hour.

    The next time you listen to obama touting federal construction jobs as a way to increase employment you will now understand why this is so important to him…and not necessarily, to the nation. He spends every taxpayers dollars to employ his special interest group.

    Posted by: Royal Flush at August 11, 2011 1:56 PM
    Comment #327463

    Royal Flush-
    So, an Anti-Union special interest group tells you that this is a bad thing, so you attack something that you say Obama does according to what benefits his preferred special interest, right?

    The thing is, and what you don’t say, is that one interest group fights to be cheap on things like the salaries and benefits of the workers (which you invariably assume to be overpriced), as well as workplace safety and health benefits, while the other fights to improve those.

    Also, tell me one very crucial fact here: do savings on workers necessarily translate to savings on the contracts in question, or do those well-connected builders and contractors instead pocket the profits, leaving the whole thing a wash for taxpayers?

    You always seem to assume that these businesses pass on their savings to consumers and taxpayers.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 11, 2011 4:54 PM
    Comment #327467

    SD asks very poor questions and provides even worse responses.

    He attempts to downgrade the ability of non-union employees with no facts presented to support that comment. It is obvious that SD doesn’t care about jobs as such, but that jobs go to unions who will contribute to the coffers of dems.

    Then, to compound his silly response, he attempts to sell us on the idea that getting the same job done for less money is a bad thing and may…may…may…result in some private non-union contractor making more profit as a result. Well, we certainly can’t have profit as a motive when a political motive will do nicely.

    Socialist always have some silly reason for promoting government intervention. Only a socialist would decide that letting out federal construction contracts to the lowest qualified bidder is bad for the nation.

    Posted by: Royal Flush at August 11, 2011 5:26 PM
    Comment #327476

    RF,

    “I find it very interesting that my liberal friends responded to the “unemployed” part of my comment but not the “incentivize poverty” part. I wonder why that is.”


    All of this falderal aside, you fail to justify your claim that this government “incentivizes” the poor and unemployed to retain their status quo.

    Rocky


    Posted by: Rocky Marks at August 11, 2011 6:05 PM
    Comment #327479


    There are no distinctions to be made between union and non-union contractors when it comes to bidding the price of labor. On average, non-union workers work an additional 20 hours per week for comparable pay.

    As a union worker, I worked a 40 hour week. Non-union, I usually worked 6-ten’s and have, on occasion, worked as much as 7-12’s. How many of you would like to work 7-12’s or even 6-10’s.

    Posted by: jlw at August 11, 2011 6:28 PM
    Comment #327489

    I disagree with you jlw. When I bid a job, I tallied my expenses including labor, materials, lodging and travel if needed, and a reasonable profit for the company. My bids were always at least 20% lower than any union contractors and sometimes as much as 50% lower.

    Posted by: tdobson at August 11, 2011 7:27 PM
    Comment #327490

    tdobson, thanks for your comment to jlw. I would like to know, based upon your experience, is there much of a difference in skill level between union and non-union workers performing similar tasks?

    Posted by: Royal Flush at August 11, 2011 7:47 PM
    Comment #327504


    Royal, a non-union contractor that trains and treats his workers well, will have less turnover and can have a workforce that is just as skilled as union workers. It has been my experience that the opposite is often true.

    The last construction job I worked on, the contractor was replacing skilled workers with illegal immigrants at a rate of 2 per week. The illegals were mostly very young, some as young a 15 and 16 years old. The company had hired a Mexican American woman to provide the illegal workers with U.S. documents, birth certificate, SS number. I had a 16 year old Indian kid from Vera Cruise as a helper that had a birth certificate from a Chicago hospital that proved he was 22.

    These kids where thrown right out on the steel with no skills whatsoever. there was a notable decline in quality, causing an excessive amount of redoes. Example I had to re-rattle a thousand bolts in half of six stories because that half was done by the illegals and the whole building was leaning. It is extremely difficult to re-rattle and rack a building back to plumb after concrete floors have been poured.

    There were more accidents. This is the honest to Gods truth. When one of these kids would get injured, three or four others would pick them up and run, yes, run through the plant, out the back entrance and into a car. There was never a reportable accident and the big accident bill board at the main entrance to the plant never changed. There was hardly a week that would go by without one of these kids getting injured, some seriously injured, four injured in one accident, one with a crushed foot, one with a broken arm, because they tried to do something stupid. Something skilled workers would never attempt. Two of the injured helped to carry the other two out of the plant.

    The construction company could hire 2 illegal immigrants for less than they were paying one skilled worker.

    Uno incho, dos incho, tres incho, headacheo incho. Communication is a very important aspect of safety.

    Posted by: jlw at August 11, 2011 9:04 PM
    Comment #327507

    Royal Flush-

    SD asks very poor questions and provides even worse responses.

    I’m sure not pleased with the quality of some of the responses, true enough.

    He attempts to downgrade the ability of non-union employees with no facts presented to support that comment.

    Hmm. Kind of missed the part where I said union workers were any worse or better at the job than other people. Also missed the part where anything you say I obviously believed was expressed by anybody but you.

    Then, to compound his silly response, he attempts to sell us on the idea that getting the same job done for less money is a bad thing …

    Right. No, the question is, why your notion of efficiency focuses with such laser like concentration on lowering the compensation of the workers, which is essentially what this is about when you go about the business of union busting.

    Getting a job done more cheaply is fine, but let’s look at the broader picture: If we do what you say to do across the board, then there are a great many people with less money to spend, and maybe a few who have more to spend. Those few, as is the tendency among those who earn greater amounts, will spend less of that money.

    The calculus of how many people get employed doesn’t end with the people you’re employing, but all the folks who the workers buy goods and services from. Rather than have that money sit in the bank accounts of a few more often than not, the money circulates to others.

    At the end of the day, the process I’m rooting for makes the question of what a person gets paid more of a negotiation, less of the business owner just saying take it or leave it, and the person being grateful to have a job. I know you like Old West Capitalism, but my thinking is that there was some value to the experience that lead us to conclude that paying the average person would end up distributing the wealth in a more useful way. America grew as an economic and industrial power under such policies, it’s shrunk as such under yours.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 11, 2011 9:30 PM
    Comment #327508

    I think it is rather obvious that the recipients of welfare, unlimited unemployment benefits, and other similare dole do not like anyone who recognizes it for what it is.

    Sure, some unemployment is OK.
    But 1-to-3 years?

    Rest assured … the majority of the wealthy have exactly what they designed.

    In 1967, the wealthiest 1% owned 20% of all wealth in the U.S.

    Today, in 2011, the weathiest 1% now own over 40% of all wealth.

    • Over 40% of all weatlh in U.S. is owned by a tiny 1% of wealthiest of 312 Million U.S. Population:
    • 045.0% +—————————————-
    • 042.5% +—o————————————
    • 040.0% +-o-o—————————-o-o- (over 40% owned by 1% of wealthiest)
    • 037.5% +o—-o————————o——-
    • 035.0% +——-o———————o———
    • 032.5% +———o——o—o——-o———
    • 030.0% +———-o—o——o—-o———-
    • 027.5% +————o———o—-o———-
    • 025.0% +————————o—o———-
    • 022.5% +————————o-o————
    • 020.0% +————————-o————-
    • 017.5% +—————————————-
    • 015.0% +—————————————-
    • ————1—1—1—1—1—1—1—1—2—2
    • ————9—9—9—9—9—9—9—9—0—0
    • ————2—3—4—5—6—7—8—9—0—1
    • ————0—0—0—0—0—0—0—0—0—0 YEAR


    There are 10 major reasons for this.

    But, there are extremist leftists and extremist rightists that do not want to admit their roles in this disaster. BOTH are guilty. BOTH are pathetic.

    There is no doubt that many are gaming the system.

    And that is low-life, because there are some who are truly needy who will go without due to these greedy abuses.

    At any rate, the majority of voters have the government that they elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, … , and re-elect, at least until repeatedly rewarding failure, FOR-SALE, corrupt, arrogant, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at August 11, 2011 9:33 PM
    Comment #327518

    RF,

    I practiced my trade for 44 years. I belonged to CWA for 18 of those years. In my experience, the longer you work in an industry, the more you learn. Belonging to a union doesn’t help or hurt with the ability to do the job. One thing I did notice is the “mindset” of the worker. A union worker is more concerned with his or her breaks, lunch period, and quitting time while the non union worker is more concerned with getting the job done.

    Posted by: tdobson at August 12, 2011 6:28 AM
    Comment #327519

    PS:

    I would often times offer a bonus to complete the project ahead of schedule. Doing so would put more money in my pocket since I bid the job based on the job itself and not a “time and material” basis. My crew liked that because it always meant more money for them also. I wouldn’t have been able to do that if we were unionized.

    Posted by: tdobson at August 12, 2011 6:33 AM
    Comment #327538

    Many thanks to all who shared their construction experience.

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    Comment #330882

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