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Old 03-09-2010, 08:41 PM   #16
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Oh here's a thread with GOP having trouble getting tough on spending.:

Senator Jim Bunning: Hero? Or Asshole?

I guess some people don't like spending cuts or freezes.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:53 PM   #17
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When it comes to spending promises the left is bigger than the right at this. I mean you are aware of the political spectrum aren't you? Bush was the big spender ("compassionate" conservative) until the congress turned Democrat (spending increased) and then when Obama came to power the spending increased even more. Even a moderate like McCain was talking about a spending freeze last election. The last time the budget was balanced was when the Contract with America was on. Clinton did the right thing by not getting in the way. BTW in your reponse don't attempt to equate military spending with welfare spending. Anybody who is serious knows that when the cat's away the mice play. I'm looking at you China, Russia, and Iran.
You didn't mention spending in that ridiculous statement you made and yes wars of choice most definately can be put in with "welfare" spending.


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Here's an example: Obama trying to get Republicans (even just 1 or 2) to support his health-care plan to then call it bipartisan. How about Obama trying to meet with conservatives he likes so he can ostracize the more conservative types (Talk Radio) and appear like he cares about bipartisanship? Bipartisanship allows you to share blame. Is that short enough?
Nope, not one part of this addresses the contradiction of no one saying anything about Bush's spending until Obama went into power, and it didn't address how or who is blaming conservatives for social programs not being fixed or repealed... but you do get points for trying to keep it short.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:55 PM   #18
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I guess some people don't like spending cuts or freezes.
Some people know the time and place, assholes do not. Especially when you weren't consistent prior to this move.

How can one be blind to the differences?
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:30 PM   #19
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You didn't mention spending in that ridiculous statement you made and yes wars of choice most definately can be put in with "welfare" spending.
Most political promises involve some kind of spending so at least it's clear now what I meant.

At a minimum Afghanistan is not a war of choice and if the U.S. goes down to European levels of military mediocrity it's exactly what dictators want to see. Even without a war the U.S. needs to stay ahead of the pack of wolves to preserve democracy.

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Nope, not one part of this addresses the contradiction of no one saying anything about Bush's spending until Obama went into power, and it didn't address how or who is blaming conservatives for social programs not being fixed or repealed... but you do get points for trying to keep it short.
No. What I'm saying is that when conservatives get into power they don't repeal everything they want to precisely because the public may not like all the cuts or any of them so conservatives just do small changes here and there or they just plainly pretend to be liberals if the public adores that. Then when a debt crisis comes out you'll find fingers not just pointed at socialists who want to increase government beyond where it is but conservatives that were in power when debt was racked up. Obama makes sure everyone knows that he inherited a big debt but the problem is what is he actually doing about it now?

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Some people know the time and place, assholes do not. Especially when you weren't consistent prior to this move.

How can one be blind to the differences?
Consistency or not someone will hate any cuts anywhere. Look at Greece and the protesters there. Does any stakeholder of government benefits EVER like cuts?
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:06 AM   #20
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Most political promises involve some kind of spending so at least it's clear now what I meant.
"No new taxes", "I don't believe in nationbuilding", "I'm gonna clean up Washington"

None of these involved spending, so obviously it wasn't clear. It was just another general sweeping statement that rings false.




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No. What I'm saying is that when conservatives get into power they don't repeal everything they want to precisely because the public may not like all the cuts or any of them so conservatives just do small changes here and there or they just plainly pretend to be liberals if the public adores that. Then when a debt crisis comes out you'll find fingers not just pointed at socialists who want to increase government beyond where it is but conservatives that were in power when debt was racked up. Obama makes sure everyone knows that he inherited a big debt but the problem is what is he actually doing about it now?
So why does this make it fun to hear "where were you when Bush was over-spending"?

Anyways, I look at this quote above and I wonder to myself, do you really believe in these black and white generalizations you make all the time? And then I also ask myself what would a country be like if your beliefs were running it? Would you honestly cut every single "social" program ever made and then tell those in poverty to go back to school?


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Consistency or not someone will hate any cuts anywhere. Look at Greece and the protesters there. Does any stakeholder of government benefits EVER like cuts?
Consistency goes to character in the case of Bunning. It still doesn't really answer anything.

Of course people will hate cuts. You got all up in arms a several months ago because Rush mentioned Obama's "defense cuts", before even investigating the cuts you got up in arms. It turned out the cuts were for vehicles no longer used by the military in over a decade and certain nuclear cuts. As a fiscal conservative you should have applauded these smart cuts, but instead you just heard "defense cuts" and because your platform tells you so, you got upset.
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:27 AM   #21
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As long as it can be twisted so that the evil leftists are to blame it's good. Seriously, for me this argument looks like this:
"The left massively overspent and now needs to learn to cut costs."

No, the Conservatives overspent as well and now it's the Socialist government which is making the cuts.

"Well, if it weren't for the left and their demands the Conservatives wouldn't have spent a cent."

Again, poor Conservatives. Always have to put up with those evil citizens and all their leftist demands.
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:59 PM   #22
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As long as it can be twisted so that the evil leftists are to blame it's good. Seriously, for me this argument looks like this:
"The left massively overspent and now needs to learn to cut costs."

No, the Conservatives overspent as well and now it's the Socialist government which is making the cuts.

"Well, if it weren't for the left and their demands the Conservatives wouldn't have spent a cent."

Again, poor Conservatives. Always have to put up with those evil citizens and all their leftist demands.
Actually that's not bad but I would say it with less sarcasm. Though it appears New Jersey is bucking this trend.

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So why does this make it fun to hear "where were you when Bush was over-spending"?
It's fun because the question doesn't lead anywhere when the current government isn't showing the way.

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Anyways, I look at this quote above and I wonder to myself, do you really believe in these black and white generalizations you make all the time? And then I also ask myself what would a country be like if your beliefs were running it? Would you honestly cut every single "social" program ever made and then tell those in poverty to go back to school?
The idea that "this isn't the time" is the problem. If you don't curtail spending now you will have to do so more sharply in the future because of compounding interest. When countries get into bad debt situations they do the cuts out of a fiscal crisis which leads to beneficiaries having to go back to work or change jobs in a larger number than if you dealt with it ASAP. Remember the U.S. has huge unfunded liabilities so it's not just the debt that has actually been incurred. When retirees find that there isn't enough of a populace to pay for the promised benefits (IOUs) those harsh forced cuts come into play or the country would have to experience a default. When a country defaults they may have to tell poor people "too bad". The sooner there is fiscal discipline the less drastic the cuts have to be. I still say that if Obama actually focused on the economy and didn't threaten energy taxes and healthcare taxes he would be hugely popular and after the economy recovered he probably would have a mandate for another 4 years guaranteed. At that point if there was actually enough money to change healthcare there would be less debt panic.


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Of course people will hate cuts. You got all up in arms a several months ago because Rush mentioned Obama's "defense cuts", before even investigating the cuts you got up in arms. It turned out the cuts were for vehicles no longer used by the military in over a decade and certain nuclear cuts. As a fiscal conservative you should have applauded these smart cuts, but instead you just heard "defense cuts" and because your platform tells you so, you got upset.
The reality is that the europeans spend more on social programs precisely because they can piggy-back on the U.S. for their security. Because this is the case much of what left-wing parties want to do would have to come at the expense of military spending. The small cuts you mention wouldn't come close to bridge the gap necessary with the current president and especially congress. If I made a mistake before on bloated military spending then I was wrong but we know that Europe would have to greatly change their welfare system if they were to move closer to a U.S. military model and for the U.S. to reduce their size. I still maintain that the U.S. military is why the west has freedom and democracy. If the world was so peaceful all we would need military for would be to help with natural disasters.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:37 PM   #23
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Wow, you're not even American and you fall for the American Exceptionalism arrogance thought... go Rush
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:01 PM   #24
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i can't think of any more obvious unsustainable vote buying tactic than tax cuts.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:10 PM   #25
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Wow, you're not even American and you fall for the American Exceptionalism arrogance thought... go Rush
That's right not everyone hates America outside the U.S. and not everyone takes their military for granted, though many do.

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i can't think of any more obvious unsustainable vote buying tactic than tax cuts.
Debt can keep the illusion that it is sustainable until investors start believing they won't get their money back.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:27 PM   #26
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Knowing the country is not perfect doesn't = hate...

Come on, you're suppose to be brighter than that.
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:21 AM   #27
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Violence Mars Greek Protest - WSJ.com

Things are getting a little crazy over here. Some of my roommates had the brilliant idea of seeking out the protests. And by protests, I mean riots. Thank you anarchists. Bombs, broken glass, fires, stealing jewelery, tear gas, and general chaos.

The Greek people are obviously not happy with their government. They are also ashamed of the way the world views them, as liars and cheaters. It's an unfortunate situation, and it's only going to get worse before it gets better. There were strikes when I first got here two months ago, and they've just been increasing.
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:59 AM   #28
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Violence Mars Greek Protest - WSJ.com

Things are getting a little crazy over here. Some of my roommates had the brilliant idea of seeking out the protests. And by protests, I mean riots. Thank you anarchists. Bombs, broken glass, fires, stealing jewelery, tear gas, and general chaos.

The Greek people are obviously not happy with their government. They are also ashamed of the way the world views them, as liars and cheaters. It's an unfortunate situation, and it's only going to get worse before it gets better. There were strikes when I first got here two months ago, and they've just been increasing.
Greece isn't the only one:

Is Japan headed down Greece's road?

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Is Japan headed down Greece's road?
Analysis

Edmund Conway, The Daily Telegraph


TOKYO - The Japanese have always been fascinated with Europe. They modelled their system of government on Britain's, as well as their health-care system and roads; their railways owe something to France; their banks are being remodelled in German fashion. But right now it is another less familiar nook of Europe that is provoking the most attention: Greece.

No prizes for guessing why. With Athens having last week agreed to a set of unprecedented austerity cuts and declared itself open to the prospect of an International Monetary Fund bailout, the Japanese are asking themselves whether a similar fate lies in store for them.

The statistics do not bode well. Like Greece, Japan's net debt is close to 120% of gross domestic product. The deficit still climbs every year. Japan's credit rating has been cut again and again, leaving it far below AAA ranking. Its debt interest payments and refinancing costs account for more than 20% of its annual spending.

According to Shigeru Ishiba of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, a crisis is approaching. "Gradually the Japanese government debt is closing in on the level of savings of the Japanese people," he says. "So when the government debt goes beyond the level of total savings, that will be the destruction of Japan. And I must say that that day may not be that far away."

But people have been predicting an apocalypse for the Japanese budget for at least a decade, and year by year, the country has defied such warnings. The government has been able to sustain a textbook unsustainable level of debt because debtholders have been willing to lend it money at interest rates of between 1% and 2%, compared with rates of more than 4% throughout much of Europe, and more than 6% in Greece. And the reason those creditors have done so? Because 95% of them are Japanese.

This peculiarity of Japanese government debt -- that it is vastly owned by Japanese citizens -- has protected it from the discipline that would be imposed by international investors. However, a growing number of experts think this buffer will soon come to an end. The savings rate in Japan, which stood at about 14% in the early 1990s, is now below 4% -- one of the lowest in the OECD.

According to Naoyuki Yoshino, professor at Keio University, the country may have only four years until the stock of savings is overtaken by the supply of debt, meaning it will suddenly have to start selling a larger chunk of its debt to outside investors, potentially triggering a sharp increase in interest rates. "When those rates start to rise, then we would have to slash government spending," he says.

The flip side is that although household savings are dropping, companies are still saving large amounts rather than investing. However, at some point even the Japanese may reconsider their faith in government bonds and diversify.

The next flashpoint comes when the newly elected Democratic Party of Japan unveils its long-term fiscal strategy. Whether it can reassure its investors that it will soon bring spending under control remains to be seen. The omens are not good. The DPJ has unseated the reigning LDP party for the first time in 50 years, but did so with promises to overhaul the civil service bureaucracy that has controlled Japan behind the scenes for that entire period. Much of the behind-the-scenes establishment is willing the DPJ on to fail--perhaps even at the cost of a fiscal crisis.

Japan was able to ward off a potential debt crisis for years, but now that all countries' finances are under the spotlight, it is hard to see that this will remain the case. It has enjoyed 20 years defying its critics, but it may be about to learn such periods can end suddenly.

---------

BY THE NUMBERS

120 Japan's net debt as a percentage of GDP.

4 The savings rate in Japan in percent.

20 Debt interest payments and refinancing costs as a percent of annual spending.
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:16 AM   #29
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Things are getting a little crazy over here. Some of my roommates had the brilliant idea of seeking out the protests. And by protests, I mean riots. Thank you anarchists. Bombs, broken glass, fires, stealing jewelery, tear gas, and general chaos.
This "class struggle" is all over the world. In my country it's starting to increase even under a conservative government (though under a stimulus plan plus minority government entanglements). Spoiled government bureaucratical classes come from the "the last shall become the first" mentality. Unfortunately when they become the first then they are the first.

The other class struggle

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The other class struggle
Kelly McParland, National Post
Published: Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Workers World newspaper, a communist publication based in New York, has a fine line on the street protests taking place in Greece and a number of other European countries where governments are pondering austerity measures to help pay off their debts. It's those dirty capitalists again, says the WW, come to steal the wages that workers have rightfully earned.

"The EU itself is an instrument of big business, a coalition of capitalists arrayed against the European working class and the nations in the former colonial world," it says. "Europe's financial bosses are insisting that before they will 'bail out' the Greek government with loans, it must impose an even harsher austerity on the workers than the taxes, wage cuts, hiring freezes, and increase in retirement age and social-service cutbacks already proposed. They aim to force the government to crack down on the workers -- using the excuse that this is needed to overcome the financial crisis. "

I like they way they put "bail out" in quotations, as if devoting billions of dollars to the rescue of Greece isn't really a bailout. Because in union-land, it isn't. By definition, everything a unionized worker earns is deserved, because someone, somewhere agreed to pay it -- especially workers employed by the government, who make up the bulk of the protesting Greeks. And since they earned it, there's no reason they should make any sacrifices to help the country avoid economic disaster. No, that's for little people, who don't have government jobs.

Canada isn't Greece, but it's no healthier here to have a country divided into two classes. Class One: Public sector workers with safe, secure, well-paid jobs it is almost impossible for them to lose, with generous holidays, guaranteed pensions and protection against the economic cycles that prevail in the private sector. Class Two: Everyone else.

It used to be that the people in Class Two had an incentive for risking exposure to economic ups and downs. The pay was generally better, and it was possible to spend an entire career with a successful company and enjoy a pension at the end. Not anymore. If events of the past few years have proved anything, it's that no company is too big to fail, and there's no guarantee benefits promised when you were hired are likely to be there when you leave. If the pension goes splat, like so many have, you're on your own.

While the incentive to face the risks of the private sector has diminished, life on the government payroll has never been better. After all those nasty cutbacks imposed by Finance Minister Paul Martin, the Conservatives were elected in 2006, and have been spending wildly ever since. All the staff reductions have been reversed and the public payroll is bigger than ever. Salaries have largely caught up with private sector levels, and the pensions are just as rock solid as they've ever been. And you can't be fired, short of indictment for murder.

So why would anyone want a job in corporate Canada? Why work for an employer dependent on the need to occasionally make a profit? As people in Greece recognize, it practically becomes a duty to work for the government when the alternative is so detrimental to your own interests.

It's not a healthy situation. The danger is not just economic but cultural: Government employment is not supposed to be a privileged position, and the more favoured the bureaucracy becomes, the more resentment it attracts.

It doesn't help that public service unions react to even a hint of restraint by declaring their determination to man the barricades in defence of every last entitlement. No sooner had Finance Minister Jim Flaherty finished his budget statement -- which referred vaguely to future restrictions -- than union representatives were on the air predicting a major battle lay ahead and warning the troops to prepare to resist, even if details of the government's plan remain unknown.


Some 13,000 federal civil servants quit or retire each year. As well, the bureaucracy is aging, and a wave of retirements is anticipated. Ottawa doesn't have to squeeze current employees too hard to successfully reduce the overall pot of cash flowing to bureaucratic paycheques. All that is required is a severe cutback in replacement hiring, and a refusal to add to the generous benefits already on offer.

The country won't grind to a halt, I guarantee it.
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:24 AM   #30
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Kelly McParland is neither the brightest bulb around nor an objective commentator, but anyway...

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Canada isn't Greece, but it's no healthier here to have a country divided into two classes. Class One: Public sector workers with safe, secure, well-paid jobs it is almost impossible for them to lose, with generous holidays, guaranteed pensions and protection against the economic cycles that prevail in the private sector. Class Two: Everyone else.
What a ridiculously oversimplistic statement to make. Nevermind that this alleged "class" struggle is something Kelly has conjured up as a major problem.

Even the stupidest person who actually bought this argument would know that in fact there is a risk/reward question here, and that we are FREE to choose class 1 or class 2; it's not a caste system for heaven's sake.
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