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Old 04-17-2010, 02:56 PM   #571
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Strong central authoritative states that promise to "take care of you" do not have a good track record.

they key word is "authoritative." however, strong governments -- like, say, those in Scandinavia -- tend to be quite successful, which is quite different from, say, China.

if you are saying that Obama might want the US to be a little bit more like Sweden, with it's strong environmentalism and excellent health care and long lifespans, you might be right. if you are saying that Obama wants the US to be a little bit more like China, with the crushing of dissent and censoring of the internet, you are totally wrong.

(but, again, it was Bush who longed for a dictatorship)
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Old 04-17-2010, 04:04 PM   #572
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they key word is "authoritative." however, strong governments -- like, say, those in Scandinavia -- tend to be quite successful, which is quite different from, say, China.

if you are saying that Obama might want the US to be a little bit more like Sweden, with it's strong environmentalism and excellent health care and long lifespans, you might be right. if you are saying that Obama wants the US to be a little bit more like China, with the crushing of dissent and censoring of the internet, you are totally wrong.

(but, again, it was Bush who longed for a dictatorship)
I think many are concerned about the rising debt-to-GDP ratio. The current path is historically unsustainable. Usually, raising taxes thwarts economic growth and actually reduces the government income. On the other hand, cutting services or military provokes social outrage on either side of the political fence. It's a delicate balance. The Clinton Administration along with a Republican congress did an excellent job in this area.
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:52 PM   #573
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I think many are concerned about the rising debt-to-GDP ratio. The current path is historically unsustainable. Usually, raising taxes thwarts economic growth and actually reduces the government income. On the other hand, cutting services or military provokes social outrage on either side of the political fence. It's a delicate balance. The Clinton Administration along with a Republican congress did an excellent job in this area.

i agree -- where were you from 2001-2009?

Obama would argue that the aggressive spending of the bank bailouts and the stimulus were necessary (and successful) in preventing a second great depression, and health care reform, which really isn't all that expensive, is necessary to prevent future medical costs from skyrocketing.

again: where were you when Bush passed massive Medicare drug entitlement? the war in Iraq? the tax cuts on the richest 1%? when the debt increased from $5T to $10T?
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:18 PM   #574
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i agree -- where were you from 2001-2009?
I concede - I was not as aware of the economic issues as I should have been. It was not until I was finishing my MBA did I really dig a little deeper.

Most fiscal conservatives that I read are not the biggest fans of the economic policies of the Bush Administration. Heck, even Glenn Beck is a critic. That's an easy target.

More importantly, what are we to do now? The current path can't be sustained.
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:26 PM   #575
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I'm not exactly a Tea Bag Party fan, but I do find it always necessary to keep the federal government "in check" for two reasons 1) the Constitution is designed to do just that and 2) I simply do not trust those that seek such positions
What do you think of Term Limits (Congress, Senate, Supreme Court)?

Does anyone know if the Tea Party has a stance on Term Limits?
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:12 PM   #576
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Strong central authoritative states that promise to "take care of you" do not have a good track record.

You get all this from Medicare?
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:39 PM   #577
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I have no idea how they feel about term limits. I personally do think it'd be nice to maybe stop with these "lifetime member of Congress" situations. I watch the news and I just see so many guys that have been there for an endless stream of years and I just feel like saying, "Give someone else a chance already!" Too many people who've been there for too many years and who are set in their ways. We need a lot more new blood more often.

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I'm not exactly a Tea Bag Party fan, but I do find it always necessary to keep the federal government "in check" for two reasons 1) the Constitution is designed to do just that and 2) I simply do not trust those that seek such positions
There is absolutely nothing wrong with keeping the federal government within a reasonable limit. I won't argue you on that.

But honestly, and call me naive or idealistic or what have you, I don't think every person who aims to be in those positions is out for some "ulterior motive". I happily voted for Obama, and yet I have disagreed with him on some of the stuff he's done thus far. But I have a good reason behind why I disagree. I really don't understand the intense fear people have about him (well, actually, I know what it is for many of the people at these sorts of things, but that's a whole other story). I'm not scared of him. I don't think he's going to overstep some weird massive boundaries and become a control freak or whatever it is these people think he's gonna do. If people think what he's done is "far left", then I'm incredibly confused about how their political spectrum goes. I think he's just genuinely trying to do what he thinks is best for the nation as a whole. Sometimes he'll make me unhappy, sometimes he'll make someone else unhappy. But that's life. You can't always get your way. As long as I see a legitimate reason behind a president's decision, I'll respect it, even if I don't agree with it personally. And the same thing applies with any argument a citizen makes against what a president does. Disagree all you wish, you're perfectly entitled to do that. I'd just like the argument to be, you know, logical, that's all.

In the meantime, there was a tea party held here in my hometown a couple days ago (in a public park, no less). Some entertainingly humorous quotes from my local paper from people at the rally:

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Salier said Harkin tells people they have a right to health insurance. “The government can’t give you rights. We are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights. God gave them to us and Tom Harkin can’t take them away,” said Salier.
...wonder what they'd say if Harkin said God told him everyone had the right to health insurance?

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Bob Johnson, a retired Mason City school teacher who helped organize the rally said, “Why do we do this? I started listening to Rush Limbaugh 20 years ago and I thought: ‘Holy smoke — this guy’s saying what I’m thinking.’
Good thing he's no longer a teacher, then...

(That was snide. I know)

In the meantime, from that same paper, $2.2 million dollars of Recovery Act funds are going to help out the veterans of my state, and our state added 7,300 jobs last month. So, uh, yeah, bad government, bad, bad, evil! Or something.

Angela
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:21 AM   #578
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The current path can't be sustained.

agreed. but it was necessary to stave off total disaster.

the question is what does Obama do with the economy after saving it.

i think your concerns about government overreach are far more pertinent when it came to Bush.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:53 AM   #579
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the question is what does Obama do with the economy after saving it.
We're not out of the woods yet. The markets have behaved in a similar pattern to the markets following the 1929 crash. We're currently near the 61.8 Fibonacci retrace level in the S&P 500 (around 1250)- this is an important technical barrier in trading and if the markets can take and hold this level for several weeks - then we can start to breath a bit easier. However, if this past Friday is any indication - we may be headed lower, much lower. As a matter of fact - the historical pattern indicates a new low in the S&P 500 below the 500 level (with a DOW between 5000 and 6000). If this happens - well - I really don't know what is next. My guess, significant social upheaval around the globe.

The markets have many things going against them in the upcoming weeks - Goldman story, Europe sovereign debt contagion, trend in dollar strength (if you look at the dollar in the months just before the market collapse in 2008 - you will see why many people are afraid about what's around the corner). I'm not trying to frighten anyone - I am just not ready to declare "mission accomplished"

Assuming those currently in power do manage to avoid this calamity, they should immediately tighten fiscal policies and make every effort to return to a balanced budget without significant tax increases.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:13 AM   #580
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I'm not trying to frighten anyone - I am just not ready to declare "mission accomplished"

Assuming those currently in power do manage to avoid this calamity, they should immediately tighten fiscal policies and make every effort to return to a balanced budget without significant tax increases.

on most of this, i agree.

i think the Bush tax cuts need to expire, and we need a gas tax.

would you agree that, on the whole, the president's policies have been successful?
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:31 AM   #581
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on most of this, i agree.

i think the Bush tax cuts need to expire, and we need a gas tax.

would you agree that, on the whole, the president's policies have been successful?
Regarding taxes, I will always be in favor of cutting across the board, rarely increasing. Historically, this has a better chance of increasing government revenue than raising taxes - it sounds off but less taxes actually increases productivity and spending - therefore tax revenue. However, I think polls indicate that the average American wouldn’t mind a slight tax increase if they trusted the money was well spent.

As far as Obama’s policies up to the present, I can’t say he’s done a great or poor job until the mess is officially behind us. Remember, the Great Depression didn’t hit the day after the crash – it took years to develop. Obama’s best chance of success from here on out is to take on an attitude fiscal restraint similar to Clinton’s Welfare Reform days.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:36 AM   #582
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Regarding taxes, I will always be in favor of cutting across the board, rarely increasing. Historically, this has a better chance of increasing government revenue than raising taxes - it sounds off but less taxes actually increases productivity and spending - therefore tax revenue. However, I think polls indicate that the average American wouldn’t mind a slight tax increase if they trusted the money was well spent.

As far as Obama’s policies up to the present, I can’t say he’s done a great or poor job until the mess is officially behind us. Remember, the Great Depression didn’t hit the day after the crash – it took years to develop. Obama’s best chance of success from here on out is to take on an attitude fiscal restraint similar to Clinton’s Welfare Reform days.

we can agree that it's too early to tell, but i also don't think that today is at all comparable to the mid-1990s, and the same path of Clintonian triangulation/moderation isn't necessarily the best path forward. clearly, dramatic things had to happen in September of 2008, and they did. moderation was not a good idea then, and many argue that, if anything, the stimulus should have been bigger. there are times for boldness, and this is why we have the executive branch -- so that someone can act quickly and decisively if needed and not get bogged down by endless political debate.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:47 AM   #583
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we can agree that it's too early to tell, but i also don't think that today is at all comparable to the mid-1990s, and the same path of Clintonian triangulation/moderation isn't necessarily the best path forward. clearly, dramatic things had to happen in September of 2008, and they did. moderation was not a good idea then, and many argue that, if anything, the stimulus should have been bigger. there are times for boldness, and this is why we have the executive branch -- so that someone can act quickly and decisively if needed and not get bogged down by endless political debate.
Yes, Bush and Obama handled the immediate system shock about as well as possible. If it’s true that an economy is essentially based on trust, they prevented that from completely breaking down.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:49 AM   #584
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clearly, dramatic things had to happen in September of 2008, and they did.
I know I don't need to remind you that in September 2008, Obama wasn't president. If memory serves, he was slightly behind McCain in the polls at the time.
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:22 PM   #585
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Regarding taxes, I will always be in favor of cutting across the board, rarely increasing. Historically, this has a better chance of increasing government revenue than raising taxes - it sounds off but less taxes actually increases productivity and spending - therefore tax revenue. However, I think polls indicate that the average American wouldn’t mind a slight tax increase if they trusted the money was well spent.
That's a popular simplification of the Laffer curve, where people are saying a tax reduction always equals higher revenues.


It doesn't. As you can see on the graph, the highest revenues are to be found if the tax rate is at the equilibrium point. Lower it further, and revenues decrease again. You need to take into account, among other factors, the elasticities concerned (income, demand and cross-price). Sometimes, a tax increase may be profitable, sometimes a decrease would be profitable.
But the revenues are not the only function of taxes. It's also an instrument to set incentives or disincentives for certain economical behaviour.
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