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Old 10-07-2013, 02:42 PM   #601
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Originally Posted by anitram View Post
I still think the likelihood of default is almost nil.

If it comes to that, the GOP will massively lose the 2014 elections. Do you think the corporate donors will give to a party that tanked their investments? Let's get real here.
I think you have a point, and I agree with digitize.

However, this was all pre-planned months ago:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/us...ning.html?_r=0

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To many Americans, the shutdown came out of nowhere. But interviews with a wide array of conservatives show that the confrontation that precipitated the crisis was the outgrowth of a long-running effort to undo the law, the Affordable Care Act, since its passage in 2010 — waged by a galaxy of conservative groups with more money, organized tactics and interconnections than is commonly known.
With polls showing Americans deeply divided over the law, conservatives believe that the public is behind them. Although the law’s opponents say that shutting down the government was not their objective, the activists anticipated that a shutdown could occur — and worked with members of the Tea Party caucus in Congress who were excited about drawing a red line against a law they despise
Some of these conservatives may think they're doing what their constituents want
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:48 PM   #602
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Some of these conservatives may think they're doing what their constituents want
Sure, that's probably likely given the way they hold town halls and don't allow dissent of any sort.

But even if they do believe it's what their constituents want (and not all of them can possibly believe that as they hail from much "bluer" districts), we all know that American democracy doesn't have a whole lot to do with what the constituents want. That ship sailed long ago, into the seas of lobbyists.
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Old 10-07-2013, 04:48 PM   #603
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our debt is due to a revenue problem, and we're all much better off than we were in the fall of 2008. the Obama team were able to avoid a 2nd Great Depression and enter into a slow but clear recovery. he's also extracted us from 2 expensive, bloody wars. he also saved Detroit and Wall Street and meaningful financial reform has been passed. we'll also start to see real, clear health care savings (what will be the real driver to debt in the future) in the states that are adopting the ACA starting October 10 (California and Minnesota already being early examples)
I really appreciated this response as I spent quite a bit of time looking into our recent history. Unfortunately, I found statements like this really capture the current state of our political process. Factually, it is misleading at best and otherwise flat out wrong. The problem is that Irvine isn’t making this up - you can find editorials in the blogosphere that repeat this stuff as fact. More like the ongoing “truthiness” of political speak. Or, if you prefer, keep repeating the lie and it becomes fact.

Let’s take one statement (I prepared extensive counter arguments on all points, but this is not the best forum for factual debate) – Obama “saved” Detroit. At last check, the City (once the 4th wealthiest city in the United States) filed for bankruptcy. After throwing away $3 Billion on the Cars for Clunkers plan (which resulted in higher used car prices, ended up being more harmful to the environment and cost taxpayers $24,000 per car). This was followed by the $80 Billion bail-out of GM and Chrysler. The administration’s definition of success was actually a $5 Billion loss to taxpayers. I guess that is why Obama sent another $320 Million is sent to prop up Detroit.

Money still goes to operations in Afghanistan and Iraq (and 75% of US casualties in Afghanistan have occurred under Obama’s leadership), so the concept of “extracted” is a bit strained.

And of course, we have the things could have been worse argument – a logical fallacy clearly demonstrated by the Simpson’s bear patrol episode (it was targeting the Patriot Act at the time, now the “Second Depression” is the new bear).

I guess each side will stick to narratives and the concept of facts will get reduced to statistics and infographics.
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Old 10-07-2013, 04:48 PM   #604
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This is a breakdown of democracy, plain and simple. Of course all sides have played politics and used the process to their advantage, but have we ever had a minority hold the government hostage to change a law that is already on the books? Debt ceiling talks have always been about budgets, never about changing history.
Actually, what is happening with the budget/debt ceiling is democracy in action. The only reason a debt ceiling continues to exist is to maintain a balance of power between the Executive and Legislative branches of government. The Democrats could have eliminated the concept entirely when they held a majority during Obama’s first term. But they have and will want to use it as a tool when a Republican president is in office (I’m sure you all remember Obama’s “raising the debt ceiling is a failure of leadership” statement during the Bush years).

The government shut-down is a function of democracy. And while that means only 17% of the government actually is shut down, the impact has been negligible (i.e., war memorials on the Mall closed, scenic vistas of Mt. Rushmore are blocked, people kicked out of homes they own and other childish moves by the Administration). What the government shut-down tells me is that we have a lot of overhead that could be trimmed back.
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:04 PM   #605
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Factually, it is misleading at best and otherwise flat out wrong.

I note that you didn't comment at all on the "revenue problem".
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:45 PM   #606
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Actually, what is happening with the budget/debt ceiling is democracy in action. The only reason a debt ceiling continues to exist is to maintain a balance of power between the Executive and Legislative branches of government.
You are right, the concept is there to maintain balance of power. It's not there for a last ditch effort to reverse laws that you don't like.

Once again I'll ask this question; would you defend it as democracy were this debt ceiling being hijacked to end a war started by a Republican, push gun control agendas, or reverse abortion laws put into place?
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:52 PM   #607
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I guess each side will stick to narratives and the concept of facts will get reduced to statistics and infographics.

as you've done so beautifully here.

i don't fault you for it -- i just wish you'd admit that you're every bit the partisan and ideologue as anyone else out there.

the bear patrol in your post is "things would have been better if only ...," which is rather beautiful in it's pot/kettle symmetry, and you're deliberate avoidance of the actual facts as well as topics, as anitram pointed out, is every bit out of the playbook you say you're trying to avoid.

to take one example:

"Detroit" is shorthand for the auto industry. we can agree that the city itself is a mess, but the American auto industry is, indeed, saved.

regard:

Quote:
Without a doubt, the American auto industry emerged smaller and more competitive.

In the words of the bipartisan Congressional Oversight Panel that assessed the impact of the government's efforts: "The industry’s improved efficiency has allowed automakers to become more flexible and better able to meet changing consumer demands, while still remaining profitable."

Barack Obama, however, cannot claim full credit for this outcome. According to several experts, he needs to share it with his predecessor, President George W. Bush. Dr. James Rubenstein at Miami University co-wrote a post-bankruptcy assessment for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Rubenstein said no one should overlook the importance of Bush’s decision to use $17.6 billion in TARP money in December 2008 to keep General Motors and Chrysler afloat.

"The Bush Administration provided short-term bridge loans," Rubenstein said. "That allowed the Obama Administration to take a couple of months to assess the situation."

Aaron Bragman, the lead American automotive analyst for the financial forecasting group IHS Automotive, echoed the point. "The Bush administration is the one that actually acted to save them from an uncontrolled bankruptcy and shutdown," Bragman said. "The Obama administration's role was to fix them."

PolitiFact | Did President Obama save the auto industry?

the Afghanistan example is just awful. it ignores the ending of the costly, bloody, unnecessary Iraq War, and also ignores the context and history of the Afghanistan War as well. it cherry picks one rubric -- casualties after 2008 -- in a way that, for example, people like INDY take the job losses of the first half of 2009 and use it to distort the entirety of his economic record. as if he's responsible for the Great Recession. the Afghanistan conflict has gone through different phases and required different military efforts as it has changed and grown over the past 12 years.

it's breathtaking, but it's the kind of reality denial we get regularly from the GOP, so i'd expect nothing less from someone fighting in their corner and refers to Daily Caller articles.

it's all fine. we know what you're doing. the forum is more interesting with conservatives posting regularly. for all the shit INDY gets, at least he makes things more interesting and gets people posting and i get the sense a lot of it is about getting a rise out of people. it's the same thing in a post like this -- i just wish the sanctimony could be toned down a notch.
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:04 PM   #608
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Back to the conveniently ignored revenue...

It is worth noting that while the debt keeps rising, the deficit (as a proportion of GDP) has decreased dramatically this year. And for the most part it was due to increased revenue due to the lapsed Bush tax cuts. Sequestration made a much smaller dent than revenue increases.

It is also worth nothing that economists agree that when a country is emerging from a recession and performing below its potential output (has relatively high unemployment, etc), the optimal recourse is to raise taxes, not make spending cuts. Spending cuts are indicated when an economy is at its peak output.
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Old 10-07-2013, 08:41 PM   #609
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it's all fine. we know what you're doing. the forum is more interesting with conservatives posting regularly. for all the shit INDY gets, at least he makes things more interesting and gets people posting and i get the sense a lot of it is about getting a rise out of people. it's the same thing in a post like this -- i just wish the sanctimony could be toned down a notch.
I am usually not disappointed by your posts. Always quick to respond, quoting from a seemingly endless supply of supporting partisan editorials, redefining the parameters of the discussion to mask errors and ridiculing sources you deem unworthy.


I've did the persistent daily participation thing years ago. If the time I allocate to this forum isn't sufficient for you, and you don't like you statements questioned, please feel free to block my posts.

But before you start the name calling, take a moment to review your body of work on this site in light of your comments and think about the term "sanctimonious".
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Old 10-07-2013, 08:43 PM   #610
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Back to the conveniently ignored revenue...

It is worth noting that while the debt keeps rising, the deficit (as a proportion of GDP) has decreased dramatically this year. And for the most part it was due to increased revenue due to the lapsed Bush tax cuts. Sequestration made a much smaller dent than revenue increases.

It is also worth nothing that economists agree that when a country is emerging from a recession and performing below its potential output (has relatively high unemployment, etc), the optimal recourse is to raise taxes, not make spending cuts. Spending cuts are indicated when an economy is at its peak output.
The statement “it’s a revenue problem” is simplistic and misleading.

First, it quietly suggests that spending is not a problem, government just isn’t getting the money it needs. Thus, we are told to ignore the ever growing problem in this country (and if you think this isn’t a problem, just look at government pension obligations to start).

Second, there are two parts to government revenue: taxable income and tax rate. You can address taxable income two ways – increase the amount of income generated in the country or add to the pools of money that can be taxed.

Since no country has ever taxed itself to prosperity, the focus should be on increasing incomes.

Politicians, however, find it easier to increase tax rates or add to the pools of money that can be taxed, with the emotionally pleasing mantra of others “paying their fair share.”

The idea that "economist agree" is simply not true, as like politics, there is persistent divergence in viewpoints on how the economy truly works. Also, using correlative evidence as causal evidence is somewhat misleading.

People forget that the Bush tax cuts were enacted as the US slid into recession after the Dot Com bubble burst. Perhaps they worked too well, as the economy overheated yet again (largely fueled by overwhelming demand in the residential real estate market), leading to another recession. The biggest fault I found with the Bush administration was the lack of fiscal discipline and the failure to restrain spending.
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Old 10-07-2013, 08:48 PM   #611
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The statement “it’s a revenue problem” is simplistic and misleading.
Of course it is.

Just like "it's a debt problem" is.

The answer is a combination of the two, or preferred reliance on one over the other at different times in an economic cycle.

That is not what I am hearing from the politicians.
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Old 10-07-2013, 08:50 PM   #612
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It is worth noting that while the debt keeps rising, the deficit (as a proportion of GDP) has decreased dramatically this year. And for the most part it was due to increased revenue due to the lapsed Bush tax cuts. Sequestration made a much smaller dent than revenue increases.
I've explored some of these "Obama dropped the deficit by 50% this year" claims, and they seem somewhat dubious. There are other people more well versed on the economy than I, but didn't deficits drop this year primarily because they had risen so dramatically over the past three years, due to ongoing costs from the wars, the bailout, and the recession? It would have been hard for the deficits to go up, apart from another war or another bailout.

From what I've seen:
Bush posted a $1.4T deficit in his last budget, due to the bailout, the two wars, and the economic struggles. However, Bush's deficits from 2008 and 2007 respectively were $458B and $161B.

That number has declined to $744B in 2014 under Obama, but it's still higher than Bush's deficits. (Of course, we're not going to see those numbers anytime soon.) And the impact of the ACA on the economy is a rather large question mark.

In the meantime, revenue from the expired Bush tax cuts was -- what -- somewhere between $50B-$80B, according to the IRS? Which dropped our deficit from 1.1T to -- what -- $1.05T? That's not terribly significant revenue (which seems obscene to me, but there you go).

To these eyes, this seems less like "we're controlling our spending and shrinking the deficit" and more like "we're running out of stuff to spend money we don't have on."
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:13 PM   #613
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I am usually not disappointed by your posts. Always quick to respond, quoting from a seemingly endless supply of supporting partisan editorials, redefining the parameters of the discussion to mask errors and ridiculing sources you deem unworthy. I've did the persistent daily participation thing years ago. If the time I allocate to this forum isn't sufficient for you, and you don't like you statements questioned, please feel free to block my posts. But before you start the name calling, take a moment to review your body of work on this site in light of your comments and think about the term "sanctimonious".

I'm not sure if this is a deliberate misunderstanding or not, but I'm encouraging you to post more. I like my posts challenged. I like to be challenged to respond quickly and do research, and I always cite my (usually mainstream news) sources and quote others (usually due to time). Post as much or as little as you want. It's more fun when more people post. I'm sure it can't be easy when 90% of the people who post regularly don't agree with you. And if you really do go back and look at my body of work, you'll see that I regularly come to the defense if people who I feel are being piled upon, even if I disagree with them.

Just be honest. And self-aware -- everything you've just outlined as features of my posts (and my long, long history) you do to a T, from calling me an Alinsky-ite (Tea Party playbook) to your endless stream of partisan editorials (Daily Caller, the quickly googled Regenerus study).

No name calling here. The sanctimony comes not from your faith in the superior quality of the ideas presented but in the presentation of yourself as somehow above partisanship and ideology and an honest broker.
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:20 PM   #614
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I'm not sure if this is a deliberate misunderstanding or not, but I'm encouraging you to post more. I like my posts challenged. I like to be challenged to respond quickly and do research, and I always cite my (usually mainstream news) sources and quote others (usually due to time). Post as much or as little as you want. It's more fun when more people post. I'm sure it can't be easy when 90% of the people who post regularly don't agree with you. And if you really do go back and look at my body of work, you'll see that I regularly come to the defense if people who I feel are being piled upon, even if I disagree with them.

Just be honest. And self-aware -- everything you've just outlined as features of my posts (and my long, long history) you do to a T, from calling me an Alinsky-ite (Tea Party playbook) to your endless stream of partisan editorials (Daily Caller, the quickly googled Regenerus study).

No name calling here. The sanctimony comes not from your faith in the superior quality of the ideas presented but in the presentation of yourself as somehow above partisanship and ideology and an honest broker.
Fair enough. If anything, one of the best parts of my participation on Interference is that you've gotten me to think at a deeper level on a wide variety of topics.

While I'd prefer to debate in person, limited and brief trips to the East Coast would prevent such opportunities. Till then, I look forward to exchanges here.
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:26 PM   #615
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I'll do my best.
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