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Old 10-08-2013, 03:38 PM   #621
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Sorry for the length. I'm an Independent but I used to describe myself as fiscally conservative. But all I ever really meant by that was I believe in a balanced budget. Dealing w/economics we can't take numbers in a vacuum but we can take numbers and look at a reasonable approach to governance.

What we know is that the focus on "increasing incomes" and effective 'growth by tax cut' will bring in about 18% of GDP (Federal revenues) maximum. Since FY1983 and the Reagan tax cuts, we hit 18% a whole three times with a GOP President. That's 17 years of Reagan, HWBush and WBush, 14 of which were below 18%. But that is the proven 'ceiling' here for supply-side and naturally the number GOP politicians always use - '18%'.

While EVERY year from 1995-2001 brought above 18%. Only hitting 20% once in 2000. You have to go back to 1952 to find it hitting 20% again. And during those balanced budgets (surplus), it was 19%. This argument is relative to tax cuts paying for themselves and there were no tax cuts in the 90's, so while the GOP ran congress under Clinton, that is irrelevant to the point.

We simply cannot HOPE to balance the budget at 18%. And probably not even at 19%. 20% might be what is needed. But 18% is objectively too low. Heading further into the 21st century, everyone is living longer, entitlements are not going to disappear because everyone wants them. Republicans want them because they NEVER have and NEVER will cut them. The one MILD adjustment in the 90's was to welfare. But when it's all GOP (see: 8 years of Dubya, they do nothing). Why? Because they want to stay in office too. And a group of fringe "Tea Party" folk that don't understand what they're railing against (in certain situations) aren't going to change any of that.

It's simply not enough revenue to fund the government EVERYBODY wants. And not only the government everybody wants, the government that (relatively speaking) is not going away. Those federal pensions are pesky but they aren't evaporating any time soon. And the defense budget has been trimmed about as far as it will be trimmed.

It might be too simplistic to say that it's a revenue problem, because that might imply spending isn't its own issue. But it is MUCH more of a revenue problem than a spending problem. That is virtually inarguable. The math is the math. Regardless of how GOP politicians sell this farce to the public.

The last time we had a balanced budget we had spending reforms + higher taxes and a BOOMING economy. Right now we're at about 16% which is way way too low. It hasn't been that low since 1976. But 2010 dipped below 15% and we're projected to be back at 18% by 2015. So we're going in the right direction. After all 18% is the vaunted GOP number. Federal spending is currently too high at 22% of GDP. Here are some other years where fed spending was 22% of GDP - 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1991.

And everyone can remember all those conservatives talking about the Bush admin spending too much, to show how balanced they were and that is wasn't about pure politics? Well, spending never topped 20% under W. It was Saint Reagan and Daddy that spent like a madman. Of course, they also had a Democratic-controlled congress. But once again, once in control of both houses, they didn't cut anything in the way of so-called entitlements. All that is - is a political tactic. To scare people into voting against Democrats.

But yes, 22% is high but austerity shrinks growth. And the one thing economists genuinely all do agree with is - we need growth. Growth alone will shrink spending relative to GDP.

And even the one BIG argument the GOP used to make about job creation (all essentially in a two-year window under Reagan) fell apart when W Bush put up a goose egg in 8 years. Effectively no jobs created.

Republican economics via Supply Side has thoroughly failed. This isn't an endorsement of the alternative but only to say, it's clearly a better option. And as long as that is the case and as long as someone like Bill Clinton is alive that can make this "math" argument much better than I can, (although maybe just as long winded!) the Reps will not take back the WH.
Interesting post. If this is true - then what in the heck is Obama doing?
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:31 PM   #622
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I agree that Obama should be willing to compromise here too.

I wonder if both sides are ready for any kind of lawsuits:

Quote:
This is the exact situation that CDC and other about-to-be-furloughed federal personnel warned about last week. As a reminder, a CDC staffer told me at the time:
I know that we will not be conducting multi-state outbreak investigations. States may continue to find outbreaks, but we won’t be doing the cross-state consultation and laboratory work to link outbreaks that might cross state borders.
That means that the lab work and molecular detection that can link far-apart cases and define the size and seriousness of outbreaks are not happening. At the CDC, which operates the national foodborne-detection services FoodNet and PulseNet, scientists couldn’t work on this if they wanted to; they have been locked out of their offices, lab and emails. (At a conference I attended last week, 10 percent of the speakers did not show up because they were CDC personnel and risked being fired if they traveled even voluntarily.)
There's a Major Foodborne Illness Outbreak and the Government's Shut Down - Wired Science
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:33 PM   #623
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I agree that Obama should be willing to compromise here too.


what should he compromise on?
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:33 PM   #624
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I agree that Obama should be willing to compromise here too.
Where?
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:56 PM   #625
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I don't know. I'm just babbling now, sorry. I'm just pissed with what's going on and I want it to end. I'm not too optimistic that the GOP will not allow the default to happen. They may prevent that, and have good reasons to, but I'm not too hopeful.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:10 PM   #626
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what should he compromise on?
I think he can stop being the president of the 1 percent and actually start working for the rest of us:

95% Of Income Gains Since 2009 Went To The Top 1%
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:17 PM   #627
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I think he can stop being the president of the 1 percent and actually start working for the rest of us:

95% Of Income Gains Since 2009 Went To The Top 1%
AEON, I find this as repulsive as you do, but what do you suggest the President does?

He doesn't control private sector salaries.

So what do you suggest? Raising taxes on the 1% to increase revenue? Increase regulations on corporations, thereby reducing corporate profits?
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:58 PM   #628
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Interesting post. If this is true - then what in the heck is Obama doing?
You can double check any of those numbers. They are all accurate and I believe they are presented in a fair context.

Obama is doing about all he can. But especially given the nature of the House opposition. I know that's not a sufficient answer for people that are predisposed to believing he's not doing something he should.

I think the Obama plan is to let growth slowly build. Because cutting too much shrinks growth. Proven by recent austerity elsewhere in the world. But each time it starts looking better, something like a government shutdown happens and causes the market to panic and it fucks everything up.

Debt to GDP ratio is the most damning statistic against Obama. But that is in the wake of the Great Recession and Greedy Bankers and Credit Default Swaps, etc. So everything looks much worse than it otherwise would.

Government Debt Chart: United States 1950-2018 - Federal State Local Data

You can also use that link to double check the federal spending/revenue numbers relative to GDP.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:25 PM   #629
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I think he can stop being the president of the 1 percent and actually start working for the rest of us: 95% Of Income Gains Since 2009 Went To The Top 1%


I'm talking about the present situation in regards to the extortion over the ACA.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:56 PM   #630
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I'm talking about the present situation in regards to the extortion over the ACA.
From what 'm reading - default should be avoided at all costs. I think the president and congress should do whatever it takes to make certain this doesn't happen.

After this showdown is over, then we need make it illegal for this to ever happen again. But we need to get through this mess first.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:07 PM   #631
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AEON, I find this as repulsive as you do, but what do you suggest the President does?

He doesn't control private sector salaries.
No, but this isn't simply "salary" money - this sort of wealth comes from being a major shareholder in companies that receive favorable treatment by legislation. And of course, insider information on the "closed door" meetings in DC.

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So what do you suggest? Raising taxes on the 1% to increase revenue? Increase regulations on corporations, thereby reducing corporate profits?
We absolutely must increase taxes on the top 1 percent - by a ton. Most of this wealth was gained from taking advantage of the system, so it's time for the system take at least half of it back. The Democrats aimed way too low when raising taxes on those making 200k or more. That is why the Republicans were able to circle the wagons on new taxes. But a campaign against the greedy, fat 1 percent - people could certainly get around that.

Keep spending around current levels - increase the tax burden on the top 1 percent (and close their loopholes) - then we will get this country back on track.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:30 PM   #632
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Agreed on everything. Was bound to happen sometime.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:33 PM   #633
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But a campaign against the greedy, fat 1 percent - people could certainly get around that.
I agree with everything in the rest of this post, but I'm not so sure about this, given how vociferously the Tea Party has attacked tax hikes on anyone, and how they've used the myth of "job creators" to reframe the 1% as if they somehow represent the interests of Average Joe American.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:54 PM   #634
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Agreed on everything. Was bound to happen sometime.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:19 PM   #635
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they've used the myth of "job creators" to reframe the 1% as if they somehow represent the interests of Average Joe American.
You're right - and that is definitely the single greatest challenge - to destroy the myth that the top 1 percent of the wealthy are the "job creators." They are confusing wealth and income. It's the top 1 percent of the wealthy we need to go after for more revenue.

Corporate taxes are a little more tricky. For the most part I would bring them down or leave them alone. We don't want companies fleeing overseas more than we've already seen. However, we need to minimize the ability of individuals using "corporations" to mask their wealth.

But destroying the myth is essential. If we can destroy the myth - then we have a chance. We can make it a race between the parties to hold the 1 percent accountable for not paying their fair share back to the system that created their wealth in the first place. Both parties claim to be for the "middle class" - no party wants to be seen as the party only for the super rich.

We can do this by convincing Democrats to aim for a much higher income bracket than usual (sorry folks, $200k a year is not "rich"), and by convincing Republicans that the top 1 percent is responsible for making life in the middle-class so tough.

To get this going - the Republicans should blame the Democrats for creating the largest gap in income in modern history (TRUE); and the Democrats should blame the Republicans for enabling the wealthy to destroy the middle class by shipping away their jobs in order to make a few more bucks (ALSO TRUE). Either way - "we" win because the top 1 percent is finally in the cross-hairs of both parties for being to soul-sucking dogs that they are.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:32 PM   #636
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To get this going - the Republicans should blame the Democrats for creating the largest gap in income in modern history (TRUE);
AEON you're a smart guy - correlation is not causation.

The current situation was created by everyone, incrementally, over the last 30-35 years. You can't look at where we are today or where we were 3 years ago without looking at what was put into action to bring about the results.
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:12 AM   #637
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AEON you're a smart guy - correlation is not causation.

The current situation was created by everyone, incrementally, over the last 30-35 years. You can't look at where we are today or where we were 3 years ago without looking at what was put into action to bring about the results.
I was actually trying to give each "side" a talking point. I understand that much of the divergence began under Reagan and continued until 2008 - when it accelerated.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:05 AM   #638
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The consensus Wall Street view remains that, much like in 2011, the debt ceiling will get raised at the last minute.


Surely politicians aren't dense enough to martyr the U.S. economy for political ends, the thought goes. And even though market analysts agree that a true default would be catastrophic, markets have been relatively complacent to the threat.

But what Wall Street fails to realize, according to Potomac Research Group's Greg Valliere, is the extent to which the Tea Party just doesn't care. Valliere wrote to clients this morning:

We talked to Tea Party stalwarts last night, and tried to make our best arguments. "Don't you realize the Republicans could lose the House in 2014?" We don't care, they said. "Don't you worry about a catastrophic reaction in the financial markets?" We don't care, they said. "Don't you worry that the Democrats will aggressively play the Social Security card with seniors?" We don't care, they said.

"This is the Alamo, it's Braveheart, battles to the death. These people are on a Mission from God," Valliere says. Still, he puts the odds of a default at 20% (up from his previous estimate of 10%).

Wall Street Doesn't Get The Tea Party - Business Insider



This can't be true. It can't be.

But if Michelle Bachmann, Ted Cruz and the others were elected, then anything is possible
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:10 AM   #639
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This can't be true. It can't be.
What can't be? The default happening or the Tea Party actually behaving as is described in the article?
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:18 AM   #640
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remember, most of the federal government is just unnecessary overhead.


Quote:
Shutdown Denies Death and Burial Benefits to Families of 4 Dead Soldiers

WASHINGTON — The families of four soldiers killed in Afghanistan last weekend will not receive death benefits or the money to pay for their funerals because of the government shutdown.

The bodies of Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins, 25; Pfc. Cody J. Patterson, 24; Sgt. Joseph M. Peters, 24; and First Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno, 25, will arrive at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Wednesday. The four soldiers were killed Sunday in the Zhari district of Kandahar Province when enemy forces attacked their unit with explosives.

But if their families want to meet the plane, they will have to pay their own way to Delaware.

Under the shutdown, Carl Woog, a Defense Department spokesman, said on Tuesday, “the Department of Defense does not currently have the authority to pay death gratuities and other key benefits for the survivors of service members killed in action.”

The benefits include $100,000 to each family; a 12-month basic allowance for housing, usually given in a lump sum to survivors commensurate with the rank of the service member; and burial benefits. The benefits are also being withheld from the family of Lance Cpl. Jeremiah Collins Jr., 19, of the Marines, whose death on Saturday in Helmand Province is being investigated by the Pentagon

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/09/us...lies.html?_r=0


also,

There's a Major Salmonella Outbreak During a Government Shutdown - Connor Simpson - The Atlantic Wire
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