Half Moon Bay Review
 
 
 
 
 
TalkAbout Start a topic Login Create Login Forgot Password  
All Categories Around Town Elections Entertainment/Dining Schools
City Council Environment Sports Beyond the Coastside Catch All
Clay Lambert's Blog Mark Foyer's Blog Stacy Trevenon's blog Mark Noack's blog Bill Murray's Blog

Reagan Era Policy and Keynes

Reagan became President during an economic downturn that occurred with the first oil shock and the popular revolt in Iran. His policy to lower taxes at this moment in our economic history was consistent with Keynesian economics. When the economy recovered due to the increase in demand created by giving every American more money to spend, the economy quickly recovered.

Reagan's fatal economic mistake was to not restore tax rates to their previous levels once the economy had recovered. This was inconsistent with Keynesian economics which sets tax rates at levels required to pay for government programs on a long term basis. Keynesian economic policy only lowers taxes below these levels to boost demand when other factors such as the oil shock or revolts cause economic demand to drop when confidence in the future is shaken. Reagan raised taxes several times during his administration but never by enough to fully fund the programs all Americans want.

Reagan's tax policies favored the rich. Since his presidency conservatives have successfully pushed for even more policy changes, for example deregulation of financial markets and banks, and less enforcement of existing regulations on food, drugs, and consumer safety. All of these policy changes favor the special interests factions that support conservative political causes. These special interests are rewarded for their political donations with increased personal wealth.

A return to the laissez-faire policies of pre-Great Depression era is the goal of the radical right conservative movement today. They are aided by a populist movement, the Tea Party, that is sadly ignorant of economic history or American political history as comments from their primary leaders have amply demonstrated.

We are now facing a crisis in government equal to the run up to the Civil War. The telltale is the absolute unwillingness of the radical right in Congress today to consider raising taxes on the rich who get tax breaks for luxury benefits such as personal corporate jet airplanes or special tax treatments for hedge fund managers. The right wing radicals cannot explain why Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin, or Larry Page, all men who have produced thousands of jobs, deserve a higher tax on earnings than a hedge fund manager. The answer undoubtedly lies in hidden self interests that are promoted by policies that enrich the few at the cost of the many. The hugh shifts in wealth, transferring wealth from a shrinking middle class to a small but growing in wealth monied aristocracy, is just one result of these foolish shortsighted polices.

Now is the time for progressives to speak up for balance in government. We need to pay for the programs we need and want, like social security, Medicare and a strong national defense, with taxes able to fund them in the long term. Financing wars with borrowing or paying for essential healthcare services that all Americans must have with borrowed money makes no sense. We need to raise taxes to pay for these programs and restore a fair graduated tax program that taxes individuals in proportion to the benefits they receive by the good fortune to live in a liberal democracy that equally protects the life, liberty and property of all Americans not just wealthy ones.


Comments

Nice presentation Anonymia. One point I would like to explore is " Reagan's tax policies favored the rich."

One thing I believe we must accept is that not only President Reagan's tax policy favored the rich, all tax policy favors the rich. Some would even go so far as to say all policy favors the rice.

There are very few paupers in Congress writing tax law. There are very few paupers who contribute to Pacs or directly to political candidates. There are few in the working class who can afford to make those tax deductible contributions as well.

And we must admit that those who have been blessed with bounty have from time to time favored the less fortunate with a few benefits even if simply to guiet the masses. Benefits such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Compensation, Child labor laws, minimum wage laws to name a few. What the blest ones give, however, the blest ones can take away.

Now, I am not certain that is wrong or even improper for the blest ones to have this power. I am not certain it is not part of the basic "survival of the fittest". I am saying it is not correct to imply that there was a single individual president who is responsible for it.


The point of the commentary is that Keynesian economics works.

Keynes based his economic ideas on empirical data. The empirical evidence favoring his views has never been in doubt. Only the radical right special interests ignore these facts because Keynesian economic policies level the playing field in the marketplace of commerce reducing the advantages otherwise granted to the wealthy.

The massive expenditures by the government investing in infrastructure, research that has led to breakthroughs in medicine, computing, communications, the internet, materials, better defense, etc., and direct federal support for education has always enhanced America's competitiveness well beyond the cost of these programs.

What has changed since Reagan and the conservative movement is the willingness to pay for these programs with taxes equitably shared by all Americans.

The radical conservative right has successfully worked to undue New Deal policies also based upon Keynesian concepts. The goal of removing all regulations that level the playing field restores the unearned advantages of wealth to competition. That is why they spent 30 years in a consorted effort to rescind the Glass-Steagall Act that took away the advantages of insiders like the Mellon's, Rockefeller's, and Hurst's.

The reemergence of another media mogul, Rupert Murdock, and the Fox News conglomerate here and world wide, is another evidence of the foolishness of the radical right and the destructive nature of their policies in a liberal democracy.


I disagree that restoring tax rates to pre-Reagan levels would have been wise then, or would be prudent now. When the top rate was 70%, a ridiculous amount of time and energy was spent on activities that contributed minimal economic value but only served to reduce taxes. I was there. It was ugly. What a waste.

On the other hand, the tax code is full of tax breaks (some of which you've referenced) that read like a special interests wish-list. Many well-meaning people don't understand that these seemingly arcane provisions are essentially checks being written to specific parties for no reason other than political influence.. Many or most of those should be eliminated.

The irony, of course, is that many of Reagan's policies would brand him as a moderate by today's conservative ideological standards.


The top 25 hedge fund managers in 2009 earned on average one billion dollars each. That is an hourly rate of better than a quarter of a million dollars per hour. At this rate of compensation to spend half of it would require spending more than one million dollars every day. How many cars, houses, airplanes, etc. would it take to spend that kind of salary. And what could one person do that would make their time worth $500 per minute or more?

The tax rate on the highest tax bracket during World War 2 and until the Kennedy administration was 91% on all earnings above a very high threshold. This meant that only 3 or 4 Americans paid this rate.

When considering tax rates it is not only the rate that matters but the threshold of earnings at which it kicks in.

Please explain why being taxed at 70% for compensation above say 100 million dollars per year is unfair. David Tepper, who heads the Appaloosa Management hedge fund, was paid more than 4 billion dollars in 2009. Had he been taxed at 70% on earnings above 100 million dollars he would still have taken home more than one billion dollars.

The threshold at which each increment in tax rate kicks in is just as important as the rate. During World War 2 less than 10 Americans each year paid the highest rate and this continued until the Reagan era. Reagan ignored the thresholds when he talked about taxation which is half the truth. When you consider the threshold, the tax rates can been seen in a very different light.


>>The point of the commentary is that Keynesian economics works. << Hah! That's funny. But I suppose it depends on what you mean by "works." If you want a high misery index (unemployment plus inflation) then it works just fine.


All good propaganda is based upon half-truths as Mr. Drouillard’s recital of the radical conservative right’s half-truth propaganda attests.

The stimulus legislation based on Keynesian economic concepts did not implement all aspects of the Keynesian remedy for economic recession. Taxes remain at historic low levels, and especially taxes for the wealthiest Americans remain at a low point only matched in the years prior to the Great Depression. The stimulus was removed before confidence in the future was restored. Confidence is a requirement for most Americans to spend their capital thus creating demand.

By all estimates unemployment would be at much higher levels today had the stimulus package not occurred. Inflation occurs when demand overtakes supply. Today we are seeing deflation not inflation. Mr. Drouillard apparently has not witnessed the loss in value that many Americans have experienced as the market value of their homes has plummeted to new lows.

The partial implementation of Keynesian policies followed by blaming these half applied policies for not generating total success is another half-truth. Reagan used a half-truth to convince Americans that a 70% highest tax bracket was unfair. He purposely left out the detail that this rate applied to only a few Americans who earned astronomical incomes.

Facts, not propaganda should be the basis for public policy. When the facts are obscured by a sea of propaganda coming from a radical conservative right wing media that now dominates television, radio and the internet it is difficult for some people to tell the difference between real evidence and wild claims and half-truths. That is the point of propaganda.


>>Facts, not propaganda should be the basis for public policy. <<

Communists argue that communism didn't work because it didn't go far enough. The OP argues that Keynesian policy didn't work because it wasn't implemented at a large enough scale.

The OP assumes that government is either the right size or not big enough. He or she would failed to acknowledge that the size of government could be reduced to match income levels.

The OP also fails to recognize the simple truth of the Laffer curve, which shows that there is a point where increasing tax rates results in decreased revenues. Such has been shown to be the case at least 3 times in our history -- first in the Kennedy administration then again in the Reagan and Bush II administrations.

We're now seeing the initial effects of what the OP calls Keynesian policy -- high unemployment. We're already starting to see another of its ill effects -- inflation. Printing unconscionable sums of money to keep interest rates artificially low (Keynesian) is causing inflation that will steadily get worse, all without the supposed benefits of Keynesian policy ever materializing. That is why the OP follows the lead of The One when he argues that unemployment would have been much worse without the stimulus. Does he or she think we forgot that the Keynesians promised us that the stimulus would keep unemployment under 8%?

It's time to return to the monetarist policy championed by Milton Friedman, where we adjust the money supply to keep inflation under control and pursue tax policies that encourage rather than stifle economic growth. We need to sweep the Keynesians out of government for good!


I don't want to interrupt the flow of this thread, but I would appreciate a better understanding of some of the claims being made here.

"The top 25 hedge fund managers in 2009 earned on average one billion dollars each." Do you mean to say that the individual fund managers boasted these earnings or that their funds did? Would you please provide a source?

"Inflation occurs when demand overtakes supply." Would you please be more specific? The way you've laid this out leaves much room for argument. In order to understand your points more clearly, I would appreciate a much clearer definition as you see it. A source might be helpful.

The reason I ask is that you follow that comment with this one; "Today we are seeing deflation not inflation." Although your point of 'proof' following this comment does resonate with most, this particular economic environment is quite different from examples shown in this thread and from other snapshots in our history (as a whole).

I'm just trying to keep up. I appreciate your help.


Our tax code has been crafted to benefit those who donate to candidates' war chests and make kings, not the rest of us. E.g., the reactionary right will claim that the US has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. They are correct. However, that tax is never collected thanks to loopholes carefully crafted by Congress. Effectively, we have one of the lowest corporate tax collection levels in the world. Libertarians and other reactionaries cry crocodile tears about "poor businesses being over taxed so they have to off-shore jobs", etc. Boo hoo.

I'm against taxing the wealthy more simply because they have more money. That is not fair. I would settle for taxing everyone the same rate and eliminating all deductions, all subsidies. A flat rate of 18% on all individuals and businesses would generate far more revenue than is collected today: be absolutely fair and eliminate endless tax code revisions, loopholes and gaming.

What I find very interesting is that, regardless of the obvious fairness, not one politician has seriously promoted this equitable, simple approach since Steve Forbes way back when. Why? Why not level the tax playing field? Why not make taxation simple and fair? I can't think of one GOOD reason, only bad reasons for maintaining the tax labyrinth we have today.


>>I would settle for taxing everyone the same rate and eliminating all deductions, all subsidies. A flat rate of 18% on all individuals and businesses would generate far more revenue than is collected today: be absolutely fair and eliminate endless tax code revisions, loopholes and gaming.<< I'm all in favor of greatly simplifying our tax code, and would completely eliminate corporate taxes. That would at least close the tax loophole portion of crony capitalism.

You seem to be touting what is known as the "fair tax." I would prefer a national sales tax instead, but would accept a fair tax over what we have now.

One reason the politicians prefer the current cumbersome tax code is that it makes them less accountable for the cost of government they create. Were folks to pay a nearly 20% tax to the feds for everything they purchase they would be more inclined to reduce the power and scope of federal government.


"Reagan ignored the thresholds when he talked about taxation which is half the truth"....."When considering tax rates it is not only the rate that matters but the threshold of earnings at which it kicks in"....."Please explain why being taxed at 70% for compensation above say 100 million dollars per year is unfair"

In 1979, the year before Reagan took office, a single taxpayer needed taxable income of around $108K to hit the 70% bracket. Note the real number is "slightly" less than the $100 million threshold Anonymia cites above.

Accordingly, and contrary to Anonymia's claim, large numbers of taxpayers were exposed to the top bracket. Many of them avoided this fate by investing in a wide variety of tax-sheltered investments, where huge amounts of capital were invested in projects that made sense primarily as tax mitigation vehicles. It was a big business back then.

This was largely an unproductive use of capital, and served as a textbook example of the law of unintended consequences. Any analysis that "conveniently" ignores this effect is suspect.


Whether your "favorite" is the consumption tax or the flat income tax there are a couple of things to consider. While the graduated income tax has always been considered the fairest tax, it is not surprixing that some would prefer the sales tax, which has always been considered the most regressive.

1. The tax bill will be written by a group of lobbyists.

2. The tax bill will be legislated by same polaiticians we have today who are kept in office by the financial support of lobbyists.

3. Low and middle income people do not have lobbyists.

Put lipstick on another pig. It will still be a pig.


While I await clarity on the questions I posed above, I thought I'd throw a couple of links up to demonstrate what some feel is the biggest crisis in America today - the decline of America's middle class;

Web Link

Web Link

According to pretty much any stats one cares to look at, as if we really need stats to tell us how we're living, the rich are and have been getting richer at the expense of America's middle class.

There are many theories in economics, but there are also many facts. The facts, taken as a whole, might suggest that no one 'theory' is absolute.

A lot of very good and valid points have been made here, but I might suggest that our current economic position is a little more complex than one point of view or one remedy away from 'fixing'.

Just something to chew on while we wait for further clarity.


>>While the graduated income tax has always been considered the fairest tax, it is not surprixing that some would prefer the sales tax, which has always been considered the most regressive.<< I believe that's your opinion and not an established fact.

Why would anyone oppose a simplified a tax system and that makes compliance easier that it is now, could generate more revenue and would make elected officials and bureaucrats more accountable? Why would anyone throw their hands up so quickly and declare it can't be done?

Who thinks like that?


You are correct, Francis, it is my opinion. Of couse my opinion is based upon rsearch by the Cato Institute, The Brookings Institue, MIT, and The National Bureau of Labor Institute.

"A recent study by Brookings Institution economists Gale, Houser, and Scholz confirms this view. [8] In an analysis of a shift from the current income tax to a flat tax, they find that the lowest-income group would see their average tax rate increase by 2.2 percentage points (81 percent increase) while the highest-income group would see their average tax rate decrease by 7.1 percentage points (17 percent decrease). [9] Similarly, economists from MIT and the National Bureau of Economic Research find that there would be a substantial shift in the tax burden to the poor occasioned by changing from the income tax to a retail sales tax. [10] "

I am certain you have a basis for your opinion as well.


A flat fed'l income tax would eliminate a lot of bureaucracy that many people find distasteful, be fair, well understood and simple to enforce. It would also lower taxes for everyone but the wealthiest and we could still set the tax rate to 0% for those who make, e.g., less than $30K per year. We'd still collect far more tax revenue than we do today. Today's tax code is a Swiss cheese that only lawyers can navigate and benefits the wealthy, not the other 99% of the country. Taxing consumption further, with a Fed'l sales tax, drives people to buy elsewhere. I travel internationally, and that's what's happening today - people are purchasing goods elsewhere to avoid high cost, taxation. Low cost goods are where it's at from an economic perspective.


Everyone here appears to agree that the the current tax code has too many loopholes and that is where the agreement ends. Instead of demanding an end to special interest's loopholes in the tax code some want to change to a flat tax and others to a national sales tax.

Every analysis of taxes including the one cited above finds that a sales tax or flat tax approach is regressive. A regressive tax places more of the burden of paying for government on one economic group, in these two cases that group would be the poorest Americans and the middle class. The rich benefit greatly from either a flat tax or a national sales tax.

The question that requires an answer is "Why should the group of Americans who obtain the least services and benefits as individuals pay more for those services than groups who personally benefit greatly from government?"

Saying that these alternative tax schemes are "fairer" is putting a label on the kind of tax some proponents of change have championed, a label is NOT proof.

If most of your earnings go to purchase the necessities with little left over for savings or for helping your children pay for college, then a higher tax is anything but fair. The idea that the poor should pay more, the conclusion of every study of the impact or a flat tax or sales tax as alternatives to a graduated income tax, is objectively unfair.

Many Americans throughout the history of our nation believe that the liberal democracy we have created as a nation confers more benefits on some Americans than on others. The concept that those Americans who have obtained greater benefits through wealth should pay a higher price for the opportunities that made them wealthy is a rational justification for a graduated tax and comports with commonsense ideas about fairness. A graduated tax based upon the ability to pay the tax and without loopholes remains one of the fairest tax systems ever devised. The problem that needs fixing is loopholes.


Your shame is showing. All of you.


It appears that in his/her zeal over taxes Anonymia overlooked my questions. That's too bad. Maybe it was just an oversight.

While we wait and hope, I ran across this this morning: Web Link

It's a Reuters piece titled "Putin says U.S. is "parasite" on global economy".

Yeah, so I'm wiping the sandman from my eyes while taking the first sip of my coffee this morning and I run across this piece.

Do you think he's still pissed about the collapse of the Soviet Union?


"Please explain why being taxed at 70% for compensation above say 100 million dollars per year is unfair. David Tepper, who heads the Appaloosa Management hedge fund, was paid more than 4 billion dollars in 2009. Had he been taxed at 70% on earnings above 100 million dollars he would still have taken home more than one billion dollars." Because that's taking 70% of his money. I'm surprised I have to tell you that. Not one penny of your money is any more important to you than one penny of my money is to me. The same applies to Mr. Tepper's money. What the heck gives you, or any one of you, the right to decide that somebody else's money is up for grabs because it's more than you have/earn?


George, thanks for bringing the article to our attention. I had not been aware of the fact that Russia held a significant portion of our debt.

While searching for details on Russia's holdings I found this chart which not only graphically displays who holds our debt, there is also a graph of the history of our national debt.

Web Link

It is interesting to see how the debt was basically flat in relation to GDP throughout our history untill 1980 and the President Reagan years when our debt exploded, continued its growth through President Bush 1 and President Clinton, and then really exploded under President Bush 2.

By the way, George, I don't think Putin is pissed because of the Soviet breakup. I think he kows he would have never been able to risem to power in the old regime.


Mr Putin is a rich Russian politician pulling the wool over the eyes of as any Russians as he can, just like our politicians do to our citizens.


Our Constitution embodies three types of protection: the protection of life, the protection of liberty, and the protection of property. These are the Lockean Triade described as fundamental to the nature of mankind by the English philosopher John Locke whose ideas strongly influenced our Constitutional form of government.

The function of government is to protect these rights of individuals. Our taxes pay for that protection. Indeed the ability to raise taxes to pay for the cost of operating our government, and in particular to honor the debts incurred during the Revolutionary War were together primary reasons for the Constitutional Convention. The Articles of Confederation were not strong enough to force the states to pay their share of these costs and strengthening the federal government thus became a goal of the Constitutional Convention.

It is commonsense to realize that the wealthy among us have more property that requires protection than the poor. The authors of the Constitution even debated whether or not property should be considered in deciding how much representation should be given to each state. The protection of property, and individual’s rights to have his property protected by the actions of government is fundamental to our government.

Why then do some here argue that it is unfair for those amongst us who possess more property to pay a larger share of the cost of government? The protection of property and property rights is not without a cost. Those individuals who own more property, including raw capital, have a greater need for these protections than individuals who are without property or whose wealth is small compared to the richest Americans.

Proportionality is one of the basic notions implicit in our concept of fairness. Those who use more of a particular resource of government and who clearly have the ability to pay for those resources should not believe that they are unfairly taxed when their tax rate is higher than the tax rates of individuals with lessor wealth.

The cost of protecting the value of property is not linear with the value of property, as few thieves would rob a pauper and not a wealthy man. A graduated tax is commonsense and a fair method to distribute the cost of government asking those who reap a greater benefit to pay a greater share proportional to the cost of providing that benefit. If this argument is to apply to Medicare and Social Security, then surely it must also apply to the protections provided by government to the most wealthy individuals in our nation.

There have been several attempts to divert this conversation away from it focus on Keynesian economics and tax fairness. I would ask those who wish to raise different topics from the topic being discussed here to please consider starting a new topic on TalkAbout with that topic at its center.


Nice link Mr Bills. I'm one of those slow learners that appreciates visuals, so that piece was interesting to me.

I looked, but I was unable to see when that graph was done. I only mention that because the dialog that follows describes "projected" debt for 2011 running at $20 trillion; "By 2011 it is projected to be about $20 trillion." We're not there (yet), and even with the strong support from our 'elected officials', those morons that are currently playing with our future in DC and across the country, I just don't see us getting there this year.

The piece goes on to state, "The projected amount of American debt in the next few years equals 100 percent of the U.S. GDP." That , first of all, is a scary thought (but possible) and secondly could be considered somewhat of a shell game with numbers. Headlines sell papers, but when digging into our debt, the numbers being thrown around vary - somewhat dramatically. There is a lot of shuffling about with the numbers. Now, that said, it really doesn't matter how we slice it - the debt issues are very real. Too bad our elected representatives are putting their own short term gains in front of our nation's well being now and for our future. Makes one wonder - aren't some of them married? don't some of them have kids? don't any of them really give a damn about anything other than their own image?

Putin can piss and moan all he wants. If he doesn't like the dollar, sell it. Go ahead Mr Putin - sell all the dollars you have; sell all the US debt you have. In fact, go out and get all your buddies to do the same. I Dare You!!

Bottom line here, at least from our current and upcoming debt holders is simple: where else are you going to go? Further, if all the naysayers out there, and Putin isn't alone, sold all their dollar assets, would that solve their woes? The answer to that question is about as simple as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west - the catastrophic results would negatively impact every single country on this planet. It would make the Hollywood horror shows pale in comparison.

Btw, Mr Bills, you're right. That little narrow minded simp would not have risen to the personal 'place' he enjoys had the Soviet Union lasted. That's sort of what makes it all so humorous. He talks smack...Putin...out of his mouth...from an economy that tried with all their might to best us ... and failed miserably.

PS: as I post this I see that Anonymia has posted again. I have not read it yet, though. I will after I submit this one.


Anonymia, I am a little disappointed (and a touch hurt) that you have reposted more than once without answering the questions I've asked. I asked them for a reason.

Although I tend to agree with some (OK, a lot) of what you scribe, I am having some difficulty reconciling some of the parts.

You present a powerful and well reasoned argument for Keynesian economics. You clearly have a knowledge of history and your arguments on taxation are fair and balanced. But, when I put it all together, there seem to be some missing parts. I'd love to fill those gaps, but it will be hard for me to do if I don't have a better handle on your fundamental foundation comments - hence, the questions.


Along the same lines, Anonymia, I respectfully disagree with your characterization of the above interaction as a "conversation". You see, a conversation implies a certain give-and-take that includes responding to other posters' questions and concerns about your previous posts. Self-contained speeches that make no attempt to address others comments are perhaps better described as "periodic monologues". It's essentially the difference between talking to someone and talking "at" them.


The issues being discussed here are whether or not Keynesian economics works and the proper rate of taxation all Americans should pay. The thread began with the assertion that Keynesian economics work. There is ample empirical evidence that Keynes is correct in his assessment of how economies work. A graduated tax based upon wealth is also fair.

Reagan began an economic era that has chronically under funded government by lowering tax rates too far and favoring the wealthy. The increase in the national debt that started with his Presidency is empirical evidence that Reagan’s supply side economic policies do not work.

The only exception to the chronic underfunding of government the nation has endured for the last 30 years was the brief period during the Clinton Administration where taxes matched the cost of operating our government. Clinton raised taxes and prosperity soon followed. During the Clinton years we were actually reducing the national debt.

GW Bush’s radical tax policies accelerated the accumulation of national debt. Bush economics was more of Reagan’s failed supply side economics but this time on steroids. The results have been disastrous for the American economy. Additionally, as a consequence of these tax policies together with lax regulation, another aspect of the radical right conservative policy, the world economy has also faltered dragged down by the foolish actions take here as the largest and most significant player in world markets.

The latest action by Congress will create a second dip in our current recession possibly triggering another Great Depression. This is an obvious prediction based upon a great deal of historical data. Look at what happened after 1936/7 when another conservative dominated Congress put an end to FDR’s recovery program; unemployment went up to new highs. Job growth did not occur again until the war years when the necessity of an impending war forced the Congress to once again fully embrace Keynesian economics.

Measuring the size of the national debt against the GDP is another foolish comparison. How many Americans earn the value of their mortgages in wages and capital gains each year? Not many. A debt is not secured by how much you earn in a single year, but by your long-term ability to repay it on schedule. That and not the size or our national debt relative to the GDP is the critical issue. Our ability to repay our debts is linked to the health of our economy.

The recent Congressional legislation does nothing to improve our economy. The Congress’s capitulation to the Tea Party radical right will harm our economic future. There are no winners to be found as a result of this foolish policy. The ultra wealthy will retain their unfairly gained wealth made possible by foolish government policies, but they will soon find themselves to be rich in a nation in decline instead of rich in a growing and prosperous nation. That is a Faustian bargain.


Thank you Plano. I'm glad someone gets it.

Anonymia, I will ask your forgiveness for now as I do want to learn more about your thoughts - and, perhaps contribute; but I'm in the middle of trading right now and the market is finally coming around. What I'm attempting here, among other things, is to multi-task - and if you ask any woman out there about mens' ability to multi-task, well...enough said. Some say I could be the poster child for doing one thing at a time.

Now, that said, you still have yet to answer my questions. Alright, let's put that aside for now. I have long heard (and read) about Keynesian economics. Truth be told, at least from my perspective is there is a bunch of merit in those theories. However (don't you just hate howevers?), like most other things in life, Keynesian economics is open to interpretation; much like what you're doing here.

I have to get back to trading for a few (the practical side of this discussion), but I'll leave readers with this for now for those that might be unclear; Web Link

By no means is this the only description of Keynesian economics, nor the best and certainly not as in depth as some might like, but it is a starting point.


"A debt is not secured by how much you earn in a single year, but by your long-term ability to repay it on schedule. That and not the size or our national debt relative to the GDP is the critical issue. Our ability to repay our debts is linked to the health of our economy. "

We may be on the same point, but my contention is that GDP is the major determinant in our ability repay our debt just as annual income is the measurement of a family's potential "debt limit". There is no program being considered which woudl have any effect on paying off the debt. The "Balanced Budget Amendment" has to promise of reducing the national debt, only vainly promising that it would not be increased.

There is no doubt the right wing has won this battle. Just as they won the battle for TheSmoot Halley Act in 1930. Let us hope the results will be less disasterous. The new unconstitutional 4th Branch Government formed by the debt limit raising bill may wellmbe the nail in our financial coffin.


Principles are one thing. Application of principles without reference to reality is another. The reality of the state of affairs is not a classroom.

It is one thing to argue that Keynes was right and that it makes sense at times for a government to spend money it does not have to attenuate business cycles. It is another to create debt that is stifling. It is another to borrow to avoid fiscal responsibility. It is insane to borrow to the point that it is necessary to borrow money to pay the interest on borrowed money. It is wrong (and not Keynesian) to run an economy in a manner that requires perpetual borrowing just to pay the bills. JMK would never, in my estimation, approve of such foolishness.

Along the same lines, the graduated income tax is based on the principles that the wealthy generally have garnered more from opportunities and protections provided by our system than the poor, and the reality that the wealthy are better able to pay. In theory at least, the graduated income tax is our only federal tax that is not regressive. That breaks down a bit because the income tax is applied to businesses and corporations as well as individuals, and such taxes are paid by the folk who purchase goods and services – not the entities on whom the taxes are assessed. To that extent, the graduated income tax becomes regressive.

So, the graduated income tax whereby the rich are asked to pay more makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is the proposition that there should be no limitation as to how much more. It is unrealistic to think that the wealthy will sit still for oppressive taxation. Rich people are rarely stupid – especially about money. Go too far and they will extend ever greater efforts to avoid taxation --- and will succeed. It is fun to ask those who argue for ever greater taxes where they would draw the line. At what point must the level of taxation be cut off. How much is too much. Well thought out answers are rare.

Anonomia argues that “The cost of protecting the value of property is not linear with the value of property, as few thieves would rob a pauper and not a wealthy man.” I question that. For one thing, wealthy individuals and businesses provide much of their own protection. Also, the poor and folk of moderate means are subjected to property crime much more than are the rich. It is axiomatic that the poorer neighborhoods have the highest crime rates. I don’t think that means that we should do what we can to prevent taxation from being regressive, but it does seem to be germane.

Finally, Talkabout is not a classroom any more than is the reality of the state of affairs. It is free flow of ideas that lends Talkabout vibrancy. We are asked from time to time to stick to topic, and that is fine. I don’t think that means, however, that one poster should treat Talkabout as his classroom.


Keynes never argued for absolutes, only radicals do that. They tend to believe in natural laws as John Locke did in formulating his state of nature. Locke and Hobbs had differing views on what that state of nature might be yet both strongly influenced our government.

The other unique influence that shaped America is pragmatism, a uniquely American point of view practiced early on by Ben Franklin. Franklin was one of the authors of our Constitution and powerful force in shaping our democracy. Franklin was also a great scientist, who used the empirical methods of science to make fundamental discoveries about electricity and electrical charge. Pragmatism is closely aligned with empiricism. The observation that some ideas work better than others helped shape our form of government and resolve arguments based upon theory alone.

Of course the GDP is relevant to how much any nation can borrow. The federal government can borrow at least the GPD when what is considered an affordable mortgage by our new more conservative lending standards can be 4 or even 5 times yearly income. Taxes can be too high or too low. Currently the wealthiest Americans pay a tax that has not been this low in their tax bracket since the years immediately proceeding the Great Depression.

We are far from the extreme levels of taxation that the radical right has claimed and well below the tax rates in every other industrial nation or those in America when we were most prosperous. These facts are being ignored and replaced with half-truths, an ingredient in all good propaganda. But propaganda, not sensible pragmatic policy, is what the radical right is proposing and forcing upon us today.

Reagan failed to restore tax rates to sustainable levels after the economy recovered from oil shocks and the turmoil in Iran. The radical change that started with Reagan and that was wildly accelerated by Bush was not setting tax rates at sustainable levels to pay for the programs American both needed and wanted.

Bush and Nixon increased medical benefits for retired Americans. Bush added drug coverage to Medicare, but he failed to add the taxes required to pay for this needed benefit. When Nixon enhanced healthcare coverage for retired Americans he also put in place the taxes to pay for these additional services. Nixon’s policies are an example of pragmatic conservatism. The radical Tea Party conservative right should not be confused with the practical conservatism of the past, they are radical in their adherence to absolutes.

What is lost in the assertions of the radical right that taxes cannot be raised, are the essential services all Americans need that taxes purchase. Taxes provide the funds required to protect the life, liberty and property of each of us. If we are unwilling to pay a tax that is required to deliver the services we need, then each of us will have to hire a private police force as some wealthy Americans do today or in most cases be willing to accept the added risks that results when government cannot do its job.

The conversation needs to be about what we are giving up because of these radical policies we are all being forced to accept. Before we can have that conversation we all need to face up to the practical reality that the solutions proposed by the radical Tea Party right cannot possibly work.


Barnus asks an interesting question when he states: "It is fun to ask those who argue for ever greater taxes where they would draw the line. At what point must the level of taxation be cut off. How much is too much."

Some say it is like the Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart's position on Pornography - I can't define it, but I know it when I see it.

Some say we should go back to the Reagan era when the upper bracket was taxed at 70%.

Some say we should go back to the Clinton era rates.

It also might be "fun" to ask those who argue for lower taxes where would they stop cutting taxes. When is it enough. How little is too little.

Perhaps some believe in the ultimate supply side economists belief that by cutting taxes we will increase revenue. Therefore if we eliminate all taxes the money will flow in.

A fairer question might be "what services the government is now supplying should be reduced or increased" and base the graduated rates to provide sufficient revenue to cover those services. We have been successful in providing the services most Americans believe are correct. We have refused to provide the revenue to pay for them.

We chose to have the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and chose not to pay for them. We must now pay for them.

We chose to provide trillions of dollars in tax reductions and did not cut programs to match. We must either recapture the tax cuts or cut programs accordingly.

Whe chose to give seniors trillions of dollars of drug benefits and set upm no program to pay for them. We must now either pay for them or cut them out.

The problem is really neith too many programs or too high taxes. It is the failure of government to match the two.


Anonymia, you started this thread so you have what some might consider ‘ownership’ of topic. However, the broad scope of your topic covers a lot of ground and allows for many facets. It would be very difficult indeed to stay just on Keynes and taxes as seems to be your desire. I certainly mean no disrespect here, as I do enjoy reading your input, but you might want to be a bit more flexible in your level of acceptance and participation.

This is the third recent thread that I’m aware of that you’ve initiated with reference to Keynes, and very timely I might add considering the dog and pony show we’ve been witnessing in DC - and that’s a long way from over. What a shell game.

But I tend to be a little picky when it comes to understanding a person’s particular view on something (particularly when it’s something that really interests me). I try to understand, as best I can, where they’re coming from. That is why I asked you the questions I did. I don’t know that I agreed with the points you were making at that time (although I do agree with a lot of your points), and those points are cumulative to where this topic has evolved to; so please bear with me.

As a very generic summary, Keynes felt that the role of government was to smooth out the rough spots, or ... create economic balance through intervention. There are many examples that support his position. However (here we go again), those ‘imbalances’ are open to interpretation, just as the ‘corrective measures’ might be.

If you will, permit me to back up here and put a few things on the table. Let’s take a snapshot of where we currently are. Q1 GDP came in at 1.9%. Everyone and their mothers (all the talking heads) were touting higher. Wrong in their assessments, they all now say that the third and fourth quarters will be above 2%. I haven’t believed that for a second, but that’s what they’ve been saying. Q2 GDP (advance) was just released and demonstrates GDP at 1.3%. We’re going the wrong way. On top of that, we have a stubbornly high unemployment rate that has been too high for too long. Wall Street is boasting record gains, yet vacancies abound on Main Street (figuratively across the nation). Where’s the disconnect? Wasn’t it government intervention that put us here? Would that fly in the face of some of your comments?

Since the 2008 meltdown, we’ve had QE1 and QE2. Some are looking for QE3. I don’t know...the first two scared me so much that I don’t think I want to see the third chapter. First, a very logical argument could be made that had we followed Keynes theories and advice we would not have been in the position to be melted down in the first place. I suspect you may fall into that category and I don’t know that I would disagree. That said, what happened happened and the results of the government’s response to it have really got us in a bad spot. Where’d all the money from the twin QEs go? It certainly never got to small business owners or Main Street. Further, now that federal stimulus is over, where’s the money going to come from going forward?

Monetary policy and fiscal policy right now stink. It seems no one in a position to effect change has given any thought to anything, other than crisis management which has become a daily drama and their own re-election.

In order for us to whittle away at the staggering deficit we’ve accumulated and from the 2008 debacle, we need to produce our way out. We’ve needed to see GDP at 6% or better every quarter since the meltdown. That would require substantial job growth, which we have not seen. So, I ask again, where’d all the fed stimulus money go?

Reagan started our transition from an industrial nation to a service nation. Legislation passed by our law makers has incentivized moving most manufacturing overseas. Bush 2 really exacerbated the problems with Afghanistan and Iraq; not only spending billions, but driving the price of energy through the roof at the same time. When he went into Afghanistan oil was at $18 p/bbl. When he followed up with invading Iraq, oil was at $23 p/bbl. We saw the price of oil go from its historic range of $10-$40 p/bbl to $148+ p/bbl, and with it a further exporting of our wealth and severe decline in our middle class.

I’ll save more for later and turn to the tax side of your input. The talking heads are now saying of the recent show in DC that at least now Congress is giving a serious look at tax reform; and you are correct, IMO, that we need it. But before we can get there, we need to close the loopholes, some of which you and others have mentioned here. Closing those holes would advance us as a nation at the expense of those that not only can afford it, but should have been contributing more all along.

In closing, I might suggest that everything in life has a cost. In addition, I don’t know that I can subscribe to the idea that any one person or theory is absolute, no matter how many times they might be right. Finally, the place our planet is in right now (economically) was never fully considered by the likes of Keynes, Franklin and the like; so how could anyone swear to their real and envisioned theories as a sole source when those theories never included - the tech bubble, the housing bubble, 9/11, the mortgage and banking collapse and so on. It has been my experience that understanding a theory from the past requires adaptation in the present, and even then it is probably lacking.

One more point / question; what percentage of jobs have been lost in the private sector versus what percentage of jobs have been lost in the public sector since the turn of the millennium? Every President since Kennedy (that’s as far as I remember) has promised smaller government, yet DC continues to boom - government continues to grow. It chaps my backside when I see the private sector suffering while paying wages and benefits (both immediate and long term) to support government when they far exceed those in the private sector; both in terms of employment and compensation.


"What is lost in the assertions of the radical right that taxes cannot be raised, are the essential services all Americans need that taxes purchase. Taxes provide the funds required to protect the life, liberty and property of each of us. If we are unwilling to pay a tax that is required to deliver the services we need, then each of us will have to hire a private police force as some wealthy Americans do today or in most cases be willing to accept the added risks that results when government cannot do its job."

Absolutely incorrect! Taxes provide the funds for politicians to enhanced their power! If it were only taxing to protect life, liberty, and property, then our government wouldn't need anything close to the amount of money it spends hourly. In fact, I bet we could all get tax breaks if those were the only three things on which the government spent our moneys.


... and speaking of changing the topic, (but no really, since you also mentioned Franklin's scientific studies), I much prefer reading about Franklin's studies of the change in smell(s) (and color?) of human waste products due to ingestion of various foods over any of his political stuff...


>>It also might be "fun" to ask those who argue for lower taxes where would they stop cutting taxes. When is it enough. How little is too little<<

I actually have an answer to that. I think it is a good answer, but you might not.

Zero is too little.

Anyone who wants a government and its benefits - which is everybody but the most doctrinaire libitarians - should pay something for that government.

Actually, everybody pays taxes, but that is not good enough. Many folk believe that, if they pay no income tax, for all practical purposes they pay no taxes.

EVERYBODY should pay income tax. About half of Americans, I have read, do not. In fact, even worse, a good number make money on the deal. they get a refund even though they have paid nothing. I know that makes no logical sense, but I do not make the tax laws.

If you get it for nothing, it means little to you. Every American should have a stake in America - a financial stake.

I believe that, if that were the case, Americans would be better citizens and it would be a better America.


Perhaps it's just me, but I was enjoying some of the 'discussion' on this thread. Apparently the author was not.

Not only did the author not respond to questions asked, s/he lectured rather than engaged and has now started yet another thread, abandoning this one; Web Link

That's too bad. Sometimes, in life, things don't go exactly as one would like. Most people dig in and get through it. Others just quit, take their toys and go home.

Anonymia appears to be the later.


One problem with applying Keynsian principles to our current economic problems is it requires an assumption that we are dealing with a severe but otherwise ordinary business cycle.

It is looking less and less like that is the case. It may be that our profligacy has caught up with us in a major way, that a permanant correction is upon us, and things will never be the same again.


There is a misperception here about the difference between theory and data. Theory is a way of accounting for data, but it never disputes the data. In science data is the basis for theory and when it disagrees with what has been observed the theory is disproven.

Keynes was an empiricist and his views about how economies work was based upon observation. He did not deduce his views from first principles as philosophers sometimes do, but rather from observation.

The massive government programs enacted in FDR’s first term starting in 1933 focused on infrastructure projects in the national parks or here in the Bay Area on two bridges and similar projects across the land. These Keynesian programs built infrastructure that remains in service today. These projects have paid back in productivity many times the expense required to build them. They also put people to work and created demand in the marketplace.

Conservative forces arguing from a philosophical basis that was not scientific or consistent with observation opposed these policies during FDR's first term. These same arguments are being used today. The Keynesian policies FDR put in place in his first term were ended by a conservative led Congress in 1936/7 and unemployment increased in the following years and the economy sank back into the depths of depression. This is exactly the outcomes that Keynes had predicted. Economic performance data again confirmed his model for how economies work.

The build up and government spending for infrastructure, education, and research that started near the end of the 1930’s as Europe was going to war and that continued through the 1960’s all followed the Keynesian model. The amount of spending was balanced with tax rates as high as 91% for the highest income brackets and these high rates applied only to a few colossally wealthy Americans. All of this was consistent with the recommendations made by Keynes and the performance data continually supported his model for how economies work.

Reagan adopted another economic model, the supply-side theory that unlike Keynes has never had any empirical evidence to support it. Supply side theory is inconsistent with economic performance data. Indeed the Keynesian prediction that Reagan’s supply-side policies would produce massive federal debt and eventually do serious damage to our economy have clearly been proven true. Government spending must be balanced with taxes.

The brief respite from these Reagan supply side economic policies during the Clinton years that followed Clinton's policies that increased the tax rates saw a rapid restoration of our economy to growth and prosperity. This hopeful trend was reversed again by the enormous tax cuts GW Bush imposed on our economy again following the empirically discredited supply-side economic model.

There is no reason to believe today that Keynes is in anyway wrong. Raising taxes and creating demand through government spending on infrastructure, education, and research would once again restore health to our economy. Sadly this action has been blocked by dogmatic believe in a theory that is not consistent with the data, - the supply side theory which is demonstrably wrong.


Barnus, a very logical and persuasive argument could be made that although some of the dynamics of the facets of our economy may have 'adjusted', that we are dealing with another business cycle - no matter how severe.

Perhaps I'm off here, but if I understand Anonymia correctly, the current economic environment is a result as opposed to a cause. In other words, by going back to supply side economics in the short term we have encouraged the position we're currently experiencing. With the comments from Europe this morning (denial) coupled with the realization of some of the points I mentioned above (which are all short term vs the big picture Anonymia presents), it would appear to lend some credibility to Anonymia's comments.

I suppose the question here now is where do we start. With the Dow down 500+ today alone, with more to come, it is very difficult to argue that what we have been doing is right. We are going through yet another major shift economically and the markets are finally adjusting.

I would observe that Wall Street and Main Street are miles apart. Federal stimulus has benefited corporate America, but has disconnected the consumer (jobs, growth). Now that the fed stimulus has dried up, where is the money going to come from even for those fortunate enough to have been past recipients of fed money?

I would pose that question to Anonymia. How do you think the Fed and the Treasury should respond here to put us back on a course of prosperity?

Btw, thank you Anonymia for returning to the scene of the crime. I think you have a lot to offer and enjoy the comments you've posted so far (even if I may dissagree with a point or two and my points go unnoticed by you). A little of your short term, initial ideas on corrective measures would be appreciated.


The solution is take Keynes advice and implement it.

There are three problems that require immediate fixing: (1) return to federal programs that will renew and expand America’s infrastructure (roads, schools, communications, energy, etc.) this will put people back to work; (2) fix the tax codes removing special interest loopholes and restoring a graduated tax rates to Clinton era rates; and, (3) pass a Glass-Steagall law to reintroduce market regulation and safe guards. Glass-Steagall and similar New Deal regulation removed special advantages that bias the market playing fields favoring special interest factions.

These were the strategies that worked in 1933, in 1941, and in the late 1950’s when America was challenged by Soviet era science and technology. This strategy will work today, it has never failed to work.

The last financial shock came less than a decade after the repeal of Glass-Steagall. A great deal of the “market-magic” in the run up to the collapse was smoke and mirrors similar to the 1920’s. The “financial-innovative-hedge” tools created by a market gone hard over to laissez-faire where nothing more than sleazy insurance policies. Hedge funds and non-commodity options had become totally unregulated insurance policies that had been elevated to the status of direct capital investment in the means of production. This was snake oil economics promoted by Alan Greenspan. Greenspan, a student and follower of Ayn Rand, converted Rand’s misanthropic philosophy into practice. These policies greatly contributed to our eventual economic demise.

Mathematical balance of portfolios of risky bets without any capital reserves to buffer downturns was greed on steroids. This immoral and dangerous situation was created by radical conservative, mostly Republican, efforts to deregulate markets.

Twice fooled proves that dogma is never a substitute for the empirical data of market performance. That is what separates Keynes from philosophers such as Hayek. We should be taking the advice of empiricists not philosopher kings.


>>This immoral and dangerous situation was created by radical conservative, mostly Republican, efforts to deregulate markets. <<

You forgot to mention the immoral radical ULTRA-conservative, mostly Republican, efforts. Also, you ommited the immoral radical ULTRA-conservative, NOT Republican, efforts. - the ones left over after the mostly Republicans were used up.

It is thoughtless to leave people out.


Too much Keynes is not good.

Too much Voodoo Economics is not good.

And President Reagan? Well he cut taxes and borrowed billions to build military hardware that was never used, expanded a military that produced nothing, and incurred record deficits.

Sounds an awful like Keynes spouting off about burying money and paying people to dig it up.


Keynesian economics is only good until the hangover sets in. Even rappers know that!

Web Link


Then how did things get so screwed up after 8 years Voodoo Economics under President Bush?


Or is borrowing hundreds of billions to fight unnecessary wars that produce nothing useful while maintaining a guns and butter economy while at the same time obligating us to pay more for Elder Medical Care count as Keynesian Economics?


Then how did things get so screwed up after 8 years Voodoo Economics under President Bush? Oh goodness, those were wonderful wonderful days!

You may have been too young a whelp to recall that tax revenues increased dramatically under Reagan's tax policies. Those increased revenues were outpaced by the spending increases of the Tipsey O'Neill Congress.


You may have been too young a whelp...

No, I voted for President Reagen in 1980 due to my belief that he really would balance the budget.

Those increased revenues were outpaced by the spending increases of the Tipsey O'Neill Congress.

Really? So the Tipsy O'Neil Congress is to blame for the military build up that defeated the Soviet Union?

And how many balanced budgets did President Reagan submit? How many budgets did he veto?


Oh goodness, those were wonderful wonderful days!

Unless you were in the Middle Class.


I have been advocating changes in gov policy for quite some time on TA.

One of the areas that I find myself in complete agreement with you on is your immediate remedies. I would like to see all our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq (which we never should have been in) ordered back home yesterday. Put some of them on the US/Mexican border to stem some of the border crossing, but more to stem the drug wars that have killed over 40,000 people since Calderon declared his war on drugs. They are bleeding their activity into the US and that is unacceptable.

The rest of the troops (the majority) should be put to work rebuilding our infrastructure (roads, water, energy, communications, etc). Schools would have to be dealt with separately, as the military isn't the answer for that. However, as long as we're going to pay them, pay them to rebuild America for the future - which seems to agree in part with one of your short term remedies.

As to Glass Steagall; yes, we do need banking and market regulation. The markets have told us that time and again. It was Clinton that repealed it. I don't know that we'll see Obama pull it back up, although he should.

Job creation, however, will prove to be more difficult. One way to accomplish it might be to grab the coattails of the latest market chatter - QE3; but with a twist. Absolutely not another dime to the "too big to fail" corporations. We've seen how that works. The feds could sponsor two things that would help; 1) some sort of skill schools for people that need to adjust their skills for current and future job needs, and 2) create and fund infrastructure projects that will make their way to small businesses.

If we concern ourselves with Main Street rather than Wall Street, both will benefit long term, as will our country. I think this type of stimulus is what you're advocating and I couldn't agree more.

We need to stop the hemorrhaging first, then put long term decisive goals in place that insure America's greatness into the future; just like our forefathers did for us. Restructuring the tax code is a key element toward that goal, but that will take some time if it's to be done right.

In the meantime, get people to work.

The only way out of the mess we're in is through growth. Anonymia's comments are a good start and I, for one, appreciate the response.


Clinton does not deserve the blame for nullifying Glass-Steagall. He did sign the legislation but the primary advocate for this terrible law revoking Glass-Steagall was Phil Gramm the Republican from Texas.

This bill was pushed through a Republican controlled Congress that had also spent millions of tax payer dollars trying to prove that President Clinton and his wife were crooks. That was pure politically motivated harassment of an American President by the Republican Party who disliked Clinton and who was unable to defeat him in an election. They abused the power of the Congress to create a Kangaroo-investigation that yielded nothing. This morphed into the attempt to impeach Clinton, a embarrassment to American history and any sense of proportion.

It was during this degenerate atmosphere in DC that Clinton was forced to sign Gramm’ bill rescinding Glass-Steagall. The blame belongs to Gramm and his conservative allies.


In reference to tax loop-holes that need to be closed immediately, I ran across this little diddy the other day: Web Link

It's a TIME piece titled "Bulldoze: The New Way To Foreclose"

Seems B of A has found a way to shorten the process. They are bulldozing foreclosed homes, donating the resulting bare lot to the city of location and writing it off their taxes. Although an opportunity for the cities benefiting from the 'gift', I'd like to know who pays for the bank's write off? What is the total annual write down from this for B of A? How many other banks are doing that? What is the ultimate cost to tax payers?

When people see this type of abuse, particularly when it's legal, it's no wonder they get upset at the prospect of higher taxes.

I suspect this might be one example of "(2) fix the tax codes removing special interest loopholes..."


I didn't see your post until after I hit submit.

To your point; I remember it well and I remember it exactly as you express it. I didn't give the particulars when I stated that Clinton repealed Glass- Steagall, but rather was just stating a fact. I did not mean to imply it as Clinton's baby. It was not.

Republicans rode Clinton like a rented mule from beginning to end.


They are bulldozing foreclosed homes, donating the resulting bare lot to the city of location and writing it off their taxes.

Hope they don't do that here lest the powers the be see an opportunity to create new wetlands or to sell the land to POST!


"...sell the land to POST!"

Why would they do that when it is so much easier just to give it to them?


>>Clinton was forced to sign Gramm’ bill rescinding Glass-Steagall.<< Right. the guy that held a gun to his head was a funny-looking little guy. The same guy that forced him to solicit BJ's from youn gals. Also the same guy that forced him to lie under oath.


Well, we are borrowing money to pay the interest on borrowed money with no end in sight, so, hardly surprising. I wonder what Keynes would say.

Web Link


Barnus, although off topic, I'll comment on the link you provided.

You've got to be kidding me and who the heck cares are the first two things that come to mind.

S&P is a joke, just as their pathetic attempt to appear important; legends in their own feeble minds.

Where were they when Fanny & Freddie were at their prime? Where were they when Bear Sterns & Shearson crashed and burned? The list of where they weren't, as opposed to where they should have been is too long...even for the electronic world.

Bottom line here, as I see it, is the threat, if measurable, is already in the market. Beyond that, and more importantly, where else will people (and governments) go? Greece? Italy? Spain? Iraq? Brazil? maybe Cuba?

S&P, as a rating Agency, holds zero credibility. Now that's not to say that we're in high cotton economically, but their rating is about as important to us as teats on a boar.


Also the same guy....

...that made President Reagan sign all those deficit busting budgets.


Reagan began a cycle that was broken briefly during the Clinton years of ever increasing federal budget deficits. See Web Link. To argue this is not the case is a denial of historic data and typical of what is wrong with conservative beliefs, they cannot be proven wrong.

The philosopher Karl Popper considered the question, “How do we know?” Popper concluded that what separates empirical knowledge, the basis for science, and belief, the basis for religion, is whether or not knowledge can be falsified. Nothing will falsify belief but observation will falsify incorrect scientific models for how things work.

The Keynesian model for how economies work is based upon observations. One of the predictions of this model is that the supply-side belief that lowering taxes will increase revenues is wrong during a period of economic confidence and growth. This is why Reagan should have restored tax rates to the levels they were at during the period between 1961 and 1981 after inflation was reduced and economic growth restored after the oil shocks that occurred during the Carter years and depressed the economy. Reagan did not take this advice and the US has had growing deficits, with the exception of the Clinton years, ever since.

Keynesian policy today would be to eliminate the historically low tax rates we are using today raising taxes to levels that sustain economic growth. We should raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans immediately. These individuals are not investing their wealth in ways that promote the economy due to a lack of confidence in the future. They are also not contributing a fair share of the cost of government.

America today has the lowest tax rates of any industrial nation in the world and exceptionally low for the wealthiest Americans. This is not sustainable.

Government programs that would put Americans back to work renewing essential infrastructure (roads, schools, utilities, communications, investments in expanding science and technical knowledge) would restore confidence in the future and make our nation more able to compete internationally.

Raising taxes as the economy improves and as these government funded programs create demand as they did in the 1940’s, 50’s, and 60’s is the “pay-for-it” side of the Keynesian model. Only supply-side economic belief recommends policies that increase the national debt by keeping tax rates at economically inadequate low levels. Spending our collective money, taxes, to improve schools, roads, research, is good business and exactly what Dr. Keynes would order.


>>typical of what is wrong with conservative beliefs, they cannot be proven wrong.<< ------------ That's the problem with those pesky conservatives - can't prove 'em wrong.

>>observation will falsify incorrect scientific models for how things work. ----- The Keynesian model for how economies work is based upon observations<< ------ Right - lets dispense with those silly scientific models and go by observations - preferably mine.

>>These individuals are not investing their wealth in ways that promote the economy due to a lack of confidence in the future. << ------- I wonder why that is?

>>They are also not contributing a fair share of the cost of government.<< -------- Well, they contribute the largest share by far by far. I wonder what a fair share is? More? Forever more? NO limit?

>>America today has the lowest tax rates of any industrial nation in the world << ----- Mmmmm - not exactly. I understand that America has the highest corporate tax rates of any industrial nation in the world. I suppose that is to encourage investment. I wonder if that counts?

>>Only supply-side economic belief recommends policies that increase the national debt by keeping tax rates at economically inadequate low levels. << -------- Actually, supply-side economic beliefs when followed, prevent economic stagnation, promote confidence, encourage investment, and keep things running just swell.

>>exactly what Dr. Keynes would order.<< I don't think so. I think that Baron Keynes would actually take economic realities into account in making recommendations. Like the fact that profligate spending has saddled America with debt that threatens to be its ruination.


If corporate tax rates were applied without loopholes Barnus would be correct. However our tax codes are so riddled with loopholes and special interest tax breaks for corporate America, for example, billions of dollars of loopholes for oil companies alone, that in terms of actual taxes paid American corporations enjoy a very low rate compared to other industrial nations.

Wealthy Americans have never paid the lions share of taxes, that has always fallen on the shoulders of the middle classes mostly because there were more of them until recently. Currently taxes for wealthy Americans are at a level comparable to their tax rates in the 1920’s.


Wealthy Americans have never paid the lions share of taxes,..

I don't believe that is true. In fact, I think it is just plain wrong.

Web Link

Then again, you may use "wealthy" and "lion's share" differently than me.


Unless you were in the Middle Class. I was in the poverty class before Reagan. His policies helped me climb out of poverty and into the middle class.


The Tax Foundation is another of the many right wing organizations that hide their agenda behind a patriotic sounding name and theme. The reality behind the organization, who funds it and why, is quite another story. The funders of the The Tax Foundation are the corporate and right wing interest groups who would benefit from lower taxes, for example the Koch brothers.

Propaganda in any wrapper is still propaganda. Like many right wing organizations they believe that spreading an opinion widely makes it true regardless of the data. That is belief working not economic objectivity. The Tax Foundation computes corporate tax rates without taking loopholes into account, a large NOT small oversight, see Web Link or Web Link


The Tax Foundation computes corporate tax rates without taking loopholes into account, a large NOT small oversight, see Web Link or Web Link

I think you're confusing individuals with corporations. And you give way too much credibility to Paul Krugman. He looks very sneaky in a creepy way to me. And he thinks we should continue spending gobs of money we don't have to get out of the financial hole we're in. And, like Anonymia, he attributes all blame to right wingers.

There are plenty of other sources that clearly show the wealthy already bear a disproportionate tax burden in this country.

Anonymia is a class warrior that skews economics to peddle poison and justify limitless government.


>>Wealthy Americans have never paid the lions share of taxes, that has always fallen on the shoulders of the middle classes mostly because there were more of them until recently<<

It depends on what you call middle class. Classically, middle class Americans ARE wealthy Americans - largely professionals and entrepreneurs - folk categorized as middle and not upper class because their money is not old money. I guess the change came about as most of us are, classically, lower class. Folk do not like to think of themselves as lower class, and politicians therefore upgraded them in rants.

Over the years, particularly the last decade or two, the term has come to mean wage earners who do OK - folk who were categorized classically as lower class.

It is well documented that the wealthy pay the bulk of the income taxes in this country.

It is true that "the rest of us,” not the corporations involved, pay corporate taxes. Corporations pay nothing - they just collect the levies from us. That would be easy to fix - just eliminate corporate taxes. The reason that isn’t done is that it would reveal the truth - the hidden taxes we now pay would become direct taxes as opposed to hidden taxes disguised as corporate taxes, and the folk would grumble.

It does not seem right that some companies must remit large sums that they collect from their customers, and some do not, and it isn't right an it should be fixed. But --- the fact is that every penny of tax breaks that the oil companies enjoy means a penny less that we have to pay at the pump.

Corporations do not pay taxes. They collect taxes from us. I do not know why something so obvious isn't universally understood - but it isn't. The secret is well kept.


Not to keep ripping on Anonymia, but the IRS provides essentially the same data as those evil-wicked-nasty "right wing" websites:

Web Link

Looking at this data it's difficult to argue that the rich don't pay enough while half of us pay only 3% of the tax burdern.

That 50% figure frightens me because it means a majority of voters that do not pay taxes can keep demanding more and more from the rest of us that do pay taxes.

Where's the sanity or fairness in that?


"It is well documented that the wealthy pay the bulk of the income taxes in this country"

Amazing!!!!! People who have money pay more taxes than people who have no money!!!!!!!

"But --- the fact is that every penny of tax breaks that the oil companies enjoy means a penny less that we have to pay at the pump."

While I have never seen or heard that line before, I have heard that every cent of welfare the oil industry gets from the government is spent on electing politicians who will give more welfare to the oil industry.

"Corporations do not pay taxes. They collect taxes from us. I do not know why something so obvious isn't universally understood - but it isn't. The secret is well kept"

I know you repeat this statement time after time, but perhaps if you examined price elasticity you might get some new information. You could also take a look at what the arlines did when the FAA tax was eliminated by congressional inaction.


"...the fact is that every penny of tax breaks that the oil companies enjoy means a penny less that we have to pay at the pump."

You don't really believe that, do you Barnus?

Chevron reported $6.2 Billion net for the first quarter of 2011. That's $500 million per week NET! I'm hangin with the wrong people.

Exxon reported $10.7 Billion in net earnings during the same quarter. That's approaching $1 billion per week in net earnings!

Yeah, those poor bastards are just getting taxed to death, huh Barnus? Good thing they are kind enough to lower their prices by the amount of tax breaks they receive (Not).


I suppose it was only a matter of time when the right wing apologists who frequently comment on TalkAbout repeating the propaganda that they sincerely believe would resort to ad hominem attacks. Screaming claims to the contrary, the Tax Foundation by any measure is funded by corporate interests and well known radical right-wingers like the Koch brothers.

You may think the Krugman is “creepy” but the Nobel Award indicates that many well-informed economists world wide see him as a brilliant contributor to the study of economies. Dismissing his ideas is one thing, but when he points out a simple truth easily documented, ignoring the documentation is more than disagreeing over what data means, it is an accusation of distortion. This should be seen for what it is, another form of ad hominem produced by desperation that the facts don’t align with supply side religious belief.

The 2008 IRS data referred to in EyeleanWright’s posting confirm Krugman’s point if you bother to do the math. The IRS data reveals that the middle class is shrinking. 50% of Americans are now living with such low incomes that they pay hardly any income taxes at all, less than 3%. That is half the US families!

Now lets compare that to the wealth of the top 1% compared to everyone else, see Web Link. The top 20% of the most wealthy Americans control fully 93% of the nation’s wealth! The bottom 80% which includes some of the dwindling middle class and all of the lower class contributed 20% of all income taxes collected in 2007. The top 1% on the other hand contributed only 38% of all income taxes collected in 2007. Now this may seem fair until you consider that this ultra wealthy top 1% of Americans control 43% of the nation's wealth more than six times the wealth controlled by the bottom 80%!

So the wealthiest Americans enjoy the benefits of living here with all of the protections guaranteed by being an American. They have acquired almost half the nation’s wealth, 43%. Based upon the relative wealth of these two groups, the wealthiest top 1% and the bottom 80%, for every dollar of property owned by the bottom 80% they pay six times the income taxes the ultra wealthy pay. That may be fair to EyeleanWright, but I doubt many others will think this is fair price to enjoy the guarantees and benefits that come with living in the greatest and richest nation on the globe.

Fairness is just one of the side issues that has been created by the radical right’s plan to return to a laissez faire, everyman for himself, buyer beware economy.


So the wealthiest Americans enjoy the benefits of living here with all of the protections guaranteed by being an American. And they pay for most of it! And those that don't pay for it enjoy the benefits as well.

It's pretty clear that Anonymia is on a class warfare tirade. Any information that is linked to the wealthy is suspect. It doesn't matter if the facts presented are valid or not. All links provided by socialists and university professors is pure as the driven snow. It doesn't matter if it smacks of BS. Something is wrong with that picture.

But what do I know? I haven't spent years in college to obtain a PhD that prevents me from seeing the plain nose on my face.


EyeleanWright, is that doctorate in economics?


"But what do I know? I haven't spent years in college to obtain a PhD that prevents me from seeing the plain nose on my face"

Perhaps the word "agnotology" would explain your circumstance.

Web Link


Agnotology:

More generally, the term also highlights the increasingly common condition where more knowledge of a subject leaves one more uncertain than before.

I know BB intended that as an insult, but that doesn't mean agnotology is a bad thing. As defined above it seems to be healthy skepticism or self-doubt.

What is bad is applying knowledge in a manner that obscured the painfully obvious, such as the nose on your face. Or that confiscating all the wealth of the wealthy won't satisfy the demands of those that want excessive government.


I never expressed sympathy for Chevron, George, I merely stated a fact. They are doing quite well. Most oil companies are. A company is doing well. I guess that is a bad thing - can't have that in America. Chevron's numbers are big because Chevron is big - enormous. One of the four or five largest companies in America. Billions of outstanding shares. Talking about the dollar amount of profits realized by a company so big without reference to its size is misleading.

“Agnotology” Good one Boney – explains a lot.

>>Fairness is just one of the side issues that has been created by the radical right’s plan to return to a laissez faire, everyman for himself, buyer beware economy.<<

You throw around terms like "radical right" all too easily and all too frequently. I suspect you would be quite unhappy if people who think as you do were referred to frequently as the radical left or socialists or communists. Do you know of anyone who wants "to return to a laissez faire, everyman for himself, buyer beware economy? I don’t.


Barnus, now you're bordering on silly; "I guess that is a bad thing - can't have that in America." C'mon now.

You are correct; Chevron is a very big corporation. Headquartered in San Ramon, they employ approximately 62,000 people worldwide. With oil having been hanging around $100 p/bbl for most of the year, it's no wonder they're doing so well.

I'll introduce another company into this discussion: Apple

Apple is headquartered in Cupertino and employs approximately 49,400 people worldwide.

Despite the breaks that Chevron gets &/or takes, they still lay below Apple in market capitalization: Web Link

Apple's market cap tops $300 Billion and has the second largest market cap of any US corporation. The only one larger? Exxon - gee, there's a surprise.

Now I wonder; do you suppose there are more tax loopholes and benefits for Chevron (and Exxon) or for Apple?

Further, oil and the by-products thereof are considered by most a necessity; that presents the opportunity for gouging. Apple's products do not fall into that category.

I'm quite sure that both featured corporations paid as little as they could in taxes; but I'm equally sure that the tax loopholes and benefits benefited Chevron much more than Apple.

Closing the corporate tax loopholes and taking back any preferential benefit that is not available to all needs to be done, and done immediately. That alone will not solve all our problems, but it would be a very good start.

I really don't think that anyone can really stand up and support our current tax codes. Equally, I doubt there is anyone out there that doesn't believe we could do better.


"I suspect you would be quite unhappy if people who think as you do were referred to frequently as the radical left or socialists or communists."

Well, Barnus, you are not right about the communist part. Far left and or socialist , however,does pretty good at identifying my politics.

Most socialists agree that there are some things the government can do better than individuals or for profit corporations. Things such as national defense, police departments, fire departments, departments of transportation, public health, public education, worker safety, pollution control, and healthcare to name a few.

So i have no problem with being referred to as a socialist. Most of the "right wing" pundits here favor the same socialist programs that I listed, so perhaps we are all socialists but some of us hesitate to acknowledge our position.


George, before you get too gushy "over" Apple, remember Apple is lobbying congress for a "Tax Holiday" so they can dodge $4 billion in taxes. Do we want $4 billion for Apple OR salaries for 90,000 teachers?


>>Most socialists agree that [snip]... Things such as national defense, police departments, fire departments, departments of transportation, public health, public education, worker safety, pollution control, and healthcare to name a few. [snip]... << There are several problems with those statements.

Most conservatives do not want federally subsidized police and fire department, public health departments or healthcare. Many do not want a federal department of transportation.

Many conservatives want federal government with duties and powers limited to those enumerated in the US Constitution. The left is willing to alter the plain meaning of the US Constitution to give the government more and more power over the people to exercise its nefarious goals.

We see that in the tax debate. The hunger of the left for tax revenues is voracious and is an appetite that can never be sated.


I certainly don't mean to be "gushy" over Apple, Mr Bills. Steve (rightfully so) does enough of that for us all. I just used them for comparison purposes.

Bottom line here is relatively simple from my perspective. Anonymia has initiated a good thread, which has generated some excellent comments and thoughts. I tend to lean in agreement with him/her on where we are, where we need to be and how we get there.

Let's put America to work for Americans. Let's close tax loopholes and level the playing field. We need to revamp our tax structure. We need regulation to keep businesses playing fair and by the same rules. We need to pay for what we want. We need to live within our means.

If the government determines that they need to apply more stimulus, it is my hope that they apply it where we need it; rebuilding our infrastructure from roads and bridges to schools and energy sources - not to the too big to fail businesses rewarding them for failures while the working class suffer and lose hope.

After all, in the end it's all about confidence. It's hard to feel confidence, or even to have hope when you are unemployed and lacking the skills for the 'new' economy which reduces hope for a decent job. It's hard to have confidence when you're losing your home. It's very hard to have confidence when we look at what some call our 'leadership'.

We need decisive action, not rhetoric and (middle) finger pointing at the other guy.

It's grow up time. We need real leadership and we need it yesterday.


"Most conservatives do not want federally subsidized police and fire department, public health departments or healthcare. Many do not want a federal department of transportation."

This is the first I have heard that the conservatives were anti FBI and the US Marshall Service. And to find out they are opposed to the Center for Disease Control will also come as a shock to many. And I here very few conservative senior citizens refusing Medicare. But perhaps people feel differently in other areas of the country. Who would the conservatives have checking the safety of airlines and manning the control towers with no transportation department. Who would monitor the safety of our highways and bridges?

"Many conservatives want federal government with duties and powers limited to those enumerated in the US Constitution. "

I assume this time you are referring to the Constitution and amendments. Otherwise you would be implying that Conservatives opposed the freeing of the slaves and women voting. That being my assumption It would mean, I guess selling the National Parks to private industry. Testing and authorizing new drugs and medical treatments would have to be self monitored by the drug makers. Protecting our beautiful coastlne would have to become the responsibility of the corporate community as would any regulation of air pollution. None of those functions are specified in the Constitution.

I think most conservatives are closer to my opin ion than yours.


The definition of Agnotology is “the study of culturally-induced ignorance or doubt,” see Web Link.

One does not have to look very far to find the same cabal of people who I have referred to as the radical right promoting ideas that defy the evidence that refutes their beliefs. Consider their beliefs on topics such as: climate change, healthcare, or fairness in taxation.

It is not difficult to identify these radical right-wingers as they believe that: Climate change is not happening when the majority of evidence says it is. They believe that healthcare is better in the US than anywhere else on the globe when every study of healthcare in industrial nations in Europe and Asia finds that healthcare costs twice as much in the US and delivers a poorer outcome. And, they believe that the ultra rich in the US pay more in taxes than everyone else combined when even the Tax Foundation’s reports, once you look beyond the spin they put on the numbers, says otherwise.

The radical right is quick to label anyone who disagrees with them a socialist or worse communist.

Undoubtedly real socialists and real communists do disagree with this radical right cabal. Many moderates, a much larger segment of America than those who say they are socialists or communists (another fact they wish to ignore), seeing the data draw the commonsense conclusion that raising historically low tax rates would help close the budget gap as would closing tax loopholes for individuals and corporations and rescinding government subsidies to industries such as oil.

The Tea Party wing of the radical right refused to consider raising taxes, refused to consider closing loopholes in the tax code, refused to consider ending corporate welfare for big oil companies, and bargained with the full faith and credit of the United States to achieve their radical no-compromise goal.

Well the radical right won the first round in this battle for fairness, but we all lost as their no compromise stance resulted in the first downgrading of America’s credit since 1787. This radical behavior of the right has under minded the world’s faith in America’s stability and leadership. This same radical right is now trying to pin the blame for their mischief of the moderates who opposed them.


Anonymia,

Methinks you may need to consider and reconcile what is happening with the global economies and the global stock markets for validation of your considerable opinions. Talk is cheap, but talk needs validation.

Methinks wealth is being re-distributed from those working people in the world that save and invest to those people on welfare and entitlements waiting for a check more rapidly than you may realize.

America's policies need to be reassessed and reformulated. The time for fear and smear of the radical right, or any other group, is not helpful in finding common ground.

Our American Situation is___ Sustainable, hardly. Dysfunctional, absolutely.

Hopeless, Not. Keep communicating.

Some people are Zeros, some are Heros. Keep talking, we can sort them all out, and move on.


BB is perpetuating the myth that only the federal government can provide police, fire, public health and environmental protections. That is false. States can and do provide such services, which is well within their rights per the US Constitution. And for the snarky, I mean the US Constitution with amendments, including those that freed the slaves and protected blacks over the objections of Democrats.


The belief, expressed by Mr. Frank, is that all those unemployed folks including the millions who find themselves newly out of work today did not save enough and do not deserve any help from the rest of us. The radical right supposes that economies work independently of the behavior of the group. This is wrong.

An economy is the result of group behavior. What we do as individuals effects what other people do as well. The success or failure of an economy depends upon our group behavior.

The stock markets yesterday responded COLLECTIVELY to the fear that US policy has been crippled by the radical right’s no compromise demands.

The effect, a loss of confidence exemplified in the stock market, and the cause, radical behavior on the right, are closely linked in time yet like the end of times predictions as judgment days comes and goes without the sun exploding wrong beliefs rarely change.

That is the point that has been made repeatedly in this thread. Keynes’s model for how economies work is based on the observable economic behavior, it recommends government programs, spending, to increase demand and restore confidence. The supply side economic theory blames misfortune on the unlucky individual and makes the recommendation, much as a former monarch once did, “let them eat cake” and lower taxes even more.


Why is it that Anonymia can't make any point without raising the "radical right" strawman? Why is it that Anonymia consistently mischaracterizes the conservative point of view?

Why is it that Anonymia wants us to believe the hogswallop that economies work independently of tax levels? Or that excessive spending has only an up side?

The more s/he writes, the more I think s/he is full of beans.


This last comment underscores my point. EyeleanWright entirely misses the fundamental point I have been making from the onset of this thread. Economies do NOT work independently of tax policy. Raising taxes today, especially on the most wealthy individuals, would IMPROVE our economy and help to pay for the government spending programs required to restore confidence and demand. It is easy to not understand what is being said when you are blinded by ideology.


Another fine job of tap dancing, Francis.

First you say "Most conservatives do not want federally subsidized police and fire department, public health departments or healthcare. Many do not want a federal department of transportation"

When I respond that I believe most conservatives as well as liberals support the FBI and the US Marshall service, The Center For Disease Control, The National Park Service, Medicare and numerous others, you respond:

"BB is perpetuating the myth that only the federal government can provide police, fire, public health and environmental protections."

Your extremist, unthought out statements constantly leave you in such a position that your only option is to either ignore the truth or insult another participant..


Raising taxes today, especially on the most wealthy individuals, would IMPROVE our economy and help to pay for the government spending programs required to restore confidence and demand.

SHOUTING doesn't make your opinion any more valid than before.

Anonymia wants to spend money we don't have to grow ourselves out of a recession. The only ones that will benefit are the political class. Witness the last round of stimulus that was supposed to keep unemployment below 8% and launch the "summer of recovery" in 2009. None of that happened because those touting Keynesian policies haven't learned from history.

Just like the last time, the rest of us won't see the benefits of such reckless spending. Only the political class and the banksters will benefit. Future generations will have to pay for the largess of the eggheads, many of whom have never run a lemonade stand.

You can confiscate all the wealth of the wealthy individuals and you still won't be able to pay for the spending Anonymia wants. That's a fact that the class warriors won't acknowledge.

Raising taxes on corporations in a severe recession will further stifle job growth, which is what we need the turn our economy around and pay for the mega government that Anonymia wants.

We need more Milton Friedman and less Maynard Keynes. We need more freedom to choose and less government imposition.

We need another Ronnie and one less Barry.


"We need another Ronnie and one less Barry"

While I would have stated we need another President Reagan and one less President Obama, I certainly agree with the statement.

President Reagan was able to raise taxes 11 times while he was President. He was able to get debt limits increased 12 times without any threats to anihilate the country's financial position. President Reagan in 1982 and 1984 signed the largest tax increases in non war years in the history of our country.

President Obama, on the other hand has signed the single largest tax reduction bill in the history of our country, extended the President Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and reduced employee withholding.

We need more actions like President Reagan accomplished.


President Reagan in 1982 and 1984 signed the largest tax increases in non war years in the history of our country.

That statement conveniently ignores the fact that taxes were drastically reduced prior to those years and that the Reagan recovery was well underway in those years.

It also ignores the fact that it was a Democratic Congress that sent the tax increases to Reagan.

Some people cling to big government like others cling to their guns and bibles. They'll even try to distort Reaganomics to justify a continuation of excessive government.


"That statement conveniently ignores the fact that taxes were drastically reduced prior to those years and that the Reagan recovery was well underway in those years."

As I recall, President Obama came into office following a series of significant tax cuts under President Bush.


As I recall, President Obama came into office following a series of significant tax cuts under President Bush.

And President Obama came into office while the US had a AAA rating, then piddled it away like a nonplussed poodle. But what has that got to do with you mischaracterizing Reagan's presidency?


EyeleanWright is starting to sound an awful lot like Michele Bachman. That is not a compliment, either, as some think she is the only person dumber than Sarah Palin. Personally, I think it's a toss-up.

She was going from camera to camera, microphone to microphone blaming the S&P downgrade on Obama to anyone that would actually swallow that load. Oh, Pahleeze.

Further, EyeleanWright has a tendency to add things to the discussion that have no place. Take for example his/her comment that s/he has a PhD; "But what do I know? I haven't spent years in college to obtain a PhD that prevents me from seeing the plain nose on my face." I immediately followed with the logical question: "EyeleanWright, is that doctorate in economics?" That was 21 hours ago and still no answer. If you are going to tell us how smart you are in such a way as to attempt to belittle others, then be prepared to back it up.

That is not to say that EyeleanWright hasn't added to the discussion. S/he certainly has. I would suggest keeping it real though, particularly when arguing a point.

Reagan seems to just short of cult status with some. There are some things he did that I liked. There are other things he did that I don't. You may remember that he got elected primarily because Carter's rescue attempt of our own in Iran went miserably bad. Reagan jumped on that and basically told the world that we had the biggest johnson on the planet and if elected there would be no negotiations and plenty of American whoop-ass. He helped Americans believe in themselves. He showed great pride in patriotism. He had great one liners. He was a very good public speaker. He was not a micro-manager. I found all those qualities good qualities, particularly for the times.

Iran-Contra also happened on his watch. Although Ollie took the fall, the real culprit got away scott free, became President (and messed up the economy), then had a son become President (& that one messed it up even worse). It was his son that jacked our debt, sold out our middle class, gave tax breaks we could not afford (although in fairness, the times seemed to justify the move), took oil to $148+ per barrel and initiated two wars.

I will confess here that I am disappointed in Obama's folding to the partisan battle. His opponents won that battle and should not have. He was on the right track, and caved. We need more from our leaders. Now, in fairness, Congress was an Abbott & Costello skit, only for real and 100% nasty and self serving.

The world's financial system has been hijacked by members of Congress who put political campaigning ahead of reason. They should all be taken out back and worked; but since that's illegal, they should all be fired.

We need real leadership, with real vision, real backbone and real solutions for job growth, productivity growth and our future. I can't think of one republican out there that fits that bill.


You are correct that President Obama took over when the US had a AAA credit rating. You failed to note, however that we were in the midst of the worst recession since the 1930's, the banks had just been bailed out by President Bush, the automotive industry was in the porcess of collapsing which would have cost America over 2 million jobs.

You are certainly correct about the credit rating being cut by Standard and Poor. However, I am sure you know that Moodys and Fitch both have retained the AAA rating. So, why did S&P cut the rating? The fact that they made a 2.1 Trillion dollar error when doing their analysis aside, Here is what they said in their notice:

"We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and will remain a contentious and fitful process. We also believe that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration agreed to this week falls short of the amount that we believe is necessary to stabilize the general government debt burden by the middle of the decade."

Remember, Standar and Poor is the agency that raed AIG AAA one month before they collapsed. Remember Standard and Poor are the same people who rated thousands of traunches of CDOs AAA weeks before the market collapse.

Having Standard & Poors downgrade the creditworthiness of the United States, and warn it about further downgrades, is a little like having the Catholic Church lecture scout leaders on the proper behavior toward boys. The moral authority seems to be wanting.


EyeleanWright is starting to sound an awful lot like Michele Bachman. I know that youngster Georgie didn't mean it, but I take it as a compliment. By the way, I believe her name is spelled "Bachmann."

Regarding the S&P downgrade, it was Obama that spent months manufacturing the August 2nd "default" deadline. The only reason the US would have defaulted is if Obama and Turbo Tax Timmy failed to use $30 billion of the $200 billion monthly revenue to make the interest payment on our debt.

Since Obama made it clear he was willing to default for ideological political purposes, and federal spending is still out of control, arguing that Obama has no responsibility for the downgrade is downright loony.

Now eat your peas, Georgie. We want to to grow up to be big and strong. And a little more rational, too!


Whatever respect I may have had for S&P has been squandered as a result of their ill-advised and unreasoned downgrade. The fact that they are out in force attempting to justify their actions should tell us that.

That said, however, it was Congress that sealed the S&P action, that made America and Americans look stupid and accomplished nothing toward our very real issues. Both sides of the aisle are guilty. There's not a leader in the bunch. Then, after accomplishing nothing after staging a play that would have made Shakespeare blush, they take a month's vacation leaving 4,000 FAA employees in the lurch along with all airport construction across the country. Not only did we vote these clowns in, we are paying them outrageous amounts to screw us.

I keep wanting to believe that the problems in Europe are more in number and larger in size. That would be true if we had even one real leader in DC. Now? It's a toss-up at best.

Seems nobody wants to "win" anywhere on the planet.


>>Remember, Standard and Poor is the agency that ...<< gave more to Obama than other candidates:

Web Link

Let's see if the same is true in 2012. I'm thinking -- not!

>>EyeleanWright has a tendency to add things to the discussion that have no place.<<

and

>>"EyeleanWright, is that doctorate in economics?" That was 21 hours ago and still no answer.<<

For someone bellyaching about straying off-topic, you sure have a tendency to get lost in the high weeds.

H/she owes blustering George no explanation, especially when s/he made it clear she doesn't<./i> have a PhD.



What's that? Did I hear something from the gallery?

Who cares how Bachman spells her name. She has a snowball's chance in Purgatory of winning anything other than possibly a kind word or two from that magic mirror she has in her office. What a joke.

EyeleanWright goes out of his/her way to point out that Obama was responsible for drawing a line in the sand: "Regarding the S&P downgrade, it was Obama that spent months manufacturing the August 2nd "default" deadline." Please share with us what Congress was doing during the same timeframe? As far as I'm concerned, I'd have preferred that Obama invoke his authority under the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling to allow for more time for a real attempt and solution (a start would be nice) to our debt v revenue issues.

Btw, you still have not answered the very simple question I asked. Surely an individual as intellectually large and well educated as yourself can read, can't you? Was the question too difficult?

You have taken the approach that we've seen all too often and that Anonymia spoke to - when things don't add up for your conclusions, go personal.

That tactic is so 1990's. I might be riding you a bit, but that's only because I know you can do better.

Let's see.


">>Remember, Standard and Poor is the agency that ...<< gave more to Obama than other candidates:"

The web link your referenced has absolutely no mention of President Obama.

If what you say is true, I guess that shows Standard and Poor is smarter than most conservatives and knows how to pick a political winner. But what does that have to do with their horrible record of leading the country astray with their criminal ratings on CDOs.


So what do the people who put their money where their mouth is have to say about the Standard and Poor's ratings:

The stock market is up 429 points today and still Treasury yields were already near their lows for the year, after a stock market on Monday rout sent investors into the relative safety of Treasurys.

Earlier Tuesday, investors bought three-year Treasurys at a record-low interest rate, in the first government debt auction since Standard & Poor's cut the U.S. credit rating.

The Treasury sold $32 billion in three-year notes to yield 0.50 percent. That's a record low borrowing rate. Investors also placed bids for 3.29 times the $32 billion up for sale, the strongest show of demand since November 2009.

In other Treasury trading, the 30-year bond is up $1.43. Its yield fell to 3.58 percent, down from 3.67 percent late Monday.

Three year notes a 1/2 percent interest. Some people are not worried out the US credit rating.


Keynes' recommendation that to restore confidence in markets and demand in marketplaces the government should use its ability to create employment through government funded programs such as educating the work force, investing in the future through research or by improving infrastructure has worked every time it has been applied. Those applications include FDR's first term starting in 1933, Eisenhower's response to Sputnik in 1957, and Kennedy's decision to put an American on the moon in 1961.

Each time the government launched a massive program of spending the results have been the same – a period of prosperity invariably followed. There are now two exceptions to this rule, the interruption an earlier conservative Congress created to stop the New Deal in 1936/7 only to see Keynesian policies restored with a vengeance in the 40’s as the nation entered the war in Europe. The late 40's and almost all of the 1950's benefitted from these government programs that built the national interstate highway system for example. And now this current Congress, driven again by conservative philosophies in many ways more radical than previous conservative Congresses, has created another disruption in the government’s spending programs required, along with higher taxes, to end the current recession. What is most radical this time is that the conservative right has actually weakened and possibly destroyed the confidence the rest of the world has placed in the American economy and the safety of the dollar. The churning and turmoil in global markets are the result of these radical actions by the Conservative lead House of Representatives that held the entire economy hostage to achieve their foolish plan.


>>Who cares how Bachman spells her name.<< George Muttef should. She makes you look ignorant and stupid without even trying.

>>Please share with us what Congress was doing during the same timeframe?<< I know the answer to that one!

Obama submitted a budget in February that the Democrat controlled Senate voted down 97-0. The Republican controlled House passed at least two budgets. One was voted down by the Democrat controlled Senate and the other tabled by the same body.

During the debt ceiling debate, the Democrats howled about the default that would occur after August 2nd. Obama blurted that SS checks were in jeopardy, which was an outright lie.

The Democrats didn't want a budget -- they wanted a higher credit limit. Had they wanted a budget they'd have passed one when they had a veto proof majority in both houses of Congress.

The fact that some partisan hacks don't like the smackdown of Obama by S&P doesn't mean they can absolve him of blame.

>>The stock market is up 429 points today << Whoo hooo! That's almost 2.3 of what it lost yesterday, and a little more than what it lost after Obama gave a telepromter on the downgrade. That's something you left wing Democrats should be able to campaign on next year!


We are very fortunate to have yet another example of the problem (from DC to right here); divisiveness through attempted personal attacks.

All divisiveness does is insure continued angst. We saw that in spades in DC over the last couple of months and we see it here (again) on TA.

Pigeon holing people as "left wing Democrats" or "radical right", calling other posters "ignorant and stupid" only hurt any argument that those that use that tactic may offer. It's also childish.

I believe I've been clear with my thoughts and opinions here. Further, whether one agrees with me on one point, all points or no points, I believe I have contributed to the dialog.

There is someone posting here that insists on insinuating himself into this dialog without contributing. He's posted here with a divisive approach and offered nothing more than unimaginative and tired rhetoric.

It's been my experience that when there is a dialog on a topic that I have no knowledge on, I keep my mouth shut and my eyes and ears open. Learning can be such a fulfilling experience.

There is someone on this thread that ought to try it. He just might learn something and just might enjoy the experience.


>>divisiveness through attempted personal attacks.<< Such as:

"EyeleanWright is starting to sound an awful lot like Michele Bachman. That is not a compliment, either, as some think she is the only person dumber than Sarah Palin. Personally, I think it's a toss-up. "

and

"Who cares how Bachman spells her name. She has a snowball's chance in Purgatory of winning anything other than possibly a kind word or two from that magic mirror she has in her office. What a joke."

>>All divisiveness does is insure continued angst.<< I think you mean "ensure." I know, I know -- you don't believe anyone gives a crap.

>>There is someone posting here that insists on insinuating himself into this dialog<< You mean like this?:

"I will confess here that I am disappointed in Obama's folding to the partisan battle."

or

"Btw, you still have not answered the very simple question I asked. Surely an individual as intellectually large and well educated as yourself can read, can't you? Was the question too difficult?"

George-the-grammatically-and-spelling-challeged keeps badgering another poster for an answer that is already abundantly clear.

>>It's been my experience that when there is a dialog on a topic that I have no knowledge on, I keep my mouth shut and my eyes and ears open.<< You could have fooled me!

>>Each time the government launched a massive program of spending the results have been the same – a period of prosperity invariably followed.<< But at the expense of more crony capitalism, burgeoning and oppressive federal government and a prolonged down cycle.

It was also clear that we'd be able to repay our debts. It is unclear how we'll repay our current debt considering that we already blew the wad on the previous stimulus which was supposed to do what Anonymia says but didn't. We also didn't have debt that exceeded our GDP.

What would have happened if the federal government had done nothing? What would have happened if federal government ignored the pleas from the banksters that howled they were too big to fail? What if we let GM and Chrysler go bankrupt? What if we didn't spend nearly a trillion dollars to pay the lucrative pensions of the political class and keep them employed for another year?

Would we be worse off than we are now, or past the bottom and booming as in the Roaring 20's? I believe it would be the latter. I also believe that doing nothing would have been more consistent with our US Constitution. For the ankle-biters: note that I didn't say the "original US Constitution." Any reasonable knows that it includes the original document plus amendments.


>> people who I have referred to as the radical right --- these radical right-wingers --- The radical right --- radical right cabal ---- The Tea Party wing of the radical right --- radical no-compromise goal --- Well the radical right --- This radical behavior of the right --- same radical right -----.

You cannot, of course, be taken seriously. You appear to be to imbued with the tenets of your isms to be capable of rational analysis. For the most part, you seem to have been content to preach as to the unwashed of your outdated beliefs. Now you are slipping int fantasy.


Boney - a socialist??? Frankly, I don't believe it. Socialism has never worked any where. I'll be you are a closet capitalist.

>>I immediately followed with the logical question: "EyeleanWright, is that doctorate in economics?" That was 21 hours ago and still no answer.<< --- George, that question doesn't make any sense. Perhaps you should read the post again. In any event, George, no one has any duty to answer your questions, even if they were to make sense.

>>It is easy to not understand what is being said when you are blinded by ideology.<<

We agree on that.


>>So what do the people who put their money where their mouth is have to say about the Standard and Poor's ratings:<<

As of this writing, yesterday's gains have been wiped out.

Could it be the feeble confidence in the economy that the Fed demonstrated yesterday? When have they ever declared they'd keep rates artificially low for the next 2 years?

I don't ever recall that happening before.


"Could it be the feeble confidence in the economy that the Fed demonstrated yesterday? When have they ever declared they'd keep rates artificially low for the next 2 years?"

$24 Billion Dollar 10 year bond sale today. Oversubscribed. Yield 2.095% Looks like once again the people with the money know what is a secure investment.


>>Looks like once again the people with the money know what is a secure investment.<<

I don't know. I certainly see our paper as more secure than most investments - but, I don't see anything as being very secure right now - including cash.


The all time low yield on the 10 year is 2.038% from the week of 12/19/08. From a Fib standpoint, that is the bottom point for retracement intervals, with the high of 5.316 from the week of 06/15/07 as the high point. Today's low, so far, is 2.092.

With the Fed's comments yesterday, a very good argument can be made for a new low yield for the 10 year to a 1% yield.

The technicals on the markets (take your pick; Dow/Nasdaq/NDX/S&P) have all rolled over and look terrible. It doesn't take 20/20 vision to see that the technicals have rolled over on the daily charts; but traders have not been trading off the daily's; they've been trading on the weekly's, which look terrible. Moreover, the monthly's look even worse.

Where are folks going to put their money going forward? If rates hit 1%, and at this point I'd have to say that the odds are better than 50/50, where will money go then?

EyeleanWrite comments on the Fed's statement yesterday and is absolutely correct in that the Fed has never made a declaration like that before. I suspect that's why there were 3 dissenting votes; a two year commitment of FF rates from 0.25&-0% is pretty ballsy in this global economic environment.

So where is money going to go? There are only 2 places to go; equities or bonds. Those two choices set up a potentially devastating opportunity for more loss of wealth (bubble?).

We have seen what Fed stimulus has accomplished over the last 2 years; a huge separation between Wall Street and Main Street. The disconnect between the two is obvious and has been getting wider daily. Without liquidity going where it's needed (I've explained my thoughts on that above), what reason do we have to believe that anything will improve (for Main Street, the working class, the middle class)?

The S&P downgrade, in my mind, was nothing more than validation of our completely dysfunctional legislators. With a national election just around the corner, I sure don't see things getting better between now and November 2012.

So, where does that leave us?


Gold has broken $1800 per troy oz. Some think it will go much, much higher, especially if there is a QE3. Rising gold prices are a measure of how much the dollar has been devalued.

And this fellow says those investing in Treasuries will get burned because of that devaluation:

Web Link

That tells me some of BB's exuberance is misguided.

Not that I know what to do. I think I'll store up on bullets. That way I can defend what I have or steal what I need when our civil society collapses completely.


"Not that I know what to do. I think I'll store up on bullets. That way I can defend what I have or steal what I need when our civil society collapses completely."

I think that is exactly the right thing for you to do. Bury your gold in the basement of your variable rate mortgaged house and assume the firing position.

Personally, I believe we live in the greatest country in the world and we will overcome this temporary situation (5 to 10 years) and our grandchildren will again find hope and we will return to our position of truly caring for the less fortunate.


Personally, I believe we live in the greatest country in the world and we will overcome this temporary situation (5 to 10 years). You should buy US Treasuries. That way, you can come to appreciate the full impact of a devalued dollar.


Thank you "Eyelean" for your financial advise. I will certainly consider the advise and its source.

Currently I have favored relative short term bons on the long side and naked puts on financials for short term investments. Been working out swimmingly, thank you.


Rising gold prices are a measure of how much the dollar has been devalued.

Hmmm. Can anybody explain why the price of Gold has been going up and up since the Bush-Obama Tax Cuts?

Web Link

How is it that from 2001 to 2007 Republicans had all the power, cut taxes, launched wars of aggression, and applied Republican principals for 6 solid years yet they inspired no confidence in the dollar?

Why would anybody think that giving all the power back to the Republicans would change the trend? About 300 per unit in 2001. About 1000 per unit in 2009?

Can anybody explain why the price of Gold was low and stagnant during the Clinton Administration?


Couple of things that might be worth sharing, although a bit off topic.

To EyeleanWright:

1) The investment advice you've provided for Mr Bills is actually pretty good advice for the short term. The reason yields are dropping like a stone, currently testing the all time low of 2.038% is because US bonds are being snapped up at phenomenal rates. That means the price of those instruments is appreciating commensurate to the yield dropping. So, if Mr Bills buys US debt here, I suspect he'll collect his meager interest as his debt instrument appreciates in value affording Mr Bills the very real potential of selling those instruments at a much higher price than what he paid for it (them) - for a sweet profit.

2) Some of gold's appreciation is due to the dollar's depreciation; however, if what you say were true, gold would only be appreciating in dollar terms. That is clearly not the case.

You may have a doctorate, EyeleanWrite, but I am quite comfortable stating that it's not in economics.

Btw, if you are buying gold and burying it in your adjustable rate (which right now is not a bad thing; sorry Mr Bills) home's basement - could you provide your address? I think there are a few folks that might want to stop by and say hello.

Mr Bills; be very very careful. Being naked can be very hazardous to your (fiscal) health, and I mean in a hurry.


Thank you George for the financial advise. I will consider the advise and its source. (That is the same thing I tell every broker and shill that calls with unsolicited investment advise) But George, in this instance I agree with your point.


JCU, we posted at the same time, so I missed yours until after I submitted.

I can provide a partial explanation for your good question.

Money can be compared to water in that water will always find the low spot. Money does the same sort of thing; it looks for value (low spot). The two prime motivators for putting money somewhere is either greed (dot-com comes to mind) or fear (right now comes to mind, but 2008 was much worse).

During the Clinton years, particularly his second term, the US equity markets went parabolic. If you went short Dell, for example, because you thought they weren't going to hit the "whisper number" and you were right, you had about 5 minutes the next morning to get out of your shorts...or you just got eaten alive. That, btw, isn't the case anymore!

Gold stayed depressed because there were too many other vehicles to make money with.

The strength of the markets at the time, coupled with the depreciation of our debt, combined with buyers from all over the world (who have to buy dollars to buy dollar denominated investment vehicles) pushed the dollar higher, rates lower and the markets to unbelievable heights.

The primary buyers of the yellow metal now are counties, not individuals (yet). By the time retail investors are the primary buyer, it's time to leave the trade. We aren't there yet.


Correction(s):

"The primary buyers of the yellow metal now are counties,..."

counties should be countries. Darn r dodged my finger, I guess.

The only other add that I have is; from the post above - damn, those were the good old days. Lots of fun making lots of money.

Now, it's just one more meaning for the Boss' Glory Days.


>> ... applied Republican principals for 6 solid years ... << Actually, they strayed from their conservative principles on spending and regulations. They became Democrats-light instead of solid Reagan/Goldwater conservatives. One reason Tea Partiers have been so successful is that they target RINOs and replace them with true conservatives.

Before you tee off on another Tea Party tirade, you might want to read what Jay Cost has to say about them:

Web Link

>>Btw, if you are buying gold and burying it in your adjustable rate (which right now is not a bad thing<< I think you're saying that an adjustable rate mortgage is a good thing for EW right now. If that's the case, I will add that it has worked out very well for us over the past 3 years. But who knows how long the Fed can keep interest rates artificially low?


I think that some folk are selling more gold than they have.


Here is a link relevant to this topic

Web Link

The Gross Domestic Product is almost static. Every classical Keynesian remedy -- massive government borrowing and spending ("stimulus"), near-zero interest rates, public works, expanded federal entitlements -- has been tried, failed, and is turning a modest recovery into another recession. Neither the example of the socialist European Union nor that of big-spending blue-state America suggests that massive government spending and entitlements lead to collective prosperity.


B Frank, are you suggesting that government spending, something similar to the New Deal versus what we've seen since 2008, would not be effective?

Are you suggesting that rebuilding our infrastructure wouldn't help? wouldn't create jobs? wouldn't benefit us and the country as a whole?

Are you suggesting that we should stay in Afghanistan and Iraq? If so, are there other sovereign nations that you think we should invade?

Are you suggesting that our money and resources are better spent abroad?

I'm just trying to get some clarity here. Thank you.


>>Are you suggesting that rebuilding our infrastructure wouldn't help? wouldn't create jobs? wouldn't benefit us and the country as a whole?<< How soon some forget those "shovel ready" jobs the stimulus was supposed to fund.

There's no argument that government spending has an immediate effect on the economy. But it's short-lived and has excessive costs down the road.

Keynesian policies aren't the only way to stimulate the economy. They aren't the best way to stimulate the economy either, especially when we've already tried that massive spending. Only the banksters benefited as well as the public employee unions (temporarily).

Now it's time to drastically reduce the size, scope and cost of government. Remove excessive and costly regulatory impediments to business. Give the private sector an opportunity to improve the US economy.


There's no argument that government spending has an immediate effect on the economy. But it's short-lived and has excessive costs down the road.

Witness how useless the Interstate Highway system has been. Why if it weren't for President Eisenhower wasting all that money on building infrastructure, Norman Bates would have been too busy with the guests to be running around acting like his mother.

Then you have Hoover Dam. I blame Las Vegas on Roosevelt. Damn that damn dam.

We had NASA. Without Government aid, we would not have surface maps of Venus. What's that you say? Venus has a 900 degree atmosphere and it rains sulfuric acid, we ain't going there? Hmm. I withdraw my NASA comparison.

And my favorite? The BWCA. The CCC created a trail system, installed basic camping facilities, ( a grate and a latrine), and what good did it do? Oh sure there is a micro economy built in Northern Minnesota outfitting city folk going on week long adventures in the woods and sure those trails and camping facilities are still in use 75 years after the investment was made but the locals hate city folk so what a waste.


While the number of Federal Civilian Employees continues to drop as a percentage of Americans there are still 2.9 million of them.

Web Link

So, how many of those should we put on the unemployment rolls. Would it be good for our country to dump a million of them on the street Monday. How about 1.5 million. That should make even Grover Norquist happy. That will really get that old economy moving.


>>So, how many of those should we put on the unemployment rolls.<< As many as we can, and the more the better. But that isn't the only way to reduce government expenditures. We need reforms to SS and Medicare. We need to repeal the Holy Grail of the left, namely Obamacare. And yes, we need to cut Pentagon spending. Start will all those overlapping military spy programs that require hundreds of thousands of individuals to have top security clearance.

>>Witness how useless the Interstate Highway system has been.<< We had a healthy economy that could afford to borrow and eventually pay for that system. That is not the case now. We are now seriously constrained by our debt and continued deficit spending. The last stimulus for "shovel ready" jobs proved to be a bust. Why should we believe it will work a second time around?

We need more private sector jobs to grow our economy. Once that is achieved we can talk about growing government again.


It is certainly popular with the conservatives to demand the repeal of "Obamacare". The fact that the CBO keeps telling them it would have a negative effect on the deficit means nothing.

Web Link

Let me quote from the letter from the CBO January 2011 to Speaker Boehner:

"CBO and JCT estimated that the March 2010 health care

legislation would reduce budget deficits over the 2010–2019 period and in subsequent years"

By the way, when President Eisenhower approved the "" American Autobahn the debt to GNP was over 70% and when he left it was near 60%. The heavy infrastructure investment plus his refusal to cut taxes did us a fine job.


I can't believe I'm actually going to say this, but I agree with some of what fd put out there. "Now it's time to drastically reduce the size, scope and cost of government. Remove excessive and costly regulatory impediments to business. Give the private sector an opportunity to improve the US economy." Yes.

Now, equally shocking to me, I'm going to disagree with Mr Bills. Maybe redirect might be a better way to put it.

Mr Bills, you and I have been in agreement on more things than not. Based on that, I am going to ask that you take a different perspective on something. You imply reduction of government employees would only exacerbate our fiscal morass and increase unemployment. In the short term that may be so, but let's take a look from a different perspective.

If I were to say that government has gotten way too big, would you agree with me? If I were to say that there are numerous government agencies that overlap each other, would you agree with me? Staying with the overlap thought, would you agree with me that there is overlap in both state and federal agencies and further, that there is even more overlap when one combines the two?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you have to stop and think that maybe it's time to restructure government. Will it be painful? Sure, but if done right the pain will be short lived and the benefits will be long lived.

Do you think government is too big? When looking long term, would you agree that if we reduced just the redundancy in government, that the money saved would be well spent supporting the private sector; after all, it's the private sector that pays for the government.

The way for the Fed to stimulate the private sector is to do what has been discussed to death here; rebuild America. Energy manufacture and distribution, schools, roads, water, bridges, waterways, airports and more all need out attention.

If they were to get our attention (other than the old political lip service) along with our tax dollars, we would benefit immediately, short and long term.

All we have to do is want it.


George--

some of my responses to you.

government spending, something similar to the New Deal versus what we've seen since 2008, would not be effective---yes--that is what I am saying--you need a new approach to what you spend trillions on, read on.

Are you suggesting that rebuilding our infrastructure wouldn't help? wouldn't create jobs? wouldn't benefit us and the country as a whole? Again-- selective rebuilding, not heavily subsidized light rail or "green" stuff--instead focus on energy and food and housing projects.

Are you suggesting that we should stay in Afghanistan and Iraq? If so, are there other sovereign nations that you think we should invade? Obama has a plan to get out of both, I support that, why not also look to reduce or eliminate forces in Korea and Germany?

Are you suggesting that our money and resources are better spent abroad? Not at all, we need less global impact on us not less, eg, ICLEI undercuts our sovereignty. However we do need more international collaboration on financial regulations. George, you understand finance, so consider the lack of consistency between GAAP and the Intl Accounting Standards board or the variation in reserves and financial transparency among nations.

Also note "In the last three years, the president has increased the national debt by almost $5 trillion. But what if the president were to promise an end to the gargantuan spending and borrowing by accepting the tax reforms and budget discipline offered by his own Simpson-Bowles Commission so far neglected by the administration?

The United States should be in a renaissance. In a food- and fuel-short world, we have vast agricultural and energy resources. While there are riots, strikes and unrest from Europe to the Middle East, America remains quiet. Foreign depositors even now still believe that the United States is the least likely nation to either confiscate their capital or renege on the interest owed on it. China, Russia and India have enormous environmental, demographic and social challenges ahead of the same sort the United States dealt with decades ago. Our military is far superior to the competitors. "

Focus on using our national resources well and quit pissing them away. Find the culprits responsible for the 2008-9 financial meltdown and put them in jail. Protect our borders. Do something about Fannie and Freddie and our housing debacle, like privatizing them, and regulating them. Develop plans to rent the huge backlog of foreclosed homes. Rethink what it means to create real jobs with real products rather than undertaking more projects that are "shovel ready" or more building more trails or buying more land ror trains to nowhere.

Think . Lead. Quit making speeches.

George,

questions for you.

Why did Obama ignore his own Simpson Bowles Commission (which I thought was very well done) and why did the Financial Reform Act NOT address Freddie or Fannie?

What do you think we need to do to improve our national finances and security?

Surely we all agree that medicare and ss need reform,,,right?????


Thank you B Frank for your responses. Funny thing - I agree with some of them.

So we're clear, I never suggested "..heavily subsidized light rail or "green" stuff". We seem to be on the same page here. I have spoken to our infrastructure needs many times over a long period of time and not once have I suggested "green" anything.

Regarding Korea and Germany; The only reason we're in either place is strategic. Neither place is what I would call a hot zone. Iraq and Afghanistan would be hot zones. And just to give you some sense of expense with just those two, look at this: Web Link There's $1.2+ Trillion we could cut from the budget today if we got out today.

Just imagine how much we would have saved had we not gone to either place in the first place (thanks Bush). And while we're at it, by invading Iraq, we saw oil break its decades long range of $10-$40 per/barrel, on its way to $148+ per/barrel - another huge expenditure placed on the backs of everyone in America from individuals to businesses that continues to constrict our growth today and going forward. Yeah, just gotta love what Jr did for/to us.

Tax reform and budget discipline are two of the centerpieces of this thread. I support both.

I agree with international collaboration and cooperation, with one caveat; we should not wait for it while our country needs rebuilding. Prioritize; rebuild America now and do it right. Worry about others when we need to. As time goes on, we will get stronger, which will increase our position globally in many ares. Collaboration and cooperation would fall into that category.

I don't have an answer to your first question. That would require me to speak on someone else's behalf (Obama's). Wouldn't be prudent!

To your second question: have you read this thread? all of it?

Finally, to your closing question: right/yes/I agree/what's taking so long!


George, under normal circumstances I would absolutely agree with you. Our taxes should have a better purpose than supporting unnecessary employees. Under today's environment any cost reduction in government expense would be totally dedicated for the mystical "debt reduction effort."

There is an absolute refusal to acknowledge that the solution to our current un employment generated morass is to invest in more infrastructure, more job creating enterprises.

So, George, we are on the same page. Unfortunately untill we convince a whole lot of people who have the power to block any attempts to solve our nation's problems untill 2013 nothing is going to happen.

You see it here and every where else - cut medicare - cut social security - maintain defense budget - cut Medicaid - No tax increases- cut corporate taxes - cut teachers but improve education. And on and on and on and on ..................................


Anonymia,

I find it very odd, that Milton Friedman has not come up in this topic as a counter weight to your description of issues and solutions.. In 1976 Friedman won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics "for his achievements in the fields of consumption analysis, monetary history and theory and for his demonstration of the complexity of stabilization policy."[1]

Also Note---Friedman served as an unofficial adviser to Ronald Reagan during his 1980 presidential campaign, and then served on the President's Economic Policy Advisory Board for the rest of the Reagan Administration.

Friedman represented and promoted a Monetary theory and had a concise view of global macroeconomics, as did many others not yet cited herein. Clearly, our government has become too big, too intrusive, and in America too broke.

Web Link

so here is a brief clip of Friedman.

Web Link


>>I find it very odd, that Milton Friedman has not come up in this topic<< You should, because EyeleenRight did bring him up:

"We need more Milton Friedman and less Maynard Keynes. We need more freedom to choose and less government imposition. "

Thanks for the clip with Milton Friedman. A treasure trove of his interviews can be found att.

Web Link

We could use some of his insights now.


If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Delta Airlines one year ago, you would have $49.00 today. If you purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG, you would have $33.00. If you purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers, you would have $0.00 today. But, if you purchased $1,000 worth of beer, drank all the beer, turned in the aluminum cans for recycling, you would have $214.00. Therefore the best current investment plan is to drink heavily & recycle. It is called the 401-Keg Plan.


fdrouillard,

I am sorry to have missed the comment from EyeleenRight. I appreciate Friedman. a lot. Friedman is my hero.

Where is the original Obama Economic team today... all are gone other than Geithner, and I wish he would leave ASAP.

Where is the Obama plan for our recovery?

If we want to have a real discussion on our options for America's financial recovery I find it down right DISMAL, that we are having this discussion on Talkabout, in little HMB, and not in the halls of Congress, or anywhere in the White House.

The White House has not ever offered a plan for financial recovery other than stop corporate jets, which is no surprise with the total lack of business background anywhere in the Obama WH or on the Obama Cabinet.

People lament the "uncertainty" impact on our stock markets and the economy, I think the uncertainty issue has devolved so that the current root problem is a strong "Distrust" and "Distaste" for our political leaders.

To go back to the premise of this topic. Reagan and Economic Policies--People trusted Reagan. People liked Reagan. People saw that Reagan was a uniter, not a divider. Reagan went to the people, not to back rooms to cut a deal. Guess what. Reagan delivered. Obama does not and is not delivering, and in my opinion, will never deliver squat in economic improvement in America, no matter whatever policy he promises. Obama Is Chicago, and will always Be Chicago. Obama is a divider, not a uniter. America is learning that.

Reagan came from a union background but stood up to the unions, and fired the ATC when they striked as a public union, and he should have. Obama would never ever cross any unions as his base constituency.

I could go on, but in sum, America is in the midst of extremely perilous economic times. Citizens need to read, attend civic meetings, watch the presidential debates and arguments, vote, and protect our unique Republic.


Aometimes the passage of time skews our memories. Sometimes partisanship is the thing that skews our memories. "B Framk" says "Reagan went to the people, not to back rooms to cut a deal." The backroom deals between President Reagan and the democratic leader Tip O'neill are still legendary, Some Republicans still talk about them

"You have to develop the relationship before bipartisanship," says moderate Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf, who was one of 54 Republicans swept into office with Reagan in 1980. "A lot of it was done after hours. They got together, they broke bread, they told stories, and they did things that I think helped us do things to make some" accomplishments," says Wolf."

In the rush to canonise President Reagan one should not ignore the truth.


Hi BB,

Did ya notice that in the end, Reagan delivered? and the details were available to the people?

We are still discovering, and trying to discover, details on obamacare and the fiscal reform act.

...and, that's the truth.


Plowing money into the economy can stimulate the economy and has in the past. The decision to do so, however, should not be made in a vacuum or be based on economic principles alone, however sound those principles might be, or how effective their implementation might in some circumstances. The decision should be made in the context of current reality.

The current reality includes the fact that we have been pumping money into the economy and it hasn’t worked. It has only made things worse. The current reality is that we have sunk ourselves into a choking morass of debt that is sucking us dry. Borrowing can aid an escape from economic stagnation, but not when circumstances are such that borrowing will accomplish nothing but greater debt requiring more borrowing to keep up with debt – and so on forever.

It won’t go on forever, of course, because one credit downgrade will follow another until there is no source of funds to tap. That seems to be the present plan – go on borrowing to pump money into a collapsing, debt-ridden economy – and it wont work. Keep pumping money into a collapsing economy to stimulate it by creating make-work government jobs – and it won’t work.

What is needed is a mentality that doesn’t tag companies as evil because they are big or successful.

What is needed are government policies that encourage not penalize capital investment.


I keep thinking, what would Milton Friedman do about our financial plight today.

Web Link

"According to the monetarist view which Friedman developed and popularized, the private economy is basically stable unless disturbed by rapid money supply fluctuations or other government actions. Friedman advocated a "constant monetary rule" whereby the nation's money supply would grow by a fixed percentage each year, thereby avoiding overexpansion and inflation" Comment-- No more printing money or QE3.

"Friedman was also a staunch defender of the free enterprise system and a proponent of individual responsibility and action. In Capitalism and Freedom (1962) he outlined his concept of the proper role of government in a free society. These views were popularized through a regular Newsweek column starting in 1966 and through books such as There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch."

Stagflation? "Friedman's explanation for "stagflation," the existence of stagnant demand and high unemployment simultaneous with inflation, proved to be more convincing than orthodox Keynesian theories and provided tremendous impetus for defections from the Keynesian camp."

Education? "When Friedman would speak on, for instance, the woes of the U.S. education system, his free-market and anti-union views were readily apparent. "Why is it that our educational system is turning out youngsters who cannot read, write, or figure? The answer - simple but nonetheless correct - is that our current school system is a monopoly that is being run primarily by the teachers' unions: the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers. They are among the strongest trade unions in the country and among the most powerful lobbying groups."

Milton Friedman, we miss you more than you will ever know.


So the Fed is doing exactly what Dr Friedman would recommend. The economy is not growing, we are seeing either very slow growth or in some sectors, for example housing, real contraction and deflation. So keeping interest rates low and equal to economic growth is exactly Friedman's monetary policy. But since this is being done during a Democratic Administration it is wrong. When Republicans like Paulson and Bush did the same thing it was right. So much for logic.


Anonymia,

Are you a selective reader?

M2 is growing rapidly, with huge money supply changes and accumulation of lots of cash by individuals and institutions.

Friedman endorsed individual responsibility, not more and bigger government with more entitlements.

Friedman endorsed smaller government, not bigger government.

Our current national policies are post-modern and leading us down a bad stretch of road.

Any comments about our Education problems>

Are you possibly confusing Friedman with Keynes?


There is a difference between small government and no government that apparently followers of Friedman don’t seem to understand. The US already has one of the smallest governments in the industrial world, so how much smaller should it be? Take losing weight as an analogy. Almost every American would benefit from losing some extra pounds, but starving yourself to death is just plain foolish.

I am not a fan of Milton Friedman and most of his examples of unfettered capitalism always struck me as over the top. The industrial revolution improved prospects for people everywhere, but it took a great deal of reform starting near the beginning of the last century and extending into the 1940’s before regulations were established that protected ordinary citizens. Friedman never seemed concerned about sweatshops, child labor, and other inhuman working conditions that are too often encouraged by unfettered capitalism. Those too are consequences of too little regulation or not enough government to protect all individual’s life and liberty.

Pointing out Friedman’s views on the Great Depression and that the Fed is applying them today is the point I am making.

The value of some property plummeted during the Great Depression but the value of property such as gold did not. Today the dollar is the world’s reserve currency, although now that may change as the radical right just proved to the world that we can not be trusted to always honor our debts. Since the dollar is the reserve currency, dollars today are still as valuable, and in many cases, for example purchasing houses, more valuable than they were in 2007. The dollar did not have that protection in 1928 so some of the lucky ultra wealthy holding a great deal of cash this time around were spared the ruin they would have endured in a 1928 style market crash.

Will Mr. Frank recognize how fortunate some wealthy Americans are today thanks to FDR who got the US off of the gold standard? I suspect he will not.


On this thread and others, there's been discussion on the complete dysfunction of Congress and the results thereof. For me, one of the main focal points of illustration is the 10 year Treasury Note.

Before the sausage making the entire world witnessed (how embarrassing) the 10 yr yield was between 2.8%-3%.

You know where the 10 yr yield is now? 2.080%, with a trading low today of 1.978% - a low we haven't seen since 1945 (according to the talking heads on CNBC).

That 1% yield that I mentioned is now looking pretty real and likely. Why, you ask?

Nations are scared. You and I would never be able to move the debt markets like that. This buying of our debt is simple fear. Nations are scooping up our debt and buying gold (1824 +$30). They are not looking to make money. This is all about capital preservation.

Thanks S&P. Great job of being completely irresponsible and at such a critical time, too. And, of course, a special thanks to Congress, because without them none of this would have happened.

The money that nations may or may not lose through currency exchange rates is insignificant. That'll be made up with the gold play.

It's the rest of us that get it up the backside.

Isn't there a leader out there somewhere? Out of all the people on this planet, isn't there at least one person with backbone, brains, vision and the ability to lead?

Btw, to Anonymia; it was Nixon who took us off the gold standard. In addition, you say (in part); "...we can not be trusted to always honor our debts." I don't believe that for a NY second, nor do I believe that the rest of the industrialized world believes it either. The issue, on this point anyway, is not our ability to pay our debts (at this time or in the foreseeable future). The issue is the complete vacuum in leadership from the worlds strongest nation going forward.

And that is a legitimate fear.

We've been over possible remedies here on this thread and others. Question now is, who's going to step up and make it so?


>>I am not a fan of Milton Friedman and most of his examples of unfettered capitalism always struck me as over the top.<<

Milton Friedman taught that governmental intervention into the economy could, if overdone, produce more harm than good and was at best unnecessary. He Never proposed or supported unfettered capitalism.


Miiton Friedman hosted a television series on capitalism. Capitalism in the emerging Asian Tiger economies were often his examples of how to do it well . The example of nations that were doing what he believed was best for everyone included some of the worse offenders with regard to working people literally to death.

Where you draw the line between unfair labor practice and reasonable regulation of industry is surely something we ought to be able to discuss openly without hiding real outcomes and practices. Asking people to work seven days a week and for more than 12 hours per day is sweatshop labor practice. So is letting children work beside adults. I call that unfettered capitalism. I rarely heard Professor Friedman, in fact I can't remember a single instance from that series, where he spoke openly about regulations required to protect human rights or what the English philosopher John Locke would call life and liberty.

Of course Friedman's life's work was about how controlling monetary policy, the money supply, could be used to avoid or mitigate economic downturns. It was not fair of me to expect him to focus on an issue that was far from his core beliefs to highlight on his TV series. Nonetheless, he did chose examples such as Singapore and Hong Kong as his examples of vibrant capitalism at a time when they were also noted for harsh treatment of labor and the rights of humans.

It is amusing to see conservatives criticizing the Fed's handling of the money supply and at the same time wishing for Friedman's advice when the Fed is following faithfully today.


Although off topic a bit, what's really amusing/frustrating is people's memory.

When times are tough, we all pitch a fit. Times are as tough right now as I can remember.

When times are good (Clinton years/late 1990's), people still pitch a fit, but it's over stuff that I feel is insignificant or bizarre. Seems like it's never good enough.

When times are good, we should all at least recognize that nothing lasts forever and appreciate what we have. It has been my experience that's not the case.

Our economy runs in cycles. There are many facets to each cycle, with multiple contributions and drawdowns to each facet.

I believe in America and I'm betting on America. We will come out of this mess and we will see prosperous times again. And the cycle will continue.

The only thing we need right now is leadership. Seems we've identified the problems and provided plenty of remedies here; now, if we can just get someone in DC to pay attention.....


Here's the pattern. Republican run up crazy debt through tax cuts and stupid wars, then scream about the deficit as soon as a Democrat takes the helm in order to force them to cut the social programs they hate. That is how it goes and it will always be the same.

"Reagan proved deficits don't matter."---Dick Cheney

Unless a Democrat is in the White House.


Once again, Milton Friedman taught that governmental intervention into the economy could, if overdone, produce more harm than good and was at best unnecessary. He Never proposed or supported unfettered capitalism. All of your huffing and puffing and calling things what you wish will not change that.


...Milton Friedman taught that governmental intervention into the economy could, if overdone, produce more harm than good and was at best unnecessary.

Does that imply that governmental intervention, done just so*, can be good for the economy?

Anther tangent. If it were not for the evil PBS, how many people would be acquitted with Milton Friedman?

Here is a lovely quote from Mr. Friedman. He seems to contend we were living in a workers paradise during the 19th century without the benefit of Unions.

Friedman: People who earn their living in a modern heavy industry seldom engage in the kind of back-breaking toil that was the everyday lot of most workers a century ago. And yet they earn far more. What has produced these improvements? The offhand reaction of most people is likely to be that labor unions are largely responsible for the enormous progress workers have made in the past two centuries. But clearly, at least for the U.S. that cannot be true. After all, in the 19th Century when workers did very well, there were hardly any labor unions at all. And even today, no more than one out of four or five workers is a member of a trade union. And the remainder do very well indeed in achieving the highest level of living in the world.

Hmmm, it seems that even though things were swell without Unions, they were better when 20% of the labor force was Unionized vs the 10% that we have today.

So this genius, one whose ideas were made readily available to Joe The Plumber types by a Socialist Media Organization, says that life was just peachy for labor in the 19th Century.

Hmmm. No slave labor. No child labor. No workers protections. No Unions. Yep.

Friedman on the AMA cartel: -- Friedman: But why should medical care be a monopoly of licensed physicians? Shouldn't anyone who is capable of providing effective help be free to do so.

Hmmm. End the requirement for needing a Medical License to practice medicine. Just as I thought, the money paid to a Doctor bears no relation to how effective they might be. Like Teachers, Doctors are paid too much.

So lets bust the AMA Cartel and end Government Regulation on who gets to be a Physician.

Milton Friedman on open borders: You cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state. Wow! Are you Miltonistas down with that? Would you all trade an end to the welfare state for open borders?

Milton Friedman and the Military Industrial Complex: We all justly complain about the waste, fraud and inefficiency of the military. Why? Because it is a socialist activity – one that there seems no feasible way to privatize. But why should we be any better at running socialist enterprises than the Russians or Chinese?

So there you have it folks. All those brave Men and Women fighting for our rights are part of a Socialist Enterprise. Well, a guy can't be wrong about everything now, can he?

*As in the Clinton Administration?


Ooops


>>Does that imply that governmental intervention, done just so*, can be good for the economy? << - - - - - The Clinton administration aside*, of course. The most obvious need for economic regulation is the prevention of monopoly. And I am not implying that is all.

>>Here is a lovely quote from Mr. Friedman. He seems to contend we were living in a workers paradise during the 19th century without the benefit of Unions.<<

There is nothing in the quote to suggest that we were living in a workers paradise during the 19th century without the benefit of Unions. Also, there is nothing in the quote to suggest that M. Friedman proposed or supported unfettered capitalism. Also, M.Friedman did not, in that quote, say that life was just peachy for workers in the 19th century.

>>But why should medical care be a monopoly of licensed physicians? Shouldn't anyone who is capable of providing effective help be free to do so.<<

Well, why shouldn't anyone who is capable of providing effective help be free to do so? Yes, some doctors and medical providers are overpaid. Folk in the education bureaucracy are often incompetent and overpaid as indicated by the product they turn out. As I argued elsewhere, a license is no guarantee of competence. If it were, there would be no bad doctors, no bad lawyers, no bad cosmeticians, and no bad drivers. Licenses serve two purposes 1) to lull the unsuspecting to believe that incompetents and the dishonest are competent and honest, and, 2) to create bureaucracies that can be filled with party faithful.

>> Milton Friedman on open borders: You cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state.<< He was wrong about that, of course. We can and do – and it is a disaster.

*Clinton inherited a healthy economy and left it in a shambles.


Anonymia,

It is not clear what your possible credentials for your chosen subject of Economic Policy are, but expound you must. You do have a degree, yes? Please expect an occasional rebuke.

So, here we go with another comment, this time from the WSJ, 8-19-2011, from Stephen Moore, entitled "Why Americans Hate Econonomics"

Laura Meckler of WSJ asked WH press secretay Jay Carney how increasing unemployment insurance increases jobs, His response "I would expect a reporter from the WSJ would know this as a part of the entrance exam just to get on the paper"

Carney explained "unemployment insurance is one of the most direct ways to infuse money into the economy because people who are unemployed and obviously aren't earning a paycheck are going to spend the money that they get...and that creates growth and income for businesses that then lead them to making decisions about jobs--more hiring"

"THAT IS A PERFECT KEYNESIAN ANSWER! and also perfectly non-sensical. "

"What the WH is telling us is that the more unemployed people that we can pay for not working, the more will work.

ONLY SOMEONE WITH A PHD IN ECONOMICS FROM AN ELITE UNIVERSITY WOULD BELIEVE THIS!!!!!!!"

QUOTES FROM WSJ, NOT MINE, however I totally agree with this particular WSJ commentary.

Mr Lame and Mrs Lamer, Is it any wonder that there has been ZERO economic response from any economic policy from this administration.

Christina Romer, Obama's first chief economist has advised doubling down on the QE3. YEE GODS, is Romer daft and befuddled? Does she know how the markets function? And, to think, she is back in academia teaching our next generation of Economists.

Gag me with a FORK / *^ $ #


Mr. Frank expresses his distrust of individuals with college degrees and particularly people from universities such as MIT and or who become professors at institutions with reputations like UC Berkeley. Christina Romer is the target of his ire this time and she must be suspect because she did attend MIT and she is a professor at Berkeley. Mr. Frank would rather take his advice from Joe the plumber whose knowledge of economics and how the world works comes from plumbing repair.

Also in this vein we have been treated to the advise of a favored PhD, Milton Friedman, who in this case can be trusted because he says what some here want to hear. Apparently only PhDs with objectionable ideas cannot be trusted. Friedman, for example, believed that the AMA is nothing more than a great big union preventing us from getting the disease cures we deserve. Overly educated medical doctors, undoubtedly with the help of bureaucrat no-nothing PhDs at the FDA, are preventing truly creative individuals such as Professor Marvel from selling their home basement laboratory cures for everything that ails us.

The pattern here is that we should believe those folks who say what we want to hear and discount everyone else. Any data that refutes the popular religion must in all cases be ignored or dismissed as just more evidence that only PhDs can understand it.

No better example of this uniquely conservative point of view can be found than in the assertion that we should ignore 99% of the academic establishment who study the weather. These over educated scientists believe that man is changing the global weather patterns. As Joe can tell you with absolute certainty this idea is really a ruse designed to keep their research funding in tact. Prominent physicists at distinguished academic centers, for example, Oral Roberts U, will confirm that these non-biblical theories can be safely ignored. If the world was destined to end this way, it would be in the book of Revelation.

Mr. Frank’s arguments are on a par the used car saleman’s claims that blue smoke out of a tailpipe is a sign of well broke in engine, nothing to worry about.

Nobel winning economists such as Paul Krugman and UC Berkeley economists like Romer not only favor compassionate government programs that help the unemployed avoid homelessness and starvation, they also favor programs that would rebuild America’s infrastructure to make our nation more competitive in changing global economy. Government programs that would put people back to work rebuilding our highways, bridges, schools, and parks make sense right now. With historically low interest rates, cheap borrowing to fund improvements to our energy supply up grading the distribution systems and investing in R&D to end our dependency on imported oil is apparently the kind of logic Mr. Franks just cannot imagine. But you really do not need an advanced to degree to know that helping someone in need or laying a foundation for the future is the right thing to do.


Anonymia,

Let me try to clarify. I trust no one. What I am trying to do is cite options and policies that we may want to seek other than the ones we have pursued since 2000 with the Community Reinvestment Act, and more recently since Sept 2008, and the failed and failing corrective attempts to reverse our economic meltdown.

Do you maintain that all our economic actions since Sept 2008 are proper and excellent?

This is not about you or me. Our country needs a leader, today all panelists on Face the Nation made that statement.

Regarding Christina Romer, I am very well aware of her credentials, and I am not in awe. Her position was that we need even more stimulus, and to double down on stimulus, QE3, QE4 whatever it takes. I do not agree.

In sum, I believe our government is in over their heads on trying to regulate, stimulate, insinuate, laminate, or even to terminate our markets and economy. Where is the Plan?

I would suggest that you view the Academy Award winner for Best Documentary, Inside Job, by Charles Ferguson (who also directed No End in Sight). Then you might better appreciate my sense of scope, alarm, and disgust, especially with the revolving economic door for academians, politicians, regulatory agencies, and wall street. No one is blameless in this past meltdown, nor for the imminent next meltdown, and that is why Ferguson is so alarmed, and partly why he won the Academy Award. His investigative work of the economies and policies, worldwide, paints a truly frightening situation.

Web Link


This is not rocket science, folks. We currently enjoy an economic condition that we have not seen before. In order to get through this, we need to produce our way out; simple.

We created a self inflicted cold, which turned into a virus (a nasty one at that), which we then shared with the rest of the industrialized world. Everyone got an up close and personal look when we all witnessed the phenomenal 2008 meltdown, and it's still with us in all its global glory.

In theory, we would need to see a GDP of 6% p/annum for well over 2 years just to overcome the adverse effects of that virus; longer if we were to correct it - along with some structural changes.

To date, this has not happened. Moreover, I see no evidence of any bright light in this tunnel, other than that of the oncoming train.

From bums like me to extremely educationally advanced individuals, the issues seem fairly clear, as do the remedies and the plan of attack.

It's been discussed here and everywhere else around the country/world. The proper, or most advantageous moves for us, including a starting point and well thought out game plan seem fairly clear and have been discussed here.

The one missing ingredient, maybe the most important one, is the leadership needed to make it so.

Until then, I guess we'll just sit here, from well educated to bums, talking about it and focusing on relatively insignificant micro-facets and educational prowesses.

We need jobs. We need our government to grow up, take responsibility/ownership of our current morass. We need our government to think about America first. We need to produce. We need to rebuild America to the stature we received from our parents. We need to pay for what we want. We need to live within our means. We need to reduce government spending. We need to increase government revenue. We need a real and comprehensive Energy Policy. We need improved infrastructure. We need better public education. We need to quit sending our jobs overseas. We need to quit sending our wealth overseas. We need to expand the middle class, starting with stopping the decline in the middle class. We need to close tax loopholes.

There are even more needs, the most important of which is (obviously) positive results, growth, expansion and opportunities.

We need leadership; real leadership. We need a savvy group of legislators that puts America's future in front of their careers and political statements. We need government that puts America's long term position in front of the daily gyrations on Wall Street. Don't worry, Wall Street will adapt. There are some pretty bright minds in the financial community. If our government were to actually do something that tightens up our future, they'll figure it out and adjust the markets accordingly.

We need to get busy fixing the problems instead of bickering about them for perceived personal or political gain. Talk is cheap.


Our unique form of government, a democratic republic, has built in checks and balances, a three way sharing of powers split between the Courts, Congress and the Executive. This is now the reason the government cannot derive a clear path out of the current economic downturn. The House Republicans feel that their recent House victory in the mid term elections has shifted the authority of government from the Executive to the Congress despite the obvious fact that Obama was elected by a wide margin across the entire nation and the Congress was not.

This phenomenon is not new in our history. FDR put forward a plan for recovery in 1933, the New Deal; it largely ended by 1936/37 when a conservative led Congress took control to end it. Unemployment and economic growth tanked in the following months and years and did not fully recover until WW2 forced a divided nation to reject conservative arguments against government spending and isolationist views of the world.

Expecting Obama to have a magic wand more potent than FDR’s to tame a recalcitrant Congress during these equally challenging times is just wishful thinking. Blaming him for every aspect of our national life that is unsatisfactory or inadequate is the curse of leadership. We can be certain that there will be many self professed authors of any up turns the future may provide.

Now as in the 1930’s the world is experiencing major changes that challenge economies everywhere. Obama has defined a path forward. It includes fixing our unfair and complex tax codes, and addressing the structural problems that include our dependency on imported energy and an aging and decaying public infrastructure, fixing our ailing educational systems, and dealing with our costly underperforming healthcare system. But none of this can happen without the cooperation of the Congress and a sense of shared responsibility. Our process of government, embodied in our Constitution, demands cooperation and when it is not available because one branch of government refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the other government comes to a standstill.

At this moment in our history, a balance of powers, to work for our collective good requires a willingness to compromise. So far only the Executive branch of government has had the wisdom and courage to admit it.

When fanatical faith creates gridlock government, just as FDR faced in the mid 1930’s and we face again today, nothing will be accomplished. The radical conservatives in the House need to recognize that the path forward must be together. Obama has already expressed his willingness to compromise. That is not weakness, it is the way to the future.


>>despite the obvious fact that Obama was elected by a wide margin across the entire nation and the Congress was not.<< - - - I guess that explains the President's disdain for the rule of law.

>>FDR put forward a plan for recovery in 1933, << - - - - - The New Deal extended the depression in the US long after the rest of the world was finding its way out. It took a war to end it here. Now, it looks like President Obama is trying to duplicate that.

>>Blaming him for every aspect of our national life that is unsatisfactory or inadequate is the curse of leadership.<< - - - - - It is the curse of one who places Himself above the law.

>>addressing the structural problems that include our dependency on imported energy<< - - - - - Like preventing the development of oil reserves and thus preventing the creation of good jobs. The president's latest idea is to shut down coal mining in Texas and a major energy source and jobs along with it. I guess that'll teach that pesky governor a thing or two about power.


"Reagan proved deficits don't matter."---Dick Cheney

Silly you. Most conservatives disagreed with Cheney on that issue, as well as Bush's big government policies. And for what it's worth, Reagan never claimed that deficits don't matter.


Slandering a President, a passion of the right wing radicals in the Republican Party, has become standard practice. Devoid of evidence or even a convincing argument for their point of view they feel the need to concoct out of whole cloth absurd lies about people who oppose them. Barnus must have suffered a great deal if he had teachers growing up who believed in washing out lying mouths with bars of soap.

Despite EyeleanWright's pretense that Dick Cheney is not a spokesperson for the right, he is. What rubbish these people use to convince others of their point of view!

I don't doubt for one moment GW Bush's honesty or his conviction in what he believes or that Cheney is not a bonafide conservative, but I do disagree with their ideas and I am prepared to say why.


They disagree with Cheney, yet voted over and over to increase the deficit through irresponsible tax cuts, wars charged on the credit card and a disastrous Medicare Part D giveaway to the pharmecutical companies. Actions speak louder than words, and your so called "conservative" friends who are now screaming about deficits are the same people who created the lion's share of the debt we have today.

Hypocrits!


Despite EyeleanWright's pretense that Dick Cheney is not a spokesperson for the right,

Now you're lying. Again. I never said Cheney was not a spokesperson for the right. I said many conservatives did not agree with his assertion that deficits don't matter.

your so called "conservative" friends who are now screaming about deficits Were you paying attention you'd have noticed that conservatives did decry Bush's spending on education, medicare expansion and agricultural subsidies. And it's the current president along with the 110th and 111th Congress that is responsible for the lion's share of the debt we have today. And Obamacare hasn't even fully kicked in yet!


And now you're lying.


This thread has become so long in the tooth that it takes me longer to scroll down to the last comment than it does to pull up TA from scratch. A sure sign of an important topic, nerves struck and good dialog. Kudos to Anonymia.

That said, I might offer one more point. I touched on it earlier, but will again now.

I have stated repeatedly that both parties are equally guilty of worse than juvenile behavior (IMO). It's not a bit funny. These elected clowns are playing a very dangerous game with America's future, and again - both parties and everyone within them are equally guilty, look equally foolish and are all up to their necks deep in serving politics before their constituents. It's as ugly now as I can remember.

Part of the problem is the personal attacks. Many here, for example, use offensive terms with a very broad brush that are guaranteed to stand the hair on the necks of those s/he are speaking to while 'asking' for reason and understanding. Doesn't work that way. That widens the chasm before the first sign of remedy, or even real discussion can take place. We're seeing it in DC, but we're seeing it here too.

Maybe we could set the example for those morons in DC and lighten up on the rhetoric. Maybe, if we really act like the adults we profess to be and set that example maybe, just maybe some headway can be made.

Lord knows we need it from somewhere. If we can't find it in DC, maybe we can find it here.

One more point in closing; I don't appreciate being labeled right wing fanatic or left wing fanatic, or anything else for that matter. If I don't like it, and my skin is somewhat thick, I find it hard to believe that others like it. We need to appreciate that although we may see some things differently, we are all more complex and multi-faceted than to easily slide into where one person may want to put us. Plus, we're all neighbors.

We should want and appreciate good, solid discussion and argument. That will be very hard to accomplish if we call someone else a bad thing. Disingenuous at the least.


Web Link

Enjoy!


And it's the current president along with the 110th and 111th Congress that is responsible for the lion's share of the debt we have today.

Maybe some citations of factoids on that one?


BD,

thanks for the last link to Muckraker, now that is a good source of reliable information, my distillation of your link is "blame bush". Very helpful input.

The article made me recall the site of 9-11 in NYC, when Bill and Hillary Clinton appeared just prior to the arrival of Bush, sometime around 9-19/20, and an unknown reporter asked Clinton "do you feel responsible for this?" No response. I was unable to archive that memorable event. A day or two later Bush appeared and said "I can hear you now"

Does anyone want to bet how long it will takes before Clay shuts this awfully rancid topic gone wild down?


Typical of an idealogue to discount a fact because you don't like who is reporting it. Well, here is another link representing the same information from a different website. Maybe you'll take note now since it is not from Muckracker, who didn't compile the info in the first place.

Web Link

Enjoy!


Whether one loves Bush or hates Bush, just as whether someone loves Obama or hates Obama, I don't think there can be any debate on the facts.

Bush was President when we initiated a war in Afghanistan. Bush was President when we waged an unprovoked attack and subsequent occupation of Iraq. Bush was President when his tax cuts were offered and passed. Bush was President when oil broke out of its decades long range of $10.00 per/barrel to $40.00 per/barrel, to the tune of over $148.00 per/barrel. Fine. That was then. Obama is President now and was well aware of our fiscal, ethical, moral and all the other ...als when he ran for and won his seat at 1600 Penn Ave.

I am hopeful that we all can at least agree with these few facts.

I am known to be long accountability. Always have been. How can we 'fix' a problem if we don't know the history of how it happened? Some call it the 'blame game'. I suppose one can call it whatever one wants, but I prefer accountability. And as strongly as I believe in accountability ( which is just short of impossible with politicians), I believe equally strongly that we need to look ahead. We need to resolve the problems we have. We at least need to see movement in that direction.

Arguing over Bush, at this point, is like arguing over who left the barn door open? Let's worry about catching the horse and bringing it home.

Wouldn't that be more productive?

Btw, nice link(s) BD. Good sense of humor, too.


Many on the right seem to have full amnesia of any and all history before 1/20/2009.


Let's worry about catching the horse and bringing it home.

Ever hear of leading by example?


I'm not sure I understand your point, Eyelean. Perhaps you could be a little clearer and explain your thoughts or intent regarding your last post?


George, there you go with the adjectives.

"unprovoked"

With the use of that word, your recitation of "facts" became no more than an opinion.


Anon: Apparently you do not like to be corrected and you do not like to be called to account for your statements.

For the record, I am not radical or right wing or Republican. I do not lie.

Further, as wrong as your statements often are, I don't call you a liar and, in fact, I don't believe that you are a liar. I believe that you believe the foolishness you post, and just don't know any better.


I am hopeful that we all can at least agree with these few facts.

Here is latest fact.

Web Link

When Barack Obama took the oath of office twice on Jan. 20, 2009, CBS' amazing number cruncher Mark Knoller reports, the national debt was $10,626,000,000,000.

That means the debt that our federal government owes a whole lot of somebodies including China has increased $4,247,000,000,000 in just 945 days. That's the fastest increase under any president ever.

Remember the day the Democrat promised to close the embarrassing Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility within one year? That day the national debt increased $4,247,000,000. And each day since that the facility hasn't been closed.

Same for the day in 2009 when Obama flew all the way out to Denver to sign the $787 billion stimulus bill that was going to hold national unemployment beneath 8% instead of the 9.1% we got today anyway? Another $4,247,000,000 that day. And every day since, even Obama golfing and vacation days.


I am hopeful that we all can at least agree with these few facts.

Web Link

It's conventional wisdom in Washington to blame the federal government's dire financial outlook on runaway entitlement spending. Unless we rein in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the conventional wisdom goes, the federal government is headed for disaster.

That's true in the long run. But what is causing massive deficits now? Is it the same entitlements that threaten the future?

Yes, say some conservatives who favor making entitlement reform a key issue in the 2012 campaign. "We're $1.5 trillion in debt," Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol said Sunday, referring to this year's projected deficit. "Where's the debt coming from? It's coming from entitlements."

There's no doubt federal spending has exploded in recent years. In fiscal 2007, the last year before things went haywire, the government took in $2.568 trillion in revenues and spent $2.728 trillion, for a deficit of $160 billion. In 2011, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, the government will take in $2.230 trillion and spend $3.629 trillion, for a deficit of $1.399 trillion.


Alright Barnus, I'll bite.

Since you don't approve of the word "unprovoked", or at minimum feel that the word you chose to quote is guilty of turning fact into fiction, perhaps you would be so kind as to correct the statement relieving it from you're fictional status and putting it back into your factual column.

What was the provocation for the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq (in your mind)?

What did Iraq do to deserve the violent and bloody violation of their sovereignty?

What right did we have to a preemptive strike in Iraq?

Because we didn't like them? Because we didn't like Saddam? Maybe because we wanted a little more beachfront property?

Btw, I realize that this is a bit off topic, but Barnus seems to want to challenge facts discussed here. I just want Barnus to be happy.


I am glad to see that someone is looking after my happiness.

Among the projects you might undertake, George is to read more carefully.

I did not say a thing about what I believe or disbelieve about provocation or justification. I merely pointed out that you announced that you were listing fact - and in fact stated an opinion. What I believe is irrelevant in that context. I trust that you understand that many do not agree with the statement that the Iraq adventure was unprovoked.

It bothers me a bit when folk here present opinion as fact. Anon is making a career of it.


Another fact.

A slowdown in the U.S. economy has more than offset any boost from super-low mortgage rates, said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics.

"A new home is a luxury that many Americans can no longer afford," Dales said.

Web Link

Our new reality?

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sales of new homes fell for the third straight month in July, a sign that housing remains a drag on the economy. If the current pace continues, 2011 would be the worst year for new-home sales in nearly half a century.

Sales fell nearly 1 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 298,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That's less than half the 700,000 that economists say represent a healthy market.

Last year, 323,000 homes were sold - the worst year on records that go back to 1963.


"It bothers me a bit when folk here present opinion as fact." I can certainly appreciate that, but after all your response comments have sunk in, I still see no evidence of your ratings change on my statement that in your mind went from fact to fiction because I injected the word unprovoked.

If you are genuine in your opinion of my term, perhaps you could do what I asked and show me where I'm wrong.

I'll ask again:

What was the provocation for the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq (in your mind)?

What did Iraq do to deserve the violent and bloody violation of their sovereignty?

What right did we have to a preemptive strike in Iraq?

I'll add one more; what do you call it when we travel to the Persian Gulf in all our military glory and invade a sovereign nation without justifiable provocation?

I think my use of the word unprovoked is fine. Just because you don't feel the use of a verb is appropriate doesn't make it so, and further, doesn't change fact to fiction; at least not in this case.

Show me where I'm mistaken, Barnus.


>>Show me where I'm mistaken, Barnus.<< - - - - - I did.


Maybe in your mind. In an effort to understand your line of thought, I asked a few very simple, very direct questions (a couple of times). You answered zero, yet you feel, or at least state that you've shown me something.

You have; that you are just looking to fuss with someone. I have neither the time nor the interest.

When one individual can't even recognize or acknowledge simple straightforward facts that everyone else in the world seem to get, well...not much I can do for you, Barnus.

You have yourself a splendid evening, ya hear?


George,

You may have burned a bridge with Barnus, so let me take a shot at responding to your questions of him. I think this is appropriate to this topic, since you already stated "Bush was President when we waged an unprovoked attack and subsequent occupation of Iraq." and offered Bush as the major basis for Obama's current high debt.

You seem to be a fan of detailed timelines for Beachwood, and now express interest in the timeline leading up to "What was the provocation for the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq (in your mind)?" and so on.

Web Link

Please note just a few key events leading up to the Iraq war.

11 September 2001

29 January 2002

In his first State of the Union address, President Bush named three countries that he said continue to sponsor terror: North Korea, Iran and Iraq. He called them and their terrorist allies "an axis of evil," and said the price of indifference to them would be "catastrophic." He also warned that the country cannot afford to delay in further responding to the terrorist threat. "Time is not on our side," he said. "I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer."

12 September 2002

In an address to the United Nations, President Bush is expected to include a case for removing Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. At the request of the United States, the general debate, the part of the UN General Assembly session featuring speeches by world leaders, was moved forward by almost two weeks so that President Bush can deliver a major address one day after he participates in the September 11the commemoration events.

Early October 2002

The United States and Britain were drafting a United Nations resolution that would give Saddam Hussein about two months [that is, apparently until the end of November 2002] to cooperate fully with weapons inspectors and to make new efforts to comply with the resolutions that ended the Persian Gulf war. Under the resolution, inspectors would have broad new powers to hunt for suspected weapons of mass destruction, and have armed security while they conduct their search. If Iraq does not accept the terms within a week of passage, or fails to disclose required information within 30 days, the resolution authorizes "all necessary means" to force compliance-in other words, a military attack.

10 October 2002

Congress adopted joint resolution authorizing use of force against Iraq. The Republican-controlled House voted 296 to 133 to allow the president to use the military "against the continuing threat" posed by the Iraqi regime. The Democratic-run Senate followed at 1:15 a.m. 11 October with a vote of 77 to 23 for the measure.

23 October 2002

The United States formally introduced a draft resolution on Iraqi disarmament to the UN Security Council.

08 November 2002

The UN Security Council adopted a revised US draft resolution on Iraqi disarmament. Security Council Resolution 1441 contains no hidden triggers and no automaticity with respect to the use of force. If there is a further Iraqi breach reported to the council by UNMOVIC, the IAEA, or a member state, the matter will return to the Council for discussions. The Bush administration claimed a major diplomatic victory the unanimous Security Council resolution to send UN weapons inspectors back to Iraq. But the process required nearly eight weeks of painstaking negotiations and entailed some concessions by Washington.

The resolution adopted by the Security Council on 08 November 2002 gave Iraq seven days, until 15 November, to accept the resolution. The resolution called on Iraq to declare its programs to develop weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles within 30 days, giving Iraq until 09 December 2002 to declare what weapons of mass destruction and related materials it has in its possession.

07 December 2002

The resolution adopted by the UN Security Council on 08 November 2002 called on Iraq to declare its programs to develop weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles within 30 days. Iraq will declare on 07 December 2002 what weapons of mass destruction and related materials it has in its possession.

01 March 2003

UNMOVIC has reportedly ordered Iraq to destroy all of its Al Samoud 2 missiles and 380 rocket engines that were illegally imported by Saturday, March 1. This is also the date that a written report from UNMOVIC is due to the United Nations Security Council.

19 March 2003

President Bush, during an address to the nation on March 17, gave a 48 hour deadline to Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq or else the United States and its coalition allies will initiate a military action against the Iraqi regime. The deadline for Hussein to enter exile would be 8:00 PM EST on March 19, by this time nearly all of the final preparations would be completed. Military operations against Iraq began at around 9:30 PM EST on March 19.


Totally unprovoked. Period.


OK, this is going to take some humor. Let us see if this works

Woman in Hot Air Balloon

A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat below. She shouted to him,

"Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am."

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, "You're in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.

She rolled her eyes and said, "You must be a Republican.

"I am," replied the man. "How did you know?"

"Well," answered the balloonist, "everything you told me is technically correct. But I have no idea what to do with your information, and I'm still lost. Frankly, you've not been much help to me."

The man smiled and responded, "You must be an Obama-Democrat."

"I am," replied the balloonist. "How did you know?"

"Well," said the man, "you don't know where you are -- or where you are going. You've risen to where you are, due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem.

You're in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now it's my fault."

P R I C E L E S S!


Another fact.

Web Link

Illinois lost more jobs during the month of July than any other state in the nation, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report. After losing 7,200 jobs in June, Illinois lost an additional 24,900 non-farm payroll jobs in July. The report also said Illinois’s unemployment rate climbed to 9.5 percent. This marks the third consecutive month of increases in the unemployment rate.

Illinois started to create jobs as the national economy began to recover. But just when Illinois’s economy seemed to be turning around, lawmakers passed record tax increases in January of this year. Since then, Illinois’s employment numbers have done nothing but decline.

Please go to link to see the graph.

It’s too early to know conclusively the full impact of the tax hikes on the Illinois economy. Nevertheless, Illinois’s employment numbers serve as a good reminder that public policies have dramatic consequences for the daily lives of Illinoisans. A combination of high taxes, overspending and red tape do nothing but chase away job creators and leave too many citizens without jobs. Springfield needs to act now and reverse course.


Putting the blame for the current deficit and increasing nation debt on the Obama administration is like blaming the swelling around a mosquito bite for the itch and holding the mosquito blameless.

Conservatives forced a deregulation of the financial industry, opposed most government policies to safeguard the environoment, thought that the private secter would plan for the future without government assistance, wanted to privatize everything including our public schools and universities, and then refused to pay for any of wars they championed or programs like the Medicare drug benefit they passed with taxes equal to the spending. Now they want to blame the only responsible Party, the Democrats, for the disasterous consequecences of these failed conservative policies.

When the economy tanks, as it has thanks to the the Bush Administrtation's horrid polices and decisions, of course government spending goes up as more poeple depend upon unemployment insurance and government funded emergency medical care. The problem is in part due to our tax rates being too low, not to high.


Anonymia,

Let us assume that everything you assert is correct, so here is the question. When do you predict that this economic malaise will end...assuming democrats controlled all branches of government.


George:

There are folk that characterize the attack on Iraq as unprovoked and put forth arguments to that effect.

There are folk that characterize the attack as provoked by Saddam, and put forth arguments to that effect.

All of those folk are expressing opinions.

You may feel very strongly about your opinion. It may be correct. The strength of your feelings and the possibility that your opinion is correct does not make it a fact.

2+2=4 is a fact. Granite is denser than water is a fact. Most folk would say that the inevitability of death is a fact.

“Iraq was attacked” is a fact. "The attack on Iraq was unprovoked" is not a fact. It is argued both ways - it is an opinion.

I explained this to you. You don't like my explanation. I can't do more.

You seem to believe that you can control a discussion by asking questions that seem significant to you, and that others are bound to answer them. Specific answers to your specific questions would change nothing. Even if you were to convince everyone here that your opinion is correct - it would still be an opinion. There is nothing wrong with opinions or the stating of opinions – but - when we offer facts – we should offer facts – not opinions. Not even very strong or solid opinions.

No one is bound to bow to your will and answer questions believed to be irrelevant. That's a fact.


Add a comment

Please login to comment on this topic.

Login Here

Create a Login

Powered by Podium