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#152 Apr 21 2011 at 9:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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Already did it. Several times in several threads in fact. Go back and look.

Edit: Article discussing the Bush policies and 2010 deficits. I could parrot from it but why bother when people can read from the source. The actual Bush impact is deeper since the article doesn't count the Medicare Part D impact since they said they couldn't accurately figure the cost and didn't want to throw random numbers into the mix.

Edited, Apr 22nd 2011 11:37am by Jophiel
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#153 Apr 22 2011 at 4:30 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:


And I already covered this. If over a 2 year period the Dems increase spending by $500B/year, resulting in a debt crisis, and then "compromise" by cutting half of the deficit with spending cuts and half with tax increases, what is the net effect?

Answer: The net effect is a $250B/year spending increase with a $250B/year tax increase to pay for it.

The "halfway" solution is only a fair compromise if half of the deficit was caused by tax cuts and the other half by spending increases. But as I've explained at length, using real budget numbers over the time period in question, the tax rates did not change at all. The only thing that changed was spending. What you are suggesting is reasonable is not reasonable at all. It would be like me borrowing $100 from you, then when you ask me to pay you back, I suggest that we split the difference and offer up $50 as a "fair compromise" between me paying you nothing and me paying you back the full amount I owe. You'd never think that was fair, would you?


Why do you think so in this case? It's the exact same thing.


Sigh...

Fine, using your numbers:

Republicans want to cut 500B/year. Democrats want to cut 250/year and increase taxes for the other 250B. I'm saying compromise this. Cut 375B and increase taxes for the 125B. You see? That is what I am saying for "compromise". This way both sides are getting partially what they want.

I'm not saying this is the world's best plan and that this is the only way to fix the crisis. I'm saying that because the two parties want different things, and because we need a majority to pass anything, not having compromise from both sides will not work.

It seems like you see "tax increase" and stop reading.

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#154varusword75, Posted: Apr 22 2011 at 10:48 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Ailit,
#155 Apr 22 2011 at 10:54 AM Rating: Good
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#156 Apr 22 2011 at 1:24 PM Rating: Good
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Sorry for the Elnese, but I been trying to grok some very wonky articles.

I just found a new blog to follow through a friend in high school, who happens to be an economist. So far from what I read the only "experts" that agree with Gbaji are people who worship Ayn Rand and the Heritage Foundation.

Sadly any explanations of what happen in 2008 will be fought tooth and nail with cries of how the Democrats want to spend more, when history actually shows that the Repub, are bigger spenders and TARP and the Stimulus, prevented far worst outcomes that would have lead to higher unemployment and tighter credit market.

In other words people who think everyone should be selfless and can't understand simple math.

IF I had my say, the tax rate would go back to the rates from 1960. Even at half of the 1960 tax rate, we could get the deficit pay off and balance the budget without having to cut spending on safety net programs. Old NYTimes article that goes more in deep.

Edited, Apr 22nd 2011 4:19pm by ElneClare
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#157 Apr 22 2011 at 1:27 PM Rating: Decent
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ElneClare wrote:
I just found a new blog to follow through a friend in high school, who happens to be an economist. So far from what I read the only "experts" that agree with Gbaji are people who worship Ayn Rand and the Heritage Foundation.

In other words people who think everyone should be selfless and can't understand simple math.

IF I had my say, the tax rate would go back to the rates from 1960. Even at half of the 1960 tax rate, we could get the deficit pay off and balance the budget without having to cut spending on safety net programs.
I get the feeling that Ayn Rand was anti-human.
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#158 Apr 22 2011 at 2:21 PM Rating: Good
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bsphil wrote:
ElneClare wrote:
I just found a new blog to follow through a friend in high school, who happens to be an economist. So far from what I read the only "experts" that agree with Gbaji are people who worship Ayn Rand and the Heritage Foundation.

In other words people who think everyone should be selfless and can't understand simple math.

IF I had my say, the tax rate would go back to the rates from 1960. Even at half of the 1960 tax rate, we could get the deficit pay off and balance the budget without having to cut spending on safety net programs.
I get the feeling that Ayn Rand was anti-human.


Well Ayn Rand did idolize psychopath mass murders.
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This Post is written in Elnese, If it was an actual Post, it would make sense.

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#159 Apr 22 2011 at 2:39 PM Rating: Decent
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Wouldn't a better question be why? Do you honestly believe that they are unwilling to pay higher taxes so they champion higher taxes? Do you expect the dems to pass law and then include, in small print, (except for us and our party)?
#160 Apr 22 2011 at 2:52 PM Rating: Good
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ElneClare wrote:
Sorry for the Elnese, but I been trying to grok some very wonky articles.

I just found a new blog to follow through a friend in high school, who happens to be an economist. So far from what I read the only "experts" that agree with Gbaji are people who worship Ayn Rand and the Heritage Foundation.

Sadly any explanations of what happen in 2008 will be fought tooth and nail with cries of how the Democrats want to spend more, when history actually shows that the Repub, are bigger spenders and TARP and the Stimulus, prevented far worst outcomes that would have lead to higher unemployment and tighter credit market.

In other words people who think everyone should be selfless and can't understand simple math.

IF I had my say, the tax rate would go back to the rates from 1960. Even at half of the 1960 tax rate, we could get the deficit pay off and balance the budget without having to cut spending on safety net programs. Old NYTimes article that goes more in deep.

Edited, Apr 22nd 2011 4:19pm by ElneClare


I think deep down they know this, but they've been told for so long that Dems are bad that they just believe it now. They've also built up an immunity to facts.
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#161 Apr 22 2011 at 4:09 PM Rating: Default
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Ailitardif, Star Breaker wrote:

Fine, using your numbers:

Republicans want to cut 500B/year. Democrats want to cut 250/year and increase taxes for the other 250B.


Except the Dems don't want that compromise. They want to keep the $500B/year in spending and pay for it with $500B/year in taxes. They are willing to "compromise" to $250B/year in increased spending and taxes because that still means they're $250B/year "better off" in terms of spending than they were before hand. You do understand how negotiations work, right?

Quote:
I'm saying compromise this. Cut 375B and increase taxes for the 125B. You see?


Yes. I see that you will keep changing what you claim to be saying to make it seem more reasonable. That's still not a fair compromise either.

Let me rephrase an earlier example:

I borrow $500 from you. But then I drag my feet paying you back. Then I offer a compromise where I'll pay you back $250 and you just accept the other $250 as a loss. That's not a compromise. I borrowed the money, I should pay it all back, right? Offering a second compromise where I pay you back $375 and you eat the other $125 as loss isn't a compromise either. I'm still taking money from you.


And the Dems are still increasing the tax burden on the people. That's what conservatives oppose.

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That is what I am saying for "compromise". This way both sides are getting partially what they want.


It's a zero sum game though. Every dollar of increase spending requires a dollar of increased taxes to pay for it (eventually). One side wants to increase spending. The other wants to decrease taxes. Thus, any dollar of increased spending is a "win" for the first group and a lose" for the second. Both sides don't get what they want. The Dems get what they want (increased spending) and the GOP gets the opposite of what they want (higher taxes instead of lower). I've explained this in pretty clear English several times now, but it seems like you can't or wont understand what I'm talking about.


There is no result where "both sides get what they want" here. That's a complete misunderstanding of the issue.

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I'm not saying this is the world's best plan and that this is the only way to fix the crisis. I'm saying that because the two parties want different things, and because we need a majority to pass anything, not having compromise from both sides will not work.


We didn't have a compromise when the Dems spent the money though, did we? That wasn't both parties working together, right? So why is it that it's ok to spend money without bi-partisan agreement, but not ok to unspend that money in the same manner? Aren't you applying a double standard?

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It seems like you see "tax increase" and stop reading.


I don't stop reading. I do realize that any tax increase is something I oppose and will fight. Doubly so when that tax increase is exactly what conservatives warned would happen years ago, but were told we didn't know what were were talking about and were just trying to scare people away from voting for the Dems and Obama (perhaps followed up with speculation about us being racists as well). So yeah. Some of us are a bit upset about this, with very good reason.

Edited, Apr 22nd 2011 3:10pm by gbaji
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#162 Apr 22 2011 at 4:29 PM Rating: Default
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ElneClare wrote:
I just found a new blog to follow through a friend in high school, who happens to be an economist. So far from what I read the only "experts" that agree with Gbaji are people who worship Ayn Rand and the Heritage Foundation.


From what you read on what appears to be a very very liberal source? Forgive me if I apply a huge grain of salt to that. And he predictably has the same faulty definition of fiscal conservative I see all the time. Fiscal conservatism is *not* about balancing the budget. It's about reducing the tax burden. Period. Saying "where are the fiscal conservatives?" and pointing at conservatives opposing tax increases to pay off a deficit shows just how ignorant the person asking the question is.

The numbers I'm using are pretty clear. What's funny is that it seems like people like Joph just keep tossing the kitchen sink at the issue argument wise. "Oh well, what about Bush's Tax cuts? Ok. Well even if that isn't the cause, what about wars in Iraq and Afghanistan!? I heard someone on the TV say it, so it must be true!!! Oh. That's not it either. Well, what about Medicare Plan D that Bush spent money on! unfunded entitlements! That must be it."

None of those things add up. I have shown exactly where the deficit increase is coming from. And by far the largest portion of that deficit increase comes from increased spending on social services. Welfare and Medicaid have the largest percentage jumps. Social Security went up significantly. Medicare actually only increased modestly relative to its historical spending trendline (and actually may have declined as a result of the changes Bush made, but I haven't done the full math on that yet).

I'm not presenting just opinion. I'm presenting fact. And while I'm sure there are some economists who are willing to ignore the very clear numbers in front of us for partisan reasons, I'm not going to put any weight on their opinions. I'm looking at those clear numbers. And they're telling us in very clear language that the bulk of the current deficit is the result of spending increases over the last couple years. There's just no way to measure it and not come to that conclusion.

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Sadly any explanations of what happen in 2008 will be fought tooth and nail with cries of how the Democrats want to spend more, when history actually shows that the Repub, are bigger spenders and TARP and the Stimulus, prevented far worst outcomes that would have lead to higher unemployment and tighter credit market.


Where is this shown? I'm honestly curious. Are you just saying that because you heard it somewhere? Or do you have any numbers to back it up? Because we heard liberals say this for 8 years straight while Bush was in office, despite relatively flat spending levels and little if any new spending during that time period, and usually by doing silly math tricks (like saying that "we spent more money this year than ever before!!!", when that's true every year and is thus irrelevant). They constantly talked about Bush's deficits/debt even while the actual debt ratio was steady and sustainable.

And within one year of the Dems taking control we've seen spending the likes of which we haven't seen since the 40s. Yet some people still repeat the "The GOP are the big spenders" line as though they just haven't been paying attention the last couple years. How can anyone say that after looking at all the spending we just did? Spending which was opposed nearly universally by the GOP. Amusingly, when the GOP did that they were called obstructionists and the "party of NO" and partisans, and attacked for not working with Democrats more. Yet now, suddenly everyone forgets that it was the Dems who embarked on this spending spree and the GOP who steadfastly opposed every single step of the way.


The crisis we're in right now is the Dems fault. It's just baffling to me how anyone can argue otherwise and not know that they're lying while doing it. It's like watching someone rob someone else, but then trying to come up with excuses for what happened and then going so far as to blame the victim. It's just bizarre.

Quote:
In other words people who think everyone should be selfless and can't understand simple math.


There's some irony there.

Quote:
IF I had my say, the tax rate would go back to the rates from 1960. Even at half of the 1960 tax rate, we could get the deficit pay off and balance the budget without having to cut spending on safety net programs. Old NYTimes article that goes more in deep.


Everyone talks about how much higher the tax rates were "back then", and think that since it didn't hurt us then, it wont hurt us now. But the problem is that there were even more loopholes in the tax code then then there are now. The wealthy paid less taxes as a percentage of their total earnings back then. What has been found to work well tax wise is to lower the rates (flatten them a bit) and eliminate loopholes. But you have to do both.


And that still ignores the larger issue which is that increasing total tax revenue raised by the government is not a good thing. This is also something I just don't understand why people don't get. It's like you think it's good for someone to take more from you. How does that work?
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#163 Apr 22 2011 at 4:33 PM Rating: Good
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will fight
Do elaborate on your war plan.
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#164 Apr 22 2011 at 4:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
From what you read on what appears to be a very very liberal source? Forgive me if I apply a huge grain of salt to that.

Well, it's not CNS News, the AEI site or LifeNews, if that's what you mean by "very, very liberal".

Quote:
And while I'm sure there are some economists who are willing to ignore the very clear numbers in front of us for partisan reasons, I'm not going to put any weight on their opinions.

Translation: "I'm wrong but I'll just say anyone who disagrees with me is 'very, very liberal' and a total partisan and then I can ignore their facts".

Yeah, that should work. No one would ever suspect you of ignoring simple facts for partisan reasons :D

Edited, Apr 22nd 2011 6:05pm by Jophiel
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#165 Apr 22 2011 at 5:08 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
From what you read on what appears to be a very very liberal source? Forgive me if I apply a huge grain of salt to that.

Well, it's not CNS News, the AEI site or LifeNews, if that's what you mean by "very, very liberal".


And there's nothing in between? You'll note that I'm not forming my opinions on this based on what some guy writes in an editorial. I'm looking at actual budget numbers and accessing from those numbers where the bulk of todays deficit is coming from. My methodology is incredibly straightforward. I'm looking at the delta in deficit between the last year prior to the economic meltdown and the last year we have accurate historical data. Then I'm looking at the deltas in terms of revenue and spending for each category within that budget data.

There's no opinion there. Just fact. And the facts show clearly that about 60% of that increased deficit delta is due to increased spending, and 40% is due to loss in revenue. But since some of that revenue loss in 2010 is due to tax credits from the stimulus (which will mostly not be present in this years budget numbers), it's really more like an 80/20 split. And if budget projections for this year hold true, we're going to see a 1.5T deficit, but revenues will return to 2007 levels, meaning that this year 100% of the deficit will be due to increases in spending. And if those projections hold, then this means that we're going in the wrong direction. Our problems are increasing. We're not recovering, we're falling into a spending hole.


We can discuss and debate where we're spending too much money and what to do about it, but it seems amazing to me how many of you simply refuse to even acknowledge that it's spending that is the problem in the first place.
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#166 Apr 22 2011 at 5:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
will fight
Do elaborate on your war plan.


I'll give you a hint: it will involve reloading, and likely exclude retreating.
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#167 Apr 22 2011 at 5:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
From what you read on what appears to be a very very liberal source? Forgive me if I apply a huge grain of salt to that.

Well, it's not CNS News, the AEI site or LifeNews, if that's what you mean by "very, very liberal".


And there's nothing in between?

I've never seen you reference anything in between. You've poorly used some CBO numbers and misread some charts but your typical "cites" in the past weeks have been from the sites I listed.

I just find it hilarious that your standard of evidence suddenly changes when someone else links to a site. "I don't like it so it's TOO LIBERAL!!"
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#168 Apr 22 2011 at 5:12 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
it seems amazing to me how many of you simply refuse to even acknowledge that it's spending that is the problem in the first place.
I don't think I've seen anyone here actually refuse to acknowledge that there is a problem with how much is being spent. Maybe you're just confused that they're not blindly blaming a single side?
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#169 Apr 22 2011 at 6:01 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
From what you read on what appears to be a very very liberal source? Forgive me if I apply a huge grain of salt to that.

Well, it's not CNS News, the AEI site or LifeNews, if that's what you mean by "very, very liberal".


And there's nothing in between?

I've never seen you reference anything in between.


Let's see. In between a liberals editorial and a conservative's editorial might just be maybe looking at actual budget numbers and deriving your own results? Or is that too far outside the box? Why must we "pick an expert" and assume they are right and the other guy is wrong?

Quote:
You've poorly used some CBO numbers and misread some charts but your typical "cites" in the past weeks have been from the sites I listed.


"poorly used"? How? By doing basic math with them? Or did you get confused with the whole "$160B is less than $1.2T" bit? Or maybe the "$85B is less than $1.2T"? When people keep insisting that the current deficit is because of the Bush tax cuts, then I show that the tax rates didn't change, yet the deficit increased anyway, then they argue that it's because Bush spent too much on the war, so I show them that defense spending only increased by a fraction of the deficit increase, then they insist (this is you btw) that the deficit is because Bush increased medicare costs, then I show them that medicare spending increased by an even smaller fraction, when do you guys stop tossing out stupid arguments?


It's like you guys have a pathological need to "blame Bush" and "defend Obama" even to the point of ridiculousness. I've used the cbo numbers properly Joph. They just don't say what you want them to, and you can't argue against them, so instead you suggest that I'm using them wrong, or I don't understand them, or any other vaguely worded insinuation that allows you to still argue your "side" without having to actually use any real numbers.

Quote:
I just find it hilarious that your standard of evidence suddenly changes when someone else links to a site. "I don't like it so it's TOO LIBERAL!!"


I'm not the one who was using that site as any kind of standard for anything. You'll note that in the two threads in which I've been arguing about the debt and deficit I have not used any opinions as source, nor quoted any "experts". I have looked at the raw historical data and performed pretty basic math on them. Something any of you can do as well if you were willing to actually form your own opinions instead of letting someone else form it for you.


People lie. Those numbers don't. And the math I'm doing with them is simplistic. It's not some bizarre statistical analysis. It's basic addition and subtraction. Which number is more than another? How freaking hard is that?
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#170 Apr 22 2011 at 6:03 PM Rating: Default
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
it seems amazing to me how many of you simply refuse to even acknowledge that it's spending that is the problem in the first place.
I don't think I've seen anyone here actually refuse to acknowledge that there is a problem with how much is being spent. Maybe you're just confused that they're not blindly blaming a single side?


Except for those who've argued that it's because of the Bush tax cuts of course. Or, by implication, those who argue that we should be ok with raising taxes to reduce the deficit (why should we if lowering taxes isn't what caused the problem in the first place?).
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#171 Apr 22 2011 at 6:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
"poorly used"? How? By doing basic math with them?

Well, by failing to do basic math. The article I linked earlier points out most of your flaws. I'm not really interested in twenty-five circular posts of "Nuh-UH! And that's LIBERAL!!" while you deny basic stuff. Someone else already did the work for me so go read it. Or don't. Or read it and cry about how liberal it is.
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#172 Apr 22 2011 at 6:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Or, by implication, those who argue that we should be ok with raising taxes to reduce the deficit (why should we if lowering taxes isn't what caused the problem in the first place?).
No one is saying just raise taxes, either.

Well, except you.
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#173gbaji, Posted: Apr 22 2011 at 6:09 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) And that's where you went wrong. It's basic math Joph. Do it yourself. Do you have any idea how pathetic this makes you appear? "I don't need to think because this guy who wrote an article already did it for me". Wow. Really? It's basic math, remember? You said so yourself.
#174 Apr 22 2011 at 6:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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So you refuse to read it?

Ok, your call.
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#175 Apr 22 2011 at 6:38 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:


We didn't have a compromise when the Dems spent the money though, did we? That wasn't both parties working together, right? So why is it that it's ok to spend money without bi-partisan agreement, but not ok to unspend that money in the same manner? Aren't you applying a double standard?


If I remember correctly, the Dems controlled everything at that point so they didn't need to compromise.

My point is more about the the amount of votes required to pass bills. If one side has enough votes to pass what they want, why would they compromise? Neither side has total control right now, so in order to pass things, they have to come to an agreement, right? I'm all for fixing this problem and I will accept whatever the government decides to do (even if I don't agree with it). If the republicans can manage to get what they want without making concessions, then that is great for them. I'm just trying to express the point of both sides coming to an agreement as neither side has total control at this point.
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#176 Apr 22 2011 at 6:49 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
So you refuse to read it?

Ok, your call.


Just finished reading it. They use similar numbers to mine, and come to some initially similar results (economic downturn being about $400B of the deficit for example, although I suspect that they are ignoring the amount of revenue reduction in the form of stimulus "tax credits", but whatever). They also correctly place "increased spending" at 1.1T of deficit over the 2009/2010 time frame (I said $560B/year, so our numbers are pretty much in agreement).

What the article you linked is basically arguing is that had we not spent the money on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not passed the Bush tax cuts, we would have extra money today with which to pay for all that increased stimulus-related stuff in 2009/2010. And that's pretty much the extent and entirety of their argument.

But there's a huge gaping flaw with that argument. It attempts to spend money we didn't have. In 2009/2010 we had already committed to and/or spent the money we were and will spend related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Similarly, we had already passed the Bush tax cuts. And for the better part of a decade those two things didn't cause a massive and unsustainable deficit. The Democrats choose to spend more money in 2009/2010 years in an environment where those earlier effects already existed. IMO, that's an incredibly bogus argument to make. We can always argue that if only taxes were higher, we'd be able to afford to spend more on our federal budget. But that argument misses the point entirely.


It would be like if you had a monthly budget for your household for 10 years during which time your debt level was stable. Then one day you choose to buy a boat. You can't afford the boat, but you borrow money to buy it anyway. Then the monthly bills come in and you find that you don't have enough money to pay your monthly bills, so you start borrowing more money on your credit cards. Every sane person would say that you are running up your debt because you bought a boat you couldn't afford. Only a really nutty person would go looking at other parts of the household budget and argue "But if only we didn't spend $300 on this car payment, and $200 on entertainment, and $400 on food, we wouldn't be in debt!".


It's a moronic argument on its face. They're cherry picking past effects and blaming them instead of looking at the decisions which were made in 2009/2010 with full knowledge of the effects those things would have on our debt picture in the environment we were in at the time. It was those decisions which pushed us into unsustainable debt levels, not the decisions made 8-10 years ago. You don't get to count up chickens you never had and then buy stuff today based on the assumption that if you had those chickens you could sell them for the money you need. I mean, you can make that argument, but no one with a lick of economic sense would.
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#177 Apr 22 2011 at 6:59 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
What the article you linked is basically arguing is that had we not spent the money on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not passed the Bush tax cuts, we would have extra money today with which to pay for all that increased stimulus-related stuff in 2009/2010. And that's pretty much the extent and entirety of their argument.

But there's a huge gaping flaw with that argument. It attempts to spend money we didn't have. In 2009/2010 we had already committed to and/or spent the money we were and will spend related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
What you're suggesting is that even if we didn't buy weapons, we'd still have bought bullets for those weapons. Even with my limited understanding, I know that isn't how it works. You can't do "additional spending" on something you're not doing "spending" on to begin with, sweetheart.

Quit defending it. The wars were a bad idea for the economy, and additional spending continues to be a bad idea.

Edited, Apr 22nd 2011 9:00pm by lolgaxe
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#178 Apr 22 2011 at 6:59 PM Rating: Good
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This just in.

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#179 Apr 22 2011 at 7:00 PM Rating: Good
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Gbaji, I could post more links to articles written by economists from various sources, but since they actually understand the math and formulas used in ways that non economists find too puzzling, you go shouting it's got to be wrong, because it doesn't fit the answers you got doing basic math. Since most posters won't want to pay money to read the NY Times, I'm trying to limit how often I link to the newspaper.

Jonwin will confirm, that I can spend hours reading from various newspapers and wonkish blogs, and have to sometimes be reminded to take care of bodily functions, like eating regular meals.

Trying drawings some graphs and see if you can prove your economic theory that way. I been looking at graphs for weeks now, while reading Paul Krugman's blog and he's been referencing a wide range of sources, that layperson's like us would find mystifying. Because Beck and O'Reilly think he and George Soro's are trying to lead us down the Path of Socialism, I do try to read as many sources, as I can and ask questions, when I don't understand something.

I'm finding all the years I had to watch Sunday talk shows with George Will and William F. Buckley Jr, did teach me a few concepts you seem to fail to understand. Actually we weren't made to watch the shows, as long as we didn't want to read the Sunday Comics and look at the latest fashions in the NY Times Magazine. Which of course lead to me reading the Magazine and then the Week in Review, which lead to also reading the Washington Post and being a big fan of the News Hour on PBS.

But you can have your unicorns and pink elephants, while the rest of try to face the fact that the government can only do so much to effect the economy and the problem we face were caused by Wall Street being allow to run wild, not any political party or tax rates being too high.

Fun trivia is that a few of my public elementary school class mates were neighbors of George Will and a girl in my class, father was head of the IRS at the time.
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#180 Apr 22 2011 at 7:03 PM Rating: Default
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Ailitardif, Star Breaker wrote:
gbaji wrote:


We didn't have a compromise when the Dems spent the money though, did we? That wasn't both parties working together, right? So why is it that it's ok to spend money without bi-partisan agreement, but not ok to unspend that money in the same manner? Aren't you applying a double standard?


If I remember correctly, the Dems controlled everything at that point so they didn't need to compromise.


And it was an uncompromising "victory" by the Dems which got us into this mess. Thus, it'll take an uncompromising victory by the GOP in the other direction to get us out. Makes one wonder why anyone ever votes Democrat, doesn't it?

Quote:
My point is more about the the amount of votes required to pass bills.


Sometimes, passing the wrong bill because it's the one you can pass is the wrong thing to do. The hoped for result is that by pushing our position, the public will realize the only with spending decreases can we really get out of this mess and then the Dems will do the right thing. If they don't, then they'll lose big next year. Then the GOP will have the votes they need and can do the right thing then.

If we compromise now, we'll be stuck with a less ideal solution, the Dems will claim they were right all along, the public pressure to do the right thing will evaporate, and the end result will be more spending and more taxes and no end in sight.

Quote:
If one side has enough votes to pass what they want, why would they compromise?


Because what they are doing is monumentally stupid? You get that the reason the GOP gained an historic number of seats in Congress last year is because the Dems had the votes they needed, didn't compromise, and used their power to drive the countries economy into the dirt, right? Now the GOP has gained some ground, but still doesn't have sufficient power to reverse course and people like you argue they should compromise? With stupid? Why? The public overwhelmingly understands that too much spending by the Dems is what got us into this mess. Why should the GOP compromise when they are absolutely in the right?


What kills the GOP is if they compromise on this (too much anyway). As long as they stick to the "cut spending to cut the deficit" platform, they'll enjoy pretty massive public support. If they compromise, the public will lose faith that the GOP will follow through with their promises and support for them will wane, and then we'll all lose.


Quote:
Neither side has total control right now, so in order to pass things, they have to come to an agreement, right? I'm all for fixing this problem and I will accept whatever the government decides to do (even if I don't agree with it). If the republicans can manage to get what they want without making concessions, then that is great for them. I'm just trying to express the point of both sides coming to an agreement as neither side has total control at this point.


There's the political reality of coming to an agreement, and then there's the economic reality of doing the right thing. The GOP is right now in one of those rare political positions where their position is not only popular but is "the right thing to do". That sort of alignment rarely happens in politics. Why on earth compromise on that? They should be pushing that as hard as possible. They should raise the issue every single day. They should force the Dems to either side with "higher spending/taxes" (and almost certainly face massive defeat next November) or side with the GOP on this issue.

What did you think the whole recent thing with the Budget CR and the 11th hour save on the government shutdown was about? It wasn't about the GOP wanting to shut down the government, but about the GOP putting the "sides" of the issue firmly in the public mind. If they just came to an agreement in committee and passed the CR, no one would notice or really care. By pushing the issue they put the fact that the Dems are for spending and higher taxes front and center. Expect them to keep doing things like that so as to ensure that a left leaning mainstream media has no choice but to let the public know what the two parties each stand for in terms of economic policy.

That this will help the GOP win power *and* help the economic fortunes of the people is a double win really.
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#181 Apr 22 2011 at 7:06 PM Rating: Good
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Glad to see CNNMoney pick up the story. I wasn't going to post either poll, since I'm tired of Varus and Gbaji crying how any poll done by an liberal Media Company doesn't count.



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#182 Apr 22 2011 at 7:12 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Disregarding the point, as per usual.


We're done, you "win".
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#183 Apr 22 2011 at 7:39 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
In 2009/2010 we had already committed to and/or spent the money we were and will spend related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Similarly, we had already passed the Bush tax cuts. And for the better part of a decade those two things didn't cause a massive and unsustainable deficit.

Heh... almost had it and then you lost it. Oh well.
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#184 Apr 22 2011 at 8:28 PM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
From what you read on what appears to be a very very liberal source? Forgive me if I apply a huge grain of salt to that.
Well, it's not CNS News, the AEI site or LifeNews, if that's what you mean by "very, very liberal".
And there's nothing in between?
Welcome to the point.
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I'm not getting my news from anywhere Joph.
#185 Apr 22 2011 at 8:32 PM Rating: Default
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
What the article you linked is basically arguing is that had we not spent the money on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not passed the Bush tax cuts, we would have extra money today with which to pay for all that increased stimulus-related stuff in 2009/2010. And that's pretty much the extent and entirety of their argument.

But there's a huge gaping flaw with that argument. It attempts to spend money we didn't have. In 2009/2010 we had already committed to and/or spent the money we were and will spend related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
What you're suggesting is that even if we didn't buy weapons, we'd still have bought bullets for those weapons.


Huh? I have no idea where you got this. What I meant is that we had already been fighting those wars for 6+ years, and were already committed to spending the money for those wars when Obama took office. Those costs were already on the books before they chose to spend yet more money. I thought I was very clear about this. Whether you agree with the wars or not is irrelevant. The fact is that we were already fighting them. The money was already being spent.


The choice to spend more money was made knowing we were already spending the money on those wars. That's the point. How the **** did you miss that?

Quote:
Even with my limited understanding, I know that isn't how it works. You can't do "additional spending" on something you're not doing "spending" on to begin with, sweetheart.


I'll repeat: Huh? Obama does not have a time machine (that I know of anyway). So in 2009, he could not go back in time and undo the decisions to engage in those wars and get the money we spent on them (and had to continue to spend on them) back. It makes no sense to justify some other completely unrelated spending on the basis that if we did have a time machine and could go back in time, we could not commit to spending money on those wars, and thus would have enough money to spend on this new thing we want.


That's insane. You get that, right? Please tell me you get that. They are trying to offset the spending they made by pretending that we never spent other money we already spent and thus "should have had" more money that we did. But we did spend that money. And they knew this. And they choose to spend more money anyway.

Quote:
Quit defending it. The wars were a bad idea for the economy, and additional spending continues to be a bad idea.


But not all the additional spending the Dems did in 2009/2010 though? Only additional spending on the wars? I've already pointed out that during the three year period between 2007 and 2010, the total defense spending only increased by $140B. The total domestic spending increased by an additional $500B or so during the same time period. So not only is the argument weak, it also really doesn't account for everything. While the writer in Joph's article uses projections to predict future costs, when we look at actual costs we've incurred so far, the numbers just don't add up.


To go back to my home budget example: It would be like if the increased cost for the Boat was $500/month, your hours were cut at your job resulting in a loss of $400/month, you're having to borrow $1200/month on credit to pay your bills, and you're trying to argue that if only you didn't spend $140/month on some other bill, you wouldn't be in the debt problem you're in. Any sane person would conclude that the boat is the largest contributor to the debt, with the loss of revenue coming in second place. Add in the fact that your total salary used to be $2500/month, and is currently dropped to $2100/month, you might conclude that blaming the $140/month bill is purely arbitrary. You could just as easily blame any of the other $2000/month you were spending on other things prior to the whole boat and hours being cut thing if you wanted to.


It's pure cherry picking. And foolish cherry picking at that. Even if you eliminated that $140/month expense, you'd still be falling into debt fast. Yet for some bizarre reason, that's exactly what that article tries to argue. And don't get me started on the whole Bush tax cuts thing. Even if we eliminated the entire set of cuts (for everyone), we're still only talking about around $350B/year. That, combined with revenues coming back up would almost get us back in the ballpark. But the Dems aren't arguing for that. They want only the cuts that apply to those making over $250k/year cut. And that would only net us like $80/year or something (I don't have those numbers off hand, but it's really really tiny relatively speaking). And similarly, while some number crunchers love to play "what if" games with the economic figures, the Dems also aren't proposing magically eliminating the costs associated with the wars either.

So what are they suggesting? Just those tiny tax increases? Is anyone actually seriously thinking that's all they plan and/or need to do if cutting spending is off the table? The Democrats know that in order to cover this with tax increases, those increases would have to be absolutely massive. Not just a small increase on "the rich". And not just some capital gains changes, or eliminating some corporate tax loopholes. None of that will come even remotely close to closing the gap. Deduction eliminations for mortgages over $500k? Still not coming close. They're selling smoke and mirrors and counting on most people not really doing the math and realizing that it's not going to work. I can only assume they're doing this because they know that there is no viable plan that doesn't either involve massive taxes which the public will never support (and which violates their own promises) or massive spending cuts (which they don't want). Thus, they play word games, and try to poke holes in the GOP suggestions, all while knowing that they don't have any real alternative. They're just hoping that they can somehow spin the blame onto the GOP for the mess and not take too big a hit for it.


Which is precisely why we're hearing all these BS arguments about "if only Bush hadn't sent us to war", and "if only Bush hadn't cut taxes". It's an attempt to blame the other guy when you're the one caught with your hand in the cookie jar. It's childish and stupid, but that's all the Dems have at this point.
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#186 Apr 22 2011 at 8:48 PM Rating: Default
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ElneClare wrote:
Gbaji, I could post more links to articles written by economists from various sources, but since they actually understand the math and formulas used in ways that non economists find too puzzling, you go shouting it's got to be wrong, because it doesn't fit the answers you got doing basic math.


You can find more than a handful of liberal economists arguing that it was Bush's tax cuts and the costs of the wars which caused our current crisis and not the massive spending we embarked on in 2009/2010? I doubt that seriously.


Quote:
Trying drawings some graphs and see if you can prove your economic theory that way.


Why graphs? I've presented the numbers themselves. See. The problem is that the graphs you're looking at (including the one in Joph's link) are projections. They are guessing at what will happen based on their own calculations. Those are rarely ever accurate btw, because they assume that nothing changes between now and then, and that rarely ever happens.

I'm not projecting a guess into the future. I'm looking at where we are right now today and looking at where the changes in the values are. It's easy to crunch some numbers and guess, and even easier to manipulate the weights of those numbers to make it come out the way you want. It's also more or less meaningless. How do you decide which costs make up the "deficit"? Only the ones you want to include? What about the other $2T+ we spend each year? Why not pretend those fall into the deficit and do the same graphs on those?


They got the numbers they got because they started out by assuming that a subset of total spending is really "deficit spending". Then they expand the projections by assuming that all the interest costs associated with that growing debt is the fault of the handful of cherry picked items they have decided make up the amount of the total which is in the "deficit", while letting all the other stuff get off scott-free. It's fabricated. I could just as easily assume that the deficit is made up of just Social Security and Medicare and then project all the interest costs onto those and end out with an equally huge result at the end. Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Some of us don't find the math puzzling at all btw. It's quite clear how they're being manipulated. That's why I stick to historical budget numbers to make my economic arguments. The facts about what did happen aren't subject to statistical manipulation via projection (not too much anyway). I'm not kidding when I say that the math being done in Joph's article is pure cherry picking. All expenses contribute to the deficit, not just the ones you deice to put there.


Quote:
I been looking at graphs for weeks now, while reading Paul Krugman's blog and he's been referencing a wide range of sources, that layperson's like us would find mystifying.


And what did he conclude? Saying "it's mystifying so let's not attempt to understand it" seems to be a weak approach. Don't you agree?

Quote:
But you can have your unicorns and pink elephants, while the rest of try to face the fact that the government can only do so much to effect the economy and the problem we face were caused by Wall Street being allow to run wild, not any political party or tax rates being too high.


Wall Street didn't cause the deficit crisis. I know that this is hard for people who are constantly bombarded with rhetoric to get, but that's simply not true. The effects of what Wall Street did was about $400B in TARP payments, of which we've gotten all the money back, and two years of -$400B revenue (of which almost half was not revenue loss but Obama's "tax credits"). That's it. The effect of the crash itself should have been passed us by now.

What is causing the debt crisis today is that the Democrats massively overspent in reaction to the market problems. Had we done nothing but TARP, we'd likely be fully recovered today and unemployment would probably be in the 6% range and none of us would be talking about how bad the economy is. That's not the case because the Dems spent so much money on top of the lost revenue that the debt has become too much for us to manage.


That's not opinion. That's fact. And the historical numbers bear it out. Again, I'm not speculating about what will happen over the next 15 or 20 years. I'm looking at where we are right now and how we got there.
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#187 Apr 22 2011 at 9:03 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
In 2009/2010 we had already committed to and/or spent the money we were and will spend related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Similarly, we had already passed the Bush tax cuts. And for the better part of a decade those two things didn't cause a massive and unsustainable deficit.

Heh... almost had it and then you lost it. Oh well.


Er?

Debt as a percentage of GDP:

 
Year        Debt% 
1990        42.1 
1991        45.3 
1992        48.1 
1993        49.3 
1994        49.2 
1995        49.1 
1996        48.4 
1997        45.9 
1998        43.0 
1999        39.4 
2000        34.7 
2001        32.5 
2002        33.6 
2003        35.6 
2004        36.8 
2005        36.9 
2006        36.5 
2007        36.2 
2008        40.3 
2009        53.5 
2010        62.1 


Looks like debt went up through the first half of the 90s. GOP took control in 1995, and debt started going down hitting a low of 32.5% in Bush's first year. Bush cuts taxes, and increases military spending, which results in a deficit which gradually pushes the debt percentage up over time from that 32.5% level to a high in 2005 of 36.9% (all still well below the high point when the Dems last controlled congress and the White House in 1994). Just as predicted, economic growth and increased revenue (even with a lower tax rate) resulted in the deficit shrinking in relation to GDP at that point, and the debt% began to decrease, resulting in lower debt rates in 2006 and 2007.


The point is that if we ignore the effects of the mortgage collapse and look only at the effects of the Bush tax cuts and his spending (on wars, Medicare plan D, etc), we see an economy which is moving in the right direction over the whole time period. Again, the numbers don't lie. The Debt stabilized and was going down prior to 2008 when the collapse happened. So unless you're arguing that the collapse occurred because of the Bush tax cuts, or the spending on Wars, or the Medicare changes, then you can't blame the later increase in debt on those things.


How you manage to ignore facts right in front of you is just amazing. Look at the debt numbers. They were going down. Thus, those economic actions by Bush did not result in a "massive and unsustainable debt". I was absolutely correct to say what I said. Now if you want to argue about the causes of the subprime mortgage collapse and subsequent financial fallout, that's a whole different story. But those have nothing to do with the tax rate changes, or the wars in the ME, or Medicare changes. Yet, that's what everyone seems to want to blame.

Strange, isn't it? It's like you want to look everywhere except at the facts. I wonder why that might be?
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#188 Apr 22 2011 at 9:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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Wow... just wow.

Thanks for reinforcing my thought that it would be a waste of time to type stuff out for you. That was... something else. :D
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#189 Apr 22 2011 at 9:10 PM Rating: Good
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I am not talking about projection but actual data points covering the periods prior to both the current recession and previous market downturns. I been reading both conservative and liberal sites over the pass several weeks as the Budget battle heated up and while conclusions differ wildly, the overall trend shows, that our current problems started long before Obama enter national politics.

But still you try to cry that if the Democrats didn't spend so much the last 2 years everything would be just fine. IF that doesn't work you change to the cry that Democrats just want to raise taxes, so that they can raise spending on pet projects.

Funny how the most left wing bloggers all claim that if we actually passed all the programs you cry as socialism, we would not have to spend so much for health care and our military can still be most powerful in the world, without all the waste we currently spend on congress person's pet projects.
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#190 Apr 22 2011 at 9:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
The fact is that we were already fighting them. The money was already being spent.
I especially like how you handwaved the responsibility for the costs out of the equation. You know, the point I was making? "Oh, we were already wasting that money so it doesn't count, but continuing to fund it is one of the reasons that is behind the economic crisis!" My point, which apparently I have to spell out, is that as far as defense spending is concerned, both parties are responsible for it.

But hey, let's keep talking about boats. Maybe if you throw enough words at it, you'll obscure the real point you're arguing against.

Edited, Apr 22nd 2011 11:12pm by lolgaxe
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#191 Apr 22 2011 at 9:21 PM Rating: Excellent
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lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
The fact is that we were already fighting them. The money was already being spent.
I especially like how you handwaved the responsibility for the costs out of the equation.
"We already maxxed out the credit cards with horribly irresponsible management but it's YOUR fault for needing to buy groceries after you lost your job and had to incur more debt! OUR terrible purchases were already made so we're blameless!"

Edited, Apr 22nd 2011 10:21pm by Jophiel
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#192 Apr 25 2011 at 6:30 PM Rating: Default
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American's problem is we haven't actually spent less than we've taken in since Ike was pres. The problem with dems raising taxes is the moment they do, they spend 2 more dollars for every dollar in taxes they raise. The problem with republicans is they spend 2 more dollars for every dollar extra their tax cuts bring in. So both parties are essentially socialist.
#193 Apr 25 2011 at 6:36 PM Rating: Good
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KingWinterclaw wrote:
American's problem is we haven't actually spent less than we've taken in since Ike was pres. The problem with dems raising taxes is the moment they do, they spend 2 more dollars for every dollar in taxes they raise. The problem with republicans is they spend 2 more dollars for every dollar extra their tax cuts bring in. So both parties are essentially socialist.


Wrong, there was a surplus of $1.9 billion in fiscal 1999 and $86.4 billion in fiscal 2000.
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#194 Apr 25 2011 at 7:01 PM Rating: Default
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ElneClare wrote:
I am not talking about projection but actual data points covering the periods prior to both the current recession and previous market downturns.


Except that both the blog you linked to and the article Joph linked to contained projections within them. Neither one looked at past spending/revenue patterns and assessed where this years deficit is coming from. Both of them instead focused on just those parts of the economy which could be blamed on Bush, then pretended they were to blame for all of todays deficit (without explaining how they make that conclusion), and then project into the future based on cost estimates and assumptions of interest liabilities all lumped into the "blame those programs" category. Then they conclude that some ridiculous amount of future cost will be incurred directly as a result of Bush and his policies.

It's patently absurd. You can't just pretend that one smallish section of the entire budget, which was already on the books prior to the current economic situation should be assumed to be 100% at fault for the current deficit, and the project future blame for those things based on that. I mean, you can, but it's blatantly partisan and stupid to do so. The fair way to do so is to look at spending deltas between the last year in which we weren't in a deficit crisis and this last year and based on those numbers assess which portions of the budget are responsible. And when we do that, we find that a huge portion of the current deficit is "new spending". Since that new spending all occurred during the time frame in question, 100% of that spending is deficit. Older programs which have increased in cost can only be counted as portions of the deficit to the degree to which their costs increased.


That's the fair way of doing it right? I mean, if you were looking at your household budget and trying to figure out how you went from "doing ok" a few years ago, to "OMG we're falling into debt fast" today, you'd look at what new expenses came along, and which old expenses got more costly, right? That's how any reasonable person would approach things. Yet, it seems like all those sites you and Joph like fail to do this consistently. They instead just pick the things they don't like, no matter how old they are, and pretend that they're to blame, while ignoring all new expenses and increases that have occurred. Surely you can see that this is an unfair way to do this?

Quote:
But still you try to cry that if the Democrats didn't spend so much the last 2 years everything would be just fine.


Yes. Because if we take the existing deficit, and subtract from it the lost revenue, and then just the new spending created by the Democrats during those two years, we end out looking at a deficit of about 400-500B instead of 1.2T. Still "high", but not as incredibly ridiculously high as what we're looking at right now. Bush ran deficits in that range for a couple years, and the economy continued to grow and recover anyway. It's at the top of the doable range, but it's in there.

It is absolutely fair to say that those new spending items pushed the deficit out of the "high but we can handle it" range and into "spiraling into a black hole of debt" range.

Quote:
IF that doesn't work you change to the cry that Democrats just want to raise taxes, so that they can raise spending on pet projects.


It's not that the first argument doesn't work. It's a very strong argument, even if some refuse to see it. The second bit is more of an explanation than an alternative. It's *why* the Dems went into a 400-500B deficit situation and decided to push that number up by another 400-500B/year. The former number, as I've stated, it high but manageable if one keeps spending in check. But if you push it up further, they presumably hope that there'll be no choice but to raise taxes, which will allow them to run another round of spending increases in the nearer future.

Quote:
Funny how the most left wing bloggers all claim that if we actually passed all the programs you cry as socialism, we would not have to spend so much for health care and our military can still be most powerful in the world, without all the waste we currently spend on congress person's pet projects.


I don't doubt that they say that. I just think that they are wrong. I also suspect they are glossing over the fact that those social programs *are* some congress person's pet project.
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#195 Apr 25 2011 at 7:08 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
lolgaxe wrote:
gbaji wrote:
The fact is that we were already fighting them. The money was already being spent.
I especially like how you handwaved the responsibility for the costs out of the equation.
"We already maxxed out the credit cards with horribly irresponsible management but it's YOUR fault for needing to buy groceries after you lost your job and had to incur more debt! OUR terrible purchases were already made so we're blameless!"


If the deficit last year was about $600B instead of $1.2T, you'd have a point. That's about what it should have been if we only had the lost revenue (excluding tax credits), plus existing deficit level, plus normal programmatic cost increases adding to that deficit. What happened is that you didn't have the cards maxed out, but had enough on them that the interest on them was just barely manageable so as to keep your total debt stable, then you lost some revenue, which required you to borrow more money, so you decided "what the hell!" and went on a spending spree for things you didn't need.


It was incredibly irresponsible for the Dems to do. So yeah, I'm going to place blame where it fairly belongs.
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#196 Apr 25 2011 at 8:58 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
What happened is that you didn't have the cards maxed out, but had enough on them that the interest on them was just barely manageable so as to keep your total debt stable, then you lost some revenue, which required you to borrow more money, so you decided "what the hell!" and went on a spending spree for things you didn't need.

Heh, not exactly but at least you're closer to admitting the truth :)
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#197 Apr 25 2011 at 9:13 PM Rating: Default
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Jophiel wrote:
gbaji wrote:
What happened is that you didn't have the cards maxed out, but had enough on them that the interest on them was just barely manageable so as to keep your total debt stable, then you lost some revenue, which required you to borrow more money, so you decided "what the hell!" and went on a spending spree for things you didn't need.

Heh, not exactly but at least you're closer to admitting the truth :)


Admitting that the Democrats went on a spending spree and significantly increased the amount of deficit (and thus real debt) we incurred? Or, maybe I'm supposed to "admit" that the reason that the spending the Dems did incurred a deficit because the GDP was already running the economy right on the edge of debt increase?

I'll go back to my earlier point: The Dems knew that before they chose to spend more money. That is just like my boat analogy. If you know you're already spending as much money as you can without going further in debt, and you then choose to spend more money, it's the choice to spend more money at that time which is to blame for the additional debt. You can't just cherry pick some other things you were already spending money on and blame that instead.

But that's exactly what the site you sourced attempts Joph. They basically argue that if Bush hadn't cut taxes back in 2001, and if Bush hadn't sent us into wars in the ME in 2002/2003, then we'd have had more money and could have afforded all the stuff that the Dems spent money on in 2009/2010. Sorry if I find that to be an incredibly weak argument. As I've said several times, the Dems spent that money in an economy in which those other things already existed and were known quantities.

You're making a pretty pathetically weak argument Joph.
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King Nobby wrote:
More words please
#198 Apr 25 2011 at 9:31 PM Rating: Excellent
Liberal Conspiracy
*******
TILT
Well, GOLLY! If Gbaji won't admit to fault from the GOP, it MUST be a pathetically weak argument! Think of all the times you said "Wow, that was a great, well thought out argument, Jophiel" and you'll see why it stings me so to have you say this now...


:D
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Belkira wrote:
Wow. Regular ol' Joph fan club in here.
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