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#52 Aug 15 2011 at 9:13 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Look. My point here isn't to argue with you about whether the US *should* spend more money, but merely to get you to acknowledge that if we do, that money will have to be paid for via "higher taxes". So, when conservatives point at the increased spending commitments and equate them to higher taxes down the road, they are absolutely 100% correct to do so.

Right?
Right.

You say that like it's a bad thing. Smiley: sly
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#53 Aug 15 2011 at 9:52 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Ari. You're still missing the point I was making. We're still talking about "raising taxes" in the US. The fact that you think this is a good thing is a separate argument.
Sorry, sorry, I'm a REALLY slow poster in reply. [quote+Gbaji]I'm just trying to get folks to stop parroting this bizarre notion that since the top marginal tax rate was 70% in the 60s and 90% in the 50s that this magically means that we're paying on total less taxes today than ever in history.

Gbaji wrote:
That's simply not true. The left is attempting to make this argument about the right wanting to keep historically low taxes to help out their rich buddies, when what it's actually the left that is trying to increase our total tax burden to historically high levels (again, aside from WW2). It is deceptive to make that argument, yet I keep hearing it repeated. I'm just trying to get people to recognize that this is about increasing spending above historical levels in the US, and raising taxes above those historical levels as well. When the GOP demands spending cuts instead of tax increases, we're not changing anything in terms of historical levels. We're fighting *against* increases which the left is trying to ram past the American people.
Okie doke. Look at Australia, whose tax revenue is 27.1% of GDP, and the USA, whose tax revenue is 24% of GDP. There are two main sources of tax in Australia. A flat Goods and Services tax of 10% that has never been raised. and Income Tax like so:
Taxable income 
0 - $6,000 
Nil 
 
$6,001 - $37,000 
15c for each $1 over $6,000 
 
$37,001 - $80,000 
$4,650 plus 30c for each $1 over $37,000 
 
$80,001 - $180,000 
$17,550 plus 37c for each $1 over $80,000 
 
$180,001 and over 
$54,550 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000

That's SORT of 0% for $6,000, 30% for $37,000, 37% for %80,000 and 45% for $180,000. Except it equalises things so for example if you earn $200,000 you pay nothing on the first $6000, 15% on $6k to $37k; 30% on $37k to $80k; 37% on $80k to 180k, and only 45% on the the $20k between 180k to 200k.

And in reality anyone with $180k can afford to fiddle it down with tax rebates, allowances, Family Trusts and flat out pretending to be a Company and mostly paying Company tax rates. Not over $180k does the last, but it is done.

Ok, so Australia manages to rake in 27.1 of GDP in taxes with the highest tax BELOW 50%. Nilati has since found us this:
Quote:
The top marginal tax rate was reduced to 58% in 1922, to 25% in 1925, and finally to 24% in 1929. In 1932 the top marginal tax rate was increased to 63% during the Great Depression and steadily increased, reaching 94% (on all income over $200,000) in 1945. During World War II, Congress introduced payroll withholding and quarterly tax payments. Top marginal tax rates stayed near or above 90% until 1964 when the top marginal tax rate was lowered to 70%. The top marginal tax rate was lowered to 50% in 1982 and eventually to 28% in 1988. However, in the intervening years Congress subsequently increased the top marginal tax rate to 35% (the top marginal tax rate as of 2007)
From Nilatai's quote, it looks like for 100 years the top tax rate in the USA has been OVER 50% longer than it has been UNDER 50%. By my reckoning you don't have to go NEAR your record top marginal highs to cover 24% of your GDP, if Australia is at 27% with a top rate of 45% A rough guesstimate would be 39%. Even one percentage point successfully taxed more on the super-rich would rake in obscene amounts of money. You'd probably rake in HEAPS just by funding the Revenue department twice as much, to audit more citizens and corporations. Another example of spending that reaps more than it costs.





Edited, Aug 15th 2011 11:53pm by Aripyanfar
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#54 Aug 15 2011 at 10:09 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Having said that, your charts are measuring two different things. "Wealth" is a measurement of how much you have *after* you spend money on things. Tax rates affect economic activity (income and spending among other things), not wealth. You can't compare them directly. Certainly, you can't try to argue that one group pays more taxes relatively speaking. Like I said, we don't tax wealth.


The first chart is meaningless in this context. You can't say *why* the distribution of wealth has shifted over time. It also doesn't show us whether those in the lower percentiles are worse off, or whether it's just that the wealth at the top has grown significantly. It also absolutely can simply reflect a changing trend from a society that saves and invests for its future to one that spends a larger share of its earnings for today. Somewhat by definition, those with large amounts of wealth *don't* spend all that they earn. If they did, they wouldn't be wealthy.


Which has an interesting correlation to the second chart. Remember that spending is taxed. Sales tax, right? Well, when people in the bottom brackets spend more of their earnings buying things rather than saving or investing the money, guess what happens? Their relative tax burden appears to increase. Also, that chart makes the top look smaller than it really is. Remember that the top 1% is 20 times smaller than the 20% brackets used earlier. Meaning that each individual pays 20x more for each percentage of the total tax burden. That chart is constructed to make it look like tax burden tapers off at the top. But it doesn't. The bracket ahead of it represents 4x as many people. To make the top 1% correctly sized relative to the 95-99% bracket, you'd need to stretch it out to be 4 times as high.


Assuming you wanted a fair graphical representation of what that portion of the total tax burden really represented, of course. But I'm sure that whomever made that chart wanted to do the exact opposite of that.
You'll find a lot of politicians, economists, pundits and academics eager to explain WHY wealth has shifted over time, seeking cause and effect from public policy and world affairs.
I think you'll find the poor, or the lowest quintile/quarter have no choice about spending all their income. I guess I have already affirmed that the Poor in America are worse off than they used to be.
Like this chart better?
Figure 7: Share of all income earned and all taxes paid, by quintile
Screenshot

Source: Citizens for Tax Justice (2010a).
But if you are looking at effective net tax rates, this graph still works
Screenshot
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#55 Aug 15 2011 at 10:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Technogeek wrote:
Freedom, as long as you have money, otherwise, you're screwed.


Your mistake is assuming that money is either required for or provides freedom.


Smiley: dubious

I suddenly realized why I don't read your posts. This one sleezed by only cause it was actually short. It, shows, though, that you actually don't need large sums of words to demonstrate how little you know of...well...anything.

Which is sad considering that I'm pretty mediocre in this department (politics and detailed economics).
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#56 Aug 15 2011 at 10:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Technogeek wrote:
Freedom, as long as you have money, otherwise, you're screwed.


Your mistake is assuming that money is either required for or provides freedom.


If we are talking about freedom within a system that uses money, then I would agree with both.


Money is a placeholder for being owed for goods or services you have previously provided to someone else though. Its value only exists within that context, and it's dangerous to remove it or make statements about it without recalling what it really represents.

Quote:
Freedom, essentially, is your ability to command your own destiny.


I'd say that it's the lack of someone else telling you what to do, but close enough.


Quote:
Money is intrinsically tied to that in our world.


Only when money actually represents a debt owed. The problem is that if the government steps in and gives you goods and services with someone else's money, it's not giving you "money". No one owed you that, because you didn't provide goods or services to them. You are *always* free to provide goods or services to someone else. A society which protect freedom will protect the reward you should receive in return. Once you start treating money as something which has value by itself and which you can take from one person and give to another, then it ceases to have any impact other than negative on that person's freedom.


You take freedom away when you take someone's money (like say in the form of taxes), and you do not give freedom to anyone when you give them benefits bought with that money. The freedom is in the exchange of the fruits of your labor for the fruits of someone else's. The second you use money in a way other than that, it no longer has that connection.



Which is very relevant in the context of social safety networks.


It really isn't worth getting into this with you. Your mind is way too warped to be able to understand such a simple notion that money is power commodified. The more money you have, the more power you have. If you control the flow of money, then you have power over those who depend on that flow. Those people are not free--you are the one controlling their destinies. When their choices boil down to "work for the ******* that owns the mine or starve to death," their actual ability to control their own lives is only slightly superior to a slave's. And not in any way meaningful enough to call freedom.
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#57 Aug 15 2011 at 10:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
And not in any way meaningful enough to call freedom.

Gbaji has this arbitrary distinction that freedom cannot be given, it can only be taken or not taken away. I'm also not sure whether he said it explicitly, but it is largely implied that only governments can take away freedom. He faults the individual for circumstances beyond her control unless that circumstance is government, in which case it is no fault of the individual and solely on the government.
#58 Aug 15 2011 at 10:50 PM Rating: Good
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For instance, in the first chart it looks like the rich are paying their share, the majority of the tax burden, right? But the second chart shows the rate. A hypothetical annual millionaire only pays an effective 30.8%. $308,000 in tax is a nice big raw number. But the hypothetical person still has $620k a year to live on.
lolwiki wrote:
[in 2006] 12.3% fell below the federal poverty threshold[7] and the bottom 20% earned less than $19,178.
Our hypothetical wealthiest person of the bottom quintile person pays 16% tax, a measly $3,068, and lives on $16,106. So, you said that tax rates don't affect wealth. REALLY? Income taxes seem to have a direct bearing on the net income part of personal wealth that someone is left to live on in a year.

Hrm. What about the people with food stamps and nothing else? How do they survive?

And that first graph... it looks better about the wealthy, but notice that each quintile is pretty much pulling its weight. The first earns 3.5% of the income, and pays 1.9% of the taxes. That's a hefty weight to bear when these people need more than they can give. The next quintile earns 7.1% of the income and pays 5% of the taxes. The middle quintile, the middle-class, the median of the American population earn 11.6% of the income and pay 10% of the taxes. Very even handed. The penultimate quintile 18.9 and 18.9. Wealthiest? 59.1% of the income, paying 64.3% of the tax.

But wait! CEOs' pay as a multiple of the average worker's pay, 1960-2007
Screenshot

If a bunch of wealthy people are earning 350 times the average American worker, wouldn't you expect their raw tax share to be a bit more than 10% higher than the median American?

CEOs' average pay, production workers' average pay, the S&P 500 Index, corporate profits, and the federal minimum wage, 1990-2005 (all figures adjusted for inflation)
Screenshot
What do you think about this last graph?

Edited, Aug 16th 2011 12:56am by Aripyanfar
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#59 Aug 15 2011 at 11:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
"trickle down" ...What's amazing to me is that even after such blatant evidence is plopped right in front of many people's faces, they still refuse to see it.
I think it's not that trickle down isn't a real phenomenon. It's that it's a totally hit or miss phenomenon that in the end acts almost utterly via luck. The "virtuous poor" CANNOT guarantee that they will be the beneficiaries of Trickle Down, as long as they work hard, or work smart. This is where the tax system steps in to smooth out and rationalise where the Trickle Down missed. Badly. We've HAD Trickle-Down systems and they were HORRIBLE, unless you were born wealthy. And even then your life expectancy wasn't much good. And it's not the case that modern technology would cure all the ills of a Trickle Down mainly system. High Tech, High Productivity, High Commerce societies HAVE to have high infrastructure and highly educated, healthy workforces to function. And Private enterprises are lousy at setting aside money for and foreseeing the fundamentally necessary but outlying physical and human infrastructure it needs. Distant roads? Educated jobseekers? Clean air and water? "Growth" style investing in share speculation ensures every future need is cut to the bone, damaging the company long-term, in order to increase short term profits.
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#60 Aug 15 2011 at 11:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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Gbaji wrote:
The wealthier someone is, the smaller the portion of their wealth which provides for them, and the greater the portion of their wealth which provides for others. If you stop and think about it, this should be readily apparent (even "obvious"!). Someone living paycheck to paycheck consumes 100% of his wealth on himself (he has none left over, so actually has no real "wealth" at all).
yes! We agree!
Gbaji wrote:
As one becomes more comfortable, they are able to keep more of their money in some form of savings or investment. This money doesn't benefit them directly at all. They earn some gains on that money, but only when that money is used in other economic endeavors which net an even greater amount of gain (which means that *someone* got the benefit of the money). As earnings increase, the portion of those earnings used to provide for one's own standard of living shrinks compared to that which is put into some form of investment. When we get to the "uber rich", they're often living off a tiny tiny portion of their total earnings potential, with the entire remainder left available for others to use in the form of loans, capital investments, job creation, and a host of other things.
When you "tax the rich", you mostly don't affect their own fortunes. You're really just taxing what they invest their wealth in.
Again this is an area of costs and benefits. Does a public hospital generate more wealth over the long term than the same amount of money put into the typical asset of the super rich? How about the public paying for the first Tradeskill degree and the first University degree at all levels for an individual? Does that generate more long term wealth in the public AND private sector than the same money invested into the typical asset of the super rich? I'd say yes, and I'd guess you' say no. Don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of private wealth, shares, property etc. I just like private assets to be intelligent and morally acceptable. I don't like things that churn money while degrading urban, rural or wild environments.
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#61 Aug 15 2011 at 11:33 PM Rating: Good
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Gbaji wrote:
The wealthier the person, the less they're affected by taxes at all. Why do you suppose Warren Buffet is fine with paying higher taxes? It's not out of some kind of altruism. It's part ideology, but I'll point out that he certainly didn't argue for higher taxes back when he was still building his wealth. It was only when he was so wealthy that we can't possibly raise tax rates high enough to ever affect his own lifestyle that he suddenly gained this newfound "perspective" on taxes. He knows what most wealthy people and most economists know, but that only conservatives will tell you: That the truly rich don't really pay taxes. No matter how high you raise them. All you accomplish with higher taxes is make it harder for anyone else to become rich. Now, if you believe that all people should have the same opportunities at wealth that you had, you will opposed this. If you want to seal off the route to wealth for others so that you can remain in your own small elite world of special powerful people, you'll fight to raise taxes.


Buffet doesn't do this out of altruism. He does it out of greed. Greed doesn't just manifest as a desire to have more than you have today (although he's certainly done that), it also manifests in the more ugly form of working to prevent others from "catching up" to you. That's why he says what he says. He knows that higher taxes make it harder for new people to gain wealth and prosperity. And I can only assume that his own ugly desire to remain at the top of the pile of rich people drives him to prevent others from competing with him.
I think you're missing an important point. While the richest aren't affected by paying high taxes, or moderate taxes, the nation, the army, all your favourite services and public assets, and the rest of the population is MASSIVELY positively affected by the richest paying those taxes. And I think it's a fallacy that higher rates on the top margin keep everyone else down. That's what a progressive income tax system is FOR. Everyone NOT rich has lower tax rates, and GETS TO KEEP MUCH MORE OF THEIR EARNINGS. Buffet MAY have come to his breezy opinion on tax rates for the rich once it didn't matter to him. But there's nothing in what he says that's going to stop others catching up. In fact, he's very generous and free with explanations about how he got to where he is, and how to do it too. I'll tell you his lessons, if you life.
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#62 Aug 15 2011 at 11:44 PM Rating: Good
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Trickle Down is a joke. Every economist can tell you that giving a lower class person $100 (which is $100 they WILL spend, because they don't even have the option not to) is VASTLY more stimulating for an economy than giving it to the upper classes.

Our economy is based on consumption. Give the people the ability to consume, and they will. That stimulates businesses and leads to their growth, to better facilitate their ability to meet our ravenous demands.

Those ravenous demands are limited only by the funds that people can dedicate to them. No funds, no consumption.

The upper classes (which I'm including corporations in, merely for shorthand but also because the majortiy of upper class peoples do have employees), don't work that way. If that corporation took that money and created a job, it would be nice. Not as good as the previous option, since many people can use small amounts of money more widely than few people can use larger amounts, but not bad.

The problem? The upper classes have NO REASON to use that money to create a job. Their profits only go up when people are consuming. People are only consuming when they have money to consume. The business could invest in creating consumers--that's an option. But it's better for their immediate profits to simply pocket the money and continue on with their current system. Why? Because they could pocket that cash, pad their profits with the full amount, and get off risk-free. OR, they could hire an employee to increase profits by a smaller sum (or possibly lose profits).

They are obviously going to keep it.

The ONLY way trickle down could work is if everyone getting the tax breaks (or whatever) created jobs. Since the company can only control what it does, and not what other companies do, that just doesn't happen. Why create a job with the hope that everyone else will create jobs too?

Especially because, historically, those companies DO NOT create jobs. If they do, it's far fewer than they could have created (and generally seems like little more than to appease politicians).

It's an ABSURD system. It offers absolutely NO benefit for an economy over investing in the lower classes. So why does it continue to happen? Extremely simple--the upper classes can afford to lobby. Trickle down is great for them, even though it is bad for an economy and the people, so it's not surprising that they'd invest money into keeping it going. They make a **** of a lot more ensuring that they get tax breaks and keep loopholes from being patched.
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#63 Aug 16 2011 at 12:20 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Aripyanfar wrote:
National economies go through cycles of high and low revenue. Usually low revenue coincides with higher unemployment and a higher need for public spending, and high revenue coincides with higher employment and lower need for public spending. So governments MUST be able to identify the "good" years, and build surpluses, or balance their budgets, so that they can sanely go into deficit when it is necessary and prudent to do so. Saving for inevitable cyclical emergencies, so to speak.

Ok. Good point. However, those are "natural" effects on spending and revenue though. Revenue drops because economic activity decreases during a recession. It doesn't drop because we lowered tax rates, right?
If you lower tax rates, and all else remains equal, revenue drops.
Gbaji wrote:
Similarly, spending increases because more people are in need of existing social services. We don't increase the scope of those services, right?
You know what I'm going to say: increase the scope of services, and public spending costs more.
Gbaji wrote:
But this recession is different than the last 2 or 3 because the Dems did increase the scope of social services. They passed legislation to create new benefits, and new programs, and new objectives. Thus, we had more than the usual revenue/spending gap we'd expect in a recession of this type. That in turn created greater deficits than normal.
True to an extent. The PUBLIC gap during this recession was greater than it might have been. But that public expenditure on social services, while providing services that would have long term returns, ALSO had a secondary and very useful function as direct stimulus. The new public servants were directly hired in a recession, a time of rising unemployment. The difference in pay between their new wages and unemployment probably mostly went straight back into the private economy (easing the recession) except for the part of their pay that went to taxes (easing the deficit). While it looked bad in the short term, This spending was probably a solid long-term bet, returning more over-all than it cost. But you have to wait for the benefits to ... Trickle Through! (I would expect some social services to be paying dividends in 20 years time)
Gbaji wrote:
...Which created greater debt accumulation, which lead to fears of rising taxes to pay for it, which in turn (according to us conservatives) has caused businesses to be hesitant to invest as strongly in the domestic market than they would normally.
Well, the debt increase due to increased social services was completely and utterly dwarfed by the bank bail-outs, mortgage buy-outs, Car company (bail-outs? buy-outs?) and direct economic stimulous to counter a looming Depression. As I said before, that wasn't to buy a benefit so much as to prevent a hideous alternative, much worse than having to pay back the HUGE DEBT. (The mortgage buy outs will actually pay for themselves in the long run, defaults being covered by interest paid on others)

I agree with you that the HUGE DEFICIT is a ************* HUGE problem, and it is going to hurt for years. As I said in previous posts, and just before, the lion's share of the deficit was unavoidable in the event of the 2009 GFC. It coul.dn't have been avoided. Your most favouritist politician or economist, or group of them, in the world, couldn't have avoided the vast bulk of it. So Business hesitation in these years after the GFC was unavoidable. Just a matter of fact of life that has to be lived with by all. The relatively tiny proportion of the deficit created by new social services comes down to a matter of opinion. Will the long term returns cover or exceed the short term costs? There are plenty of businesses that want the government to look after community problems, to create a peaceful, law-abiding pool of customers for them.

Recent science says that there is a correlation between people with large, fast responding Fear areas in their brains and hormonal systems and people who have conservative beliefs. Correspondingly, people with smaller, less responsive Fear areas are more likely to be progressives. "Fears of rising taxes". Just so. The whole Australian community chucked a fit when the 10% GST was proposed, then voted in. It wasn't community requested. Economists and Brainiacs in our conservative political party came up with it, campaigned hard for it to a sceptical public, and won office despite it being a policy. And guess what happened after the first three months of its introduction? Nothing. Nobody noticed it after businesses wrangled with changing their till invoices and filling out their first quarterly GST Return. The poorer had received compensation via higher incomes, and the richer didn't notice the vaguely higher prices. (other sales and payroll taxes had been cut, but not enough to overcome the entire price of the GST).
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#64 Aug 16 2011 at 12:32 AM Rating: Excellent
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Gbaji wrote:
As I've pointed out in past threads, there's a reason why the Democrats predicted summer of 2010 would be the "summer of recovery". It's because past recessionary trends followed a very predictable pattern, and that pattern said that we should have started to recover at that time. But we didn't. So. What changed? Like I said, we spent more money than in past recessions. We didn't just end out spending more to provide existing services to an increased number of people, but actually increased the number and type of services (and other stuff) that we were spending money on. That's what changed. That's why this recession isn't starting to recover after 2 years like we saw with the dotcom and 9/11 crashes, and the S&L crash.
I'll bet you a hundred dollars that the Democrat prdiction that the summer of 2010 would the the "summer of recovery" was predicted BEFORE the GFC. The recession? Almost all of the Deficit? It's the GFC Stupid. The GFC is to the dotcom and 9/11 crashes as the Boxing Day Tsunami is to two farts in a bath-tub. You have NO GRASP of the SCALE of the crisis. None whatsoever. Your fears are in the totally WRONG PLACE.
Gbaji wrote:
Aripyanfar wrote:
It is disingenuous to point at public spending jumping to 25% of GDP under Obama in isolation.
I'm not though. Even in past recessions, spending didn't increase nearly that much. Surely you can acknowledge that we didn't just spend more money because more people were in need of existing services, but that we also expanded services and created new areas of spending? My statements are not in isolation. My statements are in full recognition that we spent more money on "new things" during this recession instead of just spending more on existing things as a natural consequence of the recession itself.
It's the GFC Stupid. Not the increased social services. THE GFC. The scale of increased public spending in the US after the GFC on SOCIAL SERVICES is NOTHING compared to the increased public spending on sundry palliatives to the GFC. Your debt angst has the WRONG CAUSE.

Edited, Aug 16th 2011 2:34am by Aripyanfar
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#65 Aug 16 2011 at 12:51 AM Rating: Good
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It's a funny thing to know something but not believe it. Not matter how large your text Ari, you know arguing this point with Gbaji is fruitless, but it's just so hard to believe.
#66 Aug 16 2011 at 1:01 AM Rating: Good
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Gbaji wrote:
Aripyanfar wrote:
It is perfectly clear that this is a result of the US and global commercial banking industry going into meltdown and causing the Global Financial Crisis. Any Republican politician, any politician at all, who said that they would not have gone into the same levels of debt as Obama to bail out the banks, everyone's finances, and provide a huge stimulus in the face of a looming Depression, is either a liar or catastrophically ignorant.
I disagree. Many conservatives and most GOP politicians opposed spending more than just the TARP. They did that precisely because they did not believe we needed to spend more than that money to address the immediate problems caused by the housing bubble collapse, and that to spend more money would hurt economic recovery.
Guess what? Looks like they were right!
No, they were wrong, and you're wrong.
Gbaji wrote:
Aripyanfar wrote:
Every economist and politician agrees that the GFC was the biggest global economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Because of its worldwide effect? Sure. But that's not the same as every economist and politician agreeing that the Recovery Act the Dems rammed through congress and a half dozen other "stimulus related" bills and amendments to bills that they added on top of that.
agreeing that the Recovery Act the Dems rammed through what? But that's not the same as every economist and politician agreeing that the Recovery Act was necessary or a good thing? Did you perhaps, notice, that every other country in the western world and half the nations in teh rest of the world were putting through analogous "Recovery Acts" at the same time? Every single nation exposed to the GFC, putting through almost identical solutions? Maybe your pollies insisting the Recovery Act wasn't necessary were grandstanding in the absolute security that they weren't accountable right now? They could throw pies at their opposition because they didn't have to reveal what they would have to do if they were in power? Or maybe they were complete ignoramases? Or not ignorant, but utterly stupid?
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#67 Aug 16 2011 at 1:01 AM Rating: Excellent
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Allegory wrote:
It's a funny thing to know something but not believe it. Not matter how large your text Ari, you know arguing this point with Gbaji is fruitless, but it's just so hard to believe.

+1

Also I'm having fun. I took an overdose of antioxidants, and I'm on a roll.


Edited, Aug 16th 2011 3:02am by Aripyanfar
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#68 Aug 16 2011 at 7:19 AM Rating: Decent
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Aripyanfar wrote:
Gbaji wrote:
As I've pointed out in past threads, there's a reason why the Democrats predicted summer of 2010 would be the "summer of recovery". It's because past recessionary trends followed a very predictable pattern, and that pattern said that we should have started to recover at that time. But we didn't. So. What changed? Like I said, we spent more money than in past recessions. We didn't just end out spending more to provide existing services to an increased number of people, but actually increased the number and type of services (and other stuff) that we were spending money on. That's what changed. That's why this recession isn't starting to recover after 2 years like we saw with the dotcom and 9/11 crashes, and the S&L crash.
I'll bet you a hundred dollars that the Democrat prdiction that the summer of 2010 would the the "summer of recovery" was predicted BEFORE the GFC. The recession? Almost all of the Deficit? It's the GFC Stupid. The GFC is to the dotcom and 9/11 crashes as the Boxing Day Tsunami is to two farts in a bath-tub. You have NO GRASP of the SCALE of the crisis. None whatsoever. Your fears are in the totally WRONG PLACE.
Gbaji wrote:
Aripyanfar wrote:
It is disingenuous to point at public spending jumping to 25% of GDP under Obama in isolation.
I'm not though. Even in past recessions, spending didn't increase nearly that much. Surely you can acknowledge that we didn't just spend more money because more people were in need of existing services, but that we also expanded services and created new areas of spending? My statements are not in isolation. My statements are in full recognition that we spent more money on "new things" during this recession instead of just spending more on existing things as a natural consequence of the recession itself.
It's the GFC Stupid. Not the increased social services. THE GFC. The scale of increased public spending in the US after the GFC on SOCIAL SERVICES is NOTHING compared to the increased public spending on sundry palliatives to the GFC. Your debt angst has the WRONG CAUSE.

Edited, Aug 16th 2011 2:34am by Aripyanfar

u mad?
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#69 Aug 16 2011 at 8:10 AM Rating: Excellent
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I love how Gbaji's understanding of the catalysts of the Revolution boil down to a wordier version of the grade school version: They Were All Meanie Heads.

Public school indoctrination in action! Smiley: laugh
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#70 Aug 16 2011 at 9:20 AM Rating: Excellent
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
And not in any way meaningful enough to call freedom.

Gbaji has this arbitrary distinction that freedom cannot be given, it can only be taken or not taken away. I'm also not sure whether he said it explicitly, but it is largely implied that only governments can take away freedom. He faults the individual for circumstances beyond her control unless that circumstance is government, in which case it is no fault of the individual and solely on the government.
There was a whole thread where I believe a bunch of us got Gbaji to state more or less that exactly. He probably attached two or three paragraphs to it of course. He doesn't give any importance to whether or not you can do something, only whether someone isn't telling you you can't.

Edited, Aug 16th 2011 10:22am by Xsarus
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#71 Aug 16 2011 at 9:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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Ok, I've lost my steam for the moment. In answer to some of Gbaji's later posts:

"we" want rights, liberties, and responsibilities. The right to life comes with the concomitant responsibility not to take life (when angry, or in revenge). The responsibility not to take life gives us the right to life and the liberty to enjoy it.

The right to outside support in an emergency comes with concomitant responsibilities not to rort the system, not to waste the opportunities the support provides to get out of the emergency situation, and the responsibility to provide support to other people when they hit emergencies.

"we" don't have Totalitarian dictatorships imposing their will on the people, taking us to Communism bit by bit. The free market and capitalism operates just as vigorously as elsewhere with different social policies. We don't have a Benevolent state providing free meals, free houses, free healthcare and free education to everyone! with an enthralled population of dependants (slaves).

The personal pride and accomplishment that comes from having social programs is that we voted them in, can vote them out. It comes from making our own personal wealth and educating ourselves, and the pride and accomplishment of putting into the communal kitty, so that 1. If we have a downturn in our personal economic cycles, we're covered, 2. We cover other people who go into a downturn in their personal economic cycles, and 3. we take pride that ourselves and others are provided minimal necessary tools to better our/their circumstances so that no-one has to be caught in a catch=22 situation where they can't get out of a disaster.

Despite what I said earlier about the inevitable pool of never employed, most people pass in and out of unemployment, they pass in and out of paid work/business ownership/home-making/child raising. "we" like to either own our own homes, or rent and accumulate investments. "we" like to work, make our own money, accumulate personal possessions, afford to have children. The vast majority of "we" are in private housing, afford our own meals, co-pay for education in some systems, or retroactively pay for education either personally and directly back to the common kitty, or indirectly as higher-paid, higher educated workers and employers later. There are varied healthcare systems, many of which are paid wholly privately, but regulated by the state for universal coverage, or have parallel private and public options, or is majority publicaly owned and run, at a lower cost than the US system, with the same healthcare outcomes. And again, we know it's not "free". "We" individuals fund it by steadily paid taxes that match what we can afford at the time, in return for total coverage without going bankrupt when we need it ourselves.

Do you realise that the average American hospital only recovers/receives 5% of the money that it bills in the end? That's nuts. That doesn't happen elsewhere in the developed world.

"we" take pride in our civilised, functional societies that run on parallel private and public systems, that "we" authorised and built, where social services function as human resource asset building, and as safety nets.
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#72 Aug 16 2011 at 10:03 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
Aripyanfar wrote:
The GFC is to the dotcom and 9/11 crashes as the Boxing Day Tsunami is to two farts in a bath-tub.

u mad?

Gbaji wrote:
Aripyanfar wrote:
Yes, your debt is so high you're fucked. No, NO ONE COULD HAVE PUT THE USA IN A BETTER POSITION THAN IT IS NOW.
False. Had the GOP been in control of Congress in 2008 and retained the presidency (and congress) in 2009, we would be in a vastly better position than we are right now. If you can't see this, it's a failure of your own ability to see beyond a very narrow set of ideological assumptions, and not because those possibilities don't exist.
Aripyanfar wrote:
Letting the banks fail or letting the private sector cope alone with the GFC would have made things exponentially worse than they are now.

Sure. But that's not what the GOP proposed. We wanted to do TARP. Bail out the banks. Maybe even do a small token stimulus via direct checks like Bush did (twice). Doesn't cost too much, doesn't hurt to much, and doesn't help too much either. But it does make people feel better, so there's something. What we opposed was the massive spending in the recovery act and other stimulus related spending that followed for the next year and a half.

We did not need to spend that money. We did not need to do anything more than stop the financial institutions from failing, provide them enough capital to recover, and then allow the economy to recover naturally as a result. The negatives in the economy were because of the financial failures. Fix the failures, and those negatives will turn around. You don't need to do anything else.
Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Comprehension Fail Not mad, per se. More worried that such ignorance may be the driving motor of the second largest economic entity after the Eurozone, (which is currently in difficulties.) and the entity responsible for the de facto world currency. (more $US dollars are floating around the world out of all proportion to the US population). "The US sneezes, and the World catches a cold". That's still true, and why outsiders (foreign Politicians, economists, reporters, citizens) are interested in America so closely.
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#73 Aug 16 2011 at 11:07 AM Rating: Good
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#75 Aug 16 2011 at 11:34 AM Rating: Decent
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Hey, as a liberal, I'm perfectly willing to concede that we need spending reductions. But I also recognize that we need tax increases. The problem is this:

No politician wants to run on 1) increased taxes or 2) cutting programs. It's not a politically smart thing to do-- it gives fuel for your opponents to slam you.

So what ends up happening is that legislators "compromise" by saying, "Hokay, you can have your spending increases if we can have our tax cuts! It's a win-win!" And then we end up with a huge fucking deficit, obviously.

That's where we are now. So, any legislator who could put politics aside for two seconds can see that we need to increase taxes and reduce spending to address the deficit. It's time for legislators to be leaders and not just representatives of their whiny, ignorant constituents. It's time to make the hard choices and compromise the other way-- the one where everybody loses something so the country can gain.

Guess which party is mostly willing to do that, and which party is making a policy of not doing that under any circumstances? Why, it's none other than the very party who in the most recent primary debate, every single would-be president indicated that they would refuse even a single dollar in tax increases for any amount in spending reduction, even in 1:10. Any grade-schooler could tell you that this position is a thousand times more stubborn than sensible.

And that's why the conservatives only have themselves to blame.

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#76 Aug 16 2011 at 12:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yes, I agree. It's a shame that those willing to put politics aside and those that aren't are divided so cleanly by party lines.
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#77 Aug 16 2011 at 12:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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Gbaji wrote:
Aripyanfar wrote:
Yes, your debt is so high you're fucked. No, NO ONE COULD HAVE PUT THE USA IN A BETTER POSITION THAN IT IS NOW.
False. Had the GOP been in control of Congress in 2008 and retained the presidency (and congress) in 2009, we would be in a vastly better position than we are right now. If you can't see this, it's a failure of your own ability to see beyond a very narrow set of ideological assumptions, and not because those possibilities don't exist.
Aripyanfar wrote:
Letting the banks fail or letting the private sector cope alone with the GFC would have made things exponentially worse than they are now.

Sure. But that's not what the GOP proposed. We wanted to do TARP. Bail out the banks. Maybe even do a small token stimulus via direct checks like Bush did (twice). Doesn't cost too much, doesn't hurt to much, and doesn't help too much either. But it does make people feel better, so there's something. What we opposed was the massive spending in the recovery act and other stimulus related spending that followed for the next year and a half.

We did not need to spend that money. We did not need to do anything more than stop the financial institutions from failing, provide them enough capital to recover, and then allow the economy to recover naturally as a result. The negatives in the economy were because of the financial failures. Fix the failures, and those negatives will turn around. You don't need to do anything else.


The question that pops to mind here is what do we do in the meantime? If it takes 5 or 6 more years before the private sector has shed enough debt to start spending/hiring again we're left with a whole generation of young people who are in debt and under-employed. They're going to be eager for the government to fix that problem (rightly or wrongly); that's the type of circumstance that could well spur another stimulus package or continued calls for government to help prop up the economy, what little it can.
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#78 Aug 16 2011 at 1:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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Kavekk wrote:
Yes, I agree. It's a shame that those willing to put politics aside and those that aren't are divided so cleanly by party lines.

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#79 Aug 16 2011 at 2:55 PM Rating: Decent
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Holy cow Ari! I'll try to respond to some of your posts. Sheesh! ;)

Aripyanfar wrote:

If a bunch of wealthy people are earning 350 times the average American worker, wouldn't you expect their raw tax share to be a bit more than 10% higher than the median American?


I think you're missing some math there somewhere, or failing to see how this is relative to income. That whole group pays a larger share of taxes relative to their total income than any other group. Every other group pays an equal or lesser share. What this means is that on average, the guy earning 350 times as much money is paying 350 times as much in tax, plus that 10% difference you mentioned.

It's relative to income. And it's a higher ratio relative to income than any other group.

Quote:
CEOs' average pay, production workers' average pay, the S&P 500 Index, corporate profits, and the federal minimum wage, 1990-2005 (all figures adjusted for inflation)
Screenshot
What do you think about this last graph?


What am I supposed to think? It's contrived. Are you aware that while the graph says "CEO average pay", IIRC they averaged the CEO pay from the largest 100 corporations. It's not every CEO of every business large or small in the country. So you're comparing a very small set of the very very highly paid people to the whole set of "production workers". Why not compare their pay to the top 100 doctors, or lawyers, or any other traditionally high paid position?


As I keep trying to point out, you're allowing small bits of zoomed in data to obstruct the larger picture. The set of "the rich" pay a larger portion of the total tax burden related to their income than "the poor". They are certainly paying their "fair share" and then a bit more. Isn't that what's really important here?


And this all still fails completely to address my starting point which was purely about the legitimacy of conservatives to say that the left is attempting to "raise taxes". It's not about the rich trying to pay less, but about the left trying to take more of the whole pie in the form of taxes. We can (and kinda are) debate how much each group should pay, but that's really just a side issue here. To me, the bigger issue is that if the left succeeds in getting their tax increases to pay for the deficit, then they will have raised total tax revenue for the federal government to a level it has not been at in 60+ years.


They are the ones trying to change that economic reality. And they're using the economic crisis and the deficits they created as a lever to do it. All your jumping up and down and declaring it a global crisis doesn't change that fact.

Edited, Aug 16th 2011 2:27pm by gbaji
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#80 Aug 16 2011 at 3:01 PM Rating: Decent
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Sir Xsarus wrote:
Allegory wrote:
idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
And not in any way meaningful enough to call freedom.

Gbaji has this arbitrary distinction that freedom cannot be given, it can only be taken or not taken away. I'm also not sure whether he said it explicitly, but it is largely implied that only governments can take away freedom. He faults the individual for circumstances beyond her control unless that circumstance is government, in which case it is no fault of the individual and solely on the government.
There was a whole thread where I believe a bunch of us got Gbaji to state more or less that exactly. He probably attached two or three paragraphs to it of course. He doesn't give any importance to whether or not you can do something, only whether someone isn't telling you you can't.


That's not technically true. The first part is correct. Freedom cannot be given, but can only be taken away. The second part is absolutely untrue. Freedom can be taken by other individuals as well as by government. In fact, this is why we have a government. To prevent our liberties from being taken from us by other people (and foreign governments/forces/whatever). I even quoted the bit from Locke where this is explained:

John Locke wrote:
IF man in the state of nature be so free, as has been said; if he be absolute lord of his own person and possessions, equal to the greatest, and subject to no body, why will he part with his freedom? why will he give up this empire, and subject himself to the dominion and controul of any other power? To which it is obvious to answer, that though in the state of nature he hath such a right, yet the enjoyment of it is very uncertain, and constantly exposed to the invasion of others: for all being kings as much as he, every man his equal, and the greater part no strict observers of equity and justice, the enjoyment of the property he has in this state is very unsafe, very unsecure. This makes him willing to quit a condition, which, however free, is full of fears and continual dangers: and it is not without reason, that he seeks out, and is willing to join in society with others, who are already united, or have a mind to unite, for the mutual preservation of their lives, liberties and estates, which I call by the general name, property.


The point is that our government should act only in ways which are aimed at this goal. That is its purpose for existing. We agree to give some of our liberty to the formation of a society and rules to govern it (a government) in return for protection of all the remaining liberties. The assumption being that our own system should not start infringing on those, or it ceases to fulfill its purpose.
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#81 Aug 16 2011 at 3:25 PM Rating: Decent
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Aripyanfar wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Ok. Good point. However, those are "natural" effects on spending and revenue though. Revenue drops because economic activity decreases during a recession. It doesn't drop because we lowered tax rates, right?
If you lower tax rates, and all else remains equal, revenue drops.


But that's not what happened in this case, right? In this case, tax rates stayed the same, but "all else" did not remain equal. We had a recession and that caused revenues to drop. The idea that we should raise tax rates to fix the revenue problems doesn't make any sense. We didn't have to do this to recover from any other recent recessions, why would it be required in this case?

Quote:
Gbaji wrote:
Similarly, spending increases because more people are in need of existing social services. We don't increase the scope of those services, right?
You know what I'm going to say: increase the scope of services, and public spending costs more.


Ok. But stay focused on the topic. We're talking about recessionary patterns here, right? In past recessions, spending increased not because we passed new spending laws increasing the scope of our social programs, but because the recession itself caused greater need for the existing ones. Just as revenue drops as a natural consequence of recession, so does spending increase. We don't have to change any laws for that to happen.

So you're correct that we've seen this happen in past recessions. However, in this recession, the Democrats choose to increase spending. Not just spending more on the same things because of increased need, but simply because they choose to add a whole lot of new things to spend money on. That's why spending went so far out of control. Normally, we should have seen deficits of maybe 500-600B in size. But because of their new spending, we've seen deficits around three times that big.


That's why this recession is different. That's why we're not recovering from it as quickly. And that is 100% the result of the Dems actions.

Quote:
Gbaji wrote:
But this recession is different than the last 2 or 3 because the Dems did increase the scope of social services. They passed legislation to create new benefits, and new programs, and new objectives. Thus, we had more than the usual revenue/spending gap we'd expect in a recession of this type. That in turn created greater deficits than normal.
True to an extent. The PUBLIC gap during this recession was greater than it might have been.


It's much much greater than it would have been. Don't undersell this. We didn't have a debt crisis after the 2001 recession, or back during the S&L crisis. Those recessions had similar effects on revenue and employment (initially anyway). The Dems tipped the balance way over.

Quote:
But that public expenditure on social services, while providing services that would have long term returns, ALSO had a secondary and very useful function as direct stimulus. The new public servants were directly hired in a recession, a time of rising unemployment. The difference in pay between their new wages and unemployment probably mostly went straight back into the private economy (easing the recession) except for the part of their pay that went to taxes (easing the deficit).


Except that this didn't work. It didn't stimulate the economy. And it didn't help unemployment. And we conservatives said that it wouldn't work. We were right. The liberals were wrong. I get that this is a fundamental ideological difference of opinion. Conservatives believe that government spending on the demand side doesn't create jobs or stimulate the economy. Liberals believe that it does. Well, we just tested it. Liberals were wrong. Shocking!

Quote:
While it looked bad in the short term, This spending was probably a solid long-term bet, returning more over-all than it cost. But you have to wait for the benefits to ... Trickle Through! (I would expect some social services to be paying dividends in 20 years time)


Which is it though? Does the spending stimulate the economy into recovery? Or does it hurt us in the short term but provide long term benefits? From where I'm standing it has done the opposite of both. It hurt us in the short term by creating too much debt for our system to handle. And it'll hurt us in the long term because if we have to raise taxes to pay for the debt, it'll slow down the economy for decades to come.

Of course, that's from a conservative's perspective. But it's amazing how frequently we're exactly right about our economic predictions and how consistently the left is wrong. You'd think some people would stop assuming that conservative ideas are wrong. But ideology is stronger than even fact when it's put right in front of you, I guess?

Quote:
Well, the debt increase due to increased social services was completely and utterly dwarfed by the bank bail-outs, mortgage buy-outs, Car company (bail-outs? buy-outs?) and direct economic stimulous to counter a looming Depression.


You lumped more things than I was talking about in there though. I'm putting car company bail outs, social services, mortgage buy-outs, and direct economic stimulus into the "we didn't need to spend this money" category. Against this, is the bank bail-outs, which is the only necessary spending. That cost us less than $400B, and we've gotten 100% of that money back (with interest!). It cost us zero dollars to bail out the banks.

All the other costs were the things that Democrats pushed for and the GOP largely opposed. And that spending is what's killing us now, not the bank bail outs. Had we just done TARP (yes, I'm aware that contained car company bailouts, but that was an add-in by the Dems which the GOP opposed), we would have prevented economic collapse, not put us in debt, and would likely be in complete recovery right now.

Unfortunately, we had Democrats in charge. So here we are, sitting at the bottom of a recessionary hole wondering how to get out. Unfortunately, the left is so stubborn that they'll never admit the absolute disastrous failure of their economic policies, so the only way we can reverse course is if the GOP wins majorities in both houses and gains the white house next year. So we'll have to suffer this crappy economy for another year and a half before we'll see things turn around.


Again, it just makes me wonder why people still think that liberal economic idea work. All evidence should point in the other direction, right?

Edited, Aug 16th 2011 2:30pm by gbaji
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#82 Aug 16 2011 at 4:16 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Kavekk wrote:
Yes, I agree. It's a shame that those willing to put politics aside and those that aren't are divided so cleanly by party lines.

JOPHIEL'S VIDEO.


I don't disagree that the republican candidates are unwilling to compromise.

Edited, Aug 16th 2011 10:17pm by Kavekk
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#83 Aug 16 2011 at 4:43 PM Rating: Excellent
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Well, there's only one major Democratic candidate for president and, last I heard, he was seeking a "grand compromise" of spending cuts, entitlement reforms and tax increases.

Seems pretty party line to me, at least where Chief Executive is concerned.
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#84 Aug 16 2011 at 5:42 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Well, there's only one major Democratic candidate for president and, last I heard, he was seeking a "grand compromise" of spending cuts, entitlement reforms and tax increases.

Seems pretty party line to me, at least where Chief Executive is concerned.


He gets to appeal to moderate voters right from the get go, while his opponent will have to say several things unpalatable to the mainstream just to survive the Tea Party turnout in the primaries.

Should be interesting.
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#85 Aug 16 2011 at 5:59 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Well, there's only one major Democratic candidate for president and, last I heard, he was seeking a "grand compromise" of spending cuts, entitlement reforms and tax increases.

Seems pretty party line to me, at least where Chief Executive is concerned.


I just found the way Kachi expressed himself to be kind of funny.
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#86 Aug 16 2011 at 7:25 PM Rating: Decent
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Kavekk wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
Kavekk wrote:
Yes, I agree. It's a shame that those willing to put politics aside and those that aren't are divided so cleanly by party lines.

JOPHIEL'S VIDEO.


I don't disagree that the republican candidates are unwilling to compromise.


As well they shouldn't. I don't recall the Democrats compromising with Republicans and letting them pick 1 dollar of tax cuts for every 10 dollars of spending increase when they passed the recovery act, or all those other spending bills. Why should we compromise by giving *any* tax increases now that their spending has created a massive deficit?


We need to fix the deficit by undoing the spending. We didn't change tax rates between 2007 and today, so why fix the deficits created during that time with any tax rate increases?


It's just funny how "compromise" to liberals always means the GOP giving stuff up while getting nothing in return.
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#88 Aug 16 2011 at 7:27 PM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
Well, there's only one major Democratic candidate for president and, last I heard, he was seeking a "grand compromise" of spending cuts, entitlement reforms and tax increases.

Seems pretty party line to me, at least where Chief Executive is concerned.


He gets to appeal to moderate voters right from the get go, while his opponent will have to say several things unpalatable to the mainstream just to survive the Tea Party turnout in the primaries.


The flaw with your thinking is the assumption that standing firm on a position of no tax rate increases is somehow "unpalatable" to the mainstream. I suspect that the message that the American people should not have to pay for the Democrats excesses will play quite well among most audiences.

Quote:
Should be interesting.


Yes, it should be.
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#89 Aug 16 2011 at 7:51 PM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
We need to fix the deficit by undoing the spending. We didn't change tax rates between 2007 and today, so why fix the deficits created during that time with any tax rate increases?


It's just funny how "compromise" to liberals always means the GOP giving stuff up while getting nothing in return.


Right. The record low taxation was all the democrats!

But I'm sure you know just what to cut. So please, divulge.
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Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#90 Aug 16 2011 at 8:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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Kachi wrote:
Quote:
We need to fix the deficit by undoing the spending. We didn't change tax rates between 2007 and today, so why fix the deficits created during that time with any tax rate increases?

It's just funny how "compromise" to liberals always means the GOP giving stuff up while getting nothing in return


Right. The record low taxation was all the democrats!

But I'm sure you know just what to cut. So please, divulge.


His own throat?
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#91 Aug 16 2011 at 8:16 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:

The flaw with your thinking is the assumption that standing firm on a position of no tax rate increases is somehow "unpalatable" to the mainstream. I suspect that the message that the American people should not have to pay for the Democrats excesses will play quite well among most audiences.


I think the idea of no tax increases isn't necessarily a bad thing. However the question (in my mind at least) is whether or not that be accomplished without cutting too deeply into programs that more moderate American feel they want or need. A smaller tax increase and smaller budget cuts may well prove more palatable then a larger decrease in government spending. People tend to fear changes, and the bigger the change the more nervous they get.


Edited, Aug 16th 2011 7:17pm by someproteinguy
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#92 Aug 16 2011 at 8:32 PM Rating: Decent
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Kachi wrote:
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We need to fix the deficit by undoing the spending. We didn't change tax rates between 2007 and today, so why fix the deficits created during that time with any tax rate increases?


It's just funny how "compromise" to liberals always means the GOP giving stuff up while getting nothing in return.


Right. The record low taxation was all the democrats!


And once again we have someone confusing "tax rates" with "tax revenue". Revenue is at a record low. But not because we changed the tax rates. Fix the underlying economic problems and those same tax rates will result in higher tax revenue just as they did prior to the housing bubble collapse.

As I pointed out before (no clue which thread though!) revenue in 2007 relative to GDP was at a level that has only been exceeded in 9 out of the past 40 years. The problem isn't with the tax rates. They're fine. The problem is that we had a recession which affected revenues (as recessions always do), and the Dems went on a spending spree, resulting in far far higher deficits than normal for a recession, which triggered fears of increased tax rates, which has slowed economic growth, which has prevented revenues from coming back up, which has kept the deficits high, which has now caused a debt crisis.


The fault is all on the Dem spending. Like I said. We didn't change the tax rates between 2007 and today. There is no need to change them to balance out anything that has happened along the way. In fact, if we do raise them, it'll likely make things worse since it will confirm the fears of investors and make them definitely less likely to invest in ways which will increase employment.

We're in a nasty downward spiral. The wrong answer is to keep doing the things which got us here, or attempting to keep those things in place and make adjustments in other things (like tax rates) to try to balance them out. The correct answer is to look at what we changed along the way, and change as much back as possible.

Quote:
But I'm sure you know just what to cut. So please, divulge.


Sure. Stop providing extended unemployment benefits, right now. Cancel funding for all the green energy BS we passed over the last 2.5 years. Tighten medicaid funding back to 2007 levels. Stop trying to "help" people through this crisis. As long as we keep doing that, people will take advantage of it and keep taking the money. Cancel all funding for everything that we haven't actually spent physical money on yet from the recovery act. So all those projects which have been allocated funding, for which money has been set aside, but which weren't "shovel ready" and are still sitting in bureaucratic backlog should be canceled entirely.

Back all discretionary funding to 2007 levels. Everything. Yes, this includes military spending.


Addressing cost increases in Medicare and Social security is a longer term issue, but I think if we do those things I just mentioned and do all of them we could probably cut a half a trillion dollars minimum from our yearly expenses. That would create deficit reduction about double what the current "plan" in place right now calls for. It also is "fair" in that we eliminate all new spending created after the crisis began. All sides lose only what they gained during that time period. This is far more fair than the Democrats attempting to pay for what they gained by taking away something which didn't change during the time period in question (tax rates).


Do this, and commit to not changing tax rates for the next 5 years at least (or better yet, making the Bush tax rates permanent) and you'll see rapid recovery. ****. Just the tax commitment will turn the economy around very quickly. The deficit reduction stuff is needed just to deal with our debt.


Did you honestly think I wouldn't have an answer? Do you have one? What would you be willing to cut?
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#93 Aug 16 2011 at 8:40 PM Rating: Decent
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someproteinguy wrote:
gbaji wrote:

The flaw with your thinking is the assumption that standing firm on a position of no tax rate increases is somehow "unpalatable" to the mainstream. I suspect that the message that the American people should not have to pay for the Democrats excesses will play quite well among most audiences.


I think the idea of no tax increases isn't necessarily a bad thing. However the question (in my mind at least) is whether or not that be accomplished without cutting too deeply into programs that more moderate American feel they want or need. A smaller tax increase and smaller budget cuts may well prove more palatable then a larger decrease in government spending. People tend to fear changes, and the bigger the change the more nervous they get.


Sure. But I think that this is exaggerated to some degree. You have to realize that a good portion of the new spending the Dems did in 2009/2010 is "future spending". They've passed legislation requiring funds to be budgeted for tons of stuff that we didn't fund before (or not to that amount). The point being that most of this funding hasn't had any effect at all yet. We absolutely can eliminate it without a single person feeling any negative effect. A great example is recovery act "spending" which consists of funding for construction programs that haven't begun yet. No one's been hired. No money has been spent. But it's budgeted, so we've lost the money and will continue to spend that money each year going forward. We can eliminate that and get the money back today without a single person being affected.


There are tons of spending mandates out there just like that. I really think that most people just don't realize this. A lot of our projected future deficit is made up of this "we haven't spent it yet, but we've promised to" stuff. The Dems don't want to give this up though, because then they'll have lost their opportunity to expand the size of government. And they're willing to risk economic downgrading rather than cut that spending, and they're certainly willing to make the taxpayers pay more money to pay for those things.


Um... Having said that, there is one compromise which I suspect most Conservatives would agree to, and which might help speed our way out of the current debt problem. We could allow for temporary tax increases coupled with significantly greater *real* spending cuts to get us by, but only if the tax increases have an automatic sunset provision that makes them expire in say 5 years *and* which at that time revert us back to the Bush tax rates and make those rates permanent going forward. Conservatives might go for something like that. But that's pretty likely to be the only way they're going to agree to any tax increases passed in the name of deficit reduction or to fix a crisis which we all feel the Democrats caused.
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#94 Aug 16 2011 at 9:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Um... Having said that, there is one compromise which I suspect most Conservatives would agree to, and which might help speed our way out of the current debt problem. We could allow for temporary tax increases coupled with significantly greater *real* spending cuts to get us by, but only if the tax increases have an automatic sunset provision that makes them expire in say 5 years *and* which at that time revert us back to the Bush tax rates and make those rates permanent going forward. Conservatives might go for something like that. But that's pretty likely to be the only way they're going to agree to any tax increases passed in the name of deficit reduction or to fix a crisis which we all feel the Democrats caused.


Sounds like something that could well be pushed through with bi-partisan support from moderates on both sides. Now there's just the matter of getting a potential Republican President who would support that through the primary system without signing a certain pledge which could derail it, or saying things that sound too 'tea party-ish' and could come back to hurt him in the general election.



Edited, Aug 16th 2011 8:33pm by someproteinguy
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#95 Aug 17 2011 at 2:33 AM Rating: Good
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Allegory wrote:
It's a funny thing to know something but not believe it. Not matter how large your text Ari, you know arguing this point with Gbaji is fruitless, but it's just so hard to believe.


I love your phrasings, Allegory.

Elinda wrote:
Aripyanfar wrote:
Gbaji wrote:
As I've pointed out in past threads, there's a reason why the Democrats predicted summer of 2010 would be the "summer of recovery". It's because past recessionary trends followed a very predictable pattern, and that pattern said that we should have started to recover at that time. But we didn't. So. What changed? Like I said, we spent more money than in past recessions. We didn't just end out spending more to provide existing services to an increased number of people, but actually increased the number and type of services (and other stuff) that we were spending money on. That's what changed. That's why this recession isn't starting to recover after 2 years like we saw with the dotcom and 9/11 crashes, and the S&L crash.
I'll bet you a hundred dollars that the Democrat prdiction that the summer of 2010 would the the "summer of recovery" was predicted BEFORE the GFC. The recession? Almost all of the Deficit? It's the GFC Stupid. The GFC is to the dotcom and 9/11 crashes as the Boxing Day Tsunami is to two farts in a bath-tub. You have NO GRASP of the SCALE of the crisis. None whatsoever. Your fears are in the totally WRONG PLACE.
Gbaji wrote:
Aripyanfar wrote:
It is disingenuous to point at public spending jumping to 25% of GDP under Obama in isolation.
I'm not though. Even in past recessions, spending didn't increase nearly that much. Surely you can acknowledge that we didn't just spend more money because more people were in need of existing services, but that we also expanded services and created new areas of spending? My statements are not in isolation. My statements are in full recognition that we spent more money on "new things" during this recession instead of just spending more on existing things as a natural consequence of the recession itself.
It's the GFC Stupid. Not the increased social services. THE GFC. The scale of increased public spending in the US after the GFC on SOCIAL SERVICES is NOTHING compared to the increased public spending on sundry palliatives to the GFC. Your debt angst has the WRONG CAUSE.

Edited, Aug 16th 2011 2:34am by Aripyanfar

u mad?


I'm not sure, but that guy who called me out 4chan slang last time sure will be!
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#96 Aug 17 2011 at 2:51 AM Rating: Good
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Sure. But I think that this is exaggerated to some degree. You have to realize that a good portion of the new spending the Dems did in 2009/2010 is "future spending". They've passed legislation requiring funds to be budgeted for tons of stuff that we didn't fund before (or not to that amount). The point being that most of this funding hasn't had any effect at all yet. We absolutely can eliminate it without a single person feeling any negative effect. A great example is recovery act "spending" which consists of funding for construction programs that haven't begun yet. No one's been hired. No money has been spent. But it's budgeted, so we've lost the money and will continue to spend that money each year going forward. We can eliminate that and get the money back today without a single person being affected.


Except that Businesses don't operate on the near term approach all of the time. If you are a construction company, and have a large scale project due in the next year, you need to ensure you have good workers, well priced materials and sound engineering plans for that project. If someone tells you they want you to build a bridge, and then changes their mind, you are not only less likely to build bridges for them in the future, but your whole supply chain is affected, as those workers were hired and not really needed, thus resulting in loss, the engineering was wasted, and the fluctuation is the material resource supply artificially increased the price of other construction projects, which may have prevented them from being a good idea to take up. As someone who believes in trickle down economics, you seem to have a bizarre view of how things are done, and how business investitures affect people.


Edited, Aug 17th 2011 5:01am by Timelordwho
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#97 Aug 17 2011 at 5:11 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:

Sure. Stop providing extended unemployment benefits, right now.

Ok then, find a job for me.
#98 Aug 17 2011 at 5:26 AM Rating: Excellent
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Nadenu wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Sure. Stop providing extended unemployment benefits, right now.
Ok then, find a job for me.


I know you're joking, but you are helping Gbaji's argument.
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#99varusword75, Posted: Aug 17 2011 at 8:12 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Nadenu,
#100 Aug 17 2011 at 8:17 AM Rating: Excellent
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No, the point is, I'm looking for a job, but there are none out there. You know, like varus and co. like to keep pointing out...
#101varusword75, Posted: Aug 17 2011 at 8:19 AM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Nadenu,
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