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Did Obama completely cave on Taxes yet?Follow

#1 Dec 18 2012 at 10:37 AM Rating: Decent
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I haven't been paying that much attention to it lately, but we must be getting near the point where the Obama stepin fetchit instinct kicks in and gives the GOP whatever they want., I'd say the over under on earned income for actual tax burdens increasing is about $850k.
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#2 Dec 18 2012 at 10:53 AM Rating: Good
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#3 Dec 18 2012 at 11:03 AM Rating: Good
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I think Obama said $400k a few days ago?
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#4 Dec 18 2012 at 11:39 AM Rating: Excellent
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Political Wire wrote:
President Obama delivered to House Speaker John Boehner a new offer on to resolve the pending fiscal crisis, "a deal that would raise revenues by $1.2 trillion over the next decade but keep in place the Bush-era tax rates for any household with earnings below $400,000," the New York Times reports.

"The offer is close to a plan proposed by the speaker on Friday, and both sides expressed confidence that they were closing in on a major deficit-reduction plan that could be passed well before January... The two sides are now ********* over price, not philosophical differences, and the numbers are very close."

Wall Street Journal: "After weeks of public sniping, negotiations have intensified in recent days, with both sides making significant concessions. Obstacles still remain, especially the reaction of lawmakers on both extremes, but the movement suggests negotiators could reach a compromise and pass by the end of the year a deal to avert a series of spending cuts and tax increases set to take effect in January."

Politico: "The president's proposal is not a final offer, but the White House views it as something that should get the two sides close to a deal because they have met Republicans more than halfway on spending and halfway on revenues."

I'm just cutting & pasting. I've only been paying nominal attention until someone announces something for real.
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#5 Dec 18 2012 at 11:43 AM Rating: Excellent
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The two sides are now ********* over price


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#6 Dec 18 2012 at 11:57 AM Rating: Excellent
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Eske Esquire wrote:
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The two sides are now ********* over price


Kinky.
At least Obama has an advantage there...
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#7 Dec 18 2012 at 12:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
I'm just cutting & pasting. I've only been paying nominal attention until someone announces something for real.
Liar. You're waiting for after Rush talks about it so gbaji has something to post about.
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#8gbaji, Posted: Dec 18 2012 at 3:14 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) I'm kinda amused by how the numbers just keep getting invented in terms of dollars of deficit reduced. Most estimates (for years now) have pegged the 10 year tax revenue gain by implementing the Clinton tax rates on just those earning over $250k/year at $800B, which works out to $80B/year average. Yet recently, Obama has been using a $1T figure as the 10 year deficit reduction value (I can only assume he's just been rounding it up or something). But now he's talking about compromising that up to $400k/year, and claiming it'll save $1.2T over 10 years.
#9 Dec 18 2012 at 5:53 PM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:
I'm kinda amused by how the numbers just keep getting invented in terms of dollars of deficit reduced. Most estimates (for years now) have pegged the 10 year tax revenue gain by implementing the Clinton tax rates on just those earning over $250k/year at $800B, which works out to $80B/year average. Yet recently, Obama has been using a $1T figure as the 10 year deficit reduction value (I can only assume he's just been rounding it up or something). But now he's talking about compromising that up to $400k/year, and claiming it'll save $1.2T over 10 years.

I fully acknowledge there may be other components that are getting tossed in there as well (the whole "deal" so to speak), but it does seem interesting how political language often trumps the actual numbers. It's like he's more interested in making it seem like whatever he's doing is significant, even when it's not. Again, that's politics. I get it. But it's still funny to watch.


All politicians do this. Math can do many different tricks depending on where you start and finish. When Walker was running for gov here, he decried the accounting methods used when Doyle was in office. He then proceeded to use that exact same method of accounting when he was talking about the supposed deficit our state was facing due to the cost of state worker healthcare and pension. It's easy to make numbers dance for you.
#10 Dec 18 2012 at 5:58 PM Rating: Good
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Paskil wrote:
Math can do many different tricks depending on where you start and finish.


Indeed, if you ask Obama, the net savings from his proposed spending cuts are higher than Boehner concedes, because Obama is counting the interested that would be accrued on the additional expenditures as savings as well. In the end, he's correct that the interest on any borrowed money counts as savings also if the money is never borrowed, but it's one of those "far future" predicitions that carries some degree of variability as to the exact numbers.


Edited, Dec 18th 2012 5:58pm by BrownDuck
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#11 Dec 18 2012 at 7:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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I'm kinda amused by how the numbers just keep getting invented in terms of dollars of deficit reduced.

I'm kinda amused we're going to suffer through a decade of economic stagnation because a small group of super wealthy people sold the country on "the deficit" as something that matters at all in the present economic circumstances.

Wait, not amused. Resigned. The best part is that not only are historical examples of the failure of austerity policy during economic downturns, there are PRESENT DAY examples. **** it, though, let's follow Europe off the cliff.
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#12gbaji, Posted: Dec 18 2012 at 7:34 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) I'm sorry? I thought the problem in Europe is the refusal to actually implement any austerity measures in the first place. You know, spending more money than you have even when it becomes abundantly obvious that you can't afford to do so anymore. Add to that the belief by those countries who keep spending too much money that those who have practiced some measure of sane spending and are still solvent will just keep propping them up cause they're all in the same Eurozone and "in it together".
#13 Dec 18 2012 at 7:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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Eske Esquire wrote:
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The two sides are now ********* over price


Kinky.
At least Obama has an advantage there...

Racist. Smiley: tongue
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#14 Dec 18 2012 at 8:33 PM Rating: Excellent
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And I'm amused by people who don't realize that Krugman is full of ****.

I know, right? The Nobel committee, MIT, Princeton. Suckers. That said, no one on the left views him as some sort of magical economics wizard. His blog, which I assume is what you're referring to since you have little chance of understanding any of his actual work, is more of an aggregation of Macro stuff on the web. Not sure why you brought him up. I assume he agrees with me, but that's because he can do math, not because we've secretly agreed to pretend a terrible policy that would cripple the economy is the way to go because...socialism.

I'm sorry? I thought the problem in Europe is the refusal to actually implement any austerity measures in the first place. You know, spending more money than you have even when it becomes abundantly obvious that you can't afford to do so anymore. Add to that the belief by those countries who keep spending too much money that those who have practiced some measure of sane spending and are still solvent will just keep propping them up cause they're all in the same Eurozone and "in it together".

Kinda like when Obama talks about "shared sacrifice" and it's clear he doesn't actually mean everyone shares the sacrifice. It means that some people get stuff they can't afford, while others pay for it. But I guess it sounds better his way.


I don't want to speak for your two term President here, but I think he's probably hinting at the idea that the broke people living in squalor have already sacrificed.
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#15 Dec 18 2012 at 9:16 PM Rating: Excellent
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The austerity that broke Greece was extreme. (And it's why it's still broken.) They halved the minimum wage, cut benefits down to the marrow or removed them entirely, and various other measures that resulted in most of the population ending up with the expectations of a feudal serf a century ago. This was from pressure from Germany.

We haven't heard much from Italy or Spain recently, but in those countries as well as Greece, the problem was exacerbated by the fact that dodging taxes is the national sport. So, they would have had the revenues, except for 50% of the populace cooking the books to avoid actually paying any money. (The other half of the population either didn't make enough to pay taxes, is retired, or these days, is unemployed.)

$400K a year is higher than I think it should be, but it's better than the one million amount that had been tossed around earlier.

On the entitlement front, NPR has been having a tongue-in-cheek "Twelve Days of Tax Hikes" in which they discuss various tax breaks that are on the chopping block for negotiations. Today was the adoption tax break, in which a couple who adopts gets a $6,000 refundable chunk to offset adoption expenses. The plan for that one is to keep the tax break in place only for those who adopt special needs children. (So, you won't get cold hard cash for getting a perfect baby from a forced adoption any more.)
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#16 Dec 18 2012 at 9:30 PM Rating: Default
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And I'm amused by people who don't realize that Krugman is full of sh*t.

I know, right? The Nobel committee, MIT, Princeton. Suckers.


Yup. Given that a nutty liberal can basically get a Nobel prize just for showing up, it's not surprising really.

Quote:
That said, no one on the left views him as some sort of magical economics wizard.


No one? He's pretty much the number one economist that liberal pundits trot out whenever they want to make their nutty ideas sound like they must be good because here's a Nobel prize winning economist saying they are. He's pretty much slobbered over by CNN and MSNBC. So maybe not "the left" as you see it, but certainly "the left" as it's presented to the public.

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His blog, which I assume is what you're referring to since you have little chance of understanding any of his actual work, is more of an aggregation of Macro stuff on the web. Not sure why you brought him up. I assume he agrees with me, but that's because he can do math, not because we've secretly agreed to pretend a terrible policy that would cripple the economy is the way to go because...socialism.


I mentioned him because you've repeated nearly verbatim things I've heard him say. The idea that deficits don't matter, that inflating our way out of debt is a great idea, and that the stimulus failed because we didn't spend enough money are all positions he's advocated strongly. They are all, not coincidentally I'm sure, positions you've repeated on this forum. But hey! You're free to substitute his name with whatever nutty Neo-Keynesian Economist you like most if that makes you feel better.


Quote:
I don't want to speak for your two term President here, but I think he's probably hinting at the idea that the broke people living in squalor have already sacrificed.


Not by any useful definition of the word "sacrifice", no, they haven't. Well, wait a minute! I suppose you could call the choice to give up freedom and opportunity for government entitlement a sacrifice, but that only makes sense if Obama were actually trying to help people to regain that freedom instead of working hard to take it away from yet more people.


So no, not really a sacrifice. Screwed over by their government and liberal economic polices? Sure. I'm not sure how more of the same helps though. Perhaps you'll enlighten us all though!
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#17 Dec 18 2012 at 9:36 PM Rating: Good
****. Who crapped in your corn flakes this morning? Try sounding more bitter.
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#18gbaji, Posted: Dec 18 2012 at 10:06 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) I'd say it's still a bit low, but closer to an acceptable target. Maybe $.5M? The problem with such a big relative hike at such a point is that it creates a larger desire to avoid the tax than if tax rates are gradual. That's why the Bush tax rates worked well in the first place, taxes went down across all tax brackets. But raising it just at one level and above creates more of a tax bracket "cliff". Higher is better in this case because you want to avoid punishing the people who might only occasionally (or even just once) hit that level of income, while also not giving too much incentive to those who consistently hit it to avoid the higher rate.
#19 Dec 18 2012 at 10:18 PM Rating: Default
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[*************************. Who crapped in your corn flakes this morning? Try sounding more bitter.[/quote]

Actually, I was going for sarcastic whimsy. Smiley: tongue
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#20 Dec 18 2012 at 11:05 PM Rating: Good
Whimsy is lighthearted. That was not lighthearted, but nice try Anne Shirley.
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#21 Dec 19 2012 at 1:01 AM Rating: Excellent
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The austerity that broke Greece was extreme. (And it's why it's still broken.) They halved the minimum wage, cut benefits down to the marrow or removed them entirely, and various other measures that resulted in most of the population ending up with the expectations of a feudal serf a century ago. This was from pressure from Germany.

We haven't heard much from Italy or Spain recently, but in those countries as well as Greece, the problem was exacerbated by the fact that dodging taxes is the national sport. So, they would have had the revenues, except for 50% of the populace cooking the books to avoid actually paying any money. (The other half of the population either didn't make enough to pay taxes, is retired, or these days, is unemployed.)
The problem for Greece and to a lesser extend Italy and Spain is that they should never have been allowed to join the Euro because they simply didn't meet the requirements set by those in charge in Europe, it should have been obvious that if something was to go wrong, as it did, that these countries and with them the entire eurozone would suffer but because the bureaucrats in the EU got overexcited and wanted to include as many countries as possible they completely ignored their own rules and as a result, we're seeing budget cut after budget cut, most of which would've been unnecessary were it not for those bureaucrats. Those billions we "loaned" to Greece are gone too, no hope of ever getting those back.
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#22 Dec 19 2012 at 7:39 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:


So no, not really a sacrifice. Screwed over by their government and liberal economic polices? Sure. I'm not sure how more of the same helps though. Perhaps you'll enlighten us all though!

I'd rather get screwed by our liberal government than gang-banged by Walmart, Tyson, Exxon and Pfizer.




Edited, Dec 19th 2012 2:41pm by Elinda
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#23 Dec 19 2012 at 7:54 AM Rating: Excellent
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I mentioned him because you've repeated nearly verbatim things I've heard him say. The idea that deficits don't matter, that inflating our way out of debt is a great idea, and that the stimulus failed because we didn't spend enough money are all positions he's advocated strongly. They are all, not coincidentally I'm sure, positions you've repeated on this forum. But hey! You're free to substitute his name with whatever nutty Neo-Keynesian Economist you like most if that makes you feel better.

Or anyone who can do math, right? Because that's the standard. I know it makes you feel better to assume I'm blindly parroting some opinion maker, or perhaps assume it's the only possible way, knowing nothing else, but the reality is that if you locked 50 people with sufficient math skills in closets and let them slide notes under the door, they'd reach the same conclusions. I don't read Krugman so I can understand what's going on with the US economy, I read Krugman hoping he's found a good way to explain it to morons like you. Well, not you, obviously, but someone capable of logical reasoning. . To convince you, I'd have to wait for Limbaugh to decide it was the case. Like if Romney had been elected, entitlement reform would have still been very important but deficits would have been meaningless. Since that didn't happen, though, deficits are critical.
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#24 Dec 19 2012 at 8:02 AM Rating: Excellent
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Boehner is calling his proposal to raise taxes on people making over $1 million a year a "tax cut" because it would avoid the set increases for lower incomes.

I'm sure Gbaji will be rolling on the floor over the silliness of that number-spin.
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#25 Dec 19 2012 at 8:27 AM Rating: Excellent
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Boehner is calling his proposal to raise taxes on people making over $1 million a year a "tax cut" because it would avoid the set increases for lower incomes.

Insisting the payroll tax cut expires though, that's "fiscal responsibility", I'd imagine.
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#26 Dec 19 2012 at 2:40 PM Rating: Good
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Boehner basically said today "tax raises only for incomes over $1 million, **** you, I'm out."

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#27gbaji, Posted: Dec 19 2012 at 3:28 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) Too large a deficit is always a problem. But the causes of that deficit and making sure that we reduce that deficit correctly is even more important. If someone is spending more money than he has and going deep into debt in order to pay for his drug habit, the fact that he's got a budget deficit is a problem, but the correct response is never to just give him more money so he can afford his drug habit. The correct solution is to stop him from spending money on drugs and thus solve two problems at once. Both solutions would solve the deficit problem, but one just masks another problem, while the other solves that.
#28 Dec 19 2012 at 6:55 PM Rating: Good
trickybeck wrote:

Boehner basically said today "tax raises only for incomes over $1 million, @#%^ you, I'm out."


If he's going to continue to attempt to pass both bills (one to extend cuts for those under 250k and one to extend cuts for those under 1mil) he's going to have a hard time with that. Both will probably pass the House with it being Republican controlled, but I highly doubt that the higher one is going to pass the Senate or be signed by President Obama.
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#29 Dec 19 2012 at 7:07 PM Rating: Decent
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
trickybeck wrote:

Boehner basically said today "tax raises only for incomes over $1 million, @#%^ you, I'm out."


If he's going to continue to attempt to pass both bills (one to extend cuts for those under 250k and one to extend cuts for those under 1mil) he's going to have a hard time with that. Both will probably pass the House with it being Republican controlled, but I highly doubt that the higher one is going to pass the Senate or be signed by President Obama.


What do you mean by "both bills"? It's one or the other. The current tax rates will expire at the end of this year. When that happens, tax rates will increase by about 5% for every tax bracket (more or less) because the law that set them decreased tax rates for everyone across the board (rich and poor alike). The Republicans have argued that we should just pass a bill making the current tax rates permanent so that everyone's rates stay the same (which would be fair, right?). The Democrats have argued that we should pass a bill making the current rates permanent for anyone making less than $250, but raising it to the previous higher level for anyone making more than that (so kinda unfair if you think about it). The Democrats have been so insistent that they get their way that they have threatened to not pass any bill if they don't get that increase on the rich. If that happens, tax rates will go up for everyone.

That's half of the so called "fiscal cliff" everyone's been talking about.


The GOP has offered to compromise (it's not really a compromise though, since they're giving something up while gaining nothing), and allow tax rates to go up for earnings over $1M. So the Dems still get to raise taxes on "the rich", and everyone else gets to keep their current lower tax rates. But apparently, that's not enough so Obama countered with $400k. And Boehner basically told him to take it or leave it. How much of that is firm position and how much is negotiating remains to be seen though.


Point being that the Dems are getting something they want either way, just maybe not as much as they wanted. The GOP isn't getting anything. So... Who''s being stubborn here? Oh, and it's still all about one bill. It's just arguing about what that bill should be (or whether one can even be passed in time).

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#30 Dec 19 2012 at 9:24 PM Rating: Good
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Only if we use a very narrow definition of math.


Yes, the one involving intellectual rigor. Not "the math" that Karl Rove uses, but, you know, math.


If it really were the standard, no one would pay a moments heed to liberal economic theories Smash. Their theories aren't based on math, or science, or even historical precedent. They are based on the need to appear to have an economic excuse to enact liberal social policies.


What are the mathematical issues you have with Keynesian economics?


What conclusions? You're saying that 100% of economists agree with Krugman? Or that 100% of "people who are good at math" would? I know a **** of a lot of people who are far far far better at math than Paul Krugman, and most of them think he's a complete idiot.


No you don't. You don't know anyone who's "better at math" than Krugman. Not because he's going to win a Fields Medal or anything, but because you clearly live in a weird echo chamber of "common sense" where having your gut instinct be wrong 99 times out of 100 just means you didn't believe hard enough.


When you say "people with sufficient math skills", what you really mean is "liberal economists". Which is to say you're not really saying anything at all. I mean "100% of people who agree with me agree with me" isn't exactly a strong argument, is it?


Nope. It means there is no mathematical basis for austerity measures in the present economy. None. Just philosophical ones. I'm happy to entertain challenges to that idea. If there was a valid argument that austerity would do something other than stall a tepid recovery and lead to a generation of decline, that'd be great. I'm sure I'd disagree on what to cut or how to raise revenue or whatever, but I'd genuinely like that to be true because it would avoid the horror show we're actually in for.


Too large a deficit is always a problem. But the causes of that deficit and making sure that we reduce that deficit correctly is even more important. If someone is spending more money than he has and going deep into debt in order to pay for his drug habit, the fact that he's got a budget deficit is a problem, but the correct response is never to just give him more money so he can afford his drug habit. The correct solution is to stop him from spending money on drugs and thus solve two problems at once. Both solutions would solve the deficit problem, but one just masks another problem, while the other solves that.


Yeah just stop with the "If I spend all my monies, then I gots no monies!" analogies. Macro still isn't Micro. It's not easy to understand. It can't be translated to metaphor for people too lazy or intellectually incapable of understanding theory. It's not simple. You've never made any sort of financial decision that even vaguely relates to nation state economic policy. Me either. Most corporations that aren't also sovereign states haven't either. A nation isn't a family or a company, it's a completely different entity. Central banks aren't merchant banks. Etc.


Same deal here.


Yeah no. I could counter with other analogies that supported my philosophical views about expanding safety net spending or whatever, but they wouldn't speak to economic outcomes for the nation. Because they're only vaguely related. Totalitarian sates can have great economies. Slave labor works fine in the market. Starvation can benefit an economy long term. There are things I believe we should do regardless of economic impact, and there are things I believe we should do because of the economic impact. If you want to cut social security because the idea of entitlements bothers you, just be an adult and say that. I don't particularly care if providing food for everyone in the world is a drain on the global economy. I think it's something we should do as a species. I think it's part of what makes us human. The same holds true for access to medical care, etc. Many of the things I believe, single payer healthcare for example, inarguably also have economic benefits. Some of them, like a very high minimum wage, clearly don't. I don't need to pretend everything I want guarantees a utopian best outcome for everyone

Because I'm not reading a fairy tale to my daughter.


Just raising taxes to pay for increased government spending may address the deficit problem, but doesn't solve the spending problem. And just as with a drug user, if you increase that revenue, he'll likely just increase his spending, meaning the deficit problem comes back. Do you then eternally increase revenue until you actually can't do it anymore? Or do you realize the trend and nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand?


There is no deficit problem at the moment. Because money is close to free. I'm not sure why that's so confusing. The only "problem" that deficits potentially cause is making it harder for the US to borrow money. I don't think taxes should be raised on the wealthy to generate revenue to avoid borrowing. I think taxes should be raised on the wealthy to be put back into the economy to generate demand. Alternately, we could just borrow more. I don't really care that much. Philosophically, I think people with the highest incomes who benefit the most from our society monetarily should carry more of the burden for funding that society, but I don't think it has much to do with economic outcomes on a large scale. When it becomes harder to borrow money (which is no time soon) then there's a valid case for raising marginal rates particularly on the high end to generate revenue.

The idea that the defect is currently a "problem" is a PR campaign. Quite literally. It's sold to people who don't understand economics but who understand that shouldn't carry a bunch of 19% credit card debt instead of saving money and buying less stuff. Which is great, and they shouldn't, but conceptually it's a meaningless comparison. The goal is cut entitlements, period. I have no idea if the engineers of that PR campaign believe or care that cutting entitlements would be better for the economy or not. It's clear they'd prefer other people to die in the streets before they were forced to pay another nickel.


Romney absolutely would have focused on fixing the deficit.


Again, nothing to fix. Also, a blatant lie. Romney would have been a deer in the headlights afraid to damage a mild recovery. He would have cut taxes, likely borrowed even more in the wake of less revenue, and tried to push for entitlement "reform"until, on about January 28th it was made clear to him that he wasn't going to be re-elected if he attacked Medicare or Social Security, and he would have signed an Unemployment Benefits extension, extended the payroll tax cut, etc. It's somewhat difficult to determine what he would have actually advocated for larger economic policy given that he either had no idea or had no interest in letting anyone know, but it's a good bet it would have revolved around continuing to attempt to destroy unions and softer targets like programs for the very poor.


But it would have been critical to him to fix it by bringing government spending under control. Yes, this would have to include entitlement spending, since that's where the bulk of our increase has been.


Yeah, I'm too lazy to bother with this, to be honest. Yes, entitlements are most of the budget. If you want to eliminate entitlements, fine, just say so. Pretending we "have to" to avoid the deficit boogeyman isn't required. It's also untrue. It's also political suicide. There's zero political will to lessen spending on the most costly entitlement programs. Doing so will just result in the change being reversed. People like Santa, you know. Didn't you get the memo?

Only the folks on the left think that we can just spend our way out of debt. The irony is when folks like you defend such lunacy by arguing that it's somehow good math.

Yeah, so first of all there is no "left wing math" and "right wing math". There's just math. Secondly, no one's arguing spending will reduce the debt, the argument is that you pay down the debt when the economy is doing well by increasing revenue, and that to stimulate the economy....you spend more money...UNLESS it's expensive to borrow money to spend. See how that works? THE MARKET determines when it's a bad idea to borrow more money to spend by making it more expensive to do so. That's what happened in the 70's. It was a bad idea to borrow money at 14% of whatever Tbills auctioned for in 1977. It would be a bad idea to do that now. On the other hand, slowing the economy even slightly out of fear for running up too much debt when you can borrow money at .017% is idiotic.

Get it? The interest rate on debt matters a great deal, for obvious reasons. This is in an inapt metaphor, but since I know you can't do the math required to understand the actual issue: You can understand how it might be a good idea for someone to buy a house now, when prices have come down substantially and mortgages are at ~3% rather than save another 2% for a down payment while interest rates and prices rise, right? Even though they will acquire more debt immediately, the net effect of that borrowed money is much more beneficial now than in the future if interest rates and prices rise. Let me be clear that I am in no way interested in debating the metaphor. It's a poor one, because there are no good ones, but I do try to dumb it down for you as best I can.

You know who could probably do that more effectively?

Paul Krugman.
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#31 Dec 19 2012 at 10:02 PM Rating: Good
Well, the way it was explained last night on the news program I was watching, it sounded like there were three options. We could have one or the other bill passed, or we could have both passed. I suppose having both passed would be a bit redundant for one of them though. But, as I understood it, both are being presented to the Congress separately, so it is possible for both to get passed.
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#32 Dec 19 2012 at 10:48 PM Rating: Default
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Smasharoo wrote:

If it really were the standard, no one would pay a moments heed to liberal economic theories Smash. Their theories aren't based on math, or science, or even historical precedent. They are based on the need to appear to have an economic excuse to enact liberal social policies.


What are the mathematical issues you have with Keynesian economics?


The economic formulas themselves, nothing. The application of them? Lots. But then, those aren't actually mathematical issues, are they? Remember when it was you claiming that neo-Keynesian economic was just good math? Remember me saying, "only for a very narrow definition of math"? You're defining math to not be about the adding and subtracting of numbers, but assumptions which really have nothing to do with the math and everything to do with social theory.

I suppose I technically should have said "only for a selectively incorrect definition of math", but I honestly can't remember exactly what you said that prompted that response, so I was probably thinking in terms of math like "Borrowing $1T/year can be fixed by simply raising taxes by $80B/year. Or something similarly silly.

Quote:
No you don't. You don't know anyone who's "better at math" than Krugman.


Yes, I do. Again though, I'm defining math as actual math as performed by people with degrees in math. You're defining it as "people who assume that higher deficits can be eliminated via massive inflation without any negative effects". That's not actually math though. Which is were the problem arises. It's the same silly claim Obama was making during the campaign when he kept saying "it's just math", when what he was talking about had nothing to do with math at all.

You do understand that a theory which states that rising interest rates will have a given effect on monetary flow isn't actually based on math, right? People like you claim it does because by comparing your pet theories to something concrete and proven like "math" make them seem like they are concrete and proven too. But no amount of saying that something is math makes it so.

Quote:

Too large a deficit is always a problem. But the causes of that deficit and making sure that we reduce that deficit correctly is even more important. If someone is spending more money than he has and going deep into debt in order to pay for his drug habit, the fact that he's got a budget deficit is a problem, but the correct response is never to just give him more money so he can afford his drug habit. The correct solution is to stop him from spending money on drugs and thus solve two problems at once. Both solutions would solve the deficit problem, but one just masks another problem, while the other solves that.


Yeah just stop with the "If I spend all my monies, then I gots no monies!" analogies. Macro still isn't Micro. It's not easy to understand. It can't be translated to metaphor for people too lazy or intellectually incapable of understanding theory. It's not simple. You've never made any sort of financial decision that even vaguely relates to nation state economic policy. Me either. Most corporations that aren't also sovereign states haven't either. A nation isn't a family or a company, it's a completely different entity. Central banks aren't merchant banks. Etc.


Ok. So meaningless ramblings aside, do you actually disagree that a nation can have too high a deficit? BTW, I don't disagree with you that some deficit is fine and in fact can be economically beneficial for a nations economy. But I think it's pretty reasonable to assume that when deficits reach the point where nations credit ratings start getting downgraded, they are problematic.

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Yeah no. I could counter with other analogies that supported my philosophical views about expanding safety net spending or whatever, but they wouldn't speak to economic outcomes for the nation. Because they're only vaguely related. Totalitarian sates can have great economies. Slave labor works fine in the market. Starvation can benefit an economy long term. There are things I believe we should do regardless of economic impact, and there are things I believe we should do because of the economic impact. If you want to cut social security because the idea of entitlements bothers you, just be an adult and say that. I don't particularly care if providing food for everyone in the world is a drain on the global economy. I think it's something we should do as a species. I think it's part of what makes us human. The same holds true for access to medical care, etc. Many of the things I believe, single payer healthcare for example, inarguably also have economic benefits. Some of them, like a very high minimum wage, clearly don't. I don't need to pretend everything I want guarantees a utopian best outcome for everyone


Sure. But you do understand that most people don't agree with you there, and that people like Krugman therefore have to lie to them and convince them that it's actually good for the economy to spend money on the social programs that they want to create in order to get enough people to allow them to create them? Cause that would seem particularly relevant here.

Quote:
There is no deficit problem at the moment. Because money is close to free. I'm not sure why that's so confusing. The only "problem" that deficits potentially cause is making it harder for the US to borrow money.


And you can't see the problem there? Money ceases to be "close to free" when it becomes harder to borrow it. Funny how that happens when people who think that "deficits don't matter because money is free" borrow too much money. It's almost like it's a self created problem.

What's so startlingly amusing about this, is that you've basically adopted the college kid maxing out the credit card scenario to macro-economics. Just like that kid, who thinks that borrowing money doesn't matter as long as the credit card company keep upping his limit, you can only do that for so long before you do eventually hit a limit. And when you do, you find yourself in a nearly impossible to get out of situation. It's incredibly irresponsible. And yes, before the inevitable "macro isn't micro" response, the big mistake that Keynesian's make is assuming that nations have the equivalent of an unlimited credit card. They don't. The negatives may take different forms, but they are there.


The larger point is that most liberal economists don't care because the negatives are things that they're ok with in some way. Destruction (redistribution in a way) of personal wealth being one. When you want everyone dependent on the government, and spending every dime either consuming or paying taxes for those great government programs, creating forces in the economy which massively dissuade savings and investing is a good rather than bad thing. Again, the math isn't the issue. It's an ideological difference of opinion over what a "healthy economy" actually is. ****. It's a difference over what the purpose of government policy with regard to the economy should be.


Quote:
I don't think taxes should be raised on the wealthy to generate revenue to avoid borrowing. I think taxes should be raised on the wealthy to be put back into the economy to generate demand. Alternately, we could just borrow more. I don't really care that much. Philosophically, I think people with the highest incomes who benefit the most from our society monetarily should carry more of the burden for funding that society, but I don't think it has much to do with economic outcomes on a large scale. When it becomes harder to borrow money (which is no time soon) then there's a valid case for raising marginal rates particularly on the high end to generate revenue.


When it becomes harder to borrow money, it will become harder very fast and uncontrollably. We've seen this in past recessionary cycles back when both republicans and democrats were following Keynesian economic models. It'll happen much the same way the current economic downturn began. One day lenders will wake up and realize that lending money isn't actually producing the returns they thought once other economic factor are taken into account. There will then be a huge upswing of interest rate increases to entice them into lending more money. This will lead to inflation, more debt and more lack of return value, necessitating higher interest rates. Rinse and repeat.

When that happens, it will happen very suddenly. We will go from "money is free cause you can borrow as much as you can", to "money is expensive and getting moreso every day". Now, the positive of this is that current debt will become relatively smaller. But the negative is that personal wealth and upward mobility within the economy will be massively impacted. People will lose relative economic value on a level that will dwarf the losses in 2008.


Quote:
Only the folks on the left think that we can just spend our way out of debt. The irony is when folks like you defend such lunacy by arguing that it's somehow good math.

Yeah, so first of all there is no "left wing math" and "right wing math". There's just math.


Still missing the point aren't you. I'm not calling either position "math". You are.


Quote:
Secondly, no one's arguing spending will reduce the debt, the argument is that you pay down the debt when the economy is doing well by increasing revenue, and that to stimulate the economy....you spend more money...UNLESS it's expensive to borrow money to spend. See how that works? THE MARKET determines when it's a bad idea to borrow more money to spend by making it more expensive to do so. That's what happened in the 70's. It was a bad idea to borrow money at 14% of whatever Tbills auctioned for in 1977. It would be a bad idea to do that now. On the other hand, slowing the economy even slightly out of fear for running up too much debt when you can borrow money at .017% is idiotic.


Sigh. Except we will end up with interest rates like the 70s if we don't get the deficit under control. You're missing an entire huge component of this.

What's bizarre is that you know what you just said is false. You've argued it in the past. Borrowing boatloads of money is intended to force interest rates and inflation upwards, which will cause existing debt to be smaller relative to those things. That's how you "borrow your way out of debt" in a macro economic situation. Borrow enough money and those rates *will* go up.

You're right on one thing though, but you're projecting the liberal view onto the conservatives. The left does not care about this from an economic point of view. It's all about their social agenda (I thought I said this). They aren't pushing us into a debt/inflation/recovery cycle again just because it's a fun exercise, but because along the way they'll have increased the total relative size of social spending in the US. That's the brass ring here. Tossing the country through a couple decades long economic ringer is a small price to pay to do so.

Quote:
Get it? The interest rate on debt matters a great deal, for obvious reasons. This is in an inapt metaphor, but since I know you can't do the math required to understand the actual issue: You can understand how it might be a good idea for someone to buy a house now, when prices have come down substantially and mortgages are at ~3% rather than save another 2% for a down payment while interest rates and prices rise, right? Even though they will acquire more debt immediately, the net effect of that borrowed money is much more beneficial now than in the future if interest rates and prices rise.


Yes. That's exactly what I'm talking about. The current economic approach of the left only makes sense if the intent is to spur those future increased interest rates. It's funny because you get this, but then pretend that you don't when it's convenient. In exactly the same way it's a good idea to borrow money to buy a house right now because interest rates are low and that debt will be lower relatively speaking once interest rates increase, the same applies to government spending. It's a cycle. And frankly, it's even a relatively painless cycle at the first part (where we are right now). The pain comes in when you have high interest and inflation rates and no one can save money or get ahead.

I'm not saying that those things are bad "right now", but that if we don't do something about our deficit and resulting debt things will become bad. It's funny because the last time we went though this cycle as the 60s/70s. It took Reagan pushing conservative economic policies to get us out of the back end (the bad side), and for the next 30 years we've had unprecedentedly stable and low interest and inflation rates. But all that stability and upward mobility and wealth generation is just horrible for liberals to see. Can't have people becoming successful can we? So they're intentionally creating conditions designed to put us back through that pain again.

Sadly, far far too many people don't realize this and continue to buy the lies the left sells about this. The "free money" is the bait. But the ultimate intention is to create a high interest high inflation economy where individual wealth acquisition is nearly impossible so that everyone has to live day to day and paycheck to paycheck. That's the environment where liberal social policies sell the best. Which is the real objective here. Get as many people poor as possible. Make sure their opportunities for success are as small as possible. And ***** them over if they do happen to be one of the fortunate ones.


It's not an accident that the periods when liberal social programs have experienced the most growth have been the periods when we've been suffering the most economically. Is it really that much of a stretch to conclude that liberals might just intentionally put our economy on a track to create those conditions? I don't think so at all. And I don't think you think so either.
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#33 Dec 19 2012 at 10:54 PM Rating: Default
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PigtailsOfDoom wrote:
Well, the way it was explained last night on the news program I was watching, it sounded like there were three options. We could have one or the other bill passed, or we could have both passed. I suppose having both passed would be a bit redundant for one of them though. But, as I understood it, both are being presented to the Congress separately, so it is possible for both to get passed.


They were probably talking about one version passing in the House and one in the Senate, and then having to reconcile them somehow. You wouldn't pass both bills in the same house because one directly supersedes the other. It would be like a new employer offering to pay you $40k/year or $50k/year. He may as well not bother with the first offer, right? He might offer you the first one first and if you counteroffer, then make the second. But he would not simply put both on the table at the same time.
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#34 Dec 19 2012 at 11:29 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Only if we use a very narrow definition of math.


As opposed to a very broad definition of math, where 2 + 2 = 647!
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#35 Dec 20 2012 at 2:47 AM Rating: Good
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#36 Dec 20 2012 at 6:29 AM Rating: Excellent
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Sure. But you do understand that most people don't agree with you there, and that people like Krugman therefore have to lie to them and convince them that it's actually good for the economy to spend money on the social programs that they want to create in order to get enough people to allow them to create them? Cause that would seem particularly relevant here.


Nope. He doesn't. I'm sure when you closed your eyes and pretended instead of actually reading anything, that was what happened, but not here in reality. Also, Hitler not a Socialist, Romney not President, Rape doesn't have to leave marks, companies can't just decide not to hire blacks, etc.

I started to read the rest of your post which seemingly amounts to "yeah, see, Liberals want to borrow money so the economy improves and interest rates go up! Then we'll be in real trouble. We can stop that by preventing the economy from improving NOW. Duh" So I'm not going to bother with it. The rest of is a little amusing and a little sad. There are times I feel genuine pity for you when make posts like you have here. You normally carefully qualify everything to the point of seeming to have some vague credibility, if no balls. When you try to respond in kind to a well thought out post it exposes you, as this one has, as, frankly, just not that bright. I'm sorry I baited you into it, it really ruins it for all of us. It's one thing to win a fight with an over matched opponent, It's another thing to kick a retarded kid.

Sorry about that. Of course your right, the deficit is a BIG PROBLEM. /headpat.


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#37 Dec 20 2012 at 9:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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Boehner's weakness as Speaker shines once again (to the Democrats' benefit):
Roll Call wrote:
In a crushing blow to Speaker John A. Boehner, GOP leaders were forced to pull his “plan B” tax measure from the floor at the eleventh hour as it became clear his conference would refuse to support it.

Unable to bring his fellow Republicans along on a measure that would allow tax rates to rise on millionaires, and with Democrats vowing to block the bill, the Ohio Republican issued a statement Thursday night pushing responsibility to find the way forward squarely on to President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

“The House did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass. Now it is up to the president to work with Senator Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff,” Boehner said in a statement. “The House has already passed legislation to stop all of the January 1 tax rate increases and replace the sequester with responsible spending cuts that will begin to address our nation’s crippling debt. The Senate must now act.”
[...]
Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, R-Ohio, said Boehner told him that he would call Obama to see about the way forward. But it is clear that his negotiating leverage is tarnished and Republicans may inevitably have to swallow a fiscal cliff deal that heavily skews toward the president’s demands.

“It weakens the entire Republican Party, the Republican majority. It’s the continuing dumbing-down of the Republican Party and we are going to be seen more and more as a bunch of extremists that can’t even get a majority of our own people to support policies that we’re putting forward,” LaTourette said.


Edited for expanded source

Edited, Dec 20th 2012 9:31pm by Jophiel
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#38 Dec 20 2012 at 9:31 PM Rating: Good
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Wow, listening to the radio on the ride home he was fairly confident that it was going to be a sure thing in the House, that it was all up to the White House and Senate Dems now...
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#39 Dec 21 2012 at 7:12 AM Rating: Excellent
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#40 Dec 21 2012 at 8:41 AM Rating: Good
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Say what you will about Pelosi, she was the master of arm twisting when it came down to the crunch.

Maybe Boehner should sign up for lessons from her.
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#41 Dec 21 2012 at 9:41 AM Rating: Excellent
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catwho wrote:
Say what you will about Pelosi, she was the master of arm twisting when it came down to the crunch.

Heck, that came through here as well. Boehner knew he couldn't rely on getting any Democrat votes even with the stock threat of "You refused to vote to lower taxes!". If he thought a significant number of them would peel off out of fear, he wouldn't have needed 217 Republicans in his pocket.
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#42 Dec 21 2012 at 9:55 AM Rating: Good
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**** hath no fury like a woman scorned...

I got up this morning to our Christmas tree lying on the floor in a puddle of water and broken ornaments. Hearing about Boehners big failure on my way in to work helped sort out the start of my day. Smiley: smile
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#43 Dec 21 2012 at 10:16 AM Rating: Excellent
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**** hath no fury like a woman scorned...

Partly...

Boehner has a diverse group to manage. There's a very strong, staunchly conservative, small-government voting block he has to deal with. They tend to muck up negotiations, and he's clearly in over his head. Whereas every 4 year old girl in America knows how to handle a tea party.
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#44 Dec 21 2012 at 11:04 AM Rating: Excellent
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Personally, I'm just having fun watching these "ultra conservative" tea party ***** vote themselves out of office. I don't pretend to know or understand the full impact of the fiscal cliff, but I do know that my bi-weekly paycheck would be approximately $60 shorter if the payroll tax reduction expires. Whoop de ******* doo.
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#45 Dec 26 2012 at 11:09 AM Rating: Excellent
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Obama is showing at least some mettle.
Salon wrote:
When Boehner asked Obama if they agree on a deal along the same lines as the one he walked away from during the 2011 talks, according to the paper, Obama retorted:
“You missed your opportunity on that.”

Obama’s frustrations grew, and he told Boehner he would rail publicly against the Republicans in the absence of a reasonable compromise.

As the Journal reports:
"Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn’t reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault."

At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, “I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?”
“You get nothing,” the president said. “I get that for free.”

Also during the talks, as Obama bristled over Boehner’s unwillingness to budge on rates, the paper reports that he snapped:
“You’re asking me to accept Mitt Romney’s tax plan. Why would I do that?”
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