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October 29, 2006 at 5:42 PM #7797adminKeymaster
Our "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Memo" (VRWCM) must have failed to arrive in the mailbox/e-mail of Mr. Walker. Point five specifically says to keep this sort of stuff under wraps until Nov. 8, after the election:
And, please remind Mr. Walker that this sort of stuff is to go through proper channels, only, e.g., Fox News and Rush, so that we can 'properly' present (i.e., spin) it.
Congratulations on point four of the VRWCM, Karl, it appears to be working: folks are enjoying the lower oil prices. But, get things back to where they belong (high!) after the election, so that our Saudi and Halliburton friends can (and will) keep the contributions coming!
Colleague, Conservative Christian CabalOctober 29, 2006 at 7:53 PM #38739powaysellerParticipant
Come on, jg, even this is a little over the top for a die-hard Republican, isn’t it? Walker is the perfect guy to pitch an idea that BOTH parties want to address, but are afraid to do. Walker has been talking about the deficit for over a year, even 2 years now. Once Walker gets the public enthused about this issue, the candidate, whether Democrat or Republican, can address this issue. Until then, it’s political suicide because the solution is higher taxes and reduced benefits. I also think that nobody can hold Republicans accountable for the high deficit. The deficit has been created through both parties, and is a symptom of our culture. I certainly don’t hold it against the Republicans. The Democrats have big social programs which increase the deficit too. Last, this thread belongs in off topic, and several of the other recent threads belong in properties and areas; just call me the forum police 🙂October 29, 2006 at 8:20 PM #38743
Perhaps a bit overstated, but the following has haunted me for some time…
At about the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution, in the year 1787, Alexander Tyler (a Scottish history professor at The University of Edinborough) had this to say about "The Fall of The Athenian Republic" some 2,000 years prior: "A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."
I am honestly starting to think you could win political office by promising massive spending to all and simultaneous tax cuts. The problem with democracies, I suppose, is that we ass/u/me some level of intelect, research, and untilitarianism from those who vote. I hate, e.g., the "get out the vote" campaigns – I have known and respected many who would cancel my vote and welcome their contribution. But, the idea that some 18 y/o who hasn't even bothered to read the ballot measure and has no job / income / property / or work ethic will go in and vote "just 'cause P Diddy said he should" bothers me.
One of the primary reasons I am so pessimistic (bearish) on the markets is I just think we've become too polarzied to operate efficiently. We are well behind our industrialized counterparts in education and other measures of our future potential but all we seem to be able to do is boil issues down to sound bites. There are, IMHO, very few "low hanging fruit" anymore – no easy solutions. Tax cuts DO spur the economy (the Laffer curve has been revalidated again under Bush); but lets also not pretend that the immediate beneficiaries don't really need the relief as much as others. Social Security… same mess. We're a society that values displays of wealth, instant gratification, and fosters a sense of entitlement. So, with "all politics being local" I just doubt we'll ever get to a point when we'd elect someone who would do what was best for the long term common good as opposed to those partisans who he/she hopes to carry their reelection campaign.October 29, 2006 at 8:22 PM #38744
Oh… and I agree this does belong in the OT forum but so does the Iraq dissertation, et al.October 29, 2006 at 8:24 PM #38745AnonymousGuest
The out of control national debt is the greatest threat to our economy in the long run. Ulitmately our future generations are going to have to pay this off. At some point in the not too distant future foreigners will quit buying our debt and/or demanding higher rates wich will cripple our way of life. This is exactly like the housing/lending bubble but from a very macro scale.
However, although it is true that politicians in general don’t like to talk about solving the defecit, the Republicans really don’t want to talk about it. If you go to the Congressional Budget Office web site and download the historical statistics, it is clear what most of us already knew, that the deficit balooned out of control in the Reagan and GWB presidencies (http://www.cbo.gov/budget/historical.pdf). Clearly Reagan’s supply side economics were a big failure.
The irony to me is how Republicans are always so freaked out about paying taxes. Well you can keep whining about paying taxes and lowering taxes while the deficit continues to grow exponentially but your kids and grandkids will be paying a shitload of taxes whether they like it or not.October 29, 2006 at 8:27 PM #38746AnonymousGuest
The deficit is really out of control right now. Much of this can be blamed on the military effort in Iraq and Afganistan (these are not wars, by the way).
But you know what really ticks me off, that nobody in this country, especially the whiny Limbaugh conservatives, are willing to contribute to this effort by paying more taxes. If you are not currently serving the military, and your kids are not serving, then what the hell are you doing to support the military? If you think putting that yellow ribbon on your SUV is helping anybody then you are an idiot. If you support this invasion of Iraq, then either get your ass over there or at least be willing to open up your pocketbook.October 29, 2006 at 8:34 PM #38747WileyParticipant
MH, your comments are right on the money.
Deadzone, as I’ve said here before. Dem or Rep…doesn’t matter. They both have and always will grow the govt. And as your growing the gov’t and doing something FOR someone, your doing someing TO someone else.October 30, 2006 at 7:29 AM #38756
Deadzone… think you make my point for me. Do you really think its simply a matter of blaming the deficit on the military effort? C’mon – don’t let your politics cloud your vision.
Certainly there is a huge cost there and I’m hardly suggesting that the the GWOT and methods employed to fight it have been beyond reproach, but our fiscal problems are much more complex.
The seeds were laid long ago; simply look at the amount of manditory spending in the budget. Used to be ~30% but is now about 2/3 and growing (and wait until ’08 when the boomers start retiring!). THAT is where the money is going – we can certainly debate whether that is good or bad or in between, but the DoD is not the primary cause of the debt.
On the income side – we got a reprieve under Clinton for a number of reasons – not the least of which was an artifically inflated tax stream. Again, this is not an indictment of him – but to imply that “all was good under Clinton” is far to simplistic.
We’re not going to get anywhere by letting this dissolve into a “we” vs. “they” debate that picks absolutes.October 30, 2006 at 7:39 AM #38757AnonymousGuest
MH, I agree there are more factors to the deficit and I am not blaming the military effort as the only reason the deficit is so high under Bush. On the contrary, I am trying to make excuses for Bush if anything.
If you look at the statistics, the deficit during the W. Bush years are unprecedented. I am not a Democrat or Republican so I could care less the party affiliation. If you want to make excuses for this deficit that is fine, but facts are facts and the statistics don’t like.
Eventually we are going to have to pay the piper in terms of higher taxes, lower standard of living, etc…October 30, 2006 at 8:34 AM #38758sdrebearParticipant
Tax and spend Democrats
CHARGE and spend Republicans?
Can’t say either is really great, but I know that my credit cards have screwed me in the end every time.October 30, 2006 at 9:25 AM #38763poorgradstudentParticipant
Republicans: “We can keep spending as much as we have been, AND cut taxes!”
Democrats: “We can spend more and keep taxes the same!”
No one who faces election every 2, 4, or 6 years wants to be the guy who says “We need to cut spending and keep taxes the same.”
I miss true fiscal conservatives. Social conservatives make me throw up a little. Neither party stands for financial responsibility right now.October 30, 2006 at 10:05 AM #38767blahblahblahParticipant
I get the feeling that the US is gonna pull an Argentina and default on a lot of the federal debt. Another alternative is just to inflate it away. Either way a bunch of the little folks are gonna suffer.October 30, 2006 at 4:04 PM #38781AnonymousGuest
Tax cuts DO spur the economy (the Laffer curve has been revalidated again under Bush);
That tax cuts spur consumption in the economy is classical Keynesian theory, you know, that thing that supposedly “conservative” Republicans are supposed to hate.
It isn’t the “Laffer curve” at all. That posits that the increase in economic activity will (at certain tax rates) result in greater net revenues despite lowering the marginal
That is theory of the Laffer curve, and that we are on the appropriate side of the curve for that to happen is demonstrably and clearly false.
Virtually all Laffer curve-wielding Republicans don’t even understand what Laffer meant—that there is in fact a curve so that there is region in tax rates (in fact probably up to the 75-80% range) where increasing rates does increase treasury income.
Clearly US income taxes are well in that region.
Even the Wall Street Journal had an article finally admitting so just recently. Exactly as nearly every clueful and not-paid-for economist said at back then at the time.
but lets also not pretend that the immediate beneficiaries don’t really need the relief as much as others.
Of course not.
The point was to promote the class interests of the rich at the expense of the general taxpayer (who has to pay off the debt), as the particular structure of the tax cuts was nearly the worst possible choice for general demand-driven stimulus as opposed to getting rich people really richer.October 30, 2006 at 6:23 PM #38792AnonymousGuest
It will be a cold COLD day in hell before the US defaults on its debt. Why? Federal debt [ignoring the special cases of FNMA and FMAC for the moment] is guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the government. What does full faith and credit mean? It means the government will raise the funds by any means necessary to satisfy the debt. They may issue new debt, raise taxes, print money (aka inflate the currency), or if they have to, sell items out of the Smithsonian. However, until the government is bereft of resources [and believe me, that would be one HELL of a bankupt society] your federal debt will be paid.
Did Argentina [the name itself means land of silver] really default on its debt? Or did it simply delay repayment and negotiate more favorable repayment terms? I’m guessing the latter but if someone would care to enlighten us, please do.
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