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Comment Re:Rewrite the Constitution or face default! (Score 1) 1042

If you remember right, the argument for tax cuts because of the so called surplus centered around the concept that if Washington kept it, they would spend it.

Which is a large part of why we're in this situation now. If they could vote to cut taxes that deeply, then they could have voted to spend it to reduce the debt too, but they didn't. It was irresponsible pandering if they're really concerned about the debt. And after that, what happened? Did the tax cuts magically supercharge the economy, reducing the deficit and getting us on our way out of debt? No, of course they didn't.

So I'm not so sure that anyone would appose moderate tax increases that specifically went to paying off the national debt assuming that no more debt was being incurred. But that's the biggest problem right now, Washington seems to have a need, either by law or inherent design, to spend every last dime it can and it doesn't really matter which political party is in charge when the opportunity comes around.

Saying it has to be one way or the other makes no sense. If you can get the votes to cut taxes or spending, you should be able to get the votes to force the money to be used to pay down the debt.

The quarter percent figure comes from media outlets like Charlie Rose, McLaughlin group, and others. I do not have cable (I gave it up willingly about 7 years ago) so I rely in PBS, CBS, Fox broadcast, and the internet for news and information.

Ok, I can accept that. I checked around too and I'm seeing similar estimates.

As for the republicans not willing to increase taxes, they are right in not doing that. It will damage the already damaged economy. It will by necessity cause more people to rely on government services when they cannot find or keep jobs. The economy is way to fragile right now to impose new taxes on. Closing loopholes that are in effect targeted tax cuts put into the system at one point and time for a specific reason, will cause companies to move to other counties to do business. We need to wait until the economy is robust, then start with the tax increases. Like I said before, it doesn't have to all happen right now.

I really don't buy the claim that any closing of loopholes or raising of taxes will damage the economy at this point. Companies are already just sitting on their cash and not hiring, and they aren't going to hire as long as demand is low. And demand will be low as long as people can't find jobs. It's a vicious cycle that is usually broken by government spending in the short term to provide jobs to stimulate demand, which allows for more hiring. Then the stimulus can be backed down. Cutting government spending at this point will harm the economy. We've seen that happen before. We should be spending on infrastructure right now while it will get us the most value and benefit for the economy.

lol.. Maybe I should slow down a bit. It takes more then one side to argue. In other words, it's only a bargaining chip is someone apposes something that is placed with it. So far the opposition is over a balanced budget amendment to the US constitution and cuts in spending. The dems fired back with raising taxes knowing it would be apposed by the republicans. They joined the argument from an argumentative standpoint. Neither side is innocent here. They both share the blame in taking a single item and loading it with political wishes.

Of course they're both going to play politics with it. I'm just saying that it didn't need to be turned into a crisis like this. The TP saw this as an opportunity and created the crisis to get what they wanted. We could have raised the debt ceiling as a separate issue, like it almost always is, and averted the default risk. Then we get on with the debate about how best to eliminate the deficit. If they can't come to an agreement, then the voters will help them out come November next year.

You do realize that the majority of the tea party republicans ran against and defeated republicans right? To say they never had a problem when Bush was in office is sort of disingenuous. They might have not had as much of a problem, but the tea party republicans won the vast majority of their victories against existing republicans.

If utter silence is how they expressed not having much of a problem with him, then sure, I guess I can't dispute that. Republicans had control of Congress and the White House for years and years, but did nothing to fix anything, yet they love to point out Obama's spending, even though Bush kicked it off and wasn't the one who had to deal with the economic nightmare. Why is it that the Tea Party had no trouble getting themselves all over the news once Obama got elected, but couldn't muster any of that anger over the massive debt buildup under two terms of Bush?

So then Obama is playing politics with the pay of seniors and service people.

By the way, could you point me to one of these compromises? I mean where is his plan that would have been this miraculous compromise?

They didn't release the plan because until there's an agreement, there is no workable plan, just a lot of posturing for the base with plans that everyone knows are dead before they're written. He did make the compromise offers publicly though, letting Republicans know that they were willing to make compromises. Unfortunately the TP was completely unwilling to make any compromise at all, and said so repeatedly, so nothing got done. Can't expect only one side to compromise.

Comment Re:Rewrite the Constitution or face default! (Score 1) 1042

Please cite this reference. If the economy simply recovers there will be a net revenue increase. Perhaps you are confusing revenue with taxes? Or perhaps you are just confused from listening to and reading liberal blogs.

I was referring to a net tax rate increase. Should have reread that before submitting, got my words mixed up since I've seen both used in describing the position. As for the reference, it was from an interview with him on the radio several weeks ago. The interviewer asked him several questions about his position on this, and he boiled it down to no net increase in tax rates. So he was ok with closing some loopholes, but only if overall rates were lowered by at least the same amount. So, that doesn't seem to help much in reducing the deficit.

After a little searching, I see that he has since clarified more about this in the past week or so, which may give them more room. Haven't seen any real reaction from TP folks though.

Well, higher rates will be one of the disadvantages. It will not be a lot higher though, about a quarter percent from what I can tell. Cuts are a necessary step so I discount that happening when someone thinks it is a bad thing.

That estimate is based on what? Everyone has already accepted that we need cuts. All the plans so far, from both sides, include cuts. The difficulty is that the Republicans won't agree to ending any tax breaks or closing loopholes along with those cuts. Boehner simply can't get the TP group to agree to any such thing.

As for biases, You have displayed an alarmingly large amount of it here. It doesn't make sense toi have a conversation when anything you do not like gets ignored in favor of foaming at the mouth rants against the tea party.

And you seem to have the same sort of bias against dems. I don't see how anything I've said is a "foaming at the mouth rant against the tea party". I think what they're doing is counter-productive and that they are potentially going to cause more problems than they solve. There's nothing irrational about it. If you're going to define disagreement with their position as that kind of irrational bias, then yeah, there's really no point in discussing it further.

It can only be a barganing chip if the dems block it.

What are you talking about? It's a completely independent vote unless it's made into a bargaining chip by tying it to other issues like deficit reduction, which is what the Republicans did. They could have just passed it and then run on their deficit reduction plans in the election next year. That's not what they they chose.

Most of the republicans ran on cutting spending so it's obvious that something that allows spending to increase would be a core issue with them. And yes, as the biggest threat here is existing obligations, the bigger problem is the limits to which the debt ceiling needs to be raised to will allow us to go into another 2 trillion more in debt. So it's obvious, to me at least, someone would throw a fit of rage when we are increasing the debt ceiling more then enough to meet our existing obligations (by over 2 trillion) when they campaigned on getting that under control.

I understand why they're doing it, but that's exactly what I'm talking about when I say they're using it as a bargaining chip. They never balked when Bush raised it pretty much every year. But they wait until we have financial collapse and a difficult recovery to try to implement measures that will surely lead to slower recovery, just in time for the next presidential election. Entirely too convenient.

I'm not so sure that is real. Obama claimed to veto anything that didn't raise taxes and democrats claimed they would reject anything that tuches two of the largest spending problems in government right now.

It is real. Obama has already put SS and Medicare cuts on the table, weeks ago even. They have been open to various types of compromises. Just not one where its all cuts no taxes, which has so far been the Republican position in the House.

Comment Re:Rewrite the Constitution or face default! (Score 1) 1042

For instance, had the housing market & banks been allowed to plummet the way the free market dictated they _should_ have, the short-term in housing and borrowing would have been far worse, but two things would have corrected far quicker: housing values & employment/growth.

And you base this claim on what, exactly? I've seen all sorts of speculation about this from all kinds of people. At least economists can usually point to historical precedent to back up their claims. It's rarely a perfect comparison, but it's something. The rest are generally basing it on some fantasy scenario of the free market correcting for everything and everything coming up roses for most people and the economy in general. This is purely theoretical conjecture on their parts, given that there are no true free markets to point to as examples. They also fail to state their assumptions or account for all the things that would have to happen to convert our current economy into anything resembling a true free market. Free markets have failure modes too, which they also seem to discount.

When you let things drag along long enough to form a trend, a sentiment follows (such as the current view all companies have that future growth will be sluggish, which then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy). And that sentiment is very difficult to break.

No, we have a catch-22 problem here. Companies are sitting on piles of cash, but are afraid to hire because demand is sluggish right now. Consumers are actually saving more right now and are afraid to buy because the job market is so lousy. While the savings is a good thing in the long run, it's making the short-term issues worse and will slow the recovery over-all. This is why temporary government stimulus is recommended to break the logjam. If we were to spend on infrastructure projects in particular, we would be helping things significantly. We need the infrastructure work anyway, and it would put a ton of construction workers back to work since the housing bubble has left them with few prospects. It is also the best time to invest in infrastructure since rates are low and labor is cheaper than normal too. We get more work done for our money now that we will later, and helping the job market should help to increase confidence all around. We get a better self-fulfilling prophecy that way.

Ok, now we can return to the real world where an absolutely free market doesn't exist, and never will. Plans to institute drastic austerity measures like the Tea Party wants are going to seriously hurt the economic recovery and ensure that we have a lot more people hurting a lot worse for a lot longer. That doesn't need to happen since we have plenty of ways to cut the deficit without doing that. We aren't Portugal or Ireland or Greece, and we don't have the same problems they have. We can both boost the economy in the short term, and take longer-term actions to seriously reduce the deficit. Ending both wars, rolling back some tax cuts and loopholes, and cutting expenses from all sides, including SS, Medicare and defense.

Comment Re:If government was doing this (Score 1) 90

If the government was doing this it would be more than one, wouldn't be demoed to the public, and would be abused by the police to stalk ex-girlfriends. I suspect that in these guys hands it's slightly safer, though all bets are off if News Corp gets their hands on it.

Why would the government need it when they can already get all this stuff directly from the telecom companies anyway?

Comment Re:Rewrite the Constitution or face default! (Score 1) 1042

What exactly have I said that would link me to the tea party of being flippant about the down side of a default? I'm willing to bet that you cannot find anything I have wrote that confirms your anxiety to support your political biases.

The fact that you think we can just use some accounting gimmicks to prolong the period before default without suffering consequences is what makes me believe you're in favor of gambling with the economy. I'm not saying that you're a TP supporter, but just that you seem to share this lack of concern about the consequences of letting this drag out even longer.

Try reading the Art of War. Seriously, try reading just the cliff notes version of it. Right now, everyone involved has their backs against a proverbial wall. It's do or die trying. Give them room to work, and they can find ways to achive the proper goals without tarnishing their image. This doesn't have to be a your way or their way, in fact, both ways currently proposed seems to be anything as long as it's not the others ways.

I read it back when I was in school actually. I see what you're getting at, but I can't see how you figure they'll work their way through it. The TP congresspeople have intentionally put their backs to a cliff here. They've left themselves no options for negotiating anything that involves any net revenue increase. That's an extreme position, especially considering that tax rates are at historically low levels. The non-TP Republicans seem to be open to negotiating on the issue, and it even seemed like Boehner and Obama had been able to come to a deal, but Boehner couldn't get the TP people on board. Hell, he can't even get them on board with his own plan right now, let alone anything that seems like a workable compromise of any kind.

Take the spotlight off them for a while, and they can find the third way, the way that accomplishes what is needed, even if it's spread over time with triggers or something to cause certain parts to kick in or wait until there's a more favorable economic climate to initiate them. Now neither side is breaking their promises and neither side loses.

I've listened to Norquist about this as well. He's holding their feet to the fire. If they compromise in any way that results in a net revenue increase, he'll call them out and there will be a flood of money opposing them in the next election. They've got nowhere else to go. The Dems are already compromising significantly by including a lot of cuts that their base hates, including SS and Medicare cuts, on the table, as well as some real limits on revenue increases. I don't even know what they've gotten in the way of concessions from the Republicans for those things. Ultimately, I don't think it's doable to come out of this with no net revenue increase and have essentially only cuts. That's the only thing the TP will accept though.

It is the same thing. the debt ceiling does need to be raised, but halting payments do not need to happen this fiscal year if it is not raised. You are so blinded by your political bias though, it's tough to have a competent conversation with you.

We can accuse each other of bias all day long, but it accomplishes nothing. I'm at least willing to discuss the merits of our various options, which is more than Congress seems able to do right now. I'm certainly not in love with the Dems either. That's why I've always been an independent. I have to actually weigh the candidates based on their positions and the strength of those positions, since I don't agree with either side on all subjects, and even when they are saying the right things, it's still hard to know how they'll really act if elected. Obama is a perfect example. He's failed to deliver on a lot of things that he campaigned on, and essentially reversed positions on some things. I'm especially disappointed with the lack of progress in the transparency, ethics and lobbying areas, as well as the continuation of programs such as the warrant-less wiretapping of Americans that seem utterly unconstitutional, if anyone were actually allowed to bring suit against the government for it.

As for the debt ceiling, we may be able to hold off longer. I'm not disputing that. The new fiscal year starts in October, and I'm sure we can probably make it past that while still paying bond holders, social security, the military, and more. But some things will get cut, and it's not going to last that much longer. And there will likely be consequences for us if we do let this drag on. Will it really be a gain for us if we get more cuts, but also get hit with higher rates? I don't want to see us just throw away our credit and have what is essentially a new tax on all of us that buys us nothing. That some congresspeople seem to discount that possibility is disturbing.

Of course the republicans are using it for political maneuvering. So are the democrats. That's the entire problem right now. If the debt ceiling isn't raised and seniors don't get SS checks, it will be pointed out loudly that it was purposely done by democrats because X, Y, and Z could have happened to make sure they got paid. X, Y, and Z, are all within the executive branch's authority- meaning that it's either calculated political maneuvering or complete incompetence.

Look, first of all, the Dems aren't the ones that made the debt ceiling into a bargaining chip. That was the Republicans. In the past, it was routinely raised with little problem by either side. The only reason that didn't happen this time is because the Republicans saw it as the only real leverage they had to get what they want in the coming reforms that we all know are necessary. So no, the Dems are not the ones that started this particular mess.

That said, yes, of course both sides are now maneuvering for advantage. No, Obama is not going to halt SS checks as a political ploy. That would be stupid and recklessly harmful to millions of people. If he did that, I'd be first in line to throw him out. But the Dems have been vastly more willing to negotiate and make concessions than the TP, and while the non-TP Republicans have been somewhat willing, and probably more so than we're hearing, since they have to keep the party rhetoric intact in public, they are hamstrung by the TPs. The Senate seems like it can come to an agreement, but not one that will get through the House. We're getting nowhere, and I don't see that changing since the TP folks have left themselves no room at all to negotiate.

Comment Re:Easy enough (Score 1) 722

While I may be able to get behind removing some of the powers and responsibilities that the federal government currently has, it sure as hell wouldn't be through the slash and burn methods that the Tea Party apparently favors. It requires planning and an orderly transfer of control from the federal government to state governments or whoever will be taking over the role. Otherwise we'll have chaos and a lot of people trying to cash in on that. We've had more than enough crap to deal with in the last several years, we don't need that to top it off.

Comment Re:Rewrite the Constitution or face default! (Score 1) 1042

lol.. You are really invested in this concept that people won't get their gobernment checks aren't you.

It's not so much a concern about some people not getting paid, although that certainly will be a concern at some point, but that you, like the Tea Party folks, are being entirely too flippant about the issue of a default. They have openly said they don't think it will be a bad thing. I don't think the markets are going to agree with them, and it could well send the economy tumbling back down again. They may want that, since they think it will hurt Obama more than them. I don't want to see it happen for anyone's political gain.

What we will gain is the lack of political posturing which will allow congress to compromise without losing face.

The Tea Party people have been adamant that compromise is not possible. They've signed oaths to that fact. Norquist will make sure that they are punished if they violate them. How could kicking the can down the road a few months possibly allow them to save face? I'm not seeing it.

So tell me this, if the debt ceiling is not raised, what possible gain would come from withholding social security checks, military pay, or a number of other things. It's like the schools in my area, they always want more money so they constantly put levies on the ballot. These levies fail and instead of cutting costs through staffing or whatever, they run first to end busing and do everything possible to make the parents uncomfortable. The next year, it passes. It's even happened 3 times in my adult life time when the school reported a surplus of funds at the end of the fiscal year.

This is not the same thing. This is money that's already been spent. Raising the debt ceiling is a necessary step, no matter what happens after that. The Republicans are just using it as leverage to get what they want, which I can understand. What I can't understand is their absolute insistence on getting exactly what they want, with no compromise possible. That's bullshit and I think more and more people on all sides are starting to see that, judging from how the polls have been going lately.

Comment Re:Rewrite the Constitution or face default! (Score 1) 1042

Well, I do believe their rate of spending is still far below Obama's (do you know how much federal spending he increased in his first year in office? Nearly 900 billion, and that's with an incredibly low price estimate on his healthcare bill. And also, it's not very fair to just chastise all Republicans for the actions of a bunch of Neocons. Hell, the whole Tea Party movement was born because of the actions of the previous administration. So I believe it's very fair for some Republicans to "point the finger".

Yes, because it was as he was coming into office that we were realizing just how screwed our economy was, and all the stimulus and bailout spending was exactly what most economists were saying had to happen if we were going to avoid having unemployment in the teens and a full-on depression. It wasn't exactly his plan to have to deal with the worst economic meltdown since the 30s.

You sure have alot of faith in these Oracles.

I don't know of anyone else that knows better how to deal with the economy. It's insanely complicated and nobody is going to get it completely right. But yes, sometimes throwing money at it is exactly what is needed to prevent a downward spiral. They do seem to understand how these big economic tools like interest rate manipulation and economic stimulus work, even if they can't predict all the other factors that can affect things.

You call them idiots, but I don't know who else you think knows anything about how to deal with the economy. All these comparisons to a family budget we see from congressmen are pretty ridiculous and just shows that they have no idea of the forces that they're dealing with.

I still think we should be investing heavily in infrastructure projects now. Our infrastructure obviously needs it first of all. It will help with the unemployment problem, since construction jobs was a big area for losses due to the housing bubble. It's also the cheapest time to do it since rates and labor costs are about as low as they get, so we get more for our money right now. It's crazy not to be doing it.

Comment Re:Rewrite the Constitution or face default! (Score 1) 1042

Some of these gimmicks would be the fed buying back it's own securities by printing money to pay for it. It should be noted that the printing of capitol in this way would now lead to inflation if the money is removed from circulations once the repurchase is sold again. The government can also sell it's bond holdings within social security and a few other things. This issue is more about politics then anything.

You, like most Americans, are only getting part of the story in this. And the parts you are getting is largely influenced by political maneuvering. Again, we can last the rest of the fiscal year without the debt ceiling being raised and without anyone not getting paid, as long as policy makers do not act incompetently or politically and force it to happen.

Ok, let's assume that those gimmicks would work. You think we should just roll the dice on how the markets and ratings agencies will react to that kind of stuff? And what do we get out of kicking things down the road a few months? How is that going to change the politics of any of this? Whether we default now, or in a few months, we're still taking a real risk with the economy, and I'm not seeing any upside to it.

Comment Re:Rewrite the Constitution or face default! (Score 1) 1042

both the gp and the response had errors in it. But the GP's point wasn't invalid. People will get paid, seniors will get thier checks and so on through accounting gimmicks for several months. The only way this would not happen would be at the direction of, or incompetence of the head of the executive office. If people are put out of pay or benefits because of not raising the debt ceiling within the next 5-7 months, it will be because of Obama's direct actions or the lack of action to avoid it. The capability is there for at least the rest of this fiscal year.

Someone isn't going to get paid. I don't see how there's any way around that, and that's on Congress. They're supposed to pay the bills.

Comment Re:Rewrite the Constitution or face default! (Score 1) 1042

Except that any president (including Obama) would have started the Afghanistan War, given the circumstances (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/HCLiberal/kandahar-infrastructure-civil-affairs_n_819370_77875588.html). And the total cost of both wars is still dwarfed by entitlement spending/bailouts/stimulus spending. And the people talking about "tax cuts for billionaires" routinely forget to include the fact that the Bush tax cuts cut taxes for _everyone_. In fact, the bulk of the expense of those tax cuts is coming from the lower brackets, not the highest.

So you're basically just going to dodge this one and not answer, right? Sure, Obama would have gone into Afghanistan too. Doubt he would have been dumb enough to go into Iraq while fighting a war in FUCKING AFGHANISTAN! Is there possibly anything dumber than that? Afghanistan is already a quagmire waiting to happen. So naturally you decide to split our efforts and try to fight on two fronts at once, right? That just turned out awesome for us didn't it?

Then, whether we go into Afghanistan or not, why keep the war off the books? Then start another one, and not pay for that either? Then pass a big drug bill and not pay for that either? Then pass a big tax cut and not pay for that either? W T F? How do Republicans possibly have the fucking nerve to point the finger at anyone after what they've done with their control of Congress over the 10 years that they had it?

On the subject of bailouts and stimulus, the morons in Congress may not know much about economics, and the Tea Party idiots certainly don't, but the consensus among economists was that the stimulus was necessary, and most thought it should've been bigger. Of course the Republicans wouldn't let anything bigger go through, but they also love to say that the stimulus failed too (another point where economists disagree). Funny how that works out for them. Hamstring the stimulus and then point and laugh and say it just ain't working. Jackasses.

As for tax cuts for billionaires, yeah, we know that the cuts applied to everyone. But we also know that it's the middle class that has seen its wages remain flat for the past decade while those in the top few percent have seen fantastic growth. That's why the middle class folks would get to keep their tax cuts, and the wealthiest wouldn't. They're doing insanely well and would still be paying historically low taxes.

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