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Thread: 2012 Elections - Page 77







Post#1901 at 06-13-2011 05:00 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by James50 View Post
National unemployment statistics are released on the first Friday of every month for the month previous. Unemployment rate for January 2009 released on February 6, 2009 was 7.6%.

Or to anticipate your next question, here are numbers for the prior year:

2008
Jan 4.9
Feb 4.8
Mar 5.1
Apr 5.0
May 5.5
Jun 5.6
Jul 5.8
Aug 6.2
Sep 6.2
Oct 6.6
Nov 6.8
Dec 7.2
2009
Jan 7.6

James50
Hey, I thought I was KaiserD2's research drone!!!

Well, I got a graph, so I think he'll like me best! So there, phettt!




Have you guessed where David is going with this?

Just how much of a lag should we give to Presidents?
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#1902 at 06-13-2011 05:09 PM by James50 [at Atlanta, GA US joined Feb 2010 #posts 3,605]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
Hey, I thought I was KaiserD2's research drone!!!

Well, I got a graph, so I think he'll like me best! So there, phettt!



Up high, down low, too slow!!

Have you guessed where David is going with this?

Just how much of a lag should we give to Presidents?
Presidents get way too much credit/blame, but it is a fact of our electoral life. Even if folks cut Obama some slack the first year, he will own it by November, 2012. This could help or hurt depending on what happens between now and then. Right now, if the election were today, I think the economy hurts him. It may not be fair, but that's how it is.

James50
The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected. - G.K. Chesterton







Post#1903 at 06-13-2011 05:10 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by pbrower2a View Post
The Republicans think short-term (3T) when long-term solutions are appropriate. Speculative activities that failed as the 3T became a 4T can't be revived. It's not enough to tell people to "go shopping" when they are scared of losing their jobs.

Dividing the economy into fiefdoms for trusts and cartels, which might be great for concentrating wealth and power without creating wealth, will fail catastrophically. But such is what the GOP stands for.





President Obama is still a d@mnyankee cultural, if not economic elitist. That ensured that he could not win any of the states of the Upper South (Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia) that Bill Clinton won twice and that Barack Obama lost by huge margins. But that said, Romney is not going to excite the racists, the religious fundamentalists, the gun-fetishists, and the anti-contraception extremists. Any Republican nominee has to triangulate to win those votes if not already an extremist. Mitt Romney would have to flip-flop often, and he could easily end up in the position of John Kerry in 2004 as the Democratic National Convention issues some cheap flip-flop shoes while discussing how one can't know which Mitt Romney the Republicans are going for.

So here we go -- President Obama can win as the "steady hand" candidate. Sure, he has made compromises to get what he wants. But when there is no possible compromise, how does he win? By speaking directly to the public and going over the Republican party.






This was one formidable machine, and it can be more flexible. So far the President has shown little vanity. He will allow his campaign machine to aid in Senatorial and Congressional races. He may be interested more in winning an open Senate seat in Texas than in winning the state's electoral votes. But remember that the Ryan plan to privatize Medicare is potential trouble for Republicans in all parts of the US.



"Headed the right way" matters when the unemployment rate is high. Nate Silver does not ordinarily discuss generational theory except with respect to generational trends. But this said, these times are more like the 1930s than like the 1980s in political dynamics. Young Civic generations are much more likely to support the politicians and Parties that show support for collectivistic solutions to big problems than to retreat to Reactive-style, atomized solutions. Generation X lowered its expectations and took the cast-off jobs and even made careers of them.

I look at the solutions of the 1930s -- retire the marginal elderly workers so that younger workers with families can get job, give young male breadwinners priority in hiring while sending marginal female workers back home (children, church, and kitchen... Silent kids at least got attention that Thirteenth latchkey kids didn't get but could have used). Such would appall many feminists, but the fervent feminists who often have well-paying professional jobs will keep theirs. The women who have those jobs will get increasingly old and out of child-bearing age, and they rarely had large broods of children anyway.

I can think of some solutions -- like paying people to learn the humanizing culture that they didn't get because they didn't go to college, or because they went to college and got a watered-down grad school experience instead of the liberal-arts schooling normal before the 1960s. I can think of worse ways to fill spare time than to enrich one's soul. Heck, maybe people might get paid to learn differential equations.



But poor white people were heavily GOP in 2008! Will struggling white people show resentment toward minorities who seem to be doing better than they? There are more struggling white people in 2011 than in 2008.

.

Same old voodoo? It is even worse than what Ronald Reagan peddled!

This is the simplest reality about economics; in the wake of vastly-enhanced productivity and economic efficiencies in distribution, Americans do not need to do as much work to meet their most basic needs. Such greatly reduces the need for raw labor -- and now even sophisticated labor. The market has been driving wages down and pressuring people to do more work just to survive. This is an unstable scenario. The solution of the 1930s, in the wake of manufacturing efficiencies that resulted from the introduction of electrical power to factories that allowed the speed-up of assembly lines, was the establishment of the 40-hour workweek from the earlier norms of 50 to 60. Will the appropriate norm be 32, 30, or 28 hours? We need longer pay and shorter hours so that we can adjust to the era of information technology. The old saying, "The shorter the hours, the higher the pay" likely still applies.



Add Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. Governors whose idea of good government is to bleed the wealth of their states on behalf of out-of state interests or crony-capitalist "privatizers" didn't run on such a toxic agenda. Bait-and-switch is as bad politics as it is bad business.



Reality can bite -- hard. The Ryan bungle can take away from the Republicans some of the demographic groups that used to be reliably Democratic but have seemed reliably Republican in recent years (most significantly, poor white people). That could prove a disaster for the Republicans with Democrats (often conservatives) supplanting the semi-fascists that now represent some districts in the South.

Barack Obama is already above-average in achievements for four years -- and he is yet to reach the third year of his first term. Culpability for non-achievement in the House goes squarely to the Republican Party majority that has mostly passed legislation that dies in the Senate.



The ideal for the Hard Right would be an electorate controlled by employers or so culled that only a small group of rich people get to vote. Maybe the Ryan plan to privatize Medicare will have some surprising results in areas that Republicans think safe.

The last 4T was the prime time for European fascist movements that took advantage of economic distress only to create new and unforeseen distress and danger to those that they gave the shaft. Wild change and outright horror unthinkable in any time other than a 4T is possible in a 4T. Think of how badly the last 4T could have gone if the powerful KKK of the 1920s had been able to exploit the economic distress of the early 1930s and impose its hate-laden agenda. No, don't!
Some excellent insights here, PB. The stuff about the upper Southern states and elitist Yankees was most interesting. Will we get a Palin or Bachman on the Romney ticket? Is Romney as stupid or will become as desperate as McCain?

Going to be fun (as long as it works out the right way! )

If Romney makes the dumb move, I'm holding out for the slam dunk counter offer - Biden retires; Hilary is added to the ticket. They just have to work out a deal to keep Bill on a 4-year world tour or permanent on-site Middle East peace negotiator!
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#1904 at 06-13-2011 05:13 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by pbrower2a View Post
Maybe even they recognize what a disaster the GOP is. Nobody wants a replay of the Great Depression.
This got set up on the day several GOP bright lights said 'it would be okay to default for a few days in August - who would care?'

Morons with sticks of dynamite can be dangerous to everyone.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#1905 at 06-13-2011 05:58 PM by Deb C [at joined Aug 2004 #posts 6,099]
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What might happen if the GOP take 2012? Looks very grim. SocGen's Albert Edwards is even bleaker than Shiller opining that "We have entered a long valuation bear market which should end in extreme levels of cheapness consistent with an S&P around 400." Edwards predicts an economic "Ice Age" which will crush equities markets and see bond yields dip below 2 percent. Here's a clip from an article by James Sunshine at the Huffington Post which sums up the public's reaction to the deluge of grim news:


"Approximately 48 percent of Americans say they think that a Great Depression is either very or somewhat likely to occur within the year, according to a CNN Opinion Research Poll, the highest percentage of respondents that have stated that level of certainty since CNN first started asking the question in October 2008....

That Americans seem apprehensive about their economic futures should not be surprising considering the recently lackluster job creation. Last month, the private sector created only 54,000 net jobs while public sector employment actually saw a net decrease in jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Housing prices have also continued to fall, reaching new lows during 2011's first quarter according to Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Index.

Confidence in the future is essential for economic growth, says economist Thomas Boston. "If you are concerned about job security, you are not likely to make the purchase, no matter how low interest rates might be." ("Nearly Half Of America Says U.S. Nearing Great Depression: CNN Poll, James Sunshine, Huffington Post)
SNIP

A GOP landslide in 2012 would be a disaster. Republican deficit hawks want to cut spending immediately which will inevitably lead to another excruciating slump. Check out this brief summary of Republican proposals by the Tax Policy Center. It helps to reveal the hidden risks of austerity measures:

"

...more than 100 House Republicans have proposed to cut federal spending by $550 billion in 2012.....This is an amazing number. It implies a 15 percent reduction in government spending in a single yearin the midst of a weak economy with unemployment that exceeds 9 percent. It is an austerity budget of historic proportions....

What would $550 billion in across-the-board spending cuts mean? A 15 percent reduction in Social Security benefits would cut monthly payments for a typical retiree by $180.....Does anybody think doctors would treat Medicare patients or that nursing homes would accept Medicaid residents in the wake of a 15 percent payment cut?" ("Rx for a Double-dip Recession: Cut Government Spending by 15 Percent", Tax Policy Center)

Even though Obama's stimulus (ARRA) was too small and poorly targeted to get the economy back on track, it does show that his advisors have a basic grasp of economics. The same cannot be said about the Republican plan. It is sheer madness. If the GOP takes the White House in 2012, there will be another Great Depression. There's no doubt about it.
Note: The moniker economic "Ice Age" is credited to SocGen's Albert Edwards - https://www.sgresearch.com/
"The only Good America is a Just America." .... pbrower2a







Post#1906 at 06-13-2011 06:32 PM by KaiserD2 [at David Kaiser '47 joined Jul 2001 #posts 5,220]
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Thanks, gents.

Basic fact: unemployment is two whole points higher than when BO came in. It is very unlikely that it's going to fall two points in the next 17 months.

I may take in a few minutes of the Republicans tonight. . ..







Post#1907 at 06-13-2011 08:52 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by KaiserD2 View Post
Thanks, gents.

Basic fact: unemployment is two whole points higher than when BO came in. It is very unlikely that it's going to fall two points in the next 17 months.

I may take in a few minutes of the Republicans tonight. . ..
I understand that you are trying to boil this down to the simplicity of the typical American voter, but look at the steepness of the curve again -



- there's no way that even the most stupefied of Idiot America are going to assume that momentum of the greatest downturn since the Great Depression stopped on the day of Obama's inauguration and anything could be done by either he or anyone else to impede that momentum in matter of a couple of years.

If that is not the case, then Americans deserve exactly what they will get - another deflationary downturn that will make the last one seem like a cakewalk, an acceleration of permanent job loss, an increasing divergence in incomes that will devastate the bottom 90% incomes and begin to reach deep into the bottom tiers of the top 10%, and social unrest that will make the 60s seem quaint. All leading to a Progressive landslide in 2016.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#1908 at 06-13-2011 10:32 PM by KaiserD2 [at David Kaiser '47 joined Jul 2001 #posts 5,220]
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Did anyone else watch any of the Republican debate? It is mind-boggling. It was in New Hampshire, the questions came from voters, and many of the questions were from what I would call a centrist perspective. One guy, a businessman, had the temerity to ask whether the Tea Party might scare some independents off. The candidates fell all over each other praising the TP. All they can talk about is how the magical private sector will save us as soon as the government is more or less eliminated. Romney came across as slightly more reasonable--Pawlenty came across as a complete jerk because he wasn't willing to defend his use of the word "Obamneycare" on Fox News Sunday, where my old roommate Chris Wallace really did himself proud, giving Pawlenty quite a going over. Bachman got a big applause line by announcing that she is now in the race.

I couldn't decide whether they will inevitably self-destruct or whether this is the end of America as I have known it.

Ron Paul, of course, wants to do away with the Fed and go back to gold-based currency.

Incidentally, I learned today that Rick Perry wants to repeal the 16th and 17th amendments, which makes him politically insane, if you are wondering, James, in my opinion.

Anyone else tune in?







Post#1909 at 06-13-2011 10:54 PM by Exile 67' [at joined Jan 2011 #posts 722]
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Quote Originally Posted by KaiserD2 View Post
Did anyone else watch any of the Republican debate? It is mind-boggling. It was in New Hampshire, the questions came from voters, and many of the questions were from what I would call a centrist perspective. One guy, a businessman, had the temerity to ask whether the Tea Party might scare some independents off. The candidates fell all over each other praising the TP. All they can talk about is how the magical private sector will save us as soon as the government is more or less eliminated. Romney came across as slightly more reasonable--Pawlenty came across as a complete jerk because he wasn't willing to defend his use of the word "Obamneycare" on Fox News Sunday, where my old roommate Chris Wallace really did himself proud, giving Pawlenty quite a going over. Bachman got a big applause line by announcing that she is now in the race.

I couldn't decide whether they will inevitably self-destruct or whether this is the end of America as I have known it.

Ron Paul, of course, wants to do away with the Fed and go back to gold-based currency.

Incidentally, I learned today that Rick Perry wants to repeal the 16th and 17th amendments, which makes him politically insane, if you are wondering, James, in my opinion.

Anyone else tune in?
My guess is it probably is another move towards the end of America as you've known it. It would be interesting to see/learn, if the America as you know it is anything close or similiar to the America as I know it.







Post#1910 at 06-14-2011 03:17 AM by Brian Rush [at California joined Jul 2001 #posts 12,392]
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Quote Originally Posted by KaiserD2 View Post
I couldn't decide whether they will inevitably self-destruct or whether this is the end of America as I have known it.
Both. "The end of America as [we] have known it" is another way of saying "Fourth Turning." As for the other, at least they're not doing it with artillery and rifles.
"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?"

My blog: https://brianrushwriter.wordpress.com/

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Post#1911 at 06-14-2011 08:05 AM by 1990 [at Savannah, GA joined Sep 2006 #posts 1,450]
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2012 and finding the 4T's dominant ideology

Past 4Ts have always had one "outer-world" (economic and foreign policy) ideological regime win out. In the 1860s it was union, abolition, industrialization, and the American School of economics. In the 1930s-40s it was New Dealism, the Keynesian consensus (incl. Bretton Woods), and internationalism or, as it was later fashioned, containment.

I think it's pretty clear to a lot of us that noninterventionism is due for a major comeback with regard to foreign policy. Majorities of both parties in Congress are voting to deny funding to the Libya effort and to bring the troops home from Afghanistan. This is the rare issue over which paleoconservatives, libertarians, liberal-minded young folk, and the 1960s New Left very much agree, though each for different reasons. Then again, post-WWI isolationism was all the rage until Lend-Lease and Pearl Harbor. But Coolidge and Hoover did not start expensive, plodding wars abroad like Bush did (you could point to the French & Indian War or Mexican War as past 3T examples, but both were clearly victorious for the side Americans culturally identified with, and even then, American public opinion remained steadfast against what Washington called "entangling alliances" until the Spanish-American War and then WWI). If I had to guess, I'd say the post-WWII American Empire will contract a heck of a lot during this 4T, in part because of China's ascent and in part because of Americans' war fatigue. The next time the public will want to go to war will be to protect the U.S. from actual, not imagined, foreign encroachment.

But economics? That will be the later-resolved of these twin pillars of "outer-world" 4T policy. While the New Deal won early in the '30s and Roosevelt's internationalism couldn't get a wide audience until Pearl Harbor, in this saeculum we are seeing noninterventionism come back on a bipartisan basis while rival coalitions engage in a stunningly nasty tug-of-war over essentially whether to resume or continue reversing the New Deal. The New Deal, or Keynesian consensus, forms almost a perfect complement to the American School of the preceding saeculum; it was formed to bolster employee/consumer interests as the American School was formed to bolster business (via protective tariffs, rapid industrialization, and government acceptance of monopoly), reached the status of unquestioned orthodoxy after 1945 much as the American School did after 1865, and started to lose steam in the 1970s as "neoliberalism" sought to address stagflation -- the American School began to putter out with the rise of Bryan's agrarian populism and Progressive movements in the late 1890s. By the 1980s, Reaganomics existentially threatened New Deal regulation as TR's trust-busting undid the American School monopoly by monopoly. So whichever economic nostrum triumphs in this 4T will be orthodoxy by the late 2020s/early 2030s and fatally weakened by the late 2050s.

What does all this have to do with the 2012 election? As November 2012 should be approaching the Regeneracy (or point of no policy return, in this case), Obama + a Democratic Congress would mean something very different from Obama + a Republican Congress or (please, God, no) Romney/other GOPer + a Republican Congress.
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Post#1912 at 06-14-2011 08:33 AM by KaiserD2 [at David Kaiser '47 joined Jul 2001 #posts 5,220]
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The possibility of an end to interventionism seems real, and I think it has the same cause as a lot of other current developments: the political ascendancy of Gen X, who were under 20 when the Cold War ended and hadn't had inerventionism ingrained as a way of life. And in this case I happen to agree that that would be a good thing. One must not however underestimate the power of the national security establishment and of AIPAC, which has an interest in interventionism as a philosophy to make sure we'll be ready to stand by Israel. And the Xer in Chief is a determined interventionist, befitting his establishment makeup.







Post#1913 at 06-14-2011 08:42 AM by KaiserD2 [at David Kaiser '47 joined Jul 2001 #posts 5,220]
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Quote Originally Posted by 1990 View Post
But economics? That will be the later-resolved of these twin pillars of "outer-world" 4T policy. While the New Deal won early in the '30s and Roosevelt's internationalism couldn't get a wide audience until Pearl Harbor, in this saeculum we are seeing noninterventionism come back on a bipartisan basis while rival coalitions engage in a stunningly nasty tug-of-war over essentially whether to resume or continue reversing the New Deal. The New Deal, or Keynesian consensus, forms almost a perfect complement to the American School of the preceding saeculum; it was formed to bolster employee/consumer interests as the American School was formed to bolster business (via protective tariffs, rapid industrialization, and government acceptance of monopoly), reached the status of unquestioned orthodoxy after 1945 much as the American School did after 1865, and started to lose steam in the 1970s as "neoliberalism" sought to address stagflation -- the American School began to putter out with the rise of Bryan's agrarian populism and Progressive movements in the late 1890s. By the 1980s, Reaganomics existentially threatened New Deal regulation as TR's trust-busting undid the American School monopoly by monopoly. So whichever economic nostrum triumphs in this 4T will be orthodoxy by the late 2020s/early 2030s and fatally weakened by the late 2050s.

What does all this have to do with the 2012 election? As November 2012 should be approaching the Regeneracy (or point of no policy return, in this case), Obama + a Democratic Congress would mean something very different from Obama + a Republican Congress or (please, God, no) Romney/other GOPer + a Republican Congress.
This is similar to what I've been saying. You can't view the New Deal in isolation. It drew on a Progressive tradition that was already 30 years old; it used Missionaries who had been Progressives all their lives. All the action in the last 30 years has been on the right, and they have made massive ideological gains.

What I saw last night goes beyond that. It goes beyond what we have seen in previous 4Ts. FDR said, repeatedly (see his first inaugural) that selfish economic interests had grown too powerful and threatened both prosperity and freedom. They had to be reined in. The Republican candidates compete with themselves in a frenzy to denounce everything that has happened in the last 80-100 years. Read the transcript. One wants to do away with the EPA. One wants to do away with the NLRB. All want to repeal Obamacare at once, of course. All want to cut taxes even more. Several want to repeal Dodd-Frank!!!!! One wants to eliminate the Fed! Undeclared (as yet) Rick Perry wants to repeal the 16th and 17th amendments. (Really.) They have convinced themselves that the Tea Party rules the world--or maybe the Tea Party has convinced them. But it was interesting that a number of the voters present, who certainly were not Democrats, clearly doubted that any of these people could carry their swing state.







Post#1914 at 06-14-2011 08:59 AM by James50 [at Atlanta, GA US joined Feb 2010 #posts 3,605]
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Quote Originally Posted by KaiserD2 View Post
All they can talk about is how the magical private sector will save us as soon as the government is more or less eliminated.

I couldn't decide whether they will inevitably self-destruct or whether this is the end of America as I have known it.
Calm down David. Remember the left is fact based. The government in the US is far from being eliminated. Its just the opposite. Except for times of war, total government spending is the highest it has ever been. See here. Its up near 40% of GDP. What kind of country will we be when it is 50% or 75%? What you are seeing discussed is the crowding out effect that the entitlements are having on all other spending. Every liberal idea will continue to get less and less as long as entitlements cannot be touched.

Ron Paul, of course, wants to do away with the Fed and go back to gold-based currency.

Incidentally, I learned today that Rick Perry wants to repeal the 16th and 17th amendments, which makes him politically insane, if you are wondering, James, in my opinion.

Anyone else tune in?
I did not tune in. Repealing the 16th amendment allowing a progressive income tax is not insane. In its surrogate forms its been part of our political discourse for decades. Its just a fancy way of implementing a flat tax or VAT. Also, I guess I don't need to point out that Rick Perry has not announced for President. The real news last night was Michelle Bachmann announcing. This fills up the far right slot that had been empty to this point. She is Sarah Palin with an education and has the temperament of a lawyer.

James50
Last edited by James50; 06-14-2011 at 09:38 AM.
The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected. - G.K. Chesterton







Post#1915 at 06-14-2011 09:53 AM by KaiserD2 [at David Kaiser '47 joined Jul 2001 #posts 5,220]
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Quote Originally Posted by James50 View Post
Calm down David. Remember the left is fact based. The government in the US is far from being eliminated. Its just the opposite. Except for times of war, total government spending is the highest it has ever been. See here. Its up near 40% of GDP. What kind of country will we be when it is 50% or 75%? What you are seeing discussed is the crowding out effect that the entitlements are having on all other spending. Every liberal idea will continue to get less and less as long as entitlements cannot be touched.

I did not tune in. Repealing the 16th amendment allowing a progressive income tax is not insane. In its surrogate forms its been part of our political discourse for decades. Its just a fancy way of implementing a flat tax or VAT. Also, I guess I don't need to point out that Rick Perry has not announced for President. The real news last night was Michelle Bachmann announcing. This fills up the far right slot that had been empty to this point. She is Sarah Palin with an education and has the temperament of a lawyer.

James50
James, I think you are getting more and more emotional, and anti-liberal, as the election approaches, and it is having some effect on your perceptions. The chart you linked is misleading. The 40% figure represents ALL government spending; federal spending is a little over 20%. And the 16th Amendment doesn't authorize the progressive income tax; it authorizes ANY federal income tax. It had to be passed because the Supreme Court had outlawed the income tax under the Cleveland Administration, even though the Republicans had imposed a higher one during the Civil War. It makes me very sad to see an intelligent, relatively moderate person like yourself trying to make extremism less extreme than it is.







Post#1916 at 06-14-2011 10:00 AM by KaiserD2 [at David Kaiser '47 joined Jul 2001 #posts 5,220]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
I understand that you are trying to boil this down to the simplicity of the typical American voter, but look at the steepness of the curve again -



- there's no way that even the most stupefied of Idiot America are going to assume that momentum of the greatest downturn since the Great Depression stopped on the day of Obama's inauguration and anything could be done by either he or anyone else to impede that momentum in matter of a couple of years.

If that is not the case, then Americans deserve exactly what they will get - another deflationary downturn that will make the last one seem like a cakewalk, an acceleration of permanent job loss, an increasing divergence in incomes that will devastate the bottom 90% incomes and begin to reach deep into the bottom tiers of the top 10%, and social unrest that will make the 60s seem quaint. All leading to a Progressive landslide in 2016.
I agree with that. But if you suppose that the number of votes for or against an incumbent party rises and falls depending on how many people are unemployed at the moment of the election--with perhaps an adjustment for how long they have been unemployed--then it seems clear that the economy is going to hurt Obama and the Democrats more in 2012 than it hurt McCain and the Republicans in 2008.







Post#1917 at 06-14-2011 10:17 AM by James50 [at Atlanta, GA US joined Feb 2010 #posts 3,605]
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Quote Originally Posted by KaiserD2 View Post
James, I think you are getting more and more emotional, and anti-liberal, as the election approaches, and it is having some effect on your perceptions.
I think you are the one being emotional talking about people being "insane" and the "end of the world as we know it".

The chart you linked is misleading. The 40% figure represents ALL government spending; federal spending is a little over 20%.
I was merely responding to your category - you said the "government" - and that includes all of it doesn't it? Certainly in our federalist system if you are going to compare our governmental spending to European levels, you would have to include state spending. (BTW, federal spending is above 24% right now.) What would be misleading in talking about government spending is only to include the federal. Given the fundamentally dependent nature of government spending on the private sector, can you say you are unconcerned with the trend?

And the 16th Amendment doesn't authorize the progressive income tax; it authorizes ANY federal income tax. It had to be passed because the Supreme Court had outlawed the income tax under the Cleveland Administration, even though the Republicans had imposed a higher one during the Civil War.
Technically you are correct but I would not lose much sleep over whether the 16th amendment is on the verge of repeal. I still say it is simply a surrogate for hatred of the income tax and its present implementation and complexity. I think you know that this hatred is far from a fringe viewpoint.
However, It makes me very sad to see an intelligent, relatively moderate person like yourself trying to make extremism less extreme than it is.
Your definition and mine of extremism is indeed different. It makes me sad to see you close up like a clam whenever something new and different comes along. The New Deal is over. Its broke and not coming back. You have recognized this many times in your writings. What are we going to replace it with?

James50
Last edited by James50; 06-14-2011 at 11:06 AM.
The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected. - G.K. Chesterton







Post#1918 at 06-14-2011 11:10 AM by KaiserD2 [at David Kaiser '47 joined Jul 2001 #posts 5,220]
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I will reply to James a little later--I returned to post something I just saw on yahoo. To wit:

Though the president himself, his staff, and his supporters around the country are busy devoting everything they've got to his 2012 re-election campaign, Obama revealed Monday that his family isn't necessarily as "invested."

"Michelle and the kids are wonderful in that if I said, 'You know, guys, I want to do something different,' they'd be fine. They're not invested in daddy being president or my husband being president. But they do believe in what we're doing," Obama told NBC "Today Show" host Ann Curry in an interview that aired Tuesday.

And the president revealed that even he sometimes feels like giving up.

You can watch the interview above.

"I'm sure there are days where I say that one term is enough," the president said, but he added that what keeps him going is the unfinished work regarding energy, education, and other issues.

In the end, Obama said, if his family is happy, he's happy.

"If the family is doing well, if Michelle is still putting up with me, then I've got enough energy to keep on doing the work that I'm doing."


I am going to use careful language here because I know it's easy to overreact to things. But I can't help but think, reading this, that this guy is not up to being President, certainly not in a crisis. (I remember vividly, by the way, him saying during his campaign, late, that he welcomed the chance to become President in the midst of the economic crisis because he could really do some good.) A President is like the captain of a ship, the commander of a battalion, the manager of a baseball team, or the manager of a corporation. You can't expect the men and women under you to do their jobs if you indicate that you are tired of yours and are not sure that you should be doing it. On the day of Franklin Roosevelt's death, Lyndon Johnson, badly shaken, described him as "the only man I ever knew, anywhere, who was never afraid. . . God, how he could take it for us all." Clearly no one is ever going to say that kind of thing about Barack Obama.

Barack Obama had a very difficult childhood--just how difficult I'm not sure anyone will ever know. The new biography of his mother makes that clear, judging from the reviews. (I haven't gotten to it yet, but I will. But from the time he went to Columbia (1981) and for 27 years thereafter everything went his way. That was not true of TR, whose wife and mother died the day after his daughter was born; not true of FDR, who suffered a crushing political defeat in 1920 and got polio the next year; not true of Truman, who failed in business, or of Ike, who had plenty of ups and downs, or Kennedy, who lost his boat and some of his men in combat, or Nixon or even Reagan, whose career at one point seemed to have fallen apart. And I'm beginning to think that that difference is starting to show. In fact, I'm actually wondering whether Obama might be thinking about pulling out of the race.







Post#1919 at 06-14-2011 11:16 AM by KaiserD2 [at David Kaiser '47 joined Jul 2001 #posts 5,220]
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Quote Originally Posted by James50 View Post
I think you are the one being emotional talking about people being "insane" and the "end of the world as we know it".

I was merely responding to your category - you said the "government" - and that includes all of it doesn't it? Certainly in our federalist system if you are going to compare our governmental spending to European levels, you would have to include state spending. (BTW, federal spending is above 24% right now.) What would be misleading in talking about government spending is only to include the federal. Given the fundamentally dependent nature of government spending on the private sector, can you say you are unconcerned with the trend?

Technically you are correct but I would not lose much sleep over whether the 16th amendment is on the verge of repeal. I still say it is simply a surrogate for hatred of the income tax and its present implementation and complexity. I think you know that this hatred is far from a fringe viewpoint.
Your definition and mine of extremism is indeed different. It makes me sad to see you close up like a clam whenever something new and different comes along. The New Deal is over. Its broke and not coming back. You have recognized this many times in your writings. What are we going to replace it with?

James50
James, I would say you are half right.

As Lincoln realized in his Springfield Lyceum speech, the new Prophet generation always has a tendency to discard the achievements of the previous generation and do something new--or, to be more cynical, to tear down whatever their grandparents and parents have built. And yes, that is what has been happening now for 30 years and it is indeed going to create a very different society, it would appear, in the next ten years.

On the other hand, there is absolutely nothing new about the positions the Republican candidates are proposing: they want a return to the Gilded Age, pure and simple. They want an aristocracy of wealth that has the rest of us totally at its mercy. They want pure social Darwinism, with all its awful consequences. They want to destroy any conception of the common good and above all, any idea of a government acting on behalf of the common good.

It is part of the tragedy of human existence that such "new ideas" could have come once again into vogue, but it bodes no good for anyone--even, or perhaps I should say especially, for businessmen like yourself. You (plural) as much as anyone needed a new FDR to save capitalism from its excesses, but this time, you aren't going to get him. Be careful what you wish for--you are very likely to get it.







Post#1920 at 06-14-2011 11:47 AM by James50 [at Atlanta, GA US joined Feb 2010 #posts 3,605]
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Quote Originally Posted by KaiserD2 View Post

On the other hand, there is absolutely nothing new about the positions the Republican candidates are proposing: they want a return to the Gilded Age, pure and simple. They want an aristocracy of wealth that has the rest of us totally at its mercy. They want pure social Darwinism, with all its awful consequences. They want to destroy any conception of the common good and above all, any idea of a government acting on behalf of the common good.
Pretty emotional language. I would be grateful if you could point to a candidate that has publicly yearned for the Gilded Age, Social Darwinism, or an aristocracy of wealth. Perhaps this is simply your surmise for what is happening in the mind of anyone who wants lower government spending. I might point out that even the democrats seem to be in favor of reducing spending right now. Remember we are supposed to be fact based.

James50
The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected. - G.K. Chesterton







Post#1921 at 06-14-2011 11:55 AM by James50 [at Atlanta, GA US joined Feb 2010 #posts 3,605]
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Quote Originally Posted by KaiserD2 View Post
I In fact, I'm actually wondering whether Obama might be thinking about pulling out of the race.
The night Obama announced that Bin Laden had been killed, the first thing that crossed my mind when I heard he was making a sudden late night announcement was that he had decided not to run for re-election. I don't know why I felt this way exactly, but I guess he has never given me the sense he was really into the day-to-day of being President. I think about this whenever I read the stories about how much he plays golf. Golf is probably the most time consuming sport out there. I have never understood how people have the time for it.

Still, while anything is possible, the inertia of the Presidential entourage to keep on is probably too great to resist.

James50
The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected. - G.K. Chesterton







Post#1922 at 06-14-2011 12:01 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by James50 View Post
Pretty emotional language. I would be grateful if you could point to a candidate that has publicly yearned for the Gilded Age, Social Darwinism, or an aristocracy of wealth. Perhaps this is simply your surmise for what is happening in the mind of anyone who wants lower government spending. I might point out that even the democrats seem to be in favor of reducing spending right now. Remember we are supposed to be fact based.

James50
I'm in complete agreement with David on this. For many who are seeking the Gilded Age redux, I think they would deny it even to themselves. There are many many ways to lower government spending - including, most importantly, factors as to when so as to not trip us back into a Great Recession if not something worst. Many of those ways have nothing to do with jeopardizing the safety nets of the vast majority of people and undermining their ability to make a decent living. Yet those many other ways are not what is being put on the table by the GOP under the guise of "lower government spending."

I ask you to point to a GOP policy proposal that is simply about "lower government spending" that doesn't come at great disproportionate cost to anyone not in the top 10%, (and increasingly, much higher levels) of income and wealth in this country.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#1923 at 06-14-2011 01:05 PM by annla899 [at joined Sep 2008 #posts 2,860]
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Quote Originally Posted by James50 View Post
The night Obama announced that Bin Laden had been killed, the first thing that crossed my mind when I heard he was making a sudden late night announcement was that he had decided not to run for re-election. I don't know why I felt this way exactly, but I guess he has never given me the sense he was really into the day-to-day of being President. I think about this whenever I read the stories about how much he plays golf. Golf is probably the most time consuming sport out there. I have never understood how people have the time for it.

Still, while anything is possible, the inertia of the Presidential entourage to keep on is probably too great to resist.

James50

Ike played a lot of golf. GW played golf. Obama is playing golf with Boehner. I don't get the issue with Obama playing golf.







Post#1924 at 06-14-2011 01:14 PM by James50 [at Atlanta, GA US joined Feb 2010 #posts 3,605]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
I ask you to point to a GOP policy proposal that is simply about "lower government spending" that doesn't come at great disproportionate cost to anyone not in the top 10%, (and increasingly, much higher levels) of income and wealth in this country.
Its not my job to shill for the Republican party. I have said many times that I thought Simpson/Bowles was a good plan and that Obama should have supported it. I guess I will pull a Deb here and quote a gigantic post from TPM summarizing the plan. Is this the Gilded Age? Social darwinism? Aristocracy of wealth?

Fiscal Commission Co-Chairs Simpson And Bowles Release Eye-Popping Recommendations

by Megan Carpentier | November 10, 2010, 1:30PM Nov. 10, 2010 Read Later The White House's fiscal commission's co-chairs, Erskine Bowles and former-Sen. Alan Simpson today released their draft recommendations on how to reduce the country's budget deficit. But while the deficit, writ large, proved a potent political issue during the election season, the tough medicine recommended by Bowles and Simpson is likely to be met with more than a few raised eyebrows.
Their recommendations are more or less a list of the third-rail issues of American politics, including cuts in the number of federal workers; increasing the costs of participating in veterans and military health care systems; increasing the age of Social Security eligibility; and major cuts in defense and foreign policy spending. They also encompass a range of tax system reforms that have been floated by many in Washington for years to little effect, including funding tax rates reductions by eliminating many beloved credits and deductions.
Some of the recommendations:
Social Security cuts:


  • Index the retirement age to longevity -- i.e., increase the retirement age to qualify for Social Security -- to age 69 by 2075.
  • Index Social Security yearly increases to a lower inflation rate, which will generally mean lower cost of living increases and less money per average recipient.
  • "Increase progressivity of benefit formula" -- i.e., reduce benefits by 2050 for middle, and, especially, higher earners, relative to current benefits.
  • Increase the Social Security contribution ceiling: while people only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,800 of their wages today, that's only about 86% of the total potentially taxable wages. The co-chairs suggest raising the ceiling to capture 90% of wages.

Tax reform:


  • The co-chairs suggest capping both government expenditures and revenue at 21% of GDP eventually.
  • In their first plan, called "The Zero Plan," they suggest reducing the tax brackets to three personal brackets and one corporate rate while eliminated all credits and deductions. Without any credits or deductions (including the EITC and mortgage interest deductions), the 3 tax rates would be 8, 14 and 23 percent.
  • In their second plan, they would increase the personal deduction to $15,000, create 3 tax brackets (15, 25 and 35%); repeal or significantly curtail a number of popular tax deductions (including the state and local deduction and the mortgage interest deduction); and eliminate other tax expenditures.
  • The third plan would force Congress to undertake comprehensive tax reform by 2012 by raising taxes for each year Congress fails to act.
  • All their proposals limit Congress to collecting taxes on income made within the United States, reducing or eliminating taxes on American expats and revenues companies earn abroad.
  • They also suggest raising the federal gas tax by 15 cents per gallon.

Medicaid/Medicare cuts


  • Force more low-income individuals into Medicaid managed care.
  • Increase Medicaid co-pays.
  • Accelerate already-planned cuts to Medicare Advantage and home health care programs.
  • Create a cap for Medicaid/Medicare growth that would force Congress and the President to increase premiums or co-pays or raise the Medicare eligibility age (among other options) if the system encounters cost overruns over the course of 5 years.

Discretionary spending cuts


  • Eliminate all earmarks.
  • Eliminate the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools.
  • Freeze federal worker wage increases through 2014; eliminate 200,000 federal jobs by 2020; and eliminate 250,000 federal non-defense contractor jobs by 2015.
  • Eliminate subsidized student loans, in which the government makes interest payments while the student is in school.
  • Establish co-pays in the VA medical system and change the co-pays and deductibles for military retirees that remain in that system.
  • Eliminate NASA funding for commercial space flight.
  • Require the Smithsonian museums to start charging entrance fees and raise fees at the national parks.
  • Eliminate funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting -- which many conservatives suggested in the wake of the firing of former NPR contributor Juan Williams.
  • Reduce farm subsidies by $3 billion per year.
  • Create a Committee to eliminate unnecessary programs to the tune of $11 billion by 2015.
  • Merge the Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration and cut its budget by 10 percent.
  • End "low-priority" Army Corps of Engineers programs to the tune of $1 billion by 2015.
  • Cut the State Department's overseas budget by 10 percent by 2015; reduce the proposed foreign aid budget by 10 percent in 2015; and cut voluntary contributions to the United Nations by 10 percent in 2015.
  • Eliminate the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which provides subsidized financing and political risk insurance for U.S. companies' investments abroad.
  • Cut $900 million in fossil fuel research funds.
  • Force airlines to increase their contributions to airline security costs and allow them to increase per-ticket security fees.

Defense spending cuts:


  • Double the number of defense contractor positions scheduled for elimination from 10 percent of current staff augmentees to 20 percent.
  • Reduce procurement by 15 percent, or $20 billion.
  • Eliminate the V-22 Osprey program.
  • Cancel the Marine Corps' Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program.
  • Halve the number of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in favor of F-16s and F/A-18Es.
  • Cancel the Marine Corps F-35 program.
  • Cancel the Navy's Future Maritime Prepositioning Force.
  • Cancel the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), the Ground Combat Vehicle, and the Joint Tactical Radio.
  • Reduce military forces in Europe and Asia by one-third.
  • Send all military children based in the U.S. to local schools.

The report also recommends tort reform as a way to reduce Medicare and Medicaid expenditure

James50
The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected. - G.K. Chesterton







Post#1925 at 06-14-2011 01:16 PM by James50 [at Atlanta, GA US joined Feb 2010 #posts 3,605]
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Quote Originally Posted by annla899 View Post
Ike played a lot of golf. GW played golf. Obama is playing golf with Boehner. I don't get the issue with Obama playing golf.
You cannot play 18 holes of golf in much less than 4 hours. To have any fun with it, you need to practice all the time. At times I have tried to get into it, but it is such a huge time suck, I can't manage it.

James50
The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected. - G.K. Chesterton
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