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 Post subject: Debt ceiling debate's narrow parameters
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:52 am 
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I purposely avoided posting something here until there was a resolution.

But I think the most remarkable aspect of the whole thing was the ability of the Republicans to frame the debate and narrow the parameters of the discussion to how deep the spending cuts would be and if there would be revenue increases of zero, or slightly more than zero.

There was virtually no discussion of the fact that the deficit could never be closed either with spending cuts alone or with revenue increases alone.

So, to that extent, you could raise taxes on the rich and withdraw from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya and without cuts, a deficit would still exist. Or, you could cut every social program outside of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and not raise taxes and the deficit would still exist.

Even less frequently discussed was the wisdom of cutting government spending in a weak economy that is weak moslty because of a lack of consumer demand, which fuels a lack of private sector spending.

The idea of the government "priming the pump" when the private sector can't or won't has been a mainstream idea for the decades since the end of the Great Depression.

Certainly, that philosophy has never been accepted universally when it comes to enacting policy.

But it is a mainstream idea and it was never seriously discussed by most of the news media or by any of the key political players in the past few weeks.

In particular, the President, who is attacked from the right as being a radical liberal, but who actually was a player in setting up this discussion (ultimately, crisis) by creating the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction commission at a time when he should have focused the public and the political class on jobs creation.

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 Post subject: Re: Debt ceiling debate's narrow parameters
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:55 am 
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Whether or not you believe in stimulus, it's pretty hard to deny that taking government money out of the economy (aka spending cuts) will put further downward pressure on growth at a time when the private sector is lagging.

And as someone from the left side of the spectrum who believes military spending is excessive, I concede that cutting military spending is certain to have short-term detrimental economic impact.

Defense contractors and their suppliers all employ people and base closings have negative consequences for the regions where they're located.

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 Post subject: Re: Debt ceiling debate's narrow parameters
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:56 am 
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Chico, theres plenty of blame to go around.

i dont think the debt deal will do much to help, but like the bailouts, its just another way for us to kick the can to the next Congress. i think what we have is Democrats (addicted to entitlements) complaining about cuts to the programs they love, Republicans also complaining about cuts to the military spending, in reality there are no real cuts. the sad reality is also the US will NEVER pay off the debt

look at the interest we have to pay on our 14 trillion dollar debt
http://treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/ ... xpense.htm.

385 billion. And what were the cuts proposed by our trusted politicians? only 200 billion? So where are the cuts. the cuts" kick in in 2013. as it stands the fed deficit is projected to be 1.5 trillion this year. The deal raises the debt ceiling by 2.1 trillion. Where are the cuts?

No real cuts for years to come, please raising the debt ceiling and perpetually going backwards.

I wish more people who realize that a default is when you cant pay your bill on time. And you cant pay the bill if you have no money. in essence we have already defaulted many times over.

The status quo remains, no cuts, no tax increases, no nothing. What we do have is neverending currency debasement. Once we reach the point of no return, the markets will collapse, this time it will hurt A LOT more because at that point the Chinese will simply be fed up.

Bottomline, im not not won to blame everything on government. i think we got ourselves to blame too. we are addicted to these programs. We need to stop living beyond our means here and make some real changes.


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 Post subject: Re: Debt ceiling debate's narrow parameters
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:19 pm 
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Ciarán wrote:
What we do have is neverending currency debasement.

No we don't.

There's definitely plenty of blame to go around, to the Republicans for holding the nation's credit rating hostage in order to make the lives of tens of millions of Americans a lot worse, and to the Democrats for capitulating to their demands.


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 Post subject: Re: Debt ceiling debate's narrow parameters
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:03 pm 
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I was in my car not long ago and heard a tease at the open of Sean Hannity's show.

He said he was going to "debate" Ann Coulter, who thinks the deal was a huge victory for the Republican Party.

In my view, that summarizes the parameters pretty well--one know-nothing irresponsible right wing media personality debating another know-nothing irresponsible right wing media personality over whether the humiliation of the President and the dismantling of what the Democratic Party has stood for since the days of FDR could have been any more thorough.

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 Post subject: Re: Debt ceiling debate's narrow parameters
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 4:28 pm 
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The other bizarre conversation in the media is about which party this deal will benefit more in the 2012 elections. Has the Tea Party damaged or strengthened the Republican brand? Has Obama preserved his self-image of post-partisan president that his administration views as key to winning the independent vote? It has everything to do with the electoral consequences and nothing to do with the social consequences.


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 Post subject: Re: Debt ceiling debate's narrow parameters
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 6:49 pm 
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Apparently what the Republicans just put us through was not a one-time thing. It is the new normal.


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 Post subject: Re: Debt ceiling debate's narrow parameters
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:32 pm 
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Banger wrote:
Ciarán wrote:
What we do have is neverending currency debasement.

No we don't.

There's definitely plenty of blame to go around, to the Republicans for holding the nation's credit rating hostage in order to make the lives of tens of millions of Americans a lot worse, and to the Democrats for capitulating to their demands.


Obviously it's true that the Republicans had a hand in a lot of deficit spending, mostly on the war when Bush was in charge and also not fixing entitlements when they had Congress and the Presidency.

But the stimulus contributed a huge amount to our deficit and debt issues today, and apparently did not "stop a recession" or "get us out of a recession" like it was definitely supposed to do. I think we should just blame all of them, because all of them are to blame, and not spend so much time picking and choosing who is being "ridiculous" or "killing America" or whatever wild partisan statement everyone could make on this situation.

We're addicted to the programs and spending, which includes everything from the military to entitlements to behavior-modifying tax deductions/credits that need to be simplified if we really do want the rich to "pay their share" or get more revenue in the system and reduce the deficit.


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 Post subject: Re: Debt ceiling debate's narrow parameters
PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:43 am 
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How many times do I have to repeat this?

THE DEBT IS NOT THE PROBLEM. UNEMPLOYMENT IS THE PROBLEM.

This debt "solution" is unnecessary at this time and is only going to make the unemployment problem worse.

When the stimulus was in effect the economy was improving; once it ended and states and federal government went into austerity mode, things got worse again. The stimulus did what it was supposed to do, but only in the same way that half the recommended dose of medicine might temporarily relieve the symptoms but not last long enough to see the patient through to full recovery. The problem with the stimulus was that it wasn't big enough. Many economists pointed this out at the time but Obama ignored them, claiming that it would be sufficient. Clearly it wasn't. In Obama's defense, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis now reports that the recession was even worse than originally thought.

Our current economic policy of austerity is only going to make matters worse. I bet we'll be over 10% unemployment again within a year. And what are we doing in response? We're dismantling the safety net. Brilliant!

Oh well, at least the debt deal will eliminate that much-feared Uncertainty and restore that all-important business Confidence!

What's that, you say? The Dow dropped 266 points yesterday?

Great Depression II here we come!


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