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Posted - Apr 13 2011 : 3:02PM
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The Ryan budget is a remarkable document: all of its budget cuts hammer working class families, seniors, and students -- while all of its tax cuts go straight to millionaires. It does almost nothing to deal with the deficit, yet still manages to deal a death blow to virtually every member of the working middle class and everyone trying to work their way into it. It is especially hard on seniors and the most vulnerable in society in the midst of the toughest economic times since the Great Depression, doing serious economic damage to anyone who isn't a millionaire, oil company, or Wall Street bank. The good news, for those who are millionaires? They get so many economic benefits it will be hard to keep track of them all.
(snip)
The Ryan budget has nothing -- not a single frickin' thing -- to do with cutting the federal deficit. It is all about income redistribution, simple as that. If you take away the budget savings Ryan claims from projecting that the wars we are in will wind down soon, he has $4.3 trillion in budget cuts and $4.2 trillion in tax cuts. And I bet you can guess which fact comes next: the budget cuts are targeted almost 100 percent at programs that help low-income families and the working middle class, while the tax cuts are almost entirely directed toward the wealthiest 10 percent. In fact, that comment on taxes is an understatement: Citizens for Tax Justice has an analysis showing that 90 percent of Americans will see their taxes go up under the Ryan budget, because the tax breaks his bill calls for actually total more than $4.1 trillion. The bottom 80 percent would pay $1,700 more in taxes under Ryan's plan, while the top 1 percent (those making more than $460,000 dollars per year) would pay more than $211,000 less on average. As the folks at CTJ say, "It is difficult to design a tax plan that will lose $2 trillion over a decade while requiring 90% of taxpayers to pay more. But Congressman Ryan has met that daunting challenge."


Rep. Ryan's House GOP Budget Plan
Federal Government Would Collect $2 Trillion Less Over a Decade and Yet Require Bottom 90 Percent to Pay Higher Taxes


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(From 2/16/11, where Ryan is criticizing Obama's 2012 budget proposal.)
--------------------------

(Video on Hulu for the next 30-days.)
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Here's the GOP website regarding the Ryan Plan:
[link inactive:Server error]A Roadmap For America's Future
Edited by - Goldstein on Apr 13 2011

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Posted - Apr 13 2011 : 6:45PM
Except that Paul Ryan's tax cuts are deficit-neutral.
 
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Posted - Apr 13 2011 : 7:52PM
For the sake of argument, let's assume you are correct (i.e. "deficit-neutral").
If "Paul Ryan's tax cuts are deficit-neutral" how then will they cut the budget deficit -- which is the stated purpose for his plan's existence in the first place?
As I already posted...
The Ryan budget has nothing -- not a single frickin' thing -- to do with cutting the federal deficit. It is all about income redistribution, simple as that. If you take away the budget savings Ryan claims from projecting that the wars we are in will wind down soon, he has $4.3 trillion in budget cuts and $4.2 trillion in tax cuts. And I bet you can guess which fact comes next: the budget cuts are targeted almost 100 percent at programs that help low-income families and the working middle class, while the tax cuts are almost entirely directed toward the wealthiest 10 percent. In fact, that comment on taxes is an understatement: Citizens for Tax Justice has an analysis showing that 90 percent of Americans will see their taxes go up under the Ryan budget, because the tax breaks his bill calls for actually total more than $4.1 trillion. The bottom 80 percent would pay $1,700 more in taxes under Ryan's plan, while the top 1 percent (those making more than $460,000 dollars per year) would pay more than $211,000 less on average. As the folks at CTJ say, "It is difficult to design a tax plan that will lose $2 trillion over a decade while requiring 90% of taxpayers to pay more. But Congressman Ryan has met that daunting challenge."
So, if the budget cuts and tax cuts are a wash -- and they certainly appear to be (i.e. your "deficit-neutral") -- what is the point of Ryan's plan?
Obviously, it is to destroy government programs the right has been trying to eliminate for decades, and accelerate the transfer of wealth from the poorest to the wealthiest in our society.
The extreme right believes that we're all stupid enough to fall for this "plan" because they have put lipstick on it and claim that it reduces the deficit (which they have whipped into a false national emergency).
If they cared one rat's ass about reducing the deficit, they wouldn't have extorted the extension of the Bush tax cuts in December 2010, as their price for allowing government to function at all.
The Jon Stewart video I linked to earlier speaks volumes to this point.

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Choooooooch!
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Posted - Apr 13 2011 : 7:53PM
Yes, if you continue to believe the utter rot that cutting taxes will grow the economy and thus pay for themselves, the same pablum Republicans have been feeding Amderica for 30+ years.
If we believe this, then why not eliminate all taxes? We then ought to be rolling in dough.

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Choooooooch!
10537 Posts
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Posted - Apr 13 2011 : 8:27PM
The basic budget alphabet is R E D D:
R REVENUES
E ENTITLEMENTS
D DEFENSE
D DISCRETIONARY SPENDING
Ryan's budget concentrates on slashing the second D, by far the smallest slice of the pie. He does minimal on the first D, Defense. To make a reasonable start, we ought to be ending our involvement in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Libya and further cutting out Defense budget by 30-50%. On entitlements, he does virtually nothng on Social Security. But he turns Medicare and Medicaid into hand-me-down programs that will limit the federal contribution to senior medical care while doing nothing to control ever increasing medical costs. Don't forget that a large portion of Medicaid payments goes toward paying for senior care in nursing homes. With the large volume of baby boomers heading toward nursing home age, Ryan's approach would create a national catastrophy.
And as for the R, he actually wants, ONCE AGAIN, to cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Unbelievable that they're still pushing this "no tax increases" crap. Sorry, but the only thing to do when you are in this deep a hole is to raise taxes, substantially yet equitably, on everyone. REVENUES SIMPLY CANNOT be off the table.
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Clam Digger
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Posted - Apr 14 2011 : 12:26AM
Currently tax rates are the lowest that they have been in 50 years. If tax cuts were a boon to the economy, why are we in the 2nd longest recession in our history?

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Posted - Apr 14 2011 : 3:10AM
Congressman Ryan worked very hard to keep it all deficit-neutral. He really didn't want there to be a credible way to say that it cut Medicare to pay for tax cuts. And so it reduces the deficit solely by cutting spending so that the tax cuts, which are "paid for" by eliminating loopholes alone, are independent of spending cuts. So when Paul Krugman says,
he's lying or being totally unrealistic. Current law includes automatic tax hikes on everyone, including the middle-income earners (like Congress would ever do that) and automatic cuts in Medicare payments (again, never gonna happen) and even an increase in the Alternative Minimum Tax which hits middle-income earners (do I even have to say it? Not gonna happen). Since Ryan's plan doesn't account for all three, a realistic and appropriate approach for the budget, Krugman can get away with saying Ryan's plan is full of tax cuts. Outside of the now wholly bipartisan "Bush tax cuts" there is no tax cut in Paul Ryan's budget proposal.
Not surprisingly, stimulus-endorser Krugman doubles down:
1) Ryan's plan calls for tax code reform that keeps revenues slightly above historic averages of 18%. It is “revenue neutral” with respect to the tax code as it exists i.e. following Bush’s and now Obama-endorsed tax cuts which I remind you are scheduled to automatically sunset in 2013. Any plan that kept the 2001/2003/2010 tax cuts in place past this deadline looks like a tax cut. The best you could say is that Ryan is proposing is to restrain the growth of Medicare and other spending programs in order to reduce deficits and avert an automatic tax increase.
2) It's "regressive." Yes, because some of these loopholes and expenditures probably benefit middle-income and low-income earners. I don't think dropping the top tax rate to 25% will hurt anyone in that top rate, cutting loopholes or not, though it does suggest that Ryan's staff knows exactly which privileges should be revoked but stayed mum to avoid offending or provoking Congressional Republicans. If you care about the distribution of the tax burden between the richer half of taxpayers and the poorer half, you'll have to wait and see the tax plan that the Ways and Means Committee devises before making a judgment.
Billy, you note that Ryan doesn't take revenue into account to argue for tax increases, so I feel the need to respond: you're right! Ryan's plan does not take revenue into account at all.
None of his projections on the deficit take revenue into account. The plan’s projections for debt reduction do not assume that any extra revenue comes in from higher economic growth just like the Congressional Budget Office. This is not a supply-side, "voodoo economics" budget. It's remarkable really, we're not going Laffer Curve one way or the other - not saying revenue will decrease or increase but that it flat lines because, once again, Ryan wanted no credible way to claim that the GOP cut spending to afford tax cuts to the wealthy. So, do you think revenue will increase or decrease on current projections? Either way, the Ryan plan has what you need.
Once again, Goldstein, you're quoting criticisms of the Roadmap (the CJT link) for this "Ryan plan raises taxes on bottom 90%" point. That isn't in the Path to Prosperity because the tax reforms laid out in the plan are simply to close loopholes and reduce tax expenditures. Even there, Ryan can't direct anything because it's the purview of the Ways and Means Committee (though it would be nice if he did offer specifics so that Republicans would have to show their cards defending business interests that have fought for special privileges.) The Douhat piece points that out so thank you for that.
EDIT: I'll be honest, I gutted the pretty good response because I read a National Review article that made it clear that Krugman et al. were hiding behind the automatic, but unrealistic, sunset of the tax cuts of 2001, 2003, and now 2010.
Edited by - Cody McLarge on 4/14/2011 7:40:13 AM
 
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Posted - Apr 18 2011 : 10:06AM
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Six months after voters sent Republicans in large numbers to Congress and many statehouses, it is possible to see the full landscape of destruction that their policies would cause — much of which has already begun. If it was not clear before, it is obvious now that the party is fully engaged in a project to dismantle the foundations of the New Deal and the Great Society, and to liberate business and the rich from the inconveniences of oversight and taxes.
At first it seemed that only a few freshmen and noisy followers of the Tea Party would support the new extremism. But on Friday, nearly unanimous House Republicans showed just how far their mainstream has been dragged to the right. They approved on strict party lines the most regressive social legislation in many decades, embodied in a blueprint by the budget chairman, Paul Ryan. The vote, from which only four Republicans (and all Democrats) dissented, would have been unimaginable just eight years ago to a Republican Party that added a prescription drug benefit to Medicare.
Mr. Ryan called the vote “our generation’s defining moment,” and indeed, nothing could more clearly define the choice that will face voters next year.
His bill would end the guarantee provided by Medicare and Medicaid to the elderly and the poor, which has been provided by the federal government with society’s clear assent since 1965. The elderly, in particular, would be cut adrift by Mr. Ryan. People now under 55 would be required to pay at least $6,400 more for health care when they qualified for Medicare, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Fully two-thirds of his $4.3 trillion in budget cuts would come from low-income programs.
In addition to making “entitlement” a dirty word, the Ryan bulldozer would go much further in knocking down government programs to achieve its goals. It would cut food stamps by $127 billion, or 20 percent, over the next 10 years, almost certainly increasing hunger among the poor. It would cut Pell grants for all 9.4 million student recipients next year, removing as many as one million of them from the program altogether. It would remove more than 100,000 low-income children from Head Start, and slash job-training programs for the unemployed desperate to learn new skills.
And it would do all that while preserving the Bush tax cuts for the rich, and even expanding them. Regulation of business and the environment would be sharply reduced.
The mania for blindly cutting has also spread to statehouses, many with new Republican governors and legislatures. Several states have cut their unemployment benefits below the standard 26 weeks. Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona has proposed removing 138,000 people from Medicaid. Many recession-battered states, including some led by Democrats, have been forced to cut other services because Republicans have made it so politically difficult to raise taxes. Education, mental health and juvenile justice funds have been particular targets.
In Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Maine and Florida, Republican governors have used the smokescreen of a poor economy to pursue a long-held conservative goal of destroying public and private unions. This has nothing to do with creating jobs, of course, and it has shocked many blue-collar voters who are suddenly second-guessing their support for Republicans last November. Several states are also adopting Arizona-style anti-immigrant laws.
President Obama, after staying in the shadows too long, is starting to illuminate the serious damage that Republicans are doing. Their vision, he said last week, “is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America.” Other Democrats are also beginning to stand up and reject these ideas, having been cowed for months by the electoral wave. Their newfound confidence will give voters a clearer view of this bare and pessimistic landscape.
 
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Posted - Apr 20 2011 : 9:20AM
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Anything the credit rating agencies say has to be taken with a block of salt. In the run-up to the financial crisis, they were enablers of excess, happily slapping AAA ratings on the toxic assets of their Wall Street customers. The same happened with Enron and other debacles.
So it was encouraging to see markets recover quickly from the news on Monday that Standard & Poor's had lowered its outlook on the United States rating from stable to negative. Still, the announcement is worth reflecting on.
The gist of the report is that the credit standing of the United States will be impaired unless credible political action is undertaken to address its long-term budget deficits and large national debt burden.
In what amounts to a warning to lawmakers and other government leaders to get moving on deficit reduction, S.& P. said that there was a 1-in-3 chance that it could lower the AAA rating of the United States government within two years. That could cause interest rates to rise and to stay high, increasing the burden of paying back the debt and weakening the economy at large.
If the S.& P. warning convinces Congressional Republicans not to play games later this spring, when votes will be needed to raise the nation’s debt limit, it will have done some good. Republican rhetoric to the contrary, a debt limit vote is not the appropriate place to make a stand about future budgets. It pertains to obligations already incurred — like the Medicare drug benefit and the war in Afghanistan, both from the Bush era and financed by creditors who expect and deserve to be paid in full and on time.
If the warning is misconstrued to mean that deep and immediate spending cuts are needed — as Republicans have claimed — it will be counterproductive. Even S.& P. noted that given the difficult compromises ahead, the earliest plausible date to begin deficit reduction is late 2013, when the budget for fiscal year 2014 is due. What investors need to see before then, the report noted, is the emergence and debate of credible budget plans, with an eye toward implementation after the election in 2012. That is both politically realistic and economically sound because deep deficit reduction before then would risk derailing the economic recovery.
As credit raters, S.& P. and the other ratings agencies have squandered their credibility. But as a launcher of a shot across the bow in the budget battle, S.& P. did well.
Clam Digger
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Posted - Apr 20 2011 : 1:22PM
The US GDP is about 2.5X larger then the next largest economy, which is China. Then there is everybody else. Talk about about being to big to fail.
S&P's so called warning,is just a feeble effort to remain relevant. Its hard to imagine why anyone, given their role in the last crash, would listen to anything that they would have to say.

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Posted - Apr 20 2011 : 6:22PM
Still the .
I don't understand why debt isn't listed as a transfer payment. How is a deficit today not a tax on the economy tomorrow? If it's inflation, it's a hidden tax, but interest rates and income tax rate increases amount to real future taxes. As far as I'm concerned, it makes absolutely no sense to consider reduction of the deficit as "hampering economic growth," which contrary to Goldstein's post was actually advocated by S&P. On that same note, as taxes are simply taking one dollar out of the economy to spend it elsewhere or finance debt, taxes should not at all be considered a way to reduce deficits and debt.

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Posted - Apr 20 2011 : 10:26PM
Cody McLarge wrote:
Ha! There is nothing "wholly bipartisan" about the Bush tax cuts. Back in December the Republicans got the Democrats and Obama to agree to a two-year extension of all Bush tax cuts by refusing to extend unemployment benefits otherwise. But Obama's current budget proposal would end the tax cuts for top earners after two years, while keeping them in place for everyone else. How can the Bush tax cuts be "wholly bipartisan" when one side wants to keep the controversial cuts for the wealthy, while the other side wants to get rid of them?
[link inactive:Server error]Ryan's budget proposal also would eliminate taxes on interest, capital gains, and dividends. Are these not tax cuts?
Edited by - johnshaft820 on 4/20/2011 10:36:53 PM
 
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Posted - Apr 20 2011 : 11:08PM
Primarily for the wealthy. Interest, capital gains and dividends are where the wealthy get their primary income. It's already exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes.
He also wants to eliminate the estate tax, which is a double whammy on the capital gains cut because the vast majority of what is taxed by the estate tax is capital gains that were never realized (and therefore never subject to tax) by the person who died. They like to claim that the estate tax is double taxation. For the vast majority of people, that's bullshit. Now they want make untaxed capital gains passed from one generation to another become completely tax free.
Not only should interest, capital gains and dividends be taxed, they should be taxed as regular income, just as if it came from a salary and it should be subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes.

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Posted - Apr 21 2011 : 7:30AM
1) The expiration of the Bush tax cuts doesn't even pay for mandatory spending. You still need entitlement reform.
2) Expiration amounts to the largest tax increase in history.
3) No they are not tax cuts because all three of those tax rules are wrought with exemptions, loopholes, and expenditures (credits) that Ryan and the Congressional Republicans are now required to eliminate. just as the Bowles-Simpson plan suggested, it would be wrong to continue taxing the economy at the same rate if you eliminate special privileges.
 
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"You have sacrificed nothing and no one."
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Posted - Apr 21 2011 : 8:35AM
Updated and expanded article regarding S&P.
Interesting.
[invalid URL removed]Political Rift Was Tipping Point for S&P
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Posted - Apr 21 2011 : 9:04AM
That's fine. But that doesn't change my point, which was that maintaining the Bush tax cuts under Ryan's plan is a point of contention, not "wholly bipartisan" as you say.
Are we arguing semantics here? I say extending tax cuts is a further tax cut, you say not extending them is a tax increase. I say to-MAY-to, you say to-MAH-to. Same difference. I'm perfectly happy to say to-MAH-to with you and call the expiration of Bush's tax cuts a tax increase. On the wealthy. Yes, let's raise taxes on the wealthy.
So your premise is that it would be unfair for anyone to actually pay tax on capital gains, dividends and interest. If people can't avoid these taxes via exemptions and loopholes, then they should avoid these taxes by eliminating them altogether. That's just silly. I think it is fair for these sources of income to be taxed, just as income from work is taxed. We should close the loopholes and keep the tax rates where they are.

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Posted - Apr 21 2011 : 8:33PM

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Posted - Apr 21 2011 : 10:20PM
^I have a lot of reverence for public servants. Yes, they have to make the rounds as politicians making promises they never intend to keep but I've worked for these fly-by-night politicos that think they can win elections, never govern, because of their business acumen. They're "pleasers", not "doers." They listen to advisors more than voters and make the entire election process about getting elected and securing re-election before they even take their seats. Now some have made an adequate transition like Mitch Daniels of Indiana (fmr. VP of Eli Lily, runs a state with a surplus). I would definitely vote for him to become President. Others are just grease balls that ride their name without outlining their vision.
My take: the fastest, sure-fired way to get the American economy up and running at high levels with low unemployment is energy expansion. Drilling for oil, mining for coal, and fracking for natural gas furiously across the board. You've got to toss out any bans on offshore drilling and open the Midwest to massive expansion of energy resource mining. No Democrat can support that but I assure you that is the stealth jobs measure in the Republicans' arsenal.

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Posted - Apr 21 2011 : 10:47PM
Sorry, but you're not going to convince me that there's some Washington consensus on these issues. There isn't. The Bowles-Simpson Commission recommended taxing capital gains and dividends at ordinary income tax rates (see page 31 of [link inactive:Server error] this document). Paul Ryan is proposing to stop taxing capital gains and dividends altogether ([link inactive:Server error]see here). Bowles-Simpson does not take the same view as Ryan - far from it.

Senior Member

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Posted - Apr 22 2011 : 12:12AM
^But both plans are deficit and revenue neutral so it depends on how you flatten the code. Ryan aims at reducing or perhaps eliminating taxes on capital gains, investment, and dividends, not to mention the tax increases contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Bowles-Simpson did not suggest cuts in those areas but opted for allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire while reducing rates overall. We just want to reduce rates. Both reach a target area of between 25-30% top income tax rates and something like 25% in other taxes. Ryan intends to cap other areas at 20 and still keep income tax rates in the target range.
It's important to note that this is all subject to negotiation, though the elimination of loopholes actually isn't - that has to be done. Where we wind up 23% or 29% isn't important so long as it remains revenue and deficit neutral. Geez, you'd think abandoning Reaganomics would get the GOP some praise. I wouldn't have done that - I would've insisted that we get tax cuts whether they maintain levels of taxation or not.
Clam Digger
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Posted - Apr 23 2011 : 3:02PM
Since one of us has recently added the term "transfer payment" to their screeds, I think a clear definition of the term is i9n order.
Transfer payment: When the generation that earned the wealth, hands it over to the generation that didn't.
One could also conclude that the latter is just a newer version of Reagan's welfare queens.
 
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"You have sacrificed nothing and no one."
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Posted - Apr 24 2011 : 1:21PM
Some interesting and informed thoughts from David A. Stockman, former Republican representative from Michigan, and the director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1981 to 1985.
[ invalid url ]

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Posted - Apr 25 2011 : 1:31AM
^Class war!?! Yeah, that is how you should know you're on the ropes - when a usually very respectable columnist readily throws out the "lamentable" prospect of class war over entitlement reform. Let's see Stockman end with "Workers of the World unite!" and see how long he can keep his post at the Times.
At the same time, Stockman's acknowledging that humans are in control. The bond-holders are people with fears, rationalities, ideologies, and livelihoods. What is "unsustainable" and "unacceptable" is up to them. So our deficit is only 10% of annual GDP. It doesn't matter. When the bond holders say they can get a better deal than investing in U.S. Treasury Bonds, they will avoid buying the government's debt, expect to be paid with interest for what they already invested, and demand restrictions for further finance. It doesn't matter what the people want. Math doesn't care for peoples' wants. And math drives them. Binge all you want, you still have a tab.
Finally, Paul Ryan reminds us that the fundamental principle of government spending and taxation is that we should only take a dollar from the people if we have a just reason for it. The more debt we accrue, the more that reason becomes "to pay off the rich people who generously financed our spending in the past." Are you in favor of that? Is this also wealth redistribution? If so, it was of our own volition. Once again, you may enjoy binging but someone's still got a tab. Iceland recently voted "hell no" to paying the financiers, and now have to eviscerate what is left of their welfare state. We will follow?
Clam Digger
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Posted - Apr 27 2011 : 12:11AM
How deep does one have to dig before recognition of failed economic theories becomes apparent even to the most dense? Was the 2008 crash not deep enough? Were there too few pension fund and IRA failures? Aren't the losses of 10 million jobs insufficient? How many working and middle-class families have to sink into homelessness before it becomes apparent,even to the most foolishly arrogant trust-fund entrepreneurs, among us, that continued give-aways, to the relatively small in numbers, but powerfully wealthy is unsustainable?
Now we are hearing that sniveling jeremiad, that always rises above the fray when the prosperous get caught with fists full of cookies from the cookie jar, class warfare!

We are being told that government can no longer afford to educate our children. My fellow Garden Staters were informed, this week, that close to 60% of our roads, many designed and built in the 20's and 30's, are in such serious disrepair that public safety is in jeopardy. Now there is no money to repair them, because God forbid, we can't raise taxes.
All of this; but the lowest taxed country, outside of places like Somalia, can not dare to tax the economic gluttons, in our midst, because that will surely lead to further economic decline! Please tell me, how much lower can it go.
"Free market capitalism", at least as practiced here, is a hoax, especially now that there are no markets, free or otherwise.
 
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Posted - Apr 27 2011 : 2:02PM
is not a "columnist," not a Socialist ("Workers of the World unite!") and is most certainly not an employee of The New York Times.
Rather, he is a lifelong Republican.
More importantly, he was Ronald Reagan's Director of the Office of Management and Budget (1981–1985).
If you had bothered to read the article, even just the parts I excerpted here, it should be obvious that, Mr. Stockman is highly-critical of both the Democrats and Republicans.
FYI, The New York Times often publishes pieces from "Op-Ed contributors."
Typically, these are from significant, known figures with expertise and/or something to contribute on the subject matter they are writing about.
They all have one thing in common -- they are not NYT employees.

For example, an Op-Ed contributor piece from noted NYT Socialist "employee" Scott Walker (aka the Republican governor of Wisconsin).
[ invalid url ] even had an Op-Ed contributor piece published.
If you want to talk shit, it's helpful to have some basic correct facts to work with.
Ignorantly throwing this stuff around only makes you look foolish.
Did you bother to read the article?
Did you go to the article and read the parts that I (snip)ed?
Mr. Stockman raised and discussed the problems of government debt instruments ("bonds") at length and in lucid detail.
He cited the Pimco Total Return Fund (and I linked to an explanatory article - "Why the World’s Largest Bond Fund is Now Shorting Treasuries") as an example of how the current system of the world's central banks buying our debt, and printing money to enable the shell game, is already coming to an end.
Your ideological regurgitation is not entertaining, enlightening, nor add anything to the discussion.
In fact, the only purpose I can fathom is to derail and obfuscate.
Tedious comes to mind.
I'm guessing this another one of your "drunken" posts?

Another useful site (assuming you have any interest in using factual information):
[ invalid url ]
Puhleeeze.
Who do you think is your audience for this claptrap?
I'm in favor of the United States paying its bills.
Only a crazy person (or, perhaps, a troll with an agenda) would try to characterize paying the nation's debt obligations as "wealth redistribution."
I haven't "enjoy{ed} binging," and, I'm quite certain that, I'm going to enjoy paying the "tab" for those that did even less.
FYI, the only group I see refusing to honor the United States' debt obligations, are the Tea Party crazies and their Republican enablers playing ideological footsie with raising the debt ceiling.
Clearly, taking the world to the brink of The Great Depression II (precipitated by the default of the United States on its debt obligations -- the debt on the money we've already spent), is such a small price to pay when it comes to calculating some perceived partisan advantage.
Welcome to the Mad Hatter's tea party.
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Posted - Apr 27 2011 : 2:36PM

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Posted - Apr 27 2011 : 6:12PM
He's a pretty regular guest contributor for the NYT in particular. Maybe I should have asked if the Times would allow him to write for them again.
That wasn't ideological. It's wholly consistent with Stockman's point, even more favorable to debt-holders if you ask me. They're not dumping U.S. Treasury bonds because the outlook sucks, but because they can simply do better elsewhere. That isn't fear mongering; it's not even a call for a drastic break from current practices. It's a sober reminder that we're losing what little support we had. We can't do nothing, if I may paraphrase fmr. President Bush in his memoir, the worst political memoir ever - Decision Points. But we don't have to do everything, which was basically Stockman's point. I think I qualified the deficit hawk debate.
DEFICIT. The annual nominal DEFICIT is only 10% of annual GDP.
I believe the first part fully, couldn't have said it better. Paul Ryan really should run for president. Oh well, Ryan 2016 for sure.
I already knew more than half of Europe was crazy. That is the language the opponents of paying financiers use all of the time. It was ubiquitous in Iceland recently, who voted to not pay for past debt this month. It's somewhat true, in an abstract fashion, because paying off debt doesn't add anything to the economy so it must just be balancing the Fed's (or someone's) financial returns portfolio.
Spare me. The Treasury could pay current debt obligations and interest with revenue instead of raising the debt ceiling to borrow more from the Fed. And the Republican Party has given Obama the tools to do just that should he veto a bill that doesn't raise the debt ceiling. There's never been a better time to get a Balanced Budget Amendment with a 2/3 requirement for raising taxes, a spending cap, or entitlement reform. The debt limit debate is the perfect time to raise all three and who knows what we'll get. I think I have posted my thoughts on this before:
And
Clam Digger
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Posted - Apr 27 2011 : 7:08PM
People arguing for balanced budgets in times of recession, are clueless and without an understanding of economics or history.
Those are the same people who submit monstrously long posts, clearly confusing quantity with quality.

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Posted - Apr 28 2011 : 12:00AM
^Stimulate the private economy, not the government.

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Posted - Apr 28 2011 : 12:53PM
Very good OP link in my opinion.
The republicans are nuts. But Stockman spells it out very well, we also need to raise taxes on the middle class, and the D's with that reality disconnect are also worthless in practice.
The republicans with good reason deserve the ridicule for their strict devotion to the upper class.
But the D's refuse to show any guts. They know we need more revenue, but their to simplistic, and value campaign posturing more than doing the needed things Stockman addresses.
It is easy to mock loud rote speaking tea party dingbats. But that is just to easy, because the D's at the end of the day are signing off with them, they are long way from manning up and showing any courage.
It is also a recipe for disaster, big military, stimulus, bail out, and promise's of more social programs, also without enough revenue. We have a two-fold sell out. The D's should not be two sacred for a rebuke either, and just saying their better the R's is no consolation. It amounts to saying there highly intense idiots on steroids, but hey we are just regular stupid, so just settle and vote for us.
Such thinking also begs for an ass kicking.
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Posted - Apr 28 2011 : 1:13PM
More vague statements that mean nothing. Just what is going to stimulate this amorphous concept, called "the private economy". For that matter just who is supposed to stimulate it. Big government?
We have the lowest tax rates in our history. We have he lowest tax rates in the civilized world. We have socialized the debts of the entire financial industry. US taxpayers are still subsidizing the biggest banks in the world, with no interest loans, while buying back that debt at much higher interest.
The only untried solution, that I can see, is to provide all Americans with their very own trust funds. Maybe that is what you meant.

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Posted - Apr 29 2011 : 2:06AM
More vague statements that mean nothing. Just what is going to stimulate this amorphous concept, called "the private economy". For that matter just who is supposed to stimulate it.
Click to expand
Government needs to get out of its way. Put the pieces together; I want deregulation of energy production. I've said expanded energy production is the fastest sure-fired way to stimulate the economy by providing jobs in the field and lowering energy rates.
The top marginal tax rate was 28% in 1986. It should be 25% now, with special cutouts eviscerated and eliminated.
But the developing world? No.
I say we should follow Texas. Whatever they've been doing, the country should do.
 
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Posted - Apr 29 2011 : 9:46AM
Why, thank you Greg.
Here is another excellent column that really starts connecting the dots.
And, it's from -- ...a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Jones, which in turn is owned by News Corporation -- not The New York Times

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
Aug. 10, 2010, 12:45 a.m. EDT
ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- "How my G.O.P. destroyed the U.S. economy." Yes, that is exactly what David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan's director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed piece, "Four Deformations of the Apocalypse."
Get it? Not "destroying." The GOP has already "destroyed" the U.S. economy, setting up an "American Apocalypse."
Yes, Stockman is equally damning of the Democrats' Keynesian policies. But what this indictment by a party insider -- someone so close to the development of the Reaganomics ideology -- says about America, helps all of us better understand how America's toxic partisan-politics "holy war" is destroying not just the economy and capitalism, but the America dream. And unless this war stops soon, both parties will succeed in their collective death wish.
But why focus on Stockman's message? It's already lost in the 24/7 news cycle. Why? We need some introspection. Ask yourself: How did the great nation of America lose its moral compass and drift so far off course, to where our very survival is threatened?
We've arrived at a historic turning point as a nation that no longer needs outside enemies to destroy us, we are committing suicide. Democracy. Capitalism. The American dream. All dying. Why? Because of the economic decisions of the GOP the past 40 years, says this leading Reagan Republican.
Please listen with an open mind, no matter your party affiliation: This makes for a powerful history lesson, because it exposes how both parties are responsible for destroying the U.S. economy. Listen closely:
Reagan Republican: the GOP should file for bankruptcy
Stockman rushes into the ring swinging like a boxer: "If there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. The nation's public debt ... will soon reach $18 trillion." It screams "out for austerity and sacrifice." But instead, the GOP insists "that the nation's wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase."
In the past 40 years Republican ideology has gone from solid principles to hype and slogans. Stockman says: "Republicans used to believe that prosperity depended upon the regular balancing of accounts -- in government, in international trade, on the ledgers of central banks and in the financial affairs of private households and businesses too."
No more. Today there's a "new catechism" that's "little more than money printing and deficit finance, vulgar Keynesianism robed in the ideological vestments of the prosperous classes" making a mockery of GOP ideals. Worse, it has resulted in "serial financial bubbles and Wall Street depredations that have crippled our economy." Yes, GOP ideals backfired, crippling our economy.
Stockman's indictment warns that the Republican party's "new policy doctrines have caused four great deformations of the national economy, and modern Republicans have turned a blind eye to each one:"
Stage 1. Nixon irresponsible, dumps gold, U.S starts spending binge
Richard Nixon's gold policies get Stockman's first assault, for defaulting "on American obligations under the 1944 Bretton Woods agreement to balance our accounts with the world." So for the past 40 years, America's been living "beyond our means as a nation" on "borrowed prosperity on an epic scale ... an outcome that Milton Friedman said could never happen when, in 1971, he persuaded President Nixon to unleash on the world paper dollars no longer redeemable in gold or other fixed monetary reserves."
Remember Friedman: "Just let the free market set currency exchange rates, he said, and trade deficits will self-correct." Friedman was wrong by trillions. And unfortunately "once relieved of the discipline of defending a fixed value for their currencies, politicians the world over were free to cheapen their money and disregard their neighbors."
And without discipline America was also encouraging "global monetary chaos as foreign central banks run their own printing presses at ever faster speeds to sop up the tidal wave of dollars coming from the Federal Reserve." Yes, the road to the coming apocalypse began with a Republican president listening to a misguided Nobel economist's advice.
Stage 2. Crushing debts from domestic excesses, war mongering
Stockman says "the second unhappy change in the American economy has been the extraordinary growth of our public debt. In 1970 it was just 40% of gross domestic product, or about $425 billion. When it reaches $18 trillion, it will be 40 times greater than in 1970." Who's to blame? Not big-spending Dems, says Stockman, but "from the Republican Party's embrace, about three decades ago, of the insidious doctrine that deficits don't matter if they result from tax cuts."
Back "in 1981, traditional Republicans supported tax cuts," but Stockman makes clear, they had to be "matched by spending cuts, to offset the way inflation was pushing many taxpayers into higher brackets and to spur investment. The Reagan administration's hastily prepared fiscal blueprint, however, was no match for the primordial forces -- the welfare state and the warfare state -- that drive the federal spending machine."
OK, stop a minute. As you absorb Stockman's indictment of how his Republican party has "destroyed the U.S. economy," you're probably asking yourself why anyone should believe a traitor to the Reagan legacy. I believe party affiliation is irrelevant here. This is a crucial subject that must be explored because it further exposes a dangerous historical trend where politics is so partisan it's having huge negative consequences.
Yes, the GOP does have a welfare-warfare state: Stockman says "the neocons were pushing the military budget skyward. And the Republicans on Capitol Hill who were supposed to cut spending, exempted from the knife most of the domestic budget -- entitlements, farm subsidies, education, water projects. But in the end it was a new cadre of ideological tax-cutters who killed the Republicans' fiscal religion."
When Fed chief Paul Volcker "crushed inflation" in the '80s we got a "solid economic rebound." But then "the new tax-cutters not only claimed victory for their supply-side strategy but hooked Republicans for good on the delusion that the economy will outgrow the deficit if plied with enough tax cuts." By 2009, they "reduced federal revenues to 15% of gross domestic product," lowest since the 1940s. Still today they're irrationally demanding an extension of those "unaffordable Bush tax cuts [that] would amount to a bankruptcy filing."
Recently Bush made matters far worse by "rarely vetoing a budget bill and engaging in two unfinanced foreign military adventures." Bush also gave in "on domestic spending cuts, signing into law $420 billion in nondefense appropriations, a 65% percent gain from the $260 billion he had inherited eight years earlier. Republicans thus joined the Democrats in a shameless embrace of a free-lunch fiscal policy." Takes two to tango.
Stage 3. Wall Street's deadly 'vast, unproductive expansion'
Stockman continues pounding away: "The third ominous change in the American economy has been the vast, unproductive expansion of our financial sector." He warns that "Republicans have been oblivious to the grave danger of flooding financial markets with freely printed money and, at the same time, removing traditional restrictions on leverage and speculation." Wrong, not oblivious. Self-interested Republican loyalists like Paulson, Bernanke and Geithner knew exactly what they were doing.
They wanted the economy, markets and the government to be under the absolute control of Wall Street's too-greedy-to-fail banks. They conned Congress and the Fed into bailing out an estimated $23.7 trillion debt. Worse, they have since destroyed meaningful financial reforms. So Wall Street is now back to business as usual blowing another bigger bubble/bust cycle that will culminate in the coming "American Apocalypse."
Stockman refers to Wall Street's surviving banks as "wards of the state." Wrong, the opposite is true. Wall Street now controls Washington, and its "unproductive" trading is "extracting billions from the economy with a lot of pointless speculation in stocks, bonds, commodities and derivatives." Wall Street banks like Goldman were virtually bankrupt, would have never survived without government-guaranteed deposits and "virtually free money from the Fed's discount window to cover their bad bets."
Stage 4. New American Revolution class-warfare coming soon
Finally, thanks to Republican policies that let us "live beyond our means for decades by borrowing heavily from abroad, we have steadily sent jobs and production offshore," while at home "high-value jobs in goods production ... trade, transportation, information technology and the professions shrunk by 12% to 68 million from 77 million."
As the apocalypse draws near, Stockman sees a class-rebellion, a new revolution, a war against greed and the wealthy. Soon. The trigger will be the growing gap between economic classes: No wonder "that during the last bubble (from 2002 to 2006) the top 1% of Americans -- paid mainly from the Wall Street casino -- received two-thirds of the gain in national income, while the bottom 90% -- mainly dependent on Main Street's shrinking economy -- got only 12%. This growing wealth gap is not the market's fault. It's the decaying fruit of bad economic policy."
Get it? The decaying fruit of the GOP's bad economic policies is destroying our economy.
Warning: this black swan won't be pretty, will shock, soon
His bottom line: "The day of national reckoning has arrived. We will not have a conventional business recovery now, but rather a long hangover of debt liquidation and downsizing ... it's a pity that the modern Republican party offers the American people an irrelevant platform of recycled Keynesianism when the old approach -- balanced budgets, sound money and financial discipline -- is needed more than ever."
Wrong: There are far bigger things to "pity."
First, that most Americans, 300 million, are helpless, will do nothing, sit in the bleachers passively watching this deadly partisan game like it's just another TV reality show.
Second, that, unfortunately, politicians are so deep-in-the-pockets of the Wall Street conspiracy that controls Washington they are helpless and blind.
And third, there's a depressing sense that Stockman will be dismissed as a traitor, his message lost in the 24/7 news cycle ... until the final apocalyptic event, an unpredictable black swan triggers another, bigger global meltdown, followed by a long Great Depression II and a historic class war.
So be prepared, it will hit soon, when you least expect.
 
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Posted - Apr 29 2011 : 10:01AM
The original "Four Deformations of the Apocalypse" Op-Ed contribution by David Stockman, published July 31, 2010.
Should be required reading.
[ invalid url ]
 
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Posted - Apr 29 2011 : 10:20AM
"This speech is brilliant and required reading, watching and listening for every concerned citizen and lover of liberty."
Goldstein enthusiastically agrees!

Monday, March 14, 2011 by David Stockman
The 2011 Henry Hazlitt Memorial Lecture, given on March 12 at the Austrian Scholar's Conference. An MP3 audio file of that lecture is [ invalid url ]
by David Stockman
The Henry Hazlitt Memorial Lecture at the 2011 Austrian Scholars Conference.
Auburn AL - (Mike Church attended the delivery of this address at the von Mises Scholars Conference, Saturday, 12 March, 2011.) Church said of the speech "It is the most detailed, well researched - yet understandable by the lay person - analysis of this desperate and criminally corrupt economic malaise the United States - and most of the world's advanced economies - are involved in. Stockman pulls no punches and provides no luxurious way out other then the old practice of returning to sound money and living within our means. This speech is brilliant and required reading, watching and listening for every concerned citizen and lover of liberty."

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Posted - Apr 29 2011 : 5:20PM
Just reform the entitlements and cut back on growth. We don't even have to go back to 2000 levels to continue affording a working government. Don't and you bet it will collapse. It'll be the spenders fault, both parties, and the voters will see it that way too. I guarantee the sock the rich crowd will remain a minority even in austerity.
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Posted - May 3 2011 : 11:12AM
I say get rid of the Bush tax cuts for everybody. Also surtax those who have achieved wealth without earning it.
 
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Posted - May 9 2011 : 8:25AM
[ invalid url ]
The past three years have been a disaster for most Western economies. The United States has mass long-term unemployment for the first time since the 1930s. Meanwhile, Europe's single currency is coming apart at the seams. How did it all go so wrong?
Well, what I've been hearing with growing frequency from members of the policy elite — self-appointed wise men, officials, and pundits in good standing — is the claim that it's mostly the public's fault. The idea is that we got into this mess because voters wanted something for nothing, and weak-minded politicians catered to the electorate’s foolishness.
So this seems like a good time to point out that this blame-the-public view isn't just self-serving, it's dead wrong.
The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. The policies that got us into this mess weren't responses to public demand. They were, with few exceptions, policies championed by small groups of influential people — in many cases, the same people now lecturing the rest of us on the need to get serious.
And by trying to shift the blame to the general populace, elites are ducking some much-needed reflection on their own catastrophic mistakes.
Let me focus mainly on what happened in the United States, then say a few words about Europe.
These days Americans get constant lectures about the need to reduce the budget deficit. That focus in itself represents distorted priorities, since our immediate concern should be job creation. But suppose we restrict ourselves to talking about the deficit, and ask: What happened to the budget surplus the federal government had in 2000?
The answer is, three main things. First, there were the Bush tax cuts, which added roughly $2 trillion to the national debt over the last decade. Second, there were the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which added an additional $1.1 trillion or so. And third was the Great Recession, which led both to a collapse in revenue and to a sharp rise in spending on unemployment insurance and other safety-net programs.

So who was responsible for these budget busters? It wasn't the man in the street.
President George W. Bush cut taxes in the service of his party's ideology, not in response to a groundswell of popular demand — and the bulk of the cuts went to a small, affluent minority.
Similarly, Mr. Bush chose to invade Iraq because that was something he and his advisers wanted to do, not because Americans were clamoring for war against a regime that had nothing to do with 9/11. In fact, it took a highly deceptive sales campaign to get Americans to support the invasion, and even so, voters were never as solidly behind the war as America's political and pundit elite.
Finally, the Great Recession was brought on by a runaway financial sector, empowered by reckless deregulation. And who was responsible for that deregulation? Powerful people in Washington with close ties to the financial industry, that's who. Let me give a particular shout-out to Alan Greenspan, who played a crucial role both in financial deregulation and in the passage of the Bush tax cuts — and who is now, of course, among those hectoring us about the deficit.
So it was the bad judgment of the elite, not the greediness of the common man, that caused America’s deficit. And much the same is true of the European crisis.
Needless to say, that's not what you hear from European policy makers. The official story in Europe these days is that governments of troubled nations catered too much to the masses, promising too much to voters while collecting too little in taxes. And that is, to be fair, a reasonably accurate story for Greece. But it's not at all what happened in Ireland and Spain, both of which had low debt and budget surpluses on the eve of the crisis.
The real story of Europe's crisis is that leaders created a single currency, the euro, without creating the institutions that were needed to cope with booms and busts within the euro zone. And the drive for a single European currency was the ultimate top-down project, an elite vision imposed on highly reluctant voters.
Does any of this matter? Why should we be concerned about the effort to shift the blame for bad policies onto the general public?
One answer is simple accountability. People who advocated budget-busting policies during the Bush years shouldn't be allowed to pass themselves off as deficit hawks; people who praised Ireland as a role model shouldn't be giving lectures on responsible government.

But the larger answer, I'd argue, is that by making up stories about our current predicament that absolve the people who put us here there, we cut off any chance to learn from the crisis. We need to place the blame where it belongs, to chasten our policy elites. Otherwise, they'll do even more damage in the years ahead.

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Posted - May 9 2011 : 12:28PM
A large swath of American Voters are the common man, and do believe the bullshit that put us in this predicament.
I blame both the policy makers, and the idiots that voted for them!
And now Stockman has religion on sinful economic policy that he helped create.
Edited by - 2ferme on 5/9/2011 12:49:35 PM
 
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Posted - May 9 2011 : 5:16PM
The American proles (i.e. "voters") are promised one thing, think they "voted" for it, then get an entirely different agenda thrust upon them by the "elites."
The average American is poorly informed, and unwilling to educate themselves on the issues that matter.
The Ministry of Truth has perfected the art of manipulating proles into voting against their own interest(s), while the agenda -- the transfer of wealth to the wealthy and Party elites -- remains the same.
Stockman has great credibility precisely because of his role as Ronald Reagan's director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1981 to 1985.
If you read the Stockman articles I linked to in this thread, [link inactive:404 - Page not found]Stockman has said:
"To be sure, it took American politicians a decade or so to realize that the old rules were no longer operative. Helped immeasurably by the collapse of the Soviet war machine, orthodox Senate Republicans and bourbon Democrats achieved for a fleeting moment the appearance of fiscal balance at the turn of the century. But it was not long before the cat was out of the bag. In making the case for the Bush tax cuts of 2001, then Vice-President Cheney summed up the new reality, postulating that "Reagan proved deficits don’t matter."
Reagan proved no such thing, of course, but Republican politicians of the George W. Bush era had most assuredly discovered they could borrow with relative impunity. Soon, the GOP transformed the Reagan policy idea of lower marginal income tax rates into a faith-based religion of tax cutting – anywhere, anytime, for any reason.

So intense was the re-awakening that the floor of the U.S. House became thronged with fiscal holy rollers – throbbing, shaking, jerking and gesticulating as they exorcized section after section of the revenue code. By the time Bush and the Congressional Republicans were through in FY 2009, the revenue had been reduced to 14.9% of GDP – the lowest level since 1950 and far below the 18.4% level extant when Ronald Reagan left office.
To be sure, lowering the burden of taxation on the American economy is a compelling idea from both a philosophical and economic policy viewpoint. But deficit financed tax cuts are a politician’s snare and delusion. Such fiscal actions do not actually reduce the tax burden – they just defer its collection."

So the American voters have been sold a bill of tax cuts.
They may "believe the bullshit," but, as Krugman correctly points out, the bullshit was promulgated by the "... members of the policy elite — self-appointed wise men, officials, and pundits in good standing..." in the first place.
An insightful paragraph from Thomas Frank's masterful book :
This is vexing for observers, and one might expect it to vex the movement's true believers even more. Their grandstanding leaders never deliver, their fury mounts and mounts, and nevertheless they turn out every two years to return their right-wing heroes to office for a second, a third, a twentieth try. The trick never ages; the illusion never wears off.
Vote to stop abortion; Receive a rollback in capital gains taxes.
Vote to make our country strong again; Receive deindustrialization.
Vote to screw those politically correct college professors; Receive electricity deregulation.
Vote to get government off our backs; Receive conglomeration and monopoly everywhere from media to meat-packing.
Vote to stand tall against terrorists; Receive Social Security privatization.
Vote to strike a blow against elitism; Receive a social order in which wealth is more concentrated than ever before in our lifetimes, in which workers have been stripped of power and CEOs are rewarded in a manner beyond imagining.
Backlash theorists, as we shall see, imagine countless conspiracies in which the wealthy, powerful, and well connected -- the liberal media, the atheistic scientists, the obnoxious eastern elite -- pull all the strings and make the puppets dance. And yet the backlash itself has been a political trap so devastating to the interests of Middle America that even the most diabolical of string-pullers would have had trouble dreaming it up. Here, after all, is a rebellion against "the establishment" that has wound up abolishing the tax on inherited estates. Here is a movement whose response to the power structure is to make the rich even richer; whose answer to the inexorable degradation of working-class life is to lash out angrily at labor unions and liberal workplace-safety programs; whose solution to the rise of ignorance in America is to pull the rug out from under public education.
Like a French Revolution in reverse -- one in which the sansculottes pour down the streets demanding more power for the aristocracy -- the backlash pushes the spectrum of the acceptable to the right, to the right, farther to the right. It may never bring prayer back to the schools, but it has rescued all manner of right-wing economic nostrums from history's dustbin. Having rolled back the landmark economic reforms of the sixties (the war on poverty) and those of the thirties (labor law, agricultural price supports, banking regulation), its leaders now turn their guns on the accomplishments of the earliest years of progressivism (Woodrow Wilson's estate tax; Theodore Roosevelt's antitrust measures). With a little more effort, the backlash may well repeal the entire twentieth century.

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Posted - May 9 2011 : 8:27PM
The problem is and always will be spending. I won't be reading any more of Stockman's work. He can have his opinion all he wants but I would rather watch the entitlement state go through some serious reform than make excuses about why it's not fully funded. I keep getting these "Patriotic Millionaires" emails about really rich people begging for more taxes. I'm unsympathetic. I despise a majority of the government's current functions, and I'm not willing to pay a dime to fund them. I will vote for people who will not ask me, and in all seriousness have proposed making necessary reforms only to stave off future tax increases.

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Posted - May 10 2011 : 5:56AM
This "household chore" will be anything but business as usual. Now if only Speaker Boehner had laid out specifically what the GOP wants in return, I could get on board. He's still trying to dodge in order to claim victory no matter what and it's total, political bullshit. You've made it clear that it's not Armageddon, but that is no reason to play with the debt limit as just another tool for policy gains.

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Posted - May 10 2011 : 12:46PM
The Military Industrial Complex should go through some major changes. THATS WHERE THE PROBLEM IS!!!!
We have the largest Navy on earth. What for.
As usual somebody in this thread is posting their ridiculous dribble.
If you dislike everything the Government does you can always leave. I would hope you would take a few of your clueless wing nut brethren with you.

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Posted - May 10 2011 : 12:49PM
Excuses, excuses, excuses. People like Mcgoofy still believe the BS!
Clam Digger
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Posted - May 14 2011 : 11:40PM
What functions would that be?
The first reform should be to re-establish estate taxes back to the levels of the 50's and 60's. Those who haven't earned their wealth, should be taxed on it, heavily.
Estate taxes were some of the earliest sources of revenue for the US. The founders believed, that unearned wealth, would lead to the establishment of an aristocracy.
 
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Posted - May 19 2011 : 9:19AM
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Six months ago President Obama faced a hostage situation. Republicans threatened to block an extension of middle-class tax cuts unless Mr. Obama gave in and extended tax cuts for the rich too. And the president essentially folded, giving the G.O.P. everything it wanted.
Now, predictably, the hostage-takers are back: blackmail worked well last December, so why not try it again? This time House Republicans say they will refuse to raise the debt ceiling — a step that could inflict major economic damage — unless Mr. Obama agrees to large spending cuts, even as they rule out any tax increase whatsoever. And the question becomes what, if anything, will get the president to say no.
(more)...
 
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Posted - Jun 29 2011 : 9:58AM
[ invalid url ].
I guess that would be one way to repeal the Twentieth Century
I no longer have any faith or expectation that the United States can or will resolve any of the numerous serious issues facing us today.
The first domino will be the U.S. default.
Expect the FY 2012 budget to be devastating.
I'd think a French Revolution -- with the members of Congress being guillotined on the steps of the Capital -- to be apropos, but that would imply that someone "cares."
If there's not an "app" for it...
The only thing I have any confidence in is that, regardless, there will be new and larger tax-cuts for the ruling class and wealthiest Party members.
Oh, and perpetual war.
"Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia"...
Care to start an ADT poll on when the first large-scale food-riots in the United States will begin?
I've got December 21, 2012.
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Posted - Jun 29 2011 : 10:08PM

"This is an issue that's been raised in some private debate between senators as to whether in fact we can default, or whether that provision of the Constitution can be held up as preventing default," Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), an attorney, told The Huffington Post Tuesday. "I don't think, as of a couple weeks ago, when this was first raised, it was seen as a pressing option. But I'll tell you that it's going to get a pretty strong second look as a way of saying, 'Is there some way to save us from ourselves?'" By declaring the debt ceiling unconstitutional, the White House could continue to meet its financial obligations, leaving Tea Party-backed Republicans in the difficult position of arguing against the plain wording of the Constitution. Bipartisan negotiators are debating the size of the cuts, now in the trillions, that will come along with raising the debt ceiling.

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Posted - Jun 29 2011 : 11:33PM
You budget from your tax revenue. I will not accept that tax cuts cause deficits. It's government spending that should match tax revenue. Taxes come first. You budget from that you have, not what you wish. Wishful budgeting should come to an end. We need to pass a balanced budget amendment. Votes on it are coming up in July. Let's see how many reasonable Democrats still exist in the upper chamber. Again, taxing the people is best avoided. Keep as much money as possible in private hands, period.
For one, it's a tax break, not a payment. For two, taxes on oil companies are almost always shifted onto consumers. Oil is a powerful commodity. Nearly everything we make is petroleum based. Raising the price of oil by taxing oil companies more is a dumb idea during this anemic recovery.
Stealth tax hike. It can't get the votes and it shouldn't.
There's an idea. Schedule more tax hikes in the future. We can vote on them when the time comes. Then again, there's more tax hikes than ever in our nation's history scheduled in the next five years. Krugman et. al. keep using them to say Obama and Ryan's plan (which do not allow these tax hikes to occur) amount to "balancing the budget" on middle-income and poor people.
We will not default. Congress will pass many short term Debt Ceiling increases with spending cuts to match each one. Then the Democrats will be forced to accept massive spending cuts in exchange for debt ceiling increases. They will have to admit that increased spending on government programs have not induced economic recovery and thus will have to be revoked. President Obama does not have the luxury of vetoing any of these bills, and will always, ALWAYS, be the last one to say 'yes' or 'no' before default. But he won't do it. It's just unfortunate that we can't do something as simple as raise the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security so that we can never go through this again.

Edited by - Cody McLarge on 6/29/2011 11:34:36 PM


Senior Member

7415 Posts
8/10
Posted - Jun 29 2011 : 11:43PM
Welcome back Clam! Can we keep knee jerk responses and personal insults to a minimum? Just know that I valued our 'conversations' and did not seek your deactivation. I will respond later perhaps. I don't want to make a political argument on wording and intent of this line without some background information.

Senior Member

7415 Posts
8/10
Posted - Jun 30 2011 : 8:29PM
What a terrible press conference yesterday. What was that? I've been calling the president a politician in chief but he sounded like challenger for Congress. Republican constituencies? From the man who once said "there is no red America or blue America," that was a little petulant.
But apparently MSNBC anchors and Democrat 'leaders' thought he laid out some good specifics. He laid out three - ending a subsidy for oil companies, adjusting the way they report profits to increase their overall tax liability, and ending a tax break afforded to owners of corporate jets.
Never mind that both were included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. I did the math on this. If you collect the corporate jet tax every year for the next 5,000 or so years, you would cover ONE YEAR , 12 months, of Obama's term.
If you collect the oil depreciation tax break for 700 years, you would cover 6 or 8 months (depending on which months you choose) of Obama's term.
Now, let's say he draws a line in the sand and threatens to veto even a week long increase in the debt ceiling unless he gets both tax breaks he mentioned repealed. After one hundred years, you could pay for February's monthly deficit.
That is some fine leadership, Mr. President. Shall we strike up the band before the ship sinks, captain?
Edited by - Cody McLarge on 6/30/2011 8:29:39 PM
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