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Debates Forum

  1. 31 Dec '12 19:24
    I wonder how many people even know what the fiscal cliff is? It is being presented as an argument between the President and Congress about taxation of the rich. Really?
  2. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    31 Dec '12 21:07
    Originally posted by normbenign
    I wonder how many people even know what the fiscal cliff is? It is being presented as an argument between the President and Congress about taxation of the rich. Really?
    Its an artificial "emergency" created by Congress two years ago.
  3. 01 Jan '13 00:25
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Its an artificial "emergency" created by Congress two years ago.
    Yup. One that could have and should have been dealt with at that time.
  4. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    01 Jan '13 16:24
    I certainly hope the House of Representatives rejects the Senate proposal which makes permanent the disastrous Bush tax cuts for over 99% of taxpayers while doing absolutely nothing to reduce wasteful spending (esp military) or put Americans to work repairing and rebuilding essential infrastructure.
  5. 01 Jan '13 17:13
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    I certainly hope the House of Representatives rejects the Senate proposal which makes permanent the disastrous Bush tax cuts for over 99% of taxpayers while doing absolutely nothing to reduce wasteful spending (esp military) or put Americans to work repairing and rebuilding essential infrastructure.
    I am glad to hear a lefty admit that the Bush tax cuts weren't for the rich. As to them being disastrous, then why hasn't the President or the Senate just let them expire, all of them, either now or two years ago when they had to do nothing to get rid of them. Sorry, but these are the Obama tax cuts now, and if they are disastrous, it's his fault. Apparently they are only disastrous when the left can't use them to create class envy.

    I could see considerable cuts in military spending, but that big budget item is a Constitutional responsibility. How about examining the multitudinous agencies and bureaucracies that have no Constitutional basis, and whether they are good or not, are not mandated. And how about discontinuing base line budgeting over ten year periods. You do realize that without any increases, government spending goes up on every single line item, with no budget being passed at all. When spending is increase less than the proposed increase it is called a cut.

    Putting Americans to work, seems like a spending program to me. How has that worked out during the Obama administration? Especially if the work is passed out to favored overpriced union workers, which usually produces additional unemployment.

    The so called cliff may just be a giant muddy slide to oblivion, unless somebody figures out you can't spend money you don't have indefinitely.
  6. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    02 Jan '13 00:33
    Originally posted by normbenign
    I am glad to hear a lefty admit that the Bush tax cuts weren't for the rich. As to them being disastrous, then why hasn't the President or the Senate just let them expire, all of them, either now or two years ago when they had to do nothing to get rid of them. Sorry, but these are the Obama tax cuts now, and if they are disastrous, it's his fault. Apparen ...[text shortened]... o oblivion, unless somebody figures out you can't spend money you don't have indefinitely.
    I admitted no such thing. The vast bulk of the benefits of the Bush tax cuts went to the rich. Like all such schemes over the last 30 years, some cuts were made for the working and middle class to make them politically palatable. They, coupled with the vast increase in military spending, busted the budget. Of course, the Great Recession caused by the financial sector's crass blunders much worsened the situation.

    Your excess love for the rich and hatred of American workers who have dared to organize into effective unions is always noted. Your economic knowledge is worse than zero. If your beloved private sector isn't performing its purpose and creating sufficient well paying jobs for the people, then society's representatives must do so. Rebuilding and repairing our important infrastructure resources, which have been allowed to atrophy due to the myopia of Washington politicians would be both necessary and helpful.
  7. Standard member sasquatch672
    Don't Like It Leave
    02 Jan '13 00:52
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    I admitted no such thing. The vast bulk of the benefits of the Bush tax cuts went to the rich. Like all such schemes over the last 30 years, some cuts were made for the working and middle class to make them politically palatable. They, coupled with the vast increase in military spending, busted the budget. Of course, the Great Recession caused by the fin ...[text shortened]... d to atrophy due to the myopia of Washington politicians would be both necessary and helpful.
    You're not giving Obama the credit he deserves. Obama added as much to the national debt in four years as Bush did in eight. One of the things I most resented about Bush was that he made it far too easy to "support" a war effort. But Bush has been gone a long time. Time to talk about recent history - Obama's history.

    Companies are sitting on the sidelines, not growing or hiring right now, in no small part because they don't know what new policy, regulation, or tax is going to hit them next. I never got the impression that you're a lover of big government, so I think you need to take a look at today's situation from the eyes of a business owner.
  8. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    02 Jan '13 00:56 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sasquatch672
    You're not giving Obama the credit he deserves. Obama added as much to the national debt in four years as Bush did in eight. One of the things I most resented about Bush was that he made it far too easy to "support" a war effort. But Bush has been gone a long time. Time to talk about recent history - Obama's history.

    Companies are sitting on th o I think you need to take a look at today's situation from the eyes of a business owner.
    Your claims about what companies are doing are refuted by the steady decrease in unemployment. Your excessive hatred for Obama constantly blinds you to reality.

    I have many policy differences with Obama. His main domestic problem is that he has failed to break with the Reagan-Bush economic agenda in any significant way.
  9. Standard member sasquatch672
    Don't Like It Leave
    02 Jan '13 00:59 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Your claims about what companies are doing are refuted by the steady decrease in unemployment. Your excessive hatred for Obama constantly blinds you to reality.
    EDIT: I always thought hatred was a binary thing. You either have it or you don't, and if you have it, there's no right amount. Is there an appropriate amount of hatred?

    Don't say hate. That's an ugly word. I don't hate anybody.

    The economy is not growing at a pace that will produce full employment in the next decade. Of the myriad ways to encourage growth, yelling at business owners while reducing their profit margins is probably the worst possible strategy.
  10. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    02 Jan '13 01:05
    Originally posted by sasquatch672
    The economy is not growing at a pace that will produce full employment in the next decade. Of the myriad ways to encourage growth, yelling at business owners while reducing their profit margins is probably the worst possible strategy.
    Your BS is tiresome.

    You live in a Bizarro World. For thirty years, the US has consistently cut taxes on the wealthy and corporations while adopting trade and investment policies favorable to them and disadvantageous to American workers. This was supposed to lead to economic utopia. Of course, it has not; the unbalance of the economy has led to its destabilization. Like most right wingers, you offer nothing that could possibly correct the situation and much that would worsen it.
  11. Standard member sasquatch672
    Don't Like It Leave
    02 Jan '13 01:12 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Your BS is tiresome.

    You live in a Bizarro World. For thirty years, the US has consistently cut taxes on the wealthy and corporations while adopting trade and investment policies favorable to them and disadvantageous to American workers. This was supposed to lead to economic utopia. Of course, it has not; the unbalance of the economy has l ...[text shortened]... gers, you offer nothing that could possibly correct the situation and much that would worsen it.
    I'll tell you what I did. I created a scholarship in my mother's memory at my alma mater. It's intended to help kids in financial need studying math, engineering, or hard science. That's not some rant on a web forum; that's real world, real money, out of my pocket, and into the pocket of two kids who need help each year. Did you do that?
  12. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    02 Jan '13 01:19
    Originally posted by sasquatch672
    I'll tell you what I did. I created a scholarship in my mother's memory at my alma mater. It's intended to help kids in financial need studying math, engineering, or hard science. That's not some rant on a web forum; that's real world, out of my pocket, and into the pocket of two kids who need help each year. Did you do that?
    You're my hero.

    Address the argument; internet claims of philanthropy are uninteresting and irrelevant to it.
  13. Standard member sasquatch672
    Don't Like It Leave
    02 Jan '13 01:32
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    You're my hero.

    Address the argument; internet claims of philanthropy are uninteresting and irrelevant to it.
    I'm not going to tell you anything that's going to satisfy you. Americans want cheap TVs. Because they do, they need to be made more cheaply than most things can be made in America. So jobs go overseas, where taxes and wages are lower, and where there's not as much regulation. That act lies in between amoral and immoral.

    That, and it's a global economy. It's true that workers' leverage has diminished. Unions didn't adjust when the economy went bad. They hurt themselves. Sorry partner, it's the way it is.
  14. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    02 Jan '13 01:38
    Originally posted by sasquatch672
    I'm not going to tell you anything that's going to satisfy you. Americans want cheap TVs. Because they do, they need to be made more cheaply than most things can be made in America. So jobs go overseas, where taxes and wages are lower, and where there's not as much regulation. That act lies in between amoral and immoral.

    That, and it's a global ...[text shortened]... st when the economy went bad. They hurt themselves. Sorry partner, it's the way it is.
    An economy is a man made contrivance. If the one we have made poorly serves the interests of the average American, then we should design a better one. We do not have to accept terms of trade which have led to a constant, large unfavorable trade balance.

    .50 cent cheaper shirts weren't and aren't worth the destruction of the American textile industry for example.
  15. Standard member sasquatch672
    Don't Like It Leave
    02 Jan '13 01:45
    Obama’s leadership failure
    By Robert J. Samuelson, Published: DECEMBER 31, 8:29 PM ET
    Aa
    The “fiscal cliff” is a massive failure of presidential leadership. The tedious and technical negotiations are but a subplot in a larger drama. Government can no longer fulfill all the promises it has made to various constituencies. Some promises will be reduced or disavowed. Which ones? Why? Only the president can pose these questions in a way that starts a national conversation over the choices to be made, but doing so requires the president to tell people things they don’t want to hear. That’s his job: to help Americans face unavoidable, if unpleasant, realities. Barack Obama has refused to play this role.

    Instead, he has cast the long-term budget problem as a question of whether the richest 1 percent or 2 percent of the population should pay more in taxes. Not only that, but he has insisted that the higher taxes be paid by raising rates, as opposed to reducing various tax breaks (deductions, exemptions, preferential rates) enjoyed heavily by upscale Americans. The obsession with rates is bad policy (higher rates may threaten risk-taking, work effort and hiring) but qualifies as good politics: It signals Obama is macho; he’s tough on the rich, who are implicitly blamed for the nation’s budget and economic woes.

    Whatever one thinks about raising taxes at the top (and I have no objection to it as part of comprehensive budget package), it’s not the crux of the problem. The crux of our problem — the problem being the bipartisan and untenable promises made to most Americans of both high government benefits and low taxes — arises from an aging population and high health costs, which cause rapid increases in spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Let me repeat some statistics I’ve often cited. In 2012, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid accounted for 44 percent of non-interest federal spending. As for taxes, the richest 5 percent paid almost 40 percent of federal taxes in 2009 (and within that, the richest 1 percent paid 22 percent of taxes).

    The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office puts it this way:

    “With the population aging and health care costs per person likely to keep growing faster than the economy [gross domestic product], the United States cannot sustain the federal spending programs that are now in place with the federal taxes (as a share of GDP) that it has been accustomed to paying.”

    Until Obama conspicuously and consistently acknowledges these realities in straightforward and unmistakable language — something he hasn’t done and shows no signs of doing — he cannot be said to be dealing honestly with the budget or with the American people. The main reason that we keep having these destructive and inconclusive budget confrontations is not simply that many Republicans have been intransigent on taxes. The larger cause is that Obama refuses to concede that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are driving future spending and deficits. So when Republicans make concessions on taxes (as they have), they get little in return. Naturally, this poisons the negotiating climate.

    Of course, Obama would offend many Democrats if he entertained benefit cuts in Social Security and Medicare: higher eligibility ages, higher premiums for affluent elderly, structural changes in the health-care system to reduce costs. Just as many Republicans don’t want taxes raised a penny, many Democrats don’t want benefits cut a penny. Consider the highly technical proposal to shift from the standard consumer price index (CPI) to a “chained” CPI to adjust Social Security benefits. From 2013 to 2022, this change is estimated to reduce Social Security spending by $100 billion. Over that decade, total Social Security benefits are estimated at $10.588 trillion; the cut would be less than 1 percent. Yet, many Democrats reacted in horror, as if hordes of elderly would be impoverished.

    Unfortunately, much of the media have accepted the Obama narrative that it’s only Republican rigidity that frustrates negotiations and leads to deadlock. This means, of course, that there’s even less incentive for Obama and congressional Democrats to engage in genuine bargaining.

    The result is that we’re not getting the debate we deserve and that budget choices are being made mainly by default. Just as important, the periodic, ugly confrontations over budget policy — the paralysis and bitterness they involve — corrode confidence and weaken the economy. A weak economy creates few new jobs, and the lack of jobs is the nation’s No. 1 social problem. Obama’s abdication of responsibility may be in his political self-interest, but it is profoundly hostile to the national interest.