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View Full Version : General Politics David Brooks: The Mother of All No-Brainers


Cave Johnson
07-05-2011, 04:06 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/opinion/05brooks.html?_r=2&hp

The Republicans have changed American politics since they took control of the House of Representatives. They have put spending restraint and debt reduction at the top of the national agenda. They have sparked a discussion on entitlement reform. They have turned a bill to raise the debt limit into an opportunity to put the U.S. on a stable fiscal course.

Republican leaders have also proved to be effective negotiators. They have been tough and inflexible and forced the Democrats to come to them. The Democrats have agreed to tie budget cuts to the debt ceiling bill. They have agreed not to raise tax rates. They have agreed to a roughly 3-to-1 rate of spending cuts to revenue increases, an astonishing concession

Moreover, many important Democrats are open to a truly large budget deal. President Obama has a strong incentive to reach a deal so he can campaign in 2012 as a moderate. The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, has talked about supporting a debt reduction measure of $3 trillion or even $4 trillion if the Republicans meet him part way. There are Democrats in the White House and elsewhere who would be willing to accept Medicare cuts if the Republicans would be willing to increase revenues.

If the Republican Party were a normal party, it would take advantage of this amazing moment. It is being offered the deal of the century: trillions of dollars in spending cuts in exchange for a few hundred million dollars of revenue increases.

A normal Republican Party would seize the opportunity to put a long-term limit on the growth of government. It would seize the opportunity to put the country on a sound fiscal footing. It would seize the opportunity to do these things without putting any real crimp in economic growth.

The party is not being asked to raise marginal tax rates in a way that might pervert incentives. On the contrary, Republicans are merely being asked to close loopholes and eliminate tax expenditures that are themselves distortionary.

This, as I say, is the mother of all no-brainers.

But we can have no confidence that the Republicans will seize this opportunity. That’s because the Republican Party may no longer be a normal party. Over the past few years, it has been infected by a faction that is more of a psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative.

The members of this movement do not accept the logic of compromise, no matter how sweet the terms. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch in order to cut government by a foot, they will say no. If you ask them to raise taxes by an inch to cut government by a yard, they will still say no.

The members of this movement do not accept the legitimacy of scholars and intellectual authorities. A thousand impartial experts may tell them that a default on the debt would have calamitous effects, far worse than raising tax revenues a bit. But the members of this movement refuse to believe it.

The members of this movement have no sense of moral decency. A nation makes a sacred pledge to pay the money back when it borrows money. But the members of this movement talk blandly of default and are willing to stain their nation’s honor.

The members of this movement have no economic theory worthy of the name. Economists have identified many factors that contribute to economic growth, ranging from the productivity of the work force to the share of private savings that is available for private investment. Tax levels matter, but they are far from the only or even the most important factor.

But to members of this movement, tax levels are everything. Members of this tendency have taken a small piece of economic policy and turned it into a sacred fixation. They are willing to cut education and research to preserve tax expenditures. Manufacturing employment is cratering even as output rises, but members of this movement somehow believe such problems can be addressed so long as they continue to worship their idol.

Over the past week, Democrats have stopped making concessions. They are coming to the conclusion that if the Republicans are fanatics then they better be fanatics, too.

The struggles of the next few weeks are about what sort of party the G.O.P. is — a normal conservative party or an odd protest movement that has separated itself from normal governance, the normal rules of evidence and the ancient habits of our nation.

If the debt ceiling talks fail, independents voters will see that Democrats were willing to compromise but Republicans were not. If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern.

And they will be right.

Donger
07-05-2011, 04:12 PM
Didn't the Republicans recently agree to the cuts in defense that the Democrats were calling for?

mlyonsd
07-05-2011, 04:32 PM
The tax increases dems are calling for are meaningless when it comes to the debt. Meaningless as in miniscule. I have no problem agreeing with republicans that these budget talks are about cutting spending first. Let the tax discussion come later because what dems are talking about in this round is laughable.

Especially when you consider the oil company tax rebates. The Obama administration wants to pretend they are for more drilling while at the same time making it less profitable for oil companies to do business in our environment. My cynical take is they are trying to make it cheaper to drill elsewhere while pretending they really understand we need to reap our own oil.

FD
07-05-2011, 04:56 PM
The tax increases dems are calling for are meaningless when it comes to the debt. Meaningless as in miniscule. I have no problem agreeing with republicans that these budget talks are about cutting spending first. Let the tax discussion come later because what dems are talking about in this round is laughable.

Especially when you consider the oil company tax rebates. The Obama administration wants to pretend they are for more drilling while at the same time making it less profitable for oil companies to do business in our environment. My cynical take is they are trying to make it cheaper to drill elsewhere while pretending they really understand we need to reap our own oil.

If ending the tax credits is "meaningless", why is one party saying they'd rather default then agree to it?

mlyonsd
07-05-2011, 05:04 PM
If ending the tax credits is "meaningless", why is one party saying they'd rather default then agree to it?Politics of course. Politics I agree with.

FD
07-05-2011, 05:07 PM
Politics of course. Politics I agree with.

So do you also prefer defaulting on our debt to agreeing to ending "meaningless" and "minuscule" tax credits, or do you just support the political grandstanding?

I don't really mind the grandstanding they are doing now, although its gotten a bit absurd, but if they keep it up too long I think it will cost them badly with independents and do more harm than good to the anti-spending cause.

mlyonsd
07-05-2011, 05:18 PM
So do you also prefer defaulting on our debt to agreeing to ending "meaningless" and "minuscule" tax credits, or do you just support the political grandstanding?

Defaulting on our debt might be a huge step in the right direction for our kids/grandkids. The skin republicans have in this game is raising the debt limit at all. That's enough.

I don't really mind the grandstanding they are doing now, although its gotten a bit absurd, but if they keep it up too long I think it will cost them badly with independents and do more harm than good to the anti-spending cause.

I think you're just plain wrong what independents will think. If the dems are willing to risk falling on their sword I hope the republicans are as well.

The only absurd part is liberals not seeing how absurd the dem tax increases really are.

FD
07-05-2011, 05:23 PM
Defaulting on our debt might be a huge step in the right direction for our kids/grandkids. The skin republicans have in this game is raising the debt limit at all. That's enough.


I think you're just plain wrong what independents will think. If the dems are willing to risk falling on their sword I hope the republicans are as well.

The only absurd part is liberals not seeing how absurd the dem tax increases really are.

Independents like compromise. Current polling is that a large majority of Americans prefer a deal with both spending cuts and tax increases. The Democrats have already agreed to trillions in cuts, including cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, and for the Republicans to refuse to make a deal containing even "minuscule" tax increases comes across badly, I feel. I'm with David Brooks on this, not making a deal will be worse off for them in the long run.

mlyonsd
07-05-2011, 05:25 PM
Independents like compromise. Current polling is that a large majority of Americans prefer a deal with both spending cuts and tax increases. The Democrats have already agreed to trillions in cuts, including cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, and for the Republicans to refuse to make a deal containing even "minuscule" tax increases comes across badly, I feel. I'm with David Brooks on this, not making a deal will be worse off for them in the long run.One of those agree to disagree moments.

dirk digler
07-05-2011, 05:37 PM
How much are the tax increases that are being proposed? I read $400 billion. That doesn't seem miniscule.

BucEyedPea
07-05-2011, 06:10 PM
So do you also prefer defaulting on our debt to agreeing to ending "meaningless" and "minuscule" tax credits, or do you just support the political grandstanding?

I don't really mind the grandstanding they are doing now, although its gotten a bit absurd, but if they keep it up too long I think it will cost them badly with independents and do more harm than good to the anti-spending cause.

You're grandstanding too. Your views don't enamor many independents either.

You should look at The New Republic's praise of Ron Paul's plan on how to handle this debt crisis without a default. Something both sides of the aisle could get behind—even statists like you.


Ron Paul’s Surprisingly Lucid Solution to the Debt Ceiling Impasse
http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/91224/ron-paul-debt-ceiling-federal-reserve

BucEyedPea
07-05-2011, 06:15 PM
Independents like compromise.
So you speak for all independents as if they have ONE mind? I know a few that would say it depends on the compromise.

Current polling is that a large majority of Americans prefer a deal with both spending cuts and tax increases.
Is this one poll or many? Put it up then.

The Democrats have already agreed to trillions in cuts, including cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, and for the Republicans to refuse to make a deal containing even "minuscule" tax increases comes across badly, I feel. I'm with David Brooks on this, not making a deal will be worse off for them in the long run.

The best deal sounds crazy at first but in the end is one many could live on both sides:


That is: have the Federal Reserve Board destroy the $1.6 trillion in government bonds it now holds. While at first blush this idea may seem crazy, on more careful thought it is actually a very reasonable way to deal with the crisis. Furthermore, it provides a way to have lasting savings to the budget.


The basic story is that the Fed has bought roughly $1.6 trillion in government bonds through its various quantitative easing programs over the last two and a half years. This money is part of the $14.3 trillion debt that is subject to the debt ceiling. However, the Fed is an agency of the government. Its assets are in fact assets of the government. Each year, the Fed refunds the interest earned on its assets in excess of the money needed to cover its operating expenses. Last year the Fed refunded almost $80 billion to the Treasury. In this sense, the bonds held by the Fed are literally money that the government owes to itself.

Unlike the debt held by Social Security, the debt held by the Fed is not tied to any specific obligations. The bonds held by the Fed are assets of the Fed. It has no obligations that it must use these assets to meet. There is no one who loses their retirement income if the Fed doesn’t have its bonds. In fact, there is no direct loss of income to anyone associated with the Fed’s destruction of its bonds. This means that if Congress told the Fed to burn the bonds, it would in effect just be destroying a liability that the government had to itself, but it would still reduce the debt subject to the debt ceiling by $1.6 trillion. This would buy the country considerable breathing room before the debt ceiling had to be raised again. President Obama and the Republican congressional leadership could have close to two years to talk about potential spending cuts or tax increases. Maybe they could even talk a little about jobs.

In addition, there’s a second reason why Representative Paul’s plan is such a good idea. As it stands now, the Fed plans to sell off its bond holdings over the next few years. This means that the interest paid on these bonds would go to banks, corporations, pension funds, and individual investors who purchase them from the Fed. In this case, the interest payments would be a burden to the Treasury since the Fed would no longer be collecting (and refunding) the interest.

To be sure, there would be consequences to the Fed destroying these bonds. The Fed had planned to sell off the bonds to absorb reserves that it had pumped into the banking system when it originally purchased the bonds. These reserves can be created by the Fed when it has need to do so, as was the case with the quantitative easing policy. Creating reserves is in effect a way of “printing money.” During a period of high unemployment, this can boost the economy with little fear of inflation, since there are many unemployed workers and excess capacity to keep downward pressure on wages and prices. However, at some point the economy will presumably recover and inflation will be a risk. This is why the Fed intends to sell off its bonds in future years. Doing so would reduce the reserves of the banking system, thereby limiting lending and preventing inflation. If the Fed doesn’t have the bonds, however, then it can’t sell them off to soak up reserves.

But as it turns out, there are other mechanisms for restricting lending, most obviously raising the reserve requirements for banks. If banks are forced to keep a larger share of their deposits on reserve (rather than lend them out), it has the same effect as reducing the amount of reserves. To take a simple arithmetic example, if the reserve requirement is 10 percent and banks have $1 trillion in reserves, the system will support the same amount of lending as when the reserve requirement is 20 percent and the banks have $2 trillion in reserves. In principle, the Fed can reach any target for lending limits by raising reserve requirements rather than reducing reserves.

As a practical matter, the Fed has rarely used changes in the reserve requirement as an instrument for adjusting the amount of lending in the system. Its main tool has been changing the amount of reserves in the system. However, these are not ordinary times. The Fed does not typically buy mortgage backed securities or long-term government bonds either. It has been doing both over the last two years precisely because this downturn is so extraordinary. And in extraordinary times, it is appropriate to take extraordinary measures—like the Fed destroying its $1.6 trillion in government bonds and using increases in reserve requirements to limit lending and prevent inflation.

In short, Representative Paul has produced a very creative plan that has two enormously helpful outcomes. The first one is that the destruction of the Fed’s $1.6 trillion in bond holdings immediately gives us plenty of borrowing capacity under the current debt ceiling. The second benefit is that it will substantially reduce the government’s interest burden over the coming decades. This is a proposal that deserves serious consideration, even from people who may not like its source.

petegz28
07-05-2011, 06:27 PM
How much are the tax increases that are being proposed? I read $400 billion. That doesn't seem miniscule.

how much in spending cuts has been agreed upon???

dirk digler
07-05-2011, 06:29 PM
how much in spending cuts has been agreed upon???

$4 trillion or so

petegz28
07-05-2011, 06:31 PM
$4 trillion or so

Then let's spin the wheel.....the Fed Gov approves the $4 tril in cuts...then and ONLY then should any tax issues be discussed.

mlyonsd
07-05-2011, 07:23 PM
How much are the tax increases that are being proposed? I read $400 billion. That doesn't seem miniscule.Over how many years? $400 billion in one year? Like less than half of the failed Obama stimulus? Who is affected by the tax hikes? (be careful on this one)

Seriously, you need to come up with a better argument.

dirk digler
07-05-2011, 08:33 PM
Over how many years? $400 billion in one year? Like less than half of the failed Obama stimulus? Who is affected by the tax hikes? (be careful on this one)

Seriously, you need to come up with a better argument.

I believe it is over 10 years which is what they are offering in regards to Medicare\Medicaid cuts.

BTW Sen Conrad is going to release his own plan tomorrow I believe which will be a 50-50 split and cut over $4 trillion in 10 years. It will be interesting to see what his plan has in it.

Chiefshrink
07-05-2011, 10:33 PM
Brooks is a RINO moron.

The Repubs better not give an inch even to a so-called mini-deal in order to "kick the can"(debt issue) down the road(past 2012) this only buys Obama time and a few campaign lines to use during the 2012 election. This is exactly what the Obama and Dems want because right now they are hamstrung and so hamstrung that they are now threatening to 'totally' go around Congress and raise the debt ceiling citing the Constitution to do it.

All this "Alinskyizing"(attempting to scare uneducated Americans) of defaulting on the debt is total :BS:

We can total meet our debt without raising the debt ceiling,period:thumb:

Amnorix
07-06-2011, 07:28 AM
The tax increases dems are calling for are meaningless when it comes to the debt. Meaningless as in miniscule. I have no problem agreeing with republicans that these budget talks are about cutting spending first. Let the tax discussion come later because what dems are talking about in this round is laughable.

Perhaps, but politics are politics. If you give the guy 90% of what he wants, and you control one house of Congress and the WH, then it's not too much to ask for 10% of what YOU want.

Republicans seem to want 100% of what they want, and to give the Democrats nothing. That's rarely done even when one party controls both houses of Congress and the WH, due to the Senate filibuster rules, etc.

I'm fairly supportive of the Republicans' efforts here, but my current understanding is that Democrats are willing to give 6:1 cuts to increases. That seems pretty damn reasonable. In fact, I've seen at least one liberal opinion piece trashing Obama for getting steamrolled by the Republicans in all this. I personally don't buy into that, but the point is that the Democrats need to face their constituents too, and there's no reason for them to vote for a deal that will completely cut off their noses.

Amnorix
07-06-2011, 07:29 AM
We can total meet our debt without raising the debt ceiling,period:thumb:

How?

Amnorix
07-06-2011, 07:31 AM
Didn't the Republicans recently agree to the cuts in defense that the Democrats were calling for?

Last I heard -- some time ago -- Republicans agreed that military cuts were "on the table" so to speak. The removal fo Gates is also seen as a positive for military trimming, as he was apparently pretty aggressive in defending the military's budget (notwithstanding the minor concessions he outlined in the last year or so).

I'm sure that made Gates popular at the Pentagon, and Panetta will have a tough road to hoe, but TFB. Military cuts are absolutely required.

Amnorix
07-06-2011, 07:33 AM
The only absurd part is liberals not seeing how absurd the dem tax increases really are.

The Bush tax cuts are a significant contributor to our deficit/debt.


Tax cuts are estimated to have totaled $2.8 trillion, which we guess would count as “trillions,” as the president put it. Strictly speaking, the two big tax cuts during the Bush years are estimated to total about $1.5 trillion, But many continued into the early years of the Obama presidency, and in December he cut a deal with Republicans to extend them even more, which brings us to $2.8 trillion.

(In case you are wondering, the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars was $1.26 trillion through 2011 and the Medicare prescription drug program totaled $272 billion.)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/revisiting-the-cost-of-the-bush-tax-cuts/2011/05/09/AFxTFtbG_blog.html

patteeu
07-06-2011, 08:23 AM
Eliminating most, if not all, tax expenditures would be a good thing to do, but it should wait until it can be done as a part of the kind of tax reform recommended by the deficit commission (ie, reduce/flatten the rate structure while closing loopholes). If the Republicans give up the tax expenditures as a part of this deal, the democrats will never go for reforming the rate structure. This debt limit issue should be exclusively about cuts if the fiscal health of the country is the main concern.

Amnorix
07-06-2011, 08:25 AM
Eliminating most, if not all, tax expenditures would be a good thing to do, but it should wait until it can be done as a part of the kind of tax reform recommended by the deficit commission (ie, reduce/flatten the rate structure while closing loopholes). If the Republicans give up the tax expenditures as a part of this deal, the democrats will never go for reforming the rate structure. This debt limit issue should be exclusively about cuts.


It's not politically realistic, and we have four weeks before ideology runs into a Mack truck...

Radar Chief
07-06-2011, 08:33 AM
The Bush tax cuts are a significant contributor to our deficit/debt.

Yea, money not owed to the government is the reason the government outspends its income.

mlyonsd
07-06-2011, 09:24 AM
Perhaps, but politics are politics. If you give the guy 90% of what he wants, and you control one house of Congress and the WH, then it's not too much to ask for 10% of what YOU want.

Republicans seem to want 100% of what they want, and to give the Democrats nothing. That's rarely done even when one party controls both houses of Congress and the WH, due to the Senate filibuster rules, etc.

I'm fairly supportive of the Republicans' efforts here, but my current understanding is that Democrats are willing to give 6:1 cuts to increases. That seems pretty damn reasonable. In fact, I've seen at least one liberal opinion piece trashing Obama for getting steamrolled by the Republicans in all this. I personally don't buy into that, but the point is that the Democrats need to face their constituents too, and there's no reason for them to vote for a deal that will completely cut off their noses.

Are we talking about the same parties and system that gave us the 2009 stimulus and health care reform debacles? The same Democrats that couldn't pass a budget on their own?

No, I don't think the Republicans need consider tax increases at this point. Especially misguided ones that the dems are proposing. More class warfare. I've said I would be ok with tax increases as long as everyone has skin in the game. The Republicans 'give' in this debate is raising the debt ceiling. That's enough.

If defaulting is such a big deal as Democrats say it is just pass the fricking bill already. Dems need to decide if being the party in charge on the first and only default is something they want on their resume.

patteeu
07-06-2011, 09:29 AM
It's not politically realistic, and we have four weeks before ideology runs into a Mack truck...

Why isn't it politically realistic? Just because democrats are bloodthirsty for tax increases?

Chiefshrink
07-06-2011, 09:47 AM
How?


Hello "useful idiot" McFly?

Paul Ryan has been screaming from the mountain tops for months now how we do it. Go read him:thumb: And maybe then you might see for the first time how you are being spun by the Marxist media and maybe for the first time you own the fact you have been an "unknowingly useful idiot".:thumb:

dirk digler
07-06-2011, 09:47 AM
If defaulting is such a big deal as Democrats say it is just pass the fricking bill already. Dems need to decide if being the party in charge on the first and only default is something they want on their resume.

Well the bill first has to be approved by the Republican controlled House so it is going to be up to them whether they are going to be reasonable or default.

Chiefshrink
07-06-2011, 09:49 AM
It's not politically realistic, and we have four weeks before ideology runs into a Mack truck...

Whose ideology?

Your Progressive Marxist ideology or our conservative common sense?

Chiefshrink
07-06-2011, 10:00 AM
Well the bill first has to be approved by the Republican controlled House so it is going to be up to them whether they are going to be reasonable or default.

Reasonable or default:facepalm:

I see you haven't read Paul Ryan's plan either and probably because your Progressive Marxist media that you trust chooses not to tell you about it thus you don't know about it thus like 'Anorexia' you are an "unknowingly" useful idiot as well:thumb:

See the big picture you "useful idiots" the Marxist Dem party doesn't want any kind of solution to our debt problem. They want to overwhelm our economic system(Cloward & Piven) to the point of destruction for America so that "unknowingly useful idiots" feel good about destroying the "evil white capitalists" that built it and the "knowingly useful idiots" reach their goal of a "one world govt"(Soros & crew)!!! I've studied and known this long before Beck came along but at least Beck has brought it into the light:thumb:

It's that simple.:thumb:

Chief Faithful
07-06-2011, 10:11 AM
The author's definition of not-normal can be applied to both parties. The Republican's are just responding in kind to the environment the Democrats created. The way Pelosi, Reid and Obama governed the first two years was the most extreme autocratic approach in this nations history. It is no surprise the Republican's are using the tactics they are using when all they get from the President are lectures. Bi-partison cooperation ended when Obama took the office.

Jaric
07-06-2011, 10:17 AM
The author's definition of not-normal can be applied to both parties. The Republican's are just responding in kind to the environment the Democrats created. The way Pelosi, Reid and Obama governed the first two years was the most extreme autocratic approach in this nations history. It is no surprise the Republican's are using the tactics they are using when all they get from the President are lectures. Bi-partison cooperation ended when Obama took the office.

Hey, we can mark him down for one other thing he's done I approve of.

Cave Johnson
07-06-2011, 11:51 AM
Conservative Jesus on the debt ceiling:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/r/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2011/05/14/National-Politics/Graphics/reagan_letter_0514.pdf

"Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and on the value of the dollar in exchange markets. The Nation can ill afford to allow such a result. The risks, the costs, the disruptions and the incalculable damage lead me to but one conclusion: the Senate must pass this legislation before the Congress adjourns."

go bowe
07-06-2011, 12:19 PM
eh, what's he know about it?

the guy's dead... :p :p :p

patteeu
07-06-2011, 12:49 PM
Conservative Jesus on the debt ceiling:

Conservatives are once again willing to raise the debt limit to bail the country out. It's just a matter of whether the Spender-in-Chief and his taxmongering party are willing to go along with the fiscally responsible spending cuts that are being packaged with it.

mlyonsd
07-06-2011, 01:18 PM
Well the bill first has to be approved by the Republican controlled House so it is going to be up to them whether they are going to be reasonable or default.The House already passed one that the Senate voted down. Next argument.

Amnorix
07-06-2011, 01:25 PM
Why isn't it politically realistic? Just because democrats are bloodthirsty for tax increases?

Because Democrats control one house of Congress plus the White House. When you only control one house of Congress and do not control the White House, you don't get to single-handedly dictate policy to everyone else. That's not how our political system works. Never has been.

Amnorix
07-06-2011, 01:27 PM
The House already passed one that the Senate voted down. Next argument.

err....this isn't exactly persuasive on your part. The House is strictly majority rules. Whatever it passes that isn't accepted by the Senate isn't automatically "reasonable". Presumably you realize that in times past the Democrats controlled the House and that also didn't mean whatever they did was reasonable...

Amnorix
07-06-2011, 01:28 PM
Conservatives are once again willing to raise the debt limit to bail the country out. It's just a matter of whether the Spender-in-Chief and his taxmongering party are willing to go along with the fiscally responsible spending cuts that are being packaged with it.

I agree with the spending cuts. Moderate tax increases are also perfectly reasonable to try to close the deficit. There is no way the Republicans should get all of the concessions they want and the Democrats get nothing. It's not as if Republicans have no interest in raising the debt ceiling. Far from it.


EDIT: Further note -- "conservatives are ONCE AGAIN WILLING to raise the debt limit to BAIL the country out". ? WTF? First, it's nto a bail out. It's authorizing the Treasury to incur debt sufficient to pay for the programs that have already been established by law. It doesn't bail out a thing.

Second, this is no act of largesse or generosity by Republicans, or some kind of concession by them. This is no heroic sacrifice on their part ("once again willing..."). This doesn't "give" the Democrats something that benefits them and their constituents more than it benefits Republicans and their constituents. Frankly, it's sad that the debt ceiling, which is something of an artificial construct, is being used at all to negotiate. That financial armageddon is the sword being wielded to try to reach agreement. Under the circumstances, however, I don't fault Republicans at all for using it to enforce some budgetary sanity. In fact, I applaude them for it. I'll take damn near any means to help close the deficit gap.

Cave Johnson
07-06-2011, 01:29 PM
eh, what's he know about it?

the guy's dead... :p :p :p

I blame the Alzheimer's.

Conservatives are once again willing to raise the debt limit to bail the country out. It's just a matter of whether the Spender-in-Chief and his taxmongering party are willing to go along with the fiscally responsible spending cuts that are being packaged with it.

Too true. After all, no Republicans voted for the budget that put us over the debt ceiling.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/14/budget-deal-passes-house-_n_849334.html

Amnorix
07-06-2011, 01:30 PM
Whose ideology?

Your Progressive Marxist ideology or our conservative common sense?


I really enjoy the way you create a "agree with you or you are a Progressive Marxist" dichotomy. It's very effective. Honest.

After all, everyone who doesn't agree with me is a NeoConning Fascist DictatorDickhead.

dirk digler
07-06-2011, 01:34 PM
The House already passed one that the Senate voted down. Next argument.

When did the House pass a bill to extend the debt ceiling?

Jaric
07-06-2011, 01:47 PM
I really enjoy the way you create a "agree with you or you are a Progressive Marxist" dichotomy. It's very effective. Honest.

After all, everyone who doesn't agree with me is a NeoConning Fascist DictatorDickhead.

Oh snap!

patteeu
07-06-2011, 01:55 PM
Because Democrats control one house of Congress plus the White House. When you only control one house of Congress and do not control the White House, you don't get to single-handedly dictate policy to everyone else. That's not how our political system works. Never has been.

I guess it depends on how popular your dictated policy turns out to be. If democrats in the Senate and WH want to force the country to default by rejecting the proposals to get our house in order made by House Republicans, they'll have to answer to the voters in the next election. I suspect that democrats will fold with the most minimal of fig leaves before the train wreck happens though.

patteeu
07-06-2011, 02:03 PM
I agree with the spending cuts. Moderate tax increases are also perfectly reasonable to try to close the deficit. There is no way the Republicans should get all of the concessions they want and the Democrats get nothing. It's not as if Republicans have no interest in raising the debt ceiling. Far from it.


EDIT: Further note -- "conservatives are ONCE AGAIN WILLING to raise the debt limit to BAIL the country out". ? WTF? First, it's nto a bail out. It's authorizing the Treasury to incur debt sufficient to pay for the programs that have already been established by law. It doesn't bail out a thing.

Second, this is no act of largesse or generosity by Republicans, or some kind of concession by them. This is no heroic sacrifice on their part ("once again willing..."). This doesn't "give" the Democrats something that benefits them and their constituents more than it benefits Republicans and their constituents. Frankly, it's sad that the debt ceiling, which is something of an artificial construct, is being used at all to negotiate. That financial armageddon is the sword being wielded to try to reach agreement. Under the circumstances, however, I don't fault Republicans at all for using it to enforce some budgetary sanity. In fact, I applaude them for it. I'll take damn near any means to help close the deficit gap.

The wife (democrats) got out of the house with the family credit card a couple of years ago and charged that sucker up to the hilt on unnecessary items like purses (stimulus to keep government union workers employed) and shoes (Obamacare). The husband (Republicans) got home (2010 election) to find the family finances in dire straights and insists that some of the stuff be returned and other planned spending be cut. Meanwhile, the wife wants the husband to get a second job to support her profligate spending. Get back in the kitchen and iron my shirts, woman, you've caused enough trouble to last a couple of decades. :p

The moral of my story is that democrats had no business authorizing all this spending in the first place so it's perfectly reasonable for Republicans to insist that spending be reduced over the long run in return for the debt ceiling being raised to protect our credit reputation in the near term. What is not reasonable is for democrats to take the position that Obama spending levels are the new normal and that we need to hike taxes to preserve them and/or that any cuts from those spending levels are concessions.

mlyonsd
07-06-2011, 02:10 PM
When did the House pass a bill to extend the debt ceiling?If dems would have embraced the Ryan budget bill we wouldn't be having a debt ceiling debate right now. It would have already been passed.

Yes I understand that is a stretch but earlier you were eluding to the idea the ball was in the republican's court.

Which isn't necessarily the case. Republicans have been more grown up as of late when it comes to budgets/economy/debt ceilings.

Amnorix
07-06-2011, 02:11 PM
I guess it depends on how popular your dictated policy turns out to be. If democrats in the Senate and WH want to force the country to default

I suppose if the Democrats agreed to eleventy trillion in spending cuts but insisted on one dollar of increased taxes, and the Republicans refused, and we defaulted as a result, that too would be the Democrats' fault?

by rejecting the proposals to get our house in order made by House Republicans, they'll have to answer to the voters in the next election. I suspect that democrats will fold with the most minimal of fig leaves before the train wreck happens though.

In truth, Obama has probably been too soft in this negotiation, but I'm fine with any kind of deficit reduction, so I don't much care.

But to blame the Democrats if the Republicans actually turn the threat of armageddon into actual armageddon, when the Democrats have CLEARLY moved further off their dime than the Republicans, and when Democrats still control more levers of power than the Republicans, is pretty freaking laughable.

mlyonsd
07-06-2011, 02:12 PM
Because Democrats control one house of Congress plus the White House. When you only control one house of Congress and do not control the White House, you don't get to single-handedly dictate policy to everyone else. That's not how our political system works. Never has been.Well it appears that you can. :p

Amnorix
07-06-2011, 02:22 PM
The wife (democrats) got out of the house with the family credit card a couple of years ago and charged that sucker up to the hilt on unnecessary items like purses (stimulus to keep government union workers employed) and shoes (Obamacare). The husband (Republicans) got home (2010 election) to find the family finances in dire straights and insists that some of the stuff be returned and other planned spending be cut. Meanwhile, the wife wants the husband to get a second job to support her profligate spending. Get back in the kitchen and iron my shirts, woman, you've caused enough trouble to last a couple of decades. :p

I agree that the wife went crazy with the credit cards. That was bad. But the husband had already reduced his working hours and pay (Bush tax cuts) in order to go to the track more often, and ended up losing tons of money on horses like SaddamMustDie and spent alot of money on his sleazy slut and the apartment he kept her in (Haliburton / defense costs, which have increased more in the last 10 years than ever before in our history).

;)

The moral of my story is that democrats had no business authorizing all this spending in the first place

I wasn't aware that "Democrats" authorized all this spending at all. In point of fact, I'm pretty sure we've had a two party system for a very long time now, and that Republicans have owned the White House for something like 20 of the last 30 years, etc. etc.

so it's perfectly reasonable for Republicans to insist that spending be reduced over the long run in return for the debt ceiling being raised to protect our credit reputation in the near term.

Even if your position was flawlessly logical, which I do not for a second agree that it is, it's still politically ridiculous. One house of Congress does not dictate policy to the other house and the White House. Not in our system. And if that's the position they take -- take it or leave it -- then they are unrealistic and the blame falls to them if the consequences of failing to reach agreement are catastrophic.

What is not reasonable is for democrats to take the position that Obama spending levels are the new normal and that we need to hike taxes to preserve them and/or that any cuts from those spending levels are concessions.

That isn't even the position the Democrats are taking, as I undestand it.

Amnorix
07-06-2011, 02:32 PM
Well it appears that you can. :p

Which is fine, honestly. I'm fine with nearly anything to close the deficit. I'm on the Republicans' side to a great extent in this, and am glad they are using the debt ceiling to effect necessary cuts.

The issue is that they are being ridiculous on the revenue side. Again, being interested in closing the deficit, I recognize that tax increases can also help achieve that goal.

dirk digler
07-06-2011, 02:35 PM
The moral of my story is that democrats had no business authorizing all this spending in the first place so it's perfectly reasonable for Republicans to insist that spending be reduced over the long run in return for the debt ceiling being raised to protect our credit reputation in the near term. What is not reasonable is for democrats to take the position that Obama spending levels are the new normal and that we need to hike taxes to preserve them and/or that any cuts from those spending levels are concessions.

I am glad the Republicans had nothing to do with all this spending

Wars = $4 Trillion
Bush tax cuts = $2 trillion
Medicare Plan = $1 Trillion
TARP - $700 billion

dirk digler
07-06-2011, 02:39 PM
If dems would have embraced the Ryan budget bill we wouldn't be having a debt ceiling debate right now. It would have already been passed.

Yes I understand that is a stretch but earlier you were eluding to the idea the ball was in the republican's court.

Which isn't necessarily the case. Republicans have been more grown up as of late when it comes to budgets/economy/debt ceilings.

Even the Republicans couldn't back Ryan's plan because it would gut Medicare.

The ball is in the Republicans hand at least on the House side.

mlyonsd
07-06-2011, 02:41 PM
Which is fine, honestly. I'm fine with nearly anything to close the deficit. I'm on the Republicans' side to a great extent in this, and am glad they are using the debt ceiling to effect necessary cuts.

The issue is that they are being ridiculous on the revenue side. Again, being interested in closing the deficit, I recognize that tax increases can also help achieve that goal.

We're not far apart on this. I'm not against tax increases. Just dumb ones.

mlyonsd
07-06-2011, 02:45 PM
Even the Republicans couldn't back Ryan's plan because it would gut Medicare. I'm assuming you mean in the senate.

The ball is in the Republicans hand at least on the House side.Well on this I can't really argue. So let me speak for them. No tax increases.

There, the ball is in your guy's court now.

dirk digler
07-06-2011, 02:54 PM
I'm assuming you mean in the senate.
Well on this I can't really argue. So let me speak for them. No tax increases.

There, the ball is in your guy's court now.

Everybody knows the Reps need to come to the table the Dems have already made huge concessions. 6-1 is the ratio right now and if we default the people will blame the right. The OP who is a conservative columnist rightfully pointed that out.

If the debt ceiling talks fail, independents voters will see that Democrats were willing to compromise but Republicans were not. If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern.

And they will be right.

go bowe
07-06-2011, 03:17 PM
I'm assuming you mean in the senate.
Well on this I can't really argue. So let me speak for them. No tax increases.

There, the ball is in your guy's court now.

really?

holding the country hostage with the threat of a default for whatever ends is wrong...

what if the democrats surprise everyone and play hardball like the republicans?

there will certainly be spending cuts after we default, if that's what the republicans really want...

i think this is not the right way to go about deciding things that are so critical to our nation's future...

shouldn't we be in negotiation all the time to try to solve our debt crisis?

why hold a gun to the country's head?

cuts are necessary and inevitable, but the specific cuts should be a matter of good faith negotiation between the parties over a somewhat longer period of time than a month or two...

which should begin a process of cutting further into the entitlements problem and defense spending, together with significant revenue increases...

that's the only way i see a resolution, or at least an amelioration of the debt crisis happening over the long term...

mlyonsd
07-06-2011, 03:28 PM
Everybody knows the Reps need to come to the table the Dems have already made huge concessions. 6-1 is the ratio right now and if we default the people will blame the right. The OP who is a conservative columnist rightfully pointed that out.I've read and watched David Brooks enough to know his opinions aren't always accurate.

The Mad Crapper
07-06-2011, 03:36 PM
You want to raise taxes, fine. For every dollar you raise taxes, you will also withold one dollar of EIC. Those people don't pay federal taxes any way, so why should they continue to get a check while everybody else's taxes go up? Everybody has to have some skin in the game. The idea is to generate revenue, right? Well, it doesn't make sense giving money away to people who don't pay taxes.

mlyonsd
07-06-2011, 03:37 PM
why hold a gun to the country's head?

Why are democrats holding a gun to the country's head? See, two can play this game.

What you guys don't get is that republicans are giving something. They could hold out for a 12:0 ratio before raising the debt ceiling. You should feel lucky they're only asking for 6:0.

So here you go, republicans giving in today.....

In a marked shift, Republicans are now willing to close some tax loopholes as part of a final deal to raise the nation’s legal borrowing limit, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Wednesday.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/republicans-democrats-spar-over-tax-increases-for-debt-deal/2011/07/06/gIQAAMFk0H_story.html

go bowe
07-06-2011, 03:41 PM
Why are democrats holding a gun to the country's head? See, two can play this game.

What you guys don't get is that republicans are giving something. They could hold out for a 12:0 ratio before raising the debt ceiling. You should feel lucky they're only asking for 6:0.

So here you go, republicans giving in today.....


http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/republicans-democrats-spar-over-tax-increases-for-debt-deal/2011/07/06/gIQAAMFk0H_story.html

i don't know that closing "some" loopholes is "giving in"...

but i applaud them for at least trying to look like they're compromising...

now they need to reach a final deal well before the debt limit is reached...

mlyonsd
07-06-2011, 03:45 PM
i don't know that closing "some" loopholes is "giving in"...

but i applaud them for at least trying to look like they're compromising...

now they need to reach a final deal well before the debt limit is reached...Since closing loopholes is actually raising taxes I feel like I was just stabbed in the back.

Ball is in your court again.:p

patteeu
07-06-2011, 03:48 PM
I am glad the Republicans had nothing to do with all this spending

Wars = $4 Trillion
Bush tax cuts = $2 trillion
Medicare Plan = $1 Trillion
TARP - $700 billion

Your numbers are pretty far off. The wars didn't cost anything near that amount, the Bush tax cuts weren't spending, the medicare plan didn't cost that much and if the democrats had had their way it would have cost more and TARP was mostly repaid.

The sum of all the deficits during the 8 years of Bush are dwarfed by the deficits of the past 3 years of Obama. If you separate it by control of Congress, the difference between democrat spending and Republican spending is even more dramatic.

Cave Johnson
07-06-2011, 03:49 PM
You want to raise taxes, fine. For every dollar you raise taxes, you will also withold one dollar of EIC. Those people don't pay federal taxes any way, so why should they continue to get a check while everybody else's taxes go up? Everybody has to have some skin in the game. The idea is to generate revenue, right? Well, it doesn't make sense giving money away to people who don't pay taxes.

Yeah, because it's not like the working poor put their money right back into the economy or anything...

Chiefshrink
07-06-2011, 03:54 PM
I really enjoy the way you create a "agree with you or you are a Progressive Marxist" dichotomy. It's very effective. Honest.

After all, everyone who doesn't agree with me is a NeoConning Fascist DictatorDickhead.

ooooooooo nice substantive comeback:thumb:

Read Ryan's plan yet??

Chiefshrink
07-06-2011, 03:58 PM
Conservatives are once again willing to raise the debt limit to bail the country out. It's just a matter of whether the Spender-in-Chief and his taxmongering party are willing to go along with the fiscally responsible spending cuts that are being packaged with it.

What true conservatives are willing to raise it??

dirk digler
07-06-2011, 04:01 PM
Your numbers are pretty far off. The wars didn't cost anything near that amount, the Bush tax cuts weren't spending, the medicare plan didn't cost that much and if the democrats had had their way it would have cost more and TARP was mostly repaid.

The sum of all the deficits during the 8 years of Bush are dwarfed by the deficits of the past 3 years of Obama. If you separate it by control of Congress, the difference between democrat spending and Republican spending is even more dramatic.

1. We have already spent $3 Trillion on the Wars and a new study is estimating it will cost close to $4 trillion after we take care of our veterans coming home.
2. The Medicare Plan right is estimated to cost $1 Trillion dollars

Here is a shocking number from Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

Just two policies dating from the Bush Administration — tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — accounted for over $500 billion of the deficit in 2009 and will account for almost $7 trillion in deficits in 2009 through 2019, including the associated debt-service costs.

Chiefshrink
07-06-2011, 04:03 PM
Even the Republicans couldn't back Ryan's plan because it would gut Medicare.

The ball is in the Republicans hand at least on the House side.

Wrong again McFly!!!

Read Ryan's plan and quit spewing all the spin(lies) from the Marxist Media that is trying to Alinskyize or "demagogue" Ryan's plan for Medicare reform:rolleyes:

Chiefshrink
07-06-2011, 04:08 PM
Bottom line: It's similiar to Patt's analogy but it would be like going to your boss for a raise because you and your wife overspend. This is what Obama and his Marxist minions are doing to "We The People". This is just absolutely INSANE but in their egos can do this because their worldview is that alllllllllllll $$ is theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeir $$$$$$. GET IT!!:thumb:

patteeu
07-07-2011, 12:03 AM
I am glad the Republicans had nothing to do with all this spending

Wars = $4 Trillion
Bush tax cuts = $2 trillion
Medicare Plan = $1 Trillion
TARP - $700 billion

Wars - According to the Congressional Research Service, total war funding (Iraq and Afghanistan) was just a little over $1.2 Trillion as of March of this year.

Don't let the facts get in your way when you can generate whatever number you want just by speculating a bit.

The Mad Crapper
07-07-2011, 10:12 AM
The sum of all the deficits during the 8 years of Bush are dwarfed by the deficits of the past 3 years of Obama. If you separate it by control of Congress, the difference between democrat spending and Republican spending is even more dramatic.

Moonbats response:

http://saynsumthn.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/monkeys-hear-no-evil-see-no-evil-speak-no-evil.jpg


Why the Budgetary Game Is a Big Taxpayer Scam
July 7, 2011 8:00 A.M. By Larry Kudlow

Here’s some friendly fiscal advice: Any time some Washington big shot like Ben Bernanke or Tim Geithner claims that immediate spending cuts in the debt deal will harm the economy — ignore them. Completely. You know why? Because in this great country of ours, spending never goes down. Never.

Take a look at the following chart:

http://global.nationalreview.com/images/pic_kudlow_070711_A.jpg

The blue line you see is President Obama’s budget. The green line is Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget.

Now, Ryan’s is of course a couple of trillion dollars lower than Obama’s over the next ten years. But what do they both have in common? They both go up. As in spending more, not less. As in, roughly $40 trillion to $45 trillion more. That’s a whole lot of taxpayer money, folks.

Now why is this? It’s because of something called the “current services baseline,” which includes population and inflation increases built into the budget. Entitlements have their own formulas.

So when you hear a politician tell you they’re cutting spending, they’re actually referring only to reducing the growth of spending. Rarely, if ever, do they actually reduce the level of spending.

Think of it this way: You’re out car shopping and thinking about buying a $100,000 Mercedes. That’s your target. But then you decide to forego the Mercedes and opt for a $20,000 Chevy instead. Well, guess what? Congress would score that as an $80,000 budget cut. Huh? We all know that it’s actually a $20,000 budget increase.

Let’s be honest here. This budgetary game remains one big taxpayer scam. Look, I used to work in the federal budget office. I know the game.

Here’s yet another scam: Big budget deals say they “cut” (there’s that word again) a couple of trillion dollars over ten years. But most of it is targeted for the last couple of years, as in years eight, nine, and ten. So basically it’ll never happen. It’s four or five Congresses from now. Laws change. Deals are broken.

At the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is next year’s budget. Will it be cut? Ever in my lifetime? Because if it were cut, it would bring that line in that chart above down. Now that would be a called a decline. All of that other stuff? Increases.

When businesses cut expenses, the spending line declines. But when government cuts spending, the spending line always rises. Think of it.

http://www.nationalreview.com/kudlows-money-politics/271258/why-budgetary-game-big-taxpayer-scam

BucEyedPea
07-07-2011, 11:15 AM
Since closing loopholes is actually raising taxes I feel like I was just stabbed in the back.

It sure is. A compromise on that is still selling out the people. It's more cowardly too because it's not using more obvious language like it being a tax hike.