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-   -   Fear and Bargaining in DC (Robert Wright & Conn Carroll) (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=6932)

yqxo 08-02-2011 08:51 AM

Re: Fear and Bargaining in DC (Robert Wright & Conn Carroll)
 
Obama is so bad at negotiating that soon the Republicans will endorse him for 2012 presidency.

Not getting tax hikes to the plan was a kind of victory for Tea Party nut heads.

badhatharry 08-02-2011 10:05 AM

Re: Fear and Bargaining in DC (Robert Wright & Conn Carroll)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 219752)
4. Someone who exploits the weakness of others to his own advantage.

And so in summary, most tea partiers are puerile idiots but there are some who exploit the weakness of others to their own advantage.

So were the people who exploit the weakness of others ever simply puerile idiots and then they graduated or are these two mutually exclusive groups?

apple 08-02-2011 10:07 AM

Re: How Obama lost (and won back) my vote for 2012
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 219755)
Quite a rant, OhReally. I don't think I've ever been called a poodle, shit-eater, Nazi enabler, loathsome, congenitally defective, toilet paper and abject coward all in one otherwise uninteresting paragraph.

Who are you voting for, by the way?

Oops, as a "liberal elite" that should be "For whom are you voting?"

It looks like you've become the moderate, Wonderment.

apple 08-02-2011 10:17 AM

Re: Obama gets it. His base doesn't.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 219749)
Most Americans think the government is too big and is spending too much money.

False. Most Americans oppose cutting costly programs, like Social Security and Medicare. Instead, they want to cut the 26% of the budget that goes to NPR. Or important organizations like NIH or NSF that most people are just too stupid (or ideologically rigid) to appreciate.

Here you can give your best shot at solving the budget crisis. I actually cut enough in the budget (and hiked taxes reasonably) to get a (IIRC) $200 billion surplus, without touching anything of importance. The key is recognizing that this isn't 1935, and that a retirement age of 65 is not realistic. 70 and linking it to life expectancy is more realistic.

badhatharry 08-02-2011 10:34 AM

Re: Fear and Bargaining in DC (Robert Wright & Conn Carroll)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 219748)
Really. Take the x-origin back another thirty-five years previous to where that WAPO chart begins. Just after WWII the debt was about 120% of GDP. That was followed by 20 or so years of strong growth.

You said the current deficit is not that big. Comparing it to a world war preceeded by a depression seems a bit disingenous

Quote:

We turned to the U.S. Treasury Department's Monthly Treasury Statement of Receipts and Outlays of the United States Government. For the most recently completed fiscal year, 2010, the department reported that the government had revenues of $2.16 trillion, spending of $3.46 trillion and a deficit of $1.29 trillion. Divide the deficit by the outlays and you get 37 percent, which is very close to 40 percent.

"It's like a family that earns $60,000 per year, but is spending $100,000. How are they doing it? By getting a new $40,000 loan every year to cover the difference," said Brian Riedl, a budget expert with the conservative Heritage Foundation.

AemJeff 08-02-2011 10:37 AM

Re: Fear and Bargaining in DC (Robert Wright & Conn Carroll)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 219778)
And so in summary, most tea partiers are puerile idiots but there are some who exploit the weakness of others to their own advantage.

So were the people who exploit the weakness of others ever simply puerile idiots and then they graduated or are these two mutually exclusive groups?

Harry, it's not complicated. There are true believers and there are others who feed on them. Like most other things in life, these things are subject to matters of degree.

badhatharry 08-02-2011 10:44 AM

Re: Obama gets it. His base doesn't.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 219781)
The key is recognizing that this isn't 1935, and that a retirement age of 65 is not realistic. 70 and linking it to life expectancy is more realistic.

There's granny going off the cliff yet again.

badhatharry 08-02-2011 10:47 AM

Re: Fear and Bargaining in DC (Robert Wright & Conn Carroll)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 219784)
Harry, it's not complicated. There are true believers and there are others who feed on them. Like most other things in life, these things are subject to matters of degree.

geez, jeff. I never thought it was that complicated.

I was just having some partisan fun.

bkjazfan 08-02-2011 10:52 AM

Re: Fear and Bargaining in DC (Robert Wright & Conn Carroll)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 219719)
Well we know he likes Annie! and e-conn is very clever, indeed.

However, I don't see us returning to the let government do it days. I think people have definitely awakened. It started happening before Obama was elected. Nobody likes a big debt.

PS. Did Conn leave Heritage? I'd look myself but that would require effort.

He said in as past diavlog that he is now at the Washington Examiner. If memory serves me right he didn't exactly say that he had left Heritage but I inferred from his statement that he had done so. The only reason I know about the WE is that is where Michael Barone is at along with his encyclopedic knowledge of American politics.

apple 08-02-2011 11:07 AM

Re: Obama gets it. His base doesn't.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 219785)
There's granny going off the cliff yet again.

They'll try that attack, but fail, because granny won't be affected - the people making those hysterical claims will be.

badhatharry 08-02-2011 11:27 AM

Re: Obama gets it. His base doesn't.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 219790)
They'll try that attack, but fail, because granny won't be affected - the people making those hysterical claims will be.

so are we talking about the Ryan budget here?

apple 08-02-2011 12:00 PM

Re: Obama gets it. His base doesn't.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 219792)
so are we talking about the Ryan budget here?

No, we're talking about real solutions. The Ryan budget is unpopular because it is an epic fail. Ryan's Medicare plan doesn't cut costs, in fact, it leads to higher costs for government and seniors combined. At the same time, anyone believing that Medicare and Social Security are fine just the way they are, is deluding himself.

badhatharry 08-02-2011 12:05 PM

Re: Obama gets it. His base doesn't.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 219801)
No, we're talking about real solutions. The Ryan budget is unpopular because it is an epic fail. Ryan's Medicare plan doesn't cut costs, in fact, it leads to higher costs for government and seniors combined. At the same time, anyone believing that Medicare and Social Security are fine just the way they are, is deluding himself.

I don't agree that it's an epic fail neither do I believe that it's perfect. However it takes into consideration the pain of change and introduces it slowly. As far as cutting costs...what costs are you speaking of? One of the things that the Ryan plan does is introduce competition which is aimed at cutting costs.

sugarkang 08-02-2011 12:15 PM

Re: Obama gets it. His base doesn't.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 219802)
I don't agree that it's an epic fail neither do I believe that it's perfect. However it takes into consideration the pain of change and introduces it slowly. As far as cutting costs...what costs are you speaking of? One of the things that the Ryan plan does is introduce competition which is aimed at cutting costs.

I liked most of the Ryan plan. I only wished that it upped taxes on the top 2% of income earners.

Don Zeko 08-02-2011 12:59 PM

Re: Obama gets it. His base doesn't.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 219781)
False. Most Americans oppose cutting costly programs, like Social Security and Medicare. Instead, they want to cut the 26% of the budget that goes to NPR. Or important organizations like NIH or NSF that most people are just too stupid (or ideologically rigid) to appreciate.

Quite true. Sometimes I wonder how effective it would be to announce a "deficit reduction package" that involved the complete elimination of foreign aid and funding for NPR. Sure, I'd prefer that we fund these things, but if this was enough to placate the tea partiers*, I'd sacrifice them in a heartbeat.

Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 219781)
Here you can give your best shot at solving the budget crisis. I actually cut enough in the budget (and hiked taxes reasonably) to get a (IIRC) $200 billion surplus, without touching anything of importance. The key is recognizing that this isn't 1935, and that a retirement age of 65 is not realistic. 70 and linking it to life expectancy is more realistic.

It may not be 1935, but life expectancy at age 65 has only increased modestly since then, and we've raised the retirement age since the inception of the program. Most of our gains in total life expectancy are the result of lower infant mortality. Between that and the fact that life expectancy at age 65 is strongly correlated with income, raising the retirement age is an awful, cruel, regressive policy, not the common-sense fix it's so often made out to be.

*Just kidding guys. Of course they can't be placated. If Barack Obama signed a balanced budget amendment, resigned, and then committed ritual suicide it still wouldn't be enough for these people

harkin 08-02-2011 01:35 PM

Re: Fear and Bargaining in DC (Robert Wright & Conn Carroll)
 
I would think that 'puerile idiot' is a better definition for someone who calls people asking for the debt increase over the next ten years to be adjusted from 10 trillion to 7.9 trillion "terrorists".

Quote:

Just kidding guys. Of course they can't be placated. If Barack Obama signed a balanced budget amendment, resigned, and then committed ritual suicide it still wouldn't be enough for these people
If he signed a balanced budget agreement it would be the first step towards showing he's actually a capable leader who understands the economy and having the principal to follow through on his 2006 speeches. The resignation and ritual suicide blasts are nice qualifiers to the PI club but I think even you realize they are worthless add-ons.

stephanie 08-02-2011 01:37 PM

Re: Obama gets it. His base doesn't.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 219807)
It may not be 1935, but life expectancy at age 65 has only increased modestly since then, and we've raised the retirement age since the inception of the program. Most of our gains in total life expectancy are the result of lower infant mortality. Between that and the fact that life expectancy at age 65 is strongly correlated with income, raising the retirement age is an awful, cruel, regressive policy, not the common-sense fix it's so often made out to be.

I wonder if there would be some way of addressing this, though, since there is such a split between well-off and not, white collar and not. Maybe elect whether to pay FICA with a cap on yearly income taxed (like currently) vs. with no tax. If you pay with no cap you can retire at 65, otherwise you can retire at 70. If you didn't have substantial income above the cap, it would clearly be better to say no cap. If you do, it's an election between paying more or retiring later.

This is just off the cuff so I'm not assuming it would work or feel sufficiently fair. Among other things (and the problem with means testing), it seems to create classes of Soc Sec, when one of the successes is the idea that we all benefit.

miceelf 08-02-2011 01:52 PM

Re: Fear and Bargaining in DC (Robert Wright & Conn Carroll)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by harkin (Post 219809)
I would think that 'puerile idiot' is a better definition for someone who calls people asking for the debt increase over the next ten years to be adjusted from 10 trillion to 7.9 trillion "terrorists".


Terrorism is typically used to describe the tactics one uses, not the goals.

Sulla the Dictator 08-02-2011 02:23 PM

Re: How Obama lost (and won back) my vote for 2012
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 219767)
You ask about Perry. If you know anything at all, and I will assume you do, about liberals, you'll know that Perry represents just about the opposite of the most fundamental principles of liberalism. So why your surprise? Do you need to taste his shit to figure that out?

But that's the rub. Conservatives knew that Obama was going to be the most left wing President since atleast LBJ. That wasn't sufficient to motivate them to vote for McCain en masse, because McCain is a squish. And they were not pleased with the domestic spending of the Bush administration.

So Conservatives let McCain dangle. And their reward? Now they own the party; the party learned how much it needed them.

Now, to be fair, liberals completely own the Democrat party. But it's the liberal elites, not the grass roots. Partially thats because actual liberal voters are a much smaller number of people than Conservatives, but its also because liberals dutifully show up to the polls no matter what happens and vote for the Democrat.

Don Zeko 08-02-2011 02:32 PM

Re: How Obama lost (and won back) my vote for 2012
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 219817)
Now, to be fair, liberals completely own the Democrat party. But it's the liberal elites, not the grass roots. Partially thats because actual liberal voters are a much smaller number of people than Conservatives, but its also because liberals dutifully show up to the polls no matter what happens and vote for the Democrat.

You keep using that word, "liberal." I do not think it means what you think it means. Also, don't be an ass. It's the Democratic Party, not the Democrat Party.

stephanie 08-02-2011 02:58 PM

Re: How Obama lost (and won back) my vote for 2012
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 219818)
You keep using that word, "liberal." I do not think it means what you think it means. Also, don't be an ass. It's the Democratic Party, not the Democrat Party.

Well, remember, the "left" is explained with the following:

Quote:

...the Left cannot tolerate the slightest deviation from the script. Even as the budgets of bloated entitlement societies bring the building down around us, even as the vanguard of Jihad slaughter the citizenry, even as the culture erodes and relativism rules, even the slightest complaint is met with screams of "Nazi!"
Given that, there's no telling what "liberals" are supposed to be.

Don Zeko 08-02-2011 03:02 PM

Re: How Obama lost (and won back) my vote for 2012
 
I never knew I was such a serious threat to America. I'm going to go home and rethink my life. Sulla, Kang, Apple, can you guys tell me what else I believe so that I only have to go through this process once?

whburgess 08-02-2011 03:16 PM

Re: Obama gets it. His base doesn't.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 219781)
False. Most Americans oppose cutting costly programs, like Social Security and Medicare. Instead, they want to cut the 26% of the budget that goes to NPR. Or important organizations like NIH or NSF that most people are just too stupid (or ideologically rigid) to appreciate.

Here you can give your best shot at solving the budget crisis. I actually cut enough in the budget (and hiked taxes reasonably) to get a (IIRC) $200 billion surplus, without touching anything of importance. The key is recognizing that this isn't 1935, and that a retirement age of 65 is not realistic. 70 and linking it to life expectancy is more realistic.

I didn't say most Americans understand the percentage of the budget that SS and Medicare take up. I said they think the government is too big and spending too much money.

The NYT link is interesting. I found it pretty easy to solve the budget.

AemJeff 08-02-2011 03:29 PM

Re: Fear and Bargaining in DC (Robert Wright & Conn Carroll)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by harkin (Post 219809)
...

If he signed a balanced budget agreement it would be the first step towards showing he's actually a capable leader who understands the economy and having the principal to follow through on his 2006 speeches. The resignation and ritual suicide blasts are nice qualifiers to the PI club but I think even you realize they are worthless add-ons.

Of course that's not the case. It would be a sign that he'd given up on "leadership" and was willing to let his oppponents dictate the terms of his governance. I think even you realize that "the resignation and ritual suicide blasts" was a rhetorical flourish intended to illustrate something about Obama's opposition.

Sulla the Dictator 08-02-2011 04:32 PM

Re: Fear and Bargaining in DC (Robert Wright & Conn Carroll)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by miceelf (Post 219812)
Terrorism is typically used to describe the tactics one uses, not the goals.

Unfortunately language requires that terrorism involve violence, not the legitimate exercise of the democratic process.

The debt limit ceiling is put to a vote before Congress. Barack Obama, President of the United States, voted against its increase. Harry Reid, majority leader of the Senate, voted against its increase.

Florian 08-02-2011 04:34 PM

Re: Patriotic Millionaires Unite!
 
According to Patriotic Millionaires, who want to pay more in taxes:

Only 375,000 Americans have incomes of over $1,000,000

Between 1979 and 2007, incomes for the wealthiest 1% of Americans rose by 281%

During the Great Depression, millionaires had a top marginal tax rate of 68%

In 1963, millionaires had a top marginal tax rate of 91%

In 1976, millionaires had a top marginal tax rate of 70%

Today, millionaires have a top marginal tax rate of 35%

Reducing the income tax on top earners is one of the most inefficient ways to grow the economy according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office

44% of Congress people are millionaires. The tax cuts were never meant to be permanent

Letting tax cuts for the top 2% expire as scheduled would pay down the debt by $700 billion over the next 10 years

http://patrioticmillionaires.org/

So where are all the patriots in Congress?

Sulla the Dictator 08-02-2011 04:57 PM

Re: Patriotic Millionaires Unite!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 219834)
According to Patriotic Millionaires, who want to pay more in taxes:

And who, interestingly enough, can if they so desired. They can voluntarily pay more in taxes at any time.

Quote:

Only 375,000 Americans have incomes of over $1,000,000
.....though 4 million households have incomes of over $250,000 a year, the actual income which is being talked about as the top tax bracket.

Quote:

Between 1979 and 2007, incomes for the wealthiest 1% of Americans rose by 281%
Hmmmm......this is one of those "damned lies and statistics" issues. The other thing which happened between 1979 and 2007 is the explosion of the stock market as a source of wealth, with people paying reduced capital gains tax rather than income tax. As it stands, the revenue collected in 2007 was 18.5% of GDP, which is almost exactly what it was in 1979.

In order to argue that 18.5% of GDP is insufficient revenue, one would have to argue that the 70% top marginal tax rate in 1979 was insufficient as well, no?

Quote:

During the Great Depression, millionaires had a top marginal tax rate of 68%
Which contributed to the problems. The tax regime of the 1930s was terrible for economic recovery.

Quote:

In 1963, millionaires had a top marginal tax rate of 91%
Which was so egregious even the Democrats favored a cut. Though that is exactly the type of confiscatory tax necessary to pay, without structural deficits, for the welfare state. I believe the BOTTOM tax rate at this same time, for the poorest Americans, was at 24%.

Of course, during this period the tax regime leaks like a sieve. Both the wealthy and poor, with some ingenuity, are able to circumvent full payment. When tax rates are this high, its worth people's time and effort to avoid paying them.

Quote:

Today, millionaires have a top marginal tax rate of 35%
And as of 2007, when they paid that rate, the revenue as compared to GDP was perfectly in line with the historical norm in the post-war period.

Quote:

Letting tax cuts for the top 2% expire as scheduled would pay down the debt by $700 billion over the next 10 years
Which is nothing; its less than this small time Boehner deal. And it would be done in the middle of a recession.

Quote:

So where are all the patriots in Congress?
Patriots usually aren't defined by taxes.

apple 08-02-2011 08:06 PM

Re: Obama gets it. His base doesn't.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by whburgess (Post 219827)
I didn't say most Americans understand the percentage of the budget that SS and Medicare take up. I said they think the government is too big and spending too much money.

The NYT link is interesting. I found it pretty easy to solve the budget.

The judgment people make about the size government is, I think, mostly based on the fact that they are soaked by the IRS. What they do not realize is that most of their taxes go to programs that they (unfortunately) love, not to ones they despise, or feel indifferent toward. Which is why Republicans struggle to come up with meaningful spending cuts. Sure, go ahead and defund NPR, but that will yield 300 million dollars. It's well-deserved after the Juan Williams debacle, but it solves 1/5000 or .02% of the deficit problem.

Here is my budget solution (note: I just re-did it, because I hadn't saved my previous results). Sure hope sugarkang doesn't get to see this, because that would only re-inforce my imagine as a tax-loving statist in his mind.

I'm somewhat shocked that you don't want to raise the eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare, even to 67. Aren't you supposed to be a conservative?

apple 08-02-2011 08:11 PM

Re: Obama gets it. His base doesn't.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 219807)
It may not be 1935, but life expectancy at age 65 has only increased modestly since then, and we've raised the retirement age since the inception of the program. Most of our gains in total life expectancy are the result of lower infant mortality. Between that and the fact that life expectancy at age 65 is strongly correlated with income, raising the retirement age is an awful, cruel, regressive policy, not the common-sense fix it's so often made out to be.

Sure, it is an awful, cruel, regressive policy, but also a necessary one. Sure, it's nice to be able to retire at age 65. Hell, it'd be even better to retire at age 18. But the money simply isn't there to fund gigantic Ponzi schemes like Medicare and Social Security forever in a way that we will find esthetically pleasing. I don't like the idea of taxes going up, but I do recognize that they will have to go up. You can run only a government on the basis of a credit card for so long.

I think the attachment to 65 as the age for retirement is more sentimental than anything else. If people want to be able to retire at age 65, they can save money for it. Hell, big government statist that I am, I think people should be able to buy into Medicare and Social Security before age 70. If Medicare is really so great, compared to private insurers (and it might be, I'm no expert), I say: let people have it, but only if they want it.

apple 08-02-2011 08:18 PM

Re: Fear and Bargaining in DC (Robert Wright & Conn Carroll)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sulla the Dictator (Post 219833)
Unfortunately language requires that terrorism involve violence, not the legitimate exercise of the democratic process.

The debt limit ceiling is put to a vote before Congress. Barack Obama, President of the United States, voted against its increase. Harry Reid, majority leader of the Senate, voted against its increase.

No, actually, holding the debt ceiling hostage does count as despicable, if not exactly political terrorism. Suppose that Congress tried to hold military appropriations hostage to advance its own particularist interests in the wake of Pearl Harbor. Would that be a legitimate exercise of the democratic process? I don't think so, and holding the debt ceiling hostage is not legitimate either. There is a time and a place for debating budget matters. Go ahead and force a government shutdown, if you feel strongly about it. But don't threaten to force the nation into default, in order to fight out your petty squabbles.

badhatharry 08-02-2011 08:25 PM

Re: Obama gets it. His base doesn't.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 219856)
The judgment people make about the size government is, I think, mostly based on the fact that they are soaked by the IRS. What they do not realize is that most of their taxes go to programs that they (unfortunately) love, not to ones they despise, or feel indifferent toward.

Certainly there can be large cuts in all programs. I think another judgement people make about the size of government is that there's a whole lot of waste and redundancy. And of course there are a whole lot of useless programs like my favorite the Consumer Protection Agency.

As for taxes...go ahead and raise them but not until we determine the absolute minimum amount of government that is required.

badhatharry 08-02-2011 08:32 PM

Re: Fear and Bargaining in DC (Robert Wright & Conn Carroll)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 219858)
There is a time and a place for debating budget matters. Go ahead and force a government shutdown, if you feel strongly about it. But don't threaten to force the nation into default, in order to fight out your petty squabbles.

hey! not raising the debt ceiling wouldn't have forced the nation into default. The US could have paid it's creditors and decided to... shut down the government. Besides no one thought not raising the debt limit was going to happen... no one. But it makes a fabulous talking point and bargaining chip.
Political theater.

apple 08-02-2011 08:39 PM

Re: Obama gets it. His base doesn't.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 219860)
Certainly there can be large cuts in all programs.

Can you name the programs that should get "large cuts" (it should add up to something, there's no need to bother with 30 million programs)? And I certainly don't think that all programs can take "large cuts". Really? Defense spending? Veterans' health care? The NIH? The NSF? Prisons? The judiciary? Believe me, the private sector isn't going to jump in and magically fund the research the NIH currently spends 33 billion funding.

Yes, I can think of spending that should be reduced. Foreign aid should be cut. NPR's funding should be eliminated. Farm subsidies should be eliminated. But unless you're going to touch entitlements, it's still going to add up to zero.

Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 219860)
As for taxes...go ahead and raise them but not until we determine the absolute minimum amount of government that is required.

That is not realistic. The absolute minimum definitely does not include Medicare and Social Security, but good luck convincing people that investing their money in the private sector will actually be better for them than handing it over to a government Ponzi scheme. So you've got to be realistic, you've got to be pragmatic.

stephanie 08-02-2011 08:41 PM

Re: How Obama lost (and won back) my vote for 2012
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ohreally (Post 219750)
Wonderment informs us that liberals can be bought at any price, and seems almost proud of it. Does he realize that Obama uses these people as toilet paper? But that's ok,because Wonderment, who has apparently tasted both, assures us that Obama's shit tastes better than Perry's. This is so Weimar Republic, isn't it, this congenital inability of liberal elites to draw a red line, to take a stand, to inflict punishment on anyone. Obama oozes contempt for such liberals and there I am with him. Every culture can be trusted to produce its contingent of teaparty nutters. It's when the liberal elites surrender their agency (and dignity) that you know the country is done for. The ascendency of the tea party has as much to do with their own populist demagoguery as it does with the abject surrender of the liberal poodles. The people who will "work the phones" for Obama deserve the tea party. Hell, they created the tea party with their proven inability to challenge power -- any power -- and their uncanny willingness of sell out every principle at the altar of lesser-evilism. The idea of punishing someone "on your side" for betraying every fucking principle you hold is unthinkable to them because right behind the traitor there's someone epsilon worse! The problem when you accept the logic of this dynamic is that you'll always lose. If you never punish a politician for betraying you, you'll always be betrayed. And liberals wonder why everyone loathes them.

It's really amazing to compare this kind of thing with the ranting about Obama at some of the rightwing sites. (Hint, he's not a liberal, but a Marxist, and he hates America. And those are the nicest bits.) We have a really crazy disconnect from the people who think Obama is the most rightwing president ever and those who think he's to the left of Eugene Debs, between the people who think he's an insane jingoistic torturing fan of war for Corporate America and those who think he's trying to build up our enemies -- and duck out of all wars and foreign commitments but those to international law, of course -- because he secrets sympathizes with the third world vs. the US.

I think both of these takes are pretty crazy and out of touch with reality, but the strangest bit is that they can so easily make common cause. Because fundamentally the most important thing to both is that Obama is Evil and Must Be Defeated. Sure, you'd think the points of views wouldn't allow for much agreement, but on the one hand, if Obama is so bad, why worry about Rick Perry. After all, he's basically just a more honest Obama. And on the other hand, yeah, the leftwinger may be seen as nutty, but he certainly isn't as extreme as Obama (even if he's a little misguided there, shhh, don't let on) and it's certainly good if people don't vote for Obama. Let's focus on the principles and how Obama has clearly sold his out, since that liberal agenda (socialist! as it was with the stimulus and health care reform) clearly didn't truly reflect Obama's Stalinist values.

apple 08-02-2011 08:43 PM

Re: Fear and Bargaining in DC (Robert Wright & Conn Carroll)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 219862)
hey! not raising the debt ceiling wouldn't have forced the nation into default. The US could have paid it's creditors and decided to... shut down the government.

That's the tea party claim, and it's only self-justification. They were playing with fire, and they knew it, but didn't care. That's what happens when delusional ideologues are in power.

Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 219862)
Besides no one thought not raising the debt limit was going to happen... no one. But it makes a fabulous talking point and bargaining chip.
Political theater.

Apparently, Obama did, otherwise he would not have compromised. Also, if it's not that big a deal, why is it that no one thought that no one thought not raising the debt limit was going to happen? If it's not that big a deal, why didn't Obama hold out for a deal that he liked?

badhatharry 08-02-2011 09:09 PM

Re: Fear and Bargaining in DC (Robert Wright & Conn Carroll)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 219865)
That's the tea party claim, and it's only self-justification. They were playing with fire, and they knew it, but didn't care. That's what happens when delusional ideologues are in power.



Apparently, Obama did, otherwise he would not have compromised. Also, if it's not that big a deal, why is it that no one thought that no one thought not raising the debt limit was going to happen? If it's not that big a deal, why didn't Obama hold out for a deal that he liked?

It was getting kinda late. Think what you like. I guess I'm kind of surprised anyone took any of this seriously.

whburgess 08-02-2011 09:09 PM

Re: Obama gets it. His base doesn't.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by apple (Post 219856)

I'm somewhat shocked that you don't want to raise the eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare, even to 67. Aren't you supposed to be a conservative?

Social Security is a big enough rip off as it is. Why rip people off more by making them continue contributing to it even more?

I do think that if people have made a good enough income and benefits all their life to reach a certain level of retirement income or even wealth---then its ok to rip them off even more by cutting their SS benefits. After all, its not adding much to the level that they've already been ripped off by SS and that money can go to those ripped off people who haven't made as much money in their life (partially due to the fact that SS has been ripping them off 10%+ if you count what employers have to contribute) so they can retire a little earlier.

But it's not a subject I'm all that passionate about. It's ok with me if they raise the retirement age.

badhatharry 08-02-2011 09:13 PM

Re: How Obama lost (and won back) my vote for 2012
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stephanie (Post 219864)
It's really amazing to compare this kind of thing with the ranting about Obama at some of the rightwing sites. (Hint, he's not a liberal, but a Marxist, and he hates America. And those are the nicest bits.) We have a really crazy disconnect from the people who think Obama is the most rightwing president ever and those who think he's to the left of Eugene Debs, between the people who think he's an insane jingoistic torturing fan of war for Corporate America and those who think he's trying to build up our enemies -- and duck out of all wars and foreign commitments but those to international law, of course -- because he secrets sympathizes with the third world vs. the US.

People read too much pulp fiction. We live in hollywoodland where there are evil triple agents behind every pillar in Washington.

badhatharry 08-02-2011 09:22 PM

Re: Obama gets it. His base doesn't.
 
[QUOTE=whburgess;219869
I do think that if people have made a good enough income and benefits all their life to reach a certain level of retirement income or even wealth---then its ok to rip them off even more by cutting their SS benefits. After all, its not adding much to the level that they've already been ripped off by SS and that money can go to those ripped off people who haven't made as much money in their life (partially due to the fact that SS has been ripping them off 10%+ if you count what employers have to contribute) so they can retire a little earlier.
[/QUOTE]



I think people collect more in SS and Medicare than they put in.


Quote:

Consider an average-wage two-earner couple together earning $89,000 a year. Upon retiring in 2011, they would have paid $114,000 in Medicare payroll taxes during their careers. But they can expect to receive medical services including prescriptions and hospital care worth $355,000, or about three times what they put in. [...]

The same hypothetical couple retiring in 2011 will have paid $614,000 in Social Security taxes, and can expect to collect $555,000 in benefits. They will have paid about 10 percent more into the system than they are likely to get back.

whburgess 08-02-2011 10:06 PM

Re: Obama gets it. His base doesn't.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by badhatharry (Post 219873)
I think people collect more in SS and Medicare than they put in.

I was only talking about SS, and your link confirmed what a ripoff that is since, according to it, the average couple retiring this year will have paid 10% more into it then they will get out. This doesn't seem to account for the fact that money invested in almost anything else would have yielded them millions of dollars.


I suppose combining it with medicare and seeing what a good deal that couple gets from that can help that couple feel better.

But it doesn't change how screwed up these programs are.

On further thought...I don't think this article accounts for what would have been earned in conservative investment vehicles. I think 114,000 invested over a lifetime would yield a lot more then 355,000--so even medicare is a ripoff.


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