Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » No New Taxes! (The Impossible Budget). (Page 1)

  This topic comprises 10 pages: 1  2  3  4  ...  8  9  10   
Author Topic: No New Taxes! (The Impossible Budget).
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Republicans demand to deal directly with the President.

The overwhelming feeling I'm getting is that Republicans are essentially saying, "We have marching orders to accept no increase in taxes whatsoever. You can cut into pensions, health care, or even token defence spending reductions, but not taxes."

I'm sympathetic to the fact that many of these Republicans were elected in regions where even the appearence of wavering on conservatism is grounds for immediate defeat. Were many of these Republicans to agree to new taxes even on the top 0.000001% of earners in the US, they would have the tea party express finding candidates that would merely need to scream, "He believes in taxing the talented, to pay for the lazy! Look at his record, he voted with the liberals!" and that would mean defeat for them.

I also don't believe we can just tax our way out of this hole of deficit and debt, but with the extraordinary shift of resources (or money if you will) going into the hands of the expressly wealthy over the last 30 years or so, and with taxes currently set at least historically low percentages, I can't see how a serious push towards tackling the debt and getting the government back into budget cannot include tax increases for the upper tier of earners. The money isn't in the middle class or the poor.

This isn't to say there are not other things that in reality are just as much a waste in principle, but even things like earmarks or waste in our schools, pale in comparison to the revenues lost during the Bush tax cut era. Those cuts which were always supposed to be very temporary in nature almost seem to be becoming what is seen as the standard acceptable rate.

I don't blame anybody in particular, it's human nature to hold on viciously to whatever advantages we can get. But it was a costly decision for Obama to agree to extend them, but since he did, and got tons of concessions for it, the Democrats cannot faulter on this principle now. It's terrible that with Aug 2nd coming sooner than we think, the Republicans are digging their heals in, I don't think the Democrats have any choice but to do the same, and let the damage whack the Republicans with their majority. They did it back during the Clinton administration while Gingrich was speaker, and it bit the Republicans then, it will bite them now.

Posts: 13436 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Those cuts which were always supposed to be very temporary in nature almost seem to be becoming what is seen as the standard acceptable rate.
While the cuts were passed with a deadline, they were never supposed to be temporary. They were always expected by those who passed them to be permanent. Not that keeping them all is a good idea, but the intent was definitely permanence.
Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
quote:
Those cuts which were always supposed to be very temporary in nature almost seem to be becoming what is seen as the standard acceptable rate.
While the cuts were passed with a deadline, they were never supposed to be temporary. They were always expected by those who passed them to be permanent. Not that keeping them all is a good idea, but the intent was definitely permanence.
Perhaps I misunderstood, but weren't the tax cuts passed as a response to what was seen as a booming economy and a surplus budget left over from the previous administration.

A sort of, "Hooray extra money, lets give it back to the American people."

Posts: 13436 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SenojRetep
Member
Member # 8614

 - posted      Profile for SenojRetep   Email SenojRetep         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
It's terrible that with Aug 2nd coming sooner than we think, the Republicans are digging their heals in, I don't think the Democrats have any choice but to do the same, and let the damage whack the Republicans with their majority. They did it back during the Clinton administration while Gingrich was speaker, and it bit the Republicans then, it will bite them now.

Failing to reach a deal on the debt limit would have significantly different consequences than failing to pass the budget.

Other than that, I'll quote something I posted in the $15 trillion debt thread:
quote:
Just to give a sense of how much can be gained by increasing income taxes on the wealthy, consider Jan Schakowsky's suggested progressive tax rates, proposed as part of the "People's Budget" from the House Progressive Caucus. They would increase marginal rates to 45% on income over a million dollars and 49% on income over a billion dollars.

The result is about $80 billion a year (according to liberal estimates); again, that's not nothing, but it's nowhere near sufficient to cover deficits. There's just not that much you can do to increase revenues without increasing taxes on the middle class.

So if we're going to have a grown-up conversation about tax increases (which we should have) it needs to include discussion of middle class tax increases.
Posts: 2799 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Returning projected surplus to taxpayers was certainly a part of the rhetoric, but so was that cutting taxes would make everyone better off long term. Many of the tax cuts didn't even phase in for years after, and the second round of tax cuts, in 2003, didn't even have the surplus to talk about.

To illustrate, here's a page with at the time discussion of the 2001 Bush tax cuts in Congress. Note things such as the phrase "the second 10 years".

Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SenojRetep
Member
Member # 8614

 - posted      Profile for SenojRetep   Email SenojRetep         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Based on the score for the progressive income taxes under Schakowsky's budget, raising millionaires' marginal tax rates to 100% would increase revenues by at most $700-800 billion a year (and likely significantly less than that; such draconian tax rates would likely compel most millionaires to manage their money in ways unforeseen under the original estimates). Even using that upper bound on total increased revenues, it could cover about half of our current fiscal deficit.

Just another evidence that tax increases on the wealthy alone cannot solve our budget problems.

Posts: 2799 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
From Blackblade:
I'm sympathetic to the fact that many of these Republicans were elected in regions where even the appearence of wavering on conservatism is grounds for immediate defeat. Were many of these Republicans to agree to new taxes even on the top 0.000001% of earners in the US, they would have the tea party express finding candidates that would merely need to scream, "He believes in taxing the talented, to pay for the lazy! Look at his record, he voted with the liberals!" and that would mean defeat for them.

I have ZERO sympathy for this problem. It's a problem they've created entirely by themselves and for themselves. They've created a culture where any compromise and any deviation from the party line is tantamount to treason to the Constitution. They've made their bed, now they have to lie in it. The real problem is that they'd rather kowtow to their own stupid cult of ideology than do what's right for the country. Obama backing down on this particular issue so they can save face isn't worth it, in my opinion. Taxes have to go up. Maybe not dramatically, but they do. There's really no way to cut spending to solve the magnitude of this problem.

Gravy train is over.

Posts: 21037 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bokonon
Member
Member # 480

 - posted      Profile for Bokonon           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
fugu, how bad would it be if we modified the capital gains tax (moved them up to 20/25 (or 30)%, and extended the time of the higher short-term tax to 3-5 years?
Posts: 6855 | Registered: Nov 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Speed
Member
Member # 5162

 - posted      Profile for Speed   Email Speed         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Were many of these Republicans to agree to new taxes even on the top 0.000001% of earners in the US...

I imagine it would take some pretty clever verbiage to increase tax on 3 people. Unless you just came out and named them in the bill. "The Bill Gates/Warren Buffett/Oprah Act of 2011" [Smile]
Posts: 2790 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
umberhulk
Member
Member # 11788

 - posted      Profile for umberhulk   Email umberhulk         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't want to say anything really dumb. Trust me, I really, really don't. But how does having debt to other countries really hurt us? Like, does it impact the value of the dollar a lot. Because based off of my very naive understanding, countries (China) keeps giving us shit. And they arent, to my unworldly knowledge, giving some ultimatum getting they're money back.

I probably just said something really dumb.

Posts: 1224 | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Orincoro
Member
Member # 8854

 - posted      Profile for Orincoro   Email Orincoro         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No, it's not dumb. It's a fundamentally important question, to which there is no simple answer.

Others can add their two cents, but the answer I would give you is this: think of the American national debt as less than a solid number figure.

All nations carry debt, and debt is not in itself a negative thing. Instead, the national debt is like a reputation. If you are an attractive economy with lots of potential for growth, and lots of stability, you will attract investors (eg, China). These investors will give you their money, and not ask for much more back, because giving you money is considered "safe." It will be sure to pay off for them in the long term.

However, if you have taken too much money, other countries become *less* sure that you will really ever be able to pay them back what they have lent to you. They believed in your potential for growth before, but now they don't know if you'll grow *that* fast. So now they will only give you money if they get promises of higher payment, to compensate for their added perceived risk.

If your debt reaches a point where you are spending more money servicing your debt (making the interest payments), than you doing paying down the debt (paying the principle amount), then the debt will continue to grow bigger and bigger. You default on your debts, and reneg on any promises of paying them. The fear from other countries that you might do this is the problem with an excessive debt (even a bigger problem than the prospect of defaulting), because it means that you are no longer able to borrow money cheaply, and so your economy suffers when it is already moving rather slowly. Money can't move to places where it needs to be, because it is feared that it will not be payed back in the end.


The paradox is that once default occurs, and transfers the liability for your debts to the lenders themselves, sparing you the pain of paying them back, your own economy is free to recover. You will be distrusted for a time, but quickly you will be able to shoulder debt, and so grow your economy again- what was a fool's bet at long odds becomes attractive again at short ones. So, though it is painful (politically and economically) to default on debt, it can pave the way for future growth, given a healthy enough international market.

Posts: 9350 | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
I'm sympathetic to the fact that many of these Republicans were elected in regions where even the appearence of wavering on conservatism is grounds for immediate defeat. Were many of these Republicans to agree to new taxes even on the top 0.000001% of earners in the US, they would have the tea party express finding candidates that would merely need to scream, "He believes in taxing the talented, to pay for the lazy! Look at his record, he voted with the liberals!" and that would mean defeat for them.

Then defeat is (1) what they deserve, and (2) greatly beneficial to the future of our nation.
Posts: 13041 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
fugu, how bad would it be if we modified the capital gains tax (moved them up to 20/25 (or 30)%, and extended the time of the higher short-term tax to 3-5 years?
Probably a pretty bad idea. Increasing the capital gains tax is tricky enough as-is (and raising it would mostly penalize the activities we want to encourage; the amount earned by the much-decried hedge fund managers is barely noticeable in the grand scheme of things), and if there's a horizon on it, everyone who pays a lot of capital gains taxes and has some flexibility in realizing those gains (such as hedge fund managers) will just restructure their income to avoid most of the taxes.

quote:
I don't want to say anything really dumb. Trust me, I really, really don't. But how does having debt to other countries really hurt us? Like, does it impact the value of the dollar a lot. Because based off of my very naive understanding, countries (China) keeps giving us shit. And they arent, to my unworldly knowledge, giving some ultimatum getting they're money back.

Not dumb at all. Pretty much it doesn't hurt us, it helps us.

quote:
The paradox is that once default occurs, and transfers the liability for your debts to the lenders themselves, sparing you the pain of paying them back, your own economy is free to recover. You will be distrusted for a time, but quickly you will be able to shoulder debt, and so grow your economy again- what was a fool's bet at long odds becomes attractive again at short ones. So, though it is painful (politically and economically) to default on debt, it can pave the way for future growth, given a healthy enough international market.
And given the credibility of avoiding another default in the future, which is the big reason people avoid loaning money to countries that have defaulted, especially if the default was viewed as not absolutely necessary. There's little point to lending vast sums if there's much of a chance you'll ultimately lose almost all your money on the deal, no matter how good the prospects seem at the moment. Some countries have managed to persuade int'l bond purchasers to return after a default, but some have had to finance further growth almost entirely without -- which, strangely, hasn't always failed to work.

There's little doubt a US default would be a devastatingly catastrophic event, making the economic troubles of the past five to ten years (yes, I do mean to extend it back that far) seem like candyland. There's no need for one, either; US debt is still within perfectly manageable territory (and is by far mostly held by US citizens). We need to start slowing its growth and then reducing it, because it went up at a disturbingly fast rate in the past decade, and it would be nice to have some buffer, but default isn't remotely a good option.

Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geraine
Member
Member # 9913

 - posted      Profile for Geraine   Email Geraine         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The budget isn't impossible, it can be solved pretty easily.

Just invade China. Once we have them under our control, we can just force them to forgive our debts to them completely.

Problem solved.

Posts: 1738 | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
FoolishTook
Member
Member # 5358

 - posted      Profile for FoolishTook   Email FoolishTook         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think our debt should probably be a secondary issue to getting the economy growing again. That in itself will help shrink the debt.
Posts: 388 | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The economy is growing again. If you mean, growing more, the question of how to do that is rather more complicated than most people seem to think it is.
Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
natural_mystic
Member
Member # 11760

 - posted      Profile for natural_mystic           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by FoolishTook:
I think our debt should probably be a secondary issue to getting the economy growing again. That in itself will help shrink the debt.

I think that these can be done together to some degree - by which I mean a real debt reduction plan can be decided on to be phased in slowly over a few years so as not to imperil the very fragile recovery. In the short term I would do a second stimulus in the form of infrastructure projects. The apparent equanimity with which Washington views the current unemployment rate is most disconcerting.

As far as debt reduction goes, I think any credible plan involves raising taxes (phased in as appropriate), perhaps a return to Clinton-era levels, and a serious attack on the growth in the cost of medical care. (ACA does some good things in this regard, but does not go far enough).

Posts: 644 | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
The economy is growing again. If you mean, growing more, the question of how to do that is rather more complicated than most people seem to think it is.

Tax cuts.

*gestures wildly at a chart of the Laffer curve*

Also cut entitlement socialism programs. But mostly tax cuts.

Posts: 13041 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Your comedy routine is getting a bit abstract, Samp [Razz]
Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This chart has been making the rounds a lot these days.
Posts: 13436 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bokonon
Member
Member # 480

 - posted      Profile for Bokonon           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
quote:
fugu, how bad would it be if we modified the capital gains tax (moved them up to 20/25 (or 30)%, and extended the time of the higher short-term tax to 3-5 years?
Probably a pretty bad idea. Increasing the capital gains tax is tricky enough as-is (and raising it would mostly penalize the activities we want to encourage; the amount earned by the much-decried hedge fund managers is barely noticeable in the grand scheme of things), and if there's a horizon on it, everyone who pays a lot of capital gains taxes and has some flexibility in realizing those gains (such as hedge fund managers) will just restructure their income to avoid most of the taxes.

See, I guess I don't necessarily think it would penalize activities we want to encourage. I would think that extending the "short-term" window would slow flipping of options/stock grants, forcing more people to stay "long" in companies, which I would think could provide some stability to the corporations. As far as raising the capital gains rate, it's been higher in the past, has it not? How bad were the effects then?

Also I would think keeping the long-term rate below the top marginal income tax rate, or even better (???) putting it on a progressive scale like income, could gain extra revenue, without much adverse effect.

Of course, this is just me brainstorming. I'm sure studies have been done around this.

One more thing; if one is interested in reducing unemployment, and increasing wages in real terms, what are some of the popular theories about doing so?

Posts: 6855 | Registered: Nov 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I would think that extending the "short-term" window would slow flipping of options/stock grants, forcing more people to stay "long" in companies, which I would think could provide some stability to the corporations.
Short term capital gains are already taxed at whatever rate an individual normally pays. The lower rates are only for long term capital gains (more than a year). This makes sense, especially as the capital gains tax is on nominal dollars, not real dollars. So, someone who keeps an asset for twenty years and sees it go up by exactly the amount of inflation -- perhaps from $100 to $220 -- owes taxes on $120, despite its real value not having gone up at all. Having a higher capital gains tax rate will in more than a few situations discourage long term holding, as people will be more likely to get out when they can get some money in order to avoid the inflation penalty, especially if future inflation is very uncertain but current inflation is low (just like the current situation).

Also, publicly companies don't really have any major stability issues that I know of.

Much as I would like to get rid of the tax (and feel it would be a strong net benefit, especially in the long term), I'd be happy to include a small increase in it in tax reform (as I don't think that would be a super huge negative, and would result in increased revenue), but a limited time large increase doesn't make much sense. I don't think there's much to gain from making it progressive, either.

quote:
One more thing; if one is interested in reducing unemployment, and increasing wages in real terms, what are some of the popular theories about doing so?
Doing both at once is the especially fun part [Wink] . Some measures I'm coming around to are increased mandatory paid vacation time, stricter enforcement of existing overtime laws, and increases in tax rates at the top end.
Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
Your comedy routine is getting a bit abstract, Samp [Razz]

This is celebrity impersonations. Here, I'm impersonating far, far too many republicans.
Posts: 13041 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PSI Teleport
Member
Member # 5545

 - posted      Profile for PSI Teleport   Email PSI Teleport         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
This chart has been making the rounds a lot these days.

Thing's failing to take into consideration the other ways politicians would come up with to spend money if we weren't so bogged down already.
Posts: 6309 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In ten minutes, Mt. Gox opens up again, and the internet libertarian currency of the future ~BITCOINS~ shall flow free; perhaps this is the way we can escape the drudgery of all this debt.
Posts: 13041 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
T:man
Member
Member # 11614

 - posted      Profile for T:man   Email T:man         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I keep reading the title as 'No New Texas!'

Really messing with my head.

Posts: 1559 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Vadon
Member
Member # 4561

 - posted      Profile for Vadon           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:

quote:
One more thing; if one is interested in reducing unemployment, and increasing wages in real terms, what are some of the popular theories about doing so?
Doing both at once is the especially fun part [Wink] . Some measures I'm coming around to are increased mandatory paid vacation time, stricter enforcement of existing overtime laws, and increases in tax rates at the top end.
Oh there you go being all sensible-like. Here I was thinking of threatening violent revolution against the upper echelons of society if things don't improve, but you had to go and rain on my parade with rational thought.
Posts: 1812 | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Note that the top end will include a non-trivial part of what we commonly think of as the middle class (out of necessity). Also, I view other measures I've come out strongly for (notably tax code simplification) as pretty essential, too.
Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
dabbler
Member
Member # 6443

 - posted      Profile for dabbler   Email dabbler         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As someone who will be leaving training in a year and entering a well compensated profession, I'm very willing to have taxes increase for the moderately-middle classes (say, slightly higher at 100k, and definitely higher at the 200k mark).
Posts: 1260 | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Republicans are digging in.

Honestly, I think there's a 50/50 chance a compromise will be reached by August 2nd. I would be extremely surprised if Obama falls back on the 14th ammendment, but I think the Republicans haven't just drawn lines in the sand, they've carved into their own flesh and made blood oaths that higher taxes are not going to happen, come what may.

I think it's reckless and irresponsible, but then again it was reckless and irresponsible that we've gotten this deep into debt. I do find it somewhat laughable that Cantor's response to, "What compromises are you willing to make?" was in essence, "Just talking about raising the ceiling is all the compromise we can muster."

Spending cuts to programs such as Medicare, programs near and dear to the Democratic party have already been put on the table, and we can't even talk about letting the Bush tax cuts expire for Americans making over 250,000 a year? Subsidies for oil companies can't go on the chopping block?

I confess I kinda hate that fiscal discipline is suddenly the order of the day when the Republicans don't control the White House, if they are trying to reform as a party that's fine, but there's only two ways to get out of debt, spending cuts, and revenue increases. Right now the Republicans have indicated that not only are big spending cuts essential, they won't even consider cutting taxes so as to increase revenue unless those new taxes are met with cuts to spending that are equal to or exceed those taxes. In essence, you can rob Peter to pay Paul, but only if Paul personally matches whatever funds you took from Peter.

I think this is going to work out one of two ways.

1: The Democrats cave, pass the spending cuts in exchange for the Republicans voting for the treasury being able to continue spending. The Republicans look like heroes to their caucus.

2: Neither side caves, Aug 2nd arrives, Obama invokes the 14th ammendment and says the constitution authorizes him to raise the debt ceiling because the debt of the US is not to be questioned according to that section of the constitution. Republicans look like heroes, and they scream that Obama is just following the tenor of his entire administration, spending recklessly, expanding government, and usurping power.

edit: I guess what bugs me about the Republicans sudden shift to fiscal discipline, is that they are not owning up to their share of this debt. Obama didn't create our debt, though he certainly authorized spending that added to it significantly. Republicans need to own this problem as much as the Democrats, and not just use it as a political point they can use to rouse their base. Yes raising the debt ceiling is frustrating if you believe in small government, but those funds have already been spent, the government is not asking for more money they can spend, they are asking the Congress to authorize payment on things that have already been purchased. If start not paying the debt, then the credit of the US economy plummets in a very real way. Either we start paying for it now, or we can pay for it in other ways when the economy collapses.

[ July 12, 2011, 04:42 PM: Message edited by: BlackBlade ]

Posts: 13436 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
twinky
Member
Member # 693

 - posted      Profile for twinky   Email twinky         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Economist: The Republicans are playing a cynical political game with hugely high economic stakes.
Posts: 10878 | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The debt ceiling was not this big a deal before President Obama took office. It was raised several times under President Bush without a peep from the Republican leaders who are so adamantly against it now.

I think that is certainly an indication of using this for political gain rather than a true ideological position.

Posts: 10410 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Aerin
Member
Member # 3902

 - posted      Profile for Aerin           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The debt limit was raised several times under President Clinton as well. It has been raised under every president for past few decades.

I don't have the link, but I saw a graph showing who votes to raise the limit and when.

Republicans vote to raise the limit when the Republicans are in power. They vote against when the Democrats are in power.

Democrats vote to raise the limit when the Democrats are in power. They vote again when the Republicans are in power.

It was truly eye-opening.

Of COURSE this is all for political gain. It's ALWAYS for political gain primarily. BOTH SIDES are jostling for political gain.

This includes then-Senator Obama:

quote:
The votes to raise the debt ceiling -- there have been 10 since 2001 -- are famous for political posturing. Our research showed that President Obama is no exception. Back in 2006, he joined with other Senate Democrats to vote against raising the debt limit, a measure supported by President George W. Bush.

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can't pay its own bills," Obama said.

Here's the link: http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org/2011/01/14/handicapping-the-debt-ceiling-debate/

So no hand-ringing and holier-than-thou attitudes about which party is evil when. It doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

Posts: 232 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
McConnell offers a backup plan.

What a convulted way of dealing with this issue. This issue should not be one where these sorts of gymnastics are required. It also gives the Republicans an out so far as actually solving this issue. They can instead wash their hands of the whole thing and portray the Democrats as forcing their agenda but still get some of these spending cuts. It seems they are banking on Democrats being willing to do anything to prevent the treasury from running out of money.

The problem is revenue as part of the total solution, the Republicans needs to stop coming up with solutions that don't require their sacrificing from their side of the table.

Posts: 13436 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Aerin
Member
Member # 3902

 - posted      Profile for Aerin           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
This chart has been making the rounds a lot these days.

Megan McArdle explains why this is a disingenous chart.

In short:

1. How long do you think Democrats will try to keep milking the "Blame Bush" thing? You know, at some point, you actually have to govern or admit you can't.

2. Each line item gets approved to be in the bill on its own. You could make a chart have ANYTHING be the final straw. If I were making it, it would have farm subsidies and Medicare at the top, and it would be just as true.

Posts: 232 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Aerin: Thanks for the links, I'll have a look at them in a bit hopefully.
Posts: 13436 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Would you feel better if, instead of referring to them as "the Bush era tax cuts", we referred to them as "the tax cuts from 2001 and 2003 that were supposed to have expired by now"?
Posts: 10410 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
BlackBlade, the link basically just says that we can't blame President Bush for what congress passed during his term and that President Obama should have been able to change it by now.

It doesn't address whether the tax cuts should be changed if people are all that bent about the deficit which is what the data indicates.

Posts: 10410 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Aerin
Member
Member # 3902

 - posted      Profile for Aerin           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No, I'd feel better if you understand that all previous legislation led to the current situation, not just the previous legislation you don't like.

And no, read it again. It says that treating some budget decisions like holy inevitabilities while cherry picking other budget decisions to be the bad guys is deliberately foolish and disingenous.

But hey, it only needs to fool some of the people, so I guess it worked.

Posts: 232 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
All previous legislation? Really? I am pretty sure that some legislation is more responsible than other legislation.
Posts: 10410 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Aerin
Member
Member # 3902

 - posted      Profile for Aerin           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sure - the legislation that hasn't been revoted and doesn't need to be renewed. Which...of course are not tax cuts of any kind. You are referring to the entitlements.

However, the tax cuts were due to expire. Congress voted to keep them and Obama signed the bill. Man up and take responsibility, people.

-----


KMB, do you really not understand that if your budget includes 13 line items and you only have enough money coming in to pay for the first 10, it is not only the last three items that should be examined?

Posts: 232 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
BlackBlade, the link basically just says that we can't blame President Bush for what congress passed during his term and that President Obama should have been able to change it by now.

You should reread the link. What was passed by Congress and signed by Bush didn't extend until now (though, granted, many of those involved no doubt wanted it to continue). It was only with the positive action of Congress and signature of Obama that the tax cuts continue (in large part). Laying that all at the doorstep of Bush is stupid.

quote:
It doesn't address whether the tax cuts should be changed if people are all that bent about the deficit which is what the data indicates.
Of course it doesn't. It's addressing the fallacious way blame has been assigned.
Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And extending the tax cuts for those making over $250,000 a year was the wrong thing to do. Sadly, because stonewalling Republicans in the Senate were holding unemployment benefits hostage, it had to be done or many families would suffer and the economy would take a further hit.

So, yeah. Democrats were responsible for caving in to Republicans.

Posts: 10410 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Aerin
Member
Member # 3902

 - posted      Profile for Aerin           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
*laugh* That is one impressive determination to toe the party line. I guess everyone wants to imagine they are always the good guys.

I do wish you understood more about economics and politics if you insist on posting in these threads.

Posts: 232 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Aerin:

KMB, do you really not understand that if your budget includes 13 line items and you only have enough money coming in to pay for the first 10, it is not only the last three items that should be examined?

Do you not understand that if each of those three items make up more of your budget than the other ten combined, it makes sense to look at those?
Posts: 10410 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
And extending the tax cuts for those making over $250,000 a year was the wrong thing to do. Sadly, because stonewalling Republicans in the Senate were holding unemployment benefits hostage, it had to be done or many families would suffer and the economy would take a further hit.

As a substantial part of the deficit is due to the cuts for those making under $250k a year, you still don't get to blame the future deficit crunch on Bush.
Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Fugu13, I don't care about who gets blamed; I care about what policies are responsible and who votes for those policies and why.
Posts: 10410 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
BlackBlade, the link basically just says that we can't blame President Bush for what congress passed during his term and that President Obama should have been able to change it by now.

So long as you correct your misunderstandings.
Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 8576

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Aerin:
*laugh* That is one impressive determination to toe the party line. I guess everyone wants to imagine they are always the good guys.

I do wish you understood more about economics and politics if you insist on posting in these threads.

And I wish that you did. How do you recall what happened with the vote to extend the tax cuts? And, again, I don't care if we call them the Bush tax cuts or the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.
Posts: 10410 | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
twinky
Member
Member # 693

 - posted      Profile for twinky   Email twinky         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Aerin:
Republicans vote to raise the limit when the Republicans are in power. They vote against when the Democrats are in power.

Democrats vote to raise the limit when the Democrats are in power. They vote again when the Republicans are in power.

That's unsurprising. This time, however, the sticking point is the Republican refusal to countenance tax increases. I don't see a realistic route to surplus for the US that doesn't include tax increases. Do you?
Posts: 10878 | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 10 pages: 1  2  3  4  ...  8  9  10   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2