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Author Topic: No New Taxes! (The Impossible Budget).
Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
All right, all right; you've convinced me. Clearly we as a country should be giving these lemons away.

The Taiwanese frequently joke that their navy is comprised entirely of WWII US naval vessels that were sunk in action and dredged up by them.

I'm sure they'd take whatever carriers we are giving away, the PRC doesn't even have a carrier yet. Taiwan beating them to it would be hysterical.

*Yet* is a little disingenuous, the Shi Lang is just about complete.
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TomDavidson
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I think it's the other way around; the addition of the "yet" implies that the Chinese are on their way to a carrier, where its omission would not.
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James Tiberius Kirk
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Nope, not tonight. Not that it matters - the Senate will not pass it, and the President will not sign it. He just had to push the Boehner bill in order to save face now. Meanwhile, the interests of individual Tea Party members contradict the best interests of the GOP (and the country) as a whole. I guess there's just enough of them for this to be a problem.

Should be a fun day on Wall Street tomorrow.

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Danlo the Wild
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Wall Street won't freak out more than 200 to 400 points.

They will get paid no matter what.

The BOND HOLDERS are priority #1.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
*Yet* is a little disingenuous, the Shi Lang is just about complete.

Lol, they called that hunk of junk the Shi Lang?
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Blayne Bradley
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Yup, and its hardly a hunk of junk. You gotta start somewhere. The navy goons at SA are excited about it, now they'll finally have someone to play with.

To quote one of em:

quote:

As I've said more times than I can count, underestimate China at your peril. The PLAN has a helluva lot more assets than a "rusted hulk of a carrier and a frigate." They don't want to or have to play on our turf, but we have to be able to convince them we can play on theirs. The Great J-20 freakout of 2010 was really a shame, because the overblown concerns over what is at most a prototype overshadowed two much more important developments: the continued buildup of the PLAN and the estimation by Adm Willard (PACOM Commander) that the DF-21D has achieved IOC.

*******

Buying a carrier like that, even in terrible condition, is actually pretty shrewd of the Chinese. It may be worth little more than scrap to anyone else, but to the Chinese, it's a treasure-trove of lessons learned; little things that the Russians discovered through years of trial and error that never would have taken them decades to figure out on their own.


*********

Are you saying that the Адмирал Кузнецов-class is something to shrug at? They're no Nimitz, but still...


********

It's still a cheap as hell way to get a carrier. $30 million plus repairs and completion. Even if they had to spend about a billion to finish it that's still a quarter the cost of a Nimitz, and probably competitive with what it'd cost to build one themselves.

Again, it doesn't particularly matter if she's a preexisting design if all they use her for is training pilots and practicing how to work a CVBG.



[ July 29, 2011, 02:22 AM: Message edited by: Blayne Bradley ]

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
Yup, and its hardly a hunk of junk. You gotta start somewhere.

Yes, evidently. With a pile of junk.

(keep in mind, also, that if I hated China, I would love more than anything to watch them sink billions into carriers this late in the game)

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Mucus
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Personally, I think that the carrier is pretty much a white elephant.

The consolation is that the military-industrial complex will probably convince the US to spend way more than the carrier is worth in order to "counter" it, and given the current financial state of the US, that is a game the CCP would be more than happy to play.

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salcedocine
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Just out of curiosity, does anybody think there's an actual chance of war with China if the U.S defaults on its debt?
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Mucus
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You can't collect money from a pile of radioactive ash*

* Besides, with a total guess-estimate, the interest China collects on the roughly 1 trillion in USD debt it holds is "only" 10 billion over a year (using a rough guess of 1%). The Olympics cost four times that while they're spending roughly ten times that per year on high speed rail.

It simply wouldn't be cost effective to have a war over such a small amount of money.

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fugu13
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Why would there be a war with China? There's no motivation at all. I mean, maybe if we did something ultra stupid like defaulting on China's debt, they'd just make a big (justified & successful) fuss at world organizations and get a lot of political leverage out of it.

Mucus: China's carrier is pretty much a non-issue for the US military. We can already counter it almost effortlessly, plus the strong rumors are that it will be used as a training platform so when they have better carriers (that one isn't really a typical carrier in the first place, but is for a sort of odd strategic positioning) they have some people who know what they're doing. Very useful long term, but nothing to change anything in the short term.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Personally, I think that the carrier is pretty much a white elephant.

The consolation is that the military-industrial complex will probably convince the US to spend way more than the carrier is worth in order to "counter" it, and given the current financial state of the US, that is a game the CCP would be more than happy to play.

Eh, I think that's rather silly. History proves rather convincingly that military buildups favor economies with access to resources. It really doesn't matter how poorly the us economy seems to be doing at this moment. The us still owns the largest manufacturing sector in the world, and access to more material resources than china, and a far better geographical defense posture. One thing the cold war showed fairly convincingly, I think, is that attempting to compete directly with US naval power is a losing bet for almost any nation. W have access to all the sealanes in the world, major ports thousands of miles apart in different oceans, and the means to move enormous resources across them. China couldn't match that. They depend on the streength and stability of our economy to begin with. Competing with us would be biting the hand that keeps their lifelines open, even a thy are very aware that we could close down on them if we needed to.

But really, I just think talking about short term market economics when discussing military potential is taking large account of minute factors. Look at the state of the soviet economy when hitler invaded, for example. It didn't matter. Russia had more resources, and given time to amass forces, they ground the Germans down. Economics change when military competition comes into play.

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Lyrhawn
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Yeah, what fugu said. China getting a couple of several decade old designed carriers isn't really that big a game changer. It gives China the opportunity to project power far more broadly, which makes them a bigger player on the world stage, but it's hardly significant in a hypothetical war. Leaving aside the fact that, for the moment, China's naval forces aren't nearly as well trained as America's are, there's also the fact that we have like ten carriers, dozens of destroyers and cruisers, hundreds of fighters, and dozens of submarines.

What exactly would the United States need to build to counter this new "threat?" We're nowhere near an arms race. We've already finished the race and are enjoying extremely expensive cocktails in the race lounge. China and others are just now moving into the starting blocks.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by salcedocine:
Just out of curiosity, does anybody think there's an actual chance of war with China if the U.S defaults on its debt?

No. For every dollar that china recieves in interest from the US on debt service, 50 flow through the Chinese economy in trade. You don't attack the source of your wealth, and your biggest trading partner over interest rates.

Also, considering that china has no other larger markets for her products, she depends on the US to keep her economy from imploding. If we stop buying their products, they have to stop making them. Meaning they have to stop growing. If they stop growing, they collapse.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
What exactly would the United States need to build to counter this new "threat?" We're nowhere near an arms race.

I think looking at it in terms of "need" is clearly wrong. The US didn't "need" to continue to spend billions on weapons that are really meant to counter a Soviet-era style military. It also doesn't "need" to spend billions on wars against a rag-tag group of terrorists who have only really killed a couple of thousand people.

Terrorism is just a good bogeyman and the fact is that Congressmen and politicians are already looking toward China as the next boogeyman for all sorts of issues and to justify any number of silly things.

So the way to look at it is not whether the US "needs" more arms, clearly it hasn't needed much of what it currently purchases for many decades now. But whether China can scare or give justification for a few tea party politicians to vote for more military spending. In the case that China decides to train its pilots by flying them up and down the US coast, I think its inevitable that politicians already leaning toward buying more arms due to job concerns can easily be persuaded into buying a few more toys. The attack ads against politicians "soft on China" almost write themselves.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Orincoro:
One thing the cold war showed fairly convincingly, I think, is that attempting to compete directly with US naval power is a losing bet for almost any nation.

"Directly" is probably also the wrong way to look at it. I think its clear that China has no real intention of competing directly with the US military. China will continue spending much more on internal security than external for a long time.

Rather, I look at it in terms of what the US feels it has to do to maintain an overwhelming military advantage in all cases.

The US doesn't merely match China's military spending, it spends more than the rest of the world combined. When China ramps up its spending, India ramps up its spending, so does Europe, and the US is going to have to pace the combined sum. Its also going to have to spend much more than 1:1 in order to both maintain an overwhelming advantage and in order to do research and development on how to do that (while China can just steal and copy the results).

And this at a time when the US is looking at cutting things like education, social security, healthcare while leaving defence spending relatively unscathed.

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BlackBlade
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Pres. Obama is set to address the nation about negotiations live in just a few minutes.

Should be very informative.

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Destineer
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Great ending to Krugman's column today:

quote:
But making nebulous calls for centrism, like writing news reports that always place equal blame on both parties, is a big cop-out — a cop-out that only encourages more bad behavior. The problem with American politics right now is Republican extremism, and if you’re not willing to say that, you’re helping make that problem worse.

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BlackBlade
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Word on the street is freshmen Republican congressmen are insisting a balance budget amendment be included in the Boehner bill before they will vote for it.

Two minutes until Obama's comments.

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BlackBlade
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As expected mostly conciliatory in tone. Obviously it's an attempt to appear rational and compromising, sorta like Clinton in the 90s when a similar thing happened.

I just do not see how a deal can be reached when Republicans cannot even reach an internal deal about what they want. Unless Republicans break ranks in large numbers with Democrats I just can't see this happening this weekend.

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Tresopax
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Republicans can't unite behind their own plan, so they are left with only two options: Break ranks and join the Democrat plan or essentially accept blame for a default. The reasonable Republicans won't do the latter, so I think option one is the most likely outcome now.

...

Krugman is absolutely right though. Much of the problem here stems from the media and the way we draw conclusions about the political world - from the fact that Republicans have gotten away with creating an alternative fictional conservative reality where you can default on your debt and yet end up with a happy ending where our budget is balanced. This has happened because there exist Republican outlets like talk radio or Fox News willing to create and sell that reality, while more reputable news sources are too concerned with looking balanced or politically correct to call them out on it every time. In reality, there is a truth, and if we pretend that there are alternative truths that we can pick and choose from on things like this, we'll end up in a situation like the one we are in.

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fugu13
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quote:
The US doesn't merely match China's military spending, it spends more than the rest of the world combined. When China ramps up its spending, India ramps up its spending, so does Europe, and the US is going to have to pace the combined sum. Its also going to have to spend much more than 1:1 in order to both maintain an overwhelming advantage and in order to do research and development on how to do that (while China can just steal and copy the results).

But China didn't significantly ramp up its spending for the carrier. It spent a pittance on the beast originally, didn't do squat with it for years, and is throwing maybe $1 billion at it over the past few years/current period. That's hardly a changing balance of power, and it doesn't seem to reflect some major new priority in their military; if they hadn't spent a billion on it, they very likely would have spent the billion on something else, rather than the carrier. I mean, it took maybe a third of a percent of their military budget this year. In terms of the sums of the military budgets you indicate (which I don't think the US is tracking as closely as you seem to, but even so), or the US military budget, that's a rounding error. It'd take a much more major military building initiative (like an entire carrier program) to stimulate noticeably more US military spending.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
But China didn't significantly ramp up its spending for the carrier. It spent a pittance on the beast originally, didn't do squat with it for years, and is throwing maybe $1 billion at it over the past few years/current period.

I agree, and I think that is part of the beauty of it. Between the Varyag and the high speed rail, I think we can establish that the upcoming Chinese carrier program will be a) fast b) provocative c) cutting corners

Thus, while useless in actual combat, for a pittance, China has gone from no carrier to carrier, and has gone from buzzing Taiwan every once in a while to buzzing Hawaii or California.

So the next Republican president isn't merely going to say that "Xi Jinping is rearing his head," he/she will be able to point at actual Chinese planes flying around (outside) the USA.

In that environment, are they really going to be able to oppose something like this?
quote:
New ones, even bigger and more expensive, are on the way. The new supercarrier Gerald R. Ford, due to join the navy in 2015, will cost $5.1-billion, not including warplanes, it’s fleet of escorts and operating costs over a half-century life. Eventually, the U.S. Navy wants 11 Ford-class ships to replace all 11 of the existing supercarriers.
link
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Blayne Bradley
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quote:

But China didn't significantly ramp up its spending for the carrier. It spent a pittance on the beast originally, didn't do squat with it for years

This isn't quite correct, it spent 1.5 years towing it to China, about 4 years studying it and official repairs began in 2005 when it was finally moved to a dry dock and reconstruction efforts began.

They bout 4 landing and take off sets from Russia, the plan seems to be 1 land based training mockup carrier and three for actual carriers since 3 is the minimum number to have 1 CVG out at any one time.

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fugu13
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Of course China was going to get carriers at some point; you can't be a global power without them, and China wants at least the trappings of a global power.

And I'm quite in support of the supercarrier replacements even if China doesn't have a counter [Wink] . The threat of the US projecting overwhelming power on short notice has been a major factor in the relatively peaceful last several decades (yes, even including wars the US has been involved in). That is the among the last parts of our military capacity we should allow to be impaired.

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fugu13
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quote:
This isn't quite correct, it spent 1.5 years towing it to China, about 4 years studying it and official repairs began in 2005 when it was finally moved to a dry dock and reconstruction efforts began.

That's completely compatible with what I said. And the repairs weren't going at much of a pace for at least the first couple of years after 2005.
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Ron Lambert
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Krugman's claim that the main problem in American politics today is "Republican extremism" is based on a distorted view that anyone taking a stand must be at fault for disrupting business as usual.

America's problem is certainly not that it is undertaxed. Rather, it is overtaxed. The real problem any time anyone's budget is unbalanced is overspending. Thus the conservative Republican, Tea Partier stand against the Democrat desire to raise taxes, and their insistance upon real, meaningful spending cuts, is the most ultimately sane and responsible viewpoint in American politics.

That said, I do not think that allowing the country to go into default on paying its bills is a sensible way to get to the desired goal of fiscal reform. If the government defaults, the interest rates the government has to pay will be raised, which right there will greatly increase the amount of interest that needs to be paid, thus putting the country further behind in any hope of balancing its budget.

The reality that the Tax and Spend Democrats still control the Senate must be taken into account. So a compromise that includes many spending cuts but also a few tax increases, is probably the only way that any progress can be made before the next election gives Republicans control of the Senate and the White House as well.

It is vain to wait for the amateurs in the White House to exercize any effective leadership whatsoever. Republicans will have to compromise with Democrats, irresponsible as the Democrats are.

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TomDavidson
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Be sure to call your representatives and tell them that, Ron.
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Bokonon
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Call me crazy, but I think the most sane viewpoint on this issue is a combination of tax code changes (closing loopholes, rate hikes if necessary) with spending cuts.

Across the board.

No one gets out of it, not the rich, poor, corporations, mom&pop shops. Not SS, Medicaid, defense, subsidies, education.

We're the country of E Pluribus Unum, for crying out loud; despite what right-wing reactionaries say, we are all on same team. So lets come up with a compromise.

--

Ron:

quote:
America's problem is certainly not that it is undertaxed. Rather, it is overtaxed.
Wrong. At best you can say there are some inefficiencies in specific parts of the tax code, but looking at all federal taxes (income, capital gains, FICA), all income levels are experiencing SOME OF THE LOWEST TAXATION LEVELS IN DECADES. And if we went back to Clinton-era tax levels we would still be at SOME OF THE LOWEST TAXATION LEVELS IN DECADES. At this point, if tax cuts aren't stimulating the economy, more of the same ain't going to change anything. The Laffer Curve is a freaking curve, after all, not a straight line.
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Samprimary
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I love it when the democrats are referred to by the coached label "Tax and Spend Democrats" or "Tax and Spend Liberals" — it's amusing that this is an effective, manipulative language framing despite being, well, sound policy.

Far better than, in contrast, "spend and spend conservatives." Or whatever you want to call them.

*rubs The Link in everyone's face again*

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BlackBlade
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Dana Milbank on John Boehner.

At this point it's clear he has to basically capitulate to these Republican holdouts by putting still more unacceptable proposals into his bill, just so he can say the House passed it and the Senate blocked it. Either way, the real lesson here is that Boehner can't whip the Republican party into the feight train it used to be, previous speakers did not have this problem.

I don't necessarily blame him for being unable to, none of the previous speakers were dealing with the Tea Party caucus, but I do blame him for not being able to then bypass that caucus by dealing with the Democrats. It's clear the Republican party does not have its house in order, and while that gives us a lot to jeer about, to me it merely demonstrates our government is unable to function properly.

I believe the system will adjust, it always does, but it's so stupid that this time all of us have to endure a big mess, before sheer rage forces our representatives to act like adults.

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BlackBlade
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Oh also, I'd like to apologize on behalf of representatives Chaffetz and Lee of Utah for their roles in this crisis.

They are idiots, and extremely inexperienced in politics, especially Lee.

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FoolishTook
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Samprimary, still riding that horse, I see.

I don't know of many conservatives who supported Bush's spending policies. In fact, most conservatives were so fed up with his spending, they didn't bother voting for another mediocre republican (John McCain) in 2008.

Five years from now, I'd like to see how accurate the projected spending of Obama's policy changes compare to his actual spending--provided he gets elected to another term.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by FoolishTook:
Samprimary, still riding that horse, I see.

There's a lot of horses to ride here. We're in the middle of a manufactured crisis. Unless someone wants to ride out in the opposite direction or seriously contest that this is the 'fault of both parties equally,' (A time-honored favorite here) I'd say the guilty party (bad conservatives fixated on bad policy) gets the hooves.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Oh also, I'd like to apologize on behalf of representatives Chaffetz and Lee of Utah for their roles in this crisis.

They are idiots, and extremely inexperienced in politics, especially Lee.

Bleh. I hate false apologies, especially those that are really insults.

Much better to just say that you're ashamed of them.

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fugu13
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I don't think BlackBlade is falsely apologizing, though it is also an insult.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by FoolishTook:
Samprimary, still riding that horse, I see.

I don't know of many conservatives who supported Bush's spending policies. In fact, most conservatives were so fed up with his spending, they didn't bother voting for another mediocre republican (John McCain) in 2008.

Five years from now, I'd like to see how accurate the projected spending of Obama's policy changes compare to his actual spending--provided he gets elected to another term.

Where were these so-many conservatives, to the point that few conservatives know any other conservatives who supported those policies, at the time?

It seems to me that this is a retroactive groundswell of opposition among conservatives throughout the first four years.

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mr_porteiro_head
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He's in no position to give an apology on behalf of them. It's not a real apology at all.

It is, though, better than false apologies that are insulting the person being apologized to, like "I'm sorry that you're such a poopy head.".

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mr_porteiro_head
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BB, sorry for just coming out and so directly criticizing your posting style like that. It was pretty obnoxious of me.
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BlackBlade
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Porter: I absolutely am in a position to apologize on behalf of two men who represent me in Congress. I think they are doing a terrible job representing me. I completely understand there are others in Utah, more numerous than I, who may feel they are doing exactly what they want, I think they are wrong.

Further, my readings about Rep. Lee based on statements he's made in public lead me to believe that he is extremely naive and inexperienced at working on Capital Hill, and that inexperience has lead him to bad conclusions about what he ought to be doing.

edit: Also no hard feelings, you're entitled to be as brittle as you feel you should be when I write things. I like participation in this thread. You have a knack for saying things that give me pause as to how I am acting.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Porter: I absolutely am in a position to apologize on behalf of two men who represent me in Congress.
No you're not, any more than you are in a position to speak on their behalf. You have neither been given authority to represent them, nor can you honestly think the apology accurately reflects their thoughts and feelings on the matter.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
you're entitled to be as brittle as you feel you should be when I write things.
No I'm not. [Smile]
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
Porter: I absolutely am in a position to apologize on behalf of two men who represent me in Congress.
No you're not, any more than you are in a position to speak on their behalf. You have neither been given authority to represent them, nor can you honestly think the apology accurately reflects their thoughts and feelings on the matter.
Of course my apology does not reflect their feelings and thoughts on the matter. I'm offering the apology they should be offering.

And what's this about whether or not I represent them? I can't represent my own representatives.

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natural_mystic
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quote:
Originally posted by FoolishTook:

I don't know of many conservatives who supported Bush's spending policies. In fact, most conservatives were so fed up with his spending, they didn't bother voting for another mediocre republican (John McCain) in 2008.

Until the economy went off a cliff, Bush's big spending items were Medicare Part D and various wars. The wars were initiated in Bush's first term, as was the passage of Medicare Part D. Neither of these unfunded expenditures seemed to hurt Bush at the polls in 2004.
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Bella Bee
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BB - I'm staying out of the whys and where-with-alls (I have actually no idea who these people even are), but I will say that if you didn't vote for them you don't have to apologize for what they get up to. It's not your fault or your responsibility because you just happen to live there.

And I say that as someone who has only had the chance to vote for the winner of local representation one time! My entire life has been spent going 'It's nothing to do with me what they've done!'

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Originally posted by FoolishTook:
Samprimary, still riding that horse, I see.

I don't know of many conservatives who supported Bush's spending policies. In fact, most conservatives were so fed up with his spending, they didn't bother voting for another mediocre republican (John McCain) in 2008.

Five years from now, I'd like to see how accurate the projected spending of Obama's policy changes compare to his actual spending--provided he gets elected to another term.

Where were these so-many conservatives, to the point that few conservatives know any other conservatives who supported those policies, at the time?

It seems to me that this is a retroactive groundswell of opposition among conservatives throughout the first four years.

I was one of them. Well, I don't know that I really fit into the "conservative" box, but I am deeply concerned with fiscal responsibility and was a registered Republican at the time.

It was a very lonely time. Fiscal responsibility - and let's be clear, this isn't just a Bush issue. It was largely a problem of ridiculous behavior and policies by the Republicans in Congress. - was thrown out the window. It was a non-starter in many circles and considered "treasonous" questioning the President in others. There were some people concerned with it, but I wish that there were a tenth of people who are so worked up about it now who made it a primary concern then.

Also, alongside with it being a serious problem with the Republican legislators, you do know that most of them from that period are still in office, right? If people were really fed up with the spending during Bush's term, I'd expect them to have maybe voted out the people most responsible for it.

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natural_mystic
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Oh also, I'd like to apologize on behalf of representatives Chaffetz and Lee of Utah for their roles in this crisis.

They are idiots, and extremely inexperienced in politics, especially Lee.

From what I have seen and heard of Lee, while I think he is dangerously wrong, I would not call him an idiot. Not at all. I suspect he will be a force for a long time.
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mr_porteiro_head
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If you have authority to represent me in some capacity, you can speak in my behalf, offer apologies on my behalf, make promises on my behalf, etc..

You have no such authority with your two representatives.

Or, if you're confident that you know my mind on the matter, you can do similar things. ("I'm sure I speak on behalf of everybody here when I say that we really appreciate...").

But you cannot in good faith say something on behalf of somebody else that you know they would disagree with.

"On behalf of our gracious host, OSC, and our tireless moderator, JB, I want to apologize for allowing the wrong sort of riff-raff to register on these forums."

Even if I thought that this were an apology that you guys should be making, claiming that I'm making it on y'all's behalf is utterly dishonest.

Of course, you're not being dishonest like that, because it's understood that it's a fake apology that you're offering.

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Ron Lambert
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On behalf of the human race, I want to apologize to all the animals who have been slaughtered as they innocently tried to cross the road, by our speeding cars and trucks.

(This apology excludes chickens, who have inspired way too many absurd jokes.)

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by natural_mystic:
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Oh also, I'd like to apologize on behalf of representatives Chaffetz and Lee of Utah for their roles in this crisis.

They are idiots, and extremely inexperienced in politics, especially Lee.

From what I have seen and heard of Lee, while I think he is dangerously wrong, I would not call him an idiot. Not at all. I suspect he will be a force for a long time.
Very well, he's a forceful idiot. [Wink]

He may be knowledgeable in some things, but understanding this issue is not one of them as far as I have seen.

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