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Dhimmitude and Healthcare
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 6022

PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"But, why did we go 7 years of GW Bush's term without a surplus?"

In a large part the deficit spending that occurred during the Bush Administration was due to the Bush Tax Cuts, and a decision to conduct two wars during his term without a sound plan to pay for them. In my opinion, that's why the Bush Tax Cuts need to expire this year. In reality, the tax increase that most middle class folks would see would be relatively small, but it would generate the revenue needed to begin addressing our deficit in a significant way over time. Also, I think we all know that the economy isn't going to grow significantly over the next few years, so imagining that we will yield increased revenues without a tax increase is a pipe dream.

I know this isn't what most folks want to hear, but the nation needs to knuckle down, get serious and just do it. Simply thinking spending cuts alone will get us there isn't going to work.
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mat-ty



Joined: 07 Jul 2007
Posts: 1092

PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This famous scene from monty phython reminds me of liberals, when they defend the most disgusting bill , criminally jammed down Americas throat. Bleeding from every limb and dying, they are Defiant to the end! EVEN AT THERE OWN PERIL



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eMkth8FWno
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3751
Location: at a computer

PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead wrote:
The national debt increased by almost $3 trillion under GW Bush. Interest (pre Obama) costs us some $400 billion per year.

If Obama could balance HIS budget, he would still have approx. $700 billion in interest to pay on past presidents tabs in this 20 mo. period. Now, consider who these largest offenders were - Reagan and GW Bush.

It is very misleading to talk spending amounts without discussing spending and debt as a percentage of GDP. It is the sound bite "Obama has spent more than all predessors combined" that gets to me. How can we attempt to address the debt and the deficit when exaggerations (no historical context) like this are part of the dialogue?

I am no fan of deficit spending and debt accumulation. I do recognize, however, that it was necessary at this time. But, why did we go 7 years of GW Bush's term without a surplus?

4.3Tr is the actually Bush #. Budget deficit-annual. Total debt outstanding is the biggie. We went 7 years during W without a surplus because:
(1) he was a prolific spender. No veto, no threat of veto.
(2) power hungry. 2003 Medicare Part D was a Rovian masterpiece securing big votes in 2002 midterms, and was a 1Trillion dollar hole in the budget.
(3) two wars
(4) massive tax cuts while spending lots, and fighting wars , unprecedented.
Repubs are prolific spenders, and I fear that the tea baggers will be upset when Medicare, and SS stay in tact.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 2036

PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops! Boggsman, you're right. I missed the last year in my total. But, wasn't that Obama's fault?

I think the verdict on too low a tax rate along with a steady rate of spending is pretty conclusive. Did not work for Reagan, Did not work for GW Bush.

Now, we have higher interest in the expense column and it is going to be harder yet to catch up. Most people know if their debt is too high, at some point, the decrease in spending will not help. More income will be needed.

We have to raise taxes or have a period of huge economic expansion. I don't see the '90's on the near horizon.

The real issue though, is why is this not the news? Instead we want to talk about Obama's citizenship.
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3751
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's boring. And the Government can extend debt for a long time until big problems pop up, especially when the Chinese buy every issue. If we went the ways of the Greeks, up taxes and cut spending, we would endure a crazy recession, and our politicians arent willing, nor our capitalist system, we are too obsessed with the short term.
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3751
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead wrote:
Oops! Boggsman, you're right. I missed the last year in my total. But, wasn't that Obama's fault?

I think the verdict on too low a tax rate along with a steady rate of spending is pretty conclusive. Did not work for Reagan, Did not work for GW Bush.

Now, we have higher interest in the expense column and it is going to be harder yet to catch up. Most people know if their debt is too high, at some point, the decrease in spending will not help. More income will be needed.

We have to raise taxes or have a period of huge economic expansion. I don't see the '90's on the near horizon.


The real issue though, is why is this not the news? Instead we want to talk about Obama's citizenship.

Fiscal 2009 was Bush's last budget.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14605

PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead wrote:
It is the sound bite "Obama has spent more than all predessors combined" that gets to me. How can we attempt to address the debt and the deficit when exaggerations (no historical context) like this are part of the dialogue?


Sorry, guy, but you apparently just aren't following the news closely enough, and I haven't the time to condense it for ya, as was part of my daily JOB my last six years in the Air Force. Just because something can be condensed into one sentence does not reduce it to the status of wham-bang, zero-attention-span, MTV-level news.

In one job I condensed the national news each day into a one-page executive summary for my commander's commander. If I screwed up it hit the fan within hours, so when I doubted a news story I phoned the source. The LA Times, Reuters, the AP, etc. called me up to 10-20 times some days for my side of some high profile news stories.

In another aspect of my job, I had to condense the careers of many officers from captains to several full colonels into ten one-sentence bullets upon which their promotions, even their very careers in many cases, depended very strongly. These were scrutinized to the nth degree in reviews from down the hall to HQ USAF general officer promotion boards, where any indefensible claims were bounced along with the officer's promotion. None of the many many hundreds of such bullets I wrote was ever rejected on content (they were scrutinized so closely that a single mistyped letter was grounds for rejection.)

My quarterly reviews defending my 8-figure annual budget were the only ones among my dozen peers to win total approval most quarters. Why? Because I always had pages of hard data to back up every question the HQ colonels asked about my one-page summary.

Certainly there's a risk of oversimplifying such summaries to the point that they are vulnerable to nitpicking or even to claims of substantial misrepresentation, but that accusation is usually dispelled as the condensation is reconstituted from its voluminous source data.

Hell, no, I don't vet or support my stuff here that closely; you guys aren't paying me enough, you whine incessantly (and validly) about my wordiness, and you refuse to even look at world-class books by renowned experts on such topics as the Copenhagen Consensus or formal CBO or Census Bureau reports, so the details are up to each of you. But there's a world of difference many of these guys don't understand between picking at third decimal nits and actually disproving a good summary.
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feuser



Joined: 29 Oct 2002
Posts: 1398

PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
coboardhead wrote:
It is the sound bite "Obama has spent more than all predessors combined" that gets to me. How can we attempt to address the debt and the deficit when exaggerations (no historical context) like this are part of the dialogue?


Sorry, guy, but you apparently just aren't following the news closely enough, and I haven't the time to condense it for ya, as was part of my daily JOB my last six years in the Air Force. Just because something can be condensed into one sentence does not reduce it to the status of wham-bang, zero-attention-span, MTV-level news.

In one job I condensed the national news each day into a one-page executive summary for my commander's commander. If I screwed up it hit the fan within hours, so when I doubted a news story I phoned the source. The LA Times, Reuters, the AP, etc. called me up to 10-20 times some days for my side of some high profile news stories.

In another aspect of my job, I had to condense the careers of many officers from captains to several full colonels into ten one-sentence bullets upon which their promotions, even their very careers in many cases, depended very strongly. These were scrutinized to the nth degree in reviews from down the hall to HQ USAF general officer promotion boards, where any indefensible claims were bounced along with the officer's promotion. None of the many many hundreds of such bullets I wrote was ever rejected on content (they were scrutinized so closely that a single mistyped letter was grounds for rejection.)

My quarterly reviews defending my 8-figure annual budget were the only ones among my dozen peers to win total approval most quarters. Why? Because I always had pages of hard data to back up every question the HQ colonels asked about my one-page summary.

Certainly there's a risk of oversimplifying such summaries to the point that they are vulnerable to nitpicking or even to claims of substantial misrepresentation, but that accusation is usually dispelled as the condensation is reconstituted from its voluminous source data.

Hell, no, I don't vet or support my stuff here that closely; you guys aren't paying me enough, you whine incessantly (and validly) about my wordiness, and you refuse to even look at world-class books by renowned experts on such topics as the Copenhagen Consensus or formal CBO or Census Bureau reports, so the details are up to each of you. But there's a world of difference many of these guys don't understand between picking at third decimal nits and actually disproving a good summary.


I have goose bumps from all that importance - one isn't in the presence of such a pivotal persona in US military history every day.

Now, how many decimal points is the following statement off target and what would have happened if you would have such junk in your news summary?
Quote:

"Obama has spent more than all predessors combined"

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Last edited by feuser on Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14605

PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Stanford University via the WSJ at
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123629969453946717.html comes this:

By MICHAEL J. BOSKIN
It's hard not to see the continued sell-off on Wall Street and the growing fear on Main Street as a product, at least in part, of the realization that our new president's policies are designed to radically re-engineer the market-based U.S. economy, not just mitigate the recession and financial crisis.
The illusion that Barack Obama will lead from the economic center has quickly come to an end. Instead of combining the best policies of past Democratic presidents -- John Kennedy on taxes, Bill Clinton on welfare reform and a balanced budget, for instance -- President Obama is returning to Jimmy Carter's higher taxes and Mr. Clinton's draconian defense drawdown.

Mr. Obama's $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, by his own admission, redefines the role of government in our economy and society. The budget more than doubles the national debt held by the public, adding more to the debt than all previous presidents -- from George Washington to George W. Bush -- combined. It reduces defense spending to a level not sustained since the dangerous days before World War II, while increasing nondefense spending (relative to GDP) to the highest level in U.S. history. And it would raise taxes to historically high levels (again, relative to GDP). And all of this before addressing the impending explosion in Social Security and Medicare costs.

To be fair, specific parts of the president's budget are admirable and deserve support: increased means-testing in agriculture and medical payments; permanent indexing of the alternative minimum tax and other tax reductions; recognizing the need for further financial rescue and likely losses thereon; and bringing spending into the budget that was previously in supplemental appropriations, such as funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The specific problems, however, far outweigh the positives. First are the quite optimistic forecasts, despite the higher taxes and government micromanagement that will harm the economy. The budget projects a much shallower recession and stronger recovery than private forecasters or the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office are projecting. It implies a vast amount of additional spending and higher taxes, above and beyond even these record levels. For example, it calls for a down payment on universal health care, with the additional "resources" needed "TBD" (to be determined).

Mr. Obama has bravely said he will deal with the projected deficits in Medicare and Social Security. While reform of these programs is vital, the president has shown little interest in reining in the growth of real spending per beneficiary, and he has rejected increasing the retirement age. Instead, he's proposed additional taxes on earnings above the current payroll tax cap of $106,800 -- a bad policy that would raise marginal tax rates still further and barely dent the long-run deficit.

Increasing the top tax rates on earnings to 39.6% and on capital gains and dividends to 20% will reduce incentives for our most productive citizens and small businesses to work, save and invest -- with effective rates higher still because of restrictions on itemized deductions and raising the Social Security cap. As every economics student learns, high marginal rates distort economic decisions, the damage from which rises with the square of the rates (doubling the rates quadruples the harm). The president claims he is only hitting 2% of the population, but many more will at some point be in these brackets.

As for energy policy, the president's cap-and-trade plan for CO2 would ensnare a vast network of covered sources, opening up countless opportunities for political manipulation, bureaucracy, or worse. It would likely exacerbate volatility in energy prices, as permit prices soar in booms and collapse in busts. The European emissions trading system has been a dismal failure. A direct, transparent carbon tax would be far better.
Moreover, the president's energy proposals radically underestimate the time frame for bringing alternatives plausibly to scale. His own Energy Department estimates we will need a lot more oil and gas in the meantime, necessitating $11 trillion in capital investment to avoid permanently higher prices.

The president proposes a large defense drawdown to pay for exploding nondefense outlays -- similar to those of Presidents Carter and Clinton -- which were widely perceived by both Republicans and Democrats as having gone too far, leaving large holes in our military. We paid a high price for those mistakes and should not repeat them.

The president's proposed limitations on the value of itemized deductions for those in the top tax brackets would clobber itemized charitable contributions, half of which are by those at the top. This change effectively increases the cost to the donor by roughly 20% (to just over 72 cents from 60 cents per dollar donated). Estimates of the responsiveness of giving to after-tax prices range from a bit above to a little below proportionate, so reductions in giving will be large and permanent, even after the recession ends and the financial markets rebound.

A similar effect will exacerbate tax flight from states like California and New York, which rely on steeply progressive income taxes collecting a large fraction of revenue from a small fraction of their residents. This attack on decentralization permeates the budget -- e.g., killing the private fee-for-service Medicare option -- and will curtail the experimentation, innovation and competition that provide a road map to greater effectiveness.
The pervasive government subsidies and mandates -- in health, pharmaceuticals, energy and the like -- will do a poor job of picking winners and losers (ask the Japanese or Europeans) and will be difficult to unwind as recipients lobby for continuation and expansion. Expanding the scale and scope of government largess means that more and more of our best entrepreneurs, managers and workers will spend their time and talent chasing handouts subject to bureaucratic diktats, not the marketplace needs and wants of consumers.

Our competitors have lower corporate tax rates and tax only domestic earnings, yet the budget seeks to restrict deferral of taxes on overseas earnings, arguing it drives jobs overseas. But the academic research (most notably by Mihir Desai, C. Fritz Foley and James Hines Jr.) reveals the opposite: American firms' overseas investments strengthen their domestic operations and employee compensation.

New and expanded refundable tax credits would raise the fraction of taxpayers paying no income taxes to almost 50% from 38%. This is potentially the most pernicious feature of the president's budget, because it would cement a permanent voting majority with no stake in controlling the cost of general government.

From the poorly designed stimulus bill and vague new financial rescue plan, to the enormous expansion of government spending, taxes and debt somehow permanently strengthening economic growth, the assumptions underlying the president's economic program seem bereft of rigorous analysis and a careful reading of history.

Unfortunately, our history suggests new government programs, however noble the intent, more often wind up delivering less, more slowly, at far higher cost than projected, with potentially damaging unintended consequences. The most recent case, of course, was the government's meddling in the housing market to bring home ownership to low-income families, which became a prime cause of the current economic and financial disaster.

On the growth effects of a large expansion of government, the European social welfare states present a window on our potential future: standards of living permanently 30% lower than ours. Rounding off perceived rough edges of our economic system may well be called for, but a major, perhaps irreversible, step toward a European-style social welfare state with its concomitant long-run economic stagnation is not.

Mr. Boskin is a professor of economics at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He chaired the Council of Economic Advisers under President George H.W. Bush.
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boggsman1



Joined: 24 Jun 2002
Posts: 3751
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I said previously, the current budget deficit is larger than the scrolling tab of all previous budget deficits. But it is statistical in nature. The important thing is the total debt outstanding. Notice the piece written by a fellow at the Hoover Administration is also based on proposals , as well as current data. Obama came in with 9.3 Tr in US Debt, in order for the author to be correct , he would have to leave with the US in 18.6Tr of total debt. Bush did double the debt in his 2 terms, only prez to ever do it.
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