View Poll Results: Who's to blame for going of the the fiscal cliff?

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Thread: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

  1. #101
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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    We put them in office knowing who they were and what they would do. The blame for this is on the voters who put these guys in office.
    Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.
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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    When we didn't have a recipient to worker ratio of less than 3. https://www.socialsecurity.gov/oact/tr/2011/lr4b2.html
    What magic properties does the number "3" have? Why would a slow 75-year projected decline past that number suggest anything special at all? Especially when the decline is premised among other things on legal and illegal immigration being flat or falling across most of that 75 years and on life expectancy at retirement continuing to increase at rates that it did during the 20th century.

    And one would also have to consider whether workers-per-retiree is even the right number to be looking at. In fact, that ratio is a component isolated from the larger workers-per-dependent ratio. Retired people and children are the two largest categories there. What's been going on with the children component? Are the baby boomers having any more kids? How about with the prison population? Changes in one category may be freeing up funds to devote to another at no net cost, but you won't know that unless you look.

    The current employment-to-population rate is meanwhile 58.7%. As recently as December 1977, that would have been the highest level since WWII. But the best big-picture number for whether we can afford to support our dependents may simply be real per capita GDP. Here's the graph of that over the past 50 years...

    Attachment 67139945

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    1. Why should I have to pay higher taxes into the system to get the same benefits that the last generation got?
    For the same reason that they did? Look, considering the fact that 75% of scheduled benefits will be worth more by the time the SSTF runs out (assuming it ever does) than what 100% of benefits are worth today, those who will be retired in the second half of this century might want to roll the dice and just keep payroll taxes where they are. But if people are as concerned as they say they are about the financial future of the system, then lining up to pay more taxes to support it is the only logical choice for those who don't happen to be otherwise wealthy enough to have arranged for a secure retirement already.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    2. Because we had an economic boom=more money into the system.
    We have had both booms and busts. The early 70's, early 80's, and early 90's were hardly the best of times, to say nothing of the Bush-43 administration and since. Do you think it is realistic or pessimistic to project 70 consecutive years of growth at 1.7%, when between 1960 and 2010, we exceeded it 31 times and average growth was 12% higher than that?

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    But until our economy starts picking up again, it is merely wishful thinking to just assume that we will return to 4% growth rates and everything will be fine and dandy.
    And at 2:00 am, it is merely wishful thinking to believe the sun will come up again until you can see the glint of some early morning rays. And we don't need 4% growth to blow the SS projections out of the water. 2% would do the job just fine. Remember: 1997 = SSTF exhausted in 2029...2007 = SSTF exhausted in 2042.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    I agree. Except for the insurance mandate.
    Look up the free-rider problem then do the math. A system of near universal coverage cannot be sustained without near universal participation which is not going to happen without a mandate. Which is why Republicans first proposed it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    I'd like to see some evidence?
    If that were true, you would have gone off to the library by now and read up on it. The demise of employment-based pensions is hardly some well-kept secret.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    After all, excessive pension obligations did actually contribute to the auto bailouts and GM going bankrupt.
    No, they didn't, and the union had made years worth of concessions on compensation across the board in order to help GM et al. through their problems, many of those the plain result of poor planning and decisionmaking on the part of management. The auto industry as a whole was put in a bind by the Great Bush Recession. That is what brought about the bailouts. Ford was able to get by without assistance only because it has serendipitously arranged lines of credit totalling more than $25 billion before the crisis hit. GM and Chrysler had no such cushion to sit on.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    Both? Correct me if I'm wrong, but "macro" economics is just the total aggregate of the "micro."
    On the most elemenatry of scales, this must obviously be true. On any practical, sensible, analytical scale, it couldn't be further from the truth. The economics of a nation are a different animal entirely from the economics of a firm. This should have been made eminently clear in the very early days of your education.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReformCollege View Post
    Do elaborate.
    You are too young to have learned better yet. You are still taken by neat and tidy and by the bright, shiny objects otherwise known as simplistic explanations. Your assumptions about the nature and value of land are chalkboard hallucinations. Things do not work that way in the real world. In the real world, two of the key determinants of land value are alternative capital gains rates and the existing level of real estate debt. I didn't see either one of those in your outline.

  3. #103
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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    I believe in the idea that Obama won the mandate of the American people. I did not vote for him, and that does not mean his plan is the best, but he won the mandate. If a deal is not met, there is no way that the Republicans can claim that it was the Democrats fault, because they had the backing of the nation. Now in all honesty, if a deal is not met it will blow my mind. Republicans want to keep taxes low on as many upper income people as possible, and not cut defense spending. Dems want to keep tax breaks on the middle class. If we fall off the cliff, both sides lose. Taxes go up for EVERYBODY, and spending goes down in vital places. It seems like a lose, lose to me. If the Republicans are willing to let the lower and middle classes suffer just to make a point then that is extremely foolish. And I am in no way saying that Democrats are not at fault, because they are, this political game of chess that our leaders are playing is all good until the American people start to suffer more then they already are. It has been admitted from both sides of the table that this has become more of a way to see who can get more political points, and that is not what it should be about. It should be about finding the best way to help the American people.
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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Nah...they don't lack the skill. They lack the media and the tendency to lie repeatedly.
    The environment is dominated by the manufactured reality of the right-wing disinformation media. Facts are ignored and papered over with myths. Reason is rejected and replaced by emotion. Those who try to remain honest and independent in their reporting are tarred with charges of "liberal media bias" along with the threat and actuality of flash-mob assaults. The Republican Party is one big Lie Machine, and it has been now for decades -- pretty much ever since the post-Watergate hookup with Jerry Falwell and his bands of lying fundie extremists. They stole most of their propaganda techniques from the tobacco companies, then passed them on to the Republicans who've been using them ever since. As Carl Rove might tell you, you absolutely CAN fool enough of the people enough of the time to get to 50%-plus-one a time or two.

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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Nah...they don't lack the skill. They lack the media and the tendency to lie repeatedly.
    Originally Posted by SomervilleAs shown by this past election season, Republicans lack the communication skills necessary to make a majority of Americans believe anything they might say about the President.
    Nah...they don't lack the skill. They lack the media and the tendency to lie repeatedly.


    I don't think they lack anything. They managed to convince almost half of the voters that they don't just represent the 1%. Krissakes, that's a phenomenal piece of manipulation. It's equivalent to convincing scientists that black is white. No small accomplishment, eh?

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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Wouldn't it be better if these adults talked about who's going to fix the problem, instead of whining about who takes the blame? Boring.

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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Obama will blame Bush and the republicans for the fiscal cliff and the morons of the world will eat his words up. Every single gullible nonsense he utters.

    While both parties are to blame, and the american people will suffer tax hikes and probably more unemployment... the ones in charge won't care. Because they have fat checks and big salaries and awesome contributions from special interest groups.

  8. #108
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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    No, they were merely called that because -- like almost everything Bush ever did -- they were so heavily tilted toward benefitting the already wealthy.
    I am not sure how you get "heavily tilted" towards the wealthy.

    It created a new bracket at 10% and lowered the previous lowest bracket by 5% down to that new 10% level. The highest bracket was reduced from 39.6 to 35%, a decrease of 4.6%. All other brackets were reduced by 3%. Capital gains was reduced from 10% to 8% for those previously in the 15% bracket and for no one else.

    But since that highest bracket was already paying 24.6 percent more than the lowest bracket and under the new tax was paying 25% more, hardly a great benefit to the "rich", they are still being overtaxed by 25%, or if you prefer the bottom is being under-taxed by 15% and the highest is being overtaxed by 10%, since most people probably fall in the new 25% bracket.

    True, the estate and gift tax rules benefited the wealthy more, but what do you expect when they are the only ones being taxed under those rules.

    From a certain point of view, the view that all Americans shouldn't be taxed equally, I see your point. But is it really right that the wealthy should have to be taxed so much more than other American Citizens? I don't believe so.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    More to the point (and almost anything would be), they were passed before the road to the credit crisis had become clear. But when they failed (as predicted) and the Fed had to jump in to freeze interet rates at 1% in a last-ditch effort to stimulate economic activity, that path became a whole lot clearer.
    Since you didn't like the previous source, how about Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending - NYTimes.com , which was sourced by the previous link. Funny, you don't want to accept something published at San Jose State University. Or is just anything that actually shows the probability that the crises didn't originate with Bush?


    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    That's quite irrelevant and also a hoot. ... In fact, having been told by outgoing Clinton staff that terrorism would be the number one problem on their watch, the Bush administration completely ignored the matter until they were blind-sided on 9/11.
    In August 1998, Al Qaeda carried out two attacks on US embassies. Clinton launched a few cruise missiles and it has been reported by some that they actually manged to kill a camel used by Al Queda.

    The attack on the USS Cole happened in October 2000, to the reaction to it can be blamed on Clinton and Bush, not Bush alone.

    Some other Attacks that Al Qaeda or groups that it was affiliated with, Kobar Towers bombing. Previous attempt on World Trade Centers, FBI evidence links OBL to funding of the attack.

    So clearly Al Qaeda grew and was able to take actions long before Bush came into office, despite attacks and provocations, Clinton did very little to deter or eliminate them. Clinton didn't do his job, he just passed it along. Yes, I accept that Bush was initially lax in his handling of Al Qaeda, but he only had that ability because Clinton didn't take actions and allowed the threat to grow.

    Meanwhile, military and intelligence downsizing had kicked in under Bush-41 concurrent with the fall of the Soviet Union. That's just a matter of historical record. Total obligational authority for DOD was repeatedly cut over Bush's four years, including by 9.8% in 1992 and 8.1% in 1993. Meanwhile, force levels declined by nearly 20% -- from 2,202K to 1,776K.[/QUOTE]

    You are correct. However the difference was in how the cuts were applied and carried out. G.H. Bush was instituting stepped planed out reductions. Clinton just did a massive cut and that was carried out piecemeal because it had not been planed out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    And of course Bush-43 would fight his lovely wars in Afghanistan and Iraq using only and exactly the military that Clinton had left to him. You know what they say...

    A commander-in-chief leads the military built by those who came before him. There is little that he or his defense secretary can do to improve the force they have to deploy. It is all the work of previous administrations.
    -- Dick Cheney

    Fortunately, that Clinton hand-me-down military was one that even in the face of declining budgets had moved forward into advanced command and control systems, precision weapons, expanded use of robotics, and communications protocols with real-time links between remote intelligence posts and boots on the ground. JDAMs and drones were Clinton products as well. Every time you hear about what a Predator or Global Hawk did, you should think of Clinton. The overwhelming speed and efficiency of military operations under Bush were owing to the quality and capacity that Bill Clinton had put together for him. Clinton also took care to boost military pay, retirement, and health care benefits -- all of which right-wingers naturally hate him for.
    No we did not use "the same military" that Clinton left Bush in both wars, or even one of them. What you apparently are not aware of is that the reports of readiness and training status were complete fabrications.

    Whole navy flying units were ground on a rotating 6 month basis because they didn't have funding for training operations.

    Air Force units were using "Cannibalization" of equipment to keep other equipment working because there were no spare parts. One unit I was in, over 40% of our warfighting equipment was down due to cannibalization the whole time I was there. The practice of "Cannibalization" was never authorized and was denied by senior commanders. Of the "working" equipment, 35%, sometimes more, degradation of system capabilities was considered "acceptable".

    Due to high utilization rates, non-deployed training was kept to a minimum because there was no budget for it and quite often, no working equipment to work with. Some units I know of spend whole quarters and sometimes half a year with zero training accomplished because they didn't have spare parts to keep equipment running. What spare parts there were went, necessarily to deployed equipment. Training was prohibited in deployed areas. A large portion of training, that could occur, was focused almost entirely upon getting deploying personnel qualified so they could deploy.

    Live fire weapons training was suspended except for deploying personnel. The army was constantly complaining that they didn't have training ammunition so they were not in fact accomplishing required training.

    I don't know if it was a consideration, but one very logical reason for attacking Iraq was to free up units and equipment that was tied down with ongoing operations there. Operations that had continued since the end of Desert Storm. Major portions of some very limited assets were being used up to maintain those operations. And contrary to what some have said, Iraqi forces did indeed sometimes shoot at US Forces. Operations Northern Watch and Southern watch continued until the actual invasion.

    During the whole time, Senior leadership was blowing smoke up Clinton's and the Public's ass and lying through their teeth.

    As one of the "troops on the ground", actually in the air for my specific job, I can tell you that there was significant differences between the forces we employed under Clinton and those under Bush.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    Well yes, the back story includes the Asian and Russian financial crises of the late 1990's that wiped out a significant number of the finance companies, That plus Bush's antagonism toward CRA helped create a credit vacuum in low- and moderate-income communities that unscrupulous private brokers could then easily push into, abusive practices and all;.
    Wow, an actual admission that it wasn't all "Bush's Fault".


    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    The rest of what? Can you explain what it is you are trying to add up?
    The rest of the nearly $7 trillion dollars that Obama and the dems have spent and added to the debt since Bush left office. You blamed it all on Bush. I admit that some of it was for issues that came up under Bush, but that only account for a minority of the money spent by Obama and the dems. So where it the rest of it? Where is the money that was borrowed and given out as loans during the bailout that financial institutions have been repaying?


    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    Yet more unfounded slop. Led by right-wing rising star Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina (remember him proudly, right-wingers), a handful of whackjob southern governors walked away from free money for those struggling in their states to make an entirely partisan point. They put their own political needs ahead of the financial needs of people in their states. "Slime" is a good word for those folks.
    Not really. The biggest problem with what was offered up was the mandate that states pay unemployment to not only those who had paid into the system, or their employers did, but to everyone unemployed and also that the state had to cover unemployment from other states when people moved looking for work. Texas was offered $500 million, to a fund already paying out more than a Billion. No where near enough to cover just the addition of those who had never paid into unemployment, much less any job seekers that wandered in. At the time Texas had an unemployment rate of around 6% and Cali had over 12%. We certainly did not want massive amounts of Californians, New Yorkers and other wandering into the state to look for work and we would have to foot the bill for their unemployment.

    As to it being only "right-wingers". Gov. Brad Henry of Oklahoma, who's state also rejected it, was a Dem.


    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    We had people being denied credit when they had more assets in the bank they were seeking to borrow from than the amount they were seeking to borrow. Their applications were denied simply because of their street address while similarly situated borrowers in other parts of town were being routinely approved for loans. Does that meet your definition of "fair," or would you oppose practices such as that?
    That would depend totally on the individual situation. For one, if they already had those assets in the bank, why were they borrowing in the first place. Second, average home values are done by areas, if you are trying to borrow $150k for a house where the average value is $60k, then yeah, the bank/lending institution is probably going to turn you down. Even if you have the "assets", that does not translate into a favorable income-to-debt ratio.

    It also did not justify the extension of zero down loans, sub-prime loans, interest only loans, etc, using variable interest rates, to people who's credit and income could not cover it if interest rates changed. The were bad lending practices, encouraged by the government through Fannie and Freddie, to meet low/moderate income home ownership goals. All of which was taking place prior to Bush ever entering office.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    They absolutely WERE the originators of the crisis along with the cowboy capitalists they cheered on and opened doors for and then refused to regulate even when evidence of credit market abuse began piling up to the rafters. Warnings of an eventual crisis building in a stock of poorly underwritten adjustable-rate loans had begun to appear in professional and scholarly writings by late 2003. The chorus grew from there, but it was all ignored. Like the Wall Streeters, the Bush administration wanted its profits now and didn't care about bills that would come due in the future. We tend to descibe that sort of thing with words like "incompetence" and "malfeasance". These were in fact the hallmarks of the entire Bush-43 era.
    I still don't get the "Bush is entirely to blame" line since almost all of the factors involved were in place before he took Office. Did he and the republicans in some cases exacerbate an existing problem, sure. Did they create it, no.

    Outsourcing was happening since at least the 1950s, GM had moved plants to Brazil even earlier than that. Bad lending practices were going on long before 2001. Al Qaeda was attacking US interest long before 2001 also. Operations in Iraq had been going on since 1990.

    Name a single thing contributing to the debt or the economic downturn that was not already happening prior to Bush taking office. Even when Clinton had a surplus, the debt still increased every year he was in office.
    Only a fool measures equality by results and not opportunities.

  9. #109
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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Quote Originally Posted by Wake View Post
    Wouldn't it be better if these adults talked about who's going to fix the problem, instead of whining about who takes the blame? Boring.
    The cannot even agree on what caused the problem, how are they ever going to fix it without first knowing the causes?
    Only a fool measures equality by results and not opportunities.

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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    The cannot even agree on what caused the problem, how are they ever going to fix it without first knowing the causes?
    If our obviously unselfish professionals can't solve this problem, we could be screwed. /Sarcasm; politicians only care for themselves and their parties.

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