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. #121
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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Quote Originally Posted by Somerville View Post
    A much simpler and fairer solution would be raising the amount of income subject to FICA (presently at $110,000). If that level were to be raised to say $1,000,000, SS and Medicare - if the funds were protected, remember some guy saying something about a "lockbox" - would be solvent into the foreseeable future
    How about if we quit allowing public employees to retire at the age of 45 or so? That might be a good start too. Early retirement needs to come to an end, ESPECIALLY if you are in a public sector union.

    I totally support unions, and I think the working man needs some leverage, but you must admit that a lot of these public sector unions have gotten greedy.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    How about if we quit allowing public employees to retire at the age of 45 or so? That might be a good start too. Early retirement needs to come to an end, ESPECIALLY if you are in a public sector union.

    I totally support unions, and I think the working man needs some leverage, but you must admit that a lot of these public sector unions have gotten greedy.
    Just as a note, with the limited amount of work I've done with budget and how it applies with Public Employees and early retirement.

    EARLY retirement (I don't believe retiring at 45, outside of in the military, is the standard for federal public employees) is being offered more regularly by the government currently because in many situations it provides for a net SAVINGS, not cost, by doing so.

    The way this works is because it's combined with attrition.

    Say a person is 5 years away from retirement. You can continue to pay them their full salary for the next 5 years, at which point they begin pulling in their retirement which we'll say is (pulling a number out of my head) 20% of what their normal salary was. So over the next ten years you're paying them:

    100% + 100% + 100% + 100% + 100% + 20% + 20% + 20% + 20% + 20% = Paid 600% of their sallary over the next 10 years.

    However, say that person is offered an early retirement with an incentive that they will be paid an additional 10% over their standard retirement for the next 10 years. This means over the next ten years you're paying them:

    30% + 30% + 30% + 30% + 30% + 30% + 30% + 30% + 30% + 30% = Paid 300% of their sallary over the next 10 years.

    By offering the early retirement, even with the "incentive" bonus, you're actually SAVING half of what you'd have paid the person otherwise. Now, this number fails completely if you end up replacing the retiring person with someone whose making the same (or even a certain percentage lower) salary as the former employee. However, when you combine it with attrition...IE that position isn't filled with a new employee but rather the duties are ended/shuffled to others...then you have a net savings.

    This is why the government has been offerring up early retirements more lately. They can't get out of the notion of the pention plans they've already agreed to, so they're going to be paying the retirement costs. If they can get the person retired earlier however, and don't need to actually hire someone to replace that persons spot, then over the long term they SAVE money compared to what would alternatively happened if they didn't offer the early out.

  3. #123
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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    How about if we quit allowing public employees to retire at the age of 45 or so? That might be a good start too. Early retirement needs to come to an end, ESPECIALLY if you are in a public sector union.

    I totally support unions, and I think the working man needs some leverage, but you must admit that a lot of these public sector unions have gotten greedy.
    Well Zyphlin supplied a rational response to your statement but I wonder how many "public employees" are actually retiring at age 45? Sure there's some corruption in the process but isn't it the reality that those few who are making out like bandits are known about because of certain media outlets who like to hype up their specific political views by providing examples to 'prove' said views?

    and what does your response have to do with my post about increasing the level of income subject to FICA?
    “And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.”
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  4. #124
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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    I am not sure how you get "heavily tilted" towards the wealthy.
    The same way everybody else did.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    Since you didn't like the previous source...
    The previous source was an atrocity. This one is from late 1999 noting a pilot program being run by Fannie Mae in selected markets. The success of CRA portfolios had opened the eyes of traditional lenders to the profit potential available in underserved markets, but serving them would require a blend of prime and subprime lending. The GSE's already defined conformance parameters in the world of prime mortgage contracts and Fannie was setting out to do the same thing for subprime lending. They were looking to develop and test fixed-rate instruments with upfront premiums to offset rated extra risk that borrowers could earn their way out of with consistent payment performance. The 1% two-year premium was just one of the models they were interested in. But before Fannie could ciomplete its research and design efforts, Wall Street and the private brokers jumped the gun on them, pulling an end run around the GSE's and creating the first of cascading waves of adjustable-rate contracts packed with high-cost, high-profit terms that could only get worse for borrowers over time. With nobody in the Bush administration willing to do any sort of oversight, Wall Street went wild, and it ended up being those exotic and volatile adjustable-rate contracts that became the standard in subprime and near-subprime markets. To tragic effect.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    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.
    That's actually a quote taken from bin Laden. Did you admire him or something? There were more like 75 missiles involved than a few. bin Laden had been at one of the camps blown to bits, but the arrest earlier in the day of one of the people he was supposed to meet with there spooked him, and he left the camp a few hours before the missiles arrived.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    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.
    It took several months to unravel the plot that culminated in the bombing. The CIA report on responsibility was presented to Cheney and Bush in February 2001. They decided to walk away from the matter. I suppose they had other things on their minds.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    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.
    When Clinton took office, nobody had ever heard of al Qaeda or bin Laden. They had grown up in the shadows and backwaters out of Bush-41's graceless exits from Afghanistan in 1989 and Iraq in 1991. This came as a new threat in a new area. There were no resources available. Dealing with it would require new units, new contacts, new networks, new alliances, new tactics, and new means of tracking and gathering information. Clinton did not inherit any of it. He had to invent the entire counter-terrorism apparatus from the ground up. And did. The final impetus was not the botched WTC bombing in 1993, but the successful Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995. Even with no public or international support for major counter-terrorism actions, Clinton put the US in high gear preparation for that. While political pressure on Sudan did yield the expulsion of bin Laden into Afghanistan in 1996 -- a serious setback for him -- it would still be Clinton's second term before the new counter-terrorisn infrastructure reached the early stages of effectiveness. Intelligence services believed they had disabled a cell discovered in Nairobi by raiding it and seizing computers and people. A lesson in the resilience of al Qaeda would be learned at the embassy some weeks later. Of course, Monica Lewinsky was still more important to Republicans. As for the assertion that Clinton "did very little" after the embassy attacks, try a little of this on for size...

    Broad Effort Launched After '98 Attacks

  5. #125
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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Quote Originally Posted by Cardinal Fang View Post
    The previous source was an atrocity. This one is from late 1999 noting a pilot program being run by Fannie Mae in selected markets. The success of CRA portfolios had opened the eyes of traditional lenders to the profit potential available in underserved markets, but serving them would require a blend of prime and subprime lending. The GSE's already defined conformance parameters in the world of prime mortgage contracts and Fannie was setting out to do the same thing for subprime lending. They were looking to develop and test fixed-rate instruments with upfront premiums to offset rated extra risk that borrowers could earn their way out of with consistent payment performance. The 1% two-year premium was just one of the models they were interested in. But before Fannie could ciomplete its research and design efforts, Wall Street and the private brokers jumped the gun on them, pulling an end run around the GSE's and creating the first of cascading waves of adjustable-rate contracts packed with high-cost, high-profit terms that could only get worse for borrowers over time. With nobody in the Bush administration willing to do any sort of oversight, Wall Street went wild, and it ended up being those exotic and volatile adjustable-rate contracts that became the standard in subprime and near-subprime markets. To tragic effect.


    That's actually a quote taken from bin Laden. Did you admire him or something? There were more like 75 missiles involved than a few. bin Laden had been at one of the camps blown to bits, but the arrest earlier in the day of one of the people he was supposed to meet with there spooked him, and he left the camp a few hours before the missiles arrived.


    It took several months to unravel the plot that culminated in the bombing. The CIA report on responsibility was presented to Cheney and Bush in February 2001. They decided to walk away from the matter. I suppose they had other things on their minds.


    When Clinton took office, nobody had ever heard of al Qaeda or bin Laden. They had grown up in the shadows and backwaters out of Bush-41's graceless exits from Afghanistan in 1989 and Iraq in 1991. This came as a new threat in a new area. There were no resources available. Dealing with it would require new units, new contacts, new networks, new alliances, new tactics, and new means of tracking and gathering information. Clinton did not inherit any of it. He had to invent the entire counter-terrorism apparatus from the ground up. And did. The final impetus was not the botched WTC bombing in 1993, but the successful Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995. Even with no public or international support for major counter-terrorism actions, Clinton put the US in high gear preparation for that. While political pressure on Sudan did yield the expulsion of bin Laden into Afghanistan in 1996 -- a serious setback for him -- it would still be Clinton's second term before the new counter-terrorisn infrastructure reached the early stages of effectiveness. Intelligence services believed they had disabled a cell discovered in Nairobi by raiding it and seizing computers and people. A lesson in the resilience of al Qaeda would be learned at the embassy some weeks later. Of course, Monica Lewinsky was still more important to Republicans. As for the assertion that Clinton "did very little" after the embassy attacks, try a little of this on for size...

    Broad Effort Launched After '98 Attacks
    We don't know that "everyone else did"? Unprovable statement, You saw it the way you did, me the way I did and others made their own opinions. Since I have seen other post supporting flat even taxes, I can say, without doubt that not everyone saw it the way you described.

    As to the rest, did the factors exist prior to Bush/republicans taking office? Yes. If they existed prior to Bush taking office, is Bush/republicans solely responsible for them? No. So, can Bush/republicans be held entirely responsible for current problems? No.
    Only a fool measures equality by results and not opportunities.

  6. #126
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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    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.
    Thanks for your expert tesimony on that. The military and intelligence services were downsized at the end of the Cold War as the long-awaited "Peace Dividend" was harvested. The start and rather a large chunk of that came under Bush-41, not Clinton. The military was not left in disarray or underequipped by Clinton, as the war in Afghanistan and invasion of Iraq would each speedily demonstrate.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    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.
    Of course they were. Your personal reports and anecdotes will certainly be given all the weight they are due.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    Wow, an actual admission that it wasn't all "Bush's Fault".
    Correct. The Russian and Asian financial crises were not Bush's fault. These were however mere background -- parts of the the terrain on which the Great Bush Recession would come to play out. Assigning actual blame to them -- or to things like GLB or CFMA -- would be like blaming bank robberies on the paving of downtown streets that made escape easier for potential get-away vehicles. Life could have gone on after those two crises. But it didn't. Thanks to Bush and his pals.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    The rest of the nearly $7 trillion dollars that Obama and the dems have spent and added to the debt since Bush left office.
    First of all, the debt has increased since January 20, 2009, by $5.7 trillion. Second of all, the debt is actively managed by Treasury, meaning that things other than deficits contribute to its ups and downs. There is no necessary connection between the debt and deficits. As for the deficits themselves, those for the past four years (2009-2012) have in total been just under $5.1 trillion, $1.2 trillion of which was already on the books by the time Obama was sworn in. That leaves deficits of $3.9 trillion, 40-45% of which have resulted from federal revenues lost due to the Great Bush Recession, 40-45% of which have resulted from automatic stabilizers and other emergency income support measures made necessary by the Great Bush Recession, and 15-20% of which have resulted from the underlying budget positions, although Republican efforts to gum up the works and engage in terrorist hostage-taking have made passage of actual budget bills all but impossible, resulting in one omnibus spending bill after another.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    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?
    I don't think you understand how any of this works. You seem to have TARP and the various Fed/Treasury asset-exchange facilities all balled up and not to understand that there is no connection between any expenditure and any particular General Fund cash balance or borrowing.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    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...
    Nonsense. Those who have not paid into the unemployment insurance pool are not eligible for UI benefits under any federal law or under any state law that I am aware of. This includes for instance recently graduated students and self-employed persons who elected not to make regular payments into the pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    ...and also that the state had to cover unemployment from other states when people moved looking for work.
    Also complete nonsense. This happens all the time. Interstate claims are all billable to the state in which you worked and thereby contributed to the UI pool. You must go to the local unemployment office in your new state and fill out a form to register your interstate claim. That is all.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    That would depend totally on the individual situation.
    Yes, and I gave you the particulars of an individual situation that (not surprisingly) you have refused to address. To summarize, these were people denied credit when they had more assets in the bank that they were trying to borrow from than the amount that they were trying to borrow. Meanwhile, similarly situated borrowers in other parts of town were being routinely approved for loans. Want to give it a second shot?
    Last edited by Cardinal Fang; 12-28-12 at 12:09 PM.

  7. #127
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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    They will blame each other. Personally though I think the blame belongs more so with the Dems/Obama. I see the Republicans willing to compromise and the Dems/Obama less willing too.
    When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. -Socrates
    Tired of elections being between the lesser of two evils.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    It also did not justify the extension of zero down loans, sub-prime loans, interest only loans, etc, using variable interest rates...
    There is exactly nothing wrong with any such lending. Each is an appropriate choice under the circumstances it was designed for. Responsible lenders engaged in all of these. The problems arose when IRRESPONSIBLE lenders -- taking advantage of conditions and demands that Bush and his pals created -- used such loans to abuse credit markets and the borrowers in them, creating large profits and much larger volumes of mortgage paper that they themselves knew full well was destined for short-term failure at the moment the loan was signed. Those people and those who enabled them are the ones to blame for all this. That comes down to a bunch of cowboy capitalists on Wall Street and the completely dismal fiscal, monetary, and regulatory policies of the Bush administration.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    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.
    Fannie and Freddie's line of business was the purchase of conforming loans, that is loans that met established minimum underwriting standards. Ultimately, the junk that couldn't get through that filter went off to Wall Street where it was securitized and sold off into the secondary markets anyway. The private-label shops had no such standards or filters and would buy almost anything at all. As noted earlier, the profit potential in Alt-A and subprime markets had come to the attention of traditional lenders in the mid to late 1990's. Between 1993 and 2001, subprime originations had gone from $25 billion to $175 billion. Subprime was the market at the turn of the century, and the GSE's were preparing to work with lenders as they moved into this new area. After being on the subprime sidelines for virtually all of the 1990's, the GSE's purchased 11% of subprime originations in 2001 (again skimming off the cream of the crop) and were hoping to reach 50% within a few years. That of course didn't happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    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.
    Not all dominos are the first domino. The Great Bush Recession was a product of the credit crisis. The credit crisis was a product of defaults on mortgages written by predatory lenders into vulnerable markets. Those loans could be securitized and sold at all only because of unscrupulous underwriters and securitizers sucking profits out of elevated demand for mortgage-backed securities. That elevated demand existed because the Fed had frozen its long-term interest rates at an unattractive 1%. That happened because Bush's Tax Cuts for the Rich failed to produce any meaningful new economic activity. The Tax Cuts for the Rich came about because Bush and his people were economic incompetents. That incompetency extended to moronic laissez-faire notions that markets were wise enough to regulate themselves. Thus even when warnings were sounded concerning the potential calamity inherent in so many recently written predatory loans running into triggers when interest rates once again began to rise were completely ignored. That was the extent of it. All Bush and the cowboy capitalists all the time. The rest was inert windowdressing that contributed nothing. There would not have been a Great Bush Recession without the craven and bungled behaviors summarized above.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    Outsourcing was happening since at least the 1950s, GM had moved plants to Brazil even earlier than that.
    Outsourcing had nothing to do with the Great Bush Recession, and there is actually quite a difference between outsourcing and foreign investment. GM built cars in Brazil because it sold cars in Brazil.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    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.
    Big deal. It's all irrelevant. There are no dots to connect here.

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    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.
    Of course it did, as anyone who understood that the Social Security budget surplus caused an increase in public debt as it was invested would have been expecting. The debt did of course decline every time Clinton bought some of it down, but that $363 billion was not enough to show up in the overall numbers when measured across an entire fiscal year.

  9. #129
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    Re: Who's going to take the blame for the fiscal clif

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    They will blame each other. Personally though I think the blame belongs more so with the Dems/Obama. I see the Republicans willing to compromise and the Dems/Obama less willing too.
    I agree, this administration wants unlimited spending with no accountability

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Just as a note, with the limited amount of work I've done with budget and how it applies with Public Employees and early retirement.

    EARLY retirement (I don't believe retiring at 45, outside of in the military, is the standard for federal public employees) is being offered more regularly by the government currently because in many situations it provides for a net SAVINGS, not cost, by doing so.

    The way this works is because it's combined with attrition.

    Say a person is 5 years away from retirement. You can continue to pay them their full salary for the next 5 years, at which point they begin pulling in their retirement which we'll say is (pulling a number out of my head) 20% of what their normal salary was. So over the next ten years you're paying them:

    100% + 100% + 100% + 100% + 100% + 20% + 20% + 20% + 20% + 20% = Paid 600% of their sallary over the next 10 years.

    However, say that person is offered an early retirement with an incentive that they will be paid an additional 10% over their standard retirement for the next 10 years. This means over the next ten years you're paying them:

    30% + 30% + 30% + 30% + 30% + 30% + 30% + 30% + 30% + 30% = Paid 300% of their sallary over the next 10 years.

    By offering the early retirement, even with the "incentive" bonus, you're actually SAVING half of what you'd have paid the person otherwise. Now, this number fails completely if you end up replacing the retiring person with someone whose making the same (or even a certain percentage lower) salary as the former employee. However, when you combine it with attrition...IE that position isn't filled with a new employee but rather the duties are ended/shuffled to others...then you have a net savings.

    This is why the government has been offerring up early retirements more lately. They can't get out of the notion of the pention plans they've already agreed to, so they're going to be paying the retirement costs. If they can get the person retired earlier however, and don't need to actually hire someone to replace that persons spot, then over the long term they SAVE money compared to what would alternatively happened if they didn't offer the early out.
    Okay thanks. I see what you're saying.

    But like you said, you only save if the position is not refilled. I would think that most of the time they hire someone else to fill the position of the retired employee. That also depends on if they have to pay a new employee more or less money as well, I would think.

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