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(Investors Business Daily)   How come there's no pressure on Dems to cough up spending cuts in the "fiscal cliff" talks?   (news.investors.com ) divider line 427
    More: Strange, no pressure, D-Ill, Boehner, George Stephanopoulos, Party leaders of the United States Senate, Nancy Pelosi  
•       •       •

1883 clicks; posted to Politics » on 27 Nov 2012 at 10:31 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-27 02:17:02 PM  

MattStafford: Zasteva: We aren't. We are collecting taxes and using that revenue to take care of the elderly, the poor, and in some cases the sick. We are also providing research and infrastructure that helps everyone and to boosts our businesses. All that we are doing with the taxes we already collect.

We are borrowing money to finance wars, build a "defense" force as large as the entire rest of the world combined, and to provide tax breaks for large and extremely profitable businesses to do what they would do anyway.

MattStafford: I don't think the money that we have borrowed is earmarked for anything. This is a disingenuous argument.


I completely agree, which is why it's silly that you are making it:

MattStafford: Who said that would be beneficial? The point of what I am saying is that keeping the elderly alive for an extra ten years while they do nothing productive is the economic equivalent to letting them die, except for the fact we have to go massively into debt to keep them alive.


MattStafford: I'm in favor of wealth redistribution. We're a wealthy country, and we should take care of our own. I'm against borrowing money to do that.


So, assuming we all agree that we want to quit borrowing money, which set of things do we cut:

Excessive military spending and corporate welfare? Or school lunch programs and health care for the elderly? Which is more valuable to our society, in your view?
 
2012-11-27 02:17:12 PM  

Mrtraveler01: But you have to choose between the two. You just can't say to hell with that person, we can't afford to treat you. It's against the law to deny medical treatment to anyone in an ER.

So one way or another, we have to spend money to keep this "unproductive" person alive.



I understand that. But I'm arguing that we shouldn't be spending the 100,000 or the 1,000,000. Just because the 100,000 is better than the 1,000,000 doesn't mean I shouldn't argue against both.
 
2012-11-27 02:18:06 PM  
Fine, here's some spending cuts:

Get rid of all the subsidies to the oil companies who are already making billions of dollars in profit.

Get rid of all the subsidies to giant farm corporations getting paid not to farm.

Cut the defense budget in logical areas to retool the military for current threats.

Close Guantanamo.

Eliminate tax incentives for companies to send work overseas.

That's just for starters.
 
2012-11-27 02:20:07 PM  

Dog Welder: Fine, here's some spending cuts:

Get rid of all the subsidies to the oil companies who are already making billions of dollars in profit.

Get rid of all the subsidies to giant farm corporations getting paid not to farm.

Cut the defense budget in logical areas to retool the military for current threats.

Close Guantanamo.

Eliminate tax incentives for companies to send work overseas.

That's just for starters.


That doesn't add up to much, except maybe the military piece, depending on what you cut.
 
2012-11-27 02:21:32 PM  

Ardilla: How about this?


That's the budget I want, and the budget, when polled on the items individually, most American people want. Which is of course why we heard nothing about it on the super liberal media and spent the last 2 years talking about the Ryan budget.
 
2012-11-27 02:23:40 PM  

MattStafford: incendi: So you support soaking the rich to ensure that the entirety of the federal budget is covered by tax revenues? I'm okay with that.

You could soak all of the rich, and it would not come close to covering our deficit. We need to raise taxes and cut spending, both to a large degree.


I think we've got differing definitions of rich, but that's an arbitrary point. I think we could make that trillion with a moderate portion from the absurdly rich, a larger portion from the very rich, the bulk of it from the somewhat rich, and the remainder eating into the upper end of middle class. Add a few brackets, remove the special treatment for long term capital gains, cap deductions at some relatively high level (say, the median household income in the US), etc.
 
2012-11-27 02:24:23 PM  
Maybe because they've already agreed to some? And have for years?
 
2012-11-27 02:25:35 PM  

MattStafford: Mrtraveler01: But you have to choose between the two. You just can't say to hell with that person, we can't afford to treat you. It's against the law to deny medical treatment to anyone in an ER.

So one way or another, we have to spend money to keep this "unproductive" person alive.


I understand that. But I'm arguing that we shouldn't be spending the 100,000 or the 1,000,000. Just because the 100,000 is better than the 1,000,000 doesn't mean I shouldn't argue against both.


Except we are require by law to spend at least the 100,000. That's the reality you seem to want to ignore.

That's why I'm asking if it's smarter to pay 100,000 so that we don't have to pay 1,000,000 later.
 
2012-11-27 02:26:00 PM  

Ardilla: MattStafford: incendi: So you support soaking the rich to ensure that the entirety of the federal budget is covered by tax revenues? I'm okay with that.

You could soak all of the rich, and it would not come close to covering our deficit. We need to raise taxes and cut spending, both to a large degree.

How about this?


That ispretty interesting actually, are those endorsements for realz?
 
2012-11-27 02:31:09 PM  

EyeballKid: SCOREBOARD: 303 to 206. That's how come, biatch.


what was the score in the House?
Did the dems recover from the historic shellacking of 2010 when the public said stop spending (hello Tea Party).

How did Pelosi do in winning back the House and the mandate to spend the way they were back in 2007 - 2010?
 
2012-11-27 02:33:45 PM  

tenpoundsofcheese: what was the score in the House?
Did the dems recover from the historic shellacking of 2010 when the public said stop spending (hello Tea Party).


Well the Democrats managed to gain seats this past election...yet somehow this is still a mandate for the Tea Party and the GOP...even though they got stomped on a Senate and Presidential level.
 
2012-11-27 02:36:00 PM  

Ardilla: MattStafford: incendi: So you support soaking the rich to ensure that the entirety of the federal budget is covered by tax revenues? I'm okay with that.

You could soak all of the rich, and it would not come close to covering our deficit. We need to raise taxes and cut spending, both to a large degree.

How about this?


Without investigating too far, it appears the majority of the savings come from cutting the military and raising taxes. It seems like they underestimate how many jobs that is going to cost, and the effect that that will have on the bond and stock markets. If we raise taxes on the wealthy, bond prices will go up resulting in greater interest payments, and stocks will go down, which will result in pensions (who are invested in the stock market) take a hit as well. I would probably be in favor of something like this, but to act as though it won't be extremely painful is naive.
 
2012-11-27 02:36:54 PM  

MattStafford: t seems like they underestimate how many jobs that is going to cost,


Based on what? Republican Math To Make You Feel Better?
 
2012-11-27 02:38:01 PM  

MattStafford: but to act as though it won't be extremely painful is naive.


Where did he act like that in this sentence: "How about this?"
 
2012-11-27 02:38:45 PM  

Mrtraveler01: Well the Democrats managed to gain seats this past election...yet somehow this is still a mandate for the Tea Party and the GOP...even though they got stomped on a Senate and Presidential level.


And nationally, a significantly larger number of people voted for democratic representatives than republican representatives. Redistricting served the Republicans well.
 
2012-11-27 02:38:46 PM  

cameroncrazy1984: Unproductive things: tax cuts and 2 wars


Agreed on the wars, tax cuts aren't unproductive, as it isn't spending.

cameroncrazy1984: Productive things: healthcare and social security


How are old people productive? Health care for the young and working is productive (assuming they are productive members of society), but for the elderly? Not buying it.
 
2012-11-27 02:41:13 PM  

Zasteva: So, assuming we all agree that we want to quit borrowing money, which set of things do we cut:

Excessive military spending and corporate welfare? Or school lunch programs and health care for the elderly? Which is more valuable to our society, in your view?


Spending on our youth is the most valuable, in my opinion. I would rather spend on the elderly than the military or corporate welfare, of course. The problem is, even if you cut all discretionary spending, you would still be running a deficit (not to mention the millions of recently unemployed we would have to take care of). We're going to need massive cuts in all sectors, along with tax raises. Which is why I'm in favor of the fiscal cliff.
 
2012-11-27 02:41:52 PM  

Dog Welder: That's just for starters.


I should hope so, because that's barely a drop in the bucket.
 
2012-11-27 02:42:53 PM  

MattStafford: Agreed on the wars, tax cuts aren't unproductive, as it isn't spending.


Tax cuts are the main driver of our current deficit.
 
2012-11-27 02:43:28 PM  

MattStafford: cameroncrazy1984: Unproductive things: tax cuts and 2 wars

Agreed on the wars, tax cuts aren't unproductive, as it isn't spending.

cameroncrazy1984: Productive things: healthcare and social security

How are old people productive? Health care for the young and working is productive (assuming they are productive members of society), but for the elderly? Not buying it.


You're right, you're not buying it. But they are. You know there is such a thing as "the economy" right?
 
2012-11-27 02:43:45 PM  

incendi: I think we could make that trillion with a moderate portion from the absurdly rich, a larger portion from the very rich, the bulk of it from the somewhat rich, and the remainder eating into the upper end of middle class.


And you would be wrong, unless it was a wealth tax (not income). Even then, it probably wouldn't be enough. And a wealth tax is a one time thing, and a very dangerous precedent to set.
 
2012-11-27 02:44:04 PM  

MattStafford: Ardilla: MattStafford: incendi: So you support soaking the rich to ensure that the entirety of the federal budget is covered by tax revenues? I'm okay with that.

You could soak all of the rich, and it would not come close to covering our deficit. We need to raise taxes and cut spending, both to a large degree.

How about this?

Without investigating too far, it appears the majority of the savings come from cutting the military and raising taxes. It seems like they underestimate how many jobs that is going to cost, and the effect that that will have on the bond and stock markets. If we raise taxes on the wealthy, bond prices will go up resulting in greater interest payments, and stocks will go down, which will result in pensions (who are invested in the stock market) take a hit as well. I would probably be in favor of something like this, but to act as though it won't be extremely painful is naive.


Pension funds have dedicated fund managers who are aware of all this, and will begin shifting assets if they see that is likely. And even if people lose their pensions completely in the market (which would be unfortunate but won't happen), retired people have Social Security and Medicare to fall back on. Or at least they would under the People's Budget plan.
 
2012-11-27 02:45:27 PM  

MattStafford: incendi: I think we could make that trillion with a moderate portion from the absurdly rich, a larger portion from the very rich, the bulk of it from the somewhat rich, and the remainder eating into the upper end of middle class.

And you would be wrong, unless it was a wealth tax (not income). Even then, it probably wouldn't be enough. And a wealth tax is a one time thing, and a very dangerous precedent to set.


[citation needed]
 
2012-11-27 02:45:31 PM  

Dusk-You-n-Me: Where did he act like that in this sentence: "How about this?"


To be fair, he didn't. But the idea that I get from many of the people on the left in this thread is that there is a way out of this situation that isn't that painful for the average person. That simply isn't true. I just sort of assumed he thought a budget like that would somehow fix our issues without affecting the quality of life for the majority of people.
 
2012-11-27 02:46:02 PM  

Philip Francis Queeg: Please show me where the US Constitution enumerates that the federal Government has the power to create an Air Force. Please also indicate where it enumerates that they may maintain an Air Traffic Control system.


Air traffic control comes in two parts. First it is part of treaties ratified by the US which then have the same power as the Constitution itself and tow to regulate commerce between the states as the does the FCC etc.

The USAF comes under the enumerated powers to raise , fund and regulate (all enumerated not general) the military it can also define organizational structure hence the department of the Air Force. You might argue it says nothing about airplanes but it also says nothing about horses, bayonets or Johnny cakes.

If your going to argue food stamps comes under general welfare you as well argue that the Patriot Act or unlimited detention comes under the common defense
 
2012-11-27 02:46:59 PM  

MattStafford: idea that I get from many of the people on the left in this thread is that there is a way out of this situation that isn't that painful for the average person. That simply isn't true


[citation needed]
 
2012-11-27 02:47:57 PM  

Mrtraveler01: Except we are require by law to spend at least the 100,000. That's the reality you seem to want to ignore.

That's why I'm asking if it's smarter to pay 100,000 so that we don't have to pay 1,000,000 later.


I'm saying if the three options are to pay 1,000,000, 100,000, or to change the law so we don't pay anything, the last choice is the best choice. I guess the problem here is that you are saying it is mandatory that we are going to spend massive amounts of money on our elderly, and I am operating under the assumption that that is not necessarily true, and in fact, will become nigh impossible in the near future. Depressions aren't pretty, and that is what we are setting ourselves up for.
 
2012-11-27 02:48:14 PM  

cameroncrazy1984: MattStafford: cameroncrazy1984: Unproductive things: tax cuts and 2 wars

Agreed on the wars, tax cuts aren't unproductive, as it isn't spending.

cameroncrazy1984: Productive things: healthcare and social security

How are old people productive? Health care for the young and working is productive (assuming they are productive members of society), but for the elderly? Not buying it.

You're right, you're not buying it. But they are. You know there is such a thing as "the economy" right?


He still hasn't gotten back to me on the fact that it's against the law for ER's to flat out deny elderly health treatment even if they can't afford it. So we either have to spend money on Medicare, or money on paying unpaid ER bills after elderly people get severely sick.

It's one or the other and there's no way to get out of doing both.

Until he realizes that, his reasoning is severely flawed.
 
2012-11-27 02:49:07 PM  

MattStafford: operating under the assumption


You're operating under a hell of a lot of assumptions, and very little reality.
 
2012-11-27 02:49:22 PM  

MattStafford: Mrtraveler01: Except we are require by law to spend at least the 100,000. That's the reality you seem to want to ignore.

That's why I'm asking if it's smarter to pay 100,000 so that we don't have to pay 1,000,000 later.

I'm saying if the three options are to pay 1,000,000, 100,000, or to change the law so we don't pay anything, the last choice is the best choice. I guess the problem here is that you are saying it is mandatory that we are going to spend massive amounts of money on our elderly, and I am operating under the assumption that that is not necessarily true, and in fact, will become nigh impossible in the near future. Depressions aren't pretty, and that is what we are setting ourselves up for.


So our best option is to overturn a law requiring hospitals to treat people regardless of their ability to pay and to let them get sick and die in the streets?
 
2012-11-27 02:51:44 PM  

MattStafford: Zasteva: So, assuming we all agree that we want to quit borrowing money, which set of things do we cut:

Excessive military spending and corporate welfare? Or school lunch programs and health care for the elderly? Which is more valuable to our society, in your view?

Spending on our youth is the most valuable, in my opinion. I would rather spend on the elderly than the military or corporate welfare, of course. The problem is, even if you cut all discretionary spending, you would still be running a deficit (not to mention the millions of recently unemployed we would have to take care of). We're going to need massive cuts in all sectors, along with tax raises. Which is why I'm in favor of the fiscal cliff.


That sounds reasonable, but I think that it is incorrect. Tell you what, let's both try this:

http://federal.budgetchallenge.org/pages/overview

And see if we can get to a balanced budget and what we have to do to get there. I've never used it before, but hopefully we can bookmark our solutions and share them somehow. Interested?
 
2012-11-27 02:51:53 PM  

MattStafford: But the idea that I get from many of the people on the left in this thread


MattStafford: I just sort of assumed he thought


Gee I wonder if these two things are related in some way.

The People's Budge is the least painful for the majority of Americans, the middle class and poor. Which is apparently why none of the big news networks talks about it. Funny how that works.
 
2012-11-27 02:53:37 PM  

cameroncrazy1984: Tax cuts are the main driver of our current deficit.


That doesn't answer whether or not they are productive or not. And no, spending is the main driver of our current deficit. If an individual spends twice as much money as he makes, I doubt you would say the main driver of his deficit is that he doesn't make enough money.

cameroncrazy1984: You're right, you're not buying it. But they are. You know there is such a thing as "the economy" right?


Explain to me how an old person who does absolutely nothing productive is productive. All they do is consume. Although I'm sure you of the belief that consumption is god's gift to the economy, particularly when that consumption is funded by debt. Which is absolutely idiotic.
 
2012-11-27 02:54:49 PM  

MattStafford: Dusk-You-n-Me: Where did he act like that in this sentence: "How about this?"

To be fair, he didn't. But the idea that I get from many of the people on the left in this thread is that there is a way out of this situation that isn't that painful for the average person. That simply isn't true. I just sort of assumed he thought a budget like that would somehow fix our issues without affecting the quality of life for the majority of people.


You're free, of course, to speculate. But unfounded speculation is easy. Trying to make a change for the better is hard. What would you do differently from the People's Budget, and why?

I'll show my work (long PDF; pops). Will you? 

/Not actually my work.
//It's an expression.
 
2012-11-27 02:55:42 PM  

hasty ambush: Philip Francis Queeg: Please show me where the US Constitution enumerates that the federal Government has the power to create an Air Force. Please also indicate where it enumerates that they may maintain an Air Traffic Control system.

Air traffic control comes in two parts. First it is part of treaties ratified by the US which then have the same power as the Constitution itself and tow to regulate commerce between the states as the does the FCC etc.

The USAF comes under the enumerated powers to raise , fund and regulate (all enumerated not general) the military it can also define organizational structure hence the department of the Air Force. You might argue it says nothing about airplanes but it also says nothing about horses, bayonets or Johnny cakes.

If your going to argue food stamps comes under general welfare you as well argue that the Patriot Act or unlimited detention comes under the common defense


The word "military" is not used in the Constitution. It only refers to Armies and Navies specifically. I'm sure a strict constitutionalists like you will agree that the Air Force as it is now established is wholly unconstitutional and should be abolished. You wouldn't want to see the Founders clear specific words interpreted to include other things.
 
2012-11-27 02:56:32 PM  

MattStafford: That doesn't answer whether or not they are productive or not. And no, spending is the main driver of our current deficit. If an individual spends twice as much money as he makes, I doubt you would say the main driver of his deficit is that he doesn't make enough money.


Tax cuts are the main driver of the deficit when we were making enough for how much we spent, then decided to willingly make less. Thus, they drove the deficit.

See how that works?

MattStafford: cameroncrazy1984: You're right, you're not buying it. But they are. You know there is such a thing as "the economy" right?

Explain to me how an old person who does absolutely nothing productive is productive. All they do is consume. Although I'm sure you of the belief that consumption is god's gift to the economy, particularly when that consumption is funded by debt. Which is absolutely idiotic.


Okay, please cite any study that shows that consumption is not the main driver for the US economy.
 
2012-11-27 02:57:26 PM  

Mrtraveler01: So our best option is to overturn a law requiring hospitals to treat people regardless of their ability to pay and to let them get sick and die in the streets?


Well, I have bad news for you, if we continue on our current path it is going to stop being an option and simply become reality. Eventually the borrowed money is going to run out, and when that happens, it doesn't matter what option you want, our only choice will be to let them die. Better to start cutting back now.
 
2012-11-27 02:59:35 PM  

MattStafford: , if we continue on our current path it is going to stop being an option and simply become reality.


Our current path is sequestration.

Oops, someone hasn't been paying attention to the news because he's been too busy reading Ayn Rand and masturbating.
 
2012-11-27 02:59:57 PM  

MattStafford: the borrowing on money isn't a good thing.


Your premise is wrong when interest rates are negative, you know.
 
2012-11-27 03:00:07 PM  

MattStafford: Eventually the borrowed money is going to run out, and when that happens, it doesn't matter what option you want, our only choice will be to let them die.


Personal and international finances are different beasts entirely. I was willing to give you some credit up till this point.
 
2012-11-27 03:04:52 PM  

MattStafford: Mrtraveler01: So our best option is to overturn a law requiring hospitals to treat people regardless of their ability to pay and to let them get sick and die in the streets?

Well, I have bad news for you, if we continue on our current path it is going to stop being an option and simply become reality. Eventually the borrowed money is going to run out, and when that happens, it doesn't matter what option you want, our only choice will be to let them die. Better to start cutting back now.


Another flawed premise. Mostly anyway.

Old people aren't just going to disappear if we, say, get rid of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Ones with no family left may well just starve away.

But old people who still have family alive will go move in with them. Unless that family turns out the old person, now they're burdening people who *are* productive.

Eliminate Medicaid, and watch all the people whose nursing home care is funded thereby (about 75% of nursing home residents IIRC) move in with kids, then a bunch of those kids drop out of the workforce (shrinking the economy) to take care of them.
 
2012-11-27 03:09:16 PM  

MattStafford: Eventually the borrowed money is going to run out


Yet another flawed premise.

Put together a model for us that shows something other than US T-Bills becoming the world financial system's safe asset of choice, and how we get there. (Currently, we could never pay the OMG NATIONAL DEBT down to 0, the global financial system would implode for lack of this baseline asset, and push back *hard* against that payoff.)

Make sure the asset has deep and liquid-enough markets (e.g. before thinking Swiss Francs or GOLLLLLLLLLLLD).
 
2012-11-27 03:10:46 PM  
Budget simulator:

Link
 
2012-11-27 03:11:06 PM  

Gaseous Anomaly: MattStafford: the borrowing on money isn't a good thing.

Your premise is wrong when interest rates are negative, you know.


That isn't necessarily true. Suppose interest rates are negative, and we borrow hundreds of billions of dollars and employ everyone to build completely worthless things. What happens if interest rates rise? Well, we're going to have to cut all of that spending, and completely destroy our economy.
 
2012-11-27 03:11:16 PM  

MattStafford: Dog Welder: That's just for starters.

I should hope so, because that's barely a drop in the bucket.


Looking forward to seeing your ideas. Sorry I don't have the time to go through the Federal Budget and highlight everything for you.

Oh, how about this?

GET THE FARK OUT OF AFGHANISTAN. NOW. Seems like that would solve a huge chunk of the problem right there. Bin Laden is dead. All of the warlords there have been at each others' throats for years. That's not going to change. We have no purpose there, and we can fly drones in when needed.
 
2012-11-27 03:12:03 PM  

Zasteva: Budget simulator:

Link


I was just poking at that a few minutes ago. There's a lot of missing options I wish they would add.
 
2012-11-27 03:12:53 PM  

MattStafford: Gaseous Anomaly: MattStafford: the borrowing on money isn't a good thing.

Your premise is wrong when interest rates are negative, you know.

That isn't necessarily true. Suppose interest rates are negative, and we borrow hundreds of billions of dollars and employ everyone to build completely worthless things. What happens if interest rates rise? Well, we're going to have to cut all of that spending, and completely destroy our economy.


wut
 
2012-11-27 03:13:02 PM  
Here's one reason:

i.imgur.com
 
2012-11-27 03:14:08 PM  

MattStafford: If an individual spends twice as much money as he makes, I doubt you would say the main driver of his deficit is that he doesn't make enough money.


Governments have much more latitude to vary their income than do (most) individuals. And somewhat less latitude to vary their spending.
 
2012-11-27 03:15:49 PM  

FourBlackBars: FTA:

Union groups are already mounting a six-figure ad campaign to pressure key Democrats.


OOoooOooOoooooo a 6 figure ad campaign....what is that? A little less than it takes to get a tent at the Masters for you and your golf buddies.

I love articles written to enrage poor republicans. After a 5 billion dollar presidential, these rubes are OUTRAGED by nearly 300k being spent to lobby congress. "Six figures" is a lot of money if youre poor. 

[1.bp.blogspot.com image 257x400]

Like this images that drove so many NUTS. If this is what you think rich people eat, youre not a rich person. If this is extravagant, you've never had the opportunity to really pull the throttles off. But so many poor Republicans saw this has the height of wasteful spending on luxury by the first lady because it seemed so fancy, and out of reach, to them.

The rich are eating heirloom tomatoes on organic micro greens. Artisinal cheese, small vintage wines, and charcuterie trays. Not 40 dollar bottles of bubbly and caviar. And, on top of everything, if the Waldorf is selling 2 lobsters with wine and snacks for less than $500, they have the most affordable room service in NYC. 

So even if the article wasnt all bull, which is clearly is, its hard to be anything other than amused by the butthurt a "6 figure" ad campaign is causing.


Plus, of course, it was Pants-On-Fire fakery...
 
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