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 Post subject: Re: The National Debt - How Bad Is It and Who's Fault Is It?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:07 am 
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VinTek wrote:
Something just occurred to me. The Dems believe in stimulus spending so that money can trickle down to working folks via jobs. The GOP believes in cutting taxes for rich folks so that the money can trickle down to working folks via jobs. So both sides are arguing for the same thing; the only difference is the place from which the trickles down. Yet both sides argue vehemently that the other side is wrong. We live in a very strange society.


We should appoint a bipartisan committee...


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 Post subject: Re: The National Debt - How Bad Is It and Who's Fault Is It?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:07 am 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 8:14 pm
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DoingHomework wrote:
We should appoint a bipartisan committee...

Bipartisanship: Between love and madness lies compromise.


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 Post subject: Re: The National Debt - How Bad Is It and Who's Fault Is It?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:27 am 
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VinTek wrote:
DoingHomework wrote:
We should appoint a bipartisan committee...

Bipartisanship: Between love and madness lies compromise.


Except both sides seem to think she (compromise) has become a lady of ill repute.


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 Post subject: Re: The National Debt - How Bad Is It and Who's Fault Is It?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:53 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 1131
Location: Illinois
DoingHomework wrote:
VinTek wrote:
DoingHomework wrote:
We should appoint a bipartisan committee...

Bipartisanship: Between love and madness lies compromise.


Except both sides seem to think she (compromise) has become a lady of ill repute.

Not to mention, both sides seem to think compromise means "You give me everything I want." :D


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 Post subject: Re: The National Debt - How Bad Is It and Who's Fault Is It?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:20 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 8:14 pm
Posts: 1755
BusinessWeek just came out with a new article: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-08-08/eliminating-tax-loopholes-is-the-new-waste-fraud-and-abuse

It's interesting reading and pretty much echoes what we've said here about real tax reform: nobody wants to commit political suicide.

Quote:
And so it is with tax deductions. This year, both campaigns have suggested getting rid of them, an idea so appealing in principle and toxic in practice that both parties have agreed to refer to it with the same euphemisms: “tax reform” and “broadening the tax base.” These both mean “taking in more money” and “taking something away from someone.” Mitt Romney has suggested lowering both corporate and personal taxes and paying for them by ending tax breaks. He has not suggested publicly which tax breaks he might end. Barack Obama has proposed ending a set of deductions for businesses, including corporate jets and oil and gas subsidies, but his tax plan preserves deductions for corporate research, domestic manufacturing, and renewable energy. Last year the president’s commission on fiscal reform, also known as the Simpson-Bowles commission, laid out a complete and painful list of tax deductions that should be eliminated. The president and both parties in Congress promptly stepped away from the commission’s report.


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 Post subject: Re: The National Debt - How Bad Is It and Who's Fault Is It?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:01 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:55 pm
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I'm not surprised with it. Debts really increase specially when the country is in recession.


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 Post subject: Re: The National Debt - How Bad Is It and Who's Fault Is It?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:34 am 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 8:14 pm
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So now that Paul Ryan is the GOP nominee for veep, has anyone read his budget resolution, http://budget.house.gov/uploadedfiles/pathtoprosperity2013.pdf and what it does to the National Debt?

At the outset, I was glad that Ryan had been nominated, because I thought it would focus the election on issues instead of personalities. Ryan has a reputation as a tightfisted fiscal conservative and a policy wonk. Then I read his budget and I'm shocked. I'd never bothered to read that budget before since there was no chance of it being signed into law.

LA Times wrote:
The Ryan plan would not balance the federal budget for another 28 years at least, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. That means the federal debt would continue to rise. That's partly because the tax cuts take effect right away while the Medicare cuts kick in later, as people now 55 hit retirement age. It's also partly because Ryan's proposed tax cuts considerably outweigh even his ambitious spending reductions.

Ryan himself concedes that his plan would not balance the budget this decade, predicting it could be balanced by the "mid-to-early 2020s" because his plan would ignite rapid economic growth. [snip]

"Growth is the key to fiscal sustainability — and low rates are the key to growth," he said.

But even if low tax rates spur the economy — a debatable point among economists — a balanced budget will depend on wiping enough tax breaks off the books to offset the new tax cuts.

In the more than two years since his budget was unveiled, Ryan has not specified any tax breaks he would eliminate. Independent analyses have shown that offsetting the tax cuts would require changing things such as the mortgage interest deduction, the tax exclusion for employer-financed health insurance or other popular tax preferences widely used by middle-income households.

Does anyone else have a take on this budget? Having read the thing, and having seen what tax cuts do to the debt (see the chart in the original post of this thread), I have huge doubts as to its viability.


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 Post subject: Re: The National Debt - How Bad Is It and Who's Fault Is It?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:34 am 
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If one is comfortable making choices out of ignorance, Ryan's plan sounds good. But when you try to look into it further you find that there it has little or no substance. It is scary to me that so many people are fooled by it. I have no been able to find a single reputable economist, even conservative ones, who think it is based on sound economics.

My take in summary:

- He cuts tax rates supposedly to reduce taxes for the rich and that is supposed to produce growth. But the rich have virtually zero marginal propensity to consume. He has provided no evidence or mechanism to support his claim that the type of tax cuts he proposes will lead to growth. Nearly all reputable economists doubt it.

- He keeps secret his ideas for cutting tax deductions. That means they are either so painful or unpopular that he knows they will kill the plan or they are so small that the net effect will be a reduction of government revenue. In my opinion, anyone who proposes a bold plan must be able to support it with a consistent set of actions that actually lead to the end result. His doesn't.

- He wants to cut medicare, or at least switch to a voucher system. That means old people will either not get the health care they need or they will have to pay for it themselves without having had a lifetime to save for it (because they were promised medicare). Demographic evidence is that most people cannot afford to pay. Whether one thinks they should or not is immaterial. This country will not watch old people die of treatable conditions en masse because they can't afford care.

Personally, I do think we should cut spending (and raise taxes). I am in favor of reform of medicare and social security. I COULD support a conservative plan to get us back on track. But it would need to be a consistent plan rather than one conceived to gain votes by tricking people who don't know much. It is unfortunate.


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 Post subject: Re: The National Debt - How Bad Is It and Who's Fault Is It?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:38 am 
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Bill Gross, who has been critical of Obama, says Ryan's budget would be a disaster to the finances of the United States. I think that is an important assessment.


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 Post subject: Re: The National Debt - How Bad Is It and Who's Fault Is It?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:35 pm 
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I've been trying to figure out what Mitt was smoking when he made this pick. I think choosing Ryan as the VP candidate just handed the election to Obama. I mean, I have issues with Ryan but I think he could be a good leader. In a few years I think I could even support him if he comes up with a new plan that addresses some of the inconsistencies with his current budget and answers some of the questions he so far refuses to address.

But as a VP candidate he seems to be all wrong. He is overshadowing Mitt, getting all the press. That doesn't make Mitt look good. It makes Mitt look incapable. A good VP candidate is someone who is viewed as harmless and competent but uninteresting (think Al Gore, Joe Biden, Bush Sr., even Dick Cheney.) When will the republicans learn. Ryan has some of the same problems Palin had. He is stealing the spotlight. All of the talk is about him. That might help in the short term given all of Mitt's missteps but it ultimately makes Mitt seem weak. I would expect Mitt to get a bump in popularity before falling back as the election gets closer. Yet the limited information out so far suggests that he is not getting a bump at all but Obama is.

Unless the economy really takes a dive in the next 2.5 months, I think Obama is going to have another 4 years.


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 Post subject: Re: The National Debt - How Bad Is It and Who's Fault Is It?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:56 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:34 pm
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DoingHomework wrote:
A good VP candidate is someone who is viewed as harmless and competent but uninteresting (think Al Gore, Joe Biden, Bush Sr., even Dick Cheney.) When will the republicans learn.


I think the Republican party learned the lessons from 2008 a little too well in this case. Even Dick Cheney recently said it...the number one problem with the McCain/Palin ticket was that they picked a VP who was wholly unqualified to be president. In this case, it looks like they may have gone too far in the opposite direction; their VP nominee seems to be more qualified to be president (or at least have more clearly defined/articulated ideas about presidential policy issues) than their presidential nominee.

It's like the mother who wears white to her daughter's wedding...the MOB should never outshine the bride. :worried:


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 Post subject: Re: The National Debt - How Bad Is It and Who's Fault Is It?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:28 pm 
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alohabear wrote:
I think the Republican party learned the lessons from 2008 a little too well in this case. Even Dick Cheney recently said it...the number one problem with the McCain/Palin ticket was that they picked a VP who was wholly unqualified to be president. In this case, it looks like they may have gone too far in the opposite direction; their VP nominee seems to be more qualified to be president (or at least have more clearly defined/articulated ideas about presidential policy issues) than their presidential nominee.


Yes. But the problem with Ryan is that, although he might make a good president some day, he comes across as being very childish and naive now. No one, not even his supporters, thought his budget had any chance of being passed. He proposed it to make a name for himself and maybe to start a dialog. But that is not a way to get things done as president. So I don't think that he would make a good president yet. In 10 years in Congress he has actually gotten very little done. And much of that time was with a friendly Whitehouse. He talks a lot but there is no substance behind it. But maybe with a little more experience he could be viable.


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 Post subject: Re: The National Debt - How Bad Is It and Who's Fault Is It?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:31 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
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Location: Illinois
I don't know enough about him to form an opinion yet, so I have his budget proposal on my reading list for the weekend.

DoingHomework wrote:
I COULD support a conservative plan to get us back on track. But it would need to be a consistent plan rather than one conceived to gain votes by tricking people who don't know much. It is unfortunate.

Isn't that pretty much what all politicians do? :D


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 Post subject: Re: The National Debt - How Bad Is It and Who's Fault Is It?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:25 am 
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bpgui wrote:
I don't know enough about him to form an opinion yet, so I have his budget proposal on my reading list for the weekend.

DoingHomework wrote:
I COULD support a conservative plan to get us back on track. But it would need to be a consistent plan rather than one conceived to gain votes by tricking people who don't know much. It is unfortunate.

Isn't that pretty much what all politicians do? :D


These days? Unfortunately, yes. I miss Perot's charts.


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 Post subject: Re: The National Debt - How Bad Is It and Who's Fault Is It?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:39 am 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 8:14 pm
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I'm really disappointed. I thought he was a policy wonk, but he's just another politician.

What really gets to me is that he references the report by the Simpson-Bowles committee (linked above) a couple times, specifically on pages 56 and 64 of The Path to Prosperity. Ryan served on that commission and, like almost all current members of Congress who served with him, declined to sign the commission’s final document or send it to Capitol Hill for debate. That is, he is borrowing the authority of a bipartisan debt-reduction effort whose ultimate conclusions he declined to endorse. It's the usual cherry-picking of information in order to support a conclusion.

He's seen the numbers and worked on the solutions; he knows what needs to be done, but he refused to sign the document because he couldn't stomach the revenue increases. So here he is, citing the report but not that the cuts aren't enough, revenue increases are also necessary; that it's a good idea to lower tax rates overall and eliminate deductions but declining to endorse the actual reductions called out by report. And since his Path to Prosperity doesn't balance the budget for another 28 years (see my post above dated August 14), his plan basically leaves an even bigger deficit for the next generation to fix.


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