SC Primary Open Thread

HankP's picture

OK, here are my predictions:

 

Gingrich    38%

Romney    30%

              Santorum  15%

              Paul         14%

 

Let's hear yours, as well as what's going to happen in football on Sunday.

 

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Epic Fail

(#273480)
M Scott Eiland's picture

A certain windsurfing trophy husband paid less percentage of his income as taxes than Romney did. Funny how liberals expected that not to be noticed or commented on, given that it is within the memory of *high school students*.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Misses the Point

(#273493)

The problem is not the unfair tax rate as such.

 

It's the unfair tax rate combined with the policy preferences of would be Presidents that maintain or exacerbate the inequity.

 

Kerry's tax proposals would have resulted in Kerry (and Heinz) paying at a higher rate. Romney's will have Romney paying at the rate he's paying now.

 

 

The real problem is.....

(#273588)
Bernard Guerrero's picture

....that 14% isn't an unreasonable rate to pay. :^)

You're entitled to that opinion

(#273602)
stinerman's picture

If you think there should be a 10% flat tax that's defensible.  There is no defense in taxing carried interest at 15% and ordinary income at over twice that rate.

The Constitution does not vest in Congress the authority to protect society from every bad act that might befall it. -- Clarence Thomas

Neither is 50% on unearned income nt

(#273590)
HankP's picture

.

I blame it all on the Internet

Exactly

(#273501)

It's not even a subtle point but some folks can ignore even the blatantly obvious when it suits them.

Michael Moore is fat!

(#273506)

Sc-oooooooooo-re! Woot chest bump

However, An Honest Reading of the Article would Also Idicate 23%

(#273483)

 

"John Kerry’s overall rate is so low — lower than Romney’s, in fact — because his return is getting lumped together with that of his (wealthy) wife, Teresa Heinz, who had a lot of investment income." (On his own, Kerry's tax rate is 22.9 percent.)

 

Just sayin`

 

Traveller

Right

(#273484)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Because he doesn't have access to any of that income, and pays for the yachts and the windsurfing trips solely with his Senate salary.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Having a Filty Rich Wife is...Always Nice...and BTW, Newt's New

(#273490)

 

...plastic wife is good enough looking*.

 

*(plastic in a barbie doll sense of looking, not that this is a bad thing...;>})

 

Traveller

Are you talking about Raptor Barbie?

(#273505)
HankP's picture

because I'm not seeing it.

I blame it all on the Internet

Looks like she uses Botox.

(#273507)

I wonder if someone could come up with a nickname about that.

Why can't we all just get along?

(#273489)
stinerman's picture

The "Kerry Family Taxable Unit" and the "Romney Family Taxable Unit" should pay a greater portion of their income in taxes.

The Constitution does not vest in Congress the authority to protect society from every bad act that might befall it. -- Clarence Thomas

Romney payed a 13.9% effective rate for 2010

(#273414)

I'm curious how many people here paid a higher % than Mitt Romney.

He's got me beat on income taxes

(#273487)
stinerman's picture

2010 I paid about 9.2% of my income in federal income taxes.  If you add in FICA I've got him beat: 17.2%

2011 looks like 9.4% and 15.3% if you factor in FICA.

The Constitution does not vest in Congress the authority to protect society from every bad act that might befall it. -- Clarence Thomas

My guess is pretty much all of us.

(#273420)

.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

Try again

(#273488)
stinerman's picture

A good deal of us live in flyover territory where $40,000/yr is considered "living well" and $90,000 will buy you a nice 3 bed, 1.5 bathroom house.

The Constitution does not vest in Congress the authority to protect society from every bad act that might befall it. -- Clarence Thomas

1.5 bathroom?

(#273491)
mmghosh's picture

You mean the one with a bidet?

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Having a bidet

(#273496)

makes you a Francophile and thus automatically ineligible for public office or the custody of children. 

 

For some reason any unusual porcelain fixtures in a bathroom deeply disturb me.  Actually have nightmares about it.

Just the Important Half

(#273494)

A "Full Bathroom" has a sink, a toilet and a tub (or a tub/shower or just a shower).

 

A "Half Bathroom" has a sink and a toilet, but no tub (or tub/shower or shower).

 

It's an example of realtor-speak leaking out into the rest of the language: "1.5 Bathrooms" describes a house with one full bathroom and a closet containing a toilet. 

If Romney was taxed like a corporation

(#273416)
brutusettu's picture

Wouldn't he be able to classify all his houses and staff as [s]Romney[/s] [i]business [/i] expenses, ergo he's truly being taxed at a much, much higher rate and he's the one truly be hosed by this evil that is progressive taxation he's part of being rich and all. The cost of buying a 5th house up front should be completely deducted over a 2-10 year period chosen at the home buyers discretion. Anything else is literally just like communism.

It doesn't work like that

(#273418)
HankP's picture

corporations can only claim expenses that are directly busness related, not homes or personal expenses except as required by a business. For example, a corporation may be able to claim an apartment in NYC if it's used by executives on business trips. But most corporations have pretty strict rules about using them for things like family vacations, becuse the IRS would revoke their deduction.

 

That being said, Obama is a communist, all taxes are theft, etc. etc.

I blame it all on the Internet

Is it fair for Romney Corporation not to get those deductions?

(#273424)
brutusettu's picture

Corporation People get deductions for wages/salary/rent and other business related expenses.
Romney should get deductions for cost associated for making sure Romney runs smoothly. It's only fair that the Corporation People aren't treated better than Romney people.
Corporation People deduct business expenses related to running Corporation People
Romney Corporation should be able to deduct expenses related to running Romney.

Unless we want to sit here and claim that Corporation People are more equal than Romney.

Romney is a victim of envy here.

Conservatives want to control women

(#273380)

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/15/world/middleeast/israel-faces-crisis-o...

 

And brave libertarian Paul Rand today got stopped by airport security for a pat down -- which he refused. He was on his way to a rally in support of government interference in the rights of women to choose an abortion.

Good for Paul on both counts.

(#273426)

And I'd praise him even louder if, in response to your article, he said his energy was better spent running this country than giving a crap about how others run theirs.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Wait-

(#273434)

no one in the US supposed to care what's going on in another country, even if that already pretty wealthy country is receiving a metric crap-ton of US tax dollars in aid every year, and is essentially guaranteed to receive metric crap-tons of US money for the forseeable future? A glibertarian response might be "well we shouldn't be giving them all that aid, so I don't care", but in the real world our tax money is massively supporting Israel. 

 

And I guess paul is all for libertarian ideals of less governmental intrusion on everyone, as long as everyone has the right number of y chromosomes. He's a typical conservative authoritarian who knows his libertarian front is a pipe dream that will never come true. It's cover for literate twits who want to support conservative republican ideas while claiming they're not republicans.  Paul just wants government to impose his restrictions on women, and keep republicans in power in the mean time.

No one? You are perfectly free to become as

(#273456)

angst-ridden as humanly possible.  You might even consider wringing your hands, I hear that's supposed to help.  I'd expect the architects and implementers of national domestic and foreign policy to have their eyes on bigger prizes though. 


'Paul just wants government to impose his restrictions on women'  You're smarter than this and I think you know the issue is a bit more complex than how you present it.  I'm sure you realize that a pro life or choice stance can be arrived at without regard to religious belief or affiliation. 

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Huh

(#273468)

So according to you, even a us congressperson should have zero interest in the human rights policies of nations that we give obscene goo-gobs of US tax money to? Guess that explains Iran-Contra.

 

I'd expect the architects and implementers of national domestic and foreign policy to have their eyes on bigger prizes though.

 

Nice appeal to authority there... I do not agree that all congresspeople or even "architects and implementers" whether they're elected fairly or members of the Illuminati have the best, useful -- or even good intentions all the time. Kind of naive of you to "expect" so..

 

I'm not wringing my hands. Read my original post. I frankly don't care about Israel. Looks like they're voluntarily reverting to the bronze age social standards of the entire middle east region and Kansas. I was simply pointing out that time and time again, conservatives are shown to strive towards limiting women's rights, here, there, in afghanistan, etc.

Especially delicious

(#273503)

that someone standing up for brave libertarian rand paul cites that governmental officials, or "architects and implementers" of US foreign policy know better than me, and I should just stay quiet and expect that they (government) take care of things. All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

 

Kind of proves my point that when you scratch a self-proclaimed libertarian, you have about a 99% chance of exposing an authoritarian right-winger who never got into the born again jaysus thing.

 

And regarding your pro-life vs. pro choice thing: As a libertarian, I'd expect that you or rand paul would realize that women have rights also, and you can sit in a circle praying to jeesus and wringing your hands over the innocent fetii and blastocysts all you want, but still want to limit the government's power over a human being's (a woman, in case you're not following) right to determine how many babies she has, and even moreso, the government has no business sticking it's nose up her tw@t in the first place.

Interesting theory but...

(#273440)

He's a typical conservative authoritarian who knows his libertarian front is a pipe dream that will never come true. It's cover for literate twits who want to support conservative republican ideas while claiming they're not republicans.

 

But he does, in fact, claim to be a Republican, so your second sentence doesn't make much sense.  And in any case why would someone want to be a conservative Republican, but claim not to be?  I understand that from your point of view, being a Republican is shameful personal failing that one would want to hide, but I doubt they see it that way.

To avoid being seen as

(#273444)

a christianist. You can be a republican by vote but can claim to be uncommitted to evangelical zeal. But still want the government to tell women what to do with their sex lives.

I think you have it backwards

(#273445)

at least with respect to the politicians, if not their voters.   Santorum might be a genuine Christianist,  but Romney, Gingrich, Paul are almost certainly pretending to be more devoted to Christianity than they really are,  not less.

Well then I'd suggest

(#273450)

you haven't been paying much attention:

 

http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/sarahposner/5445/gingrich%2...

 

There's links within the article. Check them out. This stuff is on the news you know, I'm not claiming there's a secret conspiracy. They're christianists in policy and talk, regardless of how many socialites newt is boinking right now on his way to selecting wife #4.

 

As for romney:

 

http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2012/01/mitt_romneys_tax_forms_cr...

 

The Mormons get as much as the feds: Since 2010, the Romneys gave away $7 million to charity, with the vast majority -- $4.1 million -- going to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The IRS, meanwhile, got just $3 million last year from Mittens.  .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

broken link on gingrich, sorry

(#273455)

http://tinyurl.com/6rf65ts

That's all fine

(#273451)

but your claim, as I read it, was that the whole libertarian (or "libertarian") thing is just some front for people who don't want to appear to be Christianists.

 

PS - the first link 404's for me,  but in any case, I already know that Gingrich et al favor lots of Christianist stuff. 

 

 

Romney gave $2.6 million to the Mormon church last year

(#273448)

That's some serious religion by most people's standards.

Mormons tithe

(#273477)
Bird Dog's picture

And they tithe better than most denominations.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

But he's not most people

(#273449)

To put it another way - if the proposal was to change the tax rules so that he paid $2.6M more, I think progressives would argue that the $2.6M is discretionary income and wouldn't represent any serious sacrifice for him.

 

Edit: I'd also add that the amount appears to fairly standard by Mormon tithing expectations.  On a proportionate basis he's not doing any more or less than your average guy in Salt Lake City that considers himself Mormon but still indulges in a beer now and then.

 

But the main point is that I seriously doubt Pranky's thesis that there are "secret" Christianists out there pretending to be secular.  There just isn't any incentive, especially in primary season.

 

 

I'd also add that the amount

(#273458)

I'd also add that the amount appears to fairly standard by Mormon tithing expectations.  On a proportionate basis he's not doing any more or less than your average guy in Salt Lake City that considers himself Mormon but still indulges in a beer now and then.

 

So he tithes to the standard expected of his religious community, but he does not pay taxes to the standard expected of the voting community?

 

Looks more "Christianist" than secularist to me.

 

Tithing more to a church than the federal government...

(#273478)
Bird Dog's picture

...does not a Christianist make.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Oh man

(#273461)

so now to be "secular" you have to not only support higher taxes, you have to voluntarily go out of the way to pay the higher rate?

 

Haven't been to Mass in about 20 years, but maybe I need to go back to avoid a big bill on April 15.

Sure

(#273471)

Well no.

 

Just pointing out that Romney does not appear to have gone out of his way to avoid paying "his fair share" to support his religious community, but is perfectly willing -- proud even -- to have found a way to avoid paying "his fair share" to his secular community. 

See my reply

(#273472)

to catchy.  I now know from direct personal experience that one can be fined by the IRS for not counting income at the lowest rate allowed, so I don't see saying that someone is a hypocrite for doing what the IRS expects (and requires).

 

You understand of course, that I'm anti-Romney and am greatly enjoying watching the Republicans currently engaging in dueling using hand grenades.   But this particular line of attack isn't very convincing.

 

 

Let's be honest

(#273519)
HankP's picture

the fine wasn't for "not counting income at the lowest rate allowed", it was for misstating what type of income it was. If you make mistakes by guessing, you're subject to penalties.

 

I think it's a reasonable line of attack, anytime someone is pushing a policy that will benefit them personally it's valid to point that out.

I blame it all on the Internet

Sure, I messed up.

(#273522)

The IRS couild have just kept the money - I think that would be a fair response.  Or if they were feeling nice they could have sent back the extra.  But instead they sent back *more* than the overpayment to deliberately place me in the underpayed category, and then immediately fined me for underpayment.

 

But back to Romney.  (I can't believe I'm defending this guy.)  Should he have misstated his income in an effort to pay a more egalitarian rate?  Or should he have paid the low rate but gnashed his teeth and wailed in shame? Frankly I don't believe anyone on either side would think better of him for it.

I don't have a problem with what he did re taxes

(#273548)
HankP's picture

unless it's shown that he really pushed the limits, I'm guessing what he did was perfectly legal and proper. My point is that it's reasonable to question someone's position when they will personally benefit in a very large way from it. Like if Gingrich tred to make all consulting fees tax free or if Obama tried to do the same with book royalties.

I blame it all on the Internet

False dichotomy

(#273545)

"Should he have misstated his income in an effort to pay a more egalitarian rate?"

 

You don't need to misstate your income, you just don't need to pull every trick in the book to lower your taxes.

 

I'm not a tax lawyer or anything, but my impression is that a 14% rate shows Romney did some optional legal maneuvering that was avialable to him given his complex income stream. 

 

Isn't that what accounts for a signfiicant portion of the variation among individuals and corporations re: their effective tax rates? They all fall w/in the legal framework, but for example oil companies appear to pay optionally higher effective rates than many other companies, and my guess is that this is partly out of political considerations.

 

You're making it sound as if Romney's effective rate is set in stone unless he's engaging in outright evasion. 

IANATL either

(#273570)

and maybe there are some "optional" tricks.  I know for a fact that paying the full regular income rate on something that could be called capital gains is not an option.

 

You mention individuals and corporations.  Individuals might have some flexibility,  but corporation officers have an obligation to make decisions for the benefit of the company.  An accountant who decided to wrangle up a higher tax bill to salve his own social conscience would be committing a separate ethical (and maybe legal) offense.  The company as a whole might decide that for PR purposes it's better not to take some particular deduction,  but I'm guessing it's rare.

 

BTW, part of my job description is to go after grants and contracts.  I routinely submit proposals to govt agencies that I think ought to be abolished and cheerfully take advantage of various set-asides that I'd be embarrassed to accept if it was a personal matter.  Hypocrite?  Just accepting that I work for my employer, not myself.  If what they want someday crosses a red line, quitting would be the only ethical thing to do, staying on the job but working against their interests wouldn't be.

 

Romney's still a hypocrite.

(#273465)

1/2 the federal budget is dedicated to the "defense" stuff he demands, and he uses plenty of other services from the federal government.

 

There's no reason he shouldn't be paying for it at the same rate as most Americans, particularly over the time period that he's been actively running to represent these same folks and lead the government.

 

Paying 14% while parking your money in how many foreign countries? His elitist hypocrisy alone disqualifies him for the office in my humble opinion. 

 

Warren Buffett is a patriot. Mitt Romney? He doesn't act like one.

*cough cough 2004 Democratic nominee cough cough* -nt-

(#273482)
M Scott Eiland's picture

.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Kerry was a horrible candidate

(#273509)

And his "service" on the supercmmttee was a disgrace. 

 

But as I recall his positions, he's with Buffett in calling for higher taxes on the wealthy. Romney routinely calls that divisive class warfare and his proposals all raise taxes on Americans who don't have overseas bank accounts.

 

Those actions don't exhibit any interest in the wellbeing of the US.

How is this Romney's fault?

(#273479)
Bird Dog's picture

He is doing the all-American practice of paying as little tax as legally possible. What is unpatriotic about that?

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Nothing wrong with minimizing taxes

(#273498)
stinerman's picture

Hint: I do it too!  Although it's really easy for me to do it (I take a standard dection and my only other adjustments are student loan interest and HSA deferral).

 

What is wrong that is that he is not ashamed that he pays so little when others pay so much.  He doesn't have a problem with the fundamental unfairness of the tax code that treats investement income differently than earned income.  Investment income should be taxed *at least* as much as earned income. 

The Constitution does not vest in Congress the authority to protect society from every bad act that might befall it. -- Clarence Thomas

So it's about feelings

(#273514)
Bird Dog's picture

Romney failed to lodge the proper emotional response. Strange how this wasn't an issue when Kerry was the candidate.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

I thought intent mattered?

(#273518)
HankP's picture

[link]

I blame it all on the Internet

Shame is sometimes appropriate

(#273516)

And can be accompanied by appropriate responses. Railing against proposals to raise taxes on the wealthy as 'divisive class warfare' that runs contrary to 'one nation under god' probably isn't the appropriate response to his situation in life.

 

It's true that income inequality wasn't high on the list of issues in 2004. This was of course before financial robber barons sent the world economy into its worst recession in 80 years and left those less well off with the tab.

 

The kind of selfishness among our decadent elites that Romney exemplifies has cost us all greatly since 2004. 

For about the third

(#273515)

time on this thread alone, Kerry's position was to lessen the inequality of the tax system, and actually raise his own taxes. This is what he was going to do. Romney wants to preserve his low, low tax rate. I really think you see this, but for some reason you're pretending not to.

 

Could be wrong!

I don't think Romney has stated a position on carried interest

(#273541)
Bird Dog's picture

Far as I'm concerned, carried interest is ordinary income, so I hope he agrees with me. His positions on capital gains and taxes are is Republican boilerplate. I disagree with him on marginal tax rates and am neutral on corporate and capital gains taxes.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Wrong Letter By His Name -nt-

(#273481)
M Scott Eiland's picture

.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

You have to get me defending John Kerry first

(#273511)

Before you can validly accuse me of being partisan.

 

Unfortunately I think he's emblematic of the institutional rot at the core of the D party, so you'll have to wait until next time.

Haven't looked at the

(#273470)

tex returns and don't plan to (I'm sure others here will let us know if there's anything of note).  If the argument is that he broke some rules, then I'm all for nailing him.  Hell, I'm for nailing him in general.  

 

If the argument is that he shouldn't have used whatever legal lower rates were available to him,  I just don't see making a big deal out of it; in fact, it's not even a valid argument.  You may have missed it,  but a while back I posted my tax story where I counted all my income for the year at the regular income rate, rather than taking a lower capital gains rate that it turns out I was entitled to*.   I was fined very heavily by the IRS for this overpayment.  So I really can't expect Mitt Romney to get himself in trouble with the IRS just to avoid being a hypocrite.

 

*not out of any special notyou brand of secularism, or any civic spirit, or to avoid being a hypocrite, but just (I thought) to avoid hassles.

That fine sounds silly

(#273510)

But in fact legal wrangling so that you only pay a 14% tax rate is still not particularly patriotic in my book.

 

I have plenty of rich relatives, I know a bit about how this works, b/c they argue about this over group emails.

 

Some of them hire people to work the complex tax code to pay as little as possible, while others pay a higher rate and whistle on 4/15 b/c they consider their tax $ a fine investment in the health of the country that made them rich. Both are legal and it's a choice people who have 10s of millions in wealth like Romney make.

 

Romney paying such a low rate is all the worse b/c he's simultaneously demanding higher rates on poorer folks to finance the things he wants out of government. That's not leadership material IMO. 

Fined for Overpayment?

(#273476)

Crazy.

 

I've understood that overpayment can bring some extra scrutiny (since the IRS understands that nobody willingly pays more and therefore overpayment must be a sign of skullduggery), but not a penalty.

 

I also understand that you may not want to retell the tale. Can you link it?

The sad story

(#273504)

was told here

Christianist was Just a Fun Zinger

(#273475)

If the argument is that he shouldn't have used whatever legal lower rates were available to him,  I just don't see making a big deal out of it; in fact, it's not even a valid argument.

 

The argument isn't that he has done anything illegal. And it isn't that he should have paid more than he was required to by law. The argument is that the law, as written, is unfair. And Romney would do nothing to correct the imbalance.

 

Mormons, BTW, are asked to tithe 10 percent of their income. For 2010, the NY Times reports Romney reported $21.6M of income. He paid ~$3M in Federal income tax (that 13.9 percent we've been hearing) and tithed ~$3.1M. That's 14.4 percent, or 4.4 percent higher than scripturally required of him.   

 

OK, then it's basically

(#273508)

a complaint about the law, not Romney   I assume that if some candidate living a lower middle class lifestyle and paying the "regular" rates advocated the exact same tax policies as Romney, you'd still think those policies suck.  And it's not like Romney by himself paying a few million more would balance the budget or make America fair.  So how is the amount that Romney pays relevant, except on an anecdotal/emotional level?

 

You might argue conflict of interest,  but I really don't believe that anyone seeks the Presidency hoping to use the office to keep their own tax bill low.  There's got to be lots more efficient ways to shield income from taxes. 

That's not cool at all, and now has me worried.

(#273474)

I recently had a frustrating exchange with the IRS over me paying more than the IRS thought I should have.  I should have and did pay the correct amount in taxes but they thought I was tax exempt due to a deployment.  I wasn't deployed at all during the year in question.  I can offer oodles of proof of when I was deployed at other times but very little proof of not being deployed when I wasn't.  Nobody gets orders, awards and evaluations saying 'you weren't in Iraq'.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

If They Thought You Were Deployed. . .

(#273526)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .shouldn't the SOBs be trying to collect taxes and penalties for the income you supposedly earned and didn't pay taxes on?

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

You expect us to believe

(#273524)

that you weren't deployed?  A likely story. 

 

The bad part isn't when the IRS sends back the money, it's the letter that comes along with it that says (a) receiving the refund if you don't deserve it is a separate and serious offense, even if they sent it to you without you requesting it, and (b) they can later change their mind and decide you didn't deserve the refund, in which case you are retroactively guilty of having received it.

But your average Mormon is also more religious

(#273453)

than the average protestant or Catholic (at least in my experience).

 

I just wanted to highlight a difference between Romney and a Paul Ryan or Dick Cheney, who worship Ayn Rand but pretend to be associated with Christianity in some way.

You really ought to consider

(#273460)

joining the Ayn Rand religion.  No nasty afterlife stuff,  no dietary restrictions, lots of sex with intensely creative female industrial executives, and holy books that are kind of entertaining if you do some serious suspension of disbelief.

Do these exist?

(#273462)

"intensely creative female industrial executives"

 

Also, I'm not into women who like to be dominant in the sack. 

Well, they're in the holy books -nt

(#273464)

.

I've never been able to get through a single one

(#273467)

Now I just enjoy the movie versions.

Hey catchy

(#273932)

Recent news for you on the Ayn Rand religion, aka Objectivists:

Objectivist Party Purges Officer for Christian Beliefs

On January 27, 2012, the Governing Board of the Objectivist Party accepted the resignation of Ronald S. Ramo as Treasurer of the Objectivist Party of New York and terminated his membership in the Objectivist Party... “Two incidents involving “conspicuous displays of ignorance” led to the Governing Board’s unanimous acceptance of the resignation of Ron Ramo as OPNY Treasurer. The first was his public statement that he could not attend an event of the Objectivist Party of New York because he would be “in church” at the time. The second was a blast text message he sent out to friends reading, “May the peace and love of God that abides in this Christmas season be with you in the New Year and the rest of your life”. Attempts to get assurances such incidences would not occur in the future were unsuccessful..."

Just in case anyone was unclear on the differences between Objectivists and Christianists.

 

 

Good to be kept abreast of the movement

(#273985)

.

I didn't claim

(#273452)

that there's "secret" christianists. I'm saying there's a lot of conservative republicans who don't like the smell of the word "republican" (they probably went to college but aren't wealthy) and thus call themselves libertarians. A great example of this is glenn reynolds who claims to be some common sense libertarian, but promotes republican policy pretty much to the letter, all the while being employed as a tenured professor at a state college. 

No one can deny

(#273457)

that Glenn Reynolds is often asinine,  but I think you and he might be using different definitions of libertarian.  I think your* definition is someone who has a perfectly self-consistent set of anti-governement policy positions, and lives in a cave to avoid driving on a govt road or accidentally receiving mail.   I think his definition is just someone who, on the average, wants to reduce the size and scope of government.

 

Someone who takes his position,  and also buys into the idea that one must vote for one of the two major parties,  is not unlikely to be a Republican.

 

*slightly exaggerated for effect

We should get a bunch of slogans together

(#273469)

they'd make good T-shirts:

 

"No one can deny that Glenn Reynolds is often asinine"

 

"No one can deny that David Brooks is a pseudointellectual"

 

"No one can deny that Tom Friedman is a member of ignoramus, extraordinarus"

 

"No one can deny that Newt Gingrich's most significant love affairs are with himself"

BTW

(#273473)

Tom Friedman is coming here (Edinburg, not El Paso) in about a month.  "Distinguished Speakers Series",  free and open to the public, with an open mike Q&A at the end.   Any suggestions on how to take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity?  Please, no suggestions that will get me in trouble with security.

 

Ask him if he'd like to retract his stated rationale

(#273517)

for the Iraq war? Here's an idea: Mr. Friedman, in 2003 on the Charlie Rose show you gave this explanation as a justification for the Iraq war: "You don’t think, you know, we care about our open society? You think this bubble fantasy, we’re just going to let it grow? Well, suck on this, ok. That Charlie, is what this war was about. We could have hit Saudi Arabia, it was part of that bubble. Could have hit Pakistan. We hit Iraq because we could. That’s the real truth." To my knowledge you've never retracted this statement. Do you still stand by the claim that the Iraq invasion was justified because the US needed to pick some country in the ME in 2003 and tell it to ... [look down at your notes] ... "Suck on this?"

 

 

 

Good one...

(#273975)

nt

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Adult men spitting on 8 year old girls for dressing immodestly?

(#273382)

Thats the sort of thing that the right in this country loves to demonize Islamic countries for. I'm curious if we'll see any similar reaction from them where Israel is concerned. Some of the other information in that article is stunning if correct. The large families, high birth rate and 60% unemployment rate amongst male haredim don't bode well for Israels future.

I've only

(#273386)

seen one reference to it anywhere online, on a somewhat obscure blog where I found the link. Haven't seen any discussion of it, and I read a lot of blogs and news sites.

The NYT Seems to be Doing a Decent Job of Reporting on This...

(#273387)

See also this article.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/28/world/middleeast/israeli-girl-at-cente...

 

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

I meant

(#273431)

I haven't seen any discussion of this article or topic on blogs, left or right.

Christmas Eve, 2010, Inside the Excavated Western Wall...Sundown

(#273384)

 

...I attended Ultra Orthodox services...it left me so...culturally shaken with the imprint of a different world, a different ethos...

 

I left and ran the entire Stations of the Cross along Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulchure  as soul cleansing purging of that event.

 

And I'm not a particularly religious person.

 

Still, the Ulta Orthodox spooked me do many Islamist.

 

Weird.

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

I think religious fundamentalism spooks a lot of people

(#273423)

I was invited to a service at a Church of God by a girl in college and people started speaking in tongues and writhing on the floor.  There was some romantic interest between us before but after seeing the service and how important it was to her I told her that I didn't think it would work out as I was quite spooked.

Floater, I speak in tongues and writhe on the floor

(#273463)

at church.  Ok, ok, really I slur my speech and stumble a lot but only during the early service after a fun-filled Saturday night.

In the medical community, death is known as Chuck Norris Syndrome. 

Darth Catholic weddings are the best too

(#273500)

Couldn't beleive the first Baptist wedding I attended after I moved down south. I was like where's the booze but it was totally dry!

Yeah, I knew that

(#273485)
stinerman's picture

You're Catholic and a Catholic church is the only church I've ever been to.  The closest thing to speaking in tongues there is the Latin, and they phased that out decades ago.

 

Say what you want about Catholics, but they have the right idea on church.  It should be boring and not at all fun.  If you go to church because it's fun, you're not going for the right reasons.  You should go to church because you're afraid that you'll go to Hell when you die if you don't.

The Constitution does not vest in Congress the authority to protect society from every bad act that might befall it. -- Clarence Thomas

You obviously

(#273555)

havn't heard the new liturgy. 

See the USA in Your Chevrolet

(#273362)
brutusettu's picture

[url=http://volokh.com/2012/01/22/execute-those-who-import-marijuana/]Newt's "Drug Importer Death Penalty Act of 1996"[/url]

[url=http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/04/newt-gingrich-greatest-rhetorical-hits?page=1]A best of of Newt, he sure loves himself some Godwin[/url]

Broken Clock/Blind Squirrel Moment Of The Day

(#273353)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Paul Begala:

Will Romney’s money and endorsements be able to overwhelm Gingrich’s electrifying debate performances? They weren’t in South Carolina. But Romney has an ace in the hole. The one person who has consistently derailed Newt Gingrich’s political career is Newt Gingrich.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Whom* is being referred to as a broken clock?

(#273360)
brutusettu's picture

Begala or this Newton Leroy** fellow?

*I think I used that correctly for the 1st time,
**Oh ya, I went there.

Time for some grammar pedantry!

(#273361)

"Whom" is the objective case, so you use "whom" when it's the object.  But since you're using the passive voice, it should be "who," since it's still the subject of the sentence.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

(#273314)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Funny how taking in Operating Without Soap led to theft and urination on crosses. It's not as if the churches involved had any warning that crime and malicious incontinence were associated with this crowd or anything.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

It's not just divorces.

(#273297)

I'm younger than a lot of you, but even I remember this:

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/govt/leadership/stories/01...

 

He's a serial adulterer on wife #3 (who resembles a taxidermied bird of prey) who preaches about traditional marriage, he's a liar and race-baiter, and is in favor of repealing child labor laws. And he got fined $300,000 for ethics violations in the house, which was unprecedented. I particularly love this quote from fellow amphibian tom delay:

 

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) gave a spirited speech calling the penalty unwarranted. Answering those who said a speaker should be held to a higher standard of ethical conduct, DeLay said: "The highest possible standard does not mean an impossible standard no American could possibly reach." He closed by declaring: "Let's stop this madness, let's stop the cannibalism." 

 

And he just won South Carolina. And Erick Erickson is describing him as a washington outsider. Republican voters are morons.

This year it's really the race baiting

(#273298)
HankP's picture

which seems to be a fairly common occurence in SC. Usually, though, it's done in secret or with some sort of plausible deniability. But Gingrich has actually done it in such a blatant manner this time that a few more wins and he'll taint the GOP with racism even more than they are already. Because he has to personally teach black people how to get a job and not ask for a handout. You'll nnever hear him propose to do the same for a white group.

I blame it all on the Internet

Paterno dead

(#273283)
Bird Dog's picture

Hall of Fame career forever tainted by a pedophile.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Agreed.

(#273286)

Paterno may have built an impressive football program, but the one time he needed to show some real moral courage, he...well, fumbled.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

Romney is unfit to be CiC.

(#273277)

[img=330x330]http://static1.firedoglake.com/1/files/2012/01/flag-pins.jpg[/img]

For your amusement

(#273255)
HankP's picture

selected anagrams of "Newton Leroy Gingrich"

 

Wintry Lecher Ongoing
Incoherently Growing
Enticingly Wrong Hero
Only Now Cheering Trig
Gory Lingo Enrich Newt  
Lying Goon Newt Richer

I blame it all on the Internet

Gingrich Looks Strong in his Speech after his Win...Just Sayin`

(#273237)

 

...I sense that he will be a formidable opponent against Obama.

 

Traveller

Nope

(#273265)

Add his existing negatives to his erratic personality and you have the makings of a historically inept candidate. Watch what happens in the next month. The GOP establishment will do everything possible to sink him. Cuz if he gets the nom?

The GOP gets the bloodbath they richly deserve. But not the bloodbath they're dreaming of.

“Two clichés make us laugh but a hundred clichés move us, because we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, celebrating a reunion." - Umberto Eco

You're kidding, right?

(#273239)
HankP's picture

Republicans already have huge problems with female and minority voters. You really think Gingrich is their answer?

I blame it all on the Internet

Isn't it a good thing that divorces don't matter

(#273240)
mmghosh's picture

to be politically effective? It shows how a mature electorate thinks. IIRC, Mr Reagan was also divorced, and it did not diminish his electability. After all, many Americans divorce regularly. It does not mean they are ineffective at work.

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

The divorce is only part of it

(#273251)
HankP's picture

and it's not the divorce per se, more that he was an enormous scumbag with two different wives including ridiculously blatant adultery. While preaching "traditional family values" and calling political opponents degenerate, anti-American, etc. etc. So much more of the disgust at him is the blatant hypocrisy ans his essential narcissism in believing that his actions are always justified.

 

The Republicans have a big problem in that they don't seem to believe that women are moral agents that can decide on their own about the appropriateness of abortion. Add to that many of their supporters nasty remarks about "feminazis" and what they feel is the "normal" role of women in a traditional family and they've done their best to burn their bridges there.

 

When it comes to minorities, specifically blacks and Hispanics, many Republicans have gone out of their way to state positions in the most offensive possible manner. Gingrich has equated food stamps with poor blacks and suggested that he needs to teach blacks about getting a job rather than a handout. When it comes to Hispanics, the demagogueing has been going on since Pete Wilson, the governor of California, started attacking Hispanic immigrants in the 1990s and continues to the extremely punitive immigration laws passed by Republican state legislatures in the past few years.

 

So if you want to see groups that might have been disaffected and blasé about this election suddenly become energized beyond your wildest dreams, Republicans are doing exactly the right thing.

I blame it all on the Internet

Agreed up to a point, but there must be women in that party

(#273254)
mmghosh's picture

as well, and surely they are smart, informed and intelligent too - not just following a patriarchy, as they would here, for example.  And they have won plenty of elections in the past decades, its hard to believe that these issues were less significant in the past.

 

I suppose I always think of the USA as being the best and brightest example of the future of our societies, especially with women's issues, so naturally issues such as marriage and divorce to matter increasingly less. 

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

I don't think so

(#273256)
HankP's picture

when it comes to social indicators you should probably look to Europe as the best example of the future of society.

I blame it all on the Internet

It's Not Just Divorce Involved

(#273242)
M Scott Eiland's picture

The main reason Republican voters are annoyed is that the media is trying to re-spin a fifteen year old story to make it seem relevant--the visceral reaction is along the order of "just how stupid do you think we are, media?" If this was something going on right now, Gingrich would be toast, because the details make him look like a jerk (though, again, the fact that Mrs. Gingrich #2 was a willing participant in NG's first adventure in swapping out for a younger model makes her a rather unsympathetic figure--what goes around comes around).

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Actually pretty stupid

(#273247)

Republican voters that is. The paranoid victim complex that makes Newt's blame the media strategy work so well with them does not play quite so well with the rest of the country. To give you a personal example my fairly apolitical wife had never heard of Newt's marital issues until this week. After viewing his response in the debate she said what a jackass he was for trying to blame the media for his own scumminess.

That is quite a defense of

(#273244)

That is quite a defense of Newt's history, I'll give you that.

Defense?

(#273246)
M Scott Eiland's picture

I just don't understand why I should feel sorry for an adulterer who ended up getting a dose of karma that resembled what she had visited upon her predecessor. It goes without saying that NG is a profoundly unsympathetic figure here, but Mrs. Gingrich #2 was an equal participant in his sins against his first marriage. I'm also unimpressed with the MSM rationalizations for why a fifteen year old story with no significant new information is suddenly not only news again, but allegedly the biggest story of the day.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Kick Me if You Like...People are Moving towards Newt...

(#273245)

 

...CNN is interviewing people...and they like Gringrich, baggage and all.

 

I'm just telling you.

 

I myself am impressed.

 

But then, the first rule of war is to know your enemy....so I need to know Mr. Gringrich.

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

I would think a lot of people would find it reassuring

(#273367)

to have someone who can spout that family values bulderdash but clearly doesn't actually believe it. At least not for themselves. It's a comforting sort of hypocrisy that marks him out as just like regular people.


 


Anyway, that's my guess. But I mean, a candidate that doesn't believe in contraception, in this day and age and hemisphere. I would find that pretty frightening.

Republicans may be

(#273253)
HankP's picture

but the figures posted earlier show him as about the most disliked politician in the country.

 

I think he's a scumbag, but I also think that making him the Republican nominee is about the only way to just about guarantee a second Obama term. I just can't face the idea of having to listen to him for the next 11 months. Seriously.

I blame it all on the Internet

To be fair, it isn't really

(#273241)

To be fair, it isn't really JUST about divorces with Newt.  We are talking about infidelity, serial lying, and very questionable moral behavior when it comes to his wives.  He's kind of a scumbag it appears.  Does that affect his ability to be President?  Not in the strictest sense but one has to ask if one wants someone who can't treat his family right as your President.  I imagine women would be more likely to make this connection.

 

Those aren't his only character flaws but they seem to be all of-a-piece.  Even among the politician cohort, the guy appears to be a remarkable narcissist and opportunist.  Add his erratic risk taking and I think he'd make a terrible President.

Infidelity doesn't matter

(#273291)
stinerman's picture

Unless your name is Bill Clinton or John Edwards.

The Constitution does not vest in Congress the authority to protect society from every bad act that might befall it. -- Clarence Thomas

Almost everyone who goes through a divorce

(#273250)
mmghosh's picture

must admit to infidelity.  As for serial lying, well, in some way or another who doesn't do that?  

 

In that sense, perhaps, a politician can be similar to his or her electorate - probably [i]must[/i] be, in order to be one of the people.  And if the majority of the electorate are divorced then one can only commend them for choosing one of their own.

 

But to my more substantial point - whether one is divorced or not should not affect one's efficiency, or ability at one's job - which at the last is the major criterion, no? 

freedom is a fundamental value that does not need to be justified in terms of some other value like efficiency

Not Necessarily These Days

(#273252)
M Scott Eiland's picture

With the rise of no-fault divorce, people (at least in the US) can get divorced for pretty much any reason they want to--the old way of having to provide proof of some specific ground of divorce (most commonly adultery) is more or less dead, and in states with community property laws it isn't even relevant for property division unless a spouse's cheating nullifies a prenup.*

* Kobe Bryant certainly deserves no sympathy for his messy and expensive divorce given his history--but under California law he could have been the most faithful spouse ever and been cheated on relentlessly by his wife, and she'd be getting exactly the same half of their property as she is in real life. Understandably, a lot of men think this state of the law is rather unjust.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

But Lawyers Love It

(#273259)

Welcome to the prenup state.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

"We all need someone to look at us."

(#273243)

"We can be divided into four categories according to the kind of look we wish to live under.

The first category longs for the look of an infinite number of anonymous eyes, in other words, for the look of the public...The second category is made up of people who have a vital need to be looked at by many known eyes...Then there is the third category, the category of people who need to be constantly before the eyes of the person they love...And finally there is the fourth category, the rarest, the category of people who live in the imaginary eyes of those who are not present."

-- Unbearable Lightness of Being, pp. 269-270.

 

Milan Kundera never made a category for Newt - a man who most likes to watch himself in the mirror.

*Scott Zones Out. . .

(#273248)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .at the image of Lena Olin wearing nothing but a bowler hat and a smile* Sorry--what were we talking about? :-)

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

We were talking about how that is one of the few cases

(#273249)

where the movie is better than the book.

Some political advice

(#273222)
Bird Dog's picture

Don't engage in identity theft in order to frame your political enemy for ethics violations.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Boy, that looks like a dumb

(#273234)

Boy, that looks like a dumb move.  If he is guilty he should be punished.  The powerline piece stupidly references Watergate and hints this was a scheme run from the White House.  That stinks of the sort of paranoia that led WAAAAY too many to believe Bubba ran a drug cartel and murder/extortion ring from the WH.

PowerLine:

(#273232)

Now that's a reliable, objective source.

 

Forgive me if I wait for confirmation from something more reliable, like the Weekly World News.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

Drill down, baby

(#273270)
Bird Dog's picture

nt

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Powerline Linking The Des Moines Register

(#273233)
M Scott Eiland's picture

The Des Moines Register *could* be making up the arrest, of course, but if they did they're in for the Mother of All Libel Lawsuits.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Uh Oh

(#273223)
M Scott Eiland's picture

I hear the Obama bus warming up:

But I'm sure he never did that sort of thing for The Chosen One. Never!

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

And. . .It's Newt

(#273221)
M Scott Eiland's picture

I'd guess that FOX (and apparently at least the local news stations) wouldn't have called it yet if the exit polls weren't showing at least a 5-6% lead--they'd just be unnecessarily hurting their ratings and risking a Florida 2000 type fiasco otherwise. Looks like Santorum and Paul will finish well back--this might be curtains for Santorum if he finishes fourth.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

When Romney eventually wins

(#273235)

When Romney eventually wins (he must, mustn't he?) I can't wait to hear who Newt blames.  Well, besides "the media" of course.

Knowing Gingrich

(#273238)
HankP's picture

it will be "moral relativists".

I blame it all on the Internet

Not often I feel sorry for Republicans...

(#273230)

... but tonight I do.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

I don't

(#273236)
HankP's picture

I feel sorry for me. I can take about 30 seonds of hearing Gingrich speak before I want to plunge spikes into my ears.

I blame it all on the Internet

Lordy

(#273224)
Bird Dog's picture

This race is going to take longer than I expected. What were those South Carolinians thinking?

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Red Meat Against The Prevent Defense

(#273226)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Plus a de facto "let's keep this going" endorsement from She Who Makes Democrats Foam At The Mouth. That being said, unless Romney loses or comes close to losing Florida, this isn't really all *that* bad for Romney--particularly if it shocks him out of some of his more inept campaign practices.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Questions for Kruggie

(#273218)
Bird Dog's picture

Here.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Correction - retarded questions for Kruggie nt

(#273227)
HankP's picture

.

I blame it all on the Internet

Why?

(#273269)
Bird Dog's picture

nt

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Well the

(#273219)

republicans have an eight year long, proven record of exploding the national debt to historic levels, along with the size of the government. Yet you want to vote republican.

 

Tribalism is the only explanation that makes sense. Guess it works for some people.

Hmm

(#273220)
Bird Dog's picture

So the debt has not gone to historic levels over the past three years? As I recall, the Dems had control of Congress from 2007 through 2010. Going by this graph, and assuming that Obama will add at least $1 trillion per year in debt for the next six years, the percent of debt accumulated under Obama's watch will be around the same percentage as Bush's. Some choice.

[img]http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/248944-galleryV9-nnhb.jpg[/img]

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Obama should have

(#273231)

Let the bush tax cuts expire. That's a huge part of your graph that proves my previous point. Which repub is gonna let the bush tax cuts expire?

But he didn't

(#273267)
Bird Dog's picture

When push came to shove, the Uncourageous One did the uncourageous thing. By his own acts, Obama endorsed the extension of all of the Bush tax cuts, including all of the tax cuts for the rich, in effect embracing all of them.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

I don't have the figures at hand...

(#273229)

...but it seems to me that Bush the Dimmer's deficit numbers were artificially low due to his habit of putting large chunks of the budget (i.e. two wars) in as "supplemental appropriations."

 

But even if the chart above accounts for that, Shrub is responsible for almost half the debt all by himself, and the Holy Republican Trinity of Reagan, Bush and Bush owns 2/3 of it. Whining about the size of the mess Obama was left to clean up (including the financial crisis that occurred on Bush's watch) isn't going to fly.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

Supplemental appropriations also add to the debt,

(#273268)
Bird Dog's picture

so they all counted. The problem is that our current $1.3 trillion annual deficit dwarfs any of Bush's annual deficits. This is neither a compliment toward Bush nor Obama.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

The deficits are still basically Bush II's fault

(#273274)

besides a little stimulus, the deficits are mostly b/c Bush II broke the economy.

 

And who knows how to square this with what you were writing earlier about not wanting to implement austerity given the weak economy. Should Obama have been slashing the budget right now or not?

 

Also also, your chart is bad b/c it deals with total $s, where the real measure is the increase in debt-to-GDP under a given president. There's no denying the 4 decades long tradition of Republican presidents busting the budget:

 

[img=500x500]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b8/US_Federal_Debt_as_Percent_of_GDP_by_President.jpg/800px-US_Federal_Debt_as_Percent_of_GDP_by_President.jpg[/img]

Problem is,

(#273281)
Bird Dog's picture

the president you voted for added to spending--significantly--and by extending all of the Bush tax cuts, he now owns them. By signing last year's extension, he favors tax cuts for the rich just like all those evil Republicans. You know what Des has told all of us, watch what they do, not what they say.

There is no doubt that Reagan-Bush added to the national debt, first by the defense build-up and then by paying for the S&L crisis. However, Reagan-Bush get partial credit for the decline in the 1990s due to the peace dividend. Most of the spending cuts in the 1990s were on defense. Gingrich also gets partial credit by forcing Clinton to accept a balanced budget bill instead of accepting $200 billion deficifits as far as the eye could see.

So, to me, your graph is interesting but your conclusions are simplistic, especially if you're going to argue that Bush is responsible for the decisions that Obama made. Believe me, I'm not defending Bush. He was a failed president, but he's also not running for office. Obama is.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

So many lies

(#273300)
HankP's picture

- Obama hasn't added significantly to spending

- he didn't permanently extend the tax cuts, just for a couple years in a massive downturn

- Reagan Bush get no credit for the "peace dividend", or rather they get as much credit as every other administration since Truman

- Gingrich's actions were trivial compared to the tax increases by Bush I and Clinton - and let's remember that the Republicans in both cases said that would destroy the economy

 

So many lying narratives in a single post. Stop reading conservative propaganda.

 

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Lies?

(#273352)

Really?

 

Let's see:

 

- Obama hasn't added significantly to spending

 

Define significantly. I agree that Obama has not added nearly as much as Bush, and that the argument that he has is essentially false. But using the word lie is a bit heavy handed, considering by your own figures Obama added 1.44 Billion in spending, which while comparatively not huge, is certainly "significant".

 

- he didn't permanently extend the tax cuts, just for a couple years in a massive downturn

 

A couple of years that expire after the election. Fact is, he extended the cuts. The future will take care of itself. Here you are being less honest than Bird Dog.

 

- Reagan Bush get no credit for the "peace dividend", or rather they get as much credit as every other administration since Truman

 

Actually you are both off. Planning for cuts in defense spending began under Bush and were followed through by Clinton. Reagan gets no credit for the cuts as such. Bird Dog attempts to use the notion that he won the Cold War to give him credit. As you point out, the Cold War was waged since Truman, so the credit if anything would go to all of them. But, as I said, the cuts themselves did start under Bush, so objectively he does get credit for that.

 

- Gingrich's actions were trivial compared to the tax increases by Bush I and Clinton - and let's remember that the Republicans in both cases said that would destroy the economy.

 

Gingrich did have an impact on cutting the deficit, whether we like it or not. His true intent was to "starve the beast" (gut social programs, etc.), and had some success. But regardless, his net impact was to reduce the deficit (and also to crimp Clinton's programs). We can argue about whether this was good or bad, or about Gingrich's motives, but it did play that way.

 

"Lies" was not the right word here. Bird Dog has a point.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

How many times

(#273355)
HankP's picture

do I have to go over this stuff to refute zombie Republican lies that will never die?

 

- Here's a little chart I whipped up using numbers from here and here:

 

 

Each President is represented by the last budget of his predecessor as the starting point and his last budget as the ending point (except Obama, of course, because we don't know what his last budget will be yet). So sure, if you want to say Obama "substantially increased" spending by defining "substantially" as "less in percentage terms than every President except Clinton in the last 35 years" then sure, go ahead and define it that way.

 

- When the extension expires is what could be negotiated. Why you seem to think it matters that they'll expire after an election is irrelevant. Yes he extended them in the worst economic crisis of the last 75 years. Maybe you're an austerity fanatic, I don't know. But 2010 was not the time to let them expire. Nor was it the time to slash the budget unless you perhaps wanted an even worse economy than what we got.

 

- The cuts started under Bush because that's when the USSR dissolved. If it had dissolved earlier, they (maybe) would have started under Reagan, if later then under Clinton. But I don't see why any particular administration gets the "credit" for a policy that was established under Truman and happened to come to fruition during their administration. Bush I gets credit for handling it OK, but to give him exclusive credit for any budget numbers related to it seems ridiculous to me.

 

- No, Gingrich and the Republicans have made up that story and exaggerated it to make themselves look good. There's virtually no difference, maybe a percent or two, between the spending increases of the 93 - 94 Democratic Congress and the three Republican ones that followed under Clinton (of course, huge changes after that). The main difference was that Clinton (and Bush I, who also gets credit) had put tax increases in place and GDP exploded in the second half of the 1990s increasing tax revenues. And let's not forget what they did with the "savings" from no longer guaranteeing that American children would get sufficient food - they immediately gave all that money and more to the wealthiest Americans as soon as they got into office and exploded the budget on their pet causes including two simultaneous foreign wars. No more garbage about how the Republicans are thrifty in any way whatsoever.

 

 

So yes, lies, lies and more lies. Every time some new conservative talking points come out, framed to make Obama OMG THE WORST KENYAN MARXIST PRESIDENT EVER!!!11! we see them recycled here. It's BS and should get called as such.

 

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Dup

(#273436)
Bird Dog's picture

My long reply shows up in "edit", but not on the thread.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Since you brought up numbers,

(#273435)
Bird Dog's picture

it's fair to discuss the numbers that have more relevance, specifically discretionary spending after adjusting for inflation, as those are the figures that elected politicians have direct control over. A president has little ability to affect entitlement spending and paying interest on the debt, i.e., mandatory spending. Using this source (and this), the actual outlays.

Carter, 1977-1981

Military: 11.9%

Non-military: 7.4%

Total: 9.6%

Mandatory: 24.2%

Some of that spending may have been affected by the double digit inflation that the Carter era experienced. For such a large increase in military spending, such an ineffectual result.

Reagan, 1981-1989

 

Military: 38.1%

Non-military: -10.2%

Total: 16.5%

Mandatory: 28.8%

No surprise.

 

Bush 41, 1989-1993

 

Military: -13.9%

Non-military: 12.3%

Total: -3.8%

Mandatory: 16.1%

The peace dividend kicked in. A portion of that non-military increase went to paying for the S&L mess. Bush 41 was a fiscal conservative.

 

Clinton, 1993-2001

 

Military: -12.2%

Non-military: 14.3%

Total: -0.2%

Mandatory: 21.0%

The peace dividend continued, which is exactly how Clinton kept spending in check.

 

Bush 43, 2001-2009

 

Military: 60.2%

Non-military: 31.3%

Total: 45.3%

Mandatory: 57.5%

Bush was a war president and a big spender. He was no fiscal conservative. Even with the addition of Medicare Part D, the increase in mandatory spending is startling.

 

Obama, 2009-2012

 

Military: 13.5%

Non-military: 10.9%

Total: 12.2%

Mandatory: 1.7%

 

Obama significantly added to spending, especially since much of the TARP and ARRA money was spent in 2009, and that ain't no lie. Obama spent more on the military, presumably for Afghanistan, and he spent more on the non-military side due to ARRA. Going forward, with the majority of the ARRA money spent, with a Republican-majority House, and with smaller footprints in Afghanistan and Iraq, I'm sure those increases will slow or reverse.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

OK

(#273366)

1.44 Trillion is substantial, period. All you are saying is that every president except Clinton has also increased the budget significantly. That's a fair point, definitely worth making, but it hardly shows Bird Dog was lying. It merely shows he is pointing out something that, while true, is irrelevant.

 

- The extensions should not have been extended for the wealthy, and Obama said, many times, during the worst phases of the recesion, that he would cut the tax cuts to the wealthy (defined then as having higher than 250K income). He did not do this, and he should have. You don't need to be an austerity fanatic to want to bring back Clinton-era tax rates on the wealthy. Quite the opposite, higher revenue enables higher spending on badly needed infrastructure, just to name one example. Leaving it for after the election does matter. It shows Obama either has no balls or is a poor negotiator, while increasing the risk that the cuts will never be rolled back. Bird Dog is closer to the truth here than you are.

 

- Bush gets credit for the defense cuts because he was willing to carry them out. Plenty of excuses could have been made to maintain spending, and were. Bush proceeded in a fairly responsible manner, so he gets credit. Reagan definitely not. It's true that his buildup put pressure on the USSR, but so did Afghanistan, and for better or worse, that was a Carter invention. A lot of things put pressure on the USSR. The Sony Walkman, for example.

The USSR did not lose the Cold War due to military pressure, which merely contained it. It lost because communism was an economically catastrophic system, whilde detente initiated by Kennedy and furthered through Nixon and Carter, allowed significant numbers of Russians to travel abroad and perceive the increasing disparity in economic performance between communist and free market economies.

 

- Gingrich and his cronies did exagerate, but exageration is not lying.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

JFC

(#273369)
HankP's picture

- $1.44 trillion is a policy change, not a budget change. If you look at the chart I put together the budget is ~$620 billion bigger now than it was for Bush's last budget. So it's 1.44 trillion over what period of time? If GDP grows at normal rates it won't even matter if we're talking about a 10 year time frame, it's less than 1% of the total expenditures over that time period.

 

- Obama is not a dictator, and he can't wave a wand and make Congress do stuff. His choice was end all the Bush tax breaks or extend them all. There's something called "cloture" you need to remember about, invoked by, once again, Republicans.

 

- Fine, then according to your logic Obama gets no blame whatsoever for increasing the budget because the economy was in free fall when he took office. You can't apportion credit/blame the way you are to exogenous events unless you're willing to do it both ways.

 

- The exaggeration is so extreme I call it a lie. Saying you slashed the budget when you really just happened to be around when tax revenues exploded is a lie.

 

 

This crap comes up again and again and again. Republicans lie and distort economics, they've been doing it full time since Reagan took over and there's no sign of them changing. When Republicans talk about economics ideology and faith comes before facts.

I blame it all on the Internet

Dictator...

(#273370)

Obama showed himself to be a terrible negotiator, giving away the farm time and again, while failing to use available leverage. I've grown tired of writing about that. I am not going to do it again here.

 

I certainly don't blame Obama for raising the budget or presiding over the current deficit. The deficit was in the pipeline thanks to the market meltdown, and draconian cuts would have sent the economy into a tailspin. If anything I credit Obama for not cutting spending the way the GOP proposed. But increase spending he did. The point is not to deny it, but to defend it.

 

Talking of exogenous events, Clinton gets plenty of credit for growing the economy, more than he deserves. His term coincided with the technology boom driven by the Internet, hardly something he was responsible for, as well as the dot-com bubble, hardly sustainable. Clinton policy was more or less rational, but he also promoted and signed the GOP-sponsored repeal of Glass-Steagall, which is a good part of cause of the sub-prime crisis.

 

It's kind of hard to do parallel history and wonder what would have Clinton done with a Democratic House. At the end of the day, we don't know what the real net impact of Gingrich was. Rather than arbitrarily call it a lie, I would have pointed out, as I did above, that the documented motivation of the GOP was not fiscal responsibility, but to tie Clinton's hands and drown the Federal government in a bathtub. This isn't hard to establish, as they said so themselves.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Diversion

(#273356)
Bird Dog's picture

When you have no point, or when the facts are against you, you change the subject or move the goalposts. Your comment is just more of the same since your numbers have exactly no relevance to what started this dust-up. Go back to your original "lies" comment.

The fact is that Obama has significantly increased spending. ARRA really happened and it jumped overall spending in 2010 by 14%. We will see how Obama handles future outlays, assuming he's around for a second term.

The fact is Obama endorsed the Bush tax cuts, including those for the rich.

Your claim that Reagan-Bush get no credit for the peace dividend is just your opinion, nothing more. Even Gorbachev grudgingly admitted that the Reagan defense build-up accelerated the fall of the Soviet Union. The cost increases for defense in the 1980s was repaid in the 1990s in the form of cost decreases and the non-existence of a Cold War.

The budget deals in 1990 and 1993 by Bush 41 and Clinton were non-trivial. Also non-trivial was the 1995 budget deal that Gingrich pushed onto Clinton. Clinton submitted $200 billion deficits every single year, and the 1995 deal helped push those $200 billion deficits down to zero. Barbara Boxer got caught up in those same significant factual errors last July. I say again, Henry, $200 billion in the 1990s was not chump change, and if anything, your talking up the 1993 budget deal and talking down the Gingrich-era deals strikes me as dishonest and hyperpartisan, straight out of the misleading analyses presented by none other than CAP. Far as I'm concerned, you've fallen well short of proving the lie. If anything, you're perpetuating one.

 

 

 

 

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Sorry you don't like the actual numbers

(#273358)
HankP's picture

but there you are. I responded to MA because I thought he'd be willing to look at the facts and not the narrative.

I blame it all on the Internet

You've convinced me

(#273359)
Bird Dog's picture

You've been arguing with somebody else, and in a case of mistaken identity, attributed "lies" to me, so thanks for clearing that up. If you're unwilling or unable willing to address your very own "lies" comment, then this conversation has moved from tedious to completely pointless.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Moderators, that's a PRV

(#273302)
Bird Dog's picture

(1) The ARRA alone added significantly to spending.

(2) The fact is that Obama extended all of the Bush tax cuts, breaking his own pledge in the process. There is no assurance that he won't break future pledges.

(3) Saying that Reagan-Bush get no credit for the peace dividend is just your opinion, Hank. My opinion differs, and it ain't no lie.

(4) Gingrich's actions weren't trivial. Without Gingrich making a line in the sand, Clinton's budgets had $200-plus billion deficits every single year. $200 billion per year is not trivial, Hank, and it ain't no lie.

(5) Go bully somebody else. Your pathetic attacks on commenters you don't like is getting beyond tedious.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

I never said you were a liar

(#273306)
HankP's picture

just that the stuff you're putting up here is a bunch of lies. Conservative propaganda purveyors are lying to you.

 

As far as spending, this chart puts it in perspective:

 

I blame it all on the Internet

Nonsense

(#273315)
Bird Dog's picture

You're calling me a liar because you're asserting that I'm a purveyor of lies. It's a backdoor PRV.

Show me one single fact that is a lie, Hank.

Your unsourced graph is a diversion. My original comment was this: "...the president you voted for added to spending--significantly..." An $865 stimulus bill is a significant increase in spending. In 2010, Obama's first full budget, spending increased 14.4%, using the same source as above.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

No

(#273323)
HankP's picture

I never showed intent, and I believe your definition of a lie requires proving intent. You're just passing along stuff that isn't true. I'm sure your intent is pure.

I blame it all on the Internet

Prove the "lies", Hank

(#273331)
Bird Dog's picture

Prove that the OMB is lying. Or NPR. Or Henry Blodget. Or the New York Times. Or CBO. Those are the links and sources I used in this thread.

Here is what you're doing. You're claiming that I'm a purveyor of lies (which I categorically reject), so if you and others believe this to be true, then Bird Dog must (1) either be so ignorant that he doesn't know any better or BD knows that these links are lies and is intentionally using them anyway. Since you now claim that my intentions are pure, you're basically saying that I'm a tool who doesn't know any better, which is a PRV (do you get that, moderators?). It is a direct insult of another member in this community. So I'll say it again. Knock it off, back up what your claims or retract. Take your pick.

 

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Draw what conclusions you want

(#273337)
HankP's picture

but you'll have a hard time justifying your excursions into mindreading based on what I wrote.

I blame it all on the Internet

Believe me, I've drawn my conclusions

(#273354)
Bird Dog's picture

The chief one being you've failed to back up a single assertion you've made. All you've got are opinions, which is proof of exactly nothing.

Oh, and MA said.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Lies vs. liar

(#273305)

If Hank says "you're lying" or "you're a liar", that's a PRV. If he says you're repeating lies, that's not.

 

Enjoy the football guys. 

I'm going to agree here

(#273311)

The general thrust is that BD is repeating lies, not that he's intentionally lying.

Not good enough

(#273309)
Bird Dog's picture

If-then statements won't suffice. Hank is engaging in a backdoor PRV by claiming that I'm a purveyor of lies. This is bulls**t. It crosses the bounds of civil discourse.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Comment vs. commenter

(#273313)

We're all potentially purveyors of lies just in virtue of writing comments, but I don't see any questioning of your motives or attacks on your person.

 

You can email me or the other mods if you'd like to continue talking about this, but it'd be nice not to clutter up the site with meta stuff.

 

 

Not good enough

(#273317)
Bird Dog's picture

The original intent of the posting rules at this site was to "be reasonably civil". By saying that I'm a purveyor of lies, Hank is attempting to impugn my integrity and by crossing the line of that original intent, particularly since there are no lies whatsoever in the links I've used. My objection still stands, and I refuse to take this matter behind the curtain.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

"Be reasonably civil"

(#273371)

Bwah.  Haha.  Hahahaha.  

 

That's rich.

A man must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.

 

Indeed

(#273373)
Bird Dog's picture

I am reasonably civil with people who are reasonably civil with me. Hank's consistently bad faith commenting speaks for itself.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

You didn't help your case with this one.

(#273397)

I am not a mod now, but if I was I would yellow card you for it.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

PRV, again nt

(#273381)
HankP's picture

.

I blame it all on the Internet

Dude

(#273310)
HankP's picture

you specifically say that I make sh!t up, repeatedly, no if/thens involved. So you seem a bit sensitive considering the stuff you say to me all the time.

I blame it all on the Internet

Hank

(#273316)
Bird Dog's picture

You wrote things in the prior thread that were false and unsupported. Not only that, you started that dust-up by going off topic and attacking the commenter, which is also a PRV. It was charitable of me to say that you made s**t up.

One other thing, Hank. Prove the lie. Man up and back up your claim.

 

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Ha

(#273325)
HankP's picture

"Man up"? What is this, high school? Just because you disagree doesn't mean you get to attack the commenter, which you do. I really don't care, but to pull the PRV trigger after repeatedly attacking the commenter looks kind of silly, not charitable.

I blame it all on the Internet

OK

(#273330)
Bird Dog's picture

Since you can't or won't prove the lie, I'll just conclude that your "lies" comment is either unfounded, dishonest, disingenous, or some combination. In any case, this is one more example of many of your lack of good faith as a commenter. You don't simply stop at disagreeing on policy or facts, you constantly take the next step of impugning motives, attacking people who disagree with you, and making false and unsupported charges. So I'll say it again, man up, get some character and stand by what you say or take it back.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

I already listed what I thought the lies are

(#273336)
HankP's picture

if you can't accept that, well, that's your problem, not mine.

 

BTW, PRV on the bulk of your comment. Address the comment, not the commenter, unless you feel that the rules don't apply to you.

I blame it all on the Internet

You supported no such thing

(#273339)
Bird Dog's picture

Listing what you believe are lies does not prove they're lies, no matter how much you click your heels and wish it so.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Hey, This isn't something Important like 49er's, Giants...

(#273333)

 

...Eh?

 

Toutchdown 49'ers!

 

Traveller

For the sake of argument,

(#273304)

let's suppose that Newt Gingrich and the GOP Congress of the 1990's deserves credit for the balanced budgets and rapidly-shrinking deficit of that era.

 

Why then did the GOP suddenly forget all about fiscal prudence as soon as Shrub took the oath of office? Gingrich's "line in the sand" washed out with the first tide, and ever since then "GOP fiscal prudence" has been as big an oxymoron as "honest criminal." Gingrich didn't give a rat's ass about budget deficits then and he and the rest of the GOP don't now, except for its utility as a club with which to demagogue and beat upon Democrats.

 

I for one wouldn't call you a liar, Bird Dog, but Gingrich and the rest of the GOP field? They lie with every breath.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

Like I said,

(#273338)
Bird Dog's picture

Newt took his eye off the ball his final year as Speaker. I'm not saying he deserves full credit for reduced deficits, but he should get partial credit. Clinton and Rubin also get credit, too. Of course, there were factors that helped (strong economy, tax increases, peace dividend, etc.).

Denny Hastert took over as Speaker, and discretionary spending in 2000 increased faster than at any time since 1985 (link). Combined with GW Bush's "compassionate conservatism", fiscal discipline took a back seat in the Oval Office and the House. After Bush was elected, the most prominent Republican who supported fiscal discipline was McCain. Ironically, today's conservatives call him a moderate or RINO or worse, which tells you quite a bit about today's conservative movement and my disenchantment with same.

 

 

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Your thinking is too unclear to respond meaningfully

(#273290)

In one place you acknolwedge that Obama has been constrained to run a deficit since raising taxes and cutting spending would've been terrible policy during a deep economic downturn and shallow recovery.

 

Now you're quoting figures that hold Obama 100% responsible from the moment he took office for decreased tax receipts and automatic federal increases in outlays from massive unemployment. It's as if you're pretending Bush II didn't drive the economy off a cliff right before he left office.

 

I'm not an Obama apologist and in fact I think he should be running a higher deficit right now. But you're screwing up the basics here.

 

And of course the real point is that obsessing over the deficit while we've got 25 million unemployed and under-employed is economic malpractice. Only the same failed ideology that got us into this mess explains why it's been front-and-center the past 2 yrs.

That's absurd.

(#273287)

First of all, you're assuming that under a second GHW Bush term (or a subsequent GOP presidency) that there would have been a "peace dividend." You also give Gingrich way too much credit: all he did as Speaker is act like an undisciplined 8 year old with untreated ADHD. His sole accomplishment was a completely unnecessary government shutdown. You have presented no evidence that the Cllinton Administration would have accepted deficits "as far as the eye can see."

 

You are right about one thing, though: George W. Bush was a failure as President. Barack Obama has the thankless job of cleaning up after his mess.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

Eh

(#273308)
Bird Dog's picture

Both Bush and Clinton talked about the peace dividend as candidates. I won't speculate or go into hypotheticals about what GHWB would've done if elected to a 2nd term.

Gingrich was often undisciplined, but it still doesn't take away from the fact that he drew a line in the sand against Clinton's proposed budgets. Clinton offered budgets with $200 billion deficits every year, Newt countered with a five-year budget-balancing deal, then Clinton countered with ten years, then seven years, until finally coming to an agreement. The Gingrich-led House held down spending until his final year, when his GOP colleagues fired him for his taking the eye off the ball and for being a lousy Speaker.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

You're making Pranky's point

(#273225)
HankP's picture

every Dem has significantly reduced the rate of growth of the deficit over their Republican predecessors. Also, projections for Obama's term are quite premature at this point.

 

Simple summary of the chart, percentage increase in US debt

 

prior to Reagan - 7%

Republican presidents - 66.4%

Democratic presidents - 26.6%

I blame it all on the Internet

Last I checked,

(#273266)
Bird Dog's picture

Bush isn't on the ballot, and I won't be voting for Obama. Over 8 eights years, Bush added $3.3 trillion to the national debt. Over 2 years, Obama added $2.8 trillion to the national debt (link), and there's more debt-adding to come under Obama, by approximately $1 trillion per year through 2015 (link). So, for me, I'll go for any GOP candidate whose last name rhymes with Pomney.

 

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Riddle me this

(#273289)
stinerman's picture

One VP Cheney said that "deficits don't matter".  Did you agree with that at the time?  Do you agree with it today?

 

I'm actually pissed that Obama hasn't added more to the deficit.  Interest rates are practically zero, and on some debt the real interest rate is negative -- it's be stupid *not* to borrrow as much as you could.  We need more debt, loads more.  Now when those interest rates start to creep back up, I agree that we need to pay back what we've borrowed.

The Constitution does not vest in Congress the authority to protect society from every bad act that might befall it. -- Clarence Thomas

That, it pays to borrow money

(#273368)

thing only works if you invest in something that at least or almost pays for itself or stick it under the rug. If you blow it all then even though you have less, in real terms, to pay back than you borrowed you still have to get that money from somewhere.


 


If you're a government then that somewhere ends up being, other programs, taxpayers and/or printing presses. 

I can think of one thing they can do

(#273391)
stinerman's picture

They can give it to people.  A simple "give it to Bird Dog" would be a great idea.  Bird Dog will do a great job of buying stuff with it.

The Constitution does not vest in Congress the authority to protect society from every bad act that might befall it. -- Clarence Thomas

Disagreed then. Disagree today

(#273301)
Bird Dog's picture

Deficits matter. The one caution to taking on more debt today is we are at record levels of combined government and personal debt.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Sorry, incorrect

(#273271)
HankP's picture

Bush's budgets were 2002 - 2009 inclusive, and he raised the debt by over $4 trillion. And you did vote for him, twice, so let's remember that before you start complaining about deficit and debt. Obama's in a different situation, he was handed a financial crisis and should have increased spending even more. Austerity doesn't work, but some people are immune to facts.

I blame it all on the Internet

Take it up with those conservative wackos at NPR

(#273272)
Bird Dog's picture

The fact is that you voted for a guy whose cumulative deficits will be multiple times higher than Bush's, assuming Obama gets reelected.

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Beyond Karnak, now you know the future! nt

(#273273)
HankP's picture

.

I blame it all on the Internet

Nope, that's not it

(#273280)
Bird Dog's picture

The forecast data is based on Obama's own OMB through 2015. Like the NPR piece said, page 22 has the facts. In the first six years of his term, Obama will have added $6.1 to the national debt, Bush added $3.3 trillion in eight years.

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

Just to keep you up-to-date on NPR

(#273282)

It's not like they're gospel to the left or anything. 

 

In fact, they're often terrible and their economic reporting consistently incorporates right wing frames. You can read regular criticisms from CEPR's Dean Baker, for example. Everyone would be much better informed on economics if they read: http://www.cepr.net/index.php/beat-the-press/  

At Dean Baker's site you'd never come across the terrible graph you posted upthread which portioned out the total $s of debt added by each president rather than each's president's change in the debt-to-GDP ratio. 

 

Nor would you come across anything like the misleading NPR piece to which you linked that provides no context.

So the NYT is a right-wing rag?

(#273312)
Bird Dog's picture

That's where the pie graph came from, catchy. I'll grant you that a progressive prefers left-wing sources. No surprise there.

 

 

"Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

--Barack Obama, January 2009

It's tribalism

(#273228)

Nothing else can explain it. Bush exploded the debt and the size of the us government. Plus he helped give us a crushing recession. But some folks will circle the wagons regardless of past performance, lies and outright racism, misogyny and homophobia.

Again the repubs have a proven record. The idea that "conservatives" in the us call themselves small government is out and out laughable. But they have their tribe so they don't care and Obama is a socialist foreigner who has a Kenyan view of colonialism that makes him a fascist and his wife is angry food stamps no trade deal no jobs plan Muslim commie. I gotta wonder how many confederate flags are being cropped out of camera shots down there in red meat brain dead "conservative" cult land.

Relativism and Situational Ethics for Everyone! Whee!

(#273204)

I usually try to avoid talking about moral theology or sexual ethics here.  But...

 

But apparently once Gingrich looked like he might actually be a challenge to Romney, we've learned that adultery isn't all that bad and really the president doesn't need to be faithful to his spouse to do a good job.

 

Even better, though, is when Prager doubles down a week later:

 

And what about Oskar Schindler (who was immortalized in the movie Schindler’s List), the German Nazi party member who saved the lives of over 1,100 Jews? He was a married man who had a mistress. He was a “serial adulterer,” as many respondents would characterize him. Yet, he was a moral giant — at a time, moreover, in which many religious and secular men and women who kept their wedding vows did nothing for their Jewish neighbors as they were all sent to their deaths.

Did you get that?  Newt Gingrich is basically Oskar Schindler (which also has the added rhetorical bonus of implicitly making Obama Hitler by comparison).

 

But!  It gets better!  On Fox's website, life coach Dr. Keith Ablow explains to us that Gingrich's cheating actually show that he'd be a good president, telling us Hard Truths that we need to hear:

 

4) Two women—Mr. Gingrich’s first two wives—have sat down with him while he delivered to them incredibly painful truths: that he no longer loved them as he did before, that he had fallen in love with other women and that he needed to follow his heart, despite the great price he would pay financially and the risk he would be taking with his reputation.

 

Conclusion: I can only hope Mr. Gingrich will be as direct and unsparing with the Congress, the American people and our allies. If this nation must now move with conviction in the direction of its heart, Newt Gingrich is obviously no stranger to that journey.

Now then, what shocks me about all of this is that I could easily see someone arguing that through the Sacraments of the Church Gingrich has repented of his adultery and will really honestly be faithful to spouse number three and hey we all make mistakes.  "Newt Gingrich has repented and through Christ's unmerited grace has been forgiven" would play well with both with Christian voters as well as a general public who knows people screw up.  "Who doesn't get a little action on the side every now and then and besides Schindler did it," though, seems an incredibly bizarre as a defense.  Ah well, I suspect that if you're called out like that you may as well just double down.

There's an

(#273205)

Emo Philips joke that goes (paraphrasing here):

 

When I was eight years old, I started praying to Jesus every night for a bicycle. After a couple months, I realized this isn't the way He works. So I stole a bike and asked Him for forgiveness.

 

It's tribal. It's OK if you're a republican.

That is a Good Joke..But! Mr. Gingrich's Message on the Failures

(#273209)

 

...of Capitalism had a certain resonance in me.

 

I was sitting in a hotel room in Nothern Thailand and no BBC, no CNN....but they had Fox in English and I watched Newt's interview after he lost New Hampshire....and I kind of liked it...Romney cheated, he gamed the system, Capitalism isn't meant to work like this...with such insiders and weilding such unfair economic power...Capitalism fails.

 

Hummmm

 

Pretty close to my position.

 

Still, I confess to not following this very closely.

 

Best Wishes, Traveller

Just found this

(#273213)

short article about radical cleric newt gingrich:

 

http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/am...

The raging birther argument in the

(#273215)

comments is worth clicking on the link all by itself.

 

I'll give this to the American Right: your wackos are much more entertaining than ours are.

"I've been on food stamps and welfare.  Anybody help me out?  No!" Craig T. Nelson (6/2/2009)

Romney is

(#273210)

a chronic serial liar:

 

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2012_01/chronicling_mi...

 

It's a weekly feature. Check back next Friday for a bunch more I'm sure. Apparently republicans don't mind being lied to as long as it reinforces their established stereotypes and preconceived beliefs. There is no conservative party in the US anymore. There is a reactionary party called "republican" that is automatically opposed to anything liberals or democrats might propose, updated daily. Oh and they're for tax cuts for wealthy people.

Sweet Jiminy Cricket

(#273194)
brutusettu's picture

Not really new as a whole, but Jiminy Fracking* Cricket, at least read the Cliff's Notes of the gods* damn succession documents from the rebel states Dr. Paul.

The dude acts like Fort Sumter's skirt was too short or something and that the slave owner's would just never spend millions on defense but not take a cent for tribute and reject a buyout of the people held in slavery.
By Ron Paul's logic it might seem the War of 1812 never happened because the US would pay tribute just like countless other countries/kingdoms/etc have before. I think you can spot a [url=https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=zj1&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&q=what+about+all+the+good+things+hitler+did+tshirt+hell&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=3242l5379l0l5582l12l10l0l0l0l0l314l1885l0.7.2.1l10l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&biw=1280&bih=841&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=hQgbT5O3CqfFsQK74pTXCw]"What About All The Good Things Hitler Did?"[/url] t-shirt on. Such is the life of a brave libertarian contrarian kowtowing to fans of brave people owning states. "'State's Rights!!!!!11!' to own people."

*I have seen the entire [i]Caprica[/i] series set for sale and it is mine.

I've lost all respect for him

(#273288)
stinerman's picture

The civil war was about slavery.  Full stop.  I have no respect for anyone who says otherwise.

 

The south was pissed because the northern states weren't keeping up their end of the bargain with respect to escaped slaves.  The Constitution stipulated that they should be delivered back to their owners, and the north had laws that prevented that.  Read the Ordinance of Succession.  It's all about slavery -- specifically the states' rights to allow their citizens to keep slaves and have them returned when they escaped to the north.

The Constitution does not vest in Congress the authority to protect society from every bad act that might befall it. -- Clarence Thomas

Exactly right

(#273529)

n/t

 

They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist...
-- General John B. Sedgwick, 1864

And if Gingrich Wins?

(#273191)

Just a bump on Romney's autobahn, or a tire-busting pothole?

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Serious problem for Romney, I think

(#273202)
HankP's picture

once the inevitable is quite evitable, what else does he have? I find it hard to believe that the GOP would actually nominate Gingrich but it could make for a longer period of contention (and vicious contention at that) in the nominating process. It's pretty clear that Romney hoped to get the nomination without having to go full Tea Party in the process so he could appeal to the middle as a (mostly) colorless technocrat. If he has to go hard right to get the nomination that will make the general election difficult for him. He just doesn't deal well with any deviation from the plan. Gingrich, on the other hand, will say or do anything at any specific moment in time as long as it's good for Newt Gingrich. The problem for Republicans is that everything that Gingrich says that sets them swooning is something that alienates everyone but the hard core conservative extremists. Plus his nutty "ideas" are just begging to be made into a commercial.

 

I hate to appropriate a meme from 2008, but this really is good news for Obama.

I blame it all on the Internet

If I Was Romney. . .

(#273206)
M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .I'd quietly make Gingrich an offer to make him my Chief of Staff if I won the election. Gingrich has to know that:

--he's not going to win the nomination;

--even if he somehow wins the nomination he's going to be at least the underdog in the general election, and;

--and if he's perceived as having torpedoed Romney's chances in the general election without having won the nomination himself, he's going to be persona non grata forever as far as the Republican power structure is concerned, which will crimp his lifestyle.

Chief of Staff is a powerful position that Gingrich could perform competently, and the fact that a well-practiced basher of Democrats is in the role will help Romney with the base should he be elected.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Thats a Good Deal for Romney

(#273261)

And I would not be surprised if he tried something like that at some point.

 

But, like Hank, I think Gingrich is, or will soon be, high with dreams of a Pennsylvania Avenue address. Only a few major losses would break the spell at this point, and then Romney need not bother anyway.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Going to have to disagree

(#273216)
HankP's picture

- I doubt that Gingrich knows or even thinks he can't win the nomination

- I doubt that Gingrich would consider himself an underdog against Obama

- Given the above, I think it's more likely that he sees himself as the savior of the Republicans rather than a spoiler. He's not exactly lacking in self regard.

- Gingrich would be a horrible chief of staff. In fact "horrible" is way too weak a characterization.  The big knock against him from fellow Republicans from the 90s is that they never knew from day to day what was going on. Self discipline is not his strong suit.

 

All that being said, I think people overestimate the damage from a long fight. Just as many Clinton supporters said they'd never vote for Obama, most of them did. I think Republicans will similarly close ranks, but even a few percent can make a big difference in a close election.

 

I blame it all on the Internet

The Damage Could be Significant

(#273260)

Romney has a big liability that has not yet really played out. He's Mr. 1% personified. In the GOP race, this is being used up to a point, but not nearly as much as it will in the general. His tax returns will show him to be the elitist, Wall Street type that he really is.

 

Obama is certainly no stranger to the 1% world, but in comparison to Romney, and only to him from this bunch, he's working class.

 

Gingrich winning, as opposed to say Santorum, tells me that distrust for Wall Street is a factor here, which would drive them towards a populist. A real populist can move mountains with little effort and wears a teflon coat that would be envied even by Bill Clinton. Gingrich has quite a bit of potential as a populist.

 

I still think Romney holds the advantage. For starters, I am sure his national organization is far superior. But his position is vulnerable and he definitely found that out today. He is hitting back by defending free enterprise for a reason.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

I don't see it

(#273263)
HankP's picture

I'm not saying it's impossible, but the odds against Gingrich in the general are long indeed. Obama and Romney are mildly likeable or dislikeable to the country as a whole, but Gingrich is really, really disliked. And going by history, the more people see him the less they like him.

I blame it all on the Internet

I'm just saying Romney is vulnerable

(#273276)

And yesterday proved it. Not just because he lost, but because he lost badly.

 

It's early days for Gingrich in this race. We'll see...

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

*nods*

(#273264)
M Scott Eiland's picture

Heck, I don't like the man. Doesn't mean I won't point out when his political enemies are hitting below the belt, though--and in a race where at the very least many Republican voters are looking for a protest vote against Romney who isn't a shrieking Lindbergh Republican or Rick "I won't carry my home state if I'm nominated" Santorum, using Gingrich as that vehicle is going to seem awfully attractive for a while--particularly if the MSM keeps up with the cheap shots.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

From what I've read the Wall Street-based attacks

(#273262)

made no difference in the polls. It wasn't until Gingrich's debate performance that the polls started shifting and the Bain-based criticisms had started long before then.

 

That may be just an artifact of SC GOPers, but it's the facts as I understand em.

That's a fair point...

(#273275)

I watched none of the debates. If I have time and instestinal fortitude I might watch the last one to see just what it was about Gingrich's performance that closed the deal for so many people.

This was clear enough to Larkin, whose patriotism rested on the notion that England was the worst place on earth with the possible exception of everywhere else.

Come on now Scott

(#273208)

 

You're making an implicit assumption here that Gingrich can make a rational decision that takes into consideration anything other than his own ego. His past history suggests that this is unlikely. Even if Romney makes the offer my guess is Gingrich would hang on until the damage is done.

Possibly

(#273211)
M Scott Eiland's picture

But it would still be rational for Romney to make the offer.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

"Indonesian Atheist’s

(#273182)
brutusettu's picture

[url=http://volokh.com/2012/01/20/indonesian-atheists-statement-leads-to-mob-beating-criminal-prosecution/]"Indonesian Atheist’s Statement Leads to Mob Beating, Criminal Prosecution"[/url] of the atheist.

[url=http://volokh.com/2012/01/20/crime-to-have-a-racist-wifi-network-name/]"Crime to Have a Racist WiFi Network Name?"[/url]