The cliff

The fiscal cliff, what will happen? Who will lose? Dems, GOP or USA?

They will put America first and reach a compromise.
1
3%
They will put America first and reach a compromise.
1
3%
They will make a deal at the very last second.
4
11%
They will make a deal at the very last second.
4
11%
The R's will be the winners: No tax increase.
0
No votes
The R's will be the winners: No tax increase.
0
No votes
The dems will be the winners: More tax for the rich
1
3%
The dems will be the winners: More tax for the rich
1
3%
They reach a deal that postpones matters, somehow.
6
17%
They reach a deal that postpones matters, somehow.
6
17%
They won't agree, but austerity is what the US needs.
0
No votes
They won't agree, but austerity is what the US needs.
0
No votes
They won't agree: Welcome to a new depression.
4
11%
They won't agree: Welcome to a new depression.
4
11%
Other (please specify).
2
6%
Other (please specify).
2
6%
 
Total votes: 36
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Glaucon
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Re: The cliff

Postby Glaucon » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:58 pm

@ Kaitlin: the number were examples, not the actual current percentages of taxes in the USA or their actual effects, etc.

If the point of your WMD's comparisson was that the press coverage of it is flawed, that the press adds to the confusion created by the politicial BS and posturing by adding to the lack of understanding, tying stuff together that isn't related, etc... then sure. However, I don't blame them all that much, as this stuff is pretty complicated and it is hard to cut through the smoke and mirrors, separate the basic facts from the ideological spin and political theatrics while trying to report it in a bi-partisan way, since the 'reality' here IS pure politics, and the different sides continue to create their own very different versions of it.

And yes... Krugman says that the crisis is a manufactured one. That is evident. After all, it was a problem created by congress so they would be sure to have a 'say'. That doesn't mean he feels that the 'threat' of falling of the cliff is a myth, that that is a 'manufactured' story or something. Two different kinds of 'manufactured crisis'.

And maybe I am making it too much a R vs D issue... only... I think it IS a R vs. D vs. America issue. Bottom line is: Many members of congress know that their political survival DOES NOT depend on serving the AMERICAN PUBLIC. It depends on them serving their own party. Most of these representatives and Senator's feel more threatened by the prospect of future PRIMARY elections in their states and districts than they fear losing the following general one, because only a small number of them are from states or districts that might swing to either party. Ergo, it is not in their self-interest to act in the best interest of the United States. Not primarily, at least.

If it is true that politicians generally act out of self-interest (either consciously or by convincing themselves that their self-interest is also best for everyone, something politicians tend to be really good at), then it makes sense to expect them to prefer falling off the cliff over reaching an agreement.

Btw... you may be right about it being easier for GOP representatives to first allow taxes to go way up for nearly everyone by not making a deal, so they can claim to be lowering them when making a deal afterwards, rather than preventing them to go up for most people to begin with. Utterly retarded, preposterous, insane, ludricous, perverted, despicable and stupid (how can anyone vote for these cowardly fucktards?), but it looks like it might be how things will go down. But since all of this self-infincted chaos is going to lower economic confidence or worse, I still hope that they will at least reach agreement over that 'patch deal' today or tomorrow.
Jani
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Re: The cliff

Postby Jani » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:24 pm

The rich are going to pay more taxes either way it goes. Both parties know this. The only thing the Republicans have to figure out is which scenario would be less bad for them. Let the time pass and the tax cuts expire then a few weeks later have Obama and the Democrats produce a bill for tax decreases for those earning less then $200,000 a year, or to make a deal now with the Democrats and allow the increases on those earning more then $400,000 and then push real hard on cutting spending.

Seems to me it'll be a last second partial deal allowing the taxes on the rich to go up, the unemployment extension agreed on and some small spending cuts which amount to a joke as far as spending cuts go.
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Glaucon
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Re: The cliff

Postby Glaucon » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:37 pm

Jani wrote:The rich are going to pay more taxes either way it goes. Both parties know this. The only thing the Republicans have to figure out is which scenario would be less bad for them. Let the time pass and the tax cuts expire then a few weeks later have Obama and the Democrats produce a bill for tax decreases for those earning less then $200,000 a year, or to make a deal now with the Democrats and allow the increases on those earning more then $400,000 and then push real hard on cutting spending.

Seems to me it'll be a last second partial deal allowing the taxes on the rich to go up, the unemployment extension agreed on and some small spending cuts which amount to a joke as far as spending cuts go.


Would make sense. That would be what Obama might hope for. But because of that, republicans might yet bail out.
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Theoden
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Re: The cliff

Postby Theoden » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:41 pm

Well. Glad I didn't bet any money on this.

They didn't even postpone it really. They just said ' a deal is in sight and we'll work on it Tuesday'. Not even an actual postponement measure.
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Glaucon
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Re: The cliff

Postby Glaucon » Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:09 pm

Theoden wrote:Well. Glad I didn't bet any money on this.

They didn't even postpone it really. They just said ' a deal is in sight and we'll work on it Tuesday'. Not even an actual postponement measure.


Too bad, I guess. But it is a postponement. The spending cuts deal thing has really been suspended for 2 months, and other stuff got postponed or prolonged as well. So, seems like a patch deal that postpones most stuff.

It is all still mind-boggingly last-minute amateurish work from a group of people supposed to lead the greatest country in the world, but... ah... at least they didn't quite drive their country into the ground over their feuds.
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Kaitlin
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Re: The cliff

Postby Kaitlin » Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:17 pm

Just say Kaitlin you were right. It won't hurt long Glaucon.

*Runs out the door for the party* :fleeflee:
Some people create their own storms, then get upset when it rains.

Once upon a time... Kait
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Glaucon
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Re: The cliff

Postby Glaucon » Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:14 am

Kaitlin wrote:Just say Kaitlin you were right. It won't hurt long Glaucon.

*Runs out the door for the party* :fleeflee:


Pfah. Like I said, it was the outcome I voted for for my little poll (like many), same as what you predicted, while hoping for more. I was starting to doubt they could even come up with this, towards the end.

I am surprised they didn't all vote it through yet, though... best for the republicans 'dishonoring their Norquist-vows' to get it over really quickly, with everyone getting drunk and sleeping late on the paperless day following, and having everyone focus on stuff for the new year the day after that.
Carter
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Re: The cliff

Postby Carter » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:46 pm

What an absolute load of.. "horse shit"

Somebody explain to me how this is good for America.. it does very little to affect the long term dependency on debt underpinning the country.. it is like a bankrupt moving his debt from one credit card to another credit card, whilst still maintaining a life style he cant afford.
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Glaucon
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Re: The cliff

Postby Glaucon » Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:05 pm

Carter wrote:What an absolute load of.. "horse shit"

Somebody explain to me how this is good for America.. it does very little to affect the long term dependency on debt underpinning the country.. it is like a bankrupt moving his debt from one credit card to another credit card, whilst still maintaining a life style he cant afford.


A country isn't like a company, Carter. Or like a household. I know that is hard for people to understand, even for intelligent people, people with common-sense attitudes about money. The problem is that at the macro-economic level, common-sense intuitions most of us have no longer apply. That is the problem with macro-economic (generally Keynesian) thinking: it tells us to do something counter-intuitive. Our intuitions tell us to scale back quickly when we are overspending a lot, and that not doing so is being 'weak-willed', 'soft', and the reverse when things are looking up. And yet the standard macro-economic models tell us something different.

The USA has been living well beyond it's means since around 2001 in all sorts of ways. It has been borrowing so it could could tax less and spend more, boosting it's economy at the federal level. It has done the same at the private level (corporations, banks, investments, stocks, mortgages, credit card-debt, etc.). No doubt about it. But the unfortunate fact is that radically breaking with that 'bad policy', quitting the bad habbit, going cold turkey (austerity) would do a lot of harm in the short-term, causing hurt that would likely echo in the long-term. I think that the great depression taught us what NOT to do (Austerity) pretty clearly. I think that Europe is repeating old mistakes in opting for that approach (which may be inevitable, given the way the EU is structured, but which most economist, even some writing for the Financial Times in the UK shake their heads at). I understand why the UK opted for it (given it's situation, it may even be the best choice). I think the USA can't afford to go down that route. And both parties there know it.

You might not agree. This is an old left-right dispute: what to do when the economy slows, where the right usually says: scale down, and the left says: don't make it worse, borrow to lessen the downward curve and pay the money back when things go well again (though that resolution is often forgotten when things are going well, because folks start thinking it will never go bad again). I think that, rationally, the second view is the more correct one. (And not because I am all that left-wing... the argument just makes sense to me, more than arguments to the contrary). And in most countries, even the right side of the political spectrum usually agrees to it, partially, if not always in their public statements. Republicans in the US seem to acknowledge it, at least (both parties favor pursuing Keynesian policies, the republicans just want to 'boost' through low taxes more than the democrats).

And so... I think that a patch-deal that prevents an austerity-level 'downscaling' (lower spending, big tax increase) from hitting all at once is a good thing. Ideally, you need to be 'wise' about how you scale back, do it gradually and prudently, in a well considered manner. And if doing it prudently and in a well considered manner isn't possible for the feuding BS-salesmen running the US, then I think it is at least a good thing if they do it gradually, which is what this deal seems to do, vs. going down that cliff.

Of course, I can never be sure if I was right... since the cliff-thing din't happen. But I hope that despite the stuff happening in Washington, the US recovery won't melt away, that it will turn into something solid and steady, which will make it possible for the US to negate it's deficit in the next 8 years or so, perhaps.
Carter
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Re: The cliff

Postby Carter » Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:38 pm

Okay.. I get the principle of Keynes..

but if I follow your train of thought.. Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland etc should be borrowing more, lowering taxes at both end of the spectrum... increasing spending to stimulate the economy and generally pump priming the economy ....

if the principle works for America.. then why would it not work for them ??

and why do other countries ie France, want to tax the rich at 75% or where I am working at the moment... Sweden, taxation for approx 40% of people is in excess of 65% income tax...

Why are these countries getting it so wrong to want to reduce public expenditure and increase revenue from taxation.. and yet there appears to be no policy to reduce the American debt and Chinese capital investment continues flooding into the country which hides the fact.... taking the household analogy.. they now own the house you are in living in and simply paying rent on, as you will never pay off any capital with the current policies in place

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