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 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:56 pm

So unfair. Americans accuse me of being British, and Brits accuse me of being from the States. While I am really a proud citizen of Smurfistan. :pft:
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Glaucon
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Re: The cliff

Postby Glaucon » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:56 pm

Meanwhile, in Washington D.C....

While the gun control lobby has decided after a few months that the best way to divert blame for semi-automatics being emptied into children by fucked up boys is to blame something else... coming up with... hah... guess what? Yes, that's right: VIDEO games. And oh... violent movies, like the OH SO recent movie Natural Born killers...

... the democrats in Washington have decided to make total fools of themselves again. They 'scored' over the fiscal cliff, but also gave up their leverage. And now they seek a way to get out from under the most important means of pressuring them, the hitting of the new debt ceiling, a way not to have the republicans use it as leverage, who are out for blood (or spending cuts on entitlements, really). They have to get an agreement with the house republican majority. Who will demand a lot, having gotten nothing much at all two weeks ago. And they don't wanna give em anything.

So... they look for loopholes. There is the 1 trizalillion coin they might be minting. Problem is that this is such a ridiculous commic book plan that it might seriously hurt the credibility of the fed, the dollar and the US economy in general.

And they found something else. A little sentence in the 14th amendement. Which they take out of context, claiming that it would somehow legitimize the White House taking 'financial control', bypassing Congress. A kind of budgetary coup. Of course, that bit of text does no such thing, but that doesn't matter. It may not be by the book (BtB), constitutionally, but it IS By the Notecard (BtN). If you really do your best to interpret it very loosely, in an extremely partisan way. Almost. But not quite. At all.

Of course, that bit of willfull total misreading is unlikely to fly. The Supreme Court is very likely to say nay to such a reading. And it would give the republican party in the House an excuse to initiate some Obama impeachment circus. And yet, it seems that the democratic majority in the Senate has chosen to embrace this ludicrous plan.

:shakehead2:
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Kaitlin
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Re: The cliff

Postby Kaitlin » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:12 pm

O ye, of little faith :...:
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Glaucon
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Re: The cliff

Postby Glaucon » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:47 pm

Kaitlin wrote:O ye, of little faith :...:


You mean I should have faith in them dropping this ridiculous plan, or that I should have faith in this unconstitutional budget coup actually working?
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Theoden
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Re: The cliff

Postby Theoden » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:46 pm

It's wierd. For months I was pissed at the House Republicans for not being able to compromise and agree to higher taxes for the rich.

Well now they've agreed to them (albeit not nearly enough that I would have preferred).

But what's done is done. Both left and right have worked out a compromise somehow on taxes.

And now... I find myself in the odd position of agreeing with the House Republicans on spending cuts and being pissed at the Democrats for refusing to let up.

As I've said before, I want both taxes on the rich and also spending cuts.

It's a damn terrorist tactic the Republicans are using with the debt limit thing. "Do what I want or else I'll blow up the economy/kill the hostage".

Yet, does one really believe the Democrats would actually agree to cut Social Security and Medicare in a drastic way for the baby boomers, without such a terrorist action?

Even Fahreed Zakaria believes that Medicare should be cut due to demographic failures. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... 36,00.html

Just as taxing the rich should harm the economy the least, cutting entitlements to the elderly also doesn't hurt the economy as other things.

With the wars winding down, we can save a lot of money by cutting Defense spending, something the Democrats would certainly opt for. But there is no point to Defense cuts if Medicare and Social Security doesn't get cut also. Sort of like how there is no point to cutting green house gas emissions if China doesn't agree to them as well.

Medicare and Social Security must be cut. It doesn't matter if it's now cheaper than ever for the United States to get a loan. Why should we continue to get loans? So the baby boomers can die off before they actually have to pay for anything, in terms of tax rises or benefit cuts?

Maybe it does require a terrorist action. Maybe one must absolutely play chicken.

And the Democrats better blink. Because I don't want the Republicans to back down.

EDIT: And yes I do realize the hypocrisy of previously criticizing Republicans playing chicken with the fiscal cliff, but now encouraging them to play chicken with the debt ceiling. Let me think on that for a bit. :facepalm:
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Kaitlin
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Re: The cliff

Postby Kaitlin » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:21 pm

Theoden wrote:With the wars winding down, we can save a lot of money by cutting Defense spending, something the Democrats would certainly opt for. But there is no point to Defense cuts if Medicare and Social Security doesn't get cut also.


I've heard this logic but I don't understand it. Let's say the total budget is $10. If you only cut defense that leaves you with $7. If you cut SS & Medicare you end up with $5. Great! But how is $7 not better than $10? There is a real opening for cuts to defense with not only the decline in war zone presence but also legacy programs that are useless in the current landscape and racking up overruns that are mind boggling (Example: F-22 from an negotiated price of ~$140 million per plane to ~300 Million per plane). I'd like to see sensible cuts to both entitlement programs but not if they are expected to be matched dollar for dollar with defense cuts. At home I attack the sweets first if I want to lower the grocery bill. Not the bread and meat. I also make sure I stock up on the staples which is the equivalent of infrastructure, research, additional stimulus and education.

My ideal plan would be significant cuts to defense, raising the age of social security by 2-3 years, modest cuts to medicare/medicaid in the same vain as previous reform, and government consolidation.

I believe there should be a plan B in the event Republicans dig in their heels and attempt to hold the US financial health hostage like they have done in the past at a cost of 18.9 Billion to tax payers. The rest of the world can't be looking too kindly at a country that can be brought to a grinding halt by a few politicians. Crank up the mint and have it on standby. I wonder what a Trillion dollar coin would look like.

Image

A dumb solution for an even dumber manufactured crisis. :thumbup: Perfect.
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Re: The cliff

Postby Leah » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:39 pm

A big problem, Kaitlin, is with the job market as it is, cutting defense means a much higher unemployment rate, as those people don't necessarily have jobs waiting for them in the civilian world.
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Kaitlin
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Re: The cliff

Postby Kaitlin » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:43 pm

Leah wrote:A big problem, Kaitlin, is with the job market as it is, cutting defense means a much higher unemployment rate, as those people don't necessarily have jobs waiting for them in the civilian world.


I'm not sure how corporate welfare is any different than any other kind. One of the reasons I included another stimulus in my "wants" is because jobs need to be created that can absorb the loss. If we put the level of innovation and funding into other areas who knows where this country would be. Continuing to write a blank check to defense contractors is not a sound policy.
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Re: The cliff

Postby Carter » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:24 pm

Kaitlin wrote: The rest of the world can't be looking too kindly at a country that can be brought to a grinding halt by a few politicians.


The American political system is a complete anathema to most people outside of the States.

You vote for a Presidential Candidate who is nominated by the respective members of that party.. and yet he appears to have no authority or influence over the more junior elected representatives of the same party.

You then vote the respective Presidential Candidates to office.. and he appears to have very limited powers to directly set the political agenda or initiate any policy without the approval of a various legislative houses.. and to make sure he has no chance of even influencing the legislative bodies, you vote in regional and state representatives of other political parties who are blatantly going to undermine the policies of the elected President.

What a fucked up system... does anybody ever do anything in the national interest, rather than political interests ?
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Glaucon
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Re: The cliff

Postby Glaucon » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:46 pm

Rarely, I think.

And yep... I admit, I feel that the basic design of the US political system has some pretty basic design-flaws. In the UK, it is simple. People vote for one or the other party (or maybe a third). And that results in seats in the house of commons. And The party that is in the majority there is in control and gets control of the executive office, it's leader becoming the leader of the country. And as long as he can keep his own party in line, he can pretty much do whatever he wants until the next elections (well, there is the House of Lords, the 'Senate' of the UK, and such, but that institution isn't all that powerful or relevant). In other European countries, you usually have multiple party systems, which complicates matters somewhat (at the moment there is a coalition in Britain as well, but that is rare).

The US system has all these institutions that can block each other (Presidency, House, Senate, and to a lesser degree Supreme Court and the individual States). The idea behind it was that this would force politicians to steer a moderate, non-radical course. Rule by consensus. But since the electoral system in the USA leads to a two party system, and since two party systems tend to lead to a strong political divide, it can derail effective rule quite easily, with everyone blocking everyone else. The US system is really not all that compatible with strong partizanship (but then again, the people that thought it up hoped the USA would never become quite as partizan as parties in the UK were. How wrong they were). And actually overhauling the system/constitution in the USA would be a very tall order.

In a sense, the US political system is an epic fail. Unless you think that ineffective government/rule is actually a good thing, like some do.

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