May 8, 2007

Admiring Lincoln. It's delusional.

When done by Bush.

198 comments:

Fritz said...

Democrats just don't know they are Cornwallis at Yorktown, Admiral de Grasse is coming to Bush's aid.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Fritz,

Thank goodness for people like you who prove that Republicans aren't delusional. Bless you, sir.

Sloanasaurus said...

Cyrus, considering you have no idea who Cornwallis is, why do you bother responding or posting at all....

I don't think it's delusional to try to emulate the great leaders in history. We want our leaders to emulate them. Lincoln is considered great because he stuck it out when the people were against him. Roosevelt continued to move us into war when 80% of Americans were opposed. I cannot recall a great leader who did what the people wanted (what the polls said).

Republicans and Democrats have their own slightly different interpretations of our founding fathers, but at least they still look to the founders for guidance.

Mark Daniels said...

Sloan:
Emulating great leaders is a good thing. I often tell people that I never want to engage hero worship, but I always want to have heroes.

But what I think people are suggesting might be delusional here is the apparent analogy being drawn by the President between the Civil War, a conflict resulting from an attack by rebel forces on the United States, and the War in Iraq, a conflict we chose to enter.

Less delusional is the analogy between this war and the Korean War, also an opt-in conflict.

That analogy, in fact, seems more apt to me in that the foreign policy of this administration has been more like that of Democrats than of Republicans. (See here).

Having said all that, it's always ill-advised to accuse people of being delusional. Do any of these folks who accuse Mr. Bush in this way really believe that he's out of his mind? (I know that the intensely partisan Republicans do, just as the intensely partisan Democrats believe the most outrageous things about Democrats.) At most, from their perspective, I think they can describe the President as fatally optimistic. Others would say that he has understood the historic moment.

Mark Daniels

Mindsteps said...

Ms. Althouse:

Do you see substantive differences between the former governer of Vermont and current Chair of the Democratic Party publicly referring to George Bush as delusional and your (a high profile member of the faculty of a very esteemed law school at the University of Wisconsin) public comments that Senator Dodd, presidential hopeful, is ludicrious and a loser.

Aren't both public remarks negative and counterproductive forms of name calling coming from influential public and professional figures toward political leaders?

I need some help with the distinction.

George said...

Lenin, Stalin, and Brezhnev are riding in the same compartment on a train traveling across Siberia during a blizzard.

Huge snow drifts block the tracks. The train shudders to a halt.

A fiery gleam comes into Lenin's eye. He unbuttons his overcoat and whips out a hand-written manuscript.

Clenching it in his fist, he cries, "I will go forward to the locomotive and deliver this fiery speech which I have only this morning written. Through the sheer force of revolutionary will, I will inspire the engineers to propel this train forward."

He leaves, come back later, and sure enough the train starts moving forward.

A little while later, the train lurches to a halt. Another snowdrift.

Stalin snarls, whips open his trenchcoat and yanks out a revolver. "Damn cossack counter revolutionary saboteurs!"

He storms out. Soon pistol shots are heard as he executes the engineer and fireman.

Stalin returns, sit down. The train doesn't move. Lenin looks at Stalin. Stalin looks at Lenin. They both look at Brezhnev.

Brezhnev leans over, pulls down the window shade so no one can see the snow piling up around the train.

Smiling, he unbuttons his coat, takes out a bottle of vodka, and unscrews the top.

"Eh," he says, passing the bottle, "Let's just pretend we're going someplace."

Thank you for your time and attention. You may now resume your regularly scheduled political arguments.

al said...

Cyrus, considering you have no idea who Cornwallis is, why do you bother responding or posting at all....

He's the guy who had his dogs swiped by Benjamin Martin...

In all seriousness W is W. He may admire Lincoln (decent choice) but he is his own man. He has a plan that some may not agree with (either in part or in whole) but it is his plan. His biggest problem, wrt his plan, has been the proper promotion of it and picking the right people to run it.

As for comparing comments from Althouse on her blog to Dean's televised attacks - well there is no comparison. A law blogger vs the Chair of the Democratic Party? For most people Dean's words will carry much more weight. OTOH she is right about Dodd.

Bruce Hayden said...

Those who call President Bush delusional here presuppose that the war is lost, etc. But history will be the judge of that, and not Sen. Harry Reid.

If Lincoln had listened to the polls and governed accordingly, he would have surrendered in the summer of 1864. The people were tired of the war, and after a string of defeats, were willing to throw in the towell. But he persevered, regardless of the polls, legacy, or even his chance of being reelected, because he knew what he was doing was right. And, was reelected thanks to some big military sucesses right before the election.

It is silly I think to suggest that there are no parallels because of the differences in the two wars that the two presidents fought. The importance is that both believe(d) that this is the fight of the generation and their opponents did/do not.

Of course, Mr. Bush may not be vindicated by history. And maybe we won't be in the slowly winding up phase by the time he leaves office. But he has a lot of time left, and if he can just keep the money rolling in and the Democrats from conceding defeat to the enemy, he thinks that he can pull it off.

But the other thing that you have to keep in mind is that it is everyone else in his Administration who is worrying about his legacy. There is no indication really that he is. Rather, he is just doing what he thinks is right, what the country needs. And if that means no legacy, then fine.

And it is that blind confidence and optimism that is driving the Democrats crazy right now. They think they have their "mandate" to concede defeat. But the President doesn't care. Not one whit. According to them, their mandate meant that he was supposed to come around. He doesn't care. He believes in what he is doing, and knows he has a year and a half left to accomplish it to the extent that it can't or won't be reversed by his replacement, likely a Democrat.

Sloanasaurus said...

a conflict resulting from an attack by rebel forces on the United States, and the War in Iraq, a conflict we chose to enter.

What...?

Where is Fort Sumter. It's in the South. Where is Manassas/Bull Run. It's in Virginia. The South voted Democratically to succeed from the Union and the Union chose to fight and invaded the South. Northerners were not defending their homelands - they were fighting for the Union and for the freedom of others (slaves).

The comparisons between the civil war and the war in Iraq have nothing to do with the actual war. But there are a lot of parallels with the political environment. The public hated the war by 1864 because the news was bad and the casualties were endless. They had better reason to hate the war then because the war touched home to every community, unlike today where the war is mostly media driven. The Democrats grabbed onto this and offered a platform to withdraw; to "let the South go."

Lincoln stuck it out and the Union won.

George said...

Newsweek's cover story is on Presidential Courage "Wanted: A New Truman"..

The lede...

"When friends heard I was writing a book on presidential courage, some of them turned snarky: "Was there ever such a thing?" they would ask. They presumed all of our presidents have been versions of what seems to be the modern politician—obsessed by polls, focus groups and fund-raising, chasing the holy grail of popularity."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18507656/site/newsweek/

So, isn't this odd...Bush's popularity rating is where Truman's was, and the liberal Newsweek is calling for a President with courage...What do Mr. Beschloss's friends think Bush has been exhibiting the past few years?

Bob said...

We're living the events, and have no idea what will happen after Bush's presidency. For all we know things could get even worse, with more terrorist attacks on US soil.

What can we really say about the President that is objective? That, given the 9/11 disaster and the Iraq war, the economy is in good shape; that he tends to cronyism, and that the cronies aren't particularly gifted; that the Iraq war hasn't gone as well as originally planned, and has distracted from finishing the work in Aghanistan that should perhaps have been completed first; that he hasn't been able to catch Osama Bin Laden.

Most other issues than those are colored by bias and subjectivity.

trogdor said...

Sloan:

"Democratically"?

Were Southern states really democracies before the slaves were freed?

Patrick said...

"Where is Fort Sumter?"

Who was in Fort Sumter? Who fired on Fort Sumter?

Personally, I think the analogy between Bush and Lincoln is apt. The vital difference, however, in this present war has nothing to do with the character of the President. I disagree with his choice to resign his first commission, but thank God for Robert E. Lee who surrendered his forces rather than sending them into the hills to fight as guerrillas. I dare say our reaction to Lincoln would be different had there been a well supported insurgency lasting years and years after the end of major combat operations in 1865.

The difference in this present conflict isn't the President, it's the enemy. Lee was a brilliant general and a noble man full of honor. The South had a number of men like this who in their loss maintained their honor and dignity.

Sloanasaurus said...

Were Southern states really democracies before the slaves were freed?

I see your point, but it's a slippery slope. Was the United States a democracy before women could vote, before 18 year-olds could vote... etc

Doyle said...

It's fine for Bush to admire Lincoln, but he seems to think of himself as comparable to Lincoln as a president, which is obviously delusional.

I can't believe you don't see that. Bush isn't a hero. He's a disaster.

Sloanasaurus said...

What can we really say about the President that is objective?

You left out the fact that we have not been attacked in America since 9-11. If Bush leaves office with that legacy, his successor will have great difficulty deviating from any of Bush's policies, including staying in Iraq with some offensive force.

Doyle said...

Sloan, you left out the fact that Bush was in office on September 11, and had received multiple warnings about OBL.

Why do you imagine he has terrorism-preventing powers? There's been vastly more terrorism worldwide since his splendid little Iraq war. That there hasn't been another 9/11 has been in spite of him, not because of him.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"This is delusional-comparing the equivalent of Warren Harding to two of our greatest presidents!"

This is actually comical considering Dean would have been lambasting Lincoln over the restrictions of constitutional rights he implemented during the war. Truman’s approval ratings were at 22% in his second term. I guess the term time heals all wounds can also apply to what were once viewed as failed presidencies.

I wonder if Dean and any others who see Lincoln as one of our greatest presidents really know what Lincoln thought about slavery or the rights of blacks? His political beliefs have been whitewashed so much that most only see him as the Great Emancipator and the President who saved the Union. While I am not a Lincoln critic, I get more than a bit irritated with those who want to bestow the sainthood on the man. He was a calculating man who did what he had to do in a time of national crisis which is something everyone admires him for but would never tolerate today.

AlphaLiberal said...

It's a vainglorious attempt on Bush's part to paint himself as a great historical leader. Bush has been trying to have his own alternate reality for his entire Presidency but reality refuses to give way.

The thing is, Bush's Presidency is most likely the worst in the history of the nation. Bush has
- presided over a rapid deterioration in our intertnational prestige,
- has violated the US Constitution repeatedly,
- has invaded another nation on false pretenses,
- has used a national security threat for his own politivcal aggrandizement,
- has corrupted many agencies of government including Justice, Defense, EPA and others,
- has reduced civil rights not improved them as Lincoln did,
- has run up record budget deficits, passing massive tax cuts in a time of war.

That's the short list. So Bush really gets zero sympathy from me, if that's what you're getting at Ann.

Doyle said...

By the way, I didn't manage to object directly enough to Ann's obviously dishonest title/intro.

It's a really classic example of the kind of slimy, deniable hackery you've perfected.

Sloanasaurus said...

Why do you imagine he has terrorism-preventing powers? There's been vastly more terrorism worldwide since his splendid little Iraq war. That there hasn't been another 9/11 has been in spite of him, not because of him.

You can maker these arguments and it could be that Bush has merely been lucky. Some argued during the cold war that creating a nuclear deterrent was making war with the Soviets more likely rather than less likely.

But the objective fact is that Bush has implemented a lot of policies to fight terrorism and we have not been attacked here in America. I think the burden is on those to prove that his policies have not prevented an attack.

Patrick said...

I thought this article by Thomas Bray to be especially good on the comparisons. Bush isn't nearly the speaker Lincoln was. Not even close. If he was, I think it would have made a massive difference in the present political climate. Bush is good with personal interactions but a President has to be great at reaching out broadly to the nation. Lincoln bumbled, and he bumbled a lot, but the man knew how to string together words.

On a sidenote to the article I posted, I went to hear Doris Kearns Goodwin speak on her book a couple months ago and it was very, very interesting. She told some wonderful stories. Though, her speaking style was a little odd. She spoke without using paragraphs, with every story and comment flowing right into the next. It was hard to tell when she changed topics.

hdhouse said...

Calm? Bush is calm like Alfred E. Neuman is calm. There has been a lot of questioning lately to the effect that Bush is delusional. Pictures of him standing next to the Queen of England fairly well domonstrate someone so out of his depth, so removed from the situation, that we should all wonder.

That he has the ringing endorsement of Sloan (talk about deliusional) should tell you all you need to know.

I cannot recall a great leader who did what the people wanted says Sloan.

yes we trust leaders to provide insight and leadership. to lead when there is no clear direction...essentially to step up because we elected them on the basis that they wanted to "step up". then we have a leader who runs into the swamp and keeps on running. we call for him to not get in too deep but he keeps going. we ask him to stop because we are following him, dutifully, and we can see the danger and he says, effectively, fuckyou, i know what i'm doing. now the alligators are circling, quicksand is everywhere and the snakes are hissing like crazy and our now fearless leader says its just a little farther...and we no longer believe him...THAT's when the dyndamic changes. Like right now.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

sloan wrote:

Cyrus, considering you have no idea who Cornwallis is, why do you bother responding or posting at all....


sloan, although I find I never agree with your posts, I've been impressed by how you tend to stay on topic and avoid personal attacks. I'd say the Althouse blog would be poorer without your contributions.

That's why your post to me is a great disappointment. If you are honest, you have to admit you have no idea what I know or don't know. Although I'm relatively new here, I can't recall you ever taking a cheap shot. What made you change that policy today?

AlphaLiberal said...

doyle sez:
Sloan, you left out the fact that Bush was in office on September 11, and had received multiple warnings about OBL.
And around and around we go.

You're not going to make progress there. No amount of facts, documentation, logic or common sense will cause Sloan, Fen or any of the other hard cases from accepting anything but the Official Myth of the Fearless Leader.

Doyle said...

Bush isn't nearly the speaker Lincoln was.

But he's a much better Commander Guy.

Lars said...

This isn't the Civil War and Bush is not Lincoln but we definitely have latter-day Copperheads.

Tim said...

Some folks yearn to lose the war, and Bush won't let them.

So they're pissed.

What's new? We've had this problem since '68. Different war, different enemey, but the same problem.

We just have to win despite them. If Bush draws strength and comfort from Lincoln and Truman, good for him.

Tim said...

Copperheads, indeed.

Doyle said...

Uh, Tim? We're pissed because the war has been a catastrophe for 4 plus years, and we've been lied to throughout.

Bush doesn't have any goddamn idea what he's doing except that he doesn't want to fix his mistake.

Hoosier Daddy said...

presided over a rapid deterioration in our intertnational prestige,

Actually few people care here what the world thinks.

has violated the US Constitution repeatedly,

Like Lincoln and FDR?

- has invaded another nation on false pretenses,

Were those allegations false when Clinton made them? Never seem to get an answer on this.

- has used a national security threat for his own politivcal aggrandizement,

See Lincoln, FDR , Wilson, Truman….

- has corrupted many agencies of government including Justice, Defense, EPA and others,

Yep, this has never happened before.

- has reduced civil rights not improved them as Lincoln did,

I’m sorry I fell off my chair laughing. How exactly did Lincoln do that?

- has run up record budget deficits, passing massive tax cuts in a time of war.

Funny, tax are receipts higher than ever than under Clinton’s tax increases. How’d that happen?

Ann Althouse said...

The comparison of this post and the earlier one about Dodd is based on the mistaken belief that I've been calling for more "civil discourse" or something. My points have been substantive. I haven't been whining about namecalling and harsh criticism.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Logical consistency requires that those who credit Bush for the absence of terrorist attacks in America since 9/11 also hold him responsible for the attack on 9/11.

sloan writes

I think the burden is on those to prove that his policies have not prevented an attack.


sloan, you are suggesting a causal relationship (i.e., Bush policies have prevented further terrorist attacks) and you insist that it be considered valid unless we prove otherwise. Doesn't that approach strike you as absurd? If not, please consider the following causal relationship as valid until you prove otherwise:

Bush's lengthy vacation time and resulting inattention to detail in 2001 was the reason the terrorists succeeded on 9/11.

Fatmouse said...

>has run up record budget deficits,
>passing massive tax cuts in a time of war.

You know, AL, when Bush made massive cuts to the tax rate, tax revenue went up. In other words, by cutting taxes... the government collected more taxes. In fact, more than at any point in history.

http://southdakotapolitics.blogs.com/south_dakota_politics/images/taxcutsrevenue.gif

This is nothing abnormal. The same thing happened when Kennedy and Reagan got their huge rate cuts passed. Until you can explain why this happens in a 1000-word essay, you are not allowed to make any posts on economics. Have a nice day.

AlphaLiberal said...

You know, I do want to give Bush credit on deciding which side to emulate from the Civil War.

Many Republicans are still nuturing nostlagia for the Confederacy (and KKK).

Doyle said...

My points have been substantive.

Right.

Christy said...

Over the past several months I've been dragging myself through Shelby Foote's The Civil War and what struck me with the most force was the disdain with which Lincoln was held by everyone around him. His own side called him a gorilla and laughed, referring to him Darwin's missing link. The general in charge of his armies, when returning home to learn Lincoln was waiting for him in the parlor, ignored Lincoln's presence and went on upstairs to bed. The man was openly laughed at and cursed by almost everyone around him. So, yes, it immediately struck me as how very like Bush's situation. So how can one be surprised that Bush would find a model in Lincoln.
And maybe Kipling, too. "If you can keep your head when all about you/ Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,/ If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you /But make allowance for their doubting too,/ If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,/ Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,/ Or being hated, don't give way to hating,/...Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
...."

TMink said...

The idea is interesting, even if many of the posts are the typical thing we see about Bush.

I am reminded that Lincoln was so hated he was murdered. I looked for peer criticisms of Lincoln, but ran out of free time before finding them. They would be interesting reading I bet! Anyone got an online source?

I do admire the President's determination. I disagree with about half of what he focuses it on, but he sticks to his principles for the long haul.

And I am dissapointed with the President too, for different reasons than many of my liberal friends, but the dissapointment is the same. I wonder what history will support, where I was right to be dissapointed, where was the folly to support.

That type of judgment takes time and perspective that we are not yet privy to.

Trey

Hoosier Daddy said...

Many Republicans are still nuturing nostlagia for the Confederacy (and KKK).

Hey AL, you are aware that the only former KKK member in Congress is a Democrat right?

That little tidbit of info kinda makes your link, well, stupid.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

hoosier daddy wrote:

Funny, tax are receipts higher than ever than under Clinton’s tax increases.


This certainly is true in dollars (not adjusted for inflation or population increases). However, it's a meaningless way to make an economic comparison. In terms of tax receipts as a percentage of GDP, they were higher under Clinton than Bush.

Doyle said...

Hoosier -

Which party attracts more votes from white supremecists? Just sayin'.

Fen said...

AlphaLiberal: . No amount of facts, documentation, logic or common sense will cause Sloan, Fen or any of the other hard cases from accepting anything but the Official Myth of the Fearless Leader.

Ha. I haven't entered the thread till now, and already the Left is hedging their bets, launching into ad hom.

I've given you facts, documentation, logic and common sense about connections between Saddam and Al Queda, you just ignore it all and launch personal attacks on anyone who dispels your carefully crafted mythology.

Tim: Copperheads, indeed.

Doyle: Uh, Tim? We're pissed because the war has been a catastrophe for 4 plus years, and we've been lied to throughout.

The war has not been a catastrophe. You have not been lied to. Why are you pissed anyway? Why do you care what happens in Iraq? Seriously, you ignore all truth and use the war as a tool to bash people you hate. You make up lies about their motives and intent. You make up lies about the conduct and progress in the war. Tim is right, you are copperheads.

Fen said...

Doyle: Which party attracts more votes from black supremecists [and racial fearmongering]? Just sayin'.

/fixed.

Wait for it... Doyle will insist blacks can't be racist because they are black.

George said...

Consider the creepiness of the new bumperstickers that read...

Bush's Last Day 1/20/09

...I wonder if people 142 years ago hung similar signs on the backs of their buggies....

Lincoln's Last Day 1/20/69 ???

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

fatmouse wrote:

You know, AL, when Bush made massive cuts to the tax rate, tax revenue went up. In other words, by cutting taxes... the government collected more taxes. In fact, more than at any point in history.

This is nothing abnormal. The same thing happened when Kennedy and Reagan got their huge rate cuts passed. Until you can explain why this happens in a 1000-word essay, you are not allowed to make any posts on economics. Have a nice day.


This is all nonsensical garbage. It is absolutely foolish and meaningless to compare revenue from year to year without using constant dollar comparisons. It's also incredibly dumb to treat all government revenue as equal in comparing how revenue streams are affected by changes in the tax rate.

There are several good economic studies that have looked carefully at this type of claim, and using that methodology, it's fairly easy to show that income tax revenue has consistently decreased when tax rates have been cut. This analysis doesn't require great mathematical sophistication; it just requires a bit of honesty and intelligence in the analysis.

Sloanasaurus said...

and you insist that it be considered valid unless we prove otherwise. Doesn't that approach strike you as absurd? If not, please consider the following causal relationship as valid until you prove otherwise:

I think at this point, because there have been no attacks for 5 1/2 years, the burden is now on the critics to prove that Bush's policies are not working to prevent attacks. The objective fact is that there have been no attacks. Al Qaeda was at is peak of power in 2001. It said it was going to attack us over and over again. The conventional wisdom was that we would be attacked... yet after 5 1/2 years, no attacks. I argue that Bush's policies have prevented these attacks. The objective facts are on my side. Prove that I am wrong.

Doyle said...

Shorter wingnuts: The fact that Bush is widely reviled is proof that he will be judged a hero by history, just like Lincoln!

Surely there's some possibility he's just a historically bad (and thus unpopular) president, no?

Christy said...

BTW, who cares what Europe thinks. It's a 2nd millenium theme park. What do the Pacific Rim countries think?


By what criteria has the war in Iraq been a failure? Details. Give me details. And don't quote body counts. I agree that every loss is a tragic loss, but in aggregate the body count in Iraq is insignificant.

Tim said...

"because the war has been a catastrophe for 4 plus years."

Actually, you are worse than Copperheads.

At least the South had won almost all key battles against the Union until Gettysburg in July of 1863.

Our enemies in Iraq have won not one single battle against our troops in Iraq. However, I will readily concede the point they have defeated the Democrats in Congress and their voters without firing a single shot on U.S. soil. You should aspire to have the courage of Copperheads. At least they saw an enemy army on the near frontier as a threat. You ache to surrender to an enemy 6,000 miles away.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Doyle said...
Hoosier -

Which party attracts more votes from white supremecists? Just sayin'.


I dunno, you tell me. I haven't seen any polls from the Ayran Nation and the like. Do these guys even vote?

Sloanasaurus said...

In 2001, the government collected $2 trillion in taxes. In 2006, the government collected $2.6 trillion. How is that not a tax increase?

If the government raised taxes 5% on the rich in 2001 and the economy grew slightly less, leading the gov. to collect $2.6 trillion in 2006, the critics would call that a tax increase, yet the revenue to the government is the same.

Raising or cutting tax rates does not equal raising or cutting taxes.

Tim said...

"The objective fact is that there have been no attacks. Al Qaeda was at is peak of power in 2001."

Yes, of course. Degrading al Qaeda's capabilities doesn't count, not in the slightest.

None of his successes do. They burn with hatred for Bush so hot nothing else matters.

Doyle said...

If you want to see the interests of the White Male preserved against the encroachment of ghetto welfare moms and illegal immigrants, there's really only one party for you.

Fritz said...

Bob,
Please don't dumb down like Dodd. Brownie took care of 4 of the top 10 most damaging hurricanes in US history in 2004 without a whisper. Yesterday we learned that even tornados can be used to attack Bush. Mesopotamia is the prize in the GWOT, that is why we are there.

Roger said...

This is clearly a good "debate" to stay out of, I think.

I for one will stipulate that I have absolutely no idea what the ultimate result of the Iraq war will be; and I stand in awe of all those who seem to know with absolute certainty what the outcome will be. Hint: put your prescience in the futures market: you'll make a mint!

On the issue of historical comparisons with past presidents, it seems to me an obvious comparison is Bush's Wilsonian faith in democracy as a mechanism to change states. Of course, the comparison stops there as Wilson had more faith in international organizations than does Bush. Wilson's policy has often been called idealistic; would that same adjective describe that aspect of Bush's foreign policy (faith in democracy as a change agent)?

MadisonMan said...

George, Lincoln would have served through March 4 or 5 (I don't recall offhand).

Tax hikes or cuts are really pretty irrelevant when the Government -- led by Republicans -- passes massive entitlements that guarantee explosions in federal spending. I know rev will chime in here to say that future growth will pay for it. I'm not so optimistic that the changing economy of the US will be able to sustain the growth necessary to do that.

Fen said...

Doyle, there are no plantation slaves here. You want to be fear-mongering over at the NAACP, not Althouse.

Doyle said...

I stand in awe of all those who seem to know with absolute certainty what the outcome will be.

Hell, we're only four years in!

John said...

The world is a very tough place. The country is confronted by a fanatical enemy that cannot be explained by the multicultural PC view of the world and cannot be placated or appeased. The left simply has no response to this. Instead, they console themselves by calling Bush Hitler and engaging in hyperbole and histrionics.

The ignorance and lunacy of his political enemies does not in itself make Bush a great President. It just means that in our current political climate of myopia, ignorance, denial and self loathing, he might be the best we can do. God help the country
.

Fen said...

Tim: They burn with hatred for Bush so hot nothing else matters.

Thats what makes it so hysterical. We've seen it all before - someone like Hillary will take the reigns and continue down the same path Bush [and her husband] have created re Iraq, and the Left will go silent.

Just look at the "culture of corruption" meme in Congress. New boss is same as the old boss, but the Left see's no corruption to remark upon.

Why? Because they don't really believe in the things they lecture us about. Their opposition to the war in Iraq is based on their own hatred and lust for power, and not whats in the best interests of the country, or the West.

Fritz said...

George,
No, it would have been March 4, 1869.

Hoosier Daddy said...

If you want to see the interests of the White Male preserved against the encroachment of ghetto welfare moms and illegal immigrants, there's really only one party for you.

So then you're saying there is a party that is for the interests of ghetto welfare mom's and illegal immigrants?

Why not just cut to the chase and say it and provide some evidence.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Tax hikes or cuts are really pretty irrelevant when the Government -- led by Republicans -- passes massive entitlements that guarantee explosions in federal spending.

Could not agree more which again, is why I stayed home in 2004. Hard to see the difference between the Democratic vs Republican welfare state.

Roger said...

Herewith a paper on the relationship between tax rates and tax revenues. Full disclosure: this is from the Heritage Foundation which is conservative; its author is Professor of Economics at the University of Texas. A google search for "tax rates tax revenues brookings," did not produce any counter arguments from at least that liberal leaning organization to refute the propostion that lower tax rates result in higher tax revenues. I would be interested in looking at any such studies; moreover, both Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernancke also believe that lower tax rates result in higher tax revenues.

Todd and in Charge said...

C'mon Ann, you are a law professor. It's not "admiring" Lincoln that is allegedly delusional. It's Bush "comparing" himself favorably to Lincoln, according to Dean.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

sloan wrote:

Prove that I am wrong.


Sheesh. You really don't get it. Sloan, there is no way to prove the causal relationship that you claim is valid. It's not possible. Nor is it possible to prove it's not valid. Therefore, your insistence that others prove you wrong is just gamesmanship. By all means, enjoy your opinion, but don't pretend that there is a factual basis for it.

And by the way, I'm still waiting for your proof that Bush is not responsible for the success of the terrorists on 9/11. Please forward it as soon as you complete it. Thank you.

Mindsteps said...

Ann Althouse said...
The comparison of this post and the earlier one about Dodd is based on the mistaken belief that I've been calling for more "civil discourse" or something. My points have been substantive. I haven't been whining about namecalling and harsh criticism.

Professor Althouse:

For me, I'm afraid the process seems to overshadow the 'subtance'. Communication is reciprocal, both expressive and receptive, and words are, in part, containers that can carry minimal to considerable emotional valence. Terms such as ludicrious, loser, and delusional carry, for me (and I suspect I am not alone, although I often wonder if I am more reactive to it), a profound emotional significance. When words such as these are used, it is quite difficult for me to tease out the substance and manage my emotional reactions. I have to work hard to contain some of the affect aroused by this language. I must confess, I am not always successful. Even when I am able to get through it, the exercise can be so demanding that I have to, at times, reduce my exposure to this kind of material in order to manage my stress level.

For example, I tend to avoid the more inflammatory blogs on the right (e.g. malkin) and left (e.g.firedog).

You may be posting on entirely substantive grounds, however, as can be seen by many of the comments of your readers (you wondered, for example, why people were getting worked up over the evolution issue), words, as I mentioned earlier, can be containers of some very powerful emotions.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Roger wrote:

...both Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernancke also believe that lower tax rates result in higher tax revenues.


This has been shown, historically, to be incorrect. Income tax rate reductions consistently lead to decreases in income tax revenue (based on US Treasury Department data).

The study you cite looks at international tax rates, and tries to estimate maximum government revenue as a function of tax rate. Considering that the economic structure of the 103 countries the author analyzes are very different, I think it's difficult to find much value in the work, much less extrapolate to the United States economy from it. (For example, how similar is the economy in the Sudan to our economy? Is it likely to react similarly to changes in tax rate?)

I will provide a summary of an historical economic analysis of the relationship between income tax rate cuts and income tax revenue in the US if you are curious.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Tim,

Just out of curiousity, what was the last blog entry you contributed a comment to and didn't use the word copperhead at all?

Ann Althouse said...

Ooh, I'm getting you-a-law-professor'd again.

Sloanasaurus said...

Sloan, there is no way to prove the causal relationship that you claim is valid. It's not possible. Nor is it possible to prove it's not valid.

It matters on what steps you should take next. If the current policies appear to be working in obtaining the overall goal (protecting America from future attacks), why would you decide to change the overall strategy.

In my opinion, the war in Iraq has diverted Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda's motivation and resources to fighting us in Iraq rather than in Afghanistan or here in America. I think that is a good thing.

Roger said...

Herewith a study that counters the earlier paper I cited. Mr. Kangas' bio indicates he is a resident of Las Vegas.

Doyle said...

Ooh, I'm getting you-a-law-professor'd again.

That's what happens when you display the kind of intellectual dishonesty that would make Jonah Goldberg blush.

Sloanasaurus said...

This has been shown, historically, to be incorrect. Income tax rate reductions consistently lead to decreases in income tax revenue

Whatever you drum up, it doesn't hold true for the most recent tax rate cuts. The U.S. Gov collected $2 trillion in 2001. Rates were cut in 2002 and 2003. By 2006, the U.S. Gov was collecting $2.6 trillion. That is not a decrease in tax revenue.

Beth said...

Yesterday we learned that even tornados can be used to attack Bush.

Man, can delusional Bush fans spin!

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

sloan wrote:

If the current policies appear to be working in obtaining the overall goal (protecting America from future attacks), why would you decide to change the overall strategy.


Sloan, think about it for a minute. The policy in place before 9/11 was working fine before the attack, so would you argue on that basis that nothing about it should have been changed prior to 9/11? On 9/10/2001, you would have made the same argument you make today, i.e., that the Bush policy was protecting our country from terrorist attacks.

According to your reasoning, the policy prior to 9/11 was responsible for both the lack of a successful terrorist attack before 9/11 and the failure to prevent an attack on 9/11. Does that really make sense to you?

Beth said...

I keep looking at this post "Admiring Lincoln. It's delusional. When done by Bush."

How dishonest. He's just "admiring" Lincoln.

Right. Sure. And those nasty BDSers just hate him. It's so unfair.

Roger said...

Cyrus: the paper I cited starts with the premise that lower tax rates results in increased tax revenues; Scully then goes on to gather international data to generalize the results with respect to the US finding. The Joint Economic committee of Congress in 1962 reached similar findings as did the joint economic committee in 1996 (the first was democratic controlled; the second republican controlled). The only study I have been able to find refuting those findings is in the second web page I cited. I would really like to see those studies you have.

Doyle said...

Sloan why don't you just leave the selling of the Laffer Curve snake oil to the professionals like Larry Kudlow. You suck at it.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

sloan wrote:

Whatever you drum up, it doesn't hold true for the most recent tax rate cuts.


{Sigh} Sloan, you aren't paying attention. Any serious economic analysis pays attention to things like comparing revenue from different years in constant dollars, etc...

Also, in spite of decreases in tax revenue following a tax rate cut, the economy continues to grow, and over time, the economy will grow enough to produce more revenue than it collected prior to the tax cut. If you even bother to glance casually at tax revenue data, you will see that it is the norm for tax revenues to increase from one year to the next.

Sloanasaurus said...

Doyle, I'm shocked that you have heard of the Laffer curve.

Sloanasaurus said...

{Sigh} Sloan, you aren't paying attention. Any serious economic analysis pays attention to things like comparing revenue from different years in constant dollars, etc...

I think get your point. For example,n you would argue that tax revenues in 1998 after Clintons increase were a higher percentage of GDP (20%) than they are today (19%)

However, I would argue that GDP would have been higher in 1998 if Clinton had never raised taxes, resulting in the same amount or more tax revenues for the government (and more wealth for the people).

In the end it's something difficult to prove, because you can't repeat the experiment. However, it's better to error on the side of smaller government.

MadisonMan said...

However, it's better to error on the side of smaller government.

Yes. How has the size of the Government changed since Bush took office?

Roger said...

A few thoughts on this tax rate tax revenue discussion: It is necessary to use constant dollars when doing comparisons; thats the basic screen. Why use constant dollars? Constant dollars account for the effect of inflation--for those that argue you have to take economic growth into account, you do: you use constant dollars. Trying to account for economic growth once you have used constant dollars is double adding.

But there is also an issue of statistical slight of hand from time to time: both sides do it. When one wants to DILUTE the effects of tax cuts they will want to depict that as a PER CAPITA ratio. You can then cite census figures and your denominator becomes total population and that is always increasing. Onlyytrouble is, per capita is a lousy way to deal with tax returns--why? because the population that is growing are those NON WAGE EARNING CHILDREN. the only denominator that makes sense is Number of taxpayers filing returns and the numerator is the total tax revenue.

You often see similiar tactics applied to poverty issues: Generally speaking the total number of people in poverty will continue to grow because of natural population increase; the more appropriate measure is the change in the rate of families in poverty.

So if we can hope to have any meaning comparative discussion we have to compare apples to apples which means a whole heck of a lot of definition specification to include denominators and numerators for ratios.

Roger said...

Sloan said "...Clintons increase were a higher percentage of GDP (20%) than they are today (19%)." What is interesting is how this figure should be interpreted. Using GDP is a good way to gauge total economic impact of a particular sector. If you have expressed your tax revenues as constant dollars, you have taken into consideration economic growth or recession. The 20%-19% comparison above suggests to me that five percent more tax payer money is circulating in the private sector than in the public sector.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Roger you forgot to calculate why teh percentage of GDP is important when figuring tax intake- it serves as a gauge for what percentage of the GDP is under government control.

Total revenues can go up, but as long as teh increase in cash flow is a lower pecentage of GDP, then government influence is lower, always the primary concern in taxation; revenue is secondary.

Sloanasaurus said...

The 20%-19% comparison above suggests to me that five percent more tax payer money is circulating in the private sector than in the public sector.

That's right. Further, because the private sector investment gets a better rate of return, in general, on assets than the government, the entire economic pie grows faster resulting in more wealth for both the government and the private sector and a better standard of living overall for everyone.

Invisible Man said...

Sloan why don't you just leave the selling of the Laffer Curve snake oil to the professionals like Larry Kudlow. You suck at it.

Calling Larry Kudlow a snake oil salesman is an insult to snake oil salesman everywhere.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Further, because the private sector investment gets a better rate of return, in general, on assets than the government, the entire economic pie grows faster resulting in more wealth for both the government and the private sector and a better standard of living overall for everyone

Which of course is the subject of debate as to whether my money is better spent by myself or by the Feds. If my taxes increase by say, $200/month, that's $200 less I can put into the economy which means less goods and services I can purchase. The flipside is that the Feds now have $200 more to spend on (insert government program here).

Madison Man did make the excellent point that tax cuts are irrelevant in the midst of runaway spending. I would have pushed for tax cuts with the increased revenue being used to pay down the debt rather than fund Iraq and another senior welfare plan.

Richard Dolan said...

Some people can't decide whether they think Bush is delusional or deceitful about the Iraqi war (and everything else). It's hard to be both at the same time.

Too many jims said...

Maybe Dean should have said instead: Bush is a true believer and I find true believers strange and -- if they have power -- frightening.

Just from a human standpoint, I would assume that he is comparing himself to Lincoln. It must be must easier to fall asleep thinking that rather than thinking you are more like Johnson or Nixon. Just as I would assume that Clinton was more apt to compare himself to JFK than to Nixon.

Thorley Winston said...

presided over a rapid deterioration in our intertnational prestige,

What are you on dope? The governments of three of our biggest supporters – Great Britain, Australia, and Japan – were each reelected and returned to power while the governments of three of our biggest critics – Germany, Canada, and now France – were each replaced in democratic elections with new leaders who campaigned on "strengthening ties" with the United States. Some “deterioration.”

Sloanasaurus said...

In the end, how much the government spends is what really matters. However, tax cuts do create a deficits, which in turn encourages the government to spend less because people don't like deficits or tax increases.

Doyle said...

Richard -

Not at all. Bush can be, and is, delusional to the extent he's holding out for history to judge him favorably, and deceitful about the reason we invaded Iraq, the reason why we're staying, etc.

This is a guy who said the war was because of 9/11 and then says he's not worried about Bin Laden. He's out to lunch.

XWL said...

We live in a faster world where everything is compressed.

If one were to make a Civil War comparison, the apt one for current conditions isn't the war itself, but Reconstruction and its aftermath.

Reconstruction started out well, former slaves were wielding real power, then the North lost political will, gave up on extending the occupation of the South partly due to terrorism and partly due to the economic drain of the occupation, and basically sold out those former slaves to those that wanted to keep them down.

Almost sounds familiar.

Was it even possible to do Reconstruction right?

We'll never know now, but it seems like the North had a moral obligation to try harder than they did.

We have a moral obligation in Iraq, one that has a great chance of success given the will. It's not a matter of dollars, or equipment, or manpower, it comes down to political resolve. I'm pleased to see all the major Republican candidates continue to support the mission despite the supposed unpopularity of our presence in the region. I'm disgusted with the Democratic party and their willingness to exploit current chaos and accept likely future slaughter all in the name of domestic political points.

It was an unprincipled and cowardly act to leave the South to the bigots in the 1880s, and it would be even worse to do so in Iraq in the 2000s.

Roger said...

Red: you are of course correct; To properly figure out what the real tax burden is in the US as a percent of GDP you also have to add local, county, state and federal together. Again, percent of GDP is a worthwhile way to compare, say, the relative measure of public debt in two different time periods. Right now the absolute dollar value of public debt is high; but relative to GDP it not all that much out of line historically.

Fritz said...

Lower marginal tax rates result in higher long term potential GDP. The marginal propensity to save is much higher for high GDP producers. One of the main reasons the Administration wanted private SS accounts, to increase US savings rate to increase future potential GDP.

Doyle said...

I'm disgusted with the Democratic party and their willingness to exploit current chaos

So you don't mind the people who caused the chaos, but you're disgusted by the people who object to it and want to end it.

Sloanasaurus said...

So you don't mind the people who caused the chaos,

Ahh... more of the Iraq was a peaceful and wonderful place before the war. Message to dictators, kill your people in private and bury them in mass graves so useful idiots in America will support you.

Doyle said...

Iraq was a peaceful and wonderful place before the war.

Relatively speaking, yes! It was an oppressive, brutal dictatorship but at least Baghdad wasn't the slaughterhouse it is now.

The number of US troops in Iraq has had a distinct positive correlation to the number of dead Iraqis.

John said...

Doyle you are a know knothing idiot. Saddam had prisons for children, committed the worst ecological crime of the 20th century in draining the marshes and murdered millions. All of the Iraq lived in complete terror, especially the Shia and Kurdish areas. It is pretty disgusting and rich for you to sit in safety here and talk about how Baghdad was so much better under Saddam. If you were not such a moron I would really wonder if liberals have consciences.

Sloanasaurus said...

Relatively speaking, yes! It was an oppressive, brutal dictatorship but at least Baghdad wasn't the slaughterhouse it is now.

Relative to what? To the amount of reporting by the media.

Doyle said...

Relative to the conditions in Iraq now. Judging by the mass exodus from the country, a lot of Iraqis seem to agree that things are worse.

Fen said...

It is pretty disgusting and rich for [Doyle] to sit in safety here and talk about how Baghdad was so much better under Saddam

To paraphrase Lincoln, those who would abandon their brothers to tyranny and oppression deserve to feel the lash on their own backs.

But I doubt Doyle will be heading to Syria anytime soon.

MadisonMan said...

committed the worst ecological crime of the 20th century in draining the marshes

In your opinion. I think it pales in comparison to the Aral Sea. Or Chernobyl. Or the pollution of the Stratosphere with CFCs.

Doyle said...

It is pretty disgusting and rich for you to sit in safety here and talk about how Baghdad was so much better under Saddam.

Why? Wasn't the bait-and-switch reason for the war to bring Freedom to the poor Iraqi people?

When even the BS reason for war doesn't hold water, what's left?

Sloanasaurus said...

Why? Wasn't the bait-and-switch reason for the war to bring Freedom to the poor Iraqi people?

When even the BS reason for war doesn't hold water, what's left?


It has in most places in Iraq. We just don't hear about those places.

Have a nice time in peace loving North Korea Doyle.

johnstodder said...

Doyle said...
Shorter wingnuts: The fact that Bush is widely reviled is proof that he will be judged a hero by history, just like Lincoln!

Surely there's some possibility he's just a historically bad (and thus unpopular) president, no?


Anything is possible. The point is, contemporary polls are meaningless measurements of the ultimate historical contribution of presidents.

Bill Clinton's entire presidency was built around the idea of engineering the highest possible approval polls. That's why his list of accomplishments is so disjointed and ephemeral. He did what was popular (including the most right-wing welfare reform imaginable), and he avoided doing what might potentially hurt his popularity (like arresting Bin Laden, which might have had negative short-term repercussions). He bragged about how great the economy was during his presidency, but now the peaks of that economic record are viewed by most economists as a "bubble." He clearly hoped to be regarded as one of the best presidents, but as of now, I'd say the odds are against him, primarily because of his refusal to be bold about anything, or to follow his core beliefs in the face of unpopularity. He actually yearned for a crisis to prove his mettle!

Well, lucky for Bush (from Clinton's point of view), he got himself a crisis in the first year.

You have to acknowledge the core truth: When Bush says we can't really judge his bold gamble in Iraq for 10 or 15 years, he's right. In 10 or 15 years, it might even look worse than it does now! Or it might be seen as a decisive turning point toward a more peaceful world.

But of all the evidence that's available to judge him by, his current approval ratings are no guide whatsoever. Nor is the intensity of opposition he has engendered. You guys over on the netroots are very good at expressing your deep dislike for the guy. Congratulations. I hope you feel better. But don't confuse your intense feelings of antipathy with facts, especially when not all the facts are in.

TMink said...

Doyle wrote: "So you don't mind the people who caused the chaos, but you're disgusted by the people who object to it and want to end it."

Doyle, you are opposed to the war and that is an honorable position. We disagree, but your position is honorable.

What we who support the war object to, among other things, is that the Democratic majority has not voted to stop funding of the war if they oppose it. That would be direct, logical action, and I assume that you would support it. Aren't you upset that your party is not doing that?

The people in Congress who want to end it need to vote to do so. Good luck to them, this is America and their constituients are depending on them to vote their convictions.

Trey

Hoosier Daddy said...

Relatively speaking, yes! It was an oppressive, brutal dictatorship

And if there were trains there, you can be sure they'd run on time too.

John said...

"In your opinion. I think it pales in comparison to the Aral Sea. Or Chernobyl. Or the pollution of the Stratosphere with CFCs."

CFCs were banned. That is an ecological success story. The long term effects of Chernobyl have been much less anticipated. The Aral sea is a true disaster. The draining of the marshes not only destroyed the marshes it amounted to genocide against the people who lived there and destroyed a way of life 1000s of years old. Regardless, if the the best thing you can say about Saddam was that he didn't do as much ecological damage as the Soviets did at Chernoyble, my point is made.

Doyle said...

Trey -

I appreciate the kind words. As for the defunding, the bill that Bush just vetoed would have forced withdrawal by 2008.

The Dem majority isn't big enough to force withdrawal down Bush's throat. There are, regrettably, both Republicans and "Blue Dogs" in Congress. If there were something I could do about that I would.

AlphaLiberal said...

Some Bush loyalist asks:
What do Mr. Beschloss's friends think Bush has been exhibiting the past few years?
Well, they wasn't post here, but here's my take:
stubborness, deceit, hypocrisy, partisanship, callousness, bravado, vaingloriousness, the habits of a lifteim wastrel..

There's more. Let me know if you need ot hear it.

Roger said...

Doyle: How closely did you read the bill the President vetoed--the one that came out of conference, not the house or senate version. It called for withdrawal of major combat forces starting in April and ending by October 2008. But there was a huge loophole(s): it specified US troops would remain in Iraq to protect US installations AND CONDUCT COUNTER- TERRORISM operations and train Iraqi forces. Thats a pretty big loophole, and I am going to suggest the bill that finally gets through will delete the specific April and October dates but look a lot like the one vetoed.

Of course, I didnt mention all the pork that was stuffed into the bill to buy democratic fence sitters to sign on--thats a whole other story.

But really, the bill wasn't all that bad in broad form and pretty much squares with the overall Iraq strategy of providing security and bring Iraqi forces on line.

johnstodder said...

There are, regrettably, both Republicans and "Blue Dogs" in Congress. If there were something I could do about that I would.

Your hero Saddam would know what to do. Grow some balls, dude!

(Sorry. I know. It was too easy.)

Doyle said...

To be honest, I didn't read it cover to cover. But I did know about the exceptions and the pork, having read a lot about it. Of course, not much was made of the pork attached to those bills when it was loyal Republicans piling it on.

MadisonMan said...

CFCs were banned. That is an ecological success story.

CFC concentrations in the atmosphere continue to rise. The curve is concave down; in perhaps 100 or 200 years, concentrations in the stratosphere will return to pre-1950 levels. I'm thinking the marshes of Iraq could be re-engineered back to pre-1950 status in considerably less time than that. The damage around the Aral sea likely cannot be undone.

I wasn't necessarily contradicting your point. Rather, I was suggesting, obliquely, that saying Saddam was responsible for the worst ecological disaster of the 20th century is hyperbole that only makes you look shrill.

Doyle said...

Your hero Saddam would know what to do.

Apologize if you want. You're still a douchebag.

Roger said...

Doyle--I think you may have missed my point: it really wasnt a bad bill but because of all the kabuki that went along with it, I doubt that very many americans even knew what was in it.

so my point was this: rather than play this story as a high noon shootout as the media did, had they publicized the CONTENTS of the bill (including the pork), I suspect many Americans would said: that isnt too bad a bill.

IMO, another instance when we were ill served by our mass media, and our own stupidity.

Tim said...

"Tim,

Just out of curiousity, what was the last blog entry you contributed a comment to and didn't use the word copperhead at all?"


More recently than you are capable of understanding. As for the specifics, do your own research, Copperhead.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Roger,

I'm going to complete a table of US income tax revenue (in constant dollars) and I'll put it on a website along with a chart. In the meantime, here is a 25 year summary of income tax revenue (with tax cuts noted). (Source: FY 2008 Budget of the United States, Tables 1.3 and 2.2. Personal income tax revenue reported in constant FY 2000 dollars, in billions)

1980 485.4
1981 513.9
1982 499.8 <- Reagan tax cut takes effect
1983 462.6
1984 455.5
1985 493.7
1986 502.7
1987 549.0
1988 544.9
1989 584.5
1990 591.9
1991 568.2
1992 559.3
1993 583.5
1994 609.4
1995 647.8
1996 704.2
1997 775.8
1998 862.5
1999 901.8
2000 1004.7
2001 971.0
2002 823.1 <- Bush tax cut takes effect
2003 741.2
2004 734.1
2005 811.9
2006 884.1

This shows that income tax rate cuts lead to decreases in income tax revenue, as common sense suggests they would.

Doyle said...

Of course Americans wanted Bush to sign that bill. The American people support withdrawal from Iraq. Many immediately, most within a year.

My biggest problem with the "Showdown" frame is the extent to which it makes the Bush position appear to have more support than it actually does.

johnstodder said...

Well, Doyle, you're the guy who endorsed pre-invasion Iraq. Nobody forced you to do it. If calling you on it makes me a douchebag, well, at least it makes me good for something.

Unsurprisingly, you've confused the realpolitik position of people like Brent Scowcroft, who argued (with some cold-blooded merit) that leaving Saddam in place was a better option for us, with the obviously insane idea that leaving Saddam in place was a better option for Iraqis.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Tim wrote:

More recently than you are capable of understanding.


Tim, I'm sure this insult would sting terribly if it made any sense.

Doyle said...

I'm sorry, John. I just can't take you seriously enough to keep responding. Maybe it's the profile picture. Maybe it's your awful writing ("cold-blooded merit"), or your sub-Goldberg level of reasoning. I don't know, but I'm just not going to get into it.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

johnstodder wrote:

Well, Doyle, you're the guy who endorsed pre-invasion Iraq. Nobody forced you to do it. If calling you on it makes me a douchebag, well, at least it makes me good for something.


Doyle, that "douchebag" crack was really out of line, especially if johnstodder can interpret it to mean it makes him good for something.

johnstodder said...

Cyrus,

Your chart only includes "personal income tax revenue."

What about corporate and capital gains tax revenue? The purpose of tax cuts is to stimulate business activity, so leaving that out is somewhat of a distortion, no?

Also, it seems to me that some states raised their income taxes several times during the period shown on your chart. I know California did, and that's 10 percent of the US population. That's a straight-out loss of revenue to the feds due to the deductability of state taxes. Also, how do you account for the increase in housing values, which exaggerate mortgage deductions, irrespective of tax rates?

This chart is like showing a picture of a prism in black and white. You're missing a lot, aren't you?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

However, I would argue that GDP would have been higher in 1998 if Clinton had never raised taxes, resulting in the same amount or more tax revenues for the government (and more wealth for the people).

There is no historical evidence that tax cuts lead to a higher rate of economic growth.

Methadras said...

AlphaLiberal said...

It's a vainglorious attempt on Bush's part to paint himself as a great historical leader. Bush has been trying to have his own alternate reality for his entire Presidency but reality refuses to give way.

The thing is, Bush's Presidency is most likely the worst in the history of the nation. Bush has
- presided over a rapid deterioration in our intertnational prestige,
- has violated the US Constitution repeatedly,
- has invaded another nation on false pretenses,
- has used a national security threat for his own politivcal aggrandizement,
- has corrupted many agencies of government including Justice, Defense, EPA and others,
- has reduced civil rights not improved them as Lincoln did,
- has run up record budget deficits, passing massive tax cuts in a time of war.


AL, are you really this delusional. Every single one of your points is about as threadbare in the scheme of reality as the person who just typed them. Each one can be turned on it's ear and refuted utterly and have been done so time and time again, and yet you still cling to this nonsense as if it were your security blanket in it's telling...

Just because you repeat the some leftist anti-war, anti-bush line doesn't make it true. You would have had more success if you would have just fell on the adage of Bush lied, people died. It still sounds 2nd grade and clownish, but probably has more credibility than the utter crap you just posted.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

johnstodder,

The table is missing at least a few features. For example, it doesn't take into account the fact that the economy is, in general, usually growing (note the general trend in income tax collections), and that tax collections would be expected to be rising. This fact makes the depression in income tax collections resulting from a tax cut look gentler than it would otherwise.

It is easily possible to look at corporate tax revenue, but of course there have been corporate tax cuts as well, so tracking the kind of minor effects that you are interested in is difficult. (Incidentally, corporate tax collections also declined after the Reagan tax cuts took effect.)

Overall, the table gives a reasonably accurate picture of the results of income tax rate cuts on income tax revenues. Since that's all that it was meant to do, it serves its purpose.

Sloanasaurus said...

There is no historical evidence that tax cuts lead to a higher rate of economic growth.

What about Ireland.

Roger said...

Wow, Cyrus--you went to too much hard work! thanks--here's a graphical representation of the same data from the 1920s to 2002 using the 2002 Constant dollars (the data you have in raw form). Its a great resource by the way).

I think we can zero in some points: First is the effect of tax cuts on the business cycle and the subsequent timing of when tax revenues increase. The phrase tax cuts always result increased tax revenues doesnt express the laffer curve correctly. It depends, according to laffer on which side of the optimum point you on the curve.
Second, the graph shows that when tax revenues declined (reflective of the business cycle) lowering tax rates stimulates the business cycle, and results in increased revenues at some point after the tax cuts--and that, really, is all Laffer ever said.

What I take from this is that the blanket assertion that cuts in tax rates ALWAYS result in increased tax revenues is not true; it depends on what side of the optimum point you are on. I think the graphs also demonstrate that tax rate cuts result in stimulating the business cycle which in turn will increase tax revenues. (Pretty much what John Maynard Keynes suggested).

Finally one of the fatal flaws of economic analysis is the ceterus paribus error: other things are never equal especially in macroeconomic analysis.

I would suggest this interchange demonstrates the need to substitute more exact wording and blanket assertions of fact tend to lead everyone astray.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

AlphaLiberal wrote:

"[Bush] has run up record budget deficits..."

Methadras wrote:

"Every single one of your points is about as threadbare in the scheme of reality as the person who just typed them. Each one can be turned on it's ear and refuted utterly and have been done so time and time again..."


Methadras, this sounds good. Please refute the claim that Bush has "run up record budget deficits." Feel free to borrow whatever you like from previous refutations, without attribution as usual, of course.

Roger said...

Phooey--I forgot one last point: the important points on the graph are when the rate of tax revenues change direction.

Roger said...

Cyrus, John: the table Cyrus extracted from, and the graphs I show are TOTAL GOVERNMENT REVENUES--I suspect Cyrus may have inadvertently said personal tax rather than total.

Sloanasaurus said...

Methadras, this sounds good. Please refute the claim that Bush has "run up record budget deficits."

I believe that records were set in terms of $$ amounts but not as a percentage of GDP. Clinton's and Reagans deficits were higher (so were FDRs). Some other liberal on this board said we shouldn't use actual $$ amounts because it does not offer a valid comparison. If you still hold to that line of thinking, Bush did not run up record budget deficits.

Todd and in Charge said...

Didn't mean to raise any hackles.

My point really was on the transposition from "admiring" to "comparing."

Was this intentional?

Joe said...

Cyrus, by your own chart, the tax cuts did LEAD to greater growth. Or are you under the impression that more means less?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Roger,

I agree with much of what you say, although I don't agree that the recovery in income tax revenue is due to the tax cuts leading to increased economic growth. The truth is that the economy is usually growing, and as a result, income tax revenues, in constant dollars, are generally increasing too. Therefore, to credit the general trend in increasing revenue to tax cuts instead of general economic growth is unfounded.

Now, a more detailed analysis which looks at rates of economic growth following a tax cut might reveal something to support the idea that the tax cut itself led to economic growth above and beyond the general trend prior to the tax cut. This too would be difficult, however, as politicians are keen to enact tax cuts when the economy slows down, even though there is no historical evidence to suggest that an income tax cut spurs economic growth.

In any case, I enjoyed the exchange of ideas. Thanks for your intelligent comments.

Roger said...

I think Sloan is right on this one; absolute numbers dont mean much with respect to deficits; this is a measurement where it is important to look at the deficit as a percentage of GDP for purposes of assessing its impact on the overall economy.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Joe,

Sorry, you've misread the table. Revenues decreased after the tax cuts took effect.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Roger,

A point of clarification:

I used personal income tax revenues, not total revenues, as total revenues reflect many other tax rate changes. To isolate the effect of a change in personal income tax rate, it's appropriate to examine only personal income tax revenue.

Roger said...

OK--the chart from the U of Oregon I linked to uses total revenues.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Wow, there is a lot of misinformation being posted in here.

Clinton's and Reagans deficits were higher

This is wrong. Even as a ratio of deficit to GDP, Clinton didn't have a deficit as large as Bush's.

Roger said...

Here is the data on deficits and deficits as a percent of gdp: link

Ron Davison said...

I'm curious. For how long would the status quo have to continue in order for supporters of the war to call it a failure? One more year? Ten more years? 100? Never?

dbp said...

OTOH, How much success would we have to see before the left conceded that it has been a success? I would posit that everything could have gone perfectly and they would still call it a failure.

dbp

Tim said...

"For how long would the status quo have to continue..."

If you understand what is happening there is no status quo in Iraq.

Or did you mean to ask a different question?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

I don't agree that deficits should be measured as a fraction of GDP. (Yes, I know this is standard practice by most economists.) More appropriately, deficits should be measured as a fraction of on-budget receipts. To the extent that revenue remains a fixed fraction of GDP, using a GDP ratio provides similar results. But when our revenue stream shrinks as a ratio of GDP, the difference becomes significant.

If you use the historical tables that Roger links to, use the On-Budget ratios to compare one year to the next. Also remember that budgets lag presidential terms by a year.

dbp said...

Cyrus:
I don't agree that deficits should be measured as a fraction of GDP. (Yes, I know this is standard practice by most economists.)

Of course this is very convienient for you since by the standard method President Bush's deficits are not record-breaking at all.

A cursory look at the data provided by Roger shows that the debt and deficits were much higher under FDR.

dbp

Pogo said...

1. So why exactly is a decline in government revenue after tax cuts a bad thing?

2. Doyle would have loved Stalin. And Mao. And Pol Pot. They had peace, low population growth, free medical care, and no pesky US interventions to screw up utopia.

Hoosier Daddy said...

When even the BS reason for war doesn't hold water, what's left?

Doyle, just out of curiosity, were you opposed to the air war with Serbia?

Point in fact, I was myself as I was with the Iraq boondogle mainly for the reasons being that I simply didn't see either of them as being in our interest. I'm just curious as to whether you are anti-war or just anti-war if its one the GOP starts.

Methadras said...

Cyrus mused:

Methadras, this sounds good. Please refute the claim that Bush has "run up record budget deficits." Feel free to borrow whatever you like from previous refutations, without attribution as usual, of course.


Typically leftist of you Cyrus to once again parse your assertions that you think you've actually made some sort of point on. Of course, you've taken the point that Alphaliberal made out of context, another typical tactic you enjoy using in a false and specious way.

So by only using this minor, out-of-context illustration, you then imply that all of the other enumerated points that AL made are false and easily refuted? I would imagine so, since you've cherry picked this one little item to illustrate your non-point.

The entire item reads like this:

- has run up record budget deficits, passing massive tax cuts in a time of war.

You however said this:

"run up record budget deficits."

A completely different question. A completely different tone which makes the distinctions and context of what was previously enumerated totally different. But this is how you operate, in a deceptive manner.

However, I will try to refute the claims as stated by AL instead of your parsed assertion that has little merit. It's not secret that the administration run up higher budget deficits. Of course the reason for that is because we are in a war. Congress has enacted spending while approving tax cuts. Also, you haven't accounted for the fact that the administration has vowed to cut back the deficit and it did it in three years, which is half the time it said it would do it in and it's gone virtually unreported in that time.

Fact: The CBO reported on 10/6/2006 that the federal budget for the fiscal year dropped to $250 billion. A decrease as a percentage of GDP from 2.6% in 2005 to 1.9% in 2006.

Fact source summary: CBO estimates that the federal budget deficit was about $250 billion in fiscal year 2006, around $68 billion less than the shortfall recorded in 2005. Relative to the size of the economy, that deficit was equal to 1.9 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), down from 2.6 percent in 2005. This estimate is based on data from the Daily Treasury Statements and CBO projections; the Treasury Department will report the actual deficit for fiscal year 2006 later this month.

Source:
http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=7627&sequence=0

In essence you are nothing more than a supply-sider opponent and a short sighted one at that. However, you've also neglected the fact that growth rate as a function of GDP has increased to nearly 4% for 13 quarters since the tax cuts of 2003.

Frankly, you are a free-market opponent, but that is a completely different topic. If you let the supply side take it's course, I'm sure that the deficits you are crying about now would evaporate. However, this can't be done without curtailing spending and that's what congress needs to face, but I seriously doubt a congressional Democrat or a congressional Republican would ever do that. It's other peoples money however and they like to spend it as if it were infinite. I'd attribute this more to the Democratic side of the aisle, however since they've had nearly 60 years to spend, spend, spend. Either way, you static analysis is just that. Static and in more ways than one.

Let's move on shall we. Another nugget you've missed is the level of tax receipts that have entered into the treasury. They are up over 30% the last time I saw, from 2004 all the way through to 2006 from $1.75 trillion to $2.40 trillion.

Another source you can look up if you don't believe it:

http://cbo.gov/budget/historical.pdf

It would be foolish to deny that deficits are high. It is even more foolish to think they arose in a vacuum without external forces in play. Your ideology is reactionary, because it is short sighted. It's also not free-market based which is doubly debilitating for someone like you that can't see what economic growth means with respect to GDP and with respect to the overall deficits that have been reduced 3 years ahead of schedule and to a level that is, in effect, negligible with respect to GDP.

Also, your little quips are meaningless and only suit to uncover the type of intellect you possess. Not very much.

Methadras said...

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

I don't agree that deficits should be measured as a fraction of GDP. (Yes, I know this is standard practice by most economists.)


I read this and I wasn't sure if I should laugh at you or feel sorry for you that your inane ideology leaves you bereft of logic when you say or think things like this. More proof that your type of thinking is nothing more than a whisper thin veneer of wanting wishes, desires, and fantasy to dictate policies especially with respect to economics. Do you even know why you are a leftist? What is it you are trying to accomplish by uttering such nonsense?

Fen said...

Doyle: The Dem majority isn't big enough to force withdrawal down Bush's throat

But you just said Americans want us to withdraw. Whats up with that? Those Americans didn't vote last election, didn't give you a supermajority? And they didn't swarm their congress-critters with calls and emails demanding withdrawal?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

So why exactly is a decline in government revenue after tax cuts a bad thing?

Pogo, nobody claimed it is either good or bad. What is bad, though, is pretending that an income tax rate cut will lead to an increase in income tax revenue.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Methadras,

The saddest part of your response is that you think you've answered my question.

AlphaLiberal said...

I honestly and sincerely would like to know why so many of the war supporters aren't signing up to fight this war/occupation they feel is so important to our nation's future.

Methadras said...

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Methadras,

The saddest part of your response is that you think you've answered my question.


It's okay Cyrus, I realize that part of your genetic history has Ostrich in it. Otherwise, how can you explain burying your head in the sand when you are confronted with facts regardless of where they come from. The saddest part of your response is that you have no response and instead resort to childish tactics like the one you typed.

You are a pathetic excuse for a leftist. Most leftists would have kicked you out of their club long ago and even with their memberships declining. Maybe you can find work to pawn off your fake leftist intellectualism in France. I'm sure there is an opening as a front-liner in some French suburb that needs a fresh recruit of 'youths', simpleton.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

dbp wrote:

Of course this is very convienient for you since by the standard method President Bush's deficits are not record-breaking at all.

A cursory look at the data provided by Roger shows that the debt and deficits were much higher under FDR.


dbp, I assume you aren't familiar with economic analysis. If you were, you'd realize that in discussing recent American economic trends, economists restrict themselves to comparisons within the post-WW2 timeframe, for obvious reasons. However, if that practice doesn't suit you, I suggest you take it up with the AEA.

Now, I don't know what "standard method" you refer to. The "standard method" used by economists differs from the "standard method" used by journalists and politicians.

Typically deficits have been reported in the media in current dollars. By that measure, Bush's deficits are easily the largest in US history.

If instead we want to compare the size of US deficits more fairly, we can use constant dollar comparisons. Using this standard, and comparing post-WW2 deficits, the largest is the 2004 budget deficit. The second largest is the 2003 budget deficit.

If we use the method used most often by economists to compare the impact of budget deficits (i.e., deficit to GDP ratio), then Bush's deficits trail three Reagan and two Bush 41 budgets in impact (in the post-WW2 era).

I suppose this last method of comparison may please Bush supporters, but it's worth noting that all of these massive deficits occurred while so-called conservatives were managing the federal budget. In any case, it's not a great advertisement for the wonders of supply-side economics (or whatever the latest marketing slogan is).

Incidentally, the notion that our national debt was higher during the Roosevelt years is simply preposterous.

Methadras said...

AlphaLiberal said...

I honestly and sincerely would like to know why so many of the war supporters aren't signing up to fight this war/occupation they feel is so important to our nation's future.


How is it that you achieved a level of intellect to actual push a button on a computer in order to turn it on and navigate a web browser that got you to this point to type of this piece of verbal trash, that we now have to read and simply laugh at? So when all else fails in your scripted arsenal of arguments, you resort to this set of childish demands as an attack of calling out ones bravado in joining the armed forces?

Is this what you've been reduced to? I'll ask you the same question I've asked Cry-baby Cyrus. Why are you a leftist? Do you even know why you signed on to an ideology that is wholly bankrupt and has given the world absolutely ZERO value with respect to individual liberties, economic liberties, personal opportunities, etc. etc?

Hoosier Daddy said...

I honestly and sincerely would like to know why so many of the war supporters aren't signing up to fight this war/occupation they feel is so important to our nation's future.

Good question. Then again, I would ask those who demand more Federal funding of welfare programs and those opposed to tax cuts why they don't simply voluntarily fork over additional personal funds as a donation to the IRS? Or those who demand reduced crime join the police department?

I think the question can cut along many lines don't you agree?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Methadras,

As I've noted before, you seem like a very angry person. If my posts upset you, may I suggest you don't read them?

From my perspective, you are wasting your time in responding to me because you don't include any substance in your replies. I'm not impressed by the nonresponsive, illogical garbage you post, and I'm not intimidated at all by your attempts to bully. So unless you sharpen up and make an effort to be civil, I don't see any point in trying to treat you as an intelligent adult when you clearly don't deserve it.

Maybe you are having a bad few months. I don't know since I haven't been around long enough to see a different Methadras. So far I've seen the angry and irrational Methadras and the plagiarist Methadras. I find both repulsive, and I imagine many others do too.

If you can't behave decently, then don't respond to my posts. I'm more than happy to ignore you if you will ignore me. On the other hand, if you will try to act like an adult, I will treat you accordingly.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

hoosier daddy wrote:

I would ask those who demand more Federal funding of welfare programs and those opposed to tax cuts why they don't simply voluntarily fork over additional personal funds as a donation to the IRS?


I don't think this analogy is quite right. For instance, if, as a matter of public policy, I support higher tax rates, and those higher tax rates come to pass, then I pay my share of an increased tax liability as a consequence. On the other hand, if I support sending troops into battle, I don't share in the risk (i.e., the personal "cost") associated with that action.

Most of the war supporters that I know don't believe that the Iraq war is critical to our nation's future. I think they look at the options available and judge that staying in Iraq for now is the best choice. I don't agree with their judgment, but I don't think their support of the war obliges them to serve.

Methadras said...

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Methadras,

As I've noted before, you seem like a very angry person. If my posts upset you, may I suggest you don't read them?

From my perspective, you are wasting your time in responding to me because you don't include any substance in your replies. I'm not impressed by the nonresponsive, illogical garbage you post, and I'm not intimidated at all by your attempts to bully. So unless you sharpen up and make an effort to be civil, I don't see any point in trying to treat you as an intelligent adult when you clearly don't deserve it.

Maybe you are having a bad few months. I don't know since I haven't been around long enough to see a different Methadras. So far I've seen the angry and irrational Methadras and the plagiarist Methadras. I find both repulsive, and I imagine many others do too.

If you can't behave decently, then don't respond to my posts. I'm more than happy to ignore you if you will ignore me. On the other hand, if you will try to act like an adult, I will treat you accordingly.


Is this all you have, Cyrus? Empty diatribes about your characterization of me? Spewing the same slander over and over again, in your typical fashion that if you say it often enough and enough people believe it, that it will be true? I've asked you if you wanted civil discourse and you've obviously rejected the notion. I've responded to your spurious and baseless accusations and yet, you ignore them.

And now you resort to internet psychotherapy to label me an angry person. I'm neither angry nor hostile. I don't know you as a person. I've never met you, therefore I can't characterize you and your demeanor as a person. However, I can characterize your thoughts, your ideology, the way you write, the way you shallowly and unthinkingly bring across concepts.

At this time, you are nothing more than an errant child that is throwing an internet temper tantrum. Didn't get your way and now you want to take your ball and go home. Talk like a child, get treated like a child. It's the same with the knowledge you purport to represent. You ask a question, I give you an answer. You don't like the answer, so you throw up your typical ad hom and try to hide behind it by doing what you are doing now.

Your tactic is as transparent as the veil you hide behind. So now you think your continued lying and branding of me as plagiarist will expunge your lack of even responding to my refutation of your assertions will work?

Your pettiness is showing, Cyrus. I think people on this blog know that. They've more or less have come to that conclusion. When faced with reality, you balk. When trying to weasel your way out of an argument, you obfuscate and throw up smoke screens. You make claims that I'm bullying you, but you just end up sounding like a skirt-hiding victim instead of a fastidious debater or argumentarian.

Wah, wah, wah, Cyrus. That's the culmination of your post(s).

dbp said...

Cyrus,

You would gain a lot of credibility here if when proven wrong, as you have been here, you would just admit it.

You make the claim yourself that most economists use %GDP as the metric and indeed that is the metric I use from the govt. doc. Roger provided the link to.

I chose FDR as comparison since the deficit then (as compared to GDP of course) was around five times the highest rate achieved by Bush. There are lots of other years in which the maximum achieved by Bush were exceded in the years between FDR and the current President. Shall I list them? Okay:

The highest achieved by Bush was 5% in 2003.

1992 5.5
1991 5.4
1986 5.4
1985 5.3
1983 6.0
then we get in to WWII years...
1945 22.0
1944 23.3
1943 30.8

I am not going to argue with you about constant dollars. It is asinine to use that metric in a country which is constantly gaining in wealth and population.

dbp

Cyrus, you are just wrong about the record deficits claim. Why not just admit it and moveon?

Methadras said...

dpb said...

Cyrus, you are just wrong about the record deficits claim. Why not just admit it and moveon?


Because he can't. His ideology prevents him from even thinking that supply-side economics actually has merit if left alone and actually has value to all involved when allowed to flourish. Getting Cyrus to admit that his argument(s) don't hold water only reinforces to him, that his universe of wishes, desires, and fantasy must go on to feed his incessant need to disprove conservatism and free-market economics as a measure by which justice, opportunity, liberties, and freedoms can be had through the the trading and commerce of goods, services, and more importantly, ideas.

This is where his ideology fails, this is where his personal beliefs crumble. When he runs against the terminus of these realities, he shirks his way back into the darkness that his ideology creates.

Joshua said...

I honestly and sincerely would like to know why so many of the war supporters aren't signing up to fight this war/occupation they feel is so important to our nation's future.

Because they just don't think DEFENDING WESTERN CIVILIZATION!!1! is all that important.

Except for methadras. He's just a pussy.

Sloanasaurus said...

Pinkerton, your analysis on the deficits is cherry picking. No one buys it. The only valid comparison is deficit as a comparison to GDP.

I can state all day long that my phone bill last month was a record at $40. Yet is nothing relative to my income that compared to the $35 people were paying 25 years ago.

I am not sure why many Democrats continue to hold out a fantasy that the average person in the united states is not doing well. the fact is that this country has boomed under both republican and democrat presidents. Despite a few tax increases here and a few tax cuts there, revenue and spending rates on the federal level have remained around 20% for the last 25 years with almost no inflation. The economy has been well managed from this standpoint by both Republicans and Democrats.

I propose we keep it that way.

Some liberals propose that we institute massive spending such as a national health care plan. This would increase those levels from 20% to 30%. We have never gone there and we shouldn't.

Sloanasaurus said...

I don't think this analogy is quite right. For instance, if, as a matter of public policy, I support higher tax rates, and those higher tax rates come to pass, then I pay my share of an increased tax liability as a consequence.

Except that most people don't pay income taxes. Most people want more taxes for the rich - the rich who earn income (rather than hold assets). So you are voting to take someone elses money not yours.

Pogo said...

Re: "What is bad, though, is pretending that an income tax rate cut will lead to an increase in income tax revenue."

Okay. I'll restate it:
Who gives a damn if someone makes that claim?
Lower revenues for the state are a good thing per se, because it limits government grasp and power.
Thus, I don't care if someone claims that lower income taxes makes people glow in the dark and speak in tongues. It's always a benefit to civilization to lower tax rates.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

pogo wrote:

It's always a benefit to civilization to lower tax rates.


If that is what you believe, the logical extension of this claim is that taxes should be eliminated (since it's always a benefit to continue to lower tax rates until they can't be lowered further).

Can you point to any historical examples showing the benefits to civilization of eliminating taxes?

Kirk said...

Doyle,

"We're pissed because the war has been a catastrophe for 4 plus years"

I guess I should take comfort in the fact that if a real catastrophe comes along, you'll be quivering under a blanket somewhere so we can get down to the business of responding w/o having to listen to all of your gotcha's.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

sloan wrote:

Pinkerton, your analysis on the deficits is cherry picking. No one buys it. The only valid comparison is deficit as a comparison to GDP.

dbp wrote:

You would gain a lot of credibility here if when proven wrong, as you have been here, you would just admit it.

You make the claim yourself that most economists use %GDP as the metric...

methadras wrote:

Wah, wah, wah


There's still lots of confusion here, evidently. I'll try one more time to explain this...

When economists make comparisons, they are careful to use the appropriate tool. So, if they want to measure the IMPACT of a budget deficit, they use the ratio of deficit to GDP. This also allows them to make historical comparisons, since using a deficit to GDP ratio eliminates the need to convert deficits into constant dollar figures.

However, when economists want to measure the SIZE of a deficit, they use dollar amounts. If they want to compare deficit SIZES historically, they use budget deficits as measured in constant dollars.

So, in terms of size, the Bush deficit of 2004 remains the largest since WW2. In terms of impact, the Bush deficit of 2004 is sixth largest, as I already noted here:

If we use the method used most often by economists to compare the impact of budget deficits (i.e., deficit to GDP ratio), then Bush's deficits trail three Reagan and two Bush 41 budgets in impact (in the post-WW2 era).

In other words, nothing I wrote was incorrect. However, in case anyone is still confused, I'll provide an analogy.

Prior to 1998, the record holder for most home runs in a season was Roger Maris (61, in 1961). Before that, the record was held by Babe Ruth (60, in 1927). Some of you may be aware that, in baseball record books, an asterisk was placed next to Maris' record since the 1961 season schedule had eight more games than the 1927 season schedule. In fact, if you look at the statistic of home runs per game for Maris in 1961 and Ruth in 1927 you get

Maris (1961) 0.377 home runs per game
Ruth (1927) 0.390 home runs per game

So, prior to 1998, Maris held the record for most home runs in a season, while Ruth held the record for hitting home runs at the greatest rate during a season.

This isn't complicated stuff. You can quibble all you like about what "record deficit" means, but there is no denying that Bush's 2004 deficit is of record size in the post-WW2 era. This has been reported widely by many sources, including this from an analysis by factcheck.org from early 2004:

The federal deficit for fiscal year 2004 (which ends Sept. 30) is projected by the President’s Office of Management and Budget to be $521 billion. The Congressional Budget Office is predicting a somewhat lower total of $477 billion. But either would easily exceed the previous record deficit of $375 billion set last year. That in turn broke the previous record of $290 billion, which was reached under Bush’s father in 1992.

Factcheck.org continues in their analysis to note that this deficit, as measured relative to GDP, is smaller than several budget deficits under Reagan and Bush's father.

Again, this isn't complicated. The 2004 BUsh deficit set a record for deficit size, but not a record for deficit impact. However you look at it, it's not a pretty picture.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Methadras,

Here's what I asked for:

Please refute the claim that Bush has "run up record budget deficits."

Here's how you prefaced your response:

I will try to refute the claims as stated by AL instead ...

Then when I noted that you hadn't answered my request:

Methadras, [t]he saddest part of your response is that you think you've answered my question.

you responded with this accusation:

It's okay Cyrus, I realize that part of your genetic history has Ostrich in it.

I realize that it may be hard for you to keep track of what you've written when you are plagiarizing, but why can't you remember in this instance that you freely admitted you weren't going to answer my request? Why don't you honestly admit that you declined to address my request instead of pretending after the fact that you had?

Because I'm such a generous person, Methadras, I'm willing to overlook your past plagiarism, lying, hypocrisy and general nastiness. So here's another opportunity for you ...

AlphaLiberal wrote:

Bush has ... presided over a rapid deterioration in our intertnational prestige.


In response you wrote:

Every single one of your points is about as threadbare in the scheme of reality as the person who just typed them. Each one can be turned on it's ear and refuted utterly and have been done so time and time again...

Here's your chance Methardas. Please refute AlphaLiberal's claim. If you use the words of others, please be good enough to provide a citation. Good luck.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

dbp wrote:

Why not just admit it and moveon?


I don't know if that's a typo, dbp, but it did make me laugh.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

sloan wrote:

Except that most people don't pay income taxes.


sloan, I have to admit, I'm not clear about what you're claiming here. I assume you are talking about Americans. I also assume you are excluding children. I assume you are talking about federal and state income taxes. Will you please reference the source of your claim?

Pogo said...

Re: "Can you point to any historical examples showing the benefits to civilization of eliminating taxes? "

Yes. In fact, here's an entire book devoted to that very subject:
For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization
[brief reviews here and here]

Re: "the logical extension of this claim is that taxes should be eliminated "
Logical, yes. But silly, and unlikely except in a libertarian's utopia. Rather, my claim is based on the reality of taxes and their tendency to continually rise, but rarely fall.

And when they do, like magic, economies do better. Why politicians find this magic anathema is the fundamental question of why people seek power over others.

One simple thought: if the US government had had fewer revenues, it's ability to engage in the military conflicts so despised by the left (Iraq, Vietnam) would have been very very unlikely, if not impossible. If they don't have your money, they cannot spend it.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

re: Re: "Can you point to any historical examples showing the benefits to civilization of eliminating taxes? "

Pogo, assuming you've read the book you cite, would you mind providing an example or two of how civilization has benefitted by eliminating taxes? (To be precise here, I'm not including cases in which a government has eliminated a particular form of taxation and replaced it with or fallen back on some other form of funding.

If they don't have your money, they cannot spend it.

Or they can do as has been done in Norway, where revenue is collected and saved for the future. This system seems to be serving Norway quite well. Your complaint should be with the lack of fiscal discipline of our politicians, not with the mechanism for funding reasonable expenses.

Sloanasaurus said...

The 2004 BUsh deficit set a record for deficit size, but not a record for deficit impact. However you look at it, it's not a pretty picture.

Pinkerton, I will give you credit for sticking to your technical point. that Bush had the highest deficits. Along those same lines then I would argue that Reagan did not have very high deficits. Reagan's deficits were measly compared to Clintons.

Also your baseball analogy is flawed because the difference between the denominator for Ruth and Maris is only 8 games. The difference between the denominator for Bush 2004 and Clinton 1993 is $12 trillion to $6.8 trillion or the equivilent of 57 games in baseball. If Maris had played 57 more games more than Ruth, no one would take comparing the records in their actual value seriously.

Roger said...

Regretably, I don't think there is such a conversion factor as "constant games," but it would sure make sabermetrics more fun. (sabermetrics for the unitiated is the application of rigorous statistical analysis to baseball and other sporting stats).

Pogo said...

Cyrus,

You could read the cites I provided. Or not.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Sloan,

I like you if for no other reason than that you found a way to convert dollars into baseball games. I admire your creativity.

One small problem with your analysis...The budgets that economists associate with presidents always lag the presidential term by one year. For example, the 1993 budget is credited to Bush 41, and the 2001 budget is credited to Clinton. If you think about it, you'll see why this makes some sense.

Sloan, thank you for your polite responses. (And by the way, I do know who Cornwallis is. My Revolutionary War knowledge is better than you imagine. Ever heard of Thaddeus Kosciusko?)

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Roger,

I'm a big fan of Bill James. I'm not quite dedicated enough to join SABR, but I enjoy reading their research. Did you read Moneyball and if so, what did you think of it?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

pogo,

I'll check out the book as soon as I get a chance. Once I've read it, maybe we can talk about it in the comments of a different blog entry.

Thanks for the recommendation.

AlphaLiberal said...

Methadras says something others have evoked:

AL, are you really this delusional. Every single one of your points is about as threadbare in the scheme of reality as the person who just typed them. Each one can be turned on it's ear and refuted utterly and have been done so time and time again,

Meth, sorry. I've invited debate and discussion on these topics here and elsewhere. At best The responses were unfactual and based on opinion screeds from rightie web sites.

Or, a common tactic is the "scarecrow argument," where someone (hi, Sloan) will distort my/others' words and then do battle with a weaker argument more to their liking.

Yet another approach is to be snide or rude and/or just insist it ain't so. Or to divert to another barely related point (often accompanied with hyperventilation).

Then there's ad hominem, which the Right has mastered (see conservative leaders Ann Coulter, Rush Windbag, Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin, etc, etc)

AnNother tactic in response to these arguments is just plain ignoring uncomfortable information and points made. There's more.

Needless to say, I don't find these responses, persuasive.

p.s. I've been debating online (pre-internets!) since the early 1990s and must say the caliber of right wing logic has deteriorated badly.

AlphaLiberal said...

Meth flees reason and goes on the attack:
How is it that you achieved a level of intellect to actual push a button on a computer in order to turn it on and navigate a web browser that got you to this point to type of this piece of verbal trash, that we now have to read and simply laugh at?

You can't handle the question, can you? It seems to have hit a nerve.

You like the war so why don't you fight it? Perhaps it's important enough to risk someone else's life and limb, but not yours?

AlphaLiberal said...

Hoosier Daddy gets all logical

Good question. Then again, I would ask those who demand more Federal funding of welfare programs and those opposed to tax cuts why they don't simply voluntarily fork over additional personal funds as a donation to the IRS? Or those who demand reduced crime join the police department?

Your best argument there is with the police force. It makes a better analogy.

I'm going to chew that one over and we'll probably take it up in another thread. THough you could add "judge" or "social worker."

For now, I will that police departments are not facing shortages.

Also, police departments a fact of life while this war was optional, unneeded, unjust, and pushed upon us by people in a political movement where very few of them sign up to serve. Can you name more than one high profile conservative who has signed up for the war?

AlphaLiberal said...

I saw this story at ThinkProgress:
0.1 Percent Of Commerce Department Answers Bush’s Plea To Move To Iraq
Come on, conservatives, don't be slow,
On to war you must go,
The war you wanted needs soldiers today,
To basic training you should away.

Methadras said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Methadras said...

Cyrus Pinkerton said...
Methadras,

Here's what I asked for:

Please refute the claim that Bush has "run up record budget deficits."
Here's how you prefaced your response:

I will try to refute the claims as stated by AL instead ...

I’m not sure whether you are for real or just one of the stupidest people I’ve run into yet. You’re ability to parse, cherry pick, and leave out entire sentences that distort the context of what is said is fairly masterful. Who was your teacher, Goebbels? However, you left out a very important set of sentences from my remark that illustrate your blatant mischaracterizations and even further illustrates that you are incapable of even upholding your ideology as being of value much less worth:

So by only using this minor, out-of-context illustration, you then imply that all of the other enumerated points that AL made are false and easily refuted? I would imagine so, since you've cherry picked this one little item to illustrate your non-point.

The entire item reads like this:

- has run up record budget deficits, passing massive tax cuts in a time of war.

You however said this:

"run up record budget deficits."

A completely different question. A completely different tone which makes the distinctions and context of what was previously enumerated totally different. But this is how you operate, in a deceptive manner.


which simply illustrates your ability to obfuscate and makes you look like someone who is afraid to even address a refutation.

Is there something wrong with you? Do you purposefully omit entire sentence structures to suit your own ends. When you omit someone else’s words to mischaracterize the context of the concept or idea you are twisting the very nature of what they are saying. You have consistently demonstrated this ability of omission, on here, time and time again. It’s proven, it’s fact. Others have seen it and I’m calling you out on it. That makes you a deceptive character. I would call you a deceiver, which is worse than a liar.

Then when I noted that you hadn't answered my request:

Methadras, [t]he saddest part of your response is that you think you've answered my question.


Again, your Goebbels training is showing. Not only did I answer your question. I answered AL’s question as well. If I take AL’s fully contextual, enumerated sentence and then overlap it upon yours then yours is only missing the last part of the sentence past the comma. Now explain to me and to others on here how this is not answering your question when you lifted it as a point of contention from AL’s own words that he used, to transmute it as a separate question you are asking me?

So now you make the claim that I hadn’t answered your request when in fact, I answered AL’s request because I stated that he was the original user of this sentence that I refuted, to having you say that I didn’t because you simply restated as a challenge to me and then cut the sentence off? While the context of the way you said it totally distorts and mischaracterizes the initial statement, do you honestly believe that you asked anything different that I didn’t answer not only to AL but also to you?

Are you that delusional? Maybe you are jealous that you perceived that I didn’t direct the answer to your question but to AL’s? Why would I have to repeat the same think twice to two different questions that have the same outcome?

you responded with this accusation:

It's okay Cyrus, I realize that part of your genetic history has Ostrich in it.


If the hole in the sand fits.

I realize that it may be hard for you to keep track of what you've written when you are plagiarizing,

(Sigh), this screed is now tiresome Cyrus and so overplayed. Again, you are making another baseless accusation without proof. Did I plagiarize again Cyrus? Have proof? Let’s see it, liar. You are the true liar in this made up charade of yours, Cyrus.

but why can't you remember in this instance that you freely admitted you weren't going to answer my request? Why don't you honestly admit that you declined to address my request instead of pretending after the fact that you had?

It’s painfully obvious that you are suffering from some sort of mania or disconnection disorder. However, if you like, how about I make you feel better and just do this instead:

”It's not secret that the administration run up higher budget deficits. Of course the reason for that is because we are in a war. Congress has enacted spending while approving tax cuts. Also, you haven't accounted for the fact that the administration has vowed to cut back the deficit and it did it in three years, which is half the time it said it would do it in and it's gone virtually unreported in that time.

Fact: The CBO reported on 10/6/2006 that the federal budget for the fiscal year dropped to $250 billion. A decrease as a percentage of GDP from 2.6% in 2005 to 1.9% in 2006.

Fact source summary: CBO estimates that the federal budget deficit was about $250 billion in fiscal year 2006, around $68 billion less than the shortfall recorded in 2005. Relative to the size of the economy, that deficit was equal to 1.9 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), down from 2.6 percent in 2005. This estimate is based on data from the Daily Treasury Statements and CBO projections; the Treasury Department will report the actual deficit for fiscal year 2006 later this month.

Source:
http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=7627&sequence=0

In essence you are nothing more than a supply-sider opponent and a short sighted one at that. However, you've also neglected the fact that growth rate as a function of GDP has increased to nearly 4% for 13 quarters since the tax cuts of 2003.”


to sooth your obviously jealous streak that you think I didn’t address you directly. I’m obliging you because I don’t want you to feel bad that I’ve indirectly left you out, Cyrus. I hope this makes up for it, Snookums.

Because I'm such a generous person, Methadras,

HAH!

I'm willing to overlook your past plagiarism

Oh, on this point. I called up an English professor that I studied under, whom I’ve known for quite sometime beyond my days at university and laid down the framework and circumstances by which you accused me of plagiarism. I even showed him this site and the commentary section where your baseless allegations spawned from. According to him, no plagiarism was committed. Since the original source of the fact material was cited, it is irrelevant in accrediting the footnote or citation to any one source since the original source was used. Since he understood that I hadn’t known the website and author prior to the citation of the source, it was of really no consequence to who cites the source as long as the original source was cited to begin with. Something I had done already. But of course, this doesn’t matter to you because you’ll simply dismiss it in your delusion on whether it’s even true or not. However, he did admit to me, in reading your comments that he tends to be sympathetic with how you uphold your ideology, much to my distaste, but he is entitled to make that opinion. I promised him I’d say that to you.

lying

Another baseless and slanderous claim. You throw around that word as if you actually knew what it means. Maybe you should look in a mirror from time to time to understand who it reflects back on when you say it without proof.

hypocrisy

Oh boy, this is a new one. Care to state the hypocrisy I’ve committed or are you simply going to weasel your way out of not answering this allegation as well.

and general nastiness.

This is a matter of opinion since I fight nastiness with nastiness. You do understand that you are a nasty little fellow don’t you? The taint of your words reeks in everything you say. You throw up the victim card faster than a real victim. Pandering to your base rhetoric at what a meany I am, while you try to uphold yourself as a person of substance and virtue. That is called delusion, Cyrus. Something you are suffering from and something I hope you can seek professional help in getting fixed. Your reality is distorting your perceptions.

So here's another opportunity for you ...

AlphaLiberal wrote:

Bush has ... presided over a rapid deterioration in our intertnational prestige.

In response you wrote:

Every single one of your points is about as threadbare in the scheme of reality as the person who just typed them. Each one can be turned on it's ear and refuted utterly and have been done so time and time again...

Here's your chance Methardas. Please refute AlphaLiberal's claim.


When did you become AL’s mouthpiece? Is there something going on between you two that we should know about? Is this the source of your jealousy in your distorted perception that I wasn’t talking directly to you? So what do you do now? You throw up another smokescreen of obfuscation and try to mislead the conversation to another cherry-picked point of contention, not made by you, but made by someone else.

Bravo, Cyrus. You’ve just proved that you’re nothing more than an empty suit. A pathetic shell of a representative of a political ideology and philosophy that is about as irrelevant as yesterday’s Guardian UK/Le Monde toilet paper. How is it that you can even call yourself a liberal or a leftist? You can’t even do that right.

Even a Kentucky, backwoods, toothless redneck knows his place in the grand scheme of things and who his allies/enemies are. You on the other hand are an insult to your own ideology. What is the left’s latest animal mascot? A snake or the sea cucumber?

However, I will answer your proxied question:

AL states that Bush has presided over a rapid deterioration in our international prestige. Really? How so? If America has lost it’s prestige then why are we still the #1 trading partner with Europe, China, India, South America? If Bush is creating a deterioration in prestige, then why are hordes of illegal aliens scrambling to cross our borders to come to a country that is ‘rapidly deteriorating in prestige’. How is it that the new President-Elect of France, Sarkozy, saying that we, America have a friend in France, in total contradiction to the baseless nonsense that is European anti-Americanism? Look at the breakdown of who voted for him and see the rejection of anti-Americanism staring you in the face.

Are you going to base “international prestige” on what Islam and middle-eastern nations think of us? Since you’ve made the claim that loss of prestige is international, then I have to ask you who are the countries that are making these assertions and what is the prestige that is being lost? Is it economic, is it political, or is it the emotional rhetoric that you are hanging this claim on?

I can see you crying about it now, “Oh my god. They all hate us. Love us, please love us. Don’t leave, please don’t leave.” Your claim that there is “a rapid deterioration in our intertnational prestige” simply makes you sound like a co-dependent girlfriend that is suffering from separation anxiety. A country that is allegedly losing it’s prestige, doesn’t have it’s culture emulated, doesn’t have it’s economic system emulated, doesn’t have it’s system of government emulated, isn’t the envy of the world when it comes to economic prowess, military prowess, productivity prowess, entertainment prowess, and the list goes on and on.

If anything, most Americans really don’t care about international prestige because that doesn’t pay the bills, put food on the table, or a roof over our heads. Most Americans know and understand that actions speak louder than words, that when other countries come to business with America in many ways, shapes, and forms, that your claims are about as solid as second-hand smoke. You confuse lose of prestige with envy and jealousy. The premise that you assert that prestige is a direct translation of likeability factors to how the world looks at us, then you are, in essence saying that Bush likened to an American Idol contestant where the public gets to vote him off not based on talent, but based on popularity, which is something leftists and liberals universally cling to like a 100 thread count sheet. They care more about emotional symbolism than actual outcomes.

Enumerate Americas allies and then ask them if they are willing participants or not. Whether they sign on with Bush or whether they don’t. If they are doing it for their prestige or not?

If you use the words of others, please be good enough to provide a citation. Good luck.

I believe I’ve done that already, Cyrus. But, in your delusions, you tend to neglect things called facts. That’s fine, but I still hope that you seek the professional help I suggest you get. If you can’t find any, I’d be happy to send you reams of sources on where you get the help that you so desperately need.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Methadras,

I've scanned your response, and note that your claims are completely at odds with the facts. I'm not going to bother to list and correct the dozens of factual and logical errors that litter your reply. It's not worth my time as you've demonstrated an inability to learn and an unwillingness to be honest.

However, for the record, let me clarify two key points:

1. You did not answer the question put to you, either by me or by AlphaLiberal. To be fair, you did argue around the edges of the question, you did provide some evidence (none of it pertinent, however), you did contribute your usual factual and logical errors, you did throw in your typically generous assortment of insults, you did attempt to filibuster and change the point of discussion, but you did not make an honest effort to directly address the issue at hand. Having read many different comments by you on many different subjects, it's clear that this is the character of your approach to debate: no substance, offensive style.

2. You are absolutely, without any doubt, guilty of plagiarism. The fact that you continue to excuse your plagiarism makes your guilt far worse in this matter, as far as I'm concerned. You cannot repeat long sections of an author's work, word for word, without attribution, and claim that it's an "accident." You cannot cut and paste from the work of a researcher, without citation, and state that it is your own research. It's plagiarism. There is no such thing as "accidental plagiarism;" it doesn't work that way. When you use the exact words of another author, paragraph after paragraph, it's not an "accident." When you neglect to cite the author and claim the research to be your own, it's not an "accident." It's plagiarism. It's entirely dishonest of you to pretend otherwise, and it's shameful that you first made excuses for it and now simply deny it. It's plagiarism.

Let's simplify this. You are a plagiarist. If you want to be judged in the court of public opinion, let's revisit what you wrote, and what Steven Milloy, the author from whom you cribbed wrote.

Milloy: Bald eagles were reportedly threatened with extinction in 1921 -- 25 years before widespread use of DDT.

Methadras: Bald eagles were reportedly threatened with extinction in 1921. 25 years before widespread use of DDT.

Milloy: Alaska paid over $100,000 in bounties for 115,000 bald eagles between 1917 and 1942.

Methadras: : Alaska paid over $100,000 in bounties for 115,000 bald eagles between 1917 and 1942.

Milloy: The bald eagle had vanished from New England by 1937.

Methadras: The bald eagle had vanished from New England by 1937.

Milloy: After 15 years of heavy and widespread usage of DDT, Audubon Society ornithologists counted 25 percent more eagles per observer in 1960 than during the pre-DDT 1941 bird census.

Methadras: After 15 years of heavy and widespread usage of DDT, Audubon Society ornithologists counted 25 percent more eagles per observer in 1960 than during the pre-DDT 1941 bird census.

Milloy: No significant correlation between DDE residues and shell thickness was reported in a large series of bald eagle eggs.

Methadras: There is NO significant correlation between DDE residues and shell thickness as reported in a large series of bald eagle eggs.

Milloy: Thickness of eggshells from Florida, Maine and Wisconsin was found to not be correlated with DDT residues.

Methadras: Thickness of eggshells from Florida, Maine and Wisconsin was found to not be correlated with DDT residues.

Milloy: U.S. Forest Service studies reported an increase in nesting bald eagle productivity (51 in 1964 to 107 in 1970).

Methadras: U.S. Forest Service studies reported an increase in nesting bald eagle productivity (51 in 1964 to 107 in 1970).

Milloy: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists fed large doses of DDT to captive bald eagles for 112 days and concluded that "DDT residues encountered by eagles in the environment would not adversely affect eagles or their eggs."

Methadras: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists fed large doses of DDT to captive bald eagles for 112 days and concluded that "DDT residues encountered by eagles in the environment would not adversely affect eagles or their eggs."

Milloy: Wildlife authorities attributed bald eagle population reductions to a "widespread loss of suitable habitat", but noted that "illegal shooting continues to be the leading cause of direct mortality in both adult and immature bald eagles."

Methadras: Wildlife authorities attributed bald eagle population reductions to a "widespread loss of suitable habitat", but noted that "illegal shooting continues to be the leading cause of direct mortality in both adult and immature bald eagles."

Milloy: Every bald eagle found dead in the U.S., between 1961-1977 (266 birds) was analyzed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists who reported no adverse effects caused by DDT or its residues.

Methadras: Every bald eagle found dead in the U.S., between 1961-1977 (266 birds) was analyzed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists who reported no adverse effects caused by DDT or its residues.

Milloy: Shooting, power line electrocution, collisions in flight and poisoning from eating ducks containing lead shot were ranked by the National Wildlife Federation as late as 1984 as the leading causes of eagle deaths.

Methadras: Shooting, power line electrocution, collisions in flight and poisoning from eating ducks containing lead shot were ranked by the National Wildlife Federation as late as 1984 as the leading causes of eagle deaths.

On and on and on, paragraph after paragraph. In addition, your arguments are presented in exactly the same order as Milloy's. What are the odds of that happening by chance? Do you want to claim that this is the result of a bizarre coincidence? Do you want to claim that Milloy plagiarized from you? Do you want to claim you suffer from PMS (photographic memory syndrome) and didn't realize you were copying word for word from another author without crediting him?

Methadras, this is what you wrote as part of "your" research presentation...

Here are some actual facts, that I've done the research on with regard to bald eagles and ddt and the perpetual lies that are told about this substance is mystifying in their breadth and scope.

And then you ended your presentation this way:

Really, I have plenty more from where that came from. Do I really need to overwhelm you with even more facts about this. Your [sic] a dupe and a stooge, just like most of the left. You have been inculcated into a web of lies and you should be ashamed for not even recognizing this fact. How much longer are you going to wander within the darkness of an ideology is that is allied with wishes, desires, fantasy, ill-intentions, and the general subjugation of entire streams of thought that wish to repel it for the miasmic malignancy it presents the world. Stop being a fool and a tool and start to think for yourself for a change and believing lies where none exist.

My summary of all of this is that you are a plagiarist, a liar, a hypocrite, and a not particularly bright blowhard and bully. However, I don't think you're reflective enough to understand why I have drawn that conclusion, so I imagine you'll carry on as before.

(By the way, I hope anyone interested in the truth about bald eagles and DDT will consider reading my carefully researched and detailed point by point reply to Milloy/Methadras.)

Methadras said...

Cyrus, watching you do this is like watching a man desperate for a life vest while he drowns. It evokes sympathy and yet is nothing more than exercise at how pathetic you've been. You are nothing more than a name-calling, slanderer, but what else should I have expected from someone who is without substance. Welcome to your failure, it's truly sad to watch.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Methadras,

I haven't slandered you at all. Your plagiarism, your lying and your hypocrisy are evident to anyone who bothers to look.

By the way, your excuse of "accidental plagiarism" is amusing everyone I share it with. Good work!

Methadras said...

Cyrus,

As I was musing over some initial sentiments that I had on the tip of my tongue with respect to your particular behavior about how you want things to be and I ran into this interesting definition of the word hostile from wikipedia:

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hostile

Hostility is a form of angry denial in psychology. It is a part of personal construct psychology, developed by George Kelly. In everyday speech it is more commonly used as a synonym for anger and aggression.

In psychological terms, Kelly defined hostility as the wilful refusal to accept evidence that one's perceptions of the world are wrong. Instead of reconsidering, the hostile person attempts to force or coerce the world to fit their view, even if this is a forlorn hope, and however harmful the cost.

Whilst testing theories against reality is a necessary part of life, and persistance in the face of failure is often a necessary part of invention or discovery, in the case of hostility there is the distinction that the evidence is not assessed and a decision made to try again. Instead the evidence is suppressed or denied, and deleted from awareness - the unfavorable evidence which might suggest a prior belief is flawed is instead ignored and wilfully avoided. Psychologically, it can be said that reality is being held to ransom, and in this sense hostility is a form of psychological extortion - an attempt to force reality to produce the desired feedback, in order that preconceptions become validated.

In this sense, hostility is a response which forms part of discounting of unwanted cognitive dissonance.


This describes you and your insipidly repugnant and debased ideological beliefs to a T. You've literally demonstrated this behavior time and time again. It's in your writings, it's in your avoidance in the face of facts and evidence, it's in the way you present your smarmy, above-it-all facade.

I didn't know exactly the way I could articulate this concept and I probably did a poor job of it in characterizing you, the way you think, when asked to defend why you are a leftist and never answer, the way you avoid directed strikes at your arguments and try to deftly, yet poorly, go around the simplest of concepts. You've clearly shown you are incapable of handling reality and the wiki description does it so much better than I could with respect to the way you've subscribed in believing the lie that is your ideology of leftism/liberalism and frankly anyone who is a true believer of such a bankrupt and useless set of political and sociological philosophies.

I'd like to thank you for confirming what I've been saying all along about you. You need help and you should seek it. You are a disturbed person and you shouldn't suffer needlessly this way.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Methadras,

As a small child I learned that it's better to be honest and admit mistakes instead of lying and denying them. This is a lesson you still need to learn.

You got caught plagiarizing, and after first trying to make excuses for it (e.g., it was an accident, it's someone else's fault, etc...), you now simply deny it ever happened.

Why don't you see if you can find a good word in "wiki" to describe this behavior of yours?

Happy hunting.

Methadras said...

Cyrus, you still have a lot to answer for btw. Oh, will you just look at the state of the deficit again. My my, I wonder how your particular 'hostile' attitude will try to existentilize this new piece of information.

Source: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdoc.cfm?index=8061&type=0

Source summary quote:

"Monthly Budget Review
A Congressional Budget Office Analysis
May 4, 2007

Based on the Monthly Treasury Statement for March and the Daily Treasury Statements for April

In the first seven months of fiscal year 2007, the federal government ran a deficit of $83 billion, CBO estimates, $101 billion less than in the same period last year. Revenues have risen by about 11 percent compared with receipts in the same period of 2006, only slightly more than CBO anticipated when it prepared its most recent budget estimates in March; outlays have grown by only 3 percent. CBO now expects that the government will end 2007 with a deficit of between $150 billion and $200 billion, assuming enactment of pending supplemental appropriations."

You still have a lot to answer for Cyrus, with respect to shattering AL's assertion about deficits that you've become a mouth piece for, but never refuted and ignored a direct question and answer, again. Shed your 'hostility' and take a look and see if this is being reported anywhere. I doubt it is, but I could be wrong.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Methadras wrote:

...see if this is being reported anywhere. I doubt it is, but I could be wrong.


As usual, you're wrong.

You know, only an idiot would think that the projected size of the budget deficit in 2007 is pertinent to the question of the relative size of the Bush budget deficits in 2003 and 2004.

Since you're particularly slow, I'll repeat the facts for you:

1. The Bush deficits of 2003 and 2004 were record budget deficits in current dollars.

2. In constant dollars, the Bush deficit of 2004 is the largest since WW2.

3. Bush created these massive budget deficits after inheriting budget surpluses.

4. The United States will continue to have budget deficits throughout the Bush presidency. (It's called fiscal irresponsibility.)

Methadras, feel free to copy anything I've written here without attribution.