August 13, 2012

"As a member of the House Budget Committee, I've seen firsthand just how extreme Paul Ryan is..."

"... so I'm not going to mince words: Paul Ryan in the White House would be a nightmare for the middle class," emails Debbie Wasserman Schultz, implying unconvincingly that under other circumstances she would mince words.
Not only does Congressman Ryan want to end Medicare as we know it and raise taxes on middle-class Americans to pay for tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, but he also supported a bill that could ban birth control and all abortions -- even in cases of rape and incest.

This isn't the kind of leader we can afford to have a heartbeat away from the presidency....
A bill that could ban birth control? Can I get a citation for that? I found this on BarackObama.com marshaling the facts about Ryan:
Paul Ryan is severely conservative...

Paul Ryan would take us backward on women’s health:

Ryan cosponsored a bill that could ban in-vitro fertilization, as well as many common forms of birth control, including the pill. It could also ban all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest. He supported letting states prosecute women who have abortions and doctors who perform them.
Can we get a cite to the text of that bill? Banning "many common forms of birth control, including the pill" — really? I'm just going to assume this is a lie until the Obama people prove to me that it's not a lie. That's the way we're doing things now, right?

250 comments:

1 – 200 of 250   Newer›   Newest»
The Elder said...

Right!

Matthew Sablan said...

... Why are people still being able to tout the lie of the year about ending Medicare as we know it and not getting called on it in the media?

Imagine if a Republican said something like: "Obama was not born in this country" in a fund raising letter or on national TV and how quick they'd be smacked down.

Then again, DWS doesn't know who Priorities USA supports, so she might just be that dumb.

harrogate said...

Meanwhile you will, I presume, assume that the things Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney say about their intentions, about the economy, and about Obama are true? because that's also how you have been doing things.

Cruel neutrality. THAT's a schtick worthy of Paul Ryan!

Sue D'Nhym said...

The first item: “He supports the Sanctity of Human Life Act” (emphasis in original). Odell wrote that the bill “seeks to ban all abortions, including in instances of rape and incest.” Ryan may, for all I know, believe that abortion should be illegal with exceptions only to save a mother’s life. But has he really co-sponsored a bill to effect this policy? No. The bill declares that fertilization marks the beginning of a human life and then “affirms that the Congress, each State, the District of Columbia, and all United States territories have the authority to protect the lives of all human beings residing in its respective jurisdictions.” In other words, it doesn’t ban anything: It merely affirms that legislatures have the authority to protect unborn life. If Odell wishes to argue that a legislature moved by the convictions of the bill must, to be consistent, ban abortion with no exceptions for rape and incest, she can do so. It’s not in the bill.

Ponnuru

Michael K said...

"Meanwhile you will, I presume, assume that the things Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney say about their intentions, about the economy, and about Obama are true?"

Math is hard. I can understand your difficulty.

Sue D'Nhym said...

The fifth item: “He supports a bill that would allow employers to deny women birth control coverage based on personal beliefs. Ryan co-sponsored the Religious Freedom Tax Repeal Act of 2012, introduced by fellow Republican pro-life Wisconsin representative James Sensenbrenner in July. The bill would allow employers in public and private sectors to deny women birth control coverage if they had a moral or religious objection to contraception. It seeks to undermine the compromise Obama reached with religious groups on this issue, allowing them to opt out of contraception coverage in favor of insurance companies providing it instead” (emphasis in original).

This is grossly misleading. The bill restores the status quo that has been in effect in the U.S. from the dawn of the republic until this month: Federal law has always allowed employers to refuse to cover procedures they consider objectionable. Odell makes it sound as though Ryan had backed some novel, aggressive move. Nor is it true that Obama “reached a compromise with religious groups.” Obama’s original policy is the only one on the books, and the administration has not declared its support for any modification to it that is acceptable to the vast majority of religious groups that objected to it.

Tom Spaulding said...

NRO has covered this: NRO Article

wyo sis said...

I think we all take what politicians say with a grain of salt. WhenDebbie, Harry and Nancy speak we need an entire salt mine.

BarryD said...

"Imagine if a Republican said something like: "Obama was not born in this country" in a fund raising letter or on national TV and how quick they'd be smacked down"

More like: imagine if John Boehner claimed that Obama introduced a bill into the Senate that would force all Americans to have gay sex within one month of their 18th birthdays, in order to determine whether they liked it.

That would be about as preposterous as what DWS said.

edutcher said...

Severe Conservative?

Sounds like Sarah Palin in a black leather corset and high boots.

Whip optional.

Oop in 5, 4, 3...

Methadras said...

So Ryan is against abortion. So he is for life? SHOCKING!!!

Seeing Red said...

Some scientists are finally starting to work on a way to filter out all the females hormones being emptied everywhere.

Ask DWS about that, the effects of 50 years of hormones in our global water systems.

Methadras said...

edutcher said...

Severe Conservative?

Sounds like Sarah Palin in a black leather corset and high boots.

Whip optional.

Oop in 5, 4, 3...


Oh dear. UNF!!!

chickelit said...

Paul Ryan is severely conservative...

DWS's career is severely threatened by Paul Ryan. She'd have to almost undergo a Saul A to Paul R level conversion.

Brent said...

I'm just going to assume this is a lie until the Obama people prove to me that it's not a lie. That's the way we're doing things now, right?

Just starting now?

I remember every Presidential campaign back to 1964.

This is the filthiest, completely on the Obama side. to think that over 40$ of the American voting public is so stupid and selfish around unable to think for itself is the most discouraging thing that has happened in this country since Watergate.

Character matters. Obams's has hit all time lows.

Rabel said...

Debbie on Fox News: “I have no idea of the political affiliation of folks who are associated with that Super PAC.”

Debbie on CNN: “Soledad, of course I know the Priorities USA super PAC is a Democratic-affiliated super PAC,”

The message is clear, you can't trust Fox News.

dbp said...

" ...including the pill."

Maybe she means RU-486. It is a pill, though it is usually not what one thinks of when they say "the pill".

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, just dumb enough that it is plausable that she actually belives what she is saying is true.

bgates said...

harrogate, the things Ryan and Romney say about the economy and OBama are true, and the things they say about their intentions are at worst unproven. The things Obama said about his intentions the last time he ran were the difference between his plan and Hillary's was his had no insurance purchase mandate, that he'd easily close Guantanamo on his first day, and that his budget would have a net spending cut. You tell lies as often as Barack Obama, eventually even somebody like Ann Althouse is going to become skeptical.

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

Michael K,

You make fun of my math skills, good on you.

Though, it is not a question of math but of values. Shredding the safety net on numerous fronts, while actually lowering taxes on top earners, is a choice. There are other choices available. Choices plural. Math does not dictate that it must be "soak the rich" or "sink or swim, motherfucker!"

It's not math, it's choices. Preferences. Values. Clearly you agree with Ryan's values.

In my opinion "Social Darwinism" is an Extremely fair descriptor for the Romney/Ryan values.

Alan said...

Sounds like Sarah Palin in a black leather corset and high boots.

Whip optional.

One out of three...

http://wizbangblue.com/2008/10/24/sarah-palins-150000-wardrobe-gogo-boots-baby.php

edutcher said...

UNF???

furious_a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

Shredding the safety net on numerous fronts

Such as? Examples, please.

Curious George said...

harrogate said...
Shredding the safety net on numerous fronts, while actually lowering taxes on top earners, is a choice."

Perhaps an example of this "shredding" if you could...


yashu said...

Remember what they did to Palin. Palin's record in Alaska, her policies and actions, was in fact remarkably small-l-libertarian (and by the way, gay-friendly). Yet the media made Palin out to be a crazy snake-handling fundamentalist who believes the earth is 1000 years old, wants to outlaw the teaching of evolution, outlaw sex education, ban all contraception, etc.

Incidentally, that's why I'm curious where Palladian got the information about Ryan's amendment proposals. I'm not necessarily calling those facts into question (though I haven't heard of them), but I'm curious how that information was framed, spun, interpreted, put (or not) into perspective.

On the day of the Ryan announcement, it was interesting to notice the MSM and Dems (like our own garage here) "concern trolling"-- attacking Ryan from the right, as not "Tea Party" enough (voted for TARP, etc.). IIRC one article described him as more of a "social liberal" than many Republicans might be comfortable with. Really.

Of course, that doesn't stop them from simultaneously making him out to be the most radical fiscal conservative ever and a scary social conservative on top of that. The two-pronged approach makes sense: on the one hand, the aim is to depress right-wing base enthusiasm & turnout; on the other hand, to scare away independents, moderates, and potential Dem defectors.

So you get concern trolling from the right, hysterical demagoguery from the left. The attacks against Romney are similarly two-pronged. But such a strategy may turn out to be double-edged, come off as incoherence and desperation, hyperbole and disinformation, deceptive and scurrilous negative campaigning.

gregq said...

"It seeks to undermine the compromise Obama reached with religious groups on this issue, allowing them to opt out of contraception coverage in favor of insurance companies providing it instead”

What "compromise" was that? The one where the chumps being denied their rights could pretend that they weren't in fact being screwed over by Obama?

Just who are the "religious groups" that agreed to this "compromise"?

elkh1 said...

Ryan kills baby-killings, Obama eats dogs.

Have you heard what kind of people who tortured little animals when they were young grow up to be? Eating little animals sounds like torture to me. Just wondering!

furious_a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignorance is Bliss said...

The Sanctity of Human Life Act does two things: It defines life as beginning at conception, and it removes jurisdiction from the federal courts for any case arising from a law intended to protect that life from conception to birth.

It does not make anything illegal. Instead, it makes it so that any anti-abortion laws cannot be struck down by federal courts. Since some forms of birth control prevent implantation, or act as abortifactants, they could be made illegal too.

Basically, it's an end-run around Roe v. Wade. That would probably bother me, if Roe v. Wade was not itself an end-run around the constitution.

I'm curious as to the use of such jurisdiction-removal laws. Have they been used before, and for what issues? Do the courts respect those limits, or do they find ways around them?

harrogate said...

Revenant,

Are you seriously questioning the idea that Romney/Ryan stand to greatly reduce the safety net? Seriously?

At least be honest with yourself about the values you are supporting.

Richard Dolan said...

This is a talking point making the rounds of the lefty blogosphere, starting with a piece on Buzzfeed. They are presumably referring to the "Sanctity of Human Life Act” which Ryan co-sponsored.

The bill declares that fertilization marks the beginning of a human life and then “affirms that the Congress, each State, the District of Columbia, and all United States territories have the authority to protect the lives of all human beings residing in its respective jurisdictions.”

It doesn't ban anything; it's a statute adopting a definition, and then leaves it up to each jurisdiction, within its competence, to adopt such measures as it deems appropriate. The Dem's weasel-word 'could' really gives that game away.

As for what that statute, if it were ever adopted, would require, the answer is nothing. Indeed, it's a statute that would fit comfortably within Ann's own idea that abortion is murder, but should nonetheless be permitted. (That post generated a lot of comment a few weeks ago.)

gregq said...

Harrowgate babbled:

"Shredding the safety net on numerous fronts, while actually lowering taxes on top earners, is a choice."

Gosh, you mean like when ObamaCare took over 700 billion dollars from Medicare, while at the same time Obama handed out billions in subsidies to his cronies and campaign donors, while extending the Bush / Obama tax cuts in full?

So those are the kinds of choices you support?

Revenant said...

Are you seriously questioning the idea that Romney/Ryan stand to greatly reduce the safety net? Seriously?

I simply asked you to provide examples.

How odd that you can't. :)

Lyssa said...

I'm entirely willing to assume that anything that I hear from the left on the subjects of abortion, birth control, or pretty much every other "women's issue" is a complete fabrication.

It's times like this that I feel embarassed for my sex, that some eat this stuff up.

lemondog said...

Text H.R.212 -- Sanctity of Human Life Act

yashu said...

I mean, come on, if Mitt Romney is a felon, didn't pay 10 years of taxes, and killed a woman with cancer, it stands to reason that Ryan would ban the pill, not to mention kill grandmas and puppies.

Not eat them, though.

lewsar said...

severe? is that better or worse than extreme? or rabid?

UNF!

harrogate said...

gregq:

You're damned right Obama did those things. I strongly opposed them then and oppose them now. Yet, by the lights of some here, this corporate Democrat, Barack Obama, is some sort of leftist radical. But I suppose, if Ryan and Romney are your barometer for what is moderate, then a helluva lot of people are economically speaking, radical leftists, or something.

Revenant,

Here are some things I think stand to be hit hard and harder, by a Romney Administration.

Welfare, social security, medicare (more than it already has been cut)all cut back under their governance. Some of you may think that Planned Parenthood is all about abortion, but defunding it would spell the end of several low-coast health care options for poor and working class women.

S-Chip looks pretty vulnerable too, given the few time I have heard Romney critique it, and Ryan would see SChip gone as well. Also the repeal of Obamacare, which includes safety net features, for all its problems--including the expansion of medicaid. With what do they propose to replace the Obamacare safety net features after they repeal the law? Hmmmm?

Also, big cuts to education, we'd be foolish not to anticipate from a Romney/Ryan administration. that, too, strikes at the safety net, but in a different way.

Now, the odd thing is, I'm surprised many people here are not celebrating at this list, instead of trying to find ways to somehow make the list seem unreal. I have seen commenters on this board, and to an extent Althouse herself, and definitely gaggles of GOP politicians and pundits, for years, arguing vociferously that each of the things I just named should be eliminated totally. So why is it that suddenly some people don't want to acknowledge these goals now, in a Presidential election year? Hmmmmmm.

gregq said...

harrogate ask...

Revenant,

Are you seriously questioning the idea that Romney/Ryan stand to greatly reduce the safety net? Seriously?

Gee, which "safety net" would that be?

1: Social Security, which Obama has been robbing for years (cutting people SS taxes), and which is already running at a deficit?

2: Medicare, which Obama took $700 billion from in order to fund ObamaCare?

3: Welfare, where Obama is working to destroy the successful reforms on 1996, because he and the people around him absolutely HATE the idea of former government clients becoming self-reliant individuals?

Would that be the "safety net" you're talking about? The one that's on a absolutely predictable path to disaster unless reformed? The one that Obama is making worse off, and Romney and Ryan want to save?

Math is hard, apparently too hard for you.

Alex said...

Point to me one time in American history where the media was wholly in the pocket of the President. I bet you can't.

Bruce Hayden said...

I never have understood the logic that the Dems use for selecting their national chairperson. DWS shouldn't be able to get a job as a dog catcher, and she is their chair, spokesperson, etc. It always seems to be a contest to see which is dumber and which is worse, DWS, Nancy Pelosi, or Harry Reid (ok, Reid isn't stupid, just venal and vicious).

gregq said...

Blogger harrogate said...

gregq:

You're damned right Obama did those things. I strongly opposed them then and oppose them now.

Really? Do you favor repealing ObamaCare? Or do you not oppose his theft from Medicare that much?

Alex said...

Shredding the safety net on numerous fronts...

Cite or fuck off.

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
harrogate said...

It's values, not math. Some choices totally preclude others.

Why not own your values, y'all? Romney/Ryan are running on the idea of big cuts. Their base calls for big cuts. Commenters here call for big cuts.

Cuts, to entitlements AND taxes.

(but not the hippopotamus. also not military spending).

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

Bruce - being a left-wing ideologue is the only qualification needed.

Michael K said...

"Though, it is not a question of math but of values. Shredding the safety net on numerous fronts, while actually lowering taxes on top earners, is a choice."

If the math doesn't work, values don't make much of a difference. Try being broke and then decide to act on your values. Nothing happens.

This country is on a collision course with reality. Nothing will "shred the safety net" like not having any money. The political left seems immune to reality here. All they seem to want to talk about is the social stuff.

California is heading for the cliff about election time. I cannot see how the state will function without bankruptcy. The state deficit is enormous and it can't print money like Obama will do if re-elected. It didn't work very well for Weimar.

AllieOop said...

2..1...

LMAO, edutcher assigns red leather to Althouse and black leather to Palin, both get whips, ah the fantasies that live in eddy's mind, does the blond know?

UNF, I had to look it up in the urban dictionary. Not sure I get it.


wyo sis said...

I'd look up UNF, but I'm sure it's either infantile or vulgar or both. Assume it's not nice. Consider the source.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Wasserman-Schultz's "evidence" about banning birth control will probably turn out to be the same as harrogate's "evidence" for shredding the safety net: some Republicans on a message board said they were in favor of it! Romney-Ryan must be too!

harrogate said...

Alex,

You rarely make sense. Today you keep the pattern alive.

Gregq,

you ask: "Really? Do you favor repealing ObamaCare? Or do you not oppose his theft from Medicare that much?" Thank you for the question, it's a good one.

I do not like Obamacare, but it's the best (the only!) thing we've been able to get that remotely expands insurance coverage for Americans, and stops abuses along he preexisting conditions line, etc. So I do not favor repealing it. Yeah, they transferred moneys from Medicare to do it, but they also are expanding Medicaid to cover a broader swath of people.

I do not know for certain if this will work. but I damn sure know what we were doing before was not working. At least not according to the values I hold. I think if we aren't trying to take care of our poor and our uninsured, then we are behaving immorally.

But meanwhile, what I don't understand, again, is why you can't admit that the GOP ticket is strongly committed to big entitlement cuts. Why is that a hard thing to admit?

Really, why not just own those values? Instead of just saying "Math"?

dreams said...


"It's not math, it's choices. Preferences. Values. Clearly you agree with Ryan's values."

When our country runs out of money and no country will loan us any more money as will happen to our country if we don't do something then I expect you and all liberals will have a better appreciation of math. Without money your choices, preferences are limited and then the values most people will be interested is the prices of those things they need to survive such as food and shelter.

Revenant said...

harrowgate,

I should have been more specific. When I asked for examples, I meant "examples of safety-net programs they've threatened to cut", not "things you've convinced yourself they'll cut".

There's a difference between facts and paranoia, you know.

chickelit said...

I think if we aren't trying to take care of our poor and our uninsured, then we are behaving immorally.

And there's absolutely no way in your world that some of them aren't taking care of themselves?

chickelit said...

Harrogate wrote: I think if we aren't trying to take care of our poor and our uninsured, then we are behaving immorally.

You really aren't from the US are you?

Revenant said...

Some choices totally preclude others.

For example, the choice to allow working Americans to retain more than 15% of their earnings totally precludes honoring the Medicare and Social Security benefits they've been promised. :)

Revenant said...

I think if we aren't trying to take care of our poor and our uninsured, then we are behaving immorally.

How odd that conservatives' average charitable giving and and hours volunteered exceed those of self-identified liberals.

Few indeed are the leftists who do not consider the giving away of OTHER people's money to be the noblest form of charity. :)

JAL said...

DW-S Not only does Congressman Ryan want to end Medicare as we know it

Uuuummmm. If somebody doesn't do something Medicare as we know it will end all by its ownsome.

DWS wants to go the Obama route and, stripping >$700 billion from it over the next 10 years. At a time when more people are going gray.

Is she that stupid?

Palladian said...

Whenever I see the term "safety net" I always imagine a small fishing trawler pulling in a giant net filled with squirming, struggling elderly, minorities, and poor people,

Nets are used to catch prey as well as save falling acrobats, don't forget.

Will Richardson said...

The "math" of the Federal Government will always work so long as it can print little green pieces of paper and force people to accept them in full satisfaction for public and private debts. The beauty of that system is that it requires no legislation or new taxes. The only downside is it tends to impoverish everyone.

Pogo said...

It'll be hard to vote for Romney now knowing that he causes cancer.

And now the Ryan compulsory chastity belts.

How will they ever compete with Presidemt Rainbow and VP Unicorn, who promise free shit like doctors, mortgages, and whiskers on kittens?

No way.

Synova said...

"If the math doesn't work, values don't make much of a difference. (...) This country is on a collision course with reality. Nothing will "shred the safety net" like not having any money."

Well said.

As for there being other choices. I recently got around to watching the video of Ryan talking to the treasury secretary. And Geithner is precious when he says... "We don't have a definitive answer, we just know we don't like YOURS."

It would be funny, except it's not.

Synova said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_f20ZDBj5k

video for that

harrogate said...

Revenant,

Where the hell are the cuts going to come from then? OF COURSE they aren't being specific about it now. They talk alot about cuts but they don't want to say what exactly they will cut. Which makes sense, in an election year, as far as it goes. But is it REALLY paranoia to assume that when the talk about cutting entitlements, they are actually talking about cutting actual entitlements?

I think it is a bad argument to say that by providing government assistance to the poor and ininsured, that we preclude the ideals of people taking care of themselves. We can do better than that, rhetorically, and in practice as well.

And I am certainly not disrespecting the charitable giving of anyone, conservative, liberal, green, granola, libertarian, or even the charitable giving of sports agents.

But I think it is specious, and specious only, to respond to the problems of poverty and lack of health insurance with the argument that charity will do it alone. Charity does not do it alone--not even close. I am acquainted with many many people who lack health insurance and who are poor, and who have worked hard all their lives, too. They're not vermin, they're not lazy, they don't deserve to be reduced to Randian caricature. And there are a great many such Americans.

Romney and Ryan argue for cutting taxes for the wealthy while also cutting entitlements. That is a value-laden argument.

hombre said...

harrogate wrote: At least not according to the values I hold.

Is economic illiteracy a value?

Do you really think we can survive without spending cuts, including cuts to entitlement programs? Do you really think that Dems "tax the rich" proposals go beyond class warfare and will substantially impact the deficit?

Do you really believe that having or not having the ability to recognize the economic danger of continuing the current patterns of government spending is about "values?" No, it's about economic literacy, the lack of which is the hallmark of Obamanomics.

chickelit said...

@Palladian: How many building avatars do you have? The latest one looks a bit arid but at least it's not in flames.

Jay said...

harrogate said...
Some of you may think that Planned Parenthood is all about abortion, but defunding it would spell the end of several low-coast health care options for poor and working class women.


98% of Planned Parenthood's services to pregnant women are abortions.

Planned Parenthood doesn't do mammograms.

Planned Parenthood charges fees.

Given those facts, you are either lying, or not aware of these facts.

Synova said...

"But meanwhile, what I don't understand, again, is why you can't admit that the GOP ticket is strongly committed to big entitlement cuts. Why is that a hard thing to admit?"

Firstly, because I don't *factually* know if there are any *cuts* involved and I don't want to give credence to that when it may be the definition of "cut" when total spending continues to go up but not as fast as the Democrats want it to.

Secondly, because of the dishonest insistence that fiscal responsibility is a desire to throw people out on the street instead of save and maintain the programs they depend upon.

Everyone knows that something needs to be done. Expenses have to be reigned in and the public sphere can't continue to suck the vitality out of the private sector without consequences.

Farmers use crop rotation and fallow fields to make sure their land stays healthy and will continue to grow good crops. Punishing the private sector or insisting that because of *values* that there is no end to the tax base is short sighted.

Where are the solutions to real problems from Obama? It's not enough just to not like what the Republicans offer.

It's not enough to say, we don't know, we'll do *something* just not THAT.

JAL said...

@ Revenant -- Just saw over on Drudge that Biden, invoking his dad (and side referencing Ryan's deceased dad without noting he was deceased (?)), said he grew up being told that one can know one's values by looking at his budget.

The Biden's charitable giving is so miniscule so as to make one wonder why they bothered.

In the decade BEFORE he was elected VP, he and his wife averaged $369 per year. By 2010 under the watchful eye of snoopy people as VPOTUS he has become a true role model. They donated $5,350 on an AGI of $379,178.

<1 1/2%

Maguro said...

Big entitlement cuts are coming, even if we elect Democrats and only Democrats from now until eternity. The only question is how the pain will be distributed. It's literally impossible to sustain our current benefits by "soaking the rich" or "making the rich pay their fair share" or whatever euphemism you want to use.

Alex said...

They're not vermin, they're not lazy, they don't deserve to be reduced to Randian caricature.

So say you.

Alex said...

Maguro - nah, big tax increases are coming. Maybe one-time asset surcharges on the top 1% too.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@harrogate:They talk alot about cuts but they don't want to say what exactly they will cut.

Ryan's proposed budget has been out for months and months--you never bothered to look it up, because it's much easier to lie about it if you don't burden your mind with anything he actually said.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Path_to_Prosperity

Challenged by Revenant you couldn't even bother to Google it. Instead you chose to double down on lies.

Synova said...

"But I think it is specious, and specious only, to respond to the problems of poverty and lack of health insurance with the argument that charity will do it alone."

The "alone" at the end there proves you dishonest.

NO ONE makes that argument except whoever is running on the Libertarian ticket and maybe Ron Paul.

So set up a straw man to be virtuous over but don't expect not to get called on it.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

But meanwhile, what I don't understand, again, is why you can't admit that the GOP ticket is strongly committed to big entitlement cuts.

I sure fucking hope so. ( That was actually pretty easy to admit. )

But federal government programs are not the only form of social safety net. I strongly believe in helping the poor. I believe it can be done much more effectively when done at as local a level as possible, and done by charity as much as possible.

Jay said...

I am starting to wonder if this woman is retarded:

DNC Chair Gets Blitzed By Wolf On False Medicare Attacks

Alex said...

Honestly let's gut the welfare state tomorrow. Let harrogate's grandma eat cat food for all I fucking care.

Jay said...

harrogate said...

But meanwhile, what I don't understand, again, is why you can't admit that the GOP ticket is strongly committed to big entitlement cuts. Why is that a hard thing to admit?


Why can't you understand that Medicare Part A costs started outpacing revenue in 2008 and has no way to continue paying the benefits as currently defined?

That is a fact. Not a GOP commitment.

chickelit said...

I stood in line for 2 & 1/2 hours this morning to register my son for high school. The bottleneck was the health and immunization line. An astonishing number of high school-aged kids are not up to snuff on immunizations. Waiting in line gave me ample time to size up the populace: there were no outward signs of poverty, in fact there was ample bling, cell phone chatting, & all around jocularity.

Old Dad said...

DWS is shameless, but not a great liar.

I'd think the DNC could buy a better liar, but times are tough everywhere.

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
harrogate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

@Palladian: How many building avatars do you have? The latest one looks a bit arid but at least it's not in flames.

I've many variations on my Palladio villa. The current one is indeed in an arid place. In fact there's no liquid water around anywhere as far as anyone knows. And there's no danger of fire there either... the environment is sort of an ambient fire extinguisher...

yashu said...

Harrogate, you speak of Ryan's "values" in opposition to the "safety net."

It's hard to argue against your view of something as intangible as Ryan's "values" if you don't cite any of the specific policies which supposedly endanger the safety net.

But I guess as good a place as any to get a sense of Ryan's values is what he says in his own words in his speeches. They're just words, of course, and you're free to disbelieve them. But I'll note that when Ryan explicitly articulates his values and his vision of America, he specifically includes the safety net in that vision. Cf. Ryan's Wisconsin Homecoming Rally speech, @9:33: "So here's our choice, do we want that opportunity society with a safety net, the land of upward mobility, where people can make the most of their lives, where they can get ahead, or do we want to go down the path of debt, doubt, and despair. Do we want to copy Europe? No!"

He's not on 60 Minutes there, he's preaching to the choir, and the vision that he's preaching specifically includes reference to the "safety net."

Cf. Romney's infamous (out of context) "I'm not concerned about the very poor…" gaffe, where he goes on to specify that he's most concerned about the middle class (as opposed to the very rich and the very poor) insofar as the poor have a safety net.

Your claim that there's an inherent opposition between the "safety net" and Romney's or Ryan's values or visions of policies is false. On the contrary, their values, visions, and policies specifically embrace it.

You may say they're lying. Well, but you're the one who's talking about "values"-- an intangible which I presume to be reflected in their rhetoric-- as opposed to any specific policies.

harrogate said...

Damn right, Alex. So say I. Because it is true. Your style of argument, I have come to find entertaining, however utterly vacuous and mean-spirited it be. Carry on, by all means. So say I.

Synova,

I am not being dishonest. What is dishonest is to say that you intend to cut "entitlements" while also maintaining that you won't cut the safety net. It certainly creates a sense of "thooooose people," as opposed to "struggling folks," though, doesn't it? Because you care so fucking much about honesty, natch.

Unless of course you want to take Alex's implied position, and conjure up a bunch of lazy, vermin, Randian caricatures. But then, wait. That would be a strawman argument disguised as virtuosity, and reasonable people would call your ass on it.

Paul Zrimsek said...

By the way, even if we've got bigger fish to fry at the moment we shouldn't let harrogate get away with assuming that all, or even most, entitlement spending goes to the poor.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Harrogate - I applaud you for writing in good faith.

Nevertheless, I don't think that the values are as one-sided as you believe. When government sponsors health insurance with the best of intentions, it greatly boosts the demands for health care, while doing nothing to adjust the supply. That makes actual health care (not health insurance, health care) much more expensive, which means fewer people will be able to access it.

I agree that unregulated capitalism isn't perfect, but, as a cursory review of socialized medicines and the approaching-insolvent governments that underwrite them will confirm, neither are "Values-based" systems that ignore economic truths.

I'm being simplistic, because it's very difficult to explain complicated and counter-intuitive things in blog comments.

But it's really not as simple as saying that "if we take money from rich people and give it to poor people, the only change is that poor people will have more". It never ends up working that way.

Jay said...

I think if we aren't trying to take care of our poor and our uninsured, then we are behaving immorally.

Keep your religion out of our government.

AllieOop said...

What Planned Parenthood actually does

Of course this will be rejected by most here.

Jay said...

harrogate said...

I am not being dishonest. What is dishonest is to say that you intend to cut "entitlements" while also maintaining that you won't cut the safety net.


You are beyond dishonest.

Social Security is a wealth transfer program from the young & relatively poor to the old and relatively wealthy.

You pretending is anything else is shamefully dishonest.

Jay said...

AllieOop said...
What Planned Parenthood actually does


America already has Medicaid.

chickelit said...

Wow, harrogate can almost sound like a nasty Titus when he wants to. Just sayin'

Jay said...

So the left is now arguing that Medicaid doesn't do enough so we must continue to fund planned parenthood too.

harrogate said...

yashu,

Yes, they say they will keep the "safety net" but they also rail against "spending" and especially "entitlements." And always the lowering of taxes.

So yeah, objectively speaking it is hard to see how you lower taxes, cut spending and "entitlements," and "keep the safety net" all at the same time. Not impossible, because good rhetoric can spin anything, but it is hard.

In not saying what the fuck exactly he wants to cut Ryan is being dishonest but he is being no more dishonest than any politician who runs on "cutting" in this current climate. It can be dangerous to specify what you will cut. But to deny that everything I listed above, is on the table for the "cutting" (but not the hippopotamus, and not military spending) I think is pretty damned delusional in the end.

It's also why it is this thread that I am making a big deal out of this in terms of honesty. Because Anne Althouse is so quick to call Obama out for his lies, but swallows pretty much every goddamned thing Romney and Ryan have said for the last couple of years. Even when they aren't saying much of anything at all.

I respect you and your arguments a lot, yashu, as I bet you already knew. But some of the denials happening on this board, denials that they mean to cut the safety net, amount to plain superficial reading of the discourse.

It IS a clash of values, every bit as much as it is a question of math. If not more.

Jay said...

harrogate said...

Romney and Ryan argue for cutting taxes for the wealthy while also cutting entitlements


No they don't, you silly, dishonest hack.

Stop talking about "morality" and "values" while perpetrating such complete and utter bullshit.

Icepick said...

Severely conservative? As opposed to squishily liberal?

chickelit said...

AllieOoop wrote: Of course this will be rejected by most here.

You are correct about me, Allie. I saw the Ezra Klein tag and immediately clicked away. He should consider writing under a pseudonym in order to broaden his audience.

Jay said...

harrogate said...
But some of the denials happening on this board, denials that they mean to cut the safety net


You're full of shit.

There is no part of Ryan's plan which reduces net spending on any entitlement program.

Between 2012 and 2021, spending rises 34 percent under Ryan and 55 percent under Obama.

So you can stop with the silly bullshit now.

Synova said...

Harrogate, by using the term "only" to represent the other side's argument about charity and the poor and government safety nets, you are stating an absolute and are being dishonest.

Maybe it's rude to call you on it, but too bad.

If you don't want to get called on it, stop being a hyperbolic prick.

Jay said...

harrogate said...
Charity does not do it alone--not even close


Nobody claims it does.

But it was fun to watch a job training program profiled on 60 Minutes last night that was funded by donations and landed 70% of the participants a job within 1 year.

PS: in 2021, federal spending under the Ryan budget would be $4.7 trillion.

Some "cut" huh?

Revenant said...

Where the hell are the cuts going to come from then? OF COURSE they aren't being specific about it now.

So you're conceding that your claim that they will "shred the safety net" is unsupported by anything they've actually said? Thanks. That's really all I was looking for.

I will say in parting, though, that you need to learn the difference between "entitlement program" and "safety net". For example, people over age 65 have the highest net worth in America -- meaning that much of Social Security and Medicare is a wealth transfer from the realtively poor to the relative rich.

An unsustainable wealth transfer, at that. :)

Jay said...

This was funny:

harrogate said...

Where the hell are the cuts going to come from then? OF COURSE they aren't being specific about it now.


Then:
Romney and Ryan argue for cutting taxes for the wealthy while also cutting entitlements.

PS: why does this poster keep changing handles from Love, Jeremy, to harrogate?

Joe said...

end Medicare as we know it

We damn well better since it's completely unsustainable now.

and raise taxes on middle-class Americans

And most lower-class Americans. It's time for a flat tax and have everyone take part in the income tax. And no more getting back more money than was paid in (i.e. the EITC.)

While at it, get the government completely out of the student loan business.

harrogate said...

Synova,

Rather than making a point, you're launched into an infinite regress. I am indeed making the argument that the word "alone" applies, which is why i am saying they are being dishonest on television because---here's a newsflash for you--they are running for office in the biggest glare with the biggest microphone.

A lot of people, you see, are already alone. You find out how alone you are quickly enough, if you don;t have health insurance and you sustain a serious injury or contract a long term illness. Somehow, when that happens to you, speeches about patriotism and "Janeseville" values and Packer sweaters and the rest don;t make you feel less alone.

Verily a great many in this, this "city on a hill," are already very alone. And when your motif is "cutting spending" (but not on the military!) and "cutting taxes," then somehow, you don't get to say that poor Americans are not alone. Well, you DO get to say it of course. Free speech and all. But you still channel your inmost hyperbolic prick when you say it.

BarryD said...

BTW when people use the term "safety net" what does that mean, exactly?

What percentage of the population has to be reliant on government payments, before it is no longer a "safety net"?

The metaphor assumes that nobody wants to use the "safety net", nor will use it except in dire emergencies. Tightrope walkers with safety nets don't generally fall; the net is there only to prevent their dying in the very rare event that they do.

Can we honestly call what we currently have a "safety net" at all?

I mean, if you're a Marxist and believe that all wealth should be taken and distributed equally, then so be it. You're a Marxist and that's what you believe is the right thing to do.

But calling that a "safety net" is pure, unmitigated horseshit. Like most every word that exits Obama's mouth...

dreams said...

I saw Tommy Thompson on CNBC this morning and when ask about the selection of Ryan putting Floria at risk because of Ryan's medicare plan, he never pointed out that his plan doesn't affect anyone 54 and over only those 53 and under.

Thompson really seems to have aged and appears to me no longer up to the job mentally.

Methadras said...

edutcher said...

UNF???


One of the sounds one can make during penetration. lol, it's more of a joke thing to say in nerdsville. :D

Big Mike said...

I'm just going to assume this is a lie until the Obama people prove to me that it's not a lie.

Obama has turned out to be even more sleazy than Dick Nixon and even worse on the economy than Jimmy Carter. What a two-fer! The worst of the the 1970's in a single presidency.

harrogate said...

Revenant,

This is a post, this post here, is in its core about honesty and politicians. Except that, cruel neutrality dictates that we assume Obama's campaign is lying while we swallow Romney/Ryan hook, line, sinker.

Well golly gee, they didn't SAY they were going to cut these specific things, did they? They are just cutting "entitlements" for, you know, thoooossssseeeee people. Those undeserving people, you know who they are. But not the ones who truly need it.

It is true about both of our major parties (as with all parties everywhere, probably), that there are many position points, even crucial ones, that the party leaders do not like to say, or perhaps never say. Or dance around. The issue of the safety net is a big fat example of this for this GOP ticket. To argue otherwise is to choose not to read.

Or it is to embrace the values as tghey are, as oppose to the bullshit speeches these politicos are giving. For Christ's sake you are asking that we depend on their fucking campaign speeches? I have not always, but for the most part thought you relied more upon reason, than that, Revenant.

Synova said...

"Rather than making a point, you're launched into an infinite regress. I am indeed making the argument that the word "alone" applies,.."

Okay.

I get it.

Romney and Ryan want to destroy the government safety net so that our most vulnerable people rely ONLY on charity.

Thus everything they say is lying.

We've somehow got a Republican ticket made up of two men who make Ron Paul look like a moderate.

Who knew?

chickelit said...

dreams: Hovde is best but Thompson is still better than Baldwin.

ken in sc said...

Obama is like a smart tick. He knows the dog needs food and drink to produce the blood he needs. The other ticks think Obama is a wimpy moderate centrist, because they don't care if the dog needs food and drink. They just want blood.

Jay said...

harrogate said...

Or it is to embrace the values as tghey are, as oppose to the bullshit speeches these politicos are giving. For Christ's sake you are asking that we depend on their fucking campaign speeches?


No, idiot.

There is a budget document Ryan put together. You know, the one you can't bother to read.

Big Mike said...

Though, it is not a question of math but of values. Shredding the safety net on numerous fronts, while actually lowering taxes on top earners, is a choice. There are other choices available. Choices plural. Math does not dictate that it must be "soak the rich" or "sink or swim, motherfucker!"

It's not math, it's choices. Preferences. Values. Clearly you agree with Ryan's values.


In the end it's all math. I disagree with President Obama's cutting $700B out of Medicare to fund Obamacare, and I agree with Ryan that entitlements need to be revised so that the entire economy doesn't collapse under their weight. If Democrats were to act like adults, they'd accept the need to revise entitlements and work with Ryan and other Republicans to figure out how to accomplish this in the least painful way possible.

When people like you -- and Geithner -- say that your "preference" is to do nothing and let the system collapse, then it's going to be Ryan. Or riots in the streets. One or the other. Those are the cold, hard equations.

Jay said...

The issue of the safety net is a big fat example of this for this GOP ticket

No it is not, you silly little liar.

See, if it were, you could like produce some evidence of it.

You can't, so you'll just repeat the lie.

Jay said...

harrogate said..

Well golly gee, they didn't SAY they were going to cut these specific things, did they? They are just cutting "entitlements" for, you know, thoooossssseeeee people.


Well golly gee, Ryan put together a budget blue print that passed the House.

It does not 'cut entitlements' and you're just here flinging poo.

Instead of whining about all these "cuts to entitlements" why don't you go make a donation to charity or deliver a meal on wheels, captain values?

Synova said...

"Those are the cold, hard equations."

Heh. Nice.

Two geek points for you. ;-)

harrogate said...


Synova,

You don't "get" much. Anne Althouse opened the thread calling one of the two major candidates a liar in everything he says (unless he can prove otherwise), and you don;t raise an eyebrow. Because you're on board with that! But point out that Romney and Ryan are being dishonest and you're suddenly "whatevering" like some sort of snivelling teenager. It's unbecoming. Is it par the course with your argumentative style?

Good Lord. Of course they don't make Ron Paul look like a moderate because they still are all in on the military spending and they still are doing as much as they can to keep social conservatives believing in them.

And on economic policy, they are much more generous in their corporate welfare ethos, than Paul was. And they probably aren't chomping at the bit to "go back to gold" or "crush the Fed" or legalize marijuana or any number of things.

But they are, for all that, full-throated advocates of entitlement cutting. And of tax cutting. And yes, at stake is the issue of people being alone, even more in number, and in frequency, than we shamefully, already have.

phx said...

That's the way we're doing things now, right?

I assume I'm responsible for myself and how I do things.

Jay said...

harrogate said...
Anne Althouse opened the thread calling one of the two major candidates a liar in everything he says


Um, that would be a lie.

Here is what she said:

I'm just going to assume this is a lie until the Obama people prove to me that it's not a lie. That's the way we're doing things now, right?

Which isn't what you claimed.

Further, you, in your rush to delve into incoherent stupidity here, seem to conflate actual lies with being accused of lying.

You keep asserting things that are untrue and presume because you are doing it, that is what Romney is doing.

harrogate said...

Ken,

Way to step up with the parasite allegory. Straight out of a Rand pamphlet. Life is simple, men are men, women are women, and furry little creatures from Alpha Centauri are furry little creatures from Alpha Centauri. And social programs equal parasitism in Kenland. How nice not to have to think.

Jay said...

But point out that Romney and Ryan are being dishonest

Except you're not "pointing that out" at all, bozo.

You repeating something 8 times doesn't make it true.

You inability to understand this speaks volumes.

Revenant said...

This is a post, this post here, is in its core about honesty and politicians. Except that, cruel neutrality dictates that we assume Obama's campaign is lying while we swallow Romney/Ryan hook, line, sinker.

At least one of the following two things will happen over the next twenty years:

1. Doubling or tripling of the tax burden on the poor and middle class.

2. Massive cuts in entitlement spending.

Any politician who denies those facts is either lying or can't do math. So yes, every major-party candidate in this race is lying his ass off about the future of this country.

I was simply poking holes in your claim about "shredding the safety net". Perhaps one dollar in ten of entitlement spending can plausibly be called "a safety net". A safety net protects us against *unforseen* disaster. Getting old is the most forseeable thing there is -- unless you die early, you'll turn 65 exactly 65 years after you were born. :)

Synova said...

"Ryan: If we go back to the preceding chart, Chart 13, you're showing that you have no plan to get this debt under control. You're saying we'll stabilize it but then it's going to shoot back up. (...) the credit market's future seniors—people who are organizing their lives around the promises that are being made to them today—that we don't have a plan to make good on this."

So, is Ryan making a false accusation? Seems not.

"Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner: Mr. Chairman, as I said, we're not disagreeing in that sense. I made it absolutely clear that what our budget does is get our deficit down to a sustainable path over the budget window."

No, Geithner doesn't disagree that Ryan is right about the future, but all Geithner is required to do is cover the short term budget window.

"Congressman Paul Ryan: And then it takes off.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner: Let's ask ourselves why they take off again. Why do they do that?

Congressman Paul Ryan: Because we have 10,000 people retiring everyday and healthcare costs going up.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner: That's right. We have millions of Americans retiring everyday and that will drive substantial growth rates for healthcare costs. We're not becoming before you to say we have a definitive solution to our long-term problem. What we do know is that we don't like yours.
"

In other words... it's not our fault people are old. Everything is going to go pear shaped, we don't have a solution to that, but we don't like yours.

The OFFICIAL Obama administration policy is to NOT SOLVE PROBLEMS.

But lets get the foot soldiers out to scream at Ryan in Iowa that he hates old people.

BarryD said...

I suspect that the "most vulnerable among us" have an easier time finding charity in a wealthy and growing economy, than getting meaningful government assistance in a collapsing one, if it comes to that.

...which it won't, anyway, no matter who is in office, because nobody dares even tell the voters that they might have to live with the consequences of their own choices, which doesn't even approach the "most vulnerable" question...

WRT the pro-life garbage, a statute can't overturn Roe v. Wade anyway. It was a Constitutional decision, which invalidated statutory laws.

I prefer to confine my judgment to things that matter at all, if I can.

Brad said...

@harrogate:

Are you seriously contending we can afford your "safety net" in its current configuration?

Would you rather the country as a whole go off a fiscal cliff than pare back your "safety net"?

Cedarford said...

DWS is tremendously off-putting. A Anthony Weiner doppleganger.

Synova said...

"Way to step up with the parasite allegory. Straight out of a Rand pamphlet."

Except that it's not Rand at all.

It's more like Mother Goose or Aesop's Fables.

Kill what keeps you alive and you die.

Jay said...

We're not becoming before you to say we have a definitive solution to our long-term problem. What we do know is that we don't like yours."

What was even cuter about Tax Cheat Timmy's remarks is he said that Ryan should have run the chart out to the year 3,000 and giggled.

“Yeah, right.” replied Ryan. “We cut it off at the end of the century because the economy, according to the CBO, shuts down in 2027 on this path.”

Synova said...

That's okay, Jay.

As long as we care about poor or old people until 2027, History will know that we had our priorities in the right order.

HT said...

Harrogate, I love you.

(It's Ann by the way, not Anne.)

harrogate said...

"Kill what keeps you alive and you die."

It's like Deep Thoughts with Jack Handy, with you, Synova.

Were the Clinton-era tax rates killing the top earners? Careful now. I know how you feel about hyperbole. And especially when the hyperboles come with pricks.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

AllieOop,

Re: "What Planned Parenthood actually does," I don't think a pie chart that treats a free condom and an abortion as each "one service" is helpful. It would appear from the information in your link that more than one in ten visitors to PP went there for an abortion; the reason abortion shows up as only 3% of services seems to be that before you get an abortion, you have a pregnancy test (a service), and after you have an abortion, you're sent home with contraceptives (another service). And so forth.

If you can find me a breakdown of what fraction of its in-clinic revenue PP makes from its various services, now, that would be interesting. But probably difficult to come by.

wv: 81 promST. But you promST!

Sorun said...

Romney is an "extreme" conservative and Ryan is "severely" conservative. Which one is more conservative? I can't tell.

harrogate said...

HT,

My fault, whether you love me or not. Didn't mean to misspell her name out of disrespect. I type and spell terribly when I write quickly, as in blog comment mode, and am at my worst with names.

Ann Althouse, I apologize for misspelling your name, if you noticed.

Titus said...

Well in everyone of his votes he definitely hates the gays. Adoption, serving in the military, discriminating in the workplace, you name it gay he doesn't like it. Not too "libertarian". And yet Althouse is sucking his cock big time. So incredibly sad. If that was my mom I would be devastated and heartbroken. But thankfully and so gratefully she is not. Phyllis Schafly would be incredibly proud, as would her leather wearing gay son.

And you neanderthals, who also tend to be old and likely to croak within the next 15 years, wonder why the gay money is going the other direction.

Prescription Part D, Tarp-during a republican president. Wars not being paid for, not very fiscally conservative.

And maybe in the straight world he would be considered good looking but in the gay world he would not even register. But fags and straighties have different standards.

ken in sc said...

I usually don't respond to comments on my comments, but tonight I have the time so I will.

Harrogate, the economy is the dog, taxes are the blood. Obama thinks he can nurse the economy along enough to get the revenue he needs for his plans. His supporters on the left don't care if the economy will support his plans. They just want to punish their hated class enemies. That's what I meant. I have not read Rand in years. She was pretty harsh the last time I looked at her.

yashu said...

It's also why it is this thread that I am making a big deal out of this in terms of honesty. Because Anne Althouse is so quick to call Obama out for his lies, but swallows pretty much every goddamned thing Romney and Ryan have said for the last couple of years. Even when they aren't saying much of anything at all.

But there's a significant difference between "lies" and "not saying much of anything at all." It's certainly fair to criticize each of those things, but they're different kinds of criticism.

It's one thing to say: "Mitt Romney committed felony"; "Mitt Romney didn't pay 10 years of taxes"; deceptively worded statements which imply "Ryan would ban the pill"; or ads that posit a causal connection between Romney's actions and a woman dying of cancer.

It's another to say things like, oh, "This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."

Revenant is on point in distinguishing between "entitlement program" and "safety net." There may be entitlement programs (or aspects or parameters of them) that you consider constitutive of the "safety net"; and Romney or Ryan or Revenant may well disagree with that characterization. That doesn't necessarily make one or the other of you liars. There is a difference and disagreement here of philosophies, ideologies, visions of government and society-- and one vision may in some sense be truer or falser than the other (e.g. more or less empirically corroborated or sustainable or practicable or philosophically cogent or morally compelling or what have you). But that doesn't necessarily make one or the other a "lie."

All rhetoric is sophistry, to an extent. And all sophistry is potentially deceptive. But there are many gradations of "honesty" (blurred, it's true) within rhetoric, and it's important to distinguish "lie" and "claim or value or vision I disagree with." There's a difference between "lie" and "false" too.

harrogate said...

Ken thanks for explaining! I really had no idea what your very subtle allegory meant!

Of course the only thing motivating liberals is to punish the rich. Of course, it all makes so much fucking sense!

Christ on a Crumb heap. Some of these justifications and arguments are awfully circusy.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Synova,

As long as we care about poor or old people until 2027, History will know that we had our priorities in the right order.

Screw History. I fully intend to be alive in 2027, and I'd rather not have to live post-2027 in some quasi-Apocalyptic dystopia if I can help it. So do we just move to New Zealand right now, or do we wait a few ticks?

wv: 2 ngzoin. The first 100% Vietnamese enzyme.

Synova said...

Sort of interesting and in retrospect and reading instead of listening...

Ryan says 10,000 seniors retiring a day. Geithner says millions every day?

I'm betting the correct number is near 10,000.

(Births approx 333K/month, 11K/day, but delayed retirement might account for more births than retirements... far less, for what it's worth, far far less than Obama's best "jobs added" figures, even counting part-time work.)

Yearly retirements would be in millions... close to 4 million.

If Ryan was using actual numbers.

Funny for Geithner to just left-field it like that. Must be a generalist.

HT said...

Where've you been and how come I never noticed you comments before? Maybe I was put off by your screen name. Who knows. But you're doing good, I can't battle back like that, wish I could. But watch your rear flank for Titus, he's coming up from behind with that zinger of a comment.

I have no idea if name misspelling bothers Ann or not, but it kinda bothers me, not that that matters.

chickelit said...

harrogate gnashed: And social programs equal parasitism in Kenland. How nice not to have to think.


@ken in SC: Oh harrogate's unhappy with you Ken. He hates losing another soul. He's wondering "from whom does Ken take his orders, from men of reason or from the beyond?"

AndyN said...

I'm just going to assume this is a lie until the Obama people prove to me that it's not a lie.

Welcome to the club. Some of us figured that out by early 2008, concerning pretty much everything Obama and his shills said about himself and his opponents. Unfortunately there's still nearly 3 months for you to invent a justification for buying the same type of lies all over again, so I won't be even a little surprised to see you repeat your mistake.

Revenant said...

Were the Clinton-era tax rates killing the top earners?

If we returned to the Clinton tax rates the budget deficit would still be approximately $1 trillion per year and growing.

Of course, that's sort of a moot point since both Obama and Romney are vehemently against returning to the Clinton tax rates.

ad hoc said...

PP includes cancer screening and prevention among their services, but,they do not perform mammography, so the information is a little misleading (perhaps if they were to include qualifiers like preliminary cancer screening or breast exams or whatever).

wv leprin - blood thinners for those with Hansen's Disease

Revenant said...

And social programs equal parasitism in Kenland.

Well, our largest "social programs" consist mostly of wealth transfers from poorer workers to richer people who don't work.

Parasite, n.: a person who receives support, advantage, or the like, from another or others without giving any useful or proper return, as one who lives on the hospitality of others.

Hm.

Jay said...

Synova said...

That's okay, Jay.

As long as we care about poor or old people until 2027, History will know that we had our priorities in the right order.


Exactly.

But at least harrogate can be smug in moral superiority for another 15 years.

Jay said...

HT said...

Where've you been and how come I never noticed you comments before?


Because they've been posted under other user names.

Lawyer Mom said...

And he wants to balance the budget over 26 years. How head-spinningly extreme. Right? Right?!? http://www.freedomworks.org/blog/dean-clancy/budget-report-card-tea-party-budget-best-in-class

Also -- what @BigMike said.

Original Mike said...

"Ryan says 10,000 seniors retiring a day. Geithner says millions every day?"

Hey! The man's only the Secretary of the treasury. It's not like he needs to be good with numbers, or anything.

"We are in the best of hands."

Chip S. said...

You know what other Randroid thug states have introduced private-saving alternatives to PAYGO social-security schemes? Australia, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK, to name a few.

I look forward to the next phase of this pathetic "debate", in which Paul Ryan is attacked as an advocate of dangerous foreign schemes.

Colonel Angus said...

Yeah, they transferred moneys from Medicare to do it, but they also are expanding Medicaid to cover a broader swath of people.

This is called robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Do you just not understand that there is not enough money to pay for everything on your wish list? If your solution is repeal the Bush tax cuts and tax the 1% then yes, you do have a problem with math.

Seeing Red said...

PP tags an article in 17 Magazine on orgasms blow jobs, etc. Have questions, txt PP! Dad found that page today and wasn't happy.

Synova said...

I just watched a news clip of Debbie Wasserman Schultz lying to Wolf Blitzer.

He asked her if Ryan's plan preserved medicare for anyone 55 or older.

She says no and starts talking about how radical he is and safety nets and sounding just like harrogate.

Blitzer asks her again... that's for people younger than 55, older people are protected.

Again... she won't admit it. Makes it sound like this isn't accurate, that Paul Ryan is planning something else.

Blitzer asks her again and she FINALLY says... Yes, but it's not OK.

Fine. So she thinks that's not OK. What is Obama's plan to keep Medicare working for those 54 and under? They don't like Ryan's plan, and no one says they have to. But at least Ryan does have a plan for me, for others, for something past 10 years from now.

Obama and the Democrats have NOTHING other than "That's not Okay" and "We don't like YOURS."

AprilApple said...

We don't have to assume lies pour out of the Obama camp. They do. It's all they do. Lie.

Seeing Red said...

"Transferred moneys" $700 billion and we got a $1 trillion increase in taxes according to CBO scoring, so where's the extra $300 billion?

Synova said...

I know why she didn't want to answer the question Wolf Blitzer asked.

But making it sound as if she *did* answer him by going on a screed about all the way Ryan was going to make everyone have vouchers is lying to people.

Why not honestly say... Ryan's plan protects seniors who are eligible now, and everyone 55 and older who will be eligible in the next 10 years, but screws everyone 54 and under.?

Why not say so?

Unless Ryan's plan just isn't bad enough if she tells the truth?

Synova said...

Maybe... maybe because the truth sounds almost... moderate.

Maybe even reasonable, to people who are afraid of losing the benefits they've been counting on and planned their retirement around.

And maybe, just maybe, because it sounds like better than the nothing that those of us in middle age have been expecting.

If Obama has a better plan, lets hear it.



Colonel Angus said...

The plan is to kick the can down the road because winning elections is more important than doing the hard work to pull the country out of the fiscal death spiral we are in.

When the left side of the aisle bemoans cuts to the 'safety net' even with presented with the mathematical certainty that they can't be paid for, its impossible to entertain any kind of substantive discussion with them.

AndyN said...

Some of you may think that Planned Parenthood is all about abortion, but defunding it would spell the end of several low-coast health care options for poor and working class women.

No, making a credible threat to defund PP if they continued using tax money to prop up their abortion services would force them to choose whether they wanted to continue performing abortions or continue providing low-cost health care options for poor and working class women. It's interesting that somebody who's going on and on about values seems perfectly okay with a company that would rather cut off health care services for the poor than stop performing abortions.

Andy Freeman said...

> Maybe one-time asset surcharges on the top 1% too.

I've been wondering about that.

Who is going to buy the assets so these folks can pay these taxes?

Even if you take everything from every US billionaire (and the money fairy buys it), you can't cover what Obama added to the deficit in his first term.

Big Mike said...

Hey! The man's only the Secretary of the Treasury. It's not like he needs to be good with numbers, or anything.

Well, what did you expect from a guy who testified before Congress that he's too stupid to use Turbotax correctly.

Comanche Voter said...

Look where DWS is concerned you can (a) assume that what she said is a lie; (b) that she will deny she ever lied; and (c) about four or five days down the road, caught with her lying knickers around her ankles, she'll fess up and admit she lied.

That's her SOP. Nothing new to see here. Now move on.

Seeing Red said...

I thought a few of the PPs were going out of biz in the 90s and Bubba handed out at least $600K?


Pills aren't that expensive and neither are condoms.

Big Mike said...

And, FWIW, it's not a "safety net" anymore. The "safety net" has been warped into a gilded cage.

Seeing Red said...

Ummm, since Medicaid is expanded or we get total government takeover, wouldn't that mean PP is out of biz at some point?

DADvocate said...

nightmare for the middle class,...

As if Obama and the Democrats haven't been a nightmare for the middle class.

Obama's running an ad talking about the evils of top down economics. WFT? You can't get more top down than the federal government running everything from the auto industry to health care and trying to dictate how much money you can take home.

Obama's only chance to win is t appeal to the non-white racists and class-based haters. Nothing about Romney/Ryan is worse than what Obama/Biden has wrought.

yashu said...

Corrections: Ryan did not vote to ban abortion in all cases nor did he engage in insider trading.

I'm sure we'll see lots of "corrections" in the weeks to come. Such corrections probably won't deter the Obama campaign from propagating debunked factoids, nor prevent the original misinformation/ disinformation from being disseminated far and wide.

XRay said...

Happening, for the second time in my life, to be reading a shit load about the rise of Nazism.

DWS would be a near perfect fit for Goebbels. Other than the fact that she is not nearly as smart.

Yeah, I know, but WV is just slightly below not worth the effort of a comment here.

Revenant said...

Maybe one-time asset surcharges on the top 1% too.

Aside from being explicitly forbidden by the Constitution, your idea has the obvious problem that it would encourage "the 1%" to relocate their assets to less-retarded countries.

Like Canada. Or Mexico. Or, hell -- China.

harrogate said...

Revenant, you wrote:

"If we returned to the Clinton tax rates the budget deficit would still be approximately $1 trillion per year and growing."

I understand why you might think I am opposed to any spending cuts whatsoever but that is not my position. I do think that anyone serious about doing something about the debt has to do both spending cuts and raise taxes.

Of course, it doesn't help that ridiculously, we continue to operate a military complex/green zone in Iraq the size of the Vatican, in addition to all our other military expenditures. Nor does it help that the very people who are talking about cutting spending and refusing to raise taxes, are not only delighted with all this military spending, but are all gung ho to go into even more deep spending of money as well as lives. I see all the usual suspects calling for military action in Iran, in Syria. Etc. This madness never stops. Obama hasn't stopped it. The GOP nominees want to ramp it up even more.

But most importantly, they are not only refusing to budge an inch on taxes going up--they are actually calling for taxes to be LOWERED! So on whose backs, then, does this "debt work" get done according to these people running for office?

They will not say, specifically. But you know what, eventually the floor bottoms out and you are straight lying, definitely to voters and perhaps even to yourself, if you can't just say, the cuts are coming at the expense of social programs for the poor and working classes, Food Stamps, Health Care, S-Chip, education, etc. How can the cuts not be there, if you're not raising taxes and you are preparing to increase military spending?

"Of course, that's sort of a moot point since both Obama and Romney are vehemently against returning to the Clinton tax rates."

Damn straight. Makes me sick. But there's a rider to the tale, and a very humorous one: despite this obvious fact, Althouse calls Obama a socialist, and a great many conservatives, including several on these comment boards, call him a communist. You just can;t fix the level of stupid that it takes to call him this leftist, when the plain facts of his corporate loyalties are there for all to see.

But because he, Obama, is not willing to slash social programs as deeply as the other guys. Because he calls for at least some of this debt paydown to come through at least *some* sort of tax increase on those who are at the top. And because he seems marginally-marginally-less inclined to start more new, stupid, wasteful and immoral wars. He will get my vote.

harrogate said...

Yashu, you observe:

"But there's a significant difference between "lies" and "not saying much of anything at all." It's certainly fair to criticize each of those things, but they're different kinds of criticism. "

True enough--as far as it goes. But as I just said to Revenant, there come a point where the "not saying much of anything at all" gains a decided weight of its own, and that point happens a helluva lot quicker (or ought to!) when you are considering handing the people not saying anything, the reins to the federal government.

And so yeah, they distinguish between "entitlements" and "safety net," but they never define either, thereby leaving, by definition, everything open for cutting. What is off the table? Which people, exactly, get told to fuck off?

Goodness, it's almost--almost!--as if by design, they have left themselves the ability to cut any and every social program that exists, and still say, "well, we believe in safety nets for the most vulnerable, but for everyone else, we've run out of money." And Althouse believes them! And Synova believes them! "NOBODY," that commenter righteously typed, believes in leaving those in need, to charity and charity alone. NOBODY would think such a thing, it's GOT to be a straw man.

And do you believe them?

The movement of the goalposts of who is vulnerable and who is not, certainly seems like a game to the people at the top.

But I do not see it as any kind of a game at all. And I damned sure do not understand why the GOP leadership does not embrace the idea of combining tax increases with spending cuts, and embrace some real cuts in the military spending that bleeds us literally and steadily, and oh by the way, very very stupidly.

If they're so concerned about the debt and all.

There comes a point, and the point has long passed, where they have totally obliterated the line between omission and deceit. And still the values are there for all to see, that will look.

Curious George said...

"Revenant said...
So you're conceding that your claim that they will "shred the safety net" is unsupported by anything they've actually said? Thanks. That's really all I was looking for."

harrogate used this term because it's a lefty talking point. Google it...you see "shred/shredding the safety net" over and over and over. Lefty politicians and MSM. It's like "millionaires and billionaires"

PETER V. BELLA said...

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is Obama's frontline liar. She has been proven a liar. Why does the media give her any credibility?

Seeing Red said...

--And so yeah, they distinguish between "entitlements" and "safety net," but they never define either, thereby leaving, by definition, everything open for cutting. What is off the table? Which people, exactly, get told to fuck off? ---


The 400 min/month for starters.

Seeing Red said...

You're complaining about 110 acres?

Seriously?


How much is a "real cut?"

Synova said...

Harrogate... I didn't say nobody without qualification the way you said only without qualification.

Strict libertarians would say *only* charity.

I made that distinction.

You're demanding that we agree that Romney and Ryan fit this description.

Revenant said...

I understand why you might think I am opposed to any spending cuts whatsoever but that is not my position.

You have described the idea of ANY cuts to welfare, Social Security, health care, or education as "slashing the safety net" and said that doing so is immoral.

Now, if you take the federal budget, discount interest payments on debt, and discount the items you think it is morally reprehensible to cut, you're left with about $1.2 trillion in spending on everything else the government does. The deficit's a little under $1.4 trillion and due to grow rapidly as the Boomers retire.

Enacting the only tax increase the Democrats are willing to support (the return to Clinton rates for "the rich") will earn you an extra $.08 trillion in yearly revenue.

So by all means; go ahead and talk about the spending you're willing to cut and the taxes you're willing to increase. Do what Ryan has dared to do and no Democrat has -- propose a plan that eventually balances the budget.

Revenant said...

You just can;t fix the level of stupid that it takes to call him this leftist, when the plain facts of his corporate loyalties are there for all to see.

You assume leftists never team up with big business to enact their agenda. History shows otherwise. It is only the extreme left that wants to abolish corporations; the mainstream left has, for most of the last century, preferred to co-opt them into promoting a shared political agenda.

Obama isn't a socialist. He's a progressive corporatist, like Franklin Roosevelt before him.

Kathy said...

Ann - you teach folks who have gone through college and want to pursue law which means you need them to find evidence (warrants) in texts (which can be 'whatever') to support their arguments.

I teach 17 -19 year old college freshmen how to do kind of the same thing - you need to back up your assertions - your claims - with evidence from the text at hand.

You are SO right to assume a pretense or lie. And I find iut outrageous that so many of the Obama folks think they can appeal to what they assume are uneduccated audiences with a lie every other day......

We need to learn how to argue. Even as college freshmen - if you are lucky - you will learn how to do this in English composition class.

It matters. Don't believe lies. Ask for evidence from the text.

Kathy said...

Sorry - I forgot to mention.....

Paul Ryan is the son of a bitch who knows how to argue with evidence.

And I suspect Mitt Romney knows this rhetorical approach - the winning approach - as well.

Finally - I strongly suspect the Obama team with the very few politicians and academics at hand to advise him (as well as Axelrod, Plouffe, Jarret, Michelle and maybe his mother in law) never quite scored a passing grade in the kind of English composition classes I teach to college freshmen....BTW....at a college way below the Columbia or Harvard status.

harrogate said...

Revenant,

It may have seemed that I am describing "any" cuts to welfare programs as "slashing the safety net," but that is not the case. Where did I write "no cuts whatsoever"?

Where have Ryan, Rommney, and other conservative luminaries said "no tax increases whatsoever"? Why, everywhere!

But anyway, some general ideas:

Yes, we are going to need to pare down entitlement spending, but we need to be as careful as we possibly can be. We may not be able to entirely eliminate our debt by being thus careful, but if we are creative, we can use government taxing and spending to very positively reduce it. Words like "waste" and "fraud," we all know are all-too-often tossed around by politicos as code for "let's not do anything," but in reality there is waste and fraud, and we can theoretically at least, come together to identify and lessen that.

This is very important as well. Ron Paul is right about military spending, whether Republicans and Democrats like it or not. Significant reductions in our military expenditures and commitments are going to be necessary, if we are to really arrive at a reasonable approach to this debt.

We've GOT to be willing to raise taxes on top earners, and to close loopholes that already exist. We certainly cannot lower taxes and be serious when we say we worry about the debt. The Clinton era numbers don't fix everything but they are a damned sight better than what we've got now.

How much money do we piss away on our horrible failure of a War on Drugs (registered trademark)? God, the drug war itself funds terrorism to boot. Wanna make a dent in spending, and raise tax revenue, AND deal a blow to violent cartels? Then instead of mocking libertarians over this, go ahead and legalize marijunana, and regulate it and tax it like alcohol. Cut down on all the money we spend prosecuting people for selling and smoking pot, and instead add a new element to our economy. Marijuana legalization will probably never happen in the United States, but that's for stupid reasons. It would be helpful.

And though you may think I am some radical leftist, I am not, and fully understand that in order for us to combat our debt, we need our businesses and industries to make a comeback, we need entrepreneurialism to thrive again. I think any tax increases need to be somehow connected to riders that include significant tax benefits for businesses that invest here in the United States, that do create jobs here, and that invest in the communities to which they belong. This is not protectionism, it is called being a sane country.

Hell, I never said I have all the answers, or even a lot of them. But these seems like common sensical things to me. The point is there are options, several of them. Revenant, what bothers me is the laser focus on the people who take government assistance for food, shelter, health care and the like. I know that some people game the system. But fuck, man. People who take things like unemployment, people who use Food Stamps, or who get help with their Health Care, they are not the enemy. It ought not to be on their backs primarily, that we make gestures towards paring down debt.

What say you?

harrogate said...

"Obama isn't a socialist. He's a progressive corporatist, like Franklin Roosevelt before him."


Like, 90% agreed on that, and the rest of the post to which this sentence belongs. And beautifully written, I might add.

And certainly you are right that only radicals would want to do away with corporations. There is a very, very small, contingent for that here in the US--and that contingent has not stroke. So it is pure baloney when people invoke that kind of shit as though it were what liberals think. I do wish so many people on the Right didn't think he was a socialist--and in many cases a Communist!

Sometimes I get the impression that there are lots of people who think that any bank regulations at all, for example, spells communism. Le sigh.

Kathy said...

Harrogate - You are doing a great job but for one thing.

You say "Yes, we are going to need to pare down entitlement spending, but we need to be as careful as we possibly can be"

And if you would be so inclined to really read all you can about Ryan's brave (and finally - a super-hero in Congress) effort to de-electrify that third rail of politics......

This is exactly his approach, Ergo - it is now Romney's approach.

This should solve any problems you have about who to vote for in November.

harrogate said...

Kathy, I am not so sure you read any of my comment other than the one sentence that you quote, if you think that my argument and Ryan's budget have things to talk about.

furious_a said...

What is Obama's plan to keep Medicare working for those 54 and under?

"We're not coming before you to say we have a definitive solution to our long-term problem. What we do know is we don't like yours."
--Tim "Turbotax" Geithner.

That's their plan.

Kathy said...

Harrogate - Believe me - I read ALL your comments on this thread.

You are passionate and somewhat persuasive but for one thing....

Pay attention to the text at hand.

Regarding Anne's post - you have drifted and wandered into looney left land.

Pay attention to the text - learn how to argue even more effectively.

And of course - you must vote for Romney Ryan in November if you truly stand with all you have said in this thread.

Nathan Alexander said...

@harrogate,
I think just about every conservative poster here would strongly consider agreeing to go back to Clinton era tax rates. But if, and only if, we also go back to Clinton era spending levels.

That means getting rid of obamacare, NCLB, Medicare D, and cutting about 2/3 of all current spending. Plus, all the newly retired boomers would have to take SS payment cuts to fit under 1997 spending thresholds.

But you really aren't willing to seriously return to those spending levels, are you?

You were just doing one of those typically-Democrat dishonest things where you were taking something out of context to try to get what you want (higher taxes) without giving up anything significant in return.

And why should any subset of people be singled out to keep a lower percentages the money they earn, harrogate? Is there any logical reason for it? It just isn't
fair or sensible to discriminate against law abiding citizens for being more successful than average' right?

Ae your values just mean-spirited punitive jealousy, then?

Nathan Alexander said...

@harrogate,
We've GOT to be willing to raise taxes on top earners, and to close loopholes that already exist. We certainly cannot lower taxes and be serious when we say we worry about the debt. The Clinton era numbers don't fix everything but they are a damned sight better than what we've got now.
No, we don't have to raise taxes on the top earners.

It won't make any real difference at all. Do the math. The only thing that will keep us from being swamped by debt is reform entitlements.

Clinton era tax rates are not better than we have now. You clearly have problems with understanding antecedent and consequence. Clinton era tax rates did not cause the good economy. A housing and dot-com bubble caused it. Clinton era tax rates caused the inevitable recession to be deeper when it finally hit. The compliant media delayed talking about it until they could blame it squarely on W. Who then cut taxes, which every single lefty and MSM member claimed would destroy the economy...and yet, even with 9/11 and all the extra military outlays, still got us to 4.7% unemployment and a strong economic recovery in about 2 years.

Face facts. Use what actually works. Correctly identify all antecedents and consequences. Identify the actions that led to the results (like the so-called Bush recession in 2008 that was brought about by a Democrat-controlled Congress, including votes by then-Sen. Barack Obama, who actively created the lousy economy he claimed to have "inherited")

And though you may think I am some radical leftist, I am not, and fully understand that in order for us to combat our debt, we need our businesses and industries to make a comeback, we need entrepreneurialism to thrive again. I think any tax increases need to be somehow connected to riders that include significant tax benefits for businesses that invest here in the United States, that do create jobs here, and that invest in the communities to which they belong. This is not protectionism, it is called being a sane country.

The first paragraph I quoted is enough to prove without a doubt that you are a committed, hard-core leftist.

There is no reason to raise taxes on the most successful who concentrate capital and create jobs. You certainly don't do it in a recession.

You mouth the right words about supporting business to improve the economy, but your proposals are pretty much:
Cut the military
Raise taxes
minimize cuts to the Democrat-bloc who are dependent on the govt at all costs

That is the typical American leftist platform, and has been for decades.

Revenant said...

Yes, we are going to need to pare down entitlement spending, but we need to be as careful as we possibly can be.

You're not paying attention. Entitlement spending is the primary cause of our deficit.

Even if we restore the Clinton tax rates, end the wars, and slash military spending to a pre-WW2 percentage of GDP, we will STILL have a massive and growing deficit because of entitlement spending. We will still be careening towards national insolvency, because of entitlement spending.

We don't need to "be careful" about entitlements. We need to do the things I listed above and then cut entitlement spending in HALF.

We've GOT to be willing to raise taxes on top earners, and to close loopholes that already exist.

What we have GOT to be willing to do, if we're serious about using taxes as a revenue source rather than a tool of politics and class warfare, is raise taxes on lower and middle-income workers. Eliminating the Bush/Obama tax cuts for the "non-rich" will raise three times as much revenue as eliminating the tax cuts on the "rich".

But even if we return to the Clinton rates across the board it merely slightly slows the speed at which we approach bankruptcy -- at the cost of socking the median worker with an extra $1700 in taxes each year. So we still go bankrupt; we're just older and poorer when it happens.

In short, any "solution" which doesn't eliminate the deficit isn't a solution at all. It isn't even part of a solution. It is just kicking the can down the road -- letting things get progressively worse, and making an actual solution that much more impossible to implement.

Kathy said...

Nathan Alexander - And Revenant - Your posts are just great but....

you both seem to long for a time in our American economy that is way over - the tech build up of the Clinton era. So the taxes made sense as all our baby boom mutual funds were winning.

Did either of you hear of the September 2008rash - you know - the one that suspended the Obama-McCain Presidential campaigns - you know - when the investment funds who were allowed to become banks under Clinton (thanks Barney Frank) were in danger of disappearing....

when our Congress was told that we needed to pass the AIG (and so many other entities) bailout called TARP or Americans could not get money out of ATM machines?

Do either of you know what actually happened between the end of September 2008 and the election that gave us Obama?

I really wonder sometimes about the academic types who have never been connected with reality .....in this forum. Yeesh!

Revenant said...

I think any tax increases need to be somehow connected to riders that include significant tax benefits for businesses that invest here in the United States, that do create jobs here, and that invest in the communities to which they belong. This is not protectionism, it is called being a sane country.

No, it is called corporatism -- requiring businesses to place the needs of the country ahead of the needs of their stockholders.

Anyway, there is no accepted school of economics under which that is a sane plan. There has never been a country under which a system like that made the citizens of that country better off, for the simple reason that any attempt to centrally plan what constitutes proper corporate investment strategy cripples economic growth.

And when you think about it, what incentive is it that you think you're offering? American companies already pay some of the highest taxes in the world. Jacking up taxes further while saying "we'll think about lowering them again if you hire overpriced American labor" isn't going to encourage anyone to start or expand businesses in the United States. It is going to send a message that only an idiot starts a business in the United States -- because only an idiot starts a business in a country where the government's attitude is "you're working for us, punk".

"The beatings will continue until morale improves" is not a way to attract new recruits.

Revenant said...

Revenant - Your posts are just great but....

Imagine how great you'd think they were if you actually read them.

yashu said...

Harrogate, I agree you're doing a great job of sustained argument against many people at once, though I disagree with at least 90% of what you're saying.

What Revenant says here is key:

So by all means; go ahead and talk about the spending you're willing to cut and the taxes you're willing to increase. Do what Ryan has dared to do and no Democrat has -- propose a plan that eventually balances the budget.

You go on to share some of your ideas, some IMO good (re drug war) and some IMO not, some politically practicable some not, some prudent some not. Whether the numbers would add up if you got all your druthers, I'm skeptical. Or, to put it more fairly-- I don't know.

But have Obama and the Democrats, whom you insist on voting for, provided any concrete plan, presented honestly to the American people (its contents & consequences presented as they are, not euphemized or cloaked as something else), that actually does the math and makes it work?

You disagree with Ryan's prescriptions, you want more taxes and less cuts than he proposes, but can't you at least give him credit for sticking his neck out there with an actual politically risky budget that serves as a target for the other side's political demagoguery? As compared to someone like Reid who for 3 years shamelessly directs the Dems to shirk their duty to produce a budget, for the most cynical of political reasons?

Even if you disagree with Ryan, can't you give him a little credit for doing his duty as a public servant and taking the political arrows shot at him, and can't you acknowledge the arrant cowardice and crass political expediency of your own side's politicians, who apparently don't give a fuck for the fiscal solvency of the USA? They just say and do whatever it takes to win their election. Après moi, le déluge. WTF do they care what happens once they're out of office or dead?

Compare Ryan's budget to how we were sold the bill of goods that is the ACA.

As for raising taxes, for us to argue about e.g. the Laffer curve would probably be fruitless (because our respective arguments would probably be too predictable). But I'm sure you realize many of us here don't subscribe to what you see as a truism, higher taxes on the rich = more tax revenues. At least, to your credit, you're not arguing like Obama, who believes we ought to raise capital gains taxes, even at the cost of lower revenues, for purposes of fairness.

That is the kind of leftist claptrap which exasperates those of us who believe in MATH. And believe it's important to look at the actual, real-life empirical consequences over time of a policy (or lack of any coherent policy/ plan/ budget), consequences that will affect Americans from every sector of society, like it or not.

Anyway, it's nice to have a worthy left-of-center interlocutor here, cheers.

Revenant said...

But I'm sure you realize many of us here don't subscribe to what you see as a truism, higher taxes on the rich = more tax revenues

That's not even really the issue. As others have noted, even if you could somehow confiscate 100% of the income of "the rich" (which still somehow convincing them to (a) live here and (b) work, rather than (c) moving to Canada or England or something), we would still have a deficit. The government spends so much god-damned money every year that all the CEOs, white-shoe lawyers and fat-cat bankers in the country can't possibly be taxed enough to cover it.

Plus, of course, there's the other uncomfortable fact, which is that tax increases hurt economic growth. That's not a Laffer thing, it isn't a supply-side thing -- it is an economics thing. Keynesians believe that, supply-siders believe that, basically everybody except the Communists believe it. A tax increase -- it doesn't particular matter who on -- is the exact opposite of economic stimulus. It takes money OUT of the economy and gives it to the government.

So ask yourself: what kind of politician proposes both stimulus spending and tax increases to pay for it? Answer: the kind of politician who is making this shit up as he goes along, that's what kind.

yashu said...

Rev, point taken and well said.

Jason said...

Harrogate: Words like "waste" and "fraud," we all know are all-too-often tossed around by politicos as code for "let's not do anything," but in reality there is waste and fraud, and we can theoretically at least, come together to identify and lessen that.


Oh, bollocks.

Dems can't even be trusted to honestly confront rampant voter fraud by requiring the same ID we use to let people buy a beer.

Take the "waste and fraud" gambit, and shove it.

When government programs themselves are MUCH smaller, there will be much less taxpayer money Dems can waste or steal.

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