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 Post subject: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:17 am 
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Every once in a while FOX News makes the colossal mistake of allowing an educated person speak on their shows. The result is you get a panel of FOX News idiots going into panic mode trying to shut him up because it undermines their deceptive agenda.

Here is David Stockman mopping the floors with them and their BS notion that Trump's stock market is based off of actual earnings.


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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:22 am 
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You're going to use a Reagan economist to bitch about national debt, taxes, and fiscal responsibility? Phew.

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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:35 am 
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Relevant article from Stockman's blog.

http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/s ... ty-part-1/

You should also checkout his opinions on Russia, great stuff.

http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/t ... e-century/

Stockman is a smart guy with relevant things to say. In this case of the tax bill he's not wrong, but I also don't think he's entirely right because it's the context that matters. In terms of economic principle, the reduction in taxes will have a boosting effect, ebb the flow of jobs overseas, ease working class tax burdens, etc. He's right in that he's tempering the mathematical expectations and putting some cold realty on bubbly talking heads that naïvely think this will accomplish more than it actually will in terms of earnings. Stockman does not at all disagree with the principle that these tax reductions are all economically good things. He simply acknowledges that we've got a huge debt problem... a spending culture problem.

The tax bill, as I'm seeing it, is not so much about bean counting as it's about working towards cultural clarity. Are we capitalists or just cowardly socialists that can't stomach our own honest reflections in the mirror?

There is a massive spending problem, which yes, 100%, if it's not addressed will lead to a swelling of the deficit at an even more accelerated rate than it's already swelling at. The deficit was headed for a cliff long before this tax bill. It was already accelerating. Every day as the number of social security recipients increases, as the number of medicare recipients increases. Does it accelerate the acceleration problem? Yeah, probably does, which is a feature not a bug. Democrats flatly refuse to come to the table and address spending problems. And that will continue unless they are firmly backed into a corner over it. We have to confront the culture of our spending.

What's the Democrat solution? To raise taxes? More free things for everybody, don't worry, we'll just raise taxes to pay for it. Open the valve wider! Democrats are acting like Republicans want to charge more Christmas gifts to the credit card. They don't want to charge anything to the credit card. Without the tax bill was it your intention to payoff the credit card principle? No. You had no such intention.

Republicans are like the conservative husband or wife who's sick of the out of control spouse that keeps buying ____. The conservative spouse starts secretly stuffing money into a mattress for survival. In doing so he/she makes the debt problem even worse. Instead of paying off the wayward Democrat spouse's credit card principle, they just make interest payments while the crazy consumer continues to buy even more and the debt total goes up even higher. The republican spouse would love to sit down with the crazy democrat, balance the budget, and come up with a plan to not only cover the interest but pay off all that debt principle entirely. Whenever the republican tries to have this conversation though, the democrat spouse starts crying and wildly gyrating on the floor. We need the boat, and the extra houses, and the fancy cars and clothes, and all the other ____. So, in the absence of rational discussion, they realize that the only way the democrat will learn is the hard way - by burning out into bankruptcy. Until then, continue stuffing the mattress whenever possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:16 am 
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You're the same idiot who recently said tax cuts can have no effect on deficits. So you don't get to speak on economic matters and expect to be taken serious. Like, ever.


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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:24 am 
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When it comes to cultural clarity, I think the tax bill is crystal clear. The culture it represents is: the ultra rich set the rules so that they get richer and screw everyone else. This is a feature, not a bug.

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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:39 pm 
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Res Ipsa wrote:
When it comes to cultural clarity, I think the tax bill is crystal clear. The culture it represents is: the ultra rich set the rules so that they get richer and screw everyone else. This is a feature, not a bug.

It is a mystery to me why this is not glaringly obvious to so many of those being screwed. It is certainly obvious to the ultra rich who are doing the screwing.

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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:33 pm 
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Ryan confirms the cultural clarity of the tax bill. After passing a tax cut bill that benefits the rich and spikes the deficit, the next item on the agenda is cutting Medicaid and Medicare. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/won ... ac0abe3f65

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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:56 pm 
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There is a broad consensus among economists that running deficits and maintaining some level of national debt is sound macroeconomics. I don't dispute this and you're way out on a limb if you do, but I still think the federal budget should be balanced or run a surplus in all but crisis years.

I think this because I believe that accepting deficits leads to profligate spending by Congress and naturally encourages far too high of deficits. The only effective way to combat this is to create rules and norms around balanced budgets. You accept sub-optimal economic strategy to avoid a much worse alternative. While there aren't many liberals who think a large national debt is awesome, there are plenty of liberals who dismiss it as a policy concern when deficits become too large because they don't want that concern to get in the way of their spending preferences.


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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:06 pm 
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EAllusion wrote:
There is a broad consensus among economists that running deficits and maintaining some level of national debt is sound macroeconomics. I don't dispute this and you're way out on a limb if you do, but I still think the federal budget should be balanced or run a surplus in all but crisis years.

I think this because I believe that accepting deficits leads to profligate spending by Congress and naturally encourages far too high of deficits. The only effective way to combat this is to create rules and norms around balanced budgets. You accept sub-optimal economic strategy to avoid a much worse alternative. While there aren't many liberals who think a large national debt is awesome, there are plenty of liberals who dismiss it as a policy concern when deficits become too large because they don't want that concern to get in the way of their spending preferences.


I agree, with one additional thought. Here in Washington, we tried to do the responsible thing and run a surplus in boom years to put away as a rainy day fund for the inevitable recession. Conservatives then said "hey that's the taxpayer's money in that rainy day fund" and the fund was raided. When the bad times came, well, states can't run a deficit. Fiscally, our state government is still struggling from the '08 meltdown. I think there are incentives on both sides to run the federal government at some level of deficit -- liberals because they prioritize spending and conservatives because they prioritize cutting taxes. Both sides give lip service to balancing the budget, but neither party gets serious when the rubber hits the road.

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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:37 pm 
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Res Ipsa wrote:
I agree, with one additional thought. Here in Washington, we tried to do the responsible thing and run a surplus in boom years to put away as a rainy day fund for the inevitable recession. Conservatives then said "hey that's the taxpayer's money in that rainy day fund" and the fund was raided. When the bad times came, well, states can't run a deficit. Fiscally, our state government is still struggling from the '08 meltdown. I think there are incentives on both sides to run the federal government at some level of deficit -- liberals because they prioritize spending and conservatives because they prioritize cutting taxes. Both sides give lip service to balancing the budget, but neither party gets serious when the rubber hits the road.


I can't think of a Democrat President in my lifetime who was just hell bent on deficit spending "just because" it helped suit his Liberal agenda. Reagan, Bush I, Bush II and now Trump all proposed increased military spending because Republicans just don't know what to do with themselves if they're not instigating wars of some kind. With Reagan it was bombing Beirut and overthrowing leaders in Iran, Chile, Nicaragua, etc. With Bush I I give him a pass since Kuwait wasn't really anything he asked for. With Bush II, he's to blame for invading Iraq under false pretenses. And now Trump seems hell bent on antagonizing Syria, Iran, N.Korea, everyone except Russia it seems. The Republican axis of evil also insisted on slashing taxes for the wealthiest segment of America, much of which would be rotated back in the form of campaign contributions.

Obama's ultimate sin on spending was basic Keynesian protocol in times of national financial crisis. He provides payroll tax cuts which expired, and then proposed a few hundred billion in actual spending to help stimulate a dwindling economy. He also invested in the resurrection of the US Auto industry, which apparently worked since all the money has been paid back with interest. Same goes for the bank bailouts. Bill Clinton oversaw the first surplus in decades.... I just don't see much of a comparison here between Republicans and Democrats.


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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:05 am 
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The last two Democrat presidents were boxed in and had their true spending desires thwarted by Republicans. There's plenty of reason to think those Republicans were using national debt concerns cynically to block Democrat agenda rather than because they actually cared about fiscal responsibility. It seems like that strain in Republican politics died sometime in 1990 and went out of office when George H.W. Bush was defeated. But Democrats nonetheless have consistently wanted to spend far more then they actually succeeded in doing.

There are fiscally conservative Democrats. Russ Feingold from Wisconsin was an example of one. Most deprioritize deficit spending as a concern over pie in the sky spending desires.


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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:11 am 
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EAllusion wrote:
The last two Democrat presidents were boxed in and had their true spending desires thwarted by Republicans. There's plenty of reason to think those Republicans were using national debt concerns cynically to block Democrat agenda rather than because they actually cared about fiscal responsibility. It seems like that strain in Republican politics died sometime in 1990 and went out of office when George H.W. Bush was defeated. But Democrats nonetheless have consistently wanted to spend far more then they actually succeeded in doing.

There are fiscally conservative Democrats. Russ Feingold from Wisconsin was an example of one. Most deprioritize deficit spending as a concern over pie in the sky spending desires.


I wonder what it even means to talk about a politicians "true spending desires." Anything a politician "wants" to do goes through a filter of what is feasible in the current environment and what they have to say to retain power. More importantly, when talking about their "true spending desires" it needs to be considered in context of their "true taxation desires." After you peel back all of the layers driven by the political reality, what is left?

As far as I can tell, democrats would generally agree with Keynesian economics, which in its most abstract form says that the budget should be balanced over the economic cycle--run a deficit when the economy is in a recession, and run a surplus when the economy is in an expansion.

I'm sure in private conversations some Republicans would agree with that too, and I'm sure there are others that would say that as a matter of principal, the government should balance the budget over the calendar year rather than over the economic cycle.

But I think in their heart of hearts, most Republicans really believe first and foremost in tax cuts, because cutting taxes stimulates the economy. If a tax cut results in a deficit, cut the taxes some more and give it more time.

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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:25 am 
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Water Dog wrote:
Republicans are like the conservative husband or wife who's sick of the out of control spouse that keeps buying ____. The conservative spouse starts secretly stuffing money into a mattress for survival. In doing so he/she makes the debt problem even worse.....


That family analogy only works if the husband says That's it! I'm taking over all of the household finances, and will make all of the decisions myself without your consultation! He then decides to scale back the number of hours he is working, continues all of the wife's spending patterns, and then takes out a $120,000 loan to buy a loaded Cadillac Escalade from his golfing buddy who owns the local Cadillac dealership, under the pretense that buying this vehicle is necessary to safely drive the kids to school.

A better analogy is that the husband and wife are divorced, and whoever has custody of the kids gets an outsized income because of the child support payments. The local judge has made the decision that the immature kids get to decide which parent they live with. Both parents make irresponsible decisions that they know are wrong, but they do it anyway because otherwise the bratty kids will choose the other parent.

It's a prisoner's dilemma.

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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:30 am 
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Analytics wrote:
EAllusion wrote:
The last two Democrat presidents were boxed in and had their true spending desires thwarted by Republicans. There's plenty of reason to think those Republicans were using national debt concerns cynically to block Democrat agenda rather than because they actually cared about fiscal responsibility. It seems like that strain in Republican politics died sometime in 1990 and went out of office when George H.W. Bush was defeated. But Democrats nonetheless have consistently wanted to spend far more then they actually succeeded in doing.

There are fiscally conservative Democrats. Russ Feingold from Wisconsin was an example of one. Most deprioritize deficit spending as a concern over pie in the sky spending desires.


I wonder what it even means to talk about a politicians "true spending desires." Anything a politician "wants" to do goes through a filter of what is feasible in the current environment and what they have to say to retain power. More importantly, when talking about their "true spending desires" it needs to be considered in context of their "true taxation desires." After you peel back all of the layers driven by the political reality, what is left?

As far as I can tell, democrats would generally agree with Keynesian economics, which in its most abstract form says that the budget should be balanced over the economic cycle--run a deficit when the economy is in a recession, and run a surplus when the economy is in an expansion.

I'm sure in private conversations some Republicans would agree with that too, and I'm sure there are others that would say that as a matter of principal, the government should balance the budget over the calendar year rather than over the economic cycle.

But I think in their heart of hearts, most Republicans really believe first and foremost in tax cuts, because cutting taxes stimulates the economy. If a tax cut results in a deficit, cut the taxes some more and give it more time.


Yeah, I question this too. Part of the equation is also that Congressional budgets (at least in the past) involve negotiations. Part of negotiating is to make demands that exceed what you actually want to accomplish. So, trying to devine "true desires" from public statements is pretty tricky. Besides, if we eliminate the last two presidents, we have to go back to Carter in the '70s. That's a long ways to go back to draw any sort of conclusions about motivations today.

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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:59 am 
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Analytics wrote:
As far as I can tell, democrats would generally agree with Keynesian economics, which in its most abstract form says that the budget should be balanced over the economic cycle--run a deficit when the economy is in a recession, and run a surplus when the economy is in an expansion.


I was thinking the same thing. I mean I recall the ACA going through all kinds of hoops and analyses to get it to be deficit neutral over 10 years. The idea wasn't just to blow a lot of money on healthcare, but rather to make healthcare more affordable for most Americans while reducing healthcare costs. We've been subsidizing the healthcare system for many decades.

Compare what Obama did with the ACA and how the GOP is approaching "Tax Reform" now by basically lying about there being an accounting analysis showing it is deficit neutral while at the same time suggesting the CBO is lying. They don't give a rat's ass about the debt.


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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:13 am 
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Res Ipsa wrote:
Ryan confirms the cultural clarity of the tax bill. After passing a tax cut bill that benefits the rich and spikes the deficit, the next item on the agenda is cutting Medicaid and Medicare. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/won ... ac0abe3f65


While I think that Ryan will be able to get Medicaid and Medicare cuts passed through the House, I don't think that Medicaid and Medicare cuts will be able to get pass in the Senate. The Senate has a bit lower percentage of Republicans than does the House.


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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:24 am 
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I’m not so sure. They’ll spin the cuts as “saving” both programs. And the Senate can use reconciliation again starting Jan. 1.

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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:48 am 
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Res Ipsa wrote:
I’m not so sure. They’ll spin the cuts as “saving” both programs. And the Senate can use reconciliation again starting Jan. 1.


Yep. Bank on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:03 pm 
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Kevin Graham wrote:
You're the same idiot who recently said tax cuts can have no effect on deficits. So you don't get to speak on economic matters and expect to be taken serious. Like, ever.

you shouldn't either, but alas here you are stinking up the place with your economic idiocy. You sure watch Fox news a lot.

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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:07 pm 
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No matter the President or the Congress...every single budget and/or tax bill and/or fiscal policy has an "economist" willing to sit in front of a tv camera and proclaim how it will result in an economic disaster of disastrous proportions that makes the GD look like a bonus check.
Put your hair out Kevin Graham, nobody takes your economic posts seriously anymore.

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 Post subject: Re: Reagan Economists: Tax Bill a Disaster
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:15 pm 
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subgenius wrote:
No matter the President or the Congress...every single budget and/or tax bill and/or fiscal policy has an "economist" willing to sit in front of a tv camera and proclaim how it will result in an economic disaster of disastrous proportions that makes the GD look like a bonus check.

"GD" = "General Dynamics?"

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