Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

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sardia
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby sardia » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:33 am UTC

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/30/us/po ... f=politics
Spoiler:
Another day, more stonewalling. This just gives me nightmares about the previous debt ceiling deal. Same thing is happening, the GOP wing demands wishlist of conservative goodies, Democrats counter with status quo. If there's any 'compromise,' it'll be about how much the GOP wins, or if they get nothing. The Democrats can only hope that the GOP backs down or looks bad, which is total bullshit. They should start throwing gun control, immigration and environmental amendments in there. That'll give those tea party idiots a taste of their own medicine. Once we have that, THEN we can negotiate.


Soap boxing aside, the House response to the Senate bill, if you were optimistic, moved a bit closer to normalcy. Instead of demanding a full repeal, they merely want a delay and to chip away at one of the funding sources. The Democrats have moved...?

For those of you hoping for a repeat of the Clinton era shutdown, don't bet on it. There's a good argument made that with the power of social media/internet, the tea party can spin "crazy rebellious wing" into valiant heroes fighting the man. Even if it doesn't succeed in persuading anyone, it just needs to muddle the waters enough to make average people hesitate. You know, like how climate change deniers do with any study that even hints that climate change is bad for society.

Final note, is it possible and/or likely that we can have a government shutdown but a resolution to the debt ceiling? Or do the two things have to happen sequentially?

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby broken_escalator » Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:37 pm UTC

I hope they figure it out soon. So far the plan is to work for 4 hours tomorrow then go home until further notice. I did rather like being paid.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:15 pm UTC

broken_escalator wrote:I hope they figure it out soon. So far the plan is to work for 4 hours tomorrow then go home until further notice. I did rather like being paid.


Pretty much. I'm optimistic still, mind you, but I'll be fine if there's a couple of days off work. If it gets over a couple weeks, it'll get uncomfortable for quite a lot of people, I imagine, but while I don't expect the senate and congress to resolve their differences overnight, I believe they'll face increasing pressure to solve the situation as it goes on, and it won't stretch out that long.

And by "solve", I mostly mean, "come to a temporary arrangement while punting the debt football a little further down the road". I'm not THAT optimistic.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Djehutynakht » Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:55 am UTC

Woo. Shutdown.

It's so sad. Today's Google Doodle is Yosemite National Park.

...and now it's gone.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Arariel » Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:58 am UTC

All I can say is... (Spoiler: epileptic warning)
Spoiler:
Image


I looked outside and all the roads were gone and everyone was speaking Somali.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Djehutynakht » Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:08 am UTC

There was no image that appeared for me.

Dammit shutdown! Taking away my funny internet images!


Anyways, I'm quite ticked off. I may not be going to a Smithsonian Museum or National Park any time soon, but the fact that they're inaccessible ticks me off.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Thesh » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:52 am UTC

sardia wrote:Final note, is it possible and/or likely that we can have a government shutdown but a resolution to the debt ceiling? Or do the two things have to happen sequentially?


Unless government bonds stopped being trusted, then no, the debt limit is really the only thing that can cause it. Of course, the shutdown can be resolved without the debt ceiling being resolved, simply by raising taxes, but that's something that we aren't even considering in this case (we'll cut services for the poor, but god forgive we raise taxes on the rich).

We probably could have significantly cut our deficit at the height of the recession by simply lowering taxes significantly on the poor, lowering taxes slightly on the lower middle class (e.g. under 65k per year household income) while raising taxes slightly on the middle class and significantly on the upper-middle class and wealthy (e.g. over 150-200k per year household income), with a net economic gain, and probably thrown in a couple hundred billion a year more for infrastructure spending, which would have probably gotten us out of recession significantly faster, resulting in less overall spending and debt in the first place. Instead, congress acted like a bunch of childish idiots, listened to idiotic ideas from special interests instead of actual economists, and have continued to do so for the past five years.

This shutdown is just congress letting us know that they aren't even going to pretend to be functional. But hey, fuck it, there are more important things than our economy, like further fucking over the poor. Besides, even if we reduce growth or go back into a recession, that money won't go away, it will have to go somewhere; it's just that overall income to the bottom 95% will drop, and government revenue will drop (further increasing debt and causing even more idiocy from congress), but it will still go to entities that are not in those two groups. No net harm done! Nothing like making money off of the suffering of others. We call that capitalism, which is the best system because freedom. But because free markets (the only condition being a lack of government regulation) and supply vs demand, capitalism automagically distributes all money perfectly because microeconomic theory says it does because microeconomic theory applies perfectly to all situations in the market.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Silknor » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:34 am UTC

Thesh wrote:
sardia wrote:Final note, is it possible and/or likely that we can have a government shutdown but a resolution to the debt ceiling? Or do the two things have to happen sequentially?


Unless government bonds stopped being trusted, then no, the debt limit is really the only thing that can cause it. Of course, the shutdown can be resolved without the debt ceiling being resolved, simply by raising taxes, but that's something that we aren't even considering in this case (we'll cut services for the poor, but god forgive we raise taxes on the rich).


Emphasis added. What is this "it"? The shutdown is resolved when appropriations or a continuing resolution is approved. Raising taxes has no impact on how long the shutdown goes on, and neither does cutting spending. The issue is the bills authorizing (most) discretionary spending have expired, and they need to be reauthorized to allow the government to spend money. This would continue to be true even if we raise the debt ceiling, and so we can have an extended shutdown even if the debt ceiling is dealt with. The only real interaction is that since a government shutdown will reduce spending in the short term (the last one actually cost more than it saved once funding was restored), it could delay when we hit the debt ceiling a little bit.

We probably could have significantly cut our deficit at the height of the recession by simply lowering taxes significantly on the poor, lowering taxes slightly on the lower middle class (e.g. under 65k per year household income) while raising taxes slightly on the middle class and significantly on the upper-middle class and wealthy (e.g. over 150-200k per year household income), with a net economic gain, and probably thrown in a couple hundred billion a year more for infrastructure spending, which would have probably gotten us out of recession significantly faster, resulting in less overall spending and debt in the first place.


Significantly cutting the deficit would've made the recession last longer. Making the underlying changes progressive blunts the impact somewhat, but that doesn't make it a good way to fight a recession. And given that your lower middle class ends significantly above the median income (52k), I'm not sure it would balance either if you only want to raise taxes "slightly" on the middle class.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:57 am UTC

Emphasis added. What is this "it"? The shutdown is resolved when appropriations or a continuing resolution is approved. Raising taxes has no impact on how long the shutdown goes on, and neither does cutting spending. The issue is the bills authorizing (most) discretionary spending have expired, and they need to be reauthorized to allow the government to spend money. This would continue to be true even if we raise the debt ceiling, and so we can have an extended shutdown even if the debt ceiling is dealt with. The only real interaction is that since a government shutdown will reduce spending in the short term (the last one actually cost more than it saved once funding was restored), it could delay when we hit the debt ceiling a little bit.


Even then, you're being generous. Generally speaking, wringing federal employees out of their money is a jackass move to do. They all want to work right now, but the Federal Shutdown prevents them from doing so. In particular, they still have student loan payments / mortgages / bills to pay, even though they aren't being paid today. So usually... Congress approves the backpay for work not done anyway.

So there aren't any real savings done at all. Today represents a waste of several billion dollars, so that the Tea Party can make a political point. It is the height of stupidity to shutdown the government "to save money".
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby broken_escalator » Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:06 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Pretty much. I'm optimistic still, mind you, but I'll be fine if there's a couple of days off work. If it gets over a couple weeks, it'll get uncomfortable for quite a lot of people, I imagine, but while I don't expect the senate and congress to resolve their differences overnight, I believe they'll face increasing pressure to solve the situation as it goes on, and it won't stretch out that long.

And by "solve", I mostly mean, "come to a temporary arrangement while punting the debt football a little further down the road". I'm not THAT optimistic.

The furlough is not to exceed 30 days according to whatever I just signed today. Was tempted to sign up for the unemployment insurance benefits, but that seems like more hassle than it's worth (considering I have a large safety net). I'm more annoyed they made me come in for 4 hours today just to sign a piece of paper, reaffirm my stacks of PII are all locked away, and then go home.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Роберт » Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:39 pm UTC

I wouldn't be surprised if that Google doodle was an intentional political statement. It could just be coincidence, of course. It's called "plausible deniability".
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby addams » Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:22 am UTC

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... pened.html

The US government is shut down.
It seems to be on everyone's lips.

This has happened before.
This is a private matter between people in Washington DC and other people in Washington DC.
The People seem to Like the idea.

Nothing will change.
The insiders will make deals while they give each other blow jobs or something and all will be as it has always been?

That is what I have been told, today.
That seems as probable as anything.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Thesh » Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:58 am UTC

Silknor wrote:Significantly cutting the deficit would've made the recession last longer. Making the underlying changes progressive blunts the impact somewhat, but that doesn't make it a good way to fight a recession.

It's a matter of fiscal multipliers, taxes like capital gains and taxes on high income brackets have a very low multiplier (<$0.5 GDP per $1 of taxes), while taxes that primarily affect the poor have a much higher fiscal multiplier (>$1 of GDP for every $1 of taxes). If you tax 2:1 taxes on the rich, cuts to the poor, you will have a net positive effect on GDP, while significantly increasing revenue. If we set the first tax bracket to 0%, eliminated payroll tax on all income under $10,000, and increased the cutoff amount at the top, while increasing other brackets, and taxing capital gains the same as normal income, the impact on revenue would have been huge, whereas the impact of the economy would have most likely been positive.


Silknor wrote:And given that your lower middle class ends significantly above the median income (52k), I'm not sure it would balance either if you only want to raise taxes "slightly" on the middle class.

Half of all income goes to households making 100k or more (top 20% of households). A quarter of all income goes to households making $190k or more (5% of households). And that's not even including capital gains, but accounting for tax credits (not sure if it includes existing taxes), welfare, social security, etc. $65k and below is 60% of households. Note that I can't link to these figures because the census.gov website is down.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Wnderer » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:38 pm UTC

How 'unprecedented' is the shutdown?
O’Neill presided over a total of seven government shutdowns under Reagan, and five during the Jimmy Carter administration, meaning that he played a role in precisely two-thirds of all the government shutdowns since the modern budgeting process has been in place.


http://www.nationalreview.com/article/3 ... rew-stiles
Spoiler:
The government shut down on October 1 for the 18th time since 1976, after the House and Senate could not agree on a resolution to fund it. Democrats have accused Republicans of negotiating with “a bomb strapped to their chest” and putting “a gun to everybody’s head,” as if it were an anomalous development in the modern political era for Congress to seek to extract policy concessions from the White House by withholding spending authorization. The resulting shutdown, Democrats now suggest, is as unprecedented as it is deplorable. Or, in the words of one esteemed liberal, it is “the end result of a 50-year GOP push to make govt = welfare and welfare = black people.”

Historically speaking, it is rather remarkable that Washington hasn’t experienced a government shutdown in nearly two decades. The shutdowns of the mid 1990s have been the subject of much debate. Beyond that, however, the chattering class appears to suffer from a short memory, as it often does.

At this point in Ronald Reagan’s second term, for example, the government had already shut down six times, for a total of twelve days, as a result of failed budget negotiations between the White House, a Republican Senate, and House Democrats under the leadership of Speaker Tip O’Neill (D., Mass.) — precisely the opposite of the political dynamic that exists today. Former O’Neill staffer and MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews has written an entire book extolling that era as a time “when politics worked.” (You can probably guess how he feels about the current situation.)

O’Neill presided over a total of seven government shutdowns under Reagan, and five during the Jimmy Carter administration, meaning that he played a role in precisely two-thirds of all the government shutdowns since the modern budgeting process has been in place. Representative Raul Labrador (R., Idaho) pointed this out to Matthews on Meet the Press on Sunday, noting that O’Neill was never called a terrorist for shutting the government down over budget negotiations. Matthews didn’t care for the reminder and even questioned the source of Labrador’s claim; it was the Washington Post.

Interestingly, nearly all of the shutdowns that took place during the Carter administration, when Democrats also controlled the Senate under Senate majority leader Robert Byrd (D., W.Va.), were the result of disagreements over abortion policy, and lasted more than ten days on average. In several instances between 1977 and 1979, the Democratic House resisted the Democratic Senate’s efforts to expand the number of cases for which federal funds, via Medicaid, could be used to pay for abortion. The government partially shut down three times for a total of 28 days between September and December 1977 as lawmakers negotiated a compromise on the issue, although it would be revisited several times during subsequent shutdowns.

The shutdowns of the Reagan-O’Neill era, on the other hand, were more budget-focused, and the disputes they involved were over a wider range of policies. They also took less time to resolve. The first such shutdown occurred in November 1981, less than a year into Reagan’s first term. Reagan had demanded at least $4 billion in domestic-spending cuts, and when Congress did not oblige, he vetoed a spending package, triggering a government shutdown. Technically, the shutdown lasted only a few hours, until Congress approved a three-week spending resolution to give lawmakers time to negotiate a long-term deal.

The government briefly shut down twice the following year, the first time because the House simply failed to pass an agreed-on spending bill before funding expired. According to the New York Times, party leaders missed the deadline in order to attend “major social events,” which included a barbeque at the White House and a high-dollar Democratic fundraiser. Reagan ultimately accepted a funding agreement even though it called for higher levels of spending than he would have liked.

Months later, the government shut down for several days in part over the House’s refusal to fund an intercontinental-missile program that Reagan supported. The House also wanted more than $5 billion in funding for public-works projects, which Reagan had threatened to veto. In the end, the public-works funding was scrapped, but so was funding for the missile program.

Another shutdown occurred in November 1983 after House Democrats requested an additional $1 billion in funding for education and reduced spending on defense and foreign aid. Less than a year later, the government shut down after the House, as well as the Senate, sought to tie a number of extraneous measures, opposed by Reagan, to a resolution funding the government. That standoff resulted in a three-day continuing resolution to buy time for further negotiation, but the government shut down again when lawmakers failed to reach an agreement.

The final shutdown of O’Neill’s political career was in October 1986. House Democrats had picked fights with Reagan on a number of issues, including labor, energy, and welfare policy. The differences between the two sides weren’t resolved in time to prevent a shutdown, which lasted about a day, and ended when Democrats relinquished many of their demands.

Of course, the current scenario is unique given the controversy surrounding The Affordable Care Act — legislation of historical scope that was passed in partisan fashion and remains unpopular, notwithstanding the reelection of its namesake. Perhaps if the situation were reversed, House Democrats would never be so irresponsible as to allow the government to shut down. History suggests otherwise.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Thesh » Wed Oct 02, 2013 6:56 pm UTC

That article is the prime example of how stupid Americans are. We care more about parties than policies. Instead, we stoop to childish remarks like "Yeah, but your party did this 20 or 40 years ago, so there!" Pure idiocy.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:40 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:That article is the prime example of how stupid Americans are. We care more about parties than policies. Instead, we stoop to childish remarks like "Yeah, but your party did this 20 or 40 years ago, so there!" Pure idiocy.


Every political email I've seen so far has been intent on blaming the other guys, yes. And yes, both parties have sent me emails. They're often quite willing to straight up say they don't know how to fix the issue.

Friggin' useless, the lot of them....

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Wnderer » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:59 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:That article is the prime example of how stupid Americans are. We care more about parties than policies. Instead, we stoop to childish remarks like "Yeah, but your party did this 20 or 40 years ago, so there!" Pure idiocy.


That's completely backwards. The Republicans have selected a path that is damaging to their party because they are so fanatic about the policy. Because the origination clause makes the budget the primary power of the House of Representatives, shutdowns and threats of shutdowns will continue to part of US politics. The problem with this shutdown is that the Republicans can't really achieve anything. They are hurting the economy and the country to make a purely symbolic gesture.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Derek » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:17 pm UTC

Wnderer wrote:
Thesh wrote:That article is the prime example of how stupid Americans are. We care more about parties than policies. Instead, we stoop to childish remarks like "Yeah, but your party did this 20 or 40 years ago, so there!" Pure idiocy.


That's completely backwards. The Republicans have selected a path that is damaging to their party because they are so fanatic about the policy. Because the origination clause makes the budget the primary power of the House of Representatives, shutdowns and threats of shutdowns will continue to part of US politics. The problem with this shutdown is that the Republicans can't really achieve anything. They are hurting the economy and the country to make a purely symbolic gesture.

I'm not sure what the origin of budgets has to do with this. Even if the Senate or even Obama could propose budgets, the Republicans could still block them indefinitely in Congress. The problem then (if you consider it such) is having two separate legislative bodies and an executive, all of which need to agree (often with supermajorities) to pass a bill.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:44 am UTC

Agreed...regardless of who is originating suggestions, divisiveness is so strong I don't think it'd make a difference. Of course, I think the separation of powers between exec and the two houses is important...but the current situation is definitely far from ideal.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Wnderer » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:24 am UTC

from Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origination_clause
In its final form, the Origination Clause was a major selling point for ratification of the Constitution. James Madison, who supported the final version during and after the 1787 Convention,[10] wrote the following in Federalist 58 as the debate over ratification was raging:[13]

The house of representatives can not only refuse, but they alone can propose the supplies requisite for the support of government. They in a word hold the purse; that powerful instrument by which we behold, in the history of the British constitution, an infant and humble representation of the people, gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. This power over the purse, may in fact be regarded as the most compleat and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.

This clause resonated with a citizenry opposed to taxation without representation.[15] It went into effect with the rest of the Constitution on March 4, 1789.



The House of Representatives believes the Origination Clause legitimizes their position. They are using "This power over the purse" "the most compleat and effectual weapon" for the "redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure". The House of Representatives is doing its job just as the Framers intended with the powers the Constitution gives them. The President by refusing to negotiate and treating the House as a rubber stamp is not doing his and undermining the checks and balances of the co equal branches.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby sardia » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:40 am UTC

You and your 50% of 1/2 of Congress, who is 1/3 of the federal government should go back to civics class if you think that represents the will of the people. If the branches are so coequal, then that must mean you agree with the president. Executive branch + 1/2 of congress +5/9 of SCOTUS >1/2 of congress. There was a negotiation, it happened in 2010. It was passed when the House and the Senate wrote a bill, passed it, and was signed into law by the president. You know, just the way the framers intended.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:10 am UTC

Wnderer wrote:The House of Representatives believes the Origination Clause legitimizes their position. They are using "This power over the purse" "the most compleat and effectual weapon" for the "redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure". The House of Representatives is doing its job just as the Framers intended with the powers the Constitution gives them. The President by refusing to negotiate and treating the House as a rubber stamp is not doing his and undermining the checks and balances of the co equal branches.


That is a view, sure. However, originating power isn't without limit. They may be the ones making the first move, but in practice, you need all three on board. That means that no single branch is most powerful, regardless of what the signers said. The government has changed in many ways from those years, and even statements that were accurate then about the government may not be now.

Originating or not, you still need to make a deal and get everyone on board. Yeah, if one party controls all three, you can mostly get away with skipping that, but some measure of division happens rather a lot. It needs to be accepted as normal by both parties and deals struck.

sardia wrote:You and your 50% of 1/2 of Congress, who is 1/3 of the federal government should go back to civics class if you think that represents the will of the people. If the branches are so coequal, then that must mean you agree with the president. Executive branch + 1/2 of congress +5/9 of SCOTUS >1/2 of congress. There was a negotiation, it happened in 2010. It was passed when the House and the Senate wrote a bill, passed it, and was signed into law by the president. You know, just the way the framers intended.


I'm afraid that isn't entirely realistic either. First off, SCOTUS only weighs in if it's legal or not....it isn't about if it's a good idea. Sure, judicial activism happens from time to time, but they're definitely not supposed to be a measure of popularity or the like. The judiciary is the most isolated of the branches.

And yeah, just because a law gets passed doesn't make it stop being controversial. Laws have engendered years of controversy before, certainly. Decades or more, even. Negotiations are never entirely final. Politicians are always seeking to change the balance. This idea that a law, once signed, must fall from national attention is not based on law or history.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Darryl » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:18 am UTC

Wnderer wrote:from Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origination_clause
In its final form, the Origination Clause was a major selling point for ratification of the Constitution. James Madison, who supported the final version during and after the 1787 Convention,[10] wrote the following in Federalist 58 as the debate over ratification was raging:[13]

The house of representatives can not only refuse, but they alone can propose the supplies requisite for the support of government. They in a word hold the purse; that powerful instrument by which we behold, in the history of the British constitution, an infant and humble representation of the people, gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. This power over the purse, may in fact be regarded as the most compleat and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.

This clause resonated with a citizenry opposed to taxation without representation.[15] It went into effect with the rest of the Constitution on March 4, 1789.



The House of Representatives believes the Origination Clause legitimizes their position. They are using "This power over the purse" "the most compleat and effectual weapon" for the "redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure". The House of Representatives is doing its job just as the Framers intended with the powers the Constitution gives them. The President by refusing to negotiate and treating the House as a rubber stamp is not doing his and undermining the checks and balances of the co equal branches.

The House was also given the Origination powers when the Senate was chosen not by the people, but by the state legislatures. The Senate was, originally, a version of the House of Lords without nobility.

Also, the actual compromise (which is to pass a clean CR that doesn't defund ACA, but uses amounts that are much closer to Republican numbers) has the votes to pass, but John Boehner is invoking Hastert's Rule (half of the majority party has to approve of something for it to make it to the floor) in order to keep himself from attracting the ire of the Tea Party caucus, the far-right wing of his party. Note that this is a rule that gets applied entirely haphazardly by GOP speakers (started by Dennis Hastert), and rarely, if ever, by Democratic speakers.

Meanwhile, President Obama has hardly used one of the most antagonistic Congresses in most of our lifetimes as a "rubber stamp".
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby liveboy21 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:29 am UTC

I have a question about this government shutdown thing. Whose job was it to decide what gets shut down and what stays open? The panda cam is off, but the pandas are still getting fed. The parks are closed and they are being blockaded rather than abandoned. The EPA is shut down. NASA is mainly deserted. 800,000 are on unpaid leave. Soldiers still get paid. Medicare is still going. Social Securuty is still going.

Was there some planning as to what gets shut down and what doesn't? Who decided that keeping Pandas alive had more priority than many other government functions?

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby sardia » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:33 am UTC

I'm afraid that isn't entirely realistic either. First off, SCOTUS only weighs in if it's legal or not....it isn't about if it's a good idea. Sure, judicial activism happens from time to time, but they're definitely not supposed to be a measure of popularity or the like. The judiciary is the most isolated of the branches.

And yeah, just because a law gets passed doesn't make it stop being controversial. Laws have engendered years of controversy before, certainly. Decades or more, even. Negotiations are never entirely final. Politicians are always seeking to change the balance. This idea that a law, once signed, must fall from national attention is not based on law or history.
Spoiler:
Your views on SCOTUS are naive, either that, or I'm a cynical bastard. The supreme court doesn't have the seemingly limitless power that Congress or the President does, but it's not an apolitical machine. They have thousands of cases to choose from and each of them come with powerful arguments for each side. (If they didn't, they wouldn't have made it past the first appeal) If me and four other like minded individuals, say from being selected by like minded presidents, wanted to pursue an agenda; nothing could stop me. So long as the they stay within the framework and camouflage of logical reasoning, they can advance anything they want. They can only be influenced by a united congress or several presidents acting together. Judicial activism happens all the time, it only apparent when it affects something you care about. When judges rule for The Affordable Care Act, it's activism to the GOP. When judges rule towards a wider 2nd amendment, it's activism to the gun lobby.


Are you ok with the House attempting to repeal The Affordable Care Act for the 43rd time? That doesn't seem unusual to you?
liveboy21 wrote:I have a question about this government shutdown thing. Whose job was it to decide what gets shut down and what stays open? The panda cam is off, but the pandas are still getting fed. The parks are closed and they are being blockaded rather than abandoned. The EPA is shut down. NASA is mainly deserted. 800,000 are on unpaid leave. Soldiers still get paid. Medicare is still going. Social Securuty is still going.

Was there some planning as to what gets shut down and what doesn't? Who decided that keeping Pandas alive had more priority than many other government functions?

The Executive branch decides who is essential and who is not. The idea that federal workers even stop working was decided by the attorney general or some department, forgot which. The reason the executive stopped workers from working was to pressure congress to stop repeated shutdowns. It worked, for a while. Now Congress is much more comfortable with shutdowns.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:43 am UTC

sardia wrote:
I'm afraid that isn't entirely realistic either. First off, SCOTUS only weighs in if it's legal or not....it isn't about if it's a good idea. Sure, judicial activism happens from time to time, but they're definitely not supposed to be a measure of popularity or the like. The judiciary is the most isolated of the branches.

And yeah, just because a law gets passed doesn't make it stop being controversial. Laws have engendered years of controversy before, certainly. Decades or more, even. Negotiations are never entirely final. Politicians are always seeking to change the balance. This idea that a law, once signed, must fall from national attention is not based on law or history.
Spoiler:
Your views on SCOTUS are naive, either that, or I'm a cynical bastard. The supreme court doesn't have the seemingly limitless power that Congress or the President does, but it's not an apolitical machine. They have thousands of cases to choose from and each of them come with powerful arguments for each side. (If they didn't, they wouldn't have made it past the first appeal) If me and four other like minded individuals, say from being selected by like minded presidents, wanted to pursue an agenda; nothing could stop me. So long as the they stay within the framework and camouflage of logical reasoning, they can advance anything they want. They can only be influenced by a united congress or several presidents acting together. Judicial activism happens all the time, it only apparent when it affects something you care about. When judges rule for The Affordable Care Act, it's activism to the GOP. When judges rule towards a wider 2nd amendment, it's activism to the gun lobby.


Are you ok with the House attempting to repeal The Affordable Care Act for the 43rd time? That doesn't seem unusual to you?


At least they bother with the logical camouflage. Most branches of government? Not so much. I'm not gonna say that the judiciary is perfect or wholly unbiased...surely, partisanship can often be evident in decisions...but they manage to at least deal with it a civil fashion, and sometimes they manage to transcend partisanship. Faction divides get set aside sometimes. It's something that the rest of government might aspire to.

I think they're using poor tactics to achieve their ends, but no, a couple of years of opposition does not seem at all unusual. It is quite normal for one party to carry a grudge over a law for quite some time, and to bring it back up later. Yeah, voting over and over again is not a tactic that is going to work, but the basic divide over the law is entirely normal and predictable. It's definitely the most controversial of Obama's first term achievements, is it not? We had similar controversies in Bush's time, and before Bush as well. The controversy is normal. The shutdown, not so much.

And yet, both sides seem to think that they shouldn't even have to deal with the controversy, despite it being utterly normal for politics.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby sardia » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:13 am UTC

The only reason SCOTUS and to a lesser extent the senate, seems so civil is that they represent a larger population and have a longer outlook on politics. The House has no such buffer, so they are more susceptible to the wild emotions of a fringe group. Also, why do you refer to the Tea Party like they are an equal to the Democrats? They aren't. They're a faction of a wing of the majority party in the House, and a faction of the minority part in the Senate. I'm not a fan with the current SCOTUS, the liberal wing is being played hard by the conservatives, and the decisions they made are very questionable. If Congress wasn't such a mess, more people would realize just how far out of line they've gone.

As for the lack of negotiation, what the GOP is offering is a joke. Hey Tyndmyr, here's my deal. Suspend the 2nd amendment or I shut down the government. No? How about you suspend conceal carry for a year and the government keeps running for another month or two. Please ignore the upcoming debt ceiling debate, I'm definitely not going to demand more concessions in a month...maybe.
Why aren't you negotiating Tyndmyr? I gave a reasonable offer, I even conceded a bit to you. Why are you being so unreasonable?

Parable aside, there is a possibility of a grand bargain of some sort, but considering what Democrats were offering last time; the GOP won't bite. Think about how hard it was to come to a budget agreement for last year, now imagine how many dollars in new taxes the GOP would be willing to take in exchange for delaying/modifying parts of The Affordable Care Act. It's just not gonna happen, the GOP has nothing to offer but a temporary end to the pain, and that's a shit offer that invites more abuse.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Carnildo » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:08 am UTC

liveboy21 wrote:Soldiers still get paid.

Soldiers are getting paid because there was a special appropriation passed outside the regular budget process to do so. (Even the Tea Party recognizes that not paying the troops is political suicide.)

Medicare is still going. Social Securuty is still going.

Medicare and Social Security are funded outside of the regular budget process: both are (at least in theory) funded entirely with money drawn from their respective trust funds. You'll find that most of the bits and pieces of government still running are like this: funding comes from outside the budget process (eg. the Patent Office is running off patent application fees right now).

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:35 am UTC

sardia wrote:The only reason SCOTUS and to a lesser extent the senate, seems so civil is that they represent a larger population and have a longer outlook on politics. The House has no such buffer, so they are more susceptible to the wild emotions of a fringe group. Also, why do you refer to the Tea Party like they are an equal to the Democrats? They aren't. They're a faction of a wing of the majority party in the House, and a faction of the minority part in the Senate. I'm not a fan with the current SCOTUS, the liberal wing is being played hard by the conservatives, and the decisions they made are very questionable. If Congress wasn't such a mess, more people would realize just how far out of line they've gone.


Republicans are roughly equal to the democrats. The internal divisions of republicans are interesting, but not extremely relevant at the moment. The majority of the house is on board with this strategy. That's enough to be problematic. Squabbling over if it's the tea party or if it's republicans isn't terribly meaningful, especially as the tea party is mostly just a subset of republicans. It's not that radically different from basic republican principles, really. Just more angry, mostly.

As for the lack of negotiation, what the GOP is offering is a joke. Hey Tyndmyr, here's my deal. Suspend the 2nd amendment or I shut down the government. No? How about you suspend conceal carry for a year and the government keeps running for another month or two. Please ignore the upcoming debt ceiling debate, I'm definitely not going to demand more concessions in a month...maybe.
Why aren't you negotiating Tyndmyr? I gave a reasonable offer, I even conceded a bit to you. Why are you being so unreasonable?


Blind acceptance is not negotiation. I don't insist that the democrats simply give up on the ACA...but coming up with counteroffers, etc would be nice.

Parable aside, there is a possibility of a grand bargain of some sort, but considering what Democrats were offering last time; the GOP won't bite. Think about how hard it was to come to a budget agreement for last year, now imagine how many dollars in new taxes the GOP would be willing to take in exchange for delaying/modifying parts of The Affordable Care Act. It's just not gonna happen, the GOP has nothing to offer but a temporary end to the pain, and that's a shit offer that invites more abuse.


Oh, I'm not saying it's easy to make a deal...but I expect the effort to be made anyway. And "new taxes" isn't the only way out of this. Hell, you could stop the shutdown and raise the debt limit without any new taxes at all.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Silknor » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:17 pm UTC

@Thesh: Spoilered for Off-topic.

Spoiler:
Thesh wrote:
Silknor wrote:Significantly cutting the deficit would've made the recession last longer. Making the underlying changes progressive blunts the impact somewhat, but that doesn't make it a good way to fight a recession.

If you tax 2:1 taxes on the rich, cuts to the poor, you will have a net positive effect on GDP, while significantly increasing revenue. If we set the first tax bracket to 0%, eliminated payroll tax on all income under $10,000, and increased the cutoff amount at the top, while increasing other brackets, and taxing capital gains the same as normal income, the impact on revenue would have been huge, whereas the impact of the economy would have most likely been positive.


I'm aware of the multipliers, which is why I said it would blunt the impact somewhat. But when you're in a recession, the goal isn't to have a "huge" impact on revenue and a "likely positive" impact on the economy. That's a nice thing 3-4 years down the road. But it's not good recession fighting policy, when the deficit should be going up, not down. Now, if you can do that in a progressive way (you can!), all the better, both for distributional reasons and those related to the marginal propensity to consume/fiscal multiplier. But holding distribution constant, it's far superior to have been increasing the deficit in 2009 compared to reducing it. Again, if you can tie that to a long-term way of increasing revenue and boosting progressiveness in a grand bargain, great.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby omgryebread » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:02 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Republicans are roughly equal to the democrats. The internal divisions of republicans are interesting, but not extremely relevant at the moment. The majority of the house is on board with this strategy. That's enough to be problematic. Squabbling over if it's the tea party or if it's republicans isn't terribly meaningful, especially as the tea party is mostly just a subset of republicans. It's not that radically different from basic republican principles, really. Just more angry, mostly.
The majority of the House is not on board with this strategy. A majority of the House would vote for a clean CR, but Boehner refuses to let one come to the floor, invoking the Majority of the Majority rule.

Likely, Boehner even recognizes this strategy is bad. But he won't risk his position as speaker.

Blind acceptance is not negotiation. I don't insist that the democrats simply give up on the ACA...but coming up with counteroffers, etc would be nice.
Negotiate what? The shutdown? Both sides claim to not want a shutdown.

Asking for a compromise either shows Republicans are idiots who don't understand basic game theory and the meaning of the word compromise, or are cynical liars who are misrepresenting their position.

Rather than define payouts, I'll just frame them as positive or negative, and I'll do it how game theory usually does, so a positive payout for A and a negative for B is (+,-) which also looks kinda like a winking owl. Neat.

In a compromise, A does something that gives a negative payout for them and a positive for B (-,+). In return, B will do the reverse (+,-). The idea is that the positives each side gains outweigh the negatives. So to add arbitrary numbers, A does (-1,+2) and B does (+2,-1) leading to a (1,1).

Now for the shutdown negotiations, I'll put Democrats as A. Boehner is asking for the Democrats to make a concession (-,+). In return, he will fund the government. But wait. He says he wants to fund the government. Funding the government gives him a positive payout! It's a (+,+), which really looks more like a stoned owl.

And no, Democrats aren't offering a compromise either, since they aren't going to give anything up.

This is a different thing altogether. It's a threat.

In a threat, B demands that A do something with a payoff of (-,+). If A refuses, B will do (-,-). Sleeping owl!


It's not an offer of compromise coming from Republicans, it's a threat. Accepting any concessions wouldn't be a compromise or negotiation for Democrats, it would be a yield.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:12 pm UTC

Would it be in bad taste for Obama just to say "The government refuses to negotiate with terrorists"?

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby cphite » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:05 pm UTC

sardia wrote:You and your 50% of 1/2 of Congress, who is 1/3 of the federal government should go back to civics class if you think that represents the will of the people. If the branches are so coequal, then that must mean you agree with the president. Executive branch + 1/2 of congress +5/9 of SCOTUS >1/2 of congress. There was a negotiation, it happened in 2010. It was passed when the House and the Senate wrote a bill, passed it, and was signed into law by the president. You know, just the way the framers intended.


Just because something is signed into law doesn't mean it ends there... it's not at uncommon for laws to be changed after they are passed. And given that a somewhat large majority of people who vote republican are opposed to the ACA, it makes sense that the House (which is majority republican) would attempt to reverse it. The job of a representative is to represent (it's right there in the job title) the people who voted him or her into office. And while it may be difficult to accept, the reality is that a lot of the republicans who are so focused on repealing or defunding the law are actually getting quite a bit of support from their own constituents.

The House votes on the budget; and that includes deciding what is spent (or not spent) on established programs. That is also the way the framers intended.

Frankly, I would prefer that The Affordable Care Act be repealed and replaced with something that will actually do what it was intended to do. Barring that, I would like the see the individual mandate delayed. It's interesting that so many folks - especially on the left - have no problem whatsoever with Obama delaying the employer mandate for a year via executive fiat, but when the House tries to delay another part of the bill by the actual correct process (via legislature) suddenly this whole "it's the law" argument comes into play.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby cphite » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:11 pm UTC

liveboy21 wrote:I have a question about this government shutdown thing. Whose job was it to decide what gets shut down and what stays open? The panda cam is off, but the pandas are still getting fed. The parks are closed and they are being blockaded rather than abandoned. The EPA is shut down. NASA is mainly deserted. 800,000 are on unpaid leave. Soldiers still get paid. Medicare is still going. Social Securuty is still going.

Was there some planning as to what gets shut down and what doesn't? Who decided that keeping Pandas alive had more priority than many other government functions?


The executive branch decides what services and personnel are essential.

In the case of the current administration, they also apparently take the time to decide what closures will have the greatest political impact. For example, the closures of the monuments in DC is pure politics. There is no legitimate reason for these to be closed. Any other time, you can visit these monuments at 2am on a Sunday - when the park service is certainly "closed" for all practical purposes - and it's not an issue. It actually costs more to send people out to these sites with barricades than to not do anything. They weren't closed the last time the government was shut down.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Роберт » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:11 pm UTC

I have no problem with the legislature going through correct channels to pass and repeal laws. I DO have a problem with the legislature failing to come up with a budget and just letting stuff shutdown by default. If you can't pass a budget, you suck and need to be voted out.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Zamfir » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:25 pm UTC

Yet, both parties seem confident that they can ride it out without losing much votes. Perhaps one is wrong, but what if they are not? What if this actually represents a divide among the voters, and both sides will keep voting support if they play hard?

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby leady » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:40 pm UTC

I suspect that now the binary shutdown boundary has been passed, the democrats win in a short one (looks like GOP crazies being super partisan), the republicans win a long one (because practically no one notices a government shutdown)

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:53 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
liveboy21 wrote:I have a question about this government shutdown thing. Whose job was it to decide what gets shut down and what stays open? The panda cam is off, but the pandas are still getting fed. The parks are closed and they are being blockaded rather than abandoned. The EPA is shut down. NASA is mainly deserted. 800,000 are on unpaid leave. Soldiers still get paid. Medicare is still going. Social Securuty is still going.

Was there some planning as to what gets shut down and what doesn't? Who decided that keeping Pandas alive had more priority than many other government functions?


The executive branch decides what services and personnel are essential.

In the case of the current administration, they also apparently take the time to decide what closures will have the greatest political impact. For example, the closures of the monuments in DC is pure politics. There is no legitimate reason for these to be closed. Any other time, you can visit these monuments at 2am on a Sunday - when the park service is certainly "closed" for all practical purposes - and it's not an issue. It actually costs more to send people out to these sites with barricades than to not do anything. They weren't closed the last time the government was shut down.


Here's what I don't understand. If the executive branch decides what services and personnel are essential, why are they shutting down things that Democrats like (eg. social programs) and keeping open things that Republicans like (eg. military)? Why can't Obama say "We're going to stop funding half of our military so we can keep food stamps and welfare going as long as we can?"

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby kiklion » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:05 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Here's what I don't understand. If the executive branch decides what services and personnel are essential, why are they shutting down things that Democrats like (eg. social programs) and keeping open things that Republicans like (eg. military)? Why can't Obama say "We're going to stop funding half of our military so we can keep food stamps and welfare going as long as we can?"


First off the military is a bad example. It is almost universally recognized that the military is essential. You don't just tell everyone in Iraq to go home and not show up tomorrow. Also, the military, to the best of my knowledge isn't getting paid currently. They will be paid retroactively for the work they do/did but they aren't being paid now. Retroactive pay may actually occur to the people who aren't working without pay as well.

Secondly, I would argue that the Democrats may need to argue for why they categorized any one item as essential/non-essential. Maybe not now, but if they declare all military non-essential it would come up down the line 'Democrats think Military is non-essential, they don't care about our safety!' kind of way. So they do classify things pretty well, it just happens that the Democrats support more non-essential aspects of government while Republican support larger financing for the essential aspects of government (almost none want to really cut spending.)

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby dockaon » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:45 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
Here's what I don't understand. If the executive branch decides what services and personnel are essential, why are they shutting down things that Democrats like (eg. social programs) and keeping open things that Republicans like (eg. military)? Why can't Obama say "We're going to stop funding half of our military so we can keep food stamps and welfare going as long as we can?"


Although the executive branch decides whether something is essential it doesn't get to decide the criteria, which is specified by law. The primary one being that it is essential to the preservation of life or property. In principle, Obama could decide opening the Washington Monument is essential to the preservation of life or property and I'm not sure who would have the standing to challenge it, but I think most reasonable people would disagree.

Reasons why some part of the government is open:
1) Essential to the preservation of life or property
2) Funded outside the appropriations process (entitlements like Social Security or Medicare, self funding organizations like the U.S. Patent Office, agencies with revolving capital funds like the GSA and DLA)


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