Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

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leady
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby leady » Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:52 pm UTC

sardia wrote:We're reaching a lot of topics now, so let's try to pair it down. That' said...
Tyndmyr, a good replacement to the debt ceiling is to defang it. You can change it so the US can ignore all artificial limits on how much debt the US can have, and let it be based on what the market and country can bear. You know, let the free market decide how much the US can borrow. If you really cared about debt, the country will work out how much it should screw the poor vs the old vs the rich. Hint, it's not gonna be the rich or the old that get screwed. Now if you have a problem with free market principles, I'd be happy to discuss the failings of capitalism with you.


That doesn't make sense to me at all. Are you suggesting that its a free market solution to allow a government to keep borrowing so long as people will lend them money? If so thats not a free market, one side has an extortion side business...

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Zamfir
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Zamfir » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:42 pm UTC

leady wrote:
Absolutely and this is the problem with social progressiveness or at least those that actively generate costs. People like free stuff and the next generation begin to expect it as a right and the idea of removing the benefit becomes heresy. Over time the cost of these balloons because they are paid for with debt, generating an exponential math problem...

That doesn't match reality though. Countries do not have welfare stat that grow exponentially without bound, and except for Japan that applies to government debt too.

Fort example, total collective spending in the Netherlands grew continuously from the 1910s to the 1970s. It was roughly constant over the 19th century between 10 to 15% of GDP, then grew to nearly 60%. Since then, it has dropped somewhat, to 50% or so at the moment.

Government debt was highest in the early 19th century, over 200%. Since the mid 19th century it has fluctuated between about 50 and 100%, with perhaps a downward trend over the really long term. Real interest rates have fallen over that period and the tax base is now a larger share of GDP, so debt servicing is nowadays more manageable than perhaps any period since the Netherlands split off from Spain.


You'll find similar stories for most countries. It's not in line with a model where government expenditure is driven by people who want entitlements at the cost of future generations.

Instead, it suggests that the collective sector grew because people actually wanted it to grow, and were willing to pay for itl. And that growth tapered off as more and more people did not want it to grow further.

In the 1950s or so, your story might have looked more plausible. Then governments were growing everywhere to unprecented sizes (though that growth was not as debt-fueled as you seem to imagine), and you might be concerned about such untested developments. Road to Serfdom, you know.

But that's a lifetime ago. The serfdom didn't show up, and neither did the crushing irresponsible debt loads. Countries used to build much larger debt loads by warfare alone, with nothing but dead bodies to show for it. Democracies with welfare states turned out to be very responsible spenders, compared to their predeccesors.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:16 pm UTC

sardia wrote:We're reaching a lot of topics now, so let's try to pair it down. That' said...
Tyndmyr, a good replacement to the debt ceiling is to defang it. You can change it so the US can ignore all artificial limits on how much debt the US can have, and let it be based on what the market and country can bear. You know, let the free market decide how much the US can borrow. If you really cared about debt, the country will work out how much it should screw the poor vs the old vs the rich. Hint, it's not gonna be the rich or the old that get screwed. Now if you have a problem with free market principles, I'd be happy to discuss the failings of capitalism with you.


Er...government borrowing is not a free market system. You can't simply say "let the free market decide". You have to explain HOW the free market will decide. What you stated is no different in substance from "let's leave it in god's hands" or any other statement of faith. The free market is not an entity, it is a mechanism.

Secondly, isn't it odd of you to claim such independence from the political system? You're a part of the spectrum of the Republican party, regardless of what you claim. There is a libertarian small government wing, I dunno how your beliefs differ from the libertarian wing, nor how your beliefs differ from the moderate establisment wing of the GOP. If you ran for office, nothing about your positions would be new.


I'm not registered Republican, I don't vote Republican often at all, and I differ from Republicans on many fairly major issues, such as gay rights.

I DO have a pretty decent match with the Libertarian Party, which I am registered with, more frequently vote for(though I do swing frequently depending on the individuals involved), and which closely match my views. This is not a subset of the Republican Party.

Yes, some aspects of libertarianism have affected the major parties. This is true in the same way that the green party cares a great deal about a couple issues that have also become more mainstream. This does not mean that libertarianism is a subset of republicanism.

I'm not very happy that both sides make mistakes, nor do I want them to. Nothing good happens from having monolithic leadership for decades on end. Illinois is a shining example of how bad it can get if you let one party control everything. However, I'm not going to vote for a nutter with a gun in one hand and a bible in the other just to express my disapproval for my elected leaders. This has a corrosive effect on both sides, I get crappier opposition, and crappier incumbents. Nobody wins in that case.

Separately,the poster is right that these crisises over the years is damaging US power. More accurately, it's accelerating US decline, and the GOP is rearranging deck chairs on the titanic thinking it'll fix it.


Nobody is forcing you to only vote for one of those two. You can vote third party. You can work within a party to improve the choices. You can work outside the parties on issues you care about.

Diadem wrote:One thing I found very strange by the way: All through this crisis, the stock market didn't really react. In fact is went up a bit. US interest rates didn't significantly change either.


Well, stocks are tied to earnings, and earnings are tied to value produced. Some companies that were heavily government tied no doubt suffered a bit more than average, but for a lot of companies, a shutdown isn't that huge of a factor. If you run a walmart, whatever. Some of your customers may have a bit less money, but other people may move to shopping at your store because of their lack of money. Mostly a wash. Extreme luxury items are likely to be more affected by a downturn, but those are small markets to begin with.

Now, stocks WOULD have eventually shown more negative effect had the situation continued, but gradually. It's an ongoing effect, not a "we're going off the cliff" event everyone makes it out to be.

Diadem wrote:That's actually pretty weird. If you lend money, then to break even the interest rate should at least reflect the odds of default. We were very close to the debt ceiling, a single crazy senator could have pushed the US past it, with procedural trickses.


So? Interest would still be paid. The US still has no difficulty making payments on the interest. Now, over the long term, it's likely that this(and probable continuing) instability of government might cost us a bit extra in interest...but we're not Greece or something. Not yet, anyway. That'd take a significant slide. Obviously, there's little reason to start down that path, but it's not like a single senator is gonna get us there overnight.

The US is not actually in decline, not now. However, it DOES face several risk factors to it's continued growth, and from a long term perspective, this is indeed a very bad thing. Neither party is acting responsibly from a long term perspective, and the difference between the two is mostly negligible.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Negated » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:47 pm UTC

Er...government borrowing is not a free market system. You can't simply say "let the free market decide". You have to explain HOW the free market will decide. What you stated is no different in substance from "let's leave it in god's hands" or any other statement of faith. The free market is not an entity, it is a mechanism.

I am rather confused about what you are try to say here. The US Treasury bonds are already freely and frequently traded on the market. They are among the most liquid assets you can possibly own. The yield of the bonds is largely determined by the investors, who would look at how big the risk is compared to the rates they offer. The yield is essentially the lowest rate that the investors are happy with. That's essentially how a free market should be, and it works just fine.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby nitePhyyre » Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:55 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
leady wrote:Absolutely and this is the problem with social progressiveness or at least those that actively generate costs. People like free stuff and the next generation begin to expect it as a right and the idea of removing the benefit becomes heresy. Over time the cost of these balloons because they are paid for with debt, generating an exponential math problem...

That doesn't match reality though. Countries do not have welfare stat that grow exponentially without bound, and except for Japan that applies to government debt too.

Fort example, total collective spending in the Netherlands grew continuously from the 1910s to the 1970s. It was roughly constant over the 19th century between 10 to 15% of GDP, then grew to nearly 60%. Since then, it has dropped somewhat, to 50% or so at the moment.

Government debt was highest in the early 19th century, over 200%. Since the mid 19th century it has fluctuated between about 50 and 100%, with perhaps a downward trend over the really long term. Real interest rates have fallen over that period and the tax base is now a larger share of GDP, so debt servicing is nowadays more manageable than perhaps any period since the Netherlands split off from Spain.


You'll find similar stories for most countries. It's not in line with a model where government expenditure is driven by people who want entitlements at the cost of future generations.

Instead, it suggests that the collective sector grew because people actually wanted it to grow, and were willing to pay for itl. And that growth tapered off as more and more people did not want it to grow further.

In the 1950s or so, your story might have looked more plausible. Then governments were growing everywhere to unprecented sizes (though that growth was not as debt-fueled as you seem to imagine), and you might be concerned about such untested developments. Road to Serfdom, you know.

But that's a lifetime ago. The serfdom didn't show up, and neither did the crushing irresponsible debt loads. Countries used to build much larger debt loads by warfare alone, with nothing but dead bodies to show for it. Democracies with welfare states turned out to be very responsible spenders, compared to their predeccesors.
Oh, silly Zamfir. Thinking you can attack a religion with facts.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby leady » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:12 pm UTC

we will see - ill be fine either way.

a lot of people such as the poor and the elderly are about 10 - 20 years away from a right shafting

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:28 pm UTC

Negated wrote:
Er...government borrowing is not a free market system. You can't simply say "let the free market decide". You have to explain HOW the free market will decide. What you stated is no different in substance from "let's leave it in god's hands" or any other statement of faith. The free market is not an entity, it is a mechanism.

I am rather confused about what you are try to say here. The US Treasury bonds are already freely and frequently traded on the market. They are among the most liquid assets you can possibly own. The yield of the bonds is largely determined by the investors, who would look at how big the risk is compared to the rates they offer. The yield is essentially the lowest rate that the investors are happy with. That's essentially how a free market should be, and it works just fine.


Rate is determined by the market, and rate really isn't the problem. The cap is what we were talking about, and that determination is roughly as far from a free market solution as one can imagine. Now, you CAN peg to a given rate...but trying to limit total debt amount by saying that you can only borrow up to x% interest rate is problematic. Namely, interest rate varies, because it's market driven. This'll mean that predictability of "can we borrow more money" will go to shit. This is exactly the opposite of what we need.

Price and supply are inextricably related. Giving up control of both of those entirely would be...really odd. Would you automatically issue arbitrarily large amounts of debt even if you don't need it because interest rates are currently low?

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Negated » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:22 pm UTC

Now that's even more confusing. The amount of government debt issued is determined by its current account. It borrows to cover the spending that its income cannot make up for. To say the amount of debt issued is not a free market makes absolutely no sense.

You can't separate the debt amount and rates when you talk about government borrowing. In the end, all that really matters is that the government has the ability to fulfill its obligations to pay back. The amount of debt the government can take on is partly determined by the interest rate of its bonds.

So debt ceiling is really setting the limit on the wrong thing. The US government can still take on more debt, thanks to its very low interest rates. It has to take on more debt because there is no way to balance the budget right now without causing an economic crisis. It is the long term sustainability that people need to worry about. A better constraint would be a balanced budget over a long period of time. You can't avoid deficit during a weak economy, but you can keep down future spending when the economy returns to health. By risking a default unnecessarily now, it only drives up the interest rates the government needs to pay and makes the debt burden worse in the long term.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Thesh » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:39 pm UTC

What we needed was to actually pass stronger stimulus bills back in 2009 and 2010. We had a bunch of stuff in both stimulus bills that grew the deficit with very little expected economic gain (but benefits for many campaign donors). Our problem right now isn't spending, it's that we are focusing on the wrong issue. What matters is not total debt, it's the debt to GDP ratio, and all this shit that we are doing to slow the growth in debt is harming GDP; if we would actually fix our economic problems, growing the economy will mean LESS welfare and safety net spending, and MORE revenue. Instead, we are going about everything in a way that risks making the debt to GDP ratio even worse.


Household income for most of the country has been on the decline ever since the recession started; when is congress going to even attempt to address that?
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby sardia » Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:15 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:What we needed was to actually pass stronger stimulus bills back in 2009 and 2010. We had a bunch of stuff in both stimulus bills that grew the deficit with very little expected economic gain (but benefits for many campaign donors). Our problem right now isn't spending, it's that we are focusing on the wrong issue. What matters is not total debt, it's the debt to GDP ratio, and all this shit that we are doing to slow the growth in debt is harming GDP; if we would actually fix our economic problems, growing the economy will mean LESS welfare and safety net spending, and MORE revenue. Instead, we are going about everything in a way that risks making the debt to GDP ratio even worse.


Household income for most of the country has been on the decline ever since the recession started; when is congress going to even attempt to address that?

It won't. Democrats don't have the votes, and the GOP likes how it helps business keep a pliant and week labor force.

Tyndmyr, why are you upset if the US doesn't have a debt ceiling? Would you prefer a system that raises taxes if you go past a certain limit over no debt ceiling at all?

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Silknor » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:25 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
Silknor wrote:$2.2 billion for a Kentucky river project (as Thesh noted, Senate Minority Leader McConnell's state).

So is there another way to describe this other than "blatant corruption"?


Spoilered for OT:
Spoiler:
Lots, I think. It could be genuinely good policy for the nation, in which case we should be glad it was included (noting that the proximate reason this particular good policy was picked was probably because of the influence of its proponent, instead of its merit).

It could be genuinely good for Kentucky but maybe not a good value for the nation. In which case I'd call it an example of parochialism.

And it could be just plain a waste of money or bad policy but popular with Kentucky voters who would at least consider voting for McConnell in either the primary or general election. If the only gain McConnell the project from that is something to run on, I'd call it pork. Some (Lessig comes to mind) might call it corruption, or a corrupt system. But it wouldn't be corruption in the everyday use of the term as long as McConnell doesn't get some more substantive gain, such as a kickback from a contractor or because he has a significant financial stake in the project. I would guess both of those are quite unlikely, though obviously they have happened.

As Tyndmyr notes though, payoff fits given that it was bundled with the must-pass legislation. Even if McConnell probably would've voted for the bill anyways.


That's actually pretty weird. If you lend money, then to break even the interest rate should at least reflect the odds of default. We were very close to the debt ceiling, a single crazy senator could have pushed the US past it, with procedural trickses. Yet US interest rates never rose, and in fact are still below 0 as far as I can tell. How is that possible? Why wasn't the market pulling out of the US at least somewhat?


The interest rate did rise. 30 day rates briefly hit almost 3 times as high as their pre-October peak for 2013. In the short-term it's a bit hard to see what else traders would want to do though. If we did breach the debt ceiling, it's likely we'd make interest payments. So the risk of default on our obligations to bondholders could be much much lower than the chance we'd fail to raise the debt ceiling. And if we did breach but make interest payments, those bonds could actually become more valuable. Investors tend to flock to Treasuries when economic times get bad, remember that yields decreased after S&P lowered our credit rating. So if breaching the debt ceiling hurts the U.S. and/or world economy, but doesn't affect interest payments, you could get a flight to safety that drives Treasury prices up (and thus yields down). Even if it's catastrophic overall all, that doesn't necessarily mean it would increase interest rates on government debt.

As for stocks, it's certainly possible that markets were overly confident in the ability of the U.S. political system to fix things in time. Or that much of the risk had already been priced in (in which case would that mean stocks should increase greatly following the resolution? Not necessarily, the debt ceiling will be back soon and it's not obvious that the risk has dissipated, instead of delayed, in which case it wouldn't really impact stock valuation).

sardia wrote:
Thesh wrote:Household income for most of the country has been on the decline ever since the recession started; when is congress going to even attempt to address that?

It won't. Democrats don't have the votes, and the GOP likes how it helps business keep a pliant and week labor force.


@Thesh: Is there a solution to that problem that both parties agree would help? Each side his ideas on how to address it, but they tend to be diametrically opposed. There are exceptions that draw support across party lines, like immigration reform, but not many.

@Sardia: Yeah, I remember the GOP being really pissed at how great the economy was and how tight the labor market was in the late 1990s.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Dark567 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:49 pm UTC

Silknor wrote:As for stocks, it's certainly possible that markets were overly confident in the ability of the U.S. political system to fix things in time. Or that much of the risk had already been priced in (in which case would that mean stocks should increase greatly following the resolution? Not necessarily, the debt ceiling will be back soon and it's not obvious that the risk has dissipated, instead of delayed, in which case it wouldn't really impact stock valuation).
Its probably pretty unlikely they are pricing the risk in**, when the markets are hitting all time highs. I think the markets are confident* of the political system fixing things for the time being.

*I'm specifically not saying overly, because markets are generally smarter than you or I when it comes to predicting these sorts of things.

**EDIT: Actually, what I really mean to say is that they probably a pricing the risk in, just that they don't think there is very much risk
Last edited by Dark567 on Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:38 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby addams » Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:00 am UTC

politics effects economics? how?

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Thesh » Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:08 am UTC

Silknor wrote:@Thesh: Is there a solution to that problem that both parties agree would help? Each side his ideas on how to address it, but they tend to be diametrically opposed. There are exceptions that draw support across party lines, like immigration reform, but not many.


Well, not without increasing the deficit. Infrastructure spending may be possible to a limited extent, and tax cuts for below median income and increased EITC could help as well, and both parties would agree if they weren't so focused on fucking up the economy.

Also, I decided to do some math on the debt, and here's a good reason why just "cut spending" or "raise taxes" is bad policy without being really targeted and backed up by actual math. Now, looking at debt in a vacuum is useless, you need to look at debt to GDP ratio, as GDP is a good measure of your ability to pay back that debt.

So I'm going to get my multipliers from here:
http://www.economy.com/mark-zandi/docum ... _24_08.pdf

Now, let's assume, for simplicity sake, that end of FY2012 debt and GDP were both $16,000 nominal (they weren't quite, but they were close). Let's say for FY2013 we were expecting 4% nominal GDP growth (this is close as well). Let's also assume that we were expecting $3600 bn in spending, and 16% of end of year GDP in revenue (again these are all close). Let's see what happens to our debt to GDP ratio without action:

Final GDP = Growth * Inital GDP = 1.04 * 16,000 = 16,640
Final Debt = Initial Debt + Outlays - Receipts = 16,000 + 3600 - 0.16 * 16,640 = 16937.60
Final Debt to GDP Ratio = 16937.60 / 16640 = 1.0179

Now, let's say we cut $50bn in spending, but in such a way that the fiscal multiplier was 1.

Final GDP = 1.04 * 16,000 - 50 = 16,590
Final Debt = 16,000 + 3550 - 0.16* 16,590 =16,895.60
Final Debt to GDP Ratio = 16,895.6 / 16,590 = 1.0184

Now, we have cut spending by $50 bn, but that cut in spending also cut GDP, and the cut in GDP also cut revenue. The net result is that although we have less debt in actual dollars, we have a higher debt to GDP ratio meaning our ability to pay off the debt is not as good. We have done nothing but damage. You would get the same exact results from a $50 bn across the board tax hike.

So earlier this year, the GDP decided to pass a $39 bn cut to food stamps. Based on the figures in the above paper, that has a fiscal multiplier of 1.73, so it actually cuts $67.5bn from our economy. Let's see what that, oh-so-brilliant scheme would have done to our debt to GDP ratio, had the Senate passed it:

Final GDP = 1.04 * 16,000 - 67.5 = 16,572
Final Debt = 16,000 + 3561 - 0.16 * 16,572 = 16,909.48
Final Debt to GDP Ratio = 1.020

So, what happens if we adopted the Ryan Budget? Well, I'm not going to dig through the whole thing, but it was 5.2 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years, and 5.7 trillion in tax cuts over 10 years, so I'm going to go and just assume 520 billion per year in spending cuts, and 570 billion per year in tax cuts. I'm going to be fairly generous on the multipliers, and give Ryan 1.3 on the spending, and 0.7 on the taxes, as he is going to focus on infrastructure and social programs for the cuts, which have high multipliers, and tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy which have low multipliers; again, this is generous. This means net economic damage of $277 billion per year.

Final GDP = 1.04 * 16,000 - 277 = 16,363
Final Debt = 16,000 + 3080 - .16 * 16,363 + 570 = 17031.92
Final Debt to GDP Ratio = 17031.92 / 16,363 = 1.041

Go Go Fiscal Responsibility!

So what happens if we, let's say, spend $200 bn on infrastructure? Well, with a multiplier of 1.59, that gives us $318 bn in extra growth, so let's have a look:

Final GDP = 1.04 * 16,000 + 318 = 16,958
Final Debt = 16,000 + 3800 - .16 * 16,958 = 17,086.72
Final Debt to GDP Ratio = 17086.72 / 16,958 = 1.008

Hmm... That's pretty good, I wonder what would happen if we also increased some of those taxes on the wealthy? Maybe $250 bn, and let's say we hit all the main areas under "Permanent Tax Cuts" in that paper for a net multiplier of 0.4 and a loss to our economy $100 bn.

Final GDP = 1.04 * 16,000 + 318 - 100 = 16,858
FInal Debt = 16,000 + 3800 - .16 * 16,858 - 250 = 16,852.72
Final Debt to GDP Ratio = 16,852.72 / 16,858 = .9997

So, what does this mean? If we were actually responsible we could actually grow our economy and reduce the debt to GDP ratio at the same time; in fact, growing the economy is a good way to reduce the debt to GDP ratio, and shrinking the economy is a good way to increase the debt to GDP ratio (shocking, I know).

Now, these numbers are just estimates. They may be bound to some extent, as hurting the economy will increase spending on welfare, which has a positive effect on the economy, and spending on infrastructure would grow our economy and reduce spending on welfare, which has a negative effect on the economy. But the economy has virtuous and vicious cycles as well, in which strong growth can prompt new investment and over-hiring in anticipation of demand, which creates a feedback loop, and a decline in Real GDP can cause hiring freezes, a decline in investments, and layoffs, which can also cause a feedback loop that makes things worse. It's pretty much impossible to predict where those points are.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby sardia » Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:06 pm UTC

I want to bring up a basic premise that far too many people are assuming. The idea that both sides are equally to blame. They aren't. This falls squarely on the extremist libertarian conservative religious wing of the GOP. That very idea that the current debt is such a large problem that we have to destroy our own credibility as a country would be laughable if tindymhr , league and cphite clones weren't pushing it on us with each ROUTINE debt ceiling increase. It is people like you who are causing all these manufactured crisis and then turn around and point the finger at Washington. It's like an arsonist complaining that the fire dept sucks at putting out all the fires he started and demanding he be put in charge.

That's why i think you're a shill for the GOP.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:16 pm UTC

There are a significant number of Libertarians in the Republican party?

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Xenomortis » Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:24 pm UTC

For a sufficiently cherry-picked* definition of "liberal", it is the Republican party. It seems strange to call it "liberalism" at that point, but some do.

*just don't be gay, take drugs, have an unwanted pregnancy and make sure you go to church every sunday.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby CorruptUser » Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:25 pm UTC

"Libertarian" != "Liberal"

Libertarianism is the idea that government exists to protect liberty.

Liberalism is the idea that government exists to maximize a combination of liberty and equality.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Tyndmyr » Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:48 pm UTC

Negated wrote:Now that's even more confusing. The amount of government debt issued is determined by its current account. It borrows to cover the spending that its income cannot make up for. To say the amount of debt issued is not a free market makes absolutely no sense.

You can't separate the debt amount and rates when you talk about government borrowing. In the end, all that really matters is that the government has the ability to fulfill its obligations to pay back. The amount of debt the government can take on is partly determined by the interest rate of its bonds.


The amount of money spent must be equaled by the combined total of income, printing of new money, and debt. All four of these items are determined by legislative and executive action, not the free market.

Thesh wrote:What we needed was to actually pass stronger stimulus bills back in 2009 and 2010. We had a bunch of stuff in both stimulus bills that grew the deficit with very little expected economic gain (but benefits for many campaign donors). Our problem right now isn't spending, it's that we are focusing on the wrong issue. What matters is not total debt, it's the debt to GDP ratio, and all this shit that we are doing to slow the growth in debt is harming GDP; if we would actually fix our economic problems, growing the economy will mean LESS welfare and safety net spending, and MORE revenue. Instead, we are going about everything in a way that risks making the debt to GDP ratio even worse.


Nah. The stimulus bills grew the hell out of the debt for marginal gains. More of that is most certainly not what we needed. What we needed was stability. The crunch was, to a certain degree, unstoppable once the bubble had inflated enough. The correction was bound to happen, since the bubble obviously could not grow indefinitely.

The problems all stemmed from a few failures. First off, some banks, etc outright embraced fraud, etc. In addition, some ratings companies were not doing due diligence. Thing is, nobody was pursuing or enforcing this when it was early enough to prevent it from becoming endemic...and even after the crash, many got off with remarkably light or no penalties. I fear that this concept of companies that are "too big to fail" is a potentially problematic one. We need to grow our economy, absolutely...and yeah, penalizing big banks may affect the economy negatively to a degree...but we've already seen that NOT penalizing them can have much worse effects down the line.

And yet...everyone still ignores the long term....

sardia wrote:Tyndmyr, why are you upset if the US doesn't have a debt ceiling? Would you prefer a system that raises taxes if you go past a certain limit over no debt ceiling at all?


Yes, actually. That'd be a viable alternative solution. Probably not a popular one once it gets invoked, mind you, but a sudden taxation spike will cause a more immediate conversation about spending than the debt limit, really. It has the advantages of the debt limit without the negatives.

Thesh wrote:
Silknor wrote:@Thesh: Is there a solution to that problem that both parties agree would help? Each side his ideas on how to address it, but they tend to be diametrically opposed. There are exceptions that draw support across party lines, like immigration reform, but not many.


Well, not without increasing the deficit. Infrastructure spending may be possible to a limited extent, and tax cuts for below median income and increased EITC could help as well, and both parties would agree if they weren't so focused on fucking up the economy.

Also, I decided to do some math on the debt, and here's a good reason why just "cut spending" or "raise taxes" is bad policy without being really targeted and backed up by actual math. Now, looking at debt in a vacuum is useless, you need to look at debt to GDP ratio, as GDP is a good measure of your ability to pay back that debt.

So I'm going to get my multipliers from here:
http://www.economy.com/mark-zandi/docum ... _24_08.pdf


While your initial point of "cut spending" and "raise taxes" both being overly simplistic is valid, the multiplier approach fails to capture opportunity costs. If the government doesn't borrow the money, that money is either invested or spent somewhere else, and that has some effect. Without capturing that, you're not going to get an accurate picture.

sardia wrote:I want to bring up a basic premise that far too many people are assuming. The idea that both sides are equally to blame. They aren't. This falls squarely on the extremist libertarian conservative religious wing of the GOP.


I take exception to describing the tea party as libertarian. Call me when they want gay marriage, stop trying to ban roe vs wade, and stop pushing religion into government. Then maybe we can talk about them being libertarian.

Just because they make noises about finances and so do we does NOT make us the same. Shit, I don't even agree with them on plenty of financial matters.

That very idea that the current debt is such a large problem that we have to destroy our own credibility as a country would be laughable if tindymhr , league and cphite clones weren't pushing it on us with each ROUTINE debt ceiling increase. It is people like you who are causing all these manufactured crisis and then turn around and point the finger at Washington. It's like an arsonist complaining that the fire dept sucks at putting out all the fires he started and demanding he be put in charge.

That's why i think you're a shill for the GOP.


Oh, come on. When have I ever said that it's worth destroying our credibility as a country over?

Debt has costs, and those need to be rationally considered. These costs do need to be minimized, but if you are imposing greater costs in order to kill them, you've missed the fucking point. If you can't tell the difference between my position and that of the Tea Party, then yeah...you're an extremist, and it only appears the same to you because you're way in left field.

CorruptUser wrote:"Libertarian" != "Liberal"

Libertarianism is the idea that government exists to protect liberty.

Liberalism is the idea that government exists to maximize a combination of liberty and equality.


The Republicans would likely claim to sort of follow both of those. At least, as long as you used the description, not the actual word. Call them a liberal, and they'll disagree regardless of what the topic and definition are.

However, actual Republican Party actions often diverge from both of these things. They are more than happy to restrict liberty, as long as it's of gays or what not, of course.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby sardia » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:03 pm UTC

Excite the post. On a phone.
What percent of economists agree with the statement
The stimulus should be smaller.

Next, if a GOP politician pushes against abortion and gays, you're saying he is forever banned from the libertarian party?

Lastly, why do you believe both sides are equally to blame for the shutdown? How would you react if you were Harry Reid or the GOP. ?

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Silknor » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:19 pm UTC

sardia wrote:What percent of economists agree with the statement
The stimulus should be smaller.


The IGM Forum asked their panel of 40 economists the following question about the stimulus bill:
"Taking into account all of the ARRA’s economic consequences — including the economic costs of raising taxes to pay for the spending, its effects on future spending, and any other likely future effects — the benefits of the stimulus will end up exceeding its costs."

Agree or Strongly Agree: 46%
Uncertain: 27%
Disagree or Strongly Disagree: 14%
No Opinion: 2%

On the related question of if the stimulus lowered unemployment as measured at the end of 2010, the panel was almost unanimous that it did.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:46 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:"Libertarian" != "Liberal"

Libertarianism is the idea that government exists to protect liberty.

Liberalism is the idea that government exists to maximize a combination of liberty and equality.


The Republicans would likely claim to sort of follow both of those. At least, as long as you used the description, not the actual word. Call them a liberal, and they'll disagree regardless of what the topic and definition are.

However, actual Republican Party actions often diverge from both of these things. They are more than happy to restrict liberty, as long as it's of gays or what not, of course.


The Republicans oppose:

The Liberty to abort an unwanted fetus
The Liberty to collectively bargain
The Liberty to marry someone of the same gender
The Liberty to use recreational drugs
The Liberty to exchange goods/services/money for sex

What Liberty?

As for equality, no, eliminating welfare and cutting public education is pretty much the opposite of Equality.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Thesh » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:47 pm UTC

Silknor wrote:
sardia wrote:What percent of economists agree with the statement
The stimulus should be smaller.


The IGM Forum asked their panel of 40 economists the following question about the stimulus bill:
"Taking into account all of the ARRA’s economic consequences — including the economic costs of raising taxes to pay for the spending, its effects on future spending, and any other likely future effects — the benefits of the stimulus will end up exceeding its costs."

Agree or Strongly Agree: 46%
Uncertain: 27%
Disagree or Strongly Disagree: 14%
No Opinion: 2%

On the related question of if the stimulus lowered unemployment as measured at the end of 2010, the panel was almost unanimous that it did.


The problem is that there are two things going on: as I said before, the stimulus they are responding to wasn't a very well written stimulus with things that would give us a good bang for the buck; it was a mixture of stuff that could help and stuff that would get moderate Democrats on board like tax cuts for the wealthy, which aren't very effective in terms of stimulus, especially when all the money has gone to the hands of the wealthy in the first place, and they are still not investing it. Second, there are major consequences of our spending increase that means that the deficit hawks stepped in and took over pretty much the entire Republican party as well as a significant portion of the Democrats. This shift in policies from stimulus to deficit cutting, is probably going to end up costing us growth in the long term as we stand to continue deficit reduction policies for the foreseeable future. In the long term, it's difficult to say whether the 2009 stimulus was worth it, given all of the problems with the stimulus and that it was a major contributor to the policies of the stupid party.

Should we have had a bigger stimulus, however? Absolutely, it should have been bigger, but more focused on things that would have actually grown our economy. Personally, I would have focused almost entirely on unemployment extensions for as long as the unemployment rate is elevated, temporary payroll tax cuts, as well as permanent plan to shift the burden of payroll tax (say 0% on first 10k of income, and extending the cap to compensate, giving an extra $63.75 per month to most individuals), increase in foodstamps, $200 bn per year of infrastructure spending for 10 years, and a deficit-neutral tax change that increased taxes on the wealthy, while permanently reducing taxes on everyone below median income (with more % relief the lower your income is), and a gradual increase in minimum wage over four years to $9 per hour, with an inflation adjustment after that.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:42 am UTC

sardia wrote:Excite the post. On a phone.
What percent of economists agree with the statement
The stimulus should be smaller.

Next, if a GOP politician pushes against abortion and gays, you're saying he is forever banned from the libertarian party?

Lastly, why do you believe both sides are equally to blame for the shutdown? How would you react if you were Harry Reid or the GOP. ?


Er, the platform issues as taken by the Libertarian Party and the Republican Party on a variety of issues are opposites. If you ignore the party issues as a reason for differentiating between parties, well...how do I know YOU aren't a republican? Oh sure, you might not agree with them on anything, but you're to blame for everything they do all the same. Republican.


More or less equally. Both sides, of course, are now in the phase where they try to convince you that sure, it was bad all round, but the other side was MORE bad. This accomplishes little save for firming up the bases on both sides for another pointless round of partisan bickering that will surely follow. I am not interested in trying to justify that one side has 51% of the blame or what not. Both were at fault, and the whole situation was handled terribly all round.

If I was the GOP(or, more accurately, Boehmer or another GOP figurehead), I would have started by phrasing the whole disagreement differently. The GOP differs with Obama and the dems on many issues. Fixating on the ACA was, as I said initially, a tactical error. They picked a fight they could not win. Oh sure, they got some minor concessions, but killing the ACA was never on the table. In addition to this error, they had a lack of agreement on what they actually wanted, and were willing to be satisfied with. That's the kind of thing you hash out in advance. Getting less than you ask for is a normal part of a negotiation. You need to consider in advance what you are willing to sacrifice, and "nothing" is usually a terrible answer.

Incidentally, this brings us to the issue with the democrats. The same unwillingness to negotiate was present. If you don't like the offer on the table...put another one out there. For a negotiation to work, at least one side has to move beyond "No...fuck you!", and being the first one to bring up a reasonable way out gives you the advantage of selecting which option you pursue, plus, it makes you look a helluva lot more reasonable. The democrats didn't have quite the same disorganization issue, which helped them tactically. If they were as disunified as the GOP...ugh. I'd probably have tossed something on the table that the republicans could chalk up as a win, but that isn't that important from my perspective.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby addams » Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:52 am UTC

How can a people be so easily convinced?
Hypnosis? What?

The Two Parties are Equally to blame.
The Two Parties both screwed things up for all of us.


The two parties? Was it the Dem Party that put the Pat Act on every congress person's desk?
Both equally to blame? Was it the Dem party that was running the Executive Branch during one of the most God Awful international Fuckups in our brand new century?

The two parties? Both at fault? Maybe. I do not see it as an equal fault.
Of course, I did not study PoliSci. Who pushed through massive debt?

You could do Vote by Vote from 2000 to 2008.
Who proposed increased debt?
What was that debt earmarked for?

Where is that money, now?
I Know the above is an unfair question.
Elisabeth Warrens said, "I don't know."

She was given four months and a team of some of the best little number crunchers there are.
She came out of the experience looking a little shell shocked. When asked, "Where did the money go?" she said, "I don't know."

I know the Republicans had the White House.
I know they also have some ruthless tactics.

You may write that we all have the burden.
We do have an equal share in the burden.
That is what it is to be a member of a large group.

I like to believe the chief executive of my nation would be good to the campaign promise to bring Public Health to our people, if it was possible.
What makes it not possible? It is Not a block of Liberal Intellectuals navel gazing that has caused Not providing Health Care to be more complex and more expensive than simply providing the best to Everyone.

If you type that the two parties are the same, then people will believe you.
I do. There was not as large a difference before 2000.

Before 2000 we had a strong nation.
It was strong financially.
It was strong internationally. Our reputation was not great, it was not this bad.
It was strong psychologically. Our people were not fearful to the point of mental illness. Many are that fearful, now.
It was strong with institutions. Our schools got 'fixed' by Bush and Co. Fixed in a way that may not be fixable.
Our Universities are not serving our people as they were extended. Some rob the people. It is not fair, but Dog eat Republican is the spoken law of the land.
Our courts are facing a severely undereducated population. Both the people in uniform and the people arrested by them are wanting intellectually and morally.

They may not want an education. Remember how hard school is?
Who wants to do that if Money comes easy for the easily corrupted?

I disagree with the premiss that the two parties are at equal fault.
Not in the debt that has reached a number that is so abstract that .......well?
Not in gutting any hope of a national health system. Not equal at all.

The individual human beings may live in fear of the same Assholes at the top.
They did not intend to be. Not equally.

Back to you, Bob. Flying over this thing from your lofty height.
What do you see? Again?

One group? One big unhappy family?
ok. I agree on that point.

I disagree about what has caused our discontent and I disagree about what will ease our discomfort.
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Some of us see The Gutter.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby sardia » Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:48 pm UTC

the platform issues as taken by the Libertarian Party and the Republican Party on a variety of issues are opposites. If you ignore the party issues as a reason for differentiating between parties, well...how do I know YOU aren't a republican? Oh sure, you might not agree with them on anything, but you're to blame for everything they do all the same. Republican.

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
Being ideologically pure is a luxury only a 3rd party can afford. I'm sure it'll get going eventually so you can be extra discriminating.
There are plenty of positions that I have that are Republican. In fact, I don't think my positions have moved at all. The GOP and Democrats have moved further to the right, I have not. Over the decades, I became a Democrat simply by refusing to hate gays, immigrants, and by taking the long view on business.

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

More or less equally. Both sides, of course, are now in the phase where they try to convince you that sure, it was bad all round, but the other side was MORE bad. This accomplishes little save for firming up the bases on both sides for another pointless round of partisan bickering that will surely follow. I am not interested in trying to justify that one side has 51% of the blame or what not. Both were at fault, and the whole situation was handled terribly all round.

If I was the GOP(or, more accurately, Boehmer or another GOP figurehead), I would have started by phrasing the whole disagreement differently. The GOP differs with Obama and the dems on many issues. Fixating on the ACA was, as I said initially, a tactical error. They picked a fight they could not win. Oh sure, they got some minor concessions, but killing the ACA was never on the table. In addition to this error, they had a lack of agreement on what they actually wanted, and were willing to be satisfied with. That's the kind of thing you hash out in advance. Getting less than you ask for is a normal part of a negotiation. You need to consider in advance what you are willing to sacrifice, and "nothing" is usually a terrible answer.

Incidentally, this brings us to the issue with the democrats. The same unwillingness to negotiate was present. If you don't like the offer on the table...put another one out there. For a negotiation to work, at least one side has to move beyond "No...fuck you!", and being the first one to bring up a reasonable way out gives you the advantage of selecting which option you pursue, plus, it makes you look a helluva lot more reasonable. The democrats didn't have quite the same disorganization issue, which helped them tactically. If they were as disunified as the GOP...ugh. I'd probably have tossed something on the table that the republicans could chalk up as a win, but that isn't that important from my perspective.
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
This is how the extremists in the GOP get away with this bullshit. You started with "GOP begins with insane proposal" and ended with "Both sides are at fault." Would you give up your guns if I threatened you with a government shutdown? How about the default of the US government? How would you compromise with my insane demand? Are you going to try reasoning with me that a shutdown has nothing to do with gun control? Or that it's unconstitutional to demand such things? Or are you going to stick with your silly reasoning and concede something to me?

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:43 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
the platform issues as taken by the Libertarian Party and the Republican Party on a variety of issues are opposites. If you ignore the party issues as a reason for differentiating between parties, well...how do I know YOU aren't a republican? Oh sure, you might not agree with them on anything, but you're to blame for everything they do all the same. Republican.

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
Being ideologically pure is a luxury only a 3rd party can afford. I'm sure it'll get going eventually so you can be extra discriminating.
There are plenty of positions that I have that are Republican. In fact, I don't think my positions have moved at all. The GOP and Democrats have moved further to the right, I have not. Over the decades, I became a Democrat simply by refusing to hate gays, immigrants, and by taking the long view on business.

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\


If you're not a Republican, then neither am I, for exactly the same reasons.

More or less equally. Both sides, of course, are now in the phase where they try to convince you that sure, it was bad all round, but the other side was MORE bad. This accomplishes little save for firming up the bases on both sides for another pointless round of partisan bickering that will surely follow. I am not interested in trying to justify that one side has 51% of the blame or what not. Both were at fault, and the whole situation was handled terribly all round.

If I was the GOP(or, more accurately, Boehmer or another GOP figurehead), I would have started by phrasing the whole disagreement differently. The GOP differs with Obama and the dems on many issues. Fixating on the ACA was, as I said initially, a tactical error. They picked a fight they could not win. Oh sure, they got some minor concessions, but killing the ACA was never on the table. In addition to this error, they had a lack of agreement on what they actually wanted, and were willing to be satisfied with. That's the kind of thing you hash out in advance. Getting less than you ask for is a normal part of a negotiation. You need to consider in advance what you are willing to sacrifice, and "nothing" is usually a terrible answer.

Incidentally, this brings us to the issue with the democrats. The same unwillingness to negotiate was present. If you don't like the offer on the table...put another one out there. For a negotiation to work, at least one side has to move beyond "No...fuck you!", and being the first one to bring up a reasonable way out gives you the advantage of selecting which option you pursue, plus, it makes you look a helluva lot more reasonable. The democrats didn't have quite the same disorganization issue, which helped them tactically. If they were as disunified as the GOP...ugh. I'd probably have tossed something on the table that the republicans could chalk up as a win, but that isn't that important from my perspective.
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
This is how the extremists in the GOP get away with this bullshit. You started with "GOP begins with insane proposal" and ended with "Both sides are at fault." Would you give up your guns if I threatened you with a government shutdown? How about the default of the US government? How would you compromise with my insane demand? Are you going to try reasoning with me that a shutdown has nothing to do with gun control? Or that it's unconstitutional to demand such things? Or are you going to stick with your silly reasoning and concede something to me?


I didn't say insane, I said tactical error. Not every error is a sign of insanity. In this case, it appears to be a fairly straightforward case of overestimating their position. It's a remarkably common error. Now, it's not unusual to ask for more than you expect to eventually receive, but asking for too much(as happened here) is unwise. It's a delicate balance. The GOP could have gotten more than they did by using better tactics.

Tactics are not the same as morality. It is quite possible to err in politics in ways that are not immoral, and I do not believe that opposing the ACA is an intrinsicly immoral stance. Nor is it unconstitutional. This gun issue you keep bringing up* is a very poor analogy, as it is a constitutional issue, and changing the constitution is handled through other means. The goal here was never to change the constitution, merely the ACA. We can seperately discuss the wisdom of the tactics involved as well as the objectives. Both the democrats and the republicans made unforced tactical errors, resulting in a net loss to the public at large in the shutdown.

You're reacting in an emotional fashion, failing to address the actual topic, but instead, reacting as if I were an adversary. On the wrong side. You're viewing arguments as weapons, not a path to understanding. This very attitude is PRECISELY the problem with both parties, and it's why we all know the problem will simply keep coming back up. Nothing was actually permanently solved here, we just punted the problem down the road a bit, both sides still have opposing desires, and enough acrimony to turn this into a battle as soon as the clock starts running down again. You talked earlier about taking the long view. Clearly, this state of affairs is not a positive long term approach.

*Presumably because you know it is an issue I care about, and are thus attempting to provoke an emotional response.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Negated » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:12 pm UTC

Opposing the ACA is not insane or immoral. But using the dire consequences of not raising the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip to undermine the ACA certain is. It is terrorism, only that the hostages are not human lives but the US (and consequently the world) economy. Calling it a tactical error is just sugarcoating.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby sardia » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:34 pm UTC

I said it is insane to make tactical plays with the debt ceiling. This is a logical argument to me, and a value judgment to you. Anyone can make a tactical error. You're not recognizing the serious nature of the decisions people make. You deciding to pick the wrong fight over a girl at a bar is a tactical error. Blockading Cuba in the hopes that the Soviets would back down is also a tactical error. One of these things is not like the other. One of these things ends in catastrophe.

As for the tactical error on the Democratic side, it's foolhardly to give the weak hope. The Tea Party offered nothing, and got nothing in return. The naive desire for compromise is what got us the fiscal cliff and the sequester. If you offer an concession and get nothing in return, why would you offer it again? The positions haven't changed, nor have the relative strengths. What do the Democrats get from giving out concessions since all the Tea Party offered was a 2 month reprieve? You really should think about what was being offered before judging so harshly the hard lines that were drawn.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby nitePhyyre » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:17 am UTC

sardia wrote:As for the tactical error on the Democratic side, it's foolhardly to give the weak hope. The Tea Party offered nothing, and got nothing in return. The naive desire for compromise is what got us the fiscal cliff and the sequester. If you offer an concession and get nothing in return, why would you offer it again? The positions haven't changed, nor have the relative strengths. What do the Democrats get from giving out concessions since all the Tea Party offered was a 2 month reprieve? You really should think about what was being offered before judging so harshly the hard lines that were drawn.
Let's not forget that, the ACA was a compromise to begin with. It make the republican's demands all the more ludicrous.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby addams » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:34 am UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
sardia wrote:As for the tactical error on the Democratic side, it's foolhardly to give the weak hope. The Tea Party offered nothing, and got nothing in return. The naive desire for compromise is what got us the fiscal cliff and the sequester. If you offer an concession and get nothing in return, why would you offer it again? The positions haven't changed, nor have the relative strengths. What do the Democrats get from giving out concessions since all the Tea Party offered was a 2 month reprieve? You really should think about what was being offered before judging so harshly the hard lines that were drawn.
Let's not forget that, the ACA was a compromise to begin with. It make the republican's demands all the more ludicrous.

The ACA is horrible.
It is not worse than what was there before.

It is not a Public Health System.
The people, the old and unhealthy, are still very frightened.
They tell me. I know first hand.

I think the Repubs and the TEA Baggers were used.
I think the ACA is darned near perfect for squeezing the people.

Making a fuss about the ACA is a marketing maneuver.
The Repubs want the ACA.

It is like an artichoke leaf; It can be used to carry ideas, the way an artichoke leaf carries mayo.
What are the ideas? "They don't care about you. You must make it on your own in the wide and wild world."

Little old people are being hit with so fricking many choices.
Some are coming from the ACA. Others look like ACA and I have no idea what they are.

The fear of choosing wrong has people stressed.
Many are then told to turn their fear onto anger by media.

In civilized nations, when a person is ill that person goes to Medical.
At medical some assessments are done and the kind of care is guided by the assesments.

The people tell me, they must make some decisions they do not know how to make.
The Repubs killed health care and then threw a media party about it.

At the party they say, "Obama Care is the end of human freedom."
(fuck them? what do they charge for that?

The Baggers, with their puppet masters, won this one. With the media as the weapon.
The Baggers seem to be an ignorant mob. Mobs are good weapons. Point and shoot.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:26 pm UTC

Negated wrote:Opposing the ACA is not insane or immoral. But using the dire consequences of not raising the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip to undermine the ACA certain is. It is terrorism, only that the hostages are not human lives but the US (and consequently the world) economy. Calling it a tactical error is just sugarcoating.


*sigh* It is not terrorism. It is fiscally imprudent, yes, but a poor financial decision is not the same as terrorism.

Additionally, the debt ceiling is a seperate issue from the continuing resolution.

And it is a matter of record that the republicans wanted to fund everything but the ACA. The democrats rejected that funding. It is a bargaining chip for them just as it is for the republicans.

Yes, we'd be better off as a whole if the debt ceiling were not subject to such divisive partisanship, but this is not a tactic limited to one side of the fence, nor is it anything new. It's the same old partisan BS we've ALWAYS had. Sure, the partisanship is on a strengthening trend, and that's bad, but it'd be bad regardless of if this tactic is used or if the ACA was involved.

sardia wrote:I said it is insane to make tactical plays with the debt ceiling. This is a logical argument to me, and a value judgment to you. Anyone can make a tactical error. You're not recognizing the serious nature of the decisions people make. You deciding to pick the wrong fight over a girl at a bar is a tactical error. Blockading Cuba in the hopes that the Soviets would back down is also a tactical error. One of these things is not like the other. One of these things ends in catastrophe.


Since the missile crisis turned out surprisingly well for us, I don't know that I'd call it a catastrophe. Perfect bargaining, maybe not, but certainly no catastrophe.

sardia wrote:As for the tactical error on the Democratic side, it's foolhardly to give the weak hope. The Tea Party offered nothing, and got nothing in return. The naive desire for compromise is what got us the fiscal cliff and the sequester. If you offer an concession and get nothing in return, why would you offer it again? The positions haven't changed, nor have the relative strengths. What do the Democrats get from giving out concessions since all the Tea Party offered was a 2 month reprieve? You really should think about what was being offered before judging so harshly the hard lines that were drawn.


Someone has to offer first. Both sides refused to do so(I am classifying the original republican "no ACA" as a statement of desire, not a reasonable attempt at compromise for obvious reasons) for quite some time. Yes, the final deal did kind of suck. It only punts the issue down the road a little bit. The repubs didn't get much, but the deal wasn't that big, either. Maybe a better deal could have been arranged if people started talking sooner. Or maybe, we could have gotten the same deal, but faster. Either translates fairly directly to cost savings.

Sequester really wasn't that bad. The shutdown is significantly more important than a sequester, and a default would be significantly more important than the shutdown. However, it seems puzzling that you are attributing sequester entirely to republicans, given that it was authorized by the Budget Control Act of 2011, introduced by a democrat in the democrat controlled senate.

nitePhyyre wrote:
sardia wrote:As for the tactical error on the Democratic side, it's foolhardly to give the weak hope. The Tea Party offered nothing, and got nothing in return. The naive desire for compromise is what got us the fiscal cliff and the sequester. If you offer an concession and get nothing in return, why would you offer it again? The positions haven't changed, nor have the relative strengths. What do the Democrats get from giving out concessions since all the Tea Party offered was a 2 month reprieve? You really should think about what was being offered before judging so harshly the hard lines that were drawn.
Let's not forget that, the ACA was a compromise to begin with. It make the republican's demands all the more ludicrous.


Consider who the compromise was with, though. At the time of the ACA's passing, some of those now opposing it were not yet in office. They were not party to the compromise.

In fact, the compromises took place in the senate, not in the house. You'll note that the house vote against the ACA was decidedly negative on the part of republicans. They were not on board with it at that time either. It was actually much more about getting all the dems on board than it was about compromising the republicans, and a simple glance at the voting history will demonstrate this.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby JudeMorrigan » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:17 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Yes, we'd be better off as a whole if the debt ceiling were not subject to such divisive partisanship, but this is not a tactic limited to one side of the fence, nor is it anything new. It's the same old partisan BS we've ALWAYS had. Sure

No, it really is new. Traditionally, the debt limit is an excuse to make speeches and even to cast token protest votes that the legislators knew perfectly well wouldn't actually stop the debt limit from being increased. Until 2011, there was never any *real* chance of the government choosing default. "Compromising" over it in 2011 just encouraged 2013 to happen. Doing so again would have pretty much guaranteed that this would happen every time the debt limit came up for a vote. The GOP was playing with fire with this.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:21 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Yes, we'd be better off as a whole if the debt ceiling were not subject to such divisive partisanship, but this is not a tactic limited to one side of the fence, nor is it anything new. It's the same old partisan BS we've ALWAYS had. Sure

No, it really is new. Traditionally, the debt limit is an excuse to make speeches and even to cast token protest votes that the legislators knew perfectly well wouldn't actually stop the debt limit from being increased. Until 2011, there was never any *real* chance of the government choosing default. "Compromising" over it in 2011 just encouraged 2013 to happen. Doing so again would have pretty much guaranteed that this would happen every time the debt limit came up for a vote. The GOP was playing with fire with this.


Oh, and this strategy prevented that? Are you so certain that this will not recur next time the debt limit comes up for a vote? Because I'm pretty sure that we're gonna see the finance fight continue.

Also, no, the debt limit has been used to pass or alter legislation before successfully. It's not always successful, granted, but this thread has already gone over enough of it's history that I'm sure you're aware it's resulted in a technical default once because of pushing it to the last minute. So, not new at all.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby JudeMorrigan » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:45 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
JudeMorrigan wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Yes, we'd be better off as a whole if the debt ceiling were not subject to such divisive partisanship, but this is not a tactic limited to one side of the fence, nor is it anything new. It's the same old partisan BS we've ALWAYS had. Sure

No, it really is new. Traditionally, the debt limit is an excuse to make speeches and even to cast token protest votes that the legislators knew perfectly well wouldn't actually stop the debt limit from being increased. Until 2011, there was never any *real* chance of the government choosing default. "Compromising" over it in 2011 just encouraged 2013 to happen. Doing so again would have pretty much guaranteed that this would happen every time the debt limit came up for a vote. The GOP was playing with fire with this.

Oh, and this strategy prevented that? Are you so certain that this will not recur next time the debt limit comes up for a vote? Because I'm pretty sure that we're gonna see the finance fight continue.

Of course I'm not saying that this will definitely keep us from doing this whole stupid song and dance again. I'm saying that if we HAD gone down that route this time, it would have danged near enshrined the tactic as part of our political process.

Also, no, the debt limit has been used to pass or alter legislation before successfully. It's not always successful, granted, but this thread has already gone over enough of it's history that I'm sure you're aware it's resulted in a technical default once because of pushing it to the last minute. So, not new at all.

Ok, I went ahead and reread the thread. Yes, you've had this conversation before. I do not think that it went the way you think that it went though.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby nitePhyyre » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:55 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Negated wrote:Opposing the ACA is not insane or immoral. But using the dire consequences of not raising the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip to undermine the ACA certain is. It is terrorism, only that the hostages are not human lives but the US (and consequently the world) economy. Calling it a tactical error is just sugarcoating.
*sigh* It is not terrorism. It is fiscally imprudent, yes, but a poor financial decision is not the same as terrorism.
Using fear to change policy = the definition of terrorism. The republicans used fear of the economy collapsing to change policy = the republicans are terrorists.
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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby sardia » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:21 pm UTC

Since the missile crisis turned out surprisingly well for us, I don't know that I'd call it a

catastrophe. Perfect bargaining, maybe not, but certainly no catastrophe.

\\\\
If you can't appreciate just how dangerous the Cuban missile crisis was, you're not in a position to

judge a game of political chicken. It ended "well" because we got lucky, not because blockading

Cuba was a good idea. Either you're ignorant of this notion, or you're being purposely naive for

the appearance of correctness. I think you're purposely idiotic because I don't think you're

arguing that the ends justify the means.
The chances of anyone at the negotiating table pushing too hard can easily result in a failed deal.

Most of the time, it doesn't matter. You're purposely ignoring the high stakes for the mistaken

belief that you're objective.
\\\
Last edited by sardia on Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:15 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:43 pm UTC

Erm, the Cuban Missile Crisis was a larger Russian victory than an American one; the US pulled its missiles out of Turkey, which is ostensibly what Russia wanted in the first place.

Also the US was opened fire on the Russians during the crisis, and if it wasn't for one Vasili Arkhipov, well, things would've been a tad unpleasant.

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby Silknor » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:53 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Yes, we'd be better off as a whole if the debt ceiling were not subject to such divisive partisanship, but this is not a tactic limited to one side of the fence, nor is it anything new. It's the same old partisan BS we've ALWAYS had.


Is it? Before 2011, when did either party seriously threaten to default on the nation's debt if they didn't get their way on some other issue.

You know what, from today's perspective, the most incredible thing about the 2006 vote to raise the debt ceiling is? That it passed 52-48. Not 60-40 or by any other filibuster proof majority. Then Senator Obama should've been voting yes instead of grandstanding, but we can laugh about it precisely because it was just grandstanding, even though Democrats had the power to block the increase or demand concessions, they just gave some speeches (and not even ones intended to run down the clock!).

There have been non-clean increases in the debt ceiling before. Many of them. But did proponents of those other measures seriously threaten default? I'm not aware of any cases that they did, though if I'm wrong that would be good to know. But if not, then 2011/2013 is anything but the "same old partisan BS."

Edit based on posts further down: The 1979 technical default only supports your claim if proponents of whatever was attached (which from my CRS link earlier was related to savings bonds yields and requiring the President and Congress to propose a balanced budget), used the threat of default as a source of leverage. If there was no intent to default but it occurred because they just didn't leave enough time to overcome procedural or negotiating issues, that's not analogous.

Sequester really wasn't that bad. The shutdown is significantly more important than a sequester, and a default would be significantly more important than the shutdown.


In terms of macroeconomic impact, the sequester is much much worse than the shutdown (or better if you think the cuts are a good thing for the economy). And it will only get worse as time goes on, next year's cuts are larger than this past years. Default is of course far worse than either.

nitePhyyre wrote:Using fear to change policy = the definition of terrorism. The republicans used fear of the economy collapsing to change policy = the republicans are terrorists.


That's not the definition of terrorism. And by that standard, any speech predicting bad things will happen if we don't enact the speaker's favored legislation is terrorism. And both parties used fear of tax increases to change policy in the fiscal cliff debate. And...etc. Were the actions of some in the GOP ridiculously irresponsible? Sure. Severely worrying for what it says about the state of our political system? Absolutely. But not terrorism.
Nikc wrote:Silknor is the JJ Abrams of mafia modding

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Re: Debt Ceiling Round 3? 4?

Postby addams » Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:42 am UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
Negated wrote:Opposing the ACA is not insane or immoral. But using the dire consequences of not raising the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip to undermine the ACA certain is. It is terrorism, only that the hostages are not human lives but the US (and consequently the world) economy. Calling it a tactical error is just sugarcoating.
*sigh* It is not terrorism. It is fiscally imprudent, yes, but a poor financial decision is not the same as terrorism.
Using fear to change policy = the definition of terrorism. The republicans used fear of the economy collapsing to change policy = the republicans are terrorists.

The Repubs and their media marketing armies from the cheep motivational speakers at TEA Bag churches to Bonner the Orange are guilty of Terrorism.
Those jerks have been pointing the Terrorist finger at others for much, much less.

It is right and proper that we and many others consider the Fear-in-the-Extreme the media hype has caused.
It is right and proper to consider threats made as Terrorism. Who did that? Who frightened our people?

Was that justified? No. Was tha Terrorism? Yes.
Do the Baggers get to redefine the word? (Maybe. They are a bunch of Humpty Dumptys.)
Spoiler:
Humpty Dumpty said, "A word means what I mean it to mean. Nothing more and nothing less."

Do they know they are victims? YES.

The poor clueless jerks. They don't know who fucked them.
They say their collective butt hurts.

We all have aching asses, after 15 years of this Repub shit.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.


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